(This was on a Shutter-stock free photo page that I found with Google, but I lost the source. It may be a USDA picture according to one site I clicked on.)
This month, one of the days started with an early agenda.
My husband and I went to our local Gideon’s breakfast for pastors and their spouse, if married. The Gideon’s auxiliary, wives of the Gideon membership, made a small box for all the attendees and put rock chocolate in the gift container, which was really good. It looked like stones, but they were soft candy.
The Gideons want to thank the pastors and their spouses for their care and compassion for the folks that attend the local churches. They want them to know that the Gideons are praying for them and also, as the Gideons lead people to Christ, they will refer new converts to a local church.
I enjoy going so we can see folks from other denominations and one couple from our fellowship. We get to see a testimony of a believer who came to faith in Jesus Christ because someone gave them a Gideon New Testament.
The man we listened to received a Gideon Bible while in elementary school, but never opened it. Then, as a soldier, possibly a Marine, someone gave him a small Gideon Bible he could keep with him. Just before going on a life-threatening mission, he opened the Scriptures and couldn’t stop reading in the book of John. When he read about Nicodemus speaking with Jesus in John, chapter 3 where Jesus told the Pharisee, “You must be born again,” to enter heaven, it grabbed his heart.
He prayed to Jesus and told Him he wanted to be “born again,” a disciple of Jesus Christ. That young serviceman repented of his sins and kept reading the Bible, and that step of faith turned his life around. We watched as this same man, many years later, spoke to a large crowd of Gideons. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I now pastor a church and if it wasn’t for that little Gideon Bible that I carried in my pocket, my life would have been much different.”
Every testimony moves me to tears, as do the testimonies I hear of people being delivered from hurts, habits and hang-ups at the Celebrate Recovery meetings. God is faithful to help people, no matter their age, whether they are rich or poor or in-between, no matter their culture or their skin tone. He helps all folks that call on His name and humble themselves before Him.
Later that morning, my husband and my sister and I drove almost two hours to go to a funeral of a man near and dear to family members of mine. I only saw him a handful of times in my life, but he graciously invited my husband and me to his home that he shared with his wife if we found ourselves in their vicinity. Unfortunately, it never worked out. They made it our way a time or two, and we enjoyed visiting with him and the rest of his family.
He served our country, so the military gave him a 21-gun salute at the graveside. When one of the men played “Taps,” I almost burst out crying. It hit me that I won’t see him this side of heaven any more. He also volunteered for the fire department for many years. He didn’t talk about himself. All I knew was that he was a quiet man who loved his family and worked hard to provide for them.
When I spoke to my dad about salvation when I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and for Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, it didn’t go over well. When I told him that Jesus said many things about heaven in the Gospel of John, my dad told me that no one knows who goes to heaven except for God. I got mad at him for that. As an adult, as so often happens, I began to see that my dad may have known more about life and God than I did at the ripe old age of seventeen years old. So, IF I make it to heaven, I hope to see my dad and my mom and this man whose life we celebrated, and many others who have proclaimed themselves to be Christians. Only God knows our innermost being. I mean no disrespect to any of the aforementioned people, truly I don’t.
In the prayer we call “The Our Father,” which Jesus taught, He said, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors….”
I’ve always taken that to mean that if I harbor unforgiveness in my heart, that I won’t be forgiven when I stand before God after I’ve died. The Apostle Paul told us to examine our hearts. My husband tells us to examine our hearts and to keep short accounts with God. I read in a newspaper today about a 48-year-old woman who was out walking her dog, when a parked town truck—the big, highway kind—rolled down the hill without anyone in it and it killed the lady and her pet. They’re going to look into what caused the accident. We never know our last day on earth, either.
I’m never quite sure where these blogs are going when I start. I just feel like time is slipping away before Jesus comes back for His disciples and after that, this world is going to implode with evil and famines and plagues and lots of things foretold in the book of Revelation, a scary book of the Bible.
God says to seek Him while He may be found. I hope if you’ve never done that before in your life, that you will make a point to do it now. Last week or so, I kept thinking God wanted me to seek Him. When I read the Bible lately, I’m thinking it gives me more joy than ever before. I hope this finds you well.
May God bless you!!!