Reverend Bill Hinson preached his last sermon Sunday, June 3, 2001, as pastor of the 12,500 member First United Methodist Church of Houston, TX, which was established in 1839.His visionary leadership directed the congregation to maintain its downtown ministry while building a large second campus in the suburbs.No one preaches like Pastor Bill.He was a shepherd of love to his flock and ministered faithfully for eighteen years.At age 65, He and his wife will retire to a new home in Huntsville, Alabama.He will be missed by his church family and the thousands of Houstonians who watched him on television every week.
"I got here too soon," Hinson said."I don't feel 65; I don't think 65.It just snuck up on me."Wow!What a blessed way to live, so wrapped up in serving the Lord that time is irrelevant.Now that's the way the Christian life ought to be.Regardless of age or circumstances we will never grow old in our thinking or our witness because every day is a fresh new experience in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Adapted from the Houston Chronicle, Sat., June 2, 2001)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, sometimes I get so involved in making a living that I forget how to live!Renew my spirit, revive my joy; let me find the good in every day and not live so much for tomorrow.Lord, make my heart sensitive, my eyes clear and my mind fixed on your present greatness so that when I am 65 I will not think like I am 85.Amen and amen.
5And He Who is seated on the throne said, See!I make all things new.Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).6And He [further] said to me, It is done!I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life.7He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son.
Do you remember purchasing your first car?Your mission seemed to be going to every used car lot or combing every newspaper trying to locate the automobile you could afford.Once it was in your possession, you outfitted it to your personality or with the latest gadget.Remember the 8-track tape player?Yes, I’m taking us back down memory lane…
You washed and waxed it until its shine almost blinded us.In fact, it was so clean we could practically eat off of it!It may have been used, but you made it brand new.Whether the heater worked full blast or not quite as it should, it was still yours!
No matter how many cars you have had since that time, it’s never the same.Even if they are more expensive or faster or are new and not used, that memory of your “first” stays etched in your brain forever.
Walking down memory lane brings a smile to my face, especially after I heard an “oldie but goody” from 1969 on the radio recently.While lots of memorable songs came out during that time period, this one was by a gifted group of singers called the Friends of Distinction and the song was entitled “Going in Circles.”Here are a few lines…
I'm a faceless clock, with timeless hopes that never stop.
Lord but I feel that way, of my soul. My soul is stay.
Oh but what am I to do, my mind is in a whirlpool.
Give me a little hope, one small thing to cling to.
The man in the song may be singing about his woman, but it also reveals a truth about human beings in relationship to where we are and how we wish we were somewhere else.We’re so busy looking for something that eludes us…the hope of a meaningful relationship, the hope for a different house in a different neighborhood, for a different car, for the weekend away from work, for a vacation in a faraway place… for dreams deferred.Our hopes and dreams keep us in a whirlpool… Because of our actions, we are often looking for hope and seeking to make things new, but that’s not our job.Our job is to sing God’s praises for what He has provided and to count our blessings.My hope is in the Lord!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, how often have we searched for things or hoped for something different than where we’ve ended up?How often have I been going in circles only to come back to the truth -- that You are my Alpha and my Omega.I need not look further.
Often, Lord, we look elsewhere when You have already provided for us.We may be going in circles, but You are the constant presence in our lives.And, more often than we are aware, the answer has always been right before our eyes.We’ve tried on other relationships, tried to satisfy our thirst through “things,” only to recognize there’s still a void.
Lord, help me, and those I love, to see that You have chosen to place us where we need to be at the same time to witness Your miracles to come.
Lord, help me to stop going in circles and to write a different ending to the story and please help me see Your love through a new set of eyes.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Seldom does a broken chair make the news."A man sat on a chair and broke it in three places," the newspaper stated.This chair was special.It was from the 16th century Ming Dynasty collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, valued in the six figures.It will be sent to London to be restored by a person who previously worked on it.
Broken things… broken hearts, broken spirits, broken homes, broken marriages, broken lives… these things aren't news anymore.Maybe you have experienced some of these in your life.If so, I've got good news for you!There is One who is an artist at restoring the broken things of life.Take your burdens to Jesus and let Him heal you.
GospeLines Prayer:Great Physician, heal our brokenness.Mend those things which we destroy by our sinful nature and restore us to blessed fellowship with You.Amen and amen.
The world never seems to tire of telling us what (or who) is the best, most beautiful and the brightest.The world keeps telling us… but the world keeps changing its mind.Generations have strived for the best that money could buy because they believed that acquiring the “best” would bring happiness.Regrettably, not everyone who acquired these constantly changing “best” things found happiness.
Of all the things that bring happiness, one that has never changed is the gift of children.Rarely do you see more joy in a person’s eyes than when they’re watching children at play – a “best” money can’t buy…
The Sistine Chapel is one of the most beautiful art works in the world.Even in pictures, its beauty is breathtaking.However, that splendid work of art doesn’t bring tears of joy to your eyes like the simple crayon drawings young children proudly placed on the refrigerator – the ones signed,
“I louv you Dadbe”
“I louv you Momee”
We’re told that the “brightest” among us are people like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking - truly brilliant men of science who can explain many of the wonders of the universe.Have you ever listened as a young child explained the wonder of Jesus’ love?Children may not understand all the things of the physical world; but, sometimes they understand some things far beyond anything the most brilliant can fathom.Sometimes the simple faith of a child can trump the intellect of the brightest.
When the disciples asked Jesus who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus called a little child to Him and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].” (Matthew 18:3 - Amplified Bible)
Who are the best, most beautiful and the brightest in the Kingdom of heaven?Not the wealthiest; not the most powerful and not the most intelligent.The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who trust, love and forgive like children (Matthew 19:14).
GospeLines Prayer:Father God, fill our hearts and minds with the knowledge that it is by grace we’re saved, through faith - not because of anything we’ve done or can do for ourselves - it is a free gift from You so we can’t boast.Help us realize that our best, our most beautiful and our brightest are but filthy rags before You; we shrivel up like leaves and the wind sweeps us away.Help us not to worry if we are sharp tools or dull ones; help us rejoice that we can be tools in Your hands.
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Like many of us, Moses was a reluctant follower of Jehovah God.He had all the usual excuses for not wanting to tackle the job:
"I am not worthy," said Moses.God answered, "I will be right there with you."
"I don't know enough about God," he argued.God said, "I am who I am. You can depend on Me."
"Nobody will believe me," he said.God responded, "I will give you what you need to be a reliable witness."
"Speaking before crowds makes me nervous!" God replied, "I will give you the words to say."
Then, the truth comes out.Moses said, "I don't want to do it.Please get someone else," so God gave him Aaron, Moses' brother, to help him.
Excuses, excuses!The sooner we run out of them, the sooner we will begin to receive God's bountiful blessings which only come from giving what we have to serve Him.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, you see a lot more in me than I do, but with all my shortcomings, I give you what I have.No more excuses, Lord.Just pick me up when I stumble, but never again allow me to miss the blessings of ministry because I gave some flimsy reason for not serving You.Amen and amen.