The minister at First Baptist Church, Houston shared the following story, which I want to pass on without the names of the people involved. He told of a man on an American Airlines flight, September 10, 2001, who was sitting near the galley area.The stewardess was preparing the ice for drinks using a glass bottle to break it apart. Concerned that the bottle would break in her hand, he approached her to see if he could help.
When he completed the task she said, “In all the years I have been serving passengers I have never once had anyone offer to serve me. Why did you do that?” The gentleman handed her a Christian pamphlet about Jesus and told her, “This is the reason.” Later in the flight she knelt beside him and spoke in a quiet voice. “In the past week I have received six pamphlets similar to this one. Tell me about being a Christian.” During the moments that followed she prayed to receive Jesus into her life on that crowded airplane. After the tragedy of September 11, the man looked at the names of passengers and crew who were killed on that awful morning. Her name was at the top of the list.
Somewhere in heaven there is the soul of a woman who wouldn’t be there now if someone had not cared enough to be a servant-evangelist.That’s what it’s all about... caring enough to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it’s too late.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach me how to break the ice in a way that has eternal consequences. Give me a heart that cares and eyes that see opportunities and simple words that people understand and need to hear.Then, I beseech you to give me the courage to share your message of hope before it’s too late.Amen and amen.
3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.3rd John 1:3-5 (NIV)
Imagine having part of your face and ear mauled off by a vicious dog as an infant. (Of course, you have no recollection of the event, but you know you aren’t like the other children.) Imagine being left in a trash dumpster.
Daniel Wachira, from Kenya, has been taken in by a loving couple from Oklahoma, Frances and Larry Jones. The Jones’ started the abandoned baby center in Kenya, which took Daniel in after the attack. They also head “Feed the Children,” a Christian, international nonprofit relief organization that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty, or natural disaster. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are seeing to it that this now 6-year-old gets the best medical care In Houston.
His story has appeared on a local TV station in Houston several times – reporting the milestones. This particular day, it revealed the ear the doctors were able to create from Daniel’s cartilage. He had never seen himself with an ear and was so excited! “I wanted that ear back,” Daniel said.
Part of the skin on his face was grafted from his back and surgeons have already rebuilt much of his cheek and centered his nose and mouth.
Despite the pain of many surgeries (and more to come) and all he has endured, he is one rambunctious first grader with an infectious smile and plenty of personality.
He isn’t overly concerned about how he looks; he’s just a normal boy, trying on sunglasses so he can be “cool.” He finally has two ears so the arms of the sunglasses have somewhere to rest.
Daniel possesses an inner strength and beauty that we, as adults, could emulate. He takes nothing for granted. Do you?
He has joy despite outward appearances. But he’s worried at times too. He’s still worried about being abandoned; fearing that he will lose those who love him.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, we’re just like Daniel. Despite the tough exterior we project, with or without visible scars, we’re afraid. We’re afraid that we will be abandoned in one way or another.
But, Father, when we are anxious, we need to remember Your word found in:
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
Father, often times we don’t feel strong or courageous, and if we have physical or emotional pain, we wonder how we can ever heal. But, we have assurance that You are with us and I take comfort in Your word. We are destined to be together!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Debra Collins Parker
Monday, September 17, 2007, Our Lord called Debbie home.She was a writer for GospeLines for many years and a close friend to us all.There is always a sense of loss when someone close to us "graduates" to home. It is such a mixture of emotions: grieving the loss while rejoicing that they are in the presence of our Lord and King. We cannot cope or understand on our own; but, with His divine intercession, we can accept all things as His will.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(Romans 8:28)
Debbie and I never met in person; but, like many of you, she became a dear friend through her writings and the e-mail we shared for years.She was a gift to us all and she will be missed.But, we can rejoice in the knowledge that we will see her again when we're all in the presence of the Lord.
"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy."(John 16:22)
Please remember Debbie's family and friends in your prayers.For more information, please view this article at the Marietta Daily Journal:
It's the last game of the season and we're behind by four points.If we win, we go to the playoffs.If we lose, many of us may never get another chance.
Being behind by four points in football means a field goal will not help - a tie isn't possible.Either you get the ball into the end zone and win... or you lose.
If you were the coach in that situation and there were less than two minutes left on the play clock, what would you do?You love your team and want them to win; but, you have a choice.You can play conservatively, not risking injury or penalty; or, you can play aggressively, giving it everything you've got in one last, heroic push for the goal line?
Christ is coming back (many believe very soon) and millions - make that billions - do not know and love Him.If they accept Jesus, they'll live with Him for eternity.If they do not, they'll spend eternity in the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).Christ has told us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31); and, of course, we want to spend eternity with Jesus.So, what do we do for our "neighbors"…?
No one knows how much more time is left on our "play clock", but most would agree, it's ticking down very fast.Do we preach, teach and witness conservatively, not wanting to risk offending anyone; or, do we give it everything we've got; only thinking about the "end zone"?
No one loved the Jews more than Jesus; but, at times, He didn't seem to be too worried about offending anyone with the truth (The seven "woes" of Matthew 23).Maybe He hoped His words would shock them; maybe He wanted us to know just how serious He is about the condition of our hearts.
Some would say that if we're too aggressive in sharing the Gospel, people might not listen or they might be offended.So what are we to do?If you were the coach, what would you do?
Jesus also said, "...how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.Look, your house is left to you desolate.For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Matthew 23:37-39)
His heart is that everyone should know Him as their Lord and live with Him eternally.His words are true - sometimes harsh - but always true and alwaysspoken in love.
That's the secret!Play aggressively; give it everything you've got for one last, heroic push for the goal line.But, always, always... speak the truth in a way that your love (Jesus' love) shines through.
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
A local radio station host calls himself “The Golf Doctor.” This morning he told about his daughter’s attempt to make the LPGA tour. There were 33 contestants and only 4 slots open. The best four would make the tour.
She played a spectacular round except for the fourth hole where her tee shot went into the deep rough and she ended the hole with a triple bogey. They waited the rest of the day to see who would make the cut. She and several others scored 75 and played another round to see who would be the alternates.At days’ end she was the second alternate.
“I was devastated,” the golf doctor lamented. To which his daughter, Amy, replied, “Get over it Dad. It isn’t the end of the world. Life goes on!” Spoken just like a loving father and a resilient daughter.
When we dwell on our losses, the inevitable result is despair and disappointment.The next time you become frustrated because you didn’t live up to your expectations, think about this... will you allow that one thing to so upset you that it will overpower the good work God is trying to do in you at that moment? Determine now that there is nothing that can happen to you that will alter your course, no matter how difficult it might be. Life goes on.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, there are times that my life is not up to par and I find myself hitting out of the rough a lot. When I fail to keep my eye on the ball, stand beside me and whisper a reminder that the tournament of life is long and will not be won or lost by how I perform on one hole. Amen and amen.