The Boston Marathon attracts the world's fastest runners, as well as the slowest. Every race is remembered by dedicated marathoners as something special. But the November 1986 race has been cited for the person, who finished in last place, crossing the line in four days, two hours, 48 minutes and 17 seconds. His name was Bob Wieland, a forty year old from California who had his legs blown off on a battlefield in Vietnam. He ran the race using only his arms. One of the reasons he participated was to call attention to his Christian faith. He said, "Success isn't based on where you start, it's where you finish, and I finished. The first step was the most difficult, after that, we were on our way home. The joy has been the journey."
GospeLines Prayer:O Lord, the next time I come whining to you about the difficulty of my journey, remind me that I am still standing on my own two legs! If success is truly based on where I finish the race, don't let me stop one second before the end, so that my epitaph may be stamped with diligence and perseverance. Amen and amen.
It is a beautiful, quiet morning - earlier than most are awake due to the time change and I am communing with Our Father. He has reminded me that I am a new creation. (2nd Corinthians 5:16-18)
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
Based on complaints by neighbors, Skidboot was about to have a new home. Somehow, he wasn’t conforming to someone else’s expectations. The owner was slightly inclined to view it the same, but gave Skidboot another chance.
After working with the dog, in a matter of minutes, he realized Skidboot was truly something special. This dog could do all sorts of tricks true, but he could help with the animals on the farm where he and his owners lived and worked.
It wasn’t long before the owner and his “partner” were in competitions and winning big prize money. Most importantly, they had a ministry that brought joy to the lives of everyone they met and those they entertained. Skidboot’s abilities opened doors that may have been unattainable otherwise; he illumined a path and the owner was so grateful.
As the story unfolds, we are told that Skidboot is beginning to lose his sight. It doesn’t matter to the owner; his partner has done much for him as in Luke 12:48 (Contemporary English Version)
"But servants who don't know what their master wants them to do will not be beaten so hard for doing wrong. If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better."
The owner acknowledges that he will gladly lead (carry) his dog, Skidboot, every where; he loves him that much!
GospeLines Prayer:God, isn’t it just like us humans to discard those that don’t conform to the world’s standards – those that we perceive as unproductive – our elderly our infirmed? Thankfully, YOU see our possibilities and offer us more than one chance to get it right.
I thank YOU for lighting my path to “see” that things may not be as they seem. And, I thank YOU for carrying me when I can’t carry myself; for being my partner in life.
Thank YOU Lord for making me special in YOUR sight and for loving me that much!
Everyone remembers at least one funny incident about falling asleep in church. A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping."
We chuckle at the idea and say that we would never do it! However, I am referring to spiritual sleep, the act of merely going through the motions as a disciple, and the pretense of vigilance when, in fact, we are asleep. Spiritual sleepwalking! The encyclopedia describes it perfectly:
"...a dissociative mental state in which the individual rises from sleep, with little awareness of surroundings, to perform what appear to be conscious motor activities... The condition is most frequent among adolescents, although adults may be affected as well."
GospeLines Prayer:Father, let this day become a wake-up call to the body of Christ! Wipe away the sleep from the souls of your saints and sound the trumpet of reveille in your Church. Remove the stress and turmoil in our lives which has placed your people in a trance and let us return to Your work with renewed vigilance. Amen and amen.
Have you ever really thought about what Jesus did on the cross? I don't mean the fact that He was horribly tortured or that His death was agonizing. Yes, all this is true and when we sing or say, "He died for me" we're usually thinking about His sacrifice and the fact that through His death and resurrection, we can receive forgiveness and eternal life. That's still not what I'm talking about.
When Jesus said, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do," He was not just talking about the Jews who convicted Him or the Roman soldiers who crucified Him. He was talking about you and me!
At that moment, Jesus our Lord, the Messiah, was looking across time and seeing each and every sin you and I have committed. As He hung there on that cross, His eyes were looking into our eyes and His heart was asking, "Why? Why don't you love Me? Don't you know that every one of your sins is another lash of the whip on my body? Don't you know that every disobedient act is another strike of the hammer on the nails in my hands and feet? Why are you doing this when I love you so much?
Yes, Jesus was in agony; but, not just the agony caused by the scourging or the crucifixion. He was also in agony because of what He saw us doing and it was breaking His heart… It still is…
That's Amazing love! Look into those eyes right now and accept that amazing love. He's still there for you and He's still saying to the Father, "Forgive them." All He asks is that you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. If you haven't accepted Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, please, accept Him now as He looks at you from the cross and reaches out His hand to you. If you are ready to say “Yes” to Jesus then say the following prayer out loud:
Thank you Jesus. Thank You for enduring the cross in my place. I am truly sorry for my past sins and I acknowledge the pain those sins caused You. Jesus, I know I'm not worthy but I give You my heart and ask you to come into my heart, to be my Lord and Savior. I believe that Your death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness and I receive your gift of salvation now. I thank you that through the cross, I am an heir to the Kingdom of God. Guide my steps and fill me with Your amazing love. Amen.
If you just said "Yes" to Jesus for the first time, if you're still thinking about it; or, if you accepted Him long ago, remember these words and let them guide your heart.
Amazing love How can it be That you my King Would die for me…
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 2:5
The Aquarium at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX is a perfect place to learn about the sea creatures of our world. You will spend hours watching the colorful marine life, the playful seals of the North Pacific, King Penguins of the Antarctic and the graceful sharks of the Caribbean. It is also a place to learn about the heart and mind of God.
Near the one million gallon Caribbean exhibit, I found this quote displayed on the stone wall:
"In the end, we will only conserve what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught." Baba Droum, Senegalese Conservationist
There is another wise but similar saying found in Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Let us not abandon our responsibility of teaching, simply because it is difficult. If we allow the obstinacy of youth to deter our effort of instructing our children, they will learn at the feet of folly and destruction. May God help us to remain faithful in the most difficult and demanding task we will ever have. It is much easier to prepare a generation for the future than to alter their course after they have begun the journey. Amen and amen.