Friday, February 5, 2016

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

I am back. It is good to greet you again on this particular Friday, February 5, 2016. The celebration of Bro. Milton's life and his love for the Lord was inspiring. In fact, I will have to spend some time thinking about how to communicate all that we experienced in that most remarkable homegoing celebration. But, today is today, and we now must continue in the journey that each of us has before us. I remember as a kid when my dad passed away. It was a sudden and devastating shock. My mom and the six of us kids were literally grief stricken. As a seven year old I noticed that while the world had momentarily come to an end for us, the rest of the world seemed to continue unaffected. I wondered why they didn't stop. How is it they didn't know about what had happened to us? As we made our way to the cemetery log trucks were rolling by. People were going about their daily tasks. Life was going on even though we felt like it had stopped for us. Bro. Milton's impact in his sojourn here was not worldwide recognition or fame. It was the stuff he did related to eternity. Souls. Men, women, boys and girls saved as a result of the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news is how that he was an example to so many of us while he was here with us. The Apostle Paul encouraged others to follow him as he followed Christ. (1st Corinthians, 11:1) I believe that was Bro. Milton's testimony as well. Now we must do something with the time we have left. However long that may be. It will involve choices and I pray for us all that we will choose that which lives on for time and eternity. Amen.

Based on historical investigation it's pretty clear that the great American showman, P. T. Barnum was not the one who actually said, "There's a sucker born every minute." He is given credit for it but it was most likely the comment made by his banker on another one of Barnum's hoaxes that he was promoting at his shows. At any rate, I think there's obviously a measure of truth in that statement, regardless of who said it. I may have proved it to be true last Tuesday when I had a live feed up on my computer awaiting the weather verdict of the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. Sorry. Maybe I was tuned in because of my frustration with the validity of the local weather prognosticators. Maybe it was because of the hype surrounding Groundhog Day. At any rate, he came out at 6:25 a.m. and made his verdict: The woodchuck did not see his shadow, therefore, we can look forward to an early Spring. No. I have not gone off the reservation. Whatever that means. I see that he had drawn a huge crowd and it was like a big party or festival going on. I would guess that's where the "sucker" quote applies, there on the scene, or via the internet.

As you might well know this has been a grueling week for us. We come away from all that we've experienced with a deep and abiding sense of thankfulness. Especially thankful for the truth that informs our understanding during times of difficulty. Here's the inspired breathed out Word of the Lord as given through the Apostle Paul writing to the called out assembly of believers meeting in Thessalonica, Greece: "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18, New King James Version) "Comfort one another with these words." And, we do. And, it works. Because it is God's Word. Take care, enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I will catch back up with you come next Monday, Lord willing. Amen. ....More later.

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