Easy Quiz

Imagine you’re a flight attendant. The pilot informs you that due to an equipment malfunction, a crash landing is inevitable. (Or maybe he’s a kamikaze. Either way, the plane is going down.) Your orders are to ensure the survival of all the passengers by giving them the one thing that can save them.

Which course of action do you take?

  1. Speak to each passenger individually, informing them of their pending doom unless they accept the parachute you’re offering. Instruct them to put it on and keep it on, and demonstrate how and when to pull the ripcord.
  2. Try not to alarm anyone. When you offer them a parachute, tell them it will make their flight more comfortable and pleasant. Keep it cheerful.
  3. Calmly explain the situation, but assure them that if they’ve ever had a parachute, even if they aren’t wearing it now, they will not perish in the crash.

Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? Now what if we weren’t talking airplanes and parachutes? What if we were talking about salvation? Does it matter how we present the gospel to a lost and dying world?

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The Lost Son (cont.)

The prodigal’s return is a picture of repentance and humility, turning from and confessing one’s sin and seeking the father’s forgiveness.

The father’s response is a picture of grace, forgiving the penitent sinner, rejoicing at his return, and restoring him to full sonship.

The older brother’s offense is a picture of religious pride, valuing service over relationship.

Heaven rejoices when a lost soul is found.

God’s grace is unmerited. No one deserves it, no one earns it.

We should rejoice when a sinner turns to Christ.

We should be diligent in sharing the gospel with every lost person we know.

Pray for opportunities to share your faith this week.

*next up: Why does it matter what you say to a lost person? Galatians 1

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We Interrupt this Blog…

Please pardon the interruption, but I couldn’t resist sharing this devotional with you.

Man, I wish I could write like that guy.   Seriously, you gotta read the rest of his blog.  I must warn you, though – you’ll need a tissue.

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Thoughts on the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15)

Most of us are familiar with the parable of the prodigal son. We know that a man had two sons, the younger of which asked his father for his inheritance, took everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered it all in foolish living. We know that a severe famine struck that country after he had spent everything, so he found himself feeding pigs for a living, and actually envying the pigs he fed! We know that he finally came to his senses and decided that it would be better for him to go back to his father and work as a hired hand than to stay where he was and starve to death. We know that he went to his father and repented, and his father gave him a royal welcome when he returned, killing the fattened calf to celebrate because his son who had been lost was found. But how well do we know the rest of the story?

Remember the older son? He was returning from working in the field when he heard music and dancing, and he became angry when he found out that the reason for the celebration was his brother’s return. His father pleaded with him to come join in the festivities, but he refused because his father had never thrown a party for him and his friends, although by his own estimation he was more deserving for having remained at home obediently serving his father while the other son wasted his father’s wealth.

I’m sure many of us can identify with the younger son. We understand his desire to have control over his own life, to taste freedom, independence, worldly pleasures. We’ve been on the road that leads to nowhere and have found ourselves in dire straits before realizing that we have chosen the wrong path. And having come to that realization, we have confessed our sins and repented and sought the Father’s forgiveness.

I wonder, though, how many of us can identify with the older son. It’s not as easy to admit to being like the Pharisees, who took issue with our Lord welcoming sinners and eating with them, but if we’ve ever decided not to go to church because of the people who are there, then we really can’t deny it, can we? If we’ve ever been more offended by the sinfulness of others than by our own, then we have to recognize the likeness. If we’ve ever chosen not to fellowship with a Christian brother or sister for any reason other than church discipline, then we ought to examine our hearts.

To be continued. . .

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Yet Another Reason I Don’t Make Plans

By now you would think I’d have learned not to get my hopes up. So many times I have made plans only to have them change at the last minute. It can be frustrating, especially if you’re the type who doesn’t like flying by the seat of her pants. Since that’s the way I do most things, it’s a rare occasion that I actually do have a game plan, and once in a while it would be nice to have it work out. There’s something to be said for spontaneity, for sure, but come on. Can’t a gal get a break?

We postponed our trip to Arkansas to get Sarah, so I didn’t get to spend her birthday with her, and she missed out on Christmas day with us. Instead we went the following weekend and had Christmas with extended family at my mom’s. Sarah was there for that, but we couldn’t get her to come home with us for the last week of her winter break, even though we promised to have her back by the weekend. Her reason? She just doesn’t like Georgia.

She seems to think that by refusing to come here, she can force me to go there. So far it has worked. But no more. I mean who’s in charge here?

Oh, I’m not really complaining. I know all too well that I’m not in charge. Thank God!

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21

After that last act of defiance, I decided that I would wait for her to ask me to come see her, and I’m thinking that my answer will be “Well, I don’t really like Arkansas.”

Okay, maybe not, but I wonder how else she’ll realize that it’s not the best excuse. It’s not even a good one.

So, on to bigger and better things.

I haven’t shared with you that back in October, Lindsey and I attended a tent revival at the First Baptist Church down the street, which led to my joining that church a few weeks later. I’m lovin’ my ladies’ Sunday school class. And Bible study on Sunday evenings. And singing in the choir. It’s good to be home finally!

After choir rehearsal last Wednesday evening, we held officer elections, and I was “elected” alto representative. That should be interesting.

This morning after Sunday school, my teacher stopped me and said she thought I would be good teacher material. She asked me to consider leading the class from time to time.

I’m very excited about that! Lindsey asked if it meant that I wouldn’t be preaching at home so much since I’d have another outlet. Funny girl.

What it does mean is that I will be sharing what I’m learning with you, my faithful readers. It also means that once again, I have received confirmation that there is a very good reason for me to stay put.

Thank you for stopping by. Have a blessed week!

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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

We decided this year to buy a pre-lit artificial Douglas fir rather than hassle with a live one. Lindsey said “Aww, I’m gonna miss the smell of a real tree.” And that got me to thinking. We could use pine-scented car air fresheners as ornaments!

She didn’t love the idea (too white trash for her taste), but she did agree that it would be fun to do just for photos – then we’d take them off and hang the real ornaments. So we went out last night and bought the tree. And a 3-pack of air fresheners. Yes we did.

After setting up the tree, I opened one of the air fresheners and hid it in the branches. One is enough, y’all. Our whole house smells like pine, only not overpowering like it would be in the car. So what started as a joke actually turned out to be a pretty good idea. (Works-for-me-Wednesday, anyone? Stop by Shannon’s for more great holiday tips!)

Since I stopped at one “ornament” we didn’t take any photos, but I will have some photos of the real decorations to post later. Hopefully, it won’t be too late for the Tour of Homes.

I’m going to Arkansas tomorrow to bring Sarah back for winter break, and we’ll be spending Christmas at home for the first time ever! Carl and I are excited about having our children gathered around our table for Christmas dinner that we prepared in our own kitchen.

All we need now is one of these.

**Update**  Sarah called me late Wednesday night just as Lindsey and I were getting ready to go and said she’s not coming.  Her dad stands behind her decision.  Our trip has been cancelled.  Please, please pray for my child. 

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Funniest thing I’ve seen in a while

I recently signed up for a facebook account so that I could keep an eye on my kids’ profiles and keep in touch with my nieces and nephews.  After I set up my account, I clicked “browse groups” and was checking out some of the group names, when I saw this one:

CDO- it’s like OCD but alphabetical, like it should be.

and it cracked me up.

Yeah, I know.  I don’t get out much.

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