Friday, April 22, 2011

The Old Rusty Bird Cage

I have received the following several times. Each time I have read it I have tears before I am finished. I hope you will understand the true meaning of this story and the reason we have Easter.


There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor of a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and as in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak….

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.

“Take ‘em home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” saith the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh? Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” The pastor asked again.

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10.”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash the boy was gone.

The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy
spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by
softly tapping the bars the birds were persuaded to come
out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird
cage setting by the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell 
this story: 

One day Jesus and Satan were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”

“What are you going to do with them”? Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke, and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you are done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ‘em.” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you, and kill you. You don’t want those people!”

“How much?” Jesus asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears, and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

The pastor had given his message that morning; nothing more had to be said. What an awesome one it was. It told everything, how people would hate Jesus and spit on Him; yes some people of today do these things to our precious Lord also refusing to believe in Him. Yet He gave His life so that we could live.

How can we ever repay Jesus for what He has done for us? No matter what we do for Him it will never be enough.

Even though we will never be able to repay Him for what He has done for us, we can show our love and thankfulness by obeying His commandments, telling people about Him, share with them what He has done for us, love one another, helping one another, and doing what He asks us to do for Him. Are you willing to try to repay Him for what He has done for you?

I thank God for my life. I may not have a mansion, a fancy car, or fancy clothes but I am one of the richest people in the world. I have the love of Jesus, someone to help me through my difficult times and I have a home in heaven to look forward to. I praise, thank, and glorify Him for everything He has and will do for me.

Happy Easter! May you feel the love of Jesus this Easter and forever!

I would like for you to go to another blog to read the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.  Just click on The Cross.  I am sure you will be amazed at the story Debi has written.  Blessings!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Psalm 103:1-8

Psalm 103:1-8

v. 1 “BLESS THE Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name”.

v. 2 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not the benefits”:

v. 3 “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases”;

v. 4 “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies”;

v. 5 “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like eagle’s”.

v. 6 “The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that is oppressed”.

v. 7 “ He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel”.

v. 8 “ The Lord is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy”.

These are things the Lord our God does for us. Do we always show our thankfulness and gratefulness to Him? I believe we become so preoccupied with what is going on in the world that we forget. The first thing in the mornings we need to tell Him how thankful and grateful we are and at night before going to sleep we need to tell Him again and give Him our highest praises.

I don’t always do this, I should be ashamed of myself. He has given me so much so why can’t I remember to do it?

The first and most important thing we can receive from the Lord is forgiveness. If we didn’t believe and ask Him to forgive us our sins we would not be able to look forward to our heavenly home. We need always to give Him thanks and praises for our salvation. I can truthfully say I do remember to do this.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From Generation To Generation

The last several months I have been thinking a lot about my Mom. I have thought about her before as I think about her almost everyday but more the last several months. It is probably because the time is creeping up on the anniversary of her death some time ago.

I really miss her and at times it is almost unbearable. I know she is in a much better place now and I am happy for her but it doesn’t help my grief at times. I was pretty close to Mom, that doesn’t mean I never got mad at her or her me but we were very close.

We were always able to talk to one another about anything and I cherish those times. I don't know how the subject of the Lord ever came up or exactly what she ever said to me, I just remember always knowing about the Lord and His Son, Mom wanted me to know about Him. She taught me about prayer, I still remember some of the prayers she taught me. I remember the first Bible I ever received, it was from Mom and Dad, and they had gotten a Bible for each of us three girls. I still have that Bible and it means so much to me. One day this Bible will go to my daughter, Debi. I pray it will mean as much to her as it has me.

I believe Mom knew the importance of me knowing the Lord so when I got married and had children I would be able to tell them about the Lord. Then when my children grew up, got married, and had children they would be able to tell them about the Lord. This is supposed to go on generation after generation after generation. I don’t know for sure but I am presuming my Grandmother told my Mom about the Lord but nothing that I can remember was ever told to me about it.

Mom planted the Seed in my heart so that it would never leave me. I might not have lived for the Lord for some years but I still prayed and knew He was there for me. I knew things about the Lord and knew He helped me but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him. This was not Mom’s fault, it was mine. I was the one that had walked away from the Lord. This is where my daughter comes in, she rededicated her life to Christ after her and Jim was married. She is the one that told me so many things about the Lord. She got me started reading my Bible and she would come out to the house and we would study the Word. Thanks, Debi. This has always meant so much to me, I pray you know just how much.

In Judges 2:10; “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there rose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel”.

In this verse it is telling us one generation had passed but the next generations failed to believe in what the Lord had done for the generations before. The new generation drifted away from the Lord and the righteous commitment of their fathers and the relationship they had with God. They allowed their lives to conform to the lifestyles and values to the surrounding nations and this resulted it general apostasy.

Mom knowing the Lord wanted me to know also, this way I could tell my children and they could tell their children and they could tell their children, and this would go on for generation after generation. So far this has continued and I pray it will continue up to the time the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Mom was able to see some of this going from generation to generation. I am so glad she was able to see some of it in the works, she was able to see how Debi’s children love the Lord.

After I was married, and had children, and Debi grown, she explained to me how my relationship with the Lord should be and in turn I was able to explain it to Mom. All of this started with Mom telling me about the Lord and this knowledge has gone from generation to generation. God wants us to tell our children about Him and the love He has for all and also that He wants us to have a relationship with Him. We have not been like the children of Israel, our knowledge of the Lord has stayed with us.

Dave was raised in Sunday school and church but like me, he walked away for awhile. We gave our life to the Lord thirty years ago and have been walking with Him ever since. We are able to read and talk to each other about the Word of God and are able to pray together as we should. Our life is so much happier now, this doesn’t mean we don’t have trials and tribulations because we do but the Lord is with us and helps us.

God works in wondrous ways, we may not know He is working in our lives and the lives of others that will continue to work in the lives of generations to come but He does. I give Him praises and glorify Him for the works He started in Mom and has continued. He has kept this going in five generations, 1. My Mom’s life; 2. My life; 3. Debi’s life; 4. Jenifer’s life; 5. Jenifer’s children’s life. I am sure it will continue in Jenifer’s children’s life.

I want to take this time to say “Thank you Mom, and thank you, Debi”. The one I want to thank the most is the Lord. He loved all of us so much he went to all this trouble. My praise goes up to you, Lord.

Thank you for stopping by and may you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crying Out For Help

Psalm 107:1-2; “Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. v.2  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy”.

In Psalm 107 the people cried out to the Lord four different times, “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses”. This can be found in verses 6, 13, 19, and 28. The people’s self-sufficiency had failed them and there was no one that could help them. God had allowed this to happen so they might cry out to Him in childlike faith and humility.

God answered their cry for help four different times and they were more than willing to praise Him, found in verses 8, 15, 21, and 31. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, for his wonderful works to the children of men”! It is just like people to praise the Lord for awhile for the wondrous things He does for them but then in time to come they forget and go their own ways.

Even though sometimes our troubles are our own fault God desires to help us and deliver us from them. Even while experiencing distress and being aware that God may be judging us we can still place our hope in His mercy and be able to call to Him in faith for forgiveness and for His help.

Is there something in your life that keeps getting in the way of fully obeying the Lord? Is that ‘something’ something that you should get rid of and are you willing to do rid yourself of it? There are times we should rid ourselves of it but we don’t have the strength to do it on our own so we need to call on the Lord. All things are possible with the Lord. Luke 18:27; “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God”.

Had the people obeyed God they would not have had the hardships they encountered. They chose not to. Today the same thing can happen. If people would just obey the Lord, the hardships and misery could be done away with. Oh, the pain that is caused needlessly from disobedience.

We need to cry out for the Lord to help us at all times, help us to be obedient. We need to pray continually for this. When you need Him, won’t you please call out to Him? He will be there to help you.

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Which One Are You

Luke 8:5-8; “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. v. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. v. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. v. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”.

Luke 8:11-15; “Now the parable of this is: the seed is the word of God. v. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, least they should believe and be saved. v. 13 They on the rock are they, which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. v.14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are chocked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. v. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience”.

The soil is the heart of man and the seed is God’s Word. This means the heart is capable of receiving the Word of God and bringing forth the fruits of the Word of God. Unless the seed is sown into the soil it will bring nothing of value.

The sower is the person preaching or telling others about the Word of God. But it is up to the person that hears the Word of God to do with what he has heard. Then the devil comes along and takes the Word out of the hearts of careless hearers. The devil doesn’t want anyone to believe and be saved. In verses 5 and 12 it says “least they should believe and be saved”. This means a person cannot be saved unless they believe. The devil will do anything to keep us from believing the Word when it is given to us or we read it.

Then there are the ones that hear the Word with joy, it makes an impression on them but it is not deep in their heart like being sown on a rock and is unable to take root. These people will believe for awhile but when temptation comes along will fall away from what they have heard, verses 6 and 13.

In verses 7 and 14 it talks about the thorns in a person’s life. These people have heard the Word and go out to tell the world about the Gospel but the cares and the pleasures of the world get in their way and chokes out the Word and they are unable to bring forth the fruit to perfection. This would be like not bringing any fruit at all.

We have in verses 8 and 15 the good ground where the seed takes hold and the seed grows and the good fruit is brought forth. This is the heart that is honest and a good. The heart firmly believes in God and His Word. He has heard the Word, receives the Word, understands it, and keeps it. From this, much fruit is put forth and will continue to grow. This person will be able to go out in the world and tell people about the Gospel and what it has done for them.

When a person hears the Word they need to listen intently, not carelessly. If it is listened to with intend of taking in what is said they will have the patience to carry on to the end with well doing.

What type of person are you when it comes to hearing the Word? Are you the person where the seed has been sown in the good ground, taken hold and is showing fruit?

May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!