The graduate with a Science degree from Mississippi State asks, "Why does it work?" Graduates with an Engineering degree from Florida State asks, "How does it work?" Grads with an Accounting degree from Davidson asks, "How much will it cost?" The UNC Liberal Arts graduate asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
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*The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. --Isaiah 7
A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own wife's mother?" He said, "Call for backup."
*1967: "Queen Mary" Ended Final Voyage, Started New Role
Completed in 1936, the Queen Mary was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean-liner of the era. In addition to many profitable years carrying wealthy passengers across the Atlantic Ocean, the British ship served as a troop carrier during WWII, transporting around 800,000 soldiers during the course of the war. Although she resumed her role as luxury liner after the war, as soon as trans-Atlantic airline travel became popular, the Queen Mary was no longer economically viable. Her owners sold her to the city of Long Beach, California, where she arrived on December 9, 1967 to begin her new role as museum, hotel, and conference center.
Living on the Other Side of Easter I am living on the other side of Easter. Now the Gospel is complete. Our questions are answered. Our knowledge is fuller. Our hearts have beat faster within us. The impossible has happened. The “undoing of death” has come. Jesus is alive and I too shall live.
But life, even for resurrection people, can still present such challenges that the soul is wearied. Peter was forgiven his sin, given a broader view of God’s grace, yet he still struggled with allegiance to grace under the pressure of legalism. Paul’s vision of the resurrected and reigning Christ would be followed by a thorn in the flesh, unanswered prayer, and by many tears and trials.
Do you know what must happen after Easter? The same thing that happened before Easter: staying close. Resurrection faith, that full-blossomed faith that comes in spring, must become a faith for all seasons. The jubilant spirit which rejoiced at the sight of the empty tomb may now encounter hostile enemies of the Cross. The beautiful Easter dress may be soiled by the struggle of spiritual warfare.
What shall we do? This morning, I read of David and his struggle. I read of his response to the distress when all of the people who once rejoiced in his leadership, turned on him and his leadership:
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1-Samuel 30.6 ESV)
Here is where I want to make the turn for my life and yours. How do we strengthen ourselves in the Lord? We do so through the Word, Sacrament and Prayer. There are many expressions of these three “means of grace” (to use the classical phrase). There are no more divinely revealed ways. David strengthened himself through prayer with God. Jesus often did this as well. Prayer has been the focus of so many months of ministry in our little fellowship. Shall we stop now? After the series on the Lord’s Prayer, after the sweetness of Maundy Thursday around the Lord’s Table, and after the majestic music of Easter Sunday, we sometimes find ourselves living out that faith amidst stones. We need to strengthen ourselves in the Lord.
I thought I would share with you one resource that I used just this morning in my own devotions. It is a book of prayers called The Valley of Vision, collected and edited by Arthur Bennett (an Anglican canon of St. Albans, England), and published by Banner of Truth. It contains the written prayers of Puritans like the English pastor Richard Baxter, the American missionary David Brainerd, the Scottish pastor Augustus Toplady, and the Welshman William Williams. What I like about this wonderful collection of prayers is that as I read them (and I can select a heading for a prayer like “The Minister’s Confession”), they give flight to my own soul. They increase my desire for fellowship with God. They lead me to new utterances, filled in a better way, with Biblical imagery, grace-rich expressions, and blood-atonement petitions. This is what is need. I need to be pointed back to the Cross. (When I say the Cross I mean: the full-orbed content of the Gospel beginning with my sin, leading to His salvation through the blood of Jesus, and finally to His glorious resurrection now at work in my life).
So, as prayer led us up to Easter, I am learning that prayer must continue after Easter. Let us strengthen ourselves in God. Let us stay close.
Looking forward to fellowship in the Word on this coming Lord’s Day,
GOLF RULE BOOK CHANGES 2006 (only applies to Seniors)
RULE 1.a. A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed on the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough with no penalty. The senior should not be penalized for uncontrollable mechanical phenomena.
RULE 2.d.6(b) A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The player must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there.
RULE 3.b.3(g) There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, making it a stolen ball. The player is not to compound the felony by charging him or herself with a penalty.
RULE 4 (7a) If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The law of gravity supersedes the law of golf.
RULE 5. Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does not apply to balls more than three inches from the hole. No one wants to make a travesty of the game.
RULE 6.a.9(k) There is no penalty for so-called "out of bounds." If penny-pinching golf club owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur. The golfer deserves an apology, not a penalty.
RULE 7.g.15(z) There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard, as golf balls should float. That they do not is a technical problem that manufacturers have to correct. Senior Golfers should not be punished for manufacturer’s shortcomings.
RULE 8.d.19(q) There is no penalty for a ball going into a canyon on desert courses. This is a technical problem and when the golf manufactures retire they will correct this manufacturing defect.
RULE 9.k.9(s) Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new clubs, balls, shoes etc. Since this is financially impractical for the average Senior Golfer, a stroke per hole may be subtracted for using old equipment.
Please advise all your senior friends of these important rule changes.
The 2006 National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 4th is the perfect time for all of us to pray with hundreds of thousands of Americans that God will bless and protect the United States. We need to pray for our troops, our nation, and our President, as I Timothy 2:1-2 says.