-- The water-proof towel -- Glow in the dark sunglasses -- Submarine screen doors -- A book on how to read. -- Inflatable dart boards -- A dictionary index. -- Mechanical Pencil sharpeners -- Powdered water -- Pedal-powered wheel chairs
-- Waterproof tea bags -- Watermelon seed sorter -- Zero proof alcohol -- Reusable ice cubes -- Skinless bananas -- Do-it-yourself road map -- Turnip ice cream -- Toe implants -- An all white flag -- Rolls Royce pickup truck
News of the discovery of gold in California reached the east coast of the U.S. on April 15, 1848, but only a few hundred people responded by heading out west. More than half a year later, on December 5, President James K. Polk gave his annual message to Congress. In that speech he confirmed that gold had indeed been discovered in California. It was this "official" announcement that triggered the Gold Rush of 1849. An estimated 90,000 hopeful miners made the difficult six-month overland trip to California that year.
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Over the years, our family has had some great times at the New Jersey shore. And I love to see the Atlantic Ocean with all of its many moods. Relatively calm. Tide out. Tide in. Building surf. Towering breakers. Angry in a storm. When the waves really start getting high, most swimmers make a wise choice. They get out of the water and they call it a day. Some of those massive waves could totally swamp you and then probably carry you all the way to England. But there's another breed out there. They're called surfers; some on surfboards, some body-surfing, and they don't run out when the monster waves start coming - they run in! And they ride those monsters!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Spiritual Surfing."
Oswald Chambers, the author of My Utmost for His Highest, suggests that those huge waves that frighten the average swimmer actually thrill a surfer. Same wave, two different perspectives. To one, the big wave is something to run from. To another, the big wave is something to ride.
It's that way with all of us, when some of life's monster waves come crashing in on us. It may be some awful news, a major crisis we suddenly find ourselves in the middle of, or a broken relationship, a challenge we just don't have the resources to meet. Maybe that kind of pounding surf is washing over you right now, threatening to drown you. And as you look ahead, all you can see is more waves that look like liquid mountains out there.
When the big waves start hitting, you can sink or you can surf. Staying on top of the waves was Paul's choice in our word for today from the Word of God. It can be your choice, too, if you ride the unsinkable board that he did. It's recorded in Romans 8:37-39. Paul begins, "In all these things..." which should make us ask, "In all what things?" Well, the preceding verse talks about trouble, hardship not having life-necessities like food or clothes, suffering for what you believe, danger, even death. So, "In all these things" - in other words, the worst things that can happen to you in life - "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." More than conquerors. That means you can actually be on top of the waves instead of having those waves on top of you. Not because you're so strong, but because you're sustained and empowered by the greatest love in the universe.
Paul says he can win through any bombardment for one reason: "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." In other words, you can look squarely at the most daunting waves and say defiantly, "Jesus loves me - this I know!" If you've anchored your life to Jesus Christ, there's nothing any wave, any storm can do to possibly touch the anchor of your life. You are loved by God, and whatever is bigger than you are, He is bigger than it is! If your life-anchor is anything or anyone else, the big waves are ultimately going to swamp you and take what you've been hanging onto.
God's master plan for you is to make you a much like Jesus as you can possibly become. And the stormy seas can be for you the times when you say, "I'm going to ride this wave to let it make me more like Jesus than I've ever been before." And He wouldn't let it hit you unless it could be for His glory, your good, and your growth.
It may be that you're not sure you belong to Him. If you've never experienced His anchoring love for yourself, let this be the day you turn your life over to the Man who gave His life for you.
If you'd like to be sure you belong to Him, you'd like to understand how to begin your personal relationship with Him, I want to invite you to our website where I've tried to explain that in a simple and brief way. You can read it, you can listen to it. It's yoursforlife.net. Or, if you'd like the little booklet, Yours For Life, I can send it you if you'd let me know you want it. You can call and let us know that at 877-741-1200.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, then when life's crushing waves come crashing in on you, you will have the Son of God there beside you, holding you tight and making you unsinkable.
If you're not sure you belong to Jesus, and you would like to make sure today, Ron would like to send to you a free copy of the booklet, "Yours for Life: How to Have Life's Most Important Relationship." To read it online, click here: http://www.yoursforlife.net/
OR, to request your free copy of "Yours for Life," click here: http://rhm.gospelcom.net/yours/yflorder.html
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To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit YOURS FOR LIFE: HOW TO HAVE LIFE'S MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP at: http://www.yoursforlife.net Or, call 1-888-NEED HIM.
"A Word With You" by Ron Hutchcraft is a daily radio challenge, with slice-of-life illustrations and insights - providing practical help on the issues that matter most. If your local Christian radio station does not air "A Word With You," please let them know how much you value this program. Over six years of transcripts are available online, at http://rhm.gospelcom.net/awwy.php