It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste signaled affluence. Throwing away things meant you knew there'd always be more.
But then my husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of our bedroom, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.
No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute". Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away never to return before we can say good-bye, say, "I love you".
So while we have it . . . it's best we love it . . . . and care for it... and fix it when it's broken. . . . and heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage . . . . . and old cars . . . and children with bad report cards . . . . and dogs with bad hips . . and aging parents and grandparents.
We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what. Life is important, like people we know who are special . . . . and so, we keep them close!
I received this from someone who thought I was a 'keeper'! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way.
Now it's your turn to send this to all those people that are "keepers" in your life . .
Thank you for being a special part of my life! . . .. .
You are a keeper! God Bless you always ! ! ! Sarah (UNC)
It was such a neat surprise to see our longtime friends, Bob and Marcy, at a conference I was speaking at. We hadn't seen them for several years, and we didn't know they were coming. After one session, my wife was talking with them in the hall outside the auditorium, and my observant honey noticed Bob's color suddenly turn pale. And within moments, he was suddenly crumpling to the floor. My first thought was, "Is that what my speaking does to people?" When Bob finally came around, he sat in a chair wondering what had hit him. His wife wanted to drive him six hours to their home, but others were really urging him to get to a local hospital - preferably in an ambulance. Men usually resist ideas like that, but Bob was wise enough - or maybe just concerned enough - to agree. And that was a good thing. His heart stopped once on the way to the hospital, and again in the emergency room. Within two days, he had a pacemaker implanted, and he left that hospital feeling great. Had he not had that scary incident in the lobby, he might not have made it.
Things going wrong can be your friend, if they show you a problem that could really hurt you and if they get you to the help you need. That may be what's happening in your life right now and it may explain the real reason for what's going wrong. In short, God wants you back before some really damaging things happen because you're not where you're supposed to be with Him.
You'll better understand how He pursues those He loves when you hear our word for today from the Word of God. In Hosea 2, beginning with verse 5, God likens His spiritual wanderer to a woman loved by her husband who's been unfaithful to him. She says, "I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water." We get away from God when we turn to other people and other things to meet our needs. But God says, "I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for I was better off than now.'" Then God says, "She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold."
Your best days were the days you were closest to Jesus. But you've "pursued other lovers." You've forgotten He was the only one who ever loved you enough to die for you, and that sense of peace and worth you had when you were close to Him is gone. But God loves you too much to let you go, so He's been "blocking your path with thornbushes" and "walling you in." He's been making your sin more painful, more expensive, more disappointing. And if it hasn't happened, it will. More and more you'll keep chasing what you're after, but you won't catch it because only God has it.
If someone you love is the one who's away from the Lord, you can pray in accordance with God's recovery plan here in Hosea 2. Pray for the thornbushes and the walls and the frustrating pursuits that can cause this one you love to think about what they're doing and to remember the better days - the Jesus-days.
If you're away from Jesus, the One whose love you were made for, the One who died for you, things are only going to get worse because He loves you. Things are going wrong, not to hurt you or destroy you, but to help you wake up to something far more serious going on in your soul. You've got a deadly heart condition, and you need to get to the doctor before it does serious damage. You need to get to Dr. Jesus. It stinks away from Him. The porch light is on, the door is open, and Jesus is coming down the road to welcome you home. And home is where you belong. - - Ron Hutchcraft
The actual local time, or "sun time" constantly changes as one moves either east or west. With the arrival of railroad travel, the situation raised problems for railway lines and passengers trying to synchronize schedules in different cities. The need for a system of standardized time was evident, and eventually a system proposed by Charles F. Dowd, a school principal in New York State, was adopted. Under Dowd's system, North America was divided into four time zones, fifteen degrees of longitude, and one hour of "standard time" apart. At noon on Sunday, November 18, 1883, the new system went into effect. It became the basis for the international system of time zones we're familiar with today.
In the months before World War II, an Oxford don by the name of C. S. Lewis wrote, "Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered." Lewis's students questioned the importance of studying the humanities and sciences with war on the horizon. But Lewis understood, as he wrote so beautifully in his classic book Weight of Glory, that "To be ignorant and simple now . . . would be to throw down our weapons and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen."
Three years ago, I launched a year-long distance education program called Centurions, designed to equip one hundred men and women each year to defend truth in an age when too many are throwing their weapons down.
Sadly, bad philosophy—like relativism, naturalism, and secular humanism—runs rampant in our legislatures, schools, movie theaters, and even our churches. In the face of this, Centurions is preparing men and women not just to understand and articulate their own Christian worldview, but also to proactively teach that worldview to others and engage the culture in their own particular sphere of influence.
One of our Centurion graduates, Jeff Clinton, a contributor to BreakPoint's blog, The Point, describes in a recent post what sets the program apart. He writes, "The Centurions program is not a program where you [leave simply] with a fresh set of books. Entering the program comes with a commitment to . . . influence others and pass on knowledge, [which] creates a special dynamic that goes with being part of a community of serious, kingdom-minded Christians who want to engage a needy world for the cause of Christ." Jeff underscores exactly the vision we have for the program, one of exponential cultural impact.
And we have plenty of examples of Centurions doing just that from Wendell Cantrell in Johannesburg, South Africa, who is investing deeply in discipling fifteen others in biblical worldview, to Centurions Nanci Boice, Rick Hooten, and Dave Brown, who hosted a worldview conference in Austin, Texas, for 130 people last January.
But not only are Centurions sharing the training they've received, they are also impacting the culture firsthand. There's Jim Walter, who is engaging in public debate, meeting with public officials, and writing letters-to-editors on issues of bioethics and human dignity. There's Will Burns, who is part of a team that is planting a church that will seek to draw in artists, encouraging and supporting them in their craft during the week and celebrating the Creator on Sundays. And there's John Nunnikhoven, who has taught an eight-week worldview course for civic and political leaders in Vermont.
If you'd like to find out more about how to join the ranks of the next class of Centurions, please visit us at BreakPoint.org. The deadline for application is November 30, so don't delay. Our culture urgently needs more men and women who will rightly wield good philosophy to counter the bad philosophy of the postmodern era, men and women who can winsomely present the Christian worldview in their sphere of influence.
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