Ellen was a sweet old Christian lady. She was kind and would help anyone who needed it, even though she had no wealth and her house was in need of repairs. The needs of others were more important to her than her own needs. Everyone loved her and she loved everyone. Ellen praised Jesus every time she was able to help someone and she thanked Jesus on a continual basis for all she had.
The only person she had difficulties with was Hank, the old man who lived next door. Hank was always trying to prove to Ellen that there was no God. It irritated him that she’d have none of it and would simply smile at him, as ready to help him or encourage him as she was for anyone else.
Hank hated anyone who believed in God and had spent his life doing his best to make life difficult for Christians. He openly cursed at Christians and said how stupid they were.
One day, Hank went over to Ellen’s house with the intent of once again ‘proving’ that God didn’t exist. As he approached the door, he looked through the living room window and saw Ellen, kneeling and praying. He crept closer to see if he could hear what she was saying, through the partly open window.
“Lord, you’ve always been there when I’ve needed you and you’ve taken care of me. You’ve even let me do something to help others,” Ellen prayed.
“I need you now, Jesus. You know that I have no money and I’m out of food. I have nothing to eat and my social security check won’t arrive for another week. Jesus, somehow, can you get me some groceries?”
Hank thought to himself, “Aha! I’ve got her now!”
He went down to the corner grocery and bought some milk, bread and other food. He even bought some coffee and a box of doughnuts. Then rushed back to Ellen’s house. He put the sack of groceries on the porch, rang the doorbell, then hid behind some bushes.
Ellen opened the door and saw the sack on the porch. She looked inside and immediately said, “Thank you, Jesus. I was out of food and you provided for me.”
Hank came out of hiding, laughed and said, “Now I have you. There is no God. Jesus didn’t get you those groceries, I did.”
Ellen looked at him, smiled and said, “No, Jesus got that food for me and he made Satan pay for them. Would you care for a cup of coffee and a doughnut?”
Ellen lived her life as a Christian, letting her actions speak volumes. People would have instantly recognized her as being a Christian, not because of what she said, but because of what she did. She had the right attitude.
We should all ask if we have the right attitude as we go through our day. Here is a challenge for you. Today, you are going to come across someone who needs some help and a kind word. How you respond will demonstrate what kind of attitude you have.
Posted in Deeper meanings and tagged action, christian attitude, help, Jesus, kindness, words by rextrulove with no comments yet.
There is little doubt that there is enormous power in prayer. Prayer is our means of telling God what we want and need. He knows better than we do what we want and need, however, just like children, we aren’t likely to get things if we aren’t willing to ask for them. Nothing is impossible to God and we should always know that. The bible says it, and nothing in the bible has ever been disproved, so it is something we can believe in. However, truly amazing things happen when what we ask for happen to be God’s will. I want to tell you about one such event that happened recently at our church.
Ours is a small rural town and there are several churches in town. There is no competition, naturally, since all the churches lead people to Jesus and our salvation through His sacrifice. However, our pastor, Pastor Jim, has had something weighing heavily upon his heart for some time. You see, there is another even smaller town about 30 miles from here, on the other side of a mountain pass, that is in dire need of God. There is a severe drug and alcohol problem in that town, named Hot Springs, and crime rates are through the roof. Fights, violence and lawlessness is constant. It is largely an American Indian town and in fact, the town is owned by the Indians. The tribal council is every bit as aware of the issues in their town as anyone else is and they have been unable to stop the problem from getting worse.
Pastor Jim had a sort of revelation and he discussed it with the dozen or so people who make the trip from Hot Springs to here for church services on Sunday every week. That isn’t easy in the winter, when the road is snowy and icy the whole way. So Jim’s idea was that perhaps a way could be found to video tape our Sunday sermon and play that in Hot Springs. The group who travel every week were all for it, and one of them, a pastor named Shawn, said that he’d help in any way he could. Shawn lives in Hot Springs, and is willing to take on the pastoral duties there.
There were obstacles, of course. We would need to have the okay of the tribal council, who historically weren’t fast to give an okay for things like this. We would need to find a place where the sermons could be played on a weekly basis and capable of holding a lot of people. We’d also need substantial funds for it to happen in the first place, since we had no video equipment at our church and there would also be other expenses. Many people in the community said that it couldn’t be done. However, Pastor Jim, Pastor Shawn and many in our congregation prayed earnestly for it to happen. Hot Springs has been foundering and it has been getting worse under the rules and laws of man. It was time to bring in the chairman of the board; God. Suffice to say that the prayers got results.
First, when Jim called the tribal office to discuss his idea, they welcomed him to meet with them. In that meeting, they were very happy with Jim’s ideas. In fact, they were thrilled with the idea. Jim hadn’t gotten around to explaining our need for having a place where it could be done, each and every week, and all he said was that we hadn’t yet chosen a good location. The council had a suggestion for that.
For the last few years, they’ve had a recreation center in Hot Springs that has been vacant. They said that they had just decided to fix the place up and reopen it, and they suggested to Jim that perhaps this would be a good location, since it could hold a lot of people and could be used every week. It isn’t just a good location, it is an ideal location.
Two of the three major obstacles were removed in rapid order, leaving only the money that was lacking, to make it all a reality. Actually, there was also another obstacle that hadn’t been considered, too. Part of the ministry of the church is based upon the giving nature of Jesus and how he taught that we should give to our neighbors, helping them in any way we can. Here in our town, one of the ways this is done is by the fire-wood ministry. That is, our church goes out and cuts, hauls, saws up and splits firewood. Needy people in the community need only call the church and explain that they are having trouble getting wood to heat with, and wood will be delivered to them. About 90% of the homes in this section of the state, which includes Hot Springs, heats with wood.
Well, the tribal council was aware of this and things fell into place for Jim to set up a wood yard in Hot Springs too, so there could be a fire wood ministry there, as well. This was unexpected, but was yet another obstacle that vanished. People even volunteered to help get, cut and split the firewood in Hot Springs, and some of those volunteers don’t even belong to our church. (This is appropriate, since the wood is given to those in need, regardless of their faith.)
Okay, that left only one huge obstacle. To make it all happen, we had to raise $10,000. The camera equipment, chairs and all the other things needed at the rec center aren’t cheap.
Three weeks ago, an anonymous church member gave a challenge; he would match, dollar for dollar, any donation meant for the Hot Springs project, up to $3,000. That meant that if people donated $3,000, we’d already be over halfway toward making the whole thing a reality.
Donations began to trickle in and last Sunday, the church prepared to kick everything into high gear, to get it all done. A chart was even made so we’d be able to track our progress. Jim made the statement to the congregation that he “had no doubt that it will happen, because this isn’t for us, it is to help the people of Hot Springs and to glorify God.” Now, how many of you know that God OCCUPIES our praises? Jim also said, “None of you are here by chance. God has a plan for you and you are here because of His will.”
Before the sermon actually began, a visitor went up and spoke with Jim. Nobody paid much attention until the singing was done and Jim got up to give his sermon. Tears filled his eyes and it took a moment to compose himself. Then he announced that a man had approached him, saying that he really didn’t know why he felt compelled to come to our church on that day. However, when he heard about the Hot Springs project, he knew what he must do. That man donated $5,000 to the project, right there on the spot!
With the dollar per dollar $3,000 match, that meant that in minutes, $8,000 had been raised for the project. It gets even better. Jim said that right after the man donated the $5,000, the church financial officer went up to Jim to let him know that a little over $2,000 had been raised for the project, to date. Of course, the financial officer knew nothing about the recent donation. Just like that, in this small community, the $10,000 goal was met and exceeded! Hot Springs will have their church, which will assist the couple of churches that are already there, struggling.
God is good and he wants the best for His children. He wants us all to pray to Him. When those prayers happen to coincide with His wishes, astounding things happen. Praise God for making all of this work out! God is amazing!
Posted in Testimony and tagged church, glory, gods will, praise, prayers by rextrulove with 2 comments.
To truly appreciate the depth of God’s love, grace and mercy toward every one of us, and His glory, it is helpful to get a notion of just how big God is. Keep in mind that we are going to be talking about a size that is beyond our ability to fully grasp. The inspiration for this article came from a man named Louie Giglio and I’m going to talk about a little science. That isn’t to bore anyone or to put anyone off, but because that is our best hope of understanding just how big God is.
As vast as our world seems to us, it is a small planet in our solar system. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is over 1,300 times bigger than the earth. That is to say that more than 1,300 earth’s would fit inside of Jupiter. Four of the planets are much bigger than the earth, in fact. Yet, if you added together mercury, venus, earth, mars, jupiter, saturn, uranus and neptune, plus all the asteroids, moons and comets, this wouldn’t make up a single percent of the mass of the solar system. Over 99 percent of the solar system’s mass is the sun. About 1,300,000 earth’s would fit inside of the sun.
The sun is enormous in comparison to earth, which is huge in comparison to us, and yet it isn’t a particularly large star. Most stars are bigger. Some are far bigger. One star, known as NML Cygni, is so big that about 1,650 of our suns would fit inside of it. That means that 21,450,000,000 earths would fit inside of NML Cygni. That is almost 21 1/2 trillion suns! Put into perspective, a million seconds ago was about 13 days ago. A billion seconds ago was about 31 years ago; roughly the year 1985. A trillion seconds ago was long before the last ice age started; over 31,600 years ago. We all have a fair idea of how brief a second is, so this might give us an inkling of the size of the number we are talking about.
What is the point? Please bear with me, because I’m not finished, even though this number is hard to imagine.
In the Milky Way galaxy, to which our solar system belongs, there are between 200 and 300 billion stars. The milky way is a small to medium-sized galaxy. The best guess that we have is that there are about 300 billion galaxies in our universe. Let that sink in for a minute, thinking of the aspect of how insignificant the earth is in comparison to all of those stars and how insignificant we are in comparison to the earth.
If your mind is reeling a little bit over the sheer immensity of all of that, you are in the right state of mind to begin to understand how big our God is.
Psalms 33:6 (NIV) says:
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
This means that the heavens and all the stars issued from God’s breath, from His mouth. This is truly staggering. We have a hard time grasping the size of NML Cygni, rightly so, and in comparison, we aren’t even a tiny mote. And yet, all of the stars came from God’s breath. How much bigger than anything we can possibly imagine must He be? It reduces our insignificance to nothingness. And yet, His promises to us have been, are and will be kept.
Clearly, what is significant to Him isn’t the same thing as what we think of as significant. This should be a humbling thought and at the same time it should make every one of us feel buoyed and ready to yell “Hallelujah!” It gives us hope and tells us that there isn’t anything that is impossible to our living God.
Pause for a moment now. At this point, I hope that you took the time to notice the beautiful NASA picture of the Whirlpool galaxy at the top of this article. This is going to knock your socks off…the Hubble Space Telescope took a picture of the black hole at the center of this galaxy. Astonishingly, this is what they found and this is not a photoshopped image, it is the real thing. You can see it on the Hubble website.
Is God amazing or what? Amen!
I’ll leave you with this, from Louie Giglio. I urge you to watch it. It is very well worth the watch.
Posted in Deeper meanings and tagged Galaxy, God's size, Hubble Space Telescope, Milky Way, NASA, psalms 33:6 by rextrulove with 2 comments.
Most Christians and a lot of people who aren’t Christians know the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel chapter 17). In a nutshell, the much larger Philistine army was facing the smaller army of King Saul of Israel. The Philistines were taunting Saul’s army with their champion, named Goliath of Gath. Goliath wasn’t just big, he was huge. Accounts placed him at nine and a half feet tall. (Six cubits and a span) Saul’s warriors were intimidated and afraid, however a boy by the name of David, armed with only a sling and five rocks, faced Goliath and killed him with a single shot from that sling. David was destined to become the greatest of the Kings of Israel.
This is a good story that shows the power of God, working through someone most people at the time would have considered to be insignificant. Have you ever stopped to wonder who Goliath was and where he came from, though? This is really quite interesting.
There are a couple of clues about who Goliath was. One of those clues was his size. He was literally a giant. He also had the unusual trait of having six fingers on each hand and six toes on both feet. By looking farther back in time (and the bible), we see where a group of angels came to lust after human women. In defiance of God, those angels, who were ‘cast out’ because of their defiance, had intimate relations with the human women, impregnating them. (Beginning at Genesis 6:4.) The offspring, whom God saw as an abomination, were called the Nephilim. They were creatures of huge stature that possessed six fingers on both hands and six toes on both feet.
The description is very pointed and exact so we could understand that Goliath and his four brothers were descended from the Nephilim. Since the Nephilim were abominations, so too was Goliath and all the other descendants of the Nephilim. It should be noted that while the great flood of Noah destroyed almost everything living on land, God allowed some of the Nephilim to survive the event. He did this to allow Satan to tempt man so that there would be no doubt at all of God’s supremacy.
This means that Goliath was a Nephilim and since David killed only Goliath and not his brothers, it would be logical that the Nephilim bloodline continued and it is also reasonable to assume that Goliath and his brothers weren’t the only Nephilim that were living at the time. In fact, the bloodline has continued to this very day. The bloodline has become so diluted that the people today who carry Nephilim genes are no longer giants. They still have extra fingers and toes, though. There are a number of well-known people of more recent times who have clearly had Nephilim blood; for instance Anne Boleyn, Queen Consort of England and one of the wives of King Henry VIII.
Today, most people born with extra digits have the extra digits removed at an early age, so it isn’t always easy to see who has the Nephilim genes, however the abomination still continues.
Modern medical science has tried to explain it all away as a random mutation, but scientifically their explanations don’t hold up. For one thing, random mutations of this sort normally don’t carry on from generation to generation as a dominant gene as the Nephilim traits tend to do. Despite the efforts that have been waged to disprove God, and which have never succeeded, there is little doubt that the ancestors of Goliath still live among us.
Your thoughts on the Nephilim?
Posted in Deeper meanings and tagged abomination, Anne Boleyn, David, Goliath, Israel, Nephilim, Philistines, six fingers by rextrulove with 2 comments.