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Sunday, September 24, 2017

What are we allowing to impact us?

Watch what peaks your interest; it becomes your desire (2 Samuel 11:2-3).

So be interested in the things that please Christ (Philippians 2:21).

 

Watch your desires; they become your lusts (2 Samuel 11:2-3).

So desire the heavenly things (Matthew 6:19-21).

Watch your lusts; they become your thoughts (Matthew 5:28).

So only desire what is good (Proverbs 11:23).

Watch your thoughts; they become your words.

So "set your mind on the things above" (Colossians 3:1-2).

Watch your words; they become your actions (Mark 7:20-23).

So use your words for encouragement (Hebrews 3:13).

Watch your actions; they become your habits (Romans 7:14-15).

So act to help all, especially those in the church (Galatians 6:10).

Watch your habits, they become your character (Genesis 6:3; 8:21).

So let's follow the patterned habits of the faithful in Scripture (Philippians 3:15).

Watch your character; it becomes your future (Titus 1:15-16).

So let's keep our character blameless (Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:3).

Watch your future; it becomes your eternity (Matthew 25:31-46).

So let's place our future on the eternally right path (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-27).

It's incredible, and a little scary, what can grow in our lives from something so small (James 1:14-15). What we allow into our lives most certainly impacts us (1 Corinthians 15:33). What are we allowing to impact us? If we aren't careful, it could impact our eternity.

***Article inspired by and expanded upon a Lao Tzu quote.

 

Brett Petrillo

 

That will be $500 or a week in jail

The Judge

 

Do you know why Jesus had to die?  Let me tell you a story that might help make it clear.

 

Do you have a car?

 

Well, let’s say you are speeding home this weekend at 105 mph.  A policeman catches you on his radar and you get busted.  They impound your car and bring you straight to the courthouse to face the judge.

 

Well, the good news is that the county you got busted in just happens to be the county in which your dad is the judge.  So you’re thinking that he loves you; he’ll let you off and everything will be fine.

 

But just as you are entering the courthouse, you consider that your dad is a really good judge.  He never punishes the innocent.  He always punishes the guilty.  He is a good and just judge.

 

Now you’re a little nervous.  Which is going to win out, his love or his justice?  He’s your dad and he loves you so he’ll want to do good to you.  But he’s just.  He’s a good judge and therefore he’ll want to follow the law and render a just verdict.

 

What do you think he’d do?  Which would win, love or justice?

 

Let me walk you through a scenario that shows how he might solve the dilemma.

 

You stand before your dad the judge and he says to you, “Son, this officer says you were going 50 mph over the speed limit.  How do you plead?”

 

What would so you say?  [Guilty.]

 

Yeah, that’s a good idea, because you are guilty.

 

So he look at you and says, “That will be $500 or a week in jail.  Guilty as charged.”  And he bangs down the gavel.

 

Well you don’t have any money, so the bailiff comes to take you away so you can start serving your time, when your dad, the judge, stands up and says, “Wait a minute.  Bring him back here.”  Then he stands up, takes off his robe and walks down from behind the bench.  Then he reaches into his coat pocket, takes out his checkbook, and writes the court a check for $500, the exact amount of your fine.  Then he offers it to you.

 

He is just, so he declares you guilty, since you are.  And he demands that a penalty be paid.  But he loves you, and so he has determined to pay that penalty himself, on your behalf.

 

Now as he stands there offering you the check, what do you need to do?  [Accept or reject it.]

 

That’s right. You can accept his payment on your behalf, or for whatever reason you can reject it.

 

That story is, I think, a great picture of what God has done for us.  If there are two things primarily true about God they are that He is loving and He is just.  Those two things put Him in an interesting situation when it comes to us, because every one of us has broken His laws.  We are guilty before Him. So which would win out, His love or His justice?

 

The Bible says that He declared us guilty, because we are, and demanded that a penalty be paid.  Then He left heaven, came to earth, became a man, and died to pay our penalty.  See, we didn’t owe a $500 penalty, so He didn’t just write a check.  The Bible says that sin earns us a death penalty, so He died to pay that (Romans 6:23). *

 

God will save and give eternal life to those who accept His offer on His terms: place your faith and trust in Jesus who gave His life for you (Acts 16:30-31), turn from your sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).  Then, as you continue to walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse you from all sin (1 John 1:7).

 

So He came to us to offer His life on our behalf.  Just like your dad with the check, He stands before you and says, “I have paid the price for your transgressions.  All you need to do is accept it.”

 

Won’t YOU?

 

-- David A. Sargent

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thought for the Week

 

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims. abstain from fleshly lusts which war against your soul (1 Peter 2:11).

 

Isn't it great to be alive? I love this life and want to stay here as long as possible yet I also know that this world is not my abiding place and neither is it yours. We simply must understand that everything about us in this life, everything that surrounds us here is only temporary in nature, even our life. The life we now live is nothing more than a dressing room for eternity. We are mortals and as such the day is coming when in just a moment of time we will lay aside this earthly tabernacle and take that journey from whence we will not return (Heb. 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:1). While we have the opportunity, we had best be laying up for ourselves treasures somewhere besides this old sinful world (Matthew 6:19-21). Today as faithful children of God we travel a pathway that leads us to our eternal destiny. That destiny has with it an incorruptible crown, the crown of life, a crown of righteousness with a glory that will never fade away (2 Tim. 4:6-8; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; John 14:1-3).  Our hearts must be set on that wonderful city of God because that is the place we call home (Colossians 3:1-2; Heb. 11:13-16; Philippians 3:20).

 

The most important aspect of our lives today is not where we have been but rather where we are going. We don't have time to dwell on the past or even consider what might have been. Time is swiftly passing for each one of us and our eternal destiny is directly in front of us. "I press on toward the goal" should be the supreme aim of our lives (Philippians 3:13-14; Hebrews 12:1). I love the words of that grand old song that say: "Each step I take I know that He will guide me, To higher ground He ever leads me on. Until one day the last step will be taken. Each step I take just leads me closer home". With that thought in mind perhaps our theme song should be, "Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus, is my plea. Daily walking close to thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be". To put off these rags of mortality and put on the robes of glory should be the earnest desire and expectation of each one of us. If we are truly pressing forward toward that high calling of God in Christ Jesus, then we can face the chilling hand of death courageously and with great comfort knowing that our God will give to us a spiritual body that will live forever (1 Cor. 15:19-22, 51-56). What more is there to say?

 

Charles Hicks

 

Tara Parker Routzong

Loving-Kindness

 

The traffic was unusually heavy in Troy, AL, on this particular day, but Tara Parker Routzong and her 9-year-old son, Landon, knew it was because many Floridians had fled their homes due to the approach of Hurricane Irma. With thoughts of these evacuees in his mind, Landon noticed that the car in front of them in the Chick-fil-A drive-through had a Florida tag. Assuming that the driver of the car was fleeing the hurricane, Landon told his mother that he wanted them to pay for his meal as an expression of love and good wishes for someone going through a difficult time.

 

Tara agreed and gave her debit card to Landon. Landon got out of their car and walked up to the driver of the car in front of them and introduced himself. He asked if he could pay for his meal. While the order was being filled, the grateful driver got out of his vehicle and thanked the dynamic duo for their loving-kindness. As suspected, the man had evacuated from Miami due to the hurricane and was on his way to Birmingham to stay with some family members. Tara’s and Landon’s eyes filled with tears as the man expressed his grateful appreciation. Tara told the man that they hoped that when he returned to his home in Miami that he would find it untouched and that they would keep him in their thoughts. *

 

I’m confident that the recipient of this simple act of loving-kindness will also keep these benefactors in his thoughts for a long, long time.

 

What a wonderful act of loving-kindness! May we “go and do likewise”! May it also remind us of the greatest act of loving-kindness ever demonstrated:

 

“At one time we too [and that includes you and me] were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:3-7 NIV

 

“The kindness and the love of God our Savior appeared” when Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins so that we can be saved and have the hope of eternal life. Jesus didn’t do this because we deserved it because we were so “righteous.” No, we didn’t deserve it at all. We deserve the wages of sin which is death (Romans 6:23).

 

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He saves us because of His loving mercy.

 

He will save us when we place our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse us from sin as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

 

Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest act of loving-kindness ever demonstrated. By God’s grace, the salvation and eternal life that Jesus provided through His atoning sacrifice can be ours if we will only accept it on His terms.

 

Won’t YOU?

 

--David A. Sargent

 

* From “Hurricane Irma evacuee surprised by Alabama boy's act of kindness” by Michelle Matthews, posted on al.com on September 12, 2017.

 

David A. Sargent, Minister

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bible Classes: Are You Learning Anything?

Often we may hear someone say, "I'm not getting anything out of my Bible class." When this happens what is the cause? There may be many causes. One could obviously be that the teacher is not prepared and that he is not doing a good job in presenting the material. However, even if this is the case, still as a Bible student, I can learn much in the class IF I do the proper kind of preparation and study for the class at home.

I believe that probably more often than not, the problem lies more in the other direction. The person who makes this statement may, in fact, be putting little or nothing into the class. They come without studying and expect the teacher to suddenly excite them about this subject and fill them with knowledge. This will not happen if we do not show enough interest at home to prepare for the class.

Also, how many parents are concerned enough about their children's soul that they make sure they are getting their lessons and bringing their books? Are we wasting time and losing our children in our indifference?

- by Steve Hardin

 

The light of Jesus

Have you ever met one of those people who as they say, "lights up the room when they come in"? I hope you have, because I have and it gives hope to life.

 

Where I work I have a friend named Anthony, he is one of those people. It may not be a coincidence, but I find it interesting that he works in the Lighting/ Electrical department. He helps bring light into people's lives physically, but also spiritually. Anthony is a lover of God and is not afraid to share his relationship with the father with others. He is one of those folks I look for when I'm at work, because he makes work seem… well, less like work, he brings a little light into my life, a little hope when I see God working in him.

 

Of course the example for us all is Jesus Christ, our God; our Brother; our friend and our support. I love the description that the Apostle John gives of Jesus in the book of John. In John 1:1-5 we read, "In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." (NLT)

 

There is our example, the true bringer of the light! We sometimes sing a hymn that says, "Oh to be like thee, blessed redeemer," but I wonder if we really understand the full impact of those words, of what he was and what he did. John goes on and says, "The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him." (John 1: 9-11)

 

You see what this says is that if you try to live as a Christian and bring light to others; don't expect them to always thank you. They rejected Jesus, they will often reject you.

 

I don't know about you, but I pray that I can be a little more like Anthony to those around me, but even more I pray that I can let the light of Christ be seen in me. There is no such thing as a secret Christian, you either are or you aren’t. Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world… like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden."

 

When is the last time someone was glad to see you coming? Could it be you need to let the light of Jesus be seen more in your life?

 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sermons about natural disasters

Lessons from a hurricane

 

1)    Job 1:22 – Job did not “charge God foolishly.” Good lesson for modern disasters!

2)    Be careful about “foolishly charging God” under any set of circumstances.

3)    There are some parallels between Hurricane Harvey and the end of time.

a)     God has given warnings – many, many warnings about a “future storm” (sentencing of all men).

4)    This storm will not be limited to one area of the world.  Neither will it be limited to one era of time.

5)    From 2 Thess. 1 we heard about “flaming fire.”

6)    2 Thess. 1:8 speaks about “rendering vengeance” on the unprepared.

7)    Verse 9 refers to “punishment” and “eternal destruction.”

8)    In the spiritual realm, there are no second chances when it comes to meeting up with God.

9)    Rev. 6:14-17 – READ

10) When faced with God’s final judgment, a hurricane will look like a couple of raindrops.

11) Jesus once said:  What will a man give in exchange for his life (eternal spirit), Mk. 8:37?

12) If we gain the entire world but forfeit our eternal spirit (Mk. 8:36), how will we be benefitted?

 

PEOPLE HAVE NOT CHANGED THROUGHOUT TIME.

 

1)    Gen. 19:14 – READ

2)    Verses 15-16 – READ

3)    For the unsaved, a disaster like a hurricane may seem like an almost fatal blow --

4)    Especially for those who are in the later years of their life.

5)    Disasters should help remind us this life is temporary and only the eternal truly matters

6)    All too often we can be almost totally consumed with the physical consequences of things like storms.

 

DO WE HAVE ANY OBLIGATION TO VICTIMS?

 

7)    As things currently stand, there may be opportunities to help for months to come.

8)    No person can do it all, but helping some is much better than not helping at all.

 

9)    We can pray for the victims.  Some assistance can also be sent.

10) This storm was bad, but it will surely not be the last.  In fact, there is already talk of another one.

11) Storms are a part of life. 

12)  Experiences like storm should make us cry out for something better – is there no relief from such things?

13) It is good to help others with food, clothing and shelter. 

14) Man’s ultimate need is Jesus Christ; “food and shelter” from the Lord is our greatest need.

 

 

Lecciones de un huracán 
1) Job 1:22 - Job no "cargó a Dios con insensatez". ¡Buena lección para los desastrosos modernos!
2) Tenga cuidado con la "carga absurda de Dios" bajo cualquier conjunto de circunstancias.
3) Hay algunos paralelos entre el huracán Harvey y el fin de los tiempos.
a) Dios ha dado advertencias - muchas, muchas advertencias sobre una "tormenta futura" (sentencia de todos los hombres).
4) Esta tormenta no se limitará a una zona del mundo. Tampoco se limitará a una era de tiempo.
5) Desde 2 Tes. 1 oímos hablar de "fuego ardiente".
6) 2 Tes. 1: 8 habla de "hacer venganza" sobre los despreparados.
7) El versículo 9 se refiere al "castigo" y la "destrucción eterna".
8) En el reino espiritual, no hay segundas oportunidades cuando se trata de encontrarnos con Dios.
9) Rev. 6: 14-17 - LEER
10) Cuando se enfrenta con el juicio final de Dios, un huracán se verá como un par de gotas de lluvia.
11) Jesús dijo una vez: ¿Qué dará un hombre a cambio de su vida (espíritu eterno), Mk. 8:37?
12) Si ganamos el mundo entero pero perdemos nuestro espíritu eterno (Mc 8:36), ¿cómo seremos beneficiados?

LA GENTE NO HA CAMBIADO A TRAVÉS DEL TIEMPO.

1) Génesis 19:14 - LEER
2) Versículos 15-16 - LEER
3) Para los no salvos, un desastre como un huracán puede parecer un golpe casi fatal -
4) Especialmente para aquellos que están en los últimos años de su vida.
5) Los desastres deberían ayudar a recordarnos que esta vida es temporal y sólo lo eterno realmente importa
6) Con demasiada frecuencia podemos estar casi totalmente consumidos por las consecuencias físicas de cosas como tormentas.

¿TENEMOS CUALQUIER OBLIGACIÓN PARA LAS VÍCTIMAS?

7) En la actualidad, puede haber oportunidades de ayudar durante los próximos meses.
8) Nadie puede hacerlo todo, pero ayudar a algunos es mucho mejor que no ayudar en absoluto.

9) Podemos orar por las víctimas. También se puede enviar alguna ayuda.
10) Esta tormenta fue mala, pero seguramente no será la última. De hecho, ya se habla de otro.
11) Las tormentas son una parte de la vida.
12) Experiencias como la tormenta deben hacernos gritar por algo mejor - ¿no hay alivio de tales cosas?
13) Es bueno ayudar a otros con comida, ropa y refugio.
14) La necesidad última del hombre es Jesucristo; "Alimento y refugio" del Señor es nuestra mayor necesidad.

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

 

    

 

 

  

                      

 

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"THE FIGHT IS ON"

 

The battle rages, and the Captain of our army encourages us to stand in the gap, to “put on the whole armor of God...and having done all, to stand.”   A recent bulletin reported that the Episcopalian church is on the verge of allowing homosexuals into their pulpits.  Another bulletin reports that the Catholic church is about to capitulate on this same moral issue.  Meanwhile, toleration is in, opposition is out, and it is apparent that our brethren are about to succumb to the same kind of “pluralistic” thinking that is sweeping our society.  “Judge not that ye be not judged” has become the battle cry for those weak of spirit.  Controversy is no longer politically correct, whether it is in the political or the religious realm. I for one, am grateful that neither Jesus, nor His apostles, ever adapted such a philosophy in order to promote and promulgate the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Had the restorationist pioneers held to the same attitude toward religious division and error as some of our brethren do today, they would never have gotten to first base in bringing about a restoration of the ancient order of things. J.S. Lamar wrote the following approximately 30 years after the death of Alexander Campbell. I share it with our readers for no other reason than to show that firm conviction and a stalwart stand for the truth is the only way by which the citadels of error will ever be torn down and the truth of God exalted. Here is what brother Lamar wrote:

 

“Every party had made its own creed, and set forth its conception of Christianity in a form chosen by itself. Every builder had erected a structure in accordance with his own architectural ideas and designs; and the results were satisfactory to the builders and really, for human structures, very good. It was while resting in fancied security in these corrupted and beautiful temples, the product of their skill and the pride of their hearts, that Alexander Campbell, as with the voice of God’s thunder and the sword of God’s Spirit, broke upon them, and aroused them to a sense of their danger. Now, if instead of thus assaulting them, he had been content to accept their guage [sic], and to meet them on their own chosen ground, both the conflict and the result would had been different. They were fully prepared to contest the question of comparative merit; and if the issue had been, for example, whether the English church was better or worse than the German; whether the Methodist had more or less truth than the Presbyterian; whether the creed, the doctrines, the practices, of any given sect, approximated in more respects than those of some others to the apostolic model and teaching - in such case the conflict would have been most welcome. But Mr. Campbell did not condescend to engage in any such useless strife. The peculiarities of sects and their varying degrees of excellency were treated only as side-issues and incidents, while with ponderous and pounding logic he battered upon the very basis of sectarianism - contending that, whether they had more of the truth or less, they were still wrong, fundamentally wrong, wrong in being sects, wrong in not being what Christ had founded, while yet assuming to occupy the place, to command respect, and to wield the authority of the divine institution. And now the fight was on. It was Alexander Campbell against the whole sectarian world - and all this world combining to resist him.” 

 

Thank God for such men as Mr. Campbell, “Raccoon” John Smith, Barton W. Stone, and a host of courageous men who refused to bow to the “pluralistic” mind-set that so dominates our world, yea even our own brotherhood, at this very hour. It is readily admitted that when we take a stand on the side of truth, that we will be criticized. But at least we know we stand with good company, “for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you” (Matthew 5:12b).

 

The fight is on! We have been provided adequate armor to repel the fiery darts of the evil one, but we must take up the armor. A careful examination of the spiritual armor described by the inspired apostle as set forth in Ephesians 6:14-17 leads us to the inevitable conclusion that God intended us to use the word to engage that battle. Our loins are girt with truth (Eph. 6:14). “Sanctify them in truth, they word is truth” (John 17:17). We have put on the breastplate of righteousness (Eph. 6:14). The Psalmist told us, “all thy commandments are righteousness” (Psa. 119:172). We are to have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15). If that is not the word of God, I am at a loss as to its meaning. The “shield of faith” (vs. 16) is more literally, “the shield of the faith,” which, of course, is the system of belief provided in God’s word, and specifically the New Testament (cf. Jude 3). We must “take the helmet of salvation” to protect our spiritual minds and hearts, “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). Each of these six items refer to the word of God, with all of its power and persuasive capability to defeat the enemy and comfort the child of God. Yes, the fight is on! It is left up to us as to whether or not we will engage the battle. It will take courage and the determination to remain faithful to the end. We dare not compromise, and to capitulate is not an option. Martin Luther King once said, “Crowd pressures have unconsciously conditioned our minds and feet to move to the rhythmic drumbeat of the status quo. Many voices and forces urge us to choose the path of least resistance, and bid us never to fight for an unpopular cause and never to be found in a minority of two or three.”

 

Should it be our lot to stand alone, or at best with the minority, and should the host of the armies of darkness assail us, we can be assured that in the final analysis, when all has been said and done, and we stand before the Captain of our army, we will hear the sweet words, “Enter thou into the joys prepared for you.” It will have been a well fought battle, and the victory shall be ours to enjoy for all eternity. The fight is on! “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

 

 

By Tom Wacaster

 

 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Baggage Claim tips

The Baggage Claim

 

Baggage.  What does that word bring to your mind?

 

To some, the word baggage will bring to mind suitcases and personal belongings of travelers.  To others, Webster’s third definition may be considered: “intangible things that get in the way.”  To all, baggage will likely be thought of as a heavy burden.

 

Jacob Hawk recently flew to Nashville, TN for a speaking engagement.  He experienced some difficulties in his airline travel.  “I was delayed on my first flight, arrived late on my last flight, and lost my bags in the process,” he reported. *

 

The airline placed his luggage on another plane, so he had to wait for a few hours at the baggage claim for his belongings to arrive.  As he waited, he contemplated on some lessons about life learned from the baggage claim.

 

One lesson that Hawk considered was that every person has some “baggage.”  “We have those ‘stories’ and ‘items’ we don’t want others to see.  Some ‘carry it’ daily.  Others ‘check it’ with Jesus (the much better option), but the baggage still exists.  And that baggage is OUR baggage.  No one else’s.  They can try to claim it, but it’s the wrong bag.  They have their own baggage to carry.”

 

Hawk also thought: “There may be similar ‘bags’ on the conveyer belt of life.  Maybe the same size.  Or the same shape.  But our baggage still is our baggage.  No one else can take it home with them.”

 

Baggage, despite the varying shapes, sizes, weights, and types, is burdensome to all… especially when it comes to the “baggage” of our mistakes, our sins.

 

But Hawk also considered the Good News (the Gospel): “Jesus gave His life for us so our baggage wouldn’t be charged against us.”  “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24 NIV).  “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28 NKJV).

 

Because Jesus died for our sins on the cross, we can be freed from the burden of sin and enter into eternal life in heaven (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).

 

God will take away the burden of sin and give eternal life to those who accept His offer on His terms by placing our faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to free us from the burden of sin as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

 

Your baggage is too heavy for you to keep carrying.  In fact, it will destroy you.  “Check” your baggage in to Jesus.  Allow Him to take your burden from you.  Then, you will be free to live for Him and you can look forward to your eternal destination in heaven.

 

Let Jesus take care of your baggage.  Won’t YOU?

 

-- David A. Sargent

 

* From “Baggage Claim” by Jacob Hawk in The Hawk’s Nest in Start2Finish.org, 8/13/17.

 

David A. Sargent

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alfred Angelo

Gracious

 

Alfred Angelo, a national bridal chain, abruptly closed around July 14, 2017, informing customers through their website and printed messages on closed storefront windows that the chain was filing bankruptcy.

 

Brides and their families who had not received their dresses panicked.  Many of them had already paid for the dresses and for needed alterations.

 

Rose Ellis, a seamstress in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was picking up dresses to alter at the Alfred Angelo store in Oklahoma City when she learned the news that the bridal chain was closing that very day.

 

Her first thoughts were focused on the brides who were counting on their dresses for their special days.  She felt she had to do something about the situation.  And she did.

 

Rose gathered around 60 dresses in the Oklahoma City store that had been paid for and needed alterations and brought them home with her.  Her goal was to complete the alterations, contact the owners of the dresses, and make sure the dresses fit properly – all at no additional charge.  She was determined to do this despite the fact that she would not be compensated by Alfred Angelo.

 

Stephanie Huey of Oklahoma City had her bridesmaids’ Alfred Angelo dresses at the OKC store awaiting alterations.  She was in a panic fearing that the dresses and her investment were irretrievable.  But Rose contacted Stephanie to inform her that she had her dresses and that she would complete the alterations at no charge.

 

Touched by her thoughtful generosity, Stephanie assisted Rose in contacting other brides-to-be in similar circumstances and arranged for a Holiday Inn Express in OKC to provide a space where Rose could fit the wedding gowns for the Alfred Angelo customers.

 

“I was just dumbfounded,” Stephanie said.  “I thought her good deed was just to bring the dresses back to everyone, but she was still doing all the alterations -- and for free.”

 

Stephanie and others whom Rose has assisted have opened a GoFundMe account to help defray her travel expenses and the cost of doing the alterations for free.  At the time of the writing of this article, almost $24,000 of the $30,000 goal has been raised. *

 

Doesn’t the word “gracious” describe Rose Ellis?

 

Her selfless actions also picture the grace that God extends to you and me.

 

When we were “bankrupt” due to our sins and destined for destruction, God still loved us.  He gave His Son to die on the cross for us so that we could be redeemed from sin and receive the gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).  He did this, not because we deserved it, but because He loves us (read Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Because of His love and grace, God will save those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 

Gracious, full of grace.  God is gracious.  He wants to save us – and He will, if we will only accept His offer on His terms.

 

Won’t YOU?

 

-- David A. Sargent

 

* Information gleaned from “Seamstress from abruptly closed bridal store reunites brides with wedding gowns” by Katie Kindelan of abcnews.go.com, posted July 27, 2017

 

David A. Sargent

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