Can You ‘Save’ Me? [v105]

NOVEMBER 2007

CAN YOU ‘SAVE’ ME FROM ALL THIS?—I recently heard an old story about a tragic schoolhouse fire—with all of the children trapped inside. The men of the community quickly gathered to see what they could do—but the flames were too hot and they couldn’t get near the children.

A father saw the face of his son in those flames—and the boy saw his father. Their eyes met and the little boy screamed “Daddy! Daddy! Can’t you save me?!” But the flames were such that a few strong firemen held the father back and wouldn’t let him go in—because they knew he wouldn’t have a chance. The father had to stand there watching the flames engulf his son. Over and over again he heard his son cry out to him. “Daddy! Daddy! Can’t you save me?!” That father stood there and watched his son wither like a flower held in the flame of an acetylene torch.

The father didn’t live much more than two years after the tragic death of his son. Night and day he relived the tragedy and could ‘see’ the face of his darling son in the flames screaming “Daddy! Daddy! Can’t you save me?!” Even though he realized that he and everyone there were powerless to do anything about it, it still left him wondering if there was anything else that could have saved his son.

In the world we live in today, we look around us to the try to find the ‘answer’ that will make everything right. We look to ‘science’ to try to find the answer—and they respond that they can tell you a lot of facts like how far it is from the Earth to the Sun—but we don’t have any answers to save you from your pain.

We look to the culture for answers—and it says I can tell you how to dress for a party and hold your teacup just right—making everything ‘look’ good on the outside—even though on the inside you are ‘messy’.

We look to the business community, the stock market and its financial ‘instruments’ to help us, but they can only help us gather money—to leave it all behind—but they don’t know how to fill that ache in our heart.

We look to the philosophers for comfort but we find out that they tell us more and more about less and less—until you know everything about nothing.

Hollywood tries to ‘numb’ the pain with “entertainment,” but it doesn’t attack the problem’s source—our lost hearts.

Social engineers are trying to ‘save’ civilization from wreckage—but we should be looking at trying to save ourselves from the wreckage of civilization!

Each person’s lament has its own unique quality. No outsider can ever fully enter into it. I don’t claim to know or understand the full depth of the ‘pain’ that you may be personally struggling with. But I do know this: Everyone will suffer with some form of lament—no one is exempt—and no matter what it is, it feels like a hole has been torn in your soul that cannot be mended.

When we are confronted with a loss, many times we feel unnerved and paralyzed by the pain. It’s pretty hard for us to view this as an opportunity for positive change—but it is. We need to face the unsettling reality that change and loss are inevitably linked, and that they are unavoidable. (If you would like to investigate the Bible’s view of suffering, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q5_d1_1of10.html )

Much of the struggle we face in dealing with a loss centers on the choice to change. Loss and pain will make us either bitter or better. Character is forged in the crucible of grief and loss. What or who is at the ‘center’ of your life—the ‘foundation’ that will never be shaken.

The Bible states a tangible expression of the depth of God’s love for mankind is seen in the incarnation and sacrifice of His Son: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” [John 3:17]. God calls on us to use even the painful circumstances of our lives to deepen our reliance on Him. It is against the backdrop of the darkness of painful losses that the goodness of God is revealed and experienced in ways we otherwise would never know.

One doesn’t have to look the world over for the answer—it is gloriously “simple” and simply glorious—just ask Jesus to come into your ‘heart’ and SAVE YOU. That’s it! It’s not complicated—and it’s available to anyone, anywhere, anytime!  (If you would like to know how do you grow closer to God in the here and now, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d1_1of10.html )

If you are experiencing lament or loss, ask Jesus to help you accept this reality—and rejoice in what you cannot lose—eternal salvation through belief in His saving work. He understands and shares your grief—He lived and experienced it. His love and His presence can be with you as you walk through the ‘valley’.

One of the most painful experiences in life is to lose what we highly value—especially a family member. That is precisely what happened to God. The people whom He made in His image have become ‘lost’ through sin. We all can change that “powerless” feeling the father felt for his son—death does not have the final say—with a belief in Jesus Christ.

The Bible says a great day is coming when God will forever vanquish all loss and lament. A glorious day of restoration when our relationship with God and our relationships with others who have died in Christ will all be perfectly restored. Never again will we have to be distraught or grieve a loss—we will have ‘the’ answer.

[Excerpts from: Michael Youssef; Tim Jackson]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v105) for NOVEMBER 2007

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Thanks to:
Bill Bishop
Dennis Psyz

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A SPECIAL MESSAGE
An elderly man stepped up to the lectern and told this story:

“A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the pacific coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued, “grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life:

To which boy he would throw the other end of the lifeline.

He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.

“As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’ he threw out the life line to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night.

His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth.

“The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend.

How great is the love of god that he should do the same for us.

Our heavenly father sacrificed his only begotten son that we could be saved.

“I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side.

“That was a nice story,” politely stated one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for god to give up his son for me. You see—I was that father and your pastor is my son’s friend.”   [Received from Bill Bishop]

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BRICKLAYERS LAMENT
Dear Sir I write this note to you to tell you of my plight,
For at the time of writing it, I’m not a pretty sight,
My body is all black & blue, my face a deathly grey,
And I write this note to say why I am not at work today.

While working on the 14th floor some bricks I had to clear,
But tossing them down from such a height, was not a good idea,
The foreman wasn’t very pleased, he is an awkward sod,
And he said I had to cart them down the ladders in me hod.

Well clearing all these bricks by hand, it was so very slow,
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below.
But in me haste to do the job, I was too blind to see,
That a barrel full of building bricks was heavier than me.

And so when I untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead,
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead.
I shot up like a rocket, and to my dismay I found
That halfway up I met the bloody barrel coming down.

Well, the barrel broke me shoulder as to the ground it sped,
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with me head.
But I clung on tightly, numb with shock, from this almighty blow,
While the barrel spilled out half its bricks some fourteen floors below.

Now when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor,
I then outweighed the barrel & so started down once more.
But I clung on tightly to the rope, me body wracked with pain,
And halfway down I met the bloody barrel once again.

The force of this collision halfway down the office block,
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty case of shock,
But I clung on tightly to the rope as I fell towards the ground,
And I landed on the broken bricks the barrel had scattered round.

Well as I lay there on the floor I thought I’d passed the worst,
But the barrel hit the pulley wheel & then the bottom burst.
A shower of bricks rained down on me; I didn’t have a hope.
As I lay there bleeding on the ground I let go the bloody rope.

The barrel now being heavier, it started down once more.
It landed right across me as I lay there on the floor.
It broke three ribs and my left arm, and I can only say,
“I hope you’ll understand why I am not at work today.”

Click the following link to hear the song performed by the Irish band “Blackthorn”

*****************************
LIFE
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have.

As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

Our baby cribs were painted with bright colored lead-based paint. We often chewed on the crib, ingesting the paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.

We played Dodgeball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda, but we were never over weight; we were always outside playing.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.

That generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all!!!

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”  [Received from Dennis Pysz]

*****************************
Tears are the material out of which heaven weaves its brightest rainbow. [F. B. Meyer]

*****************************
DAN RICHARDSON MEMORIAL
Cancer is limited…
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot kill a friendship,
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the spirit,
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection
[Charles R. Swindoll]

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The hands on the clock move because they can’t help it. The power within constrains them.
[D. L. Moody]

*****************************
IS YOUR HUT BURNING?
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of Driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.  “God, how could you do this to me!” he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers.

“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.  Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground— it just may be a smoke signal that summons grace of God.

*****************************
SORROW, THE TEACHER
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But she left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! the things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.
[Robert Hamilton]

*****************************
Blessed to us is the night, for it reveals the stars.

*****************************
SORROWS IN PERSPECTIVE
Sorrows are often like clouds, which though black when they are passing over us, when they are past become as if they were the garments of God thrown off in purple and gold along the sky.  [Henry Ward Beecher]

*****************************
Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.
[John Henry Newman]

*****************************
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played.
He never risked, he never tired
He never sang or prayed.

And when one day he passed away
His insurance was denied
For since he never really lived
They claimed he never died.

*****************************
So, what motivation would any of us have—if salvation is a free gift with no strings attached—to go on from this point and live a good life with the threat of damnation now completely removed?

Although we can’t pay for this gift, we can try to express our gratitude. We owed a debt we couldn’t pay and He paid a debt He didn’t owe. So, through the way we live our lives can be the expression of our gratitude—the real meaning for the coming holiday that was begun by the Pilgrims over 380 years ago. When they arrived on these shores, William Bradford wrote, “Being thus arrived at a good harbor, and brought safely to land, they fell on their knees and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from the perils and miseries thereof.”
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d4_1of10.html

*****************************
DEEP THOUGHT:
There is a line found in the Jewish Talmud that says, “Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world, all he possessed has slipped away.”

*****************************
*****************************
************** REMINDER ****************

Do you have any CHRISTMAS ITEMS
(Trees; Lights; Ornaments; Wreaths; etc.) that you no
longer use?

I am starting to collect donations of QUALITY decorations
that I will sell at Faith Covenant’s annual St. Lucia
“Christmas Store,” with 100% OF THE PROCEEDS
going to ANGEL TREE (They provide presents, clothing,
and food to children whose mom or dad is incarcerated—
their 25th anniversary doing so!).
[ More info: http://www.angeltree.org/ ].

So, let me encourage you to get your Christmas ‘stuff’ out
early this year to find out if you have some things to donate.
(Also, mention this to your friends, family and neighbors—
they may want to help, too).

The DROP-DEAD DATE that I need the items is 28 NOV 07—
but earlier would be very helpful!

Give me a call if you have something, and I will be happy
to come by and pick it up (even big stuff like trees—
I have a Caravan).

Thanks,

*****************************************
*****************************************

Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  [Revelation 21:4]

Mark

*****************************
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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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