What’s It All About?

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.

 

Do not go around saying that the world owes you a living; it owes you nothing; it was here first. –Mark Twain

During a practice session a world-famous skier falls, injuring her skull and landing her in a hospital. She struggled to come out of a coma in I.C.U.

A 7-month old baby boy lies in perilous condition with a fever, earaches, and swollen eardrums. He suffers from the ravages of a common yet deadly bacterium.

A faithful follower of Christ suffers from mouth and tongue cancer for months and months, finally succumbing in an agonizing ordeal.

What is life all about? Is God fair?

Life is a struggle for most people, always has been, always will be. We are born, live, then perish and return to the dust from whence we came.

A little refresher course on life: God created mankind to worship and fellowship with Him, obey Him and love Him. Our disobedience in the Garden of Eden put the whammy on the obedience aspect. The bond was shattered. We were booted out of the Garden and sentenced with many curses.

The entire earth and everything living in it was afflicted. God knew all this would happen yet continued with His program formulated in the beginning, before any thing was created. He still loved us, desired fellowship with us, and wanted us to worship and love Him in return. He provided a way to restore mankind’s fellowship with Him and open up heaven’s realm as our spiritual resting place.

Therefore…”God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16

So we continue with the curses but have a conditional reprieve. Physically we shall live with pain, suffering, and evil things but have the option of spending our eternity in heaven or in hell. God gave us a way out– he came down from heaven in the form of a man and became like us. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, because no sin was found in Him. He was Messiah, Jesus Christ. He dwelt among us and preached the kingdom of God.

Mankind did not want to hear this and decided to kill Christ. He was sentenced to death as a blasphemer. He sacrificed his life on a wooden cross to pay the penalty for all mankind’s sins. He died and was buried according to the custom of the day. However, three days later He rose from the tomb and overcame the power of death. Thus, He opened the door to heaven to all those who believe that He died for their sins.

So, what is life all about? Life is about being born by the grace of God, living life by the grace of God, dying by the grace of God and spending eternity with Him in heaven . . .by His grace.

Is God fair? He is our Creator. He has made us from the dust of the earth. He has made us to fellowship with Him, love Him and dwell with Him. In order to dwell with Him someday throughout eternity, we must become like Him. Thus, life is a growing process for equipping us for heaven. Growing spiritually while down here on earth is not easy, but grow we must to be fit for heaven.

What happens to us if we are not fit for heaven? We are fit for hell, a decision we make ourselves. It’s called free will. We are free to make our own destiny. God offers us a pardon, a fair exchange for our sins. Jesus Christ is the redeeming factor, our ticket to heaven.

That is a fair exchange in my mind. But what about all the suffering we must go through? Everyone goes through suffering. Not a soul squeaks through life free of suffering. The sad part is– the souls who negate God’s pardon have all eternity to agonize with more suffering, for ever and ever and ever. I’ll take the chastening and guiding rod if that’s what it takes, because I know at the end of that road are the out-stretched arms of Jesus.

For ever and ever and ever. In Heaven.

Yes, God is fair. Ask Paul, John, Peter, James, Stephen, Luke, Matthew, Timothy, Mary, Martha, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Thaddeus, Simon, John the baptizer, Mark, Anna, Matthias, Lois, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas, Dorcas, Cornelius, Philemon, Barnabas, Lazarus, and trillions more.

“Therefore most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Cor. 12:9

Fading Away?

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(Photo from woundedtimes.blogspot.com)

 © Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed

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“It’s time for your shower, Mr. Tilden.”

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He rolled over, slowly realizing another day had arrived; the nightmares were over, for a while.

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“Hurry up, Mr. Tilden, there’s others waiting for their shower.”

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Mumbling, he hunched himself up and scooted over to his bedside chest of drawers. Pulling clean shorts and tee-shirt out of the middle one, he flicked them onto his bed. “Man, they look ragg’dy,” he mused. “When I get some money by, gotta git me some new ones.”

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The aroma of coffee and grease wafting in from the kitchen told him he’d soon be eating the same old breakfast fare he’d had for the last three years: scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, toast and coffee. “What I’d give for a ham omelet with the works or a heap pile of flat cakes with lots’ o’ butter and syrup and real sausages ‘n hash browns,” he reminisced. “Yep, that’d be one fine day. Yeah.”

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Throwing that thought into the trash bin, he pulled, pushed, dragged, and yanked his pajamas off and slapped his threadbare bathrobe over his shoulders and back. The aide would help him get it under his body so he’d be decent enough to go shower. Waiting for her return, he dismally looked at the photos of his kids sitting atop the chest of drawers.

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Thoughts came ripping out of his spirit.  “Man, I sure miss you guys! Can’t ya stop by and see the old man once in a while? I get so lonesome to see y’all. You could at least write once in a while.”

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“Well, good morning, Mr. Tilden, how are you today?” The aide had rushed in to get him “decent” for his shower. Disgruntled, he accepted the assistance then down the hallway they flew, the aide steering his wheelchair in the direction of the shower room.

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Since he had lost his legs in ‘Nam, he’d had one heck of a time getting used to needing help from anyone. His pride broke down eventually as he resigned himself to the truth of the matter. But it still gnawed on him and he hated feeling useless and unwanted. His health was failing him more and more every day.

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First it was his leg amputations, and then diabetes, eye infections, and just last week the doc put him on medication for his heart. He knew in his heart that his kids loved him but they were too busy with their own lives to visit as much as he’d like. If he could just get out of this nursing home and get back on his own, he would feel better in no time.

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“Nah, it ain’t in the cards. I’m jes’ worn out.”

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Memories carried him away to days when times were carefree and life was happy. He lived in his “thought world” to escape the reality that faced him as he awoke each morning. He dreaded the nights; they brought ghastly visions. The days were no better, only bringing the realization that he was ever so slowly dying, apart from family and friends.

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“I jes’ wanna go home. That’s all.”

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Dear sisters and brothers, this story is to remind you of our veterans this Veteran’s Day. How about honoring them with a sacrifice of our own? Remember those who have gone on ahead by honoring those veterans who still abide among us. Invest some time in a visit, a card, a phone call, maybe even a trip “outside” for them? They sacrificed their lives and livelihood so we could remain safe and free; now it’s our time to “report for duty.”


Let’s see to it our veterans are safe and living in healthy and well run facilities. Too many obstacles are facing them today: mold infested rooms, shoddy treatments, despicable and dangerous medical care and a horrendous lack of respect for the honor that is too long overdue. Check on the facilities in your area. Let your senators and representatives know that you are concerned about the care our veterans receive. We owe them that…and more. Our veterans need to know they are not alone and we shall never let them “just fade away.”

Never!

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Walk Softly

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© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved.

 

As I raise our flag this Memorial day,

That grand red, white and blue,

I think of all those who have died

To keep our country free and true.

~

Their precious blood spilt with nerve

Permeated the grains of sand-

Each blade of tall, green grass:

Walk softly on this sacred land.

~

The wind still resonates their cries.

Do you hear them calling out?

From sea to shining seas they sound

Over hills and dales they shout:

~

“Oh, say can you see

By the dawn’s early light,

The glorious red, white and blue?

It’s still there! It’s within sight!”

~

We hold deeply your sacred trust

To us and our followers too;

Your sacrifices were not in vain!

Our hearts pulsate with tributes to you!

I’m Broken

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...

Image via Wikipedia

Prayer for Forgiveness

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

and to heed than the fat of rams.  1 Samuel 15:22

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The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and a contrite heart–

These, O God, You will not despise.  Psalm 51:17