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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Next Booklet is Ready

        Our booklet "More to Think About (Good for You)" is ready.  It's the 84th booklet, a collection of some articles and poems to encourage you.  Find the list of booklets on the right hand side of this page. Remember, each of our booklets is FREE.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

God's Grading System

Does God give tests?  Yes.  Testing will surely come.  Everyone will be tested.  

Will there be multiple choice tests?  Life is full of multiple choices.  There may be several wrong choices; there will always be one right one.
  
Is the Final going to be true/false?  No.  There’s no final test.  You will not have to recite the names of the books of the Bible, or recall any other facts.

So there are different tests? There is one Standardized test which applies to everyone;  and there are lots of Individualized tests which are personalized just for you.

What is this One Big Standardized test?  God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die for us, which takes away our failures and deficiencies. To decide to accept Him or not, that is the Biggest Test of all.  The sooner you pass that one, the better. 

Does what I do count?  There’s this deep-seated notion that Someone is watching and cares what we do.  People hope the good stuff counts.  They fervently hope that the bad stuff they do doesn’t get noticed at all.  Yes, what you do does count. 

Can I get extra credit? Good things you do help mold your character.  Even if others don’t notice what you do, God does. 

What about homework?  God does have homework for us!  Home is one of the most important locations in life.  Here is where we can learn patience, perseverance, goodness, and love.  Here is where we demonstrate our abilities.  

Are make-ups allowed?  After your days are up you will die and there is no second chance then.  To fail now is to miss out forever. 

Does God grade on the curve?  No.  He doesn’t compare you with anyone else.  There are definite consequences for ignoring and disobeying God. 

Will I graduate?  God wants every person in the world to “graduate” to Heaven after they’ve finished their lives on earth.  Heaven is better than a diploma. 

How am I doing, so far?  You have already either “passed” or “failed,” depending on whether or not you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior.  Passing is not a matter of effort or achievement—it is your response of faith. After that, you can work to gain honors, and in fact, God Himself will help you do it.  He will give you a personal trainer, the Holy Spirit. 

Can’t I just do it my way?  He’s God and we’re not, so we do it His way. 

Is there a text book? Good question.  God does have a Book.  The Bible is totally unique.   Reading the Bible will definitely help.

What if I have more questions?  Good question.  Ask Him.  This is called prayer.  “Ask and it will be given to you.”   

* * *
by Elaine Hardt ©1996 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

God's 24 Hour Coffee House

     I hadn’t realized that God owned a coffee house on the corner of Wind’s Song and Life’s Way.    
     I’d been trudging along, head down against a strong, cold wind, hoping to make better time along Life’s Way when twinkling lights ahead caught my attention.  I hurried my pace and soon found myself at the door.  As I stepped on the welcome mat the door opened automatically, and I saw inside the cozy shop.  Small round tables and several comfy couches lined the room.  Customers chatted in congenial tones.  
     A blue-aproned barista behind the counter welcomed me with a nod and a grin, then he turned to finish serving a man.  I scanned the long menu, amazed at the variety.  There were coffee drinks hot or cold, tea of all flavors, sodas, and bottled water.  A small case displayed a dozen kinds of muffins and bagels. 
     “So this is God’s Coffee House?” I began. “And you are— let me guess— Jesus?”
     “Oh, no,” the barista smiled, “Just call me Mario.”
     “Boss isn’t in today?” I persisted. 
     “Can I fix you something while we satisfy your curiosity?”
     “I’ll try a blended Roma.  I was in Rome once, and it did pique my curiosity.”
     I looked around while the machinery whirred.  Three walls of deep maroon contrasted with one wall of old gold.  Lace window swags were maroon.  The floor covering looked to be a polished warm brown.  Even though I clearly recall the room it’s difficult to describe. The atmosphere exuded comfort. 
     Finally I was aware of Mario speaking, “Here you are.”  
     In a tall goblet my drink was crowned with whipped cream, and my name was spelled out in cursive with caramel syrup on top. Impressive. 
     “And what do I owe?”
     “Nothing today.”
     Mario took in my stare with an easy-going attitude.  He was tall, dark-haired with one of those now-popular short beards.  Clad in knee length jeans, he wore a faded blue “OshKosh” T-shirt.   There at the counter we conversed casually, as if I were his only concern at that time.  
     “I’ll have to say,” I remember telling him, “this is a most unusual place.  Not like the World’s Mall I passed earlier on the highway.  From the marquee I could tell that it caters to the pleasure-seekers who seek only amusement and diversion.”
     “And, my friend, I can sense that you are purpose-driven, not like the careless crowd.”
     “Ah, but I have to admit I complained as I struggled through the downpour this morning.  Questions started pounding in my head, and only my sheer determination kept me going.”
     “So, let me be the one to assure you.  Determination, while admirable, has its limitations.  God didn’t expect you to invent either Life’s Destination or Life’s Success.”

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bravely They Serve, Faithfully We Remember

On Memorial Day we honor veterans who died.
On Veterans Day we honor those who are still alive.

There could be more time for recognition, celebration,
More time given for our thoughtful consideration;
Let us pray for these brave women and men
Who give their lives In the service of our nation.
Yes, fly the flag, watch what we say,
And for their families, we also pray.
And pray for our leaders to do what is right,
Turn from sin’s darkness towards the light.

We, should bravely serve each other, too.
The LORD has a blessing for me and for you.

by Elaine Hardt ©2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Home-Going Song

        The Sons of the Pioneers singing an old song, "The Last Round-up" caught my attention.  Such harmony, such touching words.  Hearing it again it sparked my interest in "fixing" the song to a new version. I call mine, "The Home-Going Song." 
         Here's the original:  “The Last Round-up” by Billy Hill.  
Listen to the Sons of the Pioneers:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXILeWGurBg  
Read his words here: http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/thelastroundup.shtml

I’m heading for my Home going,
I’m living my life with Jesus by my side;
He’s brought me through, and His love is true, 
I’m heading for my Home-going.

Keep going on for it won’t be so very long,
Keep going on for it won’t be so very long.

I’m heading for my Heavenly Home!
I can make it, empowered by the LORD;
I talk to Him daily and I read His Word,
I’m heading for my Home-going.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

See If This Works for You, Too

Haven’t seen this old friend of mine
For such a very long time.
There’s a solution for this
I’m sure you don’t want to miss!
All you do is run to the store
To grab a few things, nothing more.
You’re wearing some pathetic old clothes
And who do you see?  Goodness knows!
He (she) recognizes you, oh my!
And chats before he says, “Good bye.”

So, what a new thought, this remedy!
You decide who you would want to see.
Of course, you’ll greet everyone with a smile,  
"The LORD bless all of you,  all the while!" 

by Elaine Hardt ©2016

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Worry? Fuss? Neglect? What YOU Can Do

        Today some bad news comes on the TV news or on social media or some Internet news site? Or, in the neighborhood or downtown?
        Are you accepting complacency?  Choosing to overlook problems?  That aggravation or that problem could be the nudge for you to try a new approach.  Don’t let yourself be buried under a negative snow slide of massive calamity.  
        Maybe there’s no easy way out, no quick fix?  So, go sit in the rocking chair?  What is a considerate person supposed to do?  Quit caring about anybody else? 
        For the careful, concerned person there is something that’s not complicated, not confusing, not time-consuming that you can do.  You don’t need to neglect what YOU can do. Shed your anxiety and save lots of time by not worrying. 
        Right there and then . . .