Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Uttermost Part of the Earth

When I was a child, I was a member of an organization in our church called Royal Ambassadors.  We met every week and studied Scripture and learned about the lives of missionaries like William Carey, Adoniram Judson, David Livingston, and Lottie Moon.  We also learned about our responsibility to share the love of Christ with others.  One particular Bible verse that I remember learning was Acts 1:8. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (King James Version was all we had in those days.) When we learned that Scripture verse, the teacher explained to us that it meant that it was our responsibility to share the Good News to those in our town, in our state, in our country, and finally, to the "uttermost part of the earth." The first part of that challenge was pretty easy to understand, even for an eight-year-old boy, but how was I to share the Good News to the whole world?  I never dreamed that God would lead me into a ministry called Sermons4Kids that would allow me to do that very thing!

The first week of October 2015 I received an email from a Sunday School teacher in a small town near Nairobi, Kenya asking if Sermons4Kids could send him our Curriculum CDs.  This week, I received an email saying that the CDs had arrived and attached to the email were ten photos of children using the activity sheets and coloring pages that are included in our lessons.  What a thrill!  I did a search on Google and learned that it is 8,884 miles from Abilene, Texas to Nairobi, Kenya. There are probably places that are further from Abilene than that, but it sure seemed like "the uttermost part of the earth" to me.

Thank you, Father, for allowing me to have a part in sharing the Good News to children all over the world.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Rule to Live By

Everywhere we go there are rules.  We have rules at home, we have rules at school, even adults have to follow the rules where they work.  You must learn to follow the rules if you want to get along in this world.   I found a list of rules called "Golden Rules for Living."  I don't know who wrote these, but they make a lot of sense.

• If you open it—close it
• If you turn it on—turn it off.
• If you unlock it—lock it.
• If you move it—put it back.
• If it belongs to someone else—get permission to use it
• If you borrow it— return it.
• If you don't know how to operate it—leave it alone.
• If you use it—take care of it.
• If you break it—fix it.
• If you can't fix it—call someone who can.
• If you make a mess—clean it up.
• If it's none of your business—don't ask questions.

Those are pretty good rules, aren't they?  If all of us would follow those rules, the world would be a better place.  Living by a set of rules isn't anything new.  Even Jesus knew the importance of rules.  

One day Jesus was talking to his disciples.  He knew that the day was coming when he would return to heaven, and he was trying to prepare his disciples for the day when he would no longer be with them. He wanted to leave them with something that would help them to live in such a way that other people would see them and know that they were his disciples.

"I will be with you only a little while longer," Jesus said.  "Then you will look for me, but you won't find me because you cannot go where I am going.  I give you a new commandment.  You must love each other just as I have loved you.  If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples."

Would you like for people to look at the way you live and know that you are a follower of Jesus?  Well, then obey his command, "Love one another as I have loved you."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Remembrances of Christmases Past

All of us have a Christmas memory that holds a very special place in our heart. One of those for me took place in the small West Texas town of Pecos when I was in the sixth grade.

On that particular Christmas, my mom and dad had decided that it would be a waste of money to buy a Christmas tree since we were going to my grandmother's house for Christmas.

I wasn't too happy about it, but it wasn't too bad.  After all, in those days, every classroom at school had a full-sized Christmas tree which the children had the joy of decorating.  You probably remember the chains made of red and green links made from construction paper. Ornaments were cut-outs of bells, balls, stars, snowmen and other holiday items made by the students.  The best part was that the tree was covered with silver icicles.  Lots and lots of icicles. We thought it was a thing of real beauty!

When the time came for class to dismiss on the final day before our Christmas holiday, our teacher, Mrs. Stewart, stood up in front of the class and said, "Is there anyone who doesn't have a Christmas tree?" Faster than a speeding bullet, my hand shot up!  Since no one else raised their hand, Mrs. Stewart announced that I could have the tree if I wanted it.  If I wanted it? Of course I wanted it!

When school dismissed, I claimed my prize tree.  We only lived about three blocks from the school, so I walked home dragging my tree behind me.  When I reached home, my mom opened the front door and, with a surprised look on her face asked, "Where did you get that tree?"

"Mrs. Stewart asked our class if there was anyone who didn't have a tree and, since I was the only one who raised his hand, she said I could have  it!"

"Oh my!  I can't imagine what Mrs. Stewart must think of us!" my mother exclaimed.

I didn't understand why my mother wasn't as happy as I was about the tree, but one thing is for certain, we ALWAYS had a Christmas tree in the years to come...whether we were going to grandmother's house or not.