Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category
I recently received several comments on my blog from a careful and God-fearing Ultra Orthodox Jew. I was immediately moved with great respect for someone trying to please the Lord in a careless generation. I have many precious friends and acquaintances that strive to live as careful as this dear man. I only wish more did.
As a Charedi ( Ultra Orthodox) Jew I really enjoy reading your blog. Our parents and grandparents fought hard against TV and VCR and worldly customs of dress. It takes men with a burden and a love for the next generation to fight these things. We have taken a pretty strict stand on Internet I will present it here maybe some of you could benefit from it or add to it.
1. Parents with children attending our schools must sign a paper stating they have no Internet in the home.
2. In the office it must have an approved filter and it must be in public view.
3. Cell phone have no Internet or picture or video capacity.
I would enjoy your feedback on these topics.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I am thrilled to find others who unashamedly stand against the worldliness and sinfulness of our day. I appreciate your post very much.
Thank you for sharing these student requirements. I know longer pastor, but my pastor friends have conservative schools with similar requirements for their students and members. I think this is excellent.
Thank you for having a conscience that strives to be holy in an unholy world.
“I have never seen The Righteous forsaken nor His Seed begging for bread”. WE need to cry out against worldliness. Weep with me for the sin of the nation in which we reside. My heart breaks for the people. We are in the same situation as the Prophet Noah. We must stand against the evil of this time…. my heart bleeds.
Amen. I will weep with you and cry out aloud.
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
The long blue Pontiac sedan rolled smoothly down Highway 30 through the Indiana countryside. My father, Pastor Carl Ballestero was driving. I was his unofficial assistant and the two of us were going to a church anniversary service.
Most trips Daddy was known to be talkative, but sometimes, he was content to ride in silence. Today was one of those days that he chose not to talk much, if at all.
Knowing that he had to preach at this special service, I chose not to interrupt his thoughts, in case he was thinking about his sermon. I only spoke if I saw he was interested in talking.
I contented myself by looking out of the passenger’s side window at the farms and passing landscape. The silence was comfortable.
The car ride had been without a spoken word for more than a half hour. Then, as if from nowhere I heard Daddy say in a soft voice, “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”
Tears immediately sprang into my eyes, and the scenery became blurred. I never turned to looked at him. I didn’t want to interrupt or interfere with this sweet moment between him and the true love of his life.
I knew I was in the presence of godly man who truly loved The Lord with all of his heart. The Holy Ghost immediately filled that car, and I wept freely. I thanked God for His presence and His love, but I also thanked him for giving me a father who truly loved Him!
That moment nearly forty years ago has forever impacted my personal devotions. Every now and then I find myself riding along in the car or just setting at home and then seemingly out of nowhere, I will find myself saying… “Lord, have I told you lately that I love you?”
You know what? It still works! I always seem to feel God’s presence anew while tears flow down my cheeks just like they did that day.
Thank you Lord, for a Dad who set such a wonderful example before me. He unashamedly let me see how wonderful it was to fully love The Lord and openly show it!
What Are You Using For Bait?
What Are You Using For Bait? That’s the common question Fishermen ask of each other. They know that what you use for bait most of the time will determine what you catch.
If someone is fishing for Bass, their bait is normally different from someone who is fishing for catfish. What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
Corn Feeders or corn placed near deer stands are common in many states. However, no one has ever heard of a deer hunter using Jalapeno Peppers for deer bait. Corn attracts the deer not the chili peppers.
Every successful Trapper must know what baits attract which animals and bait their traps accordingly. What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
It is common knowledge among us, that cheese is a favorite bait to use in a mousetrap. When cheese is used, mice are caught. No one uses a carrot to bait a mouse trap.
Boys And Girls
If you don’t like the type of people you keep attracting, then maybe you need to check what you are using for bait.
What type of person are these guys trying to attract?
Do You Need To Change Your Bait To Catch Something Different, Or Better?
- Carnal people attract carnal people
- Worshippers attract worshippers
- Critical spirits find one another
- Godly people attract other godly people.
Preacher, You Get What You Preach
- If you preach Faith, you attract believers.
- If you preach the New Birth according to Acts 2:38 you attract those who want deliverance.
- If you preach Holiness… Holiness preaching attracts those who want to leave the world behind.
- If you preach Doctrine… you attract those who love the Word.
- If you preach Pop Psychology type sermons… you will attract those that only want to hear smooth things, while continuing to live like they always have.
- What is used for bait will determine what is caught.
Contemporary style worship attracts contemporary minds that, as a rule, resist older traditional Pentecostal style worship music. (Besides, there is little to no mention of sin or doctrine in most of the new songs.)
What Does Satan Use For Bait?
- The Desire To Get ‘High’?
- Half Truths?
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
The devil sets traps.
Now the big question! This is the most important one of all!
If You Wanted To Attract God, What Would You Use For Bait?
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
- He attracted the attention of God.
Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
Ask The Prodigal Son
- He was humble and repentant.
- He cried out for mercy.
- He desired to see Jesus and got above the crowd.
- God told them what to do to attract His Favor.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
She Wouldn’t Stop Talking About Her Old Love.
All she could talk about was her former love. She dreamed of him in heart every day and spoke aloud of her deep passion for him to the amazement of her startled listeners. After all she was a married woman. If she was so in love with a memory, then why get married to another?
Like an air-headed bride who was clueless that her remarks about her past love life would ever ruin her present relationship, she couldn’t stop talking, she just wouldn’t quit. Her husband’s heart hurt knowing that although she was married to him, she was still in love with her old love.
Some around her remembered her former lover and agreed, that he was all that she remembered. Yet others felt deeply saddened that the one she now lived with, and who loved her very much, had heard her thoughtless comments. They knew he would spend the rest of his life competing with her old flame.
Why would a bride openly talk of a past love? Was she trying to sabotage her marriage? Didn’t she know anything about how to behave in a relationship? Couldn’t she brag on her current her husband? Why did she only say sweet things about her former love, and nothing about her current husband? Something was horribly wrong with this picture. Everyone could see where things were headed.
Strangers shook their heads and wondered that she could be so bold as to publicly proclaim that she still carried a torch for her man of yesterday and brag on him in her new husband’s face.
Hers may not be a married relationship much longer if the groom grows weary of hearing her old lover’s name.
Many that heard her remarks, formed the opinion that she truly wasn’t in love with the one she was married to, or that she was so disappointed in her new marriage that she didn’t care what happened.
How could a bride be so stupid? Why would she tear down her own marriage? Why couldn’t she keep some of her pleasant memories buried in her heart and savor them privately, if she must. Why wasn’t she discreet? Why wasn’t she in love with the one who now loved her?
She was a married woman! If she couldn’t give all of her love to her husband, why did she bother to even get married?
Shamed husbands aren’t alone in their embarrassment and hurt. The Lord God also knows the pain of playing second fiddle to an air-headed love.
The Story Of Hosea- Gomer.
The Lord told the prophet Hosea to marry a woman who was a common prostitute. He wanted Him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful. He wanted Hosea to understand His heartache and pain in loving Israel, while they were still in love with Egypt.
Israel – Egypt
God loved Israel, yet Israel had other lovers. Not only did she remember her past loves, she too, like an air-headed bride wouldn’t quit talking about them, and God heard her.
He knew that no matter what He did for her, she would always be in love with another.
It was stupid of her to forget who was feeding her, fighting her battles and blessing her every day. She wasn’t interested in a relationship with Jehovah. She just wanted to be kept, while she remembered what she considered to be the good things about her past.
Israel had complained about Egypt while she lived there, but although Egypt was now ancient history, Israel seemed to forever talk about her memories.
Those memories caused her taste buds to drool over the most mundane of things. Israel actually cried real tears.
Numbers 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
It was like Israel regularly kept visiting the grave of her dead husband, decorating the site with fresh flowers and spending hours everyday weeping over what no longer was.
Israel Lusted After The Things Of Egypt.
She Quickly Forgot What Jehovah Was Doing for Her.
Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
Israel tempted the Lord ten times in the wilderness by lusting after the things in her past, and complaining about what she now had and didn’t have, until God sent fiery serpents among them.
They Were Too Clueless To Realize They Were Tempting God!
Today’s Generation Loves Pleasure More Than God
This is a pleasure driven society. The good news is that all pleasure is not bad. The bad news is, that one of the warning signs of the last days would be that men would love pleasure more than they loved God. We’re here!
2 Timothy 3:4 …lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
What do we speak of the most? Is it sports, recreation, entertainment, fine dining, video games, travel, or the Lord?
As the Bride of Christ, shouldn’t we understand about relationships? Shouldn’t we wake up to the realization that if we really want a relationship with the Jesus Christ…
- Maybe, just maybe He should be on our minds, and not the lusts of our flesh.
- Maybe, just maybe we should talk about Him more often, and not the world.
- Maybe, just maybe, we should be in love with Him, not the world.
- Maybe, just maybe we should talk about our love for Him and not about our love for the things of this world.
Do You Feel That You And Jesus Have A Good Relationship?
Then Why Mess Up?
There Is Nothing Worth Losing Your Soul Over!
If others hear you talk about the things of the world more than the things of God, your relationship with the Lord is certainly in trouble.
Take another look at what you have now. Don’t lose it. No one can go back to a memory, not ever.
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Your Husband Might Be Somewhat Understanding, But God Will Not Be.
He’s A Jealous God.
The Curse Of The Permissive Parent And Pastor
My critics might say that this blog post is written with a bad spirit, I pray not, but it if so, may the Lord forgive me. Please allow me to give an altar call of sorts.
My beloved wife and I may be senior citizens now, but we have learned a few things about raising a family throughout the years. We have been richly blessed of the Lord with five of the most wonderful children parents could ever pray to have. But, it’s the raising of them that requires the help of the Lord and wisdom of a Solomon.
I cannot take credit for the wisdom part, (My wife is blessed with good common sense.) but we both have been greatly helped by our dear parents, by the Lord and by His Word.
Parents have to learn when to say Yes, and when to say No. Sometimes, both words are hard to say.
A child that never hears the word No while growing up, will most likely have a difficult time saying No to themselves as an adult.
We all enjoy the cute personality displays in our children. We love their antics and brag on their accomplishments. It’s all part of being a parent.
But, no one likes to see a tantrum when a child doesn’t get his or her way. But, it does happen. It happens at home, in Wal-Mart, in the car and even at church.
Many times a parent must say No to their darling child for it’s own good. Those pleading eyes and their sweet-talking may melt your heart. Remember however, your sweet innocent little child has learned long ago how to work the family system and manipulate your emotions. Oh yes.
When we see a well-mannered teen or young adult, we know they didn’t become that way just by themselves. There was someone in their life that helped make and mold them into that young adult we admire.
What Type Of Children Do Permissive Parents Produce?
· Spoiled brats?
· Children that must always have their own way?
· Children that feel free to talk back to their parents?
· Undisciplined and disrespectful that will bring their parents shame?
Who in their right mind would want to be married to someone that carried that same spoiled brat attitude into their adult life?
Children who have been blessed with loving parents, who were not afraid to say No, receive the most compliments in life. Just saying.
Under the disguise of being merciful and loving, some have permitted the development of little monsters in their own home.
The Curse Of The Permissive Parent Is That Your Child Will Bring You Shame.
Seven Signs Your Kid Is A Brat
Pastors also have to learn when to say Yes, and when to say No. Sometimes, both words are hard to say.
Remember the story of Eli, a High Priest in the Bible? He was a nice guy, a real nice guy… just weak. He was so weak he couldn’t say, No.
He was a High Priest over Israel. Yet, he would not judge the sins of his own sons. The boys were a disgrace to their father. They brought shame and reproach upon him, upon Israel and they angered God so much, that He killed them.
Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas were priests, yet they showed great contempt for God’s Law and they openly sinned. No one dared cross them or complain. They made a great mockery in their execution of holy things in the Tabernacle.
KJV 1 Sam. 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.
ESV 1 Sam. 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.
Eli’s sons were guilty of great crimes, which brought destruction upon their father’s house. Their actions caused the Ark of God to be lost to the great enemy of Israel.
Phinehas died in battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 4: 4, 11); and his wife, on hearing of his death, gave birth to a son, whom she named Ichabod, saying, “The glory is departed from Israel” and then she died.
Upon hearing the news of the loss of the Ark in battle and the death of his sons, Eli fell from where he was sitting and broke his neck and died. Scripture says that Eli’s heart trembled for the Ark. That is very commendable. But why didn’t that same love for the Ark make him correct the sons that served the Ark with him?
A pastor that condones or excuses the sinfulness of his children will live long enough to regret the day he gave in to their pleas for permission to do wrong. As a pastor, you of all people should know that you really do not love your child when you:
- Supply them with money for their habits.
- Excuse their inability to keep a job even though they are married with children.
- Refuse to believe they could ever be guilty of wrongdoing.
- Excuse their prescription drug abuse.
- Always take their side against their spouse.
- Allow them on the platform while they are under the influence of a controlled substance to which they are addicted.
- Ignoring their drinking problem.
- Use them in leadership.
- Overlook their moral problems.
- Keep bailing them out of jail and sticking them behind the pulpit again.
- Allow their tempers and threats to cause good people to leave church.
- Have a different standard for the saint’s kids than for your own.
(Saints may not say anything to you, but they are not stupid. They see what is going on, but they keep on, as best they can, hoping you will correct the situation somehow.)
But If You Don’t…
You sir, have just become another Eli. God is not pleased with the shame you have allowed to be brought upon His house. It’s just a matter of time before the word Ichabod will be written again. Only this time, it will be written very close to you.
If you desire the glory of God to continue to bless and anoint the church you pastor. Take the oversight, reprove and rebuke with all long-suffering. Love what God loves, hate what God hates.
Under the disguise of being merciful and loving, some pastors have permitted the development of monsters.
The Curse Of The Permissive Pastor Is That Your Child Will Bring Shame Upon You And The House Of God.
I Promise You, The Glory Will Depart. Revival Will Not Stay.
The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown
Every child of God knows of a church member that appears to have shutdown. They no longer worship or pray as they did before. They’ve become unfaithful. A change has certainly taken place.
As a pastor and an evangelist, it has been my joy over the years to see people miraculously grow and develop in God. It has also been my heartache and frustration to see some self-destruct and lose their joy, their testimony, their good attitude and their hope of being used of God.
Watching the spiritual decline of a child of God is not an easy thing for one to see. Their choices of wrong friends become the first great influencing factor in their decline. The hearts and souls of their family, friends and the ministry, are made to ache.
“You can’t help those who don’t want help,” is a phrase quickly understood by friends, preachers and teachers. Parents are grieved, spouses are influenced, and children are almost always damaged as a result.
What is the cause? What happened to rob this person of their joy? What happened to rob this person of their respect for the things of God? What happened that would cause the flame of their spiritual fervor to go out?
I think the answer is found in the book of Psalms, Chapter One.
Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Please Notice This Persons Progression Toward A Spiritual Shutdown.
Most would refer to their spiritual life, as their ‘Walk With God.” Too often unassuming and impressionable souls have walked in the Counsel of the Ungodly.
- Who we listen to, always affects what happens to us.
- It’s not long before we become a product of who they are and what they say.
- The counsel of the ungodly will never bring anyone closer to God. Their advice will only bring devastation to spiritual progress.
- If we claim to be spiritually minded, why would we ever seek advice from the Ungodly?
- We must watch whom we walk with and whom we listen to.
2. Standing Still
If we listen to the advice of the Ungodly, then we quickly become the stumbling block that prevents sinners from finding God.
What started out as a Walk, has changed into a Standing still. We become a roadblock of sorts.
The Apostle Paul recognized the powerful influence of the wrong people in our lives. He confronted the issue directly in his letter to the Galatians.
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Paul made it very clear that it is the Who and not the What that gives us the biggest problems in living for God. People, more than Things bring negative influences into our thinking.
3. Sitting (With A Bad Attitude)
I promise you by all that’s holy, that by allowing our Walk to include the Counsel of the Ungodly, our Walk with God is brought to a standstill. What happens next is so sad. We won’t standstill for very long. We’ll soon find a place to sit down. This is the most grievous of the three positions.
If We Sit in The Seat Of The Scornful, We Will Soon Be:
- Critical Of The Church,
- Critical Of It’s Standards,
- Critical Of It’s Preachers
- Critical Of The Saints.
- A Hindrance To Revival.
- Without The Blessings Of God.
- Backslidden In Heart.
- A Negative Influence On All Those Around Us.
The Change Is Subtle At First, Then Very Obvious At The End.
Remember the young man who helped the Apostle Paul for a while? He is first listed as a Fellow laborer, or some one who worked shoulder to shoulder with Paul. In the next mention, he is referred to as an also ran… ‘and Demas.’ Lastly, Paul announces the absence of Demas. Demas had a spiritual shutdown.
1. Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. (Philemon 1:24)
2. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. (Colossians 4:14)
3. For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)
What Are The Chances Of Recovery From A Shutdown?
(How Many Do We Know That Have Changed From Sullen To Joyful?)
I Truly Pray That All Men And Women Will Be Able To Recover Themselves If They Want To!
Paul told Timothy how to deal with these people in the hope they would recognize and admit their wrong doings, and if they did, maybe, just maybe, God would give them repentance.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
God Promises Some Amazing Things Here:
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
1. If we will HUMBLE ourselves,
3. SEEK GOD’S FACE – (Which includes WORSHIP)
4. TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS
5. He will HEAR our prayer. (God will take us off ‘hold’ status and listen to us pray.)
6. He will FORGIVE OUR SINS
7. HEAL OUR LAND – (Bless our finances)
If You Have Experienced Spiritual Shutdown…
You Can Find Restoration And Once Again Experience The Joy Of The Lord!
Wikipedia notes that William James (1842-1910) is the first person known to mention the lack of ability to detect change. He noted this in his book written in 1890, Principles of Psychology.
Researcher John Grimes began to use actual photographs in 1996 in his change blindness studies.
“A study by Rensink, O’Regan, & Clarke demonstrated that change blindness can have an effect even if the eye was fixated on a scene. In this study, a picture was presented followed by a blank screen or “masking” stimulus, which was followed by the initial picture with a change. The masking stimulus almost acts like a saccadic movement of the eye which makes it significantly more difficult for individuals to detect the change. This was a critical contribution to change blindness research because it demonstrated that a change can remain unnoticed with the smallest disruptions.
Old men are known to fuss about change. Young men are known to laugh at the old men. I understand that. I too have been young, and now I am old.
There have been way too many who have refused to see or admit change in our churches today.
While some cannot see the change in what is ‘accepted’ and ‘permissible’ in Apostolic circles… a great many of us can.
If you are a Senior citizen that has been in church all your life, then you should know about:
Change that brings carnality to the forefront
Change that substituted rhythm, for worship
Change that is comfortable with programs instead of a move of the Holy Ghost
Change in what is now considered modest or holy
Change that wears form-fitting clothes
Change to the current acceptance of Hollywood
Change in attitude about faithful church attendance
Change in respect for the ministry
Change to not preaching against sin
Change in sermon content, from doctrine to pop psychology
Change in sermon content from including discipleship to outreach only
Change in attitudes about submission to the Word or to the man of God
Change to acceptance of organized sports
Change that is uncomfortable with services longer than an hour
Change to believing a prophet is only to prophesy blesses, healing and prosperity
Change that mocks the holiness minded
Change that loves jewelry and makeup
Change that doesn’t feel a need to pray all the way through
Change that is happy with change
My critics might suggest that I think that I am the only one that can see change. That’s not true. It’s just that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by saying that I see what I see. I truly believe there are some precious people who are not purposely trying to change the good to the bad. They are not maliciously trying to put light for dark. I am submitting that even good people just have a case of Change Blindness.
Change Blindness is alive and well in Pentecostal churches today. That truly scares me when I think about what the future could hold if Jesus tarries.
Remember the Homeland Security Slogan… If you see something, say something. I just did.
We Have A Situation Here!
This is a phrase no one likes to hear. It means, to most of us, that something has gone terribly wrong and must be fixed.
Those words have been spoken to military officers, politicians, policemen, firemen and even school officials. To NASA, those words meant a serious problem existed… as in ‘Houston, we have a problem!”
Businessmen have used the term when the company’s future was threatened. Actually, the phrase has also been used in many homes, as well.
When the phrase, “We have a situation here” is uttered, everyone goes into their damage control mode, and fight to avoid a disaster.
There is also another use of the word ‘situation’ that brings peace to the hearts of every born-again child of God.
Dictionary.com defines the varies usages of the word for us. There is more to this word, than just a description of one’s state of affairs or condition.
1. Manner of being situated; location or position with reference to environment: The situation of the house allowed for a beautiful view.
2. A place or locality.
3. Condition; case; plight: He is in a desperate situation.
4. The state of affairs; combination of circumstances: The present international situation is dangerous.
The first two usages describe a place or location, not a dangerous set of circumstances.
So, when you have heard the words, “We have a situation here!” Do not dismay, for indeed you do!
Ps 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
Mount Zion is a type of the church. Allow me to take this verse out of context and say that the church, God’s house, is beautiful for whatever our situation in life.
Personally? Church is my joy! What I need to handle any situation, I have always found in a good church service.
We Have A (Beautiful) Situation Here!
Ps 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.
The old preacher sat on a rock at the fork in the road. The many years of struggle showed on his face, and in the stoop of his shoulders. He watched as travelers passed him by.
Some of his preacher friends and acquaintances stopped a moment or two to chat before continuing their journey. Many came in groups, others by themselves, but they all walked down the road.
The children of his friends walked the road too, some of them walked with their parents, others walked alone.
Most everyone nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at him while continuing on their journey. A few stopped and sat on the rock beside him to visit for a while before walking on.
The old preacher noticed that a large number did not hesitate when they came to the fork in the road. They as if by some predetermination chose which path to walk.
There were those who paused and stared at the signposts, as if unsure. One or two fumbled for their map as if to verify which road would be best.
Those who still seemed unsure of which path to choose, changed from looking at the road signs, to looking at the other travellers. If by chance they happened to see a friend that looked like they knew what path to choose, they simply followed without further ado.
Every now and then one of the young travellers that stood reading the signposts turned to the old man for advice.
“Which fork in the road should I choose?” They asked.
The old preacher would look up at their sincere faces and without hesitation point in the direction that he knew was best. Some sneered, and walked down the other road anyway. Some followed his advice.
Occasionally travelers would return to the fork of the road to look at the signs again, as if to confirm their choice.
One young preacher who had walked down the wrong path quite a ways returned to the old man and began to chastise him.
“Why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you tell me that was the wrong path? Why didn’t you tell me how much I would lose if I walked down that path? Why didn’t you tell me I was in delusion to believe it was a better road? I thought you were a friend to my family, and me but you didn’t stop me and tell me which road to go! Why?
The old man didn’t get offended. He looked at the son of his friend, and then began.
“You know I love you, I love your father too. You know what road he walked down, but you felt comfortable in ignoring that fact because your friends and popular people have influenced you.
“I noticed you watching me as I pointed out the right way to others. You chose to ignore this old man’s advice.
“The reason I never told you personally which road to walk down is because you never wanted to know bad enough to ask. Maybe you didn’t want to hear the word, NO! I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want me to.
“If I had told you which path to choose without you asking, you would have taken that as an insult to your intelligence. You would have felt I was interfering in your business, so I held my peace as I held my breath.
“Those who ask for direction really want help. Those who don’t ask will soon need help. It’s a mistake of youth to reject the paths of their fathers in serving the Lord.
“You once believed your choices to always be accurate. Your delusion made it feel that it was God that was guiding you, now you have fear and regret because of your great losses. It’s the mercies of the Lord that you have returned to this point.
“The bad news is there are some things you will never regain. But, the final chapter has not been written. Remember hearing your father singing the song, “It’s Not the First Mile”?
“The real question my son, is now that you know which road is right, which one will you choose?”
With a thankful embrace and a sincere apology, the young man turned and walked back to the fork. This time he chose the one marked, “The Old Path.”