Archive for the ‘Love’ Category
Happy Birthday Marisa Ballestero – Hartzell
From the very first moment I laid eyes on you and held you in my arms, I was smitten! A daddy will cherish baby moments like those forever. I have.
I enjoyed holding you in my arms, and selfishly wanted those baby moments to never end. You were absolutely gorgeous then, and if possible, even more now!
No father could be more proud of his daughter than I am of mine. Your beauty and grace became legendary in your youth. You are the word ‘Hospitality’ wrapped up in a lovely dress.
Your creative talents and abilities never cease to amaze everyone that knows you. Especially me! You excel at everything you attempt. You have never stopped making your old dad proud!
I know for a fact too, that you are the Second Best Cook in the world. (You already know about your Mom. J)
How blessed your husband and children are! How blessed your Mom and I are!
- I watch you sing and worship in church with all your heart and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I look at you living modestly in an immodest world, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I see how tender and loving you are with your family and friends, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I see the wonderful things you do as a mother and homemaker, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- When there is fun and laughter in the building, I hear your voice in the middle of the festivities, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- I know how loving, faithful, supportive, and complimentary you are to your husband, and I thank God you’re my girl.
- Every time I pick up the phone and hear your sweet voice saying, “I love you Daddy!” I thank God you’re my girl!
I love You Marisa!
Have The Happiest Of Birthdays
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.
Shouldn’t Porn Viewers Be Called Adulterers Too?
God chose to create a helpmate that would be most desirable in the eyes of Adam. He succeeded and did a perfect job in the creation of Eve.
The plan was for man and woman to live together in a bond that was secure from sensual influences outside of the sanctity of their marriage. They each were given power over the others emotions and senses.
1Cor 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
When we step out of the safety of our house to go to work, for example, we no doubt will soon see someone of the opposite gender. For most men, it is a non-event that is completely ignored. No untoward stimuli is involved in their public observations.
For others, the looking is what triggers a chain of events that makes them vulnerable for a horrible downfall. They ogle and allow their mind and their thoughts to join in creating an ungodly fantasy.
When Jesus told His hearers, that when a man looked longingly upon a woman other than his wife, he was guilty of adultery in his heart.
Matt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Unlike our generation, no one listening to the sermon Jesus preached that day ever heard of the word porn or pornography. They understood clearly though that improperly looking upon a woman was not pleasing to God.
Hotel staff members tell me their highest room porn rentals of the year (on the room’s TV) is during men’s conferences and youth conferences. God help!
Today, with all the promotion of books, magazines and the Internet, experiencing adultery in the heart, is at an all time high… even in the privacy of your own home.
If what Jesus said is applied to the current porn industry, then it is possible to never see the ‘actress’ live and in real life, and yet watch her online and be guilty of adultery in your heart.
Why is it that those who are known to view pornography are not called adulterers? Isn’t that what they are?
If porn viewers are guilty of adultery, then they need to repent for that. Sir, please carefully guard yourself, your home, your relationship with your wife, and your eternal future. It quickly becomes an addiction that may possibly lead to, or accompany your moral failure.
Repentance (confessing) is the first step. Is the spirit of adultery in your heart? It doesn’t have to stay there. Forsaking is the next step you must take. Then, thirdly, I recommend a good old-fashioned praying through! Accountability will help keep you and your wife safe.
- The Repentance,
- Forsaking and a
- Renewing of the Holy Ghost is imperative!
- Make yourself accountable.
The Psalmist prayed, ‘Create in me a clean heart.’ That should be the prayer of every man who desires to make heaven his home, and his home a heaven.
Now, get up from your computer and go spend some time showing attention to that beautiful bride you pledged your ‘I Do’ to!!
You Won’t Be Sorry!
The Day I Obtained The Favor Of God
I have precious family members and the dearest of friends whose lives have been greatly pained by a marriage that went bad. I hurt for them and have cried for them and with them. None of us knows when we select a mate, what the future holds. Anyone can choose to go wrong.
Those of us who have loving and faithful spouses sometimes fail to appreciate how good we really have it!
So, I do not write today in an arrogant or boastful manner, nor do I mean to be hurtful to anyone, let alone disrespectful.
I simply write as one who is abundantly thankful to have found a girl who loves God with all of her heart, and who loves me more than words can tell!
So, Let Me Tell You How I Feel About My Marriage!
I feel the day I obtained the ‘favor’ of God was on a Saturday. The weather was perfect, and it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon August 14, 1965. This truly was, and has remained, the most wonderful day in my life! (Besides receiving the Holy Ghost.)
That Was The Day God Gave Me The Best Helpmate In The World!
She Just Happened To Be The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Too!
KJV Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Vine’s Words: ‘Favour’
Ratson, raw-tsone’; from (ratsah); delight (especially as shown) :- (be) acceptable (-ance, -ed), delight, desire, favour, (good) pleasure.
Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
MSG Proverbs 18:22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of GOD!
NLT Proverbs 18:22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.
TLB Proverbs 18:22 The man who finds a wife finds a good thing; she is a blessing to him from the Lord.
Not only Did I Obtain The Favor Of God (KJV) On August 14, 1965…
- I also found a treasure! (The MSG)
- I also found a good spouse! (NLT)
- I also found a good life! (NLT)
- I also received a blessing from the Lord! (TLB)
Matthew Henry Commentary and others are careful to point out the ‘good wife’ part of the passage. In a day when about half of marriages become dissolved, I am blessed to still enjoy the love of my life. Mine, is a ‘good wife.’
Matthew Henry Commentary Proverbs 18:22
1. A good wife is a great blessing to a man. He that finds a wife…that is, a good wife indeed, a jewel of great value, a rare jewel; he has found that which will not only contribute more than any thing to his comfort in this life, but will forward him in the way to heaven.
2. God is to be acknowledged in it with thankfulness; it is a token of his favour, and a happy pledge of further favours; it is a sign that God delights in a man to do him good and has mercy in store for him; for this, therefore, God must be sought unto.
Barnes’ Notes on Proverbs 18:22
The sense seems to require, “Whoso findeth a good wife,” as in some Chaldee manuscripts; but the proverb writer may be looking at marriage in its ideal aspect, and sees in every such union the hands of God joining together man and woman for their mutual good.
This Groom Is Singing The Weddings First Song, To God. “I Want To Thank You.”
Like Me, This Groom Is Indeed Thankful For His Wife.
Happy Valentines Day To Marcia Starr Ballestero, My Life Long Love!
Your consecrated walk with God has brought to our home and to me the blessings and the favor of the Lord.
I will never be able to thank you enough for the great gift you are to me and our children, and our children’s children! You my Dear are the BEST!
I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU!
“I’m Going To Run Away From Home!”
That’s what I told my mom. I looked at her face and she didn’t seem to be overly shaken by the news, which
was a good thing for me. So I relaxed a bit. I had already handled the hardest part. I’d made my big announcement. She smiled understandingly at me, as she touched my shoulder.
“Would you like me to help you pack your suitcase?” She asked, still smiling pleasantly.
My seven-year old brain didn’t pick up on the fact that she wasn’t overly shaken or alarmed by my desire to go, and was asking to help me pack.
I quickly accepted her assistance, because I had never packed a suitcase before. Mama was good at packing and always making sure I had everything I needed for trips.
I watched as she put my clothes in the little suitcase. There were enough changes to maybe get me through a whole week, which was good. She made sure my little Bible and toothbrush were also packed in the suitcase. There wasn’t any room left for my brown teddy bear. I felt a major twinge about that. I hadn’t planned on being that alone.
Mama and I took a final look around my room looking for anything else I might need to take with me. Finding nothing, she closed the lid and handed me the small suitcase.
I stood there a little uncertain about how my goodbye should be handled. Our family was a kissy and huggy kind of family.
Should I kiss and hug her good-bye, or should I just say, “Bye” and leave? I was unsure. Before I had time to figure it out, mama made the decision for me.
“Honey, put down your suitcase right there, because I would like to take you on a tour of the house before you go.”
I sat the suitcase down and followed behind mama as she walked down the hall toward her bedroom. She stopped in the doorway as I joined her, and we both looked into her modestly furnished room.
“Since you are never going to get to see this room again, I thought you might want to see for the last time, where your mommy and daddy sleep at night. This is where you came every night to say your bedtime prayers and get your good night kisses.
“It’s also where you came every morning to get hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy. But, since you’re leaving you’ve probably outgrown all that now, so you won’t have to come back here any more, but I wanted you to see it.”
I took a big gulp. I didn’t want to cry now. I hadn’t expected a tour of any kind. I’d just wanted to runaway.
She then took my hand and guided me to my sister’s bedroom.
“This is where Beverly and your little sister Carlene sleep, take a good look, you’ll never get to see your sisters again. (Beverly was almost six and Carlene was two.)
Mama then guided me by my bedroom and I looked at my teddy bear proudly sitting on my bed. I felt a big twinge.
The tour continued into the kitchen. Mama took great pains to explain to me that this was where she fixed my favorite meals. She also pointed out where I used to stand and talk to her, as she cooked.
“Here is where I made your pancakes, and cooked your favorite meals. In here is where I baked you cookies, pies, cakes and your favorite orange crusted biscuits!” She said as she pointed at the oven.
“You probably won’t be having any biscuits, cookies or pancakes where you’re going. You don’t know how to make those, and you don’t even have anything to make them with, if you did. So take a good look around.”
I hadn’t thought about never having biscuits, cookies or pancakes again. There were some things about running away I evidently hadn’t thought out completely. I got very serious.
We then walked into the dining room and stopped at the foot of the table where I always sat.
“Here is your place at the table, son. It’s going to look awful empty without you in it!”
She let that sink in a moment before we moved on. She pointed at the chairs.
“Here is where your daddy always sits, and here is where Beverly sits, and Carlene sits here, and I always sit over there. Take a good look, Honey, because you won’t ever get to see this table, or eat with us any more.”
I began to feel more alone than I had planned. Mama walked toward the living room, and I joined her looking at the couch and easy chairs.
“Over here is your daddy’s chair. That’s where he always sits during family devotions when he reads us a chapter from the Bible or reads from The Bible Story Book.
“Here is where I always sit, and there is where Beverly and Carlene sit, and over there is where you always sit.
Mama placed her arm around me as we stood side by side looking the room over.
“Well honey, I think that about concludes the tour of our home. I know you won’t ever get to see it again, because you won’t be coming back. But I want you to know and I want you to always remember how much you mommy and daddy love you.
Never forget how much your little sisters love you too. We are going to miss you every day. You will always be welcome here, because we will always love you.”
Then without a lengthy delay she continued her goodbyes.
“Oh, one more thing, I know I’ve shown you all through the house for the last time, but why don’t you kneel down with mama where we always pray for our family devotions and tell Jesus goodbye.
“You probably won’t be talking to Him anymore either.”
Tell Jesus goodbye? That thought shocked me childish mind. I hadn’t planned on telling Jesus goodbye. All I thought I wanted to do was runaway from home.
Without waiting for me to give any verbal response, mama knelt down at the old sofa and began to pray as only my mama could pray.
Mama was one of those precious Holy Ghost filled mama’s that prayed them heart-felt and spirit filled prayers. She never prayed very long without everyone around her knowing she had touched something pretty wonderful in the glory world.
She began to pray fervently, crying quickly and speaking in tongues. This was how mama always prayed, but today’s prayer and her crying took on new meaning for me as I knelt there beside her.
I listened to her crying, and I felt sure I had made my mama cry because I was running away. I listened to her pray and speak in tongues and knew she was surely talking to Jesus.
I had only been on my knees less than two or three minutes when I began to cry. I placed my arm around my mama and pulled myself close to her.
“Mama, I am so sorry for wanting to run away. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to stay home with you.
Please forgive me, mama. I love you. I promise, I will never leave you. I won’t even get married, or nothing. I’m just going to stay with you!”
She slipped her arm around me, and hugged me tightly as she gave me a sweet kiss. And then she went back to finish her prayer time with the Lord.
By chance have you been thinking lately about running away from Home?
- Have you been considering leaving the Father’s House?
- Have you?
Well, before you go, please, please permit me to take you on a tour of the church you’ve been part of for so long.
I want you look with me again at the place where the plan of salvation was first preached to you. I am pointing at the pulpit.
Remember feeling like you had sinned so bad that God would never forgive you? Can you hear your pastor’s voice once again saying that there was no sin you had ever committed that Jesus wouldn’t forgive you of? Remember him trying to give you hope? He was trying to tell you that God loved you no matter what.
I’m sure you remember him saying that you needed to believe in God’s promise, repent of your sins, be baptized in Jesus name, and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues. Just like they did on the day of Pentecost.
Please look right over here at the altar where you first knelt down and repented of your sins. Remember how you felt when you felt you repented that night?
Now, I want you to come with me over to the baptistery and look into the place where your sins got washed away in Jesus name! Remember how clean you felt and how wonderful that experience was?
Then, when you came up out of the water you lifted your hands and God filled you with the Holy Ghost. You spoke in a language you’d never spoken in before! Take a look at this place again and ask your self if the world has anything that matches that.
Oh, see that aisle right there? Remember all the times you shouted, and danced for joy down those aisles?
Remember the night you came up to the front and stood right there in a healing line and God healed you instantly of cancer? The world can’t offer you that.
Look over there at the third pew where you’ve sat all these years. Remember that Sunday night you stood and testified about God healing you? Remember that?
Come over here to this door, look in here. This is the prayer room you always went to before service each night. You fought a lot of battles and won a lot of victories kneeling right there.
Please walk with me down this hall. Here is the Pastor’s office. He sure loves you. Think of the many times he’s given you counsel, direction and encouragement.
I know you’ll never forget how he would pray with you, and for you, before you left the room. I hope you can remember what that was like, because you won’t have anything like that anymore.
Now, we need to come back out into the auditorium and look it over real slow. Let the faces of each one come to mind as you look at where they sat during service. They loved you. They rejoiced and shouted the night you got saved. Those dear people will pray for you daily, when they realize you are gone. They will never give up on you.
Never forget how much you are loved here. We are going to miss you everyday. Don’t ever forget that the Lord truly loves you and gave His all for you!
Well, that pretty much concludes our little tour.
Aw, before you go, why don’t you kneel with me right here where you always pray, and then you can tell Jesus good-bye too…
He Called You A Liar!
Who did? David did. David called us all liars. He even wrote it down on paper too, so everyone would read it and know that’s what he said.
Ps 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
Defending Your Honor
In the not too distant past, men that were called liars, felt the need to defend their honor in a duel with a sword or a pistol. The outcome proved little except who was a better shot or swordsman. Not much was actually solved about the lying part. Sometimes it was the liar that lived because he was better with a gun.
Generations ago, a man’s word was his bond. Today? No one believes what you say! Don’t even argue that point.
This Generation Takes It For Granted That Everyone Lies.
Even The State You Live In Thinks You Might Be A Liar
Two weeks ago, I applied for a Driver’s License in a new state. I also needed to get license plates for my vehicle. The exercise took a total of eight frustrating trips to the DMV before we had all the papers they required.
We rounded up all the below, because they said the state law required it:
- My old Driver’s License
- My Birth Certificate – original with a seal
- My Passport
- Two utility bills at the new address
- Proof of Insurance purchased in the new state.
- Receipt of Property Tax payment.
- The old Car Registration.
- The Car Title
- Our Marriage License. (Yes, we needed our Marriage License to get our Drivers License… Who knew?)
I had to have all of that before they would even give me an eye exam and take my picture.
- My word wasn’t good enough.
- They required proof that I was who I said I was.
When You Travel, Your Government Suspects You Of Lying
The TSA will thoroughly check you to make sure you are whom you say and that you are mostly harmless.
- They check your documents,
- They will check your possessions,
- They will check your body language,
- And, then they check you. I mean, they will check you.
- They will check you with metal detectors,
- They will check you with body imaging machines,
- They will check your body with their hands.
Business Men Suspect You Of Lying
- They give Credit Checks on all prospective customers.
- Most contracts are not even valid without a signature, and two witnesses.
- We then, must have Lawyers or Notary Publics to witness and verify the transaction.
In The Court Room.
- A witness will have to place one hand on a Bible and raise the other one to affirm that they will tell the truth.
- They then are placed under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
- The Court, the Lawyers and the Jury then tries to determine if someone is lying.
- Lawyers want their witness to be ‘believable.’
These Are But A Few Things That This Generation Submits To, To Prove They Are Not Lying.
- God knows when we lie!
- You can’t fool Him.
- He even has His own tests constructed to show Him, and all others when we lie.
- One of the first and most important of these Divine tests is simply this:
1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Have You Been Lying Lately?
One Of The Most Wonderful Gifts A Man Can Give His Children!
It’s not money.
It’s not expensive gifts either.
It’s not giving them all the latest toys and gadgets.
It’s not even giving them a large allowance.
I am not talking about giving your children something that only rich dads can afford. I’m talking about giving your children a gift that every father can give to his children, if only he would.
- The most wonderful gift a man can give his children?
- The answer is simple!
- It’s hanging right there in front of you like the nose on your face!
- You want to know?
- You really want to know?
Love Their Mother!
That’s It! Love Their Mother!
Let your children hear you say something like, “I love you Baby,” to their mom. Then watch them smile approvingly. Let them see you kiss her and hug her. Let them see you brag on her. Kids aren’t dumb. They can tell if you really love their mom.
Let your sons see you be tender with their Mama, and they’ll grow up being tender to their wives too. Let your daughters see how a woman is to be cherished and loved. There not much more you can do to bring peace and comfort to your children, than for them to know they grew up in a love-filled home.
Your house may have cost 100’s of thousands of dollars. But if love was not shown or felt, then all you really have is an expensive daycare center for your children.
Both of my parents have now gone on to be with the Lord. But my father left me many wonderful memories and examples of him openly expressing his love to my mom.
In my mind I can still hear him singing love songs to her that seemed to blurt out of nowhere. Songs like:
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
- Sugar In The Morning, Sugar In The Evening, Sugar At Supper Time.
You get the idea. Mom would always smile and walk into his open arms. All of us children would smile and nervously laugh our approval. Sometimes we turned our heads. Sometimes we watched.
Many times I’ve walked into the living room, kitchen or dining room and seen them in a tender embrace. Sure I walked back out, but I saw it! I saw that my dad truly loved my mom. For a little kid or even a big kid, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Do you forget things like that? Absolutely not! You remember it so well, that you do the same things when you get married. Then, you let your children see you be loving and tender to their mother.
If you will do that, you have just increased the odds that your children will grow up knowing the secret of a happy home life. And your grandchildren will grow up in a loving home as well. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
(Now sir, go tell you wife right now how much you love her, and let your children hear you say it! Wrap your arms around her and give her a big smooch! That’s your homework for tonight. Class dismissed.)
Can You Pass The Hurt Test?
Dave sat on the bar stool, drinking with some buddies from work. His head was feeling a little light. He drank enough beers to loosen up his tongue, and he began to talk. “If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have a decent church building.
“I mowed the grass every week without ever being paid. I replaced all the broken window panes with money out of my own pocket. I never asked to be reimbursed. I hauled off all the trash, free of charge. I was the self-appointed janitor and maintenance man of the church. I did it for years, willingly and without pay.
“Every evening I would stop by the church when I got off work to see if I needed to fix anything. I’ve kept the church building repaired and I’ve kept it clean for years. No one has ever paid me a dime to do anything. Why, even last summer, instead of taking my family on a vacation, I used the money to buy shingles and I roofed the church by myself. I paid for every dime of it too!
“Then two weeks ago, they had a business meeting. They needed to choose another Trustee. My name never even came up. After all I’ve done, no one seemed to appreciate it enough to mention my name.
“What’s a man got to do to get recognized or be a Trustee over there? It must be politics or something. That’s why I’ve quit going to that church.”
Dave backslid because he couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!
Lynn wrote the Pastor a check to purchase 20 beautiful white folding tables and 160 matching folding chairs for the church fellowship hall.
It brought Lynn much joy to be able to buy these. God had blessed her and she wanted to give something back. The pastor had recognized her gift from the pulpit and the congregation clapped their approval. Lynn smiled.
The tables and chairs were ordered and everyone at the church was excited. These were well made and expensive.
Just before they arrived, Lynn had to be out-of-town for three weeks. When she returned and stopped by the church, she didn’t like where the tables and chairs had been stacked. She especially didn’t like how they had been stacked. Her gift to the church was being treated with carelessness, she thought.
These tables and chairs were not cheap, and if the people of this church didn’t appreciate her sacrifice enough to treat it any better than this, then she just could go to another church.
Lynn moved on because she couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!
The Hurt Test, Part 1 – Insults
The Syrophenician woman stood in front of Jesus. She was breaking custom and protocol and she knew it. The Jews had nothing to do with the likes of her. But she had an emergency. Her daughter had an unclean spirit. Her desperation drove her to see this Jesus everyone talked about.
She crumbled and fell at His feet when she came near. With great urgency she begged Him to heal her daughter.
Jesus looked down upon the woman and said, “It is not proper to give the children’s portion to dogs.”
On other days, if a Jew talked to her like that, she might have had a little something to say back. Today was different. Her daughter’s very life was at stake. There was no one else to turn to. She refused to get upset. She chose not to be offended for being called a dog.
She simply said, “Of a truth Lord, but even the dogs get crumbs that fall from the children’s table.”
Jesus marveled at her and instructed her to go home, telling her that her request had been answered. She went home and found her miracle waiting for her there.
The Syrophenician woman easily passed the Hurt Test. She chose not to be offended because of insults!
The Hurt Test, Part 2 – Rejection
King David was a man after God’s own heart. As the King in Israel, he could build anything he wanted. When David told God that he was planning to build Him a house to worship in, God said, “No.”
God told David that he was a bloody man and that building Him a house of worship wouldn’t be appropriate. The Lord said, “I want your son Solomon to build it for me. Solomon hadn’t even thought of building a Temple. He had exhibited neither burden nor passion to do so up to that point. The desire had originally been only David’s.
Rather than pout or get offended because God had rejected his offer, David helped his son, by supplying him with most of the materials needed to build the Temple. If he couldn’t build the Temple, then he was going to help someone else build it.
David easily passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended by God’s rejection of his service, and His choosing another’s.
Extra Credit Test Questions
- If someone else is asked to sing a special. Can you still worship with them and help them sing?
- If someone else is asked to preach. Can you still say amen and help them preach?
- If someone else is asked to lead. Can you joyfully follow?
The Hurt Test, Part 3 – Loss
Job had everything any man could want. He had a relationship with God. He had a wife and wonderful children. He owned vast herds of cattle, camels and sheep. He was no doubt the wealthiest man in the world.
Then the dark day of disaster dawned upon him. In a matter of hours, he lost his children, his herds and all of his wealth.
The second attack upon him was his health. Boils covered his body. He scratched them with shards of broken pottery.
His friends were sure that he had sinned and this was the judgment of God. His wife suggested he curse God and die.
Job told his wife that she was talking like one of the foolish women. He said that if God lets me die, I am going to die trusting Him. I am going to keep on living for Him like I always have.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Job passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended at God because he had lost everything. In the end, God blessed him with double wealth and more children!
Extra Credit Test Questions
- When you lost your job, house, or car, did you also lose your praise too?
- When you were voted out of office or removed from a leadership role, did you show a bad attitude?
The Hurt Test – The Apostle Paul’s Summary
2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2 Corinthians 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2 Corinthians 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Even with a permanent “thorn in his side,” Paul passed The Hurt Test! He ignored his problems and encouraged everyone around him to “Rejoice evermore.” He said it again in the same breath, “Rejoice!” He even had Silas rejoice with him in prison and the Lord delivered them and all the prisoners, too.
Getting Help Passing The Hurt Test
Jesus stood and read from Isaiah 61 in the Synagogue. He sat down, looked at them all and said, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your hearing.”
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Besides bringing salvation and healing, the other ministry of our Lord is to heal all hurts and bind up the broken-hearted. He can help you pass The Hurt Test.
*Notice: All Students Failing To Pass The Hurt Test Will Be Required To Retake The Exam.
*Remember, The Teacher Will Remain Silent During The Testing!
Just imagine a thoughtless and demanding husband that is married to a wife who caters to his every need. Imagine him sitting relaxed in his little command center, his Lazy-Boy, while he bellows out orders.
- “Hey Pearl, bring me a Diet Coke.”
- “Get me the newspaper.”
- “Did you call Bob like I asked you?”
- “Get the phone will you, I’m busy.”
- “How much longer do I have to wait for supper?”
- “Since you’re up, get my slippers.”
Just imagine a man that constantly makes demands like that on his wife. If she complied willingly and without comment, he’s a most fortunate man.
- Just imagine what she might feel like if he never thanked her for serving him.
- Imagine too what she would think of him if all he ever did was make more demands and never took time to talk to her or say sweet words of affection to her.
- Imagine what future the relationship would have if the man said, I don’t really have time to talk to you, I just need you to do what I asked you to do.
Some wives might be content to be in a relationship like that, but I have never met them yet. A loving relationship is not a one-way street.
Then There Is The Flip Side Of That Problem.
Imagine a demanding wife that is married to husband who she expects to cater to her every need.
- Her Honey-Do-List never ends.
- Her requests are only for her benefit.
- She nags him if she doesn’t get what she wants, when she wants it.
- She feels like he doesn’t love her unless he is always giving to her and doing things for her.
- His needs are not even on her radar screen.
- She has no time to just talk to him.
- He can’t remember when she last said, “I love you.”
- Her world is only focused on her own happiness.
What A Mess! I Can’t Imagine Living Like That!
I don’t know who would ever want to enter into any kind of relationship such as this. How could their life’s story have a happy ending? What future do they have? It’s a world without love!
Yet That Is Exactly The Spiritual Relationship Many Of Us Have With The Lord.
- The only time we talk to Him is to make more demands.
- Our prayers are only to ask for more.
- We ask for healing.
- We ask for finances.
- We ask for housing, transportation and employment.
- We ask for blessings for ourselves.
- And yes… We are invited to ask. But…
- We never just take the time to say, “Thank You Jesus.”
- We are too busy to just stop and ‘chit-chat’ with Him.
- We find ourselves so busy asking for more favors that we almost never stop to say, “Have I told You today Jesus, that I love You?”
What’s The Chances Of Our ‘Relationship’ With God Lasting Very Long?
- Actually, I am afraid it sounds one-sided.
- It doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.
- If it were a marriage, it might soon go on the rocks.
So, Where Is Our Walk With God Headed?
Just Imagine a husband been separated from his wife and writing over five dozen letters to her. Imagine the wife taking the unopened letters from the mailman and stacking them on the coffee table for all to see. Just imagine her never reading the letters from her husband. Imagine her thinking, “How precious of him to write, but reading his letters is boring to me.”
Imagine the two of them talking on the phone from time to time and him realizing by the things she says and doesn’t say, that she has not been reading any of his letters. Now what?
Absurd as it may sound, it happens everywhere, everyday. We have letters and epistles written to us. Although cherished by us all, The Holy Bible remains unread, and untouched. It is placed on the coffee table for others to see. But many of us will die, never reading what He wrote just to us. Now what?
Just imagine what our life would be like if we told the Lord several times a day that we loved Him, and not just asked for something every time we prayed.
Just imagine what our life would be like if we read the letters He wrote to us and got to know Him better.
Just imagine knowing Him in His fullness.
Everyone Deserves To Be Loved!
I grew up knowing nothing but the blessing of a loving family. Sure we were poor! We lived below the poverty level for years. It didn’t feel like we were poor, because of the warmth of love from family and friends. Not everyone in this world is so fortunate. Not everyone knows how it feels to be loved all your life.
- Does not know where his or her next meal is coming from.
- Does not know where he or she is spending the night.
- He or she does not live with either the mother or the father.
While defining a problem is helpful, no definition illustrates the plight of abandoned children as clearly as the following set of statistics:
- Every 2 seconds, a child becomes an orphan.
Nearly 60,000 children are reported to be abused or neglected each week in America, with an estimated 900,000 confirmations of violence every year. When these children are dumped into foster care, they too often lose not only their childhood, but their dreams, and their futures.
- 40,000 new infants are placed in foster care each year
- 25 percent of the individuals who end up in prison spent time in foster care
- 30 percent of all people who are homeless spent time in Foster Care
- The average number of home placements per child is three
- Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before the age of 21
- 50 percent of foster youth are unemployed four years after leaving foster care
- 37 percent – 48 percent of foster children don’t finish high school
- Only 7 percent of foster children attend a four-year college
- Only 1 percent of foster children graduate from a four-year college
2011 CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER STATISTICS (January through June) 3
Among the over 141,000 children served by Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country from January through June 2011, some startling statistics include:
- 53,932 children were ages 0 to 6 years
- 51,196 children were ages 7 to 12 years
- 36,131 children were ages 13 to 18 years
- 95,120 children reported sexual abuse
- 25,414 children reported physical abuse
- 88,312 children participated in forensic interviewing at a Children’s Advocacy Center
Among the over 116,000 alleged offenders investigated for instances of child abuse from January through June 2011, some startling statistics include:
- 75,829 were 18+ years old
- 11,973 were ages 13 to 17 years
- 7,911 were under age 13 years
- 45,496 were a parent or step-parent of the victim
- 23,763 were related to the child victim in another way
- 36,628 were an unrelated person the victim knew
Parents Selling Babies
News reporters tell of parents selling babies on the black market. We only know about the ones that got caught.
Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.
Separated and divorced males and females are at a greater risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
Too many spouses feel the pain of rejection. Below are compiled statistics on infidelity and marriage:
- Percentage of marriages that end in divorce in America: 53%
- Percentage of men who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 57%
- Percentage of women who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had: 54%
- Percentage of men who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 74%
- Percentage of women who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught: 68%
1639 Buried In A Mass Grave This Month
I have grieved all week for the unclaimed bodies that were recently buried in a mass grave. No one claimed them. Most were never missed. Others, family members knew they died, but decided to let the county bury them.
- The annual mass burial in LA has been a December custom since 1896.
- The remains of 1,639 people were buried this year.
- The coroner’s office says bodies of those never claimed are kept in storage for two to three years before being sent to the common grave.
- There currently are 5,199 people on the coroner’s unclaimed persons list.
The overwhelming feeling of loneliness, weighs heavy. For some, it is too much to endure. (Note: suicide should never an option.)
All these facts are stark indicators to me of a world without love. True love.
The Most Beautiful Love Anyone Could Ever Experience, Is The Love Of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus Really Loves You!
- Let Him be your Comforter
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
- Let Him Be That Friend That Sticketh Closer Than A Brother.
Proverbs 18:24 …there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
- He Loved Us First! Even, While We Were Sinners.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
There is a precious old song that still brings tears to my eyes. It’s called, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.”
“No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”
Words and Music by C.F. Weigle
I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.
All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.
Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I’ll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.
He Loves You, Even When No One Else Does.
- He’s Been Waiting A Long Time For You To Love Him Back.
- His Love Is Unconditional.
- His Love Never Ends!
Everyone Deserves To Be Loved. That’s How God Thinks!