Enjoying the Journey

Today a precious friend, a faithful preacher, a man of prayer went home to be with Jesus. He walked with God and, in the last few hours, like Enoch, “he was not, for God took him.” I imagine that at this moment he is rejoicing at the throne, and while I grieve for his loved ones, I rejoice for him. With the social distancing in recent weeks we have all been worshipping at a distance from one another. (Thank God, we don’t have to be at a distance from the Lord!) It has caused me to consider that when Christians die they are immediately transported into the most amazing worship service. They are simply worshipping the same God in a…

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Several years ago we relocated from Tennessee to West Virginia. It was the first big move in our married lives. There were a host of little details to care for, but one of the most important was to leave behind a forwarding address. It was our personal and business connection with so many people. Someday soon all of us are moving. You will change locations. There will come a day that you will move out of the house of clay you have lived in on this earth and will relocate to what Solomon calls man’s “long home” (Ecclesiastes 12:5). It will be your eternal address. Scripture teaches that there are only two eternal addresses. These eternal homes are commonly referred…

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Life in a fallen world is full of disappointments. Situations don’t always turn out the way you hope. The best people let you down. Your own intentions fail to become reality. It is easy for disappointment to become disillusionment. Perhaps this is why there are so many cynical people in our world. The question is not if disappointments will come, but how you will respond when they do. When you face some disappointment remember these truths: The greatest disappointment is sin. It never fulfills what it promises. When tempted to think that others have let me down or that things did not turn out my way, I try to remember that most disappointments are of my own making. Selfishness. Wrong motives.…

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There is a well-known song that imagines what Christmas must be like in Heaven.  In truth, Heaven is one endless season of joy.  In that beautiful place the wonder of Christmas does not come just once a year.  Years are not counted in that city; it is one endless day – one continuing celebration! At this season I think of my grandparents more than ever.  There was no place quite like Grandma’s house for Christmas.  They are all with the Lord now.  Perhaps it is fitting that we think of Heaven more at this time of the year when home is so very precious. There are many things we do not know for sure about Heaven.  Based on Scripture’s description…

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A friend and I were enjoying a time of fellowship together just a few days ago.  During the conversation I asked about a man who had been a pastor in the town where I was visiting.  The answer was all too familiar – he was no longer in the ministry but doing very well in business. And then my friend said something I cannot forget:  “The last time I heard from him he said that life couldn’t be better.” How is that possible? I believe the greatest life is the life given to God, the life of obedience to His will.  It is not always the easiest life – in fact it never is!  Following Christ leads to a cross.…

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Goodbyes are hard.  I was standing in a security line at an airport not long ago preparing to go through the regular process that has become so much a part of flying.  In front of me was a young lady who was weeping.  Occasionally she would turn around and strain to see if her loved one was still there.  A faint smile.  A wave.  Another goodbye.  With all that has changed about travel through the years, some things never change.  It is not easy to say goodbye to those you love. My attitude was much different than the young lady who was in line with me.  You see, I was going home.  On the other end of my flight was…

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Recently I was in Vancouver, British Columbia for a meeting.  On Saturday night I had a little time alone at the hotel and decided to do the Christian (and Canadian) thing: walk across the street to Tim Horton’s for a cup of coffee and a donut.  It is good to immerse yourself in the culture when you are traveling!  (At least this was how I justified the donut.) It was a beautiful evening in downtown Vancouver and I enjoyed the walk.  As I waited at a crosswalk to return to my room, a distinguished looking man nearing seventy years of age came and stood beside me.  A conversation was initiated and very soon I realized that the Lord had given…

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Just a few days ago I had the privilege of being back where I grew up in West Virginia.  It was refreshing to walk around my grandparents farm again and enjoy a meal that only mom could make just right.  I walked the halls of the school that I attended from the time I was four until high school graduation, and spent an extra moment in the classroom where I first trusted the Lord Jesus as my Saviour.  Memories are precious things. My sister and I took a drive through the cemetery where all of our grandparents are now buried.  I have never missed them as I do now.  When we are young we do not fully realize the treasure…

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Family is a very precious thing.  I have been blessed with a wonderful heritage that I hope, by God’s grace, to pass on to my children.  Last night I stood and preached the funeral of my 54 year old uncle.  On the platform with me were two of my spiritual fathers, my Uncle James and my dad. It is never easy to say goodbye to someone you love, but the Lord gave me wonderful thoughts from His Word.  I found help in the New Testament book of Hebrews.  About the only verse typically quoted at funerals from Hebrews is Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Yet the book is…

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