A Women and A Fork October 4, 2013Posted by Streim in Living in the Real World, Time for Sharing.
Tags: Christianity, family, friends, funerals, Gospel, Heaven, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Joy, pastors and church leaders, Praise, story, terminal illness, worship
1 comment so far
A Woman and A Fork
There was a young woman in her late twenties who suffered from a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things “in order,” she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her home to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what Scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered
something! “There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What’s that?” the Pastor asked. “This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. “That surprises you Pastor, doesn’t it?” she said. “Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” responded the Pastor.
The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me a story, and from that time on I have always
tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.
“In all my years of attending family get-togethers, church socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming … like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!”
So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork. The best is yet to come.”
The Pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged her good-bye, knowing this may be the last time he
saw her before her death. But he knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing
and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?”
And over and over he smiled. During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
In John 14: 1-8 Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to
come. Have a beautiful weekend of filled worship, praise and thanksgiving to our God. Our Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! ♥ Streim (** I am not the original writer of this story, however I did some editing**)
I interrupt this series…NO I AM Ending It! September 26, 2013Posted by Streim in Bible Study, Life Lessons From the Word, Listening To God, Living in the Real World, Trusting God.
Tags: Bible, Christian living, D. Bonhoffer, doctrine, Encouragement, Exhortation, forgiveness, friends, God Almighty, Gospel, grace, Growing in Grace, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Obedience, peace, preachers, prophets, theologians
interrupt end this series “Sound Biblical Doctrine vs. Man-Made Doctrine” because in my time of studying the Word (both Old Testament and New Testament) for this series, I’ve realized through our Father’s glorious love, grace and patience the series was initiated as a response to a blogger and NOT as a response to God’s guidance.**
I’ve struggled with frustration, indignation and down-right anger at those who are distorting the Word of God for their own personal benefit or agenda. My frustration led me away from the ‘HOPE and PEACE’ of the Truth. The only truth is God’s Divine plan for reconciling sinful men/women to Himself through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary. So, I am simplifying my posts (keeping it simple Streim) from here on out.
I am not a prophet, nor a preacher, nor a leader… so I’ll leave the heavy “doctrinal” stuff to them; BUT I won’t shy away at all from the Truth of God’s Word. I see the greatest failure in today’s Christianity is the average Sunday morning pew sitter is not making time to feed on the Word! If you are not dependent upon God’s Word for your spiritual relationship and growth with the Lord Jesus and our Father, something or someone else is more than willing to fill that need. Beware fellow adopted brethren, we have an enemy who lurks around just waiting to be that something or someone!
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24: 4-5
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.” Mark 13:3-6
“ And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” Luke 21:8
I suggest that these passages be read in context, in a ‘reliable’ version/translation of the Holy Bible. If you are a born-again (changed from within), bought with a great price (the blood of the Lamb of God) adopted child of the Father (through His grace), you are given the indwelling presence if His Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that discerns all things, including the Word of Truth, when you ask in the name of Jesus for the glory of God! ( John 3: 3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 12:11; Romans 8:15 and 23; Acts 2:38 and 4:31; Ephesians 5:9; Matthew 7:7 and 11; Matthew 21:22 and 24; 1 John 5:14-16)
( here’s a piece of what I was going to post for ‘grace’ doctrine–maybe it will be insightful to some one)
In this time when all sound Bible/Christian beliefs are under attack in one way or another, it’s expected that “God’s grace toward man” would be challenged. In my last post, I gave the definition of God’s grace toward man. I believe God’s grace toward mankind is 100% UNMERITED. Why? Because there is nothing that we as sin-filled creatures could ever do that is deserving of the LORD God’s favor. In the Old Testament, the LORD God gave Moses the ‘law’ for people to live by, however even the most favored men in the Old Testament (for example King David) couldn’t follow every dotted ‘i’ and crossed ‘t’ of the law. John 1:16-17 says ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Yes, Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth which is how we are able ONLY to receive it through Him.
Because not one person born could or would completely follow the law, there was a void between God and man. This void is beyond our comprehension, because the LORD God said ” my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways…” (Isaiah 55:8-9) But in all His love for man, despite their sinful, desperately wicked hearts and hatred of Him; He gave us forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ–His only begotten Son on the cross! It’s a ‘gift of grace’ available to anyone and everyone who chooses to “accept” it for themselves. You see as with any gift, it the person chooses not to accept, then it’s NOT theirs! Is that too simple for some of my more theological readers. If so, remember what Jesus said about children… ” unless we become like little children we can not see the kingdom of heaven…”. Jesus Christ was grace personified!
A well-known Christian martyr of 19th century theology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke these words in one of his famous writings “The Cost Of Discipleship” “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” and “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”
He wrote this in the 1920′s. Here, nearly 100 years later, blood bought adopted children of the LORD God are still contending for ‘costly grace’ and standing up for what they know to be true. Let each of us examine ourselves. Are we “responding to God’s guidance” and living completely in Him or being deceived because we are “responding to men”. ** May you be blessed each morning anew when you start your day with the Word and prayer. Now that’s the breakfast of spiritual champions. ♥Streim
the TRUTH be known: introduction August 31, 2013Posted by Streim in Bible Study, Everyday News, Living in the Real World, One True Gospel.
Tags: Bible, Christian living, Christianity, deceivers, Encouragement, Exhortation, false gospels, false teachers, family, Finding The Savior, forgiveness, friends, Gospel, Joy, Living in the Real World, pastors and church leaders, post-modern, Salvation, Study
4 comments A reader of my most recent blog post “What Do Cheerios and 21st Century Christianity Have In Common?” left this comment: Phillip Brande wrote “This post had a great start, could you unpack some of the things you mentioned in the first paragraph? What are the different flavors of the gospel? In your words… based on the scriptures you have given.”
First I want to thank Phillip for this comment/question. I must answer his question for the clarity of my readers. But more importantly, I know millions of Christians in today’s world are following leaders/pastors/teachers/authors who believe post-modern Christianity needs new flavors/varieties of the Gospel to bring the world (people) to God! Nothing could be farther from the Truth. The Christian who follows the ‘newly flavored gospel’ may think, feel and even believe they’re walking towards the straight and narrow gate with the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Scripture–the Word of God to man, they are trudging along the broad path which leads to destruction. ( Matthew 7:13-14)
I rarely study the words of men, but I have done some (minimal) reading of early church reformers ( Spurgeon, etc). I with all boldness proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of the new life He’s so mercifully given to me. The joy of growing in the truth and sharing His love is vital to me. If you read my “about” pages, you’ll see I was a horribly, sinful, self-willed and arrogant woman. What a wondrous day it was when I, like the prodigal son, sorrowfully repented of my sins and ran into my Father’s loving arms. It was only by repentance of my disgrace and acceptance of His GRACE that I am ‘alwayzHIS’
God’s Word precisely directs man to Himself through sound doctrines. These doctrines are being compromised in many ministries today throughout the world. One small compromise= complete deadly doctrine. That’s why Jude wrote
For clarification, each of the doctrinal points listed will be a post in itself. First, the sound doctrine according to God’s Word. Then, I will prove (and you can see for yourself) false doctrines today that come from negating or minimizing the pure truth. We must always remember our LORD God, Creator of all, is perfectly holy. His Word (the Holy Bible) is infallible in its original writings. BEING PERFECT AS HE IS…if a person/group/authority figure should change one word to manipulate the Gospel message into anything other than what it is… they are deceivers and liars. My heart aches; weeps for people in this world who are unwittingly deceived by false teachers.
Jude 1:3-4 “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
As the LORD God’s adopted, blood bought reborn children we need to stand up for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and speak the Truth in love.
Outline of Doctrines in This Study
1. Sinfulness of man (total depravity of man)
2. What does sin to our relationship with God? (separation)
3. What are the results of sin? (wages of sin–eternal death)
4. What and why did God Himself do to make a way for us to commune with Him? We are never good enough! Grace-Gift of His Only Son
4a. Gift of God– Jesus Christ– Deity (God incarnate)
4b. Perfect blood sacrifice needed for atonement ( pay the debt for sin)
4c. Jesus death, burial and resurrection: He was the atoning sacrifice and defeated death!
5. The Need for Repentance!!!
6. A New Creation— a new heart after being filled with the Holy Spirit (born-again)
7. Living according to the Word; following the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ and bearing fruit.
8. Watching and waiting for the Lord Jesus to return
If we need to look at other doctrines we will. Please be patient with me as I prayerfully seek the will of God in preparing these posts and also the physical ability to do so. Thank you!
It’s not about me~it’s about HIM and making the Truth known. ♥Streim