Christmas 2008; New Years; Salvation
I was awaken by the telephone: "How much do you charge to change out a faucet?"
I replied, "You have the wrong number." I get these calls almost every week. Today, the man asked, "Is this the plumbing company?" "No. What number did you dial?...yes that's my number, but this is a private residence." "Well, that's the number in my telephone book!" "Gee…I didn't know that. I'll write them a letter and ask for their number so I can give it to their next customer."
While trying to return to "dreamland," I began thinking about Heaven. Soon, another person will look in his book, seeking an answer to a future without a broken water pipe. He'll get the wrong information from dialing my number. However, I'll tell him about another number that I personally know will give him a heavenly home--one being free of plumbing problems.
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus. The Book of Isaiah foretells us about Jesus' birth 400 years before it happened. All the details became true. A big bright new star appeared in the heavens that night. This was the Son of God, born of a virgin, because none of the mother's blood is used in the making of a baby. His holy blood would be shed as the sacrifice for our sins. In John 6:38, 40, Jesus said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." I believe. I stood at the church alter, before God and all those witnesses, and committed my life in service to live for Jesus -- just as I stood at the church alter, before God and all those witnesses, and committed my life to be a true and faithful wife to my husband on our wedding day.
I have heard some people say they do not believe they must make such a commitment.
They say as long as you don't murder anyone, don't become a thief, remain respectable, become a good neighbor, you'll make it to Heaven.
Suppose a man calls my house and asks to get his leaking faucet replaced. I tell him I don't do faucets, but I can give you a number of someone who does. He says, "Maybe. I think I'll call the Gas Company, or a musician, or a doctor. There must be more than one way to get my plumbing fixed." Just like a lot of people believe there is more than one way to Heaven.
Then, when they get there, what do they say to God, sitting on His throne, and Jesus sitting to the right of Him? "Well, here I am! I've been a real good citizen on earth. Sorry I didn't have time to read your Book. I made my own GOOD rules to live by. I'm a good person." What do you think Jesus will say? He said in Matthew 7:21,22,23, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not…in thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me."
Jesus explained the way to Heaven in John 3 when a man named Nicodemus paid Him a visit. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water (childbirth) and of the Spirit (commitment to Jesus), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born or the Spirit is spirit….As Moses lifted up the serpent (Numbers 21:9) in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man (Jesus) be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Everyone in the world has some concept of Heaven. Life after death is believed by every nation, tribe, civilization or religion on earth. False ideas are more abundant than truth. Though Jesus had a lot to say about Heaven, He spoke of the other place (Hell), many more times. In Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
I'm not making a list of New Year's resolutions! They just go in one year and out the other. I do resolve to spend more time reading the Bible and being in fellowship with Jesus, and God, our heavenly Father. It takes some of us longer than others to get fine tuned for Heaven.
I really enjoy reading my twelve Bibles: The King James Teacher's Edition which Jack gave me, Christmas 1941 (well marked in margins); The Living Bible by Tyndale; American Heritage Society Holy Bible (Bimillennium Edition); One Year Chronological Bible; Nave's Topical Bible; Rainbow Study Bible; Touch Point Bible (New Living Translation); The Story from the Book by Billy Graham; Who's Who in the Bible; Everyone in the Bible; Hurlbut's Story of the Bible; and Good News for Modern Man. Also, Unger's Bible Dictionary and Young's Analytical Concordance! I don't have time to read fiction. I've never read a "best seller." I enjoy reading inspirational writings, and books by Max Lucado, Rick Warren and Billy Graham.
Christmas was very special this year--just wonderful. Wanda called Dortha and said, "I'm so excited. I just made plane reservations to fly from Florida to Houston. I'll be home for Christmas. My plane arrives at 5:00 Wednesday afternoon." Dortha said, "That's terrific! What day is Christmas this year?" Wanda replied, "December 25th!"
`I sent this "funny" to Readers Digest's $30,000. contest for true funnies.
Our Christmas celebration began at noon Thursday, Christmas day, and ended Sunday at 5:00 p.m. when Wanda, Jessica and Chris had to catch the plane to return to Florida. We all gathered at Rachel and Mike's home. On the coffee table in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree was a huge bouquet of 25 yellow roses sent to me by Connie and Franzi Plaenksken from Dundas, Ontario Canada, the heirs to Herta Fischer's Estate (I was executrix). It was the biggest bouquet I had ever received. Beautiful beyond words. All the family enjoyed their beauty.
Wanda read the Christmas story from Luke 2. She talked about why Jesus came to earth ("to seek and to save that which was lost", Luke 19:10). Several of us expressed thanks for God's goodness to us all year. We listened to our favorite Christmas song, "Mary, Did you Know?" We opened gifts to each other. I had a fun gift for every one, which brought tons of laughter. We like to watch each one (16 of us) open their gifts. It takes hours, but they are enjoyable hours. We have snacks and drink Santa Claus malt sprinkled with nutmeg!
I was last. At the end, Rachel said, "Another gift for you is our surprise: We have entered your "Happenings Along the Way to Heaven" on the World Wide Web! Now, people all over the world can read your stories. I cried! You can read them at: www.happeningsalongthewaytoheaven.com
Wanda brought a new game for us to play, a card game with a nine-hole golf theme, "Play Nine." Six can play. It is a real fun game, one that keeps you excited and interested all the time. We put two decks of the cards together and nine of us played! We play all night and sleep most of the day! Saturday, we only played until 4:00 a.m. Sunday. We all slept 'till noon, except Rachel. She went to church and took the present for Jesus to give to the pastor. It was so very good for us to have a present under our tree with Jesus' name on it. I had several notes on Christmas cards saying they liked the idea and plan to make it their family tradition, also.
I wish you and your loved ones much love, many friends and happiness in the fullest measure throughout this new year. May the love God created on Christmas fill your life with joy forever. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (II Corinthians 9:15 NASB).
> 2009 New Years, Salvation, Christmas 2008