Tuesday, March 3, 2015

FORGIVING


Around the time of the Korean War, Kim Joon-gon had seen 2,000 out of 20,000 people on Chunnam Island murdered by the Communists. They dragged him & his family outside their village where Kim’s father & wife were beaten to death & Kim was left for dead.

When he revived & sought safety at an acquaintance’s house, he was turned over to the Communists. Only the sudden appearance of an American ship off the island coast saved him this time, for the Communist soldiers hurried away to the battle.

Kim hid out in the countryside until the South Korean army captured the island. The Communists who had killed his wife & father were arrested. Because it was wartime, the police chief had authority to execute without a trial. But as the chief prepared to kill the men, Kim pleaded, "Spare them. They were forced to kill."

The police chief showed great surprise. "It was your family they killed! Why do you now want to spare their lives?"

Kim replied, "Because the Lord, whose I am & whom I serve, would have me show mercy to them." The Communists were spared execution because of Kim’s plea. (aksermonillustrations.blogspot.in)

“If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Jesus Christ. (Mat 6:14-15)

Jesus followed what he preached. When He was crucified on the cross, He said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." (Luke 23:34)

“Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” - C.S. Lewis.

Friday, February 27, 2015

THE CHURCH MOVED BY THE HAND OF GOD


In the little town of Swan Quarter, a most bizarre event happened that still has people talking to this day. Tourists arrive in this remote area of North Carolina to take pictures of “The Church moved by the Hand of God.”

The Hyde County, North Carolina website tells the brief story about Providence United Methodist Church and its trip down Main Street.

The members of Providence UMC had decided to build their church building in 1876. They approached Mr. Samuel Sadler & asked if he would sell them the land. He refused saying that nothing that the Methodist did could change his mind.

The Providence members got another location approximately 400 yards away. No one really knows why Mr. Sadler would not sell to the Methodist but it is assumed that he wanted this choice plot for himself.

It was the highest point in Swan Quarter located in the beautiful area of the Pamlico Sound. It was a choice location and Mr. Sadler probably wanted the prestige of owning it.

Three days after the building was complete & before it was dedicated in the year 1876, a strong hurricane blew in to Hyde County. The water rose more than 5 feet all over town.

The Providence United Methodist Church of Swan Quarter lifted off its brick foundation. It floated. The church traveled north & then east, eventually reaching the exact piece of property the congregation had earlier attempted to purchase. After turning itself around facing Main Street, the church settled onto this higher piece of ground & is still there to this day.

Mr. Sadler did not question this supposed divine act of God. The congregation got the land title in 1881. - Anna Looper, Charlotte History Examiner. (www.examiner.com/article/the-church-moved-by-the-hand-of-god)

(Originally designated the "Methodist Episcopal Church," it was later renamed "Providence United Methodist Church" - a tribute to what members considered divine intervention.)

Luke 1:37 (CEV) says: “Nothing is impossible for God!"

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” - Hudson Taylor.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS


“It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

And second, we do not know the power of the forces that attacked him or her.

Finally, we also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.” - Stephen Brown.

"Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.” - Jesus (Luke 6:37)

John 8:11 says: "No one, sir," she answered. "Well, then," Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again."

“We can be assured that each step deeper into the Lord's Presence will reveal areas in our hearts which need to be cleansed. Do not be afraid. When the Spirit shows you areas of sin, it is not to condemn you, but to cleanse you.” - Francis Frangipane.

“A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.” - William Barclay.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

OPEN THE BIBLE AND READ


When the famous English poet Elizabeth Barrett (1806 - 1861) became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage.

Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them & longed for reconciliation.

After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened!

Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it's really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth's own parents.

Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed. (aksermonillustrations.blogspot.in)

The Bible is a collection of God’s love letters to man. It talks about how man, a fallen sinner, can be reconciled to the holy God. Unless we open the Bible and read, we will not know how to develop a relation with Him.

Rev 3:20 (GW) says: “Look, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF


The American painter, John Sargent, once painted a panel of roses that was highly praised by critics. It was a small picture, but it approached perfection. Although offered a high price for it on many occasions, Sargent refused to sell it.

He considered it his best work & was very proud of it. Whenever he was deeply discouraged & doubtful of his abilities as an artist, he would look at it & remind himself, "I painted that." Then his confidence & ability would come back to him. (Bits & Pieces)

According to some sources: Abraham Lincoln carried with him a newspaper clipping stating he was a great leader.

Beethoven seemed reanimated, his eyes shone, he struggled for utterance, gasped and asked his friend: “Is it not true, Hummel, that I have some talent after all?” Those were his last words. (J. Wilbur Chapman)

But Psalmist encouraged himself thus - in a way we can emulate: “Why are you discouraged, my soul? Why are you so restless? Put your hope in God, because I will still praise him. He is my savior and my God.” (Psalms 43:5 GW).

“When it seems as if God is far away, remind yourself that He is near. Nearness is not a matter of geography. God is everywhere. Nearness is likeness. The more we become like the Lord, the nearer He is to us.” - Warren Wiersbe.

MONEY VERSUS EXPERIENCE


The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building.

Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick & a substitute had been brought in at the last minute.

The substitute wanted to know what to play. "Here's a copy of the service," he said impatiently. "But, you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."

During the service, the minister paused & said, "Brothers & Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected & we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."

At that moment, the substitute organist played "The Star Spangled Banner."

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist! (truthbook.com)

(The Star Spangled Banner is the name of the US National Anthem – So on hearing the anthem being played, everyone had to stand up.)

Job 5:12 (ESV) says: “He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.”

“However, I do not want to force you to help me; rather, I would like for you to do it of your own free will. So I will not do anything unless you agree.” – Paul (Phm 1:14 GNB)

“When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience will get the money. And the person with the money will get experience.” - Leonard Lauder.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

FIRST BELIEVE THEN SEE THE GLORY!


A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:

"Is anyone up there?"

"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"

"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can't hang on much longer."

"That's all right; if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."

A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?" (Bits & Pieces)

Pro 3:5 (GW) says: “Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.”

Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that IF you believed you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40; ESV)