Don’t Break the Budget – Something Better is Ahead!

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We celebrated our 30th anniversary a couple of weeks ago.  We headed to the mountains and took the scenic route.  There was no hurry to get there, and the ride was pleasant.

As we got closer to the Peaks of Otter, we could see the twin peaks.  Badona took pictures of them from the car.  The view was magnificent even though the fall leaves had faded.  The bare branches of the trees silhouetted against the bright blue sky were a pretty sight.  The view of the small lake at Peaks of Otter was pleasant to the eyes with the mountain peak behind it.  The lodge and restaurant looked good from the outside, but the prices inside seemed out of reason to me.  A T-shirt in the gift shop was priced at $40!  Everything was overpriced.  All the beautiful surroundings pulled you to a place that was not healthy for budget-conscious people.

Heaven will be even more beautiful and so will the New Earth.  And Jesus has already paid the price.  We will be able to enjoy all of it!  See John 14:1-3.

Revelation 21 speaks of everything made new.  No more sin, pain, death, and sickness.  Then it describes the city.  We have never seen anything like it.

We did enjoy a picnic at Peaks of Otter.  It was nice, but those who accept Jesus as their personal Savior will be able to have more than just a picnic in heaven and the New Earth!

The Lord did bless us with a fantastic view from our hotel window in Bedford!

Do You Need Directions?

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I just got back from a little road trip.  Most people today have a GPS system that they consult to get directions for their travels.  They depend on technology to get them there. I’m told that it makes getting there easier, although sometimes it takes them the longest way around.

I’m old school.  I look at a map and plan which roads to travel and what sites to see on the way.  I try to find the most direct route.  I have a cousin who just heads in the direction he wants to go and follows road signs.  He calls it “adventure driving,” but sometimes the signs are confusing if you don’t know the area.

People are interested in a better life for themselves, but they want others to tell them how to get that better life.  People on television direct them.  Motivational speakers, including pastors, direct them.  The internet and media have a lot to say, but do you know for yourself?

The Bible is the best map for us, and it works!  If you follow this Old-Time Map, you will have a better life now even though it may not make sense to you at this time.  And you will have a fantastic life in the future with heavenly beings.

The directions in the Bible show us how to put God first in our lives, not ourselves.  Then it shows us how to put our fellow human beings into our lives and then all of God creations.  It is a map to heaven that, it seems to me, most people have forgotten!  Just look around.  Are you headed in the right direction?  The GPS will take you the easiest way a lot of times, but the easiest way isn’t always the best in life.

Are You a “Keeper”?

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I have been fishing this stripper season; and so far, I have caught more strippers out of season and just two in season.  The respect of the law made me put back the rockfish even with the encouragement of others to keep them.

Recently, I was fishing in the Rappahannock River on a friend’s boat.  He was bottom fishing, and I was jerking and winding a tandem bucktail.  When I finally got a hit, it was a larger fish.  As I was reeling it in, we could see that it was a stripper.  That’s a good eating fish; and if we didn’t catch any more, we made plans to share it.  My friend netted the fish because we didn’t want to take a chance on losing it.  It measured twenty-seven inches, but there was something wrong with the fish.  It had a hole in it and sores on its sides.  I was very disappointed, but there was no way we were going to eat that fish.  So my friend put it back in the water.  We didn’t catch any more rockfish that day.  We ended up fishing for other fish because there were no strippers around.

It really hurt having to give that fish up, and it made us wonder what caused it to get like that.  I bet it hurts God a lot more than that dealing with people.  Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13:47-50, “That the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast in the sea; and when it was full, they drew it to shore.  They sat down and put the good fish in vessels and threw the bad fish away.  So it will be at the end of the age.”

Jesus is talking about God’s final judgment when the wicked, those who didn’t want Christ’s character, will be destroyed.  And the righteous, those who have the desire to be like Christ and do His will by the power of the Holy Spirit, will live with Him forever.

God is pleading with people, “Why do you want to be like that?”  He doesn’t want to throw anybody away in the furnace of fire.

More Precious Than Birds!

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The fall of the year opens up a new world for me.  When the leaves fall from the trees, I can see the birds better.  Just this week I saw the red-bellied, downy, hairy, and pileated woodpeckers.  When the leaves were still out, I could hear their pounding on the tree trunks, but I couldn’t see them.

When some people see a bird, they think, “Oh no!  It’s going to poop on my car!”  When I think about the birds, my mind goes to Matthew 6:26:  “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”

The birds build their nests outside.  They raise their young in the rain, wind, and heat.  They are constantly gathering food.  There is a saying that, “She eats like a bird.”  (The birds at my feeders eat a lot!)  They are subject to the dangers of our cats and the freezing cold weather.  You might say that they really are in constant danger.

Just like birds, we live in constant danger from Satan.  But the difference between us and the birds is that the birds sing, and we humans say, “Woe is me.”

The same God who takes care of the birds has made full provision for our every temporal and spiritual need.  Since the birds are precious to God, why should we doubt that He will care for us when we go through troubles and hard times?  Aren’t we more precious than the birds?

Take time to praise God daily, not only for what He has done and is doing and will do, but just because He is God!  He has made it possible to live forever with Him without any of those troubles that we live through now.  Hold on!