Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet As Honey

By Alan Smith

     This morning's thought is based on a story that appeared on the Reuters news several years ago:
     "TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian bridegroom bit off more than he could chew when, according to custom, he licked honey from his bride's finger during their marriage ceremony and choked to death on one of her false nails.  The Jam-e Jam newspaper said on Wednesday the 28-year-old groom died on the spot in the northwestern city of Qazvin while the bride was rushed to hospital after fainting from shock.  Iranian couples lick honey from each other's fingers when they get married so that their life together starts sweetly."
     While this groom's death is a tragedy, my first reaction was that this is a beautiful wedding custom.  Isn't it a great idea to start your wedding life out sweetly?  But, as I thought about it, I realized that the honey might be better saved for a later point in the marriage.  After all, virtually every marriage begins sweetly.  The trick is to maintain that sweetness after years and years of being together.   Starting sweetly is not nearly as important as continuing sweetly.
     Those of you who are married may do well to ask if the sweetness is still there.  Husbands and wives, do you treat each other just as sweetly as you did those first few days of wedded bliss?
     How about in your other relationships?  Do you communicate with others in a way that can honestly be categorized as "sweet"?  Listen to these words of Solomon:
     "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." (Prov. 16:24)
     May your life be filled with sweetness, and may you be blessed to be surrounded by sweet people.
     Have a great day!

Source:
- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at
alansmith.servant@gmail.com

The Storms of Life

By Alan Smith

     The following quote comes from Kim Sherer:
     "One night while my young son, Ryan, was sleeping, a storm began brewing outside.  After a loud clap of thunder, I heard him wake up so I headed toward his room to comfort him.  He asked me to stay with him until he fell asleep.  As I lay there I realized he hadn't asked me to make the storm go away, but to stay with him.  How many times, I wondered, have I asked God to take away the storms of life, when instead I need to ask him to stay with me and help me weather them more peacefully?"
     What a beautiful thought!
     "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2Corinthians 1:3-4).
     Father, we do indeed pray for your comforting presence in the storms of our lives.  As much as we might desire for the storms to go away, it is much important to us that you remain with us and see us through the storms.  Thank you for your assurance that you will do that for us.  In Jesus' name, amen.
Have a great day!

Source:
- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at
alansmith.servant@gmail.com


Self is Deceptive

    Around the end of the fourth century and toward the beginning of the third century B.C., there was a very famous architect by the name of Sostratos. The king of Egypt engaged Sostratos to build a famous lighthouse in order that ships might be guided safely to the port. When Sostratos finished building the lighthouse he chiseled his own name upon a stone that he used in construction. He did not allow that stone to be seen but covered it with mud. As soon as the mud dried, he carved the king's name on it and painted it in gold in order to flatter him. Sostratos knew that sooner or later one of the waves would wash the mud away and the name of the king would disappear while his own name carved in stone would remain.
    Watch those people who, on the surface show a great deal of interest in you and flatter you. It may be just superficial. They may be just writing your name on mud while underneath all the nice words and flattery is their own name carved in stone.

Source:
Pulpit Helps, date unknown


Searching and Finding

By David A. Sargent

     Kim Spink was shopping at Wal-Mart in Joplin, Missouri, when a massive tornado struck the city last Sunday, May 22.  Her husband, Greg, and their three children waited out the storm in their basement at home.
     As soon as the storm was over, Greg and the children began searching for Kim.  They made their way to the Wal-Mart only to find it in shambles; only one wall was left standing.  Amidst the incredible rubble in the Wal-Mart parking lot, they found Kim’s SUV overturned and smashed having apparently been picked up by the tornado and thrown several feet.  Her family looked to see if she was in the vehicle; she wasn’t.
     Greg and the children continued to look for Kim, not knowing if they would find her alive or lifeless among the destruction left by the storm.  After three long, agonizing hours, they found her.  She was walking toward their home, unsure if it or her family had survived the storm.
     “We had a reunion in the middle of the street,” Greg Spink said.  What an incredibly joyous and tear-filled reunion that must have been!
     How did Kim survive when the tornado ripped through the Wal-Mart?  She was behind the one wall that was left standing. *
     As our hearts are filled with compassion for the people of Joplin whose lives have been torn apart by the storm (see the links below for some ways to help), we are reminded of the preciousness of our families, the pain of loss, but in some cases like the Spink family – the joy of reunion.
     The Spinks’ ordeal reminds us of another search and rescue mission…
     Amidst the devastation that SIN has brought into the world and into our lives, many are searching for God.  It is God’s design and desire that “men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).
     When one turns to the Scriptures in his search for God, he soon discovers that God has already been “searching” for him – and has made provision for his eternal salvation!
     Because of His great love for us, God sent His Son into the world to experience firsthand the trials and temptations of life.  “In all things [Jesus] had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
     This same merciful and faithful High Priest offered the ONE sacrifice – Himself – on the cross to pay the price for our redemption and give eternal life to those who accept His offer.  Through His atoning death, one finds life and the promise of living eternally in a place where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, [nor] pain” and all the other things that are associated with the devastating storms of this life (Rev. 21:4).
     Jesus will save those who: place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are UNITED with Him in baptism (immersion) for the forgiveness of sins(Acts 2:38).  Those who remain faithful to Him can look forward to a wonderful RE-UNION when He comes to take His family home to heaven (see John 14:1-6).
     Continue searching for GOD and you will discover that He has been searching for YOU!
     Accept His offer of salvation from sin and from the storms of life.
     Won’t YOU?

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

** Several disaster relief agencies associated with the church of Christ are reaching out to the victims of recent storms including the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team (www.churchesofchristdrt.org), Churches of Christ Disaster Assistance (www.disasterassistancecoc.com), and the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort (www.disasterreliefeffort.org).  See the websites for ways to help.

Saving Your Life

By David A. Sargent

     Kathleen Murphy claims that golf saved her life....
     Here’s her story in her own words:  “Six years ago, when I was 58, I was playing in the Tuesday-morning women's league at Exmoor Country Club just south of Lake Forest, Ill. … On the long par-4 16th we all hit our drives to the same area in the fairway. I was first to hit. I smacked my dependable 3-wood pin-high but 15 yards right of the green, and the ball disappeared as it settled into the rough. Anticipating that looking for my ball might delay play, I sidestepped to the rough and began walking forward to get a head start. The group's next shot, struck by Lois Burns (with whom I was playing for the first time), was a shanked 3-wood that flew sideways and hit me directly in the back of the head. I can still remember how the sound exploded in my ears.”
     Immediately Murphy’s teammates loaded her into the golf cart and carried her to the Emergency Room at the nearby Highland Park Hospital.  A CAT scan and an MRI confirmed that her skull was not fractured, but the doctor began asking Murphy some questions: “Have you been experiencing headaches, bouts of dizziness, etc.”  Murphy said no.
     The doctor was asking her these questions because the scans had revealed an apple-sized tumor that occupied nearly the entire right side of her brain.  The doctors estimated that the tumor had been growing there for perhaps 15 years.  More tests revealed related problems and immediate threats to her health, so surgery was performed.
     Murphy reports: “The surgery and my recovery were successful. Six weeks later I walked down the aisle [at her son’s wedding], my hair styled ably to hide the scar, and was followed by a glowing bride.” *
     Kathleen Murphy claims that golf saved her life, because it was only after being hit in the head with a golf ball that tests were performed that led to the discovery of the life-threatening tumor.
     What will it take for YOU to consult the Word of God?  Curiosity?  Encouragement from a friend?  A tragedy in your life?
     Whatever it takes, it needs to happen because God’s Word reveals our true TERMINAL condition: we are all sinners, desperately in need of spiritual “surgery,” because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
     But the Word of God also reveals that the Great Physician – Jesus Christ, God’s Son – has provided the means for our life-saving surgery.  He paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross in our place (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:21).  Then He made new life – and eternal life! – possible for us by being raised from the dead (1 Peter 1:3-4).
     The Great Physician removes the “tumor” of sin from our lives and gives us new life (and eternal life!) when we: place our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31) confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38).
     DON'T WAIT... for an errant golf ball to strike YOU on the head before you go to the Word of God and learn of your true condition as well as the Savior’s remedy.  Allow Him to perform the life-saving surgery that you need TODAY.  He will save your life, eternally.
     Won’t YOU?

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Kathleen Murphy, “Golf Saved My Life” in Golf Digest – www.golfdigest.com.  10/8/12.  Many thanks to Gary Davis of Lavonia, GA, for sharing this article with us!


Right or Wrong?

When faced with this question, the following inquiries will be helpful:
Am I commanded not to do it? (James 4:17)
Am I commanded to do it? (Eccl. 12:13)
Can I do it for God's glory? (1 Cor. 10:31)
Can I do it in the name of the Lord? (Col. 3:17)
Would Jesus do it? (1 Pet. 2:21)
Can I do it and be an example of a believer? (1 Tim. 4:12)
Will it cause someone to stumble? (1 Cor. 8:9)
Would I encourage those I love to do it? (Prov. 22:16)
Would I want to be doing it when Jesus comes? (Matt. 16:27)
Is there any doubt in my mind about doing it? (Rom. 14:23)

Source:
Pulpit Helps, date unknown


The One Who Died for Me

By Charles Curtis

    Alexander the Great, with his arm, captured a small village. The citizens of the village were brought before Alexander at which time their future was determined.
    There appeared before him a young man, his bride and his bride's mother. As they stood before Alexander, the young man was asked, "What would you give for your life?" upon which he replied, "I would give all my gold and silver, Sir."
    Then Alexander asked, "What would you give for the life of your wife?" upon which he replied, "I would give my life, Sir." Alexander said, "Let them go free."
    As they left, the mother asked the daughter, "Did you see the golden coat Alexander had on?" "No," replied the daughter, "I could only see the one who said, 'I would die for her.'"
    As we run the Christian race, we must keep our eyes on the one who died for us.

Source:
Pulpit Helps, date unknown


Of That Day and Hour

By Alan Smith

     We're still here!  Despite the prophesies of Harold Camping, we made it through 2011 without seeing the return of Jesus Christ.  Camping, you will recall, is the one who predicted that Christ would return on May 21, 2011, and when that didn't happen, he revised his predicted date to October 21, 2011.
     I am hard pressed to explain the motives of people who try to predict the date of the second coming of Christ, and even more, to explain the gullibility of those who continue to believe them in the face of Jesus’ own words: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32).
     Do I believe Jesus is going to return personally, visibly, and bodily?  Absolutely yes.  Do I believe that his return will bring time as we know it to an end ? Yes.  Do I believe his return will result in a separation of the saved and the lost for all eternity?  Yes.  Then why am I not interested in trying to figure out when that return will be?  As Rubel Shelly has put it, for the same reason that I have never needed anybody to stand guard and tell me when my wife was pulling up in the driveway or coming into the room.  I am her husband when we are together and when we are apart, and I will be faithful to her in either setting.
     I think God knew that if he gave us the precise time of Christ’s return that the natural tendency of folks would be to put off following Christ till the last minute.  That’s only natural.  Parents and teens have experienced this first hand.  If the parents leave the house in the morning and say, “We’ll be back at 5:00 this afternoon.  We expect for the kitchen to be clean when we get back”, what happens?  You know exactly what happens.  The teens watch TV, play on the computer, read their books until 4:30.  And then it’s a mad rush to get it finished before Mom and Dad walk through the door!
     But suppose the parents leave in the morning and they say, “We’ll be back after a while.  We expect for the kitchen to be clean when we return”, now what happens?  A precise time hasn’t been given.  So the teens go through a thought process something like this -- “I can probably get away with waiting until noon until I get started -- but no, they could come home earlier than that -- the only safe thing to do is clean it now and keep it clean till they get back”
     When you don’t know the exact time that someone is coming, it changes your whole outlook on getting ready.  That’s why Jesus said, “It could be in a few years, it could be in a few decades, it could be in a few centuries, it could be in a few millennia.  It doesn’t matter that you know when it is, it only matters that you know that it’s going to happen, that you get yourself ready now, and that you stay ready.”
     I love the story that’s told about Colonel Davenport, a former Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives.  On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand.  They started calling for an immediate adjournment, but Davenport rose up and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."
     I like his thinking.  If Jesus Christ is coming in the next few minutes, I want him to find me doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  Bring on the candles!
     “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42).
     Have a great day!

Source:
- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville Church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at
alansmith.servant@gmail.com


Nothing Ever Dies

By Helen Steiner Rice

Nothing ever dies
that is not born anew -
The miracles of nature
all tell us this is true ...
The flowers sleeping peacefully
beneath the winter's snow
Awaken to the sunshine's warmth
when spring winds start to blow,
And all around on every side
new life and joy appear
To tell us nothing ever dies
and we should have no fear,
For death is just a detour
along life's wending way
That leads God's chosen children
to a bright and glorious day.

Source:
Macon Road Church of Christ bulletin, date unknown


Not the First

By David A. Sargent

      A young employee secretly misappropriated several hundred dollars of his business firm’s money. When this action was discovered, the young man was told to report to the office of the senior partner of the firm. As he walked up the stairs toward the administrative office, the young employee was heavy-hearted. He knew without a doubt he would lose his position with the firm. He also feared the possibility of legal action taken against him. Seemingly his whole world had collapsed.
      Upon his arrival in the office of the senior executive the young man was questioned about the whole affair. He was asked if the allegations were true, and he answered in the affirmative. Then the executive surprisingly asked this question: “If I keep you in your present capacity, can I trust you in the future?”
      The young worker brightened up and said, “Yes, sir, you surely can. I’ve learned my lesson.”
      The executive responded, “I’m not going to press charges, and you can continue in your present responsibility.”
      The employer concluded the conversation with his younger employee by saying, “I think you ought to know, however, that you are the second man in this firm who succumbed to temptation and was shown leniency. I was the first!  What you have done, I did. The mercy you are receiving, I received.  It is only the grace of God that can keep us both.” *
      None of us is “the first” to make some terrible mistake, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  That fact does not excuse us from our misdeeds, but it does reveal the NEED that each of us has for mercy.  Due to our sin, each of us deserves the penalty for sin: DEATH (Romans 6:23).
     “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), provided the Solution to our dilemma.  He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross as payment for our sins (Ephesians 1:7).
     God will save those who: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), who turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), who confess Christ before men (Romans 10:9-10), and who are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
     Won’t YOU accept His mercy and grace by trusting and obeying Him today?
     Then, won’t you extend the same mercy to others?
     “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* From SermonCentral.com


For Sale

By David A. Sargent

     There is a house for sale at 546 Munich Street in San Francisco, California.  It is near public transportation and two parks.  It is also just minutes from the coast.  The house is described as a single-family home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  You may see a picture of the house with its listing (http://vanguardsf.com/RESI-403636.php) or drive by the property, but that’s all that you’ll get to see.  According to the listing, the “Seller will not provide any interior showings or inspections.”  It will be sold “AS IS with no repairs,” and no one but the current tenants knows the condition of the inside of the house.
     The house is occupied by “tenant and former owner,” but the listing also advises:” Please do not disturb the occupants who will not be vacating prior to the sale.”  To make matters worse, the listing states: “The Buyer assumes all risks associated with the existing tenancies after close of escrow. Seller will not transfer any legal action related to any existing tenancies.”  According to AOL Real Estate, this statement “means that once you buy the home of mysterious interiors, you also have the responsibility of kicking out the tenants!” *
     Now who would want to buy a house without looking at its interior and knowing that the buyer would have to deal with some mysterious tenants?
     But WE succumb to the same kind of “listings” frequently…
     Satan, the tempter (Matthew 4:3), makes SIN look very appealing, but he purposefully doesn’t disclose all the details about it.  He emphasizes the personal pleasure of engaging in sin, but he doesn’t inform the victim that the pleasure is only temporary (Hebrews 11:25) and that the consequences are deadly (Romans 6:23).
     Observe the tactics of the tempter with his first “listing”: see Genesis 3...
     The “property” that Satan wanted Eve to “buy” was the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, concerning which God had commanded Adam and Eve NOT to eat, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).  Satan sought to raise doubts in Eve’s mind as to God’s command and His character by telling her: “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).
     “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).
     What Satan did NOT “list” were the consequences of sin such as shame (3:7-8), fear (3:10), guilt (3:7-13), hardship (3:16-19), and death (3:22-24).
     Satan uses the SAME kind of “listings” to tempt us to sin (1 John 2:15-16; James 1:14-15), without including the destructive consequences.  Sadly, each one of us has “bought in” (Romans 3:23).
     But God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the price for our redemption from sin (Ephesians 1:7) and to defeat Satan (Hebrews 2:14-15).
     Jesus will save those who will place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
     Buying in on Satan’s property is a terrible deal.  But God will “buy you back” (redeem you) if you will only accept the Savior’s offer on His terms.
     Won’t YOU?

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Information gleaned from http://realestate.aol.com, http://vanguardsf.com, and “Buying a House Without Looking Inside” by Brett Petrillo in Daily Bread (1/7/13), an e-mail ministry of the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, CO.  See
http://www.bearvalleycofc.com.

Beyond Death

    A sick man turned to his doctor who was leaving the room after paying a visit, and said, "Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side." Very quietly the doctor said, "I do not know." "You do not know? You a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?"
    The doctor was holding the handle of the door, on the other side of which cam sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice that dog? He has never been in this room before. He did not  know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I shall pass through with no fear, but with gladness."

Source:
Pulpit Helps, date unknown


An Unwanted Mansion

By David A. Sargent

     The state of Idaho has discovered that it is easier to take a mansion than it is to give it back, reports John Miller.
     The hilltop mansion was built by J.R. Simplot, potato magnate who became a billionaire by building a corporation that supplied McDonald’s with its golden French-fries. Simplot, who died in 2008 at age 99, gave the mansion to the state of Idaho back in 2004. The mansion was given to the state to serve as a residence for the governor of Idaho. But the current governor doesn’t want to live in it!
     A public hearing began this week to discuss what to do with the mansion.  Thus far, the majority of people who have spoken recommend either selling the place or returning it to the Simplot family.
     But the family doesn’t want it...
     "The family's position hasn't changed," said David Cuoio, a Simplot spokesman, on Wednesday, referring to an earlier statement. "J.R.'s home was given to the state with the understanding that it would be used as the governor's house." Meanwhile, the state of Idaho is spending thousands of dollars to maintain the empty mansion.
     Imagine that: an unwanted mansion!
     But there IS a “mansion” that is infinitely better than the Simplot mansion that everyone should want to inherit, not only because of its beauty, but also because of the One who has made it possible for EACH of us to inherit it.
     Jesus Christ, God’s Son, once comforted his troubled disciples with these words:
     “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In 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. 3And 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.” – John 14:1-3
     The word “mansions” in this text literally means dwellings or abiding places.  In other words, Jesus was declaring that He was preparing a “room” in His Father’s house (Heaven) for each of them!
     Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
     Sin will keep us out of heaven (cf. Revelation 21:8).  In fact, sin places us on the road to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). But God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven (John 3:16).
     When Jesus told His disciples about their “mansion” in heaven, He said, “And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4).  Thomas, one of His disciples, said: “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:5-6).
     Jesus IS the Way to heaven.  We “access” the Way by placing our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ so that our sins can be washed away (Acts 2:38).
     Won’t YOU accept God’s offer of salvation from eternal destruction so that you may enjoy eternal life in heaven?

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* Information gleaned from “Idaho Discovers It’s Tough to Return a Mansion” by John Miller of the Associated Press.


An App for Life

By David A. Sargent

     Last winter, a powerful blizzard ripped through North Dakota causing white-out conditions which stranded hundreds of motorists across the state.  “Snow whipped up by wind marred the lines between pavement and grassy drop-offs, leaving some scared motorists unsure what to do,” reports Dave Kolpack.
     Two software developers have developed an application (an “app”) for iPhone and Android smartphone users that can help people in these dangerous situations.  Bob Bertsch, an employee with the North Dakota State University Extension Service, and Jake Joraanstad, an NDSU computer engineering major, designed the free app called “Winter Survival Kit” to be both “a primer to help motorists prepare for winter driving and a beacon when things go badly,” according to Kolpack.  The app can pinpoint a motorist's location, call 911, notify friends and family, and monitor how long the gasoline in the vehicle will hold out.  Stranded motorists can also tap a big red button that reads “I’m Stranded!” on the app’s simple home screen to send out an emergency alert.
     "It's our sincere hope that no one ever has to use it," said Bertsch.  "But if one person does have to use it and it keeps them in their car or keeps them from succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning, then it is definitely worth the time and effort that was spent on the app."
Consider another “APP”lication…
     Life can be as confusing – and even dangerous – as white-out conditions in a blizzard.  Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
     But God has provided an “APP” to give us help, guidance, and instructions for the abundant life now (John 10:10) and eternal life to come (Mark 10:29-30).  The APP is the Bible, God’s Word. The Psalmist declared, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
     This APP informs us of our lost condition in sin and how, in sin, we are doomed to destruction (Romans 3:23; 6:23; Matthew 7:13-14).  However, this APP also proclaims the Good News (the Gospel) that God loves us so much that He gave His Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).  Through Jesus, we can have LIFE – abundant and eternal (John 10:10; 14:6)!
     In order to enjoy these blessings and be saved, we must APPLY the “APP” to our lives.  God has promised to save those who will place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  Those who continue to follow the APP’s instructions will continue to have their sins washed away by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).
     Won’t YOU APPLY God’s APP (His Word) to your life so that you may know the Way to life eternal?

Source:
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water.  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:
http://www.creekwoodcc.org

Source: “Survival app aims to help drivers in winter storms” By Dave Kolpack of the Associated Press, with contributions by Associated Press writer Amber Hunt