TICKET TO WHERE?

Billy Graham had been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade when leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, decided to have a luncheon in his honor.

According to one article, Billy was reluctant to accept the invitation because of Parkinson’s and other age-related difficulties. Assured by the leaders that he wouldn’t have to give a ‘major address,’ he eventually agreed to attend.

A number of speakers offered eloquent accolades about Billy and eventually, after the applause hushed, he stood on the platform and began his address with:
“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train. The conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. He came to Einstein, who reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his pants pockets.

“It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase but the ticket wasn’t there. Then he looked in the seat beside him. Still, he couldn’t find it.

“The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.” Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’ Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.’”

Billy Graham continued his address, but here’s what he said that made all the difference:
“…when you hear I’m dead … I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am. I also know where I’m going. …Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point. May each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don’t have to worry about where we are going.”

If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation (believe He died on the cross to save you from your sins, believe He rose again from the dead and is now sitting on the right-hand of God the Father, and you’re living your life to glorify Him), then your ticket has been punched, as Billy Graham had said. Now, lead those to your right and left to get their tickets too!

If in your hand you hold an unpunched ticket, the decision you make in the next few minutes will determine whether you spend eternity in Heaven or hell.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31, NKJV)

retold story by Author eMarie)

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A MOMENT IN THE MIRROR

A friend posted this on FB, and I thought it was too good not to share:

The other day I was hangin’ out with a friend. This friend is a Christian but doesn’t always act like one. Some days she’s in line with God’s Word, and some days life’s struggles get the best of her. It’s like she doesn’t know or use her God-given power – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead!

As our eyes met, I really wanted to say something about it but decided to let the Lord speak to her heart, knowing nothing I could say would have the same impact as her Father’s Words.

So I prayed with her.

After some time passed, I smiled at her …
And walked away from the mirror.

I can relate to the friend in the mirror. Can you? In fact, this might be what Oprah calls an “aha moment.”

Because we’re not perfect, and won’t be until we enter Heaven, we Believers sometimes live less-than-stellar moments. Our words or deeds produce an embarrassing snapshot—one we’d rather not have others see. Countless Bible verses remind us that the Lord lovingly takes our undesirable portraits, removes ugly sin stains, and frames every new morning in glamorous, one of a kind moments.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22, 23, NIV)

If, like me, you saw yourself in the mirror, now’s the perfect time to repent, call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and move forward in His faithful, unfailing compassion and love.

Anonymous author
(adapted by eMarie)

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OLD GLORY

William Driver, whose early years were less than stellar, ran away from home to become a cabin boy instead of going to Sunday School. At age twenty-one, he was promoted to captain of a ship bound for the South Pacific. His mother and wife made him a flag, which he proudly hoisted on his boat’s mast. At the sight of his flag unfurling in the breeze, he exclaimed, “Old Glory.” Captain Driver served his country well, and his words became an affectionate nickname for our flag.

On July 4th, Americans enjoy picnics in the park, family barbecues, fireworks, and we display flags to commemorate our independence from England. The people of the United States have endured hardships—wars, diseases, natural disasters, financial and economic downturns, civil unrest, and terrorism—to name a few. But in recent years, our flag, a symbol of freedom, has come under attack.

Our founding fathers envisioned a country based on “liberty and justice for all,” a detail incorporated in our Pledge of Allegiance.

The colors and symbols carry the same meaning from the first to the current flag. The brilliant field of blue represents justice and perseverance. Fifty stars, one for each state of the union, gleam as bright as those in the heavens placed there by God’s design. Thirteen bold red stripes symbolize valor and courage, honoring the original colonies.

America’s flag stands for the hope of a new nation—perseverance, innocence, and purity—and the promise of justice and freedom.

Have we as a nation achieved the ideal of “One Nation Under God?” Not by a long shot. Wrapped in human frailty, we miss the mark.

But the God who created the vast blue skies, who secured the twinkling stars in the heavens, and who sent His son to bear our stripes, beckons:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)

Happy 4th of July! God bless America, and may we ever remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.

By eMarie

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WHAT’S GOD’S WORK?

One of the first pages of a book by R. Blackaby shocked me. In, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Blackaby says that Jesus sees the work God is doing and joins in that work.

What?

Jesus doesn’t have His own mandates, lists of things to accomplish, work to be done? I’m no theologian, but the Bible says in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”

What about us? How do we know what to do?

Here are a few ideas:

God can carry you, but He gives you arms and legs so you can use them. Ephesians says we’ve been called. And while it’s true we aren’t all called to be Billy Grahams or Mother Theresas, we are to be like Christ … who submitted Himself to God’s will. Lord, break my will and make me more like you!

God is the motivator. That tug we feel is the Holy Spirit prompting us to action. Maybe He’s asked us to do something small, like give away a smile. Maybe it’s a bottle of water or a cheeseburger happy meal. (…I could use the Nike quote, but that would put me in serious trouble.) So, whatever we’re asked to do, Just Act On It!

God has infinite knowledge and wisdom. When we ask, He supplies His extraordinary, supernatural intellect, strength, and courage. We might not all be Solomons, but we can ask and receive God-sized wisdom!

God, who has no beginning and no end, isn’t surprised by our tomorrows. He’s already seen each and every one of them. He existed before He created us, and He’s prepared to do the impossible for us. In fact, He already has! All we have to do is ask.

He holds our days in His hands. His breath of life is in us, He’s measured our days, and He knows we’re frail creatures, made of dust. Yet, He’s created us to do great works to glorify Him. If He says we’re more than conquerers, then what are we waiting for?

He knows how we’ll respond to each challenge. And He still loves us! The Bible says with every temptation God’s made a way of escape. Have you called out to Him and experienced His faithfulness?

The choice to do the work He gives us is ours.

A little chorus from Sunday School goes like this:
When we all pull together, together, together,
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.
For your work is my work and my work is your work.
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.

God does have important work for us to do. And He equips those who want to do the work. The question is, are we willing?

By author eMarie

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WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

My hubby Bert and I chatted while driving home from a wonderful social gathering weeks ago. With the heat on full blast, we suddenly noticed a strong, unpleasant odor. After scanning for the usual culprits, we spotted no dead animals on the roadside. At last in our driveway, we burst open the car doors and investigated its several compartments. Nothing. Next, we searched beneath the seats, but came up empty again.

We took off our jackets in the house and, voilà, the offending odor hit us. By process of elimination, we surmised an unsuspecting participant’s strong, spicy cologne or perfume had rubbed off on our clothes. And while their cedary, chili pepper scent pleased them, it assaulted our nostrils with its unpleasant odor.

That’s when God’s word flooded in.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. (2 Cor.2:14-16a, NKJV)

Many Old Testament books, including Genesis, Leviticus, and Numbers, talk about a sweet aroma to the Lord produced by grain and animal sacrifices. God required these offerings to atone for the sin of the people.

But, thank God, the New Testament demonstrates that Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the once-and-for-all sacrifice. When we give our hearts and lives to Jesus, because of His death and resurrection, God now knows us as the sweet aroma of Christ. Because of Jesus’ righteousness, we become righteous, and an acceptable aroma to God.

No need to worry whether or not we pass the world’s sniff test. To them, we are a defining fragrance. The aroma that calls them to repentance or continued rebellion. As opposed to the scent our clothes picked up at that gathering, the sweeter our aroma to God, the better.

So, let me ask you a personal question. How’s your aroma?

By author eMarie

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EVILDOERS

More than 3,000 years ago, King Cyrus of Persia allowed Israeli captives back to their homelands to build a temple for the Lord.

Since no one ever said this task would be easy, Zerubbabel girded Joshua and his team with prayer. His next priority was organizing the workload and hiring skilled tradesmen while waiting for cedar logs to come in from Lebannon. Then he arranged for daily food and drink. If the men questioned Zerubbabel’s priority list, they wouldn’t wait long to find out they were wrong.

Ezra chapter 4 says the enemies of the Lord heard about exiles who had come to build a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel. Think of this group as present-day evildoers churning out anti-God rhetoric at full speed! Their first attempt to slow temple-building came cloaked as something good. “We want to help you,” they said. Who would deny that offer?

Zerubbabel the wise!! Because they were spiritually fortified, Zerubbabel and his companions recognized their enemy (“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16). Zerubbabel and his men were prayed up. They discerned the voice behind the offer. Ah, but true to form, these evildoers didn’t throw up their hands and walk away.

Plan B was initiated. This next volley came as a two-parter: discouraging zings first. Maybe these messengers whispered that the task was too great; not enough laborers; too many cedar logs clogging the port; no, not flatbread for lunch again!

When the temple builders didn’t buckle under discouragement, the enemy rolled out part 2: a social media blitz centered around … fear. What if the structure isn’t sound-it’ll crash down on you. Sunburn hurts. You can’t keep up this kind of physical exertion in these temperatures. There are ravenous animals, spiders and snakes, sickness, not enough water/food, inadequate housing, material shortages, significant price hikes…

None of these tactics worked, so the enemies of the Lord dug deeper. Since offers to help, plots to discourage, and a firestorm of fear hadn’t worked, they no longer disguised their evil efforts. But Zerubbabel and his men prayed and continued their work, letting God fight their battles.

Recognize the same ol’ arrows at work in our world today?

The enemy has aimed these unimaginative devices at believers for thousands of years. They won’t work if we’re prayed up and moving forward in Jesus’ Spirit, strength, and power. In fact, Jesus said the believer … “will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

Like Zerubbabel and his men, we too are temple (kingdom) builders! When we stand tall on our knees (pray) and keep our eyes on Jesus, He will deal with the evildoers of this present age and we, too, will accomplish the tasks He equips us to do.

By author eMarie

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RUINS OR REALITY

Walk with me through the Smithsonian and gaze at impressive dinosaur bones, spacecrafts, farming tools, and war artifacts. A strange foreboding invades. Though well preserved and decoratively displayed, each item is a relic. No longer useful. Dead.

Travelers visit the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and the temple wall in Israel. Marvelous remnants, blushes of their former glory. Reminders of what once was but is not now.

Tour guides take spectators and Believers alike to Jesus’ tomb. The borrowed, empty sepulcher which, for a brief time, contained the crucified body of Jesus Christ.

In sharp contrast to that of King Tutankhamun, Christ’s tomb is empty. The Old Testament prophesies, written in every New Testament book by eyewitnesses, confirmed!

So, is seeing believing? No. Skeptics and unbelievers still exist. From the moment the stone was rolled away until today, naysayers postulate theories to disprove reality.

We are more like Thomas than we care to admit, unable to believe unless we see the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and feet and the gash in His side. And though the Bible has an answer for every question ever asked, we pore over  ancient artifacts hoping to find the meaning of life.

Here’s a few questions that unbelievers regularly ask:

Why would hundreds of thousands of people throughout history accept tortuous deaths (i.e., crucifixion, hanging, beheading, burned to death, boiled in tar, etc.) to perpetuate a myth?
Answer: They wouldn’t. Jesus didn’t just hint at reality when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6, NIV). He spoke irrefutable truth.

Why hasn’t this two-thousand-year-old story faded into oblivion?
Answers: Authenticated scrolls have been found to support Biblical accounts. Eyewitnesses and historians’ detailed reports corroborate the life of Jesus and his apostles. The same Holy Spirit that empowered the apostles continues to bear witness that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the living God. (Matt. 16:16)

If God is all-powerful, all-loving, why do bad things happen?
Answer: Why blame God when you don’t believe in Him?

Let me ask you a question:  why is it that when we see pottery displayed in museums dating back several centuries, we accept these ruins as truth. Carbon-dated bones we have no problem with. So, why the difficulty with our loving God preserving numerous Dead Sea scrolls that authenticate reality – He lives!

The choice is ours: ruins or reality.

By author eMarie

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STONES OF REMEMBERANCE

An article in TheChristianPost.com recorded school-aged children’s responses when questioned about the meaning of Memorial Day. Not all, but most had the same answer.

“…the day the pool opens.”

Their response may have gotten chuckles from a “Children Say the Darndest Things” audience. However, the sad truth per a recent Gallup poll is that only 28% of Americans know the real reason for Memorial Day.

So, what caused a blessed nation to forget, to cast aside what we should honor, revere, remember?

Maybe the reason lies in what God told Joshua to do: have 12 men pick up 12 stones from “the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm” and carry them to the other side of the river.  (Josh.4:3a, NKJV)

God knew there would come a day when the Israelite children would ask, “What do these stones mean to you? Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” (Josh.4:6-7, NKJV)

We need reminders! Stones of Remembrance. So when we gather with our children, we’ll gratefully pass down the reason for our celebration. Which all start with God’s mercy and goodness to us.


How about we reawaken the stones for celebrating Memorial Day? Let’s see how much we recall. Ready?

  1.  Earliest recorded Memorial Day commemoration occurred in
    A.  1865-freed slaves in Charleston, S.C., buried & decorated Union soldiers’ graves
    B.  1921-Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery
    C.  1968-the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (enacted in 1971)
  2. Memorial Day began as a way to remember fallen soldiers from
    A.  WWI
    B.  Viet Nam Conflict
    C.  Civil War
  3. The original name for Memorial Day was
    A.  Ginormous Sales Day
    B.  Decoration Day
    C.  Veteran’s Holiday
  4. Memorial Day was officially established as the last Monday in May in
    A.  1968
    B.  1866
    C.  1993
  5.  People began wearing red poppies to commemorate fallen soldiers from
    A. Civil War
    B.  WWII
    C.  WWI
  6. Gen. Logan suggested people do this to soldiers’ graves
    A.  Nothing. Just go shopping
    B.  Decorate them with flowers, etc.
    C.  Barbecue and watch “Saving Private Ryan”
  7. The American flag should be hung at half-staff on Memorial Day until
    A.  10 a.m.
    B.  6 p.m.
    C.  Noon
  8. The official Moment of Remembrance across America marked by one long whistle sounded by Amtrak conductors occurs at
    A.  9 a.m.
    B.  3 p.m.
    C.  Noon
  9. In his moving poem, WWI Canadian Surgeon/Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote “In Flander’s Fields” from this point of view
    A.  Prime Minister Winston Churchill
    B.  Former property owner of Flander’s Fields
    C.  Deceased soldiers

Check out the answers below. And, please, “pick up a stone” – talk about the meaning of this holiday with your family and friends. A quote that’s attributed to many including Winston Churchill says, “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Let’s not forget that our country’s foundation is based on “…a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…” By God’s grace, America is still the land of the free, home of the brave.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!
God bless our veterans and active military personnel and their families.

By author eMarie

To leave a comment, please click on the title above, STONES OF REMEMBRANCE, and scroll down. Please subscribe, share this site with friends, and come back next week for more encouragement!  Thank you and God bless you!  🙂

ANSWERS:
1. A,  2. C,  3. B , 4. A,  5. C,  6. B,  7. C,  8. B,  9. C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MADE NEW

I about keeled over when my hubby Bert talked about selling his 1985 CJ7 Jeep.

He bought it used in 2010, polished the sun-damaged red paint until the entire Jeep gleamed, and worked on the engine til it purred. Aside from the occasional carburetor troubles, he loved this vehicle.

He’d talked about unloading it for a year or so, but I knew he wouldn’t do it. That Jeep continued to be his pride and joy. Neighbors would stop by to chat with him about it, and Bert would come in the house holding his cheeks – they ached from the grin he wore.

What price do you put on that kind of joy?

So, when he announced he was putting an ad in the neighborhood news, I threw my hand up and batted the air,  and went back to work. But then the calls came in and the Jeep drove away, and tears filled my eyes. Bert’s too.

A few days ago, our neighbor stopped by with the Jeep. He explained that a mechanic friend searched until he located the precise carburetor for this Jeep. Then he took Bert for a ride. Though filled with nostalgia at its parting, Bert loved that the Jeep ran better than ever before. “Like new,” were his words.

And isn’t that exactly what Jesus does for us?

2 Cor. 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

When we turn our lives over to Jesus, give Him ownership and allow Him to work in us, He makes us new. He washes us clean in His life-giving blood, searches for and heals the sin-damaged areas, and sets us free to live for Him.

Priceless joy!

And then, with Him in the driver’s seat, He takes us on an unforgettable ride. All the way home.

 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal.2:20, NKJV)

By author eMarie

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THE PAPER BAG FIGHT

While scouring material for my 1930s suspense novel, I accidentally came across this gem about Margaret E. Knight. Her life didn’t start with a silver spoon in her mouth. In fact, things went from bad to worse, and her story almost didn’t have a happy ending. Ah, but Providence had a way of allowing Margaret’s hard work, tenacity, and wonderful inventions to shine.

Born in Maine on February 14, 1838, Mattie, as some called her, never played with dolls but instead preferred tools and blocks of wood. After the death of her father, she, her mother, and two brothers relocated to New Hampshire. To help support the family, Mattie left school and began work in a cotton mill at age 12.

When she witnessed a co-worker’s severe accident due to equipment failure, Mattie invented a device ensuring its safe operation. Unfortunately, she never patented this safety measure and left the mill due to health issues shortly thereafter.

It’s said that if neighboring boys had problems with their gadgets, they sought help from Mattie. Her mill invention may be one of the reasons.

Mattie received her first patent for a “pneumatic paper-feeder.” She had moved to Springfield, MA three years earlier and worked for Columbia Paper Bag Company. Paper bags that could stand on flat bottoms were handmade and expensive. Mattie built a wooden prototype that cut, folded, and glued brown paper into the shopping bags we’re familiar with today.

To request a patent, however, she needed an iron machine. Charles Annan visited the shop constructing Mattie’s paper bag machine. Imagine Mattie’s surprise when she applied for a patent but instead had to file a patent interference lawsuit. Whether true or not, some records document that Charles contended that Mattie, a woman, wouldn’t have a clue how to make such a machine.

Mattie didn’t shrink from the fight. But their day in court, which cost Mattie about $100.00 per day for 16 days, proved Charles wrong. Not only did she have multiple witnesses testifying to her work, her blueprints, journals, and models detailed her remarkable invention.

Accounts vary, but at the end of her 76 years of life, Mattie had amassed an estate worth approximately $275.00. Paultry in comparison to the approximately 30 patents she’d acquired. These exclude her many unpatented inventions. Though she had received little formal education, her superior intellect earned her many accolades—one which dubbed her “woman Edison.”

In 2006, Margaret E. Knight was inducted into the National Inventor Hall of Fame. A small-scale version of the machine that earned her bag-making patent sits in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

If you’ve ever the notion to give up or walk away from a righteous fight, pick up a paper bag and think about what it cost Mattie. Then quash the naysayers. Work hard, stay in the fight, and do the impossible. *

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright rescues them. (Prov. 12:6, NIV)

By Author eMarie

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*Info Sources:
women-inventors.com
invent.org