What Parents Can Do For Their Children
Parents can give you life, but they cannot live that life for you.
Parents can buy you lovely things, but they cannot make you lovable.
Parents can give you some good advice about your friends, but they cannot choose good friends for you.
Parents can give you their love, but they cannot force you to accept it.
Parents can give you direction, but they cannot always be there to lead you.
Parents can give you freedom, but they cannot always keep you from abusing that freedom.
Parents can teach you about sex, but they cannot keep your life pure.
Parents can take you to worship services, but they cannot make you believe the Bible and follow its teaching.
Parents can teach you about the evils of alcohol and drugs, but they cannot make you avoid them.
Parents can teach you about God’s judgment and the eternity to follow, but they cannot force you to prepare for their coming.
Parents can train you in every good way, but when you are away from them, you must decide to follow the good way. (Contributed by Margaret Dobbins)
No Preacher is Worth That Much!
Some brethren said to brother J.D. Tant, who was a widely known gospel preacher in the southwest many years ago, “We would like to have a meeting, but just aren’t able to afford it.” He made them a proposition: “Brethren, every time you buy a sack of tobacco or a plug of chew, put the same amount of money in the treasury and save it for the meeting next year. I will take whatever you save up and be satisfied with it.” The brethren were elated and said they would let him know. They went off, did some figuring, came back and pointedly informed him that they could not possibly do it with a clear conscience, because, “No preacher is worth that kind of money.”
Kind of Like Hell
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). For over 20 years a fire has been burning deep within the earth at Centralia, a small community of 1,200 residents in the heart of Pennsylvania’s coal fields. Fifteen different federal, state, and local agencies have spent more than $3.5 million to extinguish the fire without success. Persons can touch the earth and feel the heat. Deep holes and crevices vent hot, smoky air and noxious gases. One citizen said: “Standing by a hole, you can hear the fires roaring. It’s an eerie sound, like the beating of a thousand wings.” Government officials have indicated that they are no longer willing to attempt to put out the fire; it is a futile task. As flames continue to burn without restraint, townspeople plead for someone to save their community. Jesus solemnly warned of a far greater, eternal fire in which all the wicked will be cast. Let us avoid it at all costs.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 6:36). A Japanese soldier by the name of Shoichi Yokoi lived in a cave on the island of Guam to which he fled in 1944 when the tides of war began to change. Fearing for his life, he stayed hidden for twenty-eight years in the jungle cave, coming out only at night. During this self-imposed exile he lived on frogs, rats, snails, shrimp, nuts and mangoes. Even when he figured out the war was over, he was afraid to come out for fear he would be executed. Two hunters found him one day and escorted him to freedom. He was living all this time under the indictment of sins that had all been dealt with–but he simply had not appropriated the atonement that was available. (From Illustrations Unlimited, by James S. Hewett, p. 36) If only people today would appropriate the atonement provided in Christ! They could be freed from their sins, have salvation, and the hope of eternal life.
Riding the Fence
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30). At the outbreak of the Civil War, a certain individual could not decide which cause to support, the North or the South. He had friends on both sides; thus, he decided to be neutral. He wore a gray jacket and blue trousers, thereby dressing for both the Confederacy and the Union. One day the neutral man was caught in the middle of a skirmish between the two armies. He stood up and shouted that he was neutral in this fight and expected to be allowed to leave the field before the battle closed in on him. However, Union sharpshooters, seeing the gray jacket, riddled it with bullets And, Confederate marksmen, seeing the blue pants, filled them with lead. We have no way of knowing if the above story is true or not; however, the point is well taken. In important issues one cannot be neutral. He must make his stand one way or the other.
If I Had Known…
If I had known
What troubles you were bearing,
What griefs were in the silence of your face,
I would have been more gentle and more caring,
And tried to give you gladness for a space.
I would have brought more warmth into the place…
If I had known.
If I had known
What thoughts despairing drew you,
(Why do we never understand?)
I would have lent a little friendship to you,
And slipped my hand within your lovely hand,
And made your stay more pleasant in the land…
If I had known.