It was before Christmas, and I went shopping for toys for my kids. Now you might
not think there's anything unusual about that - unless you happen to know that all my
kids are all grown up now. But that doesn't mean they can't have one little spark of
childhood left in them. For example, I always buy my daughter a
doll for Christmas;
always have, always will. And we've got one son who was always a big fan of a certain
Sesame Street character, and he still has a collection of everything Ernie. But recently
a certain Ernie toy was one of the hottest
Christmas items on the market. I wanted one
for my son, the Ernie enthusiast, that is. I discovered the toy in September actually in
a store - before it became an officially hot item. I held it in my hand - I could have
bought it. But I
said, "Naw, I can always get it later." Wrong. When "later" came, there
were none to be found.
When it's a toy you miss because you waited - no big deal. When it's God you miss,
when it's eternity in heaven you miss, that's huge.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 6:2. God says,
"In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." God
says there's a time of His favor; a day of His salvation. And that's when you have to
grab Him. Then He clearly spells out the time to respond to Him.
God's Word says,
"I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
When God talks about salvation, He's talking about rescuing us from the death
sentence that we are all headed for because of our sin, which is the self-rule of our
life. A life that was created to be run by our Creator. This "salvation" came at a very
high price for God. Someone had to die as your substitute, paying for your sin.
The only someone who was qualified to pay that awful price was God's one and
only Son. That is Jesus Christ. So, believe me, it really matters to God what you do
with His Son. The only response that can change a person's eternal address from
hell to heaven is putting your total trust in Jesus as your only hope of belonging
to God; of being with God forever.
But so many of us are like I was the day I held the purchase I wanted in my hand.
We decide to put off - make it ours later. I chose to get it later, but later was too late.
It was no longer available to me. That's the awful risk you take when you put off Jesus
one more day.
Maybe you've been around the message of Jesus a lot. Maybe most folks think you
belong to Him. But deep in your heart, you know there's never been a time when you've
really committed yourself to Him. It could be you've said, "I will give myself to Jesus -
when I'm ready."
You need to hear the words of Jesus recorded in John 6:44, "No one can come to me
unless the Father ... draws him." You don't come to Jesus when you're ready. You come
when God's ready. It's God who makes you ready to trust Jesus. If you feel that tug in
your heart right now, this is the only time you can be sure God is readying you to come.
There are no guarantees of one more opportunity. That's why the Bible says, "Seek the
Lord while he may be found; call upon him
while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6). He may not
always be findable. He may not ever be this close again.
If you have never said "yes" to Jesus, turning from your sin, pinning all your hopes
on Him, please would you do it now? If you want to begin this relationship with Him,
then I would encourage you to go to our website where you can either listen to or you
can read what I have there about how to begin your personal relationship with Jesus
Christ. Or if you'd like for me to send you a printed version of my little booklet Yours
For Life that covers that same information, you can call toll free at 870-741-1200.*
Saying "later" to God's Son is eternally dangerous, because God says the day of
salvation is now. It's almost yours now. But later - later may be forever too late.
- - Ron Hutchcraft
*Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor'.
I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really
foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]:
"I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I
don't accept His claim to be God."
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was
merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would
not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic --
on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg --
or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
You must make your choice. Either this Man was, and is,
the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse ....
can shut Him up for fool, you can spit at Him and kill
Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing
nonsense about His being a great hum! an teacher. He has
not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.
-- From Case for Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
While thoughts and resolutions for the year ahead are crossing many of
our minds, Matt Sly is thinking 30 years into the
future. Sly is the mind
behind a website that allows people to send messages to themselves decades
from the time they were written. In the year 2015, a man named "Adam"
is set to get an e-mail that asks, "Do you still write? Do you still draw?
Does Radio Shack still exist?" Writes Sly, "We want people to think about
their future and what their goals and dreams and hopes and fears are.
We're trying to facilitate some serious existential pondering."
A quick overview of publicly posted messages shows some are pondering
dreams they hope to have accomplished by the time they hear from
themselves in the future-"I hope you are moving up in your job. I also
hope you are making more responsible choices." Others are taking it as
a moment to remind themselves what they were up to years earlier or make
record of what they hope will be beyond them in the future-"I hope you're
better, because as I'm writing this letter, you're doing terrible." It is
a time capsule wrought in an e-mail, readily drawing in participants all
over the world. At the very least, it extracts in many a sense of
intrigue. At most, sending words to future selves seems to draw a sense
of nostalgia, accountability, apprehension, or hope.
I have a journal that largely holds thoughts and events consumed with
present days. I find I am most prone to write in it when something is
happening or has just happened, when something is on my mind or on my
heart now. But there is one page far in the
back that differentiates from the
norm. Scattered sentences now crammed on a page full of thoughts speak
to days far ahead of me: "Remember that you wanted to be the kind of woman
that grows old gracefully." "When it's time to let go of certain freedoms, take
it with poise." "When it's your turn to face disease, you wanted to do it with
faith; you wanted death never to scare you more than resurrection gives you
hope." While I like to think of these mental notes as prayers for the future-and
many of them are-among them are notes that more closely resemble a listing
of fears, an anxious warning at what I might forget or what might go wrong.
Though I am looking ahead, it
is as if I am still looking behind me.
In an essay titled "Please Shut This Gate" English author F.W. Boreham
describes signs carefully placed by landowners throughout the landscape of
New Zealand. "Please shut this gate," was a message one could read often
throughout his countryside, signs placed by fence owners intent on keeping
some things from wandering away-and some things from wandering in.
Boreham then draws a parallel to the importance of shutting similar gates
in our own lives, closing the door that keeps things both in and out. He
writes, "[W]hen Israel escaped from Babylon, and dreaded a similar attack
from behind, the voice divine again reassured them. 'I, the Lord thy God,
will be thy rearguard' (Isaiah 58:8). There are thousands of things
behind me of which I have good reason to be afraid; but it is the glory of
the Christian evangel that all the gates
may be closed. It is grand to be
able to walk in green pastures and beside still waters unafraid of
anything that I have left in the perilous fields behind me." (1)
Whether looking down roads to the New Year or the coming decades,
it is the glory of the follower of Christ that there are gates that may be
closed. We need not worry about the future, nor look to resolutions
with fear of failing, or tremble at what Christ has put behind us. In the
words of a seventeenth century Puritan, "To suppose that whatever God
requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make
Cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." Christ has written a
message across the future to be delivered to our laboring souls each new
day. In a loud voice he cried out on the Cross, "It is finished," forever
offering a door to shut, forever promising the strength to shut it. He has
gone before us, he walks among us, he is our rearguard, he is our
strength. Jill Carattini
(1) F.W. Boreham, "Please Shut This Gate," in The Silver Shadow
(New York: The Abingdon Press, 1919), 118-119.
"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of
challenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others who
would enjoy receiving "A Slice of Infinity" in their email box each day,
tell them to ple! ase call 1-877-88SLICE (1-877-887-5423).
"Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider
well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ
which is eternal life (John 17:3)."
- - - The Laws and Statutes of Harvard College in 1643
"All scholars shall live religious, godly, and blameless lives according
to the rules of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, the
fountain of light and truth; and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."
- - - Two central requirements in Yale College 1745 charter
Why The U.S.A. Is At War:
(Not amalgamated with 'Thought & Humor')
This government site offers access to historic
View the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
'Thought & Humor' - often polemical but
Please note: If you see a UNC student
or liberal reading 'Thought & Humor',
please explain to them which is thought & which is humor. They usually get it backwards.......
God designed humans to want to believe in something.
That's the image of God that is in us. But as G. K.
Chesterton famously put it, when we reject the God
of the Bible, we don't believe in nothing; we believe
in everything -- including Little Green Men.
- - Chuck Colson
Thank you for your simply addicting newsletter...it's truly a candidate
for the 8th wonder of the world and 1st candidate for the cyber-world...
it just keeps blooming with more of what I need and, I think, what we
all need...please keep up the great works!!!
Type atcha later...
God bless you,
[God] has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you? To
act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God. --Micah 6:8
Dear Howdy, Indeed I am a faithful Tarheel*, having both
MA and Ph.D. from their fine chemistry department.
But that doesn't keep me from getting a great kick out
of the humor propagated by what appears to me to be
a pack of wolves!!**
SERIOUSLY, THE HUMOR IS GREAT FUN BUT MY
MAIN ATTRACTION WAS TO THE CONSERVATIVE
MORAL AND POLITICAL STANCE THAT SEEMED
TO CHARACTERIZE THE FIRST ISSUE I SAW.
INCIDENTALLY (HE SAYS ACCIDENTALLY!), it was
sent to me by a friend, so I really didn't "hear about
you" at all, and still haven't. All I know is what has
come in the two issues of the Newsletter I have
seen. The best to you.
*Another name for UNC.
** UNC's archrival - NCSU.