June 28, 2017

Three Wooden Crosses

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There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway
Why there’s not four of them, Heaven only knows
I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you
It’s what you leave behind you when you go

That farmer left a harvest, a home and eighty acres
The faith an’ love for growin’ things in his young son’s heart
An’ that teacher left her wisdom in the minds of lots of children
Did her best to give ’em all a better start
An’ that preacher whispered: “Can’t you see the Promised Land?”
As he laid his blood-stained Bible in that hooker’s hand

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway
Why there’s not four of them, Heaven only knows
I guess it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you
It’s what you leave behind you when you go

That’s the story that our preacher told last Sunday
As he held that blood-stained Bible up
For all of us to see
He said: “Bless the farmer, and the teacher, an’ the preacher
“Who gave this Bible to my mamma
“Who read it to me”

There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway
Why there’s not four of them, now I guess we know
It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you
It’s what you leave behind you when you go

Songwriters: Kim Williams and Doug Johnson
Performed by Randy Travis and Josh Turner

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Every time I hear this song I can imagine the story it is telling…

A bus has wrecked. Three people have died—a farmer, a teacher, and a preacher. The farmer left the love of farming to his own son. The teacher left her wisdom to her students. A preacher leaves his Bible with a hooker who then uses it to turn her life around. She reads the Word and turns from her possibly horrible miserable life. She has a young son of her own. She reads those same life-saving words to her own son. Her son would become a preacher….

Now these are some honorable legacies!

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.
Psalm 78:4

The hooker in the ballad above did not hide ‘the glorious deeds’ from her son.  She did not hide from him what saved her life. Instead, she gave him the same tools that were given to her by a dying preacher to make sure that her son did not follow the same path the she had.  She got to see a great legacy formed when her son decided to become a preacher. We as parents leave legacies to our children.  They watch everything we say and do, and they learn by listening to us and watching us.

As parents it is up to us to leave our children with a good foundation in Christ. We pass our morals and beliefs onto our children through our actions and conversations with them. They then will turn around and pass it down to their own kids. Leaving a godly legacy becomes more important with each passing generation as this world begins to turn from God.

We should not hide these things from our children. In the song the hooker does not hide her life from her son.  Instead, and this is my imagination working, she shares what her life was like to him and reads to him the Bible, which saved her life.  The preacher made sure that the legacy of God continued when he passed his bloodied up Bible to someone who was in desperate need of it.  I like to imagine that the hooker was on her way to a new life, and the preacher was God’s instrument in making sure that she made herself better and left a good legacy herself.  We need to follow this example and leave a good legacy for our own children.

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Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me in helping to leave a Godly legacy to my children.  May they learn how good You are and that You will never leave them. Please protect them and help them build their own Godly legacies.  In Jesus name, Amen.

The Gift

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Don’t you just love receiving gifts?  It makes us so excited when we are given a box with beautiful paper and a bow—and know that whatever is inside is ours!

I want everyone to think back for a few minutes to  the “BEST GIFT” you ever received?  Now…tell us: what was it?

I wish I could hear you tell me and to be able to hear the excitement and joy in your voice as you tell about that special gift!

There was one special Gift that was given to us all that will surpass all the gifts anyone has ever or will ever receive….  That Gift is JESUS!

But we must remember this gift can’t be ours unless we receive it by faith.  It can’t be of any use to us now or in our future unless we receive it  (Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened),  open it (Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.)  and accept it  in our heart  (John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted him, He gave the right to become children of God.”)   And then we need to make this Gift our own as He meant for it to be.

Many times, gifts we have received over the years become something left on a shelf that gets looked at occasionally, or eventually something that wears out…but this Gift is one that is “alive” and is hopefully sought after every day.  It’s a Gift that you get to re-open every morning when you open His Word and you get to experience a new part of the Gift given to you from when you first said ‘yes!’ to Him.

It truly is “the Gift” that keeps on giving.”

He was born in Bethlehem they say, there was a star to light the path to where He lay.  Rich or poor they came from far and near, cause they’d all heard the reason He was here.

He was the Son God sent to one and all.  Put on this earth, to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

They wrapped him up with gentle hands. God hoped the world would understand.
Eternal life we shall receive. And all that He asks in return is that we just believe.

He was the Son God sent to one and all. Put on this earth to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

There’s no way in this world we could repay the miracle He gave us on that day.

He was the Son God sent to one and all. Put on this earth to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

The Gift  ~  Randy Travis


 On our Savior’s birthday, we got the gift.

Dear God,

As I think about Your sacrifice You sent to each of us I am joyfully excited for this Gift yet my heart is still saddened because there are some gifts that are still unclaimed, some packages that are still unopened by many!  How sad You must feel to think that the “Gift” is not wanted!  The greatest gift of all, God’s Christmas Gift, Jesus Christ, is still unclaimed by millions!  I pray Lord that before this year is done those millions will say YES to you and open “The Gift” you have given for free.

In Your name I pray. Amen.