Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Free Gift

Are you looking for that perfect Christmas gift for that special person in your life, or have you been tempted to settle for a gift-card instead? Before you give up your search, consider the following.

According to the Consumer Reports national Research Center, one out of every gift-card recipients never used their cards last year. This represents about $972 million in unredeemed cards. What reason could one possibly have for not taking advantage of a free gift?

Here were the top reasons for not redeeming gift carDS: Haven't had time (50%); Haven't found anything I want (37%). Lost the card (14%); Card expired (12%).

What do you think about those reasons? What would you have done differently? Would you have neglected this free gift?

As we contemplate the real significance of Christmas, we should ask: Have I received the ultimate free gift?

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23, NAS)

Notice that the free gift of eternal life stands in contrast to spiritual death, which is the result of sin. Sin is something that we all have in common. Unlike the 37% who haven't found anything they want, and didn't use their free gift-card, we on the other should be keenly aware of what we want and need - eternal life! And the Scriptures teach us that it is a free gift for those who receive Jesus Christ.

What would the top reasons be for neglecting God's free gift? I'm interested in knowing what you think, so please e-mail me ( and let's put together a list.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, and don't neglect the free gift.

Pastor Van Morris

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Prayers of The Saints

Bill Lacovara, an insurance adjuster, was fishing at the ocean with his son when he spotted a flowered plastic shopping bag and waded out to retrieve it. The bag contained letters - about 300 in all, sent to a New Jersey minister as requests for prayer - most of them unopened.

The minister had died two years prior at the age of 79. How the letters, some dating to 1973, wound up bobbing in the surf is still a mystery.

"There are hundreds of lives here, a lot of struggle, washed up on the beach," said Lacovara.

Some requests were humorous : "I'm still praying to hit the lottery twice, first the $50,000," one man wrote. "Then after some changes have taken place let me hit the millionaire."

Some, however, were heart-wrenching. One unwed mother wrote that her baby was due in four weeks, and asked God to make the father fall in love with her and marry her so the child would have a father.

Lacovara said he that he is sad that most of the writers never had their letters read. He hopes to change that soon: He is putting the collection up for sale on e-Bay.

According to John, the saints need never worry that their prayers are reaching God : "... and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel." Rev. 8:4 (ESV)

Let us pray on saints.

Pastor Van Morris

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Numbering Our Days

The Bible says, "The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away." (Psalm 90:10 , ESV)

Of course, this is not to be interpreted as a guarantee that we will all live to age 70 or 80. However, the average life expectancy, as of 2005, was 77.6.

So let's say that we possibly live to be 80. The Bible then has this to say, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12 ,(ESV). While the word "number" means more than to just count the days, how sobering would it be if we did number our days?

For example; let's say that you live to 80 years of age. Consider the following:

If you're 16, you have 23,360 days left.

21, you have 21,535 days left.

30, you have 18,250 days left.

40, you have 14,600 days left.

50, you have 10,950 days left.

60, you have 7,300 days left.

70, you have 3,650 days left.

75, you have 1,825 days left.

So with limited, ever-decreasing days to live, the question is how will we live them? Will we live them wisely or foolishly? We would do well to come to the conclusion the biblical writer came to when he said, "The conclusion, when all has been heard, IS: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." (Eccl 12:13).

Pastor Van Morris