Free Tickets!!

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andy-li-A_dJOYpxEVU-unsplash

Free tickets!! Who wouldn’t want free tickets to a sporting event? An amusement park? A Concert? The following is great “food for thought” for all of us. It was written by a fellow coach.

Super Bowl 39 featured a classic first half defensive battle, followed by a second half offensive shootout between the explosive New England Patriots and the gritty Philadelphia Eagles. New England claimed the Super Bowl title by only 3 points, 24-21. The game lived up to its expectation as the two divisional champs clashed for the title. Two Tickets to the Super Bowl cost between $3,000 and $10,000. With that in mind, if someone offered you two free tickets to the Super Bowl would you take them?

There was an interesting story several years ago about a guy named Greg Laurie who tried to give away an extra ticket on his way into the Magic Kingdom . As his family went into the park, he told his family, “Hold on while I find someone to take this free ticket. This shouldn’t take long!” But time after time he would approach people at the front gate only to be turned down. He was astounded! No one would take his free ticket.

Think about that…isn’t it hard to believe? Who would turn down free tickets to the Magic Kingdom? Well, shortly after moving to Orlando I got a job at the Magic Kingdom, and along with it an employee pass that could sign in 3 people per day to the theme parks for free.

One time a friend visited me and we went to go into EPCOT. As we were about to go in I said, “Wait… let’s see if we can grab two people to come into the EPCOT for free with us!” I approached several couples who looked like they hadn’t purchased tickets yet. I asked them if they’d like to come into EPCOT for free. I was shocked when time after time they would turn me down, often to walk right up to the ticket counter to buy tickets. Can you believe it? It was just like what Greg Laurie described. I was amazed. People just could not accept what seemed like was too good to be true.

It’s the same thing with the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says that the Lord has prepared a special place in His Kingdom just for you. All it takes is a “free ticket” to get into the gates. But most people can’t accept that anything that good would be so easy to get. Most people try to get into the Kingdom by being good, or acting a certain way or by living a “good life”. But it’s much easier than that:

To claim your ticket into God’s Kingdom you only have to do two things: 1) Admit that you have sinned in your life and need to be forgiven, and 2) to pray and ask the Lord to forgive your sins and to bring you into His Kingdom. It is just that easy and there is no catch.

Once you have your ticket into the Kingdom, all of your sins past, present and future are washed away and you have a guaranteed spot in a celebration infinitely better than the Super Bowl.

Consider these words from the Bible:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Your tickets to the Kingdom of Heaven are waiting for you. All you have to do is pick them up. Will you pick up your tickets today?

When I Needed Help…

Photo Credit: Brian Snelson via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Brian Snelson via CC Flickr

As I was walking home this week worrying about all the garbage going on in Washington, Iraq, Syria, London, Moscow, Ukraine etc. and at how my life was falling apart, I saw a yard sign that said:

NEED HELP?
CALL JESUS
1-800-005-3787

Out of curiosity and desperation, I did.

 

 

 

A Mexican showed up with a lawnmower.

———————

Hope this silly joke brought a smile to your face. Have a great day!

The Letter

Photo Credit: William Arthur Fine Stationary via Flickr

Photo Credit: William Arthur Fine Stationary via Flickr 

The following letter will make you think…

Dear Friend,

I just had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you.

Yesterday, I saw you walking and laughing with your friends; I hoped that soon you’d want Me to walk along with you, too. So, I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you. I waited; you never called. I just kept on loving you.

As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted so much to touch you. I spilled moonlight onto your face trickling down your cheeks as so many tears have. You didn’t even think of me; I wanted so much to comfort you.

The next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into a glorious morning for you. But you woke up late and rushed off to work-you didn’t even notice.

My sky became cloudy and My tears were the rain.

I love you! Oh, if you’d only listen. I really love you! I try to say it in the quiet of the green meadow and in the blue sky. The wind whispers My love throughout the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of the flowers.

I shout it to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls and composed love songs for birds to sing for you. I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with nature’s sweet scent.

My love for you is deeper than the ocean and greater than any need in your heart. If you’d only realize how I care. I died just for you. My Dad sends His love. I want you to meet Him. He cares, too. Fathers are just that way.

So please call Me soon. No matter how long it takes, I’ll wait because I love you.

Your Friend,
Jesus

——————

Source: shortstories101.com

The Little Boy

Photo Credit: Nightryder84 via WikiMedia

Photo Credit: Nightryder84 via WikiMedia

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”

The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. “I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.” She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. He was always thinking of someone else and always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

“Dear Mom,

I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ “God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m, sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from: God, Jesus & Me.”

Take the time today to love your kids, your spouse or the other people who are important in your life. Give them a hug or a kiss and tell them how much you love them.

What 57 Cents Can Buy

Grace Baptist Temple, Philadelphia

 

“I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

 

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

 

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which looked as if it had been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.” For two years the little girl had saved for this offering of love.

 

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying the note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there…

 

Soon afterwards, a newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered the church a parcel of land worth many thousands of dollars. When told that the church could not pay much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Soon church members were making large donations and checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00, which was no small sum at the turn of the century. Her unselfish love had paid huge dividends.

 

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church. It currently has a seating capacity of 3,300. Be sure to visit the Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at the Sunday school building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school again.

 

 

One of the rooms of the Sunday school building features the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr.Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, “Acres of Diamonds”.

 

When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and often do, happen!