Friday, January 29, 2010

Were the "Good Old Days" really that Good?

A few days ago, my wife and I were having a conversation with my oldest son who has been living with us now for about six months. Of course we love our son and back six months ago we asked him to move in with us until he got himself another job.

Now my son is a welder and had a good job with North River Boats for several years. The company was flourishing until the owner got caught embezzling company funds and falsifying company documents. Anyway, to make a long story short... The company ended up laying off the whole work crew.

Now the job situation in Oregon is not good and I realize that my son has been doing everything he can to get employment. But it seems like every time we discuss his situation, it always ends up with him telling us that we had it so much better back in the days when we were working (Good old Days) and raising the family.

Well...Did we? I recall, back in the 60's and early 70's, when my wife and I just started out on our own, there were a few obstacles we had to overcome. First of all, I was still in the Navy so my wife had to live in a small apartment while I was stationed overseas. My wife was working full time so with her income and the modest income I was making we still had a hard time making ends meet.

I remember, after a few years in the Navy, I finally got transferred to shore duty at the Naval Air Station located in Alameda, California. My wife and I were so excited about making the move from our hometown in Oregon.

We went out and bought ourselves a good running used car for about $300.00 and rented a small U-haul trailer to pack all of our worldly possessions. I still recall pulling that small U-haul trailer, packed full of our household items, over the mountain passes. There were a few times that I didn't think our little car would make it up some of the hills and I thought our brakes wouldn't hold up going down several of the steep grades. But we finally made it there in one piece.

It is sort of funny, now looking back on it, how we actually survived on only my income. I remember us looking around for a place to rent, but all of the apartments and houses were way to expensive for us. Finally we located a small house which was converted from a chicken coupe out in the country near Handford. It was very small, maybe 12'x16', but it was within our price range. The older folks that rented the house to us were so nice and treated us like one of their family.

I fondly remember our first Christmas there. We went out to a Christmas tree lot and ended up buying a little fir tree that hardly had any limbs. But that was the only one we could afford. Anyways, we taped a few more limbs to it and put on a string of Christmas lights. Now that was the cutest little Christmas tree I every saw when it was evening time and its lights were on.

I also remember the problems we had with sugar ants always getting into our food. I guess the ants still felt that it was a chicken coupe. And the drinking water had the smell of sulfur in it, but we were instructed by our landlord to keep a pitcher of water for drinking overnight in the refrigerator and the sulfur gases would dissipate. But this was our first house together and we called it home.

I remember that between paydays my wife and I would go out and walk up and down the roads collecting beer and pop bottles to get the deposit money so we could buy food. It is amazing how many ways you can prepare pancake mix and fix hamburger helper.

After a year or so of shore duty, I was discharged from active duty. How exciting that was. Both my wife and I were out of a job but we had managed to save up a little money for emergencies. The plan was, to move back to Oregon and I would attend the community college in Pendleton under the GI bill. One other thing I might mention is that my wife was about seven or eight months pregnant with our oldest son.

We located an apartment in Pendleton where we called home. I wasted no time in going out looking for a job so I could support my family. Maybe back in the 70's the job situation was better, I don't know, but I do know that I spent hours going from one business to another asking if they had any job openings. Finally I landed a job at Kern's Furnishing Company in Pilot Rock. Boy, I sure was excited! The pay was low to start out, but at least it was a paycheck.

My wife and I began looking around for a house to buy. I had always been told that when you rented you were just flushing your money down the toilet, that home ownership was the way too go. We located a small two bedroom house in Pilot Rock for about $7,500.00. It was such a cute little house with a white picket fence. We both fell in love with it. After signing a private contract with the owners of the house we became proud homeowners ourselves.

My wife and I called this little house "home" for about three years. Being just about newly weds, my wife and I experience good and bad times in this little house. But what a blessing it was that we were able to work things out and stay together.

I still remember my wife going into the hospital in Pendleton for the delivery of my oldest son. How excited I was to be a daddy and just the thought of it swelled up tears of joy in my eyes. After our son was born, we were so excited to get him home where we could start being parents. We had his bedroom all fixed up with little toys all over the place. He was our first born and we named him after me. I still remember us using our credit card to pay off the hospital and doctor bill of about $350.00 for the delivery.

After our son was about a year old, my wife decided that in order to keep up with our monthly bills, she needed to find a job. Our budget was getting a little tight even though I was still going to college and working full time. I had always felt that it was my job to go out and bring home the paycheck, but after talking it over with my wife, the only way we could get ahead was if both of us were working.

My wife ended up getting a job at the same furniture company where I had first worked. I was now working at Georgia Pacific lumber mill that was located down the road from Kern's Furniture Company. My wife worked really hard and I was so grateful to her because I was getting worn out from a lack of sleep. I finally quit my night time job at the saw mill to concentrate on my daytime college courses. So between the money that my wife made at Kern's Furniture Company and the money I got under the GI bill, we were able to just squeak by from month to month.

Now we could not afford to hire someone to baby set our son, so I invited my younger brother, who was sixteen years old to come and stay with us. My younger brother had dropped out of school and was having a hard time finding work. So this arrangement worked out great for us. My brother would help us around the house and look after our son while my wife was working and I was going to school.

My wife continued to work until she was about seven or eight months pregnant with our second (middle) son. By that time I had finished my studies at the community college and was looking for my first job as a police officer. My wife was really excited about quiting her job and being able to stay home with our son and soon to be second son. By now our first son was about two years old and I can remember leaving him with my brother while I took off to the hospital to watch our second son being born. I still recall how excited I was, now I had two son's and a loving wife, what more could I ask for?

Towards the end of the year, after our second son was born, I got hired on as a policeman for the city of Umitilla. I recall how excited I was. I had quit my job at Georgia Pacific where I was making about $810.00 a month to work as a policeman for the city of Umitilla for about $390.00 a month.

Now in order to work as a policeman in Umitilla, we had to live within the city limits. That meant we had to sell our house in Pilot Rock because we could not afford to hold on to it and live in Umitilla at the same time. Well, to make a long story short, we ended up giving the house in Pilot Rock back to the owners and lost out on any equity that we had in it.

My wife and I rented a house in Umatilla for a few months before buying our second house located in a very nice neighborhood there. Our house had just been renovated and even had central air and heat. We just loved our new home and my job as a police officer was what I had always wanted. Of course being I took such a large pay cut in accepting this dream job, we had a hard time making ends meet because our mortgage payments were double that of our house payments in Pilot Rock.

Thinking that we were going to be staying in the little town of Umitilla for several years, my wife decided to go back to work. I don't think she really wanted too, but we really needed a little more money to make ends meet. My wife was excited about getting a job at one of the local banks instead of another lumber mill job.

Everything seemed good for us until the Chief of Police resigned and left me to handle the police department by myself. Of course the city counsel promised to get me help, but like any other form of government, they were not in a big hurry. For some reason they felt that being I was doing such a good job handling things by myself, there was no hurry to hire on a new chief of police.

After talking it over with my wife, I decided to quit my job because it was just getting too much for me to handle. I started working at a machine shop which paid a little better then I was getting as a policeman. It was great to be working day shifts and being able to be home with my family at night time.

I had already made up my mind that I wanted to stay in the law enforcement field, so I began sending out resume's to all of the police departments in Oregon. I ended up getting hired on by the Canby Police Department south of Portland. I was excited about getting onto a larger police department and the pay was about double that of what I was getting when I was a policeman in Umitilla. I felt sort of bad for my wife because she was enjoying her job at the bank and had made several friends there.

After moving to Canby, we rented a small townhouse apartment until we found a house that we really loved in Armona, a small town south of Canby. We came out a little ahead on the sell of our house in Umitilla, so we were able to get into the house in Armona with a small down payment and still had a little left over to fix it up a bit. Now this was the area my wife and I could call home and the great part about the area was that most of our relatives lived close by.

My wife and I enjoyed living in Armona and the income that I got working as a policeman in Canby was just enough to get us by so she could stay home and take care of our two sons. Within about two years or so, my wife became pregnant with our third son. Also during this period of time the city counsel in Canby had fired the Chief of Police and a big political mess started to develop within the department. I had already decided that I was going to quit my job, but I was going to wait until I had another job lined up.

Well, in April of 1976, my third (youngest) son was born, and by July of the same year I had quit my job as a policeman in Canby and had accepted a job as a deputy sheriff in Douglas County. I have to really give a lot of credit to my wife for loving me so much that she continued to stay by my side and supported me even when things weren't going too well.

So we moved to Douglas County, to a small town by the name of Yoncalla, were I became resident deputy. I will always remember the only house in Yoncalla that we could afford to rent was near the Yoncalla High School. It was a really small house with three bedrooms. I recall when I put our king size bed into the master bedroom, we had to climb over it just to get to the bathroom. And the foundation of the house was sinking so the floors were not level. It was funny because I had to put a wedge under the refrigerator so the door wouldn't keep opening by itself. Well, me, my wife and three son's, ages 5, 3, and 2 months, called this little dilapidated house "home" for about a year before finding a house to buy.

Now we are still living in Douglas County, where we raised all three of our boys. We finally stayed in an area long enough for my wife to go back to college and get her bachelor degree and a job working for the county tax office. I continued working for the sheriff's office and was promoted to detective. Our youngest son became a welder, but had a lot of problems with drugs and depression. In 2004, at the age of 27, he committed suicide and left behind two lovely children and his loving family. Our middle son got his degree and works for ODF&W as a fish & wildlife biologist. Our older son got his degree in fabrication & welding and was working for North River Boats until he was laid off.

My wife and I are now retired baby boomers who enjoy our volunteer work for our church and hospice. We also enjoy playing bingo, baby setting our grand kids, and having the freedom to do what we want to do, when we want to do it.

That's our life story in a nutshell, leaving out lots of joyful moments in life and lots of heartbreaks. But to answer the question: Were the good old days really that good? I would have to say that I probably wouldn't want to do it over again, but I thank God everyday for giving my wife and me the life's that we lived and everyone that came into our life. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are you armored up for battle?

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

Living in the world is really hard sometimes for a Christian because Satan continually tries to tempt us into joining him. Each morning when I get up from bed, I make sure I put on the whole armor that God has made available to me. I gird my waist with the truth, then I put on the breastplate of righteousness. I shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. I then take up the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation, and pick up the sword of the Spirit. Now I am ready for battle and to fend off all the temptations Satan throws my way.

Father God, thank You for giving me everything I need to protect myself against the fiery darts of the devil.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are You Condemned?

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18)

In the above scripture, Jesus was talking to a Pharisee (religious leader) by the name of Nicodemus who was a member of the powerful Jewish council. Nicodemus was attracted by Jesus' character and miracles. Now, Nicodemus was afraid that someone would find out that he was talking to Jesus, so he made arrangements to see Jesus during the night. Nicodemus didn't want anyone to know that he was a follower of Jesus.

After this secret meeting with Jesus, Nicodemus walked away with a different attitude regarding who Jesus really was. For you see, Nicodemus was a very religious man, but Jesus explained to him that "religion" was not going to get him into Heaven. Jesus let Nicodemus know that he must be "born again" and put his faith in the Son of God. Jesus told Nicodemus that whoever believed in Him (Jesus) would not be condemned, but those that did not believe in Him were condemned already.

Now the word "condemned" is defined as - showing a strong disapproval or demonstrates the guilt of someone. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That means that we are all sinners and are condemned to be separated eternally from God. The original sin all started with Adam and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. Since that time everyone is born with a "sin nature" that keeps them separated from our Holy God.

So what Jesus was telling Nicodemus was, that the only way not to be condemned or separated from God, was to believe in Him (Jesus). Jesus made it very clear that those that refused to believe in Him were condemned already. In this chapter of John, Jesus was referring to those who had heard the Gospel and have deliberately and knowingly rejected it.

Father God, it is my prayer that I never hide the fact that I am a disciple of our Lord Jesus. I pray that You give me the wisdom and courage to go out and witness to a condemned and lost world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Count Your Blessings

God has blessed me so much in this life. One of the many blessings that our Lord has given to me is the gifts of compassion and mercy for other people. Last Summer my wife and I decided to be volunteers for Hospice. To be invited into the last months, weeks, and days of a person's life has been such an honor, privilege and blessing.

I just returned from visiting with one of my hospice patients who just happens to be 92 years old. When I arrived at John's (Not his real name) room, which is located in an assisted living complex, he was so excited to see me. I could tell that John was a little weaker then the last time I visited with him. For several minutes I sat there and just visited with John, talking about "old memories" when he was a fire chief and the city recorder of a small town. I really enjoyed the talk and I knew that John enjoyed reminiscing the days when he was young and full of life.

John asked me if I was going to help him to his walker so he could walk around the assisted living complex and visit with other tenants. I got his walker ready, but soon realized that John was way to weak today to make it on his own. I could tell that John was disappointed. I reached over and got his wheelchair and told John to get in. For about an hour or so, John came alive and began to smile and laugh as I wheeled him down the hallways and around to the other gathering areas to visit with some of his friends.

Soon John became tired so I took him back to his room. John smiled and thanked me for taking the time to visit with him. I told John that the privilege was mine and that I would see him next week. What a blessing to be able to bring joy to the life of someone that is dying. Everyday I count my blessings that God has given to me. Thank you Lord for bringing John into my life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thank You God!

Setting here this morning by my computer, enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, I started thinking about how awesome and how loving our God is.

With all of the turmoil going on in this world today, I can always turn to my God for comfort.

When I am feeling lonely and in despair, I can turn to my God for comfort.

Thank you Lord for always being there with me in my times of need. You are my Rock, my Fortress, my Comforter against this fallen world.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What about different denominations?

The reason there are different denominations within Christianity is because the Bible allows for us to have differences of opinions. Within Christianity there are very few essential doctrines that define what it means to be a Christian. These essential doctrines are:

  1. Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1,14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).
  2. Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).
  3. Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2).
  4. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).
  5. There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8).
  6. God exists as a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  7. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (nature of incarnation).

Click here to read the rest of the article by Matt Slick.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are You Free?

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.(John 8: 31-32)

Each morning when I get up out of bed, I thank God for all of the blessings He has given me. The greatest blessings I have received from God is when I finally realized who He was and accepted His free gift of Salvation. It's hard for me now to understand why anyone would refuse God's free gift of eternal life.

Our awesome God is the creator of the universe and everything in it. It is just mind boggling to even think that a God that is so powerful and almighty even entertained the thought of loving such a person like me. Just think about it. Here is a living God who has control over everything and He wants to have a personal relationship with you and me who are like grains of sand in this world.

I just love the biblical truths that are found in the above scriptures. Jesus is talking with a group of Jewish people that have been following Him around for quite sometime now. Jesus tells them that they can be His disciples (followers) only if they will abide in His word. The dictionary definition to abide is: To remain steadfast or faithful to. So Jesus wanted His disciples to continue to be faithful to His word.

Jesus then lets them know that if they remain faithful in His word, then they will know the "Truth" and it with set them free. What a profound statement. We know that Jesus is the "Truth" because Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6). What peace and joy we should have knowing that abiding in the "Truth" will make us free.

Father God, I am so thankful that Your Spirit has written the truth in my heart and that the truth shall make me free from guilt, sin, misery, and the devil.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wisdom from the Hebrew Talmud

This is written in the Hebrew Talmud, the book where all of the sayings and preaching of Rabbis are conserved over time. It says:

Be very careful if you make a woman cry
because God counts her tears.

Every tear a woman shed is equivalent
of man’s sacrifices in life.

The woman came from a man’s rib,
not on his feet to be stepped on;
not on his head to be superior,
but on his side to be equal.

Under his arms to be protected &
near his heart to be loved.

– Hebrew Talmud

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pray for President Barack Obama!!!

Never in the history of the United States do Christians need to come together in prayer for our country. President Barack Obama, who claims to be a Christian, has allowed the world (devil) to influence his judgement as President of the United States. The following two articles from Life Site News are just a few examples that demonstrate the anti-Christian agenda of the Obama Administration.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 8, 2010 ( – President Barack Obama has achieved another “first” for homosexual advocates by nominating a “transgender” man to a post in the Commerce Department. (Read full article on Headlines).

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2010 ( - Frank Kameny, a “pioneering” homosexual activist who was honored by President Obama and his administration, says the God of the Bible is a “sinful homophobic bigot” who needs to “repent of his sinful homophobia.” (Read full article on Headlines).

It is my prayer that all Christians come together and pray earnestly to the Lord that the Holy Spirit will convict President Obama and his administration to put God first in their decision making.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Heavenly Treasures

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6: 19-21)

Sometimes in life we can all get caught up in this world by what it has to offer. I know that before I became a Christian a lot of my time was focused around my job and family.

I enjoyed my job as a police officer and would sometimes volunteer for extra assignments just to be able to make more money. It seems like the more money I made, the more money I needed to be satisfied. I was self-centered and only thought about what I could do for myself and my family.

What exactly did Jesus mean when He said not to lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but to lay up treasures in Heaven? The Bible is full of scriptures telling us that we should never place anything above God. That we should love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. I think what Jesus was trying to get across was that He wanted us to not put material objects or a person before our Holy God.

The closer we get to our Lord the more we become "Christ-Centered" instead of being "Self-Centered". Jesus is telling us to stop thinking about what we can do for ourselves and to open our eyes to all the hurting people that are suffering and in need of help.

Jesus is telling us that the treasures built up in Heaven are those things that come from the heart, such as the compassion, love, and mercy that we show by helping others.

If your treasures are those of helping people that are in need, that is where your heart will also be. If your treasures are those of having the biggest house, most expensive cars, and a big bank account, that is where your heart will also be.

Father God, I pray that my eyes will continue to be focused on You and that I will not be blinded by the world standards and definition of "treasures".

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christian One-Liners

Don't let your worries get the best of you;
Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited
Until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God,
But only as advisers.

The good Lord didn't create anything without
A purpose, But mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end,
You'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus,
Middle of the road, And back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once,
But temptation bangs on the front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;
If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If a church wants a better pastor,
It only needs to pray for the one it has.

We're called to be witnesses, not lawyers or Judges.

God Himself doesn't propose to judge a man until
He is dead. So why should you?

Some minds are like concrete
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches;
What difference does it make which one you stay home from?

A lot of church members singing 'Standing on the Promises'
Are just sitting on the premises.

Be ye fishers of men.
You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.

Stop, Drop, and Roll won't work in Hell.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified,
He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, But probably prefers
'fruits of the spirit' over 'religious nuts!'

God promises a safe landing,
Not a calm passage.

He who angers you,
Controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot,
Swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions,
Just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as
Great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the
Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message,
The message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is
By what it takes to discourage him.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Prayer for 2010

Thank You God for all the blessings You have given me during the past year. I want to thank You for loving me so much that You would sacrifice Your only Son just so I can come directly to You. Father God I know that I am a sinner, washed by the blood of Your Son Jesus, and You are a Holy and Awesome God.

I thank You for my wife Margaret who has always been there for me in good times and in bad times. I thank You for giving us three sons who I am so proud of, even though one of them, choose to go Home before his time.

I thank you for my church family and all of my sisters and brothers in Christ. I thank you for the Christian fellowship and all of the spiritual and emotional support they provide.

I thank You for all the earthly material things that You have blessed me with. Lord I pray that I never put anything that I possess above You. Lord I know that all things are from You and that everything is Yours and that I am just Your steward.

Lord it is my prayer that I come closer to You this new year and to know You better by studying and meditating on Your Word and applying it to my life. Lord I pray for patience and the wisdom needed to know when You are working in my life so I can join You. Lord I pray for the courage needed to be a better witness for You and that Your light will shine through me.

Father God, I just pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen

Friday, January 1, 2010

How's your hearing today?

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8: 5-8)

The parable that Jesus tells about the sower going out into the field to sow seeds for his crop is very profound. God never intended his Word to be difficult or mysterious. God wants all people to come to Him and accept His free gift of Salvation. Not everyone will accept this free gift because we have a "sin nature" and a "freewill" to make decisions. This parable explains why some people will not accept God's free gift of Salvation.

In this parable, Jesus is talking about four different ways that people receive the Word of God. The seed represents the Word of God and the Sower represents the Believer spreading the Word. The four different types of soil mentioned in this parable represents the people that the seeds (Word) fall upon.

Now the first type of soil is the "Wayside" or path alongside a field or through a field. It is usually well traveled and the ground is hard and beaten down. The seeds can not grow because there is no soil to cover it. The seeds get eaten by birds (devil) and trampled on by the world. These people hear the Word of God, but the devil removes the seeds or puts doubt in their mind's concerning God. The devil takes away Gods Word from their hearts so they do not believe and do not receive Salvation. These people usually worship false gods, false religions or believe there is no God at all.

The second type of soil is "Rocky" and usually have just a thin layer of dirt on it. The seeds grow but the plants have a weak root system and can easily be pulled up. These people hear and receive the Word of God with joy, but they have no deep roots, so they believe for a while, but in time of trouble or temptation they turn away from God. These people are easily persuaded by false teachers and accept any type of religion that might be popular at the time.

The third type of soil is "among thorns" and are those who, when they have heard the Word of God, they accept it with joy. The seeds grow and have good roots, but the weeds and thorns choke them out. These people are so wrapped up in the world's cares, riches and pleasures that they put God last on their priority list. These people usually stop going to church or just go on Sundays to fulfil their "religious duties". The worldly (thorns) concerns make it impossible for these people to produce fruit to maturity or give freely of their time and resources to God.

The forth type of soil is "Good Ground" and are those people who, having heard the Word of God, has accepted it into their hearts and have produced fruit many times over by doing God's will. These seeds (God's Word) have fallen on soil that is enriched and deep enough where the seeds can grow into a mature plant with a strong root system. These people are not swayed by what false teachers say about Jesus and all of the false religions of the world. They are secure in their Salvation and know that their name is written in the "Lamb's Book of Life". They know that the more a person studies and meditates on God's Word, the deeper and stronger their "roots" will be.

What kind of soil were you when you first heard the Word of God. Were you "a wayside", were you "rocky" ground, were you "among thorns", or were you "good ground"? Jesus cried out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”. How is your hearing today? Can you hear God speaking too you?