Today's Word for Pastors...

In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 
2 Kings 21:5-6

Today's Preaching Insight...

God's Way or Our Way

On the first day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of 60 years."

The cow said, "That's a kind of tough life you want me to live for 60 years. Let me have 20 years and I'll give you back the other 40." And God agreed.

On the second day, God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of 20 years."

The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me 10 years and I will give you back the other 10." So God agreed. (Sigh)

On the third day, God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a 20-year life span."

The monkey said, "How boring. Monkey tricks for 20 years. I don't think so. The dog gave you back 10, so that's what I'll do too. Okay?" Again God agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, have sex, enjoy. Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy. I'll give you 20 years."

Man said, "What? Only 20 years! No way, man! Tell you what. I'll take my 20, the 40 the cow gave back, plus the 10 the dog gave back and the 10 the monkey gave back. That makes 80 years. Okay?"

"Okay," said God. "You've got a deal."

So that's why for the first 20 years we eat, sleep, play, have sex, enjoy and do nothing. For the next 40 years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next 10 years we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandchildren, and for the last 10 years we sit in front of the house and bark at everyone.

We are a do-it-yourself people by nature. As this story shows, we bargain the best deal for ourselves, even when it turns out not to be the best deal.

(To read the rest of the article, "Do-it-Yourself Religion" by John A. Huffman Jr. on Preaching.com, click here)

Today's Extra...

God's Creation
by Robert C. Shannon

A. D. Correll is the CEO of Georgia-Pacific, the leading forest-products company in the country. Recently Sky magazine quoted Correll on the value of trees. He said that a growing tree is "the most wonderful pollution control device ever devised. It takes carbon dioxide out of the air and converts it to oxygen and stores the carbon in the tree. When you make lumber and paper, you preserve that carbon storage and start the cycle all over again."

Surely it is by God's design that the environment renews itself, and a tree is only one of countless examples. God has provided his own means to deal with pollution -- both the pollution of the earth and the pollution of the soul. The earth, so wonderfully made, will pass away, and like the apostle Peter and the apostle John we look for "new heavens and a new earth" because the earth will pass away. But the soul, the spirit, the inner person, was created for eternity. When God "restores my soul," He is not only making it possible for me to continue to live abundantly on earth; He is preparing me to live eternally in Heaven.

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