Today's Word for Pastors...
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
Today's Preaching Insight...
His Passion and Our Passion in Death
In George Seaton's 1956 film, The Proud and the Profane, the steps of a young nurse are traced to Iwo Jima where her husband had been killed in World War II. She goes to the cemetery where her husband is buried and turns to the caretaker, a shell-shocked soldier, who had seen her husband die. "How did he die?" she asked. "Like an amateur," he replied. "They teach you how to hurl a grenade and how to fire a mortar, but nobody teaches you how to die. There are no professionals in dying." 1
Death. Like some of the other words in this series on The Passion Story, death is a hard word. It sounds harsh. It has a roughness to it. It's cold. The word calls forth a variety of emotions--anger, despondency, fear, regret, relief, and sadness to name a few. Death. From the Greek word thanatos, it means the termination of life, the extinction of something. Everybody has or will walk through the chasm Psalm 23:4a called the "darkest valley"--the "valley of the shadow of death", that is. Again the Psalmist observed in 89:48, "Who can live and never see death? Who can escape the power of Sheol?" The answer? None.
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You never know where you will find a conscience. In York, Pa., an armed robber gave back what he would have stolen from a homeless man. According to news reports, a man by the name of Sanderson was stopped by an armed thief. At the point of a gun, Sanderson gave the thief his wallet, cell phone, MP3 player and a pack of cigarettes. The thief wanted to know if that was all he had, to which Sanderson replied that he was a resident of the homeless shelter. Something must have touched the thief. He reportedly said, "I can respect that." He then gave the man back all he had stolen.
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