Years ago a man went through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and northern West Virginia greeting folks by saying, “Hello! I have good news from heaven.” His name was John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. This pioneer nursery man saved apple seeds and sold them for a penny each. He sold young sapling apple trees for three cents each. He wanted our country’s settlers to not only have a food supply for themselves, but for future generations as well.
John Chapman was quite an evangelist too. He told stories to children and preached the gospel to anyone who’d listen. The Indians referred to him as someone touched by the Great Spirit.
Our forefathers saved and stored seed year after year to sustain them. Seed had to be preserved, kept safe and when the time was right, planted in the earth. Seed was precious . . . valuable.
We too have valuable, precious seed—God’s Word within us.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:5-6
Are there any Johnny’s or Johnette’s out there? Did you do some sowing this week?
We have good news from heaven!
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“Those are the glories of God.””The what?”
“The glories of God, ” Sue said, pointing to the sunbeams shining through the clouds.
Wow! I didn’t know I could see the glories of God. Sue should know. After all she’s nine.
“Mom! Mom!” I gasped, hurrying to the front steps of our house. “I just saw the glories of God!”
“The glories of God! Come look.”
We walked to our backyard overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.
“See. There they are. The glories of God,” I said showing her the streams of light shining downward from the sky. A warm wind brushed against our faces as we stood looking upward. Did God really open the heavens to let those beams of light shine down to earth?
The other day while driving home from work, I saw them again. Shafts of light shining earthward, scientifically called God Rays.
Some day I will see the real God Rays–His glory. In heaven, the Lamb, Jesus Christ is the light. No need for the sun or the moon. His brightness will illuminate eternity (Revelation 21:23).
Come Lord Jesus. My light and my salvation.
We called a friend to ask if we could borrow his pressure washer.
“Sure as long as you pay me in some of your homemade bread. Deal?”
Making bread is one of our pastimes. It’s amazing how the ingredients can mix into such warm deliciousness.
Jesus told a parable about bread making, (Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:21). Although there are other scriptures comparing leaven to sin, (Matthew 15, Mark 8, 1 Corinthians 5 and Galatians 5), Jesus’ allegory to His Kingdom being like leaven hits home–in the kitchen and in the heart.
When yeast is mixed into the dough then left alone, a change will show.
The dough will soon be twice its size thanks to yeast that made it rise.
The kingdom’s like this Jesus said, like the leaven makes our bread.
Word and Spirit both alive begin to work, deep, deep, inside
and change a life bound by sin, setting it free–new life in Him.
And He in us, hope of glory. Heaven’s leaven. Unseen story.
Grave site of John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He would greet folks by saying, “I have good news from heaven!”
During a weary time in my life I asked the Lord,
How Long? How long do I stay faithful?
Later that day I found the answer.
. . . be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.
The Story of Flash E. McManus and Sted E. Eddie
Last week we had a Kids Crusade. It was based on a Nascar theme and the highlight of each night was a race between Flash E. McManus and Sted E. Eddie. Flash thought he was all that. He thought he could take it easy and enjoy the adoration of his pit crew and fans. After all, he had earned the title Flash–not only for his speed, but for his style as well.
However, in the other lane was Sted E. Eddie. He wasn’t as flighty as Flash. He didn’t have a record of fast finishes but he had something that Flash didn’t have–sticktoitness. He took race car driving seriously. Even when the fans clapped and cheered, Eddie waved back to them, maintaining his solemn race day face.
The two competitors stepped into their cars. Their hands gripped the steering wheels. The crowd and engines roared. Their cars vibrated in their respective lanes. The starting flag signaled and they were off. Around and around they sped. After a couple of laps Flash thought he’d relax and sit a while. You see, he was Flash and he’d always won his races by a long shot. It wouldn’t hurt to get a drink, wave to the fans and share some laughs with his crew. “I’ve got it made,” he muttered.
Meanwhile, Sted E. Eddie stayed true to his name and continued the race. Just when Flash thought he could cinch another win, he jumped into his car, stomped on the gas and sped away to catch Eddie. But this time his clutch jammin’, foot slammin’ skills didn’t work. Sted E. Eddie was leading and Flash was in trouble. Sted E. Eddie saw his fellow racer lagging behind. He let Flash catch up to him and shouted, “Come on Flash, let’s cross the finish line together!” And they did.
Isn’t that what life’s race is all about?
Helping each other to the finish line?
He that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22b
Ever hear a crowd erupt into applause? It sounds like a cascading waterfall or the voice of many waters (Revelation 19:6). That’s what John heard when he peered into heaven. So . . . if that’s what heaven is like–perhaps I should rehearse down here.
O clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1