Ready for His Return
    Where is that guy with the rainbow wig holding a “John 3:16” sign in the end zone at NFL football games? Younger readers may not have any idea what I am talking about! You used to see this guy on TV all the time wearing “Jesus Saves” shirts and holding his sign. Most thought he was a harmless guy, but now he is serving multiple life sentences for taking hostages at a hotel near LAX in 1992. His name is Rollen Stewart and he believed — and continues to believe while in prison — that Jesus’ second coming is imminent. His extreme actions were meant to make people take notice and listen to him. Now he sits behind bars, and most in the world see his name as nothing more than an answer to a trivia question. It is a sad story when people hurt others or use extreme methods in the name of God. Mr. Stewart’s belief that simply getting people to listen to his message is the most important step in their salvation is misguided. His poor stewardship should stand in stark contrast to our good stewardship. Our actions, seasoned at times with our words, should be the evidence people need to see the transformative power of Jesus Christ. We do believe that He is indeed coming again. But once you have committed yourself to Him and live in His life on earth, when He returns is not our main concern. We are ready whenever that time comes, and hopefully, we can help others be ready as well by our example.
Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

When Sacrifice Becomes Mundane--It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!” But by now, these Lenten resolutions are no longer novelties — they’ve joined the ranks of everyday inconveniences, which somehow are the hardest to bear. Because transformation, in real life, happens in inches, just as a battle is won slowly in the crash of one sword against another. It’s not always a dramatic thing, to the naked eye. It’s the perseverance in prayer despite weariness, or the continual denial of some pleasure even though there’s that nagging voice in our minds saying: go ahead, God doesn’t really mind. It’s a week when we all need a shock to the system — and wouldn’t you know it, this Sunday God gives us a double-whammy of dramatic sacrificial scenes. We picture Abraham, who also cried “Ready!” when God called, never imagining what He would ask: the surrender of his long-awaited son. We see Christ himself transfigured, as God shows us what He is ready to give up for love of us. We must remain committed, persevering daily in acknowledging that everything belongs to God. What we sacrifice, we simply give back to Him. If God is for us, who can be against us? Can we still reply, “Ready!” when we hear the call of God? —
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