If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people takes things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these things,
Then you are probably the family dog.
No! This is a dog’s life. And we think of a dog’s life as easy. The question is, “Can we, who are filled with the Holy Spirit be as graceful as a dog?” Maybe all dogs do go to heaven! But I have met a few over the years in my house visits that I would just as soon not see there.
I Corinthians 13 is the Bible’s great chapter on love – what it is and isn’t. Read it and see the parallels. “Even the dogs eat what falls from the Masters table.” It’s a dog’s life. Maybe we should take the hint! — Ben
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be ratified, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.”
The above quote sounds like the rant of a “mean-hearted, right-wing extremist” in the halls of our own Congress. But this warning came from Cicero to a declining Rome some 55 years before Christ was born. The truth is that no one can give away what they don’t have without paying a huge price. Rome just wouldn’t listen. Rome fell because of fiscal and moral decline. It seems that we will do the same because people just don’t listen.
The rise and fall of nations are what fill history books. We analyze their plights in retrospect, but fail to learn from history or apply the lesson in our present day To fail to apply is a failure to learn. Therefore, we will repeat history all-the-while convincing ourselves that somehow we have evolved enough so that we will succeed where other have failed. What is that which comes before a fall?
There are more important lessons than what Cicero taught. These lesions have to do with more than just the continuance of a nation, but they have to do with eternity. The world will say that eternity is simply the continuance of nations unless we destroy ourselves by “planet-poisoning” or the asteroid hits us. But Jesus says something much different.
He says that every person will exist forever. There are only two destinations in eternity; heaven and hell. The world laughs; they won’t listen. Jesus knows; He died on a cross to give us a choice. The world ignores; thinking He will go away, or simply not return. They won’t listen. But Christ still says, “Come, and I will give you eternal life.”
If Rome fell because they refused to hear Cicero, how great will their fall be who refuse to hear Jesus? The world’s warnings are for only temporal life. Jesus’ warnings have eternal significance. The world will not hear. Do we?– Ben
Sermon: 8/3/2014 “Now and Then”
Rev Ben Herlong
July 27, 2014 Sermon “The Ultimate Necessity”
Rev Ben Herlong
On August 23rd from 7 AM until 2 PM, Aldersgate UMC will host a Community Yard Sale. There will be spaces available for purchase near the parking lot for anyone wishing to sell their goods. Church members can donate goods to sell as well, and they will be sold in the Fellowship hall with all proceeds going to the general budget. Further information can be found HERE. A Registration Form can be found HERE.
Come Join Us!
Like a high-speed train without brakes barreling toward a trestle that is out, so we find
ourselves in an increasingly immoral world running into the consequences demanded by a moral universe. Denying the existence of morals does not make the morals disappear. It only determines how they will show themselves. By acknowledging them, we build a strong society. Run contrary to them and we will “reap what we sow”. Sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind.
G.K. Chesterton said, “The trouble with someone who does not believe in God is not that he will end up believing in nothing; it is that he will end up believing in anything.” Oftentimes, that which is most popular or trendy is that which guides our culture. Cultural expressions may change but Godly morals do not. If we capitulate to moralisms that say no one has a right to tell others what’s right or wrong for them, we embolden the immoral and make darker our world.
Let’s let our light shine in the darkness. The light of Christ overcomes the darkness. Let’s not hide it under a bushel. Let the truth of the Gospel be spread! Because the danger is not that the world will believe in nothing, but that it will believe in anything. What a shame, when what the world needs is the Gospel truth…and morally so.–Ben
From where does spiritual strength come? So often we feel we have no power or influence to change the world…to bring people to Christ. We feel if we try harder that somehow we will gain power to make disciples. This can become frustrating because it puts most all responsibility on us. When things don’t go as we like it, we blame ourselves for not being “what we should.” We need to remind ourselves that we are not strong because of all the things that stand on us…those things we carry, but upon Whom we stand and by Whom we are carried.
Bill Gaither wrote a song entitled “The Lighthouse” which reflects this point. What appears o be the lights of two ships approaching each other at night on a storm-tossed sea causes the captain of one to order the other to veer so many degrees to the right. The response came from the second ordering him to move so far to the left. A war of wills took place with the captain of the ship becoming more intense, while the voice of the other was calm. “I am the captain of the ship,” shouted one. “I’m a seaman second-class,” was the calm reply. This is a U.S. Navy destroyer.” screamed the captain. “I am the lighthouse,” said the seaman. “Change your course.”
Though the captain was never outranked, he was “out-flanked.” From the secure position of being on solid rock, the seaman second class could tell the captain in a ship what to do. Though we may be out-numbered, out-ranked and out-smarted in the world, we are not out-flanked. We are not overcome. We are on the solid rock! We do not carry the rock. We are on the rock. Location, location, location! It is from this position and this position only do we have spiritual strength. And it doesn’t take an act of Congress to get us there.–Ben