Texas Hunting Lease Report for June 24, 2015
135 Total Listings – 15 New Listings on Today’s Report,
25 Listings Removed from Today’s Report .
People would dial the church and I answered, “Hello First Baptist.”
They assumed I was at the desk, but I might be in Dallas, or Denton, or Ft. Worth visiting hospitals.
“Bill could you run down to the Children’s class and see if I left my lesson?”
“I’d love to but I’m in Ft. Worth.”
Then one day it all went wrong.
A young woman phoned. She was obviously shaken. Her husband had kicked her out of the house and she needed a ride to a nearby town. She could stay there with her mother, but she didn’t have any transportation and her mother’s car was down. Could we help her get to her mother’s home?
I was out of town talking to her on the cell phone. She of course assumed I was in the office. I asked, “Where are you right now?”
“Pleasant View area,” she replied.
“How long have you been there?”
She started to answer when the battery on the cell phone suddenly died. Right in mid-sentence.
Oh no. She’s going to think I just got tired of listening and hung up.
From her point of view the church had rejected her cry for help. She might have even thought God was rejecting her. That thought horrified me. I was stuck. The woman on the other end of the line never told me her name or her phone number. I had no idea who she was and no way to find out.
Sure enough, when I got the phone recharged there was an angry message, “You call yourself Christian but I wouldn’t hang up on a person in need.” Maybe for the rest of her life she thinks the church and the Lord let her down.
I wanted to tell her, “I didn’t hang up, the battery died.” But I couldn’t. I was trapped in a misunderstanding.
I hate that, but it happens. Maybe it’s happened to you, and there’s nothing you can do except learn from it.
Remember how it feels when you are tempted to question someone else’s actions and motives. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Then forget it and go on.
Here’s the beauty of Jesus. Even when people misunderstand you, He never does.
(1 Samuel 16:7) …for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
“The Perfect Pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes. He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also the church janitor
The Perfect Pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books, and donates$30 a week to the parish. He is 29 years old and has 40 years’ experience. Above all, he is handsome. The Perfect Pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his parish. He makes 15 home visits a day and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The Perfect Pastor is always in the next parish over! If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this notice to six other parishes that are tired of their pastor, too. Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the parish at the top of your list. If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors. One of them should be perfect. Have faith in this letter. One parish broke the chain and got its old pastor back in less than three months!”
I love it. That little letter highlights something we all already knew. Nobody is perfect.We are born with strengths and limitations. God did that deliberately. We are designed with flaws that I like to call “gaps.” I need you to fill my gap and you need me to fill yours. Together we become what we could never be as individuals.
That’s why He called the church a body. We are individual pieces of a complex organization. I might be an eye with great vision. But you might be a hand that reaches out to touch. I might be a nose and can smell dinner. But what good is a nose without a mouth? And what good is a mouth without a tongue? And what good is a tongue without saliva, and taste buds, and . . . well you get the picture. It takes a lot of different gifts and strengths to make up for all those limitations. So be who you are and let others be who they are and together we will fill one another’s gaps and be the body of Christ.
“I’m coloring God and His wife.”
Margaret looked over her shoulder to see. “Oh no honey, that’s not God and His wife, that’s Adam and Eve. God doesn’t have a wife.”
The little artist was puzzled. “Then who picks out his clothes?”
I’m not sure that little innocent girl didn’t say something that we all secretly wonder. Yeah, we know that God doesn’t need a wife to pick His clothes. The rest of us guys do, but not God. Still, there’s something there if we will hear it. Here’s what I think it might be. We all know that God is big and omnipotent, and creator and all of that. But is He capable of dealing with the complexities of everyday life? I think that’s a question we tend to secretly harbor.
“Yes, God, I know that you hung the stars in place and that you ordered the seasons. I have no problem with the fact that you fed five thousand and walked on water, or that you split open a sea and allowed a couple of million people to walk over the oyster beds. But God, I’ve got a car payment and its due next Wednesday. Let’s face it Lord, you know all about the universe, but you’ve never dealt with a finance company!”
We don’t say it like that, but that’s how we feel. Can God really help us through the everyday world? We sometimes wonder. Especially when the crisis is immediate. A mate is distant, a child is in trouble, the job is uncertain. You pace and can’t rest. You do everything you can think to do to fix the problem. Heaven is silent. And you wonder, “Where is God? Why won’t He help? Can He help? Is God big enough to know and concerned enough to care?”
Psalm 27:13-14 has been a source of great encouragement for me lately in this area. I encourage you to commit this to memory and have it ready the next time worry starts to eat at you.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD;
Be strong, and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.”Here’s what I see, “God is big enough to take care of your everyday stuff.”
That’s how some people see him. Just a little harmless figure. It makes me think of my favorite story of Christ’s birth, which can be found in John.
John, unlike Matthew and Luke, John does not have a nativity story. He starts big and theological.
(John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word, Jesus, was in the beginning with God. Now skip down to verse 14, this is the nativity story from John’s perspective.
(John 1:14) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There it is. The nativity story. God put on skin. Grace wrapped itself in Jesus.
Get a feel for the majesty of God. How big. Not a little-g god with all the pandering and problems we face. The big-G. Only God. The God of time and space. The God of eternity. Creator of the universe. Back up to John 1.
(John 1:3) All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
All things were created by him and apart from him Nothing was created.
They have this theological word concerning the creation. Ex nillo. Out of nothing. There was nothing, and now there is something. And the something we now have is covered with the fingerprints of god.
Consider the vastness of the creation. Lucado helps with this:
Our Galaxy is one of billions. Who can conceive of such a universe. . . no one can. But let’s try anyway. Suppose you attempt to drive to the sun. you get into a space car that goes 150 mph. you hop in, open the moonroof, and blast off. Any guess as to the length of your trip? Try 70 years.! Suppose you fuel up to head to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, best pack a lunch . . . you’ll need 15 million years to make the trip. Traveling at 600 mph it would take 17 years to reach the sun and 690 years to get to Pluto!
No matter how big this all is, god is bigger. That big God, squeezed into skin and showed us what he was like and what he loved. Think about that.
120 Total Listings, 13 New Listings on today’s report, 25 Removed Listings
The stricken man asked for a pencil and paper and then spent several minutes thinking and writing. The doctor commented, “You certainly are making a lengthy will.”
The patient fired back, “I’m not making my will; I’m making a list of people I’m going to bite!”
It wouldn’t be funny if it weren’t so true! There are people who, like rabid dogs, spend their days looking for someone else to bite.
Chances are you know the person I’m talking about because he already bit you. And you know, he could even be a she. Bitterness, like rabies isn’t gender specific. She could be a church member, or he might be your boss. This fellow could be a neighbor or a teacher. In a worst case scenario your rabid person would be a relative. Maybe she’s an irregular parent or an irrational mate.
I remember an instance when a neighbor poisoned our dog. In a way, it was our fault. She had learned to open the gate and kept getting out. The neighbor behind us had no fences and she would get into their garden. One day she came home sick. We called the vet, described the symptoms. Poison.
The dog died in my arms. Man, it was so sad to watch the boys see their beloved dog die. I felt such anger and resentment at that neighbor. I wanted to go poison his dog.
How fair would that be to the dog?
Bitterness is like rabies. If you aren’t careful you get infected with the very thing that hurt you and you go out to hurt others.
Hugh Downs said, “Bitterness is the only weapon that we wield by the blade.”
Jesus gave us the cure for bitterness. It is called forgiveness. He taught forgiveness, he modeled forgiveness, and he demanded forgiveness from his followers.
Ephesians 4:31) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Try to remember that the next time you get bitten by a rabid dog.
by Bill Dye
One time, right before I left to go on a trip, I got into my truck and it wouldn’t start. Dead as a doorknob. I was leaving so I figured I’d worry about that when I got back. Took the other vehicle.
But then when I got back, I forgot that the truck was dead until I was getting ready to leave for work in the morning. It looked like the headlights had been left on–duh–so I jumped it with Amy’s car. I let it run for a while. Turned it off. Turned it back on: it fired right up.
Then the next morning the truck wouldn’t start. Amy was working at the time, and she was already at the end of the drive.
But it was too late. I could have called her, but I figured it would probably be more hassle than it was worth. The batter wasn’t holding a charge, so I knew I’d have trouble coming home from work too. I’ll just ride the motorcycle.
So I get on the motorcycle and start to back out. What in the world. The rear tire was verylow.
Better take the truck.
Andrew was coming out of the house about to drive to school.
“Hey, Andrew. Come jump me.”
Truck fires right up.
I realized I’d left my bag inside, so I left the truck running and walked inside to grab my bag while Andrew pulled off.
When I go back to the truck, the doors were locked.
Huh. I didn’t lock that door.
It must have locked when the truck computer reset.
Great. My keys and phone are locked in a running truck. I don’t have an extra key, but I know Amy still has a keyless remote for the truck on her keychain.
I thought, “Well, the truck is almost empty, I’ll just leave it running and let it run out of gas.”
But then I thought, “Wait. If the battery dies when the truck stops that means that the keyless remote won’t work either.”
I aired up the motorcycle, rode the 25-mile round trip to retrieve the other keyless entry from Amy, and then came back push the button.
The truck was running, but the keyless remote wasn’t working. I pushed the button again and again. I realized its battery must be dead.
So I raced to the hardware store for a battery, took apart the little keyless remote, out with the old in with the new, bushed the button: nothing.
The truck just kept idling, my keys in the ignition.
Must be some circuitry thing wrong with the keyless remote.
By now I’d wasted over an hour, the truck was still running, and I had no way to get the door open.
I sighed. “Fine. I’ll go inside and call Pop-a-Lock.”
But wait… the house doors are locked, my house key is in the truck, and the garage door opener is there too.
I’ll just get the spare… oh wait, a friend borrowed our spare key.
Why did this happen to me? Was God trying to teach me something? Is it for some sin in my life. Or could it just be that this happened because I left the headlights on and was too cheap to get a spare key?
Here’s what I know. No matter why it happens God can still use it for his glory. Troubles are that way.
(1 Peter 1:6-7) In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
(2 Timothy 2:1) You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
“Be strong. . . ” I understand that part. Paul was an avid sports fan. He often compared the Christian life to sport. So I understand what he means by strength. Be strong like an athlete is strong.
Champions are strong. In fact, you will never find a champion that isn’t strong. Most of them are physically strong. But that’s not really the secret to their excellence. Championship athletes are mentally strong.
Before he moved to Shreveport, NFL quarterback Doug Pederson was in our church. Doug’s a great guy and a man of integrity and faith. One day we were playing golf and Doug showed me about a champion’s mental toughness. As we came to the end of the front nine Doug was messing up a little, and I got lucky and parred a couple. Then I got cocky. “Pederson,” I said, “I’m taking you down on the back nine.” Doug said, “Pastor, would you like to put something on it?” Of course it isn’t gambling if it’s for food, so I took him up, “How about a coke?”
It was as if I’d lit a fuse in him. He was two under par going into 17. I was playing somewhere around bogie golf.
I said, “You know Doug, it’s really sad what you will do for a coke.”
He smiled and said, “I want extra large.”
Champions are mentally tough! I believe God wants us to be mentally tough like a champion athlete. But that isn’t exactly what Paul has in mind here. Paul says “Be strong, in grace.” He’s calling us to “grace toughness.”
You might not be physically impressive, and you might not have that mental toughness of a world class athlete, but you can still be strong if you will find your strength in His grace. It happens every time you let him take control of your trouble or your life. Strenght in grace shows up whenever you trust him for your future or your care. When that happens you become strong enough for anything that comes your way.