Archive for the Ed’s Blog Category

A Dozen Ways to Make Guests Feel Unwelcome at your Church

A satirical look at a too often reality in many churches these days.

So, you don’t like all those pesky new people who visit your church?   Well, here are a dozen ways you can get rid of them once and for all, and get your place back in this church that you helped to build.

1. Make first-time guest parking inconvenient by having your family park alongside you at the spaces closest to the door, even if they are marked “handicapped only.”   Make the new people park in the back.  After all, it is you who have supported this church all these years and you should have the best parking spots.

 2. Use grouchy people as greeters.  Teach your greeters to meet visitors with a complaint; such as by telling them all that is wrong in the world, or how much the preacher will get on their nerves because he tends to chew on his pen in business meetings, or how long-winded his sermons are.  And, be sure to mention that the preacher’s wife has her nose so far up in the air she would drown if it rains.  Those kind of things. 

 3. Pretend that this is a doctor’s office and treat guests like a doctor treats new patients!    Ignore the guest for a few minutes.  Make them stand and wait until you finish with what you are doing before you acknowledge their presence.  Finish that chat with your friends; after all, it would be rude of them to interrupt while you’re talking with someone else.  You should always act like the guest has been to your church before and knows what to do and where to go.   Post a lot of signs.   And best of all, hand them a clipboard and ask them to fill out some lengthy forms!

 5. Don’t escort guests to their classrooms or help them discover where their kids will go to Sunday School.   Just point in the general direction and send them on their way.  After all, you have more important things to do.

 6. When parents show up with their snotty nosed kids in tow, put questions in the parents’ minds about the safety and security of their children.   You might mention that convicted sex-offender who is now a Sunday School teacher that you heard about once at another church or ask them if they heard about the latest priest or preacher that was arrested for sexually abusing boys.   Remind them that this kind of thing could happen anywhere; after all, we are all “sinners saved by grace,” and we are imperfect.  Right?   I’d go as far as to say that if you do a good job on this one, you could likely ignore the other eleven.

 7. Make finding a good seat in the auditorium really hard.   Don’t save any seats at the back of the room or on the aisles.   Learn to turn your heads away from the door so nobody sees newcomers enter.   If you can make a guest come to the front of the room, or crawl over several people to find a seat.  That one really works well.  And, most importantly, NEVER, EVER give up your designated seat for a guest.    After all, this is YOUR church; and these people won’t come back again anyway more than likely.

 8. Have guests stand up while everyone else sits … or sit while everyone else stands.    I’m not sure which of these two ideas work better.   I almost think the practice of having guests stand while the rest of the congregation gawks at them is better if you want to make guests feel unwelcome.  Either way, it will make your visitors feel awkward for that moment they are in the spotlight.

 9. Randomly call on visiting people to read or pray without asking them in advance.  After all, if they really want to be part of this church, they will have to get with the program.

 10. Don’t ever take the initiative to great someone yourself if it is not your turn to be a greeter, and when you are asked to be a greeter, do it half-heartedly when greeting visitors.  Remember, you opposed the idea of having appointed greeters in the first place because , after all, that is what you pay the preacher for, isn’t it?  But, the church elected greeters and you just need to make the best of it.  Remember, it’s not your place to be friendly to new people because they just wreck this perfect church that we’ve built with their wild ideas anyway.

 11. Gossip is very important in the war on maintaining our standing in this church.  So, you should stand around the Welcome Center or the front door and turn it into a place where people can come to hear the latest gossip.  After all, “inquiring minds want to know.” Be sure to gossip about things that make the visitors feel uncomfortable.

 12. Intimidation is a powerful tool in the war to protect our church from takeover by hostile visitors.   Here’s a good idea that’s bound to work.  Somewhere along the way, get the visitor into a place where they hear you as you talk to another person in the church who is fighting in this war alongside you.  You should call the visitor’s name to your friend in your “private” conversation, being sure the visitor can hear you as you talk.  Ask your friend “privately” if they know anything about this person, and if they are known to you already, you could insert some juicy tidbit of gossip about them.  Then, when in the presence of the visitor, pretend the conversation never took place.  Works every time.

And, we wonder why our churches are dying on the vine and people are going to hell because they hate the organized church.  May God open our eyes to what we are doing….and not doing.

You are loved with an everlasting love; and I love you, too.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,                                                                                 Ed Smith

When great accomplishments crumble; the story of the narcissist King

  A sermon by Ed Smith

(inspired by the teachings of Chuck Swindoll)

2 Chronicles 26: 1, 5

 1.   Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.

5.   And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

           As the reign of Solomon, King of Israel ended, his extremely greedy son, Rehoboam came on the scene in his place.  This son was wicked and cruel to his people, so the ten northern tribes (under Jeroboam’s leadership) seceded from the nation, and formed a new nation.  The tenth king down the line from Rehoboam was Uzziah (also called Azariah).  Uzziah ruled from 792 BC until 739 BC.  He took the throne as a teenager, and for many years he sustained an impressive reign.  However, while in the zenith of his career, things changed.  The results were tragic, both nationally and personally.

Uzziah’s first years were filled with unbelievable success…the last years though, were full of horrible failure….because of sin.  The main thing is that “as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper…”  But, Uzziah was a narcissist.

I.                   Uzziah as a youth (2 Chronicles 26:1-5)

A.   His beginning (vs. 1a).  By unanimous vote of the citizens of the nation of Judah, he was made king at the age of sixteen.

B.   (the latter part of verse 1)  Amaziah, the father of Uzziah was murdered by his people.  The writer of the Chronicles tells his life’s story in a single sentence:  “He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart”  Amaziah was a “fence rider” given to compromise and vacillation.  He never put his whole heart into his work as king; the same with his relationship with God.

C.   Uzziah’s spiritual condition is discussed in versus 4-5.  Words reminiscent of his father are recorded:  “he did right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah had done” – Like his father, Amaziah, Uzziah’s goodness and service to God was only half-hearted.

II.                Uzziah’s accomplishments as King   2 Chronicles 26:6-15 tells us that Uzziah was quite a Statesman.  His growing success that began in his youth continued throughout this part of his life.  These were good years for the young king.  Nationally, he was a prosperous official.  Some of his National Accomplishments are listed in versus 6-7 and 9-10)  These can be viewed from two perspectives; away from home and at home in Jerusalem.

A.   Accomplishments away from Home.  (vs. 6-7)

1.                 he won a decisive victory over Israel’s longtime enemy….Philistia.  He broke down the walls of such cities as Gath, Jabneth, and Ashdod.

2.                 He helped rebuild cities in the region, once those victories had been achieved.  He was hailed as a mighty conqueror.

3.                 With God’s help he successfully fought against the Arabians from Gur-baal (we don’t know the location of this place), and the Meunites (perhaps people of the Edomite Desert, from due south of the Dead Sea.)

B.    Accomplishments at Home (vs. 9-10)

1.                 He fortified Jerusalem against invasion from enemies.

2.                 He built cisterns and towers in the surrounding regions in conjunction with his livestock operations,

3.                 He engaged in various farming projects that provided an abundance of food for his people.

C.   Accomplishments from a Military perspective.  (vs. 11-15)

1.                 He organized a fine-tuned military machine composed of 2600 officers and 307,500 soldiers.

2.                 He made provision for their clothing and weapons:  shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings (no small task in that day and age).

3.                 He utilized the inventions of his people and manufactured “engines of war”  (catapults).  These were placed on the walls of Jerusalem to shoot arrows and large stones at advancing armies attempting to overtake the city.

D.   Personal Accomplishments:

1.                 Uzziah gained personal fame and was well known in his kingdom and beyond.  (vs. 8 and 15b).

a.      The Ammonites to the East gave tribute to Uzziah.  People as far away as Egypt did the same.

b.     His power base spread substantially beyond his own borders.

c.     The source of his might must be remembered during these years, however….”God prospered Him (v. 5).  God helped him (v. 7).

2.  Looking at the surface of his kingdom, Uzziah had it all.  His neighbors, the Ammonites praised him.  Just the same, Uzziah apparently began feeding upon such accolades….forgetting from whence his strength came.  The writer of Chronicles says it this way:  “He was marvelously helped until he was strong.  (vs. 15b).

Unfortunately for Uzziah, he did not remain humble.  He became arrogant and his half-heartedness began to mark his daily actions.  This change in character marked a turning point in the life of Uzziah.  He had become strong in his own eyes and in his own strength…until pride (the beginnings of narcissism) took over his life.

III.             Uzziah rebelled against God.  (2 Chronicles 26:16-18)  His life began to demonstrate things that resulted from his rebellion both inwardly and outwardly.

A.   Inwardly, he became PRIDEFUL.    The Chronicles report “but when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God….”   This was Uzziah’s big step away from his God.  This step took place within the privacy of his heart, and it came after a slow erosion of the bedrock that had once been his to enjoy.  This is the sign that the prideful king had begun to fall helplessly in love with himself.  In short, Uzziah became a narcissist.

B.   Outwardly, CORRUPTION became a way of life.  (vs. 16b – 18)

1.                 He crossed boundaries which even a king had no privilege to violate.

2.                 He went into the temple to perform the service reserved only for a priest — he went in to burn incense at the altar of incense.

3.                 He was confronted by Azariah the priest, and 80 of his associates who told the king to get out….(vs. 18).

4.                 Uzziah had his eyes on himself, and arrogantly ignored his limitations.

IV.            Uzziah paid the ultimate price for his rebellion an disobedience to God.   (2 Chronicles 26:19 – 23)

A.   When confronted, Uzziah responded with rage.  He was clearly out of order, but refused to acknowledge that fact.

B.   While as yet the censer for burning incense was still in his hand, leprosy broke out across his forehead……

God had smitten the once powerful and popular king in reproof for his evil deeds.  This man, once mammoth in the eyes of all those who loved and respected him, became a shivering, obscure, forgotten leper.  He went too far….

Uzziah fell because of inward pride that led to sin and ultimately defeat.  God commands us over and over in Scripture to “humble ourselves.”  The famous inventor Samuel Morse was once asked if he ever encountered situations where he didn’t know what to do.   Morse responded, “More than once, and whenever I could not see my way clearly, I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding.”  Morse received many honors from his invention of the telegraph but felt undeserving of them: “I have made a valuable application of electricity not because I was superior to other men but solely because God, who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone and He was pleased to reveal it to me.”


Lessons for those of those of us who are now, or will become successful in your lifetime….

1.                 There is absolutely no Genuine Success is possible apart from God.

2.                 There are few tests like the one success, power or wealth brings.

3.                 The Lord who blesses us with success is also able to bring down the proud, arrogant person who disregards His teachings and plan for their life.

Narcissus was the handsome youth in classical mythology that beheld his own reflection in a pond and fell helplessly in love with himself.  Because he was so self-absorbed, he became unable to tear himself away from the image of his beautiful reflection, and he wasted away and died at that very spot. His own self-absorption led to his destruction, and the coining of the word we know as narcissism.

Narcissism permeates our society today. Many people are wasting away spiritually, emotionally and physically because of the self-absorbed lifestyle of a narcissist.   Our ability to maintain a healthy attitude of ourselves is tied up with the reckoning of who we really and truly are…and are not in Christ.  “Without Him, I could do nothing,” the old song says.  We are nothing apart from Christ. We accomplish nothing without His blessing.  We wouldn’t even be here, except that God created us and gave to us life and life more abundantly through Jesus Christ.  Jesus died to pay our legal penalty for sin in order to secure our forgiveness but He also died so that we could be delivered from the power of selfishness and narcissism.   He rose from the dead representing the proto-type of a new human race, fixating on glorifying God, and serving others and maintaining a healthy knowledge of who we are in Christ. He endows those who put the full weight of their trust on Him with a new nature – a new life in the Spirit.

True success is more than a satisfactory completion of goals.  Our freedom in Christ along with our divinely purposed destiny as human beings and Christians is found in the escape from that which keeps us enslaved by self-interest, self-aggrandizement and self absorption.  The absence of narcissism plus the presence of Christ as our Savior is the definition of a healthy and joyful heart.

My Dad, My Hero (His funeral service)

Dad’s Funeral Service

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, my hero, my earthly father, Edward David Smith was laid to rest.  I had the incredible honor of officiating his funeral service.  By request, I am posting my funeral message.  This is an edited version of the sermon I preached that day.

The first two verses of the Book of Hebrews chapter 12 contain an incredible description of our lives here on the earth, considering them as though it was a race that we are running.  The race the writer of Hebrews is referring to is a race that is somewhat different from our earthly competition-type races, in that he refers to the earthly race that began the minute you and I were born.  The finish line for this race is crossed the minute we die.  The rules of this life-race are different in many ways compared to our competitive earthly races.  For example, in our life-race, we are not in competition to see who gets across the finish line first; and it doesn’t matter who the best trained or most qualified.  Another difference is that we are instructed to help others along the way who stumble or fall instead of taking advantage of the situation in order to get ahead of them.  The only important thing about this race is whether we will run it faithfully or just drop out.  You see, the only losers in this race are the ones who refuse to accept the baton and carry it along with us.  Christ is the baton I refer to and living our lives faithfully to Him is the way we run the race.

Dad chose to run his race faithfully.  Although his words were often few, his example in deed spoke for itself.  While Dad was anything but perfect, he remained faithful until the end.  And, when he failed, he didn’t sit on the ground pouting.  He got up, dusted off his knees and started to run again.  He didn’t cheat either.  I can honestly say that Dad finished his race well.

William Shakespeare said, “When a father gives to his son, they both laugh; when a son gives to his father, they both cry.”  It wasn’t until I came so close to death in 2006 as my family gave sacrificially to care for me as if a newborn babe that I began to understand what Shakespeare meant by that.  These past 4 years and 8 months of caring for Dad during his last days brought with them a lot of laughter and many, many tears along the way.

Dad has always been my hero.  He taught by example, and he lived what he believed.  He made a difference when it mattered the most.   And, I have learned so much from his faithful example.  I watched him smile when he was hurting and didn’t feel like smiling.  I watched him keep going when many others just quit and didn’t care any more.  Dad didn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.”  Others around him continually told me how his quiet presence at church or other functions was an incredible blessing to them because they knew he was deaf and that he really didn’t feel like being there that day; but he came anyway and he worshipped God without complaining or bemoaning his circumstances.

I’ve been preaching and ministering on Christian Radio for well over 36 years, and Dad often told me that he would give anything to hear my voice; yet he never heard it one time since I was about 3 years old.  As Dad left us for Heaven this past Sunday just after 6:20AM, I looked at the family gathered around his bedside at our home as he took his final breath.  I said, “that’s it.  I think he’s gone.”  Immediately, Marie responded with tears welling up in her eyes, “He can hear!!  And his back doesn’t hurt any more!”  We all shed tears of joy for Dad because we knew that was the first words he had heard Marie or me say!  I think that Dad may well be listening in on this funeral service today, so I want to say those words that he could not hear me say during his lifetime, “Dad, I love you dearly.  And, I want you to know how much you impacted my life.  Now, go and rest in Christ.  I’ll see you soon.”

Danny, you and I are the only two people in the world who are blessed to have been able to call him “Dad.”  Plus, there are 4 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren (plus their families) who have been blessed to be able to call him PawPaw.  But, no matter what title you addressed him by, be it friend, co-worker, neighbor or family; you knew that he was a man of integrity and honor.  I think that it would be fair to say that each of us who knew him, whether we are his family, extended family, friend or acquaintance could all say that Dad influenced our lives in a positive way by the example he set before us.  Dad thought it was better to live by example than by words alone.  And, he was right.  Actions always speak louder than words, and he knew that well.

Over the past few months as Dad’s health declined, Marie had become his nurse and primary health care provider.  Sweetheart, you already know that Dad loved you as though you were his own flesh and blood.  I’m not sure he could have loved you more if you had been his own daughter.  People everywhere were shocked to learn that you were his daughter-in-law because you took such good care of him.  He genuinely appreciated everything you did for him, and so do I, sweetheart.  Marie, you are an incredible blessing to our family, and I couldn’t love you more.

Of course, we have been reminiscing a lot over the past couple of days, and I am blessed to have some precious memories that will go with me the rest of my life.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Dad playing with Danny and me outside in the summertime.  It was always a struggle for our parents to get by in those days, so money was never plenteous at our house.  But, our creative Dad always came through.  One time, he took some old lawnmower wheels, some junk and scraps of wood that he had picked up somewhere and built us a soapbox derby “car.”  It was a wooden box on wheels complete with a rope “steering wheel” and a crossbar to put our feet on.  We would push with our feet and pull on the rope to turn that contraption.  If you measured whether we liked it or not by how much we played with it, you’d have thought that crazy thing had leather bucket seats and plush carpet on the floor.  We would get on that thing and go screaming down the hill at our house and run off the end of the driveway and down the bank; then drag that thing back up the hill and do it all over again.  I’ll never forget the way he smiled as he watched his kids at play….and then we’d watch Dad climb on it with us and ride down the hill, and we’d scream all the way down.  Years later, Dad built another “improved model” for his grandkids; and once again smiled as he watched his kids scream down that hill.

And, Dad loved our mother, too.  I was told many years ago that he said of her that if he could marry that Caldwell girl, he would have everything any man could ever want in life.  And, marry her he did…and there is no doubt that he loved her.  I remember how she always wanted to live in a brick house, but they couldn’t afford to move, so they compromised and decided that Dad would brick our house.  Dad didn’t know the first thing about brick masonry, but he saved up his money and bought some bricks and mortar and a few crude tools and did it anyway.  During the long months that followed, he worked patiently as brick by brick he wrapped that house with love and determination to do his absolute best work possible.  Often, he would spend more time tearing down something he didn’t like than actually getting the job done; but after a very long time and a boat-load of patience, he finally finished it.  I remember another time that Mother wanted a rock fireplace, so he went into the hills and came back with pick-up load after pick-up load of rocks that he piled up in the yard and sat there with a mason’s hammer breaking them in half; in search of the rocks he wanted until he perfected his collection and built a rock wall that housed a fireplace.  It was not experienced or qualified hands that built that house; it was Dad’s love for his family that built it.

Many years ago, a relative asked me what it was like to live with a father who was handicapped.  I responded by saying, “I wouldn’t know.  My Dad is not handicapped.”  You see, Dad was deaf, but he was not handicapped.  He made the best of whatever situation he was in and became an over-comer.

Dad’s influence reached deeply into my family.  The result is a life-long impact that will outlive him by at least another generation.  Dad leaves behind several “name sakes” in the family.  Our oldest son, David is here today, along with his family.  David was the first to be named after Dad.  And, our David brought his son today, and his name is “Isaiah David.”   Our second son, Vern is here, along with his son, Aaron David.  So, you can plainly see that Dad made a lasting impact on our family.  If you are here today and have any doubt that Dad loved everyone in this family, please let me assure you today that your doubts are misplaced.  There is no doubt that PawPaw loved his family….each and every one of you.  One by one, Dad asked to see each of his family as he prepared for his own death.  The day we told Dad that he was not going to get better and the doctors had done all they could do for him, he just patted Marie on the arm and smiled.  And he continually told us how much it meant to him that everyone came to visit with him.  He went to church two weeks to the day before he passed away.  He never quit, and he finished his race well.

I mentioned earlier the great life-race that we are in that is recorded for us in Hebrews Chapter 12, the first two verses.  Let’s look at those verses for just a moment.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance (patience) the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Who are those witnesses?  Perhaps the best way to answer that question is to ask another one:  Who is not in that crowd?

1)    Those people are not in the cloud of witnesses.

a.     Those who are in hell.  The parable of the rich man and Lazarus gives this bit of information.

i.      Those in hell see what is going on earth but are powerless to do anything about it or to communicate with their loved ones on earth.

ii.      Those in hell are in torment themselves and are quite preoccupied with their own suffering.

iii.      God refused to hear their request to send someone back to their loved ones who are still behind on the earth.

b.     Those on earth are not in the cloud of witnesses.  They are in the race themselves, so they cannot be a spectator or witness to something they are involved in.  They have limited sight as to the track compared to a spectator who is in the stands with a full view of the track and the runners.

2)    Those who are likely in the crowd of witnesses.

a.     Angels.  God’s messengers have always been cheerleaders among humans.

b.     Those who are already in heaven.

c.     Those in Heaven who have an interest in each of us specifically.  I believe that our friends and relatives in Heaven are watching each of us as we run this race just as we might pick out a favorite athlete to cheer them on as they run a race in the Olympics.  I can see them leaning over the banister rails in Heaven watching us run our race, and hear them as they shout encouragement to each of us along the way.  So, from now on, when I get discouraged or depressed, I’ll think of my dear old Dad and listen closely to hear him as he cheers me on, then I’ll be aware that he falls to his knees asking God to bless me and deliver me from the things that would ensnare me in their trap as I run my race.  Dad is now a cheerleader in Heaven, and he is cheering for each and every one of us this very minute.

So, Dad has finished his earthly race, but his legacy and his example lives on.  He has joined that chorus who is cheering us onward and he is now praying directly to God the Father on our behalf.  He can hear!!  And, his degenerative discs in his back are healed!  He is singing loudly in the Heavenly choir, and I can almost see a tear in his eye as he watches us even now.  Right now, he is resting high on that mountain with his Savior, as the song says.  I remember catching Dad trying to sing that song along with Vince Gill with tears in his eyes a few years ago.  I believe that if Dad could come back to this place just for a few minutes right now and address each of us, he would tell us to live honestly and faithfully before God, to love our families and most importantly, to love God with all of our heart, with all our soul and with all of our might.  This next song that we’re about to play is one Dad asked me to play today.  So, Dad, this is your requested song, and it is dedicated to you.  I miss you, Dad!  But I know I’ll see you again someday soon.

Remember that you are loved with an everlasting love.  The Love of Christ.  And, I love each of you as well.

Ed Smith

Weekends were made for….going to church

I have had the privilege to serve our Lord in Ministry these past 36 years as of July 24, 2012.  On that date so many years ago, I stood from the altar and proclaimed to the attendees at Georgia Camp in Butler, GA that God had called me to preach and to work in Christian Radio.  It has been a wonderful 36 years, and I have had many experiences along the way….some really good, some not so good and some terrible experiences as well.  The gamut of emotions runs from deep sorrow to ecstatic joy beyond words, and about everything in between.    The truth is that I wouldn’t trade these 36 years in ministry for any other career on planet Earth.  Although it has been heart-wrenching at times, the joy that my work brings makes it worth it all.  I can honestly say that serving our Lord in His ministry has been and continues to be the most satisfying career I could have ever undertaken in my lifetime.

Through the years, I have shared some of my more harrowing tales with folks along the way, and I often get the same response.  “Why don’t you write about those things?”  I’ve been encouraged to write a book more than once, and I just might do that if the Lord allows me to.  But, for now, I’ll blog about some of my experiences as a pastor, preacher, counselor, teacher, camp chairman, toilet scrubber and Christian Radio Broadcaster for the past 36 years.

I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning.  The first job I ever held in Christian Radio was in the mid-1970’s at WJXN in Jackson, MS.    The station was located near the Bible College where I was enrolled as a student.  The radio station was owned by a gentleman who has been a lifelong friend all these years.  His name is Rodger Earl Ownby, and I still communicate with him from time to time.  At that time, the radio station had adopted “The Colonel, your Gospel Station” as its logo.  It was one of the first Southern Gospel radio stations in the area.  On my very first day there, I was introduced to another young man who has also become a life-long friend, Jeff Steele.  Jeff went on to form a Gospel Group by his family name, The Steeles.  He was single then, as was I.  We had some really good times working at The Colonel.  A person with a calling from God such as mine could not help but to fall in love with radio ministry working beside men like Jeff Steele and Rodger Earl Ownby.  Their love for Christian broadcasting and their passion to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ through radio broadcasting impacted me deeply during those days, and it has been an encouragement many times as I remember the days we had together so many years ago at The Colonel.

One interesting event that happened to me while on the air at The Colonel had to do with the newscast that ran at the top of every hour.  In those days, we ran “Mutual News,” a news service company that is now defunct.  Mutual News was not a Christian News service; there was no such thing in the mid 1970’s.  And, it was a commercial news service meaning that they ran commercials embedded in the newscasts.  As it happened, Mutual News had a run of Michelob beer advertising for a time.  I came into work the first evening the Michelob spots ran on my shift to discover a large note on the window in front of the operator’s table that read, “DO NOT RUN MICHELOB SPOTS!!!  READ THE SCHEDULE!!”  We were instructed to “cover” the Michelob spots with something from our local advertising library and then rejoin the news after the commercial played silently in the background.  One hour in particular, there was no Michelob spot scheduled to run during that newscast.  I had left the operator’s console to go into the next room to rip the weather forecast off the teletype machine (now, there is a real antique!).  While standing there reading over the weather forecast, the spot break inside the newscast started.  I recognized the jingle.  It was Michelob!!  I darted back into the control room and dove over the operator’s chair to open the mic and interrupt the Michelob spot (that had already started playing) and did the “ad lib” job of my life.   On the air, it sounded something like this, “(Michelob jingle plays) ‘Weekends were made for…’ ‘going to church!!  There will be a revival at….’”  I filled an entire 60 second commercial with church news….Whew!  That was close.  Actually, I had that mountain of inspiration from Jeff Steele, who had a similar experience during the day prior to me that evening.  Thanks Jeff for saving my neck!!

The long hours at the radio station sometimes got monotonous, and tedious.  But, it was always worth it when someone would call in to tell me that the song I’d just played had really been a blessing to them.  It was that kind of response that kept me going all these years!  There were many more, and I’ll share some of those in a future blog, the Lord willing.

Remember that you are loved with an everlasting love!  And, I love you, too!

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

God Will Make This Trial A Blessing

The human inclination, when faced with a trial or really bad situation is to turn the other way; even to run away.  We hope to escape from the clutches of the evil that lurks in front of us.

The Bible tells us 365 times “do not fear!”  And, when the Bible repeats something, it does so for emphasis.  I would think that God has clearly spelled His message to us when faced with trials!  DO NOT FEAR!!

Did you know that our own fear and the bad reactions we often have to trials and troubles often causes much more damage to our lives than the trials themselves?  You see, God has given us trials to purify us, not to burn us up!  He wants us to be pure as the purest Gold, and trials are one way He puts us through the fire.

Trials are a fact of life on planet Earth.  Trials destroy the dross and impurities that live inside us, leaving the purest possible substance behind.  Trials refine us as gold tried in the fire.  The end result is that we become mature Christians, purified and set apart for service to God and to our fellow man who is lost and in need of the touch of the Master.  Today, we will consider 7 areas where trials affect our lives, and consider how each one can help us to become more like Christ.

 a.      The Trial of Love.   The first thing trials do is to reveal who or what we love most in our lives, and help us to get our priorities straight.  The Lord wants us to love Him more than anybody else or anything else, but sometimes we get that out of order.  The depth of our love to God is revealed during the seasons of trials.  The Lord also wants us to love our fellow men; and that includes loving our enemies. The end result is that trials and tribulations purify and strengthen our love towards God and our fellowmen.

b.      The Trial of Faith.    Trials and tribulations test our faith.  Faith that has not been put to the test is weak and untried, but faith that has been through the fire is strong and more impervious to attack.  However, the inevitable question comes up during a trial; do we believe the things we say in church about God enough to hold onto them in the midst of pain and suffering?   Do we believe in the promises of God even when everything looks impossible?   Do we still trust in God even if He chooses not deliver us from the bad situation we’re in?   Do we trust in God even when we do not understand His ways and workings in our lives?  The depth of our faith in God is tested during trials and causes our faith to grow!

c.      The Trial of Obedience.   Trials and tribulations are a test of our obedience to God.   Are we willing to obey God even when He commands us to do what we do not like or what we wish to avoid?   The Lord teaches us obedience by leading us through the path of trials and tribulations.  The Bible says that to obey is better than sacrifice.  Learning to obey God even during the most difficult of trials builds character and helps to purify us before God.

d.      The Trial of Sacrifice.   Have you ever offered something that you called a sacrifice that came to you with no effort on your part?  Often, false sacrifices are given to God in place of the real thing.  These are dross and burn up in the purifying fire of trials.  The question is; are we willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord?  Are we clinging to the possessions and treasures of this world?  “I am crucified with Christ, yet not I, but Christ within me…”  The Lord sacrificed everything for us.  Have you given Him your life?

e.      The Trial of our Humility.  Cocky, arrogant and selfish attitudes are dross and burn up in the fire of trials.  Trials and tribulations will reveal such attitudes and help us to humble ourselves before the Lord.  The Lord wants us to have the mind of Christ who humbled Himself to take the form of a slave and became obedient even to the death of the cross.    Humility brings honor.  God hates a proud heart.  So, trials are a test of our level of humility and act as a guide to help us to humble ourselves before the Lord.

f.       The Trial of our Endurance.   Trials and tribulations produce endurance or perseverance.  How easy is it to serve God when things are going well?  And, it is all too easy and frequent that we quit when things get tough.  How much are we willing to endure for the Cause of Christ?  Endurance is a sign of a champion, and God wants to make a champion for Christ out of you.  Will we endure till the end?  Trials will help you to grow strong in your endurance in the race we all find ourselves in.

g.   The Trial of our Patience. Trials produce patience.  Always.  The Lord has perfect timing for fulfilling His plans and purposes, but often we try to get ahead of Him and are very impatient.  I love the story that was told on the Christian Movie “Facing the Giants,” when the old janitor shares this account with the coach.  “Two farmers were in the midst of a drought.  Both prayed for rain.  But, only one prepared his fields to receive it.  Which was more faithful?  The coach said the one who prepared his fields.  His advice was that God will send His rain when He is ready.  Our job is to prepare our fields to receive the rain.  That takes patience, and God will give it to you if you ask for it.  And, in spite of what you may have been told, praying for patience is a GOOD thing.


A bad reaction to trials can cause us to avoid the fire sometimes, but it will also help us to miss the blessing from the process.

A friend of mine awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size water bed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes which poked it full of holes.  Disgusted, my friend threw out the water-bed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he awoke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.

So, you see, trials are good things.  If endured until the end, God will make all our trials blessings for us.

A number of years ago, the McKamey’s recorded a song written by Calvin Clark that thrills my heart every time I hear it.  I pray these lyrics cause you to go through your trials with joy in your heart!  Here are the lyrics to “God will make this trial a blessing”

“I’ve just come into a valley one like I’ve never been before.
I keep searching for a way out seems like padlocks are on the doors.
Oh there must be another sunrise another sunset that I’ll see.
God will make this trial a blessing that’s the love he has for me.

I was not the first one to come into this place.
You see every child of God this test he must face.
It is here that God will mold you and make you what you ought to be.
God will make this trial a blessing just be patient you will see.

Now I’m standing on a mountain looking back I can see.
When I was in that lowest valley his strong hand was leading me.
Oh its good to see the sunshine and to taste sweet victory.
God has made this trial a blessing oh the grace he gives to me.


God will make this trial a blessing though it sends me to my knees.
Though my tears flow like a river yet in him there’s sweet relief.
There’s no need to get discouraged there’s no need to talk defeat.
God will make this trial a blessing and the whole wide world will see.”

I pray that God Makes Your Trials Blessings, so that the whole world can see!  You are loved with an everlasting love!  And, I love you, too.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

Are there many paths to God?

“Jesus’ declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  “These days, that statement is highly controversial because it strikes at the core of three great myths about religion,” declared Dr. Lee Strobel in a sermon on the topic.  The three “great myths” he mentioned are:

1)  All religions are basically the same.

2) Although different, Christianity is one philosophy among many. 

3) Jesus isn’t the only way to heaven.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to proclaim to you that Jesus Christ is either exactly who He says He is or He is the biggest fraud known to mankind!  And, I assure you that He is EXACTLY who He says He is!!  He is not just a “good man” or just one in a line of Prophets of God.  He is not simply a good teacher who went around teaching about God’s Love.  Jesus Christ is the ONE AND ONLY Begotten Son of God!  He is God incarnate in the flesh; born of a Virgin, raised by a Carpenter, baptized by John the Baptizer, He performed actual miracles in front of countless witnesses and was Crucified, Buried and Arose on the third Day to provide the plan of Salvation for “whosoever will” accept Him and follow Him!

As an occasional news anchor for a national Christian radio network (American Family Radio) and the General Manager of Joy Christian Radio, I frequently “bump” into others who declare that Christianity is all mythology.  I am amazed how atheists and agnostics are “in our face,” boldly proclaiming their message that is filled with lies and human reasoning that leads so many people astray.  They are suing townships all across America that dare to have public displays of anything Christian.  They are fighting and intimidating public schools that allow Valedictorians or Salutatorians at graduation to mention God or to lead the audience in prayer.  They are standing in opposition to the celebration of Christmas and the Resurrection of Christ at Easter.  They are dwelling on Christian blogs and Christian news websites filling them with nasty and angry diatribes against Christianity, declaring the stupidity of anyone who dares believe that “stuff” that is proclaimed.

I encourage you today to put off any false religion that you might be involved in and accept the ONE TRUE GOD, Jehovah God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His Son, Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord!  Jesus Christ is no myth.  He is no fable.  He is no human concoction.  He is our God and our Savior.  I pray you accept Him today.  Further, I pray that Christians everywhere could become energized in our passion to tell others the TRUTH about Jesus Christ!  It is up to us to spread His Word by design of our Heavenly Father.  He could have chosen a different way to tell others, but He wants us to do it!  So, I encourage you to share the Love of Christ with someone you know who is lost and on the way to an eternal Hell.  It is a real place, but God had another real place awaiting us as we spend eternity with Him….but Heaven is reserved for those who accept Christ as Savior and follow Him!  Tell someone about Him today!!

You are loved with an everlasting love!  And, I love you, too.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

How Lucifer Louses up your Life

When I was in charge of a summer camp years ago, we had a camper who arrived with a severe case of head lice.   It was so bad, we had to call off evening service for the first time in camp history because other campers were getting it!   The yuppy kids got lice!   It was awful!   That evening, we had a “borinating” experience with the kids in swim wear and hoses outside with lice shampoo.   Bed linens, towels, clothes, etc. had to be washed in hot water.   About 9PM, the campers depression level was at a fever pitch, and the adults were worse than that.   Several groups told me they were going home the next morning.

I took a walk in the woods, kicking the trees and crying out to God; asking “why?”  After all the work we put into preparation for the camp!  After all the sacrifice I’d made just to be there with a job where the boss didn’t want to let me off and I wasn’t entirely certain that I would have a job when I got home but considered camp more important!  As I prayed, I am convinced that God spoke to me…not audibly, but clearly nonetheless.  He said two words.  “Bury it.”

I ran back to the campground and met with the group of Wesley College students, the camp evangelist and song leader at my cabin.  I had a plan, and God had given it to me!  We called for a meeting and everybody came to the open-air tabernacle around 9:30.   My plan was to actually conduct a “funeral” for the lice.   Using a “cherry RC Cola” can as a coffin, the college group and I conducted this “laugh out loud” farce as the college kids wailed and boo-hooed for their long lost “uncle louse.”   People were laughing so hard the tears were flowing down their faces.   Then, I did something I’d never done and have not repeated to this very day.   I told the preacher what to preach that evening.  Yes, I gave the sermon topic to the evangelist and told him to run with it.   The sermon?   “How Lucifer louses up your life.”   Wow!   It was absolutely phenomenal!   He preached like I’ve never heard him preach in my entire life!  God came down and visited us there that night.  28 kids got saved and the altars were full.  Our impromptu service ended around 1:30AM.    Lives were changed and people accepted God’s challenge to them to service for Him that week.  Nobody left the camp, and it turned out to be one of the best camps I’d ever attended.

The point today is that we never know what a simple act of obedience can do.  In the face of insurmountable odds, obedience instead of abandonment always triumphs.  If God be for us, who can be against us?   Obedience is better than sacrifice, the Scriptures tell us.

Perhaps you are facing a huge obstacle in your life, your family or maybe your ministry.  God knows all about it.  Just listen to the still, small voice of God and obey it; even if you think it is “out in left field.”  He always knows what He is doing, and He will bless your faithfulness.  Never forget that.

You are loved with an everlasting Love; the Love of Christ.  And, I love you, too.

In The Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

Let Freedom Ring

July 4th.  What first comes into your mind on this day?  For me, it is Freedom!  Freedom is the most wonderful gift that God could have extended to mankind that comes as an “extra.”  When God granted eternal life to “whosoever will” accept Him as Savior, He really didn’t have to do more.  God could have allowed all of mankind to live in bondage, the one to another.  Some in our world live in slavery to this day, in the form of bondage of one person who is “owned by another;” but also in bondage to sin.  The blessing of Freedom is so precious!  We can be free and we can sing!  Let Freedom Ring!

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  We must defend our freedoms if we are to continue to enjoy them!

The lyrics of a song written by Bill and Gloria Gaither come to mind.  They go something like this:  “Deep within the heart has always known that there is freedom. Somehow breathed into the very soul of life. The prisoner, the powerless, the slave have always known it. There’s something that keeps reaching for the sky! And, even life begins because a baby fights for freedom….and songs we love to sing have freedom’s theme. Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom. And, some have faced hell itself for freedom’s dream! Let Freedom Ring!!! Wherever minds know what it means to be in chains. Let Freedom Ring! Wherever hearts know pain. Let Freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key!……
“God built freedom into every fiber of creation, and He meant for us to be free and whole!! But, when my Lord bought freedom through the blood of His redemption, His Cross stamped PARDON on MY VERY SOUL!!….
“this hallelujah anthem of the free!! That iron bars and heavy chains can NEVER HOLD US CAPTIVE!! THE SON HAS MADE US FREE, AND FREE INDEED!!….
Let Freedom Ring!! Down though the ages from a hill called Calvary!!”

So, True Freedom is found in Christ!  As we treasure our freedoms as Americans, we can also treasure our freedom from the bondage of sin through Christ!  If you are reading this and are tired of being in bondage, I pray that you will declare your Independence from bondage to sin right now!! Independence of the soul was provided for “whosoever will” ask and believe on Jesus Christ! So, this July 4th, LET FREEDOM RING; down through the ages from a hill called Calvary!!!

This recording was made shortly after 9/11 at Carnegie Hall. David Phelps, Guy Penrod, Russ Taff and Bill Gaither sing this powerful “anthem of the free.” Let Freedom Ring!!!

Happy Birthday America!!  I pray that her people can once again come to the place that we acknowledge the One who gave us this precious gift of Freedom!

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

Click Here to Watch!

Experiencing Calm during Calamity

Everybody experiences calamity at some point in their lives.  And, if you are one of those people who say that they have not ever had a real major calamity, then I suggest you get prepared because it is virtually impossible to go through an entire lifetime without ever experiencing some type of calamity.  The death of a loved one; especially if it came as a result of a tragic situation.  A house fire.  An automobile accident.  A disease or other major illness comes your way.  The death of a child.   How many more calamities can you think of that have impacted you?  Trials, tribulations and tragedy is part of life.  And, every such experience we encounter in this realm is caused by a singular factor.  Sin.  It is the sin of mankind from the Garden of Eden that brought sickness and death upon mankind.  And the sin committed by other individuals has also contributed to the calamities that we experience in our lifetimes.  A murderer kills.  A thief steals.  A drunk driver causes automobile accidents.  And, some calamities cannot be traced to a specific sin committed by a specific person.  Those calamities are still caused by sin in general, and they are just as devastating; sometimes even more so.  Each time a sin is committed, someone else feels the sting of its consequences, even though the second person in this scenario is an innocent bystander.  Sin itself is a robber and a thief, stealing people’s lives and damaging many others in its sphere of influence.  So, calamity comes to us all at some point in our lifetime because of sin.

A false precept that took root in the Christian church for decades taught that, once a person accepted Christ as Savior, He would shield us from trouble and we would experience a good life because He lives inside us.  Folks, that is a blatant lie.  In fact, many times, the exact opposite is true.  Satan is very unhappy that we make any progress in our relationship with Christ.  The enemy of our soul is as a roaring lion, roaming about seeking whom he may devour….he wants to eat our lunch!  And, if he can’t have us, he will go after our kids or our family!  He is a vicious liar with a destructive bent against anybody who has Christ in their lives.

So, as Christians, how can we possibly live through a tragedy?  How can we find true victory in the midst of trouble?  How is it that a person who has experienced a tragic death can wake up the next morning and continue with their lives?  How can we find calmness in the midst of calamity?

In seeking an answer to these questions, my mind immediately goes to Job.  He was a wealthy man with a wonderful family.  And he was a devout follower of Jehovah God.  He was faithful.  He was obedient to God.  He loved his family.  The Scriptures call Job an “upright” man.  Life couldn’t get any better for Job, could it?  Perhaps not, but it certainly could get worse.  And, that it did.

The interesting thing is that Job’s calamity was not brought on by his own personal sin that resulted in the terrible things that happened to him.  Yet, he lost everything.  His children taken from him.  His cattle and livestock killed.  His wealth gone.  His houses burned.  His wife trying to convince him to “curse God and die…”  His friends giving him terrible advice that all boiled down to virtually the same thing his wife had counseled him to do.  Everything was now against Job.  This was a “calamity of calamities,” indeed.  Now, things seemingly couldn’t get worse.  But, they did.  His body was infected with a disease similar to leprosy, where oozing sores came up all over his body causing Job terrible pain.  So, just when you think it can’t get worse, sometimes it does.  All of this because of a discussion that God had with the devil about Job.  You see, the devil wants to destroy each of us.  And, sometimes, he wins a battle.  The good news is that I’ve already read the back of the book and “we win.”  So, there is victory THROUGH adversity by holding onto the wonderful Hand of our loving God.

The question today is this:  When you are faced with calamity, how and where can you find the calmness that comes only from God?  The kind of peace that the New Testament calls “Peace that Passes Understanding…”  Where is the source of that kind of Peace and how do we go about locating it?  Perhaps the outline from my sermon on this topic will answer that question and help us all to remember where the source of Peace is during our calamities.  Here is that outline.

I.  Worship God during your calamity.

a.  Worship Him because He is still in control.

b.  Worship Him because He has your best interest at heart.

c.  Worship Him because He understands the whole picture, even though you only see a tiny part.

d.  Worship Him because He is God.

e.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

f.  He is Jehovah Raffa, our Healer.

g.  He is El Shaddai, the Lord our God.

h.  He is Jehovah Nissi, the Lord who smites our enemies.

i.  He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of Hosts.

j.  He is Jehovah Jirah, God our Provider.

k.  He is Yashua Homashia, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

l.  God calms our storms.  Sometimes He lets the storm continue and calms me.

II.  Humble Yourself before God.  I Chronicles 7:14 is good for a nation.  It is also good for a church, a family and an individual.  We must humble ourselves before God if we are to find healing.

III.  Spend time in silence before God.  I’m reminded of Elijah, after his victory over the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel.  The wicked queen Jezebel had issued a death promise against Elijah, and this brave man of God ran and hid in a cave.  There was a lot of noise; earthquakes, fires and such.  But, it was the “still, small voice of God” that delivered Elijah.  Spending silent time with God allows Him to speak to us as we read and meditate on His Word.

IV.  Instead of kicking against the brick wall, learn to accept the situation.  By accepting what has happened, we can understand that it is part of God’s BIGGER plan for our lives.  It didn’t take Him by surprise.  It didn’t cause God to say, “Oops.  I didn’t mean to allow this to happen.”  The truth is that God allowed man to have a free choice as to whether to serve Him or not.  Along with that choice came the choice to commit sin, and along with the sin that is committed comes consequences of sin.  The fact is that we live in a fallen and sinful world, and the consequences of sin will always be with us.  But, the good news is that by accepting God’s will, we also can accept His Hand in ours as we work our way through the calamity.

Three ways to find Calm during Calamity:

1)  Look up.  We see God’s Sovereignty.

2) Look ahead.  We see God’s Promises.

3)  Look within.  We will see Christ, if we have let Him in.

And, if we look within and don’t see Christ, now would be a good time to invite Him in.  By doing so, we will find eternal life; and we will find His Hand in ours as we navigate the perilous journey that we call “life.”

I pray that each and every person reading this finds Christ, if you don’t already know Him.  And, that each person reading herein who knows Christ as Savior finds true and lasting peace that passes understanding through Him.

You are loved with an everlasting Love.  And, I love you, too.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

Four Stupid Things Christians do that mess up their lives

One of those “man on the street” impromptu interviews asked some young people questions about the Bible.  Two college-aged women and a young man in a group were interviewed.    “Can you name one of the 10 Commandments,” was one question.  One young lady in the group replied, “Freedom of Speech?”  The interviewer looked at the other young woman and said, “Finish this sentence.  ‘Let him who is without sin….'”  Her response?  “have a good time?”  The young man was asked, “Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?”  The confident young man answered, “Pinocchio.”

Is it any wonder that our world is in trouble?  The lack of knowledge of the contents of the Bible is reflected on our society in ways that we never thought we would live to see; yet those days are here.  But, even more seriously, I wonder how many people go about their lives messing them up at every turn and never realize that God has a better plan for their lives if only they would accept it.

The following is an excerpt from a sermon that I preached recently in Manchester, TN.   It gets its foundation from Genesis 16; the passage of Scripture where an impatient Sarai sent her handmaiden in to Abram to bear the son that she had decided would never happen; even though an angel had predicted it would.  Here is the basic outline of that message.

Four stupid things Christians do:

I. They allow their fleshly desires and the practices of culture to overrule the directives of God’s Word.

II.  They seek counsel from those who are unfamiliar with or who reject the Word of God.

III. They place the blame on others for the things they bring upon themselves.

IV. They refuse to take responsibility for their own actions in the name of keeping the peace.

I think the important thing to realize in all this is that sin; no matter how “small” it is, still carries with it the consequences of doing it.   Our modern culture is attempting more than ever to allow its citizens to participate in sin of all kinds with its blessings while removing (more accurately, “covering”) the consequences of those sins.  However, the consequences of sin will remain as long as mankind remains.  Yes, God forgives us when we ask Him to do so, and by that, He separates that sin on our account from Himself as “far as the East is from the West…”   But, once a murderer kills a person, that person is dead.  Once a lie is told, the truth is damaged; and even if the truth eventually comes out, the damage caused by the telling of the lie is still in existence.   The sin of Sarai and Abram’s disobedience towards God in lieu of obeying the directives of the culture of the day had major consequences.   An entire race of people;  A race that rejects Jesus Christ and Jehovah God in favor of a false prophet named Muhammad and a false God named Allah are the direct results of the sexual sin that Abram and Hagar committed; even though that sexual sin was the cultural “norm” of the day and came with the blessing of Abram’s wife, Sarai.  The animosity started immediately between Sarai and Hagar and carried forth between Ishmael (the child of sin) and Isaac (the son of God’s promise); and to their heirs even to this very day.  Thus, when you and I commit a sin, its consequences cause immediate damage and often cause long-lasting hurt, humiliation and harm to ourselves and others.

Never think that your sin only affects you.  It affects a multitude of others as well; sometimes even people we will never meet in this life; as was the case with Abram and Sarai.  The only way to overcome sin is to find Christ as Savior.  And, once a person has given their heart to Christ, true peace comes by listening to and heeding the Word of God.  In that book, we can find the Truth and thereby find God’s Peace that passes understanding.  But, we must read, listen and heed God’s Word if we are to find His Peace, Joy and Love.

Concerning listening to God’s Word, this illustration speaks volumes to many of us these days.

In an earlier day a certain young man was seeking a job as a Morse code telegraph operator. He found an advertisement and went to the address that was listed.   When he arrived it was a large, busy, noisy office.   In the background he could hear the chatter of a telegraph key.   A sign instructed applicants to take a seat and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.   Eight candidates had gotten there ahead of him; they were seated along the wall.   This was discouraging, but still he sat down to wait.
After about two or three minutes the young man stood up, stepped over to the door of the inner office, and walked in.   Naturally all of the other applicants started looking at each other and muttering.   Within about three minutes the young man came back out the door with the employer who said, “You gentlemen may go now.   The position has been filled.”   Several of them began to grumble.   One spoke up and said, “I don’t understand.   He was the last to come in.   We never even got a chance to be interviewed, and he got the job. That’s not fair.”
The employer said, “All the time you’ve been sitting here the telegraph key has been ticking out a message.   It said, ‘If you understand this message, come right in.   The job is yours.’   None of you heard it.   He did.   He got the job. ”

God has and is speaking through His Word, the Holy Bible.  He offers His love, His peace and most importantly, His plan of salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  My question today for you is this.  “Are you listening to God?  He is speaking to you in a language that you can understand and comprehend.  Are you allowing the noise of the world to drown out His message?  Are you tired of running from God?  If so, I encourage you to give your heart and life to Jesus Christ today.  He will save you.  He will give you peace.

You are loved with an everlasting love.  The love of Christ our Savior.  And, I love you, too.  May God give you peace as you seek it from Him.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith