By Deborah Ann Bulka
I am sealed for the day of redemption
I am called to eternal glory
I am the aroma of Christ to God
I am crucified with Christ
I am not ashamed
I am a sinner
I am forgiven
I am born again
and I am going to heaven!
Who are you without Christ?
©2014 by Deborah Ann Bulka
What if ACLU or atheist lawsuits were successful in removing God’s name from public view, even on church signs?
Editor’s Note: March Madness is a United States basketball tournament. It is to college basketball as the World Cup is to soccer.
By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
What determines who won March Madness? Was it the most points scored? Was it the most money made by coaches and schools? Was it the TV ratings for a network? Was it the clever commercials? Was it Warren Buffet? Or could winning really be something else?
If it was the most points scored in the final game, UConn won the March Madness. If it is the most money made, the coaches and schools won, but the players lost. The four coaches in the Final Four are making an average of $3.1 million from their schools and will together make over $1 million dollars in bonuses covered by their contracts. It is estimated that each school who played in the “big dance” received a $1.5 million benefit. The NCAA could be a big winner as sports in college is an $11 billion business, twice as big as the NBA, larger than Major League Baseball, and unparallel to the NFL!
The TV ratings were “off the charts.” A network has to pay millions of dollars to get the rights to telecast the games. Warren Buffet was a genius when he offered a billion dollars to anyone who could submit a perfect bracket. I prided myself of knowing something about basketball and joined 12 million other people in filling out a bracket. I was already planning how to spend $1 billion!
I had to quickly change my financial planning after the fourth game of the first round. Ninety-five percent joined me after the first day. Before the first round was completed, everybody’s bracket had been busted – even President Obama. Buffet got a lot of free advertising.
I propose that the real winner was not UConn, or the coaches, or the NCAA, or the network, or Warren Buffet. All of these concepts of winning are very temporary. They will be forgotten pretty quickly. Real winning is what happens in the long run – the real big win – eternity!
I propose that Baylor won March Madness. That is right – the Baylor Bears. Nobody expected them to even be in the tournament. But they are the real winner. Jim Denison cites the following facts about Baylor from FOX Sports Southwest report entitled: “Baylor’s ‘extraordinary’ season has left lives changed.”
It begins with the Bears’ loss to Kansas February 4, 2014, their seventh defeat in eight games. Head coach Scott Drew stopped one of the team chaplains after the game and said, “We may not win another game this year, and I may be a horrible coach, but if any of these guys leave without knowing Christ, that will be the real loss.”
Later in February, Kenny Chery, Baylor’s starting point guard, sat down in a hotel to talk to shooting guard Brady Heslip and assistant coach Tim Maloney. The two helped him give his life to Jesus. “I felt like I was a new person,” Chery said afterwards. “I felt like everything I’ve done bad in the past is gone. I’m starting new. I’ve accepted God into my life. The next morning I woke up, thanked God for waking me up, and I just had a whole new outlook.”
Taurean Prince plays forward on the team. On February 14, he told a chaplain he was miserable and didn’t want to live according to his plan anymore. The two prayed together, and then Prince invited Jesus into his life.
On February 25, 2014, Taurean Prince and Kenny Chery and three other players were baptized. Baylor lost in the Sweet Sixteen, but Coach Drew calls this his most important season ever. “Winning the game of life is a lot more rewarding than a 40-minute basketball game that’s so temporary,” he says. “To have an opportunity to help be a part of an impact on a young person’s life is the best feeling.”
The Baptist Baylor Bears (wish they were Methodist) cut down the most important nets and turned March Madness into March Gladness!
John Ed's posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4 4131 Carmichael Road Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
We mortals impose limits on everything. We love time. We live by it, work by it, play by it, sleep by it, plan by it, eat by it.
Five. . .four. . .three. . .two. . .one. The end. Game’s over. Someone won, someone lost.
It’s 11:56 p.m. on April 15. Five more minutes and tax season ends. You drift into the penalty phase with the IRS.
“The end is near.”
“I’m leaving you, Herald. It’s the end. I have another boyfriend. He’s on the football team. We’re in love.”
“I’m sorry, Margaret. But we have to let you go. Your employment with this company ends today.”
“I thought his sermon today would never end.”
“And that’s the end of the seventh inning.”
“Our half-price sale ends January 31st.”
“Has anyone seen the fat lady?”
“That book didn’t have a happy ending.”
“I’m at the end of my rope.”
But life, as we know it, never ends. Every creature God created will spend an eternity in one of two places: in the presence of God, or forever separated from God.
Eternity is a hard concept to grasp. I read it, I believe it, I look forward to being in God’s presence forever, but I can’t wrap my arms around it. Can you?
It’s difficult to think about being in a place without boundaries–gates or fences, or walls, or barriers. I don’t believe I’ll ever see the chasm “fixed” between where we’ll be and where all the goats will be.
And no “time”. No overtime games. No “sudden death” (pardon the pun) playoffs. No seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries. No limits. Just Jesus. Just God. Just heaven. Just each other. Forever. And ever.
My good blogging buddy Butch Dean wrote this on his blog. His post was the inspiration for my post today.
Can you imagine…life without end? A life beyond anything you could possibly imagine awaits the soul of a Believer. “Every one that sees the Son and believes in Him may have life everlasting.”
And how does one believe?
For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10; 9-10 from the New Living Translation)
With the heart…not the head. Knowledge between the ears is fine, but believing in your heart is what God requires. That’s how one becomes a Believer…that’s how one finds life everlasting…life without end.
As always, the choice is yours.
Butch blogs at Wordsmith’s Desk. I read Butch’s blog regularly. He and Bonnie have a powerful testimony and Butch writes powerful posts about how God touches his life and family. I know you’ll be blessed to read Butch’s writing as well. Visit his blog soon.
If I acquired all the gifts I could get for free I’d have to by a king-sized storage shed or a new house. If you listen to TV or read the newspaper you can get a cargo ship of free gifts. Continue reading
Our men’s group at church is studying the “not a fan” video series. Kile Idleman, creator of the series and author of the book by the same name, told a story about his daughter. She was playing with her mom’s fingernail polish and spilled most of the bottle on their white Continue reading
“For he [we] will never be shaken; the righteous will live forever.” Psalm 112:6
Do you have anything that will last?