Sunday, November 22, 2009

Taking Inventory

David McLennon got his first job at age 13 working at a small-town grocery store. One day the store owner said, "It's time to take inventory." David had never heard that word before, so he asked, "What does that mean?"
"It's a time when we make a list of everything in the store," the owner explained.
"Why do you do that?" David asked.
"Well, it's easy to forget what's in the store. Only by counting each item can we actually know everything that we have."

Since this week is Thanksgiving, it's time to take inventory of everything we have. Do you realize that you live better than most kings have lived throughout history? Don't believe me? Here is a list of things that most of us have, but kings never had at their disposal:

TAKING INVENTORY: Things you have that kings never owned
Air conditioning. Heating. Thermostats to regulate both. Ceiling fans. Natural gas. Electricity.
Hot and cold running water in your house. Indoor toilets. Toilet paper. Soap. Shampoo. Conditioner. Toothpaste. Toothbrush. Deodorant. Floss. Mouthwash. Hairspray.
Appliance stores. Refrigerators. Freezers. Ovens. Stoves. Microwave ovens. Crock-Pots. Electric lights (just flip a switch). Television. Internet. Radio. Telephones. Cell phones. Computers. DVD players. Movie theaters. Watches. Clocks. Closets full of clothes and shoes. Sunglasses. Suntan lotion.
Grocery stores. Fresh vegetables. Fruit from all over the world--pineapples, mangoes, bananas, grapes, apples, oranges. (Remember, kings didn't have all these foods). Canned foods--every thing imaginable. Frozen foods--dinners that are already prepared for you! Ice cream.
Medical doctors. Medical equipment. Hospitals. Ambulances. Pharmacies. Medicines to treat nearly every sickness, headache, heart problem, and pain relief. Vitamins. Eyeglasses. Hearing aids. Dentists to treat broken teeth. Orthodontists. Dermatologists.
Automobiles. Gasoline. Airplanes. Airports. Taxis. Buses. Mechanics. Paved roads. Rest stops.
Restaurants--fast food, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, American, pizzas.
Music--iPods, CDs, satellite radio. (I could go on, but the list would be too long!)

Do you now understand that the average person today is wealthier than the richest people who have lived throughout history? It's a shame that most people have never truly thanked God for each one of these incredible blessings. In fact, they complain that they don't have enough!
Thanksgiving shouldn't be once a year. It should be every day. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good" (1 Chron. 16:34).
Keep looking up,
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Your Time is Running Out

Do you know the difference between a clock and an hourglass? A clock has revolving hands, which gives the illusion that time goes on forever. An hourglass, on the other hand, reminds us that time is running out.

In Psalm 90, Moses reminds us that our brief time on Earth is running out. He says "As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years . . . for soon it is gone and we fly away" (v.10). He then offers a bit of advice for all of us, in v. 12:

1. Count your days. Moses says, "So teach us to number our days . . . " We usually say, "I'm 25, or 45, or 65 years old" because we count our days from the time we're born. But I think Moses is telling us to count our days from the other end--from death. And that's assuming we make it to 70 or 80. No one is guaranteed the next breath. "Counting our days" means that we realize that life is short, and we have a ever-diminishing amount of time left.

2. Make your days count. Moses continues, "that we might present to Thee a heart of wisdom." Once we realize every day is a gift from God, we make our lives count for Him. You can only do this if you've given your life to Christ. Once you've done that, live to please Him in all that you do, which is presenting to God "a heart of wisdom." You'll not only make the most out of this life, but you'll also be rewarded in the next life too.
Keep looking up!
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