Wednesday, July 30, 2008

But, Seriously...

Being serious is not exactly my forte'. But my spirit is crying out for me to be serious today.

If my topic today causes you not to ever want to read my blog again, then so be it. Sorry, I'll miss you...but I have to say what I need to say today. If not, I think I'll bust! So here goes...

I've been listening to newscasts since last Friday reporting the death of a beloved Carnegie-Mellon professor, Randy Pausch. If you've never heard of this guy, you must live under a rock! Anyway, Mr. Pausch is famous for the last lecture he delivered at the University. He had been diagnosed with Cancer and his prognosis was that he had less than a year to live. His lecture was entitled: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. This excellent lecture was videotaped and uploaded to You-Tube and became a favorite very quickly. If you're interested, you can watch it here. I really enjoyed the lecture; it was entertaining and inspiring.

The video was passed along on e-mails and blogs. Soon, Mr. Pausch wrote a book: The Last Lecture. This book quickly became a huge best-seller. Mr. Pausch was invited to appear on news shows and talk shows across the country--even Oprah! I watched several of these shows and Mr. Pausch's zest for life was contagious. Last night on ABC, an entire show was dedicated to him with excerpts from Diane Sawyer interviewing him over his last months of life.

Yet, even as I watched many of these shows, I became more and more sad for this man. Why? Probably not for the reasons you are thinking. Yes, this man was facing a serious illness and death in a very short period of time. Yes, this man would leave a loving wife and three small children. Yes, he was such a young man (my exact YOUNG age!). But the saddest part of all --to me--was that although this man seemed to have it all together; seemed to live his life in a strong, moral manner; it appeared to me that he missed the real point of life.

What made me sad? Let me preface this by saying I'm not here to judge him in any way...but never--not even ONCE--did this man allude to the fact that he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When asked about 'religion' his answer was that [my paraphrase here] "that is a private thing, but my father who was a Presbyterian was the finest Christian man I ever knew."

In his lecture, he joked and said, "I have experienced a deathbed conversion; I just bought a Mac." Whether he did know Jesus -- or not--I don't know, and probably will never know until I enter Heaven myself. I'm not here to stand in judgment of this man...I can only judge MY heart. But I'm so very sad to think that such a wonderful man MIGHT have just missed out on the most important thing in this life--I truly hope not.

So, I'm going to tell you a few points in MY personal belief system right here. If this offends you, I'm sorry...just ditch me from your list...AFTER you read this first!

--First and foremost, let me say that I believe the Bible is God's Holy Word. I believe EVERY word was inspired and breathed by God. I believe EVERY word ...every jot and tittle is true. That is my definitive resource for the way I believe and live my life.

--I believe we're ALLLLLLL sinners. Each and every one of us. Being sinners, we deserve death -- not everlasting life in Heaven with God.

--But, God, who created us, LOVES ALLLLLLLLL of us and doesn't want us to live apart from Him. He loved the world so much, He gave His ONLY son [Jesus] to die on the cross so that we could live eternally WITH HIM!!! It took Jesus, who lived a perfect life, to bridge that gap FOR us.

-- No matter how 'good' a person you are; if you don't KNOW Jesus, you will NOT be living eternally in Heaven. You can live your life by the most morally upright standards possible; tell the truth, love people, do good works, etc.; yet STILL not qualify for Heaven. Nobody can be 'good' enough to qualify for Heaven. Jesus is our qualifier. He is the One who gave His life to wash our sins away.

--Today, toleration is a huge buzz word and we hear it often. Folks get upset if you say Jesus is the only way. But think about this. If Jesus is the only way, then everyone needs to know it, right? Not liking the information doesn't nullify the information. Oprah says there are many paths to God. Jesus cannot be "the only way" and "not be the only way" at the same time. There can't "be a God" and "not be a God" at the same time. What we like or what feels good to us doesn't matter if it's not true.

-- No matter what Oprah or anybody else tells you...JESUS is the one and only way to Heaven. He said, "No one comes to the Father, except by Me." He didn't say you could pick and choose the way that was right for you...he said that He was IT!

I came to personally know Jesus when I was in 3rd Grade. My daddy had just become a Christian and he shared a little book called "The Four Spiritual Laws" with all of us kids. Through this little book I realized my need for a savior and I asked Christ to be my Savior. We had gone to church for as long as I could remember and I can't say things took on a new meaning for me right away. What makes this so cool is that God is so willing to take you from wherever you are! Whether you're 9 years old or 39 years old or 99 years old....He loves us and wants to be our savior! You don't have to wait until you're '''good''' enough! (You never are!)

But in 1973, I attended an evangelistic meeting in Chiefland, FL at the football field. That night I realized that I needed to re-visit the decision I had made at 9. I had to decide if I meant it --or not. I decided that not only did I mean it, I was ready to live like I meant it.

Since that night, the Holy Spirit has worked in my life -- teaching me the way God wants me to live. Gradually, my whole life started changing...sometimes in small ways; sometimes in BIG ways. Sometimes I was obedient to the voice inside me -- other times NOT. Sometimes REALLY NOT!!!! There are times I still cringe when I think of some of the really not's! But since God loves us unconditionally, He has this great way of never giving up on us. He is always there with His arms open, welcoming me to His embrace.

The BEST thing? He's not done with me yet! I love the children's song "He's Still Working On Me" because it never stops this side of Heaven. I've been blessed to have wonderful mentors throughout my teen and adult life...some that will never know how much they blessed my life. So, in return, I strive every day to honor God so that I can be the witness to others just as these godly folks have been there for me!

So, that's what is on my heart tonight. If you remember that I'm writing this for my future grandchildren...you will know why I wanted to be VERY clear as to where I stand on how important it is to know JESUS. It was the most important decision I ever made.

Sorry if you were looking for light banter...she'll probably be back tomorrow or the next day.



Stay tuned.

5 Click here to Comment!:

Mama Weso said...

I thought the same thing when I read the article about that man's life, particularly his "death bed conversion." Seeking for the truth and finding it is far more important than anything else we choose to do. I was raised to believe good people go to heaven. How good is good? I knew I wasn't "that" good. Realizing I could never be good enough was depressing until discovering that Christ took care of everything when he died to pay for our sins. A free gift. Imagine that. God's grace, at Christ's expense, and to our benefit! You are leaving a legacy to the future grandchildren. (BTW, I read the blog to my family and my hubby, with a look of shock, said, "WHAT grandchildren?" That was funny.

Fuschia said...

Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing about him too Ms. Mary. Preach on Sister! Amen and Amen!!

Carole

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Okay, yeah, I know, I already commented today, but I HAD to give you a hearty AMEN to this post!!

WOO HOO! You GO girl! (that's such a 90's thing to say, isn't it?)

BUT STILL!! YOU ROCK! (Is that better??) hee hee :-)

Man, I'm FIRED UP! Thanks!

mamajil said...

Well I know I am going backwards and reading older posts but I missed so much over the past 6 days, but let me say AMEN, and AMEN!!!