When Karen and I decide that it's time to get away and pursue some much-needed R & R, we often head for the enchanting big island of Hawaii. Our friends Steve and Chris Boyl, who live near Kona, always open their beautiful home to us on such occasions.
Steve is a building contractor by trade, but his real passion is for fishing. He owns a little fishing boat and is always happy for an excuse to use it. Though I am a fish-free vegetarian, I do love the sun and water and have often joined Steve and his brother, Joe, while they pursue their favorite diversion. As a result of numerous fishing excursions on the ocean with Steve and his friends, I have come to better understand why Jesus said that if we follow Him, He will make us fishers of men. Here are a few similarities I have noticed between fishing and soul-winning.
People need heroes. Great men and women we can look up to as role models and mentors.Ministries need heroes, too. Kings and prophets from long ago who proclaimed special messages and displayed examples of courage provide excellent heroes whom we can emulate in our lives today. Amazing Facts has chosen two of the greatest prophets in the Holy Writ as our designated heroes-Elijah and John the Baptist.
The last words of the Old Testament reveal a stirring and powerful prophecy that has often been misunderstood. Take a moment to become familiar with this passage. With the Spirit's help, we intend to bring new life to these words:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.
I could hear the sound of his three-wheel bicycle squeak up behind me as I walked down the street. Brother Harold was a living legend among the young people in Palm Springs. He was a 70-year-old saint who knew how to "walk the walk" and "talk the talk." His day began at 4 a.m. with two hours of Bible study and prayer, followed by a few hours on the street handing out tracts. Next he was off to the hospital. As a self-appointed chaplain, he would visit the rooms and share an encouraging scripture or two with the patients-all from memory.
Several branches of the armed services have an elite team of commandos that are carefully trained in guerrilla warfare and other special combat conditions. To qualify for one of these units, a person must pass through an incredibly grueling process of physical and mental training. Only those who demonstrate unflinching self control and perfect obedience are chosen. These special-forces commandos are assigned difficult and dangerous missions, such as rapidly attacking enemy troops or raiding behind enemy lines. Their job is to lead the way for the main troops. Because of their thorough training, a small team of commandos is often able to achieve great victories. During the Gulf War, a team of about a dozen Navy Seals were able to create a diversion on the beaches of Kuwait that fooled the entire Iraqi army into thinking that the U.S. attack was coming from the sea.
If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of." Matthew 24:48-50.
During World War II, resistance fighters in France believed the Nazi occupation was temporary. They fought long and hard and suffered much when captured. These brave men and women continued their campaign against pathetic odds, spurred on by the faith that the Allied forces would soon come and deliver France from its cruel oppressors.
But, as days turned into weeks and then months into years, some of the freedom fighters grew weary of their life of constant resistance and fighting. To them, it began to seem that the Allies would never come-that they were too busy fighting the Nazis on other fronts. It looked as though France would forever be under the control of the enemy.
This is the time of year when many Christians give special thought to the birth of Christ. It's a story most of us have heard more times than we can count. But as with every other story of the Bible, it never loses its significance. In fact, a careful study of Christ's first advent should help us learn how to be better prepared for His second coming.
At the time of Christ's birth, God's people were waiting with great anticipation for the world's Redeemer. His arrival was the event every generation since Adam had hoped to see. How could the religious leaders of that day have missed it?
Some have thought it was because they were ignorant of the many prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah.
Thousands flocked to the concert to hear Michael Jackson. Not long after the program began, the media televised pictures of those whose unconscious forms had to be passed overhead-transported by the mob's uplifted hands and arms-to the waiting medical staff for resuscitation. Other fans swayed, twisted, and contorted their bodies in response to the overwhelming pulsating rhythms emanating from the rock star's highly amplified and well-orchestrated band. Still others acted dazed and almost hypnotized. The audience seemed to be caught up in a high state of exhilaration-temporarily abandoning any sense of self restraint, and clamoring for more potent doses of an unseen "drug."
An Amazing Fact: In the extreme temperatures and near-vacuum of interplanetary space, astronauts need special clothing in order to survive. Their spacesuits supply them with oxygen, keep their bodies at controlled temperatures, remove moisture from the air around them, and monitor their blood pressure and heart rhythm.
When Neil Armstrong went on the Apollo 11 mission that sealed his place in history as the first man to land on the moon, his suit was specially designed to provide a life-sustaining environment during periods of extra vehicular activity or unpressurized spacecraft operation. The custom-fitted spacesuit permitted maximum mobility and was designed to be worn with relative comfort for up to 115 hours outside the spacecraft or for 14 days in an unpressurized mode.
Astronauts must put an enormous amount of trust in their spacesuits. One said it was eerie to realize that while outside the space capsule, there was just one-quarter of an inch between him and eternity. Now that’s important clothing!