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Friday, February 10, 2017

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.

-unknown 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Interview (with a dead guy).

The Greatest General, by Mark Twain:

A man died and met Saint Peter at the gates of heaven.
Recognizing the saint’s knowledge and wisdom, he wanted to ask him a question. “Saint Peter’, he said, “I have been interested in the military history for many years. Tell me, who was the greatest general of all times?”
Peter quickly responded, “O that is a simple question. It’s that man right over there.”
The man looked where Peter was pointing and answered, “You must be mistaken. I knew that man on earth, and he was just a common laborer.”
“That’s right,” Peter remarked, “but he would have been the greatest general of all time-if he had been a general.”

---What a remarkable lesson.

Shortly after reading Twain's story, I started wondering what it would be like to interview the "would-be-general."

I imagine myself sitting across from him in a fluffy cloud, face to face with the following questions:

Q: What held you back from pursuing your dreams while you were on earth?

Q: Did you have a passion in your heart for the things of the military? If so, why didn't you enlist?

Q:  When you were alive, did you ever feel a sense of destiny?  Like God had a plan for your life?

Q:  How's the food up there? 

Q:  Followed up by, do all dogs really go to heaven?  I'm quite serious.

Q:  Finally, if  you could do it all over again, live your life again on earth, how would you live differently?

I have no idea what the answers would be to those questions. 
But what I do know, is that if you find yourself reading this, you still have a chance. 

-A chance to live.  -A chance to engage

What a terrible thing it would be to find out in heaven that you could have been the worlds all time greatest __________ . 


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Took Your Place

One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, " I always park there
You took my place!" 

Then the visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That's my seat! You took my place!" The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit! You took my place!" The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. 
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. 
Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?" 
The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, 


"I took your place."



DID you know that the Bible teaches that God literally took your place? This is what the cross was all about, God reconciling all who trust in Him. The Apostle says it like this, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 
(II Corinthians 5:21).  To illustrate, I will recall a popular movie titled the Matrix.  In the third installment, during the final epic battle between Mr. Anderson (really bad guy) and Neo (good guy), Neo let Mr. Anderson punch his fist into his stomach.  When this happened, Mr. Anderson sort of oozed into Neo, thus corrupting him and winning the final war...so he thought.  If you have seen the film, you remember that this was not the end of Neo, rather it was the final act for Mr. Anderson.  See, when Neo allowed Mr. Anderson to enter him, Neo took inside himself pure evil.  
Neo then died. And when he did ... the evil one died too.

Admittedly, this not a perfect parallel with our Lord, but there is something deeply familiar in both accounts, the good overtook the bad by becoming the bad on behalf of others.  So the next time you see a cross, you can be thankful that someone took your place.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Do NOT look up!

 

Ever hear of the of the law of the Skyscraper?

Neither have I. That's until I read a short article by author, Jon Gordon.  The concept is a simple one and makes a lot of sense for those wanting to make a difference. Check it out below and see if you enjoy as much as I did. 

When builders begin building a skyscraper they don't start by building up. Instead they start by digging below the ground in order to create a foundation of stability. They have to go down deep and excavate soil, sand, clay, etc. to reach the bedrock so that they can build something that will reach incredible heights.

Our lives, careers and, teams work the same way. If we want to build up -we have to first dig deep and develop our foundation.  It's not always easy to unearth the stuff below (the fears we have, the wounds we carry, and the things that hold us back) but once we uncover them, we can reach the core of our foundation and begin the building process to reach greater heights.

Notice how the law of the skyscraper emphasizes the invisible -the foundation?  What you see is not always what you get.! Jesus, the master teacher, taught, "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.


Note how there were: Two men. Two houses. Two storms. But two very different outcomes.  
The reason was due to one man starting with a firm foundation and the other a shifty one.

If you would like to establish a firm foundation in your life, I would like to personally invite you to grow in your faith by attending  Faith Presbyterian Church in Hermitage, Pa.  We meet Sunday mornings, 11 a.m.  

 
I hope to see you some Sunday!
Rev. Anthony J. Kladitis

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What is in the Gold Box?

 

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family.
This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family's only roll of expensive wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"
 
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady," he said harshly, "when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside the package!"
 
Image result for gold box
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."
The father was crushed.
He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
-Author Unknown.
With Christmas right around the corner, it might be a little too easy to miss the incredible love that God has for you by looking in all the wrong places. The beauty of the season is not to be found in the shopping malls, or the TV sets.  Rather it is discovered when you can finally comprehend the absolute love of God, found wrapped in the manger. Like the father in the story that initially missed the moment of grace provided by his daughter, we can too overlook the moment that changed history if we do not see the baby in the manger.
Merry Christmas!
Rev. Anthony Kladitis