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Monday, November 06, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - A HEART STARTER #17.

A radio news series about honesty in America talked about excuses. The commentator said that people use three types of excuses when guilty of wrongdoing.

The first is outright denial a rejection of any involvement. Sometimes this is done even though the person is obviously guilty. The second is the "It's not my fault" excuse. The person looks around for someone he can blame. (Often it is a loved one - a husband or wife or parent. Sometimes it's the boss.) A third form of excuse is the "I did it, but...." approach. In this instance the person blames circumstances for his shortcoming.

Either he's been struggling with some illness or the assignment wasn't clear, or the car's been giving him trouble.
- Source Unknown
.

Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'

"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' “‘Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "
- Luke 14:16-24.


Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, outfielder for the Atlanta Braves and cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons, is the only athlete to have hit a Major League home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week. Sanders grew up on the mean streets of Fort Myers, Fla., where exposure to some would-be athletes spurred him to make a success of himself.

He explains: "I call them Idas. 'If I'da done this, I'd be making three million today...If I'da practiced a little harder, I'd be a superstar.' They were as fast as me when they were kids, but instead of working for their dreams they chose drugs and a life of street corners. When I was young, I had practice; my friends who didn't went straight to the streets and never left. That moment after school is the moment we need to grab. We don't need any more Idas. - Mike Lupica.

Well, that’s another weekend that flew by, and we are starting a new week. Monday’s can be very sluggish, and not easy to get going, so I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from God, rather than six cups of coffee!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today, begins by looking at the subject of excuses. It is quite apparent that our modern day communities have become contaminated by the disease of excuses and blame. There is nothing new here in this fact, but what is interesting, is that it is affecting the communities that we live and worship in.

Ten Most Used Excuses…
1. I forgot.
2. No one told me to go ahead.
3. I didn't think it was that important.
4. Wait until the boss comes back and ask him.
5. I didn't know you were in a hurry for it.
6. That's the way we've always done it.
7. That's not in my department.
8. How was I to know this was different?
9. I'm waiting for an O.K.
10. That's their job--not mine.
- Bits & Pieces.


In our scripture reading today, we see how Jesus has used the illustration of a banquet, to sort out those that are unfit for the Kingdom of God. They all began to make excuses; one of them pleads that he needs to attend to business; another pretends that it is necessary to test his animals efficiency; the third blames his wife and marriage; all of them want them refuse the invitation on the grounds of excuse and blame.

Isn’t amazing that the most weakest of excuses are used, just at the time, when God almighty, makes the gracious offer of salvation, and the abundant life!

A recent novel by Madeleine L'Engle is entitled A Severed Wasp. If you're addressing young people or some other audience with strong stomachs, the title, which comes from one of George Orwell's essays, offers a graphic image of human lostness.

Orwell describes a wasp that "was sucking jam on my plate and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him."

The wasp and people without Christ have much in common. Severed from their souls, but greedy and unaware, people continue to consume life's sweetness. Only when it's time to fly away will they gasp their dreadful condition.
- Source Unknown.


Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us to be people who are not afraid to make the right decision boldly, and without excuse or blame.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by standing tall in my community, and to be a person who is not afraid to make a decision, and bear the consequences that come from it, rightly or wrongly. In the wonderful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY
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