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Hugged by a Child in a Fallen World

Little ones.

That is what my wife calls children.  That is what Jesus calls children, too, in the Gospel (Good News) of Matthew.

There are great rewards for being generous and kind to children.

There is a special damnation for causing harm to children.

This morning, I was waiting in line at a breakfast joint for a medium caramel latte.  Two small girls were in the line behind me, and they were adorable.

They had beautiful smiles, and the most innocent sweetness about them.  The older sister was probably about 5, and the little sister was probably about 9 months old.  How could I not smile back?

So I did.

The baby sister was clearly still getting her land legs, and she wobbled about upright as big sister held her hand.  What a show!

Once, a favorite professor of mind gave me advice I took to heart:  never allow a child to be bored in your presence if you can help it.

I suppose that is because children will look up to you, and give you a great shot at sharing the Gospel of Jesus' being able to save them for all eternity!

Once, a preacher gave me an example of how when a child is learning how to walk, when they stumble and fall, the goof father doesn't scold the baby for trying and failing--he picks her up and sets her on her feet and encourages her to still move forward.  That is how our good Father does us, too!

So as this little one smiled and looked up at me and shook her big sister's hand free to try to walk on her own right toward me, what was I supposed to do?  Push her away?

The big sister giggled a childlike giggle, and the little sister wobbled, all on her own, right to me, and hugged my leg like I was a long lost friend.

Jesus said, "See that you do not despise these little ones.  For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my father who is in heaven."  Matthew 18:10.  Basically, you mess with them, you mess with their guardian angels, which means you mess with the Sovereign Ruler of Everything.

Jesus also said, "So it is not the will of the Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."  Matthew 18:14

He also said, "Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."  Mark 9:42

I laughed and patted the girl's head and said, "Aw, thank you!  OK, now."  As I gently pried her away.

The breakfast crowd "aww-ed" the scene, as I smile at the mother, who was by now finally paying attention to her children.

Momma lost it.  She then scolded her older daughter for not keeping a better eye on big sister.

I felt like a fool.

I don't fault the mother for being upset.  There are creeps out there.  I certainly wish she payed more attention to her children if she planned on scolding her 5 year old for not paying attention.

Mostly, it made me long for Heaven.  Paradise.  Where children are carefree to run free and we can give and take hugs and share laughs with everyone everywhere because there will be no more creeps, no more wars, no more hate, no more evil.  Only love.

And the Bible just so happens to say, "God is love."

How do we get there?  To Heaven?



Not Catholic, but...

I just read a very interesting article, in which some prominent Catholic priests cried "foul" over two major Catholic universities who will participate in March Madness basketball games on Good Friday, one of the holiest of Christian and Catholic holidays.

While most agree Christ probably did not die on this exact day in history, it was on a Friday.

As the John Mark McMillan (artist famous for writing "How He Loves" made famous by David Crowder) writes in his beautiful song, "Death in His Grave,"

On Friday a thief, on Sunday a King.  Laid down in grief, but awoke with the keys,
to Hell on that day, the firstborn of the slain.  The Man Jesus Christ laid death in His grave. 
So, I do reckon this Good Friday holiday deserves a bit of reverence, right?

CLICK HERE to read the original article I am mentioning.  I believe the priest has a point.

So this Holy Week, I hope you take a few minutes to review your week and see about perhaps becoming a bit more like Jesus.


Another Church Service, Really??

At my home church, Florida Station Church in Anderson, IN, we are starting to ramp up Sunday evening services again.

Growing up, Sunday evenings just had a special feel for me.  Night services always consisted of people who seemed to genuinely want to be at church.

From testimonies (where a person stands up and praises God for something that recently happened) to special prayer requests (we always tried to spend some extra time praying than we did during morning services to worship (people who come to night services usually are a bit more passionate), I loved PM services.

Which is why I am unashamedly using the Billonie Sandwich blog to officially promote ChurchPM at Florida Station.

Below is a video my buddy Nick Stohler created..

So if you are looking for something a touch different than your run of the mill church service, come out to Florida Station this Sunday at 10:30am, 6pm, or Wednesday at 6pm.  We have a great time.

Questions about God?