There was this man that was pronounced dead for 20 minutes on the operating table and as far as ˝Seeing the Light˝ goes.

He said he went to heaven and it was of visions and senses that a human cannot express. The streets of Gold that everybody talks of was but a mere speck of the beauty that radiated from this wonderous place...

But what he most vividly remembers is Jesus walking with him as he led him to Acres and Acres of Daffodills far and beyond. The man said, ˝Wow, I looove daffodills; they´re my favorite flower!˝

Jesus simply replied, ˝Why does that surprise you? I said that I was going to prepare a place ESPECIALLY FOR YOU.˝

Be a person of prayer...

Those of us committed to a lifestyle of loving the world need to learn to pray, to be sensitive to the Lord's nudges, to regularly spend time at the throne.


A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan...

While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival In the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time witnessed to him of Lord Jesus Christ. I then travel two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, ""Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.""

At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said ""No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.""

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:

""On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?""

The men who had met together that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were - he was to busy counting how many men he saw.

There were 26.

Today I will be handling all of your problems.
Please remember that I do not need your help.

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you
cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it.
Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box.

It will be addressed in My time, not yours.
Once the matter is placed into the box,
do not hold on to it.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don't despair.
There are people in this world for whom driving is an
unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work;
Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad;
Think of the person who has never known what it's like
to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend;
Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve
hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away
from assistance;
Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror;
Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she
had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what
is life all about, asking what is my purpose?
Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long
enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's
bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities;
Remember, things could be worse.
You could be them!!!!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; You might
brighten someone's day!

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through. Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon... we would lose everything.

It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort... trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed.

Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for over an hour: walking carefully to the woods, then running back to the house. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me. I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen... as he was obviously doing something important and didn't need his Mommy checking-up on him).

He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being very careful not to spill the water he held in them... maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked closer as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much greater purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site.

Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him... he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand.

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house; to a spigot that we had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle of water began to creep out. He knelt there, letting each drip of water slowly fill up his makeshift ""cup,"" as the sun beat down on his little back. It was just last week he was punished for playing with the garden hose, and received a stern lecture on the importance of not wasting water. So, I'm sure that is why he didn't ask me to help him.

It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. ""I'm not wasting,"" was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him... with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away... it was his job.

I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save a life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops... and more drops... and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, Himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really happen. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that... I'm not even going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm... just like the actions of one little boy saved a life.

Epilog (SkyWriting.Net editor): I have received this same story from other sources, which do not include the ""to honor the memory of my beautiful Billy."" However, out of respect to the parent(s) that lost a child, I'm including it as an addendum; along with my sincere heart felt sympathy.

Addendum - ""This story is to honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon.... but not before he showed me the true face of God; in a little sunburned body.""

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me.
I dare not go astray,
For fear he´ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he see me do, he tries.
Like me, he says, he´s going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see,
That little fellow who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Thru summers´ sun and winters´ snow.
I am building for the years to be,
In the little chap who follows me.

Just walk it.
Just talk it.
Just preach it.
Just teach it.
Just tell it.
Just live it.
Just give it.
Just wear it.
Just share it.
Just shout it.
Just sing it.
Just proclaim it.
Just prove it.
Live For Jesus!

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don´t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn´t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Charles Plumb, a US Navy Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile.

Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent the next six years in a Communist prison.

He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when he and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, ""You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Nam from the carrier, Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!""

""How in the world did you know that?"" asked Plumb.

""Oh, I was the one who packed your parachute,"" the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man smiled and said, ""Yep, I guess it worked!""

Plumb assured him, ""It sure did work - if your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.""

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about the man who has packed his parachute. Plumb kept wondering what the man might have looked like in a Navy uniform.

""I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything, because you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.""

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now Plumb asks his audiences, ""Who's packing your chute?"" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.

Plumb also points out that we all need many kinds of parachutes. We need mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes as well.

While a prisoner of war, Plumb called on all of these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead - and to recognize and appreciate all of those people who pack our parachutes everyday, for they are the ones who truly deserve the credit for our survival.

Once there was a man,
As lonely as could be,
He sat alone,
He slept alone,
Then thought came to he,
He needed land,
And water too,
Solid green,
and liquid blue,
He needed a ball,
With inner light,
It needed a name,
Sun sounded right,
He needed plants,
To give off shade,
he snapped his fingers,
and trees were made,
He needed creatures,
To amuse his day,
So animals were born,
on every cay,
But something wasn't right,
The notion wouldn't leave,
Then he thought of humans,
Known now as Adam and Eve.

Oh...she was terrible! Her voice was too low and garbled, she did not look up, she was slouched in the chair and her knees were visibly shaking. I can not believe her goal in life was to be a TV anchor woman. Of course, she was only 18 and this was only a Forensic competition. But, it was a District competition and the score I gave her determined if she would make it to the finals.

I had put off doing my duty, as the parent of a speech team member, by being the judge for at least one Speech/Forensics competition. By procrastinating and waiting until the end of the year and judging the districts, little did I know that what I saw...what I heard and the score I gave them could effect the rest of their lives.

As each student came in to be judged, I explained that, to me, they all deserved to get a (1)! (The perfect score) By the mere fact they were there, impressed the socks off of me. I can not imagine getting up in front of my peers, or complete strangers for that matter, and commanding the room. I did explain that 3 of them would have to get the 6, the 5, and the 4, but that it wasn´t personal. I was frantic with my decisions. I did not want to crush one student´s spirit. It was the end of the year, so only the best of the best were here. That had to mean something to them.

I joked with them and tried to make them comfortable. I´m sure I looked a little goofy because I was so UNcomfortable. Some of these young adults were brilliant. I heard them in the halls talking about which colleges they were attending and what law schools and medical schools they planned to attend. Oh yes...I felt very intimidated at times. But, they were all polite...every last one of them.

As I pondered the TV anchor lady´s performance, I wondered how my words might influence the rest of the day´s judging for her. I was only the first round that she would encounter. I thought carefully and ranked her 4th. I wondered if she´d ever been ranked higher than 6th? I carefully wrote:

˝You have everything it takes to be on TV except confidence in your self. Try looking the next judge in the eye and pretend she is the camera and there is no one else in the room. Straighten your shoulders, lift your head and smile. Show them proudly what kind of spirit you have, girlfriend! Best of luck...I believe in you!˝

I sighed and went on the next competition, which, HEAVEN HELP ME, was pantomime! That´s probably the only thing worse than TV anchoring...well, besides poetry! I forgot about the girl~slash~young lady and tried to find my daughter to see how she thought she was doing.

Well, my daughter won first place in HUMOR SOLO. We laughed and clapped and teared up and started for the car.

I heard a voice screaming ˝JUDGE, JUDGE....STOP!˝ I turned around and there was the young lady whose aspirations were beyond my comprehension. ˝Oh, thank you! I won 3rd place in the finals! I´m going to STATE and it´s all because of you!˝ I stood there stunned and unable to say anything. ˝You are the only judge that ever ranked me higher than a 6. You believed in me and now I´m believing in me! Thank you so much, I´ll never forget you!˝ Off she ran to join her friends.

So, I was taught a very valuable lesson about myself. When given a choice...ALWAYS take the high road. It takes very little thought to drag someone down...but, it´s worth the added time to give them a few seconds of feeling good about themselves.

I don´t even remember her name. Hopefully, I will recognize her on the TV some years from now. I know one thing....she sure made my millennium.

A young man had been to Tuesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord. The young man couldn´t help but wonder, ˝Does God still speak to people?˝ After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several of the people talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o´clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, ˝God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen, and I will do my best to obey.˝

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had a strange thought - stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, ˝God is that you?˝ He didn´t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought of Samuel and how he didn´t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. ˝Okay, God, in case that´s you, I will buy the milk.˝ It didn´t seem like too hard a test of obedience. Besides, he could always use the milk.

He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home. As he drove passed Seventh street, he felt a strange urge - ˝Turn down that street.˝ This is crazy he thought, and drove on by the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down seventh street. At the next intersection, he turned around and headed down Seventh street. Half jokingly, he said out loud, ˝Okay, God, I will.˝

He drove several blocks, then suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in semi-commercial area of town. It wasn´t the best but it wasn´t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, ˝Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.˝ The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were gone or already asleep. He started to open the car door and then sat back in the car seat. ˝Lord, this is crazy. Those people are probably asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I´ll just look stupid.˝

Again, he felt he should take the milk to the house. Finally, he opened the car door. ˝Okay God, if this is your will, I´ll take the milk to the house, even if I end of looking like a stupid fool. I want to be obedient. But if they don´t answer right away, I am out of here.˝

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man´s voice yelled out, ˝Who is it? What do you want?˝ Then the door opened before the nervous young man could run away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He had a strange look on his face and didn´t seem happy to have a stranger at his door.

˝What is it?˝ The young man handed him the milk. The man took the milk and rushed down a hall way speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk, headed towards the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. While half crying, the man said: ˝We were just praying - my wife has no milk, and we had some big bills this month, so we ran out of money to buy milk for the baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.˝ His wife in the kitchen yelled out, ˝I ask Him to send an Angel with some... milk. Are you an Angel?˝

The young man reached for his wallet, and gave the man a few dollars - all he had. As the young man turned and walked back toward his car, tears were streaming down his face. God still answers prayers! Yes, and God talks to us too. Are you listening?

There were two roommates in college, one a believer and one not. One day they were discussing the validity of God. The believer said to the non-believer, give me five good reasons why God does not exist and we will go from there. The nonbeliever thought for a while and finally came up with his five reasons. He said to the believer, ˝can you see God?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝Can you smell God?˝

˝Not really,˝ said the believer.

˝Can you touch God?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝What about taste?˝

˝No,˝ said the believer.

˝Well can you hear God?˝.

˝Well, ya I can hear God, in the wind and stuff˝.

˝Well,˝ said the nonbeliever, ˝four out five, God does not exist.˝

The believer thought and asked for a while to think about it. Finally he came back and said to his friend, ˝Okay. Can you touch your brain?˝


˝Can you see your brain?˝


˝Can you smell your brain?˝


˝What about hear it?˝

˝I guess not,˝ replied the nonbeliever

˝Then can you taste your brain?˝


˝Well then,˝ said the believer, ˝I guess it is pretty obvious. Five out five, you have no brain.˝

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa's Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.

One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Theresa's for a consultation. As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, ""Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!""

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. ""Miss Miller,"" he said, ""there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.""

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. ""Oh God,"" she said aloud, ""here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.""

From that day on, she tried to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. ""I love you, Miss Miller,"" he exclaimed loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris's face turned red. She stammered, ""Wh-Why, that's very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat.""

Spring came, and the chidden talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them of the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. ""Now,"" she said to them, ""I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?""

""Yes, Miss Miller!"" the children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris's kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. ""Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,"" she said. ""When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here."" A small girl in the first row waved her arms. ""That's my egg, Miss Miller,"" she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up, ""We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too."" Little Judy smiled proudly and said, ""Miss Miller, that one is mine.""

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. ""My Daddy helped me!"" he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy's she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up.

""Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?"" Flustered, Doris replied, ""but Jeremy - your egg is empty!"" He looked into her eyes and said softly, ""Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!""

Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, ""Do you know why the tomb was empty?"" ""Oh yes!"" Jeremy exclaimed. ""Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up!""

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame.
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know.
I magine life without His love
J oy would cease to be
K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts to thee.
M ove out of ˝Camp Complaining˝
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone.
Q uit looking at the future
R edeem the time at hand
S tart every day with worship
T o ˝thank˝ is a command.
U ntil we see Him coming
V ictorious in the sky
W e´ll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high.
Y es, there will be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Z ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

˝Too blessed to be stressed!˝ The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Be Blessed.

God has a way of allowing us to be in the right place at the right time. I was walking down a dimly lit street late one evening when I heard muffled screams coming from behind a clump of bushes. Alarmed, I slowed down to listen and panicked when I realized that what I was hearing were the unmistakable sounds of a struggle: heavy grunting, frantic scuffling and tearing of fabric.

Only yards from where I stood, a woman was being attacked. Should I get involved? I was frightened for my own safety and cursed myself for having suddenly decided to take a new route home that night. What if I became another statistic? Shouldn't I just run to the nearest phone and call the police?

Although it seemed an eternity, the deliberations in my head had taken only seconds, but already the cries were growing weaker. I knew I had to act fast. How could I walk away from this? No, I finally resolved, I could not turn my back on the fate of this unknown woman, even if it meant risking my own life. I am not a brave man, nor am I athletic. I don't know where I found the moral courage and physical strength- but once I had finally resolved to help the girl, I became strangely transformed. I ran behind the bushes and pulled the assailant off the woman.

Grappling, we fell to the ground, where we wrestled for a few minutes until the attacker jumped up and escaped. Panting hard, I scrambled upright and approached the girl, who was crouched behind a tree, sobbing. In the darkness, I could barely see her outline, but I could certainly sense her trembling shock.

Not wanting to frighten her further, I at first spoke to her from a distance. ""It's OK,"" I said soothingly. ""The man ran away. You're safe now."" There was a long pause and then I heard the words uttered in wonder, in amazement. ""Dad, is that you?"" And then, from behind the tree, stepped my youngest daughter, Katherine.

Do all the good you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all times you can. To all the people you can. For as long as you can.

Several years ago in California, a young woman was stopped for speeding. She was given a ticket and sentenced to appear before the judge. The Judge read off her citation and asked, ""What is your plea? Guilty or not guilty?"" ""Guilty your honor,"" she replied. The Judge brought down the gavel and said, pay $100 or ten days.""

Then an amazing thing happened. The Judge stood up, took off his robe, went over to the clerk, and paid the fine in full. What?s the explanation for this? The Judge was her father. He loved his daughter, to be sure, but at that moment he was her judge. His daughter had broken the law He couldn?t simply say, ""Because I love you, I forgive you. You may now leave."" If he had done that there would have been a miscarriage of justice in his court. He would not have remained a righteous Judge. By paying the fine himself, the law was satisfied, justice was done, and his daughter was set free.

In a similar way, God sat upon his judgment seat. No matter how much God loved man, he was forced to bring down the gavel of death. His justice wouldn?t allow him to do less. Because God loved man so deeply, he came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and paid off man?s debt in full. He did it by dying as man?s substitute on a hill called Calvary.

Scripture says, ""Christ appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself....

He by the grace of God tasted death for every man"" (Heb. 2:9; 9:26).

It?s true, Christ healed the sick, cast out demons, restored withered hands, cleansed lepers of their disease, caused the lame to walk, and raised the dead to life. But this was not his primary purpose for coming. His primary purpose for coming was to give his life a ransom for sin.., to lay a foundation for God to forgive sin, not at the expense of his righteousness, but in keeping with it.

As his earthly ministry drew to a close, Christ took his disciples aside and said:

?Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. They shall deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified. But on the third day he shall rise again."" Christ set his face like a flint to go to Jerusalem even though he knew that cruel mockings, scourgings and death awaited him. The hour had come on the calendar of God when an adequate atonement for sin was to be made.

Following the last supper, Christ took his disciples out to the Mount of Olives.

He said, ""My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death."" Then going a little further into the garden alone, he fell on his face and prayed: ""O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. If man?s salvation can be obtained in any other way, spare me the pain and agony of the cross."" For three agonizing hours Christ prayed and sweat great drops of blood. Then, knowing that there was no other way for man?s debt of sin to be paid, he looked up to Heaven and said, ""Thy will be done."" Returning to his disciples he said, ""Rise, let us be going. The hour is come when the son of man is betrayed.""

When the unruly mob arrived with spears and clubs, Christ surrendered himself to them, even though he knew 12 legions of angels were standing in the wings of the garden ready to deliver him.

Peter whipped out his sword and drove the crowd backward. He was ready to take off the head of anyone who laid a finger on Christ. With tenderness Christ touched Peter on the shoulder and said, ""Peter put your sword away. This is the way it has to be.. for the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many"" (Matt. 26:52; 20:28).

The bloodthirsty mob accused Christ falsely before Pilate, but he opened not his mouth. They said he was worthy to die because he claimed to be the Son of God, and to them that was nothing short of blasphemy

They mocked Christ unmercifully, spat in his face, smote him with the palms of their hands, pressed a crown of thorns upon his brow and plucked out his beard. They stripped him of his robe, scourged him unmercifully and hung him up to die. Wagging their heads they cried: ""He saved others, but he cannot save himself.""

They didn?t know that if he had saved himself from the agonies of that cross, he would not have been able to save others. God couldn?t pardon man?s sin until its debt had been paid. His holiness wouldn?t allow it.

The agony, the pain, the thirst and the loneliness that Christ endured on the cross were awful. ""My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"" he cried. Finally, when the debt of sin was fully paid, when divine justice was done and the way of salvation was open to all, Jesus lifted his eyes toward Heaven and said, ""It is finished,"" and died.

When Jesus said ""It is finished"" on the cross he was announcing that justice had been done, the debt of sin had been paid. God?s righteousness had been satisfied. From that point on God was free to forgive sin, not at the expense of his righteousness, but in keeping with it. The way of salvation has been opened to one and to all, not by the good works that people perform, but by the death of Christ on a hill called Calvary.