Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, March 14, 2015


     Bill Peterson had been at church for a long time, a very long time. Ever since an angel told him everything was going to be alright, he had been at the church praying. Bill didn't even go home to eat or sleep. When he got tired he slept on a pew and when he got hungry he went to the church kitchen or his kids brought him something to eat. As a result, he had no idea the town had gotten better.

      As Bill lay sleeping on a pew, he was suddenly awakened by a loud “YAHOO!” FOLLOWED BY “I'm here to round up the cows.” “Not another farmer running loose.” Bill thought as he sat up to see who it was he had heard. To his surprise, it was a farmer, or at least a farmer's daughter. It was Tracy McDonald but Bill couldn't tell if she was who she was or not.

      “So, are you some kind of cow girl rodeo star?” Bill asked “No.” Tracy said sadly, “I'm me. Boring old Tracy McDonald E I E I O.” “WOW” Bill Exclaimed in excitement, “Somebody else is themselves.” “Yeah ha.” Tracy sighed. “But that's great news.: Bill said, “How about the rest of the town, is it better too?” “Yeah, I guess so.” Tracy said with a sigh and plopped down on a pew.

      “Uhm,” Bill Said, “You don't sound to happy about that.” “It was fun when everybody was somebody else.” Tracy said. “But it was dangerous.” Bill reminded told her. “No it wasn't.” Tracy protested. “But what if there had been a fire.” Bill said, “Who would have put it out. The fire department thought they were NASCAR drivers, they would never had come.”

      “Well, I’m sure somebody would have thought they were fire fighters and came.” Tracy said. “But would they have known what to do?” Bill asked. “And what if somebody needed an emergency operation at the hospital?” “I guess I wouldn't have wanted my Dad to be the one doing the operation.” Tracy said.

      “Your dad thought he was a doctor?” Bill said. “That would have been scary. I've seen how he takes hooks out of the fish he catches.” “It was actually kind of funny.” Tracy said, “In fact, all of it was funny. I wish we were still all sick. I wonder if we could pass the disease around again.” “No way!” Bill said. I never want to go through that again.”

      “Oh well,” Tracy sighed, “I better find that cow and get back home.” “What cow?” Bill asked, there hasn't been any cows in here.” “There hasn't?” Tracy said a bit surprised, “I sure I can smell one in here.” Hearing that Bill started sniffing the air and then himself and then he started gagging. “I think I'm the one that smells like your cow. Maybe I should go take a shower. It's been at least two weeks since I had one.” “No wonder you smell like a cow.” Tracy said. “I guess I'll get back to the farm.

      So the LORD told Abraham, "I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are extremely evil, and that everything they do is wicked. I am going down to see whether or not these reports are true. Then I will know."
Genesis 18:20-21 (NLT)

      Sodom and Gomorrah were very wicked and God was going to destroy them. Abraham had made a pact with God not to destroy it if 10 righteous people were found therein but how many were there, in there? As it turned out, there wasn't enough and even those who were allowed to escape wanted to hold back. Here's the story...

      That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom, and Lot was sitting there as they arrived. When he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed low to the ground. "My lords," he said, "come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up in the morning as early as you like and be on your way again." "Oh no," they said, "we'll just spend the night out here in the city square." But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. As they were preparing to retire for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, "Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out so we can have sex with them." Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him... "Stand back!" they shouted. "Who do you think you are? We let you settle among us, and now you are trying to tell us what to do! We'll treat you far worse than those other men!" And they lunged at Lot and began breaking down the door. But the two angels reached out and pulled Lot in and bolted the door. Then they blinded the men of Sodom so they couldn't find the doorway. "Do you have any other relatives here in the city?" the angels asked. "Get them out of this place—sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. For we will destroy the city completely... At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. "Hurry," they said to Lot. "Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out of here right now, or you will be caught in the destruction of the city." When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful. "Run for your lives!" the angels warned. "Do not stop anywhere in the valley. And don't look back! … Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, eliminating all life—people, plants, and animals alike. But Lot's wife looked back as she was following along behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Genesis 19:1-26 (NLT)

      Tracy was better, the town was better but Tracy wanted the disease back. Lot and his family didn't want to leave. Lot's wife wanted to turn back. God wants something different.

      God wants us to leave sin behind us, not stay with it. Hebrews 12:1 says - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. (NLT) Earlier in the book God says A righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away." - Hebrews 10:38 (NLT) In Luke 9:62 Jesus says "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God." (NLT) With all of this in mind, why would one want ot turn back? Why would one want to return to the ways of sin?

      Now for some icing on the cake - 2 Peter 2:20-21 And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them. (NLT)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you hesitate to get away from evil? Why?
  • When away do you want to go back “one last time?” Why?

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