September 2017  
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Chappy’s corner: “Better than before!”

Ole invited his pastor over for Sunday dinner. After the meal, Ole offered to give the pastor a tour of the place. First came the barn and Ole said, “When I bought this farm, the barn was falling to pieces, but I rebuilt it and fixed it up and now it is a showplace.” The pastor said, “Praise the Lord”   Then they came to a lush green pasture. Ole said, “When I bought this farm, this pasture was filled with rocks and weeds, but we worked on it, and now it is one of the most beautiful fields in the county.” The pastor responded, “Praise the Lord!”  They came to a beautiful white wooded fence. Again Ole said, “This fence was mess when I bought the farm, but now it is fixed up, painted and goes for miles in all directions.” Once again the pastor responded, “Praise the Lord!”  At that point Ole turned to the preacher and said, “I’m all in favor of praising the Lord, but I wish you had seen how bad this place was when the Lord had it all by himself.”

At times in our lives we have opportunities to make improvements, to make things better than they were before.  For example, our home went through a major remodeling.  We wanted the house to be in better shape than when we bought it and it is. The church I serve was damaged by fire. Remodeling the church wasn’t easy. It took over a year, but today we have a much better facility for doing the work we do.  Making a place better than it was when you first came is a wonderful goal.  It is not always possible, but hopefully people would strive to do that.

The same is true about where one works.  Hopefully one’s goal would be to make it better than when we first came on the scene.  But what about other areas of our lives, are we striving to make them better too?  If we are married do we work to make our marriage stronger and better?  If we have children or grandchildren do we work to make our relationships with them stronger and better?  If we belong to a church or a community group do we work to make those organizations stronger and better?  What about ourselves, how do we strive to make ourselves stronger and better? Maybe by reading more, working out at the gym, eating healthier these are all great ways to improve in our lives.

But it is also wise to be in touch with the one who created us.  God made us and He has a very big interest in our lives.  Due to sin we were lost, but Christ paid for our sins, so we can have a life with God forever.  Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly!” John 10:10.   Jesus came not only to give us heaven, but to also make our lives here better.  He gives us the power to heal broken relationships, to forgive, to share, and to care.   By ourselves we would struggle to make these happen, but we are not alone. By God’s mercy, grace and power we can be better people than we were before!

 

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson

JFHQ SDARNG