Thursday, July 29, 2010

Facebook Reaches 500 Million Users

If you look at the website associated with this blog ( you will see that we also have a weekly radio program using that same name. When I first got involved many years ago on the air as the co-host, along with host David Virkler, I asked him if we should ever consider doing TV? This was pre-cable and there were more religious programs on the networks. I’ll never forget his, hopefully, humorous response. “We could," he said. "

But we probably won’t since you have a voice for TV but a face for radio.” He may or may not have been serious or right back then. But that would certainly be true today some two decades later. Greeting the bathroom mirror each morning now quickly confirms that painful truth.But in the arena of communications the web has dominated, in its many forms, for the last decade or so. And the undisputed king of it all today is Facebook! It has become the single most popular website in the world. In just 6 years the social networking software giant has reached 500 million user accounts. To compare what that number means, if it were the population of a country, it would be roughly the third largest in our world.

But apparently not all is fully well at Facebook - and not because many also have faces that may disappoint them in their rearview mirror. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Facebook comes in at the level of most typical airlines. Any who enjoy the 'friendly skies' frequently in these post-9/11 times know all about that. So it appears that Facebook is the most loved, hated, and now the largest site on the planet.

The site scored just 64 out of 100 – something that makes me wonder why so many have and heavily use these things. I don’t. I won’t. It’s my personal preference - not just my non-pretty face. Plus, I already spend too much time online to add something like this to the mix. The ACSI survey called site’s performance ‘abysmal’ and stress users irritations with privacy issues, intrusive advertising, constant interface tweaks, and annoying and unwanted applications and updates. Facebook response was simply, “We have room to improve.” So they have indeed achieved a marvelous grasp on the obvious!

As far as Facebook to going bye-bye due to the current problems and complaints – that will probably not happen any time soon. As one fan stated, "There's an investment mentally and emotionally in the site. All my photos are there; all my comments are there. They've got darn near the universe on there and its going to be hard for anyone else to come along and crack that." Another user said, “For a large segment of the modern world Facebook has become a sort of the written history of our times.”

To be fair and balanced, Facebook has some positive features. That's part of why it is #1. But like much of modern technology, it also can be the so-called ‘two-edged’ sword. There are good things, neutral things, and some nasty and even dangerous ones. But if there is one overriding downside, it has nothing to do with software issues and customer satisfaction ratings. It has to be that countless millions spend endless hours on what often amounts to time-consuming trivial pursuit. Again, that is their personal choice. Others may use their time doing different things altogether. But it becomes a problem, and maybe even an eternally costly one, if they neglect to spend any adequate and quality time on the true and all-important record of written history – namely the Word of God.

Unlike Facebook, the Scriptures reveal the ‘face’ of the living Creator God of the universe. He is the one who gave man the capacity to even invent something as amazing as Facebook, not to mention all the numerous modern technological miracles we see and benefit from. But His record never needs updating orimproving since it was perfect since the moment of its completion. It alone displays to a lost world all the data required for the forgiveness of sin (John 3:16, Acts 16:30, Eph. 2:8) And it is never dated despite the dates it was composed. Beyond that, God has provided believers in Christ the wisdom and power to live in a way that pleases Him and achieves His purposes for their lives. Peter wrote, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…” (2 Peter 1:3)

In 2 Timothy chapter three is found the unique source and supernatural abilities of the written word - the Bible. Verses 16-17 declare, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” As one famous theologian said of this special passage, “The Bible tells us here what is right, what is not right, how to get right, and also how to stay right before God.”

Those, like myself, who elect to resist the lure of Facebook may succeed in keeping our lives a bit more private and hidden than those who elect to share more of their actions and activities through this ever-expanding form of self-expression. But that same concept is not at all the case when considering, and dealing with, the face of Almighty God. He obviously knows every intimate detail of each heart and life and needs no means of modern communication. His preference is sincere, fervent, and constant prayer. (James, 5:16, 1 Timothy 5:18)

A day will come when each will individually ‘face’ their God and maker. In that sobering moment, their lives will be opened to a level that makes the exposure of the most open of Facebooks seem like having the privacy of guarded hi-tech safe-deposit box at an underground nuclear missile site. Hebrews 4:13 describes it this way. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Having, or being hooked on, Facebook may be fun for some and frustrating for others. Some adore it and some abhor it. Still others may sense a bit of both. But it is all fully meaningless unless a man or woman is ready to ‘face’ their Savior with the confidence of the personal faith He has posted to the entire world in His old-fashioned and supernatural written word. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life , and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11-13)

The Psalmist alluded to it in the Old Testament in Psalm 80:3. “Restore us, O God;Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!” In the News Testament, the apostle added the specifics in 2 Corinthians 4:5-6.

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Bill Breckenridge

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lessons from the Shirley Sherrod Case

Top story of the month? When the news events of 2010 are compiled, the forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod from her position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture—allegedly by the White House, the brutal criticism by the NAACP and the media feeding frenzy that followed will rank high among the notable stories of the year.

Aside from the political jungle into which her first critics plunged on the basis of part of a speech she gave, I found a number of encouraging facts that came out in Sherrod’s later interviews.

First, I detected no racial animosity, which was the focus of the initial controversy. Shirley Sherrod has multiple memories that could justify a lingering anger against the white society of the racially divided South. She shared how her father was murdered by whites. A model student, she was called out of class to the principal’s office and told her father was in the hospital. Her dad had always wanted a boy, so much so that he nicknamed his four girls with boys’ names. Shortly before that yearned-for son was born, Sherrod’s father lay dead. And speaking of school, Sherrod reports that the black schools always had “hand-me-downs”—buses and books that were discards from the white school systems.

But the most profound anger and personal hurts may be overcome. When the rest of her speech was played, it revealed that she had helped a poor white farmer save his land because it was about poverty and not about race or retribution. We believers need to see that forgiveness is a marvelous “God thing.” Christ even outlined that “if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”(Matthew 6:14-15).

Getting into the mathematics of forgiveness, Christ answered the numerical question when asked about the high limits. “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” (Matt. 18:21-23) Taken literally, that is 490 forgiven offenses.

If we were to calculate our personal sins—past, present and future—they would number into the millions, with some being committed every day. Four hundred and ninety times? And some people can’t forgive a single offense, harboring grudges for years?

Toward the end of one interview on CNN, Sherrod focused her eyes on the interviewer and said, “Let’s not forget the church! When the church doors were open, we were all there.” Then she added that her mother went about the house constantly singing “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow.” She explained how this got them through the hard times.

Praying, singing believers have the ultimate spiritual power that positive legislative advance reflects. Hard as her life was in youth, Sherrod seems to have found a spiritual goal in church and song. Blacks in white America converted to the Lord Jesus Christ and pled with the God of the Bible for a better day, and their prayers were answered. Some years ago, black Baltimore preacher Joe Brown was a guest on my radio program “The Word and The World”. He declared that the advance of civil rights came about because his people had sung and prayed in those cotton fields so long ago, and God heard and answered. This was in contrast with other ethnic groups, such as Native Americans, who never converted to Jesus Christ. I still have the tape and play it with wonder from time to time.

Another lesson is that we should not prejudge a matter before learning all the facts. Some did and are permanently embarrassed. That is how this situation got started. Apologies are flying, but the offenders have scarred themselves with a tragic rush-to-judgement legacy.

Brave Nicodemas, Jesus’ nighttime visitor in John 3, asked an irritating question during a discussion by the Pharisees over Christ’s growing impact, an influence that angered Christ’s detractors. “Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, ‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?’” (John 7:50-51). He must have known his Bible for Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.”

I suspect that the Shirley Sherrod case will be the focus of lingering discussion, but she is vindicated and lives to teach us all some vital spiritual lessons. Thanks, Shirley. We needed that.

Dave Virkler

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

America’s Current Christian Worldview

The Barna Group, an organization that tracks the religious and spiritual trends in America, recently revealed the changes in the overall Worldview in today’s Christian circles. The survey gathered data for a period of 13 years before the results were published last year. According to Barna, “If Jesus were to ask, “Who do you say I am,” the question He famously asked his disciple Peter, He would be disappointed by some of the answers He’d receive from contemporary Americans.”

The survey listed specific factors and criteria to define what they presented as a biblical worldview. The definition included the following basic assumptions: “Believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”

On the surface, most would assume these factors to be quite basic in any so-called Christian nation. But the results were somewhat sobering as the research revealed that only 9% of American adults have a biblical worldview as defined above. In the study, those who claimed to be solidly “born-again” were twice as likely to have the view. But that still only amounted to a mere 19% of the nation. What is confusing, and a bit troubling, is that a full 70% of adults said that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today. Then also, half claimed to believe that His word, the Bible, is accurate in the principles it teaches.

Something does not somehow add up somewhere. Something is missing or at least confusing. It appears that the large numbers who believe in an all-powerful and all-knowing God, and the supernatural book He authored, have not had that knowledge translate into how they view or live life. But at the same time, there is something that is becoming abundantly clear. The floundering of present-day America morally, ethically, and even economically may indeed be directly linked to the above statistics.

A disconnect between what one says he believes, and how he or she really acts is not an uncommon topic in Scripture. James addressed the subject in chapter two of his short letter. Verse 14 asks the question, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” Verse 18 continues, ”But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

Timothy also mentioned the difference between head knowledge and what truly lives in the heart in matters of faith. In the chapter where he speaks about the conditions just before Christ’s return he stated that many would have some form of godliness but would, in reality, deny its power or influence in their lives. This was followed with the trait mentioned in verse seven of chapter three. “Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

Lastly, the apostle Peter, in his second epistle, gave instructions to those claiming to have accurate and adequate knowledge of the God of the Bible. Because he knew that sufficient knowledge of the facts of the faith is not enough, if isolated from application, he wrote the following words. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.” (2 Peter 1:5-10)

America is in desperate need of an accurate and active Christian worldview. Without it, she will continue down the wrong path. If she can somehow experience revival and take the advice of 2 Chronicles 7:14, she will see again the results recorded by the Psalmist and promised by God!

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 33:12)

Bill Breckenridge

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saved from Niagara Falls and Saved from Sin

If I alert you to July 9 being an important anniversary, you probably will wonder what it is, since July 4, our national birthday, overshadows other dates.

July 9 is the anniversary of an astonishing event at Niagara Falls, NY. The principle figure has come out of obscurity to speak freely. This year, it was the 50th anniversary of Roger Woodward’s unprotected plunge over the famous falls, the first person ever to survive the 162-foot drop into the raging waters below and live to tell about it. Both he and his sister, who was part of the drama, kept a dual silence for most all these years.

Roger and his family lived near the surging Niagara River, which is fairly placid a distance above the Falls but angry and deadly as the swift water moves closer to the site that attracts tourists from the entire world. Seven-year old Roger was bored that July day in 1960 until Jim Honneycutt, a friend of the family, offered to take Roger and his sister, 17-year old Deanne, for a ride in his 12-foot aluminum boat, which was powered by a small but trusty 7.5 horsepower motor. Roger’s mother insisted the kids have life jackets and that Roger be wearing his from the start.

Off they went from a trailer park dock in Wheatfield, NY. Honeycutt drove the boat downstream, eventually saying that he would show them a very special view of Niagara Falls as the mist would be seen rising in the distance. Unwittingly, he guided the boat too far downstream for his small motor to pull against the accelerating current. The rapids increased, and Honeycutt made sure Deanne had the only other life jacket on and Roger’s was tight.

Suddenly the boat ground across the rocks, and the motor sheared its drive pin placing the trio at the complete mercy of the surging Niagara River. Worse, the boat was flipped by the mounting waves, and all three found themselves helplessly swept toward the brink.

Jim Honeycutt went over, and, as is typical, his body was imprisoned under the Falls for three days before it appeared at the Maid of the Mist boat dock.

Associated Press writer Carolyn Thomson’s July 16 story about Roger quotes him saying, “To this day, every time I hear the story I can smell the water.”

Thomson wrote, “For Woodward, the worst part was the brutal ride through suffocating whitewater where he was tossed from Honeycutt’s boat after it struck something, became disabled and was pulled into the powerful rapids.‘This water looks like it’s as big as a house with the waves and the rocks,’ he says. ‘One minute you’re pulled underwater, you can’t breathe, you wonder if you’re ever going to breathe again. The next second you’re thrown up into the air and you come down and you’re glancing off of rocks as you’re going through the rapids.’

“He says there was a peaceful moment, though — while he was going over the brink of the Falls.“‘I was floating in a cloud,’ he says. ‘I had no sensation of up or down. I didn’t have any sensation in my stomach like you might have on a roller coaster ... that moment when your stomach is in your throat.’”

Because young Roger was so light, he was thrown out over the edge and landed away from the churning water at the base of the Falls. Capt. Clifford Keech was just steering his boat away from the spot in the lower river where the Maid of the Mist passengers view the Falls from below. Someone shouted that there was a bright orange life jacket in the river with a boy in it and that he was alive! Keech knew instantly that no one had fallen off his boat and the boy had to have come over the falls. With Keech’s masterful maneuvering, Roger was able to grab the lifeline on the third toss and was pulled to safety, shouting, “My sister’s still in the water! You gotta help her!”

The boat crew couldn’t help her, but God, in His mercy, did through two brave men among the onlookers on shore above the falls. Deanne Woodward had been miraculously swept toward the shore on the American side of the river. A crowd had gathered beside the raging current, watching the girl as she swept toward the brink. Years ago, I spoke with a man who was there that day. He said, “Women were screaming, some were praying, and some were fainting.”

In his July 2 article, Don Glynn of the Tonawanda News told it this way: “John Hayes, 44, of Vauxhall, N.J., a bus driver and auxiliary police officer, spotted [Deanne] shortly after he witnessed her brother pass by. ‘Girl, come to me!’ Hayes shouted, again and again. Deanne said later, ‘It was the power of that man’s voice that kept me from giving up.’ As she got closer to the railing, Hayes tried to snag her arm. He missed but dashed along the shoreline, realizing he was running out of ground. John Quattrochi of Penns Grove, N.J., rushed to the railing, too, and helped Hayes pull Deanne from the river and onto the pavement.”

They were 20 feet from the brink. Deanne, safe on the shore, screamed, “Pray for my brother! He’s going over the Falls.”

And prayer was answered. Forty-eight hours later, Roger was released from the hospital with only a bruise on his head. Deanne suffered a cut hand. Fifty years have passed, and the two now speak freely about their divine deliverance.

Roger puts it more personally. In Thomson’s recent article he said, “But it wasn't until 20 years later that the boy who had not regularly attended church was encouraged by a friend to go after finding himself troubled by nagging ‘Why am I here?’ questions. From that day forward I was able to answer that one huge question, and the answer to the question was this: God saved me that day, July 9, 1960, because he knew at age 27 that I would come to know him as my savior.”

Years ago, Roger said “I guess the Lord saved me the first time so he could save me the second time.”

Roger described God’s purpose in his twin deliverances, not only for himself but for everyone. His Niagara Falls deliverance gave him another 20 years of God’s patient grace. Our purpose for being born once is to be born twice—being “born again,” as Christ Himself said. “…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. … Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:3, 5 & 7) God keeps us alive so we can hear the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection, believe it and be saved.

The old hymn by George Root outlines the urgent need for ultimate deliverance from the spiritual Niagara of an unsaved death:

“Come to the Saviour, Make No Delay”

Come to the Saviour, make no delay:
Here in his Word he’s shown us the way;
Here in our midst he’s standing today,
Tenderly saying, “Come!”

Suffer the children! O hear his voice!
Let ev’ry heart leap forth and rejoice;
And let us freely make him our choice:
Do not delay, but come.

Think once again, he’s with us today;
Heed now his blest command, and obey;
Hear now his accents tenderly say,
“Will you, my children, come?”

Joyful, joyful, will the meeting be,
When from sin our hearts are pure and free;
And we shall gather, Saviour, with thee,
In our eternal home.

Dave Virkler

Friday, July 16, 2010

Patriotism and Promise

My prelude to America’s birthday was a thrilling experience. Before the commemorative season fades into seasonable oblivion, I share a day to remember.

Steve and Elaine Anderson run a unique bed and breakfast perched on a high elevation overlooking Sidney, NY. From that lofty ridge, one can see for miles as “purple mountains majesty” seemingly stand guard over Sidney in the valley below.

Their upscale establishment is called the Keepers of the Flag Bed & Breakfast, and it is descriptive of their high patriotic calling in life. They tend an enormous 30’ x 60’ American flag that majestically flutters on a 130-foot steel flagpole near their lodge. Travelers on I-88 winding through the valley at the base of the ridge view an inescapable vision of the gigantic flag far above. I first saw it many years ago traveling home from meetings.

Steve planned a huge patriotic rally for July 3rd with a number of speakers. It was called a Rally for America with four hours of music, speeches and support for America. There would be extensive area advertising along with specially imprinted t-shirts, hats and delicious food service.

Why would anyone be so deeply involved in flag flying and organizing such a patriotic rally? In an article for the local paper, the Tri-Town News for June 24th, Steve wrote, “As the war in Viet Nam was raging in the sixties it would eventually claim the lives of seven young men I knew who went to school here in Sidney. I volunteered for service in the United States Army and again volunteered to serve in the war that took their lives. I was one of the lucky ones to come home standing on my own two feet.”

Steve has a growing concern over the direction America was taking away from our Constitutional anchorage and so he asked me, with my prophetic and scriptural insight, to be the principle speaker. I gave the invocation and spoke twice, first outlining the overreaching issues of our national peril and then closing with a spiritual impact including the Gospel of Christ. Speaking under the enormous flag and gazing our over gorgeous landscape, I was moved nearly to tears as I contemplated the blessing of God in our American exceptionalism.

As I gave my concluding message around 2:00 PM in blazing sun under a cloudless sky, a little yellow Piper J-3 circled the flag only a couple hundred feet above.

“Look at that,” I alerted the audience. “It’s the same kind of plane flown by brave men behind enemy lines for military intelligence in World War II! It’s the same little plane that made hundreds of Army Air Corps practice landings and take offs from our farm fields near Baldwinsville, NY in the ’40s!”

Steve, who had sat for four straight hours in full military uniform, said behind me, “He’s taking pictures.” I would like to have one. I hope they turn out well.

It was an astounding finale of a special day. The little Piper was the same model I soloed in from Budd Lake Airport in New Jersey in 1952. It brought a flashback of that memorable day when my instructor, Mr. Bartholomew, crawled out of the front seat and turned the controls over to me for my first solo flight.

As I flew off, made the four turns and throttled back for that crucial landing, it seemed I could hear him shouting instructions, the indelible recall of those hours when he trained me. As I glanced earthward on the downwind leg, I saw what I thought was a strange sight considering my instructor was a secular and sometimes foul-mouthed man—a sight I asked him about later. Finally, with the stick all the way back and flying speed spent, the little craft settled into a fine three-point landing.

After the handshakes and the official signing of my logbook, I asked the instructor what he was doing while I became a solo pilot. “Praying!” was his simple answer.

Since that 1952 highlight and moments such as speaking under the flag with the plane flying overhead, I am reminded that Christ sends his people out on solo ventures with nothing but their spiritual training and a Lordly promise. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” and “Lo, I am with you even to the end of the age” (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20).

The promise of His unseen presence and the guidelines of His living Word will see us through perilous times of moral decline and political uncertainty. Faithful missionary David Livingston, when asked how he endured loneliness, hunger, sickness and dangerous savages, referred to Matt. 28:20 and Christ’s irrevocable promise reaching until the end of the age. “It is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honor…”

Dave Virkler

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

George Steinbrenner’s Legacy

The “King of Baseball” and owner of the New York Yankees is dead, departing a day before the All-Star Game. George Steinbrenner’s departure made front-page news, inspired baseball’s all-star classic to fly the flag at half-staff and made ever more obvious his controversial and often contradictory life.

Born on the 4th of July, 1930, Steinbrenner always lived a liberated life, combining an ingenious and sometimes brutal business savvy with charitable zeal. He did what he felt he must and spent what he felt he ought in order to obtain excellent players and win big time—a passion that took him through 12 managers and 14 general managers, seven World Series championships and 11 American League pennants. Even those who loathed him had to grudgingly admire him.

Steinbrenner was an astute business man who went from a 10-year old chicken-farming entrepreneur to guiding the Yankees from a bargain basement purchase price of $168,000 (his share) to its current worth of $1.6 billion. His contributions to worthy causes and needy people became legendary only long after most of his anonymous gifts had been quietly given. He had a keen brain and a big heart, but, to him, baseball was business first and pleasantries later.

At 80, the “King” is gone, a notable benchmark in athletic history. For sports years to come, the young and eager will tend to mimic him while the old and recollecting will count him a memory to cherish.

But even for men like the “King” who excel, make millions and even share their wealth with the less fortunate, not a single athletic breakthrough can give one Heaven, nor can astounding philanthropy bring one eternal life. I frankly don’t know Steinbrenner’s spiritual state, although his demeanor tended to reflect a secular mindset something less than lofty. My human assessment is shrunken compared with God’s penetrating insight into the spiritual condition of every man.

I hope he understood the Gospel—that the ticket to Heaven is paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross, and gate-crashing is forbidden. I hope he understood that making a hit on earth through generous gifts for the poor and needy may get you on an earthly first base but can never bring one Home.

Let’s hope that after all the mortal hoopla fades, the angels still rejoice in heaven over one sinner that repented (Luke 15:10). And let us always understand that 2 Timothy 2:19 points to a divine standard for salvation: “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’”

Whenever the humanly adjudged, highest caliber person passes from time to eternity, let us all recall that Christ solemnly warned, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).

Christ became incredibly poor so the least of us could become incredibly rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 reminds us, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Earthly riches and fame are mere conveniences, but listing on the Heavenly roster is obligatory for residence there.

Dave Virkler