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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Because They Wanted To

A while back Cal Ripken, shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, was honored on September 7, 1995 because he was the first man in baseball history to play in 2,131 consecutive games. When asked why he was always there and never missed a game, he said it was because he wanted to be there. It wasn't that he never got mad at the coach, or the umpire, or the fans, or the other players. It wasn't because he always felt just perfect or never had a personal problem. It wasn't because the weather was never too hot, or too cold, or too rainy, or too windy. He was always there because he wanted to be there.

There was a lady from Augusta, Ga who had not missed Bible class or worship for 44 years. That's 2,288 Sundays! Why do you think she was always there? Do you think she ever had company that came in at the last minute or was ever too tired to come? Do you think she ever had a headache or a cold or indigestion? Do you think she ever wanted to sleep late on Sundays or ever had her feelings hurt by the preacher or elders or some member? Of course she did! But she didn't believe that was a reason to "forsake the assembly." She came because she wanted to, and she knew it was the right thing to do.

Then there was a man who was an elder in the church in New Orleans. He owned a chain of restaurants, and at one time he was president of 33 different business and civic organizations. Yet, he never missed one service of the church. He was always there. Why? Because he wanted to be. Just like the obstetrician in Nashville, who was also an elder in the church, yet even with his extremely busy schedule and patient emergencies, he only missed three services in 36 years. Why did he always make arrangements to be present to worship God? Because he wanted to!

In the late 1950's there was a very popular prime-time television show called the "Miss Patti Page Show". It came on every Wednesday night. There was a couple, during that time, who never got to see the show because they were always at Bible Study. They were Patti's parents. Even though they loved Patti very much, they felt it more important to keep the kingdom first. Why were they always at Bible Study and never missing services to watch their daughter's show? Because they wanted to be there!

Whether we realize it or not, 99% of all the things we do in life is because we want to. Do you WANT to come to worship and Bible Study?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward