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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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Is Your Name In the Book?

His name was Stephan. He wanted to get his name in the book. He just wanted a little recognition. You know the book. The Guinness's Book of World Records. I suppose I was about ten when I received my first copy. It was fascinating. I would spend hours thumbing through those pages of amazement.

Stephan must have, too, for he determined to get his name in that book. First he sent his picture "smoking the most cigarettes at one time." Yes, I remembered the picture in the book long ago of a man, mouth grotesquely enlarged stuffed with burning cigarettes. Stephan determined he could beat that. He packed a tuba with over 800 of them, lit them and sent in the picture. He must have been surprised when the message came back that he was rejected.  Guinness's no longer recognized people who do things that pose a health hazard.

Stephan was undaunted. If he couldn't get in for the most cigarettes smoked at one time he would try something else. I can't imagine the training, but he eventually got to where he could gobble down hard boiled eggs quicker than anyone else. So on the selected day, he gathered a time keeper and a counter and started. When he finished he had consumed nearly 30 eggs in one minute — a record! Imagine his frustration when the record was rejected. Guinness's no longer recognized acts of gluttony.

Still determined to get his name in the book Stephan called before attempting anything else. "Would they recognize him if he jumped the highest high dive ever?" Indeed they would. So up he went. One hundred thirty-eight feet in the air. He performed his amazing feat perfectly and sent in the necessary papers and a picture. The response came back simply that his act was amazing, but not quite as amazing as the fellow who dived over 170 feet.

Poor Stephan. Spending his life, risking health, just to get his name in a book that will be updated with the "newest" and "best" next year. Stephan's not much different than many of us. We too want to be the top salesman, number one in the polls, highest in production, most points in the scorebook, the President of the company. We, too, want our name in a record book or want recognition that will only be short-lived at best. So we throw life, health, family and time, the irreplaceables away for the pursuit of "success".

But there's another book that you can get your name in. To get your name in this one you won't have to do anything foolish. You won't risk having someone come along and bump you out of your place. And you don't have to be the most talented or successful or best. The rewards for having your name in this book are more than just a place of recognition or a plaque on the wall. Of course I speak of the "Lamb's Book of Life." "Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. ' Then He that sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And he said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he will be My son...But there shall by no means enter in anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." (Revelation 21:2-7, 27b)
 

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward