STEEL AND CONCRETE, May 2001 "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. . . ." (1 Thessalonians 1:2)

May 2001

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"Morning Has Broken"

by Bro. Gregory Wamsley

I received a letter from my grandmother last week. She mentioned the gift I sent her and mentioned that very few people remember her these days. In our lives, we are blessed with friends, loved ones, and families for a reason. For the unsaved, it's understandable how they can be so self-centered and inattentive. Unbelievers sit on the throne seat of their lives which belong to Christ. However, in the saved person's life, things should be much different. In the saved person's life, Christ, and Christ alone, reigns on the throne in their lives. I've learned that our time is His time and the love He has for us is the love we are to have for others.

While I was in the world, I was too busy to make time for God and too busy to visit loved ones. Now that I'm doing time, I have the time to visit others, but it's too late! Today I'm saved, but it's my family, friends, and loved ones who must visit me. I cannot go visit them. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be able to visit all of them myself. How ironic it is that the ones who would like to visit cannot and those who can don't. I often find myself now parroting the words of my friends and loved ones of yesterday: "Come visit me," "Hope to see you soon," etc.

I've noticed that it seems to only be during times of tragedy, a loss of a loved one, that people all of a sudden have time for each other, but it's often too late. They sit there in deep grief wishing that they had taken the time to visit the family member, friend, or loved one. They regret then that they weren't more comforting, loving, or had spent more quality time with them, but it's too late! Could God allow such personal tragedies, knowing that it's only during those times that people finally then have the time to gather, console each other, and become more attentive and loving?

For those who don't know God, they have until they take their last breath to get to do so and then it's too late for them, too. Not knowing when that time would be, I don't see how people are able to take the risk. Why wait? Out top priority in life shouldn't be our cars, houses, or pay, not even our 401-K. The Bible clearly tells us that after salvation and a life dedicated to God, love and people will be more of a priority. Most of all I've learned God is to be #1 in our lives. We should never be too busy to know Him, see Him, or to visit Him. Jesus Christ, in His own words, gave us the following warning:

"All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

"Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'

"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

(Matthew 25:32-46)

God only sees two types of people: the unsaved (goats), and the saved (sheep). If we think we are too busy to have time for God and salvation (like a stubborn old goat), beware! If we think we, as believers, are too busy to attend to the needs of family, friends, and loved ones, or too busy to visit anyone, I say again, beware! Heed the warning of Christ in verse 45 above: If that person we don't have time for is "one of the least of these," then refusing them is refusing Him. If you are a goat (unsaved person), then let Jesus Christ make you a sheep (saved person). Then, once you become a sheep, or if you are a sheep already, become a visiting sheep. "It's not too late!"


If you are unsaved, then I beg you to do the following four things in prayer to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ:

1. Admit you are a sinner,
2. Be willing to repent (turn away) from all sin,
3. Believe that Jesus died to save you, and
4. Accept him into your life as Savior and Lord.

God is not into long fancy prayers. Just pray and speak to him from your heart.

author unknown, found on
submitted by Brother Antoine Payne

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry so he offered him a Twinkie.

The old man gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Once again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. The old man gave him his biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked, "Father, what did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." But before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring. All of these have the potential to turn a life around.


Brother William Copeland desires to get your response and comments on the following statement: "Addiction is a pacifier." You may write him directly at:

William Copeland #255711
18701 Roxbury Rd.
Hagerstown, MD 21746


author unknown

A mother is a treasured gift of love that's deep and true -
You know she's always standing by to guide and comfort you.

A mother with unfailing strength can keep you safe from harm,
And yet you feel the softness of her gentle grace and charm.

A mother gives encouragement with wisdom and a smile -
She understands our hopes and dreams and makes them seem worthwhile.

A mother's always in your heart wherever you may go -
She's part of everything you do, that's why you love her so.

author unknown
submitted by Brother Chris R. Sweet

I have to start some place but where to begin?
To free myself from the prison within.
So many secrets I fear to tell -
Haunt me each night inside my cell.

I guess I'll have to swallow my pride
And tell someone of my dreams that died,
For even if released from this prison I'm in,
These walls don't compare to the prison within.

I looked to the doctors in hope to find
A medication that would ease my mind:
As of yet none has been found
To keep my heart from spinning around.

I looked for others in more pain than I -
I found no answer to the question "Why?"
No matter what I tried, my resolve was thin -
I couldn't bend the bars of the prison within.

Finding in the core a shriveling soul,
I gazed towards heaven to make me whole;
I looked to Jesus and found the key
To all the turmoil inside of me.
I prayed to Jesus, "Forgive me of my sin,"
And He freed me at last from the prison within.

by Sister Linda Carpenter

I thank him for the love we share,
a love I've never known,
A love that is Christ's selfless love,
Inside of us, it's grown.

It's patient, kind and fearless,
Just to name a few -
I thank him for the love we share,
I thank him most for you!

(Inspired by "Jesus in me loves you.")

Submitted by Sister Phyllis Freberger

Don't quit when the tide is lowest, for it's about to turn.
Don't quit over doubts and questions, for there's something you may learn.
Don't quit when the night is darkest, for it's almost dawn.
Don't quit after running farthest, the race is almost won.
Don't quit when the hill is steepest, you goal's almost nigh.
Don't quit for you're not a failure until you fail to try.

by Brother Bobby L. Hamlett

Life sometimes gives us illusions, to make up differences,
Taking place of what is real ~ what we really need.
We must learn to deal with the unreal, though it may seem absurd.
Then and only then can we respect the truth of being real.

Through illusions, life has brought me many ill times.
Such illusions have cost me, especially within the "sheer joys" of being married.
We must now learn to be real with self and self will let us know
What is real, or what is just one or more of our illusions!

submitted by Michael Hodgin

A teacher had just given her second grade class a lesson n magnets. She reviewed: "My name starts with an M' and I pick up things. What am I?" A boy replied instantly, "I know; you're a mother!"

The burst of thunder sent the child into her parents' bedroom. "Mommy, I'm scared," she said. The mother, half awake and half conscious, said, "It's O.K., go back to your bed. God will be there with you." The little girl stood in the door for a moment and said, "Mommy, I'll stay here with Daddy and you go in my room and sleep with God."

Little Gregory was being bad and was sent to his room. After several hours, he left his room and approached his Mom and said, "I thought my actions over and I said a prayer." "Fine," said his pleased mother, and then she said, "If you ask God to help you behave, he will help you." Little Gregory replied, "I didn't ask God to help me behave. I asked him to help you put up with me!"

When a frazzled mother sent her little child to bed, she heard him grumbling to himself, "Every time she gets tired, I'm the one having to take a nap!"

The mother was in deep reflection, she considered her plight in life: "I guess if it was going to be easy, it would not have started off with something the doctor called LABOR."

by Brother Gregory Wamsley
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