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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
---Growing up the little boy always seemed to be getting into trouble. He was always messing things up for himself at school and always making trouble for his parents at home. As time went on he became a teenager and the rebellion became even stronger. Deep down he wanted to please his parents, but his friends and girlfriend came first in his life. Many times he found himself arguing with his parents over something very clearly wrong, but he wasn't about to let up. On and on this kept up for many years until the teen graduated high school. His parents had high hopes for him and they were thankful that he would be getting away from the "wrong crowd". The boy now turned young-man had other ideas. You see that "wrong crowd" didn't go away after high school. He felt the pressure to hang out even more. To live the life of a person relying on other people to do everything for him. Quickly his life began to spiral downward into drugs, alcohol and even theft. The young-man's life was falling apart. Years went by with no communication with his parents. He didn't bother to write or call or even stop by and say hello. He was living his life the way he wanted to. He thought he was living his life away from authority and away from ridicule. As time went on, the young-man turned into a man. His parents hadn't heard from him in many years, they didn't know if he was alive or dead. They hadn't heard a single word from him.
Finally, the man hit his rock bottom. He had gotten high the night before and broke into a house and got caught stealing from another person. His sentence was relatively short and he did alot of thinking while in the jail. The man decided he needed to turn his life around. And that all started with his parents. The man cleaned up his mind, his soul, his body and went down to the train station. He bought one ticket back home. Before the day of the train ride, he sat down and wrote his mother and father a letter. In that letter he explained that he understood that they were probably furious with him and had lost all hope. He also stated that he would understand if they didn't love him anymore and didn't want to have anything to do with him. Deep inside, the man felt like his parents probably decided to forget about him. The man's letter continued and he stated his deepest apologies to them. He informed them that he was in fact coming home at last. He spoke about how much he missed them and how much he loved them. He then stated in the letter; "Mom and Dad, do you all remember that apple orchard not far from our house where the train tracks run next to? If so, and if you will accept me back into your lives please place a red ribbon around one of the trees so that I might know that you have forgiven me and that you love me and that you want me back. If there is no ribbon, I will understand, and I will remain on the train and continue on my way". The man understood that his parents probably would toss the letter aside, as if they had no son anymore.
The day came for this new-starting man to board the train and head for home. While on the train, he sat next to an elderly man who appeared to be by himself. While traveling, the two men began a conversation. The eldery man asked the younger man, where it was he was headed? The man began to explain to him his life story. About how he had forsaken his parents and how he had gone against everything they had told him to do in his life. He also explained to the old man how it's been many years since he's even spoken with his mother and father. This brought tears to both of the men's eyes. The old man, feeling awful for the younger man, said to him, "well what can I do to help you, young man?" The young man replied, "I can't bare to look at the apple orchard. It's coming up quickly and I just can't do it. Please look for me and tell me if there is a red ribbon or not." The old man agreed and as they became closer and closer to the apple orchard, they were heading around the final long turn. The apple orchard was ahead. As the young man, put his head in his lap and closed his eyes, the old man continued to look out the window. The old man yelled "YOUNG MAN, LOOK!" and the young man picked up his head and looking out the window he saw not one single red ribbon on the apple trees.... he saw hundreds, upon hundreds of red ribbons on EVERY tree, and around EVERY branch in that apple orchard! ----


This story shows God's love for us. No matter how many "wrong turns" we take in life, God is only ONE turn away. Turn to Him. That's all he asks. Just like the man in this story, he thought he would manage his life all on his own. But as you can see, without using the guidance and judgement of his parents, he lead a life that was steering in the wrong direction. Sometimes it takes us hitting rock bottom before we realize, HEY, I need JESUS in my life. It is my hope that this story has shown the love of God and just how much He loves us. He doesn't just love us a little bit.... He loves us enough to put a ribbon on EVERY tree in the orchard! God Bless!
 

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Tator,
Great story!
Jesus says "come as you are" but He is not willing to let you stay that way!
If you tried all the rest,how"s that working for ya? It's a lot less painful than ramming your head into that Dam!!!! Jesus is right next to you, try Him, talk to Him, He will listen without judging , just talk to Him.
daddus
What do you have to lose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I think it's also important for non-christians to realize that God doesn't care what you've done. NOTHING is too big or too bad for him to forgive. If you ask him for forgiveness and you repent (turn away from) your sin you will not be judged on it by him. God doesn't keep rubbing that sin in our faces over and over and over again. Once he has forgiven a sin, it's over, it's done with, PERIOD.
However, for those non-christians who do not ask for forgiveness and who have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you will be judged more harshly. Jesus makes it very clear that all will be judged on the acts of their lives here on earth. For example, Did you let Him into your life? Did you tell others about Him? Did you sacrifice things you wanted in His Name? When you are Christian, you have the blessing of his mercy and forgiveness to save you! He will still judge you on what you have done in HIS name here on earth, but for all the sins you have committed, they will be washed away white as snow.
That's what "scared" me into Christianity when I was 11! I kept thinking, "when I die, and I'm not a Christian, Jesus is going to judge me and he's going to ask me 'why didn't you believe in ME?' and what am I going to tell Him?" Jesus is a fair judge, you will get what you deserve from him. Take my advice, you have nothing to lose by believing in Jesus Christ. NOTHING. BUT you have EVERYTHING to gain!!!
 

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So refreshing to read posts from fellow Christians.
I found this forum by accident...or did I?
i found the site looking for deer hunting info, and stayed because of the christian corner. you did not find it by accident. god lead you hear for some great christian fellowship with fellow outdoorsmen. Welcome to the site from Hunt NH
 

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I believe...

I did not find this site by accident, the Almighty is always pulling me toward him even though at times I tend to still travel myown path... I am at that point where I have to give it all to him cuz the way I'm doing it just is not working... not surprising hugh?

I thank you Father for bringing me to a place I feel I belong... sharing fellowship and some quality time.
 

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yes,

also came to the conclusion only by God's grace will I ever get to Heaven... nothing this wretched sinner can ever do on his own will ever get me to the presence of the Almighty, once I realized this a great weight was lifted from me and now I truly thirst to know more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well that's good. Sounds like you have a good strong grasp on your Christianity! Our country needs more people like you living in it. Unfortunately, the reality is that our country is heading in the wrong direction in so many ways. As a Christian it's hard to believe why someone couldn't believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I firmly believe we live in a society that has to "see it to believe it" and that is dangerous when it comes to Christianity. Obviously Jesus has not shown himself to us in a LONG time, but that doesn't mean that he's not always there with us. He's longs for a personal relationship with everyone in the world... after all he made all of us. It's like fathering a child. Those of you who have children know that the sort of love you have for your children is so special and unlike ANY other love you have for anyone else. Well the same rings true of our God. He is our true "father". He created us, he knows us, he knows our every thought, our every action, there is NO hiding from him. He knows what you're going to be doing 5 min, 1 hour, 3days from now. He knows it already. It's already done in His eyes. He even knows the exact day and hour and minute that we will enter into Heaven with Him! The sad reality is that he also sees the sinners and the non-believers too. God gave us the ability to choose our own destiny. That's a gift that many of us abuse. We take that for granted. Many people believe that God is a good God and he won't let me go to hell since He's such a forgiving God. Well only part of that is true. If you are Christian and have been saved and asked for forgiveness of your sins and you live your life in a Christian way, then YES he is a good God and He will allow you in Heaven. But if you don't accept Him as your savior and accept that He died on the cross for your sins, then you are not saved and you will not go to Heaven. Plain and simple. All he asks is that you believe in Him, live a Christ-Like life, and bring others to Him who need saving. That's all he asks. It's that simple. God has allowed us to decide where we go after this short life here on this earth. We can either follow Him and go to Heaven or we can live our life like we want to and worship other things (money, houses, cars, clothes, etc....) and go to hell. It's our choice as humans. No one elses.
Personally, I would much rather go to heaven and live an eternity in God's presence than go to hell and live in torture.
Which will you pick?
 
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