Sunday, April 24, 2011

Is Your House In Order?

I hate an unmade bed. I can’t stand it. It doesn’t matter how clean or neat a house is, if the beds are not made, the entire house seems messy to me. I got that from my parents and from spending five years in the marines. One of my father’s strictest rules was for us to make our beds as soon as we got up. That was instilled in me at an early age. When we got married, my wife got up to go to the bathroom one Saturday morning. When she returned, she was surprised to see the bed had been made. When I was in prison, my celly (cell-mate) and I had a fight one day. He would not make his bed, and I refused to live in a messy cell.

My mother was the same way. If my brother or I left our clothes in the living room or kitchen, she threw them in the trash. And we better not take them out. She said that she was our mother, not our maid. She did not believe in cleaning up or getting things in order when we were expecting company. She said the house should be in order all the time.

Keeping your house in order might be important to you too. No one wants to be surprised or caught off guard with a messy house if someone were to show up unexpectedly. But what about your spiritual house? Is it in order? No one knows the day or the hour when Jesus is coming. (Matt. 25:13) You don’t want to be surprised or caught off guard with a messy house (lifestyle) when He comes.

A few years ago, people were quoting a popular phrase, “What would Jesus do?” I think a more important question is, “Is your house in order?”

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011




Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Pain, No Gain

When we were children, my grandparents had a piano in their home. It was more of a decoration since neither of them played. We lived in a two family flat. I lived on the second floor with my parents and my younger brother. My grandparents lived on the first floor. My brother and I had always wanted to learn how play the piano. All we were able to play was, “Mary had a little lamb” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” with one finger.

Eventually, we talked our parents into letting us take piano lessons. We were excited when we found out that the piano teacher was coming on Saturday. My brother and I started a list of all of the songs that we wanted to learn how to play. We wrote down the names of all of our favorite songs that we heard in church. Then we listened to the radio everyday and added some of the songs that we liked to the list. We figured that since the piano lesson was going to last an hour, we should be able to learn how play at least fifteen songs. Maybe even twenty. We were so excited; we could hardly sleep that Friday night.

When the teacher arrived, we were ready. I handed her the list of songs and sat on the stool. She didn’t even look at the list. She had us play some crazy exercise over and over again for the entire hour. Then she told us to practice that exercise everyday for an hour, and she left. My brother and I were in shock. We looked at each other, trying to figure out what had just happened. I looked at the list of songs that we had prepared. I thought we would be able to play some of the songs that were on our list. I was so disappointed; I never took another piano lesson. As a result, all I am able to play today is, “Mary had a little lamb” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” with one finger.

Nothing that is worthwhile happens overnight. To be successful at anything, it takes hard work. No pain, no gain. Although many of the great athletes, musicians and singers are gifted, they still have to work hard, practice and make sacrifices to perfect their skills. That applies to everything in life. Not only your chosen profession, it also applies to education, marriage, and parenting. It even applies to discipleship. Becoming a Christian is easy. All you have to do is repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. But if you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you have to work at it. Bible study and prayer are very important. You also have to make sacrifices. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24)

Do you want to be the best at whatever you choose? Or are you satisfied being able to play, “Mary had a little lamb” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” with one finger? No pain, no gain.

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Are You Using All Of Your Strength?

A little boy was playing in his backyard one day when he noticed a huge rock that was in the middle of the yard. He decided to move the rock so he would have more room to play. He pushed the rock as hard as he could, but it would not budge. He tried pushing it from another angle, but still the rock would not move. Becoming frustrated, the boy sat down and tried to shove the stubborn rock with his feet. The rock would not move.

His father glanced out the window and saw him struggling with the gigantic rock. He went outside and watched his son as he toiled intensively, trying to move the rock. Finally, he said, “Son. Are you using all of your strength?” The boy said that he was. His father stood there, watching his son as he strained and struggled with the enormous rock. He asked his son again, “Are you using all of your strength?” Again, the boy said that he was.

His father stood there, watching his son grunting, groaning and sweating as he desperately tried to move the humongous rock. He said, “Son. Are you sure you are using all of your strength?” The boy was almost in tears when he said, “Yes Dad. I am using all of my strength.” His father put his hand on his son’s shoulder and said, “Son. You are not using all of your strength. I know, because you haven’t asked me to help you.

David said, “The Lord is my strength.” (Psalm 28:7) When things get rough and we find ourselves struggling, trying to move the gigantic rocks that life throw in our paths, instead of calling on God and asking for His help, we are determined to move them ourselves.

I don’t know what your situation is or what you are going through right now. But God is watching you. He is asking, “Are you using all of your strength?”

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!