“Barry, time for a walk.”
I love walks. I wonder where we’ll go today, Barry thought.
Sally and Sam headed for the door with Barry and his things.
“Sally, let’s take that new path through the woods.”
“That’s where those wildflowers were planted. They should be up now. Barry will like them, too.”
Flowers! God created them for us to enjoy.
A short stroll later, they entered the park. “I was right – just look at those snapdragons.”
Lovely. Such vibrant colors.
“Look - there.” Sam pointed. Gazing upon the setting sun, they followed the red glow across the lake to the path in front of them.
A clicking shutter was heard as Sam took several pictures. “God changes the sunset every day. I could take hundreds of pictures and never see two the same.”
“What’s that verse in the Bible about the sunset at night bringing fair weather in the morning?”
“It’s in Matthew.” Sam paused as they continued walking. “I never thought about how true that is. When we have a red sunrise, it usually rains. It’s amazing that God told us everything He wanted us to know, all in one book.”
Around the bend, they saw their neighbors, Joe and Anne. “How are you? Barry is growing so fast. How old is he now?”
“He’s four months old.” Sally beamed as Anne bent down to speak to Barry.
I love Anne. She always says such nice things to me.
The two couples walked together, discussing the changes at church. “I don’t know about this new pastor,” Joe remarked. “He seems a bit brash to me.”
“I rather like him, and I especially like his preaching about salvation. He’s really opened my eyes to eternal life.”
“Sally, I hear what you’re saying. I just think he could be a bit softer in his message.”
“But Joe, if we hear only nice preaching and none of the message about the horrors of hell, how many people can we really expect to reach with Christ’s message?”
Joe’s Christian newness contrasted with his wife, who had been a Christian most of her life. After fifty years, God had answered Anne’s prayer.
Anne touched Joe’s arm. “She’s right, you know. That’s what I’ve been telling you too. We have to hear Jesus’ good works, but we also need to hear about eternal separation from Him.”
“Sam, what about you? You’re the newest board member. What’s the feeling about Pastor Ted?”
“The entire board likes Ted and we are excited that he’s reaching people with Christ’s message. He preaches that the Bible is entirely true and accurate.”
“So you’re telling me that we have to believe in Christ and hell, too? I was raised to believe that hell exists only on earth – this is all new to me.”
“Remember the study in John we just completed? In that, Jesus says that He is the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I remember my memory verse from John 3:16 – whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. That makes sense now! Now all I have to do is walk in His ways, follow His word, and strive to please Him. I just wish I’d learned this before I turned 70.”
Sally’s joy could be heard in her voice. “Sam, you’re never too old to do God’s work. Noah was six-hundred when he built the ark.”
Joe chuckled, “When I’m six hundred, I’ll be in heaven with Christ.”
Amid laughter, Sam said: “It’s nine o’clock, we better get Barry home. Besides, I have to get up early tomorrow for that 6:00 am meeting.”
As the friends arrived home, they turned to look at the radiant colors of the setting sun.
“It’s so lovely, as if God used His best oil paints to give us this picture.”
“Sam, you’re always so eloquent with words. That’s just one of the reasons I love you so much.”
“Good night, neighbors. God bless.”
Entering the house, Barry thought: Whew, I’m dog-tired from all that walking. I’m going to sleep in my pet bed. Tomorrow is another day, and I’m glad I am living and have hope, for a live dog is better than a dead lion.
Matthew 16:2-3 ("When evening comes…It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,'…, ‘morning, it will be stormy, for the sky is red...')
Ecclesiastes 9:4 (Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!)
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