First Baptist Church of New Carlisle, Ohio has a rich and unique history in our community. Since 1955 we've been establishing ourselves as a lighthouse for Jesus Christ in our hometown of New Carlisle, Ohio.

We have Bible Study at 9:15 am and Worship Service at 10:30 am every Sunday. Childcare/nursery provided for all services. Wednesdays we have Prayer Meeting at 7:00 pm and Revive Student Ministries for youth at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Confusion & Winter Continues - Pastor Rick Shoemaker

Today is Groundhog Day. I’m not sure how I ought to celebrate. I’m not sure if I ought to celebrate. I suppose it depends on whether or not that pesky rodent saw his shadow this morning.
I have never been quite sure if it is best for him to see his shadow or not see his shadow. So I decided this year to do some research. And now I know! “If Groundhog Day is clear and bright, Winter’s cold will stay and fight!” So, if today was bright and sunny, that giant rat saw his shadow and we will have six more weeks of winter.
But, “If Groundhog Day was cloudy and gray, winter will soon go away!” No shadow means an early spring! At least that is the theory behind this tradition.

Unfortunately, according to statistical data, Punxsutawney Phil, the premier prognosticator among groundhogs, has been right only 38 percent the time! Which means he is wrong 62 percent of the time.
I am so confused! I want an early spring. So if the groundhog did not see his shadow “the day was cloudy and gray and winter will soon go away. That sounds good. But if he is only accurate 38 percent of the time then that means that he was probably wrong! I don’t know if I should get my golf clubs cleaned or buy a new snow shovel!
There are very few things in life that are certain. Benjamin Franklin is credited with the old adage, “In the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes!

However, in light of Franklin’s first mentioned certainty, I am grateful that the Bible promises we can be sure of eternal life. Would it not be tragic to remain in the shadow of doubt when it comes to the single most certain experience in our life?
I read a story of a Sunday school teacher who asked her class, “Who knows why we celebrate Easter every year?”
One child chimed in, “Oh, that’s when you go sit on the big bunny rabbit’s lap and tell him what you want in your Easter basket.”
A  second child agreed and added, “Yes! The bunny brings a basket full of chocolate eggs and jelly beans!”
Disappointed, the teacher interrupted and gently said, “Those are good guesses. But does anyone know the real reason we celebrate Easter? The class “theologian” nodded her head. “It’s when Jesus was crucified. He died, and His disciples put His body in the grave. Then, on the third day, the stone rolled away ...”
The teacher was really encouraged that at least one of her class knew these important details!
Her young student continued, “And then the entire town would come out by the grave, And if  Jesus came out and saw his shadow, they knew there would be six more weeks of winter!

In light of the fact that everyone must one day travel what the Bible calls, “the valley of the shadow of death,” one of the saddest realities is how few people have assurance of a home in Heaven.  Most folks have some kind of muddled theory of trying to be good enough to get in but are really clueless as to how good is good enough to qualify. The truth is, “There is none righteous. No not one!” (Romans 3:10) But self-righteousness has never been good enough to gain a place in Heaven. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” (Titus 3:5)
The way to Heaven is found in Christ and His empty tomb. He promises, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish.” I believe He is a Man of His word! I trust Jesus absolutely. And when it comes to eternity, He offers a 100 percent guarantee! That is good enough for me!

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