Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

June 19, 2008

You should be real sure about going to heaven

I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

It was on the rappelling tower, however, that I learned a good lesson. The 40-foot tower feels like a 100 when you are at the top looking down. Corey, the counselor who held my life in his hands, was still in training.

Amidst the ropes, harnesses, karabiners, pulleys, and helmets, I stood ready to walk backwards off the wall. Corey began his final checks on the equipment by tugging and pulling on all the knots and connections.

When he was satisfied he looked at me and said, "Well, looks pretty safe to me." "Pretty safe?!" I replied. "I think this ought to be more than pretty safe. I think it should be real safe. Or even absolutely safe. I'm not stepping off this wall if pretty safe is the best you have."

Later, it reminded me of how people plan for eternity. Many people are not completely sure if they will go to heaven. They say things like "I've been a good person" or "There's a lot of other people worse than me."

Some will even say, "I'm pretty sure." To that I respond "Pretty sure?! Don't you think you should be real sure when it comes to going to heaven?" In First John 5:13, John says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." We can know for sure where we will spend eternity. We can be absolutely sure.

As for Corey, he convinced me to rappel and just as I'm hanging over the edge I asked him, "Are you sure this is safe?" He said, "Pretty safe, 75 percent of the time there's not a problem." Oh, he's funny.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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