I have to admit that even though I hate to see summer draw to a close, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead in the very near future.  What is it, you ask?  The crisp fall air?  The beautiful, changing colors of the leaves?  Cider and fresh doughnuts at the orchard?  Yes, all those things and much more.  But one of the things I’m most excited about is that the Michigan State football season starts Friday!  For those of you who know me best, you know I bleed green!  As a proud graduate of Michigan State University, I can’t remember a football season in my lifetime that has been anticipated quite as much as this one has!  Obviously, the coaches and players will have to make it happen on the field, but the hope for what this season could be is amazing!

I had an opportunity to go over to East Lansing a few weeks ago with Melanie and our little ones to the “Meet the Spartans” event at Spartan Stadium.  It was awesome!  We were able to meet several of the football players and get their autographs, tour some of the football facilities, and get some cool Michigan State giveaway items.  We also were able to view last season’s Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship trophies.  Can you tell I’m fired up?

While waiting for Coach Dantonio and the players to come out, it struck me how we were surrounded by other like-minded fans, sporting their green and white.  What did we have in common?  A love for Michigan State football and a common goal of wanting to meet and encourage the players.  Interesting how a football team could bring absolute strangers together in one place.
It was also interesting to see the security staff scramble that ensued as soon as the players and Coach Dantonio entered the stadium concourse.  Coach entered in on a golf cart and was quickly moved through the crowd to his autograph table.  All were warmly greeted with applause and cheers of “Go Green, Go White”.  In case you were wondering, the golf cart was, of course, green!
What was the eternal significance of that event?  Nothing, but it sure made for a fun evening!
What is of eternal significance that I would appreciate your prayers for are the Kidtown aged children.  During the Sunday School hour in August, the children have been studying Revelation and discussing Jesus’ eventual return.  They have come up with some very interesting and tough questions.  Most importantly, they have been challenged as to whether they are personally ready for Jesus’ eventual return.
I would like you to consider and answer some of the same questions that the children have been faced with. First and foremost, have you accepted Christ’s forgiveness for your sins?  If you have accepted Christ and knew Jesus was returning today, or sometime soon, would you be telling more people the Gospel message?  What different life choices would you make if you knew that Jesus was coming back soon?  Would you be more kind to others?  Would you be more patient with others?  Would you argue over items of insignificance?  The list of questions could go on and on.  One Sunday we even pondered: what if Christ was to return before Sunday School was even over.  Now that would have been something else!
I saw the following quote today, “Heaven is more than a destination; it is a motivation.”  As I think back now on that event at Michigan State and compare it to the Revelation to John, it makes me question whether I have the same level of anticipation of sharing Christ’s Gospel message with others, as I did to meeting the team.  Does heaven, in fact, serve as my motivation?  Did I miss out on the opportunity to share the Gospel message with anyone that attended the event?  Am I living my life as if Christ could return at any moment?  If I’m honest, I have to confess that I have a great deal of room for improvement, but by God’s grace, I’ll keep pressing on!
The following passage is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV):
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[d]that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
One final thought…what if Jesus were to come back before Friday’s kickoff?  Now that would be beyond awesome!!  Praise God for the hope that we believers have in Christ!!
In Christ’s Love,                                                                                                                                  
Mr. D