77 Sunset Strip!

“And time marches on!” Like the old black and white newsreels would state.

Those shorts and cartoons would come on the screen before the Saturday-morning cowboy double features I used to go see at the Butler Theater when I was a kid.  

This coming Sunday I will have waded up to my neck through 77 years. Not birthdays, mind ya … years. Time marches on indeed!

The double features were a quarter back then. Or two dimes and a buffalo nickel, or 25 pennies … whatever a kid could scrape up. And a box of Juji Fruits or Gum Drops were a nickel!

Couldn’t beat that with a stick. No sir reee.

Birthdays are easy. They last one day. You eat your cake and ice cream, look at your cards, and open a few presents. You visit with friends and family for an hour or so, everyone tells stories, laughs, and sings Happy Birthday, then goes home. One day and it’s over.

But the birthday boy or girl (that’s all there used to be … boys and girls!) was left to begin wading through 365 more days, another year, to get to their next B-day.

Think about this. 365 days, times 77 years, equals 28, 105 days … give or take a few.        28, 105! Good grief, how many of those days have I wasted? How many were spent on selfish effort? Fishing, hunting, sports, etc.? A certain amount of time devoted to hobbies is OK. But how many hours of those days were wasted on prideful, self-absorbed folly and sin? Bitterness over past arguments, misunderstandings, jealousy, or just plain selfish exercises, perhaps at the expense of others?

And multiply those days, times hours and minutes. I shudder to think about it. But God knows, down to the second! And even the seconds did not belong to me. They belonged to God, and I stole them from Him. The bible says that they were not mine because I was bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23.) But have I glorified God in my body all those years or have I stolen from God? Without a doubt, I am a thief in God’s eyes. A thief of time. A thief of a large portion of a life that belonged to Him!

But God loved me even as a selfish thief, man and boy. He loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in my place, to be my substitute, to pay for my selfishness and sin. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, became sin for me, and made me the righteousness of God in Jesus!

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18. ESV.)

God made him (Jesus Christ) who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21. NIV.)

Way back in the day, when I would walk down to the Butler Theater to watch Roy Rogers and Dale Evens, and The Sons of the Pioneers, or Gene Autry, from time to time there would be a free movie morning. If you tried to pay the normal quarter on those free days, the sweet lady would say, with a smile, “No, sweetheart, this is free movie Saturday. Go right in.”

In similar fashion, the death of Christ in my place has given me a free ticket to heaven for eternity. Jesus already paid the price for your ticket! All you need to do is humbly ask God in prayer to forgive your sins and to give you the free gift of eternal life. What He has promised, He will do.

God loves you more than you could know, and we love you also.

Carl and Susan.

About Carl Peters

Carl Peters set his hand and heart to write in the early ‘90s, producing three novels and one novella through those years. Due to discouragement and a business venture or two, he put his love for words, and his novels, on the shelf for a few years. Midway through the last decade Carl, then in his mid 60s, made the decision to again take up the electronic pen, dust off the old manuscripts, and spin the merry go round one more time, this time reaching eager readers through the marvel and openness of digital publishing. Several years ago Carl lost his sweet wife of 47 years to cancer. The road would have been hard and lonely without her, had it not been for their five children and nine grandchildren, who have both comforted him and kept him running at full speed! On January 12th, 2011 the Lord brought Carl a sweet new bride. This pair is as opposite as “night and day” (oh my, a cliche) but with the Lord between them, holding their hands, they are perfect for one another! More about this couple in their blog and also in a forthcoming novel. And life goes on.
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