Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Friday, December 16, 2016

More Than Wonderful


John 17:3
And this is eternal life....that they many know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one You sent to earth.

The picture above is from the movie "It's A Wonderful Life"....
The imaginary town of Bedford Falls, home to one Mr. George Bailey....
I love this movie...
It is a staple in the Bynum Christmas movies that we watch every year.
And yet as wonderful as this movie is, there is a dark undertone that the world doesn't want to consider.

"It's A Wonderful Life" is about being a servant....

Putting the needs of others ahead of your own.....
Of helping others fulfill a dream, while your's gathers dust on the shelf...

The belief that riches are found in the unseen places in a persons life.
George Bailey, the hero of our movie, had dreams.....big ones....

As he so eloquently states to his father...."I'm going to shake the dust of this old town and I'm going to see places and do things".
He meant every word too.
George was going places....
But George had a major problem in his life...
As much as he wanted things for himself, he had a heart that led him to take care of others needs before his own. The world might view such as a curse....

A man who would forsake his own dreams to help others. Such would be seen as weak...no business savy...but this was George Bailey.

Such a heart made George angry....but he never showed it....
Such a heart could be called a "Servant's Heart"....

George never once cried out..."This isn't fair!"
Years roll on, and George, through the Bailey Savings And Load, improves the lives of the towns people by helping them build and own their own home. Of course no movie would be complete without a villain, and this one is no different....Mr. Potter. Our villain owns the counter part to the Bailey Savings and Loan. In fact the BS&L is a thorn in his side and Potter bristles with just the mention of it. Potter's life revolves around the simple fact that the Bailey Savings and Loan is taking money from him that rightfully should be his.

Fast forward into the movie, George's uncle Billy (who works for the BS&L) looses a deposit of $8,000.00, which just happens to be found by Mr. Potter. Potter puts the wheels in motion for the BS&L to be inspected by the State Auditor, knowing full well that such a short fall in funds would shut down the Savings and Loan. 

Threatened with jail, shame over this event, George sinks into depression and the darkest places of the human soul...
Eventually George finds himself on a bridge preparing to kill himself....
Mr. Potter's words come back to haunt George who went to him begging for help. When asked what he had for collateral to pay back an $8,000.00 loan, George held out a life insurance policy....Potter laughed and told him, 'Why you're worth more dead than alive".
Suicide it was...George Bailey was going to end it all, to make the pain stop.


God intervenes and sends and angel named Clarence.
Clarence, in an effort to save George, shows him what life in Bedford falls would have been like had George never been born. All the lives he touched along his life journey....some would have lived, some died...on and on Clarence shows George the effects if George had never been born.

Bottom line, the towns people come to George's aid to help bail him out. Why? Because they knew that George had given himself to better their lives....
Here's where the movie gets real strange, without really pointing it out.

As wonderful as the ending is to the movie....
As heartfelt love flowed to George, Mary and the Bailey kids.....
Life went on....on the surface there wasn't a happy ending...
They still lived in that drafty old house, with the spindle that comes off the staircase banister.
George still worked at the Bailey Savings and Loan, scrimping and saving to simply provide a living for his family.
George's dreams still lay on that shelf gathering dust....
Mr. Potter kept trying to shut the BS&L down....

In fact nothing had really changed in George's life, except for one thing....
George discovered the incredible riches that come from loving, helping and serving others...
George Bailey discovered riches and wealth he never knew he possessed.

There are riches that cannot be seen or touched by human eye or hand.
Riches that are not accounted for by banks, the stock market or any other financial institution.
Such riches are held by God ready to be dispensed to the "George and Mary Bailey's" of the world.
Precious things like love to others......mercy....compassion....being free with what God has given to you.....and on and on and on the list goes. Living a life that is defined by the Gospel.


Don't let this Christmas season pass you by without giving thought and taking stock of your own life.
How do you measure it? By what you have accumulated in the material things you have bought? By your social status? 


The only true measure of a life is found when it stands in the shadow of the Cross....
life....real life is found in the passage from John 17:3.....Eternal life is knowing...not collecting facts and information about God...but knowing Him through encounters you have with Him...Knowing Him through study of His word....Taking those principals He gives to us and then living them out among the people of your life. We have been called to pour out ourselves on humanity, not circle the wagons and sit and stare at our own navel. Why not allow God to open your heart and eyes to the wonderful life that is there for you?




Merry Christmas from the "B's" In Attalla !

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