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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Cut And Paste

Max Jenten had done it 10,000 times, maybe 20,000 or 100,000 times. Ctrl+p, the shortcut for cut and paste in his word processor was so familiar to Max he didn't think much about it anymore. But today was not like any other. Max went to his home office computer and turned on the monitor. His computer ran nearly non-stop 365 days a year. Max was developing a marketing plan for a new client in desperate need of marketing help. Max did a cut and paste on a paragraph but something went wrong. Instead of the paragraph reappearing on his screen as he expected, Max saw "Jesus is Lord" on the screen. A cold chill ran down Max's spine because Max did not have anything about Jesus in his computer. Max was not even a believer in Jesus or any other religious figure. Max thought the whole religious thing in life was all a hoax or superstition. Max copied the paragraph again and hit Ctrl+p but "Jesus is Lord" appeared again. Max feared a virus infection. He had kept his anti-virus running at all times and no infection had shown up. So getting a bit more irritated, Max rebooted his computer.

After the computer reboot, Max opened up Wordpad, typed a few words and copied and pasted. Things were getting unbelievable because "Jesus is Lord" appeared once more. Then Max tried the most basic of all word processors, Notepad. Same problem. Max turned off his computer, unplugged his computer, and let the computer sit for ten minutes. Max plugged his computer in, turned on the computer again and ran his anti-virus program just in case the anti-virus missed something. After forty minutes of running the anti-virus program, no viruses, and no malware turned up. His computer was clean.

Max rebooted again but the he kept getting "Jesus is Lord" every time he did a paste after copying anything. Max was getting angry. Computers were not his friend to start with and then to have this problem was getting under his skin and on his last nerve. Max called a buddy who owned a computer service. His friend told Max to bring the computer in for an inspection.

Max packed up his computer system, put everything in the car, and headed out to the computer service. Max took everything into the service and his friend hooked everything up. Before running any diagnostic test, Max's friend booted up the system, tried a cut and paste, but had no problems. Cut and paste seemed to work fine. At this point, Max was losing it. Max's friend told Max to take a loner laptop home while his friend ran an extensive 24-hour diagnostic test on Max's hard drives and cpu.

Max turned on the laptop at the shop and everything seemed to be working as expected. Max folded up the laptop, thanked his friend and headed home. Upon arriving at home, Max nearly ran to his office to open up the laptop. He put his thumb drive into the slot and turned on the laptop. Big problem. The laptop would not turn on. Max was losing it. He called his friend at the computer service and the friend was baffled. The friend apologized and said to bring the laptop back in. Max said he might as well wait until the test was run on his pc before bringing the laptop back in. The local library was only a block away. Max gave out a sigh and dropped his thumb drive into his shirt pocket and headed for the library. At the local library all the pc's were available upon Max's arrival at the library. Max sat down at the first computer in the row of pc's against the wall. He found Notepad in the list of programs, pulled up Notepad, and typed in "Daisy Oats," copied and pasted, but…same ol' same ol'. Max tried the next computer, same thing all over again…"Jesus is Lord" appears at every paste. Max got up from the computer chair and found a librarian. He called over the librarian to demonstrate the problem but only one problem showed. Cut and paste worked as expected with no "Jesus is Lord" appearing. Cut and paste worked as expected if the librarian was standing and watching. Max tried the next computer but cut and paste worked as expected on this computer too. The librarian said, "I don't see any problem, sir." Max replied, "Uh, yeah, I guess it is fixed." After the librarian walked away Max tried to do a cut and paste but "Jesus is Lord" again appears at every paste.

Max did not know what to do. He did not know what to think. He looked at his hands wondering if he had somehow picked up some kind of magnetic field interrupting computers. He had heard of people who would interfere with electronic equipment by being in the room where the equipment was working.

Max pulled his thumb drive out of the library computer and walked home. On the walk home Max started thinking. Maybe instead of being possessed by some kind of magnetic field, maybe he was getting some kind of message. Max did not believe in God, but Max thought maybe he was getting a message. When Max got home he tried the laptop again but "Jesus is Lord" continued to appear at every paste. Max closed the laptop and tried to think. What disturbed him the most is the "Jesus is Lord" appearing at every paste did not happen when the librarian was standing next to him.

Max served on a board with local pastor. Not knowing what else to do, Max called the pastor and briefly explained what has been happening with the "Jesus is Lord" cut and paste problem. The pastor told Max to come over to the pastor's house. At the pastor's house, after a bit of small talk, Max wanted to know what is going on. The pastor said God works in ways we do not understand, for reasons we do not always know because we cannot know all God knows.

The pastor explained how all have sinned. All people have fallen short of God's desire for them. All people have fallen short of what God wants them to do and be. All people have fallen short of the glory of God. Every person can be redeemed or made new and clean if the person will turn away from a life of rebellious sin against God. Max laughed and said it sounds like every person has a virus like what we get in computers. The pastor laughed and said "In a manner of speaking, yes we all have a very deadly virus called sin." The pastor gave Max a book entitled "Peace with God" by Billy Graham. The book was an old one, written decades ago. Max thanked the pastor and said "I don't know what is going on but I need to figure it out." As Max got up to leave the pastor shook Max's hand and said "Let me know how things are going." On the way home Max kept thinking, "This cannot be happening."

Max was single and lived alone. His house seemed incredibly empty as the evening hours approached. Without his pc, Max had no way to surf the web. So Max just sat and thought. Max opened the tattered and worn paperback written by Billy Graham. Max read the book for hours. The more Max read, the more his heart was opened to the love, grace, and saving power of Christ. The more Max read, the more Max turned away from his rebellion against God. Max prayed the following prayer.

Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you. I know my sins separate me from you. I am truly sorry. I now turn away from my sinful past. I turn to you for forgiveness. Please forgive me. Help me avoid sinning again. I believe your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins. I believe He was raised from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become my Savior and the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me be obedient to you and to convict me when I sin. I pledge to grow in grace and knowledge of you. My greatest purpose in life is to follow your example and do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

The next day, the computer repair shop called and said they found nothing wrong in Max's computer. Max said "OK, I'll be over to pick it up and bring back the laptop." Max grabbed the laptop but put the computer down for a minute to see if the laptop was still malfunctioning. Max opened the laptop and found Wordpad to do a test. This time everything seemed to work as expected. Max typed in "Jesus is mine," did a cut and paste, and saw on the screen "Jesus is mine" rather than Jesus is Lord. Max smiled as he folded the laptop up. Max thought, "I solved both my computer problem and my soul problem."

****End of Story****

You, dear reader, have you accepted Christ? Have you prayed the prayer above with all you heart, might, and soul? Have you prayed the prayer above so you will inherit eternal life? If not, I invite you to pray the prayer above and you shall life forever in the eternal love of God.

This message is fiction. This message was presented in August 2011 as the Virtual Church message in Shepherd's Care Ministries virtual church site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018