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Doug Creamer Column: Be prepared

I am a Boy Scout, in fact, I am an Eagle Scout. Most of my life I have lived by the Scout Motto: Be Prepared. When a snowstorm is on the way, I do my shopping well ahead of the storm’s arrival. I make sure I am prepared for the possibility of power loss. We have the flashlights ready and I make sure that I have food that can easily be prepared over my camp stove.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

I am not sure I know exactly how to prepare for a hurricane. For me, it’s Monday before the storm and I am doing my best. I am afraid that Florence will go down in the record books as a very bad storm. We live a long way from the coast but I do not think we will be spared the effects of this big hurricane.

I have been studying the models and watching the latest trends from the National Hurricane Center. Everything I see makes me sick. Current trends show us getting wind and plenty of rain…and more rain. This might be the storm that refuses to go away. I try to remind myself that they are only computer models, I know who is really in charge.

I remember when Hugo roared ashore. While living through Hugo was terrible, the good thing is that Hugo was here and gone very quickly. From everything I am seeing, Florence is planning to be like a house guest that won’t go away. The night before Hugo came in I remember bringing everything from the yard in. My neighbors had to pick up stuff including one neighbor’s shed that landed in my backyard.

Once again, I have moved things in. I have the gas grill ready in case we lose power. I have food for several days. Now we sit, wait, and wonder what will happen. The question that keeps going around in my head is: “Have I prepared enough?” Am I truly Scout ready for the upcoming storm?

Many of my neighbors weren’t prepared for the problems Hugo brought us. But one good thing was we all pulled together to make sure we were OK. We checked on each other. We helped each other with whatever mess we discovered when it was safe to venture outside. My brother told me the other night that we have made it through storms in the past and we will make it through this one too…or if not, then we will see you on the other side!

That makes me wonder if we are all ready for the other side. Have we done everything to prepare for what will happen? While we can make jokes about whether we will go up or down, when the time comes, the jokes are over. We have to be prepared if we hope to spend eternity with God.

The door is open and the way has been prepared for each one of us to have a safe trip to heaven. The question is, have you invited Jesus into your heart and received forgiveness for your sins? We can’t spend eternity with God in heaven if we fail to prepare for the trip home. Preparation time is now before it is too late. Once we have breathed our last, our eternity is sealed, there are no second chances.

We have been doing a series at church about what heaven will be like. It sounds incredible, something far beyond what any of us could ever imagine. I don’t want anyone to miss being there. The beauty is beyond words. The big question is will you be there to enjoy it?

Getting to heaven requires that we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and that we believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. For some, that is difficult because it means giving up your will for His. I have discovered that His will is far better than anything I can come up with for myself. His plans are better and His purposes are higher. If you choose Him, He promises never to leave you or forsake you. It’s never too late.

I want to encourage you to make this all important decision in your life. This is the biggest step in preparing for eternity with God. If you are young or old, I want to invite you to accept Jesus as your Savior. Jesus invited the man on the cross who was only a few breaths from death and he received the free gift of salvation. If you have accepted Christ you will get to meet him. Make this decision today and Be Prepared.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.