Sunday, July 31, 2011

There Aren't Any Little Sins by Brother Miller

"Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom." Song of Solomon 2:15"

In their book, Living a Power-Filled Life, Bill Tucker with Pat Maxwell talk about a four-hundred-year-old tree that crashed to the forest floor Over the centuries it had been struck by lightning fourteen times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake. In the end, however, it was killed by little beetles. Boring under the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until the giant of the forest lay broken on the ground.

How true it is, it's the little things in life, which at the time seem harmless, but when you put them all together, they can cause great devastation. As another has said, "Many a marital grave has been dug by a lot of little digs." But the biggest danger of all is found in our so-called "little sins." Eventually they will catch up with us and inch by silent inch will drive us farther and farther away from God. And as Edmund Burke said, "By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation." Sins-large or small-are a spiritual cancer and unless we get the cancer, the cancer will get us. As God's word says, "Be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23

The good news is that God also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Running Inside the Lines

In Philippians 3:14, Paul provides a powerful insight into his passion.  Here is what he says,

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul clearly had a goal in mind, a sense of his destiny.  And he was undaunted in seeking to reach it.

In fact, the phrase “I press toward the goal” could literally be translated from the Greek text this way,  “I run within the lines.”  It paints the picture of a runner, running down a track, staying in his lane.

He is not overreaching his bounds, running in someone else’s lane.  Rather, as he goes for the goal, he is running within the lines with the goal in mind.

In a little mission in Medford, Oregon, many years ago, there was a young man with a terrible drug and alcohol problem.  One night God got a hold of his life.  It was a truly dramatic conversion.

I was that young man.  And for several decades now, I have been seeking to lay hold of the reason for which He laid hold of me.  I knew that night that God had a destiny for my life.  And that is the goal I strive and press forward to achieve.

God has a destiny for your life, too.  God laid hold of your life just like He did mine, for a purpose.  If you have not already done so, you must understand and press forward to fulfill the destiny God has for your life.

 If you don’t know what that might be, then start asking God to reveal that to you.  Ask Him to show you the lane you are to run in.
Author Unknown To Me

Morning Smile

A customer sent an order to a distributor for a large amount of goods totaling a great deal of money. The distributor noticed that the previous bill hadn’t been paid, so he asked his collections manager to leave a voice-mail for them saying, “We can’t ship your new order until you pay for the last one.” The next day the collections manager received a collect phone call, “Please cancel the order. We can’t wait that long.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Living Stones and Flying Flowers

Living stonesColossians 2:4-5  "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ." 
Africa's southern deserts have a plant called living stones. In a desert, any vegetation can be a welcome source of food or moisture. In this setting, a plant that doesn't look like a plant has an advantage. And living stones look like nothing more than just another rock in the sand. Wasps can be some of the nastiest insects in nature. An insect in Costa Rica called the mantispid looks very much like the feared wasp, even up close. Then again, the hover fly looks like a wasp and sounds like a wasp because the frequency of its wing beats is almost identical to a wasp.
If, of all the millions of living things on Earth, a few creatures happened to look like something they are not and this helped protect them, we might put it down to chance. However, the creation is filled with too many creatures who practice look-alike deception to put it down to chance.
Treehoppers have a very odd body shape that comes to a point on top. Not only do they look like thorns, but they usually stay on bushes that have thorns, orienting their bodies on the branches just like true thorns. This effectively hides them from hungry birds. Larval plant hoppers use a different form of deception. They attach themselves in groups on branches, orienting their frilly and feathery bodies together so they look like a flower!
The clever forethought and planning involved in nature's deceptions rule out any thought that these creatures designed themselves.

Lord, I know that the devil knows a great deal about deception, too. I confess that I have been fooled into sin that did not look like sin. Forgive me and make me wiser by Your Word. Amen.
"Four masters of deceit." National Geographic, Mar. 1980. p. 410.

Rejoice And Be Glad

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. --Matthew 5:12

Are you ever like the child who at the end of the day kneels by his bedside and prays, "God, thank you for not letting Mom find the candy wrappers in my pocket. And I'm glad I was able to have all the chocolate I could eat at Johnny's house today. Oh, and I can't forget to thank you for not letting Dad miss the nails I took from his workbench. Amen..."?

This attitude can characterize us as Christians sometimes. In Matthew 5:12, the Lord challenges us to look toward our hope and reward in heaven. Instead of putting emphasis on material wealth, social status, or success, Christ tells us that genuine happiness, contentment, and prosperity begin first in the heart.

There are several ways we can say "thank you" to the Lord in a meaningful and sincere way. Thank Him for the difficulties in life that have caused you to recognize your spiritual needs, to mourn over sin, and to submit to His authority. Thank Him for the joys and sorrows that have encouraged you to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to have compassion and mercy on others, to be pure in heart and holy in your lifestyle, and to be a peacemaker. Thank Him for all the things that have helped you to develop a willingness to follow His plan for your well-being.

This is God's idea and plan for true thanksgiving.

Pray that God would help you learn what being thankful is truly about. Ask Him to develop an attitude of gratitude in your heart 365 days a year. And pray that He would help you to realize that Thanksgiving is not just a day, but a way of life.
Senior Devotional from Daily Living Ministries at


Help Wanted

  A sign was hung in an office window. It read:
Help Wanted
 Must type 70 words a minute. 
Must be computer literate. 
Must be bilingual.  
An equal opportunity employer.
      A dog was ambling down the street and saw the sign. He looked at it for a moment, pulled it down with his mouth, and walked into the manager's office, making it clear he wished to apply for the job.
      The office manager laughed and said, "I can't hire a dog for this job."
      The dog pointed to the line: "An equal opportunity employer."
      So the manager said, "OK, take this letter and type it." The dog went off to the word processor and returned a minute later with the finished letter, perfectly formatted.
      The manager said, "Alright, here's a problem. Write a computer program for it and run it."
      Fifteen minutes later, the dog came back with the correct answer.
      The manager still wasn't convinced. "I still can't hire you for this position. You've got to be bilingual."
      The dog looked up at the manager and said, "Meow."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sin and Its Effects

He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities– Isaiah 53:5
It was love that sent Jesus to the cross. It was "the joy set before Him" that kept Jesus on the cross. But it was our sins that necessitated the cross.

Why couldn't Jesus simply come to earth and preach and call for repentance and then go back into heaven? Why was it not good enough for Him to live a perfect life and then return to His Father in heaven? It was because sins, before a holy and just and good God, require punishment.

Because God is just, He will not allow us to go free without punishing our sins. That would be like a judge letting a convicted serial killer back onto the streets.

Because God is good, He will avenge every one of the countless wrongs in the world. He will not allow victims of violence and deceit to be victims forever.

Most importantly, because God is God He will not allow His holy character and position to be ignored and violated without consequence. Therefore, our sins must be paid for.

The great beauty and tragedy of the cross is that there the perfect Jesus received the wounds for our transgressions; there He was bruised because of our sins. He chose to take our place and receive our punishment.

How can we dare to willfully sin any more, knowing that precisely those sins were what caused the great wounds of our great Savior?
Love & Prayers,
Kunal Michaels.

There Is Power In The Blood

Words & Music by Lew­is E. Jones, 1899 Jones wrote this song at a camp meet­ing at Mount­ain Lake Park, Mar­y­land.

There Is Power In  The Blood
Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.
      There is power, power, wonder working power
      In the blood of the Lamb;
      There is power, power, wonder working power
      In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Today's Smile

Someone in our neighborhood  put a huge sofa out by the curb for trash collection. Since it was in good shape, many motorists slowed down for a look. But when they saw how enormous it was, they'd leave.

Eventually a compact car pulled up, and two men got out.

This I've got to see, I thought.

They removed the cushions, turned the sofa upside down and shook it hard. Then they picked up all the coins that tumbled out, and drove off.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Captives By Greg Laurie

"Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those
people's hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their
senses and escape from the devil's trap. For they have been held captive by
him to do whatever he wants".
—2 Timothy 2:25–26

Sometimes Christians will look at non-Christians as the enemy. But they are
not the enemy—they are trapped by the enemy, who is the devil. They are
like you and I once were: captives of sin. That is how Christians need to see

We are told in 2 Timothy 2:24–26, A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but must be kind to
everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the
truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come
to their senses and escape from the devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever
he wants.

They are in bondage, and they don't know why or how. But you know. They are under the power of
the enemy. So pray that God will open their eyes spiritually. Pray they will see their need for Jesus.
Pray they will respond to the gospel message.

The big question is, do we really believe what the Bible says? Because if we do, then it means that
someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ when he or she dies will go to hell. Do we really believe this?
If we do, then how can be so cavalier about evangelism? How can we be so uncaring if we really
believe what we say we believe?

If we are disciples, then we need to go and make disciples of others. And if we are not making
disciples of others, the question arises as to whether we are really the disciples God wants us to be.
The prescription for spiritual dryness is to go out and try to win people to Christ and help them grow
spiritually—that is fulfilling the Great Commission.

Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing By Charles Wesley

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my god and King,
The triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of your name.

The name of Jesus charms our fears
And bids our sorrows cease,
Sings music in the sinner’s ears,
Brings life and health and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin;
He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood avails for me.

Look to the Lord, who did atone
For sin, O fallen race.
Look and be saved through faith alone,
Be justified by grace.

See all our sins on Jesus laid;
The Lamb has made us whole.
His soul was once an offering made
For every human soul.

To God all glory, praise, and love
Be now and ever given
By saints below and saints above
The Church in earth and heaven.

Hymn # 276 from Lutheran Worship
Author: John B. Dykes
Tune: Beatitudo
1st Published in: 1740

Resume/Career To Avoid

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it - mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.

Then, I tried to be a chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

Next, was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too

So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian - until I realized there
was no future in it.

My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, I retired and I found I am perfect for the job!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meeting Place

There is a street in Charleston, S.C. called Meeting Street.

I suppose there are "Meeting Streets" in many states, dotting across our land. The name was derived, I suppose, from the very words which entitle it. That particular place was somewhere people gathered to meet.

In 33 A.D,, in Jerusalem Jesus met some people in the most unusual and unexpected places. He met one man in a tree, others at dinner tables, in fishing boats and beds of sickness. He met a woman right out of a bed of prostitution, and he met thousands at a fish- and -bread picnic. He met his closest companions on earth at a beach side breakfast feast, and met a huge gathering of folks on a Judiean hillside coliseum.

The reason His "meeting places" were in such unusual settings was that Jesus met folks where the were. He called them to follow Him, and many did so.

Have you had a meeting with Jesus? If not, you may not be listening carefully, for He calls all of humanity to meet with Him and then follow Him. Your location or position in life is immaterial - He will meet you wherever you are- as he exemplified in the Bible.

Contributed by Marion Smith:

From Mr. Mom's Mailing List
 May 07, 2008

Your Daily Bible Verse:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5/KJV


2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup pincante sauce (mild or hot to your liking)
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form
mixture into 6-8 patties; layer patties in some aluminum
foil and refrigerate to firm them up. Broil, grill or
bake to desired doneness.

Yield: 6-8 patties

JESUS Paid It All

Words: Elvina M. Hall, 1865.
Music: John T. Grape
Our church was un­der­go­ing re­pairs, and the cab­i­net or­gan was placed in my care. Thus af­ford­ed a plea­sure not be­fore en­joyed, I de­light­ed my­self in play­ing over some of our Sun­day school hymns. I de­ter­mined to give tan­gi­ble shape to a theme that had been run­ning in my mind for some time, to write, if pos­si­ble, an an­swer to Brad­bu­ry’s beau­ti­ful piece, “Jesus Paid It All.” I made it a matter of pray­er and stu­dy and gave to the pub­lic the mu­sic now known as “All to Christ I Owe.” It was pro­nounced ve­ry poor by my choir and friends, but my dear wife per­sist­ent­ly de­clared that it was a good piece of mu­sic and would live. Time has proved the cor­rect­ness of her jud­gment. Soon af­ter, the Rev. George W. Schreck called on me to se­lect an­y­thing new that I had to of­fer. On hear­ing this piece he ex­pressed his plea­sure with it and stat­ed that Mrs. El­vi­na M. Hall had writ­ten some words that would just suit the mu­sic. I gave him a co­py of it and it was soon sung in sev­er­al church­es here in Bal­ti­more [Mar­y­land] and well re­ceived. At the sug­gest­ion of friends I sent a co­py to Pro­fess­or The­o­dore Perk­ins and it was pub­lished in Sab­bath Car­ols. Un­der the pro­vi­dence of God it has been go­ing ev­er since. I trust that it has not failed to ac­comp­lish some good to my fel­low-men for the glo­ry of God.
Here’s a story about the song:
On New Year’s night, 1886, some mis­sion­ar­ies were hold­ing open-air serv­ic­es in or­der to att­ract pass­ers­-by to a near-by miss­ion, where meet­ings were to be held later. “All to Christ I owe” was sung, and af­ter a gen­tle­man had giv­en a short ad­dress he hast­ened away to the miss­ion. He soon heard foot­steps close be­hind him and a young wo­man caught up with him and said:
“I heard you ad­dress­ing the open-air meet­ing just now; do you think, sir, that Je­sus could save a sin­ner like me?”
The gen­tle­man re­plied that there was no doubt about that, if she was anx­ious to be saved. She told him that she was a serv­ant girl, and had left her place that morn­ing after a dis­a­gree­ment with her mis­tress. As she had been wan­der­ing about the streets in the dark, won­der­ing where she was to spend the night, the sweet mel­o­dies of this hymn had at­tract­ed her, and she drew near and listened at­tent­ive­ly. As the dif­fer­ent vers­es were be­ing sung, she felt that the words sure­ly had some­thing to do with her. Through the whole serv­ice she seemed to hear what met her op­pressed soul’s need at that mo­ment. God’s Spir­it had showed her what a poor, sin­ful and wretch­ed crea­ture she was, and had led her to ask what she must do. On hear­ing her ex­per­i­ence, the gen­tle­man took her back to the mis­sion and left her with the la­dies in charge. The young, way­ward woman was brought to Christ that night. A si­tu­a­tion was se­cured for her in a min­is­ter’s fam­i­ly. There she be­came ill and had to be tak­en to a hos­pi­tal. She ra­pid­ly failed and it became ev­i­dent that she would not be long on earth. One day the gen­tle­man whom she had met on New Year’s night was vis­it­ing her in the ward. Af­ter quot­ing a few suit­a­ble vers­es of Script­ure, he re­peat­ed her fa­vo­rite hymn, “All to Christ I owe”…and she seemed over­whelmed with the thought of com­ing to glo­ry…Two hours af­ter­ward she passed away.

JESUS Paid It All
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
      Jesus paid it all,
      All to Him I owe;
      Sin had left a crimson stain,
      He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Totally Shocked

      The man passed out in a dead faint as he came out of his front door onto the porch. Someone called 911.
      When the paramedics arrived, they helped him regain consciousness and asked if he knew what caused him to faint.
      "It was enough to make anybody faint," he said. "My son asked me for the keys to the garage, and instead of driving the car out, he came out with the lawn mower!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diagnosing your Spiritual Health by Jim.Mazzulla

Do You Thirst for God? 
Psa. 42:1, 2 As a deer pants for flowing streams (water brooks –KJV), so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?  PSA. 42;1,2&n bsp; (also Matt. 5:6)

The word “pant” we get an image of “immediate need” and spiritually it describes our intense desire and overwhelming longing for the presence of God. 
Well you’re not unlike the deer the psalmist mentions in the first verse of Psalm 42, because like the deer you know if you don't get any water you will die. As the life of a deer depends upon water, so our spiritual lives depend upon the water of our soul, God.
We have drives amongst them most importantly are hunger and thirst!Most important thing for survival is Water = Survival 3-4 days   Food 4-6 weeks. 
God is the living water that is required to sustain our life, without God we will die, plain and simple. Those who pant for God and long to understand him find everlasting life.
As we look at the subject of “Do you thirst for God”, we are going to talk about 3 kinds of Thirst today!

Three Kinds of Spiritual Thirst
1. Thirst of the EMPTY Soul .
Quote:  “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”  ~Augustine

The natural /lost person has an empty soul, devoid of God.  

This person is constantly searching for something to fill the emptiness, but is not sure what to search for.  The empty soul is always seeking and never resting; going from one thing to another, unable to find anything that will fit the God-shaped vacuum in the heart.   But without the work of God in his heart he will NOT seek the true and living God, but everything else under the sun to fill that void.

As C. H. Spurgeon states,  “When a man pants after God, it is the work of God within Him; he would not long after God by nature. No man thirsts for God while he is left in his carnal state. The unrenewed man pants after anything sooner than God: . . . It proves a renewed nature when you long after God; it is a work of grace in your soul, and you may be thankful for it.”   [Based on Romans 3:11 & Psa. 14:2, 53:2]

2. Thirst of the DRY Soul.   Read John 4:14 – Never thirst again!!!
 The difference between the empty soul and the dry soul is that one has tasted the living waters and the other has not.  Dry souls have not lost the presence of the well of springing up within them, but they may cease to drink of it as they ought, and for a while thus become dry.
We cannot lose the indwelling presence of the Spirit.

Reasons for having a  dry soul:
1. Drink of the fountains of the WORLD.  Trying to partake of the world as a Christian it doesn’t work!  
2. Prolonged times of mental or physical FATIGUE.
Our body affects our spirituality and our spirituality affects our body.  When you're tired or sick, you may not want to pray as much.  If you are really tired, you can feel very unspiritual and you may not sense the spiritual growth that occurred in the battle that made you tired. We may feel spiritually dry because we are fighting a battle or a battle has just been won.

3. GOD sometimes puts us through DRY spells.  
During these times (dry spells) God wants us to learn to TRUST Him and not our good feelings. Sometimes God steps back to see if we will still find Him worthy of following even when there is no earthly reason to do so.  So metimes God withdraws a sense of His presence to teach us to walk by faith.  

Quote: When the sun goes behind the cloud its no less near.
Three Kinds of Spiritual Thirst 1. Empty (lost)  2. Dry (dry spell) and NOW:
3. Thirst of the SATISFIED Soul    Read Psalm 34:8
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  Psa. 34:8

Practical Steps we should ALWAYS take for our thirst:

1. MEDITATE on Scripture (26)  Go for quality NOT quantity!

2. PRAY in line with and actual Scriptures (make it personal).
The Psalms are great for this!  Name a Psalm you would turn into a prayer? 

3. Read Thirst-making WRITERS.
This is important to read of men and women of God who make you thirsty for more of God. Read especially from time-tested books (not faddish books – See list below)

Such as classics and other time tested books like Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, Armor of God by Gurnall, classics, Thomas Watson, Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed and the Smoldering Wick, John Owens, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Tozer and the like, also read Christian biographies, and read/listen to good sermons by ministers that make you thirsty for the truth – John MacArthur, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, etc.

 “O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made thirsty still.”  - A.W.Tozer

Nothing but the living water of God will satisfy!

 In His Service
 This devotion may also be found in audio at: 

HEAVEN CAME DOWN AND GLORY FILLED MY SOUL / O what a wonderful, wonderful day

My spirits are high as My LORD laid this song on my heart... I am almost half way through with the delivery of the August '11 StarLight News... 60% chance of rain tonight has failed to bring me down... Praying for clear skies this morning, but if it does not happen the papers will still be delivered... Praise The LORD!!!

HEAVEN CAME DOWN AND GLORY FILLED MY SOUL / O what a wonderful, wonderful day

O what a wonderful, wonderful day - day I will never forget;
After I'd wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend - He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God's fam'ly divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary's love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer of grace He did proffer - He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Now I've a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.
And it's because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Morning Smile

Two men were walking through the woods and came upon a big black, deep hole. One man picked up a rock and tossed it into the hole and stood listening for the rock to hit bottom. There was no sound.
He turned to the other guy and said "that must be a deep hole...let's throw a bigger rock in there and listen for it to hit bottom." The men found a bigger rock and both picked it up and lugged it to the hole and dropped it in.

They listened for some time and never heard a sound. Again, they agreed that this must be one deep hole and maybe they should throw something even bigger into it.

One man spotted a rail-road tie nearby. They picked up the tie, grunting and groaning, and lugged it to the hole. They tossed it in. No sound. All of a sudden, a goat came flying out of the woods, running like the wind, and flew past the men and jumped straight into the hole. The men were amazed.

About that time, an old hayseed farmer came out of the woods and asked the men if they had seen a goat. One man told the farmer of the incredible incident they had just witnessed...they had just seen this goat fly out of the woods and run and leap into the big hole. The man asked the farmer if this could have been his goat.
The old farmer said "naw, that can't be my goat...he was chained to a railroad tie."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gently Directing

Nehemiah 9:17b - But you are a God who forgives; you are gracious and loving, slow to be angry. Your mercy is great; you did not forsake them. (GNB)

As I was sitting in a public area recently, I saw a beautiful picture unfold before my eyes. A very tall dad walked in, with his very small son walking slowly in front of him. As soon as they entered the building, there was a choice of which way to go -- right or left. The little boy started to head right, but the father walked up behind him, gently took hold of his shoulders, and steered him to the left. The wee son walked in the direction that the father steered him. I wonder what the father would have done had the son determined to go the other way. Would he have gently directed his son once again in the right direction? If the little boy had decided to go the wrong way once again, I wonder how many times the father would have been patient and directed his son again and again.

I thought about how like Jesus that dad was. Jesus is gentle. He steers us in the direction that He wants us to go -- in the direction that is best for us.

Yet so many times, even after Jesus holds our shoulders and steers us, we don't allow Him to do so. We jerk ourselves out of His gentle hands and go the direction that we want to go. What does He do when we react like that?

We have the freedom of choice. We can choose to go where the Father directs us, or we can choose to go the way we want. Yet, we know that no matter our choices, He is watching over us. He does care. He stands patiently by and is so willing to direct us again and again if need be.

Lamentations 3:22 - It is by the kindnesses of Jehovah that we are not consumed, for His mercies are not ended. (LITV)

Let us ever be aware of God, the Father, directing us. Let's be willing to be directed -- the very first time.

Prayer: Father God, when we really think about You and Your patience, we are overwhelmied. Thank You for loving us exactly the way we are and for being so kind and gentle and patient with us. We are human. We are frail. We are stubborn. But Your love is unending. Your mercies are unending. Thank You. Amen.

Judy Miller

Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada


Jeremiah E. Rankin, 1828-1904
Words: Jer­e­mi­ah E. Rank­in, in Gos­pel Bells, compiled by Rankin, J. W. Bischoff, Otis Presb­rey (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: The West­ern Sun­day School Pub­lish­ing Co., 1880). 
Written…as a Christian good-bye, it was called forth by no per­son or oc­ca­sion, but was de­lib­er­ate­ly com­posed as a Christ­ian hymn on the ba­sis of the ety­mol­o­gy of “good-bye,” which is “God be with you.” The first stan­za was writ­ten and sent to two com­pos­ers—one of un­u­su­al note, the other whol­ly un­known and not tho­rough­ly ed­u­cat­ed in mu­sic. I se­lect­ed the com­po­si­tion of the lat­ter, sub­mit­ted it to J. W. Bischoff—the mu­sic­al di­rect­or of a lit­tle book we were pre­par­ing—who ap­proved of it, but made some cri­ti­cisms, which were adopt­ed. It was sung for the first time one ev­en­ing in the First Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Wash­ing­ton, of which I was then the pas­tor and Mr. Bis­choff the org­an­ist. I at­trib­ut­ed its pop­u­lar­i­ty in no lit­tle part to the mu­sic to which it was set. It was a wed­ding of words and mu­sic, at which it was my func­tion to pre­side; but Mr. To­mer should have his full share of the fam­i­ly hon­or.


God be with you till we meet again;
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.

      Till we meet, till we meet,
      Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
      Till we meet, till we meet,
      God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
Neath His wings protecting hide you;
Daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
With the oil of joy anoint you;
Sacred ministries appoint you;
God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;
Of His promises remind you;
For life’s upper garner bind you;
God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;
Sicknesses and sorrows taking,
Never leaving or forsaking;
God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Strike death’s threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.


God be with you till we meet again;
Ended when for you earth’s story,
Israel’s chariot sweep to glory;
God be with you till we meet again.


Morning Smile

A man was pulled over for speeding down the highway; the officer came to the driver’s window and said, "Sir, may I see your driver’s license and registration?" The man said, "Well officer I don't have a license, it was taken away for a DUI." The officer, in surprise, said," What, do you have a registration for the vehicle?" So the man replied, "No sir, the car is not mine I stole it, but I am pretty sure I say a registration card in the glove box when I put the gun in it." The officer stepped back, "There is a gun in the glove box?!?" The man sighed and said, "Yes sir, I used to kill the woman who owns the car before I stuffed her in the trunk." The officer steps toward the back of the car and says," Sir do not move, I am calling for backup." The officer calls for backup and about ten minutes another highway patrolman arrives. He walks up to the window slowly and asks the man for his driver’s license and registration. The man said," Yes officer here it right here." It all checked out so the officer said," Is there a gun in the glove box sir?" The man laughs and says," No officer why would there be a gun in the glove box." He opened the glove box and showed him that there was no gun. The second officer asked him to open the trunk because he had reason to believe that there was a body in it. The man agrees and opens the trunk, no dead body. The second officer says, "Sir I do not understand, the officer that pulled you over said that you did not have a license, the car was stolen, there was a gun in the glove box, and a dead body in the trunk." The man looks the officer in the eyes and says, "Yeah and I'll bet he said I was speeding too."

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Acts 13:22-23 NIV After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'
"From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.

These two verses come from a sermon that Paul gave in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch during his first mission trip with Barnabas.  They had entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and sat down.  Then verse 15 says, “After the reading from the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament), the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak." 

The two verses above were and are of incredibly great encouragement for me because of the huge impact they had on my walk with Jesus. 

When I first was born again, there was a huge change inside me.  I KNEW I’d been “made a new creation” right then and there, even though it took about a year for me to learn what to call what had happened to me.  I didn’t come to Jesus after years of Bible study or as the result of a brilliant sermon by some preacher.  I came to Jesus alone, sitting on my bed, surrounded by stacks of heretical books and one book full of truth – the Bible.  I didn’t have a great knowledge of Christian doctrine.  In fact, I knew very little of the Bible – only a whole string of “proof texts” that I’d used for years which I used to “prove” that the teachings of the pseudo-Christian cult of which I was a member were true.

But that afternoon, Jesus showed Himself to me through God’s Word, and made me realize who He really is, showing me that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, and that He was the only one who could save me.  I didn’t say the typical “sinner’s prayer”… in fact, what I did say probably would not be considered by most people to even be a prayer.  But the Lord didn’t care… He saw my heart and that day, He saved me.

However, there was still one big problem… Although I wasn’t a murderer or adulterer, nor was I guilty of the many “big” sins that people like to list.  But in the previous 30 years – especially the previous 8 years of cult membership – I’d done some things that I knew were pure blasphemy.  And I was having a really hard time believing that God would or could forgive me.  Those sins loomed large and frightening before me constantly, and – since I had yet to find a good, Bible-teaching church – I didn’t know anyone to talk to about my concerns and fears.  The good news is, God instantly instilled in me a deep hunger for His word, so I spent as many waking hours as possible reading and studying the Bible.  And one night, I read the story of David…

David was a man of faith, a real powerhouse warrior for the Lord… But David blew it… He let his flesh overcome his spirit… his lust overcome his heart for God… and not only did he commit adultery, but he also committed murder in an attempt to cover up his adultery. He was so far from the “man after God’s own heart” at that point that it took the prophet, Nathan, confronting him with his sin for him to see what he’d done and realize what an abomination it was to God!  I thought that was amazing, but the thing that struck me the hardest was that God DID forgive David!  He placed David’s sins as far from him as east is from west!  Those terrible sins no longer existed as far as God was concerned.

And that’s when it struck me… if God could forgive David… if He not only could forgive him, but make him one of the most renowned ancestors of Jesus, the Messiah, then God could and would forgive me for the blasphemy in which I’d participated before I knew Him!  That realization set me totally free – free in Jesus to learn and to grow and to serve Him in any way He asked me to.  I also realized that any guilt I still felt for the things I’d done was not coming from the Lord, because He had not only forgiven me, but had forgotten my sins! 

If you’re having the same problem I did, just remember David and the forgiveness he received even though he didn’t deserve it.  Remember that Jesus died for your sins, and – if you have repented and asked for forgiveness - ALL of them are forgiven.  Rejoice in that forgiveness, and then commit to spending the rest of your life in obedience and service to the one who saved you so that you, too, can become a person “after God’s own heart”.

“…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  1 Samuel 16:7b NIV

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "TakeAMinute" group.
For more options, visit this group at
General correspondence or to subscribe to Take a Minute:
Donations to Dogwood Ministries:

Blessed Assurance

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)

Phoebe P. Knapp (1839-1908)
My friend, Mrs. Jo­seph F. Knapp, com­posed a mel­o­dy and played it over to me two or three times on the pi­a­no. She then asked what it said. I re­plied, “Bles­sed as­sur­ance, Je­sus is mine!”
Words: Fan­ny Cros­by 
Music: As­sur­ance, Phoe­be P. Knapp
     This hymn was sung in the Acad­e­my Award win­ning mo­vies Plac­es in the Heart (1984) and Trip to Bount­i­ful (1985).
“During the re­cent war in the Trans­vaal,” said a gen­tle­man at my meet­ing in Ex­e­ter Hall, Lon­don, in 1900, “when the sol­diers go­ing to the front were pass­ing ano­ther bo­dy of sol­diers whom they re­cog­nized, their greet­ings used to be, ‘Four-nine-four, boys; four-nine-four;’ and the sa­lute would in­var­i­a­bly be an­swered with ‘Six fur­ther on, boys; six fur­ther on.’ The sig­nif­i­cance of this was that, in ‘Sac­red Songs and So­los,’ a num­ber of co­pies of the small edi­tion of which had been sent to the front, num­ber 494 was ‘God be with you un­til we meet again;’ and six fur­ther on than 494, or num­ber 500, was ‘Bless­ed As­sur­ance, Je­sus is mine.’”

Blessed Assurance
Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior, all the day long;
     This is my story, this is my song,
     Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.


Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.


The Score

When I was visiting a friend who lived on the edge of a wilderness preserve, we drove along a rutted trail, and we saw a small creek ahead whose bridge was under water.

"We have a serious beaver problem," our friend said. "They build dams that cause the creek to flood. Forest rangers take down the dams, and the beavers rebuild them."

As we got closer, we could see a large scoreboard posted by the bridge.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is Perception Reality? by Os Hillman

From TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman  • Monday, July 06 2009

"The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (1 Kings 19:14). 

The CEO walked into his manufacturing plant only to observe an employee standing by idly not working. Angrily, he walked over to him, peeled off a $100 bill and gave it to him: "Here, go spend your time elsewhere!" The man looked at the CEO somewhat puzzled, but left with the $100. "How long has that man worked for us?" said the CEO to the employee standing nearby. "Well sir, that man does not work for us; he is only the delivery man."
Perception is not always reality. Elijah was in a crisis. Jezebel wanted to kill him. The nation was falling to Baal worship. From his vantage point - it was all over. He was the only prophet remaining in all the land who had not bent his knee to the idol of Baal. He wanted to die. 

Then, the Lord sent His angel to correct Elijah's perception: "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel - all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:18). There were seven thousand Elijah knew nothing about! Elijah's perception was not reality.
Whenever things are going poorly, there is a temptation to believe God is not working in the situation. We may even believe our life is over. Everything from our vantage point is dark. We see no future. However, even in these times, God's plan is being orchestrated behind the scenes. He is accomplishing His purposes. But we need a fresh perspective on our situation. 

Do you need a reality check on your situation? Ask God to show you the truth. It may be very different than your perception.

Copyright 2000 by Os Hillman. Visit us at or contact us at Marketplace Leaders Ministries, 475 Tribble Gap Rd, Ste 110, Atlanta GA 30040 USA

Your Morning Smile

An optimist sees the best in the world, while a pessimist sees only the worst. An optimist finds the positive in the negative, and a pessimist can only find the negative in the positive.

For example, as a duck hunter, I was in the market for a new bird dog a few years ago. My search finally ended when I found a dog that could not only retrieve, but could actually walk on water! Of course I bought him immediately but wasn't sure how I'd tell my hunter buddies.

I decided to try to break the news to one friend at a time starting with a long-time buddy who was also a hunter. He was a pessimist by nature, but invited him to hunt with me and my new dog.

As we waited, carefully concealed by the shore, a flock of ducks flew by. We fired, and ducks fell at a distance. The dog responded and jumped into the water. The dog, however, did not sink but instead walked across the water to retrieve the birds, never getting more than his paws wet. This continued all day long--each time a duck fell, the dog walked across the surface of the water to retrieve it.

My pessimist buddy watched carefully, saw everything, but did not say a single word about it the entire day.

On the drive home the silence was suddenly broken when my friend said, "Too bad about your dog."

A little surprised at his statement, I asked, "What do you mean?"

"I mean," drawled the pessimist slowly, "it's too bad ya got stuck with one that can't swim."