Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Matthew 14:24 "But the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it."
When Life Is Unfair

Martin Wiles 
    If I was where God wanted me, why were things going south? Isn't smooth sailing a sign of God's blessings?
   Job's friends thought so. One discouraging report after another arrived. Property, children, servants; all gone in a matter of minutes. Then he was afflicted with a case of boils and a faithless wife to boot. His fair weather friends cameled over and told him unconfessed sin was the reason for his troubles.
   Jesus' disciples were probably confused too. They had watched Jesus feed five thousand plus with five loaves of bread and two fish. Then he told them to cross to the other side of the lake.
   Obeying and now far from land, they encounter a fierce storm. The wind and waves were merciless. Seemed pretty unfair for a group of men who had left all to follow him.
   Ever been there? You worked hard for your spotless credit record, only to have your spouse leave you and the bills. Now the creditors are pouncing.
   Or you reared your children by adhering to the "Train up a child in the way they should go and when they're old they will not depart from it" principle. But they did and trampled on your heart in the process.
   Actually, God never promised life would be fair; only that he would be with us and take the bad and mold good from it. Expecting life to be fair sets us up for disappointment with God and can also lead to bitterness.
   When Jesus came to the disciples walking on water, Peter wanted to walk to him. He didn't make it far because he began looking at the circumstances instead of Jesus. But Jesus didn't let him sink. He took his hand, placed him back in the boat and calmed the storm.
   Difficult and unfair circumstances give God the opportunity to shine his goodness and power into our life. Like Peter, we need to trust him by faith regardless of the situation or whether we understand the reason for it.

Prayer: Holy Father, enable us to trust Your wisdom when life deals us unfair blows.

Daily Smile:
Q. Why did the pig cross the road
A. To prove that he wasn't a chicken

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Monday

Spent most of the weekend resting, just was not feeling right... 
I will try to post daily, but beg your forgiveness when I fail...
                                                                                             Richard

LET IT GO!
Three of the most important words you need to hear today, "Let It Go!"

I read a story about a little boy who came running into the house, he was upset and angry.

His mother asked him, "What’s wrong?" Little Johnny said, "Billy called me stupid." "Do you believe that you are stupid?" his mother asked. "No." "Great," mom said, "now let it go!" And with that the whole matter was over.

One important key in life and in all relationships, for that matter is to: let it go. For those of us who are married has your wife ever come to you with an old shirt of yours that she is tired of washing and wants to through it away but for sentimental reasons you are reluctant to let it go? Well, when it comes to life there are something’s we hold on to way too long – we need to learn how let it go.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, let it go.

If a competitor stole your client from you, let it go.

If you get an unfavorable email from a coworker who is venting to you about the last project you worked on together, let it go.

If someone did you wrong at some point in time, let it go.

Your previous employer did you wrong, let it go.

Your friend betrayed you, let it go.

Let go of anger, and leave rage behind.

Do not be preoccupied. It only leads to evil.

Psalms 37:8

It’s not worth holding on to it. Let it go, so you can move on, unfettered to your next destination. Far too many of us hold on to things that we should have let go of a long time ago. As I am writing this , I can think of a few things myself. How about you? If we can practice letting go of the things we need to let go of, we can grab hold of the things that we need to hold on to. I firmly believe we hold on to the things we should let go of and we let go of the things we should hold on to.

As Tozer once said, "In the kingdom of God the surest way to lose something is to try to protect it, and the best way to keep it is to let it go." 

Daily Smile:
While living in Denver the weatherman said, expect 10 to 12 inches of snow tonight so park on the right side of the road so we can plow the left side. Willie’s wife ran out and parked on the right side. 

The next week the forecast called for another 10 to 12 inches of snow, but this time he said park on the left side. So Willie’s wife ran out and parked the car on the left side of the road. 

The following week he said 16 inches of snow expected park, the lights went out and all our power was lost. 

Willie’s wife said, my goodness, now I don’t know where to park the car.

“Why don’t you just leave it in the garage!” Willie said.

Friday, January 27, 2012

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!

Let’s learn from potatoes

A kindergarten teacher has decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the child hates, so the number of potatoes that a child will put in his or her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had two potatoes; some three, while some up to five potatoes. Then, the teacher told the children to carry the potatoes with them in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the washroom) for one week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell that came out from the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having five potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. After one week, the children were relieved, because the game has finally ended.

The teacher asked, how did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for one week? The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through while carrying the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they went.

Then, the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game. The teacher said...

This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just one week, can you imagine what it is to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime?

Summary of the story: Throw away any hatred for anyone from your heart, so that you will not carry sins for a lifetime. Forgiving others is the best attitude to have! True love is not loving a perfect person, but loving an imperfect person perfectly.


Daily Smile:

A man died and went to The Judgment, where he was told, "Before you meet with God, I should tell you — we've looked over your life, and to be honest you really didn't do anything particularly good or bad. We're not really sure what to do with you. Can you tell us anything you did that can help us make a decision?"

The newly-arrived soul thought for a moment and replied, "Yeah, once I was driving along and came upon a person who was being harassed by a group of thugs. So I pulled over, got out a bat, and went up to the leader of the thugs. He was a big, muscular guy with a ring pierced through his lip. Well, I tore the ring out of his lip, and told him he and his gang had better stop bothering this guy or they would have to deal with me!"

"Wow that's impressive, "When did this happen?"

"About three minutes ago."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Thursday

Through a Child's Eyes
(Author Unknown)
 
God recently allowed me to see Jesus through the eyes of someone seeing Him for the first time. Having the advantage of knowing how the story ends, we can easily forget the cost of our redemption and the love of our Savior.
 
Every year we attend a local church pageant at Christmas time, which tells the story of Jesus from His birth through His resurrection. It is a spectacular event, with live animals and hundreds of cast members in realistic costumes. The magi enter the huge auditorium on llamas from the rear, descending the steps in pomp and majesty. Roman soldiers look huge and menacing in their costumes and makeup.
 
Of all the years we have attended, one stands out indelibly in my heart.
 
It was the year we took our then three-year-old granddaughter, Bailey, who loves Jesus. She was mesmerized throughout the entire play, not just watching, but involved as if she were a player. She watches as Joseph and Mary travel to the Inn and is thrilled when she sees the baby Jesus in His mother's arms.
 
When Jesus, on a young donkey, descends the steps from the back of the auditorium, depicting His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Bailey was ecstatic. As he neared our aisle, Bailey began jumping up and down, screaming, "Jesus, Jesus! There's Jesus!" Not just saying the words but exclaiming them with every fiber of her being. She alternated between screaming his name and hugging us. "It's Jesus. Look!" I thought she might actually pass out. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Jesus through the eyes of a child in love with Him, seeing Him for the first time. How like the blind beggar screaming out in reckless abandon, "Jesus, Jesus!", afraid he might miss Him, not caring what others thought. (Mark 10:46-52)
 
This was so much fun.
 
Then came the arrest scene. On stage, the soldiers shoved and slapped Jesus as they moved Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to Pilate. Bailey responded as if she were in the crowd of women, with terror and anger. "Stop it!" she screamed. "Bad soldiers, stop it!" As I watched her reaction, I wished we had talked to her before the play. "Bailey it's OK. They are just pretending."
 
"They are hurting Jesus! Stop it!"
 
She stood in her seat reacting to each and every move. People around us at first smiled at her reaction, thinking "How cute!". Then they quit smiling and began watching her watch Him. In a most powerful scene, the soldiers lead Jesus carrying the cross down the steps of the auditorium from the back They were yelling, whipping, and cursing at Jesus, who was bloodied and beaten.
 
Bailey was now hysterical. "Stop it! Soldiers! Stop it," she screamed.
 
She must have been wondering why all these people did nothing. She then began to cry instead of scream. "Jesus, Oh, Jesus!" People all around us began to weep as we all watch this devoted little disciple see her Jesus beaten and killed as those first century disciples had.
 
Going back and forth between her mother's lap and mine for comfort, she was distraught. I kept saying, "Bailey, it's OK. Jesus is going to be OK.
 
These are just people pretending to be soldiers. She looked at me like I was crazy. In my lap, we talked through the cross and burial. "Watch, Bailey, watch for Jesus!"
 
The tomb began to tremble and lightening flashed as the stone rolled away.
 
A Super Bowl touchdown cheer couldn't come close to matching this little one's reaction to the resurrection. "Jesus! He's OK. Mommy, it's Jesus!"
 
I prayed that she wasn't going to be traumatized by this event, but that she would remember it. I shall never forget it. I shall never forget seeing Jesus' suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection through the eyes of an innocent child.
 
Following the pageant the actors all assembled in the foyer to be greeted by the audience. As we passed by some of the soldiers Bailey screamed out, "Bad soldier, don't you hurt Jesus." The actor who portrayed Jesus was some distance away surrounded by well-wishers and friends. Bailey broke away from us and ran toward him, wrapping herself around his legs, holding on for dear life. He hugged her and said, "Jesus loves you." He patted her to go away.
 
She wouldn't let go. She kept clinging to Him, laughing and calling His name. She wasn't about to let go of her Jesus.
 
I think God in heaven stopped whatever was going on that day and made all the angels watch Bailey. "Now, look there! You see what I meant when I said, 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven?'"
 
Bailey's reaction should be our reaction every day. When we think of Him, who He is, what He did for us, and what He offers us, we have to say, how can we do anything less than worship Him?


Daily Smile:

COMPUTER TERM DICTIONARY
 
State-of-the-art: Any computer you can't afford.
 
Obsolete: Any computer you own.
 
Microsecond: The time it takes for your state-of-the-art computer to become obsolete.
 
G4: Apple's new Macs that make you say, "Gee, it's four times faster than the computer I bought for the same price a microsecond ago."
 
Syntax Error: Walking into a computer store and saying, "Hi, I want to buy a computer and money is no object."
 
Hard Drive: The sales technique employed by computer salesmen, especially after a Syntax Error.
 
GUI (pronounced "gooey"): What your computer becomes after spilling your soda on it.
 
Keyboard: The standard way to generate computer errors.
 
Mouse: An advanced input device to make computer errors easier to generate.
 
Floppy: The state of your wallet after purchasing a computer.
 
Laptop: A device invented to force businessmen to work at home, on vacation, and on business trips.
 
Disk Crash: A typical computer response to any critical deadline.
 System Update: A quick method of trashing ALL of your software.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Unforgiveness is a Negative Witness 
by Dr. Larry Ollison
Why is it that the devil is attacking so much in offenses and in the area of unforgiveness? In (John 10:10) it says "the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came to give us abundant life."
If the devil wants to kill, what does he want to kill? He wants to kill us, but specifically he wants to kill the work of God, steal the work of God, and destroy the work of God in your life. He wants to get at God through the body of Jesus that is here on this earth. He wants to destroy the ministry of Jesus Christ. His goal is to get you tied up in unforgiveness and in offense so you will be weak and without joy. (Nehemiah 8:10.)
What do you do? You decide you are going to let the offense go. Who decides if you are going to let it go? Who decides if you are going to forgive? You do! The person who has been offended and hurt has to make the decision.
Paul said, "forgetting what lies behind I press on." God forgives and forgets and we must be like God. We have to choose to forget. Forgetting does not mean that you don't remember. You still remember, but the surge of anger that you normally would feel when you remember isn't there. You remember it only as an historical event. You don't remember it with the pain.
When we start seeing people the way God sees people, we are not going to be offended and we are not going to be unforgiving toward things they do and say.
You can choose what you think about. The battle of faith takes place in the mind and the devil is the king of guilt. He'll try to make you remember your past. Is it your past that keeps you from going forward, or is it your present attitude about your past that keeps you from going forward?
Unforgiveness will affect your sanity. Have you ever been around somebody that won't let go of unforgiveness? The Bible says to think on certain things, which means you can control what you think. It's a lie to say, "I can't help what I think."
Unforgiveness will make you open bait for the devil. You've got to realize that the devil is trying to pull you into a trap – everyday. The easiest trap he has is offenses and unforgiveness. Once he gets you in there, you are trapped.
You may be trying to go on with your ministry. You may be trying to witness to a person you are working with. I know of a man who has been trying to witness to a co-worker for years. I'll be honest with you. He will never witness to him and get him saved in his current condition. Why is that? Because in his current condition he is offended and he has unforgiveness and it just pours out of him. While that unforgiveness is pouring out of him, he's trying to witness to his co-worker. Witnessing is taking place, only it's a negative witness instead of a positive one. The co-worker is probably thinking to himself, "If that guy is a Christian, I don't want what he has. He's a mess. He's mental." The world calls this being a hypocrite.
(2Timothy 2:25-26) talks about how we come to the truth. We hear the truth, we come to our senses and we escape the snare of the devil. The devil hopes you won't be smart enough to forgive. The devil wants you to be stupid when it comes to forgiveness. But forgiveness is the key to being set free. Forgiveness is possible in every situation. Forgiveness is a choice. That choice is totally ours.
Daily Smile:
You Never Hear This In Church

      Hey! It's MY turn to sit on the front pew!
      
      I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went over time 25 minutes.
      
      Personally, I find witnessing much more enjoyable than golf.
      
      I've decided to give our church the $500.00 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
      
      I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class.
      
      Forget the denominational minimum salary: let's pay our pastor so he can live like we do.
      
      I love it when we sing hymns I've never heard before!
      
      Since we're all here, let's start the worship service early!
      
      Pastor, we'd like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.
      
      Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Monday

Running a little late today... Working on the February StarLight News... So much to read and place, but not enough space...
Got faith?

Read Ahead: Hebrews 11:3-6

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6, HCSB

One thing that keeps many people from coming to know Christ is--(are you ready for this?)--they're too nice. They live moral lives. They give to charity. They treat others well. They may even go to church and read the Bible on occasion. They assume that God must be pleased with them because they're good people.

Yet they lack the one thing they need to please God--faith.

The Bible says you can live the cleanest life possible, you can do all sorts of good deeds, you can even memorize the Bible from cover to cover... but without faith you will not please God.

What does it mean to have faith? According to the last part of this verse, faith means not only believing that God exists but also seeking after him earnestly. It's not enough to be a good person or even to acknowledge that God is there. The Pharisees in Jesus' day did all of these things, yet Jesus was anything but pleased with them! Even the demons in hell believe God exists! (James 2:19).

The good news is this: God promises to reward those who earnestly seek him. If you trust God, he'll provide for your needs. If you seek his plan for you, he'll guide you into his perfect will. He'll pour out love on you unlike anything you've ever experienced.

You hold the key that unlocks everything God has for you. That key is your faith.

What would you say to someone who doubts that God "rewards those who seek him"?

Read Up: Romans 1:16-17, Galatians 3:10-14   


Daily Smile:

A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lamp. He picked it up and rubbed it and out popped a genie. The genie said, "OK. You released me from the lamp, blah blah blah. This is the fourth time this month and I'm getting a little sick of these wishes so you can forget about three. You only get one wish!" 

The man sat and thought about it for a while and said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii but I'm scared to fly and I get very seasick. Could you build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to visit?" 

The genie laughed and said, "That's impossible. Think of the logistics of that! How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific? Think of how much concrete...how much steel!! No, think of another
wish." 

The man said OK and tried to think of a really good wish. Finally, he said, "I've been married and divorced four times. My wives always said that I don't care and that I'm insensitive. So, I wish that I could understand women....know how they feel inside and what they're thinking when they give me the silent treatment....know why they're crying, know what they really want when they say 'nothing'....know how to make them truly happy...."

The genie asked, "Do you want that bridge two lanes or four?"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Saturday

Hang In There
By Skip Heitzig

I once had a friend who taught his pet parrot to say "Praise the Lord!" It was entertaining, but I didn’t think, "Now, that’s a spiritual bird!" No, the bird had just been taught to say the words. "Praise the Lord!" had no more meaning to that parrot than "Polly wanna cracker."

Anyone can say spiritual words. But what does it mean to be a spiritual person? I don’t think you can tell by what a person says as much as by what he does.

To be spiritual according to the Bible is to believe in the one true God, and more than that, to be governed by the Holy Spirit of God. If you want to be spiritual, walk in the Spirit. When you are an authentically spiritual person, when you walk in the Spirit, everyone around you will know it. That is, you’ll give off evidence, or fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Notice that verses 19-21 list "the works of the flesh." But in verse 22 it’s not the "works" of the spirit, it’s the "fruit" of the spirit. Why? Because one is dead and one is alive. When you think of works you think of something artificially made, manufactured by a machine in a factory. But fruit is the byproduct of life. It’s natural.

How does a tree produce fruit? By just hanging in there. Trees don’t work or strive. You’ve never seen a fruit tree sweat! Hanging in there is what the Bible calls "abiding." Jesus said, "Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5). So what’s the secret? Abiding.

Maintain a close contact with Jesus Christ. When you do that, when you talk to Him, when He talks to you in His Word, when you seek Him with your whole heart—the Bible calls that "abiding"—the natural result, without striving, will be the production of fruit.

An Associated Press story once listed what it takes to produce 100 bushels of corn from one acre of land: four million pounds of water, 6,800 pounds of oxygen, 5,200 pounds of carbon, 160 pounds of nitrogen…and it went on, listing the natural ingredients (those provided by God). Only five percent of the yield could be attributed to the efforts of man.

It’s that way with spiritual fruit. You can’t say, "Look what I have done!" If there is spiritual fruit in your life, it comes through hanging in there with Christ.


Daily Smile: 
The first-time father, beside himself with excitement over the birth of his son, was determined to do everything right.

"So, tell me, Nurse," he asked as his new family headed out the hospital door, "what time should we wake the little guy in the morning?"

Friday, January 20, 2012

T.G.I.H.F. • Thank Goodness Its Happy Friday

I have A Dream!                                                    Brother Paul
I have a dream, a wonderful dream about Christians uniting for the common cause,
leading people to Jesus Christ and Salvation by His shed blood, plus nothing we can do
to deserve Eternal Security!

My dream includes GOD'S WORD, the road-map to Heaven, to eternal happiness and
love!, with King Jesus, for eternity!

I have a dream that all Christians will one day put into practice the teaching and
examples of King Jesus, that of love, patience, compassion, forgiveness, all the traits
that Jesus demonstrated while walking this earth those three short years!

I have a dream that all Christians will some day join hands in Christian brotherhood
(sisterhood) and work toward that goal before us, that none should perish, but that all
might be saved!

Do YOU share my dream?  Do YOU care that so many people are perishing?

As the years go by, I see a world more and more divided!  I see corruption and every
evil conceivable abound profusely!

I see people HUNGRY for what Jesus offers, but people BLINDED by WORLDLY
DISTRACTIONS,GADGETS,FALSE RELIGIONS, "eat, drink and be merry, for
tomorrow you will surely die"  philosophy,

What will it take for my dream to come true?  Ed suggests that there is but one way for
this dream to come true,  We must, all of us, return to The Master of LOVE, King Jesus,
and repent of our collective sin, and LIVE in the Glory and Grace of Christ!  We must
return to our FIRST LOVE!

Nothing less is expected of CHRISTIANS!  Christians are to be The Light of This World,
LIVING EXAMPLES OF GODLY LOVE!, the salt of the earth!, shining as a BEACON
showing the world the path to the CROSS, to JESUS, to ETERNAL LIFE!

Time is growing short,  King Jesus PROMISED He will return for HIS OWN!  Jesus may
very well return before I hit the send key!,  even so, come Lord Jesus!

Are you ready to depart this sin-sick world?  Are you washed in the Blood of Christ?
Are you helping others find their way?

Are you busy sharing the Gospel of Salvation with "whosoever"?

Jesus said, "I must go about My Father's business", What about you and me?   Our Father is depending on us to carry out The Great Commission!
 
Daily Smile:
Before going to Europe on business, a man drives his Rolls-Royce to a downtown New York City bank and asks for an immediate loan of $5,000. The loan officer, taken aback, requests collateral. 

"Well then, here are the keys to my Rolls-Royce," the man says. The loan officer promptly has the car driven into the bank's underground parking for safe keeping and gives the man the $5,000. 

Two weeks later, the man walks through the bank's doors and asks to settle up his loan and get his car back. "That will be $5,000 in principal, and $15.40 in interest," the loan officer says. The man writes out a check and starts to walk away. "Wait, sir," the loan officer says. "You are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow $5,000?" 

The man smiles, "Where else could I find a safer place to park my Rolls-Royce in Manhattan for two weeks and pay only $15.40?"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Thursday

God's Provision In Your Life

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
A philosopher once said, “To whom little is not enough, nothing is enough.”

I know what I want and I know what you want. I want to have some money in the bank and I want to have something there so that when tomorrow comes, then I don’t have to worry about it. Isn’t that what you want? We call that security.

Question: is that really security? Who is more secure – the man who has a warehouse full of stale bread that the rats or thieves can get, or the man who has a father who is a very, very rich baker?

ACTION POINT:
Begin your prayer time today with the Lord’s Prayer and ask Him to help you be content. Bow before Him in humble adoration of His provision in your life. Then share the Bread of Life with someone who is hungry today.


Daily Smile:
It's all in the punctuation:

An English professor wrote the words, "Woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote: "Woman, without her man, is nothing."

The women wrote: "Woman: Without her, man is nothing."


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Wednesday

Conformity 

By Skip Heitzig

Once, some scientists did an experiment where they placed caterpillars head to tail, all around the rim of a clay pot. They watched as the caterpillars marched for days around the rim, each following the other--until they died. And this, despite the fact there was a plant in the pot that they could have consumed for nourishment!
That "follow the leader" conformity was deadly. But conforming to this world is deadly to our spiritual lives. The Bible tells us what God wants instead. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

God is calling us to make a practical presentation of ourselves to Him: "Here I am, God! I'm yours, totally and completely." This must be our lifestyle. Being a "living sacrifice" is tough, because we tend to want to squirm off the altar. But when your body is yielded to God, it is a base of operations for the Holy Spirit to work. That's why the Bible calls our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is full of wonderful examples of bodies yielded over to God. Sarah's barren womb was yielded to God, and she gave birth to the son of promise, Isaac. Moses told the Lord he was "slow of speech," but he yielded his voice to God and it became a powerful instrument, to utter the law to the nation. The shepherd hands of David vanquished the giant. Paul's feet carried him to the uttermost parts of the world to spread the Gospel.

"Reasonable service" means it must be a rational choice. That makes sense if you think of all God has given to you--His salvation, His peace, His mercy. You should want to commit your life to God because God has committed to you all the resources for life and godliness.

Verse 2 talks about transformation, changing the way we think about the values around us. It says, "Don't be conformed to this world." God is calling you to non-conformity. I love the way the Phillips translation puts it: "Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold." One of the greatest fears people have is to be rejected by "the group," their peers…to be somehow different. That's why even some Christians conform to what the world thinks and how it behaves.

We will conform to one of two value systems--to that of God and His Word, or to that of this world. One of those two molds will shape us. But our thinking is to be renewed. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

The point is, God wants to touch the world through you. So you should break away from the crowd. Think His thoughts. Dare to be different. Dare to think, act, and live according to His truth!
Scripture Of The Day: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." - Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

Daily Smile:
The National Game warden put out a warning to all hikers in his area. Warning that they should wear small bells on their boots so not to startle the bears. To distinguish the grizzly bear the notice read-- small bears droppings are small with nut and berries in it. Grizzly bear droppings are much larger with nuts and berries and little tiny bells in it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Know So Religion

Early on I developed some very serious ideas about religion. On some of those ideas I had to grow much older to learn how to express them without contention. On other thoughts I never have learned a way.


One of the things that made a problem for me was an idea held by a Catholic boy who lived next door in Warner Robins. He was fearful that if he even touched my Sunday School book he would have to spend time in purgatory atoning for the sin. I knew a religion where I was supposedly saved from my sin, but where I might yet have to pay for my sin was a problem for someone as flawed as me.


Another problem was one held by some in Christendom, but the few other religions I had been exposed to as a youth also held. That was, you could not know your future state till you arrived in eternity. To me that seemed out of step with a method of salvation one was supposed to believe in, or a Savior one was supposed to freely follow. It was out of step with being utterly saved: "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25


The more I studied on the matter the more convinced I became that the
true religion would have to be a know so religion with uncertainty taken out. Otherwise God would be limited in either what He could or would do for me. And that was not to the uttermost. So true religion had to have certainty.

Daily Smile:
Computers are like air conditioners. They work fine until you start opening windows.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Monday

Is Life Unfair?

"As for me, is my complaint to man?...Why do the wicked still live, continue on, also become very powerful? Their descendants are established...and their offspring before their eyes, their houses are safe from fear, and the rod of God is not on them." - Job 21:4-9 NASB

Life seemed so unfair! After suffering losses and tragedies, Job looked around and wondered why it seemed that the wicked were spared from problems. Their businesses seemed successful, and even while defying God, they seemed to "spend their days in prosperity."

While feeling "wronged" by the accusations of his friends, Job recognized that "the wicked is reserved for the day of calamity." Yet he wondered, "Who will confront him?"...and "who will repay him for what he has done?"

We know that in God's sight, Job was blameless and upright, and he feared the Lord and turned away from evil. We also know Satan's contention that God had unfairly protected Job, and if God removed His protective hedge, Job would stop believing and abandon his integrity. Thus, Job was being tested to prove his character (2:3-6).

Many people have gone through similar difficulties and found themselves filled with doubts and questions. They, too, have wondered if life really is fair.

To see a situation like this in balance, we need to study God's comments in Job 38-42. There we see the grandeur of His creation and the full development of His sovereignty. We glimpse into the mysteries of His plans and purposes. We also see the importance of faith at every stage in life.

Today, remember that you can trust God in every situation-when things seem fair or unfair...whether or not you understand...and even if you have questions.

Remember: He hears you even when you don't hear His response. Have faith that He is in control and that He's working everything together for good  (Romans 8:28).

Today's Inspirational Prayer

Father, thank You that You are with me right now. I will not give in to doubt, but will continue to praise You and serve You. I trust in You! In Jesus' name. Amen.


Daily Smile:
The farmer's son was returning from the market with a crate of chickens his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden the box fell and broke open.

Chickens scurried off in different directions, but the determined boy walked all over the neighborhood scooping up the wayward birds and returning them to the repaired crate. Hoping he had found them all, the boy reluctantly returned home, expecting the worst.

"Pa, the chickens got loose," the boy confessed sadly, "but I managed to find all twelve of them."

"Well, you done a good job, son," the farmer beamed.
"You left with seven."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Saturday & Sunday

The Farmer's Donkey
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from God.

NOW... You have two choices... smile and close this page,
or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson .

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Friday

What You're Facing This Coming Year

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But the LORD is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” Psalm 94:22

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
•    When you get ready to really live for God, you are going to face three enemies. You’re going to face those who are in despair—they’re going to be howling calamity. 

•    You’re going to face those with disdain—they’re going to laugh at you. 

•    And you’re going to face those with discouragement—they’re going to say that it can’t be done.

And you better learn to silence their voices.  How do you do that?

Get alone in the secret counsel halls of the Almighty and get your eyes on God. If you listen to what those people say, you’re not going to be victorious in what God is calling you to do.

I believe David conquered Goliath because he got alone with God. I believe Joseph survived abandonment and imprisonment because he got alone with God.

ACTION POINT:
Who are your enemies today, and what are you doing to silence them? Get alone with God and listen.

Daily Smile:
"Just to establish some parameters," said the professor, "Mr. Nichols, what is the opposite of joy?"

"Sadness," said the student.

"And the opposite of depression, Ms. Biggs?"

"Elation."

"And you, sir, how about the opposite of woe?"

"I believe that would be giddy up..."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Thursday

Rules of the Road
Jesus said, "By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 (NRSV)

RECENTLY I stopped in traffic behind a large truck. A sign prominently displayed on the truck's rear door asked the public to call a certain number if the truck driver was not obeying the rules of safe driving. Trucking companies displaying such signs surely have confidence in their drivers and in their training.

I began to wonder how my behavior would change if Christians were required to wear a sign identifying us as Christians and requesting that our bad behavior be reported. Would I be less likely to show frustration because of poor service? Would I be more patient while waiting in line at the bank or sitting in the doctor's office? Would I forgive more easily when others made comments that hurt my feelings? Perhaps I would offer to help a person in need more readily if I were wearing a sign that declares my faith.

All of us are challenged to follow God's direction in our day-to-day interactions. Whether or not our behavior is noticed by anyone, we are always accountable to God.
Lois M. Baker

Thought for the Day: What will my actions today reveal about my faith?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to turn to you for guidance daily, knowing that you care about every aspect of our lives. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Professional drivers

Daily Smile:
Three women and three men are traveling by train to the Super Bowl.

At the station, the three men each buy a ticket and watch as the three women buy just one ticket.

"How are the three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asks one of the men.

"Watch and learn," answers one of the women.

They all board the train. The three men take their respective seats but all three women cram into a toilet together and close the door.

Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please."

The door opens just a crack, and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand.

The conductor takes it and moves on.

The men see this happen and agree it was quite a clever idea; so, after the game, they decide to do the same thing on the return trip and save some money.

When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip but see, to their astonishment, that the three women don't buy any ticket at all!!

"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed man.

"Watch and learn," answer the women.

When they board the train, the three men cram themselves into a toilet, and the three women cram into another toilet just down the way.

Shortly after the train is on its way, one of the women leaves her toilet and walks over to the toilet in which the men are hiding.

The woman knocks on their door and says, "Ticket, please."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Wednesday

How to Find a Good Church
Heb 10:25 - Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting [warning and encouraging] one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

It goes without saying that every believer should have a church home where they attend regularly... If you are not a part of such a fellowship, the following advice will be invaluable to your search.

1. Look for a church prayerfully. As is the case with all others aspects of a Christian's decisions, you should begin your search for a church by seeking the Lord's direction. The Bible promises, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:6).

2. Search for prospects. You might look for listings in the newspaper or in the yellow pages. Always seek the congregation which is evangelical and Bible-based. A referral from a trusted Christian friend is the most frequent way people are introduced to a church. A visit or two is helpful, but there is no way to fully evaluate a church without attending most services for a month or so.

3. Keep in mind that you're looking for a fellowship of believers. A church is not a building, nor is it merely a ministry; it is the body of Christ. So seek people who love the Lord and who love each other -- people that will love you and people to whom you can give your love.

4. Look for the church that preaches the Word of God. Seek the fellowship that has sound doctrine, proclaims the Word, and sincerely lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ in worship and in all they do. Much of this can be discovered by observation, but most fellowships have a printed statement of their doctrines they will provide to you upon request. For clarity, you can speak with the pastor or leadership about their beliefs or practices.

5. Look for a church that has good character. Seek a loving, peaceful, stable church which has a pastor devoted to godliness, prayer and the word, which are more important than his eloquence, education or charisma.

6. Look for a church that will help draw you closer to Christ. It might be nice to find a church where the music is flawless, where the seats are padded and the minister dismisses promptly at noon. But more importantly, you need a church that cares about you and who will help meet your spiritual needs -- that will inspire you to grow in Christ, and will motivate you toward the aspirations of God. You need a church who's preaching and teaching will not merely appease or entertain you, but will boldly challenge you to advance beyond your comfort zones to live toward God's high ideals.

7. Look for a church where you canbecome committed. In many ways, your relationship with the church is similar to a marriage – you can't get any more out of it than what you put into it. The only church in which you will ever grow and mature spiritually is the fellowship where you will commit yourself and get involved – where the people submit themselves to God and to each other -- where they will both encourage you and hold you accountable.

8. Seek that fellowship that is attempting to reach lost souls. Find the fellowship that is seeking to bring lives to Christ, both in their community and on foreign mission fields. Such a church understands its purpose and will provide a healthy environment in which to grow.

9. Look for a church where you can contribute. I've often heard the comparison made between a church and a restaurant -- a place where you get served a meal. But actually, the church is more like a pot luck dinner. What you bring with you to church is added to the content of the meal. Your contribution to the gathering helps to make it what it is. Therefore, seek the church where you can roll up your sleeves and help them to minister to others. Don't look for a church that will only "serve you," but look for a church in which you can "serve." Always remember, a church is the combination of what its people are. So if you want your church to be the best it can be; you must be the best you can be. A church can never rise above what its individual members are.

10. Be ready to accept the individuality of a church. Frequently people look for a church like the one in which they got saved, or like one they see on TV. But this is futile, because even though a church might have the same beliefs or similarities as another, every church is distinct and different in its personality, just like people are. Always use the Bible as the standard to measure a church -- not other churches.

11. Look for a church with reasonable expectations. Don't bother looking for a perfect church, because there aren't any. In every church you will find people who are wonderful and some who aren't. Jesus taught that it was common for weeds to be found growing together with the crops (Matt. 13:24-30). Also, in every church, you'll find some things done well, and others that are not. Don't worry about finding a perfect pastor, either. Trust me, they're all human and will make mistakes. But look for a pastor who is sincere, who is trying his best to live a godly moral life, and who is proclaiming the uncompromised Word of God. In short, be content with the church that is doing the best they can.

There are many good churches in your community. Trust the Lord to guide you to the fellowship where he wants you, and become faithful there. Don't be a church hopper -- bouncing around to one church after another each week. God wants you to be submitted to the accountability of spiritual leaders who will help you and even correct you when necessary (Heb. 13:17), and this isn't possible unless you are rooted somewhere. Don't have a neglectful attitude, going to church only when you feel like it. Attend faithfully and show up on time. Serve your church at least as diligently as you would your employer. Remember, the Lord views your attitude toward His church as your attitude toward Him (Matt. 25:40), so serve the Lord in a way that if He were your employer, you wouldn't get fired.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Remember
Only one life, will soon be past,
Only what is done, for Christ will last.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Love & Prayers,                                         
Michael Jeremiah Knight.
"By the grace of God I am what I am…." 1 Cor 15:10.

Daily Smile:
HOW YOU KNOW IT'S TIME TO BUY A NEW CAR

~ Your VIN is 0000000000000001.

~ You can no longer convince your girlfriend that view of the road through that hole in the floorboard will become a popular extra on new cars.

~ Your engine smokes so much the local health department recently tried to recruit you to help with mosquito abatement this summer.

~ When you go to the car wash more paint than dirt comes off.

~ Your tax adviser has suggested you could save money by purchasing your own tow truck.

~ You lose the stop-light challenge to a 14-year old on a moped.

~ Your mechanic keeps asking, "Can I re-duct-tape that windshield for you?"

~ While waiting at stop light, people run up asking if anyone was hurt.

~ Traffic reporters are starting to refer to you by name when discussing morning traffic jams.

~ It hasn't been the same since Henry Ford borrowed it.

~ Instead of an airbag, there's a whoopie cushion taped to your steering wheel.

~ Your gas gauge measures in cubits.
 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Editor's Note:   Sorry about skipping Monday... I was in a wreck last Friday and my focus was was on the pain Sunday and most of Monday and I failed to post a Monday Devotional/Smile... Will be seeing a Doctor Tuesday Morning and praying nothing serious is wrong...


Take my Son.....
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art..

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.  About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands..

He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly... He often talked about you, and your love for art.' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.'

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'  There was silence...


Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.'

But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'

Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandts. Get on with the Real bids!'

But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting...' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.

'We have $10, who will bid $20?'

'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.

They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel.. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'

A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.'

'What about the paintings?'

'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will... I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!'

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: 'The son, the son, who'll take the son?' Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
 
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, WHO SO EVER BELIEVETH, SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE...
 
THAT'S LOVE 
 
Daily Smile:
During a visit to the retirement home, I asked the director, "How do you determine whether or not a person should be institutionalized?"

"Well," said the Director, "We fill up a bathtub, and then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," I said. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

The Director responded “No, a normal person would pull the plug. Would you like a room with a window?”