Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Wednesday

No Different 
T. Suzanne Eller

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

“I’m just having a good time,” she said. “What’s wrong with it?”

I wish I could have put a movie in her hands, one that would reveal one week, one month, five years down the road.

Somehow my friend couldn’t see what others noticed so easily. That the intentional choices she was making were going to lead her on a path of destruction. She said it felt good. She said it made her feel things she hadn’t felt in a long time.

But it was also making her ordinary life, the life that she would miss one day when it was no longer hers, feel like a burden. Things she once treasured were overshadowed, and eventually shattered.

Have you ever been tempted and felt justified in giving way to it?

To flirt. What is the harm?

To share private thoughts. No one listens to me at home.

To take a risk. No one will find out.

I remember a time that I lay beside my husband. He was unhappy at work and the unhappiness had changed him. Joy had slipped away and left a silent partner in its place.

I was tempted.

To anger.

To dismay.

To frustration over what I could not fix.

My negative emotions simmered. But I knew, if left to themselves, they could take my heart to a place of discontentment. I’d seen the results of allowing temptation to grow, and I knew something had to change. That night I wrapped my arms around my sleeping husband and prayed for him. Then I prayed for me. “Father, change my heart. Give me compassion. Help me to love him through this difficult time. Show me what to do.”

Maybe, like me, you might look at a friend who has given in to temptation and say, “That would never happen to me.”

But we are no different. No one is immune from temptation. To think that way is to forget who tempts us, and why.

Satan desires to harm not just us, but those we love. It is often only after we sit in devastation that we recognize the enemy was leading us away from all that matters most.

The good news is – we are offered a way out.

The night I lay beside my husband, God led me to Himself. To prayer. And that prayer led to hope. Eventually my husband and I took a step. . .together. In the process the man I loved, had always loved, returned and our marriage re-ignited.

Are you in the crossroads of temptation today?

Stop. There’s a different choice and a different path you can take.


Daily Smile:
Two men went to fishing. They purchase everything required for fishing - reels, rods, wading suits, rowboat, and even a cabin in the woods, spending a good amount of money.

The first day they go fishing, but don't catch anything. The same thing happens on the second day, on the third day, and so on. Finally, on the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.


As they're driving home, depressed... one guy turns to the other and asks, "Do you realize that this one lousy fish we caught cost us $2000?"


The other guy says, "Wow! It's a good thing we didn't catch any more!"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Tuesday

The Father's Plan
by Rev. Herman Tranter

Luke 24:21 "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel : and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done."

When the right time came, God sent forth His Son from Heaven in His pre-existent state, into the world. He was born of a woman (virgin birth) and was made subject to the requirements of the law. Jesus was sent at a specific time. The entrance of Jesus into the physical realm was not a random thing occurring at a haphazard time. There were developments that had to take place before Christ could come to earth and redeem man. The Father sent His Son to the earth at the earliest possible time. Anytime prior to the time Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, would have been premature.

 
His purpose for coming into the world was twofold. First, He came to
"redeem them that were under the law." He did this by perfectly keeping the law, fulfilling it, and paying its curse… Matthew 5:17; Galatians 3:13. Thus, Christ delivered us from the entire system of the law. The Greek word for redeem means "to buy OUT OF the slave market."
 
Secondly, Christ gave us the status of sonship with all its privileges. Not only were we redeemed from the bondage of the law, but we were redeemed unto sonship. Many people stop short, only realizing what they were delivered from, not what they inherit. Sure, we need to rejoice that we are redeemed, but we also need to move on, and realize the full benefits of our inheritance.

 
God created us for Himself but we sold ourselves into slavery to the devil. God bought us back through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. No amount of effort, human works, or man's own righteousness could bring the divine favor that we needed. It was the actual life of God… Leviticus 17:11, that purchased our redemption.


Daily Smile:
YOU KNOW YOU'VE HAD TOO MUCH COFFEE WHEN...
~ You can type sixty words a minute...with your feet.

~ Instant coffee takes too long.

~ You chew on other people's fingernails.

~ You answer the door...before people knock.

~ You sleep with your eyes open.

~ You go to sleep, just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.

~ You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.

~ You're the employee of the month at Starbucks and you don't even work there.

~ You lick your coffeepot clean.

~ You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.

~ You're so wired you pick up FM radio.

~ You have a picture of your coffee mug, on your coffee mug

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Monday

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE? 
by David Wilkerson

Recently I had an unusual experience while in meditation with the Lord. His still small voice asked of me, "Do you still believe?"

"Do you believe I still love you unconditionally-that you are right now being led by the Holy Spirit-that every tear you shed I bottle-that you are right now in this place, in this very hour, in the perfect will of God?

"Do you believe all things still work together for good to them that love me-that I hear your prayers, even when you have no audible words to express them, when all seems dark and you are overwhelmed-when fear lays hold on your mind and soul-when it seems I have shut the heavens to you?

"David, do you still believe I feed all living things: the fish of the sea, the cattle, the fowls, all creeping things? Do you still believe I count every hair on your head-that I take note of every fallen bird on the face of the earth? Do you truly believe that?

"Do you still believe-when death comes to your loved ones? Do you still believe what you have testified, that I give comfort and strength to face even the grave?

"Do you still believe I love you-I forgive you all your past sins, your present sins-and I will forgive all future sins if you rest and trust me? Do you believe I understand when Satan sends his messengers against you to implant lies, doubts, blasphemies, fears, despair?

"Do you still believe you are in the palm of my hand-that you are more precious than gold to your Savior-that eternal life is your future-that there is no power that can pluck you out of my hand-that I still am touched by every infirmity and affliction you endure? Do you still believe these things are true?"

My answer is emphatically YES! Yes, Lord, I still believe it all and more-much more!

Read all of Psalm 103 and ask yourself, "Do I still believe it? All of it?"


Daily Smile:
After years in the work force, someone finally concluded that an employer is someone who’s late when you’re early and early when you’re late.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Saturday

Have You Been Using Fig Leaves? 
by Rev. Eric McGrath
The story of the fall in the Garden of Eden is pretty well known by most people. Most people know how Satan tempted Eve and she and Adam sinned by disobeying God.

There is one little portion of the story that is often overlooked and it is unfortunate because it is really very important.

Genesis 3:8-21, we read of how Adam and Eve hid from God initially, but then later appeared before God when He called for them. They had sewn fig leaves together to try make themselves acceptable before God.

In the end, God provided them with coats of skin for them to wear.

Now what is the significance of these verses? This is very important because it sets a standard that is consistent all the way through the Bible. The leaves sewn together were Adam and Eve's attempt to appear acceptable before God - in other words to appear righteous before God. They thought they could do something to be made acceptable in God's sight.

But God established the principle that is carried all the way through the Bible at this point. That principle is this "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin". Man tried to make himself acceptable with fig leaves, but they needed to be made acceptable through the provision that God gave them, which involved the shedding of blood - the animal's blood in this case.

In verse 15 of Genesis 3, we are first introduced to the fact that God was going to provide a Saviour through the seed of the woman - that was the first reference to Jesus Christ. The big word for this is protoevangelium. Jesus Christ would come to earth and shed His blood and he would once and for all be the sacrifice for man's sin. Only through personal and explicit faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, will we find right standing or righteousness before God.

And yet today men still try and appear acceptable to God by putting together their fig leaves. They try through the fig leaves of being religious - fig leaves of being moral - fig leaves of being a good person - fig leaves of "church-ianity" - fig leaves of denominationalism, and so on. All of these amount to fig leaves of self-righteousness.

It is interesting that in Isaiah 64:6, God says that all of these "fig leaves" that we can produce, thinking they will be found acceptable with God - are seen only as "dirty rags" by God.

And all they end of doing is seeking to cover sinful hearts - hearts, like Adam and Eve's which would not and will not submit to and be obedient to God's will.

"Garments of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10) can only be provided by God Himself, just as He provided coats of skins for Adam and Eve.

And this He has accomplished through Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary, where He shed His blood for us.

What kinds of "fig leaves" are you sewing together to cover your sinful heart?

Why not accept the "clothing of righteousness" that God makes available to you in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ?

"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23).

Our "fig leaves" fall short of the righteousness required by God. Jesus Christ is the only sufficient "skin" we can wear. When we accept Him as our Saviour, His righteousness is transferred to us and then we are found acceptable in God's sight.

Are you accepted in the beloved, my friend? You can be with certainty.
Daily Smile:
A kindergarten teacher handed out a coloring page to her class. On it was a picture of a duck holding an umbrella. The teacher told her class to color the duck in yellow and the umbrella green, however, Bobby, the class rebel, colored the duck in a bright fire truck red. After seeing this, the teacher asked him: "Bobby, how many times have you see a red duck?" 
Young Bobby replied with "The same number of times I've seen a duck holding an umbrella."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

Seeing Beyond the Dent
Glynnis Whitwer

    “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

A close call with a truck on the freeway left rubbery black smears on my oldest son’s car. Unfortunately, Josh’s younger brother had borrowed it and caused the accident. Relief and annoyance mixed together in Josh’s heart.

Even though apologies and assurances to pay were offered, Josh knew his brother didn’t have the money to repair the damage. And since the cost of the repair was probably less than the insurance deductible, Josh decided to barter babysitting services for a friend’s detailing services. It was a smart and gracious solution.

His friend worked for eight hours painstakingly removing the black streaks, and we all thought the car looked great. Josh was proud of his decision to not charge his brother and find a creative way to repair the car.

At least, until he showed his car to some friends. Rather than see the good, all one person said was: “You can still see the dent!”

Later that day, Josh complained in private, “All that work, and she only saw the dent!”

I reaffirmed his generous choices and tried to bring back his joy in the repair. But the damage was done. My son left me standing in the kitchen pondering the careless comment. And wondering how many times I’ve only seen the dents.

There was a time when I could have made that comment. Too often I had neglected the efforts my children made and only seen the negative. Too often I had failed to acknowledge progress in others and only seen what remained to be done. Even in my own life I tend to focus on what isn’t instead of celebrating what is.

The critical spirit displayed in a careless comment flourished in me at one time. Yet I knew that disapproving attitude wasn’t compatible with the Jesus-follower I wanted to be. It was opposite to scriptures I’d read, like today’s verse in 1 Thessalonians which tells us to encourage and build each other up.

So years ago I asked God to remove any remnant of unhealthy pride from my heart. I begged His forgiveness for judgmental, critical thoughts and words, and asked for His spirit of love and mercy to fill all those unkind places. I wanted to stop looking at the “dents” and instead see the beauty of effort.

It took lots of honesty and confession to deal with my ingrained habit of seeing the problem. Even after I reined in my words, my heart still needed attention. Yet each time I faced the ugly truth about what was going on inside, criticism loosened its grip, allowing me to celebrate imperfect progress – in others and myself.

Do those critical thoughts still pop up? Yes they do. I’ll be honest, I saw the dent that remained on my son’s car too. But I immediately redirected my thoughts towards the generosity of a brother who forgave. I chose to focus on his creative solution and the kindness of his friend. And I thanked God my response that time had been to see the positive and to celebrate with my son.

Repairs are happening all around me. God is working in the lives of those I love; He is working in mine too. My prayer is to get to the place where I don’t even see the dents. Instead, I want eyes and a heart that rejoice with the smallest improvement, that praise potential and acknowledge effort. As I seek to live out Jesus’ request to love others, a critical spirit needs to die, and a loving one needs to take its place.

    Dear Lord, thank You for seeing the good in me. Your thoughts are not critical and condemning, instead You celebrate every little bit of progress I make. Your belief in me makes me want to do better. Help me to give that gift to others and myself. In Jesus name, Amen.


Daily Smile:
A boy was teaching a girl arithmetic, he said it was his mission. He kissed her once; he kissed her twice and said, "Now that's addition." In silent satisfaction, she sweetly gave the kisses back and said, "Now that's subtraction." Then he kissed her, she kissed him, without an explanation. And both together smiled and said, "That's multiplication." Then her Dad appeared upon the scene and made a quick decision. He kicked that boy three blocks away and said, "That's long division!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Thursday

Concerns of The Heart

Literally, I had no agenda. Many things had been on my mind, though. Several situations I’d been mulling over. A few people that had been especially on my heart. Some unresolved issues stewing in the back corners of my brain.

So, I had no agenda when we went to this church for an evening service of refreshing and renewing. I just know that there would be a time to be quiet and be still before the Lord.

With beautiful music in the background, I began to zone out, let my mind wander. As I was still, sitting there, I felt so thankful to be in the presence of the Lord.  God began to whisper softly to me, not in an audible voice, but ever so gently. He began addressing one by one the concerns of my heart. Gradually I began to be aware that He was sharing with me direction and answers to these unspoken concerns.

Later, I thought about how amazing God is.  Amazing God! Amazing grace! How good to remember that God knows our deepest needs and desires before they are even fully formed in our minds, or on our lips. And, that in His time, the perfect time, He will answer the concerns of our hearts. Even if we have ‘no agenda’.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for sharing the Word, the wisdom, the love of our heavenly Father with us. In the name of Jesus!  Amen.

Inspirational messages by Sally I. Kennedy


Daily Smile:
There was a little old lady who was nearly blind. She had three sons and they wanted to prove which one was the best son to her.

So son #1 bought her a 15-room mansion thinking this would surely be the best any of them could offer her.
Son #2 bought her a beautiful Mercedes with a chauffeur included thinking he would surely win her approval.
Son #3 had to do something even better than these so he bought her a trained parrot. This parrot had been trained for 15 years to memorize the entire Bible. You could mention any verse in the Bible and the parrot could quote it word for word. How useful his nearly blind mother would find that!


Well, the old lady went to the first son and said, "Son, the house is just gorgeous but it's really much too big for me. I only live in one room, and it's much too large for me to clean and take care of. I really don't need the house, but thank you anyway."


Then she explained to her second son, "Son, the car is beautiful, it has everything you could ever want on it, but I don't drive and I really don't like that driver, so please return the car."


Next, she went to son number three and said, "Son, I just want to thank you for that thoughtful gift. The chicken was small, but delicious."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Wednesday

IF HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS
(By list member Debbie Preuss, December 18, 2005)
 
If home is where your heart is, then heaven is my home
For one I loved is gone, I'm left here all alone
Memories flood my mind, now Christmas time is here
I'm longing for my loved one, I want to hold them near
How can life go on, when there's a void within my soul
An emptiness that feels, like I'll never be made whole
I know they're up in heaven, we'll meet again one day
But I am so lonely, ever since they went away
There will be no tears in heaven, but my heart weeps here
How I miss my precious one, to me you were so dear
God reached down and called you home, now you're gone from me
I look forward to the day, when we're together for eternity
Enjoy your first Christmas in heaven, sing God's praises strong
For it won't be too long now, until I come along
But I have work here to do, as I sing God's praise
You are in my heart, all throughout my days
My time is not yet finished here, so I carry on
Memories flood my mind and heart, as for you I long
Dear Lord this request I make, as to You I pray
Be my source of hope and strength, each and every day
For one I loved has gone, I'm left here all alone
If home is where your heart is, then heaven is my home 


Daily Smile:
 A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Tuesday

The Little Man on the Cross
By Skip Heitzig

Have you ever looked up churches in the phone book? Or searched for “church” on the Internet? There are literally hundreds of thousands of listings between the two. There are Baha’i churches, Mormon churches, Unitarian churches, and Religious Science churches mixed in with traditional Christian churches. The word “church” does not necessarily refer to a place where believers in Jesus Christ gather. It now refers to a place where any religious body gathers—be it Buddhist, New Age or Christian.

We live in a post-Christian America. All sorts of groups and cults spewing out false doctrine are lumped underneath the umbrella of Christendom. It is hard to find the truth in the spiritual smorgasbord of religion.

I heard a story about a woman who walked into a jewelry store looking for a cross. She told the clerk what she wanted, and as he pulled out a tray of jewelry he asked, “Do you want a plain one, or do you want the one with the little man on it?”

Not only are people looking for truth in all the wrong places, many of them have never even heard the truth. Jesus has been relegated to no more than a little man on a cross.

People are searching for truth in any form. You have what they are looking for—the truth—Jesus Christ. You can tell them who the little man on the cross is, and what He did for them by dying on it. As a pastor, I have the privilege of doing this every week. You have the same privilege. God has given you a specific circle of influence—the people you work with, the grocery store clerk who always helps you, your family, etc. Many of these people never see the inside of a church. Others are involved in New Age mysticism and cults. They are spiritually dead and they are looking for life.

In Mark 16:15 Jesus says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We have the truth, and we have the command. Everyone has a God-shaped vacuum in their soul. Let’s fill it with the truth—Jesus Christ—today.


Daily Smile:
Three men are in a hot-air balloon. Soon, they find themselves lost in a canyon somewhere. 

One of the three men says, "I have an idea. We can call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry our voices far enough for someone to hear us."

So he leans over the basket and yells out, "Helllloooooo! Where are we?" (They hear the echo several times). 


15 minutes later, the men in the balloon hear an echoing voice: "Helllloooooo! You're lost!!" 


One of the men says, "That must be a Microsoft service tech!" 


Puzzled, one of the other men asks, "Why do you say that?" 


The man replies: "For three reasons:
(1) he took a long time to answer,
(2) he was absolutely correct, and
(3) his answer was absolutely useless."



Editor's Note:
     Less than 48 hours to complete the March '12 StarLight News paper layout and get it to the printer... Read it online at http://the-starlight-news.blogspot.com/ before the paper is delivered... Planned To be posted Feb. 23...
Thanks,
Richard

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Monday

“Seek peace, and pursue it.” 
Go after it with a passion. It really is that important. There is turmoil everywhere today. In my 89 years I have never seen the lack of peace as it is today. There is turmoil and terror permeating the world. The tragedy is the world says “peace when there is no peace” Jeremiah 6:14. What tears me up is the lost, unsaved individuals talk about peace and do not have an ounce of peace with God. It all begins with God.
 
God gives the peace which passes all understanding and misunderstanding as well. Oh how sweet it is. I went through the sudden death of my Mother and Father. It was my great joy of leading each of them to Christ very late in life. They ran from God. Dad accepted Christ just months before the dear Lord called him home. Then because Dad had so many unsaved friends, I insisted on preaching his funeral. What a thrill it was. Close to forty, mostly men, accepted Christ at his funeral. I just now got covered with goose bumps thinking about it. To me I say, what a way to live as a Christian and pass on to glory and meet Jesus. My dear wife went through 2 years in and out of the hospital and was finally sent home and went to heaven that very night. My daughter slept with her that night, woke me up early the next morning and said, “Dad, Mom is not breathing.” I went in and sure enough she was not. I kissed her on the forehead and it was the sweetest kiss in the world. Shortly a dear friend called and I told him she was now in heaven. He graciously tried to comfort me and said, “Well she is walking on streets of gold.” My reply was, “Oh no, she just saw Jesus.” Well glory, that is what heaven is really all about. “When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is” 1 John 3:2.
 
“Great peace have they that love Thy law (the Bible) and nothing shall offend them” Psalm 119:165.  “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” Job 23:12.  You and I MUST feed on the Word of God every day.  Read three chapters ever day, beginning in the Gospel of John, and keep going through the Bible.  Let’s do it, shall we? I have learned we all stub our toe and miss a day.  So you too are human, get up and start again.
 
Daily Smile:
One who runs in front of the car gets tired. One who runs behind gets exhausted.

Editor's Note:
     This is my Fun Week... All my daily work rituals combine with the finalization of advertisers and writers for the paper layout of the March '12 edition of StarLight News... You can read it on the Internet and probably before it is even printed by going to http://the-starlight-news.blogspot.com/ hopefully on Thursday, Feb. 23... Happy Reading,
Richard

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy Sunday

Bridging the Gap

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. Proverbs 3:21

When most people think of the "gap," they think of the popular clothing store. But there is a gap in our society that is much more common than the clothing store. It's the gap that exists between our priorities and our commitments.

People tend to get stressed out about their priorities. But we should never be confused about our priorities. After all, they are laid out for us in the Bible. Most Christians would agree that it's important to spend time with God, but at the end of the day, we wonder where all the time went. We say that our family is second only to God, yet at the end of the week we find our spouse and children still waiting for our attention. Our schedules are jam-packed with obligations that do not reflect our priorities.

It's time to close the gap between our priorities and our commitments.

As you plan your days and weeks, ask yourself: "Does this activity sync up with God's priorities for my life?" If it does, then do it. If not, then don't. It's that simple. And begin to close the gap by saying yes only to the best.

Prayer

Lord, it's easy for me to fill my schedule with activities and obligations that do not line up with your priorities. I have put things ahead of you and my family. Today, I want to rearrange my schedule. Help me to close the gap by only saying yes to the best. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.


Daily Smile:
Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT, "And what starting salary were you looking for?" 

The engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." 

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"

The engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" 


And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday

Spies

There was a virtual reality television show where six men and six women were chosen to go through training to see which one would be hired as a spy. When they first came to “The Farm” for their training they were given new clothes to wear and told to take everything of theirs off and put on the new clothes. This was to be their new identity.

When we come to Jesus Christ we are to get rid of the old and are given a new identity also:

Ephesians 4:22-24 (ISV)
22 Regarding your former way of life, you were taught to strip off your old man, which is being ruined by its deceptive desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new man, which was created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and true holiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (WNT)
17 So that if any one is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old state of things has passed away; a new state of things has come into existence.

Some of the people on the television program thought they could keep some of the stuff that was theirs. They may not have even thought about some stuff like a class ring. Someone did keep a little book with phone numbers in it. If they were actually spies then the enemy could get these things and do some damage to them or to others. Even if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we may still have some bad habits. Sometimes we may not realize we have them but we may try to hide our bad habits. This doesn’t work. God can see all of these. Become a new creature through the power of the Holy Spirit and leave your old sins behind.

These spies are trained to be just like the people around them. They are to blend in with everyone else so they will not be found out. Some Christians live like this also. They may live an ordinary life but never tell anyone about Jesus. Paul wrote that we are not to be like this:

Romans 12:2 (CEV)
2 Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.

What is good and pleasing to God? We are to do what Jesus commanded us to do. That includes loving God with all that is in us, loving our neighbors and going to make disciples.

So we need to be like spies in the sense that we need to get rid of the old and become new creatures. WE don’t need to live like spies in that we are to be in the world but not of it. WE are to be different creatures who bring others to Jesus Christ.

By dean W. Masters



Daily Smile:

An elderly rabbi, having just retired from his duties in the temple, finally decides to fulfill his lifelong fantasy to taste pork.

He goes to a hotel in the Catskills in the off-season (not his usual one, mind you), enters the empty dining hall and sits down at a table far in the corner. The waiter arrives, and the rabbi orders roast suckling pig.

As the rabbi is waiting, struggling with his conscience, a family from his congregation walks in! They immediately see the rabbi and, since no one should eat alone, they join him. Shocked, the rabbi begins to sweat.

At last, the waiter arrives with a huge domed platter. He lifts the lid to reveal nothing else but roast suckling pig with a big apple in its mouth.

"This place is amazing!" cries the rabbi. "You order a baked apple, and look what you get!"


Editor's Note:
     This reminded me of a story of a pastor that skipped Sunday Service to go 100s of miles away to play a round of golf...
     On the first hole, the pastor gets a hole in one... The second hole the pastor gets a hole in one...
     Angel pokes GOD and ask HIM, "why did you do that... Two consecutive Holes in One has got to be the Greatest thing that could happen to him"... 
    "I Know," GOD Said, "but who is he going to tell???" 

Have A Great Friday...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Thursday

Half Hot and Half Cold
Jilly Lyon Taylor
 "Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other." Galatians 5:16-17, NIV

During the recent cold weather some of us were meeting to pray in a room where the radiator was not working properly. The hot water was coming into the bottom of the radiator through a pipe on one side, and flowing out through a pipe on the other side. The lower half of the radiator was hot but the top half was not receiving any heat and was stone cold. As a result there was partial warmth coming into the room, but not nearly as much as there should have been.

During the prayer time I sensed God speaking to us about the radiator, equating its state of being half hot and half cold to our own lives. We can have times when we are on fire for God, full of the Holy Spirit, bringing God’s light and warmth to those around us. But we can also have times when we are lukewarm or even cold; when the power of the Holy Spirit is not evident in our lives and we are therefore not able to be used by God to affect those around us.

When a radiator is not working properly, it is usually because of a blockage of some kind – an air lock or an accumulation of sediment that prevents the flow of hot water to the whole radiator. What blockages might be hindering the full flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives? It could be wrong attitudes such as unforgiveness or resentment towards others; it could be resistance coming out of our own flesh or carnal nature (such as pride, independence, greed, and self-centredness); or it could be another specific sin that we are reluctant to acknowledge or lay down. Any of these things can be in conflict with the work of the Spirit and block His working in our lives.

Whatever the blockages might be, let’s confess them to God, repent and ask Him to cleanse us so that we can be fully on fire for Him, bringing His warmth to those around us.

Prayer: Lord, I’m sorry for the times when I’ve been lukewarm or even cold towards You. I confess to You now the things that have caused blockages to the working of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I repent before You. Please forgive me and cleanse me of everything that is hindering Your working in my life. Please fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Daily Smile:
A man visiting a graveyard saw a tombstone that read: “Here lies John Smith, a lawyer and an honest man.”

“How about that!” he exclaimed. “They’ve got three people buried in one grave.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Wednesday

Comfort My People

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God!" Isaiah 40:1, NIV

The Lord never made a secret of the fact that wars and warfare were to be expected around Israel and Jerusalem. Isaiah spoke prophetically about the rise and fall of kings and nations, and how Jerusalem wouldn’t be spared, even if the judgment wasn’t going to be as imminent as it had seemed at first.

Then Isaiah’s prophecies took a sharp turn. He stopped speaking about judgment and retribution and started bringing words of comfort and hope. This was so sharp a turn that some commentators have even questioned that it was Isaiah speaking! The important thing is that it’s the same God, beginning to speak to the needs of His people.

Before the thirty-ninth chapter God was revealing Himself as the Lord of history. He was causing the rise and the downfall of empires and deciding times and sequences. But He isn’t just the God of world events. He’s not only concerned with the latest, headline-making news. He’s also God the Father, caring for the weak and downtrodden, with a heart for those in need. So from chapter forty onward He becomes very personal, and shows how He takes the side of ordinary people, those who will suffer under the marching armies and warring kings.

It’s interesting that God is never called the God of the mighty and the strong, but rather ‘the Father of the fatherless and defender of the widows’. Who would choose such a title for himself? Only God would do that! God’s immensely interested in every human being: ‘You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely O Lord’(Psalm 139:2-4).

TV gives us up-to-the-minute news and reporters give us stories which sell their newspapers. Compared to the few people who make it to such fame, or shame, in the newspapers we may feel very, very insignificant. But not to God! He cares for us. He knows that we live in a world that’s shaking. He knows that the foundations of many countries are quite wobbly. In such times He speaks comfort to His people. “Don’t be afraid, I’m still in charge!”

God the Father has a deep interest in the lowliest of His children. He loves to comfort His own. If we’re under pressure and attack, in difficult circumstances or hopeless situations, He’s there with us, comforting, encouraging and speaking hope. The outlook for the world at large may seem quite bleak, but the people of God have a secret lifeline. God Himself will comfort …comfort … comfort! Receive it for your situation right now!

Today's Writer : Goran Andersson



Daily Smile:

 
April teaches many aerobic classes. She told a lady who was looking to sign up for the class to just wear loose fitting clothing to the class.

"Honey," the lady replied, "if I had any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't be signing up for an exercise class."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Tuesday & Happy Valentine's Day

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." - Isa_44:22
Spurgeon
Attentively observe THE INSTRUCTIVE SIMILITUDE: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah’s face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain?

Let our joyful eye dwell upon THE NOTABLE ACT of divine mercy-"blotting out." God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and for ever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary’s summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was for ever put away, was completely and effectually performed.

Practically let us obey THE GRACIOUS COMMAND, "return unto me." Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us!

Daily Smile:
Q. What did the baby corn say to the mama corn?
A. “Where’s pop corn?”…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Monday

"I know how to abound."  - Phi_4:12
Spurgeon
There are many who know "how to be abased" who have not learned "how to abound." When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, "In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry." It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fullness of bread has often made fullness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry-so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you "how to be full."

Daily Smile:
Q. How do you get a mouse to smile?
A. Say cheese!!…

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Sunday

FREE – but still living in prison!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1-2, NIV


Familiar surroundings make us feel safe and comfortable. We like the security of the world that we know and believe we can trust – even though there may be much more exciting places to live, work and play in. It’s amazing how often people are just content to enjoy living in the same old familiar surroundings that they’ve known all their life – even when they have all the resources at their fingertips to make radical and positive changes to their lives.


Equally, I find it surprising sometimes, when trying to help people face the real issues in their lives, to find that often they have known the Lord for many years but have not allowed the supposedly abundant life they now have to change their way of living! They are still in bondage to the same old temptations and the same old behaviours. What they were familiar with in their unredeemed life has continued to be the furniture with which they are still comfortable.


Yes, they are looking forward to the joys of Heaven, but they have rarely experienced the blessings from Heaven on earth – in spite of the new law of the Spirit that God has written in the heart of every believer. This new law gives us authority over the law of sin and death which tries to drag us back into the attitudes and activities of Satan’s Kingdom. Satan does his best to blind us to the fact that we can use our free will to walk free of his chains, using the higher authority that we now have in our lives – if only we would use our free will to let the Spirit of God transform us from the inside out many of the problems which beset believers on a day to day basis would simply fall away.


Those who are in Christ Jesus are freed from the curse of sin – they don’t need to remain sitting in the jail of Satan’s making oblivious to the fact that the chains that formerly held them there are broken. Jesus – the Lion of Judah – has broken the chains. Now is the time for His people to start living in the reality of their new found freedom.


Prayer: Thank You Jesus, that you have broken the chains of bondage for all those who have trusted in You. Help me, Lord, to live in the reality of that freedom, now and for the rest of my life. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.


Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
Daily Smile:
Fourth Grade Logic
A fourth-grade teacher was giving her pupils a lesson in logic.


"Here is the situation," she said. "A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of a river, fishing. He loses his balance, falls in, and begins splashing and yelling for help. His wife hears the commotion, knows he can't swim, and runs down to the bank. Why do you think she ran to the bank?"


A girl raised her hand and asked,


"To draw out all his savings?" 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Saturday

Are You Confused About What to Do Next?
Luke 24:8 "And they remembered His Words."
Have you ever been in a tough situation facing tough circumstances and found yourself saying, "I just don't know what to do?" That might be a good thing. What I mean, is even when you think you know what to do it may be the wrong thing. We've all done things we were convinced were right, only to be proven wrong. When you view things this way, you are more likely to be dependent on God for all your decisions and choices. That's good! It will make you hungrier for the presence of God.

In
Luke 24 we read about the women `his friends - that came to Jesus' tomb after his death. They were heartbroken, confused, and didn't know what to do. They had believed that He was the Messiah that would reign, not die a brutal death. Now instead, they come looking for His body but had an unexpected encounter to make things even more confusing. Luke 24:1-3 says, "Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." In the next verse we see their state of mind. Verse 4 says, "And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed and wondering what to do about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments."

They didn't know what to do but the story goes on. God helps them. He speaks to them through angels.
Verse 5-8 says, "In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men (angels) said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered His words." This was the promise of Jesus: that after His death, He would help them remember His Words. In John 14:26 Jesus made the promise, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." 
The point I want to make to you today is that we all have times where we don't know what to do. And even when we think we know what to do, it would be better to have confidence that God is leading us in what we do with occasional confirmation. You do have a God that loves you and that has proved His love to you through Jesus. He is an intimate God and really does want to help you in all the details of your life. He wants to teach you AND remind you of things He has taught you; things that will direct your thinking and the steps of your life. In order for you to do that, you need to put yourself in atmospheres that God dwells, such as church, bible studies, personal bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians. God speaks to us in those atmospheres.

You mostly likely won't encounter many angels, but, He does live in the presence of His people. In
Mat 18:20, Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." 1 Cor 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" These verses say that when we come together about Him, His presence is there. They also say He is in and with you! You need to have fellowship with other Christians that sincerely live for and seek God.  When you are with people like that-- because they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them-- God can speak to you through His Word and through them.

The women at the tomb were hurting and perplexed as to what to do, that is, until they were put in the presence and remembrance of God's Word. Then, as the verse above says,
"they remembered His Words." When they did, they were refreshed, re-encouraged, and were able to continue on in the plan of God. The bottom line here is this: surround yourself with more atmospheres of God so that the Holy Spirit can speak to you and direct your steps. 
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.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy, Happy Friday

Who Are You Sharing the Gospel With Today
The time of thy visitation

"If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes... because you did not recognize the time of your visitation" Lk. 19:42, 44. There were so many prophesies about the Messiah's coming and Israel ignored them, refused them, rejected their Messiah and have paid an awful price. 


"His (Jesus) blood be on us and our children" I pray for "the peace of Jerusalem" Ps. 122:6 , every day, just like the Word of God tells us. I love Israel but oh the sorrow and price they have paid for those terrible words, "His blood be on us and on our children" Matt. 27:25. Simeon knew the Messiah Lk 2:25-33.and the other leaders should have too. They ignored or did not believe the "signs" of the Messiah. 

Two applications for us

Remember the two parables of the foolish virgins and the foolish servant in Matt 25? The foolish virgins were not looking for, nor ready for the coming of the bridegroom and the servant who was given money to invest for the master, he too was not ready for his master to come and they both missed much.


Dear people, there is an application for us. We, who are saved, are told to use our gifts, invest for eternity and be ready for the coming of Jesus. MOST Christians don't even know what their gifts are and most are not using their gifts faithfully to win the lost people to Christ. "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" Matt. 4:19. We could really change the world if we believed and became fishers of men today. 

Secondly, Israel, in the time of Christ, did not know "the day of thy visitation" and look what they missed. Most Bible scholars believe we are living the Laodicean days of the church and Jesus is saying to us, "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Rev. 3:20. 

YOUR day of visitation

I love you. Is and/or has God, been knocking at the door of your heart? Open you heart and accept Christ as your Lord and Savior if you haven’t already and if you have obey His word and share the gospel with those around you everyday. Are you following Jesus and fishing for men? Jesus is coming and we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and then comes the day of for our accountability 2 Cor. 5:10. We all need to get busy sharing this wonderful Gift of Salvation with everyone(don’t let anyone miss this gift).   We can do something about it in 2010.  


Prayer:  Father, bless this child of Yours and make them sensitive and responsive to Your visitation to them on a daily basis, In Jesus name.

Daily Smile:
Father Murphy walked into a pub in Donegal, and said to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man said, "I do Father."

The priest said, "Then leave this pub right now!" and approached a second man. "Do you want to got to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.

"Then leave this den of Satan," said the priest, as he walked up to O'Toole.

"Do you want to go to heaven?"

"No, I don't Father," O'Toole replied.

The priest looked him right in the eye, and said, "You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole smiled, "Oh, when I die, yes, Father. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Thursday

What is Real? 
Holly Good

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 (NIV 1984)

Has your trust ever been shattered by someone you love? A few years ago I was faced with a very unsettling situation. I was shocked when I learned of hidden sin that had spun its way into the life of someone I care about deeply.

For weeks, I pleaded with God on my knees for an explanation, for understanding, for clarity. My sense of reality had been threatened and betrayed. I desperately cried out, “What is real Lord? Tell me what is real. Because what I thought was real may not be.”

One night as I went to bed, I tried to make peace with the fact that maybe I was never supposed to understand this devastating circumstance. There were many questions, but few answers. Many thoughts, but few explanations. The next morning, during my quiet time, the Lord gently began to reveal some answers to my wounded heart.

I was reminded of my need for Him – my never-ending, all-consuming need for Him. Too often I take my eyes off of the Lord and attempt to live difficult situations in my own strength. Colossians 3:1-2 profoundly challenged me, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (NIV 1984). Unfortunately, my focus had shifted to my questions and myself. And apart from God, my focus had become distorted.

I was reminded that I needed to continue to seek the Lord and patiently wait for what He had in store. I began to beg the Lord to take this hurt away. Make it disappear, Lord. But then I’d sense Him saying to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). By admitting my frailty, God was able to affirm His strength in me.

And finally, He pointed me to what is real. He gently reminded me that He is real. My God is real. Though on this earth I will face many stressful situations, many disappointments, and many hurts, I know that my God is real and He will never leave me. I once again found loving comfort in the words from Moses to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (NIV 1984). I knew I had to completely depend on God and believe in His goodness.

My assignment in this difficult circumstance was clear. The Lord was asking me to continue to pray, believe, trust, seek, wait and focus on Him and Him alone. I am so thankful that nothing will ever separate me from His unfailing love. And THAT my friend is real.

Daily Smile:
A very loud Texan Engineer was visiting Australia, and talking big about all of the large civil works in the USA that he was involved in. To be polite his Australian counterpart took him on a tour of some of Sydney’s larger constructions.

First he took him to Gladesville Bridge. The Texan exclaimed, "What’s that!” In reply the Australian said, "Thats the Gladesville Bridge".

"Hmmph" said the Texan, "How long and how many men did it take to build?” The Australian replied, "About 5 years with 1000 men."

The Texan replied, "Well in Texas we would've done it in 2 years with 500 men."

Next they went to the Sydney Opera House. "What's that" said the Texan. "That's the Sydney Opera House" was the reply.

"Hmmph" said the Texan, "How long and how many men did it take to build?” The Australian replied, "About 10 years with 200 men". The Texan replied "Well in Texas we would've done it in 4 years with 200 men."

By this stage the Australian was a little put out by the Texan's attitude so he decided to get some revenge, they walked around the Sydney Opera House and as they did the Sydney Harbor Bridge came into view.
Immediately the Texan exclaimed, "Wow! What's that?"

The Australian Engineer replied, "I don't know, it wasn't there yesterday."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Wednesday

The Seduction of Covetousness

One of the verses we read in our last devotional was Luke 12:15, which says,

And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

Jesus begins His teaching regarding prosperity in this passage by saying, "Beware of covetousness." In our society, even in the Church, there are a lot of people whose lives are tied up in "things." The focus of their life is their stuff, and doing whatever they can to acquire even more things.

It is what the Bible calls covetousness.

I want to ask you today, is your heart filled with covetousness? Do you find yourself thinking, "I know the missing ingredient in my life, I just need a little more. If I could just get a little more, I would be happy. If I could just build a bigger house and fill it with a little more stuff…if I could get a nicer car…if I could upgrade…then I would be happy, and then I would be successful."?

A little more, a little more, a little more.

The problem is, however, that desire for more never stops. In fact, as we will see in our next devotional, God called a man a fool because he never realized that riches are only temporary.

If you find your life driven by the need for more things, if you are consumed with stuff, if you define your success by what you have (or do not have), then you have been seduced by covetousness, and you will never find the happiness you are looking for.

Do not be a fool seeking after things. Instead, make the passion of your life seeking after God.


Daily Smile:

A suggestion from a Human Resources Manager:
HOW TO PROPERLY PLACE NEW EMPLOYEES . . .

1. Put 400 bricks in a closed room.
2. Put your new hires in the room and close the door.
3. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours.
4. Then analyze the situation:
a. If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.
b. If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.
c. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put them in Engineering.
d. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.
e. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.
f. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.
g. If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.
h. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.
i. If they say they have tried different combinations, they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.
j. If they have already left for the day, put them in Management.
k. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.
l. If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management.
m. Finally, if they have surrounded themselves with bricks in such a way that they can neither be seen nor heard from, put them in Congress.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Defining Your Personal Value
    Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
BIBLE MEDITATION:
  “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Do you try to be the best or do you simply try to do your best? The perfectionist has to be the best. He has to be #1. He can’t accept himself.

The grace of God exalts a man without inflating him, and it humbles a man without debasing him. The person who strives for excellence says, “I am what I am by the grace of God.”

Do you value yourself by what you do or by what you are? You have a choice. You can either choose to see yourself as God sees you, or you can choose to see yourself as the world sees you. Whose opinion will you listen to today?

ACTION POINT:
Is there someone in your life whose opinion matters deeply to you? Instead of defining who you are by their opinions, measure yourself by God’s standard in His Word.

Daily Smile:
A Cajun named, Jean Paul, moved to Texas and bought a donkey from an old farmer named Ben for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day, Ben drove up and said, "Sorry, but I have some bad news. The donkey died."

"Well, then, just give me the money back," said Jean Paul

"Can't do that. I went and spent it already." Replied Ben

"OK, then. Just unload the donkey," said Jean Paul.

"What ya going to do with him?" asked Ben.

"I'm going to raffle him off," said Jean Paul.

"You can't raffle off a dead donkey!" uttered Ben.

"Sure can. Watch me. I just won't tell that he's dead," said Jean Paul.

A month later Ben met up with the Cajun and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

"I raffled him off, I did. I sold 500-hunderd tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898," said Jean Paul.

"Didn't anyone complain?" inquired Ben.

"Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back,” said Jean Paul.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy, Happy Monday

Why Shout???
 
A theology professor was teaching about Proverbs 15:1. He asked his students, "Why do we shout in anger?  Why do people shout at each other when they are upset? 

The students thought for a while. One of them said, because we lose our calm, we shout for that.  "But why shout when the other person is just next to you?" asked the professor.
"Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you are angry?"   

The students gave some other answers but none satisfied the professor. Finally he explained, "When two people are angry at each other, their hearts psychologically distance themselves. To cover the distance, they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will shout to hear each other through that great distance. 

Then the professor asked, "What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why?  Because their hearts are psychologically very close. The distance between them is very small. The professor continued, "When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they even get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all.... 

So next time you shout to a loved one, know that you are creating distance between your heart and that person's heart. 

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

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 J. Knight.

Daily Smile:
Q. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Just one, but that light bulb really has to want to change!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Sunday

Laodicean Supplications

    One of the things I do not care for in some denominations is a situation where the minister is constrained or coerced into preaching on certain topics. In some instances this occurs on each Sunday of the year. Such practices obviously diminish the workings of the Holy Spirit in the preaching ministry. Having said that, I do admit to favoring topical sermons based on important observances as the Spirit gives direction or permission. Even the most informal of churches have pastors who will preach sermons on some special occasions throughout the year. In fact, many pastors feel they absolutely must be in their own pulpits for some special events.

    In the USA, some national observances spark the attention of the preacher. These include national holidays like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, and Thanksgiving. In a sense they make holidays holydays as they should be. Overlooked by many are the opportunities to bring to life and show some of the Christian significances of the holy days of the Old Testament. I have preached messages when those days fell on or near the Lord’s Day over the years and found they were often greatly used of the Lord. Such observances as Passover, Hanukah, Yom Kippur, and Purim particularly lend themselves to such preaching.

    As I recently promoted such preaching, a friend pointed out an obvious problem connected with observance preaching intended to encourage believers to pray about specific issues. That is some churches have moved so far away from God in this Laodicean Age that if any united supplications are made they are likely to go unheard by the Almighty. In fact, many churches have moved away from the Lord so that Ichabod (the glory has departed) is written on their spiritual doorposts. We often mourn the decline of some institutions when we should rather mourn their abandonment of the Lord and Saviour.

    One thing we should remember in these Last Days is the condition of the possession of a Laodicean spirit, being neither cold nor hot. (Revelation 3:16) Thinking themselves rich can extend to the resources for preaching sermons based on observances without the direction, guidance, and support of the Holy Spirit (3:17) Sufficiency resting in the process instead of the Person of deity! We are told to anoint our eyes with a spiritual eyesalve so we might see. (3:18) It has always been important that both the preaching and the prayer it might draw forth be in the will of God. But I think as things come to the end and the challenges grow the importance and urgency of divine inspiration is increased. It is certain that many go uninspired and are instead expiring!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy Saturday

Serving God

    In 1976, I became convinced of the eminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This conviction was more than just an intellectual exercise and even today, almost four decades later, I am amazed the Lord has not yet returned. But I am more certain than ever that event is not far in the future. He might even come tonight. But one thing I heard said way back then I absolutely believe is true. We should serve as though we have a lifetime to give to His service and live as though He is coming today!

    Because I thought the Lord’s return was so near I delayed formal training that would give me greater credentials for service. Though I increased in knowledge through the help of Columbia Bible College and informal studies, I did not dedicate myself to a strict regimen of formal study for degree(s). (I did do South American studies through the University of South Carolina but that had to do with the potential need related to my military work.) Since those days I have met a number of ministers who have been guilty of the same failing and consequently have put limitations on their service to the Lord.

    In education as in other areas of our Christian service I find we believers, among whom I number myself, are often guilty of failure in endeavor. Some people become discouraged because they try some enterprise and it does not work out and others simply convince themselves they do not have time to achieve. On the one hand it is true the best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray. On the other we place limits on what God might do in our circumstances.

    Prayer is essential to Christian endeavor but prayer too often becomes the resource of inertia. We pray but do not seize opportunity that comes along in response to prayer. In serving God we need to have the attitude if God wills we will do thus and such. Then we do not need to either hinder that will at work:
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:... For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. (James 4:13&15)
Jesus is coming! May He find us both waiting and busy!


Daily Smile:

A young man, who was also an avid golfer, found himself with a few hours to spare one afternoon. He figured that if he hurried and played very fast, he could get in 9 holes before he had to head home. Just as he was about to tee off, an old gentleman shuffled onto the tee and asked if he could accompany the young man as he was golfing alone. Not being able to say no, he allowed the old man to join him.

To his surprise, the old man played fairly quickly. He didn't hit the ball far, but plodded along consistently and didn't waste much time. Finally, they reached the 9th fairway and the young man found himself with a tough shot. There was a large pine tree right in front of his ball and directly between his ball and the green. After several minutes of debating how to hit the shot, the old man finally said, "You know, when I was your age, I'd hit the ball right over that tree."


With that challenge placed before him, the youngster swung hard, hit the ball up, right smack into the top of the tree trunk and it thudded back on the ground not a foot from where it had originally laid.


The old man offered one more comment, "Of course, when I was your age, that pine tree was only 3 feet tall."