Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Friday

Tools Used By Devil

A modern parable has been written about the tools of the enemy that I believe we can really learn from. “Some time ago, an advertisement appeared in which the devil was putting all his tools up for sale. On the day of public inspection, each one of his tools was marked with its selling price: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on, were each on the block. Set apart, however, from all the rest of the pile, was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn, but priced very high — it was discouragement!” Someone asked the devil, ‘why is that one priced so high?’ He replied, ‘Ah, that one is more useful to me than all the rest. With it I can pry open a man’s heart and enter, when I cannot get near him with any other tools. Once inside, I can lead him any way I choose. The tool is much worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.

The enemy loves to sow discouragement — but believers have a tool much more powerful — encouragement! We can speak a word into the lives of those who desperately need to hear it: to the college student adjusting to his new environment; to the missionary who may feel alone in the harvest field; to the disillusioned newlywed young couple; to the forgotten servants of God who labor in an obscure and difficult ministry; to the orphans and the widows; to all those who need to hear a word in due season! We have the power in our lips to rekindle a discouraged soul.

Let’s inspire one another with words of encouragement! It costs nothing, and reaps an eternal reward…encourage one another daily, as you see the Day draw near. [Hebrews 10:25]

Daily Smile:

Farmer Josh killed a pig and hung it up for the night, intending to butcher it in the morning, but the next day it was gone. He didn't tell a soul about it, and nothing happened for more than two months.

Then another farmer, who lived down the road, came by and said, "By the way Josh, did you ever find out who stole your pig?"

"Nope," said Josh. "Not until just now."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Thursday

YOU BELONG TO HIM! by David Wilkerson [May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011]

In Song of Solomon, the Lord says of his bride: "How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!" (Song of Solomon 7:6). Three of the Hebrew words in this verse are synonymous: fair (meaning "precious"), pleasant (indicating "pleasure"), and delights.

These words describe Jesus' thoughts toward His bride as He beholds her. He looks at her and says, "How beautiful, sweet and delightful you are. You are precious to me, O love!" And in turn, the bride boasts, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me" (verse 10). The meaning here is, "He runs after me with delight. He chases me because I am so precious to him!"

These same thoughts are found throughout the Psalms. "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy" (Psalm 147:11). "For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation" (149:4). Now, I can try to convince you of God's delight in you by telling you, "You are precious to the Lord!" Yet you may think, "Well, that's a lovely thought. How sweet."

This truth is much more than a lovely thought, however. It is the very key to your deliverance from every battle that rages in your soul. It is the secret to entering into the rest God has promised you. And until you lay hold of it—until it becomes a foundation of truth in your heart—you will not be able to withstand what is ahead in this wicked time.

Isaiah had a revelation of God's great delight in us. He prophesied to Israel this word from the Lord:

"O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee"
(Isaiah 43:1-2).

Isaiah was not talking about a literal flood or fire. He was talking about what the people were going through spiritually and mentally. They were in captivity at the time and their floods were trials, their fires were temptations, their rivers were testings. It was all the devil's attempt to destroy and overwhelm God's people.

Isaiah's words were a message of pure mercy to Israel. They were in captivity because of their own stupidity and foolishness and they deserved nothing. But God sent them a weeping, brokenhearted prophet who said, “God wants me to tell you that you belong to Him!”

Daily Smile:

You Might Be A Redneck If #59

You complain about the ban on assault weapons because it make half your guns illegal.

You use a pig for a garbage disposal.

You can't go to church this year because your Sunday socks are being used as the truck's gas cap.

You think the vowels are E..I..E..I..O.

You clean your car or truck out with a leaf blower.

Your tackle box contains dynamite and blasting caps.

You gave your young son a super-soaker water gun and an NRA application for his birthday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Wednesday


“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

Jesus is speaking to the Laodicean church — the church that has become famous worldwide. Laodicean is even a word in the dictionary, meaning lukewarm or indifferent. Lukewarm is right in the middle with cold on one side and hot on the other. Jesus does not say He would like for us to be hot, lukewarm or cold. No, He says He would rather we be cold or hot rather than lukewarm.

When Jesus speaks of our being hot He is talking about being full of zeal, full of passion, with a heart that is on fire for God. He is talking about our having something in us that stirs us to action. That is why He says, “I know your works.” He doesn’t say, “I know your thoughts — I know your emotions.” He says, “I know your works,” because when you look at someone’s works you have a revelation of that person’s heart.

Many of us don’t realize how far lukewarmness is from the heart of God. This state is despicable to Jesus because it speaks of someone who is claiming to be one of His, people who take on the name of Jesus and quote Scripture but then behave like the world.

A lukewarm person is somebody who claims to be a Christian but does the same things as someone who is totally cold: still getting drunk, still sleeping around, still taking God’s name in van, still cheating, still lying — and still calling himself a Christian. This person becomes a ruinous testimony for Christ.

Jesus prefers an honest testimony that says, “I’m not saved and I’m living like it,” rather than, “I claim to be saved but I’m not living like it.” Jesus goes on to say to the lukewarm, “I know your works!” 

Daily Smile:

Bible Confusion

The little girl was sitting with her grandmother, who had presented her with her first little children's Bible, in an easy-to-read translation, when she was very young.

Now, a decade or so later, the elderly lady was ready to spend a few
sweet moments handing down the big old family Bible, in the time-honored King James Version, to her only grandchild.
Understandably excited, the youngster was asking a number of questions, both about the family members whose births and deaths were recorded therein, and about various aspects of the Scriptures themselves. Her grandmother was endeavoring to answer all the child's questions in terms she could understand, but the one that stopped her cold was this sincere inquiry:

"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? Was it the Virgin Mary, or the King James virgin?" 

Hurricane Isaac Update:
     Wednesday, 8:00AM - Still have power, 20 Mph Winds - ENE and some rain... I was looking for the worst to happen this morning, but it looks as if Isaac has moved further to the West...
     Last night, I finished Thursday & Friday's Devotionals in case of power failure... They will be posted automatically about 12:30AM CST... 
     Since I managed to sleep through Hurricane Camille when living in Lumberton, Isaac gave me no reason to stay up all night... Cats woke me about 6AM climbing the window screen trying to find a way inside...

Have a Blessed Day,

 [Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Tuesday

HE LUKEWARM HEART by Gary Wilkerson

What does a lukewarm heart look like?

A heart that is no longer on fire for God, or perhaps never has been on fire for God, has distinctive characteristics.

First, a lukewarm heart is a prayerless heart, one that has no desire to pray, no desire to come into the presence of God.

Second, a lukewarm heart is unawakened by anything in the Word. It finds parts of the Word interesting and sometimes emotionally moving but does not grasp the power of God’s Word to transform hearts.

Third, a lukewarm heart is disobedient to the Word. When the lukewarm heart begins to respond to the Word and the Holy Spirit breaks through and reveals a truth, this heart is like the man spoken of by James: “He is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror . . . and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:23-24, ESV). The lukewarm heart is not a doer of the Word.

Fourth, a lukewarm heart has little or no passion for souls, and little or no desire to pray for or reach out to the lost.

Fifth, a lukewarm heart only comes to church when it’s convenient. Even though the Word speaks very clearly that we are not to neglect gathering together, the lukewarm heart just doesn’t feel that it is significant (see Hebrews 10:25).

Sixth, the lukewarm heart has grown emotionally dull, it is unmoved. The lukewarm heart will read this message and hear this truth, yet will not care. It becomes emotionally dull to the things of the Spirit, to the Word, to prayer and to the lost.

But there is good news for the lukewarm — Jesus is calling you out of your lukewarm state! He is saying, “Yes, I am knocking on the door of your house. I want to come in and have dinner with you and I want to see the fire of God once again brought into your heart and life.”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, ESV).

Daily Smile:

Mass Hysteria

A professor of clinical psychology at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, included a lecture on crowd psychology in his annual course. To illustrate mass hysteria, he regularly showed TV news footage of teenage crowds greeting the Beatles at the local airport in the 1960's. 

One year, when he ran the footage, he heard squeals and bursts of laughter from his students. When the film ended he asked what had caused the hilarity. 

Replied one student, "We recognized some of our mothers!" 
 Latest report on Isaac

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Monday

Please remember those in the path of Isaac when you pray today... 

A Clean Heart by Luann Prater

"It is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'" Mark 7:15b (NIV 1984)

When I was little, if I talked disrespectfully to my parents, they would wash my mouth out with soap. It tasted awful! But one thing it didn't do was wash away the attitude in my heart that caused sassy words to spew from my lips.

Jesus told the people, "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean'" (Mark 7:15b, 21-23 NIV 1984).

Whew, that is some list! But why did Jesus take the time to name each one of those evils? We know that not one word in the Bible is wasted, so there is purpose behind Him listing each one to the crowd. Maybe there were folks there who looked good on the outside, but their hearts were unclean.

Perhaps, like me, they were not surprised when He mentioned murder, adultery, or theft. But I wonder what the reaction was when Jesus included more hidden sins like arrogance, envy and greed too.
The dictionary describes arrogance as "an offensive display of superiority or self-importance; or overbearing pride."

At first glance, we may think that doesn't apply to us. But if we let the Holy Spirit shine His search light on our heart, we may find times when we have thought, "Well, at least I'm not THAT bad," or "It's amazing her kids turned out as good as they did."

Envy is pretty sly at hiding in our hearts as well. It is the feeling of discontent with regards to other's success or belongings. Does your friend have a new car, a great body or a nice home? If so, do you ever look at her with jealousy and long for what she has? If so, that's envy. Ouch!

Then there is greed, the excessive desire for wealth or possessions. Maybe we don't think we are excessive in our want for more, but how much time do we spend trying to make more money or get more stuff? And how stingy are we with what we have?
What would it look like to take those three definitions and clean them up?

• Un-arrogance: a gracious display of selflessness• Un-envy: being completely content with all of our blessings• Un-greed: a desire to share what God has given us

That sounds like a clean heart to me!

Today I challenge myself with the words Jesus spoke, "It is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'" Today, I will set my mind to being un-arrogant, un-envious and un-greedy. Yes, today I want to live with a clean heart.

Dear Lord, thank You for shining Your light on my heart so I can see where it is unclean. Illuminate those sins that I dirty myself with and cleanse me from the inside out. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Daily Smile:

Three Hymns

The Sunday before Christmas, a pastor told his congregation that the church needed some extra money. He asked the people to consider donating a little more than usual into the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns. After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he'd like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly, saintly looking lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. 

Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanks asked her to pick out three hymns. Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three most handsome men in the building and said, "I'll take him and him and him."

Projected path of Isaac as of 1AM CST Monday...  Living on the East side of any Tropical Storm or Hurricane is not good... Please remember those in the path of Isaac when you pray today...

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Sunday

The Choice is Ours By Rachel Olsen

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

I watch Samantha Brown, Travel Channel host, as she explores Old Town in Ecuador's capital city of Quito. Watching her experience the charming hotels, mouth-watering food, and tropical adventures there, I'm slightly envious. But as she points out the sights of this South American city, my mind wanders back in time.

I've been to Quito. Not to enjoy the food or see the architecture, but to visit people there who Jesus loves.

As the camera pans over Samantha's head, I'm looking for the spot where I visited a single mother, Maria. She and her baby lived in one room smaller than my home office. She had a twin size bed, a chest of drawers, and a small electric stove.

On the stove she fried plantains for me. I had trouble at first with the idea of eating them, knowing they were from her very limited food supply. As Maria happily served me, I wondered if I would choose to share my food so freely if it were as scarce for me as it is for her.

Maria told me she had received Jesus, and was now receiving training in child care, nutrition and child development through Compassion International. She'd received these South American bananas from them too. I noticed Maria had a visible hope that her life and her child's life were now on a better path.

Around the corner from Maria lived a young boy who has also been touched by Jesus. He is a sponsored child. When we met, Eduardo told me he hopes to be a pastor. He quoted scripture to me from memory—he was eight.

Our meeting wasn't planned, he just happened to stop by Maria's door while I was there. After talking with us briefly, Eduardo reached into his back pocket, pulled out a small New Testament and handed it to me. Said he wanted me to have it. And he wanted me to read it.

Said he hoped it would remind me of him, so I would pray that he could become a pastor.

I didn't tell him I have plenty of full-size Bibles at home. Or I wouldn't be able to read much of that one in Spanish. Instead I took the small red book, said "gracias," and prayed over him and his future ministry. He smiled a smile full of possibility and disappeared out the doorway.

I'm certain that around the corner from Maria there are other single moms and young boys who don't have this hope. They feel trapped, depressed, maybe hungry and short-changed.

It is my prayer they will find "new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:3).

Samantha Brown discovered Ecuador's luscious fruits, famous hat-making trade, and its romantic colonial architecture. Here's what I discovered:

• We always have a choice between hope and despair - no matter what circumstance we are in.

• We always have a choice between fear and faith - no matter how bleak things look.

• And we always have the choice to give and serve - no matter how little we own.

It's Jesus - and His church at work on the Earth - that affords us these choices.

Honestly, I wouldn't trade my trip to Ecuador for Samantha Brown's any day. Even if she did get to visit the stunning cloud forest. I'm thinking we'll have cloud forests in heaven to enjoy. And I'd like to see as much of the Ecuadorian population there as possible.

I think my eight year-old friend would like to see that too. I'm certain he will do his part toward that end - will we also do ours? We have that choice to make.

Dear Lord, thank You for living hope. Thank You for living water that quenches our eternal thirst. Anoint young Eduardo to share this hope with others in Ecuador. Show me how I can share it with others too. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Daily Smile:

Ten Commandments

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" 

Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Saturday

What Is Your Calling

1 Corinthians 7:20

Some people have the foolish notion that the only way in which they can live for God is by becoming pastors, missionaries, or Bible teachers. How many would be excluded from any opportunity of spiritual usefulness if this were the case. Beloved, it is not office—it is sincerity; it is not position—it is grace that will enable us to serve and glorify God. God is definitely glorified at the workbench, where the godly worker fulfills his task singing of the Savior's love. In this humble setting God is glorified far more than in many a lofty pulpit where official religion performs its scanty duties. The name of Jesus is glorified by the taxicab driver as he blesses God and speaks to his passengers of the living hope. He will be more useful than the popular preacher who goes about peddling the Gospel for profit. God is glorified when we serve Him in our proper vocations.

Take care, dear reader, that you do not neglect the path of duty by leaving your occupation, and take care you do not dishonor your profession while in it. Think little of yourselves, but do not think too little of your callings. Every lawful trade may be sanctified by the Gospel to noblest ends. Turn to the Bible, and you will find the most menial forms of labor connected either with most daring deeds of faith or with persons whose lives have been illustrations of holiness.

Therefore do not be discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position or your work, remain in that, unless you are quite sure that He calls you to something else. Let your first concern be to glorify God to the best of your ability where you are. Fill your present sphere to His praise, and if He needs you in another, He will show it to you. This evening lay aside anxious ambition, and embrace peaceful content.

Daily Smile:

The Titanic Test

Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one question.
St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg? They just made a movie about it." 

The teacher answered quickly, "That would be the Titanic." St.Peter let him through the gate. 

St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring Heaven didn't REALLY need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the question a little harder: "How many people died on the ship?" 

Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie, and answered, "1,228." 

"That's right! You may enter." 

St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. "Name them." 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Friday


   "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto Him in all things, Which is the Head, even Christ, from Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Eph. 4:15,16).

   "Speaking the truth"! What a contrast with the "cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive." The one seeks to edify and build up whereas the other seeks to destroy and tear down. But the desired progress is our "growing up unto Him in all things: We read of faith, full knowledge, a perfect man, the stature of the fulness of Christ and then the opposing "systematic deception."  But this is counteracted by being true or truthful in everything and growing up unto Christ."

   In Ephesians, spiritual growth is pictured in both Temple and Body:

Built on foundation of apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20) fitly framed together (2:21) Christ the Chief Cornerstone (2:20)

Grows into holy temple in the Lord (2:21) in Whom you are builded (2:22)

[Body. mentioned six times
in Ephesians chapters 4 & 5] fitly joined together (4: 16) Christ is Head (4:15)

Grows unto Christ (4:15) out of Whom...makes increase of the body unto building up in love (4:15)

No amount of activity, or meetings or advertisement or energy will produce growth. Spiritual growth requires life, health, suitable environment, sound food and walking in the light. But growth can be stunted or retarded by an environment lacking essentials of light, water or air. Of these, walking in the light is preeminent!

   Leagues, unions, societies, associations, and even fellowships cannot substitute for growth of the body being "knit together in love" which is the "bond of perfectness." Unity of the Spirit had the "bond of peace" (4:3). Unity of the body has the "bond of love" so fitly joined.

Daily Smile:
John: Would you punish me for some thing I have not done?

Teacher: No, of course not.

John: Good. I didn't do my homework.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Thursday

[Jesus said:] "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." --Matthew 5:13

It's hard to believe that salt is made up of two highly unstable, dangerous chemicals-sodium and chlorine. Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally in a combined form, always linking itself to another element. And chlorine is the poisonous gas that gives bleach its offensive odor.

But combined together, these two elements produce sodium chloride, a multipurpose substance we call common table salt. It's used to season foods, de-ice highways, preserve meat, make paper (believe it or not), process metals and aluminums in textile industries, create a work of art combined with watercolors, and even seed clouds to produce rain in desert areas!

Love and truth can also be combined like sodium and chlorine to produce a powerful life-giving, life-saving effect. Love without truth is flighty, sometimes blind, and willing to mesh with various doctrines. On the other hand, truth alone can be offensive, sometimes even poisonous. Spoken without love, it can turn people away from the gospel of Jesus.

When these two things are combined in the life of a believer or the Church, then it produces what Jesus called "the salt of the earth." With these two elements working together in our lives, we are able to preserve our faith, give a fresh taste of God's Word to others, and build up disciples for Christ.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Thank You, Jesus, for the chance You've given me to be "salt" to the world. I ask You to help me always combine truth and love in my daily walk with You and when I'm sharing You with others.

Daily Smile:
If Microsoft made toasters...
Every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster'95 would weigh 15000 pounds (hence requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, would claim to be the first toaster that let's you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Wednesday

Editor's Note:
     It seems that I just let Tuesday slip by me... Sorry 'bout that... This week I am working on the September paper to be printed on Thursday... Yesterday and most of today has flown by as I rushed to finalize the advertisers and writers, plus handle all the chores that I faced... 

Free to be a Slave By Skip Heitzig
 In America at this time of year we talk a lot about freedom, and that’s only appropriate. The French writer Alexis de Toqueville once called America “the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.” The Bible also talks about freedom. It says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). We’ve been set free!

But what have we been set free from? And more importantly, what have we been set free for? The first question, probably most of us could answer. We’ve been set free from the bondage to sin. We’ve been set free from guilt and from punishment.

The second question is one not a lot of Christians ask. But here’s the answer: We have been set free in order to become slaves of God. We’ve been set free from one master to become indentured to another Master. Did you know that? We’re to be slaves of righteousness and slaves of God. (See Romans 6:18.)

Every person is a slave to something…or someone. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus Christ, you might be saying “I’m nobody’s slave!” but I disagree. “Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval” (Romans 6:16, NLT). You may be a slave to yourself—your own habits, your own lustful desires. And there’s no freedom or peace in that.

In biblical times, if somebody couldn’t pay off their debts, they might become an indentured slave. They would work to pay off their debts, and in the seventh year the master had to release them. But some who really loved their masters went on working for them voluntarily. So there were two types of slaves: those who served out of compulsion, because they had to, and those who served out of loyalty, because they wanted to. Paul often used this picture, calling himself a “slave” or “bondservant” of Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:1).

And the message of the Bible is the more you become His slave, the more freedom you experience. The more you become slaves to other things, people, etc., the less freedom you have.

The Cross of Christ can set any prisoner free, and once that happens, you become free to be His slave. That’s what salvation is all about; it’s turning from sin to God. God takes good care of His servants. And you’ll discover that being His slave is the greatest possible freedom you can have in this life.

Some years ago, Bob Dylan wrote a song called “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which contained these words: “You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Or as the Bible says,
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” Romans 6:22. 

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” 2 Corinthians 3:17.

Daily Smile: 

Sunday Morning

Picture it: rural area, Sunday morning, church is packed and the devil decides to pay a visit.The doors burst open, and a roiling black cloud rolls in with the devil in its midst. People jump out of the pews and run outdoors, screaming - all except for two. One is the Pastor, the other is an elderly farmer. Satan is a bit perplexed. He points to the Pastor and says, "You! I can understand why you didn't run away, you are in your Lord's house, you preach against me everyday and you aren't afraid of me. But YOU (points to the farmer), why didn't you run out scared like everyone else?"

The farmer crosses one leg over the other and drawls, "Why, I'm surprised you don't recognize me...I've been married to your sister for 36 years!"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Monday

Christian Living
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy – James 3:17

What a wonderful, and revealing, description of heavenly wisdom!
When we become embittered or angry with another person, even a spouse or a fellow church member, we can justify a great variety of cruel words, divisive gossip, or vengeful actions. Sadly, we can even begin to think of ourselves as being in the right while we spread lies or exaggerate offenses or nurse grudges.

But the ever-practical pastor James reminds us not to "glory in" or be proud of the bitterness, anger, strife that is in our heart (14). No matter how objective and genuine our grievance may be, we make ourselves immediately in the wrong when we respond in a way that is dishonoring to Christ.

No matter what the argument or hurt may be, James says, remember that heavenly wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be approached. Godly wisdom is full of mercy, so it looks over personal injuries; it is full of good fruits so it responds with a formidable love when attacked or provoked.

A truly wise response will also be without partiality or favoritism. It does not judge someone because of past mistakes, or personality flaws, or family ties. A mature Christian will react with the same forbearance and discretion and charity to a near stranger as they will to a family member (or vice versa!).

Dear Christian, is your present thought life and behavior reflecting the kind of wisdom that comes from above, or the kind that is earthly, unspiritual, and devilish?

Daily Smile:

Beatles Computer Song - Yesterday

All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.
There's not half the files there used to be,
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly.
I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.
Now all my data's gone
And I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.
The need for back-ups seemed so far away.
I knew my data was all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Sunday

Satan's Words Have No Power
Man was created as a speaking spirit in the image and in the likeness of God. Man was created to look like God and to act like God. No other creation was created in His image and likeness - only man.

God is a three-part being. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:7 that "The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, these three are one." Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), and "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30). Man is a three-part being. He is spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). So God is a three-part being, man is a three-part being, and man was created in the image and likeness of God.

Ephesians 5:1 says that we are to act like God. While we are not God and will never be God, God did create us in His image and likeness, so obviously, He wants us not only to look like Him, but to act like Him. Simply put, God wants us to love what He loves and to dislike what He dislikes. And we also must remember that God has not changed and does not change.

The Bible tells us in the Old Testament that God the Father does not change and in the New Testament, Hebrews 13:8 tells us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." So we can say with confidence that the things God liked 5,000 years ago, He liked 2,000 years ago at the time of Jesus and He still likes them today. Likewise, the things God disliked 5,000 years ago, He disliked at the time of Jesus and He still dislikes them today. God is not politically correct, nor does God's plan change with society.

God created man as a speaking spirit so that we would have the authority to speak His Word on the earth and take authority over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19.) The life you are living today was framed by the words that you spoke yesterday. And the life you will be living tomorrow is being framed by the words you speak today. Quite literally, your life and your death are in the power of your tongue. (Prov. 18:21.) 

When someone believes in their heart the truth of God's Word and they speak that truth, it comes to pass because their faith activates the Word. The words of Satan have no power unless you repeat them. If you listen to the lie of the enemy and speak the lie, it activates the opposing spiritual force of fear and enables the enemy to do his work. We could say that repeating his lie is aiding and abetting the enemy because it enables him with power and gives him permission to destroy.

Faith and fear are the two spiritual forces that activate power and release angelic spirits to do their work. When faith is spoken, according to Psalm 103:20, it activates the angels of God to bring His Word to pass. We know that angelic spirits are on the earth for the purpose of ministering to the children of God. But they can only do this as they are instructed by the voice of His Word and Christians are the only ones authorized to speak His Word in faith. We have been given that authority.

As a speaking spirit, you choose to release the Word of God into the earth or you choose to release the words of the enemy into the earth. Either way, it's your choice. And your harvest in life will depend upon your choice. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that if we believe in our heart that what we say will come to pass, we will have what we say.

Are your words important? Yes, they are vitally important! Not only do they bring death or life (Prov. 18:21), but according to Jesus, we will be justified or condemned by the words we speak, even the words that we consider trivial or pointless because they contain the power of their meaning. (Matt. 12:37.) 

As you live your life, never forget you are a speaking spirit created in the likeness and image of God. You are His voice and you are to let your light shine for Him. The enemy is frantically trying to get you to say what he wants done. He wants you to prophesy his fear into the earth. He knows that without your voice, he has no power. So as you speak, give no place to the devil (Eph. 4:27), but instead let your faith-filled words empower God's grace to work for your good.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Larry Ollison's soon to be released book "The Power of Grace." You can pre-order from The Lighthouse Bookstore at 573-348-9778 

Daily Smile:

Heaven Bound

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?"

The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out!'"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Saturday

Rejoice . . . When? By Jerry Savelle

Verse(s): Philippians 4:4

Today's Confession: I will rejoice in the Lord always! He is making my path straight. Devotional: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." - Philippians 4:4

When should you rejoice? Always.

"What about this storm I'm going through?" That comes under the category of always.

"Yea, but I'm hurting. I'm miserable. I'm depressed." That still comes under the category of always. He didn't say, "Rejoice because nothing is working." Or, "Rejoice because your body is under attack." Or, "Rejoice because you don't have enough money and your spouse left you." He was saying to rejoice in those circumstances not for them.

You are not thanking God for the trials. God is not the author of trials. You are praising God in the midst of trials and adversity. Praise God anyway. You praise God and rejoice because you know that your God is turning things around. You know that whatever you are facing is only temporary. Your freedom is on the horizon. When you praise God in the middle of the trial what you are doing is confusing the devil and causing him to lose his grip on your life.

Daily Smile:

The Repeat Offender

A judge scowled down at a repeat offender before him. "Haven't I seen you in here many times already? And didn't I tell you that I never wanted to see you in here again?"

"Yes, Your Honor," the defendant replied. "That's exactly what I told the police officer, but he insisted I come in anyway!"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy, Happy Friday

It's All Good 

Read Ahead: Philippians 4:1-4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4, HCSB

Have you ever heard the words to the great old hymn "Count Your Blessings"?

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

There's wisdom for all of us in that old song. Sometimes when we focus on our problems, we lose sight of the good things in our lives. It's as though we're under a gigantic cloud that blocks out the sun. We get irritable and depressed and, worst of all, we lose all perspective. That's when it's time to review all the reasons God has given us for rejoicing.

If you're under the cloud today, try not to grumble and complain. Count your blessings instead. Here's a list to get you started:

* God loves you.

* Jesus died for your sins.

* You'll spend eternity in heaven with Christ.

* You're part of God's family, with brothers and sisters who love you.

* God has promised never to abandon you.

Keep going--thinking of more things--and the cloud will keep lifting.

What are some unique, specific ways God has blessed your life?

Daily Smile:


Many people are unaware that Frank Sinatra was an ecologist. 

Once, he found out that the herds of animals in Africa were being forced off their native lands into game reserves where they were more apt to be eaten by their natural enemies due to the crowded conditions.

These animals would congregate around lakes and other bodies of water, but had nowhere to run if they were attacked by their foes. This resulted in abnormal losses in the herds.

Frank, upon finding out about this, donated a LOT of money to trying to find out where there may be some open land to put the animals so they wouldn't be so crowded. 

Frank's idea was to go to the watering holes and load the animals on large barges and take them to other lands and then set them free.

In order to accomplish this, he had to finance his work through a best-selling song about it. 

We've all heard the song before. 

It starts out, "Start spreading the Gnus..." 

The title of the song was, of course, "New Ark, New Ark."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Thursday

Hide and Seek By John P. King

I don’t know about you, but for me, waiting is tough! I hate to wait. Why is waiting so hard? Because waiting implies that we do not have control over our circumstances or the timing of events in our own lives. We like to think that we own our destiny, yet if we are honest we would admit that we can barely see beyond today.

We might have plans and dreams, but really, today are we where we thought we would be five, 10, or 15 years ago? So who is to say where we will be in the future? Only God knows that. In my experience, He usually remains rather silent on the issue of disclosing what is to come. He allows us to walk day by day and sometimes those days seem to drag out. Whether there is something we really want to do, or even when we feel like we have no direction whatsoever, the times and seasons of our lives can become unbearable.

Can become unbearable, if we let them. Psalm 27 is a wonderful Psalm that can help us through those difficult unexplainable times. In this passage David is expressing anger over the adversaries in his life but he also lets the deep cry of his heart come out. It is a cry that is centered on his desire to simply be with God.

"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)

More than anything, David wanted to be with the Lord. Verses 8 and 9 continue the thought:

"When you said, ‘Seek my face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’ Do not hide your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!" (Psalm 27:8-9)

The Lord had given David the challenge – "Seek my face." David understood the challenge and knew that sometimes, seeking God’s face is easier said than done. Why? Because as was mentioned earlier, our plans and dreams don’t always turn out as we expected. Sometimes, it appears God plays a game of hide and seek. Finding Him is not as simple as it may seem. It takes work to find God.

David closes the Psalm with a great encouragement.

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13)

There was a firmly rooted conviction in David’s heart – no matter how tough, bizarre, or long the days seemed, he knew he was going to see the goodness of God in his life. Holding fast to this truth allowed him to endure and, quite literally, changed the rules of the game from "hide and seek" to "wait and seek." David goes on to say in Verse 14,

"Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord."

If we believe that God has good things for us, we will be willing to wait for them. Courage will give us the strength to wait for God while we seek him. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Just like in the real game of hide and seek, everyone wants to be found. Those in the best hiding places will eventually reveal themselves if the seeker is patient. If by faith we seek God by waiting for Him, He will inevitably come to us.

Daily Smile:

George and Moses

George W. Bush, in an airport lobby, noticed a man in a long flowing white robe with a long flowing white beard and flowing  white hair. The man had a staff in one hand and some stone tablets under the other arm.

George W. approached the man and inquired, "Aren't you Moses."

The man ignored George W. and stared at the ceiling.

George W. positioned himself more directly in the man's view and asked again, "Aren't you Moses".

The man continued to peruse the ceiling.

George W. tugged at the man's sleeve and asked once again, "Aren't you Moses".

The man finally responded in an irritated voice, "Yes I am".

George W. asked him why he was so uppity and the man replied, "The last time a bush spoke to me I ended up spending forty years in the wilderness".

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Wednesday


By Dr. James R. Miller (modern English version by The Vine © 2011)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
There are few people who fail more spectacularly than in their efforts at self-denial. Very few seem to have the slightest idea of what it is. One does not eat red meat on Fridays but eats fish instead and thinks he or she has denied himself in a serious way. Another gives up something small for forty days in Lent and feels like he or she has accomplished something great. Others make themselves miserable in various ways: inflicting pain or making useless and uncalled-for sacrifices as if God is pleased when they suffer. These things are not self-denial. There is no merit or virtue in giving up anything, suffering any loss or pain, or making any sacrifice merely for its own sake.

True self-denial is renouncing yourself and the yielding your whole life to the will of Christ. It is submitting yourself to Christ and acknowledging His reign over every aspect of one's life. It is always living not to please ourselves, not to advance our own personal interests, but to please our Lord and do His work. It is denying ourselves of anything that is sinful in His sight. It is joyfully making any sacrifice that our dedication to Him requires. It is giving up of pleasure or comfort for the good of others. The essential thing is that self gives way altogether to Christ as the focus of one's life.
Nothing which is done merely as self-denial is true self-denial. True self-denial, like all other traits of Christ-likeness, is unconscious of itself and is not worried about glory. We deny ourselves when we follow Christ with joy and gladness, through cost and danger and suffering, wherever He leads.

Today... As you go through your day, consciously remind yourself of your submission to Christ in your actions and thoughts. Reflect on a time of true self-denial for the sake of Christ. 
Daily Smile:
The Computer Swallowed Grandma
The computer swallowed grandma
Yes, honestly its true
She pressed 'control' and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely
The thought just makes me squirm
She must have caught a 'virus'
Or been eaten by a 'worm.'

I've searched through the 'recycle bin'
And files of every kind
I've even used the 'Internet'
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Jeeves
My searches to refine
The reply from him was negative
Not a thing was found 'online.'

So if inside your 'Inbox'
My Grandma you should see
Please 'Copy,' 'Scan' and 'Paste' her
And send her back to me!
  Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Tuesday

THE OLD MAN IS GONE by Andrew Wommack

John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:

for he is a liar, and the father of it."
JOHN 8:39-47

All of us were born in sin and were therefore "by nature" the children of  the devil. That's the reason we sinned. Our sins don't corrupt our nature, but our corrupt nature makes us sin. That's why we must be "born again" and become new creatures (or a new creation) in Christ.

The scriptures teach that everyone was born with a sin nature or old man.

For the Christian, the old man is dead. We do not have a nature that is driving us to sin. If that it is the case, then why do we seem so bound to sin even after we experience the new birth? The reason is that our old man left behind what Romans 6:6 calls a body. Just as a person's spirit and soul leave behind a physical body at death, so our old man left behind habits and strongholds in our thoughts and emotions. The reason a Christian tends to sin is because of an unrenewed mind, not because of a sin nature.

Our old man ruled our thinking before we were born again. He taught us such things as selfishness, hatred, and fear and he placed within us the desire for sin. The old man is now gone, but these negative parts of his body remain. Until renewed, our minds continue to lead us on the course that our old man charted.

To experience the resurrection life of Jesus, we have to know that our old man is dead. Then, through the renewing of our minds, we destroy the body that the old man left behind. The end result is that we will not serve sin any longer.

Daily Smile:
This guy needs a job and decides to apply at the zoo. As it happened, their star attraction, a gorilla, had passed away the night before and they had carefully preserved his hide. They tell this guy that they'll pay him well if he would dress up in the gorillas skin and pretend to be the gorilla so people will keep coming to the zoo. Well, the guy has his doubts, but Hey! He needs the money, so he puts on the skin and goes out into the cage. The people all cheer to see him. He plays up to the audience and they just eat it up. This isn't so bad, he thinks, and he starts really putting on a show, jumping around, beating his chest and roaring, swinging around. During one acrobatic attempt, though, he loses his balance and crashes through some safety netting, landing square in the middle of the lion cage! As he lies there stunned, the lion roars. He's terrified and starts screaming, "Help, Help, Help!" 

The lion races over to him, places his paws on his chest and hisses, "Shut up or we'll BOTH lose our jobs!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Monday

When God Whispers Your Name
by Max Lucado

The sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by
name and leads them out.
—John 10:3

WHEN I SEE a flock of sheep I see exactly that, a flock. A rabble of wool. A herd of hooves. I don't see a sheep. I see sheep. All alike. None different. That's what I see.

But not so with the shepherd. To him every sheep is different. Every face is special. Every face has a story. And every sheep has a name.The one with the sad eyes, that's Droopy. And the fellow with one ear up and the other down, I call him Oscar. And the small one with the black patch on his leg, he's an orphan with no brothers. I call him Joseph.

The shepherd knows his sheep. He calls them by name.

When we see a crowd, we see exactly that, a crowd. Filling a stadium or flooding a mall. When we see a crowd, we see people, not persons, but people. A herd of humans. A flock of faces. That's what we see.

But not so with the Shepherd. To him every face is different. Every face is a story. Every face is a child. Every child has a name. The one with the sad eyes, that's Sally. The old fellow with one eyebrow up and the other down, Harry's his name. And the young one with the limp? He's an orphan with no  brothers.

I call him Joey.

The Shepherd knows his sheep. He knows each one by name. The Shepherd knows you. He knows your name. And he will never forget it. I have written your name on my hand (Isa. 49:16).

Quite a thought, isn't it? Your name on God's hand. Your name on God's lips. Maybe you've seen your name in some special places. On an award or diploma or walnut door. Or maybe you've heard your name from some important people—a coach, a celebrity, a teacher. But to think that your name is on God's hand and on God's lips . . . my, could it be?

Or perhaps you've never seen your name honored. And you can't remember when you heard it spoken with kindness. If so, it may be more difficult for you to believe that God knows your name.

But he does. Written on his hand. Spoken by his mouth. Whispered by his lips. Your name. And not only the name you now have, but the name he has in store for you. A new name he will give you . . .

When God Whispers Your Name is a book of hope. A book whose sole aim is to encourage. I've harvested

thoughts from a landscape of fields. And though their size and flavors are varied, their purpose is singular: to provide you, the reader, with a word of hope. I thought you could use it.

You've been on my mind as I've been writing. I've thought of you often. I  honestly have. Over the years I've gotten to know some of you folks well. I've read your letters, shaken your hands, and watched your eyes. I think I know you.

You're busy. Time passes before your tasks are finished. And if you get a chance to read, it's a slim chance indeed.

You're anxious. Bad news outpaces the good. Problems outnumber solutions. And you are concerned. What future do your children have on this earth? What future do you have?

You're cautious. You don't trust as easily as you once did.

Politicians lied. The system failed. The minister compromised. Your spouse cheated. It's not easy to trust. It's not that you don't want to. It's just that you want to be careful.

There is one other thing. You've made some mistakes. I met one of you at a bookstore in Michigan. A businessman, you seldom came out of your office at all and never to meet an author. But then you did. You were regretting the many hours at work and the few hours at home and wanted to talk.

And the single mom in Chicago. One kid was tugging, the other crying, but juggling them both, you made your point. "I made mistakes," you explained, "but I really want to try again."

And there was that night in Fresno. The musician sang and I spoke and you came. You almost didn't. You almost stayed home. Just that day you'd found the note from your wife. She was leaving you. But you came anyway. Hoping I'd have something for the pain. Hoping I'd have an answer. Where is God at a time like this?

And so as I wrote, I thought about you. All of you. You aren't malicious. You aren't evil. You aren't hardhearted, (hardheaded occasionally, but not hardhearted). You really want to do what is right. But sometimes life turns south. Occasionally we need a reminder.

Not a sermon.

A reminder.

A reminder that God knows your name.

When God Whispers Your Name
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

Daily Smile:
Through the pitch-black night, the captain sees a light dead ahead on a collision course with his ship. He sends a signal: “Change your course 10 degree east.”

The light signals back: “Change yours, 10 degrees west.”

Angry, the captain sends: “I’m a navy captain! Change your course, sir!”

“I’m a seaman, second class,” comes the reply. “Change your course, sir.”

Now the captain is furious. “I’m a battleship! I’m not changing course!”

There is one last reply. “I’m a lighthouse. Your call.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Sunday - Just one of Seven LORD'S DAYS Every Week

Can I Ever Forgive Myself?

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When Peace Like a River
Grief affects people in different ways. Some grow closer to their family members, others push those close to them away because of their perspective of the circumstances.

I found myself at odds with my cousin after the death of her dad. Any contact was ignored or responded with negativity.

"Give it time" was the message of hope I received from my Daddy. Waiting for the Lord is always best anyway. During these two years of rejection, I never once held a grudge for her. At times I would get upset at her attitude, but then I would remind myself that she was grieving in her own way, and I needed to be there when she would come out of these devastating emotions.

But I never could fathom not forgiving her.

After two years, my emails were finally answered. When I visited my home country last year, my cousin and I met again, just like in olden times, as friends who had never parted. I knew my Heavenly Daddy had come through, as He always does.

It is true that at times I have a hard time forgiving someone who has hurt me deeply, but this doesn't ever seem as hard to me as forgiving myself for things I've done to hurt my loved ones. I have discovered that I am not alone in this. Thousands of people face the same dilemma: They simply cannot forgive themselves.


Because we feel we need to suffer for our past actions. We feel we need to be held responsible.

But isn't this a question of control? Control of our pasts, and control of our future? Where we deem we deserve to be imprisoned emotionally for the rest of our lives?

But are those emotions warranted?

When Jesus called out the words, "It is finished" (John 19:30 NIV) on the cross, did he have exemptions in mind? Everyone is forgiven except . . . Me?

When by divine inspiration the apostle Paul wrote: "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Col 2:13-15 NIV) did God intend to ignore our tendency to suffer for our mistakes?

When urged to "Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col 3:13 NIV), are we to understand that we are exempted from forgiving ourselves?

Our problem, my friends, when we cannot forgive ourselves, is that we assume we have a higher standard than God Himself!

If Jesus' sacrifice was satisfying enough for God's forgiveness, why do we think we have a right to not forgive ourselves? Ultimately we are rejecting God with such an attitude! This puts our own sins on a pedestal, way above the all-encompassing grace of God!

Isn't this a kind of idolatry?

By continuing to punish ourselves, we are declaring that Christ's suffering was not enough. His offer on the cross was not sufficient, His sacrifice deficient. We are rejecting our Saviour Himself with such an attitude!

When the apostle Paul declared: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1 NIV), it included anyone who wanted to bathe in God's grace, us included! No matter how much we want to suffer for past mistakes, we have been forgiven, and we either accept His forgiveness or we reject Him!

Freedom comes through forgiveness and forgiveness is a choice we have to make. We either accept God's offer, or we continue with our own doomsday scenario, alienating ourselves from the One we consider to be the Lover of our soul (See Gal 5:4)!

After all these years of carrying the burden of unforgiveness for my past actions, I realize that I never had to carry that burden at all! It was my choice to carry it! And in so doing, I was rejecting my Lord and Saviour!

Oh Lord, forgive us for our own self-righteousness in not being willing to forgive ourselves! We realize that this self-imposed imprisonment is for naught, for You paid the price for ALL of our sins, including the ones we want to make ourselves suffer for! We accept Your gift with open arms! We give You our unforgiveness towards ourselves and towards others. Shine in our lives, and help us to enjoy the freedom and peace You have offered to us. Thank You Lord for saving a wreck like me! I accept You fully now. Be my Saviour as well as my Lord. From now on I will follow You wherever You lead me. I love You!

Will you accept Jesus' forgiveness as well? Then show it by forgiving yourself!

Rob Chaffart

Daily Smile:

The Confession Session

The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks an older priest to sit in on his sessions. The new priest hears several confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

The old priest suggests, "Cross your arms over your chest and rub your chin with one hand." 

The new priest tries this. The old priest suggests, "Try saying things like, 'I see, yes, go on, and I understand, how did you feel about that?"

The new priest says those things, trying them out. The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying, 'No way! What happened next?'"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Saturday


BibleFood Devotional

Devotions to encourage a closer walk with our Lord Jesus Christ! 
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Devotion: "Are You a Burden Bearer"
Scripture Reading: Galations 6:1-5
6:1 - Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 6:2 - Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 6:3 - For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, hedeceiveth himself.6:4 - But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicingin himself alone, and not in another. 6:5 - For every man shall bear his own burden.

Gal.6:1 “Fault” in the Greek is the word “Paraptoma” - A false step, a blunder, error, mistake, wrongdoing. This is the word used for slipping into sin, rather than willful sin.

We are then told, “Ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness............” This word “Restore” in Greek is the word “Katartizo,” and is used to indicate putting a dislocated limb into place or to mend.

When a fellow Christian has made a false step, blundered, slipped into sin, what do we do? Kill the wounded Christian! NO!!! We (the Spiritual - meek) are to do is restore that Christian who has been dislocated from the Body of Christ, put that spiritual limb back in place, mend that fellow Christian.

The tense of “restore” is the continuous present, suggesting this may involve a process of mending; thus, we may need a lot patience and love to help this person.

NOTE: We are NOT talking about a habitual sin, willful and unrepented sin (that’s another subject), BUT rather a person who has slipped into sin, made a false step.

Gal.6:2 - “Bear ye one another's burdens (baros), and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
v.2 “Burden” in the Greek is the word “Baros” – and denotes a weight or that which makes a demand on one’s resources - It always suggest that which is heavy or burdensome.
Now, go to Gal.6:5 - “For every man shall bear his own burden (phortion).”

We see the word “burden” again, but it is a different Greek word, “Phortion,” which means - Something which is borne without reference to weight
(See Matt. 11:30 Jesus said, “...My burden (Phortion) is light.”)
So, in life there are 2 types of burdens - heavy burdens (Baros) and light burdens (Phortion). God tells us to take care of our light burdens (phortion) with His help - verse 5,
BUT God wants us (the Body of Christ) to bear the heavy burden (v.2) of a wounded, dislocated Christian. By doing so, we “...fulfill the law of Christ,” (v.2) which I believe is to love (see Gal.5:13, 14 & John 13:34, 35). Please keep in mind that even a light burden can become heavy to a Christian who has fallen and is out of God’s will in an area of their life.
If you know someone who may, so to speak, have taken a “false step,” it may be time for you who are “Spiritual - meek” to take the necessary step to help in the process of restoring this fallen Christian. You’ll do this by walking in love with that person, encouraging that person (taking them under your spiritual wings ), and of course praying for that person.

On the other hand
, if you know that you are that fallen Christian, you need to find some “strong/spiritual/meek” Christian(s) to help you out of your fault “paraptoma.” That may be your pastor, Christian friend, accountability group, etc.
On a positive note, just by knowing you have blundered and acknowledging it is a step in the right direction, for many times a fallen Christian is blind to/ignorant of his fault, which is when the Body of Christ needs to step in (in love) and let that brother/sister know that they have taken a false step.

May this word today encourage us to answer the call of being a “Burden Bearer,” or to take the necessary steps to be free from a “false step” and get back on track in the will of God.

In His Service,
Jim Mazzulla (Founder of BibleFood devotional)

Daily Smile: 


Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his boots?

He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked and sure enough, they were.

It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, "These aren't my boots."

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream,"Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to.

Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them."

She didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" 

He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots..."

Her trial starts next month.