On Wings Of Eagles

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Shine in the World His Light

"One night at the end of a special Saturday night worship service," writes Warren Hudson of Ontario, Canada, "a thunderstorm unleashed a bolt of lightning that plunged the church into darkness." With the congregation seated in total darkness, the pastor felt his way to the kitchen to find some candles. The pastor handed out the candles to everyone present. The people lit their candles in much the same way as churches do on Christmas Eve, each person lighting the candle of the person next to them. The worshipers then made their way through the church's winding hallways to the front door.

"Peering out, we could see the rain coming down in sheets," Warren remembers. With traffic snarled, people were running for the nearest shelter. Looking around they realized that the entire city was in darkness. "There in the darkness we stood," Warren writes, "a little band of Christians, each clutching a light, not sure whether to venture out into the storm or stay inside the church in hopes that the storm would soon blow over."

There in the darkness the light of truth struck him. In this most dramatic way he realized what it means to be the "light of the world." He writes, "It occurred to me then that this is the temptation I face every day. It is easy to play it safe and be a good Christian in church. It is a lot harder to venture out in faith into the storms of the world."

And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

-Revelation 22:5

Dear Lord, We pray that we would take the light that we have in our life and let it shine in this world that needs it so bad. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have You Caught the Vision?

Jim Egan worked at the West Coast Computer Fair in 1977. His job was to help customers decorate their booths. Industry shows are the cheapest way to reach customers within the trade, but some undercapitalized entrepreneurs hardly have enough to rent a booth, let alone pay for the decorations. Egan was approached by a couple of long-haired kids who wanted some chrome displays to make their booth "look flashy." Egan said he had the displays but they were for rent. The kids said they were short of cash, but perhaps Egan might like some stock in their new company. Egan, who had seen them come and go in his twenty years in the business, said he would accept only hard cash. So Steve Wozniak and Steven Jobs did without the chrome, fixed up their booth, and kept the stock in Apple Computer to themselves. Presumably, Jim Egan is still decorating booths for hard cash. Sometimes it is a good thing to catch someone else's dream.

The story of the New Testament is the story of men and women who got close enough to Jesus to catch his dream. Doesn't it amaze you how quickly the disciples left their fishing nets to follow Jesus? What are you waiting for?

He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah."

-Mark 8:29

Dear Lord, may we catch your vision by coming close to your heart of love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are You Willing to be a Candle?

Author Nell Mohney tells about a friend of hers who is consistently upbeat. This woman's outlook was contagiously. But when Nell complimented her friend, the woman confessed that she had not always been like that.

One day many years earlier, this woman's husband confronted her about her constant complaining. When the woman protested, her husband pulled out a tape recorder on which he had secretly been taping their conversations. As the woman listened to herself on the tape, she began to cry. Was that really how she sounded? Right then and there, she prayed that God would show her who he wanted her to be.

A week later, this woman remembered an article she had read about an organization called "The Christophers." Their motto had made a deep impression on her: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." The woman realized that she had been living in darkness for too long. She began an intensive Bible study focusing on any verse that mentioned light. A new and deepened faith, along with some counseling from their minister, completed the woman's transformation. Her attitude was permanently changed.

Will you allow God's light to shine through your positive attitude?

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the body.

-Proverbs 15:30

Dear Lord, touch us and heal us, so that we will be a candle in the dark world around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Are You a Prayer Warrior

William Willimon, professor at Duke Divinity School, remembers when a friend of his visited the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Upon his return he announced that the church behind the Iron Curtain was mostly "irrelevant because the only people there are little old ladies." Dr. Willimon writes, "Looking back now at the collapse of communism, the difficulties of rebuilding the Soviet Union after a long period of spiritual bankruptcy, I hope my friend would now say, `Thank God for the little old ladies.' Their existence provided a continuing, visible, political rebuke to the Soviets."

It would be wonderful if our witness and prayers were as effective as that of those little old ladies.

A politician told a reporter, "I think the number one problem in this country is that no one wants to accept responsibility for anything. But don't quote me on that!"

Will we take the responsibility of being a good witness and praying. It probably will be a lot easier than what those little old ladies in Russia had to endure.

For you will be his witness to all the world of what you have seen and heard.

-Acts 22:15

Dear Lord, may we be responsible in sharing our witness with those we come into contact with each and very day. In Jesuss’ Name, Amen.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Beginning of Wisdom

There is a story of a woman who was walking across a parking lot. She saw a driverless car rolling toward her. With unusual agility, she opened the door, got in, and pulled up on the emergency brake. As she got out, a man with his shirt sleeves rolled up was among the fast- gathering crowd.

"Well, I stopped the car!" she announced with pride to the man.

"I know," the man replied, "I was pushing it!"

So often we act impulsively, giving little thought to the reasons for our actions or their possible outcomes. Our impulsive responses can get us into trouble.

Try giving yourself a little distance from your emotions, stopping to think and pray before taking action. Asking God to help you decide what to do, because, when we pray, we open every moment of our lives to the wisdom and power of God.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.

-Psalms 111:10

Dear Lord, may our prayers open us more fully to your wisdom. Help us make choices that you would have for us to make. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Study God's Word

There was once a man who traveled to Hannibal, Missouri, to visit the boyhood home of author, Mark Twain. The house was a "trim, white-washed house with green shutters, set incongruously in the middle of downtown." It cost two dollars to walk around the site. Bryson found the house a disappointment. "It purported to be a faithful reproduction of the original interiors," he writes, "but there were wires and water sprinklers clumsily evident in every room. I also very much doubt that young Samuel Clemens' bedroom had Armstrong vinyl on the floor or that his sister's bedroom had a plywood partition in it."

The house is owned by the city of Hannibal and attracts 135,000 visitors each year. Bryson was disappointed that he wasn't able to actually go inside the house. "You look through the windows," he says. At each window there is a recorded message telling about each room. As he proceeded from window to window he asked another tourist. "What do you think of it?" The friendly stranger replied, "Oh, I think it's great. I come here whenever I'm in Hannibal--two, three times a year. Sometimes I go out of my way to come here." Dumbfounded, He replied, "Really?" "Yeah," answered the stranger. "I must have been here twenty, thirty times by now. This is a real shrine, you know."

They walked and talked some more. His last question to the man was, "Would you say the house is just like Twain described it in his books?" "I don't know," the stranger said. "I've never read one of his books."

Visiting his shrine--but ignoring his books. Doubtless there are many followers of Jesus who are satisfied with that same superficial approach. They visit his shrine, but never read his teachings. God calls us to an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, which means taking time to read our Bibles.

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

-2 Timothy 3:16

Dear Lord, help us to know you better by reading our Bible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Be Not Conformed to this World

A shipwrecked sailor was alone on a desert island for several years. To his great relief, he spied a ship on the horizon. He built a great bonfire to catch the crew's attention. Soon the ship was dropping anchor off the little island and a small rescue boat was lowered into the water. One solitary crewman was in the rescue boat. He was carrying an armful of newspapers. "Read these," he said to the sailor, "and decide whether you want to be rescued."

Perhaps you would agree with Ogden Nash, "Progress was once a very good idea; however, it has been going on far too long."

As humorist Robert Orben says, "You have to question any period in history in which people are saying that God is dead and Elvis is alive."

Our world is not always what we want it to be, however, we don't belong to this world anyway.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect.

-Romans 12:2

Dear Lord, help us to make this world a better place for sharing your word, as we prepare for your heavenly kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Friday, April 23, 2010

Where is Your Treasue?

Some people today dream of winning the Publishers Clearing House, but in Jesus' time people dreamed of finding treasure buried in a field or at least discovering a precious stone lying in the road. Commerce and banking were not as sophisticated as they are today. There were no offshore banks in the grand Caymans; no unnumbered accounts in Switzerland. So people who wanted to secure their wealth buried it in the ground. It gained no interest, but at least it was secure. Unfortunately, some of these people died before reclaiming their wealth. So there it lay just waiting for someone to discover it.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like that. It is like treasure hidden in a field which someone stumbled upon. In order to secure his new found wealth, the lucky finder hid the treasure all over again in that same field. Then joyfully he took everything he had and sold it to buy the field. Then the treasure was his.

Are you willing to give up the mundane to claim the great treasure of God's kingdom?

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

-Matthew 13:44

Dear Lord, God of all kingdoms, may we not let the things we have get in the way of living in your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

God is Always There

"It was one of the worst days of my life," writes Clara Null of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in THE CHRISTIAN READER Magazine. "The washing machine broke down, the telephone kept ringing, my head ached, and the mail carrier brought a bill I had no money to pay. Almost to the breaking point, I lifted my one-year-old into his highchair, leaned my head against the tray, and began to cry. Without a word, my son took his pacifier out of his mouth . . . and stuck it in mine." Some of you have been there. You understand.

It is breaking moments like these that we realize how badly we need God. It is often in our broken moments that we find rebirth in Jesus Christ.

Let's do something today to heal broken moments and lives as we offer God's hope and love in Jesus Christ.

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

-Titus 3:5

Dear Lord, let us not lose it all when we are broken, but help us realize our great need for you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Upon This Rock

"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not what I tell you?" Why indeed. We know Christ's way is the best way. We know that it is destructive to believe one way and live another. We know that Christ has made us certain promises and that he is able to keep those promises. Why then do we not listen to His words and build our house on the Rock where the flood, and the wind, and the stream cannot shake it, because it is built on solid ground?

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

-Matthew 16.18

Dear Lord, starting today, we are going to build a better foundation for our life on the rock of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


NEWSWEEK once cited a humorous historical footnote that reveals how easily communications can be garbled. In the moving speech that President John F. Kennedy gave at the Berlin Wall in 1963 which he ended by saying, "Ich bin ein Berliner." Literally that translates to "I am a Berliner," but according to Newsweek, in the German vernacular it really translates as "I am a jelly doughnut."

Remember how Paul warned against speaking in tongues without an interpreter present. The purpose of the church is to communicate. We are God's Word in the world today. Why? Because we are Christ's body and He is the Eternal Word. We are called to communicate the Good News of God's love revealed in Christ.

And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

-Mark 16.20

Dear Lord, help us as we communicate the Good News. Help us to share the message of love to all those we come into contact with today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We are all Known to God

An Associated Press report from Ocean Springs, Mississippi sometime back, told about a man whose last name is Unknown.This gentleman's last name really is Unknown. What's his name? Unknown. His full name is Nikone Unknown. Unknown is 40-years-old and he owns a restaurant in Ocean Springs. Unknown acquired that name when he immigrated to the United States from Laos in 1979. Unknown feared revealing his real name to immigration officials, who simply listed his last name as "unknown." Unknown's wife is Ratchanee Unknown, and his son is Nick Unknown. This world is filled with people who think they are unknown, lost, or forgotten.

But God knows each and everyone one of us. God knows our heart and mind. God knows our needs. God even knows the number of hairs on our head. I realize some of us may have more hair than others, but that is how well God knows us.

And even the hairs of your head are all counted.

-Matthew 10:30

Dear Lord, thank you for knowing our needs. Please show us the way to fulfulling those needs. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Forgiveness is Sweet

It was a game. Bobby liked to play soldier. Today he had made himself a sword out of a stick. He tried to get his sister to play with him, but this was too rough for her. He chose the family goose for his opponent. He attacked! Around and around they went. It was great fun until he miscalculated, and the homemade sword fell upon the goose' neck. Fear filled his heart as he saw his father's favorite goose lying on the ground dying. His sister didn't help matters as she began to yell, "I'm going to tell daddy what you've done; you've killed his goose."

He had to think of something. Finally he said to his sister, "We'll bury the goose, and hide it and we won't tell anyone." I'll promise to do whatever you want if you will not tell dad about this goose. The plan seemed to work well. He worked out all the details. That night when his father came in, the goose wasn't missed.

Everything seemed to be going well until after supper. When it came time for him to dry the dishes and for his sister to wash them, she said to him, "you're going to wash the dishes and dry them, too. If you don't, I'm going to tell dad." Well, that was all right with Bobby. He thought, once, that's not bad. But this happened day after day after day. He found himself doing not only his work, but his sisters chores. And each day she would say, "if you don't do my share, I'm going to tell dad that I bet you killed the goose." This continued until he could tolerate it no longer.

So one evening when his father was coming in, he met him in the street, and he confessed what he had done. He discovered that the end of the world did not come and that his father was understanding. His father forgave him. He went on into the house for the evening meal feeling like a different Bobby than he had in several days. After the evening meal, his sister said, "if you don't do my part, I'm going to tell." The atmosphere was completely different. He said, "You go ahead and tell. I've already told dad, and I've been forgiven."

Forgiveness is sweet. Unconfessed sin brings anxiety and frustration.

I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."

-Psalms 41:4

Dear Lord, Please forgive us, for we have sinned. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Gospel in a Picture

The artist who drew this is Joe Castillo. He went to Asbury Theological Seminary.

He did this during a chapel service. It was fascinating - he told the Gospel story - each part of Jesus' life - and he was drawing the story as he told the story.

We didn't realize until the end what the entire picture was.

A rare talent!

The 'longer' you look at this picture, the 'more' you see.

As you look at the lines the artist used to draw this picture of Christ, it comes alive...

It is of scenes from Christ's life.

I have not seen anything like this

In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.

May God Always Bless You and Yours!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spending Our Resources

The Pharisees were again plotting against Jesus. They had a question for him. They were trying to trap him into saying something that would discredit him. The Pharisees wanted to silence him and make him look bad in front of the crowd. Being the hypocrites that they were they baited their trap with a compliment. "Teacher, we know that you are sincere," one of them said, "and teach the way of God in accordance with truth." Say, what? They did not believe that for a minute, but they wanted the people listening to think they were giving Jesus a fair chance.

Then they asked him a loaded question, "Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?" If Jesus says it's all right to pay taxes to the Roman government, then he will lose face with most of his audience. For the Jewish community it was offensive to pay taxes to the hated Romans. Paying taxes was simply a way of supporting the Roman's detestable occupation. On the other hand if Jesus says it's wrong to pay taxes, then he will be in trouble with the Romans. It was a no win situation.

Jesus knew the Pharisees were trying to trap him. Fortunately he was wiser than they. He asks, "Show me the coin used for the tax." Jesus is using a subtle strategy here. One Pharisees produced a Roman coin from his pocket. Little did the Pharisee realize that in even possessing a Roman coin he already was well on the way to losing the argument. The Jewish people found the inscription on the Roman coins offensive, "Tiberius Caesar, Son of the Divine Augustus, Pontifex Maximus." To the Jewish people the inscription on the Roman coin was a deliberate break with the Ten Commandments that prohibit "graven images." For these and other reasons the Jewish people did not use Roman coins. They had their own temple currency. In producing a Roman coin the Pharisee showed which side he was really on.

Where we spend our resources says which side we are really on too.

Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's.

-Matthew 22:21

Dear Lord, may our support for your work clearly say that we are for you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We are all Full of Beauty

In Jesus Christ we are all children of God. We are not losers at all. We are not unlovable at all. In fact, because we have met the Master, we are really quite beautiful.

Antonio Sanchez was only five years old when he was sent to a Mexican prison for juveniles after allegedly murdering his baby brother. Tony's parents, who had beaten him with chains and tortured him with fire, deserted him and disappeared after telling police he was the killer. In prison other inmates taunted him with the word "murderer" and sometimes abused him. He had to fight for food.

No one seemed to care what happened to Tony, until Carolyn Koons, an American professor, heard his story. She battled bureaucracy and a corrupt prison warden for almost three years to secure Tony's release and adoption at age twelve; but her real struggles had only begun. Somehow she had to meet the needs of a boy who still stuffed rolls into his pockets because of past hunger, who lashed out at others because of his emotional scars, and who seemed enticed by every wrong because of his unbridled life.

Tony Sanchez was not initially drawn to his new mother. In fact, he seemed more drawn to trouble than to anything else. He accused her frequently of not loving him and taunted her with "I won't obey you or anyone." Carolyn never stopped barbecuing those juicy hamburgers he craved, never quit hugging him after his acid words, never ceased rescuing him from fights.

Carolyn had almost despaired of Tony ever bonding to her. But then Carolyn got a big surprise; Tony made an unexpected speech at his junior high graduation. In almost a stutter he said, "I want to thank my mom for adopting me and bringing me to the United States." Then with tears streaming down his face, he yelled, "I love you, Mom. I love you. I love you."

Why did Tony love the woman who adopted him? It was because he could look into her eyes and see himself as someone of worth, someone of beauty.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

-Galatians 3:25-26

Dear Lord, We want to thank you for making each of us a thing of beauty. We pray that as we meet those around us that we would see their beauty also. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let Christ Work in You

A man was once asked if he would find time to cheer up a young man who was recuperating from a nervous breakdown. He promised to do his best. He sought the young man out and began to try to help him, but it was hard work. "This is a gray world," the young man said. "I see no purpose in it. It is dull, meaningless and evil. Its pleasures soon pass."

He worked to see him once or twice a week for nearly two months. Every conversation was the same--nothing seemed to improve. Then something happened to that young man. He fell in love. Head over heels in love! On the day his engagement was announced he came to see the man and began the conversation with words something like this: "This is a lovely world. Come out into the garden and listen to that little bird singing fit to burst its heart. Isn't it a glorious morning? How good it is to be alive!"

That young man did not will himself to that change of attitude. It was not a choice he made. Something happened to him within. He fell in love.

So it is when we experience Christ's presence in our lives. The world seems to change. But it isn't the world at all. It is Christ working in our lives.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3:22-23

Dear Lord, may we fall in love with you everyday, because you make our life worth living. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hold on to the Things that Will Last

As we struggle with all the things around us falling apart I have found a list of 10 things that we can know will always stay the same. So instead of getting discouraged Hold on to these.

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth..

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still honor the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

Isn't It Great To Remember Who Is Really In Control,and that; "the Word of the Lord endures forever."

-1 Peter 1:25

Dear Lord, We pray that in these hard times when nothing seems to be worth hanging onto we will take you by your word and trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Importance of Talking With God

It seems that we have an unwritten motto in our culture that says, "The busier we are, the happier we are." So we strive to be busy. But I think it is a mistake for us to be too busy for people, quietness, or conversation with God.

Consider Jesus' approach. By night fall word had spread throughout the town that Jesus was there and that he had the power to heal people. By dusk Mark says the whole city was at Simon's house looking for Jesus. They brought their sick, "with various diseases," hoping that he would be able to heal them. The disciples had never seen such a crowd. With all those people Jesus must have been exhausted. It was probably late when they all left. Yet early the next morning, before anyone in the house woke up, Jesus left in search of a lonely place, a place where the crowds would be unable to find him, so he could be alone to pray. Jesus, who had given so much of himself to others, needed some time alone with God. He who had given so much; needed some time to receive. That's also true of us. We need to take time to talk with God, so that we gain energy and strength to face the challenges of our lives.

I read a story once of a man who was talking to a minister. The man said, "Hey, you got it all wrong about this God stuff. God doesn't exist. I ought to know."

"Why is that?" asked the minister.

"Well," the man said, "when I was ice-fishing in the Arctic far from the nearest village, a blizzard blew up with wind and blinding snow. I was a goner. So I got down on my knees and prayed real hard, begging God for help."

"And did God help you?" asked the minister.

"Heck no," said the man. "God didn't lift a finger. Some Eskimo appeared out of nowhere and showed me the way to the village."

What this man didn't seem to understand is that God works through you and me. There will be times when our prayers will not be answered the way we want them to be. But prayer is answered. Sometimes the answer is "no." And another important thing--we should not allow our prayers to become a time when we list all of wants from God.

Prayer is powerful. Prayer is a time to connect ourselves to God, and that which is sacred, and prayer does bring us greater happiness and faith.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.

-Mark 1:35

Dear Lord, thank you for your example of prayer. Move us daily to spend time talking to our Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Healing Through Giving

I heard a story about a lody who lost her husband and she was having difficulty moving through the stages of grief. For weeks, she went each day to the cemetery to put flowers on his grave. She simply could not let go. No matter what she did it seemed that her grief would not dissipate. In her despair, she went to her doctor for a check-up. When she told him about taking the flowers each day to the cemetery her doctor made a gentle suggestion.

He said, "Instead of taking flowers to the cemetery, let me suggest you take them to the hospital. I have two patients who are alone. They have no family in this city and they would really enjoy receiving some fresh flowers. Why not take those fresh flowers, for one day, to the hospital rather than to the cemetery? Ask them about their progress and give them some encouragement. See if there is anything you can do for them." The lady took the doctor's suggestion. She took the flowers to the hospital rather than to the cemetery. Soon she was able to work through her grief, because she had given of herself to help others in need.

This lady had discovered the lesson of healing through giving. Giving takes away many of the pains we carry in life. My prayer is that we can learn that lesson too!

Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.

-Mark 4:24

Dear Lord, once again we have been made very aware of how much you have given to us. Help us to be the shining example of what we would like to see in others through our giving. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.