On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trust In the Lord

A man was once being conducted by a guide over a dangerous Alpine trail. At length they came to a place where a great rock jutted out over the precipice, leaving only the fragment of a pathway. The guide laid hold on the rock with one hand and put his other hand down on what was left of the trail, the hand extending out over the abyss. He told the other man to step on his hand and forearm and thus pass around the rock in safety. The man hesitated and was afraid; but the guide said, "Do not fear to stand on my hand. That hand has never yet lost a man!"

The pierced hand of Christ has never yet lost a man who took that hand and put his trust in him.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.

-(Prov. 3: 5-6)

Dear Lord, we pray that we will always trust you and that our trust won’t ever waiver. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Tonight we watched the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe “along with Aslan himself, the heroes of the Narnia are the four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Taken away from their London home to avoid the Nazi bombings, they are boarded with an elderly bachelor professor in his rambling mansion in the country.

While playing hide-and-seek, Lucy, the youngest at age 8, hides in an old wardrobe filled with racks of overcoats. Moving farther back to escape detection, she pushes her way past the coats, expecting to hit against the back of the wardrobe at any moment. Lucy feels instead the boughs of evergreen trees, hears the crunch of snow at her feet, and sees in the distance the glow of a lamp post just like those she had seen many times back in London.

This marks the beginning of the four siblings' many adventures in Narnia.

For those who know to watch for it, Lewis has filled Narnia, not only with interesting characters, majestic scenery, and exciting action, but also with Christian allegory. Aslan himself represents Jesus Christ, "the lion of the tribe of Judah" (Revelation 7:14). The children eventually become so much at home in Narnia that they see it as their native land and this world as the place where they are visitors.

The Stone Table, which symbolizes how Christ's death and resurrection brought about the end of the Law of Moses by meeting its demands for blood atonement. Watch also for the role Susan and Lucy play in witnessing the death and revival of Aslan, corresponding to the historical role women played as mourners at Jesus' death and burial and as the first witnesses of His resurrection.

The professor helps Peter and Susan to sort through how to receive Lucy's testimony about Narnia: if she's not a liar and she's not crazy, then logically, she must be telling the truth. This corresponds to the testimony Jesus gave about His own identify, and the testimony His follows gave about Him.

Another significant parallel is this: Aslan's loyal followers play a significant role in the battle against the White Witch. Like our own spiritual warfare, Christ ensures the final victory, but calls on His followers to engage personally in the fight.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

- Revelation 11:15 (King James Version)

Dear lord, we pray that we will always look forward to the eternal kingdom that you have prepared for us in heaven. Help our actions always bring honor to you and lead others to call upon you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Thursday, July 29, 2010

True Friends

In a battle in Scotland there were two brothers in the same regiment. Their army was beaten and was leaving the field. One of the brothers lay on the ground desperately wounded; but the other brother, also wounded, was still able to walk. Disregarding the entreaties of his brother that he leave him to die and flee with the others, he stooped down and lifted him to his back and thus left the field. By and by the warmth of the body of the brother who carried him revived the spirit and strength of the unconscious one; but the brother who carried him, when he had reached a place of safety, staggered and fell dead beneath him. One brother had given his life for another. Yet we are told that there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

- Proverbs 18:24 (New International Version)

Dear Lord, we thank you for our friends and we pray that we will be good friends back to each one. Above all else we thank you for being a close friend we can always count on. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Strong is Your Faith?

Blondin's greatest fame came in June of 1859 when he attempted to become the first person to cross a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile across the mighty Niagara Falls.

He walked across 160 feet above falls several times, each time with a different daring feat - once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet!

On one occasion though, he asked for the participation of a volunteer.

A large crowd gathered and a buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oooohed!” and “Aaaaahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across one dangerous step after another -- blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow.

Upon reaching the other side, the crowd's applause was louder than the roar of the falls! Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?"The crowd enthusiastically shouted, "Yes, yes, yes. You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. You can do anything!"

"Okay," said Blondin, "Get in the wheelbarrow....."

The Blondin story goes that no one did!

(Later in August of 1859, his manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin's back across the Falls.)

The story of Charles Blondin paints a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd had watched his daring feats. They said they believed, but their actions proved they truly didn't.

It's one thing for us to say we believe in God. It's true faith though when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. Don't worry, Jesus has carried many across to Heaven's gates. He can be trusted!

The way to walk a tightrope is to keep one's sight on the goal, looking neither down to the ground nor over our shoulder at what is behind. The way to walk with Jesus is to keep our eye on the goal, his victory waiting for us when he returns, not on the ground (our failures) and not what is behind (our accomplishments). The goal of the Christian walk is to keep walking toward Jesus until we walk with him in heaven.

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

- Matthew 17:20 (New International Version)

Dear Lord, We look forward to the day when you call us by name and walk hand in hand with us. Until that day, help us fix our eyes on what you want us to be and not what we’ve done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bad Day? or Trusting God?

How you can tell when it's going to be a rotten day:

You wake up face down on the pavement.

You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.

You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

You turn on the news and they're showing emergency routes out of the city.

Your twin sister forgot your birthday.

Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.

The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.

You wake up and your braces are locked together.

You call your answering service and they tell you it's none of your business.

Your income tax check bounces.

You put both contact lenses in the same eye.

Remember that you do not have the job of worrying about things. You do not have the job of fixing the world. You do not have to fear the things of this world. You are to take comfort in the fact that God loves you. You need to find out just how much He loves you. You are not on the earth by accident. He has a place for you, a job for you, a future for you. Find out your place. Rest in the protection He provides.

The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.

The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

- Psalm 121:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)

Dear Lord, we pray that we will face each day with the remembrance that you are always there for us, and that we don’t have to worry about the things that come our way. In Jesus’ Name Amen

Monday, July 26, 2010

Are You Spending Enough Time in God's Word?

Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married?

A. Ruthless.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany?

A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?

A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. What was the greatest female financier in the Bible?

A. Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?

A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?

A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?

A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?

A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?

A. The area around Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.

Q. Who is the greatest baby sitter mentioned in the Bible?

A. David. He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.

Q. Which Bible character had no parents?

A. Joshua, son of Nun.

Something we used in our 5th grade Sunday School class was Bible trivia which proved to be fun and educational. How many of the questions could you answer? Are you spending enough time in God’s word?

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

-2 Timothy 2:15 (New American Standard Bible)

Dear Lord, Be Thou within me, to strengthen me; Without me, to keep me;

Above me, to protect me; Beneath me, to uphold me; Before me, to direct me; Behind me, to keep me from straying; Round about me, to defend me. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Sunday, July 25, 2010

God's Holy Word

God’s Word is an amazing book. The Holy Bible contains 66 books 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament written by 40 different authors over approximately 1,500 years. The King James Bible contains 1,189 chapters, 31,101 verses, 783,137 words, and 3,566,480 letters. The Bible was the first book printed by Johannes Gutenburg, the inventor of the modern printing press in 1455-57. The Old Testament was divided into verses in 1448 and the New Testament was divided into verses in 1551.

The longest book in the Bible is Psalms. The shortest book is 3 John. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119 and the shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117. The Bible is the best selling book in the world, with the total number of Bibles sold or given away each day estimated at 168,000 (Wycliffe International). A recent survey by Barna Research Group revealed that nearly 92% of American households own at least one Bible.

Lets make an effort to spend time in God’s word and make it apart of our life.

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

- Joshua 1:7-8 (New American Standard Bible)

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father We pray that we will take the time to read Your word and study it so that it becomes part of our daily life and those around us we see You in our life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is He Your Anchor?

An old sea captain was quizzing a young naval student. "What steps would you take if a sudden storm came up on the starboard?"

He replied, "I would throw out an anchor, Sir."

"What would you do if another storm sprang up aft?" asked the captain. "I'd throw out another anchor, Sir."

"But what if a third storm sprang up forward?"

"I'd throw out another anchor, Captain."

"Wait a minute, son," said the Captain. "Where in the world are you getting all those anchors?"

The young man replied, "From the same place you're getting all those storms."

Personal storms or crises have a way of showing up unexpectedly. The person without some anchors can get blown away. The best anchors on earth are these: dependable friends; a stable, loving family; a church home; and a personal relationship with the One who is bigger than any storm.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

-Mark 4:39 (NIV)

Dear Lord, We pray that when the storms of life come that we will hold onto you, the true anchor in the storm. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are You Laying up Your Treasures in Heaven?

A rock hound named Rob Cutshaw owns a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. Like many in the trade, he hunts for rocks, then sells them to collectors or jewelry makers. He knows enough about rocks to decide which to pick up and sell, but he's no expert. He leaves the appraising of his rocks to other people. As much as he enjoys the work, it doesn't always pay the bills. He occasionally moonlights, cutting wood to help put bread on the table.

While on a dig twenty years ago, Rob found a rock he described as "purdy and big." He tried unsuccessfully to sell the specimen, and according to the Constitution, kept the rock under his bed or in his closet. He guessed the blue chunk could bring as much as $500 dollars, but he would have taken less if something urgent came up like paying his power bill. That's how close Rob came to hawking for a few hundred dollars what turned out to be the largest, most valuable sapphire ever found. The blue rock that Rob had abandoned to the darkness of a closet two decades ago -- now known as "The Star of David" sapphire -- weighs nearly a pound, and could easily sell for $2.75 million.

As nice is it is to have the Earthly treasures we need to keep our focus on doing the things that last forever in His kingdom

Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

- Matthew 6:20-21 (New Living Translation)

Dear Lord we pray that we will always keep in mind that our true treasure is in heaven. Help us to be able to balance the things that are important. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are You Sharing Grace?

Years ago, there was a father that coached a team of eight-year-olds. He had a few excellent players, and some who just couldn't get the hang of the game. His team didn't win once all season. But in the last inning of the last game, his team was only down by a run. There was one boy who had never been able to hit the ball--or catch it. With two outs, it was his turn to bat. He surprised the world and got a single!

The next batter was the team slugger. Finally, his players might win a game. The slugger connected, and as the boy who hit the single ran to second, he saw the ball coming toward him. Not so certain of baseball's rules, he caught it. Final out! His team lost! Quickly, the coach told his team to cheer. The boy beamed. It never occurred to him that he lost the game. All he knew was he had hit the ball and caught it--both for the first time. His parents later thanked the coach. Their child had never even gotten in a game before that season.

They never told the boy exactly what happened. They didn't want to ruin it for him. What a great example of what is really important in life. Yes its fun to win, but sometimes it is more important to build up and encourage those around us.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

- Titus 2:11-12 (New International Version)

Dear Lord We thank you for your grace, we pray that we will share it with those we have contact with today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do You Give Youth its Opportunity to Succeed?

A story is told of the city fathers of Florence, Italy in 1403 that decided to add to the Baptistry of St. John. They held a competition among seven artisans to craft two large bronze doors. The winner was Lorenzo Ghiberti, a twenty-year-old trained goldsmith who had never won a commission for his work. The other rivals were more experienced and well known, but the city fathers believed Ghiberti was the right person, in spite of his youth. Ghiberti spent the next 20 years completing the bronze doors. Each door contained 14 quatrefoil-framed scenes from the lives of Christ, the Evangelists, and the church fathers. Installed in 1424, the doors were highly praised. Although the reliefs were mainly Gothic in style, the later ones showed a transitioning toward the Renaissance style.

In 1425, the Florence city fathers commissioned Ghiberti to do a third set of bronze doors in the baptistery at Florence. It took him twenty-seven years to complete this set of doors, each portraying five scenes from the Old Testament. Michelangelo later praised these doors by calling them the "Gates of Paradise." This third set of beautiful doors would never have been made had not the young Ghiberti been given the opportunity to craft the second set of doors.

Do you give youth its opportunity to succeed?

"We who are older should always be careful to encourage the desire of the young to serve, and let no one despise their youth!"

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

-1 Timothy 4:12 (New International Version)

Dear Lord, We thank you for the young people. We pray that we will never look down on them but always look to them as the potential that they are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are You Using Your Talents?

As we continue to watch America's Got Talent it reminds me of a story I once read about a talent show at a local hall.

The first contestant played a saxophone solo. It was so brilliant that the audience cheered wildly and gave him a standing ovation. On the basis of that one solo, people were comparing the player to John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Shortly after he walked of the stage, a very prominent individual in the music industry offered the player a recording contract, and a chance to play with some of his jazz heroes.

The second contestant read a poem she wrote. The words and the way she read those words moved some people to tears. When she was done, the audience cheered enthusiastically. Shortly after she walked of the stage, she was offered a position writing poetry for the local newspaper writing , with an opportunity to publish more of her work.

The third contestant walked out to the stage carrying a guitar. "Well," he stammered, "I had thought I would play this guitar my father gave me. But there are other players so much better than me, so I didn’t put anything together."

The crowd fell silent. Shortly after he walked off the stage, his father seized the guitar and gave it to the saxophone player saying, "Take this and use it so that others may hear the music this instrument makes."

How often do we feel like the third contestant? Perhaps you are feeling like you have a talent for something, but you’re not sure if you are talented enough. Have you ever thought about where your talents come from?

God knows our potential better than we do! He gives us an abundance of talents because He loves us enough to trust us with them. It is up to us to use those talents. Otherwise, like the father of the guitarist in the story, He will take our talents away from us and give them to someone else who will use them. So let us use our talents proudly, toward eternal ends, trusting in Him who gave us those talents in the first place. Make the commitment today to use the talent God gave you; after all He gave it to you for a reason.

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

- Ephesians 4:16 (King James Version)

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, We pray that we will use the talents that you gave to each of us. Help us to remember that You will take them and multiply them if only we are willing to use them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Monday, July 19, 2010

Are You a Mainland Bear or an Island Bear?

Black bears, polar bears and grizzly bears are all considered extremely dangerous throughout Canada. They are extremely fascinated by the non-natural foods that we humans leisurely partake of (And who can blame them for wanting to have popcorn, coke, and a movie to watch?). But once a bear is "addicted" to human food, it cannot control its desires and it will do anything to obtain the food that it can smell. Especially when natural food sources are scarce!

According to one Vancouver Island guide in Tofino, British Columbia, Vancouver Island doesn't experience such bear attacks, and humans can live alongside bears peacefully. He tells about a time that he was once broiling a fish over a campfire when he heard a sudden movement behind him. When he turned to look, he was staring into the face of a black bear seated ten metres behind him. The bear looked at the guide curiously, smelled the air, and then moved on.

So why are the island bears less aggressive than the mainland bears? For one thing, only the slightly less aggressive black bear lives on the island. But according to the guide, the primary reason is that there are so many natural food sources on the island that the bears don't have to rely on human food for survival! Being omnivorous (eating both plant and animal life), the island bears have an abundant choice of berries, plants and fish. From time to time they will find a dead animal and eat its flesh, but no one has ever sighted a bear attacking other wildlife. In the words of the guide, "When a bear has an abundant food source, there is simply no reason to look for food elsewhere!"

It sure makes sense to me!

This is also so true for those of us who have met Jesus face to face. Once a close and intimate relationship has been developed with our Maker, the abundance He provides us with leaves us uninterested to the infamous attractions of this world. He is our everything, our provider, our almighty God.

We will still face our fair share of trials, but if we remain settled on the unmoveable Rock, we will not be stirred by them.

From time to time though we may fall into the trap of thinking about the "lustre" of our old lifestyle. If we do, the temptation to return to that life will come in with a vengeance. Truly, the devil is trying to usurp the relationship we have with our Maker, trying to steal the intimate fellowship we have with God, to replace it with a life of servitude and defeat: "Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God. He is your life.

Isn't it awesome that we no longer need to be afraid of the turmoil of life? With Jesus as our reality, He will provide for all of our needs beyond our expectations.

How do you live your life? Are you a mainland bear or an island bear?

Hungry? Come to the source of abundant food: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." (John 6:51 NIV)

Dear Lord, We pray today that we will be satisfied by you, that we won’t go looking for the things of the world to satisfy us. We pray that you will help us keep ourselves grounded in the things of you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We Are Safe in the Father's Hands

A new kind of modern airplane was on an experimental flight. It was full of reporters and journalists. A few minutes after the takeoff the captain's voice was heard from the loudspeakers: "I'm delighted to be your pilot, and the captain of this airplane on its first historical flight. I can tell you that the flight is going well. Nevertheless, I still have to tell you about a minor inconvenience that has occurred. The passengers that are sitting on the right side can, if they look through the window, see that the closest engine is slightly vibrating. That shouldn't worry you, because there are four engines, so you can feel perfectly safe. And, we are at the unbelievable altitude of 62,000 feet, flying at a speed of 1,050 mph as planned . . . But, if you're looking at that engine, maybe you can notice that the second engine is glowing, or more precisely one could say that it's burning. That shouldn't worry you either, since there are two more engines on the left side, and the altitude and speed are still as planned.

"Those of you that are sitting on the left side shouldn't worry if you notice that one engine that is supposed to be on the left side has been missing for about ten minutes. But, I must ask for your attention of one thing that seems to be a little more serious. Along the aisle, all the way through the plane, a crack has appeared. Some of you are, I suppose, looking through the crack and seeing the waves of the Atlantic. Those of you that have very good eyes can notice a small life boat on those waves that has been thrown out of the plane. Well, ladies and gentlemen, your captain is speaking from that life boat."

There are some situations, I suppose, about which we shouldn't even joke. And yet when I first heard that little piece of humor, I couldn't help thinking how descriptive it is of so many people's lives. Their plane is falling apart and they fear their captain is as remote as the one on that raft in the Atlantic 62,000 feet below.

If that is your situation, I suggest you read Jesus' words in our scripture reading today, because God is greater.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

- John 10:27-29 (New International Version)

Dear Lord, We pray that we will always remember that we are in your hands and you will never leave us on our own as long as we call upon your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

God Doesn't Want Us to Hurt Ourselves.

In A VIEW FROM THE ZOO, Gary Richmond, a former zoo keeper, tells about an experience a friend had with a raccoon. He explains that raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. A 30-pound raccoon can be equal to a 100-pound dog in a scrap. Richmond felt compelled to warn this young friend of his named Julie of the change coming to her pet raccoon. She listened politely as he explained the coming danger. She responded by saying what people always say, "It will be different for me...." And she smiled as she added, "Bandit wouldn't hurt me. He just wouldn't."

Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when Bandit attacked her for no apparent reason.

"It will be different for me..." Does any person who begins experimenting with alcohol or drugs ever expect that he or she will get hooked? Does any married person who becomes involved in an extra-marital affair ever look down the road to see the destruction he or she is bringing to other people involved? "It will be different for me..." but it never is. God hates sin because of what it does to people. God doesn't want us to hurt ourselves. God wants us to have life in all of it fullness.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

- John 8:12 (New International Version)

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, We pray that when temptations come our way we will be bale to satnd against them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.