On Wings Of Eagles

free counters

Sunday, October 31, 2010

God can Use Halloween.

Two men were walking home after a Halloween party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs.
Right in the middle of the cemetery they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows.
Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.
"Mister," one of them said after catching his breath, "You scared us half to death --we thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?"
"Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"

Oct. 31 is one of the best opportunities we have all year to share the gospel with children. Where else do we have contact with so many young people coming right to our front doors? Tracts can be used with candy and placed in trick-or-treat bags. What a great challenge to Christians to use this opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with 31 children this Halloween."

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

-1 John 3:18 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we would take the opportunities you give us to share your Love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

True Friendship

A teenage boy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had cancer and was in the hospital for several weeks to undergo radiation treatments and chemotherapy. During that time, he lost all of his hair. On the way home from the
hospital, he was worried-not about the cancer, but about the embarrassment of going back to school with a baldhead. He had already decided not to wear a wig or a hat.

When he arrived home, he walked in the front door and turned on the lights. To his surprise, about fifty of his friends jumped up and shouted, "Welcome home!"' The boy looked around the room and could hardly believe his eyes-all fifty of his friends had shaved their heads!

Wouldn't we all like to have caring friends who were so sensitive and committed to us that they would sacrifice their hair for us if that's what it took to make us feel affirmed, included, and loved? Friends like that are hard to find in today's world.

When we become Christians, we are adopted into an extended family of love and support-the church, the body of Christ. The Bible teaches us in I Corinthians 12 that when one member of the body hurts or experiences joy, the whole body shares in that pain or that joy. We suffer together, and we rejoice together. That's what it means to be the church. We are a community, a family-real friends.

When we act this way, we are doing for each other what Jesus Himself did for us. Jesus loved us so much that He did more than shave His head. He went to the cross for us. He gave up His life so that we might live.

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

-I Corinthians 12:14-20 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will work together in a manner that is pleasing to you. Help each of us be the part tha makes the whole body. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are You Hanging on, or Will You Let Go?

Natives in Africa capture monkeys by setting up cages and placing bait inside. The bait can be anything a monkey would want, such as food or an unusual object. The monkeys are lured to the cages but are too smart to actually go inside. Instead, they reach through the bars, grab the bait, and try to pull it out. Because the object is too large to go through the bars, the only way the monkey can get away is to drop the bait. But monkeys refuse to let go. They kick and squeal but keep holding on. They stay trapped in bondage because they refuse to let go of the bait.

Are you the devil’s monkey? Have you grabbed Satan’s bait, and don’t want to let go? Satan sets his trap, using things of the world as bait. If you grab it, you will be his prisoner as long as you hold on. You must choose to let go and hold on to God instead.

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

- Ephesians 4:26 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will let go of the things that aren’t good for us and that we will hang on to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do You Treat Those Around You with Value?

Don Wilton writes: "People quit on us when they don't feel valued. George and Mary Lou were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. A reporter asked George, 'What's your recipe for a long, happy marriage?' George explained that after the wedding his father-in-law handed him a package. Inside it was a gold watch that George still used. He showed it to the reporter. Across the face of the watch where he could see it a dozen times a day, were written the words, 'Say something nice to Mary Lou.' We all need that watch!

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
- Ephesians 4:29 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will always look for positive things to say to those around us. Help us to strive to build them up rather then tear them down. In Jesus’ name, amen

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Does it Feel Like your Knees are Going to Buckle?

The climactic event at Detroit's Cobo Hall exhibition of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was the high-wire act of the Wallenda family, or the Flying Wallendas, as they were known. They were among the greatest tight wire walkers in all of circus history. One of their acts was walking the tightrope in the formation of a four level pyramid. Four or five men formed the first level, two or three men made up the second level, two more were on the third, and finally a little girl topped the pyramid. Maintaining this four-level pyramid, they would make their way across the tightrope from one side of the arena to the other. It was incredible and unprecedented. They did it night after night, month after month around the world.

One particular evening, as the show came to its conclusion, the four-level pyramid was about to start. The audience tensed in anticipation, sitting in total silence in the dark arena. The spotlights picked the Wallendas out of the air as they started moving across the wire. About two-thirds of the way across, however, one of the men on the first level, young Dede Wallenda, began to tremble in his knees. He cried out in German, I cannot hold on any longer!" With that, he crumbled, and the entire pyramid collapsed. Several of the Wallendas fell to the floor many feet below. Some were crippled for life and one died.

Have you ever felt like Dede Wallenda? The pressures of school, homework, parents, family, or friends weigh down on you until you feel like yelling, "Help! I cannot hold on any longer!" While facing those times, we need to surround ourselves with loving friends and hold on to Christ. That's what the church is all about. The church doesn't exist to put additional pressure on us, but to support us and provide us with the help we need to survive in the world.

When you feel like your knees are about to buckle, come to Christ. Come to His people, the church.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

- Matthew 11:28 (New American Standard Bible)

Dear Lord we thank you for the rest you provide. We thank you for the church where we can find that rest. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Keeping Your Eyes on Him.

A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.

One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. "It sure would be nice to have some of that corn," he thought to himself. "And all this flying is very tiring. I'd like to just waddle around for a while."

So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey south, but Wally didn't care. "I'll rejoin them when they come back north in a few months," he said to himself.

Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck doo. "It's time to leave," said Wally.

So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn't exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, "Oh, well, I'll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I'll rejoin them and become a wild duck again."

But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn't have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.

Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.

Sometimes we get tired of being wild ducks-followers of Jesus Christ. It's not always easy to be obedient to God and to discipline ourselves to hang in there for the long haul. When we are feeling that way, that's when Satan tempts us to "fall out of formation" and to join the barnyard ducks - the world.

But look what happened to Wally. He thought he would just "check it out" for awhile and then leave when he wanted to. But he couldn't do it. Sin is like that. Sin is a trap, and it has a way of changing us into people we don't even want to become. Eventually we lose touch with who we really are--the sons and daughters of the Most High. We become barnyard ducks.

The LORD confides in those who fear him; He makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

- Psalm 25:14-15 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we won’t lose focus and that we will keep our eyes on You all the time knowing that You are watching out for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Gental Thunder, A story by Max Lucado

Once there was a man who dared God to speak.

"Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God and I will follow.

Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God and I will fight.

Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God and I will listen."

And so the man went and sat by a bush, near a wall close to the sea and waited for God to speak.

And God heard the man , So God answered.

He sent fire, not for the bush, but for a church.

He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin.

He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.

And God waited for the man to respond.

And he waited ...

And waited ...

And waited...

But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks, not lives; seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing.

Finally he looked at God and asked, "Have you lost your power?"

And God looked at him and said, "Have you lost your hearing?"

If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in His good time He will lift you up. Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.
-1 Peter 5: 6-7 (The Living Bible)

Dear Lord, we pray that our ears would be open and that we would hear what you are saying to us. Help us not only listen for what we want to hear. In Jesus’ Name, amen

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is His Light Shining Through You?

Once upon a time a little candle stood in a room filled with other candles, most of them much larger and much more beautiful than she was. Some were ornate and some were rather simple, like herself. Some were white, some were blue, some were pink, some were green. She had no idea why she was there, and the other candles made her feel rather small and insignificant.

When the sun went down and the room began to get dark, she noticed a large man walking toward her with a ball of fire on a stick. She suddenly realized that the man was going to set her on fire. "No, no!" she cried, "Aaaaagghhh! Don’t burn me, please!" But she knew that she could not be heard and prepared for the pain that would surely follow.

To her surprise, the room filled with light. She wondered where it came from since the man had extinguished his fire stick. To her delight, she realized that the light came from herself.

Then the man struck another fire stick and, one by one, lit the other candles in the room. Each one gave out the same light that she did.

During the next few hours, she noticed that, slowly, her wax began to flow. She became aware that she would soon die. With this realization came a sense of why she had been created. "Perhaps my purpose on earth is to give out light until I die," she mused. And that’s exactly what she did.
God created you and I to be the light in a dark world. Let us shine on this earth so that God may be glorified.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

- Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will let your light shine through us that the world may see You through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Will You Help Carry the Burden of Another?

Mr. Alter's fifth-grade class at Lake Elementary School in Oceanside, California, included fourteen boys who had no hair. Only one, however, had no choice in the matter. Ian O'Gorman, undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, faced the prospect of having his hair fall out in clumps. So he had his head shaved. But then 13 of his classmates shaved their heads, so Ian wouldn't feel out of place. "If everybody has his head shaved, sometimes people don't know who's who," said 11-year-old Scott Sebelius in an Associated Press story (March 1994). "They don't know who has cancer, and who just shaved their head." Ten-year-old Kyle Hanslik started it all. He talked to some other boys, and before long they all trekked to the barber shop.

"The last thing he would want is to not fit in," said Kyle. "We just wanted to make him feel better." Ian's father, Shawn, choked back tears as he talked about what the boys had done. He said simply, "It's hard to put words to."

What a great example by these young kids. Let’s find a way we can help somebody vary their burden today.

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

- Galatians 6:2 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will be the one to help carry the burden for somebody today. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lessons We Learn From Noah's Ark

All I really need to know about Life, I learned from Noah's Ark:
(1) Don't miss the boat.

(2) Don't forget we're all in the same boat.

(3) Plan ahead-it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

(4) Stay fit-when you're 600 years old someone might ask

you to do something really big.

(5) Don't listen to critics, just get on with what has to

be done.

(6) For safety's sake travel in pairs.

(7) Two heads are better than one.

(8) Build your future on high ground.

(9) Speed isn't always an advantage, after all, the snails

were on the same ark with the cheetahs.

(10) When you're stressed, float awhile.

(11) Remember the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic

was built by professionals.

(12) Remember that the woodpeckers inside are a larger

threat than the storm outside.

(13) No matter what the storm, when God is with you,

there's a rainbow waiting.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

- Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will take the lessons we have learned and become more like you would have us to be because of them. In Jesus’ name, amen

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Power of Prayer

While very ill, John Knox, the founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, called to his wife and said, "Read me that Scripture where I first cast my anchor." After he listened to the beautiful prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17, he seemed to forget his weakness. He began to pray, interceding earnestly for his fellowmen. He prayed for the ungodly who had thus far rejected the gospel. He pleaded in behalf of people who had been recently converted. And he requested protection for the Lord's servants, many of whom were facing persecution. As Knox prayed, his spirit went Home to be with the Lord. The man of whom Queen Mary had said, "I fear his prayers more than I do the armies of my enemies," ministered through prayer until the moment of his death.

Prayer is a powerful tool that each of us has to use. What a responsibility each of us has to prayer for all those in our life.

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
-John 17:1-5 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank You that we can talk to you through prayer. Please help us to remember our family and friends in our daily prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stand For What You Know is Right

In the operating room of a large hospital, a young nurse was completing her first full day of responsibilities.

"You've only removed 11 sponges, doctor," she said to the surgeon. "We used 12."

"I removed them all," the doctor declared. "We'll close the incision now."

"No," the nurse objected. "We used 12 sponges."

"I'll take full responsibility," the surgeon said grimly.


"You can't do that!" blazed the nurse. "Think of the patient."

The surgeon smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the 12th sponge. "You'll do," he said.

Will you stand for what you believe, even when the pressure is strong?

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

- Matthew 12:36 (ESV)

Dear Lord we pray that we would have the strength to stand for what we know is right. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do You Follow Your Convictions?

Who was United States Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas? I suppose you could call him a "Mr. Nobody." No law bears his name. Not a single list of Senate "greats" mentions his service. Yet when Ross entered the Senate in 1866, he was considered the man to watch. He seemed destined to surpass his colleagues, but he tossed it all away by one courageous act of conscience.

Let's set the stage.

Conflict was dividing our government in the wake of the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was determined to follow Lincoln's policy of reconciliation toward the defeated South. Congress, however, wanted to rule the downtrodden Confederate states with an iron hand.

Congress decided to strike first. Shortly after Senator Ross was seated, the Senate introduced impeachment proceedings against the hated President. The radicals calculated that they needed thirty-six votes, and smiled as they concluded that the thirty-sixth was none other than Ross'. The new senator listened to the vigilante talk. But to the surprise of many, he declared that the president "deserved as fair a trial as any accused man has ever had on earth." The word immediately went out that his vote was "shaky." Ross received an avalanche of anti-Johnson telegrams from every section of the country. Radical senators badgered him to "come to his senses."

The fateful day of the vote arrived. The courtroom galleries were packed. Tickets for admission were at an enormous premium.

As a deathlike stillness fell over the Senate chamber, the vote began. By the time they reached Ross, twenty-four "guilties" had been announced. Eleven more were certain. Only Ross' vote was needed to impeach the President. Unable to conceal his emotion, the Chief Justice asked in a trembling voice, "Mr. Senator Ross, how vote you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty as charged?" Ross later explained, at that moment, "I looked into my open grave. Friendships, position, fortune, and everything that makes life desirable to an ambitions man were about to be swept away by the breath of my mouth, perhaps forever." Then, the answer came -- unhesitating, unmistakable: "Not guilty!" With that, the trial was over. And the response was as predicted.

A high public official from Kansas wired Ross to say: "Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks." The "open grave" vision had become a reality. Ross' political career was in ruins. Extreme ostracism, and even physical attack awaited his family upon their return home.

One gloomy day Ross turned to his faithful wife and said, "Millions cursing me today will bless me tomorrow...though not but God can know the struggle it has cost me." It was a prophetic declaration. Twenty years later Congress and the Supreme Court verified the wisdom of his position, by changing the laws related to impeachment.

Ross was appointed Territorial Governor of New Mexico. Then, just prior to his death, he was awarded a special pension by Congress. The press and country took this opportunity to honor his courage which, they finally concluded, had saved our country from crisis and division.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

- Proverbs 16:9 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we would be strong and that we would stand by our convictions. In Jesus; name, amen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Run the Race

Hebrews 12:1 tells us to "run with endurance" the race set before us. George Matheson wrote, "We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harder -- the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks. It is a Christ-like thing! The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in the sickbed but in the street." To wait is hard, to do it with "good courage" is harder! 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Version)

Dear Lord help us to wait on you. Give us the patience we need. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All In God's Timing.

The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Mr. brooks?" he asked. 

"The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!" Haven't we felt the same way many times? 

Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began. 

Thomas a Kempis described that kind of patience in these words: "He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his superior, his equal, or his inferior...But from whomever, or how much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from the hand of God, and counts it gain!" 

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
- Psalm 37:7-9 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray for patience. Help us to wait upon your time and know that you have everything planned out for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Are You Available?

An elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the piano. The next day she placed this small ad in the Oakland Tribune: "Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent--the service is free." The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask, "What hymn would you like to hear?" Within a few months her playing had brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

-Ephesians 6:7-8, New International Version

Dear Lord we pray that we will be willing to use the gifts and talents that you have given to us. In Jesus’ name, amen

Friday, October 15, 2010

All In His Time

In a recent article in the "Sunday School Times" a story is told of an Eastern king which illustrates at once our delusion respecting natural processes, and also God's work and presence in them. The king was seated in a garden, and one of his counselors was speaking of the wonderful works of God.

"Show me a sign," said the king, "and I will believe."

"Here are four acorns," said the counselor, "will you, Majesty, plant them in the ground, and then stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?"

The king did so, "Now," said the other, "look up."

The king looked up and saw four oak-trees where he had planted the acorns. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed, "this is indeed the work of God."

"How long were you looking into the water?" asked the counselor. "Only a second," said the king. "Eighty years have passed as a second," said the other. The king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. "There is no miracle here, then," he said angrily.

"Yes," said the other, "it is God's work, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years."

A Time for Everything There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.

- Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for all you do. We pray that we would remember that all things are in your time. We pray that we would be patient as we wait upon your time. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What are Your Decisions Based On?

One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister. A member of an official board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He'd just witnessed the Pastoral Relations Committee reject applicant after applicant for some minor fault -- real or imagined. It was time for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee. So he stood up and read this letter purporting to be from another applicant.


Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I've been a preacher with much success and also had some success as a writer. Some say I'm a good organizer. I've been a leader most places I've been. I'm over 50 years of age and have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing. My health is not too good, though I still accomplish a great deal. The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I've not gotten along well with religious leaders in the towns where I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me, and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I promise to do my best for you. The board member turned to the committee and said, "Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?"

The good church folks were appalled! Consider a sickly, trouble-making, absent-minded ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the application? Who had such colossal nerve?

The board member eyed them all keenly before he replied, "It's signed, 'The Apostle Paul.'"

Sometimes we are quick to judge. As we look at the letter we would probably all agree that “Paul” doesn’t sound like the man for the job. But as we take a look in the New Testament we see the GREAT work that Paul accomplished. When faced with great decisions let’s take them to the Lord in prayer and ask for His guidance, and that we wouldn’t be blinded but that we would see through Jesus’ eyes.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

- Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will keep our eyes on you and that decisions we make we not be made with our own understanding but with your understanding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why Should We Go to Church?

A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor.

It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: "I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

When you are DOWN to nothing . . . God is UP to something!

Faith sees the invisible, Believes the incredible and Receives the impossible!

Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment!

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

- Hebrews 10:25 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for your people and the privilege we have to join together with them. Help each of us be an encouragement to those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Listen to Advice and Accept Instruction

John W. Gardner, founding chairman of Common Cause, said it's a rare and high privilege to help people understand the difference they can make -- not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of others, simply by giving of themselves.

Gardner tells of a cheerful old man who asked the same question of just about every new acquaintance he fell into conversation with: "What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?"

He never asked conventional questions such as "What do you do for a living?" It was always, "What have you done that you believe in and are proud of?"

It was an unsettling question for people who had built their self-esteem on their wealth or their family name or their exalted job title.

Not that the old man was a fierce interrogator. He was delighted by a woman who answered, "I'm doing a good job raising three children;" and by a cabinetmaker who said, "I believe in good workmanship and practice it;" and by a woman who said, "I started a bookstore and it's the best bookstore for miles around."

"I don't really care how they answer," said the old man. "I just want to put the thought into their minds.

"They should live their lives in such a way that they can have a good answer. Not a good answer for me, but for themselves. That's what’s important."

God wants us to be pleasing to Him. What better way then to listen to the instructions He give to us in His word.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails"
-Proverbs 19:20-21

Dear Lord we pray that we would first of all take the time to read your word and then apply what we learn to our life that we would what You want us to be. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are You Ready for a Miracle

Recipe for a Miracle

1 cup Tension

2 cups Stress

1 ½ teaspoons of Guilt

2 heaping cups of Limited Time

3/4 tablespoon of Urgency

A dash of "No Other Choice"

3 heaping cups of Faith

Fold ingredients gently into a bowl. Mix vigorously and add a few tears. You'll sweat a little as you knead the dough. Pack it firmly between your hopes and dreams and form into a perfect little

ball. Sprinkle it with a little faith (I recommend Hebrews 11), rolling the ball in the flour until fully covered.
Place it under a veil of belief and allow it to rise.

Put it in an oven that has been pre-set at the perfect temperature for the heat of trials and tribulations.
Allow it to brown under the warmth of God's love. Remove after due season and allow to cool in the confidence of His promise.

Garnish with your praises. Arrange neatly on a platter of thankfulness and serve to friends, families
and, oh yes, strangers . . . invite them too!

Pass on the recipe to all who request it and let them know that with this recipe, they have the makings of a miracle!

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

- Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)

Dear Lord help us be faithful and look for the miracles you have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do You Have Time to Share?

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, sure, what is it?" replied the man.

"Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?

"That's none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

"I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" pleaded the little boy.

"If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour."

"Oh," the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?"

The father was furious. "If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you're being so selfish. I work long, hard hours everyday and don't have time for such childish games."

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy's questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.

After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep son?" he asked.

"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man. "It's been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here's that $10.00 you asked for."

The little boy sat straight up, beaming. "Oh, thank you daddy!" he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.

"Why did you want more money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.

"Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

Share some time with those who need you.

They need our time more then we will ever know.

Wow I pray that nobody ever feels like they have to buy my time, How about you? Take the time today to spend that valuable time with those you love.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

- Ephesians 5:15-16 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will always have our eyes open looking for the time we can spend with those we love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Do These Stones Mean?

Chimney Rock, located in western Nebraska, was one of the most recognized and picturesque landmarks along the Mormon, Oregon and Pony Express trails.

Those heading west through the new frontier scanned the horizon as they traveled across the prairies, knowing that if they had stayed the course, this monolith would one day appear on the horizon.

Reaching Chimney Rock was a landmark which provided travelers an opportunity to reflect on where they had come from and what they had endured along the trail . . . to remember their ultimate purpose and destination.

Although it was only made up of sandstone, with centuries of weather taking its toll, Chimney Rock was a reminder of their ultimate purpose. Though it was not their actual destination, it directed the eyes and will of the travelers to the destination that was beyond. Through the years, many have passed by this eroded mass of stone; but few placed the significance on it as did these pioneer travelers.

Today, Chimney Rock is no more than a curiosity and tourist attraction; it is a brief ‘hiccup’ in the history of the American west. Few recognize its significance . . . many pass by without giving it a second thought.

Our God has also placed ‘stones’ for you and I ___ most pass by these ‘stones’ (as many have done and continue to do with Chimney Rock), without recognizing their significance. These ‘stones’ are to be reminders of our relationship with God, and what He has done for man: as Chimney Rock was to those of the western frontier, they bring to mind where we have come from, our history, our struggles. They are there to encourage us . . . and remind us of our ultimate and eternal destination.

Lets take time to remember the “stones “ in our life and have them keep us close to God and a reminder to share those “stones “ with those we come into contact with each day.

Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

- Joshua 4:21-24 (New Living Translation)

Dear Lord we thank you for the “stones’ we have in our life. We pray that we would take the time today to share the significance of them with those we come into contact with. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Friday, October 8, 2010

Struggles Make us Strong!

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. The man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

After a while, the butterfly seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. However, it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly. He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The butterfly was never able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV )

Dear Lord we thank you for the struggles that come our way. We pray that we would look at them as a tool that makes us strong. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Encouragement is Priceless.

Encouragement is priceless. I have always tried to be encouraging to those I come into contact with. The last few months in particular I have been on the receiving end of encouraging words and YES they are priceless. I was reading last night online as I lay in the hospital about encouraging and came across this story.

Jesse Owens seemed sure to win the long jump at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, Germany. Just the year before, he had set three world records in one day. He was the record holder for the running broad jump with 26 feet 8 1/4 inches—a record that would stand for 25 years.

As he walked to the long jump pit, however, Owens saw a tall, blue-eyed, blond German taking practice jumps in the 26 foot range. Owens was nervous. He was aware of the tension created with his presence. He knew the Nazi's desire was to prove Aryan

The pressure was overwhelming, and on his first jump Owens inadvertently leaped from several inches beyond the takeoff board. Rattled, he fouled on the second attempt, too. He was only one foul away from being eliminated.

At this point, the tall German approached Owens and introduced himself as Luz Long. Then an amazing event took place. The black son of a sharecropper and the white model of Nazi manhood chatted in view of the entire stadium. What were they talking about?

Since the qualifying distance was only 23 feet 5 1/2 inches, Long suggested making a mark several inches before the takeoff board and jumping from there, just to play it safe. Amazing! At the beginning of World War II, this model of Germany's strength was providing technical assistance and words of encouragement to a foe both on and off the field.

Owens qualified easily. In the finals, he set an Olympic record and earned the second of four gold medals during the 1936 Olympics. The first person to congratulate Owens was Luz Long—in full view of Adolf Hitler.

Owens never saw Long again, for Long was killed in World War II. "You could melt down all the medals and cups I have," Owens later wrote, "and they wouldn't be plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Luz Long."

Take the time to encourage those around you, you will find it is a true blessing to those you encourage as well as a blessing to yourself. Make it a goal to encourage at least one person a day.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

- Hebrews 3:13 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for those that encourage us. Lord we pray that we would look for ways we can encourage those around us that really need it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Precious Breath.

As I lay here in the hospital struggling with getting a breath and filling my lung with oxygen it reminded me of a rescue that happen a few years back.

Craig Brian Larson tells a story of a rescue the world watched as three gray whales, icebound off Point Barrow, Alaska, floated battered and bloody, gasping for breath at a hole in the ice. Their only hope: somehow to be transported five miles past the ice pack to open sea. Rescuers began cutting a string of breathing holes about 20 yards apart in the six-inch-thick ice.

"For eight days they coaxed the whales from one hole to the next, mile after mile. Along the way, one of the trio vanished and was presumed dead; but finally, with the help of Russian icebreakers, the whales Putu and Siku swam to freedom.

"In a way, worship is a string of breathing holes the Lord provides His people. Battered and bruised in a world frozen over with greed, selfishness and hatred, we rise for air in church, a place to breathe again, to be loved and encouraged, until that day when the Lord forever shatters the ice cap."

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

- Genesis 2:7 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for the breath that you gave to each of us. We thank you for each breath that you allow us to take. In Jesus’ name. Amen.