On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enjoying Your Work.

In the secular workaday world, it is commonly said that people who are most successful at their work are the ones who enjoy doing it. There is a good story which can teach us how to have the strongest testimony possible: Many years before he worked his way up to become the head of the General Motors Research Laboratory, Charles Kettering was a foreman of a gang of men who dug holes for telephone poles in Ohio.

The true story is told of a hot day at lunchtime when Kettering's gang was approached by a hobo who asked for a bite to eat. Kettering took the man to lunch and filled him up, then asked him if he would like to have a job that would provide him not only with plenty to eat but also a good measure of dignity. The hobo paused, then said he'd give it a try. Kettering gave him some tools and left.

Later when he came back, he found the hobo actually trying but getting frustrated. He only had a ragged hole and his hands were blistered from the effort. Kettering said, "Let me take you over to the best man in our gang. Now here's a man who can dig holes! Look at this hole - smooth, round, with perpendicular walls." Then Kettering himself started digging, saying, "You know, this is really fun. The better you get the more fun it is. Round, smooth holes are a challenge and, well, it's just enjoyable to see how good a job you can do." Kettering left after he had dug a hole.

When he came back, the hobo had dug a decent hole. Not only that, he stayed on and became good. Even better than the best guy on the crew! The hobo eventually became foreman of the gang! Later when Kettering stopped by to see him, the ex-hobo said, "You were the first person to tell me that work could be fun! I wish someone would have told me that years ago. I wish I would have been taught earlier how much fun it is when a man tries to do good work! I wouldn’t have been the hobo I was!"

Many times an unsaved person is drawn to Christ through watching the testimony of the Christian who really enjoys his life in Christ. The true testimony of a Godly man or women committed to Christ could draw many people who realize that a life given over to God is really fun!

He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

- Exodus 35:35 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we would enjoy our life in You, so that those that see us will want to have you part of their live also. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are You Ready to Eat Your Words?

We hear of many people who say they wish they could take back words they have previously used. We have also heard of others who wanted to make others "eat their words." Well, the celebrated 17th century German political historian Philipp Andreas Oldenburger had just that pleasure. It seems that Oldenburger became a little free-spirited in his criticism of the authorities in his pamphlet writings. He was arrested, found guilty, and given a most unusual sentence: "eat your own writings." And that is exactly what he was forced to do.

He writes in his memoirs that he was forced under the threat of a flogging, to eat every last shred of paper of his pamphlets. Talk about having to eat your own words! Maybe those of us whose tongues constantly commit the sin of gossip ought to be aware that words can have a devastating effect on others - and on them!

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

- Proverbs 12:18 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will watch what we say. We want to say the things that would build others up and not tear them down. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Does Your Reputation Say about You?

This true story occurred in Washington D.C. at a banquet held some years ago. The occasion was a commemoration of Harry S Truman's 100th birthday. All the big names were out in ties and tails to honor the event.

A White House member related that one of the guests turned to the woman seated next to him.

"Did I get your name correctly?" The man asked. "Is your name Post?"

"Yes, it is," the woman replied.

"Is it Emily Post?"

"Yes," she replied.

"So you are the world-renowned authority on manners?" the man asked.

"Yes," Mrs. Post replied. "Why do you ask?"

"Because," the man said, "you have just eaten my salad."

Reputation doesn't mean we can let up on daily discipline. Some Christian leaders have been known to let devotions and prayer slide because they feel they have "arrived." May we remember to be faithful in all regular things that the Lord wants us to do in order to walk with Him and be a proper testimony to others.

He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?

- Luke 6:39 (New International Version)

Dear Lord We pray that the things we do would be a good testimony. We pray that what we do will lead others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Knock, Knock

Okay, we probably don't want to admit it. But we all have knock knock jokes that crack us up at least a little?

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Aardvark who?

Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your smiles!

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Abbott who?

Abbott time you answered the door!

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Abe who?

Abe C D E F G H...!

You have to admit, that's good stuff.

But do you know what's better than the best knock, knock joke? A knock, knock TRUTH. What an amazing truth it is! It's the incredible truth that the Creator of the universe knocks! As we see in Revelation 3:20.

In the bigger picture, Jesus knocks on the door of his church. He desires to have the sweetest fellowship with the people he died to save. It's almost too wonderful to believe that he wants to live with us in the most personal way, but it really is his knock, knock truth.

How many believers does it take to open the door? The fact is, it takes one. One person who will open the door and let Christ rule will make a difference in the entire church--and in the entire world.

Make a difference. Be the one. Answer the door.

And let's not get distracted by any interruptions--we need stay focused.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

- Revelation 3:20 (New International Version)

Dear Lord We thank you for knocking at our door. We pray that we will open that door and let You make a difference in our life and in the lives of those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Are you Thankful For Others?

  Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersby illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Let us not get caught up in the attitude of being un thankful. This Christmas season lets make the commitment to thank somebody each day.

I want to thank each you that take the time to read The Word Heard Round the World. I pray that God will use it to bring you closer to Him each day.

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

- Philippians 2:1-4 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for all you do for us. We pray that we will take the time today to thank somebody today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Besides symbolizing a time when many of us gather to feast on turkey, cranberry sauce, and apple pie-what does the word truly mean? America's revered holiday was founded by a group of struggling Pilgrims during the fall of 1621. Peter Marshall and David Manuel's account, The Light and the Glory, tells how the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock endured extreme hardship to pioneer a new land. Three long months at sea aboard The Mayflower and a brutal winter left them ragged, malnourished, and susceptible to disease. During the first four months of that year, nearly half of the émigrés had succumbed to illness and died under the harsh strain of their barren lifestyle.

The Pilgrims' daily existence was a life-or-death battle to overcome constant hunger, sickness, and exposure to the elements. Crudely assembled houses made of mud daub were their only shelter from the icy New England weather. Because they were not yet knowledgeable about their new environment's agriculture, planting gardens in the hostile conditions proved virtually fruitless. Every meal was portioned out meticulously. The death toll, a constant reminder of their fragility, rose steadily. At one point only 5 men were well enough to care for the sick.

Despite their tribulations, the Pilgrims thanked The Lord every day, petitioning Him for rehabilitation. One morning, during an ordinary Sunday worship service, The Lord sent tangible evidence that He had heard their prayers. Their church service was interrupted by an unexpected guest, an Algonquin Indian chief who assessed their hopeless situation and returned with a helper named Squanto. The Pilgrims, who have warred with Indians before and lived with a continuous fear of being attacked by them, were astonished by their new friends' eagerness to provide much needed assistance.

Squanto, a Pateuxet Indian who spoke perfect English, taught the Pilgrims how to hunt game, trap beavers, and plant Indian corn, a staple that would eventually save their lives.

When the harvest yielded more than the Pilgrims could eat, Governor William Bradford, their elected leader, declared a day of public thanksgiving. He invited the chief of a friendly neighboring Indian tribe to join in their tribute of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims were excited to celebrate with their honored guest but were completely shocked when he arrived with 90 other Indians.

Although God had provided abundantly, their food supply would not accommodate a group of this size, and they had no idea how to feed their visitors. Despite their quandary, all worries were soon dismissed. To their amazement and ever-increasing thankfulness, the Indians had bought with them 5 dressed deer and a 12 fat wild turkeys. Over time they taught the women how to make pudding, maple syrup, and an Indian delicacy-roasted pop corn.

But the Pilgrims' trials were far from finished; their plentiful autumn was followed by a particularly treacherous winter. Unfortunately, the weather proved to be the least of their ailments. In November a ship called The Fortune dropped anchor in their harbor. Aboard the ship were 35 more colonists who had brought with them no provisions-no food, no extra clothing, no equipment for survival. Additionally, the oppression of the physical environment had become almost unbearable after a 12 week drought dried up their crops and withered their spirits. The newcomers arrival had drained already inadequate food rations and there was no obvious resource for sustenance. At their lowest point, the Pilgrims were reduced to a daily ration of 5 kernels of corn apiece. In utter desperation they fell to their knees and prayed for 8 hours without ceasing.

Again God heard their supplications: 14 days of rain followed. A second Day of Thanksgiving was declared. The neighboring Indian chief was again their honored guest; He brought with him 120 braves. The pilgrims feasted on game and turkey as they had during the previous celebration, only this time one dish was different. The first course, served on an empty plate in front of each person, consisted of 5 kernels of corn, a gentle reminder of God's faithful provision for them.

The Pilgrims humble response to their affliction is evidenced by their many writing which express deeply thankful hearts. We can learn countless lessons about sincere thankfulness from their example. By teaching our children to have grateful hearts, we can prepare them to respond gracefully to life's trials. GIVE THANKS!!!

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we want to take today to say THANKS for all the many blessing you have given to each of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Thanksgiving Proclamation

By George Washington, 1789

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection, aid and favors....

Now, THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

-1 Chronicles 16:34 (King James Version)

Dear Lord we are thankful for all the many things we have and for our friends and family. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ben had fallen into the habit of grumbling about this and that. He complained about the weather; he found fault with his friends and with the members of his family. He wanted to stop it, but somehow, as soon as anything would not go his way, he found himself grumbling again. Then he came across this verse:

"When thou hast truly thanked thy God

For every blessing sent,

But little time will then remain

For murmur or lament."

"I see now what the trouble has been," he told himself. "I've been grumbling so much that I've almost forgotten to be thankful for the things I have. Every time I find myself starting to complain about something I don't have, I'm going to say 'Thank You' to God for something that He has given me."

Ben found that the idea worked. It was much easier to keep out the grouchy, grumbling thoughts when he filled his mind with thankful ones. There simply was no room for the trouble makers, and after a bit they disappeared.

Ben was surprised, too, to see how many things a plain, everyday boy had for which to be thankful. There are many things like the sunshine, the flowers, his friends, his home, which he had been taking for granted. As he began thanking God for these things, he had a better appreciation of them.

14  Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 So that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
-Philippians 2:14-15 (New Living Translation)

Dear Lord we pray that we would look at things in a positive way and not complain about things. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Street

One night, at a prayer-and-praise meeting a good brother related a long, complaining strain of experiences about the trials and difficulties which are encountered on the way to Heaven. At the end of his talk, another brother arose and said, "I see that our brother who has just sat down, lives in Grumbling Street. I lived there myself for some time, but I never enjoyed good health. The air there is bad; the houses are bad, the water is bad; the birds never came and sang in the street, and I was gloomy and sad enough. But finally I moved. I moved to Thanksgiving Street, and ever since then I have had good health and so have my family. The air is pure, the water good, the houses are good; the sun shines in all day; the birds are always singing; and I am happy as I can be. Now, I would suggest to our brother, that he, too, move. There are plenty of houses `to let' in Thanksgiving Street."

Which street are you living on: Grumbling Street, or Thanksgiving Street? Don't forget, there is plenty of room on Thanksgiving Street, and your health would be better, and your heart happier if you would move there.

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
-1 Chronicles 29:13 (New International Version)

Dear Lord We praise you for all you have done for us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ant and the Contact Lens

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock.

Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.

Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom.

At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it.

Brenda told her father who is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would probably do us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

- Galatians 6:4-6 (King James Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we would have the strength to carry the load that is before us today. Thanks for being there with is. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kite and Restraint

One windy spring day, some young people were having fun using the wind to fly their kites. Multicolored creations of varying shapes and sizes filled the skies like beautiful birds darting and dancing in the heady atmosphere above the earth. As the strong winds gusted against the kites, a string kept them in check. Instead of blowing away with the wind, they arose against it to achieve great heights. They shook and pulled, but the restraining string and the cumbersome tail kept them in tow, facing upward and against the wind. As the kites struggled and trembled against the string, they seemed to say, "Let me go! Let me go! I want to be free!" They soared beautifully even as they fought the imposed restriction of the string. Finally, one of the kites succeeded in breaking loose. "Free at last" it seemed to say. "Free to fly with the wind."

Yet freedom from restraint simply put it at the mercy of an unsympathetic breeze. It fluttered ungracefully to the ground and landed in a tangled mass of weeds and string against a dead bush. "Free at last" -- free to lie powerless in the dirt, to be blown helplessly along the ground, and to lodge lifeless against the first obstruction.

How much like kites are we sometimes. The Lord gives us adversity and restrictions, rules to follow from which we can grow and gain strength. Restraint is a necessary counterpart to the winds of opposition. Some of us tug at the rules so hard that we never soar to reach the heights we might have obtained. We keep part of the commandment and never rise high enough to get off the ground.

Let us each rise to the great heights our Heavenly Father has in store for us, recognizing that some of the restraints that come our way actually are steadying force that helps us achieve great things.

3. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4. perseverance, character; and character, hope.

- Romans 5:3-4 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will be strong when the restraint of life come our way. Help us remember they are what help us be strong. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are You showing Compassion ?

In his book "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People" Steven Covey relates a personal experience while on the New York subway. The passengers were sitting quietly in the subway car, when a man entered with children who were extremely noisy and active. To Covey's surprise, the man (who was obviously the father) sat down and closed his eyes, ignoring the loud and rambunctious children. He sat as though he were oblivious to them! The subway car was ringing with chaotic noise. The children's behavior was way out of line, and everyone was getting agitated - except the father.

Finally, Covey leaned over and spoke to the man about his children. The father opened his eyes and seemed to finally grasp the situation.

"Oh, you're right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don't know what to think, and I guess they don't know how to handle it either."

Covey learned that often we leave compassion out of our daily ministry. Oftentimes we would do best if we looked past the initial appearance.

What a great challenge to open our eyes to those around us and show compassion. Look for somebody today that you can show compassion to.

7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.
- Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (New International Version)

Dear Lord thank you for showing compassion to us, We pray that our eyes would be open to those around us so that we can show compassion to them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Take Time to Laugh


Adolescent: A teenager who acts like a baby when you don't treat him like an adult

Babysitter: Someone you pay to watch your television and eat your food

Boy: A noise with dirt on it

Brat: A child that acts like your own but belongs to someone else

Coffee: Break fluid

Dieting: Mind over platter

Diplomacy: The art of letting other people have your own way

Earthquake: A topographical error

Fairy Tale: A horror story to prepare children for the newspapers

Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries

Grandparent: A grandchild's press secretary

Honeymoon: The brief period of time between "I do" and "You'd better!"

Jury: Twelve people who determine which client has the better lawyer

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math

Millionaire: A billionaire after his taxes are paid

Multitasking: Screwing up several things at once

Nostalgia: Living in the past lane

Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark

Subdivision: A neighborhood where they cut down all the trees and then name streets after them

Tater-Tots: Children of couch potatoes

Will:A dead giveaway

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

-Psalm 126:2 (ESV)

Dear Lord we pray that we will take the time to laugh and enjoy life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is Your Life a Mixture of Hits and Errors?

In 1986 Bob Brenley was playing third base for the San Francisco Giants. In the fourth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves, Brenley made an error on a routine ground ball. Four batters later he kicked away another grounder. And then while he was scrambling after the ball, he threw wildly past home plate trying to get the runner there. Two errors on the same play. A few minutes later he muffed yet another play to become the first player in the twentieth century to make four errors in one inning.

Now, those of us who have made very public errors in one situation or another can easily imagine how he felt during that long walk off the field at the end of that inning. But then in the bottom of the fifth, Brenley hit a home run. Then in the seventh, he hit a bases-loaded single, driving in two runs and tying the game.

Then in the bottom of the ninth, Brenley came up to bat again, with two outs. He ran the count to three and two and then hit a massive home run into the left field seats to win the game for the Giants. Brenley's score card for that day came to three hits and five at bats, two home runs, four errors, four runs allowed, four runs driven in, including the game-winning run.

Certainly life is a lot like that--a mixture of hits and errors. And there is grace in that.

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.

-1 Corinthians 10:12 (New Living Translation)

Dear Lord we pray for encouragement when the day seems to be bad and everything goes wrong we pray that we will stay strong and trust on you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dr. Carey's Saviour

Among those who visited Dr. Carey, the missionary, in his last illness was Alexander Duff, the Scotch missionary.

On one occasion he spent some time talking chiefly about Carey's missionary life, until the dying man whispered, "Pray." Duff knelt down and prayed and then said "Goodbye."

As he passed from the room, he thought he heard a feeble voice pronouncing his name, and turning, found that he was recalled. He stepped back accordingly, and this is what he heard, spoken with gracious solemnity: "Mr. Duff, you have been speaking about Dr. Carey! Dr. Carey! When I am gone say nothing about Dr. Carey—speak about Dr. Carey's Saviour."

Duff went away rebuked and awed, with a lesson in his heart that he never forgot.

May we all learn the lesson that Alexander Duff learned about humility and give all the credit to our Saviour.

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

- Psalm 25:9 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we will give you all the glory and credit. We pray that we will be humble in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How Are You Spending Your TIme?

Red Barber was perhaps one of the greatest baseball broadcasters of all time. His attention to detail and insightful comments constantly stood him above the rest. When asked how he did so well, he simply answered that every game - no matter what time of year or what the significance - was taken seriously and with great preparation. Red Barber said, "you have to be as fully prepared for the dull game as you are for the great one, or else you won't be prepared for the great one."

Christ's coming will instead be the greatest time in our history. But are we prepared for it? Are our lives ready? There are friends and family who do not know the Savior, yet we avoid witnessing because it is either not exciting, or too difficult...or maybe even dull. Could we prepare and diligently work through the trenches so that when the "great game" time approaches, we will be ready?

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

-1 Thessalonians 5:6 (King James Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we would be ready at all times. As we look forward to the day of your coming help us reach out daily to those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christ Jesus Came into the World to Save "Cinders"

Out in that yard of yours in the springtime, you clean up the ashes that have been accumulating during the winter season. Piles of ashes out there in the yard grow through the winter, and then in the spring you hire someone to come and cart them away. Ashes are from coal—coal that has been burned and consumed. Coal is carbon, and that beautiful, shining white stone in the engagement ring on your hand, lady, is carbon also. The diamond the king wears in his crown and the ashes out there in the yard are made of the same stuff!

Down in the state prison are some cinders of men, clinkers, burned out, only the ashes of life left. Down in some sections of the city are the women of the streets, burned out, clinkers, cinders, only the ashes of life are left. But the gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ can take the carbon (clinkers, if you will) and transmute it into a diamond, a gem for His own crown, made out of the ashes of sin.

A little girl made a strange misquota­tion of a verse but she told the truth when she said, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save cinders." Yes, He did He takes the clinkers, the cinders, the ashes, the burned-out, hopeless lives, and makes them glorious and new.—Will H. Houghton, in The Living Christ.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

-1 Timothy 1:15 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for coming into our life and saving us from our sins. We pray that we would not give into the temptations that come our way. In Jesus’ name, amen

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Worry?

Some time ago the United States public health service issued a statement in connection with the prevalence of nervous diseases and the tendency of worry to weaken and shorten life. In this statement was the following observation, no doubt suggested by the words of Jesus: "So far as is known, no bird ever tried to build more nests than its neighbor. No fox ever fretted because he had only one hole in which to hide. No squirrel ever died of anxiety lest he should not lay by enough for two winters instead of one, and no dog ever lost any sleep over the fact that he had not enough bones laid aside for his declining years."

There is a world of sense in that observation. Even in the hardest times it is a remote, a very remote, chance that anyone in the population will starve to death or freeze to death, and in the case of those who fear God it becomes so remote as to be practically an impossibility.

A long time ago the psalmist said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

- Psalm 37:25 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray that we wouldn’t worry so much about things that go on around us. We pray that we would completely trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Best Gift

Today is my wife Becky’s birthday. In honor of her birthday here is a special birthday story. The late H. P. Barker used to relate an incident in connection with a birthday to illustrate the freeness of salvation. The son of a friend at whose home he was staying was named Harold. He was a lad of about 10 and enjoyed Mr. Barker's friendship and confidence. One day Harold came to him and said, 'Mr. Barker, tomorrow is our school Sports' Day. Would you like to come and see the sports?' Mr. Barker replied that he would be delighted, and accordingly Harold gave him a ticket for the sports and arranged to meet him at the entrance to the field and be his guide for the day. Soon after they entered the field Harold took his guest to a large case where the prizes for the various events were displayed under glass. Pointing to a lovely silver watch, Harold said, `Mr. Barker, do you see that watch? That is the first prize for a race for which I have entered and it is going to be mine.' Mr. Barker, wishing him all the success he coveted in that particular event, waited eagerly to see the race. Alas! Harold was outstripped by others, and did not come in first, or even second, but had to be content with a third place. At the distribution of the prizes Harold's face fell when he saw the silver watch being presented to someone else. Nothing was said at the time, by either Mr. Barker or Harold.

A few days later Harold was again in conversation with Mr. Barker and said, 'Tomorrow is my birthday, and I shall get up early and come downstairs to see my birthday presents which will all be laid out on a table in the hall.' That day the boy was an early riser, but Mr. Barker had come downstairs before him and was waiting inside one of the rooms to see his young friend's joy and surprise as he opened the parcels containing his birthday gifts. When Harold appeared he brushed aside the larger packages and picked out a silver watch in the centre, which was his parents' gift to him. Putting it to his ear, he exclaimed joyfully, `It's going.' Then Mr. Barker approached from his place of vantage and said, 'Harold, you wanted a silver watch and did your very utmost to earn one at your school sports, but you failed. Now what you could not earn by your own efforts you have received as a free gift. That is like God's gift of eternal life. It cannot be earned by our good works but must be accepted as the free gift of God.'

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Romans 6:23 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we thank you for that special gift of salvation. We pray that we would take the gift and share it with those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed. The "war to end all wars" was over.

November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had won.

Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.

In 1953 townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans' Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the federal holiday to Veterans' Day. 1971 President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November.

Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans' Day. There are ceremonies and speeches and at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace.

After the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, the emphasis on holiday activities has shifted. There are fewer military parades and ceremonies. Veterans gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to place gifts and stand quiet vigil at the names of their friends and relatives who fell in the Vietnam War. Families who have lost sons and daughters in wars turn their thoughts more toward peace and the avoidance of future wars.

Veterans of military service have organized support groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. On Veterans' Day and Memorial Day, these groups raise funds for their charitable activities by selling paper poppies made by disabled veterans. This bright red wildflower became a symbol of World War I after a bloody battle in a field of poppies called Flanders Field in Belgium.

“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

- Jeremiah 33:2-3 (New International Version)

Dear Lord we pray for our country's safety. We ask that you bless the soldiers that guard our borders. We ask that you keep those that live here safe from others who would do us harm for being free, for worshiping you, and for allowing people to speak freely. We pray, Lord, that we will one day see an end to the fighting and that our soldiers come safely. In Jesus’ name Amen.