On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Are You Devoted to?

Joshua 7:13 (New International Version)
 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

Frank Sinatra's daughter, Tina Sinatra, recalls her father's unceasing drive to succeed and make money, even when his health was at risk:

"His health was in tatters and his life mired in financial wrangles, but my father refused to stop giving concerts, 'I've just got to earn more money,' he said. His performances, sad to say, were becoming more and more uneven. Uncertain of his memory, he became dependant on teleprompters.

When I saw him at Desert Inn in Las Vegas, he struggled through the show and felt so sick at the end that he needed oxygen from a tank that he kept on hand. At another show he forgot the lyrics to 'Second Time Around,' a ballad he had sung a thousand times. His adoring audience finished it for him. I couldn't bear to see Dad struggle. I remembered all the times he repeated the old boxing maxim 'You gotta get out before you hit the mat.'

After seeing one too many of these fiascos, I told him, 'Pop, you can stop now; you don't have to stay on the road.' With a stricken expression he said, 'No, I've got to earn more money. I have to make sure everyone is taken care of.'" When Frank Sinatra died in 1998, he left more than 200 million dollars to his heirs. Since his death there have been constant family wrangles over his fortune.

Our hearts can only be devoted to one thing. Let’s exam your life and see if anything competes with the Lord for your devotion. And if something other than the Lord holds your devotion, ask the Lord to give you strength to remove it from your life.

Dear Lord we pray that we would be devoted in everything to You. We pray that we not let the things in life get in the way of our devotion to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Are Your Eyes on the Master?

1 Chronicles 16:11 (New International Version)
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

I took my wife on a date the other day to see “We Bought a Zoo” it was entertaining and enjoyable. The movie reminded me of a story I once read.

Living in a domestic zoo can be an exciting experience, especially when a Sun Conure is added to the menagerie. The bird’s vibrant orange breast, bright yellow wings, and red cheek patches make her by far the prettiest bird we own.

Besides being beautiful, a Sun Conure is also a talented entertainer. Ours is no exception. She hangs upside down from one foot, she sleeps on her back, she plays dead, she crawls down our clothing and to eat our T-Shirts and buttons, she even feeds the dog! Every morning when she receives her dish of vegetables, she waits until our Golden Retriever puppy is paying attention, and then she pitches carrots and peas to the floor in front of her. She literally keeps us in stitches!

She is also a particularly affectionate bird. She loves to give kisses and preen hair—even the puppy’s! Her all time favorite pastime is to be caressed—under her wings, her feet, her tail—literally everywhere! All of this affection, however, is only poured out upon one individual in our home: My husband. She tolerates the rest of us if he’s not around, but the change that comes over her when he gets home from school is beautiful to see.

If this little piece of joy has one tiny negative traits, it is definitely her voice! Many of the smaller members of the parrot family make beautiful, quiet sounds, and she can too. But her specialty is a window-rattle, ear piercing: SQUAWK!!!!! She squawks when she’s hungry. She squawks when she’s bored. She squawks when she wants attention. She squawks when she wants to be left alone. She squawks when the other birds chirp. But mostly, she squawks when she can’t see my husband!

The other day, my boys and I gathered the birds for story time. All of our feathered friends enjoy this ritual, for besides sharing stories and prayers, we also share crackers! But for some reason Squawky wasn’t happy. She refused her cracker and squawked until she finally flew away. Because her wings are clipped, she soon crashed; but this didn’t deter her in the least! She proceeded to march purposefully across the floor—directly to my husband’s feet. We all thought she would climb his pant leg, but she didn’t. As soon as she had rubbed her head against his slipper, she marched back and climbed onto my shoulder to position herself where she could see my husband. Then she squawked for her cracker!

Spoiled? Definitely! But shouldn’t we all be the same? Shouldn’t being with our Master become the goal of each and every person? Shouldn’t our number 1 ambition be to seek His face? Shouldn’t we, too, “squawk” when something blocks our view of our Lord and Savior?

The next time something seems to be standing between you and Jesus, remember Squawky. Fly. Walk. Squawk. Do whatever you have to do to get your eyes fixed back on Jesus!

Dear Lord as we read this story today about Squawky, we pray that we would keep our eyes on you just like he kept his eyes on his master. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Turning 50

Genesis 1:26 (New International Version)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

                             One hour old 

Today is the big day. By God’s grand and glorious mercy, I turned 50 years old today. I am truly thankful that He has blessed me with so many years. It’s another testimony of His mercy and grace toward me in not giving me what I deserve, but showing me grace and kindness instead.  As I look at the last 50 years I thought I would list some of the highlights.

1. My parents – without them I wouldn’t be here. They have loved me and guided me my whole life. They gave me the proverbial “roots and wings” needed to become a happy, functional adult and parent to my own children. They grounded in the Word of God and instilled in me a sense of wonder in the world, both physical and spiritual.
2. My Wife. God raised up a wonderful woman for me. She is not perfect, but we are a great fit, perfect compliments to each other. We make a great team. Where I am weak,s he is strong and vice versa. I love her with all my heart.
3. My children. Every day they amaze and delight me. Sometimes they frustrate me. They are an awesome responsibility and gift from God. I am their biggest fan, in everything they do. I support them in following whatever dreams God gives them.
4. My brothers. What a great gift that they are not only part of my family, but also some of my very best friends.
5. First Presbyterian Church, the church I grew up in. The foundation of my faith was formed there, and I am thankful for all those there that helped lead and guide me.
6. Music. Keith Green, Michael W Smith, Carman, Leon Patillo some of the many that have helped  fire me up, or calm me down.
7. Flowers. I love their colors, their scents, their variety.
8. Diet Mountain Dew
9. The student ministry at Killarney. What a joy to be able to make a difference in the lives of young people.
10. Woodworking. The joy of creating things out of wood has always been a relaxing thing for me.
11. Moody Bible Institute. Three of the best years of my life.  Living in the dorm, going to classes serving in different areas in Chicago.
12. The Word Heard Round the World. The Bible blog God has allowed me to be the author of. I am thankful for the chance to reach out to 146 different countries with God’s word.
13. Computers. What a wonderful tool for communication. What a helpful instrument for organization. A modern marvel – probably the most revolutionary invention of my 50 years.
14. Cameras. Film then digital. How else could you so perfectly capture a memory?
15. Trees. They provide oxygen for us to breath. They provide shade on a hot summer day. They provide shelter for lots of nature’s little creatures. They provide wood for my many woodworking projects.
16. Chocolate. Dark, white, milk – I love it in all of it’s many varieties.
17. Hugs. They speak when words cannot. They bring joy to family and friends.
18. Christmas. A time to celebrate the giving and receiving of God’s greatest gift to us by giving and receiving gifts from those we love most. So many of my favorite things are wrapped up in the traditions of Christmas that I cannot help but love it!
19. Sunsets and sunrises. Notice Sunsets are first. I would much rather stay up for the sunset  then get up early for the sunrise. There is just something magical about them, I can never see one and not be moved.
20. The night sky. I love to see the moon and the stars. I love to watch for shooting stars.
21. Campfires/fireplace. The perfect way to enjoy the company of family and/or good friends. Often involves marshmallows and my favorite s’mores.
22. Camping. Many great camping trips with my church growing up was a great way to reconnect with nature and enjoy being in God’s creation.
23. My pets. The list is endless, From Cinder my first dog through Diamond our currnet dog and the many dogs in-between, not to mention the rabbits, cats, turtles and fish. They add another dimension of caring to my life.
24. Family Vacations. The Rocky Mountains, the Smokey Mountains, Daytona Beach or a Cruise and great times of family fun.
25. Full time youth pastor.  What a blessing to serve our Lord as a youth pastor to the young people that God brought into the church.
26. Mission trips. Mexico to help build a school, West Virginia to build a church each include music, drama and puppets.
27. Freedom and the U.S.A. Sometimes I complain about our government and taxes and the way our country is run, but I have to be thankful that I can complain without fear of retribution. I can worship where and how I want to, and send my children to school where they get a good education. To have been born in and to live in a land of freedom and abundance is something I should never take for granted.
28. Doctors.  I’m thankful for the ability and wisdom God has given men to be able to help bring healing to our bodies.
29. Emails and letters from friends. It means someone has taken time out their own busy life for me.
30. Water. I can swim in it, bathe in it, clean my clothes and my dishes in it. I can drink it and be refreshed by it. I can freeze it and use it to cool myself down or sooth my aches and pains.
31. Piano. Thankful for the gift God gave me to be able to play the piano.
32. Singing praises at church.  What a joy to join voices together at church raising praises to my Lord.
 33. The local grocery store. With an endless supply of food to feed my family.
34. Home-grown tomatoes. How we loved growing our own tomatoes while in Michigan.  
35. Watching my 2 boys play sports. It doesn’t matter what they are doing. I simply love watching them learn and master a skill. Baseball, Basketball, tennis, weightlifting, etc.
36. Clear Safety Bags. The ability to reach one of my wife’s dreams to be able to supply clear backpack, clear purse or Clear totes to those that need them.
37. Giordano's Pizza. My favorite treat from my college years, and it followed me to Florida.
38. My iPod. I love having music and audio books with me at any time.
39. Caller ID. I don’t have to talk to those pesky tele-marketers.
40. Cell phones. It gives me much peace of mind to know I can always reach my wife or children.
41. Snow days. Snow days growing up in Michigan meant a day at the sled hill. They were few and far between but much loved.
42. Eating out. Spending time eating with family or friends.
43. Worship. Food for my soul.
44. Homemade Ice-cream. Perfect for any occasion. Great for holidays and birthdays.
45. Bible. I am thankful for the Word of God that I have that I can read every day to help guide my life.
46. House. I’m thankful for the house that we have and the many things we have done to make it our own.
47. Prayer. Quiet, contemplative, comforting, reassuring. Sometimes I talk to God, sometimes I listen for His response.
48. Church. Killarney Baptist church. My support group helping me get through many situations through prayer.
49. Service. Being able to serve my Lord. The ways in which I give back for all that He has given to me.
50. God. Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, Comforter, Guide, Friend. All I have comes from Him, all I do should be for Him. Without Him, the rest of my list is pretty pointless. I live by His amazing grace.

Dear Lord I thank You today for the 50 years You have given me. Thanks for the many blessing You have given me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Walking a Straight Path

Hebrews 12:2 (New International Version)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Once a father took his three sons on a winter hike. They came to a field glistening white from a snow the night before. There was not a single track of any kind that had been made in the field. The father, wanting to challenge his youngsters and perhaps teach them a lesson suggested they have a contest: Which one could walk the straightest path across the field?

The first trudged across the field keeping his eyes down to watch each step, trying to put each foot directly in front of the other. When he reached the other side, he looked back, and to his surprise the tracks were curved like the letter "S" in their course.

The second lad started, taking a few steps and then looking back to see if his path appeared straight. About every ten to fifteen steps the process was repeated. When he finished he eagerly surveyed the entirety of his course, but discovered it wasn't really straight at all - it was in segments, veering to right, and then to the left.

The third, seeing the other two had failed, employed a different strategy! He looked directly at his father who stood on the opposite end of the field. He walked toward his father, never taking his eyes off of him. Having completed the trek, his path was the straightest of the three by far.

The wise father then taught the boys, saying, "Sons, there is just ONE path in life that is straight and true, and that is the way of Jesus Christ (John 14:6). As you go through life, keep your eyes on Him, 'looking unto Him,' (Hebrews 12:2) and your course will always be right! Remember, He is the Way. Trust Him, and DO what His Word teaches and you won't go wrong." *

Keep your eyes on Jesus.... believing in Him and trusting Him (Acts 16:31), repenting of your sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confessing your faith in Him (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), and following Him diligently (Hebrews 12:2). THEN, you will be sure to reach the proper destination.

Dear Lord we ask You today for the strength to keep our eyes on You. As we go through this life that You have given us we want to do the things that please You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lesson learned from Concrete

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (New International Version)
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Once, in a class of management students there was a very involving discussion on the subject of "Social bonding and the strength of a society".

The opinion was clearly divided. A group of students was all for a society of achievers , while the other was favoring a society with care and space for all.

The professor asked the students to elaborate on their stands.

One group said that it is the concept of survival of the fittest. Only achievers can compete and excel in all fields , giving rise to a strong society. Non-achievers in fact weaken the society , hence have no place in a strong society.

The other group suggested that a society could not be strong & healthy unless all its constituents are provided with equal opportunities and resources are shared amongst them in equitable manner. As per this group disproportionate resources and status realities weaken the society.

After a while, when the class could not arrive at any consensus, the professor interrupted and said " My dear young friends , let me tell you a story which may help you understand as to what factors are most important for a strong and integrated society."

"Friends, this is the story of Concrete. You all know what is Concrete !"

"Concrete is a mixture of cement and sand. It is used in construction of all civil structures. Some of the tallest and strongest of all-time great buildings, monuments, sky scrapers, roads, Dams and bridges are in place only on the strength of the "Concrete".

"But what is the story of concrete?” asked a boy who was getting anxious to know the story.

"Friends, Concrete is by far the strongest man made material that is the force behind the infrastructure required for growth & development of the mankind."

"Let's have a look! What is this Concrete stuff made up of and how is it prepared."

"Well, one would immediately notice a grey mass of small "Pebbles" of all shapes and sizes, which are held together."

"Just take a close look and they appear to be packed to the limit, with no scope for further compression, isn't it!”

“Yes, they are held close to each other, but they leave sufficient space around them to accommodate the "Gravel".

"Watch the "Gravel" which is also closely held together as if nothing could pass through them. But when coming together to form a tightly held mass in Concrete, these "Gravel" also leave enough space between them to easily accommodate the "Sand Grains".

"Friends, "Sand Grains" come together to fill up the space left by other constituents, but are courteous enough to leave space around them to accommodate the "Cement Particles".

Well, "Cement Particles" too make a homogenous mass that actually binds all other constituents. They really cannot afford to be loose. However, these "Cement Particles" also in a display of their magnanimity, leave enough room between them to allow "Water Molecules" have a free flow within the structure.

"Water Molecules" made of ions, quickly cover whatever space is left by others, but still are obliged to leave enough space for the "Air particles" to move in"

"Friends, this is the story of "Concrete" where although there is nothing equal, common or same amongst the constituents, they are gracious enough to provide the required space to one another and accommodate each other."

"This probably is the secret behind the strength of the "Concrete". The constituents seem to derive strength from each other, just by providing space to each other."

There was a pin drop silence in the classroom as the professor concluded. Everyone was listening to the story with great attention.

Suddenly the whole classroom was filled with sound of applause. Everyone in the room was on his feet with expression of appreciation on their face as if giving a standing ovation to the "Concrete" structure around them.

The discussion was over. The concept was well understood. Consensus had blossomed like a newly born flower. They had discovered a lot of space for each other and certainly, there was no room for a dispute on the subject.

Dear Lord we thank You that there is room for each one of us. We thank You for the abilities that we each have and for the way they all work together. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

God Works Miracles

Matthew 19:26 (New International Version)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Some stories stick with us forever. This is one of them for me.

The story takes place during a Special Olympics track meet. From the stands, a professor watched as a young man crossed the finish line first. Abandoning all inhibitions, the exuberant winner jumped with joy at his win. He grinned from ear to ear and repeatedly yelled, "Mom! Mom! Mom!" Sitting in front of the professor was a woman whose obvious delight and unrestrained tears made it clear that she was the winner's mother. Puzzled by the intensity of her emotions, he nonetheless leaned over to congratulate the woman. He, too, was moved to tears by what she said. Asking to be excused for her outburst, she explained that she was crying so hard because this was the first time her adult son had ever spoken her name: "Mom".

Although not necessarily a "Christian" story, I think most Christians would see God's hand at work in this miracle.

It reminds us that we worship an all-powerful God -- a God Who uses everything, even secular things (like the Special Olympics), to work miracles. God's answers to prayers are sometimes found where least expected. Consequently, our duty is to be to open to recognizing the unexpected ways in which He works.

The story also reminds us that we can do only so much. Like the mother, our job is to get to the game. Sometimes, after doing all we can, we are relegated to the position of spectator. It is then that we must trust God to accomplish what we cannot. This does not mean that the path is easy. But when we lean on God, great things are possible.

Dear Lord, we thank You for all that You do for us. We pray for the strength and hope for the future in knowing that You will accomplish great things through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Can You See God?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (New International Version)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God. "Susie, can anybody ever really see God?" he asked.

Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: "No, of course not silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him."

Time passed, but his question still lingered so he approached his mom: "Mom, can anybody ever really see God?" "No, not really," she gently said. "God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see Him."

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together - it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended. The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him.

On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly:

"Granddad, I - I - wasn't going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I've been wondering about a long time - can anybody - can anybody ever really see God?".

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. "Son," he quietly said. "It's getting so I can't see anything else."

Dear Lord we pray that our eyes would be focused on You.  We pray that in all things we would see You and others would see You through us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do You Revere the Almighty?

Job 37:23-24 (New International Version)
23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
   in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
24 Therefore, people revere him,
   for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?

George Muller was a man who trusted the Lord. He was born in 1805 and he is remembered as both an English evangelist and philanthropist. A man of faith and prayer, he established orphanages in Bristol and founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad.

He was once asked the secret of his service. It was widely known that God had continually met the needs of the orphanage without his making them known. He estimated that Christ answered 50,000 of his prayers. How did he exist like this?

Muller replied: "There was a day when I died, utterly died." As he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor, displaying his submission before God. "I died to George Muller, his opinions, his preferences, tastes, and will," he explained. "I died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends. And since then, I have studied only to show myself approved unto God."

Do you revere the Lord?

Dear Lord we ask today that you will take all of us and to use us for Your glory. Thank You for the all You do for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Jesus in the Driver's Seat?

Jeremiah 13:23 (New International Version)
Can an Ethiopian[a] change his skin
   or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good
   who are accustomed to doing evil.

There once was a snake. He was making a trek to the holy land when he came across an insurmountable problem: He couldn't cross the river that lie between him and his destination!

Being a "born-again" snake, this problem really upset him, and he curled up on the bank of the river beside to cry his eyes out.

A few hours later, he was approached by a caring turtle: "What's wrong?" he asked.

"I am on my way to the holy land, but I can't find a way across this river," cried the reformed snake. Then suddenly, his eyes brightened as a great idea came to mind: "Hey! You're a turtle! You could carry me across the river on your back! Would you mind doing that for me?"

Now the turtle was no dummy. "You are a snake!" he replied. "You might bite me during our trek!"

"But I am no ordinary snake," the snake assured him. "I am a "born-again" snake. I wouldn't DREAM of hurting you in any way!"

"Promise?" asked the slow-moving turtle.

"Promise!" answered the sneaky snake.

All went well at first. The ride was a bit wobbly, but the snake hung onto the back of the compassionate turtle. He was getting greener by the minute though, as river sickness overtook him. All of a sudden, out of the blue, he bit the turtle sharply in the neck, spreading his venom throughout the turtle's body.

"Why did you do that for?" asked the agonizing turtle. "Now we will both drown in these turbulent waters!"

"I couldn't help myself" answered the distressed "born-again" snake. "I guess once a snake, always a snake!"

Is it true that once you become "born-again", you are still pretty much human?


Is it true that once you accept Jesus into your life, you will still sin?

Yes, but it does not have to be. Many accept Jesus as their Saviour but never acknowledge Him as the Master of their life. As long as we try to lead our own life, we will tend to sin more than we want to. Why? Because Jesus is not really real to us. We have never really given Him the driver's seat of our lives.

The decision as to how you wish to live is yours to make. Who will you let into your driver's seat? Who will be in control of your life?

Dear Lord we pray today that we would give you the driver’s seat. We want to flee from sin today, Help us to stand firm when the temptations come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lesson Learned from the Bat, Buzzard and Bumblebee

Isaiah 40:26 (New International Version)
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
   Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
   and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
   not one of them is missing.

The information below isn't verified but it is a great illustration

If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is pl! aced on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler will be there until it dies unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.

It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In a lot of ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat and the bee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, not realizing that if we look up to God, we will find the answer.

Dear Lord we pray that we would look up to You. We pray that when struggle we wouldn’t just look down around us for the answer but that we would lift our eyes to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are You Connected to the Power?

Ephesians 1:19-20 (New International Version)
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.

Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson's astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.

Are you connected to the real power source today? Jesus wants to be your power.  Take the time to connect to Him today.

Dear Lord we thank You for the power You give each one of us. We pray today that we stay connected with You as we live our life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Are Your Feet on Firm Ground?

Psalm 59:16 (New International Version)
But I will sing of your strength,
   in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
   my refuge in times of trouble.

Caden, an eleven year old boy, was after a little adventure. After looking for crabs behind rocks and watching fish swimming against the out-flowing tide, he decided to cross the river.

Even though the water was only up to his chest, with his small body frame and light weight, he needed to concentrate and lean against the flow to make the crossing.

There was an Older teenager that was his guardian his job was to coach him through the crossing, realizing that the danger of being swept away was very real.

With his side of the river covered with rocks, and the opposite side having shallow sand banks, it was easy going to the shallow side. With less than twenty steps he was through the fastest and strongest current and gradually rose to dry sand bank. What a victory to get across!

But now the return challenge faced him. Both the depth and speed of the current increased, matching his increasing fear of disaster. With only ten steps to go, he hit some soft sand that gave way, and within seconds was floating downstream, distraught about his likely demise.

During his ‘heroic’ rescue, a thought came to him… isn’t this the same as my walk as a Christian?

It’s tough going against the current. Sometimes our feet give way, and we quickly start floating downstream to disaster. The quicker we get our feet on firm ground again, the better.

Dear Lord we thank You today the a rescue is only a prayer away! We thank You that we can keep our feet firmly planted on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Failure or Springboard?

Habakkuk 3:19 (New International Version)
 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   He enables me to tread on the heights.

Concerned about the disintegration of the home and the increased divorce rate, James Dobson, at the time a little-known psychologist of a southern California university hospital, wrote a book in the early '70s in support of corporal punishment entitle "Dare to Discipline."

The popularity of the controversial volume caught the eye of TV talk show guru Phil Donahue. He invited Dobson to appear on his Chicago-based show in 1978. Donahue made the Ph.D. in child development look like a child. Dobson readily admits his performance on Donahue's show was his worst ever. He left the set feeling like a failure. But Dobson's despair was short-lived.
The next day he sought out a 65-year-old advertising agent in a Chicago suburb to discuss the possibility of a national radio program. Doug Mains invited Dobson to his one-man studio in Wheaton, where Dr. James Dobson proceeded to record the pilot broadcast of "Focus on the Family."

What has developed from a disastrous television appearance is nothing short of mind-boggling. "Focus on the Family" is heard on more than 6,000 stations around the world. The 10 magazines Focus publishes reach 2.3 million families each month. Has produced the popular kids program “Adventures in Odyssey” Hear by kids around the world. This past weekend during the playoff football game The aired an ad in prime time while over 50,000,000 people watched explaining John 3:16, to the world.  

Give your plans to the Lord and let Him direct them. Then sit back and watch how God will use you.

Dear Lord today we surrender ourselves to You . We ask that You we be our strength and that we will follow You no matter where You lead us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Follow the Map?

Proverbs 3:6 (New International Version)
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.

 Do you ever wish you had a roadmap for living?  Maybe a blueprint, A tweet or even an Email?

If only someone could occasionally show us a way to go, a direction to take, we wouldn't feel so unsure of which path to pursue. We think that, with only a little guidance, we would end up in the right place.

Passengers on a regular flight from Detroit to Tri-City Airport (which is between the Michigan cities of Saginaw, Bay City and Midland), must have felt a little more than lost during the flight attendant's greeting as their flight commenced. She welcomed the passengers and stated that the destination would be Midland. A few concerned passengers alerted her to the mistake, so the flight attendant, obviously not familiar with the area, corrected herself by saying that they would be landing in "Tri-City" and Bay City.

Chuckles rippled along the aisle as she bravely tried again. This time she informed passengers that they would be landing in Saginaw. Now laughter broke out.

At that point, an authoritative voice came over the intercom and rescued her. "I'm your pilot, folks," he said, "and don't worry -- I know where we're going."

It's nice when someone knows the way. And there is wisdom in seeking help when necessary. Other people can be valuable resources.

But we cannot always depend on others for the important answers for living our lives. In the end, nobody can point us to all the best solutions for life's problems; nobody else can steer us along the path that is just right for us. We find that way by listening to God.  We find the way by reading God’s word.

So if you feel a bit lost, don't worry. This may be a perfect time to listen to what God is telling you.  And remember -- your Pilot knows where you're going.

Dear Lord we pray that we would listen to Your still small voice. We thank You for being our pilot and that You know where we are going. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are You Listening to the One That Calls?

John 10:27 (New International Version)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

It's like the tale of a father and a son on a journey to a distant city. There were no maps. The trip would be long and hard, fraught with danger. Only the wisdom and experience of the father would get them safely to their destination. Along the way the boy grew curious about his surroundings. What was on the other side of the forest? What would he see if he stood on that distant ridge? Could he run over there and look? His father said yes.

But the boy was a little nervous. "What if I wander too far from you, Father? What if I get lost?"

The father said, "Every few minutes I will call your name and wait for your answer. Listen for my voice, my son. When you can no longer hear me you will know you've gone too far."

Everything depends on the relationship of the listener to the One who calls.

Dear Lord we pray that our ears would always be open to hear what You are saying to us. We also pray that we would do the things that You want us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Your Mission

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (King James Version)
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

Your mission: You are to parachute into the remotest of areas in the Amazon jungles of Paraguay. You are to make your way to the nearest tribe and convince them of the wonders of technical advancement. Should you succeed in your mission, you will be awarded $10,000,000. Wow!
You know that the native people have never seen a white man before, and this thought makes you self-confident. "Piece of cake!" you mumble. "They'll be eating out of the palm of my hand by sunset!"
With the help of your personal interpreter, you begin: "Dear friends, I am here to share with you the wonders of modern technology!"
That's as far as you get before you are interrupted. You wait patiently for your interpreter to tell you what the old man said: "Technology? What's technology?"
What? They don't know what technology is? It has never occurred to you that these people wouldn't even know what technology is! You swallow. You will just have to speak simply and to the point. How hard can that be?
"Technology is the world outside of these jungles!" you explain. "Do you know how I got here?"
As one, the natives shake their heads at the interpreter's words.
"By airplane! An airplane is a kind of bird made by humans in which people like you can fly! That's technology!"
You are encouraged. They look impressed! But then one of them cries out incredulously: "Show us!"
"I-I can't!" you stammer. "I don't have the plane with me!"
"Ridiculous!" exclaim the rest of the group.
"We also have cars, man-made devices that take us from one place to another without the help of animals. This, by the way, is how I get to work."
Your statement creates a frenzy of excitement. Yes! You are getting somewhere! But then your interpreter explains what they are saying: "They say that you talk nonsense. They ask why anyone would need such a device when everything they need is so close by!"
Good point. Hum. You decide to stay away from modern transportation, and instead you focus on technological home advancements.
"We have homes as high as your trees, where thousands of people live."
"That must be quite a busy tree!" laughs a woman in the crowd. "Does anyone fall out?"
"Not at all!" you assure her. "Our trees are made of cement."
"Cement?" questions a curious one. "What is cement?"
"It's a mixture of different materials, like mixing dirt and water together."
"That's not practical at all!" shouts a child. "If I mix dirt and water together, it breaks as soon as I touch it!"
"The materials we have are stronger!" you insist, beginning to wish that you could have brought pictures with you.
"I wouldn't want to live in the top of a tree!" exclaims an older woman. "I'd have to climb down a long way in order to relieve myself!"
"Not at all!" you hurry to assure her. "We have bathrooms in our cement trees. We use toilets to relieve ourselves!"
"Bathrooms?" mumbles one, as if trying to figure out what that could be.
"Toilets?" echoes another. "What are toilets?"
You try to stay calm, to keep your frustration under control. "In a bathroom you can take a shower." But then you realize they won't know what a shower is either and you hasten to add: "Its water spraying over your whole body. Kind of like rain, only man made!"
"Fantasies!" yells the chief. "You're just telling us fairy tales!"
"No," you insist through your interpreter. "It's all true! A toilet is about this high!" You lower your hand to about two feet off of the ground. "You sit on it to relieve yourself, and then water appears to flush it all away."
"Where does it go?" asks the curious one.
"It goes into the sewer."
"A sewer?" interrupts a toothless woman. "What's a sewer?"
This time you decide to ignore her. "We also have radios. They are small boxes where you can hear people sing and talk. And we have televisions, you know, flat, about this high!" You indicate about a meter with your hand. "They permit us to see and hear people in action…"
"You mean there are people that small?" questions a child with a dirty face.
As time has gone by, the chief seems to be getting more and more agitated. You decide to ignore it: "We also have stoves. They permit us to cook food without having to start a fire…"
The chief stands up abruptly, and his very presence silences the people. Then he begins to speak, and though you don't understand the words, they hold the people in total silence.
"What's he saying?" you whisper to your interpreter.
"He says that you are crazy," answers your honest guide. "He says you are trying to confuse them with your fantasies. He is telling the people to go back to their work and ignore your ravings."
And just like that, the natives stand up and wander away.
"No!" you yell. "Stop! Everything I've said is true. It really is! How can I make you believe what I am saying?"
But there are now only a few youngsters left, and these are rolling in the dirt with laughter. An older one tries to imitate you, which makes the younger ones laugh even harder.
You stamp your foot in frustration as you see your millions of dollars evaporating into thin air. You have failed. But why? You told them the truth, why can't anyone see it?

Each of us are on a mission, one that is far more rewarding than millions of dollars. We are on a mission to tell the world about Jesus glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
On our own, witnessing is as impossible as trying to convince those Paraguayian natives of the wonders of modern technology. The gospel is foolishness to those who do not believe. It is only by depending solely upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit that people will see the truth. We are God's messengers, the ones who drop the seed. It is the Holy Spirit who must make that seed grow:
Remember, our reward awaits us in Heaven. It's even better than 10,000,000$, so don't forget to follow His lead!

Dear Lord we pray that we would be ready for the mission you have for us. We pray that we would be able to share Your love in a way that the world can understand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.