On Wings Of Eagles

free counters

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where are Your Eyes focused?

Hebrews 12:2-3 (New International Version)
2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Did you know that a dinosaur is living on White Island in New Zealand? It's not the kind we see in a Jurassic Park kind of movie. Rather, it was purchased at a toy store. But it's a dinosaur, all the same!

White Island, an active volcano off the eastern co
ast of the Northern Island of New Zealand, is monitored closely by webcams, and as long as everything stays quiet, it is also visited daily by boatloads and helicopters full of tourists.

The dinosaur suddenly appeared in May of 2004, near one of the webcams. The pink plastic miniature probably fell out of the pocket of some tourist visiting the island, but it landed right in the line of sight of the cam and it became an immediate internet sensation. People from all over the globe, even those who had never heard of White Island, began checking out the webcam, and the toy soon inherited the name, Dino. In fact, Dino soon became so famous that journalists worldwide began visiting the island to take its picture.

A few years later the webcam was moved to more robust housing, and Dino was repositioned to still be in its viewfinder. Dino had become the island's mascot!

Isn't it amazing how one tiny plastic dinosaur can create such an incredible interest in a faraway volcanic island? And all because people saw it on the island's webcam! What we see really does impacts us!

Can you imagine the impact it would have on our lives if we kept our eyes fixed on Jesus all of the time? It would most certainly "shoot adrenaline" into our very souls!

 would be changed forever if we make the decision to stay focused on Jesus, no matter what.

What we see truly does impact us!

Just like Dino, the plastic dinosaur on White Island.

Dear Lord we pray that today would be the day that we would start keeping our eyes focused on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Church Is God’s Box of Tools!

As I conclude my series on Tools let’s look at five priniciples from God’s Toolbox.

Principle one: He uses His tools (your talents) to bless others (Romans 12:4-8)

Principle two: He is not looking for special tools, but He uses them all - not leaving anyone out! (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Principle three:  He has assembled a variety of tools and placed them as he wanted them.(1 Corinthians 12:12-18)

Principle four:  He is currently using all available tools! Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 2:13 "And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers."

And Principle five:  He uses his tools to create other tools (2 Timothy 2:1-2 "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,  and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.")

Let’s each of us let God use us. He has a specific purpose for each one of us.

Dear Lord we thank You for making each of us special with a specific job to do. We pray that we would each be willing to be used today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Carpenter’s Tool Belt

Romans 12:4-5 (New International Version)
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Is there somebody at your church, who just won’t cooperate is hard to get along with or who always has a negative attitude or sour spirit. The temptation is to think the church would be better off without them.
Continuing my series  form the workshop I found this cute parable about the tools in the carpenter’s tool belt.I think it will help explain this biblical principle...just the way Jesus’ parables do.

The Carpenter’s Tool belt.

Brother Hammer served as the chairman. The other members of the tool belt informed him that he must leave, because he was too noisy. But brother Hammer said, "If I have to leave this carpenter’s shop, then brother Gimlet must go too. He’s insignificant and makes a very small impression." (A gimlet is a small tool with a screw point, grooved shank, and a cross handle for boring holes). 

Little brother Gimlet arose and said, "All right, but brother Screwdriver must go also. You have to turn him around and around to get anywhere with him." 

Brother Screwdriver turned to the other tools in the belt and said, "If you wish, I will go, but brother Plane must leave too. All of his work is on the surface; there’s no depth to what he does." 

To this brother Plane leveled his terse reply, "Well, then, brother Saw will have to depart too. The changes he proposes always cut too deep." 

Brother Saw complained, saying, "Brother Ruler will have to withdraw if I leave, for he’s always measuring other folks as though he were the only one who is right." 

Brother Ruler then surveyed the group and said, "Brother Sandpaper doesn’t belong here either. He’s rougher than he ought to be, and is always rubbing people the wrong way." 

In the midst of the discussion, the Carpenter of Nazareth walked in. He had come to perform his day’s work. He put on His tool belt and went to the workbench to make a pulpit. He employed the ruler, the saw, the plane, the hammer, the gimlet, the screwdriver, the sandpaper, and all the other tools.

When the day’s work was over, the pulpit was finished, and the carpenter went home. All the accusations against each of these tools were absolutely true, yet the carpenter used every one of them. No matter which tool He used, no other tool could have done the work better. And the final product would be used to preach the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!

You and I are God’s "tools". While we have our flaws, each of us has a purpose, ability, and a task to perform. Won’t you accept the value of the other tools, and let God use you today?

Dear Lord we thank You that You made us each special with a specific job to do. We pray today that we will work together as a team to build the pulpit so Your love can be preached from it. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Mark 14:3-9 (New International Version)
3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

* Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. 

* By 1890 it was recognized by all of the Northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May, passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971.

* In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem: 

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

* Memorial Day not only recognizes a national sacrifice, but a spiritual sacrifice as well. In other words, we not only commemorate the blood that was shed to ensure our national freedom; but, we also commemorate the blood that was shed to ensure our spiritual freedom, as well, by the Lord Jesus Christ.

* Most of the Memorial Day observances in our nation will look to graves filled with the bodies of those soldiers who died in service to their country. However, as believers, our Memorial Day can also look to a vacant cross, and an empty grave to the greatest sacrifice ever given.

Dear Lord we thank You today for the sacrifice You made for each of us. We pray that we would always remember and also take the opportunity to share that great story with all those we come into contact with. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

John 15:13 (New International Version)
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Memorial Day, for many, means the beginning of Summer. To others, it is a day off to shop. But, as I am sure you really know Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have died in the service of this country.

The word “memorial” comes from the Latin Memorare which is in an  imperative meaning: “Remember!” So, Memorial Day is “Remember! Day.”

This is a day to remember that there are men and women who have died so that you and I could live with greater security, justice and peace. May these fallen soldiers rest in Peace. We owe them a debt of gratitude and our prayers.

In a secondary sense we can also honor those today who currently serve in the military since they have placed their lives on the line for our security and peace.We will have a second opportunity to thank those who still live on Veterans Day.

God bless them all.

The Love of one’s country (Patriotism) is related to the fourth commandment.
It is the duty of citizens to contribute to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity.

Never forget the price others have paid for our freedom. Take tomorrow to remember and thank those families that have lost a loved one.

Dear Lord as we stop to celebrate our freedom and those that have given it to us help us also remember the freedom that You have given to us by laying down Your life on the cross and raising from the dead to save us from our sins. In Jesus’ name,  Amen. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Meeting of the Tools

Acts 1:8  (New International Version)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Here is a story from a workshop near you of a group of tools who live in a toolbox belonging to a carpenter. One day, the tools had a meeting. You see, they have been having some problems getting along with one another. They have been complaining about each other, and each one of them thinks that the others are not doing their jobs very well.

Brother Hammer stood up… "Well, first of all, I want to complain about Brother Drill and his family. I don’t see what is so important about their job. They are noisy, always going around in circles and to me, brother Drill is extremely booooorrrrinnng!"

Brother Drill quickly spoke up…"Yes, I know we have a reputation of going around in circles but at least we are not like Brother Pencil. He gets on everybody’s nerves. He is so small that he often can’t be found when he’s needed. And when he is found, he is so blunt at times that he makes such a bad impression. He needs to be sharpened up a bit around here if he expects to be of any use."

Little Brother Pencil spoke up…"Alright, alright…I am a little blunt at times…but it’s only because I’ve spent too long in service. At least I’m not like Brother Sandpaper. He’s so rough…I can’t stand being beside him. He just rubs me the wrong way!"

That remark made Brother Sandpaper really angry. “Hey, what about Brother Ruler? He makes me mad by always measuring others by his standards, as though he is the only one right around here."

Soon, everyone was shouting at each other. Some were even ready to leave the toolbox when…who should open the toolbox but their master…the carpenter. He had come to perform his work…to build a house. He pulled out the tools and started using each one of them: hammer, screwdriver, drill, sandpaper, ruler…every single one was used to do different things and to build different parts of the house. The tools then realized their foolishness. The carpenter has use for each one of them; there is not one that is more important or more useful. Big or small…the carpenter needed all to build his house.

Let us imagine that the whole church is a toolbox…we are the tools and God is the carpenter. What kind of tools can you be? Maybe you are a little pencil…writing a note of encouragement. Maybe you are a hammer because when you talk, it knocks some sense into the heads around you. Maybe you are a drill…when you tell a story…it reaches deep, deep down into the hearts.  Maybe you are a ruler… always showing  the right way to follow God.

You see, we all have different roles to play in building God’s kingdom. What if there is a tool that doesn’t want to be used? He’s quite happy just lying there in the box. Do you think the carpenter is happy with him? No, because he is not doing his job, not pulling his weight…

Everyone has to do their part, whether we are big or small, young or old, everyone has a different but important role to play. Just like the tools in the toolbox!

Dear Lord please use me today. Help me not just lay in the toolbox and be useless but help me be the tool that You have designed me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tools in the Carpenter's Hand

Proverbs 16:3 (New International Version)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

A group of tools once came together for a meeting with Mr. Hammer presiding. Brother Screwdriver said, "Brother Hammer must go, because he is always making noise, always knocking." Hammer said, "Brother Screwdriver has to go, because you have to turn him around all the time to get him to do his job." Someone else said, "Brother Plane has to go, because he always wants to just touch the surface. He never goes deep." Plane said, "Brother Sandpaper has to go then, because he is always rubbing people the wrong way." Sandpaper spoke up, "Then Brother Saw must go, because he is always cutting things up and leaving sawdust all over the place." Then the Carpenter from Nazareth came in and said, "I need all of you. We have a job to do. Put yourselves in my hand. Let me use you." Hammer said, "Here am I, Lord, use me." Screwdriver said, "Here am I, Lord, use me." Plane said, "Here am I, Lord, use me." Sandpaper said, "Here am I, Lord, use me." Saw said, "Here am I, Lord, use me." So when each gave himself to the Carpenter from Nazareth together they built a great kingdom.

Are you willing to say “Here I am, Lord use me”? Take the time today to let the Lord use you.

Dear Lord we pray that we would be willing to let You use us today. Help us use the special talent that You have given us to work together with others to build your Kingdom. IN Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God's Word and a Hammer.

Jeremiah 23:29 (King James Version)
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

A Hammer is a fit instrument to break rocks, and beat stones in pieces
The Word of God is prepared by the Almighty, a fit means to break in pieces the stony, and rocky hearts of sinners.
A Hammer can do nothing of itself without the hand that uses it.
The Word of God cannot of itself break in pieces the sinner’s heart:  God must use it by the hand of the Spirit, if ever it accomplish that for which he sent it.
According to the strength, design, and wisdom of the workman, a Hammer does effect this or that.
So according to the design, wisdom, and strength the Holy Ghost is pleased to put forth upon the heart of a sinner, is the nature of the work that is effected or accomplished thereby.
A Hammer is not only a fit instrument to break things in pieces withal; but also to drive home nails, and to clench and fasten them also.
So the Word of God in the hand of the Spirit is very useful to drive home and fasten (1.) the nails of conviction:  (2.) To drive home and fasten precepts; (3.) To drive home and fasten promises.  God is the great Master of assemblies, who fastens the words of the wise as goads and nails.  (Ecclesiastes 12:11)
Let us have the word of God break our hard and rocky hearts.
Let us each consider the truth of the word, the power of the word and authority of the word.
Today let us decide to read it daily, and consider the sufferings of Christ. Cry to God that he would be pleased to take the hammer of the word into the hand of the Spirit, and break our rocky hearts.

Dear Lord we pray that today would be the day the we would read Your word daily. We pray that we would let it mold our hearts to be what You would have of them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's Look in The Toolbox.

2 Timothy 2:15 (New International Version)
 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

As I wondered around in my workshop today moving tools around and putting them on the peg board. I was thinking about what to share in Youth group tonight. Below is some of my thoughts.

In 2 Timothy 2:15, it talks about being a "workman". If we are workman, we'll need some tools, so let's take a look in our toolbox and see what we can find. 
  • Safety Goggles. When we are working on projects, safety googles are a must to protect our eyes. As Christians we need to protect our eyes as well. There's so many things that the world offers that will spark or spew our direction. We have to have some safety measures in place, such as what type of television and movies we watch. What type of magazines we read. What type of places we allow ourselves to go as Christians.
  • Level. A level is a device that helps us line things up by establishing a horizontal line. It helps us do things with precision. That's how we need to approach life. The Word of God should be our level. The things in our lives should line up with the Bible and what it has to say. 
  • Screwdriver. A screwdriver is one of those most commonly used tools. It's a tool for turning in and out such as when we put a screw into something and it goes the opposite direction when we remove one. How about us? Do we go the way that God wants us to, even if it's not the direction we want to go in? Do we follow His leading? 
  • Nuts and Bolts. Nuts and bolts are amazing little things. They are used to put things together and make them sturdy. They allow for tremendous pressure. How about us? Do we lean on Christ? It's the only way that we will withstand that tremendous pressure of the world. 
  • Adjustable Wrench. These are handy little tools for our toolbox. They have adjustable heads to accommodate various sizes of nuts and bolts. How about us? Are we flexible to situations that arise? Do we react to unforeseen things in a Christian way? 
  • Chisel. A chisel is a tool with a sharp edge at one end. It is used to chip and carve into something that is solid, such as wood, stone, or metal. Are we busy chipping out all the things that aren't necessary in our lives as Christians? We should be constantly working on getting rid of that "old man".
  • Hammer. As workmen, we are going to have to use a hammer from time to time to put things in place. How about us? Do we have things hammered in place in our Christian lives such as regular bible reading, regular prayer, regular church attendance? 
  • Pliers. Pliers are tools used for holding things by pinching it. It allows us to work on things that need precision work. There are going to be some things in our Christian lives that need some attention. There may be times that we need to just grab hold of something and work on it. We may need to work on our faith, our prayer life, our witnessing, or something else that we struggle with. 
  • Tape Measure. No matter what type of DIY or building project we do, there are going to be times when we need to measure things. When we are working on our Christian lives, we need to measure it from time to time. Are we doing more for Christ than we were a few years ago? Are we growing in God's Word? 
  • Bible. The Bible and explain that it is the most powerful tool that God has given to us! We must make sure we have it in our toolbox for everyday life.?

The toolbox is like a church, and we are all God's tools. Each of the tools (each of us) is different and special, and each has its own purpose. God has a use for each and every one of us, and we all have a purpose.
What are some tools that I haven’t included in my tool box that can be used to share God’s love?
  Our verse in 2 Timothy talks about being a "workman" but it also talks about studying God's Word. That's what hones our craft. Staying in God's Word and knowing it helps us with our skills as a Christian. Knowing the Word of God will help us understand it and put biblical principles into place in our lives. The Bible is full of things that we can use as tools to improve our Christian lives and our relationship with the Lord. 

So, what's in your toolbox? 

Dear Lord we thank You for the tools that You give to each one of us. We pray today that we would let You use us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Will Your Faith Stand?

1 Peter 1:6-7 (New International Version)
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I have recently read the book by Jim Collins, "Good to Great", In it he interviewed Admiral Jim Stockdale, the highest-ranking officer in the Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Admiral Stockdale was shot down in September 1965 and endured seven and half years of horrific imprisonment and torture. Regarding the prisoner of war camp, Collins asked Stockdale, "Who didn't make it out?"

"Oh, that's easy," answered Stockdale. "The optimists."

"The optimists? I don't understand," responded Collins.

"The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end-which you can never afford to lose-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

During the most difficult of times, optimism will be crushed. But our faith and trust in Christ is one that has overcome all that the world. 

Dear Lord we pray that we would hang on to You in all things. Help us remember that You are there leading and guiding us in all the things that come our way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Does Your Faith Have Clothes On?

John 21:15 (New American Standard Bible)
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

It's one thing to goof. But it's another thing to do it in front of a stadium full of people! In their book OOPS (The Rutledge Press, 1981), authors Richard Smith and Edward Decter tell of such slip-ups. One occurred during a soccer match between two Brazilian teams. The first goal was scored within three seconds after kickoff. What made the score particularly hard for the team's fans to take was the fact that it was made while their goalie was still on one knee with head bowed in prayer.

There is certainly a time for prayer, but this poor man learned the hard way that there is also a time for action. In fact, both are necessary in a well-lived life. As Gandhi once said, "I have so much to accomplish today, I will have to meditate two hours instead of one."

Often, however, the best spirituality begins with the prayer of the heart, then moves to that prayer which is lived throughout the rest of the day.

Several years ago a bomb was detonated outside the huge oak doors of a Greek Catholic church in Jerusalem. The heavy doors were blown inward so that they careened up to the front of the sanctuary and destroyed the chancel area. Windows were blown out, pews were destroyed and the balcony collapsed.

Dr. Ken Bailey, a Presbyterian missionary scholar and friend of the priest of the Greek church, stopped by to assess the damage. It took little time to determine that the priest was in shock and unable to make necessary decisions. So Dr. Bailey took it upon himself to ask seminary administrators at the school where he taught to close classes and he invited students to join him in helping the priest. They cleaned the church and boarded the windows to prevent looting.

The next day, Bailey again called on his friend. The maid confided in him that the priest did not cry at the bomb's destruction. However, she added, "He did cry when you and your friends helped clean up the mess it made."

Dr. Bailey has since remarked, "I did not teach any theology that afternoon -- or did I?" If theology is about love in action, he held one of his best classes that day.

The truth is...faith is never so beautiful as when it has its working clothes on.

Dear Lord we pray today that we would put our faith in action and do the work that You have for us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Will You be Found?

Luke 18:8 (KJV)
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

August 24, 79 A.D. began with a tremendous noise that woke anyone still asleep in the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. As they ran outside, they noticed a mushroom-shaped cloud rising from Mount Vesuvius, a volcano near these towns. Suddenly flaming residue and volcanic rock began raining from the sky, bombarding these towns and their inhabitants for a 24 hour period. We can only imagine how much destruction and death such an event would cause!

People tried to find shelter in their homes, planning to escape when the volcanic storm had subsided. In the end of the bombardment, however, more than two meters of volcanic rock had fallen on and around Pompeii.

An eye-witness named Pliny the Younger wrote the following; "When night fell, not one such as when there is no moon or the sky is cloudy, but a night like being in a closed place with the lights out. One could hear the wailing of women, the crying of children, the shouting of men; they called each other, some their parents, others their children, still others their mates, trying to recognize each other by their voices. Some lamented their own fate, others the fate of their loved ones. There were even those who out of their fear of death prayed for death."

At first daylight on August 25, a fierce explosion of toxic gases and fiery residue poured forth from the volcano, infiltrating everything in its path and making it impossible for anyone to flee. As it was raining at the same time, the rain and ash poured down on the town and before it was over, they were covered with more than six meters of wet ash. It clung to anything and anyone. No one could escape its vicious grasp.

In 1748, excavations began of the area. What would amaze the archaeologist for the next 250 years was the degree of preservation of all the ancient objects. It seemed that this shower of ash mixed with rain formed an airtight seal around the town, preserving houses, temples, theatres and baths. More than 2000 bodies were found as well, including gladiators who had been chained to prevent escape. The ash mixed with rain also enveloped its victims, forming perfect, solid molds, even after the bodies themselves had turned to dust.

As a result of the preserving effect of the ash and rain, we can establish without difficulties the daily activities of these inhabitants, as well as how they spent their last moments of life.

This story makes me wonder. What will others discover about us after our deaths? And more importantly, how will we be welcomed in heaven? Do we have any dark secrets? Do we trust our Heavenly Father in everything we do? Do we savor and hunger for time with our Heavenly Father? Do we reach out to the ones Jesus valued highly enough to die for? Where are our priorities?

Is our day and age any different from the descriptions we have in the Bible of the end times?
Are we truly hungering for Jesus' return? Is He our priority in all that we do? In whom or what are we truly placing our faith?

May we learn from the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There will one day be an end to our existence, and then people will discover who we truly are. What kind of person will we be discovered to be? How warm will our welcome be in heaven?

Dear Lord we pray that we have You as our priority in our life. We want those around us to see You in everything we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

God Answers Prayers

Matthew 21:21 (New International Version)
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

On December 14, 2005, fire broke out in Tracinda Foxe's kitchen in New York City. The thirty-year old mother began to panic as flames raced through her third story apartment. She soon realized that she was cut off and she could not escape.

Smoke filled her apartment within minutes. Her three week old son Eric soon was overcome by the smoke and stopped breathing.
"God, please save my son,"' Foxe screamed. She explained afterwards: "I prayed that someone would catch him and save his life."

Tracinda ran to the window, but the smoke prevented her from seeing below. In a desperate act, she screamed "Save my son! Save my son!" And then she released her grip on her precious son. Eric plunged thirty feet.

Instinctively, Felix Vasquez, a housing authority supervisor who happens to play on the baseball team at a nearby Bronx housing project, reached out and caught little Eric. Vasquez, who learned mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as a teenaged lifeguard, began mouth-to-mouth and was able to revive little Eric.

Moments after Felix's life-saving catch, two firefighters broke into the burning apartment and rescued Tracinda.

Dear Lord we praise you that everything is possible for those who believe and trust in Christ. Thank You Lord for loving and caring for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Are You Listening to God's Answers?

Matthew 21:22 (New International Version)
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

A devout Christian heard an urgent news report on his radio that a flash flood was within minutes of entering the peaceful valley where he lived. Immediately he went to his knees and prayed for safety. The words were still on his lips when he became aware that water was gushing under his door. He retreated to the second floor and finally onto the roof of his house.

While he sat on the roof, a helicopter flew by and the pilot asked over the loudspeaker if they could lift him off. "It's not necessary since I have the Lord's protection," he replied.

Moments later the house began to break up and he found himself clinging to a tree. A police boat, braving the waters, approached him for rescue, but he assured them that the Lord would save him. Finally, the tree gave way and the man went to his death.

Standing before the Lord, he asked, "Lord, I'm glad to be here, but why didn't You answer my prayer for safety?"

The Lord responded, "Son, I told you over the radio to get out of there Then I sent you a helicopter and a motor boat!"

Nowhere in the Bible are we given the idea that God works only in the extraordinary. Much of the time He supernaturally works through His created order. Many people think God is present only when there is a miracle and that He leads only through signs and wonders.

There are people who always look for a sign. They walk by sight, not by faith. To them, God is only present in the miraculous. God was "really" at the church service if something unusual happened. Many desire and look for "visitations" from God.

But how does that square with God's omnipresence and the fact that He will never leave us or forsake us? Isn't God at every church service? Since God created the fixed order of the universe, would you expect Him to work primarily within that fixed order or outside of it? If God gave us a watch, would we be honoring Him more by asking Him what time it is or by simply consulting the watch?

Dear Lord we pray that when we pray to You we would listen for the answer. Help us always be faithful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cut the Rope

Isaiah 41:13 (New International Version)
For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.

The story is told of a mountain climber, who was desperate to conquer the Aconcagua . He initiated his climb after years of preparation. Wanting all of the glory for himself, he went up alone. He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later. He did not prepare for camping so he decided to keep on going. Soon it got dark... very dark.

Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude.

Visibility was zero.

Everything was black. There was no moon, and the stars were covered by dark clouds. As he was climbing a ridge and he reached about a 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell. Falling rapidly to the bottom he could only see blotches of darkness passing by. He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked down by gravity.

He kept falling.... and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind. He thought for sure that he would die. ! But then he felt a jolt around his waist that almost tore him in half. Yes!! Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope.

In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air with the rope tied around his waist he had no other choice but to shout,


All of a sudden, just like the good God that He is the man heard the answer to his prayer A deep voice from heaven spoke..."What do you want me to do?"

"SAVE ME", he pleaded.

"Do you REALLY believe I can save you?"


God replied, "Then according to your faith, cut the rope."

There was another moment of silence and stillness. The man gasped and just held tighter to the rope.

The rescue team says that the next day they found, a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope....


Do we really believe that God can save us? I know, I know the rope is tangible. We can feel the rope. We think we know what our chances are with the rope.

But, God has great and marvelous things for us. Whatever it is, why don't you let it go?


Dear Lord we pray that we would have the faith to let go of the rope today and fully trust you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Working as a Team

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (New International Version)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Don Bennett was on top of the world. He was wealthier than most of us will ever imagine. He owned a ranch, a ski chalet and an eight-bedroom waterfront home on Seattle’s Mercer Island. And then everything changed. On a beautiful sunny day in August of 1972, Don was boating with his children when he fell overboard and the propeller of the boat ran over both of his legs. He nearly bled to death but managed to survive. His left leg took 480 stitches to close. His right leg was gone completely above the knee.

To make matters even worse, while he was in the hospital recovering, his business fell to pieces. Don felt like he had lost everything – except his determination. Amazingly, Don taught himself to ski again. Eventually, he would teach other amputees to ski on one leg. He started another business, Video Training Center, which listed such clients as Boeing and Weyerhauser. He started kayaking, and it was then that he began to dream of climbing mountains again.

Don had climbed Mt. Rainer in 1970. He decided to do it again, but he knew he couldn’t do it alone. He hopped five miles a day on his crutches. With a team of four others, he made it within 400 feet from the top before they were forced off by whiteout conditions and screaming winds. Four months later, he was training again with his team captain. They trained together for another year before returning to the mountain. He climbed for five days, 14 hours a day, sometimes hopping, sometimes crawling up the incline on one leg, and on July 15, 1982, Don Bennet touched the summit at 14,410 feet. He was the first amputee to climb Mt. Rainer.

When asked about the most important lesson he learned during the entire ordeal, his response was simple: “You can’t do it on your own.” He described how during one very difficult trek across an ice field his daughter stayed at his side and with each hop told him, “You can do it, Dad. You’re the best dad in the world. You can do it, Dad.” He told his interviewers that there was no way he would quit hopping to the top with his daughter yelling words of love and encouragement in his ear.

You can’t do it alone. That makes a lot of sense! Few, if any, truly outstanding accomplishments can be achieved alone. That’s a fact that most of us are aware of. But what is not immediately obvious is that not just anyone can help. Don Bennett did not recruit his helpers in a nursing home. He built a team of people who wanted to climb a 14,410-foot peak and, perhaps more importantly, who could climb a 14,410-foot peak. One who attempts mighty feats had better be capable of recruiting a mighty team of willing and able participants.

Dear Lord we pray that today we would be there to help somebody today. We thank You that You are there for us and we pray that we would be there for others. IN Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big God, Little Stones

1 Samuel 17:42 (New International Version)
He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.

Goliath dismissed David because he was a mere youth; Goliath made a big mistake.

New Castle, Pennsylvania's Jerry Brown Jr. Dismissed an 89-year-old woman when he stole her friend's purse. His was also a big mistake.

Now it's true, this lady didn't have David's sling and three, smooth stones taken from a riverbed. On the other hand, she did have her cane.

Stones or cane, both can come in handy when bringing down a bad guy.

This lady rather than standing there looking all frail and helpless gave a whack to Brown's getaway car. She gave it such a whack she scratched the paint and left a dent in the vehicle. Between the dent, the scratch and the description of the robbers, the New Castle police were soon able to arrest Brown and an accomplice, Tatiana Vargas.

Over the years I've noticed the forces of evil tend to dismiss and discount God's people. We don't look like much; we don't sport halos like the saints do in the artists' depictions and most of us don't perform miracles.

Even so, God's people, the young and old, the weak and the frail can accomplish great things when they put their trust in the Lord. According to Scripture, it was in the Lord -- not those stones -- that David placed his trust. Indeed, he said as much to Goliath when he shouted, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

Now I don't know which evil giant is coming against you.

I don't know what force of evil is going to try and intimidate you, frighten, bully and terrorize you.

I do know that when you stand by the side of the Lord, you need not be afraid

Dear Lord, today we give thanks. All around us there are forces of evil trying to undermine our faith and paralyze us into inaction. Help us today to move forward in faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Believe in God

Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)
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.

The life of Wilma Rudolph, the great Olympic sprinter, is a remarkable story of faith. Wilma was born with health problems that left her crippled. "Will I ever be able to run and play like the other children?" Wilma asked her parents.

"Honey, you have to believe in God and never give up hope," they responded. "If you believe, God will make it happen." Taking her parents' counsel, she painfully struggled to walk. By the time she was 12, to the delight and surprise of many, Wilma no longer needed her braces. She went on to play basketball on her championship high school team and win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics.

When you hear inspiring stories of faith like Wilma Rudolph's, do you sometimes wonder, "What could I accomplish if I took God at His Word?" Faith is the foundational principle of the Christian life. Believing who God is, what He says, what He has done, and what He will do defines the kingdom of God.

Furthermore, faith is the essence of the Christian's day-to-day activity. Paul wrote: "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (Colossians 2:6). How did you receive Christ? By faith. How then are you to walk in Him? By faith. In Scripture, walking refers to the way you conduct your everyday life. Victorious Christian living and spiritual maturity are determined by our belief in God.

We tend to think of faith as some kind of mystical quality which belongs only in the realm of the spiritual. But everybody walks by faith. It is the most basic operating principle of life. The question is, in what or in whom do you believe? We are challenged to believe in God and take His Word seriously.

Dear Lord we pray that we would take Your word and promises seriously. We pray that today we would seek after You all the time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Proverbs 6:20-23 (New International Version)
20 My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you;    when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.

The year was 1908, just a little more than two years since Jarvis had lost her own mother. Still grieving and struggling for some way to honor her mother, Jarvis held a ceremony in Grafton, West Virginia. She was so moved by what she experienced that she embarked on a national campaign to have our country honor the many contributions that mothers make. In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to celebrate Mother’s Day and a year later, most of the country’s other states officially set aside the day as well. The momentum was obviously too great for President Wilson to refuse Jarvis’ quest to honor her own mother by designating a day each year for all of us to honor our mothers. In fact, our country has celebrated Mothers Day on the second Sunday in May ever since President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it as a national holiday in 1914.

The author of these verses is Solomon. Solomon was the wisest person who ever lived. He knew that the day we start ditching our parent's teaching is the same day our life starts heading towards the ditch.
Just what have we learned from our mother? Let’s look at the list that follows to see what we each have learned from our moms.
*My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION:
"Just wait until your father gets home."
*My Mother taught me about RECEIVING:
"You are going to get it when we get home!"
*My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE:
"What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"
*My Mother taught me LOGIC:
"Because I said so, that's why."
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
*My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD:
"If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."
*My Mother taught me ESP:
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"
*My Mother taught me HUMOR:
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
*My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT:
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
*My Mother taught me about GENETICS:
"You're just like your father."
*My Mother taught me about my ROOTS:
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"
*My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE:
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."
*My Mother taught me about JUSTICE:
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you'll see what it's like."
*My mother taught me RELIGION:
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
*My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL:
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
*My mother taught me FORESIGHT:
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
*My mother taught me IRONY:
"Keep crying and I'll *give* you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS:
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"
*My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM:
"Will you *look* at the dirt on the back of your neck!"
*My mother taught me about STAMINA:
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is finished."
*My mother taught me about WEATHER:
"It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."
*My mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS:
"If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you, would you listen then?"
*My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY:
"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times: Don't Exaggerate!!!"
*My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
*My mother taught me about ENVY:
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"

Take the time today to thank your mom for all she has done for you.

Dear Lord we thank You today for our mothers. We pray that we would not only honor them on Mother’s Day but throughout the year for all that they do for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.