On Wings Of Eagles

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Getting started

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

When Ralph Houk was manager of the New York Yankees, baseball schedules were even more exacting than they are now, with double-headers almost every week. Occasionally a player would get sick of the grind and approach Houk, asking for permission to sit out a game. "I know how you feel," the manager would say genially. "Sure, take the day off, But do me a favor. You're in the starting lineup. Just play one inning. Then skip the rest of the game." The player would honor Houk's request--and almost invariably get caught up in the spirit of the game and play it out to the end.

So often in our life the hardest part of getting something done is getting started. Once we get past that initial step we finish        what is before us without any trouble. As our verse says God renews everything. He has it ready for us to start afresh ever day. Today push a little to get started and finish What God has for you to accomplish.

Dear Lord, help us to be motivated to get our self-going. Give us the strength for what is before us today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Post-op thoughts

Ephesians 5:4 (ESV)
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Oct 11, 2017  I had L2-L5 fused in my back to help correct my genetically narrow spinal canal. As I lay here I thought it would be fun to share some  post-op thoughts I've had while recovering since surgery one week ago today.

1. Who knew a person could sleep this much?
2. Does my body really need THIS much sleep to recover?
3. Oh no, I think I pulled my staples.
4. I'm pretty sure I definitely pulled my staples.
5. I'm probably going to bleed to death and die and nobody will know.
7. When is the medicine going to kick in?
8. I think it's time for another nap.
9. That makes this my third nap today.
10. Is four naps in one day too excessive?
11. My body needs to recover so that justifies it, right?
13. Wow, I am glad I have such a high pain tolerance.
14. Now would be a good time to write another blog, if only I could concentrate
16. I can catch up on some woodworking books and make plans for my shop
17. I can binge watch some YOUTube vidoes for Christmas ideas.
18. Or I could take another nap...
19. Dear Lord, I have never felt this tired.
20. I'm truly thankful for modern medicine.
21. Wow, I want ice cream.
22. ...and French fries.
23. I wonder when I will break the 1000 steps in a day mark again?
24. How much longer until I can start walking around the neighborhood?
25. When can I drive? I really want to drive to get ice cream.
26. WOW, I'm tired
27. Where is my calendar for our mission trip?
28. Time for another nap.
29. No pain no gain, right?
30. I could crawl to the kitchen and make a snack, right?
31. No I shouldn’t
32. I could do some online shopping while laying on couch.
33. I'll just take another nap.

All silliness aside I am Thankful for how God is working through me. My prayer is that God will use each of us in a mighty way TODAY.

Dear Lord, we pray that no matter our circumstance that we will allow You to use them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Koine Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best-known word in human speech. The word is directly related--in fact, almost identical--to the Hebrew word for "believe" (aman), or "faithful." Thus, it came to mean "sure" or truly," an expression of absolute trust and confidence. When one believes God, he indicates his faith by an "amen." When God makes a promise, the believer's response is "amen"--"so it will be!" In the New Testament, it is often translated "verily" or "truly." When we pray according to His Word and His will, we know God will answer, so we close with an "amen," and so also do we conclude a great hymn or anthem of praise and faith.

The word is even a title of Christ Himself. The last of His letters to the seven churches begins with a remarkable salutation by the glorified Lord: "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). We can be preeminently certain that His Word is always faithful and true, because He is none other than the Creator of all things, and thus He is our eternal "Amen." As our text reminds us, every promise of God in Christ is "yea and amen," as strong an affirmation of truth as can be expressed in the Greek language.

It is, therefore, profoundly meaningful that the entire Bible closes with an "amen." "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:21), assuring everyone who reads these words that the whole Book is absolutely true and trustworthy. Amen!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are eternal. But even more then that that You are absolutely true and trustworthy. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Are you doing your very best?

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV) 
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

As I lay here and do a lot of recovering from the back surgery I had late last week. As another baseball season wraps up I found an interesting story about doing your very best.
Keith Hernandez is one of baseball's top players. He is a lifetime .300 hitter who has won numerous Golden Glove awards for excellence in fielding. He's won a batting championship for having the highest average, the Most Valuable Player award in his league, and even the World Series. Yet with all his accomplishments, he has missed out on something crucially important to him -- his father's acceptance and recognition that what he has accomplished is valuable. Listen to what he had to say in a very candid interview about his relationship with his father: "One day Keith asked his father, 'Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?' His father replied, 'But someday you're going to look back and say, "I could have done more."'"

Are you giving your very best?

Dear Lord, we pray today that we would each give our very best.  Help us to not sit back and rest on our accomplishments of the past but to keep pushing forward, bringing honor to Your name in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lived among us

John 1:14 (ESV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

February 15, 1921. New York City. The operating room of the Kane Summit Hospital. A doctor is performing an appendectomy. In many ways the events leading to the surgery are uneventful. The patient has complained of severe abdominal pain. The diagnosis is clear: an inflamed appendix. Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane is performing the surgery. In his distinguished thirty-seven-year medical career, he has performed nearly four thousand appendectomies, so this surgery will be uneventful in all ways except two.

The first novelty of this operation? The use of local anesthesia in major surgery. Dr. Kane is a crusader against the hazards of general anesthesia. He contends that a local application is far safer. Many of his colleagues agree with him in principle, but in order for them to agree in practice, they will have to see the theory applied.

Dr. Kane searches for a volunteer, a patient who is willing to undergo surgery wile under local anesthesia. A volunteer is not easily found. Many are squeamish at the thought of being awake during their own surgery. Others are fearful that the anesthesia might wear off too soon. Eventually, however, Dr. Kane finds a candidate. On Tuesday morning, February 15, the historic operation occurs.

The patient is prepped and wheeled into the operating room. A local anesthetic is applied. As he has done thousands of times, Dr. Kane dissects the superficial tissues and locates the appendix. He skillfully excises it and concludes the surgery. During the procedure, the patient complains of only minor discomfort. The volunteer is taken into post-op, then placed in a hospital ward. He recovers quickly and is dismissed two days later. Dr. Kane had proven his theory. Thanks to the willingness of a brave volunteer, Kane demonstrated that local anesthesia was a viable, and even preferable, alternative.

But I said there were two facts that made the surgery unique. I've told you the first: the use of local anesthesia. The second is the patient. The courageous candidate for surgery by Dr. Kane was Dr. Kane.

To prove his point, Dr. Kane operated on himself! A wise move. The doctor became a patient in order to convince the patients to trust the doctor.

Likewise our Lord came to Earth and became a man and lived amongst us so that we would trust Him. He dealt with the same things we deal with every day and understands what we face. He wants us to trust Him in everything.

Dear Lord , we thank  You that we can trust You in all things. We thank You for coming to Earth and taking our place for the sins we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Not even one nail

Romans 12:1 (ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

One Sunday a Haitian pastor illustrate to his congregation the need for total commitment to Christ. His parable: A certain man wanted to sell his house for $2,000. Another man wanted very badly to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn't afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.

After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.

The Haitian pastor's conclusion: "If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's habitation." 

Dear Lord, we pray that we wouldn’t give the Devil even on small nail in our life. Help us make sure our life is completely Yours. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Are you going to fish?

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

There's an old story about a fisherman who was very successful. Every morning he went out on the lake in a small boat and when he returned a couple of hours later, his boat was loaded down with fish. He never failed.

People wondered how he did it, even when others were not catching anything at all. He always came in with his boat just overflowing with fish.
One morning a stranger showed up with his fishing tackle and said, "Mind if I go fishing with you this morning?" "No," said the fisherman. "Just hop in and we'll go over to a little cove where I always have good luck."

The man hopped in the boat and off they headed across the lake until they came to a small cove. The old fisherman stopped the boat and cut off the motor. He reached over in his tackle box and took out a red stick of dynamite. He lit the fuse and held it for a moment as the fuse burned down.

Then at the last moment he tossed it in the water and there was a tremendous explosion. Fish were everywhere on the water. He picked up his net and began scooping up the fish.

After watching this for a moment the stranger reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Opening it up, he showed a badge and said, "I'm a game warden and you are under arrest." The old fisherman simply reached over into his box and pulled out another stick of dynamite. He lit it and held it as the fuse burned down. Then, he tossed it to the game warden and said,"Now, are you going to just sit there or are you going to fish?"

There comes a time when we all have to decide - who we're going to be and what we're going to do!

Dear Lord, help us to always be ready to make wise decisions based on Your Word. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Remember who you are.

Ezekiel 38:7 (ESV)
Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

There was once an absent-minded professor who became so absorbed in his work that he forgot the simplest details. One morning his wife said, "Now Henry, remember, we are moving today. Here, I'm putting this note in your pocket. Don't forget."
The day passed by and the man came home to his house. He entered the front door, and found the place empty. Distraught, he walked out to the curb and sat down. A young boy walked up to him, and he asked him, "Little boy, do you know the people who used to live here?"
The boy replied, "Sure, Dad, mother told me you'd forget."

How often do we become so absorbed in "the little things of this world" that we forget who we are and whose we are and where we are going...

Dear Lord, help us never get to busy to remember that we are Yours. Help us work to show the World who You are. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Back surgery take 3

Proverbs 11:3 (ESV)
The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

6 years after my last back surgery I find myself having back surgery again. This will be my third Back surgery and I pray my last to repair my lower back. Because I have an abnormally narrow spinal cord my surgeon has to shore up the Lumbar area to take away the pinching of the nerves.

As I prepare for surgery I have done a lot of reading and came across the story that took place in an operating room that deals with integrity and doing the right thing.

In the operating room of a large hospital, a young nurse was completing her first full day of responsibilities. "You've only removed 11 sponges, doctor," she said to the surgeon. "We used 12." "I removed them all," the doctor declared. "We'll close the incision now." "No," the nurse objected. "We used 12 sponges." "I'll take full responsibility," the surgeon said grimly.   "Suture!" "You can't do that!" blazed the nurse. "Think of the patient." The surgeon smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the 12th sponge. "You'll do," he said.

Do you have the integrity do what’s right when pressured?

Dear Lord, we pray that we would have the integrity to make the right decision. Help us to stand against what we know is wrong. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Prayers of children

1 John 5:14 (ESV)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

I want to thank everyone for your prayers as I prepare for surgery in the morning. We know the power of prayer and that where two or more are gathered He is there with them. For some pre surgery fun I wanted to share some fun prayers made by children.

Dear God, Did you mean for the giraffe too look like that or was it an accident? - Norma

Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don¹t you just keep the ones you have now? - Jane

Dear God, Who draws the lines around the countries? - Nan

Dear God, I went to a wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? - Neil

Dear God, Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. - Joyce

Dear God, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. -Bruce

Dear God, I want to be just like my dad when I get big, but just not with so much hair all over. -Sam

Dear God, I bet it is very hard for You to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in my family and I can never do it. - Nan

Dear God, Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best. -Rob

Dear God, If You watch me in church Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes. - Mickey

Dear God, We read that Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School, we learned that You did it. So I bet he stole Your idea. - Donna

Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw that sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool! - Eugene

Dear God, Maybe Cain and Abel wouldn't have killed each other if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother and me. – Larry

Dear Lord, we thank You for hearing our prayers. Help us to be faithful in talking to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

How do we Please God?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I can do to please and bring honor to our Lord. Here is a short list that I have started.  

1. By exalting Jesus Christ, His Son (Matt 3:17; Col 1:15-19)
2. By proclaiming the message of the cross (I Cor 1:18-2:5)
3. By believing in God and his promises (Heb 11:6)
4. By asking for wisdom (1 Kings 3:10, Col 1:9-14; James 1:5-8)
5. By staying away from sexual sin (Eph 5:3,4,10; 1 Thes 4:1-8)
6. By sharing the gospel with unbelievers (I Cor 9:14-27, 10:31-33)
7. By giving to others in time of need (Phil 4:10-20; Heb 13:16)
8. By submitting to authority (Rom 8:7-8, Col 3:20; 1 John 3:22)
9. By praising God for all things (Ps 69:30-31; Heb 13:15-16)

Dear Lord, help us to focus on how we can please You. We thank You for Your word that gives us the guidelines that we can follow to please You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

I am waiting impatiently to get this surgery over with and want Wednesday to get here in a hurry.  I came across some good advice from the 19th-century preacher A.B. Simpson:

"Beloved, have you ever thought that someday you will not have anything to try you, or anyone to vex you again? There will be no opportunity in heaven to learn or to show the spirit of patience, forbearance, and longsuffering. If you are to practice these things, it must be now." Yes, each day affords countless opportunities to learn patience. Let's not waste them.

Commenting on our need for this virtue, M.H. Lount has said, "God's best gifts come slowly. We could not use them if they did not. Many a man, called of God to...a work in which he is pouring out his life, is convinced that the Lord means to bring his efforts to a successful conclusion. Nevertheless, even such a confident worker grows discouraged at times and worries because results do not come as rapidly as he would desire. But growth and strength in waiting are results often greater than the end so impatiently longed for. Paul had time to realize this as he lay in prison. Moses must have asked, 'Why?' many times during the delays in Midian and in the wilderness. Jesus Himself experienced the discipline of delay in His silent years before His great public ministry began."

God wants us to see results as we work for Him, but His first concern is our growth. That's why He often withholds success until we have learned patience. The Lord teaches us this needed lesson through the blessed discipline of delay.

Let us all wait upon the Lord knowing that His timing is perfect.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be patient as we wait upon His timing. Help us to be disciplined in what we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Common sense

Proverbs 2:7-8 (NLT)
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
    He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
    and protects those who are faithful to him.

In 1937 architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a house for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. One rainy evening Johnson was entertaining distinguished guests for dinner when the roof began to leak. The water seeped through directly above Johnson himself, dripping steadily onto his bald head. Irate, he called Wright in Phoenix, Arizona. "Frank," he said, "you built this beautiful house for me and we enjoy it very much. But I have told you the roof leaks, and right now I am with some friends and distinguished guests and it is leaking right on top of my head." Wright's reply was heard by all of the guests. "Well, Hibbard, why don't you move your chair?"

Dear Lord, we pray that we would walk in integrity and be wise in the decision that we make. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Redemption, reconciliation, and justification

Romans 3:24 (ESV)  
And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

In London there are about three kinds of maps: the street map, the map depicting throughways, and the underground map of the subway. Each map is accurate and correct, but each map does not give the complete picture. To see the whole, the three maps must be printed one on top of each other. However, that is often confusing, so the use of only one 'layer' at a time is much easier.

It is the same with the words used to describe the death of Jesus Christ. Each word, like redemption, reconciliation, or justification, is accurate and correct, but each word does not give the complete picture. To see the whole we need to place one 'layer' one top of the other, but that is sometimes confusing--we cannot see the trees for the whole! So we separate out each splendid concept and discover that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can have redemption, reconciliation and justification because of what You did for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The battle is won

1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Theologians tell a story to illustrate how Christ's triumph presently benefits our lives: Imagine a city under siege. The enemy that surrounds they city will not let anyone or anything leave. Supplies are running low, and the citizens are fearful. But in the dark of the night, a spy sneaks through the enemy lines. He has rushed to the city to tell the people that in another place the main enemy force has been defeated; the leaders have already surrendered. The people do not need to be afraid. It is only a matter of time until the besieging troops receive the news and lay down their weapons. Similarly, we may seem now to be surrounded by the forces of evil -- disease, injustice, oppression, death. But the enemy has actually been defeated at Calvary. Things are not the way they seem to be. It is only a matter of time until it becomes clear to all that the battle is really over.

Times may seem rough and difficult but what joy to know that the battle is really over. Stay strong and fight the good fight. The Lord is coming back soon.

Dear Lord, we thank You for winning the battle over the evil one and bringing us hope. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Who's missing?

2 Chronicles 15:7 (ESV)
But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

D.L. Moody had a keen memory for names and faces. If one of his children was missing from Sunday school, he knew it, and he would do everything possible to find out why. One day he saw an absentee coming down the street, so he took off after her. She ran down the sidewalk, across the street, and through an alley into a saloon, up the stairs to a back apartment, into the bedroom, and then dived under the bed. Moody went after her, and just as he was claiming his prize, the mother showed up. Panting from the exertion, Moody simply explained, "I'm Moody," He said that he had missed the girl and would be happy if all the family could come to the services. Within a few weeks he had every child in the family in his school.

Are you willing to go after those that have missed church? Let make the effort to seek out those that are missing and show them that they are important.

Dear Lord, help our eyes be open and notice when those are missing. Give us the strength to reach out and let them know they are missed. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finish Strong

2 Chronicles 15:7 (ESV)
But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

The 1992 Summer Olympics featured two tremendously poignant moments. American sprinter Gail Devers, the clear leader in the 100 meter hurdles, tripped over the last barrier. She agonizingly pulled herself to her knees and crawled the last five meters, finishing fifth--but finishing.

Even more heart-rending was the 400 meter semifinal in which British runner Derek Redmond tore a hamstring and fell to the track. He struggled to his feet and began to hobble, determined to complete the race. His father ran from the stands to help him off the track, but the athlete refused to quit. He leaned on his father, and the two limped to the finish line together, to deafening applause.

This life is tough at times and takes real determination. Things knock us down and beat us up. The question is will we get back up and push our way through to the end. God is there ti give the strength.

Dear Lord, when the struggles come we pray for the strength to finish and finish strong. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Watching the details

Proverbs 15:3 (ESV)
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Success is often reached through the little stuff. When Pat Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1982 to 1990, the team won four NBA championships. In taking over the New York Knicks in 1991, Riley inherited a team with a losing record. But the Knicks seemed able to play above their abilities and even gave the eventual champions, the Chicago Bulls, their hardest competition in the play-offs.

How does Riley do it? He says his talent lies in attention to detail. For example, every NBA team studies videotapes and compiles statistics to evaluate players' game performances. But Riley's use of these tools is more comprehensive than that of his rivals. "We measure areas of performance that are often ignored: jumping in pursuit of every rebound even if you don't get it, swatting at every pass, diving for loose balls, letting someone smash into you in order to draw a foul."

After each game, these "effort" statistics are punched into a computer. "Effort," Riley explains, "is what ultimately separates journeyman players from impact players. Knowing how well a player executes all these little things is the key to unlocking career-best performances."

As Christians we need to pay attention to the details as we strive to serve our Lord. We can find those details in the Bible. So its important for us to get into His word daily. Make an effort today to start digging into the Bible today.

Dear Lord, we pray today that we would pay attention to the details starting with getting into Your word so that we can see what You want for us to do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Where will your raindrops fall?

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

A certain courthouse in Ohio stands in a unique location. Raindrops that fall on the north side of the building go into Lake Ontario and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while those falling on the south side go into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. At precisely the point of the peak of the roof, just a gentle puff of wind can determine the destiny of many raindrops. It will make a difference of more than 2,000 miles as to their final destination. We can see a spiritual application by this. By the smallest deed or choice of words we might set in motion influences that could change the course of others' lives here and now and could also affect their eternal destiny.

Dear Lord, help us watch the words we say and the things we do so that they will build others up and not tear them down. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

He knows the Plan

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John Wesley's father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector's enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other's shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, "Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough." John Wesley often referred to himself as a "brand plucked out of the fire" (Zecheriah 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley labored for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but consider what his family accomplished!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the plan that You have for each of us. Help us to keep working toward the goal that is set before us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

A passion for Jesus

Psalm 63:1 (ESV)
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

In the Antarctic summer of 1908-1909, Sir Ernest Shackleton and three companions attempted to travel to the South Pole from their winter quarters. They set off with four ponies to help carry the load. Weeks later, their ponies dead, rations all but exhausted, they turned back toward their base, their goal not accomplished. Altogether, they trekked 127 days. On the return journey, as Shackleton records in The Heart of the Antarctic, the time was spent talking about food -- elaborate feasts, gourmet delights, and scrumptious menus. As they staggered along, suffering from dysentery, not knowing whether they would survive, every waking hour was occupied with thoughts of eating. Jesus, who also knew the ravages of food deprivation, said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness." We can understand Shackleton's obsession with food, and it offers a glimpse of the passion Jesus intends for our quest for righteousness.

Dear Lord, help us to have a passion for the things of You. Help us be faithful as we seek the things You have for each of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Being dependable

1 John 2:5-6 (ESV)
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

For an extraordinary pitcher he performed few extraordinary feats. Though a veteran of 21 seasons, in only one did he win more than 20 games. He never pitched a no-hitter and only once did he lead the league in any category (2.21 ERA, 1980). Yet on June 21, 1986, Don Sutton rubbed pitching elbows with the true legends of baseball by becoming the 13th pitcher to win 300 Games. His analysis of his success is worth noting. "A grinder and a mechanic" is what he calls himself. "I never considered myself flamboyant or exceptional. But all my life I've found a way to get the job done." And get it done he did. Through two decades, six presidential terms, and four trades, he consistently did what pitchers are supposed to do: win games. With tunnel vision devotion, he spent 21 seasons redefining greatness. He has been called the "family sedan" of baseball's men on the mound.

Jesus asks each of us to be dependable and to get the job done. Today when things are tough keep pushing to get the tasks that are before you done.

Dear Jesus, help us to be dependable today. Help us to keep working hard and share Your great gift with those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

God's protection

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.

Dear Lord, we thank You for always being there to protect us. Help our prayers be faithful for the protection of others and ourselves. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Let your light shine

Matthew 5:16  (ESV) 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

In the December 1987 Life magazine, Brad Darrach wrote: "Meryl Streep is gray with cold. In Ironweed, her new movie, she plays a ragged derelict who dies in a cheap hotel room, and for more than half an hour before the scene she has been hugging a huge bag of ice cubes in an agonizing effort to experience how it feels to be a corpse. Now the camera begins to turn. Jack Nicholson, her derelict lover, sobs and screams and shakes her body. But through take after take--and between takes too-Meryl just lies like an iced mackerel. Frightened, a member of the crew whispers to the director, Hector Babenco, 'What's going on? She's not breathing!'

"Babenco gives a start. In Meryl's body there is absolutely no sign of life! He hesitates, then lets the scene proceed. Yet even after the shot is made and set struck, Meryl continues to lie there, gray and still. Only after 10 minutes have passed does she slowly, slowly emerge from the coma-like state into which she has deliberately sunk. Babenco is amazed. 'Now that', he mutters in amazement 'is acting! That is an actress!'" Total dedication amazes people.

We as Christians should be so much like Christ that the world would see Christ in us. How wonderful to be so dedicated to Christ that people will say, "Now that is a Christian!"

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be so filled with You that those we come into contact with would see You in us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Giving your very best

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Johnny Fulton was run over by a car at the age of three. He suffered crushed hips, broken ribs, a fractured skull, and compound fractures in his legs. It did not look as if he would live. But he would not give up. In fact, he later ran the half-mile in less than two minutes.

Walt Davis was totally paralyzed by polio when he was nine years old, but he did not give up. He became the Olympic high jump champion in 1952.

Shelly Mann was paralyzed by polio when she was five years old, but she would not give up. She eventually claimed eight different swimming records for the U.S. and won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

In 1938, Karoly Takacs, a member of Hungary's world-champion pistol shooting team and sergeant in the army, lost his right hand when a grenade he was holding exploded. But Takacs did not give up. He learned to shoot left-handed and won gold medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

Lou Gehrig was such a clumsy ball player that the boys in his neighborhood would not let him play on their team. But he was committed. He did not give up. Eventually, his name was entered into baseball's Hall of Fame.

Woodrow Wilson could not read until he was ten years old. But he was a committed person. He became the twenty-eighth President of the United States.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be committed in the way we approach things. Help us to always to our very best in everything we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Making a commitment

Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.

Newsweek magazine reported on what it called the new wave of mountain men. It's estimated that there are some sixty thousand serious mountain climbers in the U.S. But in the upper echelon of serious climbers is a small elite group knows as "hard men." For them climbing mountains and scaling sheer rock faces is a way of life. In many cases, climbing is a part of their whole commitment to life. And their ultimate experience is called free soloing: climbing with no equipment and no safety ropes. John Baker is considered by many to be the best of the hard men. He has free-soloed some of the most difficult rock faces in the U.S. with no safety rope and no climbing equipment of any kind. His skill has not come easily. It has been acquired through commitment, dedication and training. His wife says she can't believe his dedication. When John isn't climbing, he's often to be found in his California home hanging by his fingertips to strengthen his arms and hands.

Just like John has committed his life to be the best mountain climber he can be by working hard at it all the time. We need to commit to being the man or women of God and work at it with all our strength.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are there for each of us. Help us to be committed to be our very best and bring honor to You in all that we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pluto and perseverance

James 1:2-3 (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Perseverance paid off for American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto. After astronomers calculated a probable orbit for this "suspected" heavenly body, Tombaugh took up the search in March 1929. Time magazine recorded the investigation: "He examined scores of telescopic photographs each showing tens of thousands of star images in pairs under the dual microscope. It often took three days to scan a single pair. It was exhausting, eye-cracking work--in his own words, 'brutal, tediousness.' And it went on for months. Star by star, he examined 20 million images. Then on February 18, 1930, as he was blinking at a pair of photographs in the constellation Gemini, 'I suddenly came upon the image of Pluto!" It was the most dramatic astronomic discovery in nearly 100 years.

Dear Lord help us to persevere as we strive to do the things that You have for us to do each and every day. Give us the strength to keep going. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Using your time for God

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.

Just think if you are an average size adult this is what you accomplish in one 24 hour period.  

Your heart beats 103,689 times
Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles
You breathe 23,040 times
You inhale 438 cubic feet of air.
You eat 3.25 pounds of food
You drink 2.9 quarts of liquids
You lose 7/8 pound of waste.
You speak 4,800 words, including some unnecessary ones
You move 750 muscles
Your nails grow .000046 inch
Your hair grows .01714 inch
You exercise 7,000,000 brain cells.

We accomplish all that without even trying. Think about all that you can do when you set your mind to it.  God tell us though Paul to do all that we do as if we were doing it for the Lord. Take a minute today and ask the Lord to help you focus your time to bring honor to Him.

Dear Lord, we thank You for the strength that You give to each of us. Help us use that to bring honor to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.