On Wings Of Eagles

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Missed blessings

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words... "PAID IN FULL".

How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

Dear Lord, help our eyes be open to the many blessing You have for us. Help us to not miss them because we don’t recognize the package that blessing comes in. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Do you love me?

Matthew 6:21 (ESV)
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.

Oh mommy, please, Mommy, can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.

"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and, at last, she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere; Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember, daddy? The one you gave me. She's my very favorite." "That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll, the brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is, with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good? Are you holding on to things that God wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities that you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing .... God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

Dear Lord, help us to give up the cheap things in our life so that we can have Your beautiful treasures. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water - the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?


Dear Lord, help us to handle the troubles that come our way in a way that we can change the circumstance and bring glory to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, August 28, 2017


Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)
For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go." You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. Not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go.

In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you. The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.

So as we struggle and we notice those scares on our arms remember they are the scars of His love. Be very, very grateful. He did not and will not - let you go.

Dear Lord, we thank You for hanging on to us in the struggles of life and for never letting go. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Pray without ceasing

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
Pray without ceasing,

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to pray without ceasing or to pray at all times.  As I get older and hopefully wiser prayer is becoming a bigger part of my daily live. No matter the activity I am involved in – whether I am mowing the lawn, shopping, working in my shop, driving around town or just watching TV I can take the time to pray. Just like we can’t make it through the day without texting our friends we should not go through the day without praying to our Lord. Praying to God should be just a natural conversation with God throughout our day.

What a privilege we each have praying to the one true God. And not only that He listens to us when we talk to Him.

So as we go through this week let each of us take the time to pray.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can come to You in prayer. Thank You for listening to us and being there for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Are you saved?

Proverbs 11:30 (ESV)
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise.

John Harper was born to a pair of solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886 when he was thirteen years old that he received Jesus as the Lord of his life. He never knew what it was to "sow his wild oats." He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.

As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent...he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply "The Word of God!" After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church). This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time, he had gotten married but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two, he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next...

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner, there were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship's launch, it was the world's largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner. As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!" It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually, the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.

That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, "Are you saved?" The young man replied that he was not.

Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said "Here then, you need this more than I do..." and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris. Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people, yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were "Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends..." John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!

Dear Lord, help us to do what we need to do so that others may be saved. Help us not just think about our self but to think about those around us that are lost. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Sources for this article: "The Titanic's Last Hero" by Moody Press 1997.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Be deaf

Ephesians 4:27 (ESV)
And give no opportunity to the devil.

There was once a bunch of tiny frogs, who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.

The race began…

No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. They shouted, “Oh, way too difficult!!! They will NEVER make it to the top” and “Not a chance. The tower is too high”.

The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher….

The crowd continued to yell, “It’s too difficult! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up… But one continued higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up! And he reached the top.

Everyone wanted to know how this one frog managed such a great feat.

His secret? This little frog was deaf!!

The wisdom of this story is:

Ignore the pessimism of others. Don’t let the evil one put ideas in your head. Keep your eyes and hearts on the things of the Lord and you will accomplish great things.

Dear Lord, help us to block out the things that the devil is trying to tell us. Give us the wisdom to listen to what You have to say to us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Resume of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)
That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible
Keywords: Jesus Christ, Lord & Savior

My name is Jesus - The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.


• I founded the earth and established the heavens (see Proverbs 3:19).
• I formed man from the dust of the ground (see Genesis 2:7).
• I breathed into man the breath of life (see Genesis 2:7).
• I redeemed man from the curse of the law (see Galatians 3:13).
• The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me (see Galatians 3:14).

Occupational Background:

• I've only had one employer (see Luke 2:49).
• I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
• My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me (see Matthew 3:15-17).

Skills & Work Experiences:

• Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised (see Luke 4:18).
• I am a Wonderful Counselor (see Isaiah 9:6). People who Listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil (see Proverbs 1:33).
• Most importantly, I have the authority, ability & power to cleanse you of your sins (see I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background:

• I encompass the entire breadth & length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding (see Proverbs 2:6).
• In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see Colossians 2:3).
• My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path (see Psalms 119:105).
• I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart (see Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments:

• I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times (see Genesis 1:26).
• I laid down my life so that you may live (see II Corinthians 5:15).
• I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind & made a show of them openly (see Colossians 2:15).
• I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
• There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.


• Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.

In Summation:

Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life (see John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence (see Hebrews 3:15).

Dear Lord, Thank You for all You want to do in our life. Help our minds and hearts be receptive to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Baseball game and Grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Once again my Detroit Tigers find themselves out of the playoffs but I still love the game of baseball. Here is a fun story using baseball to explain Grace

Bob and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team. The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single because Love never fails.

The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love. The next batter up was named Godly wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked because Godly wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were loaded. The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Bob said, "He sure doesn't look like much!" Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace.

Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run!

The Lord's team won. The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game. Bob answered that he did not know why. The Lord explained, "If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, faith and wisdom will get you on base,...but only My Grace can get you home. My Grace is the one thing Satan cannot steal.

Dear Lord, we thank You that Your grace is sufficient to carry us through no matter what we are going through. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Focus on the sweet new life.

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

There are two kinds of birds that roam the desert: vultures and hummingbirds. The vulture thrives on a diet of rotting meat. He flies overhead searching for traces of leftover carcasses from slow-footed critters eaten by wild animals that have already had their fill.

Hummingbirds, on the other hand, will sweep through the desert, passing over all those repulsive, dead animals and seek colorful patches of beautiful wild desert flowers. They will suckle the delicious juices of those sweet desert blossoms and be satisfied.

While vultures look to the dead for their survival, the hummingbird seeks the living! Likewise, some of us unconsciously look to our past with its regrets, failures, and sins to keep us alive. We think that somehow by looking back to those dead things, we might find some motivation to keep surviving here and now. But let's take a lesson from the hummingbird.

Let's sweep past that which is dead and focus on the sweet new life -- the exciting future that God holds for us as we continue seeking Him and moving forward in our relationship with Him!

Dear Lord, help us sweep past that which is dead and focus on what is sweet before us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Being centered

2 Timothy 2:15  (ESV)
 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

I was going through some of my past Bible study notes and came across this.  The Lord knew I really needed this today.

Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 117

Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 119

Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
A: Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118

Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118

Add these numbers up and you get 1188.

Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?
A: Psalms 118:8 

Q: Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives? 

The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word!

Psalms 118:8
"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

Now isn't that odd how this worked out (or was God in the center of it)?

When things get tough, always remember...

Faith doesn't get you around trouble, it gets you through it !!

Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word. We ask that You would give us each the strength to stay centered in Your Word. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

God's family is like Noah's Ark

Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is Noah’s Ark. We can learn a lot from Noah's Ark.
1. Don't miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you're stressed, float awhile.
10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Here is a little story about two brothers and their sister that learned a lesson about Noah’s ark that is a great lesson for each of us.

"Can you help me line up my Noah's Ark animals, Ben?" asked Ben's little brother Ethan. He looked at their sister. "You can help, too, Katie."

"Okay," agreed Ben, sitting down at the table. "Anthony is such a pain," he continued as he placed the toy elephants side by side. "He's always talking about his soccer team. Who cares?"

Katie picked up the pigs. "He's that new kid in your Sunday school class, isn't he?" she asked. "He couldn't be worse than Mia. She thinks she's so great just because she gets good grades in everything! She won the spelling bee last week." Katie set the pigs down. "And now she won first prize for learning the most memory verses in Bible club."

Ben grinned. "Hey! You better not leave your pigs next to Mrs. Noah," he said. "I'm sure she won't like the smell!"

Katie giggled. "I wouldn't have liked to be Mrs. Noah--living in a boat full of smelly, noisy animals! They probably fought all the time, too."

"I like animals," said Ethan. "They didn't fight, did they, Mommy?"

Mom smiled. "I like to think they didn't," she said, "or Noah's family, either. I should think they'd be so thankful to be safe on the ark that they'd gladly put up with bad smells and loud noises."

"Well, maybe," agreed Katie.

Ben nodded. "Yeah. What's a bad smell--even a pig smell--compared to being drowned?"

"But I guess you two would have grumbled and complained even inside the ark!" added Mom.

"Mom!" cried Katie indignantly. "Why would you say that?"

"Well, I've been listening to you grumble about your classmates," said Mom. "Anthony and Mia's habits and manners may be pretty annoying, but don't we all do annoying things at times? We're blessed to have lots of brothers and sisters in Christ--everyone who knows Him is one of His children. Instead of grumbling, we should be thankful to be part of God's family, and thankful that He provides a safe place from the storms of life. We should accept one another as He accepts us.

What about each of us? Do other people sometimes annoy you? God's family is like Noah's Ark. It contains all of God's children, even those we don't always get along with. But God wants you to accept other Christians and live in harmony with them. He's willing to help if you ask Him.

Dear Lord, help us to live in harmony with those around us. When we find our self weak help us to call upon Your Name for the strength to get along. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Do our best with what we have.

Ecclesiastes 9:10A (ESV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.

At certain times in life we may feel insignificant and useless. Surrounded by people with greater talent than ours, we are tempted in our weak moments just to settle back and let somebody else do the work. We reason that what we have to offer won't make much difference anyway. We forget the truth suggested by our Lord's use of five loaves and two small fish to feed a multitude.

Each of us has something important to offer in His service.

Sir Michael Costa was conducting a rehearsal in which the orchestra was joined by a great chorus. About halfway through the session, with trumpets blaring, drums rolling, and violins singing their rich melody, the piccolo player muttered to himself, "What good am I doing? I might just as well not be playing. Nobody can hear me anyway." So he kept the instrument to his mouth, but he made no sound. Within moments, the conductor cried, "Stop! Stop! Where's the piccolo?" It was missed by the ear of the most important person of all.

It's much the same way with the use of our abilities for the Lord. Whether our talent is great or small, the performance isn’t complete until we do our best with what we have.

Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts that You have given to us. Help us to do the very best that we can with it so we can bring honor to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The man who took the son gets everything.

John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart, and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home, he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!" But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD FOR $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now, let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over." "What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his Son 2000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

Dear Lord, we thank You for dying on the cross for each of us. Help us each take the Son. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

When God urges, PRAY

Jeremiah 29:12 (ESV)
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, "I'll pray for them later"? Or has anyone ever called you and said, "I need you to pray for me, I have this need"? After teasing the following story -- it may change the way you think about prayer, the way you pray and when you pray. I hope you will be blessed by this as much as I was.

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan...

"While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies.

This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, 'Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight.

We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, 'No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.

We don’t always know the circumstances when we are urged to pray.  We just have to be willing to listen to God’s tug on our heart and to pray.

Dear Lord, help our hearts and ears be open when You speak to us. Help us to not put it off but to pray right away when You tell us to. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The quilt of life

Ecclesiastes 3:7  (ESV)
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

This is dedicated to all the quilt makers in my life.

As I faced my Maker at the last judgement, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls . Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and all the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of the truth ...The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.

I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had spent many lonely nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully: each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgemental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been...I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes opened wide.

Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, The Face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with love and warmth in his eyes. He said: "Every time you gave over your life to me, it became my life, my hardships, and my struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine thru, until there was more of me than there was of you."
-Author Unknown

Dear Lord, thank You for all the things in our life that You use to make  us who we are.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Duct tape and faith

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Duct tape is probably one of the best inventions out there. It serves a variety of purposes, from patching up a pair of ripped pants to keeping some boxes sealed, duct tape has many uses. Its also great that duct tape comes in a variety of colors.  I was in a store the other day and I found Minion Duct Tape, cheetah print duct tape, neon colored duct tape, and of course the standard grey duct tape.  All this duct tape got me thinking, about faith and how duct tape and faith have a lot in common.

Duct tape is like faith because it holds things together.  For example, one day I was working in my shop and I ripped a hole in my shoes.  Thankfully, I had a roll of duct tape handy and was able to patch the hole in my shoe quickly. Thanks to duct tape, the hole in my shoe was patched.  In the same way, faith is kind of like the foundation that holds our lives together. Faith is like duct tape because faith is what holds the our relationship with God together. Faith believes what the Bible says no matter what it looks like around you.  Faith will help keep you together when you feel you’re falling apart. Faith is trusting in God and knowing you can come out on top no matter what comes your way. So faith is like duct tape because it holds your life together.

Faith, like duct tape can be used in a variety of situations. You might be facing a problem.  You can whip out your roll of faith and patch together that bad situation with what the Bible says. Faith can be used in any time and in any situation.  Faith in God is always the answer to whatever situation you’re facing.

Lastly, faith is like duct tape because you can rely on it. You know that when you need a patch or to hold something together you can trust the duct tape to do its job. Well, that’s pretty much what faith is.  Its trusting that God is going to go to bat for you.  He’s going to provide for you no matter what you’re facing.

Faith is just choosing to believe what God says in spite of what you see or feel around you. Faith is trusting in and relying on God in every situation that comes to you.

Dear Lord,  help us to completely trust and rely upon You no  matter the situation we find our self in.  Thank You for always being there for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.