Sunday, November 30, 2014

Safe and Secure - November 30, 2014

Psalm 16 (New International Reader's Version)
1 God, keep me safe. I go to you for safety.

2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord. Without you, I don't have anything that is good."

3 God's people who live in our land are glorious. I take great delight in them.

4 Those who run after other gods will have nothing but trouble. I will not pour out offerings of blood to those gods. My lips will not speak their names.

5 Lord, everything you have given me is good. You have made my life secure.

6 I am very pleased with what you have given me. I am very happy with what I've received from you.

7 I will praise the Lord. He gives me good advice. Even at night my heart teaches me.

8 I know that the Lord is always with me. He is at my right hand. I will always be secure.

9 So my heart is glad. Joy is on my tongue. My body also will be secure.

10 You will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your faithful one rot away.

11 You always show me the path that leads to life. You will fill me with joy when I am with you. You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand.

In these verses, David meditates on his relationship with God. He rests in the knowledge that God cares and will always care for him. The picture is one of a close and intimate friend that brings safety, good things, joy, and guidance. You may have enjoyed this same type of closeness with a dear friend or parent.

Take a few minutes to think and meditate on these words; reflect on the picture it gives you in your mind. Seek comfort and rest in the Lord. As you settle down to another night of sleep, you can feel safe and secure in the loving arms of your Savior Jesus.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Give Thanks for He is Good! - November 29, 2014

Psalm 107(New Living Translation)
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west,
from north and south.
4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
they nearly died.
6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
he cut apart their bars of iron.

17 Some were fools; they rebelled
and suffered for their sins.
18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
and they were knocking on death’s door.
19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
snatching them from the door of death.
21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

23 Some went off to sea in ships,
plying the trade routes of the world.
24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
stirring up the waves.
26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
28 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
30 What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
and before the leaders of the nation.

33 He changes rivers into deserts,
and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there
and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
and harvest their bumper crops.
38 How he blesses them!
They raise large families there,
and their herds of livestock increase.

39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
while the wicked are struck silent.
43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Making Thank You Real - November 28,, 2014

Hebrews 12:28-29 (New International Reader's Version)
28 We are receiving a kingdom that can't be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. We will worship him with deep respect and wonder. 29 Our "God is like a fire that burns everything up."—(Deuteronomy 4:24)

Hebrews 12:28-29 (The Message)
28-29Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

When we were growing up we learned to say please and thank you whenever we wanted or were given something. It was probably one of the very first gestures we learned, and it is something we passed on to our own children. These days, although saying please and thank you may have fallen out of favor for some, it is still a gesture that is very much appreciated and is seen as being the proper way of treating another. As a parent, we love it when our children learn to always say please and thank you whenever the situation warrants it.

How much more is it important for our God to be asked and thanked in the proper way. I think we often forget that God has personality and feelings in the same way we do. We need to remember the reality that He has created us after His own image. God is all about proper relationship, as can be seen by how the Father relates to the Son, who in turn relates to the Holy Spirit, who relates back to the Father, and they all relate to one another. It is a difficult idea and relationship for us to fathom, but if we closely study the Word that He has given us, we can clearly see the relationship of the Godhead.

Our God loves to hear us ask Him for anything and thank Him for everything. We need to have a relationship with God that is as real as a parent relates to a child; a relationship that understands that He wants to relate to us. Just as an earthly parent, He enjoys our asking for things as much as He enjoys giving us good things. In this season of thanksgiving, let us not forget our source of everything and remember to always thank Him for all that He does for us.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give God Thanks this Thanksgiving! - November 27, 2014

Colossians 3:15-17 (New International Version, ©2010)
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version, ©2010)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

In 1863, in the midst of our nations bloodiest conflict, President Abraham Lincoln gave the proclamation to set aside a day of Thanksgiving which has led to the Thanksgiving Day we observe. On this day, as you gather with family and friends, it is only right that we follow his admonition and give thanks to our Almighty God for the many blessings He has in His mercy and grace given to us, our families, our communities and our nation.

Let the words found in His word set us upon a foundation, where our praises and thanksgiving to God for the many benefits given to us become as constant as the beating of our hearts. Let us also be ever thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has paid the price for our redemption, which is most worthy of our thanks. Let us join with Abraham Lincoln and not forget the Source of the many things that have been given us.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

A. Lincoln

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Forgetting God - November 26, 2014


Psalm 53 (New Living Translation)

1 Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!

2 God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.

3 But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!

4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to God.

5 Terror will grip them,
terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
You will put them to shame,
for God has rejected them.

6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When God restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy,
and Israel will rejoice.

What does God think when He looks down us? Too many of us have placed God on a shelf along with our Bibles to gather dust and sit until absolutely needed. We go through our days and barely give Him a thought. Worse yet, our Nation has forgotten where we have come from.

It is sad to know that within a year of his inauguration Thomas Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, used to attend services in the House of Representatives. Worship services in the House was a practice that continued until after the Civil War. Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings and the Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers. Today many in these same chambers of our government are openly hostile to anything that has to do with the God of the Bible.

Why has our Nation wandered so far away from God? Why do so many people in our country prefer to listen to the blather of those who prefer to ignore the One who helped establish this Nation? Why have we allowed them to have such influence on how we are governed and what we are allowed to do in the public square? Why do we allow our schools to teach our children half-truths about our founding fathers, and neglect the truth about the roots of our Republic? Why aren't we more involved making the dramatic changes necessary to correct the course of this Nation? What will happen if we continue to go about our daily lives and do nothing?

This Psalm of David reveals what our Father in Heaven thinks about those who care little for Him and deny His very existence. Let's be sure that we are not counted in that number. Tomorrow as you gather together with family and friends, be sure you remember the One who has blessed you with everything. Give thanks to the Provider of it all, and be sure that with a spirit of thanksgiving you make it known to everyone you know that God is the One to be honored, worshipped, praised and thanked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Attitude of Thanksgiving - November 25, 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(New International Version)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(New Living Translation)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

It is good to approach God with a thankful heart. Can you imagine where you would be without Him? Through Jesus Christ, He has identified personally with us, and He has accepted us with our sins, faults and all. It is hard for us to get along and be accepted with each other, and here is the Creator of the universe reaching down and taking us just as we are.

His desire is that in turn for the love that He shows us, that we at least are thankful for what He has done for us. He wants us to have an attitude of thanksgiving, which in turn will give us a joyful heart. Our prayer needs to be one that connects with Him and gives Him all the glory, praise and honor He deserves. Praise God for His faithfulness!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Time to Praise the Lord! - November 24, 2014

Psalm 149(GOD’S WORD Translation)

Sing a new song to the Lord.
Sing his praise in the assembly of godly people.

2Let Israel find joy in their creator.
Let the people of Zion rejoice over their king.
3Let them praise his name with dancing.
Let them make music to him with tambourines and lyres,
4because the Lord takes pleasure in his people.
He crowns those who are oppressed with victory.

5Let godly people triumph in glory.
Let them sing for joy on their beds.

6Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands
7to take vengeance on the nations,
to punish the people of the world,
8to put their kings in chains
and their leaders in iron shackles,
9to carry out the judgment that is written against them.
This is an honor that belongs to all his godly ones.


Weeks seem to be flying by, and we find ourselves nearing the year end holidays. We are entering into a time of Thanksgiving and of remembering our Savior and Lord's entrance into the world. These are truly times of giving "Praise to Yah, or "hallelu eth-YHWH". In other words, a time we should "Praise the Lord" for all of His goodness to us. Let's be sure that we thoughtfully remember our Creator and Benefactor.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Send Me! - November 23, 2014

Isaiah 6:1-8 (New International Reader's Version)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was seated on his throne. His long robe filled the temple. He was highly honored.

2 Above him were seraphs. Each of them had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces. With two wings they covered their feet. And with two wings they were flying. 3 They were calling out to one another. They were saying,

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who rules over all.
The whole earth is full of his glory."

4 The sound of their voices caused the stone doorframe to shake. The temple was filled with smoke.

5 "How terrible it is for me!" I cried out. "I'm about to be destroyed! My mouth speaks sinful words. And I live among people who speak sinful words. Now I have seen the King with my own eyes. He is the Lord who rules over all."

6 A seraph flew over to me. He was holding a hot coal. He had used tongs to take it from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with the coal. He said, "This has touched your lips. Your guilt has been taken away. Your sin has been paid for."

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord. He said, "Who will I send? Who will go for us?"

I said, "Here I am. Send me!"

This is probably one of my favorite passages of Scripture in the Bible. Often when I am preparing to worship, or when I am sitting quietly in Church, or when I feel like connecting with God, I will read these verse in Old Testament Book of Isaiah. I imagine myself in Isaiah's place, standing before the throne of God; I picture His robe flowing through the Holy Temple, and filling it with His glory. I think of the majesty and glory of God, surrounded by the angels, giving Him praise and honor.

If I were in Isaiah shoes, would I be as fearful of God as he was? Isaiah was awestruck and at the same time he was struck with fear, because in an instant he realized his wickedness and sin against the purity and holiness of God. He realized that in his own efforts, he would never be worthy enough to stand before God. Yet God thought enough of His prophet to ask Him if he would be God's voice to the people. Isaiah volunteered to serve the Holy Trinity, the "us" of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He would go for God to speak to God's people.

I often long to hear God's clear and audible voice ask me to do something. Walking in faith would be "piece of cake", if God just talked to us. It would be so much easier to know exactly what God wanted me to do; I would have loved to have volunteered and say, "Send me!" I would have loved to be of service to the King of Glory.

If you are "walking" under the grace and mercy of God, you are called to be His servant. There should be no Christian who doesn't know in His heart and mind that God is the one leading Him. We should not need to hear God's audible voice, because within us the Holy Spirit confirms His presence each and everyday, each and every time we call on Him.

Our job is to "listen" and go where God guides us. It is up to us to freely surrender ourselves to His service and say, "Send me!"

Photo by "Sun Breaker" by pixelstar, 2-1-2006, from stock.xchng

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paid In Full - November 22, 2014

Isaiah 44:21-23 (New Living Translation)

21 “Pay attention, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I, the Lord, made you,
and I will not forget you.

22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
Oh, return to me,

for I have paid the price to set you free.”

23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!

Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel.

I am sure that nothing seems much worse than going to jail, and then going to court to be judged and sentenced for our guilt. There has long been a story that compares what Jesus has done for us to a criminal facing a judge because of a serious offense, only to be set free from confinement because our penalty had been paid.

Christ's death on the cross is that for us. We are guilty of the sins we commit in our lives, and facing God, our holy and perfect judge, would lead to eternal separation, eternal death, if it were not for what Jesus had done for all of mankind. Our sins demand payment, and in that one act of our perfect, unblemished, Savior, gave us the opportunity to walk free.

With God, although we are guilty, Jesus Christ has paid our penalty in full. He removes our sin "as far as the east is from the west", the Bible tells us. God remembers our iniquities, our sins, no more. We are set free from the "shackles or our sin", and we have the opportunity to live a new life; free to have a fresh start.

If you have not already done so, won't you accept what Jesus has done for you? Do so, and you will enjoy the freedom that comes from Him paying for what we have done. No longer do you need to worry about your eternal future and the payment for your guilt. It has been paid in full.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Distractions - November 21, 2014

Job 1:6-7 (Amplified Bible)
6Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them.

7And the Lord said to Satan, From where did you come? Then Satan answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it.

Luke 22:31-32 (New King James Version)
31 And the Lord said,“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

1 Peter 5:7-9 (New Living Translation)
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

If you ask many Christians, they would probably say that they have a pretty good handle on overcoming Satan. In fact, once they are "saved", accepting Jesus' work on the cross for salvation, many probably rarely think about the work of Satan and his fellow demons. But the fact is that Satan is alive and well, working overtime trying to defeat us. Yes, we are saved and will spend eternity with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, but it is at this time when the devil works overtime.

It really isn't important to him to focus on those who are already on his "team"; those unfortunate souls that have rejected Christ and have decided to go another way that is apart from the One true God. God loves us all intensely; we are the "jewels" of His creation, and Satan hates that. He desires for us to worship him and not God; so his entire mission is to snatch everyone away from God that he can. That is why those who are saved, true followers of Christ, are so very important to God. We become God's walking billboards, living testaments, ambassadors, witnesses to the grace and mercy only found through Jesus Christ.

As the god of this world, that is doomed to destruction at the end of time, Satan spends his time as we read about in the passages above. He is looking for those he can "sift like wheat"; "devour". He wants to keep us distracted by occupying the time we should be working on behalf of Jesus Christ and God's kingdom. How does he do that? He uses the obstacles in our lives that will slow us down and will distract us the most. They are different for each one of us, because we have all been created, and been saved for a specific purpose in God's plan.

Think about it. When you are fearful about things are you a strong witness for Christ? When you are angry with someone at work or home are you a Christ like example to others? When you worry about personal finances and money are you totally dependent on God? When you are focused on your own difficulties, do you have time for others that need to know Jesus? We fail in our responsibility to tell a dying world about the salvation found in Jesus Christ when we are occupied with the "cares" of this world.

Does this sound like your life? The solution is found in the verses below:
James 4:7-8 (New Living Translation)
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Symphony - November 20, 2014

Romans 12:4-8 (New International Reader's Version)
4 Each of us has one body with many parts. And the parts do not all have the same purpose. 5 So also we are many persons. But in Christ we are one body. And each part of the body belongs to all the other parts.

6 We all have gifts. They differ in keeping with the grace that God has given each of us. Do you have the gift of prophecy? Then use it in keeping with the faith you have. 7 Is it your gift to serve? Then serve. Is it teaching? Then teach. 8 Is it telling others how they should live? Then tell them. Is it giving to those who are in need? Then give freely. Is it being a leader? Then work hard at it. Is it showing mercy? Then do it cheerfully.

Most everyone has been to a symphony performance. When it comes to the listening experience, the worst time for the ears is when all the performers are tuning up prior to the beginning of the concert. There is a myriad of sounds, from the woodwinds, horns, percussion and strings. Each readies themselves by playing their notes and scales. Then, just before the conductor walks onto the stage, the first violin plays a long drawn out note, and everyone in the orchestra tunes themselves to that one note.

The conductor walks on, the audience applauds, the orchestra stands...they all sit and as the baton comes down the music begins. Then for the next hour or so, the rooms fills with glorious music. All separate, yet all together, each instrument lending its own sound, as each performer plays, and together they piece together a vision of sound written down many years or centuries before. It all follows the lead of the conductor as he brings out the sound and emotion that the composer wished for all to hear.

Just as a symphony orchestra has many different performers and instruments that combine to play beautiful music, so too the church of Jesus Christ has many different people, gifts and talents, that combine to do the works of God in the world. Each is important to the whole, and all perform their particular task at the direction of the Master. All are important and all must be in unison, for the master work of Christ to be done in the lives others.

God has created all of us to play beautiful music in the symphony of life. It is up to each of us to pick up our instrument and play.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Good Book - November 19, 2014

Romans 1:16-17 (New International Reader's Version)
16 I am not ashamed of the good news(Gospel). It is God's power. And it will save everyone who believes. It is meant first for the Jews. It is meant also for those who aren't Jews.

17 The good news(Gospel) shows how God makes people right with himself. From beginning to end, becoming right with God depends on a person's faith. It is written, "Those who are right with God will live by faith."—(Habakkuk 2:4)

On cold, dreary outside, for some nothing beats curly up in a chair and reading a good book. A good book allows you to escape into a whole, other world. It allows the reader to get outside of themselves, and become the main character. Probably the best thing about a good book is when, although the there may have been difficulties, there is a happy ending. It makes reading the book all worth it, and it brings a certain satisfaction. For the time that the reader spends with the book, everything seems right with the world.

God has given us such a "good book". It is the Gospel, written in the first four books of the Bible. It is the story of God's gift to us and all of mankind. It is a book that we can place ourselves into as the main character, because what is being done is for us from beginning to end. It is a story about us, and with God, although there are difficulties, it offers us a happy ending. If we will accept the gift that is offered in Jesus Christ, all will be right with our world.

There is only one thing that is required of the reader, and it is that we need to have faith. We need to believe what is written in the book, because it is much more than mere words on pages. It is a living story that can bring the reader new life. It is about Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, stepping into our lives and through His sacrifice, offers us forgiveness for everything that has separated us from God. It offers us relief from our burdens, and comfort for our souls. It is about the Word of life, a good book, the Good News, that redeems us for eternity.

Photo "Woman Reading at Home" by arinas 74, 7-1-2009 from stock.xchng

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Looking for God - November 18, 2014

1 Chronicles 28:9 (New International Version, ©2010)
9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.

If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Jeremiah 29:13 (English Standard Version)
13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

We live in a world that thinks that there is little or no need for God. If you travel to other countries, especially those that are considered "affluent", such as in Europe, you will find the people overly comfortable in themselves and in their own efforts for everything that they have accomplished and acquired. Sad thing is though, that left to their own devices, it is only a matter of time before you find that the people are fairly "soul-less" and very cynical about life.

In our own country, we too live in a generation that has little need for God; it is a generation that believes that they are in control of their lives and destinies. This attitude is reflected in how quickly the secular culture is trying to wipe away any sight or mention of God in public life. God has become too controversial; He makes offends people and makes them uncomfortable, and it is better to remove or ignore Him than to face Him.

I would venture to say that many of us were the same way, especially when we were young. We believed that we could do anything and we were responsible to no one but ourselves. Even though many of us grew up around godly parents and church, we still had to find out on our own that we weren't "all that". There probably were many times when we chose our own way, even when we knew it was against the things of God. But we chose to remove or ignore Him from our lives, and it took many hard knocks and dark and terrible days, before we could acknowledge our need for Him.

In the verses above, we are made aware that God knows everything about us. There is no hiding from Him. Sooner or later everyone is going to have to face Him; we are going to have to face Him. We can either accept Him and His provision of redemption for us , or we can reject Him at our own eternal peril. He is there waiting for us; it is up to us to seek Him; He will make sure that we find Him.

Photo "Peek-a-boo 1" by vivekchugh 7-18-2008 from stock.xchng

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Waiter - November 17, 2014

Psalm 84:1-4;10 (New International Version, ©2011)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!

2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Before I truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, I had a very limited understanding of what God and salvation was all about. Sure I believed in God, but at the same time I was trapped in the thought that what I did, earned my way into heaven. With this mind set, I would often fall into sin, and when the guilt would really burden me, I would throw up a prayer to God pleading that He would forgive me, and allow me to at least be a janitor in heaven.

Nothing wrong with janitors, but I had a true fear in the knowledge that what I was doing angered God, and this was my plea for Him to somehow look away from my sin and accept me. It made me "ripe" for any works based religion where my own actions would be the final determiner of whether or not I would go to heaven when I died. Let's face it; I was totally lost with no clue of what would happen to me if I died.

The Psalter expresses his anguish of being kept out of the house of the Lord, and in the same psalm he makes a plea that he would do anything menial in the courtyard of the Temple, just to be near God's presence. He even shows some jealousy in the ability of the birds to get closer to the altar, the presence of God in ancient Israel, than he was able. In the same way, I was standing outside of the "Temple of the Lord", His kingdom in Heaven, jealously looking in, without a clue of how to get closer to God.

Thank God for His mercy and grace that allowed His Holy Spirit to clearly show me my wrongdoing, and the way out of my situation. He showed me that Jesus Christ was the bridge between my sinful self and a Holy God. Only with the shed blood of Christ could I be cleansed of my sins and allowed access into God's kingdom. That was a beautiful revelation that lifted the burden of my "junk" and brought me the relief of salvation. God no longer saw me as a "janitor" kept outside of the kingdom, but He now welcomed me as His son.

We all can become sons and daughters of the King. There is no reason to stand outside and just look in. Surrender yourself, find salvation from your sins by accepting the work of Jesus and be welcomed into His kingdom.

Photo "Clean Well" by nazreth, 5-4-2006 from stock.xchng

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chains for Christ - November 16, 2014

Philippians 1:12-14 (New International Version, ©2010)
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

What type of affliction are you undergoing as a believer in Jesus Christ? I would venture to say that very, very, few in the United States have really encountered true persecution, physical persecution, for the cause of Jesus Christ. About the most we ever have to worry about in this country is that non-believer who gives us grief at work, or that college professor that believes we come from apes. If you were truly faced with a decision of renouncing your faith in Jesus, would you stand up to the test?

One of the ministries that I link to on this blog is Voice of the Martyrs. The story of its founders Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand is a remarkable one. They were two Jewish converts to Christ who survived World War II and the rescue of Jews from the Nazis, almost giving up their lives in the process, only to be imprisoned for many years under the Communist regime in Romania. Richard was savagely beaten and tortured because he was bold enough to take a stand for God and His Christ. Their story is worth reading, and their ministry today spreads the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations.

I believe a time may come in this country where faithful Christians will be faced with the same trials and persecution that is faced by our brothers and sisters around the world today. If you are a true Christian, you know that the rhetoric coming out of the media and other places today is already setting the stage. Our faith is probably the most ostracized in the world today; all because a Jewish carpenter, who claimed himself God in the flesh, traveled the roads of the Middle East, healing the sick and comforting the afflicted, gave up his life as a sacrifice on our behalf, and then proved who he was by getting up out of the grave a few days later.

A time is coming when we will be imprisoned, put in chains, for believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Will we be able,...will you be able to stand up to the test?

Photo by juliaf, 3-27-2007, from stock.xchng

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Worship - November 15, 2014

Revelation 5:11-14 (New International Version, ©2011)

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

I love participating in worship on Sundays. It is my favorite time of the week. There is nothing better than gathering with other believers in concert to worship and lift praises to our God and King. Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines concert as,"an agreement in design or plan:union formed by mutual communication of opinions and views".

In the March 2011 issue of Christianity Today, there is a great article about "The Worship of Trajectory". In it they quote Johnathan Edwards, a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans, who was widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian[1] and one of America's greatest intellectuals. The article states that in a sermon entitled,"Praise, One of Chief Employments of Heaven," Johnathan Edwards explained, "Let it be considered that the church on earth is the same society with those saints who are praising God in heaven".

The article further states that, "This means that when the church gathers for worship it engages in heavenly activity. The worshiping church does not merely imitate what goes on in heaven. It participates in heaven's worship. ...We take up a theme that was begun by others before the throne of God, adding our voices to theirs."[2]

This really caught my attention, and gave me a much greater appreciation for that time we Christians spend in corporate worship. It pointed to the real responsibility we have as followers of Christ that we have proper focus in our praise and worship. As was mentioned also in the article, we are joining in on the worship that is always occurring before our holy God. It is more than just our personal expression and sign of our devotion that originates from us here on earth. We are merely participants in the greater worship that comes from heaven and extends down to us.

Jesus hinted at this when he rebuked the Pharisees for criticizing his followers that began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen, He said in Luke 19:40, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” And again its mentioned in the passage above from Revelation 5:13, that "every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them" will worship and praise God.

If you enjoy worship as much as I do, you are part of a universal chorus praising our Lord and Maker, and the Lamb who is worthy of all our praises, in concert before the throne of Heaven. If you don't enjoy worship, or if you have yet to believe in the One who can save you from this world and bless you with eternity, someday everyone will bow their knee in worship Him who sits on the throne. Everyone worships something; make sure you focus on the right object of your worship.

[1]Stanford Encycolpedia of Philosophy,Jonathan Edwards
First published Tue Jan 15, 2002; substantive revision Thu Aug 6, 2009
[2] Christianity Today, March 2011, Page 21

Photo from the website, 2-21-2008

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fortune Cookies - November 14, 2014

Psalm 128(New International Reader's Version)
1 Blessed are all those who have respect for the Lord.
They live as he wants them to live.

2 Your work will give you what you need.
Blessings and good things will come to you.

3 As a vine bears a lot of fruit,
so your wife will have many children by you.
They will sit around your table
like young olive trees.

4 Only a man who has respect for the Lord
will be blessed like that.

5 May the Lord bless you from Zion.
May you enjoy the good things that come to Jerusalem
all the days of your life.

6 May you live to see your grandchildren.
May Israel enjoy peace.

Don't you just love to go and eat Chinese food with your family? Even at a young age I remember going to our favorite Chinese restaurant and eating all of the wonderful foods "family style". Everyone would share their dishes, and we learned how to eat with those funny sticks with the rubber bands on them. The best part came at the end, when the server passed around the fortune cookies. Each one would take their turn and read their fortune out loud. Of course they never came true, but that still didn't stop the excitement and fun of the occasion.

The word of God is somewhat like a fortune cookie. Not to diminish God's word to something so frivolous, but each and every chapter and verse opens up words of wisdom and good fortune. If we will take the advice given, and do as we are told, and accept the promises offered, we will reap the blessings as they are written. Just like what's written in the fortune cookie, except these sayings do come true! So next chance you get, break open your Bible, turn to a good section of the Psalms or Proverbs and see what good fortune the Lord has in store for you.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Helping Hands - November 13, 2014

Galatians 6:2 (New International Version, ©2010)
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

There is growing spiritual poverty in our country. More and more people are lost and have no where to turn to relieve the stresses and pressure of their lives. Depression, anxiety, addiction, compulsive behaviors (over-eating, excessive gambling, spending, etc.) and substance abuse are also soaring. The times are hard but the relief is close to everyone.

It's times like these that the church of Jesus Christ can be at its finest. As believers, we are to be the "hands and feet" of Jesus. We are to be those who provide the help and assistance, along with the hope and grace, that are available through a commitment to God's gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Our eyes need to be open to any opportunity there is to help, and our hands need to be open to sharing the blessings that God has given us.

If someone you know is in need of a helping hand, now is the time for you to be what you have been called to in Christ. Now is the time for you to pick up your brother or sister and let them see Jesus through you.

Photo "Baby's Hand", 6-22-2008 from

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our Guiding Light - November 12, 2014

Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Reader's Version)
1 A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.

2 Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 He put up with attacks from sinners. So think about him. Then you won't get tired. You won't lose hope.

Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean from the spectacular Big Sur Coast, the Point Sur Lightstation stands as a silent sentinel to a by-gone era. Point Sur, a National Historic Landmark, is the only complete turn-of-the-century light station open to the public in California. From 1899 until 1974, families lived and worked in the buildings atop Point Sur. Today Point Sur is a ghost town. The unique stone lighthouse still guides ships with its light, though it is now totally automated.*

There are many out there searching for a beacon in the distance that they can focus their attention onto. We all need to be guided by something; for some it is the love of this world and the pleasures it has to offer; others look to fame and fortune in their talent, or work, or career; still some look to "religion" thinking that a certain manner of behavior or works will rescue them from the difficulties they face. Unfortunately, all of these will only make a shipwreck of the person's life.

Just as the lighthouse in the photo above has led many a ship's Captain to steer away from trouble and the hazards of the California coast, Jesus Christ is the beacon that leads us to a place of hope and trust. For the lost, He is the light shining in the distance that points to safe waters. For the believer, He is the faithful point that never moves, allowing us to always have a guiding light onto which we can focus our lives. With Him there are no shipwrecks, because He not only is the light, but also the Captain of our ship of life.

In this new year, if you have become lost in the sea of trouble we call life, look to the shore for the lighthouse of hope. Look to Jesus who will guide you safely into the safe waters of God's love.

Photo of Point Sur taken by me on a trip to Carmel,CA in 2007.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

He is Worthy! - November 11, 2014

Psalm 34:1-3(New King James Version)
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

He alone is worthy of our praise! This needs to be our highest and best goal, because our ultimate purpose in life is to bring God glory. Whenever we do thing in the name of Christ, we magnify His name and point all those who may not know Him to Jesus Christ. Only in Jesus can we someday hope to spend enternity with God; so make it the aim of your present life is to bring Him glory in this one.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Green Pastures, Still Waters - November 10, 2014

Psalm 23 (New King James Version)
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Probably one of the most popular and favorite Psalms of David is the 23rd Psalm. It carries deep meaning for many of us, and in my own life it has brought many moments of comfort. The best interpretation of these verses is our own, because for each of us it has its own meaning. If you haven't for some time, read and meditate on these words, lift your heart to God and see what how He will lead you through this time.

Photo from "Green Jeans Soggy Bottoms", posted 2-19-2010 on

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Rest - November 9, 2014

Psalm 62(New International Reader's Version)
1 I find my rest in God alone.
He is the One who saves me.
2 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me.
He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.
3 How long will you enemies attack me?
Will all of you throw me down?
I'm like a leaning wall.
I'm like a fence that is about to fall.

4 You only want to pull me down
from my place of honor.
You take delight in telling lies.
You bless me with what you say.
But in your hearts you call down curses on me.

5 I will find my rest in God alone.
He is the One who gives me hope.
6 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me.
He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.
7 I depend on God to save me and to honor me.
He is my mighty rock. He is my place of safety.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people.
Tell him all of your troubles.
God is our place of safety.

9 Ordinary people are only a breath.
Important people are not what they seem to be.
If they were weighed on a scale, they wouldn't amount to anything.
Together they are only a breath.
10 Don't trust in money you have taken from others.
Don't be proud of things you have stolen.
Even if your riches grow,
don't put your trust in them.

11 God, I have heard you say two things.
One is that you, God, are strong.
12 The other is that you, Lord, are loving.
I'm sure you will reward each person
in keeping with what he has done.

Photo "Oh Mighty Rock", by Urban Idealist, 10-17-2010, from flikr

Saturday, November 8, 2014

We Must be Ready - November 8, 2014

Matthew 24:36-44 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
36“No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.

37“When the Son of Man comes again, it will be exactly like the days of Noah. 38In the days before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. 39They were not aware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again.

40“At that time two men will be working in the field. One will be taken, and the other one will be left. 41Two women will be working at a mill. One will be taken, and the other one will be left.

42“Therefore, be alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord will return. 43You realize that if a homeowner had known at what time of the night a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake. He would not have let the thief break into his house.

44Therefore, you, too, must be ready because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.

If you study Bible prophecy, the signs of the times are pointing to the soon return of Jesus Christ. The Middle East is in turmoil that hasn't been seen in decades, with ISIS persecuting Christians and other minorities, and Israel daily struggling with Islamic extremists bent on their annihilation.

The world's weather has gone "wacky" with freak storms, severe drought, record cold and record heat. Earthquakes are at a frequency that is the greatest since records have been kept, and volcanic activity is at a high as well. These and many other things point to events spoken of in the Bible that would occur just prior to the Lord's coming.

Even with all that is going on, we still don't know the day that Jesus will return. No man will be able to predict the end, and as Jesus said, it will come "like a thief in the night", when we least expect it. So what is the message? What should we do? As Jesus was clear to say, we need to be ready! If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time than today to do so.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pray! - November 7, 2014

James 5:13-18 (New International Reader's Version)
13 Are any of you in trouble? Then you should pray. Are any of you happy? Then sing songs of praise.

14 Are any of you sick? Then send for the elders of the church to pray over you. Ask them to anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer offered by those who have faith will make you well. The Lord will heal you. If you have sinned, you will be forgiven.

16 So admit to one another that you have sinned. Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen.

17 Elijah was just like us. He prayed hard that it wouldn't rain. And it didn't rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Then he prayed again. That time it rained. And the earth produced its crops.

Romans 8:26 (New Century Version)
26 Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain.

One of the most important and powerful tools we have in our relationship with God is prayer. It is our direct line to our Father in heaven, and even when we can't find the words on our own, the Holy Spirit helps us communicate with Him on our behalf. Much of Jesus' time was spent in communication with his Father through frequent and intense prayer.

It is the way to get answers and effective results to anything that might trouble us. It is effective and powerful in healing our physical and spiritual ills. If you have not started a frequent and consistent prayer life, you are really missing out. God is waiting to hear from you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fair Warning - November 6, 2014

Isaiah 1:18-20(New Century Version)
18 The Lord says,

"Come, let us talk about these things. Though your sins are like scarlet, they can be as white as snow. Though your sins are deep red, they can be white like wool.
19 If you become willing and obey me, you will eat good crops from the land.

20 But if you refuse to obey and if you turn against me, you will be destroyed by your enemies' swords."

The Lord himself said these things.

By God's grace, we live in a time and place where we have very little to worry about as compared to the rest of the world. Yes, there may be personal struggles, difficulties, and stresses that we encounter, but the outcomes will in most cases be okay. That is not the case in other parts of the world; there are many that exist day to day with the prospect that it will be their last day, and there are others that each and every day suffer unspeakable troubles.

Few of us think that anything really bad will ever happen to us. Because of this, we as a Nation have become arrogant and foolish. We have forgotten and in some cases forsaken our Creator, in favor of a god of material wealth and quick pleasure. We have lost our deep reverence and "fear" of God who has made it all possible for us, and expected that because of our great blessing, we should be responsible to those less fortunate around us.

The nation of Israel found themselves in this very place during the time of the prophet Isaiah; God could not allow their sin to go unpunished, and Israel would soon be overrun by its enemies and conquered. Even though they had fallen to deep and had run away so far from God, He carried them through their troubles, and would later bring restoration of all mankind through them. All He ever expected from them was their love and obedience, but like many of us, and us as a Nation, a different path of indifference and disobedience led them to their destruction.

We stand at a crossroads, both as people and as a Nation. We have a choice that we need to make, and we have been given fair warning. We need to choose to go God's way, or we need to choose to turn our backs on Him and suffer the consequences. You need only to watch television and surf the internet, and you see the troubles already brewing. He wants to restore us and all He asks is for our obedience. What will be your choice, yield to Him, or choose the way of the world?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Intimacy With God - November 5, 2014

Psalm 63:1-8(GOD’S WORD Translation)
1 O God, you are my God. At dawn I search for you.
My soul thirsts for you. My body longs for you
in a dry, parched land where there is no water.

2So I look for you in the holy place to see your power and your glory.
3My lips will praise you
because your mercy is better than life itself.
4So I will thank you as long as I live.
I will lift up my hands to pray in your name.

5You satisfy my soul with the richest foods.
My mouth will sing your praise with joyful lips.
6As I lie on my bed, I remember you.
Through the long hours of the night, I think about you.

7You have been my help.
In the shadow of your wings, I sing joyfully.
8My soul clings to you.
Your right hand supports me.

We are all creatures that require intimacy. We need to have a closeness with others, and deep in our spirit we need intimacy with God. Every heart has a lonely vacuum that has to be filled, and if we don't fill it with God, we try and fill it with the emptiness that the world offers. Sooner or later we are empty again and on the hunt for a refill from the things of this world. Only with an intimate relationship through Jesus Christ can we ever hope to be completely and forever filled.

Jesus took on human flesh to be able to identify with us and to have a reltionship; He longs for intimacy with us. As David sought closeness with God in the psalm above, so too we must seek a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pierced Through the Heart - November 4, 2014

Hebrews 4:12(New International Version)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Have you ever been "pierced" by the word of God? Have you ever read or heard a passage that cut you to the heart and guilt welled up inside of you? Have you ever heard a sermon when the pastor's message seemed to be about what you were going through at the moment? Have you ever read a Bible passage multiple times, yet this time in seemed to come alive and answer a question you were thinking about?

All of these experiences with the word of God are how the Holy Spirit of God communicates with us. That is why it is said that the word of God is "alive and active", or "living and breathing". There is no equal to what the Bible can reveal and tell you. What is important though is that you have accepted God's gift of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Only then can it truly come alive to you.

There is no other religious text that can compare. To test this, especially if you are already a Christian, just pick one up and start reading through it. Then, pick up an Bible and start reading through it. You will notice that there is a difference. The Bible speaks to you, even though it was written by many different authors, over thousands of years, almost two thousand years ago. In reading it, God's word speaks to you as if He is writing directly to you.

Thank God for His marvelous love letter to us, and that God for the living Word of God, Jesus Christ, who has made it all possible.

He Knows Us - November 3, 2014

Psalm 103 (New International Reader's Version)

1 I will praise the Lord. Deep down inside me, I will praise him. I will praise him, because his name is holy.

2 I will praise the Lord. I won't forget anything he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins. He heals all my sicknesses.

4 He saves my life from going down into the grave. His faithful and tender love makes me feel like a king.

5 He satisfies me with the good things I long for. Then I feel young and strong again, just like an eagle.

6 The Lord does what is right and fair for all who are beaten down.

7 He told Moses all about his plans. He let the people of Israel see his mighty acts.

8 The Lord is tender and kind. He is gracious. He is slow to get angry. He is full of love.

9 He won't keep bringing charges against us. He won't stay angry with us forever.

10 He doesn't punish us for our sins as much as we should be punished. He doesn't pay us back in keeping with the evil things we've done.

11 His love for those who have respect for him is as high as the heavens are above the earth.

12 He has removed our lawless acts from us as far as the east is from the west.

13 A father is tender and kind to his children. In the same way, the Lord is tender and kind to those who have respect for him.

14 He knows what we are made of. He remembers that we are dust.

15 People's lives are like grass. People grow like the flowers in the field.

16 When the wind blows on them, they are gone. No one can tell that they had ever been there.

17 But the Lord's love for those who have respect for him lasts for ever and ever. Their children's children will know that he always does what is right.

18 He always loves those who keep his covenant. He always does what is right for those who remember to obey his commands.

19 The Lord has set up his throne in heaven. His kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his. Praise him, you mighty ones who carry out his orders and obey his word.

21 Praise the Lord, all you angels in heaven. Praise him, all you who serve him and do what he wants.

22 Let everything the Lord has made praise him everywhere in his kingdom.
I will praise the Lord.

This evening as we take the time to rest, let's reflect on the goodness and mercy of God. Make it a point in your weekend to praise and worship Him for all He has done. Like Jesus, take time to seek Him privately and intimately. Everything we are we owe to Him. Take the time to rest in Him.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Praise! - November 2, 2014

Psalm 103 (New International Reader's Version)
A psalm of David.
1 I will praise the Lord. Deep down inside me, I will praise him. I will praise him, because his name is holy.
2 I will praise the Lord. I won't forget anything he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins. He heals all my sicknesses.
4 He saves my life from going down into the grave. His faithful and tender love makes me feel like a king.
5 He satisfies me with the good things I long for. Then I feel young and strong again, just like an eagle.
6 The Lord does what is right and fair for all who are beaten down.
7 He told Moses all about his plans. He let the people of Israel see his mighty acts.
8 The Lord is tender and kind. He is gracious. He is slow to get angry. He is full of love.
9 He won't keep bringing charges against us. He won't stay angry with us forever.
10 He doesn't punish us for our sins as much as we should be punished. He doesn't pay us back in keeping with the evil things we've done.
11 His love for those who have respect for him is as high as the heavens are above the earth.
12 He has removed our lawless acts from us as far as the east is from the west.
13 A father is tender and kind to his children. In the same way, the Lord is tender and kind to those who have respect for him.
14 He knows what we are made of. He remembers that we are dust.
15 People's lives are like grass. People grow like the flowers in the field.
16 When the wind blows on them, they are gone. No one can tell that they had ever been there.
17 But the Lord's love for those who have respect for him lasts for ever and ever. Their children's children will know that he always does what is right.
18 He always loves those who keep his covenant. He always does what is right for those who remember to obey his commands.
19 The Lord has set up his throne in heaven. His kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his. Praise him, you mighty ones who carry out his orders and obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all you angels in heaven. Praise him, all you who serve him and do what he wants.
22 Let everything the Lord has made praise him everywhere in his kingdom.
I will praise the Lord.

This evening as we take the time to rest after a hard week of work, let's reflect on the goodness and mercy of God. Make it a point in your weekend to praise and worship Him for all He has done. Like Jesus, take time to seek Him privately and intimately. Everything we are we owe to Him. Take the time to rest in Him.

Photo from Samara's Blog, 9-03-2010

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Understanding His Hope - November 1, 2014

Ephesians 1:18(New Century Version)
18 I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people.

In this fast and furious world, we seldom take a moment to pause and remember what God has in store for us. We get so focused on our daily lives that we fail to remember that this is only a short stop on our way to eternity. This is a place for us to learn and serve, because we will all have specific things to do in Heaven. Our objective is to gain understanding of the hope that God has for us, that is the hope of a future with Him.

Give thanks to Him that He has given us the gift of salvation, and that He has loved us enough to want us with Him forever.