Daily Word Archives



Daily word from Open Door ~ October 2011


10/31/2011

 

Don't you appreciate when people give their best - or at least when you know they are trying to? Their heart is in the right place, they are open to good advice and counsel, and you never have to question their loyalty.

 

May Jesus find each one of us to be as described above.

 

10/30/2011

 

Many today enjoy searching their lineage. For some it is a hobby and for others there is a serious reason to look into their ancestry. It can be fun, eye-opening, and we know that information we gather could be uplifting or depressing. That should be recognized up front if you are going to delve into people's lives and history.

 

In the Bible we see meticulous records kept regarding the genealogy of the Jewish people. There was a very practical aspect of this in order to substantiate God's covenant with them, what tribes they were from, inheritance issues, etc.

 

It is interesting in Luke 3:8, Jesus noted that just being of the lineage of Abraham did not carry a lot of weight if a person's behavior did not measure up. Being of that lineage was good and it should enhance character and behavior, and not be used to turn someone into a snob!

 

The lesson from the natural standpoint: Do not let your lineage either turn you into a snob or put you down so that it determines who you are. Note Paul's spiritual lineage application:

 

"...The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." ~ I Corinthians 15:45


"The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven" ~ I Corinthians 15:47


Jesus is called both the "last Adam" and the "second man". Jesus made it possible for the lineage of the first man Adam to end, and the lineage of the "second man" to begin.  This is the lineage that we should really be concerned about.


All of us had the natural, earthy birth into the lineage of the first Adam. We all need to be born again into the lineage of the second Man - Jesus.


Doing a Biblical study into this type of lineage and researching exactly the type of family we have been "born again" into is indeed thrilling! This helps us to better understand the words of Jesus: Ye must be born again ~ John 3:7.

 

10/29/2011

 

A study that will bless you is to look up New Testament references of: "in whom", "in Him", "in Christ", etc. referring to all that we are and all that we have by virtue of being "in Christ".

 

Christianity has been called "The Great Exchange". Jesus offers to take all that we are by virtue of sin and exchange it for all He is by virtue of righteousness.

 

Jesus said, "... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." ~ John10:10. It is well worth the effort to discover all we are "in Jesus" and begin to live it out

each day.

 

10/28/2011

 

Search me, O God, my heart discern

Try me, my inmost thoughts to learn

Help me to keep from sin, I pray

Guarding my mind throughout the day


It is very difficult to successfully tempt someone who will not allow his mind to consider participating in the activity.

 

10/27/2011

 

For The Beauty Of The Earth


For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,

For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,

For thy Church which evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love,

Refrain:


Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.


This earth, though presently under the curse, still strives to demonstrate the glory of God.


Though our earthly life is but for moment, as Christians we enjoy the "Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance..." He gives us a glimpse of the glory that shall be revealed.


Therefore " If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." ~ Galatians 5:25 that we may demonstrate the reality of this life to others.

 

10/26/2011

 

Newness of Life

 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. ~ Romans 6:4


In the New Testament, we see the word "new" in many ways:

 

New Wine

New Covenant

New Testament

Newness of the spirit

New Tongues

New Commandment

New Creature in Christ

New man

New and living way

New name

New song

New heaven and new earth


In order to embrace and truly progress in something new, we must put off the old


We are told to put off the old man and put on the new. ~ Colossians 3:9-10


God takes away the old that He may establish the new. ~ Hebrews 10:9


Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14


For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: ~ Ephesians 5:8


Each day, O Lord, let us walk in Your newness of life.

 

10/25/2011

 

Many are familiar with the Gaither Homecoming program that is on just about every Christian channel.  They emphasize Southern Gospel music, but they will have bluegrass gospel, and some praise & worship music.


Southern Gospel can be a very animated music, with a lot of showmanship involved in it. Often they will take a theme and write about it – something serious, something funny, something that happens in church, or something going on in the world. Recently they played an interesting segment. It was between the songs when they have their commercials for the DVD’s they sell. 


They had a clip of a man singing one line of a song. He just sang that one line and they went right on with the commercial. The words, along with the expression of the man singing it, will dare anyone not to laugh. The one-liner went as follows:


“I’ve never seen anyone a-fightin’ while they was a-singin’ a song"


You really cannot fuss with someone and sing at the same time.  If you can picture it, you know the two are almost incompatible. If someone has upset you, has really gotten under your skin, the last thing you want to do is sing. In the natural you may have a hard time joining in on Love Lifted Me or Count Your Many Blessings.


Looking at it another way  –  singing and music can take you right out of this natural realm. Singing in the natural does not make sense in such a situation, but you certainly can fight with it in the spiritual. We see it a number of times in the Bible.


Paul and Silas in prison - when they began to sing, it took them out of the natural realm. The flesh wants to retaliate, to fight naturally against what was done to them – and what they really were doing was fighting spiritually. And we know the results – God opened that entire prison.


The armies of Israel with Jehoshaphat  - they put the singers out front – they were fighting while singing a song – but it wasn’t a natural fight. God set an ambush and the enemy was defeated. Read the whole story in II Chronicles 20.


It is interesting that something that brings a laugh can also bring a spiritual truth to light. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities ...  A good song based on the Word of God can be a powerful weapon.

 

10/24/2011

 

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14


Psalm 19 contains some powerful and thought-provoking words and concludes with verse above. This is a very powerful prayer should we pray it, mean it, and assess our day with this being the standard.


It is interesting that these two areas are targeted - the mouth and the heart. These are two major areas where our actions and our plans are often determined. What we mediate on shapes our thinking, feeds our desires, and molds our character. Jesus went on to say that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.


Many of us can remember either in our own lives and/or in the lives of others when either our heart or mouth or both went in a wrong way. Oh if that could be done over! We mention this just to emphasize the consequences that result in the negative.


We need to recognize that the blessing of the positive side of verse 14 is just as real. It will bring gladness instead of sadness. The first thing is to get started - the to consider these two areas and determine how we might improve.


This is yet another way to draw near to God, to put away a carnal mind and seek a spiritual mind, and to be a doer of the Word of God. It will be a life-long process that will not be perfected until we reach heaven, but the blessings and rewards will come as we proceed on the journey.

 

10/23/2011

 

We could all spruce up

 

The short definition of spruce up is essentially to make smart and trim. Regardless of whether we are talking about our personal appearance, our home (because company is coming), the overall perception of our business, the image our community presents, or our teenager's room - we understand what it means to spruce up.

 

We could say that to spruce up is an all-out assault on sloppiness. Certainly there are times of informality and we can "let our hair down" on occasions. Yet it brings a sense of accomplishment, improvement, and fulfillment when we knock that sloppiness out and we demonstrate quality and respectability.

 

Christians especially should recognize that the outward presentation is often a reflection of inward reality. On the inside we can be anything from "dumpy" to "excellent". That is why constant maintenance is required. The Old Testament tells us to guard our heart because out of it flow the issues (forces) of life ~ Proverbs 4:23.  Jesus in the New Testament explained that people out of the good treasure of the heart bring forth good things and vice versa ~ Matthew 12:35.

 

We are often appalled at how standards have dropped, quality is hard to find, and good behavior and manners are rarely demonstrated. Each of us can start where are to change this and spruce up a little.

 

10/22/2011

 

If you are a person who reads the Bible through in a year, you likely know that the book of Proverbs is broken up in a good way for scheduled reading. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs - one for each day in a 31-day month. This makes it easy to know what chapter to read on what day.

 

Just reading a chapter a day is good discipline, a good way to establish a habit, and it sets us on a path to seek the things of God and be spiritually minded. The book of Proverbs averages 30 verses a chapter. We know that as your read 30 verses and perhaps take the time to consider each one for a few moments, that not each one will particularly strike you that day or be an outstanding revelation more than any other day.

 

But if we are open to God's leading as we read, a verse will likely get our attention, some word will relate to something we are dealing with, or a theme will lead us down a particular path of study.

 

As an example since today is the 22nd, let's look at Proverbs 22. Wow look at verse 1 - we could stay here awhile. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold". This is a good verse for anyone, but particularly for young people who have the means to put themselves on public display. Just take this Facebook media for example.

 

A lot of young people are putting things on their Facebook page that are certainly not enhancing their names. They are associating themselves (their names) with a lot of junk. They go for a job interview and when they sit down for the session, the interviewer shows them their Facebook page. They will either be able to joyfully defend it or want to get up and run.

 

Things that we put out for public display describe exactly what we are. No one is perfect of course, but this verse reminds us there are standards that we should be concerned about. What pictures or thoughts come to people's minds when our name is mentioned? Here we have just looked at one verse that might help jerk a little slack out of us.

 

Now let us go to verse 2 ...

 

10/21/2011

 

To everything there is a season ... ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

This verse and those that follow it have been used in so many ways: songs, greeting cards, poetry, eulogies, anniversaries, commencement exercises, weddings, even baby dedications! The seasons of life are so evident that the application of this verse is almost effortless.

 

In central Virginia yesterday, it was obvious fall is here. The wind, cool temperatures, and beginning of leaf color all signal the change of season. We all know it is a part of life. We expect it, make preparations for it, know it will be a change from summer, and we do things to make it enjoyable.

 

The events listed above remind us of the seasons of life we all experience. But they are more than just events; they are time periods, stages of growth, coming to maturity, all the chapters of our lives, until we come to the latter seasons of our life.

 

We should always seek God when the seriousness of life confronts us. That is always a smart thing to do. It is also good to talk with older family members about this very subject. It is a great way to connect with mom, dad , aunts, uncles and grandparents. Ask them about the changes they have seen in their lives. Ask them how priorities have changed for them. Ask them about lessons they have learned. Ask them what is most important to them now.

 

This is a great way to connect with our family, show them we value their wisdom, and we are all likely to learn something.

 

10/20/2011

 

Do not let the gloominess of this present day, in the world around us, detract from the light that we should be living and walking in.


Certainly gross darkness is covering the earth – God has already warned us about that. But from the Word of God concerning us, we see things like this:


(Mat 5:16 KJV)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


We are called children of Light


We are to be a light to those in darkness


We are told to put on the armor of light


We are light in the Lord


We are called saints in Light


(1 Th 5:5 KJV)  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.


We have been called into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9)


Remember, God provides the light - our job is to shine.


It would help us greatly when we deal with the darkness (usually daily) to remember that it is a different kingdom, a different existence. Though we may deal with it and in it, it should not be in us.


Do not doubt in the dark, what God has shown you in the Light.

 

10/19/2011

 

Meditating on God's Word

 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. ~ Joshua 1:8


If there is ever something people are seeking today, it is success and prosperity. God thinks it's good thing also and tells us in this verse and throughout the Bible how to start and work toward it. This verse gives us a clue as to how important words are.


All of us are in the place we are because of words we have embraced. If you are a musician for example, at some point you began to embrace the word that came to about music. It was something you wanted to look into, to cultivate, to study, and implement into your life. If you are a computer programmer, the same thing happened in that regard. It is true with anything in our lives.


Hopefully, when some words or thoughts (which are essentially words in your mind) tempted you to do something wrong, you immediately responded with words that said something like, "No, I refuse to do that or even consider it". Hopefully, this helps us see how important words are in our lives.


Words go on to paint pictures within. We see ourselves doing or being involved with what those words are saying, we contemplate how to pursue the goal, we read (words) about how to get started and grow in this particular field. We hear words like "greatest deal ever" or "don't miss this chance" and we decide whether it takes root in our hearts.


Back to our original verse, God's Word will develop a foundation of right thinking within us - how to judge these words that come into our lives. Once we have that good foundation, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we face the challenges of each day, as new things come that demand a decision, that we may know how "good the deal is", so that we may walk worthy of the Lord and be fruitful in every good work ~ Colossians 1:10. This indeed is success and prosperity.

 

10/18/2011

 

Is there a proper place in Christian life for self esteem? One verse of note in particular is:

 

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. ~ Philippians 2:3.  Many understand the thrust of this verse -  to not get puffed up on ourselves or always putting ourselves first, but giving others a higher estimation. Someone has rightly pointed out however, if your estimation of self is too low, then just esteeming someone higher than yourself might not mean very much.


The self esteem movement exploded a few years ago especially in our schools as a lack thereof was seen in students. Some have contended that things went over in the ditch and produced a lot of selfishness instead of self esteem.


Romans 12:3 "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think..."


We have the right perspective on self esteem when we recognize not what we have made of ourselves, but what God has made of us:


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10. This verse and others like it give God's answer to the self esteem problem.


God thought we were worth the life of His Son. That should not exalt us, that should exalt Jesus in our eyes as we recognize what He was willing to do to give us back some status.


This is the proper outlook to Christian self esteem - it is Christ in us the hope of glory ~ Colossians 1:27


Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; ~ II Corinthians 3:5


In all things Christ is to have the preeminence ~ Colossian 1:18


Thus we are free to esteem others more highly than ourselves. God will be glorified and we will be blessed.

 

10/17/2011

 

Called to Bless

 

The scripture tells us as Christians to bless and be a blessing.

 

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. ~ I Peter 3:9


This and other scriptures tell us how we should respond to others. This does not mean that we are pushovers or weak kneed. We stand up for the truth and challenge error - speaking the truth in love. But we do not render evil and we should not rail at people. We endeavor to bring good (a blessing), be a help, a benefit, endeavor to turn a situation around, offer solutions, and especially bring the wisdom of God into a matter.


This type of thinking is something that usually needs to be developed - especially today when things get heated and the rhetoric gets intense. We pray God help us know the way to respond that brings blessing, an answer, and the way of God to someone who needs it. Wouldn't we all want to be around people like this and indeed be a person like this?


A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. ~ Proverbs 25:11


"... a word spoken in due season, how good is it! ~ Proverbs 15:23


Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. ~Romans 12:17


Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

 

10/16/2011

 

Did you grow up hearing and learning the Bible stories from the Old Testament? We can check our memory bank and recall the stories of Noah, Moses, David, Samson, Daniel, and so on. As children they may have been read to us and perhaps we saw the story in a picture book. It is certainly one good way to lay a good Biblical foundation in a child's life.

 

As we grow we begin to recognize and see principles in these stories that will benefit us. It is said we search for these nuggets of truth that God wants us to see in these stories.

 

One we want to share today is the David & Goliath story. There have been a lot of analogies to us as Christians facing our own Goliaths. Like David, we sometimes face situations that in the natural may be more than a match for us.

 

Such was David's case. In the natural he was out-manned. He was not physically a match for Goliath. However, he ran toward Goliath because he recognized that he was not facing Goliath in his own strength:

 

  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. ~ I Samuel 17:45


When we recognize that the battle is the Lord's and we take unto ourselves the full armor of God, we are ready to fight the good fight of faith. If often takes prayer and hearing from God to see exactly how to face the Goliaths that come our way.


David had to hear from God regarding exactly how to deal with his situation, and it is interesting that he used something he was very familiar with - a sling. We pray God help us to become skillful in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13-14) that we might successfully stand and win.


So as we consider these Bible stories that we may be very familiar with, let us search for the nuggets of truth and the principles God wants us to see as we face new challenges in the days ahead - just like David did on that day.

 

10/15/2011

 

Time is often considered a precious commodity because there is a limited quantity of it. Each of us could make a considerable list of all the things that compete for our time each day. Work, family, other people, circumstances, situations, sleep, fixing meals, preparation for the days ahead, shopping, recreation, quiet time ... the list could keep going. Much of our list would be good and necessary items for the normal course of our life. In the midst of all of this, we know the unexpected can occur which throws something else (sometimes intense) into the mix of our day.

 

For those who have made the decision to be a part of the local church and dedicate the time to services, fellowships, workdays, outings, etc. - we encourage you to make the most of those times. Endeavor to both give and receive the best you can with God's help.

 

Strive to learn, grow, develop in the Word of God, hear the voice of God, be a blessing to others, mature in the faith, and fulfill the calling of God for your life. If we recognize we have a limited amount of time and we believe our time is well-spent in being part of a local church, then use that time to be all you can be for God and let it continue in the world you occupy. This is a far different scenario than, "I just show up"

 

From whom (Christ) the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ~ Ephesians 4:16

 

10/14/2011

 

Keep thy heart ... Part II

 

Yesterday our verse was: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ~ Proverbs 4:24

 

We continue with it today because our Wednesday night Bible study emphasized the point dramatically. We particularly looked at Psalm 119:36 ~ Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.


We took the time to look at strong admonitions in the Bible against covetousness. Though covetousness often manifests in the natural, its root is in the heart of man. It can be a force of life that we need to guard against in our hearts. To demonstrate this consider:


You can be dirt poor and still be covetous. It does not have to do with anything you have. The person who has little or nothing can still be consumed by covetousness in his heart. If that is the case, he will likely squander or use what he does get in a way that may keep him dirt poor.


Whether this actually happens is not the point. The emphasis is the matter of the heart. The serious lesson in this is just what our main scripture is telling about guarding our hearts. Note our word from yesterday: Success starts on the inside (in the heart), not just because you have accumulated a lot of money or a lot of things. This principle is true about the things we so long for even in this natural life.


Everyone seems to be talking about "my issues" these days. This verse will help us to get started dealing with them in the right way.

 

10/13/2011

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ~ Proverbs 4:24

 

Regardless of what things we receive in the natural, what is on the inside of us will determine its result. This is true whether the thing or circumstance is good or bad. If you won a million dollars, you could spend it in such a way that it would make you better or worse.

 

Success does not start on the outside - its foundation must begin on the inside. We recognize this readily in our children. We know that we could give them things that they cannot handle at the time though the thing itself might be good.

 

Oh that we would recognize this in ourselves. We should be praying for God to help us prepare for what we will be faced with in the days to come. Then take action toward that goal - regardless of whether we would label what is coming good or bad.

 

10/12/2011

 

God in His infinite wisdom has decided that man would have freedom of choice in this earthly life. At times we all may wish God would choose for us that which is best, but we seem to understand that is not the way we were created.

 

In the natural realm, we look at our children at times and wish we could make the right choices for them. That might fix something for the time being, be we know that is not their destiny. They were created to live free, to choose for themselves, and hopefully they will seek God's will and path for their lives.

 

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  Deuteronomy 30:19


Many are familiar with this scripture and understand it from a Biblical standpoint. We also know it is very practical because we recognize that all choices bring consequences. Most of understand that there is a right and wrong that we desire to teach our children and also demonstrate to society.


May God give us wisdom on how to teach our children to make wise decisions.

 

10/11/2011

 

Have you ever taken the time to look up some of the old hymns? You can find out who wrote them, under what circumstances, how they may have changed, other hymns from the same writer, etc. A great deal of information can be gleaned from a search of hymns.

 

One struggle you will see with many writers is their desire to succinctly write relatively short verses that convey the riches of God's grace to man. Many find it difficult to convey scriptural truths and what they feel on the inside with just a few words.

 

If you do a search for most popular hymns, you will note that you find different lists depending on denominational preference - if that is a criteria. Most often you will see such hymns as:

 

Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Rock of Ages, Holy Holy Holy, Blessed Assurance, It Is Well With My Soul, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Just As I Am... (You may have some you would add to the list)

 

There is a hymn that many people know that is not in a lot of hymnals: Lily of the Valley. One of the reasons it is not included in some hymnals is that it was not written for a church or congregation. It was written for the Salvation Army by William Fry. As you may know, the Salvation Army band would particularly play on the streets in order to draw a crowd. It is said that Mr. Fry wanted a song that would present Jesus & the Christian life in such a way to get people's attention. Thus he wrote this hymn.

 

It is often rewarding to look at hymns, analyze their message, and compare them with scripture. This is just one more way to have a good Bible study.

 

10/10/2011

 

A Daily Devotional

 

Something that has been a blessing to many is daily devotional readings - something like Daily Bread, or others that you can find online or in book form.

 

They will usually target a particular scripture, an issue, or an aspect of our walk with God. It will cause you to think about where you stand in that area, it will remind you of it, and it can cause you to make an effort in that area.

 

Of course there are some days you may go through the reading and it doesn’t seem to say much to you -  that happens. But at least you are drawing near to God and making an effort towards the things of God - sowing to the spirit

 

An article on praise contained the following:

 

The teachings contained within the Psalms are the greatest  on turning your petitions into statements of praise. Praise is not only for when things are going great, In fact, the treasure in praise is found when all hell is breaking loose. Verses such as these:

 

Then will my head be exalted above the enemies who surround me, at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy, I will sing and make music to the Lord (27:6)

 

God is ascended amidst the shouts of joy (47:5)

 

People of praise are not pushovers. They are not weak-willed, flowery people who are just nice and never get ruffled. NO! They know how to fight and what is worth fighting for. Joy is your inheritance -  don’t let the devil steal it.

 

Whether it is in our daily lives here or whether we would be in southeast Asia fighting for the lives of Tsunami victims - we are encouraged to treasure the truth, to trust in the Lord, to be thankful, to be creative, learn how to smile, and realize that joy is for the benefit of others as much as yourself. Your joy can be a light to others - and bring hope into a life that may be surrounded by darkness.

 

Sometimes we have to stir ourselves up toward that as the scripture says. Sometimes a little devotional like this will remind us to do it.

 

10/9/2011

 

How to Raise an American


As a speech writer in Washington, a woman became greatly concerned about the lack of understanding, especially in young people, about the founding and roots of our country – and indeed a lack of patriotism and the teaching of it.


Her book has a quote at the beginning from Teddy Roosevelt:


            “We want to make our children feel that the mere fact of being Americans makes them better off.… This is not to blind us at all to our own shortcomings; we ought steadily to try to correct them; but we have absolutely no grounds to work on if we don’t have a firm and ardent Americanism at the bottom of everything.” ---Theodore Roosevelt


She had 1,776 ideas to do with your children in regards to patriotism


Put up a flag

Dinner table discussions

Watch a patriotic movie

Incorporate something in your vacation

Read the Declaration of Independence and sign it

Look up patriotic people

Sing, listen to, and look up patriotic songs

Go to a play or reenactment, to a historical site

Surround and immerse your children, within reason of course, with things that will promote

Patriotism and our country’s heritage...


In all of that, the person must make the decision for himself whether to embrace the aspects of being an American – each person has to decide what they are going to be.


This woman has taken church’s concept of preaching and teaching and applied it to patriotism.

This is exactly what we are supposed to do with Christianity. With all of the Christian "innovations" that is out there, there would be at least 1,776 ways and ideas to be involved in Christian things – to surround and immerse ourselves in the things of Christ.


We can certainly know some basic things to be about – prayer, Bible study, assembling ourselves together, praise and worship, giving, helping others, sharing Christ with others...


With so many Christian-oriented things out there, we ask God to show us how to use them to be better doers of the Word. ~ James 1:22

 

10/8/2011

 

Sometimes Jesus will calm the storms in your life.

Sometimes Jesus will calm you while you are in the storm.

 

Jesus said the storms would come in this life, and He admonished us to make sure our houses (our lives) were built on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25). We know that the time to prepare for a storm is well before it hits.

 

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. ~ Proverbs 22:3


And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. ~ Psalm 50:15


These and other scriptures remind us that we live in a fallen world where both good and bad things happen. We trust God when: we take His full armor and stand, when we do not understand why some things happen like they do, we pray without ceasing, we bless those who do not bless us, and when we seek the path He has for us in every situation.


It has been said to do all you can to follow the will of God and leave the rest up to Him. In doing so you can expect His joy and peace - for which there is no substitute.

 

10/7/2011

 

Being Steadfast

 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ~ I Corinthians 15:58


Most people understand both the need and the results that can come from being steadfast - both individually and in any type of organization. Being wishy-washy is just not appreciated.


On the other hand there is a rigidity or pickiness that we can get over into that is detrimental. Jesus called it straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. (Matthew 23:24) Imagine - they were dealing with this way back then. From the words of Jesus, we can see that there are things that are more important than others - perhaps more important at the moment. It's not that we neglect that which might be considered small but in verse 23 of the same chapter Jesus talked about the "weightier" matters of the law.


The challenge for us as Christians is to have a foundation that cannot be shaken - based upon God's Word. A set of core beliefs and principles is essential to guide us each day and in each situation. If you are a person like that, then you can be free to flow when all the different things come for you to deal with.


From the natural standpoint, isn't it great when you have employees that are grounded in company policy and what the firm is all about - but yet they can flow! Disruptions, daily ups and downs, unexpected schedule changes, someone does not show up, a customer is cranky ... but you have people that do not get bent out of shape because of this - they can flow, go, and get the job done. This is a very practical example of steadfast.


It is not always easy and this takes time to develop, but the rewards are great. As Christians we look to the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and trusted friends to help us as we face new challenges.

 

10/6/2011

 

From the Hymn: I Stand Amazed in the Presence  AKA: My Savior's Love

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

Refrain:

O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. ~ I John 3:1-2

If you are in Christ, you will never be more a child of God than you are right now. We know a change is coming: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. ~ I Corinthians 15:53. But a change has occurred in us already - born again by the Word of God and having received the earnest of the Spirit ~ I Peter 1:23; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Corinthians 5:5


Because of this we desire to: "...walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" - Colossians 1:10


How marvelous and wonderful indeed is His love!

 

10/5/2011

 

RECALL NOTICE:

 

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been identified as "Sub sequential Internal Non-morality," more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

 

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect. The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (BEST Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

 

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.
 

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!

- GOD

P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'!

Because HE Lives!

 


10/4/2011

 

Judge not, that ye be not judged. ~ Matthew 7:1


If there is ever a scripture that is used like rock, this one would certainly be in the arsenal. If your words ever step on someone's toes or cramp their style, you might get Matthew 7:1 hurled at you.


Note that if you are going to use this verse to say someone cannot judge, then you must forbid from judging any thing good as well as bad. You would not be able to say, "you did good", or "you are right and he is wrong" because you just made a judgment. Remember there are two sides to judgment.


In fact, any decision you make is a judgment in some way. Usually people do not have a problem with judgment until the decision does not suit them.


Jesus went on to tell us that we should judge righteously ~ John 7:24. Jesus went on to say in Matthew 7 that in order to point out the faults of others we must first be willing to judge ourselves and take care of anything that does not measure up. This takes maturity and a willingness to be corrected so we will not be hypocrites ~ Matthew 7:5


From scriptural principles we could say: If you are going to judge, be willing to go through the same scrutiny.

 

10/3/2011

 

The Right Focus

 

The word "focus" has become a real catch word of today. Teachers use it in evaluating students - how well they are able to focus and stay focused on classroom tasks.


We know in our work environments how essential it is to stay focused on the task at hand in order to produce and get things done.


A sermon does the same thing - it focuses us on a theme or principle in the Word of God.

We find the Bible tells us that we should focus our words because they are so important in the production of good things, saying the right thing at the right time, and communicating well with others. Praise and worship music also focuses us to turn our attention on God as well as inviting us to come before the Lord and seek His presence.


Almost anything that gets our attention draws us to focus on whatever is being presented.


For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. ~ Romans 8:6

If we were to substitute the word "focused" in place of the word "minded", the meaning would be striking in light if our subject. In our world today, so many things are trying to get our attention.


With all that comes across our lives each day, let us be careful what we focus on.



10/2/2011

 

Many of us probably grew up with the Golden Rule. It is often a general principle in households regardless of whether people know it comes from the Bible.  ~ Matthew 7:12

 

Also, many of us likely grew up with the Wooden Rule - or some type of instrument used by our parents whenever we needed a little therapy or a tune up. Today, we know some frown on this type of discipline because some have used it as an excuse to abuse. We know that was never God's intention and is never condoned in the Bible. The Bible is pretty severe on those who use God's Word in the wrong way and especially when it would be used to hurt the innocent or be abusive in any way.

 

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." ~ Hebrews 12:11

 

The scripture helps us when we apply it in the natural as well. The chastening of the Wooden Rule is not joyous, but it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteous in those who will learn from it. We know that in our children - even with the chastening is not pleasant for them or us.

 

We often quickly recognize when someone else would benefit from a good dose of the Wooden Rule. May we just as quickly recognize when we need it ourselves.

 

10/1/2011

 

If you grew up on a farm, you noticed things like seasons and patterns. You basically did the same type of things during certain times of the year in order for crops and livestock to produce.

Particularly in the last 30-40 years, science has made a dramatic impact on farming and production. Farmers still have to do the basics, but their understanding in so many areas has grown by leaps and bounds. The normal planting, tending,  proper environment, upkeep and maintenance still has to lay the foundation so that these new innovations can work.

 

Likewise in our faith, there is a foundation that must be laid that we should not mess with - it is to remain solid. The Apostle Paul said that foundation (Jesus Christ) must be laid before anyone can build anything successful from God's standpoint. ~ I Corinthians 3:9-15

 

Once that is done, we can have courage as we face the unknown, the new experiences in life, and new directions our lives may take knowing our foundation is sure. We realize also that God has given us His Holy Spirit to be our guide, comforter, He will show us things to come, etc.

 

Like the farmer who cannot forget the basics of his farming profession, we cannot forget the basics of our Christian profession if we want to be a success.

 

 

 

 



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