October 2008

Joy

Story of the day:  Joy

     Sherwood Wirt wrote in Jesus, Man of Joy, about a conversation that he had with C.S. Lewis.  He says, “there is too much solemnity and intensity in dealing with sacred matters, too much speaking in holy tones.  The tragic loss in all this pious gamesmanship is to the individual in the pew, who begins to feel that in the midst of the religious razzle-dazzle he cannot get through to the Lord Himself.

     We have learned that joy is more than a sense of the comic, more than earthly pleasure, and to a believer even more than what we call happiness.  Joy is the enjoyment of God and the good things that come from the hand of God.  If our new freedom in Christ is a piece of angel food cake, joy is the frosting.  If the Bible gives us the wonderful words of life, joy supplies the music.  If the way to Heaven turn out to be an arduous steep climb, joy sets up the chair lift.”

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Joy is a winsome magnet that draws people in because it is one thing they do not have.”

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 16:11

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today I will think about the joyful abundance that is mine when I follow Christ.  I will follow the path of life that You reveal to me and as I do, Your Word says that in Your presence, I will find the fullness of joy.  I thank You for this beautiful day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

October 2008

Are you pecking?

Story of the day:  Are you pecking?

     I love to look at my grandparents who have been married over 55 years and wonder how they have done it and are still in love.  The way that they talk with one another, the way they still take care for each other.  When we had gone to visit my grandmother, I had noticed something small, but it spoke volumes to me.  She was sitting next to my grandfather and she so gently placed her head on his shoulder.  They didn’t even have to say a word and I knew that their love was so great even after 55 years.  So what is the secret to many marriages that last so long? 

    I found an interesting story that was written about the shuttle Discovery.  It had been grounded, not by technical difficulties or lack of government funding, but by woodpeckers.  Yellow-shafted flicker woodpeckers found the insulating foam on the shuttle’s external fuel tank irresistible material for pecking.

     The foam is critical to the shuttle’s performance.  Without it, ice forms on the tank when it’s filled with the super cold fuel, ice that can break free during liftoff and damage the giant spacecraft.  The shuttle was grounded until the damage was repaired.

     Marriages or any relationship that you are in can be frequently damaged not only by big things– abuse or abandonment–but by the little things.  Criticism, lack of respect, and taking each other for granted, can peck away at the relationship and keep us from reaching the heights of love.  Are you pecking?

Quote of the day: Charles W. Shedd

“Marriage is not so much finding the right person as it is being the right person.”

Bible verse of the day:  Song of Solomon

“My beloved is mine, and I am his.  He feeds his flock among the lilies.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I see the love between my grandparents, may I bring into my own marriage the things that have kept theirs going so strong.  They always put You first, which spoke volumes to me as a child, and even now as an adult.  They self sacrifice their own needs to give to one another, and they demonstrate their love with their children.  They recognize their weaknesses, but when they are put together, they have created a bond so great that even through their difficult times, they were able to withstand anything that could tear their relationship apart.  I pray for marriages across this country.  I pray that they put You first in their relationship, I pray for strengthening, and I pray for open communication.  I pray for those that are about to get married or are in a relationship that they too can learn from these things so that they too can have a strong relationship.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

October 2008

Feeling imposed upon, overburdened, or overworked?

Story of the day:  Feeling imposed upon, overburdened, or overworked?

     “There was once an ant who felt imposed upon, overburdened, and overworked.  You see, he was instructed to carry a piece of straw across an expanse of concrete.  The straw was so long and heavy that he staggered beneath its weight and felt he would not survive.  Finally, as the stress of his burden began to overwhelm him and he began to wonder if life itself was worth it, the ant was brought to a halt by a large crack in his path.  There was no way of getting across that deep divide, and it was evident that to go around it would be his final undoing.  He stood there discouraged.  Then suddenly a thought struck him.  Carefully laying the straw across the crack in the concrete, he walked over it and safely reached the other side.  His heavy load had become a helpful bridge.  The burden was also a blessing.” (Green)

     My friends and family, Jesus is that bridge.  He not only will bear the burden of all that You are going through, He will always be there for You, and will catch every tear, every drop of sweat from Your brow, and will pour them back into Your life as a blessing.  Have you given your life to Jesus?  Have you made Him a priority in your life, if not, then now is the time.  What are you waiting for?  No one ever said that life would be easy, but I guarantee it will be a lot sweeter with Jesus in the picture.  All you have to do is ask Him into Your life. It can be as simple as praying this prayer.

Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and have displeased You in many ways. I believe You died for my sin and because You love me so much. Only through faith in Your death and resurrection can I be forgiven. I want to turn from my sin and ask You to come into my life as my Savior and Lord.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.

My friends, if you have said this prayer, Jeff and I would love to know about it, talk with you about it, and share in your joy!  Visit us on the website or shoot us back an email, we would love to hear your story:)   We also want to encourage you to become involved in a local Bible believing church where you can grow and learn from the Word of God. We hope that you have a blessed day! 

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Someone has said, “A brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.”

Bible verse of the day:  Hebrews 6:15

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

My prayer goes out today for those that may feel imposed upon, overburdened, or overworked.  I pray that through this time in their life that they will use this heavy load as a helpful bridge in their life.  Father, I pray that all their tears will be caught in Your gracious hand and will be poured back into their life as a blessing.  I pray for courage, strength, and for rest in all that they do and that through this whole situation, they find peace in You to get them through it.  I thank You for those that have overcome obstacles in their life, including myself, and I pray for a productive day that brings honor and glory to Your Name. I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

October 2008

Testing Limits

Story of the day:  Testing Limits

     While traveling around the country, bigger vehicles such as:  semi trucks, tractor trailers, and other wide load vehicles, always seem to catch my attention.  I especially notice them more in states where the roads aren’t very well taken care of.  Every pot hole that we hit, or bump that would catapult our car seemed to have been made by vehicles whose weight far extended the capacity of what the road was capable of handling, or what I thought it was capable of handling. 

     Most of “the large tractor-trailer trucks that travel the highways of the nation are subjected to a load limit.  This means that there is a limit as to how much weight each truck is allowed to carry.  There is a good reason for establishing such limits.  If the trucks were allowed to exceed their weight limit, the roads would eventually fall apart, because a given road is designed to support vehicles only up to a certain weight.

     Likewise, God knows how much we can bear when He allows us to be tested.  He has assigned a definite “load limit” to each of us and never exceeds it.” (Green)  In other words, He knows exactly how much our road can handle.

Quote of the day:  Leon Morris

“When the high seas are raging, it’s no time to change ships.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have said that You won’t give me more than I can handle, and for that I am grateful!  Father, I too, like the roads know that when tested, will hold up to what is brought my way.  Thank You for being faithful and for teaching me to remain strong even during the times that I might feel at my weakest.  I pray for those that may be experiencing some rough patches right now, and I ask in Your Son’s name that they too will see that what they are going through is just for a season.  As they go through it, I pray that You will radiate the brightest so that they can see You through what might seem like their darkest hour.  I thank You for this beautiful day and I look forward to heading to San Antonio this weekend, so that we can look at some places for Your church. 

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Funny Friday Picks, October 2008

Funny Friday Quote: Blindside Driving

Story of the day:  Blindside Driving

“A couple of morons pooled their bankrolls and bought a little second-hand car.  They went driving up the mountains, going around corners and dangerous curves at sixty miles an hour.  Finally one moron couldn’t stand it any longer.  “Every time you go around one of those harpin bends so fast, I get frightened,” he confessed.

     “If you get frightened,” advised the other, “why don’t you do like do? I keep my eyes closed!”

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 79:13

“So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today and everyday, I will count all the blessings that You have given me and be greatful for all that I have.  I am especially grateful to be alive, with air filling my lungs, hearing the laughter of my family, and seeing all that You are doing in other people’s lives.  I have every reason to celebrate this day, because of the gift of Your Son, Jesus, and all that He has done for my life.  I continue to give You honor, glory and praise, and in doing so, may it radiate through my life so that others may see You in me.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

October 2008

“Dead Men Walking”

Story of the day:  “Dead Men Walking”

     I love what Dr. Tony Evans had to say in a letter that he sends out as part of a ministry outreach.  He says, “One of the most powerful stories about Jesus comes to us by way of a dead man.

     Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, had died.  Lazaurs’ sisters were grieving not only his death, but the fact that Jesus had not showed up earlier and healed him.

     That’s the way we are sometimes.  We have God on our side and His power to change the situation, but we’re complaining about what didn’t happen!

     Thankfully, that’s not the only lesson to take away from this story, nor is it just a great story about Jesus and His power.  It’s a life lesson for every believer…and about the power of God in us!

     In John 11:43-44, Jesus spoke to Lazarus directly, whom was dead and wrapped from head to toe, with a kerchief over his face, and said, “Lazarus, come forth!” 

     What happened to Lazarus is what God is asking of us still today.  Look around you.  There’s a world filled with “dead men walking.” People are bound by sin, trapped by religion, wrapped up in their circumstances, depressed by their lives, distressed by their families; many are thinking “it’s over.”  Their lives are in a rut just “grave” with both ends kicked out.

     But God can change their entire situation as we speak the Word and help set them free!  That’s the call on this ministry and the call on my life… and yours.  He has called us to carry out Kingdom plans and purposes on earth.

     Serving God is not about keeping religious practices to carry out some set of rules.  It’s about giving and living a life of spiritual freedom that reflects God’s glory, letting your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16)

     Who is in a “grave” situation near you?  Who can you speak a word of life to today?  Or let me put it this way…if you feel You are in a tough situation, I’m here to speak a word of life, hope, and encouragement into You.  God can turn it around for you, and when He does, give Him the thanks and praise He deserves.”

Quote of the day:  Vonette Bright

“Through our service to others, God want to influence our world for Him.”

Bible verse of the day:  John 11:40

“Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have called my family into ministry and as I share Your Word with others, I pray that lives may be changed, and all for Your Glory.  Father, the time that we are living in right now, is rough, there are some that can’t make ends meet, some are losing their homes, and are distressed. Father, I pray for revival to sweep our nation, that You may be glorified and lives can be transformed.  I continue to pray for those that don’t know You, that they hear Your voice when You say to them, “come forward and ask me to be a part of your life.”  I thank You for Your faithfulness in my life, for this day, and the hope for tomorrow! 

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

October 2008

Confession

Story of the day:  Confession

     In The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, the cartoon character Calvin says to his tiger friend, Hobbes, “I feel bad that I called Susie names and hurt her feelings.  I’m sorry I did it.”

     “Maybe you should apologize to her,” Hobbes suggests.

     Calvin ponders this for a moment and replies, “I keep hoping there’s a less obvious solution.”

     When we want to restore our relationship with God, we need to remember that he has a liking for the obvious solution.

Quote of the day:  C. FitsSimons Allison

“We need not “sin that grace may abound.” We are sinners and need only to confess that grace may abound.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You sent Your Son to live and die in this world for me, and because of this, You know what it means to be human.  You can relate to the times when I am sad, hurt, worried, or fearful.  Most of all, You forgive me when I confess to You in times of weakness.  Father, I place my trust in You for every aspect of my life and with Your Word and the love of Your Son in my heart, may I continue to live Your Will for my life.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen