Posts Tagged ‘cross’

Story of the day:  Greatest Act of Compassion, The Cross

There’s a story written by Marion Leach Jacobsen in Crowded Pews and Lonely People, about a first-grader named Billy who had a classmate name Jim. Jim had lost his father in a tractor accident.  Billy prayed for Jim every day. One day as Billy was walking down the stairs at school, he saw Jim and decided to reach out to him.

“How are you getting along?” Billy asked.

“Oh, fine, jus’ fine.” Jim replied.

Billy continued, “Do you know, I’ve been praying for you ever since your daddy was killed.”

The other little guy stopped and looked at Billy, grabbed his hand, then led him out back behind the school building.  Then he opened up.

“You know, that was a lie when I said things were going fine; they aren’t fine.  We are having trouble with the cows and the machines.  My mother doesn’t know what to do.  But I didn’t know you were praying for me.”

Just goes to show us, doesn’t it, how many people are hurting, but don’t feel free to say until we voluntarily reach out to them and show compassion

Quote of the day: Billy Graham

“Now He calls us to have compassion on others, for His sake–to suffer with them, and to point them to the One who suffered for them.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

“Savior I come, quiet my soul, remember. Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss. Lead me to the cross, where Your love poured out.  Bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down. Rid me of myself, I belong to You. You were as I, tempted and tried, human.  Your Word became flesh, bore my sin and death, now You’re risen.  Lead me to Your Heart. [Hillsong United]

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

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Story and Quote of the day:  Created something of beauty and worth

From Inklings Vol. 2, No. 3, Helen Prejean, the nun whose experiences with death-row inmates led to the movie Dead Man Walking, talked recently about creativity:

In creating, we imitate God…To be a creator is part of what it means to be a human being.  I met a guy on death row in Arizona who had nothing…So he would unravel his socks and weave little necklaces with crosses out of threads.  The first time I visited another death-row inmate, he gave me a picture frame he’d made out of gum wrapper foils.

These men were locked in a small cell 23 out of 24 hours a day; they had absolutely nothing, and still they were reaching out to create something of beauty and worth.

Bible verse of the day:  Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so grateful for the gifts that You have blessed me with.  It is amazing to me to see Your Uniqueness found in each of us, and from them, we can use this creativity to Worship You and bring You Glory.  I thank You Father for loving me as You do and for sharing these gifts with me. 

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen 

 

                                                                                                                  Story of the day:  Living a focused life

   Sometimes it can be difficult or “tough to live a focused life.  From every direction, something or someone clamors for our attention.  A distraction draws our eyes and the next thing we know, we’ve swerved off the road and headed down another detour.

   One Chicago youth pastor came up with a clever way to keep his group on track.  Concerned that the balmy beaches of Florida-the site of their upcoming evangelism trip-would lure the teens from their purpose, he fashioned a cross from two pieces of lumber.  Just before they climbed on the bus, he showed it to the group.

   “I want all of you to remember that the whole purpose of our going is to glorify the name of Christ, to lift up the Cross-the message of the Cross, the emphasis of the Cross, the Christ of the Cross,” he announced.  “So we’re going to take this cross wherever we go.”

   The teenagers looked at one another, a little unsure of his plan.  But they agreed to do it and dragged the cross on the bus.  It banged back and forth in the aisle all the way to Florida.  It went with them into restaurants.  It stayed overnight where they stayed overnight.  It stood in the sand while they ministered on the beach.

   At first, lugging the cross around embarrassed the kids.  But later, it became a point of identification.  That cross was a constant, silent reminder of who they were and why they had come.  They eventually regarded carrying it as an honor and privilege.

   The night before they went home, the youth leader handed out two nails to each of the kids.  He told them that if they wanted to commit themselves to what the cross stood for, they could hammer one nail into it and keep the other with them.  One by one, the teens drove their nail into the cross.

   About 15 years later, one fellow-now a stockbroker, called the youth leader.  He told him that he still keeps that nail with him in his desk drawer.  Whenever he loses his sense of focus, he looks at the nail and remembers the cross on that beach in Florida.  It reminds him of what is at the core of his life–his commitment to Jesus Christ.” (Chuck Swindoll)

Quote of the day:  Haddon Robinson

“You will invest your life in something, or you will throw it away on nothing.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 Corinthians 15:58

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

It is so easy to become distracted.  Father, as I pick up my cross daily, it is a constant reminder to me that You paid the ultimate price and that Your love for me is far greater than the things in this world.  Father, when distractions come my way, may I be reminded, just as this story has told, that You are at the core of my life and living for You, serving You, and loving others is a commitment that I wish to honor.  I thank You for this day and I love You for all that You have done.  

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen 

j0423103.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                         Story of the day:  One Solitary Life
    James Hefley quoted in J.B. Fowler Jr. Great Words of the New Testament, that “here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant woman.  He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was itinerant preacher.  He never wrote a book.  He never held an office.  He never owned a home.  He never had a family.  He never went to college.  He never put His foot inside a big city.  He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born.  He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.  He had no credentials but Himself.  He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His Divine manhood.  While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him.  He was turned over to His enemies.  He went through the mockery of a trial.  He was nailed to a Cross between two thieves.  His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying–and that was His coat.  When He was dead He taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.  Such was His human life–He rises from the dead.  Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the Leader of the column of progress.  I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life.”
Quote of the day:  Carl F.H. Henry
“Jesus Christ turns life right-side-up, and heaven outside-in.”
Bible verse of the day:  1 Peter 2:21
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”
Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
You walked so humbly while You were here on Earth.  The things that were written in the story above were never done to bring fame to Your name, but were done because You love us so much.  It is that unconditional love that moves through me and draws me closer to You.  Father it is my heart’s desire to reach other souls for Your Kingdom.  It has become my mission in life to do Your Will and to serve You full time.  Give me wisdom this day in knowing how to do that.  I will follow the steps that You have laid before me as I set out to spread Your Gospel.  Thank You for this day!
In Jesus Name I pray,
Amen

j0423103.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                 Story of the day:  Cynics

    I have often heard that to be a cynic means to always criticize things that you or others are doing even if you aren’t requesting it.  It is always looking for the negative in and searching for the worst, whether it be in people or situations.  If you are around a cynic for too long, you can start to take on attributes of the cynic as their negativity rubs off onto you. When dealing with a cynic you must turn the cheek and move past the situation. Cynics usually tend to be so negative just because they do not trust the integrity of others.  

     I look at Jesus’ life and all that He went through while here, and how many cynics he had to put up with, and yet He pressed on with the mission and endured to the Cross.  So often we feel a need to want to defend the situation, but to try and defend it to a cynic is nearly impossible.  So instead of arguing and wasting valuable time, I just move on and forward with the plan that God has set before me.  After a while, you just learn to take it with a grain of salt and with the realization that you just can’t please everyone.  And as long as I am pleasing God, that’s all that matters. 

    I have an interesting story and tell me if this situation sounds familiar.  “The story is told of an old man whose grandson rode a donkey while they were traveling from one city to another.  The man heard some people say, “Would you look at that old man suffering on his feet while that strong young boy is totally capable of walking.”

    So then the old man rode the donkey while the boy walked.  And he heard some people say, “Would you look at that, a healthy man making the poor young boy suffer.  Can you believe it?”

    So the man and the boy both rode the donkey, and they heard some people say, “would you look at those heavy brutes making that poor donkey suffer.”  So they both got off and walked, until they heard some people say, “Would you look at the waste-a perfectly good donkey not being used.”

    Finally the scene shifts and we see the boy walking and the old man carrying the donkey. 

    No matter what you do, someone will always criticize it.”  I encourage you today, that if you are being criticized, turn the cheek, let it roll off your back, pray for that person and move forward with God’s purpose and will for your life.  In the long run, you will be better off for having done so.

Quote of the day:  Oliver Stone

“Cynicism has gone too far.  We are becoming what the history books tell us late Rome was like: mired in self-absorption and lacking virtue.”

Bible verse of the day:  John 14:1

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Cynicism is at times so harsh.  It can be discouraging if I allow the words of a cynic to pierce my heart.  Instead I lean upon You for every situation and turn my cheek just as You did.  God it is not enough for me to just turn my cheek, I need to remember the cynic in prayer and continue to love them the way that You love all.  Give me wisdom to know when to speak and when to just be quiet.  God, I know that not everyone will agree at all times with what I have to say, but I do know that when I write, I write for myself and if others are touched by it, then I have done what You have asked of me.  Thank You for giving me such an understanding heart and to try to see the good in others no matter what they have done.  I love what our Pastor said this weekend, “Jesus forgave at the cross for all the things that we will do and the things that we don’t even know we are doing.”  God, Your Son suffered greatly for us and endured all the cynicism that came about during His time here on earth and never lost focus of the plan that was set before Him.  And though He was tempted as we all are, he passed every single one of His tests.  I pray to pick up my cross everyday and walk in His likeness, doing the things that He has planned for me.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen