Posts Tagged ‘mercy’

Story of the day: Reach out to those in need

A suicidal woman stood on a bridge in Seattle ready to jump. The situation created such a colossal traffic jam that some motorists, caught in the delay, began to curse the woman and screamed at her to jump. She did–and she survived the 160-foot fall into a canal. Many residents later sent flowers and cards to her in the hospital apologizing for what had happened. But some of the angry drivers phoned the local newspaper and blamed the woman for not choosing a less-traveled place to end her life.

People with urgent needs seldom intersect our lives at convenient times. Each situation demands immediate attention, often upsetting our own cherished plans.

Jesus was mobbed by needy people as He walked this earth, and we can learn from His response to them. When Jairus begged Him to come and heal his daughter, Jesus went with him (Mark 5:22-24). On the way, when a woman interrupted the procession, Jesus stopped and took the time to speak a healing word to her (vv.25-34).

Are we willing to reach out to someone in need today? Like our Lord, do we have the compassion to bring help and healing to people who feel hopeless? God grant us the grace to be available to others for His sake today. [DCM. Inconvenient Times. Our Daily Bread. July 11, 2002.]

Quote of the day: Fitzhugh

“Compassion never goes out of fashion.”

Bible verse of the day: Matthew 12:7 (NIV)

“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that I never get too busy to stop and take the time and reach out to those that are in need. Just as I have been shown mercy by You and others during my time of need, I too wish to do the same. I ask for wisdom in my attitude, words, and deeds so that I may have a heart of compassion for others. Thank You for loving me and sharing Your Grace and Mercy with me.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  Whatever your niche, embrace it!

In a cartoon some years ago a little guy was taking heat from his sister and friends for a newly found “calling”–patting little birds on the head.  The distressed birds would approach, lower their little feathered pates to be patted, sigh deeply, and walk away satisfied.  It brought him no end of fulfillment–in spite of the teasing he took from others.  “What’s wrong with patting birds on the head?”  he wanted to know.  “What’s wrong with it?” his embarrassed friends replied.  “No one else does it!”

If your niche is encouraging, please don’t stop.  If it is embracing, demonstrating warmth, compassion, and mercy to feathers that have been ruffled by offense and bruised by adversity, for goodness’ sake, keep stroking.  Don’t quit, whatever you do.  If God made you a “patter,” then keep on patting to the glory of God. [Swindoll, Charles.  1998.  Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations and Quotes, pg.178.]

Quote of the day:  Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 1:12 (NKJV)

“that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You so very much for those people known as “patters”.  They are such a joy to be around and offer such great encouragement.  You have gifted them each to have warmth, compassion, and loving kindness for those that they are surrounded by.  I pray that You continue to use them mightily for Your kingdom, that they may know what a great joy they are to be around.  I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  God loves us now!

In his book Enjoying God, Lloyd Ogilvie writes:

My formative years ingrained the quid pro quo into my attitude toward myself:  do and you’ll receive; perform and you’ll be loved.  When I got good grades, achieved, and was a success, I felt acceptance from my parents.  My dad taught me to fish and hunt and worked hard to provide for us, but I rarely heard him say, “Lloyd, I love you.”  He tried to show it in actions, and sometimes I caught a twinkle of affirmation in his eyes.  But I still felt empty.

When I became a Christian, I immediately became so involved in discipleship activities that I did not experience the profound healing of the grace I talked about theoretically….

I’ll never forget as long as I live the first time I really experienced healing grace.  I was a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh.  Because of financial pressures I had to accordion my studies into a shorter than usual period.  Carrying a double load of classes was very demanding, and I was exhausted by the constant feeling of never quite measuring up.  No matter how good my grads were, I thought they could be better.  Sadly, I was not living the very truths I was studying.  Although I could have told you that the Greek words for grace and joy are charis and chara, I was not experiencing them.

My beloved professor, Dr. James Steward, that slightly built dynamo of a saint, saw into my soul with x-ray vision.  One day in the corridor of New College he stopped me.  He looked me in the eye intensely.  Then he smiled warmly, took my coat lapels in his hands, drew me down to a few inches from his face, and said, “Dear boy, you are loved now!”

Quote of the day:  Craig Larson

“God loves us now, not when we get better.  God loves us now, as we are.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 John 4:9

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for loving me as I am.  It has been Your Love that has stirred my soul and opened my heart to a world that is in need.  Father, I pray for those that may feel as Lloyd does, loved only when they accomplish things.  I pray that they stop what they are doing right now and see how You love them just as they are and right now.  Father, may they feel Your unwavering Love fill their souls.  I ask that my heart continues to grow for people and that it is filled with the love that You continue to give each and every day.  Let me see others through the heart of Your eyes leading me compassionately and guiding me down Your Gracious path.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  How do we love the unlovable?

     It is easy to love those we like.  As a matter of fact, it hardly takes any work at all to be kind to those that we have befriended.  But, how do we open our hearts and love the unlovable?  There is a story in the Bible about a wee little man named Zacchaeus.  He was a very rich tax collector who became very wealthy by overcharging the people in his town.  Needless to say. Zacchaeus wasn’t liked by many, in fact Herb Vander Lugt wrote in Loving the Unlovable, “Zacchaeus was easy to dislike.  Yet, to the dismay of the crowd, Jesus honored him by going to his house and eating with him.  Jesus saw Zacchaeus as a sinner with an empty hole that only He could fill, and through His kindness Zacchaeus was transformed.”  Jesus saw in Zacchaeus what He saw in each of us, sin that needed His Love, Grace, and Mercy. 

    I encourage you today, to ask God to see others through His eyes, love them the way that He loves you, for “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5 NIV)     

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“True compassion will put love into action.”

Bible verse of the day:  John 15:12 (NKJV)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray to have my heart and soul opened by Your Love.  Father, may I see others through Your eyes and always have a compassionate heart ready and willing to serve.    I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  Every child of God has equal access.

     We often see preferential treatment in high class eating facilities, hotels, and designated areas that if people are willing to pay top dollar for can get the “priority” treatment. 

     Richard De Haan writes in Equal Access, Pastor Stuart Silvester told me of a conversation he had with an acquaintance who frequently flew his small private plane in and out of Toronto International Airport.  He asked the pilot if he ever encountered problems taking off and landing a small craft at an airport that was dominated by so many large jets.  His friend responded, “My plane may be small, but I have the same rights, the same privileges, and the same access to the airport as anyone else–even the jumbo jets!”

     Pastor Silvester than made this spiritual application:  “It’s the same with prayer, with the believer’s approach to the throne of grace.  No matter who we are or how small we are in comparison with others or how low our situation in life, we take a back seat to on one.  On one is given priority treatment.”

     In a world that offers preferential treatment, it’s encouraging to know that every child of God has equal access to the Father in Heaven.  The psalmist said, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

     With the assurance, we can “come boldly to the throne of grace” in prayer, knowing that our loving God will never turn us away.”

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Prayer is an open line to Heaven.”

Bible verse of the day:  Hebrews 4:16

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that I can come boldly to Your throne and You will never turn me away.  Just as the writer today wrote, it is encouraging to know that I have just as equal access as anyone else and when I call upon You in truth, You are always near.  I thank You for this day and as we finalize the things here in Dayton, I pray that the trip tomorrow goes smoothly, and for safe travel.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

                                                                                                               Story of the day:  It’s more than words!

   Jeff and I usually go to lunch on Tuesday’s or Thursday’s depending on what day his physical fitness training for the military doesn’t occur.  This week, our lunch date fell on a Tuesday and so we went to our usual place (Longhorn), for some good ol’ sweet tea and a steak.  Nothing new about our day, except that I was watching a friend’s little one while they went to school. 

   Before they dropped him off, I had explained to the dad that Jeff and I were going on our date and if he didn’t mind, his son could just go along with us.  The little one is around Joshua’s age and he and Josh enjoy hanging out, so Joshua was excited about him coming.  Before we left to the restaurant, the father wanted to give us some money for his son’s lunch, but I gracefully declined and told him not to worry about it, and that we have his “little one covered”. 

   When we got to Longhorn, we were immediately seated by the staff and they sat us next to a couple that were enjoying their lunch.  Jeff hadn’t arrived yet, and so I sat the kiddos down and ordered our drinks.  The aroma from their homemade bread was in the air, and I could taste every morsel of it, even though I hadn’t actually had any.  Jeff arriving a few minutes later, in his military uniform, was greeted and thanked for serving our country by the couple that were sitting next to us.  He accepted their thankfulness and we continued on with our lunch.  

   We chatted about the day and our upcoming move to Dallas.  Here’s where God’s Love is shown through someone else.  You see, while Jeff and I were talking and finishing up with our lunch, that couple that were seated next to us, had retrieved our bill and paid for our entire lunch.  This time, it was more than words.  They took it a step further and showed their kindness without us knowing.  They had already left and Jeff and I sat humbled by the event that had just taken place, because not only had this act of kindness touched our hearts, it touched all that were involved in it.  Both waitresses, who were in tears, shared this great news with their manager, who in turn felt the generosity and God’s love from one random act of kindness that came from complete strangers.

  God’s mercy and love was shown not only to me and Jeff, but to many because of this one couple.  In essence you could say, God had His “little one’s covered” as well!  He took care of us because we took care of another, and in this great process many lives were touced by this kind act that came from complete strangers.   To the couple that acted on a gracious deed for someone they had never met before and whom may never read this, we just want to thank you for your kindess once again.  We just want you to know that many were touched by your generosity, and through it, God’s Name and His Glory was shown this day, and it was done in a way that is forever embedded into my heart. 

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness, for it is usually returned.”

Bible verse of the day:  Luke 6:38

“Give, and it will be given to you:  good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.  For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for showing us through complete strangers how You work.  Father, there were so many lives touched yesterday by this couple and we didn’t even know what they had done, until they were already gone, and that’s what is amazing to me!  Father, I pray that You bless them this day, and let them know that we are thankful for what they did.  Father, as we go into our day today, may we continue to do for others just as the couple did for us, and may Your Name be magnified and glorified this day and everyday!!  I love You Father and thank You for showing Yourself as The One Who Gives All Things by allowing other people to give through love.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen       

sunset.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                   Quote of the day:  Mercy Touched Me

    A fellow writer named Darian Burns wrote an amazing story that I felt needed to be shared.  It is a true representation of our Heavenly Father and I felt that it was a story that encompasses troubles that may come in our life, but through any situation our Father is there and by His Grace is able to show us how much He loves us.

    Darian writes:  “I was an assistant pastor and a young father when I was involved in a fire that left me in the ICU burn center with second and third degree burns, singed vocal chords and a damaged esophagus.  Two weeks after being released from the hospital I became a single father of three young boys (4 year old twins and an 18 month old) when my then wife decided she preferred a different type of lifestyle.  Not long after the marriage ended I received “the visit” by the leaders of the church where I ministered.  I was informed that my services were no longer needed.  With the loss of my job also came the loss of my house which was owned by the church.  Not long after becoming a single dad I began to notice that my youngest, Micah, seemed deaf, so we began a long period of testing.  Micah’s testing started a journey which ended in a parking lot at the Emory Autism Center in Atlanta.

    It took every ounce of energy not to explode as I walked from the Autism Center to my parked car.  “Mr. Burns,” the doctor had began coldly like a mathematician reciting an equation, “Micah is one of the most severe cases of autism we have ever seen here, at best you will be able to care for him until 13 or so but then you will almost certainly have to have him institutionalized.”  when I heard those words the last three months and all that had happened suddenly flooded my soul.

    One of the joys of my life had always been my singing voice; however, the fire had damaged my voice and I didn’t know if I would ever sing again as I had.  Since childhood I had longed to be a father and have a family.  I had read all the books, attended the conferences, gone to the counseling sessions, listened to the radio programs and, while not perfect, had for the most part done everything I had been told I was supposed to do to have a successful and happy family life.  However, al the rules I had kept and formulas I had followed did not produce the results they had promised.  My entire adult life and all my education had been geared toward Christian ministry.  However, my church didn’t believe in divorced ministers.  Now I was being told not only would I be alone, without a job, without a home but my precious son would be trapped with this disease which I would spend the rest of my life watching him struggle with and helpless to do anything about it.

    I reached the car and quickly placed Micah in his car seat.  I got in, shut the door and SCREAMED!  Months of tears and pent up anger erupted from deep within me.  I was angry at those who had betrayed me, particularly the church where I found no grace or mercy in my time of deepest need.  However, nothing could compare to the anger I felt towards God.  I wanted to know why.  How could this happen?  Why had He deserted me with these three boys, no job, and no home?  Why had He dumped me in this city parking lot alone except for Micah who wouldn’t even allow me to touch him without screaming?

    Then it happened.  After I released all my pain, after I poured it out to Him with honesty and authenticity I cried out for Mercy.  “Lord, I can’t go on if I don’t know that You are at least with me.  Give me something.  Give me something.  Give me anything to hold on to.  Let me know that you are still with me.  Please, I can’t do this anymore on my own.  Lord, just let me know I’m not alone.

    Not only had Micah ever initiated touch before but he hated to be touched, he fought against it and would scream or cry if he had to endure it by being carried or held.  He preferred to play with his shadow and be left alone.  But not that day and not at that moment.  Mercy touched me that day in the form of a little boy named Micah as he reached his small hand around the seat and caressed a tear off his father’s cheek.  I turned around in shock to see an innocent smile and, for a second, the ever present distance in his eyes was gone.  Mercy touched me that day and I have never been the same.  My prayer is that you will feel it’s touch in your life right when you need it most.”  Thank you Darian for sharing your story with me.

Quote of the day:  J. Dwight Pentecost

“Mercy is God’s ministry to the miserable. It is both intensely personal and immensely practical.  For when I am treated unfairly, God’s mercy relieves my bitterness.  When I grieve over loss, it relieves my pain and anger and denial.  When I struggle with disability, it relieves my self-pity.  When I endure physical pain, it relieves my hopelessness.  When I deal with being sinful, it relieves my guilt.”

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 56:11

“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You are a merciful God.  Thank You that in my distress or my call to You, You are quick to answer.  God, this story has touched my heart and I pray for this father and his family.  God, as uncomfortable as it is to be in these situations, You always show Yourself to us in a very touching and loving way.  It is through these times that we can draw close to You and rest in Your Saving Grace.  Just as mercy touched Darian that day, mercy can touch all.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen