March 2010

Reach out to those in need

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

February 2010

“Shut the Door”

Story of the day: Shut the Door

I found a very interesting story about a man who years ago, was visiting the United States and decided he needed to make a telephone call. He entered a phone booth but found it to be very different from those in his own country. It was beginning to get dark, so he had difficulty finding the number in the directory. He saw a light in the ceiling but didn’t know how to turn it on.

As the man tried again to find the number, a passerby noticed his plight and said, “Sir, if you want to turn the light on, you have to shut the door.” To the visitor’s amazement, when he closed the door, the booth was filled with light. He soon located the number and completed the call.

In a similar way, when we draw aside to a quiet place to pray, we must “shut the door” to block out our busy world. As we open our hearts to the Father, we receive the light of His Wisdom. Our Lord often went to be alone with His Heavenly Father for strength and guidance. Sometimes it was after a busy day of preaching and healing. At other times, it was before making a major decision.

We can have the confidence that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” But we must remember that  to “turn the light on,” we must first “shut the door” by getting alone with God. [RWD, “Shut the Door.” Our Daily Bread, June 2, 2002]

Quote of the day: Anonymous

“One secret of effective prayer is prayer in secret.”

Bible verse of the day: Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done is secret, will reward you.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today I “shut the door” to the noise that world holds around me. I offer up to You my sincere prayers as I kneel at Your feet in complete humbleness. I thank You Father for hearing my prayers and for answering them according to Your Will. I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen


November 2009

Funny Friday Quote: Test Grading

Funny Friday Quote:  Test Grading (Jim Kraus)

At a large college there was a star athlete who was academically challenged.  In one of his classes he sat beside a straight A student.  The professor suspected that the athlete was cheating, but she didn’t have actual evidence.

Grading the midterm exam, she saw that for question number 10, the smart student had written, “I don’t know the answer.”

Immediately checking answer 10 on the athlete’s exam, she smiled knowingly.  He had written, “Me neither.”

Bible verse of the day: Proverbs 3:13

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this blessing of a day.  It is filled with Your beauty that shines off of the sunrise and the sunset.  I pray that this day will used for Your Glory and may I find rest in You.  I love You Father, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Your Great Commission.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

September 2009

Have you asked?

Story of the day:  Have you asked?

I love when my kids tell me stories, or get excited about things they have never seen before.   I can sit for hours and listen to how they discovered something new.  The look on their faces, the excitement of it all, makes my life as a mom so worth while.  When we went home this past weekend, my Uncle had shared with my son a new toy that he purchased at the Dollar Tree.  It’s just a little ball like figure that you can turn inside out and when you drop it on the floor, it bounces up pretty high in the air. 

The look on Joshua’s face, was one as if he had never seen anything like it before.  This little ball was new and so interesting that it kept his attention for hours.  He tried to figure it out, and the more and more he did, the more excited he got about it.  It’s all he talked about on the 9 hour drive back to New Mexico.  “Mama, when we get home, can we go to the Dollar Tree and get one of those bouncy things?”  I told him, son, “The store may be closed by the time we get home, but I promise, I will get you one tomorrow. 

When Joshua arrived home from school the next day, he was so excited to find one of those bouncy balls for him and his brother.  He couldn’t unwrap that toy fast enough so that he could begin playing with it.  He played with it all night and found a special place hiding place for it so it wouldn’t become lost in the night.  It’s funny how the smallest things make him happy, and it’s even better hearing about it as a parent, hearing about how thankful he was for getting one.  He loves his little bouncy ball, this gift that to him, was beyond what he could imagine.  Because it was all he talked about, it made getting the gift so much more worth while.   

 Joshua’s request to ask me for one of those bouncy balls is so similar to when we pray to God.  We may talk about it, pray about it, and think about it all the time.  We may even think that God gets tired of hearing us come to Him in prayer about it.  And though we may not get our prayers answered right away, just like Joshua didn’t get his ball right away, God will open the door to His prayer store, and once He does, be prepared to be blessed at how He answers your prayers.

Quote of the day:  John Fischer

“He’s eager to hear our prayers because He has never heard it quite the way we say it.  We are all unique.  We have our own signature attached to all we do and say.  Our lives, our experiences, and our faith expressed to him are never old.”

Bible verse of the day:  Matthew 7:8 (NIV)

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for children.  Their faith is so amazing.  To speak what they believe and to say what comes to mind, that truth is so refreshing.  Father, as I get older, may my prayers be with that child like faith.  May the passion for knowing You burn deep inside.  Fill me with Your Living Water and and send me out this day as Your vessel to love others and to serve with an open heart.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

February 2009

If you fall, get back up

Story of the day:  If you fall, get back up

     It can become really easy,  once we have fallen or make a mistake,  to not want to get up and dust ourselves off.  A story is told about a former third-base star for the U.S. women’s Olympic softball team, named Dani Tyler, who had once hit a home run.  Or so she thought.  In her excitement rounding the bases, she accidentally stepped over home plate.  The umpire disallowed the run.  Because of that one misstep, the U.S. team lost in extra innings 2-1, only their second international loss in ten years.

     The next evening, Tyler played well.  Sports Illustrated writer Peter King (8/12/96) asked her why the mistake hadn’t become a mental ball-and-chain.

     “Well, I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning,”  she admitted.  “But this is sports.  One play doesn’t make a game, and one play won’t define my life.  I’ve never been the best athlete, but I try to have the best attitude and work the hardest.  What happened was a freak thing.  It’s over.  If I whine about it, or make excuses, or argue, what happens?  I look like a jerk.”

Quote of the day:  Thomas Carlyle    

“Never let mistakes and wrong directions–which every human falls into–discourage you.  There is precious instruction to be learned by finding out what or where we went wrong.  We must try faithfully to be right, and we will surely grow daily more and more right.  Our very learning to walk was an incessant falling and rising again;  falling and catching ourselves before we hit the ground until finally we walked with ease.  How very emblematic this is of all a human being does.” 

Bible verse of the day:  James 3:2

“For we all stumble in many things.  If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We are not perfect and You know this of us.  I pray that when I make a mistake to boldly confess it to You.  Father, I know that sometimes it seems easier to want to give into the temptation of sulking or not wanting to try again, and I pray during these times to not give in to what my flesh wants.  I pray that if I fall, that You help me back up and to put one foot in front of the other, to do the next thing, and continue walking in the way of which You are leading me.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

February 2009

“Process of prayer resembles a nebula”

Story of the day:  “Process of prayer resembles a nebula”

     In “Total Eclipse” Annie Dillard writes:

     The Ring Nebula, in the constellation Lyra, looks, through binoculars, like a smoke ring.  It is a star in the process of exploding.  Light from its explosion first reached the earth in 1054;  it was a supernova then, and so bright it shone in the daytime.  Now it is not so bright, but it is still exploding.  It expands at the rate of seventy million miles a day.  It is interesting to look through binoculars at something expanding seventy million miles a day.  It does not budge.  Its apparent size does not increase.  Photographs of the Ring of Nebula taken fifteen years ago seem identical to photographs of it taken yesterday.

     Craig Larson put his spin on the situation and said that “Huge happenings are not always visible to the naked eye–especially in the spiritual realm.  How often is it that this nebula resembles the process of prayer.  Sometimes we pray and pray and seemingly see no change in the situation.  But that’s only true from our perspective.  If we could see from Heaven’s standpoint, we would know all that God is doing and intending to do in our lives.  We would see God working in our hearts in ways we cannot know.  We would see God orchestrating circumstances that we know nothing about.  We would see a galaxy of details being set in place for the moment when God brings the answer to fulfillment.”

Quote of the day:  E. M. Bounds

“To pray is the greatest thing we can do, and to do it well, there must be calmness, time, and deliberation.”

Bible verse of the day:  Luke 18:1

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart;”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Just as I can’t begin to understand the nebula in the Heavens, and I can’t see all the things that are unknown in my life, I am trusting in You to hear my prayers and for Your Will in my life to be done.  Although my prayers may not be answered in the time frame that I might be looking for, I know that You hear them and are working just as You do with the stars.  I thank You for taking care of me, watching over me, and for loving me enough to teach me patience, and humbleness in this entire process.  I thank You for this day and all that it will hold!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2009

Seeing through clear lenses

Story of the day:  Seeing through clear lenses

     Emotions can tend to distort our vision.  We don’t always see things clearly when our emotions are running high.  Bill Crowder writes in Cracked Lenses:  “I started wearing glasses when I was 10 years old.  They are still a necessity because my 50-something eyes are losing their battle against time.  When I was younger, I thought glasses were a nuisance–especially when playing sports.  Once, the lenses of my glasses got cracked while I was playing softball.  It took several weeks to get them replaced.  In the meantime, I saw everything in a skewed and distorted way.

     In life, pain often functions like cracked lenses.  It creates within us a conflict between what we experience and what we believe.  Pain can give us a badly distorted perspective on life–and on God.  In those times, we need our God to provide us with new lenses to help us see clearly again.  That clarity of sight usually begins when we turn our eyes upon the Lord. 

     As we turn our eyes to the Lord in times of pain and struggle, we will experience His comfort and hope in our daily lives.  He will help us see everything clearly again.”

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Focusing on Christ puts everything in perspective.”

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 141:8

“But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord;  In you I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that I can see any situation that I endure through clear lenses.  I pray that my emotions do not distort my vision causing me to see things unclearly.  I pray to always focus on You and all that You have planned for me and my family.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2009, Uncategorized

Going out on a limb

Story and Quote of the day:  Going out on a limb 

     How many times do we find ourselves out on a limb needing to be rescued?  How many times are we the ones that put ourselves out on that limb?

     “Some people think the prayer of faith is crawling out on a limb and then begging God to keep someone from sawing it off.  But that is not real prayer, that is presumption.  If God makes it clear that He wants you out on a limb, fine–you will be perfectly safe there.  If not, it is presumptuous to crawl out on that limb, expecting God to keep you there.”  Ray Stedman

     “Most limbs we crawl out on and from which we eventually need rescuing are those that we somehow justify to ourselves, even as we are inching our way on the limb.  When we want something, we often rationalize our presumptive behavior, even giving it a Christian tag.  Jesus never did anything in which He didn’t hear from the Father first.  So too every decision of ours must be from faith, not presumption.”                                                                           Nick Harrison

Bible verse of the day:  James 4:3

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father,

There have been so many times that I have found myself out on that limb.  Father, as much as I want to believe that I needed to be out on a limb, I know there have been times, where I crawled out there on my own.  For those times, I ask for forgiveness in not waiting to hear from You.  I pray to be a fervent listener of when You say to go or to stay in all that I do.  I ask to turn down the noise in my life so that I can always hear what You are saying to me so that when I am out on the limb, it’s because You have placed me there.  I thank  You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2009

Breathe every moment

Story of the day:  Breathe every moment

The breath that I had yesterday was the breath needed for that day.  And, as much as I try, I can’t get the air back from yesterday.Augustus Toplady writes:

It’s kind of useless to try and live on yesterday’s breathing and it’s useless to relive yesterday’s mistakes or appropriate yesterday’s mercies.

The breathing I did yesterday will not keep me alive today–I must continue to breathe afresh every moment, or my life will cease.  In like manner, yesterday’s grace and spiritual strength must be renewed, and the Holy Spirit must continue to breathe on my soul from moment to moment in order that I may continue to enjoy Him and to work the works He has assigned me.  A fresh supply of air and mercies awaits us each day, supply that is needed only for today.”

Today, think about the new supply of air and mercy that God has given you for the moment and don’t continue to try and live on yesterday’s air, because you can’t get it back.

Quote of the day:  Mercy Me

“This is the air I breathe, Your Holy Presence, living in me.  And I’m desperate for you, I’m lost without you.”

Bible verse of the day:  Lamentations 3:22-23

“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for every breath that I am able to breathe.  Thank You for giving me a new slate every morning and for forgiving me of all the things that I have done in the past.  Just as I cannot breathe yesterday’s air, I cannot continue to live in yesterday.  Thank You for showing such great mercy to me and for loving me as much as You do.  I thank You for this day and for the breath in my lungs at this moment!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2009

Being Broken in the Heart

Story of the day:  Being Broken in the Heart

     Broken.  What does it mean to be broken?  Alan Nelson writes in his book Broken in the Right Place,

     “My boys are at the age when they like gliders, the cheap, balsa wooden airplanes.  The thin, light wood is pre-stamped so that you punch out the airplane and attach the wings to the fuselage.  The balsa wood is supposed to break off at the grooves.  Sometimes it does not.  Occasionally you splinter or break off part of the airplane by accident.  When this happens, the planes don’t fly as well as they are designed to.  Life is delicate, like the balsa plane.  When we break in the right areas we will fly higher and smoother than when we break in the wrong places…

    When we are broken in the wrong places, we become self-centered.  Our broken emotions keep us from loving effectively.  We shun future settings where further hurt could take place, like significant relationships, churches, and goal-setting.  Or we react defensively to the hurt by overachieving and living a life of abandon…When we are broken in the wrong places, we do not see the fruit of the Spirit.

     Look around you, the older you get,  the more you see people who have lost the twinkle in their eyes.  They have endured tough circumstances, but not successfully…Being broken in the heart, in the soul, where God can do something with your will and character, is a matter of converting, sanctifying the actual pain, and making it a part of the healing process.  You cannot do it on your own.  God must.  But you must be willing.”

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Faith-testing times can be faith-strengthening times.”

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 51:17

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart–These, O God, You will not despise.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray to be just like that little airplane in the example, broken in the right places.  Father I know that only You can take what is broken and fix it the way that it needs to be fixed.  It is through the brokenness that I relinquish any control that I thought I may have had and turn it over to You.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen