Friday, December 17, 2010

Use Your Gift - A true story

' us use them...' Romans 12:6 

 The Bible says, 'Having the gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them...' (Romans 12:6)

God has 'graced' you to do certain things well. Now, that doesn't mean doors will automatically open, and, like cream, you'll just rise to the top. Indeed, what you get overnight you can lose overnight.

You must first discern your gifts, use every opportunity to sharpen them, learn from your mistakes, and be tenacious about what God's called you to do.

In high school 'Sparky' flunked Latin, algebra, English and physics. He made the golf team but promptly lost the only match of the season, then he lost the consolation match. He was awkward socially-more shy than disliked. He never once asked a girl out on a date in high school.

One thing, however, was important to Sparky-drawing. He was proud of his artwork even though nobody else appreciated it. He submitted cartoons to the editors of his high school yearbook but they were rejected.

Even so, he aspired to be an artist. After high school he sent samples of his work to The Walt Disney Studios.

Again he was rejected. But Sparky didn't quit.

He decided to write his autobiography in cartoons. The popularity of his cartoon strip eventually led to countless books and television shows.

You see, Sparky was Charles Schulz,  of the Peanuts comic strip, the most famous cartoonist of all time. Like his main character, Charlie Brown, Schulz seemed unable to succeed at many things.

But he made the most of his God-given talent, refused to quit, and ended up winning. So, use your gift.

The Passover - Detailed information

The First of the Months

It is significant that God deliberately set the beginning of the spiritual calendar on the month of Abib (later called 'Nisan') on which the Passover occurred. This is the first indication that there is order, a beginning and an end to the cycle of feasts described in Leviticus 23. It requires that Passover be the first feast of the set (Tabernacles is the last); and indeed it was foundational to all the rest. If there had been no Passover to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they would not have been able to have the priesthood, days of ceremonial rest, crop harvests, and Tabernacle/Temple necessary for the celebration of the subsequent feasts.

The grand theme of the Passover is redemption.

The Passover and resultant crossing of the Red Sea in the Old Testament stands in an analogous position to the death of Christ and climactic resurrection in the New Testament.

Members of the covenant community throughout all ages were to consider themselves part of that community God redeemed out of Egypt. Consequently, the inner motivation for a life of obedience was to arise from a heart grateful for this deliverance. The Passover memorial was to refresh their memory and rekindle their sense of devotion to God.

New Beginning
Passover was also the celebration of Israel's birth as a nation. Prior to this God had dealt with individuals and families, but now He was to enter into a special relationship with Israel as a national entity.
Their departure from Egypt allowed them the autonomy and divine leadership requisite for the formation of this national identity. As the sons of Israel crossed the sea and left Northern Africa for Sinai, they were leaving one sphere of existence for another (antitypical fulfillment: Col. 1:13; John 5:24).

Centrality of the Lamb
The center of attention throughout this feast is undoubtedly the unblemished lamb that would be with the family for a little over three days, and then killed and its blood applied to the doorposts of the house. This motif is rich in typology relating to the death of Christ on the cross (which occurred concurrently with the slaughter of the lambs in the Temple precincts. The New Testament alludes to Christ in Passover language so as to make the connection all but unmistakable:

There are many points of resemblance between the Passover lambs and the Lamb of God:
An innocent, unblemished lamb had to die to secure redemption and avert God's judgment (death of the firstborn male).
The lamb was to appear at the house on the 10th (corresponding to the triumphal entry of Christ), and then be killed between the 14th and 15th (corresponding to the day and time when Christ sacrificed).
The blood of the lamb had to be applied to be rendered effectual (faith was required).
The lamb was to be roasted.
It was to be eaten as food.
No bone was to be broken.

Uniqueness of the Egyptian Passover
It should be pointed out that there were several unique features of the Egyptian Passover that differentiated it from all subsequent Passover memorials. Edersheim makes mention of the fact that, "Jewish authorities rightly distinguish between 'the Egyptian' and the 'Permanent Passover.'" (Alfred Edersheim, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, p. 211).

Christ, the One Who Brought Israel Out of Egypt
It is important to realize that according to Judges 2:1, it was Christ, the preincarnate "Angel of YHWH', who Himself brought the children of Israel out of Egypt in the Passover:
Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, `I will never break My covenant with you. (Judges 2:1, NKJV).

How ironic that the Jewish leaders in John 11:47-57 were seeking to kill Jesus while preparing the celebrate the very deliverance that He Himself wrought!

Outline of the Passover
PASSOVER OBSERVANCES: (Ex. 12:43. Num. 9:12, 14 2 Chron. 35:15)
Preparations for the festival were to begin on the 10th day of the first month.
Abib (Deut. 16:1; later the Babylonian name of Nisan was substituted--Neh. 2:1; Esth. 3:7).
A Passover lamb was selected according to the number in the household.
The lamb was to be without blemish, a yearling and male.
The animal was to be kept under special care until the 14th day of the month, when it was to be killed "between the evenings" -Ex. 12:6 (margin), Lev. 23:5 (margin).
This is understood to mean "in the evening at the going down of the sun" (Deut. 16:6).
The blood of the animal was to be smeared upon the two doorposts and the lintel of the house.
A later development was to have the blood sprinkled on the altar or poured at its base (2 Chron. 35:11; Jub 49:20; Pes. 5:6)
The flesh was to be roasted by fire with its head, legs, and inner parts.
No bone was to be broken. (Ex 12:46; Num 9:12) It was not to be eaten raw or boiled with water.
The roasted meat was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
Nothing was to be left over until the morning; any remains were to be burned (Ex 12:10; 34:25).
The meal was to be eaten in haste, with loins girded, shoes on, and staff in hand.
Israelites who were prevented from keeping the feast for reasons of Levitical uncleanness or travel were to celebrate a month later (Num 9:10ff; Pes 9:3).
Exodus 12
New Testament
"Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover (lamb)." (Exodus 12:21)"
For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed." (1 Corinthians 5:7)
"Your lamb shall be an unblemished male" (Exodus 12:5)
"but the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, (the blood) of Christ." (1 Peter 1:19)

Daily benefits from God

“Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits...” (Psalm 68:19, NKJ)
This morning when you woke up, what was the first thing that went through your mind? Maybe you have a deadline to meet or a big appointment at work. Maybe you are facing a challenge or going through a difficulty in a relationship that seems to consume your thoughts. Today, I want to encourage you; instead of focusing on what your circumstances have to offer, focus on what God has to offer you.

His mercies are new every morning, and His compassion never fails. He has victory in store for you today; He has provision in store for you today; He has joy in store for you today, and He has peace in store for you today. He daily loads you with blessing!

The key to accessing these daily benefits is setting your focus in the right direction. You can’t wait to see how you feel, what kind of mood your spouse is in, what the traffic is like or what the stock market is doing. No, you have to choose to set your focus by saying, “This is going to be a great day. I am blessed and cannot be cursed! I know God is directing my steps; something good is going to happen to me today!”

A PRAYER FOR TODAY Heavenly Father, today I choose to focus on You. I open my heart and mind to receive Your daily benefits. Show me ways to be a blessing to others and a good example of your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God's mercies begin afresh each morning

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23, NLT)
Isn’t it good to know that no matter what happened yesterday, no matter what you said, no matter what you did, God’s mercy is new for you today? Mercy is empowering. It frees us to make the right choices and live in a way that is pleasing to God. We have to always remember that God is not condemning us.

Romans tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. God wants to love us and equip us to overcome in this life.

Do you need new mercy today? Receive it by faith. You don’t have to beg God to forgive you. He forgives you the first time you ask, but it’s up to you to receive that forgiveness. Open your heart today and receive His mercy. Let Him wash over you with His peace and joy. Then choose to extend that mercy to others. Remember, you are God’s representative in the earth. As you show His love and character to others, He’ll pour out His blessing upon you and use you in ways you never dreamed!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY Heavenly Father, today I choose to receive Your mercy and forgiveness. Thank You for cleansing me of all unrighteousness. Thank You for making me new. I love You and bless Your Holy Name. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Authority to overcome all the enemies' power

“I have given you overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has given you all power and authority to overcome every obstacle you may face in life. That means you are well able to do what God has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals. You have the ideas, the creativity and the talent to be successful. You have been armed with strength for every battle!

God has already lined up the right people to come across your path; He’s already lined up the right opportunities. You have everything you need to live a victorious life.

Not an average life, not a barely-get-by, mediocre life — you were created to excel. You have seeds of greatness on the inside.

You may not have seen it in the past, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s just a matter of time — victory is on the way. Don’t settle where you are. Rise up in strength today and begin to declare, “I will accomplish my dreams. I can overcome any obstacle. I’ve been equipped and empowered to live in victory in every area of my life.”

Heavenly Father, thank You for the power to overcome every obstacle I may face. Help me to see myself the way You see me. Help me to embrace the victory You have in store for me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The night Jesus came

It was the night Jesus came and all through the house,not a person was praying, not one in the house.

The Bible was left on the shelf without care,
for no one thought Jesus would come there...

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing their head...

And Mom in the rocking chair with babe on her lap,
was watching the Late Show as I took a nap...

When out of the east there rose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter...

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and lifted the sash...

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but Angels proclaiming that  Jesus was here...

The light of His face made me cover my head...
was Jesus returning just like He'd said...

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself...

In the Book of Life which he held in his hand,
was written the name of every saved man...

He spoke not a word as he searched for my name,
when He said "it's not here" My head hung in shame...

The people whose names had been written with love,
He gathered to take to his Father above...

With those who were ready He rose without sound,
while all of the others were left standing around...

I fell to my knees but it was too late,
I'd waited too long and thus sealed my fate...

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,
Oh, if only I'd known that this was the night...

In the words of this poem the meaning is clearthe coming of Jesus is now drawing near...

There's only one life and when comes the last call,
We'll find out that the Bible was true after all.

B  - Basic
I  - Instruction
B  - Before
L  - Leaving
E  - Earth

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who is Santa Claus?

It’s the Christmas Season. The most waited month of all.

Almost the entire world is in Christmas fever right now.

US stops working; Europe takes a Vacation, Indians work double and the folks all around look earnestly for rest and a gathering.

Santa is the talk of the town. Children await the gifts that he would bring as a present.

The elders solemnize the season with dazzling trees and decors.

Its all good when we truly rejoice. Do you know who Santa is? Do you like to know about this iconic figure?

Please read ahead:

Santa Claus, also known as St. Nick, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas, is known across the globe as a jolly fat bearded man sporting a red suit trimmed with white fur.
On Christmas Eve Santa Claus enters the home of good children, usually via the chimney, bearing gifts of toys that his elves have been busy making all year long. Parents know Santa Claus as a symbol of the magic and joy of childhood, if not a bruise to their pocketbooks!
Despite the well-known attributes of the man named Santa Claus, he actually has a long, rich history. The western idea of Santa Claus is a combination of the European traditions of Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and the Christian Saint Nicholas.
Kris Kringle derived from the German "Christkindl" which translates to Christ Child in English. The German version of Kris Kringle portrayed a sprightly young boy that brought gifts to the children in the Germanic countries. Although Kris Kringle is used interchangeably with Santa Claus in the U.S., the traditional Kris Kringle is very different from the modern idea of Santa Claus. In fact, the idea of Santa Claus as we know him today has been imported to these countries replacing the traditions of the Christ Child.
Like Chris Kringle, Father Christmas shares some attributes with Santa Claus. Father Christmas was a traditional figure during the Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice. Instead of bringing gifts to homes, Father Christmas also known as Old Man Winter, would travel from home to home where the people would offer him food and drink. In return he would grant them the blessings of a kind winter.
During the 1800s, the American version of Santa Claus spread to Britain where Father Christmas assimilated Santa’s attributes. To this day, Father Christmas serves as Britain’s version of Santa Claus. Like Chris Kringle, Father Christmas is used interchangeably with Santa Claus in the United States.
St. Nicholas was the biggest influence on the Santa Claus we know today. St. Nicholas was a man of Greek origin born in the third century C.E. His family was very wealthy but both died in a plague. Surviving the epidemic, St. Nick took his strict Christian upbringing very seriously and devoted his life to God.
St. Nicholas rid himself of all his material possessions and set out to help the poor, the infirm, or anyone else who was suffering. Word of his generosity and kindness spread and he quickly earned the reputation of a gift giver and saint. The historical St. Nicholas died in December of 335 C.E. As often happens, stories of his good deeds became grander and grander and it is difficult to determine fact from fiction.
One popular story of St. Nicholas describes how he secretly left bags of gold to three poor women who had no dowries. In St. Nick’s time, a father could only secure the marriage of his daughters by providing a dowry to her would-be husband. If a father could not afford a dowry, his daughters would likely be sold into slavery. In order to prevent this, St. Nicholas threw the bags of gold through a window which landed in stockings left by the fire to dry. News of this deed resulted in children leaving their stockings out for St. Nicholas to fill with goodies.
The stories of St. Nicholas certainly did not die with him. In fact St. Nicholas achieved a sort of immortality as the man behind the legend of Santa Claus.

I hope you read about this legend. But my message is yet to be complete. The truth of Christmas is neither Santa nor the celebrations.

It is the Birth of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

This truth is robbed many times in homes, streets and even in countries.

Its time to restore the true Christmas reason in this season.

Lets not Proclaim the Lord’s birthday alone but also His Second coming…..

I wish you all that this Christmas eve would reveal to you the real joy and fervor of our Lord’s birth. Amen

Toons of Endurance

Are you on the right track?

 Do you feel you can do it alone?

 Its time to enjoy the rain….

 Can you listen to His Voice?

 Do you wear your own shoe?

Toons to Listen

Are you pinned for doing good?  Keep doing…. The Lord shall do the needful

 Are you hurt and find yourself desolate and empty? Our Lord is beside you…..

 Are you waiting for an answer?  Wait Perseveringly…

 Have you faltered?  He will send His rescue….

 Are you feeling condemned?  Christ doesn’t see you the way you see yourself. He came to forgive you…..

Monday, December 6, 2010

Against the Tide

"He who is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev 22:11)
Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

In order that you may survive these evil days, spare no pains to live holy. As the world becomes filthier and filthier God commands His people to become holier and holier (Rev 22:11). Go up and up on the rungs of the ladder of holiness and never come down.
Those who came out of Egypt perished in the desert because of lust for evil things, idolatry, sexual immorality, testing God and murmuring. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they are written for our instruction, on whom the ends of ages have come" (1 Cor 10:6-11).

There is filth in the media, both electronic and print. The very air has become sin-toxic. Bribery, crookedness, extramarital affairs, love of money and lack of love have become common. Temptations abound. But for every temptation God has provided a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). His grace is sufficient for any situation. God works in us both to will and to do and we are to work with Him as well (Phil 2:12, 13). Let us not blame the circumstances or the society. Joseph lived holy in Egypt. Daniel lived holy in Babylon. Dare to swim against the tide! It's not easy but not impossible.

"Everyone does it!" This is the common excuse. But aren't we "the royal priesthood" (1 Pet 2:9)?
Only the backboneless say "yes" to sin. If we do not conform to the filthy, the world might mock at us. If we embrace filth, we will lose eternal life. Which is important? Let us hold fast our courage which has a great reward.
Our cities are becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin is the fashion. God's destruction of those cities is "an example to those who afterward would live ungodly" (2 Pet 2:6). The challenge: "What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?" (2 Pet 3:11).

The secret of holy living is in the mind: a transformed mind that refuses to be conformed to the standards and the trends of the world (Rom 12:2). Keep the mind ever under the Blood of Jesus. Don't entertain the suggestive thoughts of the tempter. Take refuge under the shade of Almighty. Run to Him and hide in His Name. Absolute safety is there only!
"Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be!"
(Robert Murray M'Cheyne, 1813-1843)

The more you Share...

Reading: Matthew 9:1-8
"He who believes in Me, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water" (Jn 7:38)
God wants us to share the faith in us with others. Sharing increases and improves our faith. "He who waters others will himself be watered" (Prov 11:25). Let us meet in the Bible a few folks who shared their faith with others.

"Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And large numbers of people were brought to the Lord" (Acts 11:24). The faithful sharing of the Gospel by an individual was responsible for an explosive Church growth. Do we see regular additions to our congregations? If not, our lethargy is to be blamed.

Oratory skill is not a must to share our faith with others. All we need to do is to present the Gospel in simple language. Eventhough Paul was a learned man, he never depended on his knowledge and skill. He trusted in the power of God's Word. That was the secret of his successful ministry (2 Cor 2:1-5). The Gospel itself is the power of God to save anyone who believes (Rom 1:16).

Four Friends
"Four men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a mat...Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralysed man, My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:3-5). There's no greater service we can do to our friends than to bring them to Jesus. They cannot make it themselves. They have given up on themselves. No case is too difficult for Jesus. He will be pleased with our faith and concern for others. He will honour our humble efforts. Our faith will be further strengthened and rewarded.

Mummy & Granny
"I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois" (2 Tim 1:5). These are the words of Paul to Timothy. Ladies should be encouraged here. Even if you are not able to go out as much as you desire, there are ample opportunities for you right at home. When you share your faith with your family folks and neighbours, wonderful things will happen. It may not be done in limelight, but your name will be in God's Book of World Records as Eunice and Lois. Church growth in a strong non-Christian Community in and around Sivakasi, a South Indian town known worldwide for making crackers, has been mainly due to women- folk sharing the Gospel with others on one-to-one basis.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  - Isaiah 9:6  

+++ A Christmas Song "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" +++

On a cold Chicago night, a little girl climbed onto her father's lap and asked a question. It was a simple question, "Daddy," four-year old Barbara asked, "Why isn't my Mommy just like everybody else's mommy?" Bob May stole a glance across his shabby two-room apartment. On the couch lay his young wife, Evelyn, racked with cancer. For two years she had been bedridden and all Bob's income and savings had gone to pay for treatments and medicines. As he ran his fingers through Barbara's hair, he prayed and asked God for some satisfactory answer to her question.

Bob was a copywriter for Montgomery Ward, the big Chicago mall order house. Now at 33 Bob was deep in debt and sad. Although Bob did not know it at the time, the answer he received from his prayer was about to bring him fame and fortune. On that December night in his shabby Chicago apartment, Bob cradled Barbara against his shoulder and the answer to his prayer started like this...

"Once upon a time there was a reindeer named Rudolph, the only reindeer in the world that had a big red nose. Naturally people called him Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." As Bob went on to tell about Rudolph, he tried desperately to communicate to Barbara the knowledge that, even though some creatures of God are strange and different, they often enjoy the miraculous power to make others happy.

Rudolph, Bob explained, was terribly embarrassed by his unique nose. Other reindeer laughed at him; his mother and father and sister were mortified too. Even Rudolph wallowed in self-pity.

"Well," continued Bob, "one Christmas Eve, Santa Claus got his team of husky reindeer -Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixon ready for their yearly trip round the world. The entire reindeer community assembled to cheer these real heroes on their way. But a terrible fog engulfed the earth that evening, and Santa knew that the mist was so thick he wouldn't be able to find any chimney.

Suddenly Rudolph appeared, his red nose glowing brighter than ever. Santa sensed at once that here was the answer to his perplexing problem. He led Rudolph to the front of the sleigh, fastened the harness and climbed in. They were off! Rudolph guided Santa safely to every chimney that night. Rain and fog, snow and sleet; nothing bothered Rudolph, for his bright nose penetrated the mist like a beacon.

And so it was that Rudolph became the most famous and beloved of all the reindeer. The huge red nose he once hid in shame was now the envy of every buck and doe in the reindeer world. Santa Claus told everyone that Rudolph had saved the day and from that Christmas, Rudolph has been living serenely and happy."

Little Barbara laughed with glee when her father finished. Every night she begged him to repeat the tale until finally Bob could rattle it off in his sleep. Then as Bob was about to put the finishing touches on Rudolph, tragedy struck. His wife died. Bob turned to God to help him through. Yet, despite his grief, he sat at his desk in the quiet lonely apartment, and worked on "Rudolph."

Night after night with tears in his eyes he worked away to make the story into a complete poem as a Christmas gift for his daughter.

In 1938 Bob was asked to an employee's holiday party at Montgomery  Wards, he took his poem with him. He read the poem for all to hear and when finished they explode in applause.

By Christmas 1947, over 6,000,000 copies of his poem in booklet form had been distributed. Rudolph was a hit and on his way to becoming a permanent fixture in each Christmas to follow.

God had answered his prayer in a much more abundant way than he could have ever imagined. The demand for Rudolph products soared. He was here to stay.

From then on when Christmas rolled around Bob remembered Barbara's question that inspired him to pray and ask God for help to write the story.

"Father, thank you for answer to prayer. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen"
Scripture: Psalm 17:1b "O LORD, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart" 

Get into God's Word!

'...they...searched the Scriptures daily...' Acts 17:11

The Devil doesn't mind you paying lip-service to God's Word as long as you don't take the time to read and study it.

    How long have you been talking about reading your Bible?  When are you going to get around to doing it-and applying its principles in your everyday life?

Dr. Howard Hendricks writes: 'Anybody can come up with a grandiose scheme for change. One person says he wants to reach the world for Christ. Somebody else wants to study every book in the Bible over the next five years. Somebody else plans to memorize 100 verses. Somebody else is going to become a Christ-like spouse. Wonderful! When are you going to begin?

Until you answer that, all you have is good intentions. Those have about as much value as a worthless cheque.

ü  After all, what good does it do to dream of reaching the world with the Gospel if you can't share Christ with the person in the office next to you?

ü  How are you going to study the entire Bible when you don't even know what verse you're going to study tomorrow?

ü  How can you memorize 100 verses when you've never even tried to memorize one?

ü  Rather than fantasize about a Christ-like marriage, why not start with something simple such as doing the dishes if you're a husband, or encouraging your husband if you're a wife?

Too much "application" stays at the level of good intentions because we talk about the end of the journey without specifying when, where, and how we're going to take the first step.

As someone has well said, "We don't plan to fail, we fail to plan." '

Victory Over the Enemy

'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies...' Psalm 23:5

To protect his sheep the shepherd must constantly be on the lookout for a small, brown snake called the adder that can pop up out of its hole, bite the sheep and kill them. And that's what the Lord has done for us!

He's dealt with Satan, the old serpent, and has prepared for us 'a table in the presence of our enemies'. He's done for us what He did for Peter after his infamous chapter of denial: invited us back into fellowship with Him.

Three days after Jesus rose from the dead, the angel said, 'Go, tell His disciples - and Peter - that He is going before you into Galilee...' (Mark 16:7). The biggest failure was the only one Jesus singled out by name.

When Peter reached the shore that morning beaten and weary, the fire was burning, the meal was prepared, and Jesus was saying,                            

'...Come and dine...' (John 21:12).

Have you failed badly? Jesus invites you to come, be fed, be healed and restored to fellowship with Him.

But a word of caution:

Peter didn't think he would fail, but he did. And so can you. St Augustine said, 'The devil is like a mad dog that's chained up. He's powerless to harm us when we are outside his reach, but once we enter his circle we expose ourselves again to injury or harm.'

You're no match for the enemy! But God has given you a strategy for dealing with him:

'Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you' (James 4:7).

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Rain

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.   He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am..

I took his vital  signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I  was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired  as to her health.
He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' 

He smiled as he patted my hand and said,
'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'
I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,
'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither sexual, physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one I thought I could share with you.
The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did.
'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, But how to dance in the rain.'  

We are all getting Older!
Tomorrow may be our turn!!

In Just Seven Years - A Story and lesson

Leonardo Da Vinci, a noted Italian artist painted the Last Supper; and the time engaged for it's completion was seven years. The figures representing the twelve Apostles and Christ himself were painted from living persons. The life-model for the painting of the figure of Jesus was chosen first.

When it was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully viewed in an endeavor to find a face and personality exhibiting innocence and beauty, free from the scars and signs of dissipation caused by sin.

Finally, after weeks of laborious search, a young man nineteen years of age, was selected as a model for the portrayal of Christ. For six months DaVinci worked on the production of this leading character of his famous painting.

During the next six years DaVinci continued his labors on this sublime work of art. One by one fitting persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven Apostles; space being left for the painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot as the final task of this masterpiece. This was the Apostle, you remember, who betrayed his Lord for thirty pieces of silver.

For weeks Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard, callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, hypocrisy, and crime; a face that would delineate a character who would betray his best friend.

After many discouraging experiences in searching for the type of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man whose appearance fully met his requirements had been found in a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder.

Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the light of the sun. There DaVinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man; his long shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face, which betrayed a character of viciousness and complete ruin. At last the famous painter had found the person he wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting.

By special permission from the king, this prisoner was carried to Milan where the picture was being painted. For months he sat before Da Vinci at appointed hours each day as the gifted artist diligently continued his task of transmitting, to his painting, this base character representing the traitor and betrayer of our Savior. As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards and said,
'I have finished. You may take the prisoner away.'
As the guards were leading their prisoner away, he suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so, 'O, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?'

Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character student, carefully scrutinized the man upon whose face he had constantly gazed for six months and replied, 'No, I have never seen you in my life until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome.'

Then, lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said, 'Oh, God, have I fallen so low?' Then turning his face to the painter he cried, 'Leonardo DaVinci! Look at me again for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ.'

This is the true story of the painting of The Last Supper. It teaches so strongly the lesson of the effects of right or wrong thinking on the life of an individual. Here was a young man whose character was so pure, unspoiled by the sins of the world, that he represented a countenance of innocence and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a representation of Christ.

But within seven years, following the thoughts of sin and a life of crime, he was changed into a perfect picture of the most traitorous character ever known in the history of the world. Dear friends, World and its schemes can spoil us like this. It can take out the very expression of Christ from our face, and even from our life. Let us not be conformed to this world. Walk in Spirit, live in Spirit.

A rule I have had for years is to treat the Lord Christ as a personal friend. When I go away from home I bid goodbye; I bid my friends and acquaintances goodbye, but I never heard of a poor backslider going down on his knees and saying, 'I have been near you for ten years; your service has become tedious and monotonous; I have come to bid you farewell. Goodbye, Lord Christ.' I never heard of one doing this. I will tell you how they go: they just run away!

If the spirit of prayer departs, it is a sure indication of a backslidden heart, for while the first love of a Christian continues he is sure to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to wrestle much in prayer.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I am saved" I'm whispering "I get lost!" "That is why I chose this way."

When I say..."I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are too visible but God believes I'm worth it.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches which is why I seek His name.

When I say..."I am a Christian" I do not wish to judge. I have no authority. I only know I'm loved.


For the Lord does not want the sinner to die, but to return and live.
There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change.
Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease.
Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside.
For when you turn back and weep, then you will be saved.  


Source:  Inspirit -_- Webdigi Newsletter : 08112010

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