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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Made righteous through Christ - Story & lesson

 '...He leads me in the paths of righteousness...' Psalm 23:3
 How could a God who is perfect live side by side in heaven with people like us who aren't?

That's like asking if Oxford or Cambridge University could admit someone with no GCSEs.. Then what are we to do? Find a worthy substitute, or be lost forever! That's where Jesus comes in; He's the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep. It's the great transfer! At the cross God placed all our sins on Christ, and at the point of believing faith He places all Christ's righteousness on us.

Awesome! Actor Kevin Bacon recalls when his six-year-old son saw the movie Footloose for the first time:

' "Hey, Dad, you know that part in the movie where you swing from the beam? That's really cool, how did you do that?"

I said, "Well, I didn't do that part... it was a stuntman."

"What's a stuntman?" he asked.

"That's someone who dresses like me and does things I can't do.

"Oh," he replied, and walked out of the room looking a little confused.

Later, he said, "Hey, Dad, you know that part in the movie where you spin around on that gym bar and land on your feet?

How did you do that?" I said, "Well, I didn't do that either. That was a gymnastics double."

"What's a gymnastics double?" he asked. "That's a guy who dresses in my clothes and does things I can't do."

Then my son asked, "Dad, what did you do?" "I got all the glory," I sheepishly replied.'

The songwriter put it this way:
'Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before Thy throne. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.'

The Vatican Debate - Story

About a century ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally, there was a big uproar from the Jewish community, so the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, they would have to leave.

The Jews realized they had no choice, so they selected a middle-aged man named "Moishe" to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk, and the Pope agreed.

The day of the great debate came. They sat opposite one another for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed 3 fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised 1 finger.

The Pope then waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine.

Moishe pulled out an apple.

The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay."

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said, "First I held up 3 fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up 1 finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was right here with us. I pulled out the wafer and wine to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. "What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish Community had crowded around Moishe.

"What happened?" they asked.

"Well," said Moishe. "First he said to me that the Jews had 3 days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I told him that we were staying right here.

"And then?" asked a woman.
"I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch, so I took out mine."

Heavenly Rates - Story and lesson

A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates.

Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven.
You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."

"Okay," the man says,
"I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."

"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"

"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."

"Terrific!" says St. Peter, "that's certainly worth a point."

"One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."

"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.

"TWO POINTS!!" the man cries,
"At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the Grace of God!"

"Come on in!"

I Love You, Son - Fantastic story & lesson

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening.

In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service..

With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.
'A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the pacific coast,' he began.
'When a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore.

The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.'
the old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were,
for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued with his story, 'grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line.
He only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a believer and he, also, knew that his son's friend was not.
The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves..
As the father yelled out, 'I love you, Son!'
he threw out the life line to his son's friend.
By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night.

His body was never recovered.
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's mouth.

'The father,' he continued, 'knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus.. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend. '

How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed his only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service.'

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.
The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side.
'That was a nice story,' politely stated one of them, 'but i don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a believer.'

'Well, you've got a point there,' the old man replied, glancing down at his worn bible.

A big smile broadened his narrow face.

He once again looked up at the boys  and said, 'it sure isn't very realistic, is it? But,

I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up his son for me.

You see...
I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Get Up and Go Again - A story and lesson

'...Seven times he said, "Go again".' 1 Kings 18:43

'Elijah the prophet told King Ahab that the drought in the land was over and the rains were coming. Then Elijah told his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing." And seven times he said, "Go again." Then it came to pass the seventh time, he said, "There is a cloud, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!" So he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you'"... in the meantime... the sky became black... and there was a heavy rain...' (vv. 43-45).

 Notice, seven times Elijah said, 'Get up and go again.' You must persist! If you don't, you'll miss what God wants you to have. Furthermore, if you don't recognize and celebrate small miracles 'the size of a man's hand', you'll miss the bigger ones so essential to your future.

Beth Anne DeCiantis had to complete a 26-mile marathon in less than two hours and 45 minutes to qualify for the Olympics. She reached the final straight in 2hours43, with just two minutes left. Two hundred yards from the finish she stumbled and fell. Dazed, she stayed down for 20 seconds. The crowd yelled, 'Get up!' The clock was ticking - less than a minute to go.

Beth Anne staggered to her feet and began walking. Five yards short of the finish, with ten seconds to go, she fell again. As the crowd cheered her on, she crossed the finish line on her hands and knees. Her time?

Two hours, 44 minutes, 57 seconds. So the word for you today is 'Get up and go again'.

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.

It was going to be a long flight. "I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps, I will get a short nap," I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.

I decided to start a conversation.

"Where are you headed?" I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

"Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq."

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago , and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.

"No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago ."

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. "Take a lunch to all those soldiers."

She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. "My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him."

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked,

"Which do you like best - beef or chicken?"

"Chicken," I replied, wondering why she asked.

She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

"This is your thanks."
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. "I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this." He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane.

When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, an said, "I want to shake your hand."

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand.

With a booming voice he said, "I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.

Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot."

I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.

"It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You!"
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving glory to God

Somebody said: “Giving glory to God is crying with your neighbor in grief, or putting your hands to work in the wake of natural disaster. A life giving glory to God is being just faithful.”

Giving glory to God must come in a natural way – in all places, at all circumstances, in all possible ways.

A couple of months ago, a man got off the train and immediately had a knife pointed at him by a young man, who demanded his money.

The man calmly gave the boy his wallet, then as the boy was leaving, he called out to him and said, Wait! Take my jacket as well.”

 The boy stood shocked, and the man continued, “Friend, if you need money so badly, I figured you might need my jacket as well.”

Not only that, he took the boy to a nearby hotel and ordered him some food. After the meal was over, he said to the boy, “You have to pay for this meal, because you took my wallet. You have my money!”

Moved in his heart, the robber boy handed the wallet back. And as he was about to leave, this man gave the boy a 500 rupee note and said, “Jesus loves you.” This unknown man had just glorified God by showing his compassion in action.

Dear All, each one of us can recall various instances when we were able to glorify God in our own particular ways.

There cannot be a stereotype to glorify God. God has enabled each one of us with various gifts and abilities and expects us to glorify Him according to what is given unto us.

Let us make a resolution that from now onwards, we would not criticize others, but we will be joyous, cheerful and helpful to others edifying them in every way! Amen.

Let us try this from today…

Two Thoughts about Elisha

 '...that your fruit should remain...' John 15:16

Elisha served others until he died. We read: 'Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him [for advice].' 2 Kings 13:14. On his deathbed, Elisha gave the king a strategy for defeating his enemies. So, you can lift others even when you yourself are down. You can feel like a hypocrite because things aren't so great in your own life, yet still minister to them. The truth is, when you reach out in love to someone else it takes the focus off you, your discouragement lifts, and it works for your good.

Elisha's impact continued after he died. One day '...Elijah said to Elisha, "...what can I do for you...?" [He replied] "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit"...' (2 Kings 2:9). Elijah, his mentor, performed seven major miracles recorded in Scripture.

When he died, Elisha had performed only thirteen. Did God fail to grant his request? No. 'Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land...So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet' (2 Kings 13:20-21). Miracle fourteen; Elisha got his double portion!

Jesus said, '...I chose...you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain ...' (John 15:16).

So pray,
'Lord, give me a legacy of righteousness. Make my impact greater than my lifespan. Give me fruit that remains.'

Aim High - A short story with lesson

There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat. He had an old rifle and three bullets. So, he decided that he would go out hunting and kill some wild game for dinner. As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit. He shot at the rabbit and missed it. The rabbit ran away. Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel and missed it. The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree.. As he went further, he saw a large wild 'Tom' turkey in the tree, but he had only one bullet remaining.

A voice spoke to him and said, 'Pray first, aim high and stay focused.'
However, at the same time, he saw a deer which was a better kill. He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer. But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him, so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake.

Still, the voice said again to him, 'I said 'Pray, Aim high and Stay focused.'
So, the man decided to listen to God's voice.

He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree and shot the wild turkey. The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer. The handle fell off the gun and hit the snake in the head and killed it. And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond. When he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets, a dead deer and a turkey to eat for his family. The snake (Satan) was dead simply because the man listened to God.

Moral of the story:
Pray first before you do anything, aim and shoot high in your goals, and stay focused on God. Never let others discourage you concerning your past. The past is exactly that, 'the past.'

Live every day one day at a time and remember that only God knows our future and that he will not put you through any more than you can endure.

Do not look to man for your blessings, but look to the doors that only He has prepared in advance for you in your favor.....

Wait, be still and patient: keep God first and everything else will follow.

Don't worry about tomorrow, God is already there!

Balancing Family and Career

'He must manage his own family well...' 1 Timothy 3:4

Balancing family and career calls for tough, unselfish choices. If you make the right ones you'll look back with joy, not regret.

John Ortberg writes:

'A friend of mine is a professional musician. For many years he made his living on the road. He was becoming increasingly successful. Then three years ago he became a father. He was on the road about half the time. He realized that when his daughter was about a year old she hardly knew him. He knew he needed to make a change but it was frightening to him.

What if his career slowed to a crawl?

What if being home more, actually made life harder?

He took a job as the head of a music department at a university. He still performs, but he travels now only a fraction of the time. His relationship with his daughter has become a source of pride and joy in his life that he otherwise never would have known. He did have to let go of some of his old dreams, but he has since recorded a bestselling CD and been nominated for a Grammy.

Most importantly, he realizes his daughter will grow up a fundamentally different human being now, than she would have if she had grown up with a hole in her heart where her father was supposed to be.

By the end of his life he will have a title that means much more to him than Rock Star. The title is "Dad!" '

The Bible says a leader '...must manage his own family well...' (1Timothy 3:4 NIV) And that doesn't just apply to leaders, it applies to all of us!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Diver - Story of Jesus' love

A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver.
 The only spiritual influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often.
One night the diver  went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.

The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall.

The shadow of his body, was in the shape of a cross.
Instead of diving, he knelt down and finally asked God to come into his life.
As the young man knelt, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on. The pool had been drained for repairs.

Jesus Loves You

Questions Asked by God, Questions 16-20

I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Job 40:7
When God asks us questions He is not giving us an intellectual quiz. God is not trying to see how smart we are or how well we can study or cram for an exam. His questions are usually short, simple, and direct. God asks us questions, not to test our IQ, but to test our hearts, to have us examine our ways, and to bring change to our lives.

Questions Asked by God, Questions 1-5
Questions Asked by God, Questions 6-10
Questions Asked by God, Questions 11-15

Here are 5 more questions asked by God. Even though God asked these questions to others, we can all think about how we would answer these questions if God directed them to us.

16. After the resurrection Jesus appeared before the disciples and asked, “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?” Luke 24:38
There are times when God asks us questions to move our attention away from the natural circumstances of life to fix our attention on the supernatural things He is doing outside of our circumstances. He wants us to fix our faith, not on what our reasoning mind is telling us, but upon the Words He has spoken and the promises He has declared. May Jesus open our eyes to see what doubt and fear cannot see.

17. Jesus standing on the shore called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” John 21:5
Have you ever heard God ask you in a loving, caring way, “How are you doing?” The disciples, after a long, fruitless night of fishing, heard this kind of question coming to them from the shore. When God asks us this type of question, He is not someone who has a passing, casual interest in us and our situation. This question meant that He was stepping into their world, into their labours, and into their frustrations. He was there to completely identify with their need and provide them with more than they could ever imagine. In that moment, Jesus, not only filled their empty nets, but provided them with a breakfast on the shore, His companionship, and a fishing story they would never forget.  

18. After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  John 21:15
This was not a question directed at an unbeliever, but to a disciple. Jesus asks His deepest questions to those who have left all to follow Him. Jesus asks Peter what He would do, not for reward’s sake, not for recognition’s sake, but for love’s sake. Why do we do what we do? This is a question each of us who are servants of the Lord must answer. If we do our work for people’s sake we will be disappointed, frustrated, and hurt; if we do it for results’ sake we will strive, pressure, and manipulate people and situations; if we do it for security’s sake we will be frightened, protective, and anxious; but if we do it for love’s sake and for Jesus’ sake we will be faithful servants, content to do what pleases Him and brings Him glory.

19. Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” John 21:22
This question will help keep our walk with Jesus uncomplicated and uncluttered. It will keep us from fixing our eyes on others and fixing them on Jesus instead. It will move us away from the burden of trying to determine what others should or shouldn’t to be doing, and keep us focused on what we should or should not be doing.  This question is also a reminder that if we are not comparing ourselves to others we will not struggle with the sins that accompany comparisons, such as envy and jealousy.

20. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” Acts 9:4
Through this question we see the deep identity Jesus Christ has with His body.  Saul was persecuting believers, but Jesus didn’t ask Saul, “Why are you persecuting those who believe in Me.” Jesus asked Saul, “Why are you persecuting Me.” Every time Saul persecuted a believer in Jesus, Saul was persecuting Jesus. Jesus never separates Himself from His people. He is the head of the body, and He lives in every believer. Whatever is done to a believer is done to Jesus. This is also true in a positive way. Bless Jesus’ people and you bless Jesus, give to Jesus’ people and you give to Jesus…even a cup of cold water will not go without its reward.

Questions Asked by God, Questions 1-5
Questions Asked by God, Questions 6-10
Questions Asked by God, Questions 11-15

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