Saturday, April 28, 2007
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:6
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare, especially in the United States.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face
and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because
the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.
If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.
You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: Eccl 2:26
All the above comes from website http://www.frontiernet.net/~jimdandy/specials/
Friday, April 27, 2007
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Anyone can stand by you when you are right, but a Friend will stand by you even when you are wrong.
A simple friend identifies himself when he calls.
A real friend doesn't have to.
A simple friend opens a conversation
with a full news bulletin on his life.
A real friend says, "What's new with you?"
A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent.
A real friend says, "You've been whining about the same thing for 14 years. Get off your duff and do something about it."
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his/her address book.
A simple friend hates it when you call after she has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for him/her.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!
Thank you for being a REAL FRIEND!
Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour. Proverbs 19:4
A friend loveth at all times, Proverbs 17:17
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"Go Through It"
"Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff." Isaiah 41:15
I don't intend to go on and on about our trip in the Coffee Breaks (unless, of course, that's the way the Lord leads), but there were so many things that the Lord showed me while I was gone. There is so much that the Lord wants to show each of us daily through the experiences of life. It's in these things that we learn "life lessons" that will help us to grow in the Lord.
In most of the areas we traveled, the road had been carved out through the middle of the mountains. I couldn't help but think about the task that lay ahead of the men who built the roads originally. It was not easy-- lots of hard work blasting through a mountain-- but they had no other choice. There was no route around the mountain, so they had to make one through it.
The lesson: sometimes we experience things that we can't go around, we have to go through them. But getting through them is not always an easy task. Like those who built these roads, we have to "blast" our way through them until we get through. The key is perseverance. These men did not give up and quit until the task was accomplished.
Your word this morning is... persevere. You can't quit and give up. You have to keep "digging" and "blasting" until you get through. This is equivalent to standing in faith, holding on to God's promises, keeping your eyes on the goal, praying for grace and strength to not give up-- this is how you make a path through your mountain.
Perhaps you are facing a mountain this morning. You have looked for an alternate route around it, you have tried to find a way over it, but to no avail. That means that this is the path that the Lord intends for you to take so you are going to have to cut a path through it. The men who made these roads had the equipment that they needed to accomplish this monumental task.
You can be confident that the Lord will equip you with all you need to make it through it, plus He promises to be with you. It may look impossible-- I'm sure these men thought the same thing, but because of their effort and perseverance, we are enjoying the ride today.
Have a great day. Sometimes the only way is through the mountain.... so don't give up... persevere.
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone.
"You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures," he said. "Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles.
You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both."
That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life.
Remember the eternal wisdom: WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS...
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Eccl 12:14
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3
And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: Deuteronomy 6:18
Friday, April 20, 2007
* Rise and pray every day: "Again today, dear God, I commit and trust my life and way to you. I'm available. Please use me to be as Jesus to every life I touch."
* "Don't sweat the small stuff."
* Remember these simple sentences: "I was wrong." "I am sorry." "Please forgive me." "Thank you." Say them whenever needed and say "I love you" often—whether needed or not.
* Come apart and rest a while before you come apart—stress is a killer.
* Remember, "Nothing changes if nothing changes."
* Don't nurse grudges: "Failing to forgive is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
* Carpe diem. Seize the day. "Opportunity comes to pass —not to pause."
* Quit the blame-game—"it's choice, not chance, that determines destiny."
* Control your thinking or your thinking will control you. "What the mind dwells on the body acts on."
* Invest your life in a worthwhile cause by having a noble purpose for which to live—a purpose that is bigger than yourself for which to live—one that will help make your world a better place in which to live.
* Be a positive realist. You will always see what you are looking for: "Two men look out the same prison bars. One sees mud, the other stars."
* The greatest abilities are availability, dependability and responsibility.
* "There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience."
* "Smooth seas never make skillful sailors."
* When God is silent. "I believe in the sun even when it isn't shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when he is silent."
* Cry when needed. "Every unshed tear is a prism through which all of life's hurts are distorted."
* Laugh a lot. It's still the best medicine.
* Remember, "The bumps are what we climb on."
* Fear not. At least 95 percent of the things we fear never happen. Trust God for the other five percent.
* Have faith and put God first with your time, talents, and offerings.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Psalm 37:3-6.
If Jesus came to your house
To spend some time with you,
If He came unexpected,
I wonder what you'd do.
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room
To such an honored guest
And all the food you'd give to Him
Would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him
You're glad to have Him there--
That serving Him in your home
Is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming,
Would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome
To your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes
Before you let Him in
Or hide some magazines
And put the Bible where they'd been
Would you hide your worldly music
and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in,
or would you rush about?
And I wonder - if the Savior
spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing,
the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying,
the things you always say?
Or would life for you continue
as it does from day to day?
Would you take Jesus with you
everywhere you go?
Or would you maybe change your plans
for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him
meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they stay away,
until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him
stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief
when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know,
the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person, to spend
some time with you.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
The human mind tends to portray Jesus as a beautiful human being. Most pictures, paintings and statues show attractiveness. We place graphics on our websites of a man with an admirable smile and clean soft hair adorning His face.
We may have cherished the thought that, because Jesus was God's Son and the King, He must have looked beautiful. Similar as we have learned from the fairy tales.
You may have wondered how our Lord really looked like. I have wondered this myself.
Surprisingly to many, there is a pretty clear description of how our Savior looked like.
For He(Jesus) shall grow up before Him(the Father) as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. Isaiah 53:2
No pleasing appearance whatsoever... growing up as a root out of the dry ground. You can just imagine how that looks like.
Beloved, this is far from a compliment.
Our Savior and Lord was despised and rejected by man, as so many disformed and undesirable people are. He had no pillow to rest His head upon, but a stone. He spent much time in the wilderness, away from the crowd. He ate grain right from the field, at one point. He did not even have His own home. His existence, then, could be compared to that of a beggar.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9
Just meditate upon this: Jesus voluntarily left heaven, which was His home, and came down as God's Son in the flesh; He was conceived before marriage; was born (not at home) with smelly farm animals around, and His appearance was far from pleasing to the eye. According to human standards, Jesus had not much going for him.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him. Psalm 22:6-8
God the Father could have given His Son the most beautiful body and attractive face on earth. But that did not happen. The Father had a far greater purpose in this all.
Jesus' beauty was deeper than skin; it was His immeasurable Godly love for us.
With this, I came to the realization that Jesus gave His ALL as a Sacrifice for humanity, starting before birth and all throughout His earthly life. He even gave up any earthly beauty and wealth, family life, and finally... His own life. Jesus Christ sacrificed far more than we ever can fathom.
May you experience the depth of that which I'm trying to bring out in the lines above.
Blessings in Jesus.
Dr. Trudy Veerman
Saturday, April 14, 2007
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose His successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today, one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by; still nothing in Ling's pot.
He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot but his Mother said he must be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his Mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful-in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him.
A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!"
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his Empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Emperor!"
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
But if you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles.
If you plant sin, you will reap guilt.
So be careful what you plant now, it will determine what you will reap tomorrow.
The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better, for your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.
"It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it." - Luke 13:19
Friday, April 13, 2007
by Terese Holloway
Time for the wedding to begin and everything was in its place! The cost had been carefully calculated and all was in perfect order, or so they thought!
I stood tall and erect next to the other vessels, up against a wall. Our appearance was nothing that would cause the eye of man to even look our way! As a matter of fact, people scurried by us continually and no one even noticed that we were there!
You see, we were just the ordinary vessels, nothing special about us. Our appearance was rough and unattractive, not refined and beautiful as the vessels used to carry the finest wine for the wedding party! However, I myself didn't mind, I had a job to do and I would do it to the best of my ability! I never expected recognition or to be noticed as I stood my place at the wedding that day!
Before the wedding ended a most remarkable thing occurred, something that would change me forever! Apparently, the wine had run dry, the beautiful vessels that carried the wine now sat empty!
There was a guest at the wedding that day and he ordered me (can you imagine ~ ME ~ of all vessels) to be brought to him! As I got closer to him, that which was within me began to stir, I could not fathom what was going on! I felt so different, it was as if I could see all my outward inadequacy in the light of this man's sufficiency while all the time recognizing my need to be close to him as he drew me unto himself!
Before I knew what was happening, this man, they all called Jesus, had touched this plain and ordinary vessel. He stirred that which was within me and filled me with the FINEST wine! He then took what I had to offer and distributed it among others, not only was I changed that day but countless others were changed as well, it was a miracle!
I was just an ordinary vessel, nothing special about me, until the day this man called, Jesus, called me forth and filled me with NEW wine! I will never again be just an ordinary vessel for I have been hand picked by Jesus, Himself, to carry the finest contents on the face of this earth! I am different now because of what's inside me and I know that I will be a vessel worthy of the calling!
"He has made everything beautiful in His time..." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been and we could never fly!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me. Psalm 120:1
We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name. Psalm 142:7
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
A sick man turned to his doctor,
as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said,
"Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side."
Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know."
"You don't know?
You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?"
The doctor was holding the handle of the door;
on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog?"
He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside.
He knew nothing except that his master was here,
and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.
I know little of what is on the other side of death,
but I do know one thing...
I know my Master is there and that is enough.
WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT!!!!!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I see agony in Your Holy face
and I cannot understand at all
Why You chose to save the human race
who so miserably did fall
It is Your unspeakable LOVE
I see Your Blood on hands and feet
dripping down that rugged cross
Your head, where blood and thorns do meet
Is bruised to save my soul from loss
It is Your immeasurable LOVE
I hear Your voice, a desperate cry
in anguish calling for relief
It echoes in the heavens high
It makes man shiver in disbelief
It is Your unselfish LOVE
At that God-forsaken place You died
You shed Your Precious Blood for me
to save me from my sin and pride
You cleansed me .... You set me free
It is Your Redeeming LOVE
No human will ever understand
While Your life-blood was flowing away
You still reached out Your Holy hand
To rescue those who're going astray
It is Your Godly LOVE
Copyright © Dr.Trudy Veerman, 2007
Isaiah 53:6... All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14
I sit here at this keyboard
With my fingers stopped and still
Devoid of my own words to say
But listening for Your will
Give me words to write, dear Lord
To help someone who strives
Use these willing hands to speak
Of grace that changes lives
Let me speak of mercy
How it came at such great cost
Of wondrous love that held You there
On Calvary's rugged cross
Let me tell of God's forgiveness
To whomsoever will
Kneel beneath the cleansing blood
That flowed from Calvary's hill
Help me always speak of You, Lord
My priceless King of glory
And never, ever cease to tell
The precious old, old story
by Linda Oliver
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Romans 4:7
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28
THANK YOU JESUS!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother. Zechariah 7:9
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
Pray, don't find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too.
Don't sneer at the man who's down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong but still the blow
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too.
Don't be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure - yea, doubly sure -
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps,
If the tempter's voice should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too.
Let's all try to be a little bit more sympathetic to others.
Let's try to live life with a clear conscience.
Let's not judge others.
Let's treat everyone like we want to be treated.
Let's act as Jesus would want us to act.
Let's not just talk about it.
Let's really do it!
Starting right now!!
If Thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Psalm 130:3