FAULTY REASONING

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed. And many other signs truly Jesus did in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20: 29-31 KJV)


Applying intellectual reasoning, regardless of how well-researched it is, will never provide a satisfying explanation to the questions posed in the quest for salvation. There will always be a lingering hunger if the heart fails to make the connection to Christ on a personal level. This may or may not be an emotional, tearful, fall on the knees before the altar experience. It may well take the more subtle form of a soft flutter like angel wings in the seat of our most private feelings. But at the very least it should be an awakening to Christ’s presence and influence. 

There is more to salvation than simple belief. While all we have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is to ask for it, it carries with it the caveat of showing good faith by turning from our fallen ways. To simply go our merry way and return to life as usual after a profession of faith in Christ is an insincere, counterfeit profession which Christ can see right through and sheer folly. We cannot pull one over on the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. As the writer of Hebrews describes with such precision:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

God may not expect us to be perfect as Christ was, but He does expect us to put in the effort to aspire to be.

While we will always long for the kind of tangible manifestations the early Christians enjoyed with an earthly Jesus, He did not leave us to operate in a vacuum. In his stead He petitioned the Father to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. 

So we should soldier on and take heart that we are every bit as precious in Christ’s eyes as those first believers. (John 14: 16-18 KJV) 


Dear Lord, Please help us to recognize that there is more to salvation than an intellectual approach can provide. Amen.

Carol (NC)

"A Man WHO ISOLATES HIMSELF SEEKS HIS OWN DESIRE" Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV) 


I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.


Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.


Dr.Bob AZ

LOCKED AWAY IN ISOLATION

"A Man WHO ISOLATES HIMSELF SEEKS HIS OWN DESIRE" Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV) 


I've found that isolation is a primary source of emotional and mental sorrow.

When my children needed me to play with them and asked "please" I often said "no" because I was too involved in my work. When I had a stroke my wife offered to take me to a Bible study with our loving and comforting friends, I said "no' because I wanted to be by myself.

Without knowing it, I was turning my back on my little ones' love and the Holy Spirit's comfort and healing. I'm very sad that I made these choices, but it's too late now.

Looking away from our struggles, fear and pain are not easy, but it changes things. We start to understand that isolation is our enemy as we seek our own desire when we isolate. Opening our souls to our loved one's needs and the Spirit of God's healing love and power we find peace and satisfaction, and we won't have as much to regret when we are old.

Even though medical experiences such as strokes often produce a need to isolate for a time because unsteady walking and poor coordination make us afraid of being knocked down; we must be experimental and step out in faith with Jesus and find what can be safely done. In time reaching out will produce a new self-identity and new relationships. Finding a new usefulness is a gift from our concerned Father's hand.


Thank You Father God for your love and tender care. We accept that You conquered death and separation by what Your Son has done. In His name, we humbly pray.


Dr.Bob AZ

Shhhh! GOD IS SPEAKING TO YOU

Stand still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10 (NKJV)


Do you always have to have the last word? I used to. I’m also the one who tries to help God out once in a while with my problems. It seems so easy, in the beginning at least, to try to resolve or figure out the answer. However, time and experience have painfully taught me to stop dead in my tracks and allow God to be God. I forget sometimes that He already knows my tomorrow and that His sovereignty has already fixed my problems, no matter how great or small.

I reflect a season in my life where I felt very hopeless and I decided in my mind to just settle for whatever life brought. Then an opportunity came for me to move 3000 miles away from home, from my parents and from my job of eight years. What a major life decision to make! I heard every reason not to go from my own conscience, parents and others around me. Was this a wise move? How would I take care of my toddler son without my family around? Where would I work?

In spite of all of these legitimate concerns, I had to stand still and listen to God. I felt deep down in my spirit that God was leading me this way, but on the outside it seemed like an unrealistic move. I surely had planned something completely different from my life, but God’s plan was slowly unfolding. The more I let go of what I thought was best, the more I could hear from Him.

As of today, I have lived thirteen years in Delaware, after moving from sunny California. It was the best decision of my life! I have grown to know the Lord as a Friend, as a Provider and as a Father; an experience that I would have never known if I allowed fear to paralyze me. 

So shut out the noise of confusion, worry and other people’s opinions. Focus your attention on the Maker of Heaven and Earth. I promise if you want to hear from God, He is speaking loud and clear. But since He’s a gentleman, He will not bogart you. God will wait until you’re ready to be quiet. So just shhh and don’t be afraid to let God have the last word; I guarantee you it will be worth it!


Dear Lord, give me the courage to stand still and hear from you. Let me not fear to release myself to your unseen guidance, for I know You know what is best for me. Amen.

GINA(DE)

Wedges

A worthless man digs up evil, while his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends. Proverbs 16:27-28 (The New American Standard Bible)

Splitting wood is hard work. An old dairy farmer told me years ago never try to split wood while it’s warm and wet; it’s best to split wood in the winter when it’s frozen. Driving a steel wedge into the chunks of silver maple with a maul last night brought his wisdom back to mind. Intertwined wood fibers simply absorbed the energy of each blow, greatly resisting my efforts to separate it into the smaller pieces necessary for fitting into the wood stove next winter. I should have tackled the task in February when the wood was still frozen.

In some respects the analogy can be applied to the intimate relationships we enjoy in Christ. When warm and lively, these relationships resist the attempts of a few to separate us from each other and our close fellowship with the Savior. When relationships become cold and rigid, wedges can easily be driven, dividing even the most intimate of friends.

Father, protect us from people who would “maul” us and try to separate us from the love of Christ and from each other. Keep our relationships warm and alive so that we might resist the wedges of slander and strife. Amen

-DON(MA)

Just Two Commandments

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40 KJV)

In these verses Christ is distilling the words of the Old Testament into two forthright commissions that usher in a new age of clarity and communion between God and man. Our modern lives are so fragmented it is hard for us to consider having heart, mind and soul of one accord, synchronized into a cohesive whole in our love of God. It takes a healthy spirit to do so and the only way to achieve such good health is to feed on a steady diet of God’s word. Even then it isn’t enough to just take the word in, we must digest and then act on it.

We may catch a glimpse of the kind of love expected of us in our love for family. Indeed this is the very reason God created and encouraged the family unit. But God’s love for mankind far outshines what we have come to accept as love. In a demonstration of this He saw no other way to achieve balance between justice and mercy, His immutable laws, than to sacrifice His beloved Son in our stead. Christ became a martyr for this cause in order to bridge the gap between fallen man and the divine, to offer us the unimaginable gift of eternal life, among other benefits.

But to fully claim our inheritance means setting aside self-interest. This entails venturing into an unknown, sometimes frightening world where trusting that God is working in our best interest is essential. Otherwise we will lead timid self-contained lives which fall far short of the glorious potential Christ sees in each of us. To do so is to deny ourselves the rich tapestry of life intended for us.

Dear Heavenly Father, Please help us to realize our potential for love, not only for You, but for our fellow man. 

Carol (NC)

God is Bigger

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Several Christian men and myself started a men’s Bible study in 1984. As we learned more about God’s word, we began to challenge one another to put our faith into action. Several years later we found ourselves in the country of Haiti. Our mission was to show that it was possible to drill fresh water wells in South Haiti. The people were drinking out of caves, ponds, and rivers with devastating consequences, especially to the children.

Our small, portable water well drilling equipment and sturdy pumps had preceded us. We had been told by some in Port Au Prince that drilling here was not feasible and our first attempt was a failure. That evening, we were very discouraged, defeated and filled with doubts. Someone began playing a guitar and we all begin to sing some of our favorite hymns. The more we sang the more the hopelessness begin to fade. Inwardly, I put the whole venture into God’s hands. If we were to succeed, it would only be by God’s gracious help.

The next morning I felt refreshed, the heavy weight was gone from my spirit. We did successfully drill a well on that trip. This well was used night and day by thousands of Haitians. Since that time, the Haitians we trained have drilled many more wells providing fresh water for many more thousands of Haitians.

I remember the tears of that night well. I also feel a sense of excitement and well being as I remember the power and success God brought to our mission because we put our whole-hearted trust in the Him.

Kind Father, help us to learn to trust You fully in all of life’s circumstances and find the direction and peace You have promised. Amen.”

John (IN)

John 3:16

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Thank you Lord

Matt (IN)

Comment

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Father and Son

And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) (KJV)

While there is no doubt the unbridled candor of children and their wide-eyed wonder at the idea there is more to life than what we can readily see or hear is part of what so endeared them to Christ, there is more to the analogy than this simple comparison. Fulfilling our roles as God’s children is predicated on first forging a familial relationship with Christ, his firstborn. It involves accepting Christ’s position in the Godhead, not just as a symbol, but as a living, crucial figure in the deity. Their relationship as Father and Son patterned the reciprocal love and respect we as Christians are to imitate. Ideally, we will offer them the same unconditional love they afford us.

Although we may begin life without guile, temptation and sin contaminate our behavior soon enough. We need the framework of family, of parents in order to flourish. A child’s dependence on his earthly parents is not viewed as weakness, but as a fact of life, as our dependence on our Heavenly Father should be. If we are ever to become spiritual adults, we must first acknowledge and then accept our roles as mere children with all of the growth pains, false starts and heartfelt apologies that entails.

Heavenly Father, Please guide us in our attempts to pattern our lives after your blessed son. Amen.

Carol (NC)

The Gift of Grace

We say we are in someone’s good graces. If we are lucky some of our creditors may extend us a grace period on our debts. While both uses imply getting something for nothing, none touches on the nature and extent of God’s grace. Closer to the point is what happens when we say grace as we sit down with family for a meal. In that case, we are at least acknowledging God’s favor towards us in providing for our daily needs but still falls far short of what God’s grace towards us entails.

Webster defines this uniquely Christian doctrine as “unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration and sanctification.” Noble but sterile language for what Christ’s sacrificial death at the cross and the miraculous aftermath at the tomb achieved for all mankind. 

Having one’s sins forgiven, erased like a teacher wiping clean a dry erase board is no small matter. In God’s economy atonement had to be made through a blood sacrifice, and the only suitable sacrifice was a lamb without blemish, a sinless man and there could be only one of those. So Jesus did the unthinkable---he left his heavenly home and donned skin and bones, and all that involves, coming to earth not as the king he so richly deserved to be, but as a lowly babe in a filthy stable manger. He led the life of an itinerant preacher and healer, only to be martyred in a grisly death for his divine cause.

Fortunately for us, the story doesn’t end there. As if the possibility of having the sin barrier preventing us from enjoying a close relationship with God weren’t incentive enough, Jesus took his mission a step further. His resurrection did more than prove he was God’s son and as such indestructible; it extended the gift of eternal life to us as well. And all we have to do to reap this promise is repent and believe. I call that a bargain.

Heavenly Father, we praise you for offering us through your son an eternal home far from the strife and pain and disappointments of earth. Amen

Carol [NC]

MAKING A COMEBACK

“But I [Jesus] have prayed for you [Peter], that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:32 NKJV)


I am looking forward to meeting Peter when I get to heaven. I can relate to him in many ways. Peter lacked faith (Matthew 14:31); spoke out of turn (Matthew 16:22–23); acted impulsively (John 18:10); and denied Christ (Matthew 26:75). Yet Peter added 3,000 members to the kingdom of God following his sermon (Acts 2:14–41).

David was an adulterer and murderer and was the apple of God’s eye. Moses stuttered and led God’s people out of slavery. Paul persecuted Christians and evangelized his world. Jonah ran and led Nineveh to repentance. Rahab lied and was in the lineage of Christ. Martha worried. Thomas doubted. Zacchaeus was short. Abraham was old. Lazarus was dead. God can use anyone in sharing the gospel and advancing His kingdom. 

The word most missed in this passage is “when.” Jesus did not say if Peter returned to Him. He said when he returned. Jesus knew Peter would return to Him. God uses our faults and shortcomings as often as He uses our gifts and talents. We do not have to be great, rich, popular, or perfect. We just need a heart that is willing to serve. God can use us to do amazing things through our weaknesses if we let Him! 


Father, help me to always be willing to be used by You. Remind me that You have already given me the ability to do all that You ask.

Angela (OH)

LISTENING: BETTER THAN ANSWERING

“But He answered him not one word so that the governor marveled greatly.” (Matthew 27:14 NKJV) 

 


Over the years, I’ve learned to lean on our Creator more and depend on myself a lot less. I’ve also been blessed with wisdom in prayer and recognize the value of learning to be still before our Lord during my quiet time in the early morning hours. 

While reading the Gospels, I’ve realized our Lord would spend a whole night by himself, seeking purpose and revelations from God. 

In the opening verse, Jesus was before Pilate who was questioning Jesus about his identity. This verse reveals the importance of learning not to tell God how we would like Him to fix our needs. 

Peter instructs us to "cast all our anxieties on Him for He cares about you" [1 Peter 5:7]. Instead of daily dumping all my burdens upon Him, I find greater grace and calm in learning to be still in the presence of Royalty. 

“And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.' ” (Luke 10:41-42NKJV) 

Like Mary, I want to be in the presence of His intimacy, to listen and worship more than to dialog in prayer. Truly this brings rest to my soul. He knows my heart before I speak; so learning to listen, in prayer, is much greater than answering our Lord with instructions. It’s not for me to instruct Him. 

 

Father, thank you for teaching me that listening is far greater than crying out for help

Robert (CA) 

ROOTED IN LOVE

I pray that you have your roots and foundation in love. Eph. 3:17b

 

When we bought our house it came wth a brick planter that divided the living room from the dining area. I felt pretty confident that I could grow a philodendron, so I bought a very small plant and placed it in the center of the large planter. Over the years, long vines filled the planter. One day, on impulse, I began attacking a particularly long vine along the ceiling of my dining room. Very soon now, it will have encircled the room and arrive back at the planter. 


No matter how far from the planter the vine extends its reach, however, it is vital that it still be connected by its roots to the soil in the planter. Should those roots be ripped from the soil, the entire vine would wither and die.

Paul's interest is in spiritual roots. He wants to be sure the Ephesian's roots are planted in love. Why love? That they may begin to understand Christ's love for them. Why? That they might then come filled with the very nature of God. Why? Because God IS love.

Periodically I shine my philodendron leaves and envision each leaf representing love as it reaches, not around my dining room, but around the world, firmly rooted in the pure and holy love of Christ. What a recipe for peace.

 

Lord of love, help us to stay rooted in You, the source of all that is good. Amen.

Madeline NE

PRAYER FOR THE RELUCTANT

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

 

My father may have been gone for several years now, but he was the sort of man who cast a long shadow.  Prior to his death in 2010, some sort of minor crisis in my life sparked the conversation, the sort I would have readily shared with my father in our weekly calls before he suffered a stroke and was confined to a nursing home.  The topic probably came up because I had run out of polite conversation sitting there beside him in that depressing setting, making me resort to relaying my problems that seemed so insignificant in comparison to his.

My father was the Mr. Fixit in our family, so, after I explained my situation I added, “I didn’t tell you because I knew there was nothing you could do.”  Ever the life coach he both schooled and humbled me by saying, “I could have prayed.”

My father may have been complex but he was also a plainspoken man and his words that day rang true.  How often do we search for the right thing to do for someone we know who is in need when the one best choice requires no money, no manpower, and very little time?  Simply to bow our heads in prayer is usually all God asks of us.  Even in our most tongue-tied way we can pray effectively.   Remember the passage in Romans 8:26 where Paul reassures us:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Where our limited abilities leave off, the Holy Spirit is all too ready and willing to pick up our heavy load and make intercession for us.  All we have to do is swallow our pride and ask.

 

Dear Lord, 

Please grant us the wisdom to come to You first instead of using prayer as the avenue of last resort.

Amen

Carol (NC)

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:29


"But she's not one of us. I mean, she's so different!" "I don't now I just can't relate to him. After all, he comes from another country and he has this annoying accent!" "We don't have anything in common. After all, we're of different nationalities."

Who is my neighbor? The lawyer who approached Jesus was hoping Jesus would let him off the hook. He wanted to inherit eternal life, but he wanted it on his terms; those terms being that he be allowed to love and accept those whom he chose to love and accept. Suppose we transport this scenario forward some 2000 years and one of us approaches Jesus with this question How would he reply?

We are not too likely to come across someone lying in a ditch robbed and beaten. Who,then, is Jesus asking us in our present day setting, to rescue? Who would that neighbor be?

Each new day that God graciously gives us is a new opportunity to ask him to direct us to "a neighbor in need." It will take courage to pray it, because that prayer may not be answered the way we would choose, but we can count on it being answered. A neighbor in need awaits each of us.


Lord of the universe, teach us to serve You through serving our neighbors. Amen.

Madeline (NE)

WHAT TO WEAR

Then put on the garments that suit God's chosen people, his beloved; compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience. Cl. 3:12 NEB


Our grandson who is in the army national guard often drops in to have dinner with us. It is not unusual for him to come directly from weekend drill which means he arrives in camouflage.

In the military, wearing camouflage is important. You need to blend in with your surroundings to avoid being a target of the enemy. God even dresses much of wildlife in camouflage to protect them from predators.

Paul's instructions to the Colossians church would in no way result in the wearing camouflage. Quite the opposite. They were asked to boldly wear the uniform of Christ.

In reading this scripture, I was forced to put myself in that congregation. This was not an easy time for the Christian Church. Boldly declaring their allegiance to Christ could result in persecution -- even death. Would I have had the courage?

We pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven." For that to happen, we must all boldly wear His uniform.


Lord, give us the courage to boldly wear the uniform of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Madeline (NE)

COUNTING STARS

Genesis 15:5-6 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.


Many of you may be familiar with a popular song by the group OneRepublic called Counting Stars! The song is certainly a great hit for this group. I really enjoy listening to the song and singing along when I am driving in my car.

One of the lines in the song is "Said no more counting dollars we'll be counting stars".

Counting dollars is something I am very familiar with. For years I was in banking and some of that time I was a teller and spent many hours counting dollars! I became very efficient and fast doing this task! I noticed recently that the tellers now have machines that count the money for them.

I have spent only a small amount of my life counting stars, however! Yes there have been nights that I took the time to look upward and ponder the vastness of the heavenly lights but not as often as I should have probably.

It seems that life could be summed up on most days as counting dollars not counting stars. That may be a mistake on our part that causes us to miss out on God's best for us.

I believe Abraham was more focused on counting dollars than counting stars, too. His greatest concern was having a son of his own to leave his "dollars" to. Okay, so he called it his inheritance not his dollars but it is basically the same thing! A materialistic possession! Right? Right! I am glad we agree on that!!

Genesis 13:2 says: for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. Also in Genesis 13:14-17 the LORD said to Abram, "Look as far as you can see in every direction. I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring as a permanent possession. And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted! Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you."

Wow! A very rich man was told by God that he was going to be receiving even more! I just believe that Abraham starting "counting dollars" don't you?

Genesis chapter 14 tells us about a war that broke out in the region soon after God told Abraham about the new possessions he would be receiving. Abraham and his allies fought this war and were victorious because God helped them! They recovered all the wealth and food that had been taken by the invaders.

The next thing we see happen after the new possessions were won with God's help, is an opportunity for Abraham to tithe! He gave a tenth of all the goods he had recovered to Melchizedek and on top of that he gave the possessions he recovered back to the original owner (the king of Sodom).

In Genesis chapter 15:1-6 the LORD speaks to Abram again in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great." But Abram replied, O Sovereign LORD, what good are all these blessings when I don't have a son, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no children, so one of my servants will have to be my heir."

Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own to inherit everything I am giving you." Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that-too many to count!" And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith.

One of the most important lessons we can learn from this story is that no matter what we have or don't have, we can still believe God. What can we believe God for? Whatever we need! Abram had money but needed a son! He believed God and kept believing and eventually he got Isaac the son of the promise that God made. (Read Genesis 21:1-7)

You may have a son or daughter already and need money to take care of them and leave an inheritance to. Okay! No problem!

Do what Abraham did! Count the stars and believe God! The stars represent the promises of God! In Philippians 4:19 God promises to meet ALL our needs. What do you need? Ask God to provide that need! Believe that he will!

A couple more things, God did not give Isaac to Abraham in an instant, so if God does not provide your need as quickly as you would like, do not stop asking or believing! Also, remember that what was given to Abraham, he gave back a tenth of it to the LORD.

Are you asking, believing, and giving a tenth of your blessings back to the LORD?

Let me leave you with the chorus of the song by OneRepublic:

Lately I been, I been losing sleep (hey!)
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin' hard (hey!)
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars

Stop losing sleep!

Stop dreaming!

Start prayin' hard!

Stop counting dollars!

Count the stars! (God's promises)

Believe God!

You will receive from God what you need!

Ending Prayer:
Father in heaven,
I pray for those in need today! I pray that they will start praying and believe that you are able and willing to provide all their needs just as you did for Abraham! Whatever their need might be I pray that they would ask you for it and that you would provide it at just the right time!

Help them not to falter in their faith if the need is delayed in their eyes but believe that they will receive it right on time! Help us all to stop counting dollars and start counting stars (your promises). Help us to believe as Abraham did and give as he did also!

Thank you that your Word says that we are Abraham's descendants so we can be blessed as he was blessed. In Jesus name, Amen

Debbie (FL)

LIVING UNDER GOD'S ROOF

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33 KJV)



Why? We often ask when our circumstances become difficult, yet surely God doesn’t owe us an explanation. How many times have our earthly fathers thrown up their hands in frustration and said “Because I said so,” in response to us pestering them. The answers they could give us would be beyond the realm of our understanding, as I feel is true of the answers we seek from God.
We may not feel so as children but ultimately many of us feel our fathers are acting in our best interests. Why then is it such a stretch for us to feel the God of the Universe is too? How many times have we heard our parents say, “You’ll understand when you grow up, but for now you are under my roof and you will do as I say.” It could easily be argued that we are “under God’s roof” and as so we are obliged to obey him and show him the same deference we show our fathers. God’s discipline is fair because it is tempered with love and understanding---it is never in short supply.
While like our earthly sojourn with our families, our spiritual lives are pock marked with difficult patches, there is one major difference. At the end of our lives our issues with our parents often remain unresolved, yet God promises us a final resolution when we come into his Kingdom. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) . We cannot always depend on having our parents or other loved ones around to soothe us, but we can depend on our eternal God.


Dear Heavenly Father, Please guide us to fully embrace your role as Father and our roles as sons and daughters in order to deepen our earthly relationship with you. Amen

Carol (NC)

BROKEN PIECES

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NIV)


My pastor, a former missionary, shared with me an incident that happened when she and her husband served in Nicaragua. One morning as she was in the kitchen washing dishes while the children played in the living room, a loud crash resounded, followed by a whimper. With trepidation my pastor rushed into the living room to find her beautiful teapot, a special wedding gift, shattered on the floor. Sinking to her knees, she covered her face with her hands and wept. She realized it had been an accident, but no amount of glue could mend her precious teapot.
Fourteen years ago my life was shattered when my husband passed away suddenly. We had been married twenty-seven years, and my future seemed bleak without him. I struggled through each meaningless day, then a friend told me about a bereavement group for those who have lost a spouse. I attended all eight sessions, and gradually healing began. Also, I began a ministry of writing poetry to comfort hurting people. Unlike my pastor's teapot that could not be mended, God took the broken pieces of my heart and restored my life into something beautiful.


Thank you, Lord, for healing my broken heart. Amen.

Bonnie (Me)

INTEGRATED IN JESUS

"That They May Be One, Even As We Are One" John 17:11 NASB


Hopefully, after reading this prayer of Jesus, we gain the wisdom that He desires oneness for His disciples. Bonded relationships are at the heart of the life Almighty God desires for His children. Relationships are central to finding abundant life.

A major example of this truth is that warm relationships with our family members are more important than any amount of success or prosperity. What do we have without family and, what is more important than being friends with our individual family members?

These relationships grow from the seeds of experience, both good and bad. Neglect, trauma etc. can cause a relationship to lose the ability to grow unless the frozen ground of a winter of neglect is allowed to soften by the warmth of spring's warm rays and then new life can begin.

As we grow, we share more and become vulnerable with each other. Good loving family relationships are a process, not a static thing just because we are related. In a family, we should not only love each other, we should be friends. "A man who has friends should show himself friendly." (Prov. 18:24)

When we find Spirit directed loving relationships, we find a preview of Heaven where facts, figures and details will be swallowed by the presence of God, who is love. (I John 4:8)


Dear Father, please help us to live a life that is homogenized, not pasteurized. Bless us with the power that comes from being integrated into your Son's sufficiency. Give us oneness even as you are One. Thank You, In Jesus' name, Amen."

DR. Bob (AZ)