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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Lois Ryan's Blog Welcome Guest
    Lois Ryan's Blog
          I am starting this Blog to help my Christian growth

    Sat, Aug 23rd - 10:31AM

    The Self-Directed Man

    Weekend: August 2-3, 2008 
    The Self-Directed Man 
    Luke 12:16-21 

    Surely you've heard the old stereotype about men never wanting to stop and ask for directions. That's probably more true than we'd like to admit, but it isn't just males who are guilty. The world is full of both men and women, all driving full steam ahead, never wanting to stop or even slow down to ask for guidance.

    If you were to look at this through spiritual lenses, you'd see a world of lost, hopeless souls trying to save themselves. They think they can somehow earn their way to heaven through good deeds and hard work. They assume it's possible to accomplish this on their own. They're wrong.

    As you read through Luke 12:16-21 today, stop to count the number of times the "rich fool," as he is known, says the words "I," "my," and "myself." It's a sad picture of the self-directed man, trying to make his own way and secure his own future with no help from anyone--including God.

    The Lord does not mince words with this man. Entering the scene in verse 20, God immediately calls him a fool! Don't miss the severity in the condemnation. By relying solely on his own short-sighted selfishness and pride, this man left nothing behind at the end of his life--except a pile of grain.

    The message for us today is that, when we strike off on our own and initiate actions with no thought of God, we are behaving like fools. The Lord has a plan for your life. He knows where you'll succeed and where you'll fail. Trust Him to provide the direction you need.

    Comment (0)

    Sat, Aug 23rd - 10:26AM

    Praise God for His justice and righteousness. Thank Him for the love that He pours out on His people

    He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    And your justice as the noonday (Psalm 37:6).

    By You I have been upheld from my birth;
    You are He who took me out of my mother's womb.
    My praise shall be continually of You (Psalm 71:6).

    The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
    And delivers them out of all their troubles.
    The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
    And saves such as have a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:17-18).

    "Fear not, for I am with you;
    Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you,
    Yes, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14).

    Comment (0)

    Sat, Aug 23rd - 10:17AM

    Trust in God's Schedule

    Weekend August 23-24, 2008
    Waiting on God
    Psalm 33:20-22

    Because our God is an all-knowing, wise, and loving heavenly Father, we'll always benefit when we follow His schedule. However, waiting on Him can feel difficult.

    Throughout the Bible, we read of people who experienced delays before God acted on what He had promised. In the following examples, notice how patience and obedience led to blessing: 

    1. Noah was told to build an ark because a flood was coming. When the rain did not arrive, his neighbors must have thought him a fool. Yet Noah trusted God and continued to work (Gen. 6:12-22). 
    2. After reluctantly agreeing to approach Pharaoh about releasing the Jewish slaves, Moses learned it would take a number of warnings before God's plan would be fulfilled (Ex. 7:1-7). 
    3. Jesus' disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4).

    When I was a young boy, I learned the importance of patience. After having me plant some seeds in her garden, my mother explained what would happen. First, green sprouts would appear, and then the plants would develop. I kept a close watch on that area, but nothing seemed to be happening. One day I decided to dig up those seeds to see if there was any progress. I found no plants at all. My impatience did not produce any fruit.

    The Lord has a plan for each of us, and the timing of every detail is always right. Are you living according to His schedule?

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 9:44AM


    August 3

    Proverbs 3

    The benefit of wisdom is better than gold.


    Inherent within the human heart is a longing for peace, love, and joy. Among Christians and non-Christians alike, the desire is the same. Yet peace, love, and joy do not answer just any beck and call. They will come only by certain means; they are fruits on the tree of wisdom. Wisdom will bring length of days (v. 2), peace (v. 2), favor with God and man (v. 4), strength to your bones (v. 8), honor (v. 16), pleasantness (v. 17), paths of peace (v. 17), confidence in life (v. 26), and freedom from the snares of life (v. 26). Foolishness brings harm (v. 29), oppression (v. 31), and shame (v. 35). We all long for the benefits of wisdom. We must remember that she comes with a price: submission to the will of God and the truth of Scripture.


    As you consider the benefits of wisdom, praise the Lord that we may share in His character:
    Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like You, glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11).

     You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You,
    nor is there any God besides You, according to all that
    we have heard with our ears (2 Samuel 7:22).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord:
    Has the Lord as great delight in burnt
    and sacrifices,
    As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    And to heed than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
    Greater sensitivity to sin
    -- The ministry of your church
    -- Whatever else is on your heart

    Offer this closing prayer to God:
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    All the days of my life;
    And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    Forever (Psalm 23:6).

    Proverbs 2

    Wisdom must be sought after with our entire being.


    Nothing of value is easily obtained. If it were, it would no longer be valuable. Inherent within the concept of value is the feature of scarcity. If all gravel were made of pure gold, then gold would not be valuable. The same is true with intangibles like wisdom. She is an exceedingly valuable life commodity, but she is not easy to come by. If we want wisdom, we must incline our ears, apply our hearts, cry for her, lift our voice for her, seek her as we would silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures (vv. 2-4). Then, and only then, will we understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (v. 5).


    Offer the Lord this psalm of praise as you consider His goodness:
    Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!
    Just and true are Your ways,
    O King of the saints! . . .
    All nations shall come and worship before You,
    For Your judgments have been manifested (Revelation 15:3-4).
    And one cried to another and said:
    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    The whole earth is full of His glory! (Isaiah 6:3).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
    Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
    And have forgotten the God who fathered you (Deuteronomy 32:18).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
    That others might see Christ in you
    -- That the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into His harvest,
    -- Your activities for the day.

    Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
    Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
    For the Lord preserves the faithful, . . .
    Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:23-24).

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 9:41AM

    Get Involved With All People Not Just Christians

    August 4, 2008
    Bearing Each Other's Burdens
    Galatians 6:1-2

    Jesus commissioned believers to continue His work on earth--sharing the good news about God the Father's saving grace (Matt. 28:19). Following this command isn't easy when we come across people whose lifestyle is distasteful to us. It often feels more convenient to befriend someone who shares our values. Yet a lost man or woman may be led to restoration through a Christian friend or acquaintance.

    Jesus got involved with men and women whom society avoided. He ate dinner with tax collectors (Matt. 9:10; Luke 19:5) and gently spoke His message of hope to an adulterous woman (John 4:7-27). And to anyone--disciple or Pharisee--shocked by His associations, the Lord explained that He "did not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Mark 2:17).

    In Proverbs 29:6, sin is compared to a trap that ensnares its victim. With despair and confusion as constant companions, the captive doesn't know the way to freedom. But believers do. And we are to share the message as Jesus did: "You who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" (Gal. 6:1). The Greek word for "restore" refers to the setting of bones--a very painful process. So we are to tenderly point men and women in the direction of God's forgiveness, His mercy toward wrongdoers, and the Holy Spirit's help in overcoming temptation.

    If Jesus were on earth today, He'd be ministering to the needy, the addicted, and the downtrodden. To be like Him, let's encourage others to confront their sin so they can be freed from its grasp.

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 9:39AM

    The Proverbs Woman

    August 4

    Proverbs 31

    An excellent wife cares for her home, is kind to the needy, and is an example of good character.


    One view of women is that they are merely caretakers of the home and have no role other than changing diapers, cooking, and cleaning house. Another view seeks to free women from the responsibilities at home. Both are wrong. Women are to care for their homes and maintain certain responsibilities--just as men should. But their role carries with it great flexibility and variety. The Proverbs 31 woman is a skillful, industrious person who models integrity and esteems her home and family highly.


    Thank God for the women you know (mothers, grandmothers, friends) who exemplify Christ's love:

    "My soul magnifies the Lord,
    And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
    For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
    For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
    For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
    And holy is His name" (Luke 1:46-49).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:

    Have mercy upon me, O God,
    According to Your lovingkindness;
    According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
    Blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    And cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    How sweet are Your words to my taste,
    Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    Through Your precepts I get understanding;
    Therefore I hate every false way.
    Your word is a lamp to my feet
    And a light to my path (Psalm 119:103-105).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:

    -- A more Christ-like character
    -- Strengthening of the church in China
    -- Your activities for the day

    Offer this closing prayer to God:

    This I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 9:36AM

    Friends Help Friends

    August 4, 2008
    Stretcher Bearers 
    Sharon Jaynes

    Today's Truth
    "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 NIV).

    Friend to Friend
    One day Jesus traveled to Capernaum, Peter's hometown.  The people had heard about how Jesus healed the sick, made the lame to walk, and cast out evil spirits. That evening, so many people came to hear Jesus at Peter's home they were crowded into every nook and cranny, even overflowing out the door. 

    However, Jesus' voice was not the only thing heard among the crowd. Sounds of hammering, pounding, digging, and scraping mingled with voices.  Jesus suddenly felt clay from the ceiling begin to rain down on his head and sprinkle his lashes.  Dust piled up around his sandaled feet and showered his now powdery cloak.  As Jesus raised his eyes to the ceiling, he discovered a growing opening in the ceiling and four very determined men.

    The crowd stared wide-eyed as a man was lowered through the opening in the roof and placed at Jesus' feet.  Jesus looked down at the paralyzed man lying on the palette before him and simply said, "Your sins are forgiven."

    But wait; is that what the man really longed for? Is that what his friends had in mind? Oh my friend, sometimes it is our sin that paralyzes us.  One of Satan's most damaging tactics is to paralyze us with our own emotional wounds.  He wants to fill us with shame, weigh us down with guilt, and cripple our progress toward the cross, but Jesus came to set us free!  He tells us to get up and walk!

    Another facet of this story sets my heart to singing!  The man's friends loved him enough to carry him to Jesus.  Sometimes we don't have the energy to make it to the Healer alone.  How blessed to have friends who will be the stretcher bearers that carry us to the Savior, risk the rebuke of digging a hole in the roof, and are not afraid of getting a bit messy in the process.

    Someone once said, "A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails."  A friend can remind me of God's faithfulness when my memory is clouded by the circumstances of life.

    God sometimes uses friends to be our "stretcher bearers", those willing to carry us through the difficulties of life and set us at the feet of Jesus. At other times, He might call you to be that willing friend for someone else.

    Let's Pray
    Dear Lord, thank You for my girlfriends in God who have helped me through the years.  I pray that I will recognize those in need of a stretcher bearer in her life and that I will willingly take hold to help her along the way.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Now it's Your Turn
    Do you have a friend that is emotionally or spiritually paralyzed because of the sins or trauma of her past?  How far are you willing to go to help her?

    Are you emotionally or spiritually paralyzed because of the sins or trauma of your past? Are you willing to let someone help you walk again?

    What are some ways (other than digging a hole in a roof) that you could help a friend recover from a difficult situation?

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 8:18AM

    Thank the Lord and give Him your praise for saving you by faith and clothing you in Christ's righteousness

    Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    Give to the Lord glory and strength.
    Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
    Bring an offering, and come before Him.
    Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
    (1 Chronicles 16:28-29).

    I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
    And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High (Psalm 7:17).

    I acknowledged my sin to You,
    And my iniquity I have not hidden.
    I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,"
    And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
    Selah (Psalm 32:5).

    I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

    May the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5).

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 8:15AM

    The Lord's Schedule

    Friday August 22
    Following God's Schedule
    Psalm 25:1-5

    Waiting on God so we can discover His will is an essential discipline of the Christian life. Once we learn His plan, we must be careful to implement it in His time frame.

    Following the Lord's schedule is always to our benefit because of His...

    • All-encompassing knowledge. Unlike us, the Father has complete awareness about our world and the details of every individual life--past, present, and future. (Acts 17:26). 
    • Complete wisdom. The Lord understands man's every motive (1 Chron. 28:9) and acts accordingly. Our decision making is flawed since we cannot clearly discern people's intentions. We make choices based on partial information, but God has the wisdom to properly interpret the facts and then take action based on truth (Rom. 11:33). He never makes a mistake. 
    • Unending love. Through His Son, the Father offers us unconditional love. By sending Jesus to die in our place, God proved the depth of His everlasting love (1 John 4:10). He always has our best interest at heart. 
    • Perfect sufficiency. The Lord offers us all the resources we need to carry out His plan--wisdom, strength, and skill (2 Peter 1:3).

    Adhering to God's timetable requires both faith and courage. We must believe that He knows how we should live, trust that His plan is right, and have the determination to wait until He gives a signal to proceed. Those who follow the Lord's schedule will experience the blessing of watching Him work things together for their gain and His glory.

    Comment (0)

    Fri, Aug 22nd - 8:06AM

    Control Your Thoughts

    Week of August 22

    Take Every Thought Captive
    by Max Lucado

    Today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions.
    Today's jealousy is tomorrow's temper tantrum.
    Today's bigotry is tomorrow's hate crime.
    Today's anger is tomorrow's abuse.
    Today's lust is tomorrow's adultery.
    Today's greed is tomorrow's embezzlement.
    Today's guilt is tomorrow's fear.

    Could that be why Paul writes, "Love ... keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Cor. 13:5 NIV)?

    Some folks don't know we have an option.

    Paul says we do: "We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).

    Do you hear some battlefield jargon in that passage--"capture every thought," "make it give up" and "obey Christ"? You get the impression that we are the soldiers and the thoughts are the enemies.

    It was for Jesus. Remember the thoughts that came his way courtesy of the mouth of Peter? Jesus had just prophesied his death, burial, and resurrection, but Peter couldn't bear the thought of it. "Peter took Jesus aside and told him not to talk like that.... Jesus said to Peter, 'Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don't care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important'" (Matt. 16:22--23).
    See the decisiveness of Jesus?

    What if you did that? What if you took every thought captive? What if you took the counsel of Solomon: "Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life" (Prov. 4:23).

    You are not a victim of your thoughts. You have a vote. You have a voice. You can exercise thought prevention. You can also exercise thought permission.

    Change the thoughts, and you change the person. If today's thoughts are tomorrow's actions, what happens when we fill our minds with thoughts of God's love? Will standing beneath the downpour of his grace change the way we feel about others?

    Paul says absolutely! It's not enough to keep the bad stuff out. We've got to let the good stuff in. It's not enough to keep no list of wrongs. We have to cultivate a list of blessings. The same verb Paul uses for keeps in the phrase "keeps no list of wrongs" is used for think in Philippians 4:8: "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (RSV). Thinking conveys the idea of pondering--studying and focusing, allowing what is viewed to have an impact on us.

    Rather than store up the sour, store up the sweet.

    book coverFrom
    A Love Worth Giving
    © (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 10:13AM

    Love One Another

    August 5, 2008
    Love One Another
    John 13:34-35

    I hear sad stories from Christians who feel their sinful choices caused a church to desert them. According to Scripture, such situations call for a loving confrontation, not gossip and criticism (1 Thess. 5:14). A church's commitment to following God should be evident in its Christ-like attitude. Yet we sometimes turn away the very people Jesus told us to love fervently: fellow believers.

    First Peter 4:8 tells us that "love covers a multitude of sins." And we find many biblical examples of one person's total acceptance of another: the Prodigal Son's father met him with a hug rather than the tongue-lashing the boy knew he deserved (Luke 15:20); an adulterous woman would have died at Jesus' feet if He had condemned rather than forgiven her (John 8:11); and you and I would be hell-bound if the Lord had not intervened at the cross. Jesus loved us with our failures and faults, and He commanded us to do likewise.

    The Son living through us changes our perspective. You might say we look through "Christ-colored glasses"--perceiving this world and its people as He does. No longer is our focus upon someone's ugly sinful habit. Now we see our brother or sister as being in need of love, redemption, and restoration.

    Instead of driving out believers who are entrapped by disobedience, let us draw them back into church life. Call when a brother misses services, or invite a hurting sister out for coffee. Speak up about their sin when the Holy Spirit guides you, and, above all, pray. We can win back our fallen brethren with Christ's love.

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 9:09AM

    External things do not matter, Eternal one do matter

    August 5

    Ecclesiastes 12

    The pursuit of temporal things is futile.


    Our society tends to breed materialism. Young couples expect to own a house, two cars, and maybe a boat. We dream of the day when we can afford to take exotic vacations and own a bigger house. Game shows offer spectacular prizes, and lottery tickets are sold by the thousands. But Solomon experienced tremendous wealth and found himself unhappy. He learned that eternal things matter most. God wants His children to invest their brief lives in others--not just in material things.


    God has promised that He will provide His children's needs. Let's praise Him:
    "Why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:28-30, 33).

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:

    "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . . Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Matthew 6:25, 27).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:

    "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? . . . If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-9, 11).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:

    -- Contentment with the material possessions you own
    -- God's provision for the less fortunate
    -- Safety of missionaries in Central America

    Offer this closing prayer to God:

    The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
    will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 8:53AM

    God Is Always On Time

    August 11, 2008
    God is Never Late
    Sharon Jaynes

    Today's Truth
    "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter: 3: 8-9 NIV).

    Friend to Friend
    I don't know about you, but I don't like to wait. However, I've learned that when it comes to answering prayer, God is never in a hurry.

    When we pray, sometimes God says yes; sometimes God says no; and sometimes God says wait.  Abraham had to wait twenty-five years before God fulfilled his promise to give him a son.  David had to wait many years before God fulfilled His promise to make him a king just as Joseph had to wait many years before God fulfilled His promise to rule over his brothers. The people of Israel had to wait several hundred years before God fulfilled His promise to send them a Savior.

    Waiting is difficult.  As women, we tend to take matters in our own hands and make things happen, and we only have to look as far as the Garden of Eden to see what can happen when we do. Sarah grew weary of waiting for God to fulfill His promise to provide her a son and took matters into her own hands. She sent Abraham into her tent with her servant, Hagar, and they gave birth to trouble. Rachel grew weary of waiting on God to fulfill His promise to bless her second born over her first, so she took matters into her own hands, dressed Jacob up as Esau, and deceived her nearly blind husband, Isaac.  As a result, Jacob became a deception prodigy. 

    Waiting is a difficult task, but one thing is certain.  God is never early and He is never late.  Oh, it may feel as though He is.  It appeared so to Mary and Martha who were waiting for Jesus to come and heal their brother, Lazarus. When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, He waited two days before He made the journey to Bethany to see them.  When Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days.

    Mary, Martha and the townspeople were mourning and wailing over their loss.  "If only you had been here," Martha said.  Yes, in her mind, Jesus was too late, but Jesus knew exactly what He was doing and when He was to do it.  In fact, it was His Father's plan all along to raise Lazarus from the dead.  After four days, the dead body would have begun to decay.  How like God to wait until a situation looks completely hopeless to bring about a miracle for greatest impact. Had He healed Lazarus right away, some would have believed - but when God raised him from the dead, many believed.

    Friend, remember this. God is not waiting to answer our prayers as if playing with our emotions.  When Jesus saw the grief of Mary and her friends, He broke out in tears and wept.  Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  It was difficult for Him to see the pain death had brought, and yet He knew the joy that was yet to come. This would not be the last time someone would roll away a stone to reveal a miraculous resurrection!

    So, if you are waiting on God for an answer to prayer, just remember... He's never late...He's always on time. "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:14).

    Let's Pray
    Dear Lord, help me not to grow anxious or frustrated when waiting.  Whether it is waiting in line at the post office, waiting in rush hour traffic, or waiting on an answer to prayer, help me see my waiting as an opportunity.  Waiting in line is an opportunity to minister to those around me with a kind word or a simple smile.  Waiting in traffic is an opportunity to pray.  Waiting on an answer to prayer is an opportunity to trust and exercise my faith.  Most of all, Lord, thank You that you are never late, but always right on time.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 8:48AM

    God blesses His children beyond measure. Count your blessings as you praise Him

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).

    Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. . . . All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify (1 Corinthians 10:12, 23).

    No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

    It is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:17-18).

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 7:58AM

    Give Praise to the Lord

    Give your praise to the Lord that He always warns us of the consequences of sin and gives us a means of escape:
    I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
    The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
    Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    And let us exalt His name together. . .
    Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
    Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
    (Psalm 34:1-3, 8).

    Against You, You only, have I sinned,
    And done this evil in Your sight--
    That You may be found just when You speak,
    And blameless when You judge (Psalm 51:4).

    God has not given us a spirit of fear,
    but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

    May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 7:55AM

    Who Is Jesus?

    August 21, 2008
    Is He More? 
    Colossians 1:15-20 

    Who is this Jesus? It's a question that has been asked by countless individuals for more than two millennia. And, to be sure, it is the most important question that can ever be asked--or answered. How would you reply?

    You may say, "He's my Savior." But is He more? "Well, He's the Lord." But is He more? Yes, He is far more indeed. Jesus did something for us that had never been done before: He enabled us to see the Father in a new way. In Colossians 1:15, Paul explains that Jesus is the "image of the invisible God."

    No one has ever looked upon the face of the Almighty. In the Old Testament, some people found themselves in His presence, but they were never able to look fully upon His glory. For example, even Moses, who is described as God's friend (Ex. 33:11), could not look directly at Him. At best, he had the opportunity to look upon "God's back" as the Lord passed by. But Moses never saw His face. (Ex. 33:18-23).

    However, Jesus came to bridge the gap between the Father's pure, holy glory and mankind's sinful nature. As God's "image," Jesus is the exact, flawless replica--the perfect reflection--of His Father. Therefore, Jesus could say, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

    How do we know what the heavenly Father is like? By knowing Jesus. He is the only full expression and explanation of God. Are you prepared to answer the question? Then ask the Father to reveal His Son to you in a fresh way today.

    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 21st - 7:53AM

    Your Tongue Can Be Powerful in Good and Bad Ways

    August 21, 2008
    Check Your Heart
    Mary Southerland

    Today's Truth
    James 3:3-4 (NLT) "We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong."

    Friend to friend
    With just two words, "meat loaf", Dan will immediately suggest that it would be a great night to eat out.  The kids run for the car, willing to eat anywhere without the usual argument. Words are powerful and affect how we live!  In today's power verses, James compares the tongue to a bit in the mouth of a horse and to the rudder of a ship, two small things that exercise great power. A small bit enables the rider to control the whole horse as a small rudder enables the pilot to steer a large ship. With one word, a life can change direction because words lead to deeds.

    In a small country church, an altar boy who was serving the priest at Sunday mass accidentally dropped the glass of wine. The priest struck the boy and shouted, "Get out and don't come back!"  That boy became Tito, the Communist leader. In another cathedral, an altar boy who was serving the bishop at Sunday Mass, accidentally dropped the glass of wine. With a warm twinkle in his eyes, the bishop gently whispered, "Someday you will be a priest." That boy grew up to become Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

    The power of the spoken word is great! The bit in a horse's mouth and the rudder of a ship must be under the control of a strong hand in order to accomplish what they were created to accomplish. So must the tongue.  When God controls our tongue, He controls us!  I once heard someone say that we should pray "Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth."  The guidance you give or the direction your life takes is strongly related to the words you speak or refuse to speak. Your tongue directs your life.

     A minister was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed a little boy watching him. The youngster didn't say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the boy would leave -- but he didn't.  Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, "Well, son, trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?" "No," the boy replied. "I'm just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer." 
     What is inside our heart will eventually work its way out in our character. Matthew 12:34-35 simply and clearly states, "The mouth speaks the things that are in the heart. Good people have good things in their hearts, and so they say good things. But evil people have evil in their hearts, so they say evil things."  When Jesus Christ is the Lord of the heart, then He is Lord of the lips as well. Check your heart.
     Every time I go to the doctor, the first thing he asks me to do is to stick out my tongue.  The last time I went, he asked me that same question, but I was ready. "Why does every office visit begin with sticking out my tongue?"  His answer surprised me! "The health of the tongue is a strong indicator of how healthy the whole body is!"  The control of the tongue begins in the heart.

    Proverbs 10:20 "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value."

    An obedient heart is under the control of Jesus Christ.  In order to tame the tongue, we don't need to turn over a new leaf. We need a new life, and there is only one who has the power to give us a new life -- Jesus Christ.  When Jesus Christ comes into our life, He makes everything new and He starts with the heart.  A new heart produces a new mouth.  Is it time to check your heart?

    Let's Pray
    Father, thank You for Your power to change a life. I praise You for the changes You have brought about in my own life.  Please examine my heart for any contamination!  Make me aware of how the words I speak and write come across to others.  Help me learn how to use my words as a tool for encouragement and growth in the lives of those to whom I speak.  Today, I choose to make a new commitment to speaking right words from a right heart.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Now It's Your Turn
    Think back over your day. How would you rate the health of the words you have spoken today?  Were they destructive or helpful?

    Think back to a time when the harsh words of someone wounded you. How did those words make you feel? 

    Is there someone who has suffered at the hand of your words?  Are you willing to make it right?  Make a time this week to contact that person, asking for forgiveness. 

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 8:32AM

    God I Want and Need Your Love

    God, I need your love.  My life is filled with scars and wounds that can be healed by your love alone.   I celebrate the love You so freely offer.  I accept the gift of your love and thank you for its transforming power in my heart.  I love you, Father, and celebrate your presence and power in my life.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Now It's Your Turn
    What past experiences in your life need the covering of God's healing love?  Right now, make the decision to face and deal with these experiences in God's timing and God's way. 

    • Why do we bury hurt and pain? 
    • With what have you tried to "cover" the painful parts of your life?
    • Did it work?  Why?  Why not?
    • What does it really mean to allow God's love to cover the sin and pain in your life?
    • What is the first step or action that you need to take in the process of allowing God to heal the broken places?
    • How do you think this decision will affect your daily life?

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 8:28AM

    The Lord gives us His immortality, so we praise Him:
    I will love You, O Lord my strength.
    The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
    My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
    My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
    I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
    So shall I be saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:1-3).

    Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His,
    And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
    For His anger is but for a moment,
    His favor is for life;
    Weeping may endure for a night,
    But joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:4-5).

    Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:11).

    "The Lord bless you and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26).

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 8:21AM

    The Red Marbles

    This story has always touched me. 


    I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean,hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

    I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
    Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

    'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

    'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

    'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

    'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'

    'Good. Anything I can help you with?'

    'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

    'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

    'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

    'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

    'All I got's my prize marble here.'

    'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.

    'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

    'I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

    'Not zackley but almost..'

    'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

    'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

    Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two ot her boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves
    to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

    I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

    Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.

    They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

    Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

    Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

    Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

    'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

    'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man
    in Idaho '

    With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
    deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

    The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath..

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 8:04AM

    Always Praise the Lord

    Jesus Christ took our place on the cross. His great sacrifice requires our praise:
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).

    "Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.
    And do not lead us into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.
    For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
    Amen" (Matthew 6:11-13).

    Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
    For the Lord preserves the faithful,
    And fully repays the proud person.
    Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:23-24).

    Oh, how great is Your goodness,
    Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
    Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
    In the presence of the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19).

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 8:01AM

    It is in God's Plan For Us to Suffer

    Scripture tells us that the Lord has many purposes for the pain we experience. One is to develop personal righteousness in us. Desiring that we walk in holiness before Him, God utilizes discipline to direct us away from ungodliness and to increase our fruitfulness. He will use difficult people and circumstances to prune away any "deadwood"--attitudes, behaviors, and relationships that do not fit a child of God (Eph. 4:25, 29, 31). While such "pruning" is not a pleasant experience, it can effectively train us to lead godly lives.

    God also uses suffering to manifest the life of Christ in us. For that to happen, we must learn to depend on Him for both our work and our words. If circumstances did not press in upon us, we would probably go our own way. But we are to be like Jesus, who relied on His Father no matter how easy or hard life became. As Christ's ambassadors, we are to be living examples of His character. This may mean forgiving our enemies, bearing our burdens with patience, or finding joy in the midst of sorrow, just as He did. Our witness will not be a perfect one, but we should display a growing "family resemblance."

    Life is full of trouble. But in the hands of a loving God, our suffering is being used for His eternal purposes

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:28AM

    How to Pray More Effectively

    12 Steps to Change Your Prayer Life

    Jennifer Kennedy Dean

    Right to the Heart of Women

    1. “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” (Prov. 21:1) 

    If your thoughts wander during your prayer time, instead of trying to force them back into your pre-set agenda, try following them. Perhaps the Lord has another agenda.

    2. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (Matt. 6:5-6).

    Set a time for daily prayer. Consider it an unbreakable commitment. Keep your set appointment every day for one week. For one solid week, let your scheduled prayer time be the centerpiece of your day: arrange everything else to fit around it.

    3. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

    Give God the first fruits of your day. For one week, give the very first 30 minutes of your day to prayer.

    4. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

    Find a place in your home where you can be alone and undistracted during your prayer time. Keep your Bible, prayer journal, pen, and whatever tools you use in that place so that everything is ready. During your prayer time each day, this is a sacred place.

    5. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah. 6:1)

    As you start your prayer time, before you say anything, let your mind’s eye see Him, high and exalted, and yourself in a position of worship before Him. Stay in that inner posture until His glory fills your thoughts as the train of His robe fills the temple.

    6. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’” (Luke 8:46 )

    Take time to become truly alive to His presence with you. Be aware that as you touch Him through prayer, His power is released into your life.

    7. “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Ps. 78:1)

    Read your Bible this morning with the awareness that you are listening to the words of His mouth. Stop at the first word, phrase, or thought that captures your attention and let the Father speak to you about it and let it shape your prayers.

    8. “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

    This week, practice the prayer of pliability. Instead of focusing on what you want God to do for you, focus on allowing Him to shape your desires until they match His. Accept each situation in your life as His hand shaping your thoughts, character, and longings.

    9. “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

    This week, let these words be the only prayer you pray about situations that confront you. Focus on relinquishing every situation to Him to be a platform for His power.

    10. “I will remember the deeds of the LORD.” (Ps. 77:11)

    This week, try writing out your prayers. It will help you stay focused and will create a record of God’s work in your life.

    11. “My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.” (Ps. 35:28)

    This week, practice praying out loud during your private prayer time. It will make your prayer experience more concrete and will help you keep your mind focused.

    12. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; …talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 11:18-20)

    This week, try walking as you pray. Walk through your neighborhood or around your yard. You will be more able to keep your mind open to new thoughts the Lord might introduce. You are likely to find yourself spending more time with Him.

    Please Click

    Here to subscribe to the Right to the Heart mailing list.

    Author, speaker, conference leader Jennifer Kennedy Dean is a significant voice on spirituality and prayer. She addresses real questions about prayer. Contact her at www.prayinglife.org/. © 2008 – Jennifer Kennedy Dean

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:25AM

    Show Me Your Ways God

    The Lord has given us the ability to communicate, and we praise Him for listening to our cries:
    Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
    Or who may stand in His holy place?
    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
    Nor sworn deceitfully.
    He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
    And righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 24:3-5).

    Show me Your ways, O Lord;
    Teach me Your paths.
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day. . . .
    For Your name's sake, O Lord,
    Pardon my iniquity, for it is great
    (Psalm 25:4-5, 11).

    As for me, I will walk in my integrity;
    Redeem me and be merciful to me.
    My foot stands in an even place;
    In the congregations I will bless the Lord (Psalm 26:11-12).

    One thing I have desired of the Lord,
    That will I seek:
    That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    All the days of my life,
    To behold the beauty of the Lord,
    And to inquire in His temple.
    For in the time of trouble
    He shall hide me in His pavilion;
    In the secret place of His tabernacle
    He shall hide me;
    He shall set me high upon a rock
    (Psalm 27:4-5).

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:17AM

    When We Suffer It Is A Blessing In Disguise

    Tuesday August 19
    Hope in the Midst of Suffering
    2 Corinthians 12:7-10

    We all go through distressing times in life. These seasons of suffering may be brought about by relational difficulties, financial hardships, or other trials. But as God's children, we can take heart in knowing that our pain is not wasted.

    Sometimes our pain is for the eternal benefit of others--the Lord uses it to reveal the genuineness of our faith so that others might see it and be drawn to His Son (1 Peter 1:7). By the way we respond to adversity, our belief in Jesus becomes visible to those around us. Believers will be encouraged, and seekers will ask us questions about our faith.

    At other times, God uses trials to teach us to obey--Hebrews 5:8 tells us that even our Savior learned obedience from the things He suffered. Another purpose of hardship is to broaden our ministry. The apostle Paul's imprisonment let him minister among the guards, resulting in the salvation of many.

    Difficulties can also be the Lord's tool in preventing a problem from happening--an unidentified ailment kept Paul from becoming prideful. When disobedience threatens our walk with God, He will take whatever steps are needed to draw us back to Him. He may allow a need to remain unmet or something cherished to be removed. His purpose is that we confess our sin and return to Him.

    We may not know the reasons for our heartaches, but the wisest choice is to trust God. After all, He who saved us through the sacrifice of His Son has promised to use our suffering to bring about eternal good (Rom. 8:28).

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:14AM

    Worldly Things Don't Really Matter

    Father, thank You for the forgiveness You so freely give. Please help me to walk in that forgiveness as I surrender each hurt to You.  Help me to keep my eyes on You instead of on things that don't matter. I love You, Lord, and thank You for the wonderful plan You have for my life -- pits and all!  In Jesus' name, I pray.  Amen.

    Now it's Your Turn

    • Are there any old wounds or hurts that you have not dealt with?  
    • How have they impacted your life?  
    • Are you willing to lay them down at the feet of Jesus and leave them there?
    • Set aside some time today to be alone with God.  Ask Him to show you any places in your heart that have not healed.  If you need to forgive someone or ask their forgiveness, do it today.  If you simply need to let go, make the deliberate choice to do so.  
    • Celebrate the healing and joy that God offers in exchange for you pain.

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:09AM

    An Example of God's Unconditional Love

    August 20

    Hosea 14

    After pronouncing judgment on Israel for sin, Hosea prophesies restoration and blessing.


    Hosea is instructed by the Lord to take a wife whose name is Gomer and who later becomes unfaithful to him. Though Hosea loves her steadfastly, her infidelity compounds and she finally leaves him. Sometime later--as Hosea is walking down the street--he sees his wife being sold as a slave on an auction block. In a profound gesture of unconditional love, Hosea redeems (buys back) his wife and restores her to her former position of honor and comfort as his wife. In doing so, Hosea sounds a warning to Israel and plays out a moving example of the unconditional love of God for His people. If they sin, He will judge them; but after judgment, He will restore them to His grace.


    God loves His children unconditionally. Praise Him that He does not leave us to our own abilities in following Him:
    He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen (Deuteronomy 10:21).

    Pray this confession to the Lord:

    I said, "Lord, be merciful to me;
    Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You. . ."
    O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
    That I may repay them. . . .
    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
    From everlasting to everlasting!
    Amen and Amen (Psalm 41:4, 10, 13).

    As you confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, pray this affirmation to God:
    I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
    Greater love for your family
    -- The work of missions in North America
    -- Whatever else is on your heart

    Now offer this closing prayer to God:
    To Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest . . . to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen (Romans 16:25-27).

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:06AM

    Is Jesus Really God

    August 20, 2008 
    Was Jesus Christ Really God? 
    John 1:1-18

    The divinity of Jesus Christ is one of the most controversial issues facing every human being. It is also the most critical. Our faith hangs in the balance on this question.

    There are many who say they believe in Jesus and in God, but do not think that Jesus is God. They believe many good things about Him, however. They accept Him as a teacher. They marvel at Him as a healer. They revere Him as a philosopher, revolutionary, and social reformer. And yet, they cannot--or rather will not--accept Him as Lord.

    I want to be crystal clear on this matter. You can believe all of these wonderful things about Jesus. You can go so far as to laud Him as a prophet sent by almighty God. But if you do not accept that He is one with God--the Savior who died for your sins--then you do not know Him at all.

    Now, you may have heard people argue that Jesus Himself never actually claimed to be God. This is simply not true. Time and again in the Gospels, Jesus places Himself on equal footing with the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 10:30; 14:6-14). The truth is, if Jesus was not truly God's Son, then as C. S. Lewis observed, He was either a lunatic or the world's most detestable liar.

    If you are the least bit uncertain about this eternal question, don't let another minute pass before taking steps to figure out the answer. Examine the Gospels. Talk to your pastor or believing friends. Settle for yourself the life-changing question, "Was Jesus Christ really God?"


    C. S. Lewis On the Deity of Christ

    "What are we to make of Christ?" There is no question of what we can make of Him, it is entirely a question of what He intends to make of us. You must accept or reject the story.

    The things He says are very different from what any other teacher has said. Others say, "This is the truth about the Universe. This is the way you ought to go," but He says, "I am the Truth, and the Way, and the Life." He says, "No man can reach absolute reality, except through Me. Try to retain your own life and you will be inevitably ruined. Give yourself away and you will be saved." He says, "If you are ashamed of Me, if, when you hear this call, you turn the other way, I also will look the other way when I come again as God without disguise. If anything whatever is keeping you from God and from Me, whatever it is, throw it away. If it is your eye, pull it out. If it is your hand, cut it off. If you put yourself first you will be last. Come to Me everyone who is carrying a heavy load, I will set that right. Your sins, all of them, are wiped out, I can do that. I am Re-birth, I am Life. Eat Me, drink Me, I am your Food. And finally, do not be afraid, I have overcome the whole Universe." That is the issue.

    God in the Dock, "What Are We to Make of Christ?" 1950, p. 160.

    Comment (0)

    Wed, Aug 20th - 7:03AM

    God Meets Our Needs

    Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I act like a child and want more.  Forgive me when I go from "I want" to "God wants me to have" in the blink of an eye.  I know You desire me to have a thankful heart - a contented heart that wants only one thing...more of You.  I say with the Psalmist, "The Lord is my Shepherd.  I have everything I need." In Jesus' Name, Amen

    Have you ever justified your wants by saying that God wants you to have them?

    Ouch!  That hurts, doesn't it?

    Ponder these two verses today:

    "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

    "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 8:33PM

    Be Commited to God

    Because God honors our commitment to moral excellence, praise Him with the words of this psalm:
    O God, You are my God;
    Early will I seek You;
    My soul thirsts for You;
    My flesh longs for You
    In a dry and thirsty land
    Where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).

    And Achan answered Joshua and said,
    "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel,
    and this is what I have done . . ." (Joshua 7:20).

    Show me Your ways, O Lord;
    Teach me Your paths.
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day (Psalm 25:4-5).

    Behold, God is my salvation,
    I will trust and not be afraid;
    "For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
    He also has become my salvation" (Isaiah 12:2).

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
    that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 8:29PM

    Thursday August 14
    In the Midst of Painful Trials

    Genesis 39:6-20

    Joseph's enslavement lasted for 13 years and went from bad to worse. He lost his favored position in Potiphar's household and went to prison when the master's wife told lies about him. His hope for release from jail died when the king's servant forgot his promise (Gen. 40:14, 23). The future looked bleak.

    Despite the evidence of circumstances, God was carrying out His plan to bless Joseph and benefit his family. Joseph was His appointed person to rescue them from the coming famine. To accomplish this, he had to learn the Egyptian language and culture, develop leadership abilities, and mature spiritually. The Lord's plan accomplished all of this.

    Joseph learned two helpful lessons. First, the Lord is a faithful companion who uses our troubles to prepare us for His work. When the time came, Joseph was fully trained to become second-in-command to Pharaoh--the Egyptian king even testified that God's presence was with Joseph (Gen. 41:38). Second, when the Lord accomplishes His purposes, the difficulty will end. At God's chosen moment, Joseph was freed from jail, rewarded with a high-ranking appointment, and reconciled with his family. Though his boyhood was gone, he was greatly blessed by living in the center of the Father's will.

    Adversity can be painful, but the Lord uses it to further His purposes and equip us to carry out His plan. What is He trying to teach you in the midst of your trials? Are you cooperating with Him? Remember, even Jesus suffered in order to fulfill God's redemptive purpose (Matt. 16:21).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 8:27PM

    August 14, 2008
    The Most Caring Child
    Mary Southerland

    Today's Truth
    1 Thessalonians 5:14 "We ask you, brothers and sisters, encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone."

    Friend to Friend
    Author and lecturer, Leo Buscaglia, once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.  The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.  The winner was a four-year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

    Every day, needs parade in front of our eyes, but we don't see them!  I believe there are two main reasons we are blind to the needs of those around us.

    We are too busy.  We have a schedule to keep.  We have blinders on to the people who cross our path each day.  Hurting people, lonely people and even desperate people tend to hide behind their pain from the very ones who could help most.  We look the other way, allowing them to withdraw into a darkness filled with pain and fear.  Many times, we view them as intrusions or interruptions in our very important schedules.  These uninvited guests may very well be divine appointments sent by God!  Hebrews 13:2 is a haunting verse to me, "Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it."  I wonder just how many angels we have missed because we were too busy.

    We do not care enough.  Jesus says that if we love God right, then we will naturally love each other right.  True compassion is directly related to the health of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  The Bible is very clear on this point:

    1 John 4:8  "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
    1 John 4:20 "If people say, 'I love God,' but hate their brothers or sisters, they are liars. Those who do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen".

    We can be very religious and not care enough!  The story of the Good Samaritan is one of the most familiar in all of Scripture.  It is a parable, which is an earthly story with a heavenly lesson.  Jesus tells this parable in response to a question asked of him by a Jewish lawyer.  The question was "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus told the lawyer two things. He must love God completely and then love his neighbor as himself. The lawyer didn't like that answer because he lived by the law and wanted the law or doing good works to be his ticket to heaven. This "loving your neighbor" business sounded too messy, too costly and too much responsibility.  Jesus said that keeping the law is not enough and that we must love God and our neighbor.
    Therefore, the lawyer asks a very important question, "Who is my neighbor?"  Jesus answers the lawyer with the parable in which Jesus pointedly defines compassion and shows us how to practice compassion in our life.

    A Jewish man had been beaten, robbed and left on the side of the road to die.  A Levite and priest saw the man lying in the road and passed him by.  Now get this!  They were on their way home from church, returning from their temple duties in Jericho, the second largest city of Judea and home to thousands of priests and Levites.

    I am sure they had good reasons for not stopping!  After all, they had been serving God at the temple all week and were anxious to get home. The bandits might still be hanging around, looking for their next victim.  It was a busy road.  Surely, someone else would come along and help the man.  Besides, he was in bad shape, probably beyond help anyway.  Sound familiar?

    Fortunately, someone did stop.  Luke 10:33-34 tells us that "a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion.  He came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him."

    It is important to understand that Jews and Samaritans were enemies and normally refused to have anything to do with each other.  There was no logical reason this Samaritan should rearrange his plans and spend his money or invest time to help an "enemy" in need, but then, compassion doesn't look for reasons.  Compassion doesn't ask for limitations but simply searches for opportunity. 

    The Samaritan had a choice, just like we have a choice every time we are confronted with a need.  The way we love and take care of one another should be a living illustration of God's love. 

    Let's Pray
    Father, please forgive me for my calloused attitude toward those in need around me.  Forgive me for making my Day Timer my Bible.  I do not want to be a hypocrite, Lord.  Give me a heart of compassion and the eyes to see those You send my way.  I pray that my life will exemplify Your love and mercy.  In Jesus' name, Amen

    Now It's Your Turn

    • Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort.  He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us."
    • When God delivers us from a difficult circumstance, what is our responsibility to others?
    • Does your schedule have margins of time for the angels unaware that God may send your way? If not, what changes do you need to make?
    • Think of one person in your life today who needs your comfort and encouragement.  Give that person a call, drop by for a visit, or mail an encouraging note.  If you see a need, meet it as an act of compassion. 

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 8:18PM

    Glorify God

    Thank the Lord that He has warned us of the consequences of our sin, and praise Him that in Christ we can escape them:
    I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
    I will be glad and rejoice in You;
    I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. . .
    The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
    A refuge in times of trouble.
    And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
    For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:1-2, 9-10).

    Who can understand his errors?
    Cleanse me from secret faults.
    Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    Let them not have dominion over me.
    Then I shall be blameless,
    And I shall be innocent of great transgression (Psalm 19:12-13).

    "Now, Lord, what do I wait for?
    My hope is in You" (Psalm 39:7).

    Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
    And establish the work of our hands for us;
    Yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 8:15PM

    Follow His Example

    Friday August 15
    God is Able
    Ephesians 3:20-21

    Jesus knew firsthand what it meant to live with limited financial resources, to have family question His actions (Mark 3:21), and to be rejected by those He sought to serve (John 6:66). However, He never allowed such circumstances to control His emotions or dictate His actions. Instead, He chose to trust that the Father was able to carry out His Word.

    We are called to follow Christ's example and believe that God is able to do what He has promised. For example, the Bible pledges eternal salvation for everyone who asks for forgiveness in Jesus' name (Heb. 7:25). The Son satisfied His Father's justice by dying on the cross for all our sins--from "white lies" to unspeakably vile acts. When we have true faith in Jesus, God will forgive us and make us a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). No matter what trouble we have caused, He invites us to draw near in faith and receive the gift of everlasting life.

    Having saved us, God says He will establish us in truth (Rom. 16:25); after giving us a firm foundation in Christ, He builds us up in righteousness. Through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him.

    By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention upon your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you.

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 7:36PM

    You Are God Alone

    "O Lord God of Israel,
    the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God,
    You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.
    You have made heaven and earth" (2 Kings 19:15).

    "Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You,
    who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants
    who walk before You with all their hearts" (1 Kings 8:23).

    Good and upright is the Lord;
    Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
    The humble He guides in justice,
    And the humble He teaches His way.
    For Your name's sake, O Lord,
    Pardon my iniquity, for it is great
    (Psalm 25:8-9, 11).

    They said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
    and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31).

    Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
    You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
    Bless the Lord, all His works,
    In all places of His dominion.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul! (Psalm 103:21-22).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 7:32PM

    Hot Chocolate


    A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.

    During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.   Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and   an assortment of cups porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite, telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

    When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:

    'Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress

    The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate.   In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.  What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups..... And then you  began eyeing each others cups.

    Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups.  They are just tools to hold and contain life.

    The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.

    God makes the hot chocolate; man chooses the cups.  The happiest people don't have the best of everything.

    They just make the best of everything that they have.

    Live simply.  Love generously.  Care deeply.  Speak kindly.
    And enjoy your hot chocolate!!! 


    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 7:30PM

    No Trial is Beyond God's Ability to Help

    The Weekend August 16-17
    No Trial Is Beyond God's Ability to Help 

    Jude 24-25

    Though Scripture is filled with promises from the Lord, we often struggle to accept them as true in our particular situation. But the Father wants us to believe that He's willing and able to do what He has said. 

    God has promised that we do not have to give in to the lure of sin. He sets a limit on temptation and provides a way out. Jesus saw the truth of this promise in His desert experience. The Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness, where He was tempted by Satan. Our Savior successfully resisted the Devil's enticements by recalling who the Father is and what He promised. God limited Christ's temptation to three challenges. The way out was through Scripture's powerful truth.

    The Lord has also pledged to keep us from stumbling. We live in a world that is full of land mines, which are either hidden from sight or disguised as something good. We do not seek them out. But once triggered, they lead to ungodliness. For example, Peter had a conversation with a servant girl and ended up denying that he knew Jesus (Matt. 26:69-72).

    Like the apostle, we sometimes have trouble recognizing a situation's potential danger, but our Father understands what is involved. He knows just how we should respond.

    Whether you face temptation or encounter an unexpected difficulty, the approach needs to be the same. Turn your attention to the Almighty, and keep it there until your mind is filled with the knowledge of Him. Allow the Scriptures to guide your prayers, and stand firm until the promised help comes.

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 17th - 7:25PM

    Praise the Lord for Ruling in Love

    We praise the Lord for ruling in love:
    "Stand up and bless the Lord your God
    Forever and ever!
    "Blessed be Your glorious name. . .
    You alone are the Lord;
    You have made heaven,
    The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
    The earth and everything on it,
    The seas and all that is in them,
    And You preserve them all.
    The host of heaven worships You
    (Nehemiah 9:5-6).

    Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
    Whose sin is covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
    And in whose spirit there is no deceit (Psalm 32:1-2).

    Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
    And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies (Psalm 40:4).

    To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

    Comment (0)

    Mon, Aug 11th - 11:16AM

    Do you have time for God?

    Read only if you have time for God 

    God, when I received this e-mail, I thought...I don't have time for this... And, this is really inappropriate during work.

    Then, I realized that this kind of thinking is....Exactly, what has caused lot of the problems in our world today.

    We try to keep God in church on Sunday morning... Maybe, Sunday night... And, the unlikely event of a midweek service.

    We do like to have Him around during sickness....

    And, of course, at funerals.

    However, we don't have time, or room, for Him during work or play...

    Because.. That's the part of our lives we think... We can, and should, handle on our own.

    May God forgive me for ever thinking...

    That... There is a time or place where..

    HE is not to be FIRST in my life.

    We should always have time to remember all HE has done for us.

    Jesus said, 'If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father.'

     Not ashamed?

     Pass this on ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT!!

     Yes, I do Love God.

     HE is my source of existence and Savior.

     He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. But, with Christ, HE strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) 

    If You Love God... And, are not ashamed of all the marvelous things HE has done for you...

    Pass it on.

     Now do you have the time to pass it on?

     Easy vs. Hard

     Why is it so hard to tell the truth but Yet so easy to tell a lie?

     Why are we so sleepy in church but Right when the sermon is over we suddenly wake up?

     Why is it so easy to delete a Godly e-mail, but yet we forward all of the nasty ones?

     Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one...

     There are no costs, but wonderful rewards... GOD BLESS!

      Isn't it funny how someone can say 'I believe in God' but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also 'believes' in God).

     Isn't it funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.


    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 10th - 5:13PM

    Isaiah 40 The Lord gives strength to those who wait on him

    August 8

    Isaiah 40

    The Lord gives strength to those who wait on Him.


    God has given us the Christian family as a picture of the relationship between Him and His children. We are given earthly fathers, that we might more fully understand our heavenly Father. Just as an earthly father takes no delight in disciplining his children, so our heavenly Father takes no delight in disciplining His children. Hear the tenderness in these words: "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" (v. 1). God tenderly loves us and takes no pleasure in our pain, although He desires our spiritual growth as a result.


    Since the earthly family pictures the heavenly family, praise the Lord that He is your heavenly Father:
    He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
    For all His ways are justice,
    A God of truth and without injustice;
    Righteous and upright is He (Deuteronomy 32:4).

    "The Lord lives!
    Blessed be my Rock!
    Let God be exalted,
    The Rock of my salvation! (2 Samuel 22:47).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
    David's heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly" (2 Samuel 24:10).

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

    Make your requests known to God, and include:
    Greater wisdom for living life
    -- Needs of your immediate family
    -- Those you know who are suffering

    Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
    To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
    And to present you faultless
    Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
    To God our Savior,
    Who alone is wise,
    Be glory and majesty,
    Dominion and power,
    Both now and forever.
    Amen (Jude 24-25).

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 10th - 4:56PM

    Max Lucado When Death Become Birth

    When Death Becomes Birth
    by Max Lucado

    You live one final breath from your own funeral.

    Which, from God's perspective, is nothing to grieve. He responds to these grave facts with this great news: "The day you die is better than the day you are born" (Eccles. 7:1). Now there is a twist. Heaven enjoys a maternity-ward reaction to funerals. Angels watch body burials the same way grandparents monitor delivery-room doors. "He'll be coming through any minute!" They can't wait to see the new arrival. While we're driving hearses and wearing black, they're hanging pink and blue streamers and passing out cigars. We don't grieve when babies enter the world. The hosts of heaven don't weep when we leave it.

    Oh, but many of us weep at the thought of death. Do you? Do you dread your death? And is your dread of death robbing your joy of life?

    Jesus came to "deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying" (Heb. 2:15).

    Your death may surprise you and sadden others, but heaven knows no untimely death: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Ps. 139:16).

    Dread of death ends when you know heaven is your true home. In all my air travels I've never seen one passenger weep when the plane landed. Never. No one clings to the armrests and begs, "Don't make me leave. Don't make me leave. Let me stay and eat more peanuts." We're willing to exit because the plane has no permanent mailing address. Nor does this world. "But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior" (Phil. 3:20).

    Why don't you do this: give God your death. Imagine your last breath, envision your final minutes, and offer them to him. Deliberately. Regularly. "Lord, I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection. I entrust you with my departure from earth." With Christ as your friend and heaven as your home, the day of death becomes sweeter than the day of birth.

    book coverFrom
    Come Thirsty
    © (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

    Comment (0)

    Sun, Aug 10th - 4:50PM

    All that salvation cost is what everyone can afford: one's self Isaiah 55

    Isaiah 55

    All that salvation costs is what everyone can afford: one's self.


    Coming to the Lord costs a man nothing and, at the same time, costs him everything. The offer is free in that a man need not give anything in exchange for his salvation. "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (v. 1). Yet receiving salvation costs man his life. He no longer has the freedom of self-determination. "Seek the Lord while He may be found . . . Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him" (vv. 6-7). All that it costs is what everyone can give: one's self.


    Nothing can exceed the importance of the salvation that the Lord offers us in Christ, and for it, praise Him:
    Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever. . .
    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
    From everlasting to everlasting!
    (1 Chronicles 16: 34, 36).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
    O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
    Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
    Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;
    O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
    My soul also is greatly troubled;
    But You, O Lord--how long? (Psalm 6:1-3).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
    Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust" (Psalm 91:1-2).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
    Greater commitment to the Lord
    -- The work of specific Christian ministries
    -- Whatever else is on your heart

    Close with this prayer of praise to the Lord:
    "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
    Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
    Be to our God forever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 7:12).

    Comment (0)

    Sat, Aug 9th - 8:18PM

    Ways to draw nearer to God

    • Seriousness, obedience, and humility
    • Spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, fasting, study, and more
    • Encountering the love of God
    • Sharing the sufferings of Christ
    • Crossing metaphorical bridges and entering metaphorical castles
    • Enduring the purging work of God in our lives
    • Praying the Scriptures
    • Studying the Scriptures
    • Spiritual gifts and revivalism
    • Devotion to the body of Christ
    • Meditative prayer and social engagement
    • Belovedness and brokenness

    Comment (0)

    Sat, Aug 9th - 5:02PM

    Isaiah 53

    This is from Crosswalk-Quiet Walk daily Devotional.

    Our Savior bore the chastisement for our iniquity.


    When Christians suffer, they are tempted to resent God, to wonder: "Why me?!" If God is all good and all powerful, why must His children suffer? The answer to that question is difficult --and not totally satisfying to the finite mind. Jesus maintains His credibility, however, in that He readily suffered for us all--suffering more than He will ever ask of us. Why must God's children suffer? We don't know. What we do know is that God was willing to suffer for us. He asks nothing of us that He was not willing to do for us.


    Thank the Lord and praise Him that He is so skillful and patient in teaching us His way:
    Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
    Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,
    The power and the glory,
    The victory and the majesty;
    For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
    Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
    And You are exalted as head over all.
    Both riches and honor come from You,
    And You reign over all.
    In Your hand is power and might;
    In Your hand it is to make great
    And to give strength to all (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).

    Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

    Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:

    "O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6).

    Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

    Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
    "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).

    As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
    Greater insight into Scripture
    -- The hungry around the world
    -- Your activities for the day

    Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
    He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

    Comment (0)

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    About Me

    Name: Lois Ryan
    ChristiansUnite ID: loisryan
    Member Since: 2005-10-23
    Location: Binghamton, New York, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: Not much to say. Want to keep a blog to help my Christian faith. Busy schedule in my life

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