Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BAD MOUTH

swearing in cartoonImage via Wikipedia
 Luke 6:45   A good man (or lady) brings good things out of the good stored up in his (or her) heart, and an evil man (or woman)brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his (or her) heart. 
 For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

“PROFANITY IS NO INDICATION OF INTELLIGENCE”
 Several years ago when we lived in Farmington New Mexico, I was going to get a hair cut and my six year old daughter wanted to go with me. When we got to the barber shop there was only one customer ahead of me and he was in the chair.

D'Anne and I sat down, picked up a magazine and began the wait. Suddenly the man in the chair let out a string of vulgarities. (People who have limited vocabularies do that) I was shocked that he would use that language in front of my daughter, so I told him I would appreciate it if he would not swear in front of my little girl.

That didn't go over very well. He got red in the face and made some defensive statement (without swearing). I thought for a minute he might grab the barber's straight razor, but he settled down and kept his mouth shut. I was glad because I have never been much of a fighter.

Years have passed and this idea that it is acceptable to regurgitate filth in public is no better. As a matter of fact it is getting worse, and it bothers me greatly. And if you have noticed the “fairer sex” is beginning to be as bad as the men. If you are just a woman in today's world, you are probably cursing, But if you are a lady, then that kind of garbage won't come our of your mouth and you should demand that it not be used in your presence.

And men, why would you pay good money to take a “sweet young thing” to watch a raunchy movie and submit her to the humiliation of being cursed at by some vulgar mouthed, under educated, over payed, low life? If you do, don't be so hypocritical as to tell her you love her! And honey, if he does, give some serious thought before going with him again, or if he is your husband, it is time for a discussion about what you want your family to look like and your children to sound like.

A country, city, community, or family will look and sound like the population.

WHAT DO YOU SAY AMERICA? LET'S GROW UP AND CLEAN UP!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE GIFT

II Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

 The leaves had fallen, the air was cold, some snow was blowing, and it was almost Christmas. Our three children had already written Santa assuring him that they had been good and had enclosed a list of the items they wanted.

Now it was up to the big man in the red suit.

Jo Anne and I had no trouble finding the two “Baby First Step” dolls that Donna and D'Anne wanted, but not one store in town had a “Johnny Lighting” remote controlled car that Dave had his heart set on.

I desperation, I made several calls to Albuquerque and finally located a store that had one left. They promised to hold it until I could get there.

Doesn't love drive us to do strange things?

My only son wanted a “Johnny Lightning” and I drove over four hundred miles to make sure he got it!

But our Heavenly Father showed greater love than that when, on the most important day on the calendar of time, He sent His own son through the long corridors of space to purchase the gift of salvation for you and me.

If you haven't unwrapped your gift of salvation, This Christmas season would be a good time to accept His free gift and make the upcoming twelve months the best year of your life.

Merry CHRISTmas to all to all a great new year!
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Friday, December 17, 2010

THE THREE WISE WOMEN

What if the Three Wise Men had been the Three Wise Women?
Someone has suggested that if that had been the case, the following would be true.....

1.They would have asked for directions and arrived on time.

2.They would have helped deliver the Baby.

3.They would have cleaned the stable.

4.They would have made a casserole.

5.They would have brought disposal diapers as a gift.

Funny but probably true! But they weren't women, so what do we know about them?

You will have to read Matthew 2: 1-12 to get the answers to the following questions.. (Don't be too sure you know the answers without reading)...

1.Is it true that verse one states that, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea...” ?

2.Is it also true that the first verse says, “Behold, three wise men from the East came to Jerusalem” ?

3.What kind of camels does the scripture say they were riding?

4. Does verse two say they followed the star from the East?

5.How did the chief priests and scribes know where Jesus would be born?

6.How did the Wise Men know to go to Bethlehem?

7. Do you think they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy because the star finally stood over the stable where the Christ Child was?

8.Is it true that they presented gifts to Jesus of Gold, incense, and Myrrh?

9.What did Herod tell them when they returned to Jerusalem?
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Well, if you read the scripture, you may be surprised at how many errors there is in the nine questions..But to close this out let us be reminded of three things.

1.They were dedicated to learning about Christ and was determined to seek, and worship Him. How about us? Are there “earthly” things that are more important to us than that?

2.Upon meeting Jesus, they gave Him the very best of all they had. He doesn't expect any less of us.

3. After meeting Jesus they didn't walk the same path back. When we seek, find, and meet Jesus, we will follow a different path through life. The Bible calls it the Highway of Holiness.

What path will we follow in the New Year?

My favorite bumper sticker of all time is the one that reads:

"WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM"



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Monday, December 13, 2010

IT'S IN THE BOOK.

Ephesians 3:4.....”Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.”


I was a sophomore in high school and had probably never read anything larger than a “Classic” comic book in my life. I'm not proud of that, but that's just the way it was.

Then, Mr. Harrison, my high school English teacher brought me a book and challenged me to read it. I can't believe I read the whole thing! And it was over 350 pages!

“Thank you Mr. Harrison, you are one of those teachers that made a difference in my life.”

Well, years have past since then and I still have a hard time losing myself in “just any” book. But the Bible is not “just any” book. It is every book we will ever need bound into one.

I'm concerned that today so many people are reading books written by man about God and so few are reading the book written by God about man.

II timothy 2:15 reminds us that to be approved by God and to be able to know the truth, we must study the Word of God.

Someone has said that the person who does not read is no better than the person who can't read. Apply this to the Bible and the result is spiritual ignorance.

Let's get into the Word, so the Word can get into us.
PS. I wrote this for me....I want to do better.



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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Dawn is coming!

Psalms 30:15 “...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh the morning.”

I walked a mile with pleasure:
She chatted all the way;

But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.........Robert Hamilton

Sorrows are like clouds that engulf our lives and darken our souls, but we are never beyond the sight of God. When we have met the challenge and kept the faith, He moves the clouds aside and once again the rays of God's glory come streaming back into our lives.

Even in the final sunset of our life, If we have given our life to God and lived by His word, we will experience a dawn that is like none we have ever seen, and the new morning will find us in the presense of God, where we will live for etenity in the greatest joy we have ever known.  The victory cry of 1 Corinthians 15:55 is, "...Where O Death Is Your Sting?"

If you are experiencing sorrow today, take heart in these words recorded in John 16:20.
“Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.”
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Lord, Don't let me forget today that the darkest hour is just before the dawn and
JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Willy Wallywort from Wallyville USA

I can't believe I wrote this long, dumb story. And when you read it you will say the same thing. There is nothing devotional about this one!

Once upon a time there was the happiest, nicest, little man named Willy Wallywort. Willly lived in a delightful little town called Wallyville. One of the best things about Wallyville was that every one had a good job making all the stuff that the other folks in town needed to be happy.

Willy worked at the food market on main street, and all of the farmers kept the market full of good things to eat.

His cousin, Joe, worked in the cobblers shop and made shoes for the whole town.

Willy's neighbor was Dr. Goodguy who kept everyone healthy. If they couldn't come to his office, Dr. Goodguy would go to their house and even give them medicine.

Willy's big brother, Windy, went to work every day at the saw mill with lot's of other men from Wallyville. They cut the lumber everyone needed to build their homes, and some of them worked in the furniture factory.

Then there was Parson Paul. Everyone loved Parson Paul because he loved them so much. Everyone in Wallyville went to church on Sunday morning all dressed up in their Sunday clothes and sat in their favorite pew.

They didn't have a clothing store, in Wallyville because, since all of the men worked, the women stayed home and made the clothing.

They didn't need a restaurant either because the mothers prepared the meals and the family always ate together.

One of Willy's favorite thing to do was to go fishing. You see, Wallyville was built right on beautiful lake Wallyia. There were lots of “fish frys” in Wallywille. And did you know that not one person had ever crossed the lake to the other side. It was so far across that you couldn't see the other side, and besides everyone was happy just to stay on their side of the lake. They were all busy taking care of each other.

THEN IT HAPPENED! One day a big boat came from across the lake and tied up to the towns fishing dock. Willy wondered who they were and what they wanted. They didn't look like the men from wallyville. On the side of the boat were the letters: CHINA. But what nice people they were! They started unloading big boxes of clothing, shoes, furniture, and barrels and barrels of all kinds of food.

Then the town's mayor, Bill Burp, came out to meet them. The ships captain was a lot smaller than Mr. Burp, but his smile was a lot bigger and everyone liked him. His name was Captain Charlie Chopsticks and he said he had come to save our little town. I don't think anybody knew we needed saving. We all had jobs and were taking really good care of each other.

But when the people in town saw all of the wonderful things they unloaded, everybody wanted some. “My”, they said, “we can just get all of the things we need from the big boat, and we won't have to work any more.” Then all the ladies said, “ Yea!, we won't have to cook and sew anymore. “ Every one was amazed at how inexpensive everything was on the boat, so they just stopped making shoes, growing food, and making furniture and started living from the big boat.

But it wasn't long before they realized that they didn't have enough money to buy everything they wanted. So Captain Chopsticks said, “Don't worry, I will loan you the money to buy everything you need.” So everyone in the village started buying and borrowing, buying and borrowing, and buying and borrowing until they owed the big boat lots more money than they could afford to pay.

Then Captain Chopsticks quit smiling and said, “We can't loan you anymore money or bring you anymore of the wonderful things you have grown to love until you pay your bill.”

Suddenly, everyone in the village started looking for work but realized that they had become a village of consumers and had stopped being a village of producers. When there is nothing being produced there are no jobs to be had.

Then Mayor Bill Burp had a great idea. He said, “We will just make all of the people in the village pay a high tax on everything they own or consume.” “With that money we can pay off the big boat and everyone in the my office can get a big bonus.” Then the people hated Mayor Burp and the village wanted to string him up.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: If the village is going to survive, it will have to stop the big boat and rebuild it's own shops and factories so the people can return to work and be producers instead of just consumers. When that happens, the unemployment rate will plunge and the economy will soar in Wallyville USA.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ADOPTED

2 Corinthians 6:18
“ I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the LORD Almighty.”

Is there any thing more tragic than a beautiful, talented mother who gets so entangled in the need for drugs that she actually agrees to give away her two precious daughters? Here is a picture of those two precious girls. One is eight and the other is five. 
They have been treated like unwanted outcasts. They have lived in “hovels” and an older 12 year old sister had to try to be a mother to her little sisters while mother would spend days strung out on drugs. They experienced hunger and neglect. and youngest one was actually born while her mom was in prison. The sad details of this story could go on, but I am sure you can read between the lines and fill in the story yourself. There are so many of these children in our world today.

The girls are extremely bright and extremely sweet, and my daughter, and her husband, are extremely blessed to be able to adopt them.
And think how blessed the girls are.

They have gone from being unwanted and unloved to becoming a part of a real family who has given them the kind of love and hope they have never known, and believe you me, they are “eating it up”. They seem to get a special thrill out of being able to say “Mommy and Daddy”. And you know what?  In being adopted into the family, they became heirs to everything the family has. WOW!

The world is made up of a lot of “Spiritual Orphans” today. I hope you are not one of them. They live in the “Hovels” of ungodliness, and wander around seeking something that can satisfy the hunger of their anemic souls. But there is hope! And that hope is in adoption. We need to tell them that they will never be satisfied, or know what real love is, until they cry out to be adopted into the family of God.

In the eighth chapter of Romans we are reminded that;
“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. ..And the Spirit you received brought about your ADOPTION ...And by him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
CHECK OUT THE NEW FAMILY

IF YOU ARE HURTING AND LONELY TODAY,  GOD IS ANXIOUS TO ADOPT YOU INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD!

Monday, November 22, 2010

OVERDRAWN?

Philippians 4:19....”But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

I'm sure you have heard of the lady who said, “I can't be overdrawn! I still have checks left”. (That was a lady, wasn't it?)

Well, most of us, at one time or another, has probably bounced a check when we were sure we had money in the bank. But it doesn't make it any less embarrassing, does it?

The first question most of us asks is, “How could that have happened”? Well, the answer is simple. We withdrew more than we deposited. DUH!
"I warn you, Sir! The discourtesy of this...Image via Wikipedia

The same thing can happen to us spiritually. How often do we overdraw our spiritual account? How often do we run out of our own resources and cry out to God, “I can't be overdrawn! I still have checks left?

Then with a love we can't understand He Quietly says, “Oh child, when will you ever understand? It's not the checks! It's the resources! Come unto me and I shall supply all your needs according to my Father's riches in glory.”

 
If we invest our lives in God, our account balance will always be greater than our own resources.

"And you can bank on it!”



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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hogs, Garbage, and Hollywood

Looking out my window this morning, I see a very messed up world. Oh for the days of Mayberry again! I am not an alarmist, but hey, you have to admit, the wheels are coming off of the wagon. There is no longer any right or wrong.

 Have you ever watched the Mory (what ever his name is) show on TV? The whole thing is about trying to figure out which of the dozen or so men that a young woman slept with is the father of her child. It animalistic! (Is that a word? You know what I mean).

 I heard just yesterday where a young girl 10 years old gave birth and the father was a minor. Unbelievable! Want to hear a couple of statistics I read just a couple of days ago? In 1965 2% of the babies born to white girls were born out of wedlock. We thought that was bad, and it was, but today it is 26%.  One in four. The same statistics show that 72 % of all black babies are born out of wedlock today.  Notice I said "out of wedlock".  I didn't say they are illegitimate.  There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate  parents. 
The Hollywood Sign as it appears from a trail ...Image via Wikipedia
Thank you Hollywood! Our young people, and some not so young, are worshiping at the shrine of Hollywood. Trying to pattern their life after the ungodly, immoral, dregs of the earth. Hollywood is the garbage can of America! I now hear people in the church talking about  how great this movie or that movie is. BULL! It is all garbage. I even hear pastors use illustrations from“R” rated movies they have seen. God help us! And I “ain't” lilly white. I've have been to a movie or two myself but I'm not proud of it or wasn't comfortable going and I don't plan to go again. Folks, if we wallow with the hogs and eat with the hogs we will look like the hogs, and smell like the hogs, and act like the hogs.

 Whatever happened to Philippians 4:8?
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”        Isn't that still in the Bible? 

Well, I'm tired of looking out of my window, so this is the last blog I will write. If you have honored me by reading some of them I want to thank you and encourage you keep the faith.........Dale

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Monday, November 1, 2010

TRASH OR TREASURE, WEEDS OR FLOWERS?

Well, we had a garage sale yesterday. That was the third garage sale we have had since I said we would never have another garage sale! But people paid us about $150.00 to carry off our trash. Can you beat that? The stuff we had in our garage sure looked like junk to me, but, evidently, to other folks it looked like treasure.

I once saw a sign on an antique store that said,”We buy junk and sell treasures. Isn't that ironic? ”

How can a weed have such a beautiful FlowerImage via Wikipedia
Webster's Dictionary says that a weed is just an unwanted flower. Imagine that! If you see a plant you think is pretty, it is not a weed, It's a flower. But to the next person it may just be a dandelion or a thistle.

I guess wether it is trash or treasure, weed or flower is all in the eye of the beholder.

What do you think God see's when He looks at you?  
Does He  see junk or treasure? Do you think he see's a weed or a flower?

Genesis 1:27 tells us that, “ God created mankind in his own image.”
 No ugly junk there.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Declares, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Only flowers there.

2.Corinthians 4:7 Reminds us that,“We have this treasure in jars of clay.” Can you imagine? God stores His beauty and treasures in our frail, imperfect bodies of clay.

Notice He says, IN jars of clay. He knew the “gene pool” would louse up His perfect jars of clay. He knew some would have bulges, warts, and ugly imperfections, but He wants us to know that it's not the outside of the jar that is important. It is what's poured out from the inside that makes us beautiful, gives us worth, and confirms His power.

Today, I want to say with the apostle Paul, “Even if I am being poured out like a drink offering...I am glad and rejoice...”
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

THE DR. IS WAITING

A seizure can occur in small children with fev...Image via Wikipedia

Today our nation is sick.  It is running a high fever.  We see it exhibited in the heat of all the political upheaval of our day.

   Fever is always an outward sign of an inward problem.  It is an indication of something foreign to our body that is  infecting our system, or the fever can be caused by a poorly functioning vital organ.

  Our fear is that the disease, if unchecked, will result in the condition of our nation  becoming  terminal. With that in mind, I think that it is time for America to see the Doctor.  I would actually suggest a specialist.

  The good news is that I think I have located a specialist with the cure.  He describes the condition and the cure both in the best book on the subject that has ever been written.  The book is  entitled "The Bible", which simply means "THE BOOK".   Not a book, or some book, but THE BOOK. The Book is the document  from which all other books, of truth, must be written.

   It is in the division of this book entitled  Deuteronomy we find these words in the 28th chapter.  (Taken from the Message,which is "The Bible in contemporary language")  It is rather lengthy but it is worth the read just to get the cure for what is ailing our nation today.

"If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:

God's blessing inside the city,

God's blessing in the country;

God's blessing on your children,

the crops of your land,

the young of your livestock,

the calves of your herds,

the lambs of your flocks.

God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl;

God's blessing in your coming in,

God's blessing in your going out.

God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.

God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

 God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you. All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe".

THERE YOU HAVE IT!

If you would like to know what will happen to America if we don't follow the Doctors orders, find a Bible and read the rest of the chapter.  "It ain't very pretty"

AMERICA, IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP, GO TO THE DR.,  AND REPENT!


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

THE SECOND MILE

Remember the old country song that said, “Walkin', talkin', wearing out my walkin' shoes.”

This song should be Jo Anne's theme song. She is always twisting my arm to go for a walk, and sometimes it works. I know I should be thankful that I can walk and really jump at the chance to take a stroll, but for some reason I drag my feet. (no pun intended)

We have a one mile route that we walk, but when we get around once she always hints that we should go around one more time. If I complain, she always says, “It's the second mile that really makes the difference.”

I wonder if that's not what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:41 when He said , “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”

I wonder if He didn't mean that it's the second mile that really makes the difference.
It's the second mile that will convince a hurting friend that we really care.
It's the second mile that will convince our spouse that we really love.
It's the second mile that will convince a child that God is real.
It's the second mile that will show a co-worker what Christ is like.
It's the second mile that will convince that “Down and Outer” that there is hope.

Let's put on our walking shoes today and walk the second mile.





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

STEERING WHEEL OR SPARE TIRE?

Proverbs 23:19“....Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”

Porsche steering wheel 0429Image via Wikipedia
Would you say your prayer life is more like a steering wheel or a spare tire?

That's a question our pastor asked the congregation and one I had not heard before. But it certainly started me thinking. I had to ask myself, “Do I use prayer as something to guide my life or do I only rely on it when I've had a spiritual “blow out” and I have to have a "spare tire?”

Now, I know every part of an automobile has value and is needed, but I think the steering wheel is essential. Using it is the only way we can go in the right direction, stay on the right road, avoid pot holes and collisions, or keep headed toward our destination.

I am not saying we shouldn't use prayer as a spare tire sometimes, because I think we should. But I am saying that if we use prayer daily to guide our lives, We will have fewer “blow outs” and changing tires will not become a habit.

Flat tire.Image via Wikipedia
1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to, “ Pray without ceasing.” WHOA! How do we do that? What does that mean?
Well for me it is simply means that all my daily decisions should be made with a mind that is subconsciously controlled by an attitude of prayer of obedience to God.
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“Lord, I want to keep my hand on the steering wheel of prayer so that I can “guide my heart” down the highway of holiness.”




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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tattoos for Christ?

 In  Galatians 6:17  Paul tells us, "...for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
Does this mean he had "JESUS" tattooed on his chest?

 Can you believe this tattoo thing that is going on today? And girls of all things! Turning those beautiful feminine bodies into a walking billboard of dumb looking garbage. What are they thinking?

I think tattoos are stupid!  I have thought so ever since I had one put on my shoulder at the age of 22. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had done something that was permanent and that I would be ashamed of for the rest of my life.

I'm just glad that I have stayed married to Jo Anne all these years. I would hate to think that I would have to search for a new wife whose name was Jo Anne spelled as two words with an “e” on the end.

 But like anything else we do, and feel wrong about it, we will pay the consequences. But I'm also thankful that God is faithful and just to forgive. It's just that I wish I didn't have to go to the grave with the temple of the Holy Spirit marked with a tattoo.

Now, if you have a tattoo, I'm not trying to condemn you to hell. If I did that I would have to go with you, but I am trying to warn any young person who reads this to think long and hard before they permanently mark their body with something that will be an embarrassment once they get up fools hill and start down the other side.

I have 7 grandchildren and they have done some pretty weird things, but, as far as I know, none of them has been stupid enough to get a tattoo. And just on the rare chance one of them would read this, I just want them to know how proud I am of them for not being as stupid as their granddaddy
.
If you have tattoos all you can do is live with it and put it behind you as you would anything else you wish you hadn't done.. But, if you don't have tattoos, for heavens sake don't get any!

I don't think getting a tattoo is what Paul had in mind when he said, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable.” And maybe we should give some more thought about what Paul meant when he said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Believing what you know "ain't" so

 

There are those who scoff at the school boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school boy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so. --Mark Twain,

Is there any way to verify faith?
How can you know if you really have faith? I’m not talking about faith that defines your religious philosophy. I’m talking about faith like you have in a big rubber band just before you bungee jump. If you jump, are you exercising faith or stupidity?  What is the determining factor that verifies that it was either faith or stupidity?

For me to jump would be stupid because I wouldn’t take a chance on the rubber band. But for you to jump might mean that you had a faith that I didn’t possess. It could mean that you had a wonderful experience, while I missed the “Joy of the jump” because I am hunkered down some place sucking on my thumb of fear and unbelief.

One dictionary defines faith as: “belief that is not based on proof”. Do you buy that?

How does that stack up with Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.” Does that mean you have faith if you are hoping for something you don’t have, or looking for something you can’t see? I don’t think so.

Let’s look at the Hebrews definition again and notice the bold underlined words. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen”.

Substance is something that has weight and occupies space, and evidence is something you see that confirms a claim or charge. So is faith in the hoping and seeking, or is faith the tangible substance and evidence that results from our hoping and seeking?

Maybe here is what I am asking, “If we don’t see tangible results from our hoping and seeking, did we really exercise faith?
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I am way in above my head and I have already told you more than I know. But you think about it. Sometimes it is good to get the old cogs turning until the rust comes out of our ears…

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stuff, Things, and Friends

A man was once asked, “What is your purpose in life?”. He replied, “To get all I can, and “can” all I get”. That is not a new philosophy is it? It reminds me of a parable Jesus gave about the rich farmer that, instead of sharing the abundance of his current crop with others, said he would just build bigger barns so he could “can” all he had and keep it for himself.

What if you could back off far enough to see the entire “Time Line” of your life from the womb to the tomb? Would you see yourself as a person who spent the entire span of your life never being able to get enough “stuff and things?” Always trying to build bigger barns? Why do we work all our lives accumulating all this junk so when we die our kids will  just auction it off to the highest bidder?

Have you noticed that we always seem to channel our time, money, and talent toward the things we really love.

Do I love myself more than I love my wife?
Do I Iove myself more than I love my husband?
Do I love myself more than I love my children?
Do I love myself more than I love my parents?
Do I love myself more than I love my God?

John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man (or woman, or boy, or girl) lay down his life for his friends... (and all of the above should be our friends)...And you know what?   I don't think that means you have to die for them. I think it means you have to live for them. “Lay down” or “live out” our life for others...

Have you ever heard of a Nurse Tree?

Arizona is the home of the Saguaro. That is a large majestic cactus that stands in the desert with it's arms held up toward heaven. Often as you drive through that state, you will see one of those great plants growing right up through the middle of a small tree. That is a Nurse Tree.

At some point in time, a small bird, probably a Cactus Wren, flew into the tree carrying seeds that were dropped onto the ground beneath the branches, and a new Saguaro was born. The tree “nursed” that small seed into an adult Saguaro by providing shade from the harsh desert sun and sharing it's moisture and nutrients with the young plant. But in time there is a twist in fate. The tree that shared it's life nursing the cactus withers up and dies, giving it's life that the cactus may live.

Some day, just like the Nurse Tree, you and I will wither up and die. Will our memorial service be attended by a “Crowd of Witnesses” who are there because our love for others compelled us to nurture them by sharing our time, money, and talent, instead of building bigger barns?

The story of the rich farmer is found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke....And now “Here is the rest of the story”........... "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. (and their other friends)"

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WHAT WE GATHER, BUT ABOUT WHAT WE SCATTER!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Cherokee Legend...

 Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youths' rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm.  The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!  Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.

It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.  He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us.  When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Psalms 30:5........Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.


God, when hard times come, don't let me lose my faith and remove the blindfold before the "Joy Comes In The Morning".

(I sure wish I could say that I wrote this but it is a story passed on to me by Dick Green, and since he reads my blog, I don't dare take credit.....Just kidding Dick.  Thanks for sharing the story....Dale)

 


Friday, September 10, 2010

THE SONG

Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked...”


If you sat at the breakfast table with Jo Anne and me each morning, you would enjoy a concert of what seems to be dozens of happy birds each trying to out sing the other. We hear the songs of Robins, Chickadees, Bluejays, Sparrows and other song birds, and it is a wonderful way to start the day.

But there is a mystery about these morning melodies. The mystery unfolds when you go outside to see the birds. They aren't there! It's true, you can hear their songs but search as you may you will only find one bird.

Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)Image via Wikipedia
You guessed it!
 It's a Mockingbird.
 How sad that such a beautiful bird with such a wonderful voice doesn't have a song of his own.

 Whose song are you singing today?

 Like the Mockingbird, we can imitate the things of God. We can sound like God. We can know all of the "Christian" songs, and recite all of the "Christian" verbiage,  but our appearance betrays us. It's who we are and not what we say that makes us genuine.

If we talk the talk, we had better walk the walk. The world will not be fooled, and GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!

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“Lord, put your song on my lips today and touch my heart that it might be my very own.”

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WHO IS THIS IS THIS FAMOUS PERSONALITY?

John 1:10 “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”


Recently Jo Anne and I stopped in the little town of Capitan. Capitan is nestled in the beautiful mountains of southern New Mexico and is the birthplace of a very famous American hero.

Smokey the Bear MuseumImage by monkeyjenn via Flickr
While visiting a museum that was dedicated to his life, we were told that in a national survey, Americans were shown pictures of famous people, and with the exception of Santa Clause, their local celebrity was the most recognized face in our nation.

This famous American is none other than Smokey the Bear.

I sure hope there was not a picture of Christ in the survey. I would hate o think He came in third to Santa Clause and Smokey the Bear.

Do you think that after 2000 years the world still might not know Him?
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“Lord, if the world doesn't see you in anything else today, help them to see you in me.”
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

WAS JESUS HOMELESS?

1.Matthew 8:20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Was Jesus Homeless?  

I really began to think about this question after seeing this thought provoking painting by Deb Hoeffner. I emailed Ms. Hoeffner and she graciously gave me permission to use this picture in my blog. Deb is a very talented artist and illustrator. You can see her work at www.debhoeffner.com .

For the moment I'm just going to let this question “Tip toe through the tulips” of you mind. Maybe if it kicks up enough gray matter you will want to google, “Was Jesus homeless” and read some of the interesting comments on the subject.

But I'm reminded of a small boy who was standing on the side walk watching his house burn. A gentleman standing beside him put his arm around the boy and said, “Son, I'm sorry your home is burning down.” The boy immediately looked up at the man and without any hesitation, replied, “Mister, my home ain't burning down. That's just my house that's on fire”.

Do you have a house or do you have a home? I recently saw a bumper sticker on the back of a motor home that read, “Home is where you park it”. I guess the “it” referred to the motor home but I think it would been more accurate to just say “Home is where you park”. Or to say it another way, home is where you really want to be.

A place where you are comfortable.
A place where you can just be you.
A place where there is tolerance.
A place where there is understanding.
A place where you can be vulnerable.
A place where there is caring.
A place where there is intimacy.
A place where you don't always have to pick up your clothes.  (I'm a man)

It all boils down to this;
 
Home is a place where you share your love!   
Home is where the heart is! 

Byron in his writings echoed this when he said, “He entered his house – his home no more. For without hearts there is no home”.   And Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There can be no greater treasure than a Godly home.

So, let's face it, home has very little to do with where we live, and everything to do with how we live.

When I asked Jo Anne if she thought Jesus was homeless, she said, “If you won't let him live in your heart, I guess he is”. What a great answer! I'm not sure Jesus ever had a house. That is for you to decide, But I can tell you this. Since home is where you share your love, Jesus is at home in any heart that will open their door and let Him in.  That's always been His real home and is the same today.

If you feel like you have a house, but you don't fell like you have a home, maybe you should open your hearts door and ask Jesus to come and share His love through you. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”. That is what it takes to have a real home.

There are many people who can't afford a house but everyone can have a home!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HIS ARMS

Deuteronomy 33:27a......”The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms;”

When I was in high school, I had a friend that was my hero, and many years later I still look up to him.
His name is Robert Parker. He had solid Christian convictions, made straight “A”s, and was a great athlete, He was outstanding in track and specialized in running the mile.

When Robert ran, the most impressive thing about the race was always the finish. As he made the last turn and came down the final stretch, his father was always standing at the finish line to catch his exhausted son in his outstretched arms.

Now I don't know about you, but I get excited when I look forward in this race I'm running and know that when I make the last turn and head for the finish line, my Heavenly Father will be standing with outstretched arms to catch my tired, depleted body and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.
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“Lord, today help me to lay aside every weight and help me to run with patience the race you have set before me.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Friday, August 13, 2010

SHOWERS OF BLESSING

Ezekiel 34:26 ….I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.

For years Jo Anne and I spent our winters in the desert areas of Arizona. To many the desert may seem like nothing more than endless acres of scorched, lifeless sand. But have you ever seen it in March and April after it has been drenched by heavy spring rains?

What a surprise! What seemed to be dry and dead was simply dormant and asleep.

 As the showers soak deep into the sand, seeds that have been buried, sometimes for years, spring to life. The world of beige and tan becomes a canvas upon which God paints the vivid yellows, reds, greens and purple of the beautiful wild flowers that were there all the time.

Today your life may be ablaze with the beauty of what God is doing through you. I hope so. But on the other hand you may be going through a desert drought and may feel that the showers of blessings are long overdue.

DON'T LOSE HEART. THERE IS A CLOUD ON THE HORIZON!
The dormant seeds of blessing will be watered and new life will spring forth. God is not dead!
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Psalms 72:6 says that He will come down as showers that water the earth.
 THIS IS GOD'S PROMISE.. STAND ON IT!!




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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I CAN'T DO IT BY MYSELF

El Dorado International Airport runway.Image via Wikipedia
Let me tell you about one of the most frighting things that ever happened to me. I was a student pilot practicing take offs and landings. It was a cool crisp morning and the plane had just touched down when my instructor suddenly said, “Stop here I'm getting out. I think you can do it by yourself.”

I began to panic and argue, but he said, “No no, I have set over here long enough. Sooner or later you have to fly this thing all by your self and today is the day. Pull over, I'm getting out!” He did get out, and standing on the edge of the runway, gave me a wave and said, “Good luck, I'll see you when you hit the ground.”   I thought he used a poor choice of words, and I was scared to death.

I suddenly faced the reality that up to this time I always had the assurance of knowing that any time I made a mistake or exercised poor judgment, my instructor was beside me to make corrections and give me guidance, and I had no fear of crashing and burning as long as he was there.

Now, I don't know about you but I have had some pretty scary moments in my life. Times when I knew I couldn't make it by myself, and I am so glad that God was not like my instructor. Not once has He ever said, “Stop your life. I'm getting out!”

In Joshua 1:5 the Lord says,”...I will never leave you or forsake you”. And in Matthew 28:20 Jesus tell the disciples, “...lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

How good it is to know that He will never leave us and that, “In the worst of times, we have the best of God”.
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 What ever you do, don't take off with out Him!
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Monday, July 26, 2010

TURNING RIGHT

Jo Anne and I travel some in our camper and when Sunday rolls around we just stop at the nearest church and go in.....Believe me we have been in some ” Interesting” churches, met some “Interesting” people, and heard some “Interesting” sermons...

Last week we went to a church we had never been to. When we got there the parking lot was confusing so we followed another car and ended up going in a back door. There was a nice lady who caught us as we entered and took us to the sanctuary. She even came and sat with us later...(Ten points for that lady)

But to get to the sanctuary we had to navigate a couple of halls and make a right and left turn. Forgetting we had to get back out to the car, I didn't pay much attention to each turn and hall way. However, I did notice that at the intersection of one hall there was a beautiful statue of Jesus.

When the service was over we started down one hallway and Jo Anne said, “Which way do we go to get out of here and back to the car?” Well, I was not too sure myself, but about that time I spotted the beautiful sculpture of Jesus and I said, “No problem, all we have to do is go to Jesus and turn right”. And suddenly I realized what I had said.”GO TO JESUS AND TURN RIGHT”. Bingo! I knew I had to write that in my blog.

Imagine, as we travel the maze of life, if we would just always “GO TO JESUS AND TURN RIGHT”, how many of the fears, uncertainties, and bad decisions, we could avoid. And they could all be replaced by the “Peace That Passes All Understanding”. The peace that comes by just going to Jesus and doing what is right.

Philippians 4:7....."And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

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“Lord, help me to day to know that I will never go wrong by doing what is right”



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Saturday, July 24, 2010

FORGET THE LEAP

Bungee Jumping at Rock Ethos 2008Image via Wikipedia
I think the craziest sport I've ever seen is Bungee Jumping. It is idiotic, but people of all ages are “leaping” into it. (Sorry about the pun) Did you hear about the man who jumped to celebrate his 100th birthday? I guess he thought after 100 years what difference did it make.

I even saw recently where they built a special bungee to hold a couple and a minister so they could say “I do” while taking the “leap of love”. Most couples have enough ups and downs without starting their marriage on a bungee jump.

Do you know why I would never Bungee Jump? There is no way I am going to throw my body into space and put my faith of the future into the integrity of a rubber band. Do so if you like, but I want to know that my life is anchored to something more dependable than a piece of elastic.

Does it sound like there is a spiritual application here? ....I THINK SO...
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Psalms 62:7-8 “in God is my salvation and my glory” The rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
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“Lord, help me today to keep my feet planted on the Solid Rock, Christ Jesus, my strength and my refuge.”
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