Monday, December 12, 2011
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed Oolong tea. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the Oolong out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and Oolong tea,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Oolong. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The Oolong tea was unique, however. After they were in the boiling water , they had changed the water colour and taste.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the Oolong tea? The tea actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the tea, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
As you embark into 2012, I pray and hope that you will be showered with goodness and many blessings.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The man slowly looked up.
This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.
His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. "Leave me alone," he growled....
To his amazement, the woman continued standing.
She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.
"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."
The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.
"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.
Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..
"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"
The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"
"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for a while."
"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."
" This is a good deal for you, Jack" the officer answered. "Don't blow it.."
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived...
The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this, is this man in trouble?"
"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.
"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business.."
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."
The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled....... "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"
"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."
"And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"
"What business is that of yours?"
I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."
The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"
"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."
"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?""Yes, maam. That would be very nice."
The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."
The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.
"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this."
She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. "Jack, do you remember me?"
Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."
"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."
"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.
"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."
Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said.. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."
"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble... Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right."
"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.
"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card..
"When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons...He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet... If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."
There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you?" he said."Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank God...... He led me to you."
Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways....
"Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.
"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And..And thank you for the coffee."
Galatians 6:7-8 says "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Someone once said "Life is like a boomerang. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy. "
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
"Shalom, my friends. My name is Yeshua ben Yosef. I am from the ancient land of Palestine and I'm a shepherd by trade. It is an honor for a man of my occupation to be allowed to stand here and speak with you today. You see in my nation shepherding is not looked upon with favour. For most of my countrymen it is a job to be avoided rather than sought. The hours are long.
The work is dirty and backbreaking. You should see the thick calluses on my feet. And the pay ... well let's just say you'll never get rich tending sheep for a living. I learned the trade from my father and I continue the family tradition.
Your pastor thought it would be helpful for me to come and speak with you today about my lowly occupation. I'm not really sure what a humble man such as I could teach you, but I'll tell you everything that I know.
Did you know that in the Bible you read, God refers to his people, you and me, as sheep nearly two hundred times? You may have never considered the significance of that comparison but I have because I work with sheep day and night. Let me tell you it's not a compliment to be called a sheep. Why not rather eagles - majestic, swift and beautiful? No, God calls us his sheep. Why not lions - strong, fearless, terrifying? No, instead, God calls us his sheep. Oh they're unique, but to be compared to one is nearly an insult. A sheep is perhaps the stupidest animal on the face of the earth.
Have you ever seen a trained sheep in the circus? You'll see elephants, horses, bears, seals even hippos, but not sheep. They're too stupid to train. Sheep are also quite filthy. The wool that you see in clothing has been cleaned thoroughly. The fluffy white sheep that you view on your television sets didn't get that way on their own. Sheep will not and cannot clean themselves. The shepherd or his hired hands must do it for them.
Not only are they dumb and dirty, sheep are utterly defenseless. They have no claws, no fangs, no wings. They can't run fast or scare an enemy off with a loud roar or spray a predator with a noxious scent. All they can do is bleat.
Sheep are completely reliant on their shepherds. Their lives and well-being depend on the person who oversees them each day. If God calls us his sheep I wonder just what he's trying to say.
Maybe you would understand God a little better if you spent a day with me.
Come with me on a journey shepherding sheep.
The day begins early, before dawn. It is my job to provide food and water for my sheep. This is not an easy task. You see in my country the land is parched and dry. We have nothing like the vast green pasture lands that your sheep and cattle enjoy here. You can just turn your animals loose and they have all the food they need. But not in my country. Oh no! Grass can be found only in narrow strips separated by long stretches of rock and dust. Except during the rainy season, water is provided by natural springs or wells spread out here and there. I sometimes have to lead my sheep miles just for a few yards of grass or a quick drink of water. It is for that reason that we arise early. It takes all day to find the nourishment my sheep need.
I know the area like the back of my hand. I've walked every square foot of it many times. This is how I'm able to lead my sheep. You may have imagined that shepherding is like those old Westerns you've seen where the cowboys, riding their horses behind the herd, drive the cattle forward. Shepherding is somewhat different. I walk in front of the herd and they follow me.
Wherever I go they go. If I were unfamiliar with the land or the sheep were left on their own they'd starve to death. But I lead them. I know where the grass is. I've been there beforehand.
We spend the entire morning traveling from pasture to pasture. By mid-day the sheep are exhausted and thirsty. They need refreshing or they will die.
Along the route I know the location of several oases. These places have shade and lush pasture for the sheep to rest. I make them lie down and drink. Speaking of which, did you know that sheep won't drink from just any water source. Oh no. They will only drink from quiet still pools. They have a natural fear of fast moving water and for good reason. If a sheep should slip into a river or stream its wool would soon soak up the water and become completely saturated. Sheep are poor swimmers anyway, but the weight of the water in their wool would cause them to sink and drown. That's why the waters must be gentle and still. If I can't find a pool I have to create one by diverting water from a stream. Now you're beginning to understand what hard work shepherding is.
My sheep will be fine and have everything that they need as long as they follow me. I lead them along well-worn paths where I know we will find food and water. They need my guidance.
My sheep also need my protection. The land where we travel is fraught with dangers. Predators like lions and bears stalk the herds. There's the occasional pack of wild dogs. Some harmless looking plants, though tasty, prove to be poisonous. A sheep might easily stumble over a cliff or fall into a ravine and die. But my sheep have no need to fear. I watch out for them. If they begin to wander off in the wrong direction I have my trusty shepherd's staff to prod them back in the right direction. If they should fall into a pit or a ravine I use the other end of my staff to reach down and lift them to safety. I carry two sticks, though. One is a staff, but the other is a club. The staff is for my sheep, but the club is for predators. My sheep may be dumb, but I'm quite attached to them. I'll fight tooth and nail for their lives. Some of the hirelings and other shepherds I'm acquainted with have seen me battle a few of those big carnivores.
They laugh and joke and tell me that some day one of those lions or bears will have me for lunch. That may be true, but I can tell you that I won't look the other way or run the other way like those cowards. No, that's the difference between a good and a bad shepherd. A good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep.
As long as they follow me I guide and protect my sheep. Its tough work, but I always make sure my sheep have food to eat. I always check out the fields before I allow them to graze. If there are poisonous plants in the area and go through and weed out everyone by hand. I also check the ground for snake holes. I told you it's dangerous in my land. We have tiny little vipers that live underground in some of the pasture lands. When they sense the sheep grazing, they pop their ugly heads out of the ground and bite the sheep on the nose. The infection or venom from the bite could kill them.
But I have a remedy for those viscous little enemies. I walk off the entire area looking for snake holes. When I find them I pour a little olive oil into the entrance of the hole. Then I anoint the head and nose of each sheep with the same oil and allow them to graze. The oil prevents the slick bodies of the snakes from crawling out of their holes. They're powerless to harm my sheep. It makes me laugh to watch my little lambs have a picnic in the very presence of their enemies.
By evening we return to the sheepfold. One by one I examine each of them. If I find any cuts or scraps on their bodies I apply healing ointment to their wounds. I make sure they have water to drink. If I find one nearly overcome with thirst I have a special cup-shaped bucket and let him drink by himself. Sometimes those sheep are so thirsty that they stick their heads in too fast and too far and the water overflows and wets their heads.
Before bedding down for the night I always count my flock. Occasionally one of the lambs will stray, and there's nothing more vulnerable than a sheep without its shepherd. I go immediately to find it and bring it back to the sheepfold.
Every once in a while one of my lambs will develop a habit of straying. I remember one little fellow. I named him Jake. He came from a fine family. His grandfather was one of my very first sheep. I called him Old Abe. Jake's father was Isaac. Both Old Abe and Isaac faithfully followed me and stayed on the path, but not that little rascal Jake. He turned up missing more times than I could count. Sometimes he was in search of greener pastures while at other times I found him chasing butterflies. He never realized the danger he's in, but I understood it clearly.
Something had to be done. We shepherds have developed a technique guaranteed to prevent straying. It is used only as a last resort -- when a sheep refuses to stay with the flock. The last time I caught him straying I used it on little Jake. No doubt you will think that it's cruel, but it saves the life of my sheep. At the end of the day I found little Jake wandering dangerously toward a steep gorge. I picked him up, put him on my shoulders and carried him back to the sheepfold. He didn't struggle. Jake just looked at me with only trust in his eyes. I sat him down and quickly placed his right front leg across my staff. With one swift motion I pulled down of the long bone of his leg and broke it. Wild-eyed, Jake struggled to get away. He immediately fell to the ground in pain. He couldn't understand. The one who provided for him and rescued him, the one who he trusted was inflicting the most excruciating suffering he'd ever endured. I didn't want to, but I had to do it to save his life.
Over the next few days, little Jake could barely get up. As the flocks moved from pasture to pasture I carried him every step of the way. I held him close in those days. He was suffering with that broken leg, but all the while I carried him close to my heart. I sat him down to eat and drink.
Gradually he was able to walk again, but the smallest hill looked like a mountain to him and the shallowest stream like a mile-wide river. Whenever he encountered and obstacle all he could do was stop and look to me. Then I'd pick him up and help him over. Jake learned to trust and to follow. I had to break him to save his life. It worked. Jake is still with me today and one of my most loyal sheep.
Well that's a day in the life of a shepherd. It's not glamorous, but it's a living.
As undignified as my profession is it still amazes me that God compares himself to a shepherd and his people to sheep. I can see the truth in it though. After all he meets our needs by providing the necessities of life, by guiding us each day and by protecting us. I guess we would be as contented and at peace as my sheep if we'd just learn to trust and follow him. Even if we don't understand where he's leading or what he's doing in our lives, if we'd just trust him and follow him we'd be satisfied.
Thank you for listening. I've got to get back to work. This shepherding is a never-ending job if you know what I mean?"
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Chief simply replied, "The one you feed."
This is such a lovely story: so simple and yet so true. What you think about and dwell upon will in a sense appear in your life and influence your behavior. Life is about making choices And decisions. We're faced with choices every day. Some are big, life-changing choices, but many are small, day-to-day ones. We also face with a choice whether to feed our soul with Godly values or with values of the world.
The crucial question is “Which one are choosing today to feed your soul”?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Character is what we do when nobody is watching. Character is how we treat people who can do absolutely nothing for us. Character is how we react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that we are going to do the right thing
Every day we're faced with decisions — many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let's purpose in our hearts to do the right thing — because character truly counts.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, one church needed a great deal of cleaning up. Ash was in the parking lot and all over the inside because of open windows. A woman met the pastor in the hallway on Friday and asked "Why don't we get the High School and College kids to come in and help poor Fred clean this place up? Let's get them involved." "Great idea," he said, "Would you be willing to get some women together to cook lunch for us?" "Well actually, we had plans tomorrow and I don't know when we'll be back…"
Hmmm. We always want to volunteer someone else for a job needing done, don't we? My wife tells a story about a different pastor who once said "What? You don't feel led to help clean the church? I'll tell you what, here's a pencil — come up here and feel lead!"
It's so easy to get into the mindset that serving God is a chore, it's our job, our duty — we give "valuable consideration" to our giving, as Webster describes it. The fact of the matter is that God loves a cheerful giver. He loves a volunteer. When I think of that verse, the first thing that comes to my mind is monetary giving, but God wants us to cheerfully volunteer every good thing He has so mercifully allowed us to have — things we often take for granted — our time, our energy, our abilities, our talents, our homes, our cars, our families — all that we have – all that He has cheerfully given to us!
Let's make a point to volunteer some of these things to the Lord this week. Let's begin to bless the Lord and those around us!
Article by George Whitten @ http://www.worthydevotions.com
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
When we read this passage of Scripture, we tend to focus our attention on the part of the scripture where God does the blessing - but we fail to to inquire why did God bless Abraham? The answer lies in the passage itself! The Lord told Abraham: "I will bless you, you will be a blessing".
Abraham was blessed so that he could be a blessing! How about us today? Are we a channel of God's blessing? Do we consider that we are blessed to be a blessing? Think about it.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
"But if we are the Body
Why aren’t His arms reaching
Why aren’t His hands healing
Why aren’t His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren’t His feet going
Why is His love not showing them
there is a way That there is a way."
I found myself searching for the answer to the simple question - why are we not being effective as the early Christian believers were? Where are the Paul, Peter, Stephen and many others of today's generation? What is required of us to serve Him effectively? In Mark 8:34, Jesus says "....‘If any of you wants to be my follower,’ He told them, ‘you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me’”
Easy to read, hard to live! May God Almighty show us the areas where we are living out our own selfish ambitions. May He show us the sacrifices we have been unwilling to make for HIM.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
As I walk through this journey of life, I realize life is not made of “out of the shelf items”. Each one of us are customized and crafted beautifully by the Master Craftsman with a plan that is well crafted and executed. Psalm 139: 16 says “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! “ Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart!” God has a plan for each one of us.
We were born in response to the determined plan of God, not as an afterthought. Definitely we are not an accident!!!! Before we took even one breath, every day, every step and every circumstance in our plan was recorded. God’s plan uses our strengths as well as our weaknesses. We all have strengths – they are part of the plan. We all have limitations – they too are part of the plan. We all have seasons of life that are essential to the plan as well.
Sometimes we tend to think that God designed a sinister life plan laced with pain and defeat for us. Let me assure you that there is no truth in that statement. This train of thought contradicts the very nature of God and misunderstands His heart – the heart of a loving Father who wants the absolute highest and best plan for His child. He has good plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2) before the end of the age arrives, and it seems that we’re seeing it on a grand scale all around us. Virtually everywhere we look we’re watching the decline of morality and ethics — in government, entertainment, and social culture. It seems hard to deny that we’re living in the final days of abounding iniquity which Jesus foretold.
This is not an easy time for true believers. The evil around us can be so discouraging and the darkness so oppressive that it really threatens our ability to walk in love. Yet the reality of the gospel is brighter and more relevant than ever in this world. And the inner light of Messiah burning in us will be all the more intense and warm in this gloomy landscape, if — and only if, we fill our lamps with His holy oil and burn with His last days love. Anti-Christ culture is permeating our society. But we respond with the enduring culture of Messiah, a culture of supernatural love that will not die.
Take heart and don’t be deceived or discouraged, or allow your love to grow cold. These signs of the end are simply proof that God is on His throne and His sovereign Word is being fulfilled exactly as He spoke it. Continue in His love. Radiate His light. Wherever you are, wherever you go, bring His love. Love will endure, even forever.
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I have been preparing for my New Testament Survey examination and along the way I come across some interesting fact on the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. There are a lot of lesson that we can learn from nature and a good example is from these two large lakes. Yes it is a lake!! Let me clarify that the Sea of Galilee is not a sea that we know or familiar with. It is a fresh water lake about thirteen miles long and seven miles wide. It is Israel. It is the largest fresh water lake. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, is a much different story. At 1,400 feet below sea level, its shores are the lowest dry land on earth. Its water is about ten times saltier that the some of the famous ocean. Depending on the season, the water of the Dead Sea is 35% salt.
Now here is something I learned recently. Both of these bodies of water are fed by the Jordan River. The Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee and then through the Sea of Galilee. It continues south and flows into the Dead Sea. The same water, and yet one lake filled with life and the other is dead. Here’s the difference. The Dead Sea is so far below sea level that it has no outlet streams. The water flows in, but it does not flow out. Daily, they say, 7 million tons of water evaporates from the Dead Sea, but the minerals remain, causing the salt content to be super concentrated.
Well, here is what nature can teach us about life. The Sea of Galilee takes water from the Jordan River, and then it gives water. The water simply passes through. As a result, the Sea of Galilee filled with life and beauty. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, only takes water. It gives nothing back, and as a result it sustains no life.
It is in receiving and then giving back that life and hope are sustained. The Sea that is alive is the one that gives. The more of yourself, of your life, of your love, that you pour out, the more alive, filled up, and refreshed you will become.
Someone once said: Give and you will live. Love, and you will be filled with God’s love. Hold back, and even that which you have will vanish away.
Let’s be givers. Let’s be lovers. Empty ourselves into His Kingdom, into His work, and be constantly refilled with His love, power and peace.
What is your choice today? Sea of Galilee or Dead Sea?
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
When missionary Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: “We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?” Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”
There’s a big difference between just being interested in doing something and actually making a commitment to doing it! Just being interested allows us the freedom do a thing only when our circumstances permit. But making a commitment to do that thing means accepting no excuses and no reservations — it means putting aside our fears and reservations moving forward till we see the end result! Dr. Livingstone was looking for results, and this required men of commitment!
Let’s make some commitments! Our Lord, our families, our jobs and our congregations are awaiting us!
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions
Monday, May 23, 2011
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God. The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the "Good Shepherd". The candymaker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life. The candy became known as a Candy Cane -- a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures.
Next time when you get hold of a Candy Cane, hope you will remember the story behind it.
Monday, April 25, 2011
One constant pitfall we must watch for is taking credit for something that God does in or through us, or using the gifts and callings of God for self-exaltation. In that light it may be easier to handle poverty, weakness, or insignificance, than wealth, ability, power or authority, since poverty and frailty are not normally things we boast about, and they cause us to recognize our need for God. Prosperity, gifting, and anointing, on the other hand can be powerful temptations, leading to pride, covetousness, and self-sufficiency.
Saul, who came from a humble background, was anointed king of Israel, yet his heart was revealed when the Lord exalted him, but he exulted in his own position, eventually coveting it so severely he became a fierce enemy of God. The Lord then removed His spirit from Saul and the true condition of the man became apparent to everyone.
Even the great Solomon whose gifting, anointing, and prosperity were unsurpassed in some ways, seems to have taken for granted his abilities and wealth, and, somehow, rationalizing his blatant disobedience to God’s law, he fell into idolatry and brought disaster to the Kingdom of Israel. This seems amazing, given the fact that Solomon’s most precious gift was his wisdom. (Those with this gift should take note).
Be careful how you handle the gifts and successes that God gives you! Enjoy His blessings as you serve in your family, business, or ministry – but never forget where it all comes from, and to whom the glory belongs, cause if you do, He will be sure to remind you.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Psalm 33:18 says "Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope on His mercy." It is always comforting to know that someone watches over us. When we pray, God watches over us.
Pray, and we’ll see God’s will done in our country. May the Lord intervene in the issues that we are facing in this nation. We indeed need divine intervention.
EVERY TIME I PRAY
I will come to You in prayer
I will seek Your face
I will stand within the gap
There will I intercede
For every time I pray
I move the hand of God
My prayer does the things
My hands cannot do
For every time I pray
The mountains are removed
The paths are made straight
And nations turn to You
I am weak and helpless Lord
You, my strength shall be
Guide me with Your gracious hand
There will my victory be
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
One of the purpose of salt is to add flavor. Salt by itself is useless. It needs to be mixed with something else in order to demonstrate its purpose. E.g. Salt becomes useful only when it’s mixed with the curry. Likewise we become useful only when we flavor the world with the love of Christ.
We need to ask ourselves today whether we are living up to our role as the salt of the earth. Well, we can perform all our Christian duties i.e. - faithfully attend church, faithfully attend prayer meeting, live a holy life, and give towards mission and so on. But yet, we can keep ourselves within the four walls of the church. I call this “The Salt in the Salt Shaker” Syndrome”.
Instead of fulfilling our God given mandate to be salt of the earth, we live in comfort inside the Salt Shaker. From time to time, we are given some “nice shaking” through Sunday sermons and other form of messages. We lift up our hands in worship, we smile, we rejoice and we celebrate but all within the boundary of the “Salt Shaker”. Whenever we are encouraged and challenged to come out of the Salt Shaker, we give hundred and one reasons why we should stay inside the Salt Shaker and can’t come out of it. Sometimes we attend Mission Conference or Evangelistic meeting and we get ourselves “puffed up". But the “good feeling” only last for a friction of time and we go back into our comfort position inside the salt shaker and hide ourselves from the world.
Well I got some news for all of us today. Salt that refuse to come out of the salt shaker will eventually become harden and useless. Its ultimate purpose and existence will be wasted. So we must ask ourselves: Are we functioning as salt in our society? Are we adding flavor to this world with the love of Jesus Christ? In John 7:37, Jesus declared at the Feast, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." It is the church's business to produce in the hearts of unbelievers the “taste” of salvation in the Lord. Psalms 34:8 says “O taste and see that the Lord is good”.
My prayer is that we would leave the comfort living inside the “Salt Shaker” and go out to fulfill the mandate given to us. Stop playing church. Start serving the Master today. Be the salt of the earth as Jesus commanded. It means getting out of your comfort zone and start adding flavors of the love of Christ in others.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Charles Swindoll wrote about these men who bring in animals from Africa for American zoos. They say that one of the hardest animals to catch there is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years.
The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.
There’s a pretty clear moral to this story, wouldn’t you say? If we really want to be free, we must let go of the things we love. The more we hold on to our earthly posessions, the more frustrated we will get and eventually, we will be entrapped.
Let’s let go of the worldly things we’ve been holding on to. God has much greater things for us to be doing than sitting here with our fists in a melon!
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
An official of a mission board, who knew it takes more than just desire to make a missionary, was appointed to examine a candidate for the mission field. He told the young man to be at his house at six o’clock in the morning. The young man complied and arrived a six o’clock sharp. The examiner kept him sitting alone in the room until ten. Then he finally came in and said abruptly, ” Young man, can you write your name? A little taken aback by the simplicity of his question, the man paused. Before he could get a word out, the examiner blurted, “What, you don’t know what it is?” The mission board official put him through a series of questions of that nature and then went to report to the mission board.
“Okay,” he said, “he will do.” I tried his patience for hours and hours and he did not break down; Then I insulted him and he did not lose his temper. This candidate answered with patience, fortitude, and gentleness. His faith was vindicated by the very quality of his character. He will make a good missionary.”
Whether we realize it or not — we all are in the mission field. Our patience is bound to be tested in ways we’ve never imagined and we’ll most likely find it unfair and unkind at times. But standing strong in the Lord in the face of offensive treatment and enduring seasons of long-suffering is a testimony in and of itself — and that will win souls!
Are you weary from the walk? Get your second wind! Count it all joy! You have endured much and you will see victory! Not only here on earth but when we meet the Lord!
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions
Monday, January 31, 2011
In these battles, the moose with the largest and strongest antlers usually wins. Brain and skill have little to do with it. The victors are determined the summer before the mating season, when the moose eat nearly round the clock. The one that consumes the heftiest and healthiest diet will be the largest with the most impressive antlers.
What is the lesson that we can learn from the moose? Well, battles are bound to flare up in our lives especially with regards to spiritual warfare. We must equip ourselves ahead of time to ensure a victorious outcome. Just as an athletes train for years to compete in major sports meet, we must be diligent to develop enduring character traits such as faith, strength and wisdom in order to prevail.
Now is the time to pray, read the bible and work to develop your spirit-man. When the battle comes, you'll be a well prepared warrior.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
We came across this story in the book, Steel in His Soul, The Dick Hillis Story and it really ministered to us so we thought we’d pass it along.
Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the Japanese invasion. The couple lived with their two children in the inland town of Shenkiu. The village was tense with fear, for every day brought terrifying reports of the Japanese advance. At the worst possible time, Dick developed appendicitis, and he knew his life depended on making the long journey to the hospital. On January 15, 1941, with deep foreboding, Margaret watched him leave.
Soon the Chinese colonel came with the news. The enemy was near and townspeople must evacuate. Margaret shivered, knowing that one-year-old Johnny and two-month-old Margaret Anne would never survive as refugees. So she stayed put. Early next morning she tore the page from the wall calendar and read the new day’s Scripture. It was Psalm 56:3 — What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
The town emptied during the day, and the next morning Margaret arose, feeling abandoned. The new verse on the calendar was Psalm 9:10 — Thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee.
The next morning she arose to distant sounds of gunfire and worried about food and her children. The calendar verse was Genesis 50:21 — I will nourish you and your little ones. An old woman suddenly popped in with a pail of steaming goat’s milk, and another straggler arrived with a basket of eggs.
Through the day, sounds of warfare grew louder, and during the night Margaret prayed for deliverance. The next morning she tore the page from the calendar to read Psalm 56:9 — When I cry unto Thee, then shall my enemies turn back. The battle was looming closer, and Margaret didn’t go to bed that night. Invasion seemed imminent. But the next morning, all was quiet. Suddenly, villagers began returning to their homes, and the colonel knocked on her door. For some reason, he told her, the Japanese had withdrawn their troops. No one could understand it, but the danger had passed. They were safe.
Margaret glanced at her wall calendar and felt she had been reading the handwriting of God.
God’s handwriting is all around us but so often in the midst of the wars we face, we neglect to take notice. Let’s make an effort to see His merciful hand at work in our lives today. He cares for us more than we can imagine!
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Hudson Taylor was scheduled to speak at a Large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced him in the most eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”
If we want to do great things for the Lord, it is crucial that we become humble before Him! When we realize that we are but little servants of an illustrious Master — it is then that God will use us in a mighty way. After all, it is not our agendas, our purposes, our plans that God wants to bless — it’s God’s agenda — God’s plan — God’s purpose for our lives that He will bless to overflowing!
Let’s humble ourselves, get “little” before the Lord today and get our minds set on His purpose instead of our own.
This article was provided by Worthy Devotions.