Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lose in Order to Gain

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?  (Matthew 16:26 NLT)

   The Bible is full of accounts of people who were willing to suffer loss in order to gain.  Jacob gained a new name when he wrestled with God at Peniel.  Joseph gained a high position after languishing in prison for thirteen years.  Abraham waited for thirteen years before gaining a son.  Rahab gained a place in the genealogy of Christ after trusting God and hiding the spies.  Space does not permit the mention of Esther, Daniel, Elijah, Jonah, Saul of Tarsus, Stephen, and Jesus of Nazareth who died in order to gain the souls of mankind.

   What do you need to lose in order to gain?  The writer of Hebrews says, "...Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up."  (Heb. 12:1 NLT).  What sin is holding you down?  Put the ax to pride, crucify self, throw out the garbage, shun gossip, and avoid impurity.  Instead, uphold the truth.

   God is pleased when he sees us losing in order to gain.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Perplexing Question

"What do you want me to do for you."  (Luke 18:41)

  What the blind beggar alongside the road to Jericho heard the noise of the crowd he asked, "What is happening?"  "Jesus of Nazareth is coming," they said.  He began to shout, "Son of David have mercy on me!"  The crowd told him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder.  Surrounded by the crowd Jesus heard his cry.  He stopped and ordered them to bring him forward knowing that he was blind.  When they brought him forth Jesus asked him a very obvious question, "What do you want me to do for you?"  He responded, "I want to see!"

   As we approach a new year, Jesus stands ready to ask you and me the same question.  How would you respond?  Would you give a quick flippant answer, or would you spend time to ponder and mull over it for awhile?  Do you have the faith to ask God for something miraculous?  What would you REALLY want God to do for you?  Would his question cause you to refocus your priorities?  Would the question expose your shallow desires while at the same time reveal deeper ones?

   At this point, I don't know how I would answer that question.  I would need a lot of time to do some serious soul searching.  Take time to reflect and then ask God to give you the faith and courage to make the proper response.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Looking Up To Jesus

...fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith... (Hebrews 12:2 NASB)

  A number of differences exist between sheep and pigs.  Sheep are easily led, but pigs have to be driven.  Sheep listen to the shepherd's voice and come when called, but not pigs.  Sheep graze and browse, but pigs only roots and grubs.

   These comparisons between sheep and pigs reminds us of our walk with the Lord. How easy it is to become burdened down and busy with the material things of this world and fail to look up to Jesus.

   During this Christmas season we need to stop and reflect upon the goodness of God.  The Bible says, "They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.  For the Lamb on the throne will be their shepherd.  He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.  And God will wipe every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:16-17 NLT)

   Keep looking up to Jesus.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Remember the Good Old Days

When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord.  All night long I prayed with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.  I think of the good old days, long since ended.  (Ps. 77:2 NLT)

   Have you ever experienced times when the nighttime seemed endless?  Trouble, problems, and stress overwhelmed you.  You toss and turn, but sleep eludes you.  You cried out to the Lord and yearned for God's help, but no answer came.  You wondered, "Is God even listening?"

   The author of Psalm 77 experienced such a night and so have we.  How many of us have thought, "I'm too stressed out even to pray?"  The Psalmist felt as if the Lord had rejected him forever. (77:7)  I'm sure many of us have felt that way at times.  God seemed so far away and our efforts to connect with him seemed in vain.

   Then a "flashback" occurred in the Psalmists mind and he said, "I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs."  (778:5,6)  At times, you may think your situation is hopeless, that the problems you face are bereft of solution, and see no end in sight.  When those times come, and they will, let your mind "flashback" to the countless answers to prayers in the past.  Remember that we worship the "God of miracles and wonders." (778:14).

   He will see you through your current situation.  Just turn to the Lord and "remember the good old days."

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Place Called Home

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven's Armies.  I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. (Psalm 84:1,2 NLT)

   One of the prominent TV stations in St. Louis sponsors a program called, A Place Called Home.  The purpose is to find homes for children who do not have a family or home to call their own.  This year (2011) the call went out on the air waves seeking individuals, businesses, and churches who would provide over 3,000 "Little Wishes" for children who are in foster care waiting to find "A Place Called Home."

   In other parts of our war torn world you will find a soldier sitting on an army cot or alongside a military vehicle dreaming of home.  Home, where family and friends gather.  Home, with a comfortable chair or bed.  Home, where he can enjoy home cooked meals,  Home, where he feels safe and secure.

   As you read Psalm 84, you can't help but feel the writers longing for home -- to escape the hassles and cares of this world and enter into the present of the Lord.  His desire is to worship God in his holy Temple.  Just as thousands of children cry out for "A Place Called Home," and the lonely soldier yearns for home, the Psalmist had an urgent desire "to enter the courts of the Lord."  (84:2)

   How about you?  Where do you feel safe and secure?  Do you consider your house of worship a safe place?  Is it the place where you can feel loved and wanted?  Whatever situation you find yourself in this Christmas, rest assured that God has promised to not fail or abandon you.  (Hebrews 13:5).  Are you happy in his presence?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Living Example of Christ

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you to be holy.  (I Peter 1:15)

   During a small group discussion one man said, I used to have a sign on my car that read, "If you can read this, you're too close," but I took it down when my tailgating was pointed out to me.

   After the laughter subsided, I thought of the fish sign on the read of my car, and some sobering thoughts came to my mind. Do my driving habits reflect a Christian example?  How courteous am I in traffic?  Am I willing to yield the right-of-way to others?

   These thoughts caused me to examine other areas of my life and questions arose.  How do I handle disagreements that arise within the family, workplace, church, and out in the neighborhood?  Am I willing to listen to other people's point of view, or do I insist on having my own way?  Am I a control freak?

   Jesus' words and example set the standard for righteous living.  No one said it would be easy following Jesus' example, but there are far reaching rewards for those who obey.

   Are you willing to take up the standard of Christ and live for him?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Carried in the Arms of God

Praise the LORD; praise God our savior!  For each day he carries us in his arms.  (Psalm 68:19)

   On a hot July day in 1967, Joni Eareckson Tada's life changed forever.  Diving into a shallow lake, she broke her neck and fractured her spinal cord.  From a vibrant athletic teenager she became a quadriplegic.  Dreams of athletic events before large cheering crowds vanished.

   Through a friend's witness, she discovered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a faith that enabled her to rely on God's everlasting arms.  Joni experiences everyday what it is like to be carried in the arms of God.  Every day Joni relies on other people to care for needs she cannot meet for herself.  Her constant faith has enabled her to witness to thousands of people around the world who otherwise might not have heard the "good news."

   What has happened to day that has left you feeling weak?  You don't have to be confined to a wheel chair to testify to the reality of God's care.  When life deals you a debilitating blow, rest assured that Jesus will be there to help you stand.  Just remember you are "Carried in the arms of God."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Passing the Test

It was at Morah that the Lord laid before them the following conditions to test their faithfulness to him. (Exodus 15:25bNLT)

As a school teacher, I periodically gave tests to my students.  Did they master the material given, and could they apply the principles learned?  The tests were designed to help them achieve these goals.  Tests are a necessary part of life.

   Every believer faces similar tests for the same reasons.  James tells us, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials" (1:2 NASB).  The trials James talks about are tests.  Did you notice that he doesn't say "if," but rather "when"?  We all have them.  You can count on it.  The question is, "Are you prepared for the tests to come?"

   You can be sure of one thing.  God wants you to pass the tests, and he'll be there to help you get the right answers.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fumbling Opportunities

  Then she cried out, "Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!" When he woke up, he thought, "I will do as before and shake myself free." But he didn't realize the LORD had left him.  (Judges 16:20 NLT)

   How many sporting teams have lost games because they "fumbled away opportunities?"  Whether it be baseball, basketball, football, or any other sport, games have been lost because players have dropped the ball.

   The same hold true in the lives of believers.  We fumble the ball when we fail to execute the biblical game plan, or through lack of devotion.  We concentrate too much on our own self importance and fail to promote the person and work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

   If you check out the lives of Abraham, Lot, Samson, Saul, David, and Peter, you see instances where they fumbled (dropped) the ball in everyday decisions.  But at the same time they received restoration and forgiveness by confessing their miscues and turning back to God.  

   We all fumble the ball at times, but aren't you glad have we worship a Savior who stands ready to forgive and restore us when we recognize and admit our sins?  Our God is a God is second chances.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Night Sky Ablaze with Light

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them.  They were terrified.  (Luke 2:9 NLT)

   If you were standing on a hillside in total darkness with only the stars for light and the night sky suddenly blossomed with glorious light, how would you react?  Would you be frightened?  Then you hear voices of praise and singing.  Now you are really terrified.  What is happening?  The sheep are bawling as your eyes are fixated upon the heavens.  Suddenly they hear a voice, "Don't be afraid!"  "The Savior -- yes, the Messiah, the LORD -- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David."    The shepherds are so astonished that they leave the sheep and hurry into Bethlehem to find the new born child.

   Every Christmas I am challenged again by the shepherd's response to the good news of a Savior being born in Bethlehem.  Not so much that they went and saw for themselves baby Jesus, but that after seeing and worshiping him they left and told everyone they saw what had happened.  They refused to keep the "good news" to themselves.

   Isn't it the responsibility of each believer to share the "good news" that Jesus has come to redeem mankind?
How do you approach Christmas this year?  Do you see it as an opportunity to broadcast once again that the Jesus is the reason for the season?


Monday, December 12, 2011

Living a 3-D Lifestyle

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  (1 Cor. 2:2 NASB)

   To effectively live a 3-D Lifestyle, we need to put into practice three qualities: Determination, Devotion, and Demonstration.

   Determination is defined as "the act of coming to a decision or conclusion, a fixing of one's position, to resolve or purpose to do something."  To my mind, the most outstanding example of determination was Daniel and his three friends.  "But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the King..." (Daniel 1:8a)

   Devotion is defined as "a state of being dedicated and loyal.  It involves religious fervor."  True devotion requires an intimate relationship with Christ.  That's why it is so important to find a place of solitude where time can be spent listening to the voice of our Creator.

   Demonstration is a quality that put Christ on display in the marketplace.  It's determining to put James' command to be "doers of the word" into practice.

   What kind of 3-D Lifestyle are you and I living?  Are we determined to show our devotion by demonstrating Christ to the world?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Light to Guide the Way

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

   I have been in many caves in Missouri.  When the tour guide turns off all the lights, it is impossible to move.  You can't see your finger in front of your face.  Total darkness.  It's scary.  One small step is an invitation to disaster.  But light a match and the darkness flees.  Light is always supreme over darkness.

   The writer of the Psalms knew that God's path was dangerous and light was needed.  He mentions that the "wicked set traps" (v. 110), that "evil lurks" (v. 133), that "darkness means stumbling" (v. 165), and there is a "danger of wandering" (v. 175).  No wonder he pleads for the light of God's word to guide his path.

   The world is in spiritual darkness. How can people hope to find their way to God without his word to light the way?  That's why Jesus said, "I am the light of the world.  If you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life" (John 8:12 NLT).

   Do you have the light of life shining ink your heart?  Everyone needs a "lamp for their feet and a light for their path."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Legal U-Turn

If wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives.  (Ezekiel 18:27 NLT)

   Ezekiel is talking about repentance.  What is repentance, and why is it important?  According to Webster's dictionary repent simply means "to change one's mind," or "to turn from one's sin."

   When Jesus began to preach he said, "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17).  A person can't turn from something without turning to something.  Therefore, repentance is a change of heart and mind - a new course or direction.

   The truth is you can't change yourself no matter how hard you try.  A change on the outside does not necessarily mean a change has taken place on the inside.  Renovation of the old man won't cut it.  A new heart and new spirit is needed.  In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.  I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender responsible heart."  

   So, how are you doing today?  Have you repented and received a new heart and spirit?  If you have, take a few moments to dot down a few words of praise.  If not, now is a good time to address the issue of sin and confess Christ as Savior.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Least Likely -- Chosen

But the Lord said to Samuel, Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord doesn't make decisions the way you do!  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions.  (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT)

   Have you ever been passed over and left out of the mix?

   When the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king to replace King Saul six sons of Jesse passed by and the Lord rejected all of them.  Samuel became somewhat frustrated and asked, "Are these all the sons you have?"  Jesse reluctantly responded, "There is still the youngest, but he's out in the field watching the sheep." (1 Samuel 16:11) David was brought forward and God said, "This is the one, anoint him."

   What does this tell us about the position, stature, and character of a person seeking to worship God?  No matter how much "good" we may have done, no matter the level of our earthly accomplishments, no matter how well we use biblical terminology, no matter how spiritual we may appear, God doesn't pay any attention to those outward qualities.  He's interested only in what's in a man's heart.  Our attitude of heart is what counts with God.  He sees the intent, the desire, the humility, the selflessness, and the love we have for him.

   In order to avoid being passed over, we need to get out heart right with God.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Does God Exist?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

   The first four words of the Bible pretty much answer the question, "Does God Exist?"  If that were all that the Scriptures had to say about our Creator, it would be enough.  God is and was and is to come.  He is the Alpha and Omega. (Rev. 1:8)  None of the writers of Scripture attempt to prove the existence of God.  Instead, they simply record the evidence of His existence and the glory of His works.

   There is nothing more soothing to my soul than to stand on the top of a mountain and view the glory of a setting sun.  Even now, I can close my eyes and see the changing colors and spectacular beauty.  I have stood transfixed on mountain tops in five continents and the sheer beauty of fading sunsets confirms for me the presence of my creator.

   One of the most convincing evidences beyond the biblical, intellectual, scientific, and theological fields is the way lives have been changed.  I know from first hand experience because God radically changed my life from the inside out.  Every believer has gone through a lifestyle change.  It may not be a dramatic as say an alcoholic, drug addict, or jail bird, but all of us have had change.

What is your lifestyle change story?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Learning to Listen

Listen to me, all you in distant lands!  Pay attention, you who are far away!  The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name. (Isaiah 49:1 NLT)

   Listening is a skill seldom sought or taught today.  We attempt to teach children and young people critical thinking, public speaking, and creative writing skills, but listening skills are not stressed.  

   As I look back over my parenting years, I recall many instances when I failed to be a good listener.  I was too preoccupied with instructing the kids on the virtues of right and wrong to listen attentively to their needs.  As a result, I lost the closeness that brings families closer together.  While my parenting ideals were satisfied; their needs were not satisfied.

   Jesus was a good listener.  He showed great patience in listening to the countless questions offered by his disciples, and often remained silent while accusations were thrown at him by religious leaders.  He sits on his throne today listening intently to our questions and cries for help.

   What does it take to be a good listener?  The answer can be found in James 1:19 which says, "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."  (NLT)  This is good advice for all of us to follow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Remember what the Bible says: "Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled."  (Hebrews 3:15)

   Procrastination is the thief of time.  Time is in God's hands.  He gives us today.  Yesterday is gone and we have no promise of tomorrow.  How we use the time alloted to us today is one of the building blocks of eternity.

   Time is a precious commodity.  Jesus put an emphasis on the proper use of time.  When he told new recruits in Luke 9:59-62 to let the dead bury their own dead, and that no one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God, he was teaching them to control the urgency to waste time on meaningless side issues while the important issue of service went unheeded.

   What is the Spirit saying to us?  Don't put off till tomorrow what the Holy Spirit is impressing upon you to do today.  Tomorrow may be too late.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Never Say Never

Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods. (Joshua 24:16)  Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and worshiped the Baals. (Judges 2:11 NASB)

   How many times have I messed up big time and then said, "I'll never do that again only to do it all over again later on?  Have you been subject to the "I'll never do it again syndrome?"

   The children of Israel were often guilty of the never say never mindset.  They declared on more than one occasion that they'd never worship foreign gods or set up idols of worship -- but they did.

   Peter said, "Even if everyone else desert you, I never will," -- but he did.  Before the rooster crowed twice he denied his Lord three times.  (Mark 14:29-31)

   There is only one person who can use the never and not be accused of contradiction or falsehood.  That person is the Lord Jesus Christ.  When Jesus says, "I will never leave you or forsake you"-- never means never.  Take courage in the fact that Jesus' use of the word never is an absolute fact that cannot be denied.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dining at the King's Table

And from that time on, Mehibosheth ate regularly with David, as though he were one of his own sons. (2 Samuel 9:11b NLT

   Believers in Jesus Christ have been invited to dine at the King's table.  David said in Psalm 23, "You prepare a feast for me in the presence of enemies.  You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil" (Psalm 23:5 NLT).  

   Sometimes God piles our plate with the good things of life and we have to loosen our belts.  At other time we are faced with broccoli and spinach.  Times of adversity are difficult to swallow.  When this happens we need to go to the garden and talk to God like his son Jesus did. Jesus was handed a cup of suffering and it was so bitter that he wanted to hand it back, but in complete submission he said, "If it is possible take this cup from me; yet not as I will, but as you will."  (Matthew 26:39)

   Have you ever been maligned and falsely accused?  Of course you have.  All of us have suffered at the hands of the accuser.  When this happens, remember you are seated at the King's table.  Nothing can separate you from the love of God, your King.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Words are Powerful Tools

Don't let people waste time in endless speculation over myths and spiritual pedigrees.  For these things only cause arguments; they don't help people live a life of faith in God. (1 Timothy 1:4 NLT)

   Paul in his instructions to young Timothy urges the use of words that encourage true worship and avoid the distraction of meaningless speculations that lead to false teaching.  Words are the medium by which the good news of the gospel is spread.  We all know that communication tools can be easily abused.  It is imperative, therefore, that our words be grounded in Scripture, and filled with love.  Such words must sometimes be strong and corrective, but never belligerent or domineering.

   All believers are called to ministry.  Each person in the body of Christ has a different role, but we all have the same focus: Jesus the Savior of all is our only hope.  All of us have the responsibility to share this hope truthfully with the world around us.

   Paul urged Timothy to stay faithful, be strong and fearless, and to encourage people -- advice well worth our following.


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Watchful Eye

Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me."  (Matthew 26:38 NASB)

   During World War II our small town in Montgomery, Pennsylvania organized a self-defense watch station.  Volunteers manned the station 24/7.  Our task was to report the number of planes and direction of flight to headquarters.

   There are many Bible verses that instruct us to watch.  The Psalmist David said, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3 NASB)  The Apostle Paul said, "Be on the alert (watch), stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB)

   Watching requires diligence, determination, commitment, and faithfulness to duty.  Men in the military know what it means to slacken off on a watch.  A whole unit could be wiped out by the failure to stay awake while on watch.  We all have the responsibility to watch out for the souls of our fellow believers, neighbors, and friends.

Are you faithfully watching?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Joy Stealers

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  (James 1:2,3 NLT)

   Beware of joy stealers!  Who are these thieves that want to steal our joy, and how do we win the battle against them?  They can be identified as unfavorable circumstances, discouragement from what people around us say and do, the overwhelming obsession for stuff, and a paralyzing fear of worry.  What will it take for you to keep these thieves from robbing you of your joy?

   Dr. Warren Wiersbe describes in his commentary on Philippians four attitudes of mind that will help you maintain your joy in spite of circumstances, people, things, and worry.  These are: The Single Mind (Ch.1), The Submissive Mind ( Ch. 2), The Spiritual Mind (Ch. 3), and The Secure Mind (Ch. 4).  "Be Joyful" pp. 18-21

   Living the joyful life is possible only when you have Christ at the controls and submit your mind to him on a daily basis.

Thought for the Day: Joy is a by-product of our daily walk with Christ.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Job - a Man of Integrity

No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity. (Job 1:8)

   Integrity is not an inborn trait.  It takes time, effort, and discipline to develop a life of integrity.  Many factors are involved in building character.  Job didn't achieve integrity in a day.  God watched him for years before coming to the point where he could say, "Job is blameless in all that he does."

   The world doesn't seem to care about character, but God does.  As God looks down at my character, what does he see?  Does he see a compassionate heart?  An obedient heart?  A heart that cares only for self?  Nothing is hidden from the eyes of an all seeing God.

   Would God be able to say of you, "Now there's a person of integrity who is blameless in all that he does?"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Workers Needed

Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is so great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields." (Matthew 9:37-38 NLT)

   If Jesus were to place an advert in the Jerusalem Post it would look something like this: "Men and women wanted for difficult task.  You will be misunderstood, even by those working with you.  You will face constant attacks from an invisible enemy.  You will be maligned by the media, accused of being an extremist, labeled as a fundamentalist, and shunned by your fellowman.  You may not see the results of your labor, and little recognition can be expected.  It may cost you your home, family, ambitions, even your life.  Faint in heart need not apply."

   How many from today's Christian community would apply?  Would there be a long line waiting to crash the doors once they were opened?  I'm afraid the applicants would be few and far between.  What has happened to the missionary fervor that existed a century ago?  Where are those who are willing to sacrifice and suffer hardships for the sake of the gospel.  Has the church turned inward and become soft?  Are our youth no longer being challenged and trained to serve?  Have we abandoned the "great commission?"

   The harvest fields are still white and opportunities abound for meaningful service.  Many missionaries are nearing retirement age, and replacements are needed to carry on the work.  Let's all pray that the Lord of the harvest will raise up the necessary applicants to reap the harvest before it all spoils.

Thought for the Day: Helpers are needed and only God can raise them up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jesus is MIssing

Then after three days they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.  (Luke 2:46)

   Have you seen Jesus?  Mary and Joseph went from group to group in the caravan looking for their son.  He was nowhere to be found.  They went to a group of children thinking he might be playing with them and asked, "Have you seen Jesus?"  They replied, "No."  They became frantic with worry.  Where could he be?  After searching for three days, they found him sitting in the temple listening and talking to the teachers.

   The world today is looking for a savior.  Unfortunately they are all looking in the wrong places.  He can't be found in the market place, the media, the world of leisure, on the internet, or in Hollywood.  The only place you can find Jesus is in the Word of God.

   Are you looking for a savior?  Go to John 3:16.  You will find Jesus there offering himself as a sacrifice for your sin.  The free gift of salvation is waiting for you.  Grab it while you can!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Light in a Time of Darkness

For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping.  So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.  (Psalm 56:13 NLT)

   When I was a boy living in an old two-story farmhouse, the nighttime darkness was a scary thing.  No electricity.  No street lights.  Only a small candle to light the way.  A trip to the outhouse after dark was a fearful adventure.  Shadows from the candle danced like living beings.  Sounds in the night were magnified, and I made it a point not to venture outside.

   Have you ever faced that kind of darkness?  A child is deathly sick, a loved one is dying of cancer, severe back pain has distorted your body, you're facing foreclosure, or your job has been terminated.  Darkness overwhelms you and all hope seems lost.  Where do you turn?  What do you do when you don't know what to do?

   Jesus came into the world to light the way for mankind.  John tells us in chapter three that, "the light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light because they wanted to sin in the darkness.  But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants."  (vv 19 and 21 NLT)

   Have you come to the light?  If not, turn to Jesus today and ask him to shine his light of salvation in your life today?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Jail Break

But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out.  Then he told them, "Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life."  (Acts 5:19-20)

   The sirens wailed and red lights flashed on and off as the a loudspeaker squealed Jail Break.  Guards rushed to and fro shouting, "Where are the prisoners?"  This scenario could easily fit into the passage recorded in Acts 5:19-20 as stated above.

   This passage reminds me of my first experience in a jail -- not as a prisoner, but as a servant.  I was part of team that went once a month to share the gospel with prisoners at the jail in Belleville, Illinois.  We took a portable organ to each cell block and held a worship time with the prisoners.  I had the privilege of witnessing to an alleged murderer in a maximum security cell.  It was a scary but awesome experience.

   Did you know that God is still in the Jail Break ministry?  The Bible tells us that Satan has blinded the minds of those that do not believe, but Jesus died to set them free from the bondage of sin.  Now that's a glorious Jail Break, wouldn't you  agree?

 You can be set free from the shackles of sin by trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Thought for the Day: Jail Breaks are a-okay when God is the liberator.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Words of Affirmation

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to respond to each person.  (Colossians 4:6 NASB)

   Affirmation in the form of encouraging words inspires me to help build the esteem of my fellow man.  Each day I have the opportunity to use words that bring joy or sorrow, comfort or pain, victory or defeat.  I must as ask myself, "Will my words build up or tear down the person who hears them."

   The Apostle Paul instructed the believers at Philippi to "agree with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose."  (Philippians 2:2 NLT).  This can only be accomplished by offering inspiring words to affirm and build up the family of God.

   The next time you meet someone on the street, in the super market, at the gas station, or in the workplace why not speak to them a word of encouragement.  God will use your words to enlighten their day.
It takes more muscle effort to frown than it does to smile.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Waiting Room

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

   The gnawing pain persisted as we waited patiently in the emergency room for the doctor to appear.  Time seemed to be suspended as the minutes slowly ticked away.  Finally after several hours, my name was called.

   Waiting on God to keep his promises can be a painful and exhausting experience.  Abraham waited until he was 99 years old before realizing God's promise of a son.  Joseph spent 13 years in prison before being elevated to prime minister of Egypt.  Mary waited 9 months before the promised Messiah could be born.

   Have you ever been in God's waiting room?  Weighed down with trials and circumstances, you cry out to God for help.  Now you are in the waiting room hoping for a positive response.  How did you react while in the waiting room?  Did you become anxious, lose hope, or question God's love, care, and concern?

   Waiting may be unpleasant and painful, but is a necessary step in the development of our faith.

Thought for the Day: God's promises will never be broken and waiting is just part of the tests of faith.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Carried in the Arms of God

Praise the LORD; praise God our Savior!  For each day he carries me in his arms. (Psalm 68:19)

   The young teenager dove into the shallow pool striking her head on the bottom and fracturing her spinal cord.  Instantly she went from living a normal lifestyle to being a guadriplegic.  The rest of her life would be spent in a wheelchair.  Similar tragic accidents, genetic birth defects, Dementia and Alzheimer's leave individuals incapacitated.  Some of them are terminal.  How are they able to deal with these kind of life threatening maladies?

   David faced what seemed like insurmountable obstacles in his pursuit of kingship; yet he was able to praise the Lord because he knew that God carried him in His arms.  It takes a strong faith and assurance to be able to carry on when tragedy overtakes us.

   If you are facing some tragedy and overcome with grief remember, like David, that you are safely being carried in the arms of God.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm All In

Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you, for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge.  Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.  (Ruth 1:16 ASV)

   While reading the first chapter in the book of Ruth, the Lord addressed a need in my life.

   As stated in verse 16, Ruth made a momentous life changing decision to cast her lot with Naomi and the people of Israel.  She declared her allegiance with the God of Israel.  In essence Ruth is saying, "I'm all in!"  Her decision was a total commitment.

   As I meditated on this passage, the Lord seemed to be asking me, Bob, are you ALL IN -- will you give everything to me?  Will you trust me to lead?  Are you willing to step up to the plate, or are you going to sit back in the stands and remain a spectator?

   Perhaps the Lord is asking you the same question.  Are you willing to cast your lot with the Lord and say, "I'm all in?"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

God Has My Vote

Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How long are you going to waiver between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow him~  But if Baal is God, then follow him!"  But the people were completely silent.  (1 Kings 18:21)

   We are approaching another general election on November 6, 2012.  Citizens will have the opportunity to go to the polls and make a choice.  In 2008 sixty-four percent of the populace turned out to vote.  What will take place in 2012?

   During Elijah's reign as prophet in Israel, God decided it was time for the people to make a choice.  The Almighty was not willing to accept the role of default deity.  No false god or idol dare take his rightful place.  Elijah asked them, "How long will you waiver between two opinions?"

   You and I are faced with the same choice every day of our lives.  Just as in the case of the Israelites, God has given us adequate proof of his right to rule our lives.  Each day we must choose to affirm his leadership.

   What choice will you make today?  How will you vote?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Leaves

Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice (1 Kings 11:9 NASB).

   Autumn leaves don't turn red, orange, yellow or rust all at once.  The leaves at the top of the tree turn first and slowly work their way down to the bottom.

   In the latter years of King Solomon's life, he began to lose his appetite for the things of God.  His life spiraled downward as he neglected spiritual disciplines.  The influence of ungodly wives and their false gods ultimately took its toll on his relationship with God.

   When our lives begin to unravel we must ask, "What negative influences are we allowing that shuts off the operation of the Holy Spirit?"  Failing to remain diligent weakens our resolve and leaves us susceptible to the godless activities around us.

   But that isn't what we want, is it?  Our intimacy with our heavenly Father is vital.  Staying connected to the vine is imperative if we want to be fruitful in our service to the Savior.

Thought for the Day: God supplies all the nourishment we need in his Word.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Simon Says

Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children...(Ephesians 5:1 NLT).

  While I was a kid we loved to play the game "Simon Says."  Our leader gave commands prefaced by the words Simon Says and we responded.  If we didn't hear Simon Says, we were to stand still.  Anyone moving without hearing Simon Says would be disqualified and had to drop out of the game.  Simon was in control of the game.  In the same way, Jesus is our Simon who is in control of the game we call life.

   All believers are part of the game called Jesus Says.  He expects us to follow his commands without hesitation.  If Jesus says, "Be kind," (Eph. 4:32), we are to respond with kindness.  If Jesus says, "Be forgiving," we are to forgive seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22).  Many other such commands can be found in the Scriptures. Failing to comply when Jesus says can lead to disqualification.  The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, "I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."

   I urge each of you to listen for the voice of Jesus Says and then follow the directions that he gives.  He is our leader and won't give us any command that is not wise and good.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Unchangeable God

I am the LORD, and I do not change.  That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed.  (Malachi 3:6 NLT)

   It never ceases to amaze me how simple things tickle the fancy of small children.  The mere mention of the words playground, swings, merry-go-round, and sliding board bring shouts of glee.  Little hands tug on my leg saying, "Please daddy, can we go now?"  

   Then as the years go by and the playground idea wears off new words come into view.  Vacations are planned around words like camping, swimming, fishing, backpacking, and traveling.

   How many times have my wife and I made plans only to change our minds?  Brochures are received, videos watched, and plans made.  Then reality sets in and the exotic plans are shelved or put on hold.

   I'm so glad that my Heavenly Father is not like I am.  He is unchangeable.  His character never wavers in spite of my misgivings and questions.  I can count on his providential care to determine what is right, true, and in my best interest.  Most of all his promises never fail.

   Thought for the Day: Put your trust in a God who never changes.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Working Outside the Box

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus....." (Ezra 1:1a)

   We are not surprised when we witness God using believers to accomplish a divine task.  In fact, we rejoice with them and praise the Lord together.  A much different reaction occurs when we learn that God has used a person who appears to be outside the mainstream of Christianity.  Can God use someone who is purely secular, an unbelieving friend, or even a pagan ruler to fulfill his plans?  Would he use someone who was his enemy?  What do the Scriptures reveal about God "working outside the box?"

   Jesus worked outside the box when he chose the disciples.  Among his choices was Matthew (a hated tax collector), Simon the Zealot (who was noted for stirring up trouble with Rome), and Judas Iscariot (who was an unbeliever and traitor).  He also chose Simon Peter who has a bad case of "foot in the mouth disease".

   Since God is Sovereign, he has the right to work through whatever means available.  On one occasion Jesus said, "If they (followers) keep quiet, the stones along the road will cry out." (Luke 19:40 NLT)  This proves that nothing is outside God's power to control.

   It behooves us as believers to "think outside the box."  We are so prone to operate through sacred rituals, formats, schedules, programs, and traditions.  The Lord is not restricted to our set way of doing things, and loves to accomplish his purpose by working outside the box.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Promises Made and Kept

For what does the Scripture say?  Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness... and being fully assured that what God has promised, He was able also to perform.  (Romans 4:3 and 21 NASB)

   Have you ever had a promise made to you and then broken?  Was that a "yes" answer?  I'm sure this has happened to most of us.  Now for the tough love question:  Have you ever made a promise to someone else and failed to keep it?  Was that a weak "yes" that I heard?  I have to confess that I am guilty as charged.  Fortunately, I was able to make amends and the relationship was not severed, but that isn't always the case.

   Promises should not be made hastily or without full intent to keep them.  God has a way of testing our resolve. He tested Abraham's faith in his promise by time ( he had to wait 13 years), by obedience (take your only son Isaac whom you love and offer him on Mt. Moriah as a sacrifice to Me, and by love (whom do you love the most).

   Keeping the promises we make are a signature of our character before God.  Let me encourage you to be a promise keeper! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I B I J?

For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News.  
(1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT)

   When I first saw the letters IBIJ I thought: What in the world could that mean?  The letters looked like hieroglyphics to me.  Then someone said, "That's a text message."  Yes, but what does it say?  It stands for I believe in Jesus, they replied.

   I've never done any text messaging, but I'll have to admit that I can see the value of text messaging to reach people with the Good News.  Texting can be used of the Lord to encourage others.  A simple abbreviated phrase like GLU can bring joy and a smile to a needy heart.  Texting is a non-threatening way to send a word of hope.

   Have you ever tried to encourage someone through a text message?  Or are you like me who has never used this medium of communication?  I am willing to acknowledge the value while understanding the limitations.  Can it be used of the Lord?  Can it be abused?  The answer to both questions is -- Yes!

   Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and send a message of hope to someone that encourages and honors the Lord.  

Thought for the Day: God used a text message when he said, L1A.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heavenly Silence

O Lord, you are my rock of safety.  Please help me; don't refuse to answer me.  For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.  (Psalm 28:1 NLT)

   There is an ancient proverb that says, Silence is golden, meaning saying nothing is preferable to speaking."  I know my mother spoke those words to me when I was a youngster, and I'm sure I spoke them to my children.

   Have you ever felt as if God were saying to you, silence is golden?  How many times have you bombarded heaven with loud cries for help and found your prayers bouncing back as if the walls and ceiling were ten feet thick?  Certainly David felt this way as he cried out to God in Psalm 28.  No answer came to his cries.  He was left with only his faith to sustain him.

   I wonder what the saints and angels in heaven thought "when the lamb broke the seventh seal, and there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour."  (Revelation 8:1)

   Can you begin to imagine silence in heaven?  I can'ts.  Total silence is unthinkable!  No angel choir singing, worthy is the lamb."  No "Holy, Holy, Holy" is heard from the four living creatures.  No worship from the twenty-four elders.  TOTAL SILENCE!

   Why did God do this?  Why the silence?  May I suggest that God quieted heaven so that he could concentrate upon hearing what you and I have to say.  He doesn't want to miss a single word of our prayers and praise.  Keep on praying and praising the Lord.  Never stop!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  (Psalm 46:10 KJV)

  The psalmist gave us two exhortations that I find most difficult to follow.  One is recorded in Psalm 27:14 where it says, "Wait patiently for the Lord."  The other exhortation is found in Psalm 46:10a, "Be still and know that I am God."  

   Which of these two commands do you find harder to obey?  I know you're probably thinking, aren't they the same?  Not for me.  Here's why!  I am not normally a patient person, but waiting is easier for me than being still.  To be perfectly still means to "cease striving, be silent, and let go of your concerns."  When awakening in the morning, my mind is already racing with plans, ideas, and problems to be solved.

   I am much better at waiting on the Lord because I can do a lot of things while waiting.  I can plan, think through problems, set up schedules and meetings, talk to clients, or mow the lawn.  But to be still -- that seems next to impossible.

   How are you at being still?  Do you find it harder than waiting?  Fill your mind with all the great things you know about God, and watch the world fade away.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Underdogs Are Champions

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

  We have just witnessed one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of sports.  The underdog St. Louis Cardinals who were declared dead in August have won the baseball World Series.  In August they were 10 1/2 games out of first place and written off as "also rans" when an incredible miracle took place.  They picked themselves up off the floor and through intestinal fortitude, sheer grid and determination refused to be declared dead.  A great revival took place and the end result was a World Series Championship. What could be any better than that?

  Their triumph can be likened to that of the early followers of Jesus Christ.  These brave Christians were maligned, persecuted, burned at the stake, torn apart by lions, and left for dead, but they refused to give up and recant their faith in Christ.  These New Testament believers were every bit champions in their own right.  They took their place in history as Heroes of the Faith just as the Cardinals have their place in history as World Champions.

  It is a time of celebration!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Shall Return

If I go and prepare and place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am you may be also.  (John 14:3 NASB)

U.S. military forces fought again the Japanese invasion of the Philippine islands in 1942.  The enemy forces overran the smaller American forces at Bataan, and the ensuing sixty mile Bataan death march occurred.  During this engagement President Roosevelt ordered General MacArthur and his staff to relocate to Australia.  Upon leaving his troops behind General MacArthur uttered the now famous words, "I shall return."  He fulfilled this promise to return at Leyte in 1944.

When Jesus prepared to leave his disciples and return to his Father, he too made a promise.  "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again..."  We are waiting for this promise to be fulfilled, and we believe Jesus will keep his promise just as General MacArthur kept his.

Some of Jesus' last word to us were, "Occupy till I come."  I believe this to mean that we are to be working for the kingdom as well as waiting for its arrival.  When Jesus comes back will he find us "occupying"?

Jesus is busy today taking the materials (our acts of service) we are sending up to him to help build the mansion he has promised.  One day soon he will come back to personally escort us to our new home.  Are you ready and watching?  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets.  (1 Samuel 28:6)

   HURRY UP, AND WAIT!  How many times have I heard those exact words uttered when I was in the Navy?  No one likes to wait.  Whether it's in a long line at the super market, in a chow line, or in a doctor's office.

   King Saul failed the waiting test.  When God didn't respond to his call for help, Saul turned to a medium.  God has given strict orders not to resort to mediums and witchcraft, but Saul disobeyed.

   How often do we ask God for his will on a certain matter and then without waiting for his answer, do what we wanted to all along.  I know I've been guilty -- have you?  We need to exercise patience as did David, "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)

   Spend the next five minutes waiting on the Lord.  Tell him what is heavy on your heart, make your requests to him -- then be silent and wait.

Thought for the Day: When we are silent, God speaks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Honoring Mothers

Honor your father and mother that you may live a long time in the land.  (Exodus 20:12 NLT)

   Why does God command us to love our mothers?

   In God's eyes--and in a small child's---a mother reveals the true nature of God.  During the growing up years, mother acts as the child's sole provider, teacher, and protector.  Whatever the difficulty, the child flees to the safety of his/her mother's arms.

   Honoring mothers is not a duty, it is a command.  God requires parents to nourish, defend, support, and instruct the children placed in their care.  In like manner, the children should support their parents in their times of weakness and old age.

   Do you have a mother's heart?  How much are you willing to sacrifice for a child in your care?  God honors mothers who have this kind of love and dedication for their offspring.  No sacrifice is too great, no pain too severe, and no service too small to give to a loving child.

Thought for the Day: Godly mothers are worth their weight in gold.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holding the Rope

  They went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles on his stretcher.  (Luke 5:19)

   Can you sense the tenacity and faith of the four friends of the paralytic man?  They refused to be deterred by the crowd.  Tearing a hole in the roof, each man held onto the rope and lowered the crippled man right in front of Jesus.

   Christian service is all about holding the rope.  When we volunteer in a hospital, gather clothes for the needy, lead a celebrate recovery therapy group, tutor a left behind child, or visit the elderly in a nursing home, we are holding the rope.

   Look for ways you can hold the rope of encouragement and service in the community where you live.  Perhaps you can organize a local jail ministry and reach out to prisoners with the gospel.  Volunteering your services to help others brings a warm sense of fulfillment, and brings meaning to your life.

Thought for the Day: The needy are waiting for someone to hold the rope.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holding the High Ground

He raised us up and seated us with him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6b)

   Satan is a powerful enemy and a great strategist, but he has one glaring disadvantage; he does not hold the high ground and the army holding the high ground wins.

   You and I have a tremendous advantage over Satan and his armies.  First, we have Jesus as our commander-in-chief and he has never lost a battle.  Second, we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places and hold the high ground,  Third, we have the armor of God as our protection.

   Are you taking advantage of your position in Christ?  When Satan comes with his temptations what do you do?  Where do you turn for help?  Let us not forget that we are "seated with Him in heavenly places" -- we hold the high ground.

   When the enemy gets ready to pounce, simply point to Jesus and say, "I'm with Him."

Thought for the Day: Prayer is our access to the high ground.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beauty Awaits

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.  (Revelation 21:23 NLT)

In the rugged San Juan Mountains surrounding Ouray, Colorado, you will find Yankee Boy Basin.  This four wheel drive adventure taken after the snow melts in July rewards the adventurer with fascinating beauty and splendor.  The mountain meadows are ablaze with the color of Indian paint brush, columbines, larkspur, lupins, chiming bluebells, dwarf sunflowers, and orange sneezeweed.  The eye beholds sparkling, crystal-clear water cascading down twin waterfalls and jagged peaks that reach thousands of feet towards the heavens.

  My occasional visits to Yankee Boy Basin are a sweet reminder of the future home God is preparing for me.  What did I do to earn such a glorious home?  Nothing!  Jesus offers it as a free gift to all who are willing to repent of their sins and believe in his atoning work on Calvary.  Have you made that all important decision to trust in the Savior?  If so, then a glorious mansion is waiting for you.  If not, won't you do so today?  Jesus is waiting to receive you into his kingdom.

Thought for the Day: The only light needed in the holy city will be Jesus the Lamb.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Helping Hand

We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living.  We bless those who curse us.  We are patient with those who abuse us.  (1 Corinthians 4:12 NLT)

   What would you say is the most useful member of the human body?  Have you ever said to someone, "Will you give me a helping hand?"  The hand is truly an amazing instrument.  It protects you from falling, puts food into your mouth, ties your shoes, fixes your tie, buttons your clothes, washes your face, brushes your teeth, combs your hair, carries groceries, drives the car, etc., etc.  No wonder Paul says, "And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you."

   The hand is mentioned 1,433 times in the Bible.  The wrist has eight bones in two rows so it can move backward and forward and over half-way around.  The thumb is set in such a way as to meet the fingers from the opposite direction.  Isn't the hand amazing?

   Our heavenly father is active in the use of his hands.  Jesus said, "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." (John 10:29 NASV)

   How thankful I am that God never lets go of my hand.  Maybe you need someone to hold your hand.  Place your hand in the hand of Jesus and walk along with him.

Thought for the Day: God lends a helping hand to all who call upon him.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hanging by a Handgrip

   And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

   The sun rose over the hillside with its red, orange, and yellow hues reflecting on the water of the lake below.  As I sat on my balcony with coffee in hand, the thought came to me, what a beautiful morning for fishing!  How could anything spoil such a beautiful day?  Such were my thoughts, not knowing what the rest of the day would bring.

Unfortunately fishing was only in my dreams since I had promised to help a friend  put a new roof on his house.  We spent the morning putting down the roofing paper.  After lunch we noticed a slight breeze and the clouds getting darker.  We could smell rain in the wind and knew we needed to hurry to get the job done.  The sky turned an ugly green and the wind began to howl.  Our wives stood on the ground yelling, GET OFF THE ROOF.  We barely had time to flatten on the roof and grab the rafters as the storm roared over us.  Fortunaely for us we were on the downside or the wind would have blown us off the roof.  In a matter of seconds all the roofing paper was gone and scattered all over the neighborhood.  As quickly as the storm appeared it was over.  Praise the Lord for answering our quick prayers.

   Maybe some of you are hanging by a handgrip.  Circumstances are weighing you down.  You don't know where to turn.  I am so thankful that I have a God who cares and is readyi to listen to my pleas for help.  You too can turn to him.  He is always ready to listen. 

Thought for the Day: God delights in bringing good our of bad situations. 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Expectations

According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
(Philippians 1:20 ASV)

   Life is filled with great expectations!

   My first summer job as a teenager came with great expectations.  I loved feeding the chickens, slopping the hogs, and milking the cows, but those expectations soon took a dip as I can given the job of mucking our the barnyard and hoeing the corn field. 

   Couples enter into marriage with great expectations.  The husband is looked upon as the breadwinner and the wife the homemaker.  Sometimes circumstances cause those roles to be reversed and the expectations take a nose dive.  Disillusionment can casue a strain in the relationship.  A mature approach is necessary for the marriage to suceed. 

   A similar scenario exists in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  We enter into our relationship with certain expectations.  When prayers go unanswered, or the answers given don't meet our expectations, a strain in the relationship occurs -- at least on our part.  As humans we are often changeable, but thank God He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Thought for the Day: Our expectations fluctuate, but not God's.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grafted In

You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16).

   Grafting requires time, patience, and careful management.  Grape vines are grafted to change varieties, or to help plants resist pests and withstand cold weather. 

   This process pictures our relationship with God in his vineyard.  By an act of redeeming grace, the gardener attached us to the vine -- his son, Jesus Christ.  Simple?  Yes, but not cheap.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for our redemption -- death on the cross. 

   Have you been grafted into the true vine?   If you have, then what are you doing to reflect the life of Jesus today?  How do I show the world that the love of Jesus resides in my heart?  This is the question that we have to answer each and every day. 

Thought for the Day: Grafting is an act of redeeming grace. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Going the Extra Mile

When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.  (Genesis 14:14 NLT)

   Have you ever considered all the people in the Bbile who went the extra mile to help someone in need?

   People like Abraham who went the extra mile to rescue his nephew Lot, Jonathan who befriended David, Rahab who hid the Jewish spies, the four friends who took the paralyzed man to Jesus, the Good Samaritan, and the Apostle Paul who interceded for Onesimus with Philemon.  Many others could be mentioned who put aside their own duties and schedules to go the extra mile. 

   When was the last time you went the extra mile for someone?  Was it a neighbor who needed their grass mowed, a friend in need of support and encouragement, a co-worker who lost his job, or a relative who lost a loved one and needed someone to stand alongside? 

   As I fly over the blue Atlantic, the Lord reminds me of the blessings received in going the extra mile in Cameroon helping to take care of nine precious three to five years olds while their parents attend a spiritual retreat.  It doesn't take much to go the extra mile.  Just a willing heart and love for others -- Jesus does the rest!

Thought for the Day: Jesus went the extra mile for us by dying on the cross for our sins. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God's Timing

"Dear woman, that's not out problem," Jesus replied.  "Mine hour has not yet come." (John 2:4 NLT)

   During my tenure in the U.S. Navy, I played softball on the base team.  My favorite position was first base, and hitting in the cleanup spot my forte.  What's the key to becoming a solid hitter?  If you ask any hitting coach, he will tell you, "It's all about timing."  Being able to recognize the pitch and timing its delivery is the secret to successful hitting.

   Timing also plays a critical role in the believer's walk with the Lord.  Answers to prayer are dependent upon God's timing.  Making important life decisions and carrying them out requires timing.  Nothing in life can be done without some kind of timing. 

   Jesus accomplished his plan of redemption in accordance with God's timetable.  God works in your life and mine in the same way.  His timing is perfect.  He makes no mistakes.  He's never late.  No stone is left unturned. 

   Are you aware of his timing in your life?  Try to recall a time when God worked in your life according to his timetable. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

God has a Plan

We can make our plans, but God determines our steps.  (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)

   I spent the first twenty-four years of my life drifting without a helm or rudder.  No real purpose or direction.  Just following the crowd.  In September 1950, I joined the U.S. Navy to avoid being drafted into the army.  After basic training, I was shipped to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California.  That's where I first came in contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Through the efforts of two shipmates< I came to accept Jesus as my Savior.  My life changed completely.

   Daily Bible reading revealed to me that God had a plan and purpose for my life.  I also found that following God's Plan requires a lifetime of effort.  Many crossroads and decisions have to be made.  Many doors entered and lives changed.  The road is bumpy and obstacles appear.  Mistakes are made, but overcome by the grace of God. 

   I discovered that God uses ordinary people to fulfill his plan and purpose.  He has been using my life in various ways for over fifty years to further His kingdom.  He wants to use you as well.  All he needs is a willing heart.  Are you willing to be used by the Lord? 

Thought for the Day: God will take a willing heart and make something spectacular happen for his glory.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

God's Observatory

The heavens tell the glory of God.  The skies display his marvelous craftmanship.  Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.  (Psalm 19:1,2 NLT).

   Have you ever looked at the heavens on a clear night and observed the brilliant twinkling of the stars?  What a beautiful sight!  The Big and Little Dipper and other constellations are clearly visible.  Somehow I always feel closer to God when I'm in his observatory.

   I remember the words of the Psalmist: "He counts the stars and calls them all by name" (Psalm 147:4 NLT).  How could this be?  The very awesomeness of the task overwhelms my mind.  Then I thought, If God knows all the names of the stars surely he know my name.  With this knowledge in mind, my prayers take on a new energy, a new urgency, and a new relationship.  I am drawn closer to my Father who is in heaven, and as I set aside time throughout each day to pause and lift up my heart to him, I am refreshed and renewed in spirit. 

When was the last time you spent time in God's observatory?  Take a trip out into the country at night and spend time observing the heavens.  How many stars can you count?  Isn't it awesome that the Bible says God calls them all by name?

Thought for the Day:  The heavens reveal the vastness of God and show his handiwork.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Multiplication Principle

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and passed them out to the people.  Afterward he did the same with the fish.  And they all ate till they were full.  (John 6:11 NLT)

   My job as a teacher was to make sure the fourth through sixth graders knew their multiplication tables. Their mastery made the operation of division much easier.

   Jesus was a master at multiplication.  At the feeding of the 5,000, he took five loaves and two small fish and multiplied them to feed all the people until they were full.  After everyone had eaten, twelve baskets of lefovers were gathered.

   What do we learn from this miracle?  First, Jesus is the supplier and we are the distributors.  Second, people ate until they were full showing us that God's supply is not limited.  Third, they gathered the remains; nothing was wasted.  Fourth, God always supplies more than we can ask or think.  Fifth, thanks should always be given for our daily bread.

Finally, if Jesus can take a little lad's lunch and multiply it to meet the needs of over 10,000 people, just think what he could do if you gave him your life, rsesources, and talent. 

   Are you willing to trust him completely?


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God's Mobile Home

I want the perople of Israel to build me a sacred residence where I can live among them.  (Exodus 25:8 NLT)

   For many years our family went camping in the Ozarks of Missouri.  I recall one occasion when we were camping at Table Rock lake down near Branson when a tornado came through the area.  We had no choice but to take refuge in the tent while the rain and wind beat upon us.  The next morning we found three of our railroad spikes (tent pegs) pulled out of the rock-like ground.  The tent survived the storm and so did we.

   God commissioned Moses to build him a moveable tent.  His tent was an invitation for the people to meet with him.  The entire plan for the building was given to Moses while on mount Sinai.  When the tent was finsihed and consecrated God came down and inhabited the Holy of Holies.

   For us, God has established his mobile home in our hearts.  No matter where we go, or what we do, he is always with us.  You don 't have to be in a tent or in a church because God is omnipresent -- meaning everywhere at the same time.  All you have to do is lift your eyes to Jesus and call upon his name. 

Thought for the day: God doesn't live in a mobile home park -- he's in our hearts. 


Monday, October 3, 2011

A Broken Record

"He committerd the same sins as his father before him, and his heart was not right with the Lord his God, as the heart of his ancestor David had been.  (1 Kings 15:3 NLT)

   Time after time throughout the Old Testament we read the words quoted above.  In the book of Judges we read, "Once again the Israelites did what was evil in the Lord's sight."  (Judges 2:11;3:12;4:1;6:1;10:6)  The further we read the more Judges sounds like a "broken record."

   Why are we as humans so prone to repeat the same mistakes over and over again?  Wouldn't you think we'd learn the first time how to avoid thowe pitfalls?  How do we keep from becoming a "broken record?"

   The first step is to establish a relationship with God through faith in the finished work of his Son, Jesus Christ.

   The Second step is to maintain that relationship by daily walking in close fellowship with the Lord.  Our fellowship is secured by conferssion of sin and obedience to His word.

   How are you doing in your spiritual walk?  Are you spending time in the word and prayer?  As you continue your journey guard against becoming a "broken record."


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Godly Influence

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, we have found the Messiah (which means the Christ).  John 1:41

   Isn't it amazing how twelve ordinary men with no formal educational training or particular speaking skills could change the world through their godly influence?

   Andrew, little spoken of in the gospels, used his influence to introduce his brother, Simon, to the Messiah.  It was the same Andrew who brought the little lad with five loaves and two small fish to Jesus.  Andrew's influence paved the way for the ultimate preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 believed and were baptized.

   Little do we realize the effect we have on those around us.  Think about the tremendous potential for changing the course of world history through the influence of a godly believer.

   Are you prepared to be an influence for good?  Others are watching!  What will they hear coming from your lips?  What will they see as they watch your actions?  Will your influence be that of an Andrew, a Philip, a Simon Peter, or a modern Christian writer?

Thought for the Day: God is looking for godly people to mold today's society.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Uplifted Hands

Then Solomon stood with his hands lifted toward heaven before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel.  (1 Kings 8:22 NLT)

   For many years I felt inhibited and uptight when I saw people with uplifted hands during worship and praise time.  I confess that more than once i acted judgmentally toward the participants.  But my attitude slowly changed as the Holy Spirit broke through my legalistic tendencies and showed me God's grace.

   As I continued to study God's word, I came to the realization that uplifted hands during times of dedication, worship, and praise was a common practice in the lives of Old Testament saints.

   King David understood that to worship God is to seek an intimate encounter with Him.  What better way to show that intimacy than to lift his hands heavenward as if reaching out for God.  David said, I will honor you as long as I live lifting up my hands to you in prayer. (Psalm 63:4 NLT)

   Lifting our hands signifies complete surrender -- recognizing God's sovereignty over us.  We also reach out with uplifted hands to implore another person to help, to make supplication, and to offer a blessing to God.

   Are you willing to extend your hand to God and say, "You're all I need today."

Thought for the Day: Uplifted hands express our inner being to God.


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Finish Line

But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus -- the work of telling others the good news about God's wonderful kindness and love. (Acts 20:24 NLT)

   It takes determination, dedication, and commitment to run a marathon.  The runner has one goal in mind -- the finish line.  In a hundred yard dash, one quick glance back at an opponent can mean the difference between first and fourth place.  This is why coaches and trainers emphasize over and over -- keep your eye on the tape at the finish line.  Only one person can win the gold medal -- the victor.

   The key to success in winning the race of life is commitment.  What is your level of commitment?  Are you prepared for a marathon?  If you have not already done so, begin your training by committing each day to the Lord. Ask Jesus to give you the desire and abilities to follow in his steps.  Make a commitment to be a winner.

Thought for the Day: God's finish line ends at heaven's pearly gates.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God Delights in You

For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.  (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT). 

   For many years I was led to believe that my performance merited the love and approval of God.  It wasn't until I read the book He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobson that I realized there wasn't anything good I could do to cause God to love me more, or anything bad that would make him love me less.  God loves me not because of who I am or what I do, but rather because of who he is and what he has done.

   God loves you and me with an everlasting, unconditional agape love.  It can't be earned.  No amount of money can buy it.  It won't be found in any store.  It can't be ordered online or through a catalog.  Sacrifices and offerings won't obtain it.  Being good won't get it.  Serving God night and day doesn't meet the criteria.  It is freely given by the grace of God. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

   How do you receive such matchless love?  By simply coming to Jesus with your sin and inviting him to come   into your heart by faith.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Security Blanket

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. (2 Samuel 22:1 NLT)

   How many of you remember Linus van Pelt who appeared in the comic strip Peanuts?  Linus was pictures carrying his "security blanket" and sucking his thumb.  Lucy and Snoopy tried different tricks to rid Linus of his security blanket, but all of them failed.

   As adults, we too cling to our security blankets involving relationships;, job titles, status symbols, country club memberships, fancy houses, and expensive cars.  Whatever our security blankets we depend upon, the truth is that none of these things offer permanent security.  They can be broken, stolen, lost, or ruined, and subject to failure.

   Our security blanket rests solely upon our relationship with Jesus Christ who is our Savior and our God.
How about you?  Have you claimed Jesus Christ as your security blanket?  Do you turn to him in time of distress and need?

Thought for the Day: Jesus is the "rock" that I want to stand on.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hitting the "Mute" Button

Wait patiently for the Lord.  Be brace and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Ps. 27:14)

   Life is jam-packed with busyness.  People rushing out of subways, trains, street cars, and buses to get somewhere ahead of everyone else is maddening.  The rush hour traffic in large cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami is enough to try any man's patience.

   Everyone seems to have their plates so full of activities and busyness that they don't have time to relax in the Lord.  Allowing ourselves to get caught up in the speed and noise driven culture hinders our desire to spend time with the Lord.  What can we do to offset this busyness and enjoy our relationship with God?

   Instead of frantically changing lanes or rushing from the subway to the office, get in the slow lane and whisper a prayer to the Lord.  Better yet when you are watching television push the "mute" button and close your eyes for a bit of respite from all the noise and clamor.

Thought for the Day: God rested on the seventh day to provide an example for us.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Beware of Woodpeckers

These people are grumblers and complainers, doing whatever evil they feel like.  (Jude 1:16a)

   Woodpeckers can be pesky little creatures.  The holes in the Noah"s ark picture remind me of the children of Israel pecking away at Moses in the wilderness.  Time after time Moses heard the Israelites complain, "Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us to this terrible place?  (Numbers 20:4 NLT).  

   How can you and I avoid being classified as woodpeckers?  First, practice the principles laid down by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:12-13 where he instructed them to show tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."  Second, let your speech be gracious and non-judgmental.  Third, don't listen to critics and resist being one.  Fourth, exercise restraint and don't allow yourself to become a woodpecker.

   Surely Noah must have been thinking, this woodpecker has got to go.   

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cling to the Rock

No one is holy like the LORD!  There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2

   Tormented!  Mocked and ridiculed!  These were just a few of the unkind, sarcastic remarks that Hannah had to endure from the lips of her husband's other wife, Peninnah.  Peninnah felt no sympathy and gave no slack in her persistent harassment of Hannah.

   Hannah poured out her heart to God and prayed for a son.  She promised to dedicate him to God and He answered her prayer.  Her son Samuel became a judge and prophet in Israel.

   As a child, I knew what it meant to be shunned, made fun of, harassed by bigger kids, and left out of games and activities.  It wasn't until ten years later that I came to know Jesus as my personal Savior.  How thankful I am that God never gives up in his pursuit of sinners.

   Are you lonely, depressed, fearful, uncertain -- take it all to Jesus.  Like Hannah, pour out your heart to God.  He will listen and answer according to his will.

Thought for the Day: God is waiting for you to call upon him.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

Wait patiently for the Lord.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

   One thing I learned during my enlistment in the U.S. Navy is the truth behind the off repeated statement -- hurry up and wait.  We'd line up and march a quick step down to the mess hall only to have to wait what seemed like forever to eat.  Upon graduation we had to stand at attention on the parade ground for an hour waiting for our review.

   Waiting is tough, especially when it comes to the big issues like waiting in an emergency room, waiting to hear the outcome of a job interview, or waiting for an answer to an urgent prayer.

   God doesn't always answer our prayers when we think he should or in the way we desire, but he always answers.  Our part is to trust him when the answer is delayed.

   Have you been praying about an important issue and found God silent?  How did you respond?  Did you do like David, "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry."  (Psalm 40:1 NLT).  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Modeling Kindness

Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (Colossians 3:12 NLT)

   Jesus was our perfect model of kindness.  All through his earthly ministry (as he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, healed the woman with the issue of blood, raised Jarius' daughter, and defended the adulterous woman) God was expressing his grace through these deliberate acts of kindness shown by Jesus.

   My mother was a lady who loved to show kindness.  I still remember her taking food to sick neighbors and feeding the hungry who came to our door.  It seemed every stray animal knew a morsel was waiting for them on our back porch.  No one was ever turned away.  We kids learned from watching our mother's example how God blesses those who are willing to give a helping hand to others in need.

   One of the special gifts given to believers by the Holy Spirit is the gift of "helps."  We are never too young or too old to share Jesus' kindness to those around us.  

Thought for the Day: Jesus modeled kindness so that we might go our and duplicate his actions.

Friday, August 26, 2011

God Came Down

I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.  (Exodus 3:8)

   During my morning Bible reading I came across the incident of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus, Chapter 3.  God was aware of the plight of the Israelites so he told Moses that he was coming down to deliver them from bondage.

    Thousands of years later, people were still in bondage and once again God came down in the form of a babe in a Bethlehem manger to deliver them from the bondage of sin.  I was struck by the faithfulness of God in remembering his people and by his willingness to provide deliverance.  I see no worthiness in my life that would prompt him to demonstrate such love and grace.

   Let us come to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise for his eternal love and grace.

Thought for the Day: God is still coming down today to rescue us from the dregs of sin.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

God's Vineyard

Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener."  (John 15:1)

   We are part of God's vineyard.  When we hurt, he embraces us with his love.  No matter how wounded, distraught, or broken we may be, he has grace enough to fix our problems.  He forgives our failures and strengthens our resolve.  He patiently teaches us his ways.  He fills our cup to overflowing with goodness and mercy.  He never slumbers or sleeps.  When we grow faint, he gives us strength.  When we stumble and fall, he lifts us up.  When we disappoint him, he understands.  When we seek his guidance, he sends his Holy Spirit as our guide.  When working for the kingdom, he hedges us about with his protection.  Nothing takes place in our lives that he doesn't allow.

   Isn't he a gardener we can trust?

Thought for the Day: The gardener makes a vineyard productive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friends Forever

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13)

   How would you define a friend?  A friend is someone who loves me unconditionally in spite of my many faults and seeks to draw me closer to God.

   The paralyzed man in Mark 2 was a fortunate man indeed.  He had four such friends who looked after his every need 24/7.  They were men of great faith.  They made a commitment to take the man to see Jesus.  In the process they tore open a hole in a man's roof to lower the crippled man in front of Jesus.  Jesus publicly recognized their faith and healed the man.  He said, "Take up your mat and go home."

   Wow!  Do you have any friends like that?  I know one such friend who said to me, "I will never leave you or forsake you."  His name is Jesus.  I can count on Jesus to come to my aid when a need arises.  His phone line is never out of order or too busy to hear my call.  I have never gotten a busy signal when I dialed.  He never puts me on hold.  I can even understand him when he speaks to me.  He speaks my heart language.

   Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior?  Is he your friend too?  All it take to make him your friend is repentance and faith.  Once that is accomplished you can dial his phone number anytime day or night.

   Have you dialed him lately?  If not, here is his phone number.  ISA 65:24.  Why not give him a ring right now?

Thought for the Day: Jesus wants to be your friend -- will you let him come into your life today?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Following Your Star

I, Jesus sent my angel to give you this message for the churches.  I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne.  I am the bright morning star.  (Revelation 22:16 NLT)

   Everyone follows some kind of star.  Your star may be the glitter and glamor of Hollywood, or perhaps a career in the business world, sports arena, medical field, radio, television, or some other dream vocation.  It is perfectly normal for all of us to have worthy aspirations.  The question is: What constitutes worthy?  

   The shepherds considered it worthy to leave their flocks and go see the newborn baby in Bethlehem.  The wise men followed a star to lay gifts at the feet of the King of the Jews.  The Apostle Paul thought it worthy to endure chains and death to reach the Roman empire with the gospel.

   What star are you following?  What worthy cause re you striving for?  The most valuable and worthy gift you can give to Jesus is --- YOU!  This is his aspiration and dream -- to love you and have you love him in return.  Why not hitch your life to THE STAR?

Thought for the Day: God's day star is shining just as brightly as in the beginning of time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Follow the Leader

Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.  (Matthew 16:24)

   When I was a young boy, the neighborhood kids enjoyed playing the game of follow-the-leader.  Different ones took turns being the leader, and we walked, crawled, and climbed over all kinds of obstacles.  It took a lot of effort to keep up with the leader and duplicate his movements.

   You will find a lot of follow-the-leader stories in the Bible.  God uses people as leaders, but other devices are used as well.  A pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day led the people of Israel in the wilderness.  Balaam's donkey led him on a merry chase.  A fiery furnace led Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge God.  A star led the wise men to the newborn baby Jesus.  Greed led Judas to betray his Savior, while fer led Peter to deny the Lord.

   One thing stands out in all these follow-the-leader examples.  God was in control.  He is the master leaders and directs events to fulfill his own will and purpose.

    Are you a leader or a follower?  God can use you in either role.  Begin with small venture and watch God multiply your outreach.  God to him for direction and counsel.  Seek his will,  Remember: "You can't walk on the water if you don't get out of the boat."

Thought for the Day: Jesus is the perfect leader to follow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Letting our Light Shine

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.  (Matthew 5:16)

   The Olympic torch is a symbol of freedom and is carried around the world before the games begin.  It originates in Athens and circumvents the globe to reach the stadium where the games take place.

   Similarly, the Christian is expected to let the light of the Gospel shine for all to see.  How easy it is to allow the flame and passion for service to be extinguished.  Financial worries, job related and family stress, overemphasis of personal hobbies -- all can dim our flame.  To keep the flame brightly shinning we need daily inspiration from the word of God.

   I still love to sing the children's chorus -- This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine, let it shine,m let it shine.  Letting our light shine so all the world can see is the best way to bring glory to our Heavenly Father.

Thought for the Day: God's light is pure and penetrating.