Tag Archives: instruction

Dropped Chalk

 



dropped chalk

From: Inspire21.com

There was a professor of philosophy there who

was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation. At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, “If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!”

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, “Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can’t do ” it.” And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith…he hoped.

Finally, the day came. The professor said, “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!” The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, “You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!”

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God’s love for them and of His power through Jesus.

Unknown

ready or not

From: Our Daily Journey.org

Matthew 24:30-51
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected (Matthew 24:44).

Look up John 14:1-4 to see where Jesus will take us when He returns.

Are you looking forward to Jesus’ second coming? Why, or why not? How should you respond when you hear someone predicting the day of Jesus’ return?

Recently, a thief propped a metal ladder against the back of a restaurant early one morning. He scaled the ladder, reached the roof, and entered the eatery hoping to plunder the place. He couldn’t have known, however, that the restaurant’s owner was waiting inside. The restaurant had been burglarized three times in previous weeks, and the owner refused to become a victim again.

Jesus told a similar story as He talked with His disciples. He said, “If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). He continued by saying, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44).

Although no one except God knows the exact time when Jesus will come back from heaven (Matthew 24:36), the Bible encourages us to live watchfully. It also gives us clues about what will happen before Jesus returns: wars, natural disasters, and persecution will escalate, and false religious leaders will infest the world (Matthew 24:7-923-24).

Despite these events, we don’t have to cower as we watch and wait (Romans 13:11-14). Rather, we can joyfully anticipate Jesus’ return and let it inspire holiness in our lives. Peter supplied us with a few pointers on how best to do this: pray faithfully, love deeply, and share generously (1 Peter 4:7-9). This is how we glorify the One we’re waiting for.

Jesus will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Ready, or not, we’ll leave this earth to join Him on that day (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Fortunately, we can rely on God to “keep [us] strong to the end so that [we] will be free from all blame” when Jesus returns (1 Corinthians 1:7-8).

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”Joshua 24:15

What’s with celebrities? The last few years have been littered with famous people behaving badly . . .

In the 2007 World Cup games, the planet’s best soccer player ends the game by head-butting his opponent on global TV. In 2006, an NFL hunk of a guy intentionally stomps on an opposing player’s helmet-less head leaving gashes worthy of 30-some stitches. My prized Chicago Bears have a defensive back who has been arrested three times in the last 18 months. And what’s with the trashy antics of Britney Spears? And the drunkenness, drug taking, and public kissing of another woman that Miss USA favored us with?

I’m not a real uptight person. I have a pretty wide berth for weirdness and foolish behavior. I guess I’ve seen enough of it in my own life and have come to believe that if we knew the extent of the fall we would be surprised that anything good happens at all. But this is ridiculous!

And, while I’m in this mood, what’s with the tabloids that grab our attention while we are waiting in the grocery line? Who are these people who have been caught naked by a hiding photographer at some secluded beach? and who cares who’s getting divorced, sleeping with someone’s best friend, or having another baby out of wedlock?

But that’s just it, isn’t it?! Lots of people seem to care. They find it all interesting and stimulating. That’s why this stuff sells. All this behaving badly tickles the public fancy, grabs headlines, and fills up tons of minutes on talk shows. Which leaves me wondering . . . Isn’t there anything more important for us to be taken with, for us to talk about? Where have all the really cool heroes gone?

I hate to sound like I am above it all and on to better things—which would come across as arrogant and judgmental—so forgive me. That’s not my intention. But there is a great alternative to cohabiting in the sludge of the seamy side of life.

I find that living and thinking in the world of God’s Word, God’s ways, and God’s will is like fresh air to my soul. And I do in fact have a Hero who after all these years I find to still be compelling, amazing, adventuresome, challenging, and worthy of my praise and admiration. Today, Jesus is more wonderful to me than He has ever been before!

I don’t want to live with a pointed finger at a world that seems to be spinning out of control with no moral compass. What our wild world needs is not another self-righteous declaration of how terrible it all is. After all, what do we expect from people who without Jesus are left to their own desires and instincts? What I want is to get my life in gear with the solid stuff that keeps my heart intrigued with the pure fresh water of God’s Word and to walk the path of life that Jesus walks, to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

My heart beats with Joshua, who in the midst of lots of sordid pagan options declared, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” And like Jesus, I want to remember to love and care for sinners. What our world really needs is the life-changing power of a new life in Jesus. So that will be my prayer!

Acts 10:1-33 (Good News Translation)

God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus

Introduction

Acts 10:1-33: Peter has a vision in which he is shown that nothing is unclean that God has declared clean. Meanwhile, Cornelius, a Gentile, has a vision of an angel telling him to invite Peter to his house.

Today’s Scripture: Acts 10:4b

From: American Bible Society

The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you.”

PLEASING GOD

Today’s Reading

1 There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a captain in the Roman army regiment called “The Italian Regiment.” 2 He was a religious man; he and his whole family worshiped God. He also did much to help the Jewish poor people and was constantly praying to God. 3 It was about three o’clock one afternoon when he had a vision, in which he clearly saw an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius!” 4 He stared at the angel in fear and said, “What is it, sir?” The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you. 5 And now send some men to Joppa for a certain man whose full name is Simon Peter. 6 He is a guest in the home of a tanner of leather named Simon, who lives by the sea. ” 7 Then the angel went away, and Cornelius called two of his house servants and a soldier, a religious man who was one of his personal attendants. 8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa. 9 The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. 11 He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 13 A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled.” 15 The voice spoke to him again, “Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” 16 This happened three times, and then the thing was taken back up into heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of this vision, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was, and they were now standing in front of the gate. 18 They called out and asked, “Is there a guest here by the name of Simon Peter?” 19 Peter was still trying to understand what the vision meant, when the Spirit said, “Listen! Three men are here looking for you. 20 So get ready and go down, and do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them. ” 21 So Peter went down and said to the men, “I am the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22 “Captain Cornelius sent us,” they answered. “He is a good man who worships God and is highly respected by all the Jewish people. An angel of God told him to invite you to his house, so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Peter invited the men in and had them spend the night there. The next day he got ready and went with them; and some of the believers from Joppa went along with him. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for him, together with relatives and close friends that he had invited. 25 As Peter was about to go in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and bowed down before him. 26 But Peter made him rise. “Stand up,” he said, “I myself am only a man.” 27Peter kept on talking to Cornelius as he went into the house, where he found many people gathered. 28 He said to them, “You yourselves know very well that a Jew is not allowed by his religion to visit or associate with Gentiles. But God has shown me that I must not consider any person ritually unclean or defiled. 29 And so when you sent for me, I came without any objection. I ask you, then, why did you send for me? ” 30Cornelius said, “It was about this time three days ago that I was praying in my house at three o’clock in the afternoon. Suddenly a man dressed in shining clothes stood in front of me 31 and said: ‘Cornelius! God has heard your prayer and has taken notice of your works of charity. 32 Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner of leather, who lives by the sea. ’ 33 And so I sent for you at once, and you have been good enough to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God, waiting to hear anything that the Lord has instructed you to say. ”

Reflect

How is Cornelius described? What is he told to do? What is Peter’s vision? How does he respond to what he is told to do? How might these visions have been strange or surprising to each of these men? Have you ever been surprised by something God did in your life?

Learning The Importance Of Waiting

 

 

 

The Discipline Of Waiting

 — by David H. Roper
I waited patiently for theLord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. —Psalm 40:1
Bible in a Year:

Waiting is hard. We wait in grocery lines, in traffic, in the doctor’s office. We twiddle our thumbs, stifle our yawns, and fret inwardly in frustration. On another level, we wait for a letter that doesn’t come, for a prodigal child to return, or for a spouse to change. We wait for a child we can hold in our arms. We wait for our heart’s desire.

In Psalm 40, David says, “I waited patiently for theLord.” The original language here suggests that David “waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer. Yet as he looks back at this time of delay, he praises God. As a result, David says, God “put a new song . . . a hymn of praise” in his heart (40:3 niv).

“What a chapter can be written of God’s delays!” said F. B. Meyer. “It is the mystery of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.” Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues—submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in well-doing—virtues that take the longest to learn.

What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues—and to praise Him.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. —Pollard
Waiting for God is never a waste of time.
Inspirational stories about elderly 
From; Inspirationalstories.eu

Many years ago I worked as a taxi cab driver.

One time I had to pick up a passanger in the middle of the night. When I arrived at the address, the building was dark, except a light in a ground floor window. Many drivers would wait just honk, wait for a couple of minutes and drive away in such circumstances. But I thought of passengers that might need my assistance. Therefore I always went to the door and knocked. So I did the same this time too. I heard a weak voice of an elderly woman: „Just a minute“. The door opened and I saw a small lady in her 80‘s, wearing a dress and a pillbox hat. She had a small suitcase in her hands.

So I took the lady‘s suitcase and helped her to walk to the cab. „Thank you for your kindness“ – she said. „It‘s nothing,“ – I said. „ I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated“. „You are a very decent person“ .

When we got into the cab, she told the address and asked: „Could you drive through downtown?“ . I told her, that it was not the shortest way. „I know, but there is no rush, as I am on my way to a hospice. I have no family left“. I noticed tears in her eyes.

I quietly switched of the meter and asked, what route would she like me to take. While we drove through the city, the old lady showed me the places, that were important to her. The building, where she worked as an elevator operator. The house, where she and her husband lived just after the marriage. The warehouse, where was a ballroom many years ago, so she went dancing there, when she was a young girl.

After two hours of driving she silently said: „I‘m tired, let‘s go now“.

As soon as we arrived at the address she gave me, two orderlied came out to the cab. They seemed to be waiting for her. I took the lady‘s suitcase, while she was seated in a wheelchair. “Tell me, how much do I owe you?” she asked. I said, that she ows me nothing. „But you have to make a living“. „There are other passengers“, – I replied and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. „Thank you for giving me those moments of joy“ , – she said.

When I was walking to the cab, I heard a door shut. I thought to myself that it sounded like closing of person‘s life.

That day I did not pick up any more passengers, I just drove without any purpose, lost in thoughts about the old lady. What if she had gotten an angry or indifferent driver, who was impatient to end his shift? I seems to me that this drive was the most important thing I‘ve done in my life.

We always look for a great moments, but sometimes great moments catch us unaware, beautifully wrapped in what might be considered as nothing particular.

 

FOLLOWING JESUS

From: American Bible Society

Acts 9:26-43 (Good News Translation)

God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus

Introduction

Acts 9:26-43: Saul tries to join the followers in Jerusalem, but they are afraid of him because they don’t believe he has changed. In time he becomes part of their community and preaches throughout Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to Lydda and Joppa, heals a paralyzed man, and restores a woman to life.

Today’s Scripture: Acts 9:31b

Through the help of the Holy Spirit [the church] was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.

Today’s Reading

26 Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27 Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. 31 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord. 32 Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35 All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer.”) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them.42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.

Reflect

How do the followers in Jerusalem respond to Saul? Why are they afraid of him? Who speaks to the apostles on Saul’s behalf? When Peter is in Lydda and Joppa, what causes people to believe in the Lord? What enables Peter to heal (verse 34)?

 

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Jesus – Our Champion!

 From: Getmorestrength.org
“ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ ”Matthew 16:15

At some point in life we’ve all felt the frustration and fear of being up against situations that we can’t deal with and, worse yet, there seems to be no one to help. If you were to ask me to tell you about the times I have felt the twinges of hopelessness, my early recollections would be from my first year in high school.

From kindergarten through eighth grade I attended a small Christian school. My dad was a well-known pastor in the area, which meant that I was the big man on campus. Everyone knew who I was, and I had it made—until the day I graduated from that school and enrolled in the nearby public high school. Nobody knew me or my dad at the new school, and nobody cared. So, needless to say, I wasn’t a big shot anymore. What’s worse, I became the victim of Ronnie, who decided to prove his emerging manhood on me. Whenever I passed him in the hall, he would shove and taunt me. I was traumatized. Every day at school I was filled with anxiety and fear because of Ronnie. I needed somebody to help me. I pleaded with friends who knew Ronnie to ask him to stop, but they never did. I was all alone in my problem, and I needed a champion.

In Jesus’ day, the Jewish people were up against the oppressive regime of Rome. Every day they lived with the shame of being a despised minority under the tyrannical thumb of Caesar, who demanded hefty taxes and unflinching allegiance. The once-proud Israel was now a puppet servant state of a brutal and pagan empire. They desperately needed someone to champion their cause. Could it be that Jesus was the long-awaited deliverer? Hence, this on-the-spot quiz! Peter came up with the right answer when he declared Jesus as “the Christ”—the “Messiah” who would deliver them from the oppression they had endured for so long. Against the backdrop of Caesar-worship and rampant paganism in Caesarea Philippi, the disciples pinned their hopes on Jesus.

What Peter didn’t know was that Jesus would be their champion on a far more significant level than a political one: the oppression of Rome. Jesus came to overthrow the source of our problems, not the symptoms. Rome was merely the tool of Satan to defeat God’s people and tarnish God’s glory. Defeating Rome would have been a great accomplishment, but the enemy of our souls would have found another way to wage war against the people of God. So Jesus went head-to-head against Satan, engaged in battle on an old rugged cross, and after a three-day struggle with death rose victoriously from the grave to assure the final victory over the enemy of our souls.

Jesus is the ultimate champion! And when we cast our lot with Him, He assures us that the victory is already won on our behalf. The next time you find yourself in a full nelson up against the wall of despair, claim Jesus as your champion. As Paul declares, you may be “struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9). Since He won the battle at Calvary, you are now entitled to share in the spoils of His victory. Thanks to Jesus, the word defeat is not in our vocabulary!