Tag Archives: protection

People Listening To What You Say

 

you are what you say

From: Ourdailyjourney.org
Matthew 15:1-20
It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth (Matthew 15:11).

Read James 3:1-12 to learn about the danger and importance of our words.

What do your words reveal about you? How can you use your words to lift others to God?

It’s true that “you are what you eat.” I have a favorite sugary cereal that I sometimes snack on, even though I know that half an hour later I’m going to crash. Diet is important, because—thanks to the miracle of metabolism—our food literally becomes a part of us. I might be 20-percent milk and hydrogenated corn syrup!

It’s even truer that “you are what you say.” When the religious leaders complained that His disciples were eating with unwashed hands, Jesus replied that it’s not what you eat that corrupts you, but the words that come out of your mouth. Why? Because there is a direct line from your mouth to your heart. Jesus explained, “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you” (Matthew 15:17-18).

If you want to know what’s in your heart, think about what you said today. Did your words nourish and encourage others? Were they kind “like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”? (Proverbs 16:24). James said we can tell what we’re really like by the way we talk to and about others. We know better than to curse God in the presence of others, but do we curse “those who have been made in the image of God”? If we do, then our hearts have become a “salty spring” that produces only “bitter water” (James 3:9-12).

Last night I did something worse than eat junk food. I carelessly spoke junk words to my daughter, which caused her eyes to be filled with hurt. My heart sank for the damage I had needlessly inflicted, and for what my foolish words said about me. I asked for her forgiveness, and thank God for a fresh start today.

Words of Encouragement

From: academictips.org

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
Henry Ford

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.”
Col. Harland Sanders

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

“A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.”
Unknown

“I am grateful for all of my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.”
James Cash Penney

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”
Unknown

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

“Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.”
Dr. Robert Anthony

“Extraordinary struggles bring an extraordinary purpose for those who wait.”
Brianna Gazvoda

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll.”
Unknown

“Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.”
Sicilian Proverb

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
Ivy Baker Priest

“It doesn’t matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it’s important to realize that whatever you’re doing, it’s your first attempt at it.”
Wally Amos

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
Mary Pickford

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.”
William James

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.”
Unknown

 

 

I have learned…

From: academictips.org

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned-
that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

I’ve learned-
that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

By Omer B. Washington

Jesus Loves Everyone

 

i love jesus photo: Love Jesus I_love_Jesus_.jpgi love jesus photo: I love Jesus processimageaspx.jpg

i love jesus photo: I love Jesus t3r2.jpgi love jesus photo: I love Jesus fqwrf.jpg

 

i love jesus photo: I Love Jesus ILoveJesuspic.jpgi love jesus photo:  jesus.jpg

 

Jesus’ Love For All

From: Our Daily Bread

He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, . . . where they crucified Him. —John 19:17-18

It was a bit unusual, but three times in one day I heard the same song. In the early afternoon, I attended a hymnsing at a home for the elderly. As part of her prayer at the end of our time together, Willie, one of the residents, said, “Sing with me, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’” In the evening, I attended a gathering with young people who sang it while pounding out the beat with their hands and feet. Later that evening, I received a text message on my phone with an audio recording of my 2 1/2-year-old grandniece with a sweet little voice, singing, “I am weak, but He is strong.” People in their nineties, teenagers, and a toddler all sang that song that day.

After hearing that simple song three times, I began to think the Lord might be telling me something. Actually, He gave us all this message long ago: “I love you.” We read in John 19 that He allowed people to put a crown of thorns on His head, mock Him, strike Him, strip Him, and crucify Him (vv.1-6). He had the power to stop them, but He said very little (v.11). He did it all for love’s sake to pay for our sins and to rescue us from punishment.

How much does God love us? Jesus spread out His arms and was nailed to the cross. He died for us, then rose again. That’s a precious fact for young and old.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong. —Warner
The truest measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure! —Bernard of Clairvaux

Have You Felt the Pain Inflicted by the Lord?

From: My Utmost For His Highest

He said to him the third time, ’. . . do you love Me?’ —John 21:17

Have you ever felt the pain, inflicted by the Lord, at the very center of your being, deep down in the most sensitive area of your life? The devil never inflicts pain there, and neither can sin nor human emotions. Nothing can cut through to that part of our being but the Word of God. “Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ’Do you love Me?’ ” Yet he was awakened to the fact that at the center of his personal life he was devoted to Jesus. And then he began to see what Jesus’ patient questioning meant. There was not the slightest bit of doubt left in Peter’s mind; he could never be deceived again. And there was no need for an impassioned response; no need for immediate action or an emotional display. It was a revelation to him to realize how much he did love the Lord, and with amazement he simply said, “Lord, You know all things . . . .” Peter began to see how very much he did love Jesus, and there was no need to say, “Look at this or that as proof of my love.” Peter was beginning to discover within himself just how much he really did love the Lord. He discovered that his eyes were so fixed on Jesus Christ that he saw no one else in heaven above or on the earth below. But he did not know it until the probing, hurting questions of the Lord were asked. The Lord’s questions always reveal the true me to myself.

Oh, the wonder of the patient directness and skill of Jesus Christ with Peter! Our Lord never asks questions until the perfect time. Rarely, but probably once in each of our lives, He will back us into a corner where He will hurt us with His piercing questions. Then we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than our words can ever say.

Scurrying or Seated?
Karen Ehman

From: Crosswalk.com

“She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations.” Luke 10:39-40 (NASB)

I glanced at the clock on the wall. How was it 11:45 already? Where had the time gone? It was nearly noon and I wasn’t even halfway through my to-do list for the morning.

My day had started hours earlier when I had bounded out of bed with a goal of knocking off a bevy of tasks around the house, on the computer and in my little hometown. Scrawled out on a baby-blue legal pad, my plan included things to cook, calls to make and errands to run.

I’d started whittling down my list as soon as my family left for school and work. Now at mid-day, I still had four or five items left undone and no way to accomplish them before my 1 p.m. dentist appointment to get a crown on my tooth.

My spirit sank. What’s my problem? I wondered. Did I underestimate how long each task would take? Or did I overestimate my ability to execute them quickly? Or, perhaps, it was a little bit of both.

I also hadn’t factored in the interruptions. A text from my daughter needing help on a tax form. An email from a friend wanting a recipe for company coming over later that day. A neighbor whose computer was on the blink and needed to borrow ours to make an order online. More distractions and delays.

A little nervous about my dentist appointment, I called my friend Mary to ask for prayer. As we visited, I shared the details of my frustrating morning, and asked how her day was going. She replied that she hadn’t completed what she’d hoped to either, concluding, “But I had a good long time alone with God this morning praying and reading my Bible which is what I needed most, so it’s okay.”

My heart sank as I realized my problem: I hadn’t taken time for the most important detail of the day. Spending time with God wasn’t even on my radar. Maybe if I had spent time with the Lord I wouldn’t have felt so much frustration at my lack of productivity.

Our key verse today tells of another woman who put chores ahead of spending time with Jesus. The story in Luke 10 tells of two sisters and how they spent their time when Jesus came to visit. Martha was busy scurrying to get to the end of her “to-do list,” but Mary chose a different path. She settled herself at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His words and His presence.

Later on we read that when Martha complained to the Lord that Mary wasn’t helping her, He replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42, NASB).

There’s no doubt Martha’s sister Mary also had things to do. So did my friend Mary. But in the case of each Mary, they chose to do the best thing first: position themselves where they could clearly hear from the Lord.

Perhaps today we can set aside our to-do lists until we’ve mimicked the Marys. Let’s vow to meet with God before we attempt to meet the challenges of the day. Yes, maybe that’s the key. Let’s stop scurrying and be seated instead.

There is always plenty of room at His feet.

Dear Lord, help me to take time today to meet with You before I try to tackle the tasks of the day. Give me the perspective that You are more important than my never-ending list of tasks. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Be ready in the morning, and come… present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee (Exod. 34:2-3).

The morning watch is essential. You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His. You cannot expect to be victorious, if the day begins only in your own strength.

Face the work of every day with the influence of a few thoughtful, quiet moments with your heart and God. Do not meet other people, even those of your own home, until you have first met the great Guest and honored Companion of your life–Jesus Christ.

Meet Him alone. Meet Him regularly. Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act.

Begin the day with God!
He is thy Sun and Day!
His is the radiance of thy dawn;
To Him address thy lay.
Sing a new song at morn!
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains,
Join the bright flowers and rills.
Sing thy first song to God!
Not to thy fellow men;
Not to the creatures of His hand,
But to the glorious One.
Take thy first walk with God!
Let Him go forth with thee;
By stream, or sea, or mountain path,
Seek still His company.
Thy first transaction be
With God Himself above;
So shall thy business prosper well,

And all the day be love.
–Horatius Bonar

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early upon their knees. Matthew Henry used to be in his study at four, and remain there till eight; then, after breakfast and family prayer, he used to be there again till noon; after dinner, he resumed his book or pen till four, and spent the rest of the day in visiting his friends.

Doddridge himself alludes to his “Family Expositor” as an example of the difference of rising between five and seven, which, in forty years, is nearly equivalent to ten years  more of life.

Dr. Adam Clark’s “Commentary” was chiefly prepared very early in the morning. Barnes’ popular and useful “Commentary” has been also the fruit of “early morning hours.”

Simeon’s “Sketches” were chiefly worked out between four and eight.

Keep Up Your Guard

 

keep your guard up

From: Our Daily Journey

Deuteronomy 4:1-9
But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! (Deuteronomy 4:9).

Read James 1:22-24 and see why it’s important to keep your guard up by your obedience to God’s Word.

When do you tend to let your spiritual guard down? What will you do to renew your commitment to God’s Word and remain alert for dangers to your faith?

A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes, and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some in the media severely criticized him for being a novice, but he was actually an “avalanche-certified backcountry guide.” An avalanche researcher said that seasoned skiers are most likely to be seduced into faulty reasoning. He said, “[The young man] died because he was lulled into letting his guard down.”

As Israel was preparing to go into the Promised Land, the Lord wanted His people to keep their guard up. So He commanded them to listen to and obey all His words (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). And in case they had trouble obeying, Moses reminded them how God judged those who disobeyed and blessed those who obeyed (Deuteronomy 4:3-4). Remembering this history would be the motivation and basis for their unconditional obedience. At every turn, they needed to examine themselves and keep watch over their inner lives (Deuteronomy 4:9). This would help them avoid external spiritual dangers as well as inner spiritual apathy. But this wasn’t just for them; it was also for future generations. Obedience to God’s standard would be the key to future success.

It’s fairly easy for us to let down our guard and be lulled into a state of forgetfulness, apathy, and self-deception. So it’s essential for us to offer God a fresh commitment to obey all of His Word. Let’s renew our knowledge of the Scriptures and our commitment to them and let’s wisely leverage opportunities to pass them on to the next generation.

 

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day (Gen. 32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray.”

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes–“men (aye, and women too!) wondered at” (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be “they saw no man save Jesus only.”

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.

 

The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus

From: My Utmost For His HIghest

Where then do You get that living water? —John 4:11

“The well is deep”— and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! (John 4:11). Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life? Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct. Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature— He brings them down from above. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering only what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and also by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” The thing that approaches the very limits of His power is the very thing we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. The impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God.

The reason some of us are such poor examples of Christianity is that we have failed to recognize that Christ is almighty. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment or surrender to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying, “Of course, He can’t do anything about this.” We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him.

Covering Sinkholes

 

 

  •        (Pictures of sinkholes)

Covering Sinkholes

From: Our Daily Bread
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. —Psalm 32:1
Bible in a Year:
Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2

In late May 2010, tropical storm Agatha hit Central America, producing torrential rains and landslides. Once it finished its course, a 200-foot-deep sinkhole opened in downtown Guatemala City. This sinkhole caused the ground to collapse suddenly, sucking land, electrical poles, and a 3-story building into the depths of the earth.

Though sinkholes can be devastating, the most universal and damaging sinkhole is the one that happens in the human heart. King David was an example of this.

The surface of David’s life looked stable; however, his interior life rested on a fragile foundation. After his sins of adultery and murder, David thought he had successfully hidden his treacherous acts (2 Sam. 11–12). However, God’s intense conviction after Nathan’s confrontation caused him to realize that denying the presence of sin in his life weakened the foundation of his spiritual life. To prevent this spiritual sinkhole from worsening, David acknowledged his sin to God in repentance (Ps. 32:5). As a result, God covered David’s sin and gave him the joy of forgiveness.

We too will experience God’s grace when we confess our sins to Him. He will completely forgive and cover our spiritual sinkholes.

Thinking It Over
What habitual sins, secret addictions, or hidden
vulnerabilities are weakening your interior life?
Remember, God longs to give you complete forgiveness.
When we uncover our sins in repentance God will cover them.

can anybody see god?

From: Inspire21.com

— Author Unknown

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God.

“Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: “No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him.”

Time passed, but his question still lingered, so he approached his mother: “Mom, can anybody ever really see God?” “No, not really,” she gently said. “God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him.”

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together — it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended.

The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him.  On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: “Granddad, I – I wasn’t going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time. Can anybody, can anybody ever really see God?”

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. “Son,” he quietly said. “It’s getting so I can’t see anything else.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
— Psalm 19:1-4

fishing on the dock

Taking the Initiative Against Daydreaming

From: My Utmost For His Highest

Arise, let us go from here —John 14:31

Daydreaming about something in order to do it properly is right, but daydreaming about it when we should be doing it is wrong. In this passage, after having said these wonderful things to His disciples, we might have expected our Lord to tell them to go away and meditate over them all. But Jesus never allowed idle daydreaming. When our purpose is to seek God and to discover His will for us, daydreaming is right and acceptable. But when our inclination is to spend time daydreaming over what we have already been told to do, it is unacceptable and God’s blessing is never on it. God will take the initiative against this kind of daydreaming by prodding us to action. His instructions to us will be along the lines of this: “Don’t sit or stand there, just go!”

If we are quietly waiting before God after He has said to us, “Come aside by yourselves . . .” then that is meditation before Him to seek His will (Mark 6:31). Beware, however, of giving in to mere daydreaming once God has spoken. Allow Him to be the source of all your dreams, joys, and delights, and be careful to go and obey what He has said. If you are in love with someone, you don’t sit and daydream about that person all the time— you go and do something for him. That is what Jesus Christ expects us to do. Daydreaming after God has spoken is an indication that we do not trust Him.

Don’t Fear; Trust God

 

(pictures of people being afraid)

Don’t fear, trust God.

Isaiah 41:10 NLT – Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. 

_____________________________________

Don’t Be Afraid

From: Academictips.org

 

Here we are, afraid of losing what we have all the time, holding on to it so tight that not a soul can touch it. We think by hiding it from the world, it’s hidden and it’s ours. Nothing is. Nothing ever will be. For, nothing ever was.

If you think there is anything that you have, that’s yours, be it money, a house, a job, or a girlfriend… it’s nothing but an illusion. It’ll all disappear… in one blow. One blow, my man.

Here we are, so insecure that we are afraid of re-starting our lives, so we just carry on trying to sort out the current mess. The thought that we should give it all up and just start all over – with nothing – might cross our minds some time, sure, but we get scared and we push away anything that scares us.

There is nothing I can ever achieve or gain that I cannot lose, in a matter of seconds. You have never gained enough to not be able to lose it all, in just a few minutes. What you think is yours, was never yours and will never be yours. Whatever you make here, you leave here. You came naked and you’re going to go back naked.

So what are you afraid of?

Let all be lost. Let them take away everything. As long as you have your heart beating strong, as long as you have your nostrils working fine, as long as the blood flows in your veins, you will live, you will breathe and you can get it all back… again and again. For, if you can do it once, you can damn well do it again. It’s just a game we play – Life.

By Rohit Wadhwaney

 

Taking the Initiative Against Depression

From: My Utmost For His Highest

02
17
2014

Arise and eat—1 Kings 19:5

The angel in this passage did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable. He simply told Elijah to do a very ordinary thing, that is, to get up and eat. If we were never depressed, we would not be alive—only material things don’t suffer depression. If human beings were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation. There are things in life that are designed to depress us; for example, things that are associated with death. Whenever you examine yourself, always take into account your capacity for depression.

When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. Depression tends to turn us away from the everyday things of God’s creation. But whenever God steps in, His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things-things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there. The inspiration that comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression. But we must take the first step and do it in the inspiration of God. If, however, we do something simply to overcome our depression, we will only deepen it. But when the Spirit of God leads us instinctively to do something, the moment we do it the depression is gone. As soon as we arise and obey, we enter a higher plane of life.

Learn and Earn

From: Academictips.org

Chuan and Jing joined a wholesale company together just after graduation. Both worked very hard.

After several years, the boss promoted Jing to sales executive but Chuan remained a sales rep. One day Chuan could not take it anymore, tender resignation to the boss and complained the boss did not value hard working staff, but only promoted those who flattered him.

The boss knew that Chuan worked very hard for the years, but in order to help Chuan realize the difference between him and Jing, the boss asked Chuan to do the following. Go and find out anyone selling water melon in the market? Chuan returned and said yes. The boss asked how much per kg? Chuan went back to the market to ask and returned to inform boss the $12 per kg.

Boss told Chuan, I will ask Jing the same question? Jing went, returned and said, boss, only one person selling water melon. $12 per kg, $100 for 10 kg, he has inventory of 340 melons. On the table 58 melons, every melon weighs about 15 kg, bought from the South two days ago, they are fresh and red, good quality.

Chuan was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Jing. He decided not to resign but to learn from Jing.

My dear friends, a more successful person is more observant, think more and understand in depth. For the same matter, a more successful person sees several years ahead, while you see only tomorrow. The difference between a year and a day is 365 times, how could you win?

Think! how far have you seen ahead in your life? How thoughtful in depth are you?

How the poor live

From: Academictips.org

One day, a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Spirituality Responsibility

 

(people giving aid to others)

 

“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

From: My Utmost For His Highest

None of us lives to himself . . . —Romans 14:7

Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible spiritually to God for other people? For instance, if I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers. We “sit together in the heavenly places . . .” (Ephesians 2:6). “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it . . .” (1 Corinthians 12:26). If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer. But you ask, “Who is sufficient to be able to live up to such a lofty standard?” “Our sufficiency is from God . . .” and God alone (2 Corinthians 3:5).

“You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). How many of us are willing to spend every bit of our nervous, mental, moral, and spiritual energy for Jesus Christ? That is what God means when He uses the wordwitness. But it takes time, so be patient with yourself. Why has God left us on the earth? Is it simply to be saved and sanctified? No, it is to be at work in service to Him. Am I willing to be broken bread and poured-out wine for Him? Am I willing to be of no value to this age or this life except for one purpose and one alone— to be used to disciple men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. My life of service to God is the way I say “thank you” to Him for His inexpressibly wonderful salvation. Remember, it is quite possible for God to set any of us aside if we refuse to be of service to Him— “. . . lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

 

Fret not thyself (Psalms 37:1).

From: Streams In The Desert

Do not get into a perilous heat about things. If ever heat were justified, it was surely justified in the circumstances outlined in the Psalm. Evil-doers were moving about clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day. “Workers of iniquity” were climbing into the supreme places of power, and were tyrannizing their less fortunate brethren. Sinful men and women were stalking through the land in the pride of life and basking in the light and comfort of great prosperity, and good men were becoming heated and fretful.

“Fret not thyself.” Do not get unduly heated! Keep cool! Even in a good cause, fretfulness is not a wise help-meet. Fretting only heats the bearings; it does not generate the steam. It is no help to a train for the axles to get hot; their heat is only a hindrance. When the axles get heated, it is because of unnecessary friction; dry surfaces are grinding together, which ought to be kept in smooth co-operation by a delicate cushion of oil.

And is it not a suggestive fact that this word “fret” is closely akin to the word “friction,” and is an indication of absence of the anointing oil of the grace of God? In fretfulness, a little bit of grit gets into the bearings–some slight disappointment, some ingratitude, some discourtesy–and the smooth working of the life is checked. Friction begets heat; and with the heat, most dangerous conditions are created.

Do not let thy bearings get hot. Let the oil of the Lord keep thee cool, lest by reason of an unholy heat thou be reckoned among the evil-doers.
–The Silver Lining

Dear restless heart, be still; don’t fret and worry so;
God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;
Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.
Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
Dear restless heart, be brave; don’t moan and sorrow so,
He hath a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;
Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.
Dear restless heart, repose upon His breast this hour,
His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;
Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.
Dear restless heart, be still! Don’t struggle to be free;
God’s life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;
Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.

–Edith Willis Linn

 

When We Belong to Jesus
Renee Swope

From: Crosswalk.com

“‘For your Maker is your husband — the LORD Almighty is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit — a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God.” Isaiah 54:5-6 (NIV)

We had what felt like a storybook Christian romance. Mike was tall, dark and handsome. He had a successful business and he loved Jesus. But to top it all off, instead of asking me for a date, Mike asked if we could “court.”

Our lives were connected on so many levels. We lived on the same floor of the same apartment complex. We attended the same church. And we had several mutual friends. We loved when people told us we made a great couple, in life and in ministry.

Eventually we started praying about marriage and talked to our pastor. Not long after, Mike proposed.

But two weeks into our engagement he looked into my eyes and said: “I’ve made a horrible mistake. You are not the one God wants me to marry.”

I was devastated and wondered what I’d done to make God change His mind.

After counseling and walking through a painful process of forgiveness, I eventually recovered. Much to my surprise, Mike showed back up in my life and asked me to consider rebuilding our friendship.

I was shocked and hesitant. But I also wondered if God wanted to redeem our story. Eventually I gave Mike a second chance. We spent time with friends and took things slowly. But in time, the topic of marriage came up. He proposed again. And he dumped me again!

That time I got smart and kept the ring, holding it as collateral to get Mike to counseling with me. In our first session, the counselor explained that Mike had a fear of commitment. Having a name for it helped me feel better, but Mike felt embarrassed and ashamed.

One night I woke up with a deep sense of concern for him, so I drove to his apartment. Sitting in the parking lot, I felt compelled to get in his van and pray for him. Afterwards I opened my eyes and noticed his journal sitting on the console.

Though I shouldn’t have opened it, I turned to the entries he had written when he called off our engagement. I came face-to-face with why he didn’t want to marry. There were many things about me he wished were different.

After reading Mike’s journal, every time I stood in front of a mirror, doubt whispered: No man will ever want you. You’ll never be good enough.

Rejection. Betrayal. Abandonment. Our greatest fears can become reality. Maybe your father abandoned you, or your husband betrayed you. Maybe your best friend broke your trust, or your teenager has shut you out.

The deep pain from broken relationships can make us doubt our value. We begin to see ourselves as disposable. Easily replaced. Not good enough.

One morning, I woke up and felt the heavy weight of rejection. Opening my Bible, I read through the book of Isaiah and landed in chapter 54. There, God showed me He is my Maker, Husband and Redeemer – the One who bestows the honor and acceptance I long for.

As devastating as it was, I learned two life-changing lessons from the pain:

• I have to choose to separate myself, and my worth, from a man’s decision to want me or not.
• I have to hold others’ words and preferences up to God’s Word and choose which one I will rely on.

Although people’s preferences will change, God’s desire for us won’t. Others might not think we’re good enough, but God always will. And even if someone decides they don’t desire us anymore, God most certainly does!

The truth is, when we belong to Jesus we are loved and accepted forever. We are covered in His goodness, and His goodness makes us good enough!

Lord, I want to know and rely on the love You have for me and live in Your love. Remind me each day that Your goodness makes me good enough! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

True Love

True Love

From: OurDailyBread
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13

During the rehearsal for my brother’s wedding ceremony, my husband snapped a picture of the bride and groom as they faced each other in front of the pastor. When we looked at the photograph later, we noticed that the camera’s flash had illuminated a metal cross in the background, which appeared as a glowing image above the couple.

The photograph reminded me that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church as shown on the cross. When the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25), God compares that kind of faithful, selfless affection to Christ’s love for His followers. Because Christ sacrificed His life for the sake of love, we are all to love each other (1 John 4:10-11). He died in our place, so that our sin would not keep us separate from God for eternity. He lived out His words to the disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Many of us suffer from the pain of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Despite all of this, through Christ we can understand the sacrificial, compassionate, and enduring nature of true love. Today, remember that you are loved by God. Jesus said so with His life.

Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus.

The Blind Men and The Elephant

From: Academictips.org

A long time ago in the valley of the Brahmaputra River in India there lived six men who were much inclined to boast of their wit and lore. Though they were no longer young and had all been blind since birth, they would compete with each other to see who could tell the tallest story.

One day, however, they fell to arguing. The object of their dispute was the elephant. Now, since each was blind, none had ever seen that mighty beast of whom so many tales are told. So, to satisfy their minds and settle the dispute, they decided to go and seek out an elephant.

Having hired a young guide, Dookiram by name, they set out early one morning in single file along the forest track, each placing his hands on the back of the man in front. It was not long before they came to a forest clearing where a huge bull elephant, quite tame, was standing contemplating his menu for the day.

The six blind men became quite excited; at last they would satisfy their minds. Thus it was that the men took turns to investigate the elephant’s shape and form.

As all six men were blind, neither of them could see the whole elephant and approached the elephant from different directions. After encountering the elephant, each man proclaimed in turn:

“O my brothers,” the first man at once cried out, “it is as sure as I am wise that this elephant is like a great mud wall baked hard in the sun.”

“Now, my brothers,” the second man exclaimed with a cry of dawning recognition, “I can tell you what shape this elephant is – he is exactly like a spear.”

The others smiled in disbelief.

“Why, dear brothers, do you not see,” said the third man, “this elephant is very much like a rope,” he shouted.

“Ha, I thought as much,” the fourth man declared excitedly, “this elephant much resembles a serpent.”

The others snorted their contempt.

“Good gracious, brothers,” the fifth man called out, “even a blind man can see what shape the elephant resembles most. Why he’s mightily like a fan.”

At last, it was the turn of the sixth old fellow and he proclaimed, “This sturdy pillar, brothers, mine, feels exactly like the trunk of a great areca palm tree.”

Of course, no one believed him.

Their curiosity satisfied, they all linked hands and followed the guide, Dookiram, back to the village. Once there, seated beneath a waving palm, the six blind men began disputing loud and long. Each now had his own opinion, firmly based on his own experience, of what an elephant is really like. For after all, each had felt the elephant for himself and knew that he was right!

And so indeed he was. For depending on how the elephant is seen, each blind man was partly right, though all were in the wrong.

The Alphabet Of Happiness

From: Academictips.org

The Alphabet:
A – ACCEPT Accept others for who they are and for the choices they’ve made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions.
B – BREAK AWAY Break away from everything that stands in the way of what you hope to accomplish with your life.
C – CREATE Create a family of friends whom you can share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and happiness with.
D – DECIDE Decide that you’ll be successful and happy come what may, and good things will find you. The roadblocks are only minor obstacles along the way.
E – EXPLORE Explore and experiment. The world has much to offer, and you have much to give. And every time you try something new, you’ll learn more about yourself.
F – FORGIVE Forgive and forget. Grudges only weigh you down and inspire unhappiness and grief. Soar above it, and remember that everyone makes mistakes.
G – GROW Leave the childhood monsters behind. They can no longer hurt you or stand in your way.
H – HOPE Hope for the best and never forget that anything is possible as long as you remain dedicated to the task.
I – IGNORE Ignore the negative voice inside your head. Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments. Your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds.
J – JOURNEY Journey to new worlds, new possibilities, by remaining open-minded. Try to learn something new every day, an you’ll grow.
K – KNOW Know that no matter how bad things seem, they’ll always get better. The warmth of spring always follows the harshest winter.
L – LOVE Let love fill your heart instead of hate. When hate is in your heart, there’s room for nothing else, but when love is in your heart, there’s room for endless happiness.
M – MANAGE Manage your time and your expenses wisely, and you’ll suffer less stress and worry. Then you’ll be able to focus on the important things in life.
N – NOTICE Never ignore the poor, infirm, helpless, weak, or suffering. Offer your assistance when possible, and always your kindness and understanding.
O – OPEN Open your eyes and take in all the beauty around you. Even during the worst of times, there’s still much to be thankful for.
P – PLAY Never forget to have fun along the way. Success means nothing without happiness.
Q – QUESTION Ask many questions, because you’re here to learn.
R – RELAX Refuse to let worry and stress rule your life, and remember that things always have a way of working out in the end.
S – SHARE Share your talent, skills, knowledge, and time with others. Everything that you invest in others will return to you many times over.
T – TRY Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish.
U – USE Use your gifts to your best ability. Talent that’s wasted has no value. Talent that’s used bill bring unexpected rewards.
V – VALUE Value the friends and family members who’ve supported and encouraged you, and be there for them as well.
W – WORK Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance.
X – X-RAY Look deep inside the hearts of those around you and you’ll see the goodness and beauty within.
Y – YIELD Yield to commitment. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you’ll find success at the end of the road.
Z – ZOOM Zoom to a happy place when bad memories or sorrow rears its ugly head. Let nothing interfere with your goals. Instead, focus on your abilities, your dreams, and a brighter tomorrow.

Author Unknown

 

Can’t Wait

From: Getmorestrength.org

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3

Hey, for you guys out there who have forgotten, it’s Valentine’s Day! Hopefully you still have time to pick up something special for the love of your life. (And you don’t even have to tell her that I reminded you!)

The love of my life, of course, is my wife, Martie. I remember so clearly the summer before our senior year of college when I finally summoned up the nerve to ask her to marry me. We had been dating for a couple of years and ended up working in different states over the summer. I spent the summer working at home in New Jersey, and she was up in the Adirondack Mountains serving at a Christian conference center. That struck a little panic in my soul. She would not only be away from me, but she would be surrounded by tanned lifeguards and well-abbed water-ski instructors! I knew in order to seal the deal I would need to take some action.

I pulled together the cash to buy her an engagement ring and climbed into my little Volkswagen to trek up to the conference grounds. The whole way there I was a mixture of nerves and excitement, anticipating the moment that I would pop the question! When I arrived at the conference, however, I discovered that our college president was there as the featured speaker. And, in an act of goodwill, he decided to take all of us students out for pie and ice cream after the evening session. Normally, I would have been delighted to be out for dessert with our college president. But that evening all I could think of was, “I can’t wait to get her out of here!” I had bigger plans and a better agenda for the evening. I wasn’t interested in snacks—I wanted to get Martie out of there so I could propose and spend the rest of my life with her!

Recently, as I was reading John 14:3, it struck me—Jesus can’t wait to get us out of here so He can spend eternity with us. In fact, one of the key metaphors used to describe His relationship with the church is the picture of a groom waiting for his bride. With that in mind, you can almost feel the sense of urgency and anticipation in His voice when He assures us: “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

The timing of Christ’s return, while unknown to us, is perfectly on schedule with God’s sovereign plan. Why would God wait if He really wants to be with us? He waits to allow additional people to hear the life-transforming message of forgiveness and new life in Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). And yet I can’t help but think that Jesus, longing to be reunited with you, says to Himself, “I can’t wait to get them out of there!” His agenda is far greater, far more thrilling, and infinitely better than whatever we have planned on this earth.

If Martie had known what was coming that evening, it would have made her just as anxious and excited as I was to get out of there. It would have affected her whole perspective. And here’s the amazing thing: When it comes to Christ’s return for us, we’re in on the secret! We don’t know the time, but we know the promise—He’s coming back, and He can’t wait! The thrill of the prospect of it all should transform the way we live each day. There should be a sense of holy discontent and a constant longing for what we have ahead of us.

Listening To God

The Devotion of Hearing

From: My Utmost For His Highest

Samuel answered, ’Speak, for Your servant hears’ —1 Samuel 3:10

Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says. If I love my friend, I will instinctively understand what he wants. And Jesus said, “You are My friends . . .” (John 15:14). Have I disobeyed some command of my Lord’s this week? If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus, I would not have deliberately disobeyed it. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don’t even hear Him. He might as well never have spoken to us.

The goal of my spiritual life is such close identification with Jesus Christ that I will always hear God and know that God always hears me (see John 11:41). If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. A flower, a tree, or a servant of God may convey God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don’t hear Him. The attitude of a child of God should always be, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is to other things— things which I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God’s voice today?

Big Rocks

From: Inspirationalarchive.com

A while back I was reading about an expert on subject of time management.

One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”

Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him.

“Probably not,” one of them answered.

“Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted.

Once again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

The title of this letter is The “Big Rocks” of Life. What are the big rocks in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all.

– Unknown

Death of an Innocent

From: Inspirationalarchive.com
-Unknown author

I went to a party, Mom,
I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom,
so I drank soda instead.

I really felt proud inside, Mom,
the way you said I would.
I didn’t drink and drive, Mom,
even though the others said I should.

I know I did the right thing, Mom,
I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom,
as everyone is driving out of sight.

As I got into my car, Mom,
I knew I’d get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me,
so responsible and sweet.

I started to drive away, Mom,
but as I pulled out into the road,
the other car didn’t see me, Mom,
and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom,
I hear the policeman say,
the other guy is drunk, Mom,
and now I’m the one who will pay.

I’m lying here dying, Mom.
I wish you’d get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom?
My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom,
and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom,
I’ll die in a short time.

I just wanted to tell you, Mom,
I swear I didn’t drink.
It was the others, Mom.
The others didn’t think.

He was probably at
the same party as I.
The only difference is,
he drank and I will die.

Why do people drink, Mom?
It can ruin your whole life.
I’m feeling sharp pains now.
Pains just like a knife.

The guy who hit me is walking, Mom,
and I don’t think it’s fair.
I’m lying here dying
and all he can do is stare.

Tell my brother not to cry, Mom.
Tell Daddy to be brave.
And when I go to heaven, Mom,
put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave

Someone should have told him, Mom,
not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom,
I would still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom.
I’m becoming very scared.
Please don’t cry for me, Mom.
When I needed you, you were always there.

I have one last question, Mom,
before I say good bye.
I didn’t drink and drive,
so why am I the one to die?

 

PARACHUTES

From: Inspirationalarchive.com

Charles Plum, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”

Plumb assured him, “It sure did — if your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform — a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you,’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute? Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.” Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory — he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead.

SUGGESTION: Recognize and be gracious to people who pack your daily parachutes, and strengthen yourself to prevail through tough times.

 

 

Planting Potatoes

 

Planting Potatoes

Academictips.org

When I was a boy growing up we had several gardens around our old house. The largest one of all was used just for growing potatoes.

I can still remember those potato planting days. The whole family helped. After my Dad had tilled the soil, my Mom, brothers, and I went to work. It was my job to drop the little seed potatoes in the rows while my Mom dropped handfuls of fertilizer beside them. My brothers then covered them all with the freshly turned earth.

For months afterward I would glance over at the garden while I played outside and wonder what was going on underneath the ground. When the harvest time came I was amazed at the huge size of the potatoes my Dad pulled out of the soil. Those little seedlings had grown into bushels and bushels of sweet sustenance. They would be turned into meal after meal of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and my personal favorite: potatoes slowed cooked in spaghetti sauce. They would keep the entire family well fed throughout the whole year. It truly was a miracle to behold.

Thinking back on those special times makes me wonder how many other seeds I have planted in this life that have grown unseen in the hearts and minds of others. How many times has God used some little thing that I said or did to grow something beautiful? How many times has Heaven used these little seedlings to provide another’s soul with sweet sustenance?

Every single day of our lives we step out into the garden of this world. Every single day we plant seeds that can grow into something wonderful. We may never see the growth that comes from the kind words or loving acts we share but God does. I hope then that you always tend the garden around you with care. I hope that you plant only goodness, peace, and compassion in the lives of everyone you meet. I hope that everyday you help miracles to grow.

By Joe Mazzella

The Power Of Music

 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread
I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. —Psalm 59:16

In Wales, the music of men’s chorus groups is deeply engrained in the culture. Prior to World War II, one Welsh glee club had a friendly yet competitive rivalry with a German glee club, but that bond was replaced with animosity during and after the war. The tension was gradually overcome, though, by the message on the trophy shared by the two choruses: “Speak with me, and you’re my friend. Sing with me, and you’re my brother.”

The power of music to heal and help is a gift from God that comforts many. Perhaps that is why the Psalms speak so deeply to us. There we find lyrics that connect with our hearts, allowing us to speak to God from the depth of our spirits. “But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Ps. 59:16). Amazingly, David wrote this song as he was being hunted down by men seeking to kill him! Despite his circumstances, David remembered God’s power and mercy, and singing of them encouraged him to go on.

May our God give us a song today that will remind us of His goodness and greatness, no matter what we may face.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long. —Crosby
“I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.” —Judges 5:3 (nlt)

Obedience To God

 

The Dilemma of Obedience

From: My Utmost For HIs Highest

Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision —1 Samuel 3:15

God never speaks to us in dramatic ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?” Isaiah said that the Lord spoke to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of his circumstances (Isaiah 8:11). Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences?

Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what He said? Was it Luke 11:13 , or was it 1 Thessalonians 5:23? As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time.

Should I tell my “Eli” what God has shown to me? This is where the dilemma of obedience hits us. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences and thinking, “I must shield ’Eli,’ ” who represents the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli— he had to decide that for himself. God’s message to you may hurt your “Eli,” buttrying to prevent suffering in another’s life will prove to be an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own risk that you prevent someone’s right hand being cut off or right eye being plucked out (see Matthew 5:29-30).

Never ask another person’s advice about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will almost always side with Satan. “. . . I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood . . .” (Galatians 1:16).

 

Inspirational stories about helping others 

THE OLD LADY

From: Inspirationalstories.eu

A man was driving his car, when he saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road. He saw that she needed help. So he stopped his Pontiac near her Mercedes and got out.

He smiled, while he was approaching her, still she was worried, as nobody had stopped for hours. Moreover, he did not look safe, as his appearance was so poor and shabby. He could see, how frightened she was, so he tried to calm her: „ I‘m here to help you, don‘t worry. My name is Bryan Anderson“.

The tire was flat, so he had to crawl under the car. While changing the tire, he got dirty and his hands were hurt.

When the job was done, she asked how much she owed him for his help. Bryan smiled. He said: „If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone, who needs help, give that person the needed assistance. And think of me“.

A the same evening, the lady stopped by a small cafe. That place looked dingy. Then she saw a waitress, nearly eight months pregnant, wiping her wet hear with a towel. The waitress had a sweet friendly smile, although she had spent on her feet the whole day.

The lady wondered, how someone, who has so little, can be so kind and giving to a strange. Then she remembered Bryan.

The lady had finished her meal and paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress went to get change and when she came back, the lady was gone. She left a note on the napkin: „You don‘t own me anything. Somebody once helped me, just like now I‘m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, do not let this chain of love end with you“. The waitress found four more one hundren bills under the napkin.

That night the waitress came home earlier. She was thinking about the lady and the money she left. She was wondering, how the lady could know, how much she and her husband needed it? Especially now, when the baby will soon arrive. She knew, that her husband worried about that, so she was glad to tell him good news. Then she kissed him and whispered „Now everything will be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson“.

 

Acts 12:1-25 (Good News Translation)

King Herod

From: Americanbible.org.

Introduction

Acts 12:1-25: King Herod (Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great) persecutes the followers of Jesus. Peter is arrested and imprisoned but is rescued by an angel. The chapter concludes with a description of Herod’s death.

Today’s Scripture: Acts 12:5

Peter was kept in jail, but the people of the church were praying earnestly to God for him.

Today’s Reading

1 About this time King Herod began to persecute some members of the church. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death by the sword. 3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he went ahead and had Peter arrested. (This happened during the time of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.) 4 After his arrest Peter was put in jail, where he was handed over to be guarded by four groups of four soldiers each. Herod planned to put him on trial in public after Passover. 5 So Peter was kept in jail, but the people of the church were praying earnestly to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was going to bring him out to the people, Peter was sleeping between two guards. He was tied with two chains, and there were guards on duty at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel shook Peter by the shoulder, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At once the chains fell off Peter’s hands. 8Then the angel said, “Tighten your belt and put on your sandals.” Peter did so, and the angel said, “Put your cloak around you and come with me.” 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, not knowing, however, if what the angel was doing was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed by the first guard station and then the second, and came at last to the iron gate that opens into the city. The gate opened for them by itself, and they went out. They walked down a street, and suddenly the angel left Peter. 11 Then Peter realized what had happened to him, and said, “Now I know that it is really true! The Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod’s power and from everything the Jewish people expected to happen.” 12Aware of his situation, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outside door, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer it. 14 She recognized Peter’s voice and was so happy that she ran back in without opening the door, and announced that Peter was standing outside. 15 “You are crazy!” they told her. But she insisted that it was true. So they answered, “It is his angel.” 16 Meanwhile Peter kept on knocking. At last they opened the door, and when they saw him, they were amazed. 17 He motioned with his hand for them to be quiet, and he explained to them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell this to James and the rest of the believers,” he said; then he left and went somewhere else. 18 When morning came, there was a tremendous confusion among the guards—what had happened to Peter? 19 Herod gave orders to search for him, but they could not find him. So he had the guards questioned and ordered them put to death. After this, Herod left Judea and spent some time in Caesarea. 20 Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, so they went in a group to see him. First they convinced Blastus, the man in charge of the palace, that he should help them. Then they went to Herod and asked him for peace, because their country got its food supplies from the king’s country. 21 On a chosen day Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to the people. 22 “It isn’t a man speaking, but a god!” they shouted. 23 At once the angel of the Lord struck Herod down, because he did not give honor to God. He was eaten by worms and died. 24 Meanwhile the word of God continued to spread and grow. 25 Barnabas and Saul finished their mission and returned from Jerusalem, taking John Mark with them.