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Since: Aug 09

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#1 Sep 2, 2009
September 2, 2009 Patience In Prison

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Genesis 40:1-14; Genesis 40:23 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Genesis 40:1-1

Genesis 40
The Cupbearer and the Baker
1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt
offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his
two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them
in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same
prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned
them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two
men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being
held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a
meaning of its own.
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were
dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with
him in his master's house, "Why are your faces so sad today?"

8 "We both had dreams," they answered, "but there is no one to
interpret them."
Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God?
Tell me your dreams."

9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, "In
my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three
branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened
into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes,
squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand."

12 "This is what it means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches
are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head
and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in
his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But
when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention
me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Genesis 40:23

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978

[God] Himself has said,“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
—Hebrews 13:5
Have you ever noticed that other people’s forgetfulness
can try your patience? As a college professor, I find my patience
stretched when a student forgets to do an assignment that’s clearly
spelled out in the syllabus.

In the Old Testament story of Joseph, we see a far worse example of
forgetfulness—and we can only imagine how he struggled to be patient
as a result.

While in prison, Joseph interpreted a dream of the king’s butler,
which led to the man’s release. Joseph told him,“Remember me when it
is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me
to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house”(Gen. 40:14). It would seem
that after Joseph had helped the butler gain freedom, remembering him
would have been high on his “to do” list. But it was 2 years before
the butler spoke to Pharaoh about Joseph (41:9). Finally, Joseph was
freed.

Imagine the impatience Joseph felt as he waited each day in that
dungeon (40:15)—perhaps thinking his only chance at freedom had
passed. Yet Joseph had a resource: He had God’s presence (39:21), as
do we (Heb. 13:5). When you’re feeling impatient, lean on the God who
is always with you. He’ll turn your impatience into patient trust.—
Dave Branon

Tune your anxious heart to patience,
Walk by faith where sight is dim;
Loving God, be calm and trustful
And leave everything to Him.—Chambers

Patience means awaiting God’s time without doubting God’s love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our-daily-brea ...

Since: Aug 09

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#2 Sep 3, 2009
September 3, 2009 Journeys



Philippians 1:8-18 (New International Version)
8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in
knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern
what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus
Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul's Chains Advance the Gospel
12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has
really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become
clear throughout the whole palace guard[a] and to everyone else that I
am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers
in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more
courageously and fearlessly.
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but
others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am
put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out
of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up
trouble for me while I am in chains.[b] 18But what does it matter? The
important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or
true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Footnotes:
a.Philippians 1:13 Or whole palace
b.Philippians 1:17 Some late manuscripts have verses 16 and 17 in reverse order.

I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me
have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
—Philippians 1:12

On a map in the back of my Bible, each of Paul’s missionary journeys
is shown by a colored line with arrows indicating his direction of
travel. On the first three, the arrows lead away from his place of
departure and back to a point of return. On the fourth journey,
however, Paul was traveling as a prisoner, bound for trial before
Caesar, and the arrows point only one direction, ending in Rome.

We might be tempted to call this an unfortunate time in Paul’s life,
if it were not for his view that God was leading and using him just as
much on this journey as He did on the previous three.

He wrote:“I want you to know, brethren, that the things which
happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the
gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and
to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the
brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much
more bold to speak the Word without fear”(Phil. 1:12-14).

Even when our journey in life is marked by confinement and
limitations, we can be sure that the Lord will encourage others
through us as we speak His Word and trust in Him.— David C.
McCasland

The journeys that we take in life,
Though unexpected they may be,
If we commit to follow Christ,
His work through us the world will see.—Sper

For the Christian, what looks like a detour may actually be a new road
to blessing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml

Since: Aug 09

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#5 Sep 5, 2009
September 6, 2009 Prelude Of Praise



Psalm 150 (New International Version)

Psalm 150
1 Praise the LORD.[a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.

2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Footnotes:
a.Psalm 150:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah ; also in verse 6

I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my
vows.—Psalm 61:8

We enter a concert hall, find our seats, and listen with anticipation
as the members of the orchestra tune their instruments. The sound is
discordant, not melodic. But the tuning is simply a prelude to the
symphony.

C. S. Lewis suggested that’s how it is with our devotional practices
and even our worship services. Sometimes they sound discordant, but
God hears our prayers and praises with fatherly delight. We are really
preparing for participation in the glorious symphony of heaven. Now we
are making a minuscule contribution to the harmonies of angelic and
redeemed hosts. But our adoration, though feeble, pleases the heart of
the Divine Listener more than the finest rendition of earth’s greatest
orchestra.

Are we eagerly awaiting our participation in heaven’s symphony of
praise? Are we joyfully participating in the adoration that delights
the heart of God? Or do we regard devotion as more of a discipline
than a delight?

Our attitudes will be transformed when we realize that praise delights
God’s heart. Praise helps us to tune our lives to heavenly harmonies.

Praise is an indispensable preparation for the worship that will be
our eternal joy.“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”(Ps.
150:6).— Vernon C. Grounds

Joyfully, heartily resounding,
Let every instrument and voice
Peal out the praise of grace abounding,
Calling the whole world to rejoice.—Routley

The heart filled with praise brings pleasure to God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#12 Sep 23, 2009
Fro

Ozark, AL

#14 Sep 24, 2009
Mission wrote:
September 2, 2009 Patience In Prison
http://www.youtube.com/watch ...
Genesis 40:1-14; Genesis 40:23 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Genesis 40:1-1
Genesis 40
The Cupbearer and the Baker
1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt
offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his
two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them
in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same
prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned
them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two
men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being
held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a
meaning of its own.
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were
dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with
him in his master's house, "Why are your faces so sad today?"
8 "We both had dreams," they answered, "but there is no one to
interpret them."
Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God?
Tell me your dreams."
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, "In
my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three
branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened
into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes,
squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand."
12 "This is what it means," Joseph said to him. "The three branches
are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head
and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in
his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But
when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention
me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica
Genesis 40:23
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978
[God] Himself has said,“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
—Hebrews 13:5
Have you ever noticed that other people’s forgetfulness
can try your patience? As a college professor, I find my patience
stretched when a student forgets to do an assignment that’s clearly
spelled out in the syllabus.
In the Old Testament story of Joseph, we see a far worse example of
forgetfulness—and we can only imagine how he struggled to be patient
as a result.
While in prison, Joseph interpreted a dream of the king’s butler,
which led to the man’s release. Joseph told him,“Remember me when it
is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me
to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house”(Gen. 40:14). It would seem
that after Joseph had helped the butler gain freedom, remembering him
would have been high on his “to do” list. But it was 2 years before
the butler spoke to Pharaoh about Joseph (41:9). Finally, Joseph was
freed.
Imagine the impatience Joseph felt as he waited each day in that
dungeon (40:15)—perhaps thinking his only chance at freedom had
passed. Yet Joseph had a resource: He had God’s presence (39:21), as
do we (Heb. 13:5). When you’re feeling impatient, lean on the God who
is always with you. He’ll turn your impatience into patient trust.—
Dave Branon
Tune your anxious heart to patience,
Walk by faith where sight is dim;
Loving God, be calm and trustful
And leave everything to Him.—Chambers
Patience means awaiting God’s time without doubting God’s love.
http://www.youtube.com/watch ...
http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our-daily-brea ...
amen

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#20 Sep 29, 2009
September 30, 2009

The Measure Of Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

John 15:9-17 (New International Version)

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my
love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I
have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told
you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be
complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his
friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer
call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's
business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I
learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose
me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that
will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17This is my command: Love each other.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for
his friends.—John 15:13
On October 2, 1954, First Lieutenant James O. Conway was taking off
from Boston Logan Airport, flying a plane that carried a load of
munitions. When his plane became airborne, he suddenly lost power over
Boston’s bay. In an instant, Conway faced a brutal choice—eject from
the plane and save his own life, or crash the plane into the bay
causing his own death.

If he ejected, however, the plane would crash into an East Boston
neighborhood filled with homes and families. Amazingly, Conway chose
to crash the plane into the bay—giving his life for the lives of
others.

In John 15:13, Jesus said,“Greater love has no one than this, than to
lay down one’s life for his friends.” The willingness to make the
ultimate sacrifice to protect others shows a heart that cares more
about the needs of others than the needs of one’s self. Someone once
said that “the measure of love is what one is willing to give up for
it.” God the Father loved so much that He gave up His Son. Christ
loved so much that He gave up His life—even taking our sins on Himself
and dying in our place.

The measure of God’s love for you is great. Have you accepted His love
personally?— Bill Crowder

When Jesus gave His life for me,
Enduring all the agony
Upon the cross of Calvary,
He showed the love of God.—Sper

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#22 Oct 1, 2009
October 2, 2009
Music Of The Soul

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Ephesians 5:15-21 (New International Version)

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.
18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be
filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and
spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.—Ephesians 5:19
In his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks
devotes a chapter to the therapeutic role of music with people
suffering from Alzheimer’s. He writes of watching people with advanced
dementia respond to songs that bring back memories that had seemed
lost to them:“Faces assume expression as the old music is recognized
and its emotional power felt. One or two people, perhaps, start to
sing along, others join them and soon the entire group—many of them
virtually speechless before—is singing together, as much as they are
able.”

I have seen this occur at Sunday morning services in the Alzheimer’s
care facility where my wife’s mother lives. Perhaps you’ve experienced
it with a loved one whose mind is clouded, and a song calls forth an
awareness from deep within.

Paul encouraged the Christians in Ephesus to “be filled with the
Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”(Eph.
5:18-19). Songs that glorify God can reach the deepest level where the
meaning never fades. More than words, harmony, or conscious thought,
such music is good for the heart and soul.— David C. McCasland

There’s wondrous music in my soul
Since Jesus’ blood has made me whole;
Now my heart sings His songs of praise
For all His blessings all my days.—Hess

A heart in tune with God can’t help but sing His praise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

http://www.wilburministries.com/

Messianic Jew: A Simple Definition
A Messianic Jew is a Jewish person who believes that Yeshua (Jesus) is
their Messiah. Some people think that a Jewish person who believes in
Jesus is no longer a Jew. But what could possibly be more Jewish than
believing in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua?

http://www.allaboutreligion.org/messianic-jew ...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#35 Oct 16, 2009
October 17, 2009
On Shoulders Of Giants

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Joshua 1:1-9 (New International Version)

Joshua 1
The LORD Commands Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to
Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then,
you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the
land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you
every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your
territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great
river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea [a] on
the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days
of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never
leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to
inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be
strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant
Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that
you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the
Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you
may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be
prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and
courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD
your God will be with you wherever you go."

Footnotes:
Joshua 1:4 That is, the Mediterranean
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.—Joshua 1:5

Giants hold a special place in our lore—both historical and literary.
From the real giant Goliath to the fictional giant of Jack and the
Beanstalk fame, we are fascinated by these larger-than-life
characters.

Sometimes we use the word giant to honor ordinary-size people who have
done extraordinary things. One example is the 17th-century physicist
Sir Isaac Newton. A committed Christian, he credited his success to
other “giants” who had gone before.“If I have seen a little further,”
he said,“it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Indeed,
Newton became a giant on whose shoulders later scientists stood—even
as they used his observations in the conquest of space flight.

When God commanded Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised
Land, Joshua certainly had a giant’s shoulders to stand on. He had
watched Moses’ leadership for 40 years, and now he would put what he
had learned into action.

Joshua had another advantage—his walk with God sustained his life’s
mission. Therefore, he had both Moses’ example and God’s promised
presence as he led Israel.

Looking for help as you face the future? Look for a giant to follow.
And never underestimate the importance of your walk with God.—
Dennis Fisher

There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
None goes his way alone;
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.—Markham

A good example is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Since: Aug 09

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#36 Oct 17, 2009
October 18, 2009 Teach Your Children Well

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Deuteronomy 11:13-21 (New International Version)

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to
love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with
all your soul- 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season,
both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain,
new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your
cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other
gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD's anger will burn against
you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the
ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good
land the LORD is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts
and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your
foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you
sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and
when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on
your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be
many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many
as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

You shall teach [God’s Word] to your children ... when you sit in
your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you
rise up.—Deut. 11:19The Sleeping Beauty Waltz, the 1812 Overture, and
The Nutcracker Suite were all part of the music of my childhood.

Sometimes a narrator told stories or—as in the case of Tubby the Tuba
and Peter and the Wolf—introduced my sisters and me to the sounds of
different instruments. In their desire to pass on their love for
music, my parents used this method as a teaching tool. It worked!
Weaving the classic tales with classical tunes made a powerful impact
on us.

When an adult wants to impart important information to a child, it’s
often best related in a story because it is more easily understood and
enjoyed. Telling children the stories in God’s Word is especially
crucial because the Bible’s enduring truth can shape character and
show consequences of actions (1 Cor. 10:11). Tiny seeds of faith can
be cultivated in fertile soil and help children to see how God has
worked in the lives of His followers throughout history. Bible stories
also show how God is intimately involved in our lives.

What we have seen God do for us and what He has done for His people
throughout history must be passed on to the next generation (Deut.
11:1-21). Their future depends on it. Teach your children well.—
Cindy Hess Kasper

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard!—Crosby

The character of your children tomorrow depends on what you put into
their hearts today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#37 Oct 18, 2009
October 19, 2009
Retirement Time



Matthew 16:24-28 (New International Version)

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For
whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains
the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in
exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his
Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person
according to what he has done. 28I tell you the truth, some who are
standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man
coming in his kingdom."

Footnotes:
a.Matthew 16:25 The Greek word means either life or soul; also in verse 26.
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.—Matthew 16:25

After working for 40 years as a teacher, Jane Hanson retired. She and
her husband were looking forward to the arrival of their first
grandchild.

Retirement is that time of life when many people simply relax, travel,
or enjoy hobbies. But Jane heard about a ministry to at-risk youth in
a city near her home, and she knew she had to get involved.“I
realized there are kids just waiting, and I could make a difference,”
she said. She began teaching English to a young Liberian man who had
been forced to flee his home country because of civil war. Though he
was in a safe environment, he didn’t understand the new language. Of
this ministry opportunity, Jane said with a smile,“I could just go
shopping to stay busy, but what fun would that be?”

Jane is making a difference. Perhaps she has learned a little of what
Jesus meant when He said,“Whoever desires to save his life will lose
it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”(Matt.
16:25). Giving ourselves to the Lord through helping others takes
self-denial, yet one day Jesus will reward that effort (v.27).

Let’s follow Jane’s example of love for God and others—no matter what
our stage of life may be.— Anne Cetas

Oh, let us be faithful to Jesus,
The faith we confessed let’s renew,
And ask Him this question each morning:
“Lord, what will You have me to do?”—Pangborn

Work for the Lord—His retirement plan is out of this world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#39 Oct 20, 2009
October 21, 2009

Who Goes There?

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

John 10:1-6 (New International Version)

John 10
The Shepherd and His Flock
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by
the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The
watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He
calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought
out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him
because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger;
in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a
stranger's voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not
understand what he was telling them.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

When he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep
follow him.—John 10:4
Last fall my wife, Carolyn, and I were driving up a winding mountain
road near our home in Idaho when we came across a large flock of sheep
moving down the road toward us. A lone shepherd with his dogs was in
the vanguard, leading his flock out of summer pasture into the
lowlands and winter quarters.

We pulled to the side of the road and waited while the flock swirled
around us. We watched them until they were out of sight, then I
wondered: Do sheep fear change, movement, new places?

Like most older folks, I like the “fold”—the old, familiar places. But
all is shifting and changing these days; I’m being led out, away from
familiar surroundings and into a vast unknown. What new limits will
overtake me in the coming days? What nameless fears will awaken?
Jesus’ words from John 10 come to mind:“When he brings out his own
sheep, he goes before them”(v.4).

We may well be dismayed at what life has for us this year and next,
but our Shepherd knows the way we’re taking. And He goes before. He
will not lead us down paths too dangerous or too arduous where He
cannot help us. He knows our limits. He knows the way to green pasture
and good water; all we have to do is follow.— David H. Roper

Child of My love, fear not the unknown morrow,
Dread not the new demand life makes of thee;
Thy ignorance doth hold no cause for sorrow
Since what thou knowest not is known to Me.—Exley

Our unknown future is secure in the hands of our all-knowing God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Since: Aug 09

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#41 Oct 22, 2009
October 23, 2009

Close On His Heels



Matthew 4:18-25 (New International Version)

The Calling of the First Disciples
18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two
brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting
a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"Come, follow me,"
Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left
their nets and followed him.
21Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of
Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father
Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22and immediately
they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick
23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and
sickness among the people. 24News about him spread all over Syria, and
people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those
suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and
the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25Large crowds from Galilee, the
Decapolis,[a] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan
followed him.

Footnotes:
a.Matthew 4:25 That is, the Ten Cities
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.—Matthew 4:19

Stan and Jennifer were speaking at a mission conference in Marion, North
Carolina, after their first term of service on the field.

Jennifer told of a Bible study she had held with one woman. The two
were discussing Matthew 4:19, and the woman told Jennifer about a word
in her native language, which means follow. She said,“It is the word
for following closely, not at a distance.”

To illustrate, Jennifer held up slippers used by the native women,
showing one far behind the other. Then she moved one slipper right up
against the back of the other one, and said that the word means “to
follow right on one’s heels.” It suggests that we are to follow Jesus
as closely as possible.

Later, when Jennifer was reading over the journal she had been
keeping, she was surprised to see that she had often questioned,“Is
Jesus enough?” She had been working her way through culture shock,
loneliness, illness, and childlessness. At times she had felt far from
Christ. But when through prayer and faith she had drawn as close to
Him as she could, walking “right on His heels,” He had calmed her
soul, restored her strength, and given her peace.

Are you feeling far from the Lord—empty, weak, and afraid? It’s time
to follow close on His heels.— David C. Egner

God, give me the faith of a little child!
A faith that will look to Thee—
That never will falter and never fail,
But follow Thee trustingly.—Showerman

The closer we walk with God, the clearer we see His guidance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#43 Oct 24, 2009
October 25, 2009

Five People You Meet In Heaven

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

2 Corinthians 5:6-11 (New International Version)

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at
home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by
sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the
body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him,
whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive
what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or
bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation
11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to
persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain
to your conscience.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.—2 Corinthians 5:10

Mitch Albom, author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, said that
he got the idea for his book when he speculated: What would heaven be
like if it were a place where some of the people you impacted on earth
explained your life when you met them in heaven?

Albom’s book does give insight into how we unintentionally affect
others’ lives. But for the Christian, our ultimate joy in eternity
does not stem from other people but from our Lord and Savior. Heaven
is a real place that Jesus is now preparing for us. And when we get
there, we’ll rejoice to meet the living Christ (John 14:2-3; 2 Peter
3:13).

This encounter with Jesus, however, will also include accountability
for the life we lived on earth. Believers are told:“We must all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive
the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether
good or bad”(2 Cor. 5:10). His wise and just evaluation will show us
how well we have loved God and our neighbor (Matt. 22:37-40).

We don’t know who will be the first five people we meet in heaven. But
we do know who the first One will be—the Lord Jesus.— Dennis Fisher

When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o’er life’s finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.—McCheyne

To be with Jesus forever is the sum of all happiness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch ...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#48 Oct 29, 2009
October 30, 2009

Be A Stander



2 Timothy 4:9-18 (New International Version)

Personal Remarks
9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved
this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has
gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get
Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my
ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the
cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the
parchments.
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord
will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard
against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone
deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at
my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be
fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was
delivered from the lion's mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every
evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him
be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.—Proverbs 17:17

Western novelist Stephen Bly says that in the days of America’s Old West there were two types of friends (and horses):runners and standers. At the first sign of trouble, the runner would bolt—abandoning you to whatever peril you were facing. But a stander would stick with you no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know which kind of friend you had until trouble came. And then it was too late—unless your friend was a stander.

Rather than being concerned with what kind of friends we have, however, we ought to consider what kind of friends we are. In the final days of Paul’s ministry, as he awaited death, some who had
ministered with him turned into runners and abandoned him to face execution alone. In his last letter, he listed some (like Demas) who had run off, then simply stated,“Only Luke is with me”(2 Tim. 4:11). Luke was a stander. While undoubtedly disappointed by those who had deserted him, Paul must have been deeply comforted to know he was not
alone.

Proverbs tells us that “a friend loves at all times”(17:17). During times of adversity, we need friends we can rely on. When the people we know face trouble, what kind of friend will we be—a runner or a stander?— Bill Crowder

Dear Lord, help us to be the kind of friend who doesn’t run when our friends are in need. Give us the courage to stand by them, the wisdom to know what to say, and the ability to serve them. Amen.

A true friend stands with us in times of trial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#49 Oct 31, 2009
October 31, 2009

Hallowing Halloween



2 Timothy 2:19-26 (New International Version)
19Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this
inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"[a] and, "Everyone who
confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver,
but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for
ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an
instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and
prepared to do any good work.

22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith,
love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure
heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments,
because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must
not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope
that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the
truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the
trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Footnotes:
a.2 Timothy 2:19 Num. 16:5 (see Septuagint)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

He will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master,
prepared for every good work.—2 Timothy 2:21

The word hallow isn’t used much anymore, and when it is, the uses have
a broad range of meaning. Christians use the word when we say the
Lord’s prayer, as in “Hallowed be Thy name.” Often the word is
associated with the last day of October, which we in the US refer to
as Halloween, a shortened form of All Hallows’ Eve.

In Scripture, the word hallow is a synonym for the word sanctify. When
we hallow or sanctify something, we set it apart as being holy.

The name of God is not the only thing that we are to hallow. We too
are to be hallowed. Paul urged Timothy to be a vessel sanctified and
useful for God by pursuing “righteousness, faith, love,[and] peace
with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” and by avoiding
“foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife”(2
Tim. 2:21-23).

On this last day of October, children in the US will be carrying bags
filled with sweets. Thinking of them can remind us to ask:“What is
filling the vessel of my life? Is it a bitter attitude that leads to
foolish disputes and strife, or is it a sweet spirit that leads to
righteousness, faith, love, and peace?”

We can hallow today, and every day, by setting ourselves apart for God
to be used by Him.— Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, may our lives be set apart
And useful in Your hands,
Pursuing righteousness and faith
As we fulfill Your plans.—Sper

A Christian’s greatest joy is to be used by God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#51 Nov 2, 2009
November 2, 2009

Prisoners Of Sin



Galatians 3:19-29 (New International Version)

19What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of
transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.
The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20A
mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.

21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely
not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then
righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the
Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that
what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be
given to those who believe.

23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked
up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to
lead us to Christ[a] that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that
faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Sons of God
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of
you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for
you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you
are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Footnotes:
a.Galatians 3:24 Or charge until Christ came
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

The Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in
Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.—Galatians 3:22

A 2008 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said,
“At any given time there are more than 10 million people imprisoned
worldwide.” Since some prisoners are being released while new ones are
being sentenced every day, there are more than 30 million total
prisoners worldwide each year. Statistics like these have caused many
people to work for prison reform and a reexamination of sentencing
laws.

From a spiritual perspective, the Bible offers an even more staggering
statistic:“The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner
of sin”(Gal. 3:22 niv). In what is sometimes considered a difficult
passage to understand, Paul says that although the Old Testament law
could not impart life (v.21), it was an effective teacher in showing
us that we need a Savior who can give life (v.24). The bad news is
that “the Scripture has confined all under sin,” and the good news is
“that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who
believe”(v.22).

When we give our lives to Christ, who has fulfilled the requirements
of the law, we are no longer imprisoned by sin. Instead, we enter a
fellowship of people from every nationality and social status.

In Christ, we are free indeed!— David C. McCasland

The law reveals the mind of God,
The prophets too made clear His will;
But Christ alone brings life and peace,
His words our deepest needs fulfill.—D. De Haan

Deliverance from sin is the greatest of all freedoms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#52 Nov 3, 2009
November 3, 2009

Helped By Fear



Proverbs 9:1-12 (New International Version)

Proverbs 9
Invitations of Wisdom and of Folly
1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn out its seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.

3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls
from the highest point of the city.

4 "Let all who are simple come in here!"
she says to those who lack judgment.

5 "Come, eat my food
and drink the wine I have mixed.

6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of understanding.

7 "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.

8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.

9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

11 For through me your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.

12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer."

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of
the Holy One is understanding.—Proverbs 9:10

Fear means different things to different people. To professional
golfer Padraig Harrington, it is a motivator to help him perform his
very best. In 2008, when he won both the British Open and the PGA
Championship, Harrington said,“Yes, fear is a big part of me. I’d
like to say that I have all the trust and patience and I’m relaxed.
No, that’s not my makeup.[Fear] pushes me on. Keeps me getting to the
gym. I have to work with it and use it.”

Maybe it’s the fear of failure, or the fear of losing his edge, but
Harrington finds fear to be a useful thing in his professional life.

The follower of Christ can also be helped by fear. We are challenged
in the Scriptures to a reverential fear of God, which is the best type
of fear that there is. It causes us to be concerned about disobeying
Him or living in opposition to His ways. It’s being in awe of our
great God, bowing to His perfect will, and seeking His wisdom for
living. To that end, the proverb declares,“The fear of the Lord is
the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is
understanding”(Prov. 9:10).

By fearing God rightly, we can live wisely in an uncertain world.—
Bill Crowder

God dwells in light and holiness,
In splendor and in might;
And godly fear of His great power
Can help us do what’s right.—D. De Haan

Fear God, and you’ll have nothing else to fear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#54 Nov 4, 2009
November 5, 2009

A Good Grooming



New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 139:1-10

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths,[a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

Footnotes:
a.Psalm 139:8 Hebrew Sheol

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. For Your
lovingkindness is before my eyes.—Psalm 26:2-3

Our dog, Dolly, is a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier. She loves to
dig in the dirt, which means she gets very dirty. We bathe her every
week or so at home, but occasionally she gets so grimy and tangled
that we have to take her to a professional groomer.

She used to hate to go to the groomer because the woman was always in
a rush and inclined to be bad-tempered and harsh. Getting Dolly
through the door was a struggle. Just the sight of the shop made her
want to run away.

Last year we decided to try another groomer and discovered that our
dog, though not always overjoyed at the prospect, was less reluctant
to go. That’s because the groomer is kind to her even though she must
wash Dolly thoroughly, causing discomfort.

When sin and defilement accumulate in our hearts, we need to be
cleansed. Like the psalmist David, we must ask God to “examine” and
“try” our minds and hearts, and to point out our wicked thoughts,
attitudes, and ways (Ps. 139:23-24). Our Lord may cause discomfort,
for exposure is often difficult, but we can approach Him without fear.

The Lord’s examination of us, though sometimes painful, is gentle and
kind.— David H. Roper

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.—Orr

Repentance is the hurt that leads to healing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#55 Nov 5, 2009
November 6, 2009

Where History Comes Alive



Exodus 13:14-16 (New International Version)

14 "In days to come, when your son asks you,'What does this mean?'
say to him,'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out
of the land of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us
go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal.
This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every
womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.' 16 And it will be like a
sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought
us out of Egypt with his mighty hand."

When your children say to you,“What do you mean by this service?”..
. you shall say,“It is the Passover.”—Exodus 12:26-27

The movie Night at the Museum portrays the humorous experiences of a
security guard at a natural history museum. The excitement begins for
him when the displays come to life at night.

Inspired by this movie, directors of a real museum created a similar
experience. The staff portrayed historic figures such as knights in
armor, Victorian ladies, and Egyptian royalty. When children arrived
at the museum, they were told that the people in the exhibits had come
alive and needed to be led back to their proper place. As the children
responded, history came alive for them.

Children need not be bored by history. This is especially true of
Bible stories. Take Moses, for example. He escaped death as a child,
was educated as a prince, worked miracles, and received the Ten
Commandments on tablets. What exciting story elements that teach
children about God!

Biblical stories have been shared with children for generations—all
the way back to the times of Exodus (ch.12–13) and Deuteronomy (ch.6).
Moses described times when children were retold vital stories from
Jewish history.

Why not set a time to read Bible stories to the children in your life?
Then watch their excitement as biblical history comes alive!— Dennis
Fisher

The stories in the Word of God
Are there for us to see
How God has worked in people’s lives
Throughout all history.—Sper

The Bible’s treasures are found by those who dig for them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#56 Nov 7, 2009
November 7, 2009

How Was I To Know?



1 Thessalonians 4
Living to Please God
1Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please
God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the
Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions
we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should
avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control his
own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate
lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter
no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord
will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and
warned you. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy
life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man
but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

9Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you
yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact,
you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you,
brothers, to do so more and more.

11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own
business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that
your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will
not be dependent on anybody.

Footnotes:
a.1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or learn to live with his own wife; or learn to
acquire a wife
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the
day of redemption.—Ephesians 4:30

It was high-school concert season, and the music students were
preparing for the big Christmas extravaganza. The teacher had clearly
communicated every detail to the students and to the parents—on two
different occasions—and the time for mandatory rehearsal was clearly
spelled out.

But on rehearsal day one panicky mother called during practice to see
what time her teenager was supposed to show up. Another called to say,
“Oh, we’re taking Tommy to Grandma’s. It’s okay if he misses
rehearsal, right?” When the teacher reminded the parents that this
required practice had already started, she heard,“Why didn’t somebody
tell me? How was I to know?”

Just as this teacher was troubled that her clear instructions were
ignored, is it possible that God is troubled by our tendency to ignore
His clear instructions? In 1 Thessalonians, Paul reminds us that his
God-inspired message tells us “how to live in order to please God” and
that those instructions have “the authority of the Lord Jesus”(4:1-2
niv). The Lord is grieved, Paul explains, when we ignore His teaching
and live our own way (Eph. 4:30–5:2).

Let’s make a point to read God’s instructions and then live by
them—with no excuses.— Dave Branon

God’s Word was given for our good
And we are to obey,
Not choose the parts that we like best,
Then live in our own way.—Hess

There is no good excuse for ignoring God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

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