Friday, September 30, 2011

What Are You Looking For?

Once, while walking through one of his factories, Henry Ford stopped to talk with an engineer. “Tell me,” he asked, “what is your ambition in life?”

With no hesitation he answered, “To make money and become rich!”

A few days later he returned to talk to the engineer. He paused for a moment and then handed him a pair of glasses. In place of the lenses were silver dollars. “Put them on,” he said. “Now, what do you see?”

“Nothing but money,” he replied

“Maybe,” said Mr. Ford, “you should rethink your ambitions.”

Many people believe that money can bring happiness. Although there is evidence to prove that this is not true, it is a belief that drives many people to try to acquire more and more. It seems to lead to an endless cycle and life without peace.

Paul gives some us some guidelines to keep us focused. One day, whatever we have will all be gone.

In view of that, we are to be content with what we have. We are also to love people more than money and we are to share what God has given to us with others if they have a need.

God has promised to give us what we need, not want.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for supplying our every need. May we learn to be content with what You graciously give us each day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Timothy 6:6-10 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out (Read more…)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Worrybirds

The comic strip Peanuts contains many useful lessons for each of us. In one of their discussions, Linus said to Charlie Brown, “I guess it's wrong to worry about tomorrow. Maybe we should think only about today.”

“No!” Charlie Brown said emphatically. “That's giving up. I'm still hoping that yesterday will get better.”

Letting go is often very difficult. Sometimes we enjoy holding on to a hurt so we can feel sorry for ourselves. Or, we may want to carry yesterday's anger with us to avoid having God's peace in our hearts, believing we are unworthy of His grace. Often when our prayers go unanswered, we enjoy doubting God's power and presence in our lives, thinking that He has forgotten about us.

The word “worry” comes from a German word that means “to choke.” We “choke” out the good things that God has in store for us because we refuse to take Him at His Word. Paul said, “Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything.”

Paul advises us to turn our worries into prayers. God is merciful and mighty, powerful and present and can remove our worries and solve our problems. “Tell God what you want and thank Him for all He has done.”

Prayer: Lord, may we realize that although things may seem to be more than we can handle, nothing is beyond Your ability to control. Give us the faith we need. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How To Get Revenge

The check-in line at the ticket counter was longer than usual. And it was moving very, very slowly. One of the people in the line was passing the time by watching the people around her. Finally, it was almost her turn. Only one person was in front of her.

But the man in front of her had seven bags to check-in. He became impatient and began to curse the agent because he had to pay an additional charge for all of his luggage. The agent, with a gracious smile, politely said to the man, “Have a nice flight, Sir.”

Impressed, when she presented her ticket to the agent she said, “My, you were so kind to that man who cursed you. He even embarrassed me. Are you always so courteous?”

“Thank you,” he replied, “but I'm really not very nice. You see, he's going to Miami but his baggage is going to Minneapolis.”

Whenever someone does something to hurt us on purpose, the natural thing we want to do is to seek a way to get revenge. But, revenge is not our responsibility, it is God’s. Paul said, “Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God.”

When we return evil with good and thoughtfulness for thoughtlessness, we are demonstrating God's love: loving others the way He loves us. God's grace: let's pass it on!

Prayer: Save us, Father, from doing harm to others. Let us show Your love and kindness, compassion and care to everyone as You have shown it to us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Somebody Loves You!"

A receptionist walked to her desk one morning and saw a bouquet of twelve beautiful roses. Anxiously, she opened the card and read, “From somebody who loves you!”

Her mind began to go through a list of individuals whom she thought might have sent her the flowers. It could have been her boy friend, her mom or dad, co-workers – or any number of different people. She made many phone calls to everyone who she thought might have sent the flowers.

Finally, she thought of her sister and called her. “Janet,” she asked, “did you send me the roses?”

“Yes,” was the reply. “You seemed discouraged and I wanted you to spend some time thinking about people who love you.”

“Well, I did,” she said, “and the list went on and on. I never thought that I was important to anyone.”

But there is Someone who loves us more that anyone on earth – our Heavenly Father. Long ago Jeremiah wrote about God's love: “I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With an unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.” It is almost unbelievable!

God, in His grace, mercy and kindness, has offered His unfailing and everlasting love to anyone who will accept it. How blest we are: God loves each of us.

Prayer: Lord, we are undeserving and unworthy of the love that You offer us through Christ our Savior who died that we may live with You eternally. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Never Forgotten

It was late one Friday evening when two Iowa City police officers were walking their beat in the downtown area. As they approached the steps of a church, they discovered a three-year-old child sitting alone. The tiny child was sitting quietly playing with a few tattered dolls and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She had been abandoned by her mother.

One of the officers sat next to the child and asked her what she was doing. “I’m waiting for the other children to come to Sunday school so I can play with them,” was her reply.

On one occasion, Isaiah cried, “Can a mother forget her child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on my hand.”

What comforting, reassuring words! What peace it brings to the hearts of God’s children! Knowing that He cares so much for us, His adopted children, that He even writes our names on His hand. How precious it is to have the assurance of His presence and the promise of unending love and mercy.

If or when we feel that God has forsaken us, we need to search our hearts and lives and ask ourselves this question, “Have we forsaken Him?” We know His Word assures us that He will never leave or forsake us.

Prayer: Our gracious Heavenly Father, how grateful we are and how comforting it is to know that You will never forget us, no matter what we do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Value Of Stress

A famous violin maker took his young apprentice into the forest to locate wood to make new instruments.

As they began to climb a mountain, the young apprentice pointed out some tall, strong, sturdy and healthy looking trees to the master violin maker. The old gentleman looked at the trees in passing, shook his head and kept climbing. Finally they passed the tall trees that grew half way up the mountain and came to some short, gnarled trees near the top. The trees had endured the ice of many winters and the winds that swirled around them since the time they began to grow.

As the old master began to cut down one of the trees, the young apprentice questioned him, asking, “Why these trees? The others were tall and beautiful.”

“The wood of the sheltered trees will break under the pressure of shaping the wood into violins,” said the old man. “But the trees beaten by time and nature will produce the best wood and they will make the most beautiful music.”

It is normal to question God when we are torn by trials and surrounded by storms. Why, we ask. He is making us strong “so that when others are troubled, we can pass on to them the same help and comfort God has given us.”

Prayer: Lord, when nights are long and days short, may we accept and understand that You are preparing us to minister to the needs of others when they suffer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Peter 1:1-9 NLT These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. (Read more...)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What To Pray For

Following the morning service, a deacon was sitting quietly reading his Bible when the janitor approached him asking if he had enough light.

“Yes, thank you, I do. But what did you think of our new pastor's prayer this morning?” he asked.

“It was great,” came the answer. And he continued, “He prays for things the other pastors didn't know God was concerned about.”

A good way to learn about the things that concern God is to carefully read a local newspaper. Its content provides many things for us to be concerned about and pray for. Examples include:

Our nation: we need to pray for our leaders and the issues of America and the world

Our Armed Forces: their protection and their families

Our cities: the unemployed, the homeless, the sick

Our newborns: that parents will show God's love

Our schools: that students will learn the truth

Our merchants: that they will treat people fairly

Our neighbors: the lost, the grieving, the hopeless

Our churches: their faithfulness to God and His Word

Our firemen, policemen, EMS personnel, health care providers

Our local governments, judges and legal system

Our families: that they will be strong and God honoring

Prayer: Father, help us to be aware of and concerned about everything in Your world that is important to You and to pray earnestly for Your will in all things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Luke 18:1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, (Read more...)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Follow The Leader

When Dale was a small boy living on a farm in Missouri, he would entertain himself by holding a stick across the gateway of a sheep pen. The sheep, not thinking or concerned about the stick, would simply jump over it. One day his arms became tired and he dropped the stick. To his amazement the sheep that followed continued to jump as though the stick were still in place. They jumped over an imaginary stick because those in front of them jumped.

From watching sheep jump over an imaginary stick Dale Carnegie eventually went on to study public speaking. He became a successful salesman, writer and lecturer and wrote one of the most popular books of all times: How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Sheep are like most people – they want to find someone to follow. But who? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

What did Jesus mean when He said I am the “light that leads to life?” When He becomes our Savior, He is our “light,” our protector and guide by bringing God’s presence and protection into our lives. We are to be faithful in following the teachings of Scripture and let the Word of God become the light that leads to life.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to follow You as the One true leader who has our best interests at heart and will keep our minds focused on eternal realities. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trust Me!

It was a cold winter night when a fire broke out and was rapidly spreading throughout the home. The father had successfully rescued his wife and children and they were standing outside watching the firemen fight the blaze. Suddenly he heard the voice of his six-year-old son who had slipped away from the family. He wanted to rescue his toys from his upstairs bedroom that he somehow managed to open. He was surrounded by smoke.

Standing beneath the window the father shouted, “Jump, I'll catch you!”

“Daddy,” came the frightened reply, “I can't see you! It's too smoky.”

“But I can see you, Son. Jump!” said his father.

He trusted his father, jumped and was saved.

How like our Heavenly Father. His Word says: “Trust Me in your times of trouble and I will rescue you and you will give Me glory!” The word “trust” as used in the Bible means that we are “to place our complete confidence in” the Lord – a confidence that has no limits.

At times it is just as difficult for us as it was for the young son who could not see his father. Our eyes become filled with “smoke” that blocks our view of God and His power to rescue us from the things of this world that would consume us. Nevertheless, He's there. Jump!

Prayer: Father, give us complete confidence in Your Word knowing that You will never leave us or forsake us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 50:15 call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

His Best Break

From the time he was a small child, he dreamed of being a pitcher on a major league baseball team. After long years of developing his skills and becoming successful, he made it to the major league and was on the mound pitching his first game. Suddenly, after releasing a pitch he fractured his arm.

The surgeons examined his arm carefully and knew that his career was over. He was advised not to do any work that would strain his arm. He became disappointed and depressed during his lengthy period of recovery and had little hope for his future.

One day he decided to teach himself to draw. After several months of working on this new skill, he became a sports cartoonist for a local newspaper. His word-pictures and penciled drawings brought him much attention and eventually worldwide fame as “Mr. Believe It Or Not.”

From being a cartoonist that drew sports figures, he went on to develop “Ripley's Believe It Or Not!” that was published in many newspapers and is now a television program. Throughout the remaining years of his life he would often quote his favorite Bible verse, “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.” God can turn every tragedy into a triumph to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for working in us and through us to bring honor and glory to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Great Gift

One day while walking home from law school in a violent thunder storm, young Martin was struck by a bolt of lightening. Terrified, he cried, “St. Anne, save me and I will become a monk.”

He honored his word and entered a monastery. He was determined to make peace with God and save his soul. Try as he might, he soon realized that no amount of good works or selfless devotion to God could take away his sins and give him the peace he longed for.

One day while reading the Bible and meditating on God’s Word, he came across a short passage of Scripture: “The just shall live by faith.” At that moment in his life he realized that salvation is not a reward or the result of good works or doing without things. He finally realized that salvation is a gift of God’s grace and accepted God’s forgiveness through faith in His Son.

One day in speaking of that event in his life he said, “I felt like I had gone through open doors into paradise.” At that moment in history God began the Protestant Reformation through Martin Luther.

Try as we might, God’s grace and mercy cannot be earned, purchased or inherited. Salvation is a gift of God. In Paul’s letter to the Romans one phrase appears eight times: “It is through faith that a righteous person lives.” Without faith, it is impossible to be saved.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for making salvation available to all by placing our faith in Jesus Christ, Your only Son and our Savior. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"I Wasn't Praying To You!"

One evening while a mother was teaching her children to pray, little Martha was tired and about to fall asleep. When she began to pray her words ran together and she began to mumble.

“I can’t hear you, Martha,” said her mother.

Back came the reply, “I wasn’t praying to you Mom, I was praying to God!”

Prayer, quite simply stated, is having a conversation with God about whatever is on our minds or in our hearts. There is no special formula, no sacred position, no particular words, no recognized hour of the day or night.

When we pray, we admit to God that we are weak and dependent upon Him. We need His grace and mercy to solve our problems, heal our bodies, comfort our broken hearts, and mend damaged relationships that we have shattered because of selfishness or greed. Whatever we find lacking in our lives can be filled by God.

We must always remember that we will not ask God to do anything that we think is beyond His power. Jesus tells us to ask for “whatever” or “anything” in His name. If we do that in faith believing, He will grant our requests if they are in keeping with His will for our lives.

Never forget that prayer is asking and receiving. Not wondering or hoping – but receiving God’s best.

Prayer: Give us the confidence, Lord, to take You at Your Word and come into Your presence with confidence that You will hear and answer our requests. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Luke 1:9-13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; (Read more…)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

God And Three Pennies

One day Sister Teresa went to her superior and said, “I have three pennies and I am going to build an orphanage.”

“What?” exclaimed her superior in disbelief. “You can't build an orphanage with just three pennies.”

“Oh, I know,” she replied with a twinkle in her eye and a broad smile. “But with God and three pennies, I can do anything.”

Jesus had a similar discussion with his disciples. Jesus had been describing the difficulty people had of getting into heaven. When He finished His lesson, they said to Him in amazement, “Then who in the world can be saved?” Calmly He replied to them, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

When we face a seemingly impossible situation, we often turn to those around us seeking their advice or help, thinking that they can provide the solution or answer. Soon we realize that they have the same limitations that we have – being human. Even the most brilliant person has a limit to his knowledge and the wealthiest person has a limit to their riches. Christians, however, have the resources of the Creator always available. Our all-powerful Creator has whatever treasures we need to accomplish whatever He wants us to do for Him.

Prayer: Father, may we never fail to do what You want us to do for lack of faith but to always believe that with You as our God, all things are possible. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

He Never Sleeps

Little Lacy had finished her night time prayers with her mother. As she pulled the sheets up tightly under her chin, her mother turned off the light.

Looking out her window she said, “Mom, the moon is shining in my room. Is it God’s light?”

“Yes,” replied her mother.

“Will God turn out His light, too?” she asked.

“Oh, no!” came the reply. “The Bible promises us that He never goes to sleep.”

God’s Word gives us the assurance and hope, confidence and confirmation that He protects us day and night. Not only did God make the heavens and the hills, the earth and the sky but the guarantee that He will protect us from anything that would destroy us. We are often tempted to trust in ourselves and the riches of this world, but too often we are reminded of the poor decisions that we make and the failures of the best laid schemes of man.

It is important that we remind ourselves that the God who created the universe is the God Who created us and watches over every detail of our lives. Nothing ever causes Him to forget us or lose sight of us and our special needs. We are always safe in His hands and protected by His power. We never outgrow our need for His attentive eye or His ear that is listening for our voice.

Prayer: We are grateful, Father, that You are always watching, never sleeping, and continually protecting us every day and every night of our lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 121 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. (Read more…)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crying For Help

Years ago a cargo ship was making its way through the stormy seas of the Atlantic. The waves were high, the winds fierce and the crew already in fear for their lives. To add to their fright, they heard strange sounds coming from the area beneath the deck. They thought that they were hearing people moaning and crying for help. They were frightened and in a state of panic.

The captain, knowing that he was responsible for everything that happened on his ship, decided that he would find the source of the voices. Going below to the area containing the cargo, he noticed that one crate had broken loose from its straps. Each time the ship rose and fell with the waves, the sounds WERE loud enough to hear but not clear enough to understand.

Breaking open the crate he discovered a shipment of dolls that cried “Mama” when they were rocked back and forth by the waves.

The Psalmist wrote, “The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help…is close to the brokenhearted…to those crushed in spirit…and those that face troubles…and will protect them from harm.”

We all desire to escape the fears of life: pain, grief, loss, sorrow, sadness, abandonment and failure. Let’s thank God when trouble comes, He’s there to care.

Prayer: Thank You, Savior, for Your presence in our lives, and for protecting and comforting us in the storms and stresses of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 34:15-19 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. (Read more…)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not To Me It Doesn't

A tourist traveling through the mountains of Kentucky came to a fork in a winding road. He became confused when he saw two signs that read, “Rutland” pointing toward each of the branches of the fork.

Seeing a farmer standing beside his mail box, he rolled down his window and asked, “Does it make any difference which road I take to Rutland?”

“Not to me it doesn't,” answered the farmer.

Indifference is one of the worst sins toward others. Rather than hating someone, indifference says, “I just don't care one way or the other about you or your problem since it does not concern me.”

Paul thoughtfully said, “Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ.” Just as children imitate their parents, so are we to be imitators of our Lord in showing His unending love for others. God expects us to follow the examples of Jesus in the way He treated others. When we remember the fact that He sacrificed Himself for us that we might have eternal life, we can begin to realize the love that Paul is talking about. Our love toward others is to be that same kind of love – a love that is not sentimental or conditional, but a love that is self-sacrificing if necessary. We need to train our eyes to see the needs of others and open our ears to hear their cries for help.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to constantly search for ways to show Your care, compassion and concern for others every day of our lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When We Fear

While visiting a Sunday school class, the pastor asked, “How many of you pray every night before going to sleep?”

Every hand in the class went into the air. “That’s wonderful,” he said. And continued, “How many of you say your prayers every morning before going to school or out to play?” Everyone but George raised their hand.

“George,” he asked, “tell me why you don’t pray each morning.”

Quickly he responded, “Well, it’s because I’m not afraid in the day time. I can see all around.”

Fear can often be very helpful and useful. It usually accompanies a feeling of alarm or an unexpected event that may be something we cannot control. It can help us to be alert to dangers or objects that could do us harm. It might even be caused by guilt or shame for something we have done or not done, reminding us to ask God for His mercy and forgiveness.

David once wrote, “I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” People can harm us, causing suffering, pain, humiliation and even death. But no one can ever rob us of our soul or the future we may have with our Father in heaven. We need to fear only God who controls this life and access to His presence in the life to come.

Prayer: Father, as we place our faith in You, may we live in peace knowing that in Your love we are safe and secure, now and in eternity. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Never Give Up!

Winston Churchill is recognized as one of the most outstanding leaders in the history of the world. He held England together during World War II and brought encouragement and hope to the entire nation and the world.

He attended a preparatory school that was recognized for having high academic standards and making students study and earn their grades by spending hours at their desks and in the library. He is known to have excelled in all of his studies.

Toward the end of his life he was invited to return to the school to address the students. When he was being introduced to the students, the Headmaster said, “Our Prime Minister is one of the greatest orators in the world. Listen carefully and take notes.”

Churchill stood to his feet, gazed intently at the young people who gathered to hear him and said, “Never give up. NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER!” And sat down.

Paul put this another way for Christians: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

Often we work hard for the Lord yet see no rewards. However, we must “Never Give Up!”

Prayer: Encourage our hearts, Lord, to know that we may not receive rewards in this world, but surely in the one to come with You in heaven. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Not A Knock, It's The Lord

A motorist stopped at a garage in a small rural town and complained to a mechanic, “Every time I hit eighty miles an hour, there’s a terrible knock in my engine. I don’t know what it is.”

“Maybe,” said the mechanic, “it’s not a what, it’s a Who. It just might be the Lord warning you to slow down.”

“Whatever you do,” said Paul, “do it to the glory of God!” Great advice!

On one occasion Paul gave two specific principles for the way Christians are to behave. The first is that we who are Christians are to do whatever we do for the glory of God. We are His personal representatives and whatever we do we do in His name. So, all of our actions and activities are to be in harmony with the teachings of Jesus and in keeping the laws of society. We cannot pick and choose what we want to do.

The second principle is that we are not to do anything that would harm another person’s Christian faith. At all times our behavior is to be guided by what is best for others even if it causes an inconvenience or difficulty for us. What may not be a problem for us may be a problem for others. We must always be an example, in word and deed, of behavior that honors our Lord.

These two principals are the heart of the Gospel.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to be representatives of Your Gospel that will earn us the reward of being good and faithful servants. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Good Miss Murphy"

Paul was a serious first grade student always striving to do his best. However, he had difficulty with his hearing and there were times when others became impatient with him.

But his Sunday school teacher, Miss Murphy, was always kind and gracious, going out of her way to help him. One Sunday morning she lovingly taught him to recite the twenty-third Psalm from memory.

Hurrying home, he anxiously stood in front on his mother and repeated it perfectly, except for the last verse. Looking at his Mom with excitement and pride he said, “Surely Good Miss Murphy shall follow me forever.” He changed it to end with a hope and a prayer.

Everyone needs a “Good Miss Murphy” nearby when we are having difficulties with the issues of life. Someone who goes the extra mile in helping us solve our problems, give us a word of encouragement or a smile when we have little to be happy about. It is the “Good Miss Murphys” of God’s Kingdom who show His love, give others a portion of His grace and show others what the love of Christ is about.

There’s one more lesson here. All of us can be “Good Miss Murphys.” Acts of kindness and deeds of thoughtfulness are expressions of God’s love that we can put on display every day if we are alert to others.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we be quick to see and respond to the pains and problems of those around us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nothing To Worry About!

A small child was sitting alone looking out the window of a train traveling to Northern England. A kind, elderly lady saw him quietly looking out the window. Thinking he might be lonely or afraid, she asked, Are you traveling alone, sonny?

Yes, ma'am, he replied.

How far are you traveling? she inquired.

To the end of the line, ma'am, he answered.
Aren't you afraid of taking such a long trip all by yourself? she said in amazement.

No, ma'am, he said with confidence. My father's the engineer.

The quiet confidence and unwavering assurance of being safe and protected can become the centerpiece of the life of every Christian. We often find ourselves in situations that are fearful and frightening, turbulent and threatening. While life around us may seem to be falling apart, our Heavenly Father is still in control. He knows His own and He owns this planet and everything on it. We can always be confident and courageous because we have the assurance that He will constantly guard us.

The Living Bible puts it this way: Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to take You at Your Word and in faith, believe that everything in our lives is there because You are in control. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Which Way From Here?

A tourist became lost on the back roads of Alabama. There were no signs to point him in any direction and the dirt roads seemed endless.

His heart leaped for joy when he saw an old farmer sitting on a fence nibbling on a piece of straw. After explaining his dilemma, the farmer paused, shook his head knowingly, and then gave him a set of explicit directions. After thanking the farmer for being gracious and helpful, he drove down the road filled with confidence.

Thirty minutes later the tourist, after following the directions with great care, found himself back where he began with the farmer still sitting on the fence with the straw between his lips.

Angrily the tourist said, “What’s the big idea? I did what you told me to do and look where I ended up!”

“Well,” said the farmer, “I didn’t want to waste my time telling you how to get to Montgomery until I knew whether or not you were able to follow directions.”

When asked about “the way” to His Father’s house by a disciple Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me!” Jesus was very clear when He described the path for salvation and to eternal life. There can never be any misunderstanding about such an important question.

Prayer: We thank You, Lord, that You have made the answer to life’s most important question so clear and with it the promise of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: John 14:1-6 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Read more…)