Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Value Of A "Deaf Ear"

Matt came home from school with a note from his teacher. He had misbehaved in class and the teacher wanted his mother to know what he had done.

After reading the note his mother said, “Son, why did you trip James as he was walking to his desk?”

“It wasn’t my idea, Mom. It was Donald’s,” he responded quickly.

“Now, Matt, you know that Donald can’t make you do anything,” replied his mother.

“Well,” he said after a moment’s thought, “it must have been the devil that made me do it.”

“Son, shame on you. You know that when the devil tempts you, it is important to turn a deaf ear,” she admonished him.

He put one finger in his left ear and listened to the sound coming from the TV and shook his head. Then he put a finger in his right ear and listened to the sound once again. After a moment he looked up at his Mom and said smilingly, “Mom, I don’t have a deaf ear.”

Temptation comes at us from every direction all of the time. It could be something we see or hear or think we would enjoy eating. But James had the best way to end being tempted: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” Such a simple solution that it is amusing! But it is neither simple nor amusing. Getting close to God takes time and the devil cleverly sets our priorities.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to take control of our time and our lives by “seeking first the Kingdom of God.” May each day begin with Your Word and prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rules And Records

Greg was having a difficult time doing his homework knowing that his favorite sports program was on TV. “Mom,” he asked, “can I just this once watch TV before I do my homework?”

“You know the rules,” came her quick reply. “No TV until your homework is finished!”

“But, Mom,” he protested, “rules are made to be broken.”

“No,” she said, “records are made to be broken!”

“OK, Mom,” he said, “then what’s the record for the most rules ever broken?”

Paul spoke of a rule he honored to achieve a record he wanted to set for God. “I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.” After his conversion he lived his life for one purpose: to use all of his energies, all of his gifts and all of his time becoming who God wanted him to be and fulfilling the purpose that God had planned for Him!

As Christ’s disciples, we must never allow anything or anyone to cause us to take our eyes off of the goal that God has for each of us: being all that He has saved us for. Paul lived his life as though he were in training to compete in and win an athletic contest. He allowed nothing to interfere with his “training.” If something was harmful or distracting in his life, he would turn from it and not allow it to distract him from his calling.

Prayer: Father, empower us with Your Holy Spirit to live to achieve the goal You have set for each of us with dedication and determination to be who You want us to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Giving And Receiving

It was well past midnight. There were few travelers, the weather was nearly unbearable with driving rains and freezing temperatures. A woman stood beside her broken down car trying to flag down someone going into the city.

Finally, a motorist stopped and invited the woman, who was soaking wet and trembling with chills, into his car. He took her to a taxi stand, and as she hurriedly exited from his car, she took time to ask him to write down his name and address.

A week later he received a giant TV and stereo with a note that read: “Thank you for assisting me. Because of your kindness I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you. Mrs. Nat King Cole.”

Nearly a thousand years before Jesus was born, Solomon wrote, “Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” In his wisdom, he summarized an important fact of life for all of us: Life involves risk and opportunity and has no guarantees.

However, he encouraged us to seize the moment to do good for others. He certainly did not support a stingy, self-centered life style. Even though we do not know what may happen tomorrow, he would urge us to share with others whatever we have right now and learn to trust in God for tomorrow.

We show our love and trust when we give to others.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to realize we have so much we do not deserve. May our hearts be as open to meeting the needs of others as much as Your heart is open to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Value Of Commitment

There once was a jockey who lost his first race and felt humiliated. But he did not give up. In fact, he lost his next 250 races before he enjoyed victory. His name? Eddie Arcaro and he became one of the most famous jockeys of his day.

There once was a baseball player who struck out 1,330 times. But he is not remembered for striking out. He is remembered for being one of the greatest home run hitters of all time. His name? Babe Ruth, a true legend in the history of “the game.”

There once was a man who once failed 99 times while doing the same experiment before it turned out right. But he is not remembered for his failures. Thomas Edison is remembered for being one of the world’s greatest inventors and is credited with 1,093 patents and his famous “trial and error” or Edisonian Approach to research: work until “you get the results you are seeking.”

Failure need not be fatal. It can be an important part of our learning process and lead us to ultimately discover the plan that God has in store for each of us.

There once was a man who denied his Lord. He often spoke without thinking, was brash and impulsive, turned his back on Jesus at His trial and even denied Him three times. Yet, he became the recognized leader among the disciples, was one of the “inner three” and became one of the greatest voices of the Gospel Message.

Prayer: We are grateful, Lord, that You will not give up on us as long as we stay close to You and seek Your will for our lives. May we never do less than our best for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:1-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Should It Be Faith Or Feelings?

Two best friends were walking home from church. It was a time for laughing and shoulder-nudging. Tim’s Mom looked on approvingly as they enjoyed each other’s company.

Suddenly, Tim caught Alex off-guard – looking in the wrong direction. To his left was a huge mud-puddle. Into the mud went Alex after a two-handed push from Tim.

“Why in the world did you do that, Tim?” asked his mother.

“Well,” came his reply after a moment’s thought, “the devil tricked me!”

“How?” she wondered. After all, they were walking home from church.

“Well,” Tim said after thinking for a moment, “when the devil told me to do it, it felt so good I thought it was the Lord talking to me.”

Scripture, Paul reminds us, is not only inspired by God, but was given to us to teach us “what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right!”

Feelings come and go but they are not facts that we can safely build our lives upon. There are times when our feelings encourage us to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. But there are many times when our feelings and emotions are distorted by temptations and could lead us in the wrong direction. That’s why God gave us clearly defined directions to follow.

Prayer: Give us a faith, Lord, that is strong enough to take You at Your Word and follow You every day of our lives. May we accept and follow Your guidance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How A Child Spells Love

Children have a special way of spelling love. And it only includes one letter from the word, love. Children spell love: T-I-M-E! They hunger for our companionship more than any other gift we can give them. No amount of toys, pets, gifts or devices can take the place of Sunday school teacher or youth leaders. Time shared with a child is an opportunity to make a difference in eternity - if the time is God-honoring.

Not long ago, while visiting with an executive, we were talking about the importance of helping children become who God would have them to be. Suddenly, he interrupted our conversation and called his secretary on the intercom and said, “I’ve decided to spend more time with my children. See how you can fit them into my schedule.”

The writer of Proverbs saw it quite differently. He very clearly stated that we are to, “Train up a child in the way he should go,” and in keeping with his individual gifts “and he will not depart from them.” God has given each child a particular set of skills or gifts or abilities that are in keeping with the plan He has for their life.

Parents and Christian leaders are responsible to God to recognize the potential and future that He has “locked-up” within that child. Parents and Christian leaders are obligated to God to “train” children to fulfill the plans He has for them. We are obligated to Him to follow His directions.

Prayer: We often cringe, Father, from what we see in the lives of children who do not know You - yet do little to help them. Burden us to work with You to save them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Eye Of The Beholder

Michelangelo’s statue David is considered to be one of the most beautiful sculptures in the world. Many believe it is his most noteworthy accomplishment. Few know its unpromising beginning.

The block of marble from which he fashioned David had been disfigured by another artist. After attempting to “make” something from the marble, he cast it aside as “worthless” and having no potential.

But Michelangelo was not discouraged when he looked at the rejected mass of marble. While another saw only flaws, he saw a future locked up inside a piece of cold, rejected rock that was colored with irregular markings.

There is an important lesson for each of us here. Paul wrote, “Those who become Christians become new persons!” When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, He starts a “work” on the inside that will manifest itself on the outside. Through Him we become brand-new people from the life that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. We are not the same people we once were. God looked at us, saw the potential in us, and began to form us into the likeness of Christ. We are not re-formed, or reshaped, we are, in fact, re-created!

Michelangelo was ultimately limited by the size and shape of the block of marble and his vision. But as new persons in Christ we are only limited by the limits we place on God and what He can do through us!

Prayer: We pray, Father, that our minds and hearts will be open to the limitless potential we have through You. May we grow into the likeness of Christ through Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How To Be Happy Always

Long time comedian Jimmy Durante was rushing from one performance to another. He had only a few minutes to spare, but a friend asked him to “take a moment” and say a few words to a group of veterans in a hospital.

Walking into a ward, he went through a brief routine of his favorite jokes. The crowd applauded loudly and cheered for more. He told a few more jokes and the applause and cheers became louder and longer. The soldiers were thoroughly enjoying every word he spoke and every joke he shared. Instead of a greeting and “taking a few moments,” he ended up staying for thirty minutes. Finally, he had to leave.

As he was exiting the ward his manager asked, “What happened? You said you only had a few moments and you stayed for half an hour.”

“I really needed to leave,” said Durante. “But I want to show you the two men in the front row. See those two men? Look carefully at them.”

When his manager looked at the two men, he noticed that one had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left arm in combat. But, working together they were able to clap: one’s right hand reached out to the other’s left hand and together they were able to register their delight for the entertainer taking time to be with them.

Happiness does not spring from an empty heart. It comes from sharing the gifts God gives us with others!

Prayer: Help us, Father, to be as generous to others as You have been to each of us. May we always share the gifts You have given us with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 106:3 Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Do It Right The First Time!

The class was excited to meet their new art teacher. Waiting expectantly for their first assignment, the teacher stood before the class and said, “I want each of you to draw a square, a triangle and a rectangle. And I want you to do your best.”

After a few minutes she began to walk among the students and observe their work. Pausing to look at the work Bobby was doing she noticed that his lines were not straight.

“Look, Bobby,” she said, “that line isn’t straight.”

“I know,” he admitted, “but I can straighten it later.”

“Bobby,” she replied, “a straight line never needs to be straightened. Do it right the first time!”

The Psalmist wrote, “I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your law.” In this psalm the author reveals two critical decisions: first, to be faithful to God’s laws and, secondly, to not be deterred from being faithful by being fully committed to keeping God’s laws. He said, “I am determined!”

God has given each of us the wonderful gift of choice. In this psalm, the author said that he made a decision that would guide every decision he would ever make.

If our decisions are based on the teachings of God’s Word, we will not need to go back and “straighten the lines.” May Your Word light our paths and guide our steps.

Prayer: We pray, Lord, that we will surrender our lives completely to You and think the truth, speak the truth, live the truth and do things right the first time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Enemies Yet, Pastor

Six-year-old George listened very attentively to his pastor’s sermon. As he and his father were leaving church he said, “Pastor, I heard you say that I should love my enemies. I’m only six and I don’t have any. But I hope to have some next year when I’m seven.”

Individuals tend to become enemies when they cannot agree on an issue or a course of action or a goal. The differences become insurmountable, positions harden and opinions become set in stone. We might well say that enemies are “made.” Unfortunately, it is easy to make them and they usually last a life time.

On the other hand, friendships are formed when individuals have common likes and dislikes, goals and values. There are “common denominators” that draw them together and a sense of mutual trust. And we read in Proverbs, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in times of need.”

Perhaps the greatest part of friendship is loyalty – standing with or along side of someone when they are enduring times of distress or disappointment, sickness or struggles that never seem to end. When there are “calm seas and gentle winds” carrying us along life’s journey, we can pretty much make it on our own.

But when the waves are crashing and the winds are howling – that’s when we discover the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. There seems to be nothing as valuable as a friend. We need to make more of them!

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to reach out and make friends with those who are our sisters and brothers in Christ so that we may grow together in loyalty and service. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anyone Can Be A Quitter

ANYONE CAN BE A QUITTER His life long ambition was to play professional football. Finally the day was scheduled for him to try out before the coaches of the San Diego Chargers. But on the day before the try out, Dale lost both of his legs and several fingers in an explosion.

Sixty long days after the explosion, he was discharged from the hospital. As he was wheeled from his room to a waiting car, he looked at the two “stubs” that were now his legs and his right hand that had only a thumb and little finger remaining.

He could have given up in disappointment, gone on welfare and received a life long disability. But he didn’t.

He could have focused on everything he lost in the explosion and chosen to live a life of anger and hatred. But he didn’t.

He could have become filled with resentment for those who made the team that year and were hailed as heroes. But he didn’t.

Instead of giving up or becoming angry and hateful or filled with resentment, he challenged himself with the reality that “Anyone can become a quitter. But I’m going to become the greatest insurance salesman my company has ever seen!” And he did.

Paul said, “I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.” Fortunately, that same power is available today for Christians who choose to use that power to glorify Him.

Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to accept the challenges You bring into our lives as opportunities to trust in Your power to accomplish great things for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Why Do Something For Others?"

Alfred Adler is known as one of the “founding fathers” of modern psychology. He is remembered mostly for his analysis of the impact of birth order on personality and what he called his “Fourteen-Day Cure Plan.” He claimed that his plan could cure anyone of mental illness in just fourteen days if they would just do exactly as he told them to do.

One day a woman who was extremely depressed came to see him. He told her, “I can cure you of your depression in just fourteen days if you will follow my advice.”

“What do you want me to do?” she asked.

“If you will do one thing for someone else every day for fourteen days, at the end of that time your depression will be gone,” he told her.

She objected, “Why should I do something for someone else when no one ever does anything for me?”

Jokingly he responded, “Well, maybe it will take you twenty-one days.”

He knew that if she did something for someone she would be on her way toward improving her mental condition and “curing” her depression.

Paul said that we are to “share each others problems and troubles.” Christians must never develop an attitude that entertains the idea that we are excused from the task of helping others. It is sometimes difficult to think of “service before self.” But that is the way Jesus lived and died. As His disciples, can we do less?

Prayer: Lord, may we move from an attitude of self-centeredness to one of other-centeredness and see, hear, feel and meet the needs of others as You did. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is It How Long Or How Well?

Most people who know a little about the Bible at least know that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. Some might even know that he was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah. Even though we know that he walked and talked, we have no idea where he walked or who he might have walked with or even what he talked about. He walked and talked.

Imagine holding the world record for having more birthdays than anyone else who ever lived but being remembered for nothing else. According to the Bible, Methuselah lived when the earth was full of wickedness. Everywhere he walked, he was surrounded by sin and sinners. But he never mentioned a word about God or God’s grace. In fact, he had nothing to do with God.

Imagine the influence he could have had on the multitudes of individuals whom he must have seen or talked with. Consider what he might have done for God if he had followed in the footsteps of his father. Enoch, Scripture tells us “enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout all of his life – then he suddenly disappeared because God took him!”

Methuselah lived almost three times as long as his father, Enoch. Yet, when he died, he left no legacy of having made a difference for God or for good. In the final analysis, it is not how long we live but whether or not we enjoy a close relationship with God and honor Him.

Prayer: Help each of us, Father, to recognize the importance of living and walking for and with You. May our lives reflect Your love and salvation each day we live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Genesis 5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Not Your Best?

A well-dressed gentleman stepped from a taxi cab in New York whistling half-heartedly as he collected his briefcase and umbrella. A newsboy, just a few feet away, listened for a brief moment and said, “You’re not much of a whistler are you? Listen to how good I am!”

When the newsboy finished, he asked the gentleman, “Can you do better?”

“Indeed I can,” came the reply. The man was an expert whistler who was in New York for a performance. And then he whistled his very best to the astonishment of the young newsboy.

Puzzled, the young boy looked at him and  asked, “Then why were you doing so poorly when you got out of the cab?”

Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to challenge God’s followers to live lives with meaning and purpose. “Whatever you do,” he wrote, “do well!” He very clearly and convincingly encourages us to enjoy life as a gift from God and to focus on doing our very best - always. If you are a whistler, whistle the best you can all of the time - not only during a “performance” in front of an audience. After all, we are all “performing” everything we do before God our Creator. We are always on “stage” demonstrating our gratitude for the gifts He’s given us.

We must always be aware of the fact that no matter where we are or what we are doing we are living to bring honor and glory to God. We must always “do well.”

Prayer: Lord of our lives, it is never what we have, but what we do with what You have given us. May we do our best with each of the gifts You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hiding "What Is"

In ancient Greece the theaters had no scenery and the actors wore no costumes. To portray a character, however, they carried hand-held masks which they would place in front of their faces. It was designed to portray the character of the person in the role they were playing. They would walk onto the stage, mask in hand, and when speaking, hold it before their face.

The word hypocrisy, as we know it today, had its roots in the Greek word hupokrisis. It meant “acting a part in a play or feigning to be what one is not.” In other words, a hypocrite is one who wears a “mask” to hide their real identity.

John addressed hypocrisy when he wrote, “If someone says I belong to God, but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.” Strong words that leave no “wiggle room.”

True Christian faith results in consistent Christian living. John is confronting all of us because Christian faith results in Christian living and Christian service. If we profess to be “Christian” but do not demonstrate Christlike behavior in “word and deed,” we are wearing a mask to present ourselves as someone other than who we truly are. We are “feigning” to be who we are not.

John is encouraging us to look at our behavior in the light of God’s Word. He says candidly that “the way we act gives us the assurance that we belong to Christ!”

Prayer: Father, we are all capable of hiding who we truly are from others. But we cannot hide ourselves from You. May we come out of hiding and be truly Christians. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 John 2:4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Is It The End Or The Beginning?

Two men met for prayer early one morning. After reading a passage of Scripture they knelt in prayer. Said the first, “Lord, it’s hard for me to pray. You know that I am at the end of all my resources. I have nothing left.”

Upon hearing his brokenness, his prayer partner put his arm around his shoulder and shouted, “How wonderful! Now you are at the beginning of God’s resources.”

Mark’s Gospel has an interesting story about a ruler and his resources. It reminds us of the importance and necessity of eternal values rather than earthly riches.

Jesus, in speaking of the emphasis we place on money said, “People with wealth will have a difficult time in getting into heaven.” In astonishment his disciples asked, “Well, if money won’t get us into heaven, what will?”

Calmly He replied, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Material possessions and our desire to acquire them tend to fix our hearts on the things of this world. When this happens, we lose sight of what is truly valuable: our relationship with God. He becomes unimportant.

For many, it is easier to pass the test of adversity than the test of prosperity. Prosperity places the focus on ourselves while adversity proves our need for God.

Prayer: Help us to realize, Lord, that without placing our trust in Your saving power and the redeeming love of God, we will never be with You in heaven! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Now Or Never

A soldier was assigned the responsibility of driving a senator from the airport to a military installation. Between the baggage claim area and the vehicle he noticed an elderly lady struggling to pull her suitcase behind her. He immediately went to her rescue and pulled the suitcase until they met her waiting family. He then paused to help a young mother secure her child in a stroller. After that he helped a man who was having a difficult time opening the door to the restroom.

Impressed, the senator asked, “How is it that you see so many people who need help and immediately go to their rescue?”

After a moment of silence he replied quietly, “During my tour of duty in Vietnam it was my job to clear minefields. I never knew if my next step would be my last. It was there that I learned to get the most out of every moment because, in life, it’s now or never.”

Paul summed it up this way: “Share each other’s troubles and problems because if you do so you will obey the law of Christ.” We, as Christians, have a responsibility to God and to anyone we know who is faced with a difficult situation that is beyond their ability to manage. It can be as simple as opening a door or as complex as helping them through the loss of a loved one.

The size of the problem does not matter to God. It is the willingness of His children to help those in need.

Prayer: We pray, Lord, for eyes that see the needs of others, ears that hear the cries of others, a heart that is open to others and hands that are willing to help others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Facing Reality

Linus approached Charlie Brown in a comic strip and boldly asked“Charlie Brown, do you want to know what the trouble is with you?”

“No,” he answered.

“That’s the trouble with you, Charlie Brown,” screamed Linus. “You don’t want to know what the trouble is with you!”

Charlie Brown is not the only one with that problem. Few want to hear or accept the fact that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But that does not change anything.

To refuse to hear something does not mean that it was not said. And if we deny something it does not mean that it is not true. Sin is sin and it comes in all sizes and shapes, colors and containers, with many options and countless opportunities.

We all seem to have a Charlie Brown attitude. Few want to admit that we have broken God’s laws or that we have refused to follow the teachings of Jesus. But Paul said all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. That includes each and every one of us.

Denying the fact of sin will not keep us from sinning nor eliminate the penalty that comes from being disobedient to God. No one is foolish enough to believe that if they deny the reality of death, they will live forever. We must all admit and accept what is: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life!”

Prayer: Open our hearts, Father, to the truths in Your Word and reality of sin and salvation. May we look to You in faith, believing that You alone can save us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"It May Be My Last"

It began as a day like any other day. James Galway, a brilliant flutist, was happily walking to his morning rehearsal. While crossing a street, a speeding motorcyclist hit him and shattered the bones in both of his legs and one arm.

He was rushed to the hospital and the orthopedic surgeons immediately began a lengthy operation as they attempted to repair the damage.

Unfortunately, the bones did not heal as quickly or properly as they had anticipated. As a result, he had to remain in the hospital for many months. He was once known to have said, “It took quite a while to pick up the pieces.”

Upon his release from the hospital and while he was still recovering from the accident he is quoted as saying, “I decided from this moment on I will play every concert, record every album, give every performance and live every day as though ‘it may be my last.’”

Someone who knew him said that his new goal in life was to “make sure that every time he played, his performance would be as near to perfection as God wanted it to be!”

No doubt that is what Paul had in mind when he wrote, “Whatever you may do, do all to the glory and honor of God!” There is a two-fold implication here: Whatever we do is a choice. And with the choice is an opportunity to bring honor and glory to God. So, not only are our choices critical but that Christ is exalted in the things we do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide us in our choices and make us conscious of whatever we do, knowing that we are always representing You by the way we live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frozen In Fear

A young man from Kansas dreamed of becoming a crew member of a tall ship. Finally, his lifelong ambition was realized when he was offered an opportunity to sail on one of the few remaining ships. His enthusiasm was short lived when, after a few days, the captain ordered him to climb to the “crow’s nest” and search the horizon for approaching vessels.

The higher up he climbed on the rope ladder, the more frightened he became and the slower his progress. Half way up he stopped, frozen in his tracks. He was unable to move. No amount of persuasion or encouragement from the sailors below inspired him to go higher. Finally, someone had to climb up behind him and slowly coax him down to safety.

Every now and then we all seem to get “stuck” when we are unable to overcome an old habit, when facing a new challenge or being forced to do something we have never done before. People all around us may provide insight and ideas to solve our problem and challenge us to move on. But nothing seems to make sense and we “freeze” in our tracks.

However, God, in His Word, promises that “He gives power to the faint and weary, and might to him who has no strength.”

When life’s obstacles “freeze” us with fear, we must claim the promises of God and move forward in faith!

Prayer: Lord, may our faith in Your Word and our trust in Your promises give us the confidence and assurance that You will always provide for our safety. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 40:29-31 They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.