Jesus in the final hours before getting arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane asked eight of the disciples to sit while he prayed. Then He took Peter, James and John with him further into the garden. Disclosing His anguish to His three closest friends, He asked them to stay awake with Him. Then He went a little further and fell face down on the ground to pray. When He returned to the three he found them sleeping. He confronted Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?” (vs. 37)
Trenton’s wisdom is deep for such a young boy. In describing his love for Lindsay, his sister, Trenton shared, “I would take a bullet for her.” As he regained his composure after getting choked up, he added “She’s my best friend. I would do anything for her. My life would be nothing without her.” These are not trite statements they emanate from his heart.
Lindsay has spinal muscular atrophy yet from her motorized chair she beams when she describes her older brother. His example of love if followed would change the world! Watch their story at http://omeleto.com/213180/ and make sure to have Kleenex handy!
Joshua 8:10—Joshua started early the next morning and mobilized them. Then he and the elders of Israel led the troops up to Ai.
Marvin Alan Klegman was an eleven-year old Jewish boy who lived in a small two-bedroom home in Tacoma, Washington with his mom and dad, and his younger brother Kerry. Marvin was a motivated Cub Scout and honor roll student. At Lowell Elementary School he served as a crossing-guard. Marvin also worked as a paperboy. He won a Schwinn bicycle in a citywide contest by selling the most Tacoma News Tribune newspaper subscriptions.
The prophet Jeremiah foretold disaster for his countrymen and they felt he was a traitor. Powerful officials talked King Zedekiah into having him killed because his words weakened the resolve of their soldiers. So they took the old man and threw him into a cistern where he sank into the mud. Ironically, Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch who served the king, interceded on his behalf. The king had a change of heart and ordered Ebed to take thirty men and rescue Jeremiah before he died. The wise eunuch threw rags down to him to put under his armpits and then with ropes pulled him out. God was so pleased with the Ethiopian that through Jeremiah He promised to preserve his life.
Pete and Saul left last month to visit three Segadorian missionary families working in the distant Asheninka tribe. They traveled seven hours by bus, then six hours in the back of a pick-up over a rough road, then finally three hours in a motorized canoe in drizzling rain. As Peter notes in their newsletter it was well worth the sacrifice. Why did these two men go to such lengths to visit these families? They went because they understood how important the value of encouragement is. It is not easy to get from Lima, Peru to remote jungle towns but it you want to communicate to your fellow teammates that they matter; making the effort is the right thing to do.
It was a fairly normal day and I was on my way home driving busy I-70. As is my habit, I turned on the radio. The news had just come on and there was a little blurb about an entire village in India wiped out by some unknown pathogen. Doctors were dispatched from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)in Atlanta to investigate it.
1 John 4:7, 21-- Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God . . . And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.
How it started I don’t know. Perhaps in the course of conversation God gave the idea to Adam’s family. Nothing is stated in Genesis 1-3 about God asking anyone to bring Him offerings. Yet, for some reason, Cain brought to the Lord some of the fruits of his land. His brother Able presented fat portions from the firstborn of his flock. “And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent” (Gen. 4:4,5).
James 4:4--Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.
Felipe dresses up as a clown. Each Sunday he and his team of fellow youth workers from Iglesia Misionera Evangelica (I.M.E.), go to the poorest sections of Cerro de Pasco to minister to the children. As many as 40-60 kids come out to watch the antics of Bomba the clown, to sing and dance to Christian music and hear Bible stories. Wonderful boys and girls glow with expectant smiles. Their lungs produce hearty cheers and sweet melodies. They held on to us with forever-loving grips. In truth, they ministered to our team more than we did to them.
Colossians 1:19,20--For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven.
They call themselves Christians and they are the most peculiar of people. They embrace relinquishing their right to themselves to serve the will of some invisible God. They bow their heads respectfully in what they call prayer to send their words through a blank sky to some cosmic location called heaven believing their Creator-Father hears them.
A young woman walks into church for the first time. She sits down in a pew filled by strangers. In the course of a service unlike anything she has experienced, a hymn is sung. She sees the title, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” and inwardly recoils. Later she listens as around her people sing, “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Why she wonders would anyone venerate the blood of someone else! To her enlightened mind, the notion of singing about any kind of blood is grotesque and backward—the primitive custom of a weird people. If such blood is left unexplained can we blame her if she never sits foot in a church again?
The eyes reveal the heart and what passion they contain. Ron sits in the open craft oblivious to all but the task ahead of him. He stares at the opaque surface so intensely one would swear he sees what others cannot. His hands thread the squirming brandling across the warm metallic hook like some splendid surgeon. With the expert toss of a quarterback he casts his line precisely to the spot he hoped and waits . . . and waits. If the worm won’t deliver, he daps or skitters with a fly he has meticulously crafted. He is unfazed by failure. His arsenal of tricks runs deep from years of careful learning. If patience is a virtue, Ron is the waiting virtuoso. Neither mosquitoes, rain, or hunger will keep him from his task. He is a fisherman. If you want to catch fish do as he does.
King of the Hill is a great game if you are tough, athletic and big. It would seem that conquering mountains has always been an obsession for mankind. The possessor of high ground occupies the strategic advantage and holds bragging rights.
Malachi 2:1-2—“Therefore, this decree is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.”
Russ is an 80-year-old friend who suffers through the agonizing pain of bad knees, a weak back and an assortment of other aches not uncommon for a man of his age. Often his spirit is drenched by the loss of his wife and the solitary struggle of battling ailments.
Russ is a good man and yet he suffers from a disease that has sealed his mortality, a disease we all have called SIN. Sin separates us from God. Left untreated, it hardens a person’s heart towards Him, leads to bitterness and the proliferation of fear which chokes the very life out of joy.
I don’t remember his name, which is somewhat profound. He was the cadet speaker at the Army Quarterback Luncheon before Army’s game against Tulane. He was a senior and it was obvious that he had gained his coach’s respect. What was so remarkable about this young man? He never played a down in a game for the Army football team in his four years at West Point.