Hebrews 13:8,9--Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don’t be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by foods, since those involved in them have not benefited.
On August 25th,I will serve my last day in the military. Over forty years ago, God graciously allowed me to enter West Point. The military academy took a chance on me as I was a clear academic risk with a weak background in math and sciences. Before I set foot on that military reservation in New York, I claimed Daniel 1:17. “God gave these four young men knowledge and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom. Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind.” I figured if God could give my hero, the prophet Daniel, wisdom in how to thrive in Babylon, He could help me survive four years of tough courses. He did just that.
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!
Skye Jethani wrote a book I highly commend to your reading. It is simply titled with. The premise of the author is that we typically find four types of Christians. The first group is comprised of those who live life under God. Their emphasis is on God’s divine will and appeasing Him through behaviors—“either in the form of rituals or morality.” The second group includes those who live life over God. Their emphasis is on applying Scripture and godly principles, which are useful for controlling the world and life. Those who live life from God characterize the third group. They are highly self-preoccupied. Under the banner of “the health and wealth gospel” these adherents see God as a divine genie that is eager to grant their desires. The fourth group is made up of those who live life for God. Life is all about staying on mission: sacrificing, achieving, serving, working to accomplish tasks (evangelism, discipleship, etc).
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.
I was driving behind a Metro bus on my way north on Interstate 5. On the back of it a neon sign flashed, Not in Service. The thought crossed my mind, “I wonder how many times I have communicated Not in Service to God or to people.”
Kathy’s birthday was last Sunday. I’m sure she resigned herself to a lonely day, after all, her husband was in Minnesota and none of her children live close. Cissy, Charlie, Brian, Chad, Roger, Sharil and Paula bought a cake, wrote her a poem, gave her a plaque and took time to come to her apartment and spring a wonderful surprise. She cried so hard they cried!
John and Denise had to leave their home and find a place to store their stuff until they could get into another rental. Charlie and Cis, Will, John, Kevin and Kendy sacrificed their time to help make the move happen.
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?