Tips for Daily Living in the New Year…

Tips for Daily Living in the New Year…..

If you want to get the most out of today, try these things:

  1. Focus on your responsibilities, not your rights. It’s an imperfect world and you won’t always be treated fairly. If you want to go far, travel light. Unload your resentments! Scripture says, “. . . you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst . “ (Phil 4:8)
  1. Associate with positive people. The only difference in what you are now and what you’ll be five years from now is the books you read, the company you keep and most importantly the God you serve. Henry Ford once said, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

What do your friends bring out in you? Solomon said, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Mat 6:33, Prov 13:20)

  1. Make today the best day of your life. When Shirley Temple asked her mother what the happiest moment in her life was, she replied, “Right now.” “But what about the day you were married?”

Shirley asked. Her mum said, “My happiest moment then was then, but my happiest moment now is now. You see, you can live only in the moment you’re in, so to me that’s the happiest moment.” Lasting happiness and contentment comes when you know Jesus as Lord and Savior! So be content and happy!  (Phil 4:11, Isa 52:7)

  1. Present yourself to God’s service. It is the one priority in life with eternal meaning that pleases God. He desires it and I need it. Rom 12:1, 2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” & Heb 12:1, 2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and Finisher of our faith…”

  1. Start each day by reading, praying and meditating on Gods truths for your life. 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So, “How are your morning devotions”?

  1. The best daily tip of all is; seek out the One Who made you, loves you and sent His only begotten Son to restore you…..

(John 3:16, I John 5:11-13)

What great priorities! If His mercies are “new every morning,” (Lam 3:23) and He “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Ps 68:19), then you should get up every day and announce, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

And of course scripture has many more tips for daily living.

If we put #5 into action those tips will reveal themselves.

Happy hunting……….

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New Year’s Resolution….

New Year’s Resolution…

We have all heard that it’s good to make a New Year’s Resolution and then to even keep it which most of us struggle with. There is one resolution that has eternal consequences if we do not make it. And the beauty of it is that once you make it you do not need any of your efforts to have it be effective. That resolution is to ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord of your life. And for those who have already been ‘born again’ you too can make a resolution for the New Year in regards to your serving Jesus. You see, we all will serve either self and this world or Jesus. Yes, ‘born again’ CHRISTians run the risk of serving self and the world also so do not think you are immune to it.

For all of us whether we are ‘born again’ or not we struggle with the pace of this world controlling us. “Haste makes waste” is not a verse of scripture but it does include some biblical wisdom. I am convinced that one of satans ways of distracting us and keeping us from thinking about God is to make us so busy we think we do not have time for a relationship with our heavenly Father. Especially in the fast paced age we live in. For our days to be spiritually complete we must start them with the One who can accomplish that in our lives. Our God designed us to be busy so not working or having a full schedule is not the answer. The question becomes what are my priorities today and which priority do I start my day with. Now that we have touched on one problem let’s see what the solution is.

II Thes 3:10, 11 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this; If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

When it comes to where you will spend eternity you must make sure that speed or complacency are not involved in the decision. When you’re moving too fast you tend to make a lot of mistakes. At least that is my experience. My many experiences. And you can end up going very fast – but in the wrong direction!

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

For those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior there is a need to find your way. And it must be at the top of our priority planning list.

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father but by Me.”

So slow down today and…….

Hebrews 12:1-2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

You may have just found the one New Year’s resolution that makes sense for eternity.

For those who are ‘born again’ here is a great New Year’s resolution.

Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

JESUS IS COMING A SECOND TIME……………….

Being a Pumpkin…

“Being a Pumpkin”

We are taught by the media and even our inner desires to think of ourselves as good people. To say otherwise is to be viewed as a pessimistic, discouraging and just plain a bad person. But how does God view what we perceive as our goodness!

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all of our righteousness are like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Romans 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Being a Pumpkin

After being ‘born again’ a lady had recently been baptized. One of her coworkers asked her what it was like to be a Christian. She was caught off guard and didn’t know how to answer; but when she looked up, she saw a jack-o’-lantern on the desk and answered:

“It’s like being a pumpkin.” The coworker asked her to explain that one.

“Well, when we allow Him to then God picks you from the patch and brings you in and washes of all the dirt on the outside that you got from being around all the other pumpkins.

Then he cuts off the top and takes all the yucky stuff out from inside. He removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all to see.

“It is our choice to either stay outside and rot on the vine or come inside and be something new and bright.”

The cleaning of the Pumpkin

Eph 2:8, 9 “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone would boast.”

II Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

I feel very fortunate this morning. I am a clean Pumpkin. But that is not because of me but it is because of Jesus!!!!

II Cor 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Jesus is Coming Again…

Jesus is Coming Again!

Jesus came the first time as a Lamb to…

Mat 2:1, 2, 11 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down AND WORSHIPPED HIM.”

Did you know that Jesus is coming AGAIN as a Lion from the tribe of Judah|||||?

Dan 12:2-4 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine, like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Some to everlasting death (hell) and some to everlasting life with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So, how do I make sure that I am with Jesus for eternity and not doomed to everlasting punishment?

Acts 16:31 “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

So, which Judgment Seat will you be at when Jesus returns? If you are not 100% sure of where you will spend eternity now is the time to find out.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

How about your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers……..?

Romans 10:14 “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?

And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?

And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

Your Life can have an Impact….

Mat 7:1, 2 “Judge not that you be not judged…

Your Life can have an Impact!

Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the
very first day of school in the fall and told the children a lie. Like
most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them
all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was
impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the
third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he
didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkempt
and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would
actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen,
making bold X’s and then marking the F at the top of the paper biggest
of all.

Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy
him, either. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required
to review each child’s records and put Teddy’s off until last.

When she opened his file, she was in for a surprise. His
first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a
ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy
to be around.”

His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student
well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has
a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy continues to work hard but his
mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his
father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect
him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t
show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes
sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem.”

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem, but Christmas was coming
fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard.

Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright
paper, except for Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown
paper of a scissored grocery bag.  Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in
the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh
when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and
a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne.

She stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed behind just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson,
today you smelled just like my mom used to.”

After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching, reading, and writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children.

Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called
“Teddy.” As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more
she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days there would be an
important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of
the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and…well,
he had also become the “pet” of the teacher who had once vowed to love all
of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her
that of all the teachers he’d had in elementary school, she was his favorite.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote
that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his
favorite teacher of all time.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things
had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would
graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson
she was still his favorite teacher.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little
further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher but
that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed,
Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that
spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was to be married. He explained that
his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering…well, if
Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother
of the groom.  And guess what, she wore that bracelet, the one with several
rhinestones missing. And I bet on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled
just like…  well, just like way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on
their last Christmas together.

THE MORAL:  You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another’s life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in your venture through life. Time is of little essence, when Life continues on.

Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift
That’s why they call it the PRESENT

Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”

Jesus at your Birthday Party….

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus at your Birthday Party….

Amid all the amusement and theme parks clustered in Orlando, Florida, there’s one that is pretty distinctive. It’s a Holy Land theme park that attempts to bring some of the scenes and the stories of the Bible to life. Our daughter and son-in-law were there not long ago with our two grandsons. And the kids, who are pretty up on their Bible stories, really enjoyed walking through those stories and meeting some of the characters (actually, people portraying some of those characters). The one that impressed our then two-year-old grandson the most was Jesus. A man portraying Jesus stood in the middle of the small crowd and He spoke some of the very stories that Jesus told in the Bible. But then came the moment our little guy will not soon forget. Jesus came over and picked Him up, just like Jesus did with the children when He was here. The next day Mom and our little guy were talking about his upcoming third birthday party, and suddenly out of the blue, he said, “I want Jesus at my birthday party.”

That’s a great idea: Jesus at your birthday party. Talk about a guest of honor! Actually, when it comes to the most important birthday of all, there’s no physical or spiritual birthday without Jesus. And if there’s no spiritual birthday, there’s no life. Eternal life, that is. The most important birthday of all is the day you get born into God’s family. You say, “Isn’t everyone God’s child?” Not unless they’ve been born spiritually into the family of the Heavenly Father. They’re His creation, but they’re only His child by birth.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Obviously, Birth One was the day you were born into your parents’ family. No birthday, no life. Jesus is talking here about Birth Two – the day you actually begin to belong to God. No spiritual birthday, no eternal life. Without being “born again” Jesus said you cannot enter God’s heaven. Because heaven is only for family – God’s family. Anyone can be in God’s family, no matter what their religion or their background, but not everyone is, because they’ve never been born again. In fact according to Mat 7:13, 14 most will never enter God’s family.

Mat 7:13,14 “Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

So how does one have that spiritual birthday?

Recognize you are a sinner and what the consequences to sin are and your need for a Savior.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

It’s all about what you do with Jesus. Why? Because the only way to be in God’s family is to take care of what keeps you from being one of His kids, and that’s called sin. He’s an all-holy, totally perfect God. You and I have turned our back on Him by sinning. Even with a lot of religion in our lives to give us a sense of being okay we are destined to eternal death. You see, only those who are ‘born again’ have eternal life. Being religious is called false security. We’ve used the mouth He gave us to hurt people, to lie and to swear. We’ve used the hands and eyes and ears He gave us to touch and explore what we never should have touched. We’ve hurt most the people we love most, we’ve lusted, we’ve boasted and we’ve been selfish. All that sin has to be paid for, but Jesus died as our substitute paying for it.

Jesus is the only One who can forgive your sin, because He’s the only One who died for it and then rose again to prove He can. He’s the only One who can get you into heaven. Sin requires a pure sacrifice to wash it away and Jesus is the only One who could be that sacrifice.

But you need a birthday – a definite beginning with Him. If you don’t have that, you have no chance of being God’s child. There is only One who can be that Mediator between God the Father and sinners.

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Have you missed your spiritual birthday? Which only comes the day you “believe in” Jesus; which means welcoming Him into your life with total trust in Him for forgiveness of your sins? If you’ve done that, you know you have been ‘born again’. If you don’t know, you probably haven’t. But you can this very day. Just ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and believe on Him.

Today’s date could become the most important day of your life if you make it your Jesus-day – your birthday. The day you receive the most awesome, most expensive birthday present of all – eternal life paid for with the life of God’s Son.

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

The CHRISTmas Pageant…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…”

The CHRISTmas Pageant

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn’t been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers with a yes and blessed us with a son. The next year God blessed us with another son.

The following year, He blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.  My husband thought we’d been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, “If you pray for rain make sure you carry an umbrella.”

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn’t want to disappoint Him. I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks. I tried to be understanding…when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess. In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn’t keep my promise to be a perfect mother – didn’t even come close…I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God. I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to “wash up” Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his “last wife.”

My proudest moment came during the children’s Christmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine. My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, “We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.” But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.” My four-year-old “Mary” said, “That’s not ‘wrinkled clothes,’ silly. That’s dirty, rotten clothes.”

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, “Mama-mama.”

Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, “We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur.” The congregation dissolved into laughter, and the pageant got a standing ovation.

“I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,” laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

“For the rest of my life, I’ll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense and fur.”

“My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing,” I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army, yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us.

GOD BLESS AND HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS

John 3:16-18 ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”