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.”

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.”

The CHRISTmas Geese….

CHRISTmas Geese…..

Luke 2:8-11 “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, the angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said unto them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David,
A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD!”

The CHRISTmas Geese

There was once a man who didn’t believe in the incarnation or the spiritual meaning of Christmas, and was skeptical about God. He and his family lived in a farm community. His wife was a devout believer and diligently raised her children in her faith. He sometimes gave her a hard time about her faith and mocked her religious observance of Christmas.

One snowy Christmas Eve she was taking the kids to the Christmas Eve service at church. She pleaded with him to come, but he firmly refused. He ridiculed the idea of the incarnation of Christ and dismissed it as nonsense. ” Why would God lower himself and become a human like us?! It’s such a ridiculous story!” he said. So she and the children left for church while he stayed home.

After they left, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As he looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window. And another thump. He looked outside but couldn’t see. So he ventured outside to see.

In the field near his house he saw, of all the strangest things, a flock of geese! They were apparently flying to look for a warmer area down south, but got caught in the snow storm.

The snow had become too blinding and violent for the geese to fly or see their way. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter.

They just fluttered their wings and flew around in circles around the field blindly and aimlessly. He had compassion for them and wanted to help them. He thought to himself,” The barn would be a great place for them to stay! It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm.”

So he walked over to the barn and opened the barn doors for them. He waited, watching them hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But they just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention, but they just moved away from him out of fear. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.

Starting to get frustrated, he went over and tried to shoo them, run after them, and chase them toward the barn. They only got scared and scattered into every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where there was warmth, safety, and shelter.

Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed, “Why don’t they follow me? Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm! How can I possibly get them into the one place to save them?” He thought for a moment and realized that they just won’t follow a human. He said to himself,” How can I possibly save them? The only way would be for me to become like those geese. If only I could become like one of them! Then I could save them! They would follow me and I would lead them to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words that he just said reverberated back to himself in his mind:” If only I could become like one of them–then I could save them. He thought about his words, and remembered what he said to his wife: Why would God want to be like us? That’s so ridiculous! ” Something clicked in his mind as he put these two together. It was like a revelation, and he began to understand the incarnation.

We were like the geese– blind, gone astray, perishing. God became like us so He could show us the way and make a way available to save us. That is the meaning of Christmas, he realized in his heart.

As the winds and blinding snow abated, his heart became quiet and pondered this thought. He understood what Christmas was all about. He knew why Christ had come. Suddenly years of doubt and disbelief were shattered, as he humbly and tearfully bowed down in the snow, and embraced the true meaning of Christmas.

“The Geese “
– Author Unknown-

Luke 18:17 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Luke 2:11b” …For there is born to you this day in the city of David, A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD!”