Holy Alphabet…

James 1:2a “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”

Notice it is not “if” but it is “when”. Why do you think that would be?

 ABC’s

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame

Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know

Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee

Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone

Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command

Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Exalting God most high

Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

“I AM Too blessed to be stressed!”

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the
distance between your knees and the floor.

1 Thes. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

James 1:2,3 “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various
trials; Knowing this, that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

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Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

From Life Lessons I’ve Learned that…

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

From Life Lessons I’ve Learned that…
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.  In fact,
by myself I cannot become that person.

I’ve learned
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned
that regardless of how hot and
steamy a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had
better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to, doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every
once in a while and you must forgive
them for that.

I’ve learned
that it isn’t always enough to be
forgiven by others.  Sometimes you
have to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret.  It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned
that two people can look at the exact
same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this
is the whole duty of mankind.        
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing, whether good or
whether evil.”

Real Family Love and Drugs…

Real Family Love and Drugs…

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when his is old he will not depart from it.”

PASTOR JOHN HAGEE MADE THIS COMMENT:

“I HAD A “DRUG” PROBLEM WHEN I WAS A YOUNG PERSON
AND TEENAGER.

I WAS “DRUG” TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNING –
I WAS “DRUG” TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY NIGHT –
I WAS “DRUG” TO CHURCH ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT –
I WAS “DRUG” TO SUNDAY SCHOOL EVERY WEEK –
I WAS “DRUG” TO VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL –
I WAS “DRUG” TO THE FAMILY ALTAR TO READ THE BIBLE
AND PRAY.

I WAS ALSO “DRUG” TO THE WOODSHED WHEN I
DISOBEYED MY PARENTS.

THOSE “DRUGS” ARE STILL IN MY VEINS, AND THEY
AFFECT MY BEHAVIOR IN EVERY THING I DO, SAY,
AND THINK. THEY ARE STRONGER THAN COCAINE,
CRACK OR HEROIN.

IF OUR CHILDREN HAD THIS “DRUG” PROBLEM…

Proverbs 15:10 “Correction is grievous unto him that forsakes the way:
and he that hates reproof shall die.”

Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

Is it not amazing that most of God’s truths are 180 degrees different than our what we hear in our world. I wonder why that is?

2 Corinthians 4:3,4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

 

Answers to Prayer…

I Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

P.U.S.H!

When everything seems to go wrong,…just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down,…just P.U.S.H.!
When people don’t react the way you think they should,
…just P.U.S.H.!
When your money looks funny and the bills are due,
…just P.U.S.H.!
When people just don’t understand you,
…just P.U.S.H.!
P.U.S.H. is an acronym for “Pray Until Something Happens”

And remember there are more answers to prayer than yes. No and wait are also answers! Why is that?  Well, it is because God will answer your request based on His will for your life and not your will for your life. Listen to the best example of praying in God’s will that we have. It is Jesus praying just before He went through the terrible pain of crucifixion for our sins…………

Luke 22:42 “saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

1 Thes. 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

One big key to understanding God’s answer to your P.U.S.H. is to evaluate all of the options, even the one(s) you would not choose. They may be what God’s will is…..

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.”

The Spiritual Cold War…

If I told you that there was a war going on you would probably ask me if I read the papers or listen to the TV and radio. Of course there are wars going on all around us. But if I told you there was a war going on that no human can actually see and can have very little affect on the outcome you would then give me a strange look and wonder what planet I am living on.

Well this morning I want to remind myself and you of that very fact. There is an ugly cold war going on that we cannot see and it has eternal consequences.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 2 Cor 4:3, 4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

So if those verses are true and the real enemies are satan and self then how does he attack?

I Peter 5:8, 9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

James 4:1, 2a “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.”

 If I honestly look around me and within me I quickly realize there is a war going on for my soul. There is a war going on to keep me from serving Jesus. I am ‘born again’ so satan can no longer have my soul but he can keep me from serving Jesus. So how can I fight it?

2 Tim 2:22-26 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,  and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

 Galatians 5:16, 17 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.”

Put on God’s armor today that is described in Ephesians chapter 5 so you can stand in the midst of this cold war. I stand with Jesus our Lord and Savior and with you fighting the good fight………………..daily!

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

Through the Storm, through the Night…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good,

even to them that are called according to his purpose.”

Through the Storm, through the Night…

Back in 1932 I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband. My
wife, Nettie, and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s South Side.

One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis, where I was
to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn’t want to
go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child. But
a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis.

I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A
and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at
leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back. I found Nettie sleeping peacefully.

I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to
stay. But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I
shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

 

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd
called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a
messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram.

 

I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the
words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

 

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could
hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home.

 

All I could hear on the other end was “Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.”

 

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy.
I swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died.

 

I buried Nettie and our little boy, both together, in the same
casket. Then I fell apart.

 

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an
injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs. I
just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.

 

But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first
sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something
kept telling me to stay with Nettie.

 

Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him
that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

 

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But
still I was lost in grief.

 

Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Fry, who
seemed to know what I needed. On the following Saturday evening he took
me up to Malone’s Poro College, a neighborhood music school.

 

It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.

Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as
though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody,
one into my head-they just seemed to fall into place:

Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.

As the Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my
spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel
farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open
to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that
day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

Tommy Dorsey/ “The Birth of ” Precious Lord

Neil and Rosemary Merckens

“Be still and know that I am God” ~Psalm 46