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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Who is Jesus….

John 1:1&14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Who is JESUS…

IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.

IN BIOLOGY, HE WAS BORN WITHOUT THE NORMAL
CONCEPTION.

IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE
ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN.

IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN
BY FEEDING 5,000 MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WITH TWO FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD.

IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND,
WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS.

IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END.

IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED
WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE.

IN RELIGION, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER
EXCEPT THROUGH HIM.

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.

HE HAD NO ARMIES, YET RULERS 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.

HE WAS HONORED TO SERVE AS A LEADER WHO LOVES US!

JOIN US AND LET’S US CELEBRATE HIM;

HE IS WORTHY.

SO REMAIN IN GOD AND SEEK HIS FACE ALWAYS.

AMEN

John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

Hebrews 12:2 “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.”

God Cares for You…

Luke 12:6-8 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of
them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

God Cares for You

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman
with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg. It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind.

Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was
suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her. “How could this have happened to me?” she would plead, her heart knotted with anger.

But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth…her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan’s once optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.

Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark’s military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he knew this was the most difficult battle he would ever face. Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there?

She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city.

At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark’s need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn’t working – it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself.

But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of
taking the bus again. “I’m blind!” she responded bitterly.

“How am I supposed to know where I’m going? I feel like you’re abandoning me.”

Mark’s heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made her laugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or drop her briefcase.

Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office. Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she’d lost her sight, who wasn’t afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit.

Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…each day on her own went perfectly, and
Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself!

On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her
fare to exit the bus, the driver said, “Boy, I sure envy you.” Susan wasn’t sure if the driver
was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, “Why do you say that you envy me?”

The driver responded, “It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are.”

Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again, “What do you mean?”

The driver answered, “You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking
gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss”.

Tears of happiness poured down Susan’s cheeks. Although she couldn’t physically see him, she had always felt Mark’s presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn’t need to see to believe – the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness.

God watches over us in much the same way. We may not know He is present. We may not be able to see His face, but He is there nonetheless! Be blessed in this thought:
“God Loves You – even when you are not looking.”

Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:28-31 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear you not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Here’s something to think about.

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.

Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

*************

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?

The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most
credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care. 🙂

There is One who paid for your unworthiness because of your sins with His life and created the words, I Love You this much!!!! Can you name Him!

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down one’s
life for his friends.”

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

Psalm 100:1, 2 “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

The Dentist’s Hymn:…………………..Crown Him with Many Crowns
The Weatherman’s Hymn:………………..There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
The Contractor’s Hymn:………………..The Church’s One Foundation
The Tailor’s Hymn:……………………Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer’s Hymn:……………………There’s a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician’s Hymn:………………..Standing on the Promises
The Optometrist’s Hymn:……………….Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent’s Hymn:…………………I Surrender All
The Electrician’s Hymn:……………….Send The Light
The Shopper’s Hymn:…………………..Sweet By and By
The Realtor’s Hymn:…………………..I’ve Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Doctor’s Hymn:……………………The Great Physician

For those who speed on the highway – a few hymns:

45 mph………………..God Will Take Care of You
55 mph………………..Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
65 mph………………..Nearer My God To Thee
75 mph………………..Nearer Still Nearer
85 mph………………..This World Is Not My Home
95 mph………………..Lord, I’m Coming Home
Over 100 mph…………..Precious Memories
………………………………………………………
Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life
And pass it on to other folk .

Psalm 101 “I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.”

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.”

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.”