Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.

Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of
it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we
think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find
a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.

There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
You’ve got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

In the midst of family chaos,
“Quality time” is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
It may seem like your worries
are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He’ll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

Today I’m saying a little prayer that
GOD will smile on you and send
you all the special blessings you
deserve. ASAP!

I Thes 5:17 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”

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Choose you this Day…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day
whom you will serve; …”

Choose you this Day! 

Questions and comments, we hear daily from others and sometimes from within.

How can I achieve a higher salary?
How do I increase my 401K?

How can I get that perfect body?
Can I achieve the status of being a millionaire?

Why is this happening to me? I deserve more…
How do I get that really fancy new car?
Why can’t I have a new 4,000 sq. ft home in the secluded woods on 30 acres next to my own lake?
When should I sell and when should I buy?
Is life really all about possessions and self?
So what are my goals in life for me and for my family?

Choose you this day as to whom you will serve…! God does remind us what items have eternal significance.

Mat 6:19-21,24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in & steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in & steal. FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO. NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

How about some questions pleasing to God?

What must I do to be saved?
How can I help someone who is struggling today?
How can I help someone to see Jesus today?

Lord, thank you for this difficulty I am going through for you to teach me that trials bring spiritual growth!
Lord, what would You have me to do for your glory?????

Our example for setting life priorities is Jesus.

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”

Having nice things in and of itself is not wrong. Letting things or money be your controlling focus can only cause heartache in the long run and is out of line with God’s will for our lives. Letting God’s priorities be your focus provides peace and contentment that our world cannot understand.

Phil 4:6, 7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, where are your priorities this morning?

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on whom and what I will serve is up to me. So…………….

Mat 6:33, 34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Have a great day in service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!

Peace in the midst of Storms…

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

Peace in the midst of Storms!

I just returned from New Jersey. While en route there, I was stuck in traffic on Interstate 81, just below the Virginia state line, in (Bristol, Tennessee), due to a traffic accident with a fatality involved. This accident involved a tanker truck hauling a hazardous material load that developed a leak, which meant that we weren’t going anywhere for several hours.

After being told by the Tennessee state troopers that we would be sitting still until the clean up was completed, I set my brakes on the truck and got out to stretch my legs. Other truck drivers did the same, and at one point there were 5 of us standing there by my truck, complaining.

Sitting right beside me in the left lane, were two elderly people in a pickup truck, which was loaded quite well. The man, (Joe), lowered his window and asked what was going on regarding the traffic situation.

Soon we were all talking with this couple. I mentioned that if I had known about this, I would have bought something to drink, (water), for I was becoming thirsty. The lady, (Anna), said that they had plenty of water, and sodas in the cooler in the bed of the truck, and offered everyone present something. While she was back there, she said that she had plenty of tuna salad made up, and asked if we would be interested in a sandwich.

After some urging from Joe, we agreed to a sandwich. While Anna was making the sandwiches on the tailgate of the truck, she was singing like a songbird. To be close to 70, (I guess), she had a remarkable voice.

When she finished making the sandwiches, and putting everything up, Joe raised the tailgate of the truck to close it. I noticed a Mississippi license plate on it. I inquired as to what part of Mississippi they were from. Joe said Biloxi.

Knowing that Biloxi had been ravaged also by hurricane Katrina, I asked if they sustained any damage. Joe said that they lost everything but what they had on and what was in the pickup. All of us drivers tried unsuccessfully to pay them for their drinks and the sandwiches. They would have nothing to do with it.

Joe said that their son was living around Harrisonburg, Virginia and that they were going there. He was in the real estate business and that there was a home that became open, and that they were going to start all over there.

Staring over at their age would not be easy.

I will soon be 48 years old, and I have say that I have never eaten a tuna sandwich with side orders of reality and humility. These people lost everything except the pictures, important documents, and some clothes. Joe had managed to get their antique heirloom grandfathers clock into the bed of the truck and Anna got her china and silverware, but that was all. These wonderful people lost practically everything they owned and still would not accept any money for their food and drinks. Joe said that “it was better to give than it is to receive.”

They sought refuge behind a block wall that he had built years ago, and they watched their belongings and their home disappear in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. Joe said that during all this he had one hand holding onto Anna and the other holding on to God.

Their truck and they came out of Katrina unscathed.

As I stated before, Anna was singing a song while making the sandwiches. The song is titled “I know who holds tomorrow,” an old gospel song. She knew every word, and was quite a gifted singer of it. Have you ever heard it? The chorus of this song is, “Many things, about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

There is no doubt, in my mind, who was holding both their hands.

God Bless you!
Mike Dowdy, Hartselle, Alabama

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Serving Jesus Test….

Serving Jesus Test….

To all believers our Lord entrusts an awesome responsibility! So, the question is, how do our lives stack up to God’s desires and expectations for our lives??

Luke 9:23 “And Jesus said unto them, if anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow Me.”

When was the last time you denied yourself of some activity or worldly pleasure so you could perform a service for our Savior? God is calling….

Isa 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way – walk in it’.”

Mat 5:13, 14 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing, but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the earth; A city that is set on hill cannot be hidden.”

So rate yourself from 1 to 10 on how well you feel you are doing with being salt and light to a dark and sinful world. How did you do? I think I can safely say that everyone of us has room for much improvement. Especially in our humanistic, materialistic and sexually focused country.
It’s an ugly world with plenty of room to be the salt. Salt seasons our world or calls out sin for what it is. Not an easy task in our, ‘let everyone do their own thing’ world. And of course if you wish to bring error and sin to the world’s attention you will need to study God’s word so you know God’s truths and absolutes. And remember….

 

John 15:20, 21 “Remember the word that I said unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

 

Yes, there are still and always will be absolutes in our world. The enemy is doing a great job of trying to make everything including sin look to be a gray area ever changing and ok. Now if you start to recognize the ugliness or sinfulness of our world remember to review your own life prior to reviewing the lives of others. That requires we deny ourselves first of those sinful temptations and plan to read and study God’s word so the Holy Spirit can show us how to combat them. Now we are back to that nasty denial thing again. But we need to understand the blessings of serving come both in this world and out of this world when we are home with Jesus.

So, when was the last time you seasoned your world?

So, let’s get going………..the fields are truly white and waiting for the harvest!

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs…

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally
and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs

Be Fishers of Men…. You fish, He catches & Cleans ’em.
~~~~~~~
A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
~~~~~~~
A family altar can alter a family.
~~~~~~~
A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
~~~~~~~
Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!
~~~~~~~
Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
~~~~~~~
Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is Awake.
~~~~~~~
Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
~~~~~~~
Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
~~~~~~~
Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
~~~~~~~
Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there
~~~~~~~
For all you do, His blood’s for you!
~~~~~~~
Forbidden fruits create many jams.
~~~~~~~
Give God what’s right, not what’s left!
~~~~~~~
Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.
~~~~~~~
God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
~~~~~~~
God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!
~~~~~~~
God grades on the cross, not the curve.
~~~~~~~
God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts”!
~~~~~~~
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
~~~~~~~
Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
~~~~~~
He who angers you controls you!
~~~~~~~
He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
~~~~~~~
He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
~~~~~~~
If God is your Co-pilot – Swap seats!
~~~~~~~
In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma, but
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!
~~~~~~~
Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
~~~~~~~
Man’s way leads to a hopeless end! God’s way leads to an endless hope!
~~~~~~~
Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
~~~~~~~
Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
~~~~~~~
Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it.
~~~~~~~
Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
~~~~~~~
“Pray” is a four letter word that you can say anywhere except in a public school.
~~~~~~~
Prayer -Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty!
~~~~~~~
Read The Bible…It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!
~~~~~~~
The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
~~~~~~
The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
~~~~~~~
This Church is “Prayer Conditioned”!
~~~~~
To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
~~~~~~
Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
~~~~~~~
WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
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Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
~~~~~~~
We don’t change the message, the message changes us.
~~~~~~~
We set the sail; God makes the wind.
~~~~~~
We’re too blessed to be depressed.
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When God ordains, He sustains.
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Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it.
~~~~~~~
Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
~~~~~~~
You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Full time Servant…

Mark 10:44 “And whosoever of you will be the leader, shall be servant of all.”

Full time Servant!

Let’s try some word association.

I say ‘Work’. What do you think of?

I say ‘Christian Service’. What do you think of?

Keep those thoughts in mind for a minute as we examine who really are the ‘Full Time Servants’ for Jesus. Today’s world has a distorted image of what God expects and I fear most Christians have bought into it. Women who do not work outside of the home are left feeling insignificant. Older adults who have retired are left to feel useless or equally as bad put their spiritual ‘work’ out to pasture because supposedly their part has been done. Those with physical or mental handicaps are restricted in how much they can accomplish.

The neat thing about the Christian is that we are all to be Full Time servants in the job and country and state locations where God has placed us. It is not restricted to just those people who are paid for their services like the Pastoral group, Missionaries and Evangelists. Our pay is in our spiritual 401 K plan that will be redeemable when we are
in heaven with God.

Work is not a dirty word. Adam and Eve worked (Gen 1:26-28) prior to the results that sin brought to work. (Gen 3:17-19) Service is not meant to be burdensome or for only a select group within Christianity. It is also not intended to be looked at as something that cannot be attained. Jesus said……………..He came to serve not to be served……….. Being a servant will require work.

That is a very small glimpse of being a workman and a servant. How do you stack up? If you are not sure or if you are not pleased with your response you will want to look at your priorities. How high do you rate serving Jesus and His Church ????????

Have you presented yourself to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to be used as His will desires?

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Understanding God’d Will for your life…

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

Understanding God’s Will for your life

Do you know the difference between God’s perfect will and His permissive will. If you are like me the answer is, well kind of. The big question is, which one do you desire to have fulfilled in your life. Inside of us is that daily struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh thinks it knows what is best for my life and my emotions typically agree with my flesh. That is a huge caution to me when it comes to identifying just what is God’s will for my life. God reminds me that His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine are and can be very different. That tells me that my logic and feelings are very inadequate for making decisions.

What God knows is best and what He desires for each of His children lines up with His perfect will. When I ask for my will to be done based on how I feel or what I perceive is best for me that drives me to pray for that result and that result only. And to feel that God has not answered my prayer if the answer is not yes. God loves us so much He may allow an answer to prayer that is not in His perfect will. That is called God’s permissive will. The big problem is that when we are out of line with God’s will the end result is always without exception bad for us. Even if it lines up with my desires.

The story of Balaam and Balak is a great example. Balak the King had a problem. He saw how God was blessing His people that He had just taken out of Egypt. That meant doom for many groups of people who were populating the promised land. Balak was scared. He was the King of one of those groups. He heard that Balaam was a man of God and God answered his prayers. So he sent a group to Balaam the Prophet to ask him to come with them and to curse the nation of Israel. Balaam went to God and God told him to not go with them and to not curse Israel. Pretty straight forward. But like us Balaam allowed some things to blind him of God’s will.

When Balak heard the news he sent a 2nd group now including many persons of higher positions to influence Balaam. Balaam went back to God with the same request. In Chapter 22 and 23 of Numbers we read the account. Take special note that God told Balaam he could go along with them which reflects His permissive will. He gave Balaam what he desired but it did not line up with His perfect will which was to not go. That one shakes me because it challenges me on how many times I have multiple requests for the same prayer request. Am I also trying to change God’s will from His perfect will to His permissive will? Listen to the danger is doing so.

It notes in Numbers 22 that God was angry. And we have the same God today that answered Balaam. Balak offered Balaam a great sum of money to do so. That’s where the flesh took off running. Balaam saw a great material blessing at his waiting. The Spirit nudged Balaam with the realization that to do so was out of line with God’s will. And so the struggle was on. Just what would he pray for. God’s perfect will and loose the material rewards and maybe even his life or would he ask God for His will to be done? Balaam by not accepting God’s perfect will almost lost his life. If you read about the next events it was only by God’s grace that Balaam lived. That story of his life shakes me. How many times do I not listen to God and only want to accept what I feel is best for me. And those requests may be leading to disaster!

We do have the perfect example of this struggle given to us by Jesus. The human side of Jesus did not want to go through the torture of the cross. Jesus being the only person to ever walk the earth and never sin also was the only person to walk this earth who never requested anything other than…..

Mat 26:42 “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” ‘