God’s Goodness and Mercy…

Ephes. 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

God’s Goodness and Mercy…….

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn’t notice her.

Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed. The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally, he said to Timmy, “Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?”

Timmy nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I know who she is”.

The friend said, “Well, who is she”?

“That’s just Shirley Goodnest”, Timmy replied, “and her daughter Marcy”.

“Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us”?

“Well”, Timmy explained, “every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it”!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:22-26 (And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today, and always.

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The Real Spiritual Cold War is on….

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on…

Yes there is a Cold War going on right now. It is an invisible one so we cannot see it.  There is a group of books authored by God that keeps us informed. Listen up!

 Job 2:2 “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So satan answered the Lord and said, ‘ From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.’

The warning and the solution to battling it.

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

The main weapon of war in a spiritual cold war!

James 4:7 “SUBMITT yourselves therefore unto God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.”

 All those proclaiming to be from God are not!! The word Christian has a different definition in our world than in the Bible. Some supposed men and women of God proclaim a Gospel of health, wealth and prosperity and teach many different ways to get to heaven and they sound so good. So how can we tell the difference??

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “

II Cor. 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

 John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 Protection comes from!”

Ephes. 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

Have a great day and don’t forget the greatest book ever written provides you with the Armor needed to do battle. Apart from God’s power you are helpless to do battle!

James 4:7″ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

To Young to know better…

Unconditional Love. Would you give the one you love the most to remove the sins of people who turned against you?

Acts 10:34, 35 “And Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is acceptable to him.”

 Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.”

To Young to know better…

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see yak, buster,” the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.”

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do yak know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position.

Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder.

The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His
aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor — gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.

No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood
awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”

Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest — unwillingly, longingly, as though he was in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny Child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking — “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” — When He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.”

Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.”

Living for Jesus…

Are we still willing if it will cost us?

John 15:20a “Remember the word that I said to you; ’A servant is not greater than his master…'”

By Ernest Abbott

So, he died for his faith,
That’s fine,
It’s more than most of us do.

But say, can you add to that line,
That he lived for it to?

In his death he bore witness at last as a martyr to truth.
Did his life do the same,
In the past,
From the days of his youth?

It’s easy to die.
Men have died for a wish or a whim for bravado or passion or pride.
Was it harder for him?

But to live every day,
To live out all the truth that he dreamt.
While his friends met his conduct with doubt, And the world with
contempt.

Was it thus he plodded ahead never turning aside?

Then we will talk of the life that he lived,

Never mind that he died.

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you; ‘A servant is not
greater than his master. 
 If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.'”

Finding Absolute Truth…Yes there is…

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I do not change;

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 Finding Absolute Truth….

For all you scientists out there and for all the students who have a hard time convincing these people regarding the truth > of the Bible…here’s something that shows God’s awesome creation > and shows that He is still in control.

Did you know that the Space Program is busy proving that > what has been called “myth” in the Bible is true? Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore Maryland > and a consultant in the space program, relates the Following > development:

I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us > today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland. They were checking the position of the sun, > moon, and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and > 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we won’t send a > satellite, up and have it bump into something later on its orbits. We > have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and > where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down.

They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the Centuries > and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put-up a red signal, > which meant that there was something wrong either with the information > fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards.

They called in the service department to check it out and they asked, > “What’s wrong?”  Well, they found there is a day missing in space in > elapsed time. They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was > no answer.

Finally, a Christian man on the team said, “You know, one time I was in > inSunday school and they talked about the sun standing still.” > While they didn’t believe him, they didn’t have an answer either, so > they said, “Show us”.

He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found > a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with ‘common sense.’ > There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, “Fear them not, I have > delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand > before thee.”

Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and > if darkness fell they would overpower them. So Joshua asked the Lord > to make the sun stand still! That’s right, “The sun stood still and > the moon stayed—and hastened not to go down about a whole day!”

The astronauts and scientists said, “There is the missing day!” > They checked the computers going back into the time it was written > and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that > was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes-not > a whole day.

They read the Bible and there it was “about (approximately) a day” > These little words in the Bible are important, but they were still > in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you’ll still > be in trouble 1,000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found > because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.

As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. > The scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out > the Book and read these words in 2 Kings. Hezekiah, on his deathbed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going > to die.

Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof.  Isaiah said “Do you want the sun > to go ahead 10 degrees?” Hezekiah said “It is nothing for the sun to > go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backwards 10 degrees. > Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten > degrees BACKWARD!

Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes > in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing day > in the universe!

Isn’t it amazing? Our God provides all the truth and direction needed for our lives. All we must do is believe and seek!

References:

Joshua 10:8 and 12, 13; 2 Kings 20:9-11

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

If God said it, I believe it and that settles it……!

A View of Heaven…

Heb 9:27, 28 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.”

Thoughts from within the Room

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting.  It was his turn to lead the discussion so he sat down and wrote.  He showed the essay, titled “The Room” to his mother, Beth, before he headed out the door. “I wowed ’em.” he later told his father, Bruce. “It’s a killer, it’s the bomb. It’s the best thing I ever wrote.” It also was the last.
Brian’s parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin
found it while cleaning out the teenager’s locker at Teary Valley High School. Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them — the crepe paper that had adorned his locker during his senior football season, notes from classmates and teachers, and his homework.
Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen’s life. But it was only after Brian’s death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven. “It makes such an impact that people want to share it. You feel like you are there.” Mr. Moore said.
Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, — the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend’s house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted. Brian seemed to excel at everything he did. He was an honor student. He told his parents he loved them “a hundred times a day”, Mrs. Moore said.
He was a star wide receiver for the Teary’s Valley Football team and had earned a four-year scholarship to Capital University in Columbus because of his athletic and academic abilities. He took it upon himself to learn how to help a fellow student who used a wheelchair at school. During one homecoming ceremony, Brian walked on his tiptoes so that the girl he was escorting wouldn’t be embarrassed about being taller than him.
He adored his kid brother, Bruce, now 14. He often escorted his grandmother, Evelyn Moore, who lives in Columbus, to church. “I always called him the “deep thinker”, Evelyn said of her eldest grandson. Two years after his death, his family still struggles to understand why Brian was taken from them.
They find comfort at the cemetery where Brian is buried, just a few blocks from their home. They visit daily. A candle and dozens of silk and real flowers keep vigil over the grave site. The Moore’s framed a copy of Brian’s essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room.
“I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it, “Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son’s vision of life after death.

“I’m happy for Brian. I know he’s in heaven. I know I’ll see him again someday.”

Mrs. Moore said. “It just hurts so badly now.”

The Room…
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read “Girls I have liked.” I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named “Friends” was next to one marked “Friends I have betrayed.” The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Have Read,” “Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed at.” Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve yelled at my brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Have Done in My Anger” “Things I Have Muttered under my breath at my Parents.” I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.  I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived.  Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting.
Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I have listened to,” I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked “Lustful Thoughts,” I felt a chill run through my body.  I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards!  No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!”
In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.
And then I saw it. The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel with.” The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep.  Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.  He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes.  Why did He have to read every one?
Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me.  I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
“No!” I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was “No, no, as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

Will you be there?

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

II Cor 5:21 “For He became sin for us Who knew not sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him”

A Real Friend will…

Look around you this morning. Do you have any friend(s) who would
die for you so that you might live?

Sounds pretty extreme and yes it is but there is One who will!

The Friend you can ALWAYS count on.

Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

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.”

How to get closer to our Friend.

Acts 16:30b,31 … “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”