Coincidence, luck or of God…

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. “

Coincidence, luck or of God…

God knows where you need to be!

Next time your morning seems to be going wrong and the children
are slow getting dressed and you can’t seem to find the car keys and you hit every
traffic light, don’t get mad or frustrated; praise God instead because God is at work
watching over you.

Listen to this account of why we may need a perspective change.  After Sept. 11 … I happened to call a man on business that I didn’t know and have not, nor will ever, talk to again. But this day, he felt like talking.  He was the head of security of a company that had invited the remaining members of a company who had been decimated by the attack on the Twin Towers to share their office space. With his voice full of awe, he told me stories of why these people were
alive and their counterparts were dead ….and all the stories were just ‘little’ things.

As you might know, the head of the company got in late that day
because his son started kindergarten. Another fellow was alive because it was his
turn to bring donuts.
One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.
One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.
One missed his bus.
One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.
One’s car wouldn’t start.
One went back to answer the telephone.
One had a child that dawdled and didn’t get ready as soon as he should have.
One couldn’t get a taxi.
There were other stories that I hope and pray will someday be gathered
and put in a book.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of
shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there,
he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to
answer a ringing telephone …. all the little things that annoy me …I think to myself,
this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little
things and may you remember their possible purpose

As a ‘born again’ believer we are reminded that;

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them
who love the Lord, to them who are called according to His purposes”

And another reminder. Some were in the Towers on that day to be a light
among a dark world to help those needing and wanting last minute help….today
they are with Jesus….

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How to get Real Freedom…

How to get Real Freedom!

What does it mean to be free and what is freedom. And of course where does Real Freedom and Truth come from? As always, our God gives us the answer. If we will seek it that is…..

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Our world is ever changing, especially the technology portion of it. It is easy for satan to whisper in our ear that values and morals also change from age to age. Those not agreeing are considered old fashion or intolerant bigots or, well you put in the title. Again, as with all topics of eternal significance our God does not leave us without the truth. So where does truth come from and does it change down through the ages like technology?

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Only believe…..

Romans 5:15-16 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if
through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and
the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto
many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification.

John 3:18 “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that
believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the
Name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 16:31 “And he said unto them, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you shall be saved.”

I have a great idea. How about picking up the one book that holds truth and start reading today!

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

Does your Life have Purpose…

Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

To what purpose are you called?
To what purpose are you working towards?

Does your Life have Purpose…

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
“Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold,
silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving
and everyone would see the beauty.”

Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I
will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of
the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
hull.”

Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the
hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and
how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time
and people will always remember me.”

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true,
a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree
he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to
sell the wood to a carpenter” … and he began cutting it down. The tree
was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a
treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong
tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard “The second tree was
happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When
the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because
he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of
the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree so I’ll
take this one”, and he cut it down.”

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into
a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with
hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut
and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship
and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large
pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees
forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and women came to the barn. She gave birth
and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from
the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the
baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the
importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure
of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they
were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it
was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man,
and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the
tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally,
someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets
as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.

When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and
raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.
When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to
stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible,
because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place
your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got
what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always
know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our
ways, but His ways are always best.

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

Matthew 4:18-22 “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee,
saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his
brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he
saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of
men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with
Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

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.”

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.”

Do you see yourself as a Servant…

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that
you present yourselves……………….

Do you see yourself as a Servant!

You know, it’s a good thing to stop the world for a little while and
go back to where it all started.  In fact, Jesus may be inviting you
even now to go back with Him to where it all began.

In Matthew 28:10 from the Word of God, Jesus has just blasted out
of His grave on Easter morning, and He has a message for His disciples:
“Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.” And
they did. It was there that Jesus told them, “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of
all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19).

Why this trip by the disciples back to Galilee to be with Jesus?
They were in Jerusalem at the time. That’s a long 90-mile walk from
Galilee. No cars, buses or trains back then. And Jesus would send them
back to Jerusalem to start their mission. So what’s the reason for going
back to Galilee? I believe it was because that’s where it all began.
That’s where they met Christ. That’s where they abandoned everything to
follow Christ. And that’s where they needed to go after all the battles,
the failures, the mountains, and the valleys they had experienced since
they met Jesus and before He launched them on a mission beyond belief.

Jesus may be asking you to go back to your Galilee, to remember
the wonder of what He did to rescue you, the things about Him
that captured your heart then; the time you surrendered fully to His
purposes for your life. All of that tends to get obscured by all the
knowledge you’ve acquired, all the responsibilities you’ve taken on, all
the disappointments and disillusionment, all the complexities of your
life. Jesus is saying, “Come back with Me to where we started, so you
can remember again just who I am, who you are, and just what I’ve
created you to do.”

When you started, it was pretty simple: one man or one woman
following one Savior wherever He was going. And we had that burning
desire to learn more of the One who saved us and the desire to share
that knowledge was almost overwhelming. Now with all the other voices in
your life, it must still be that one man or woman following that one
Savior. He wants to go back to that point where you sensed things that
He was calling you to do. It’s still His calling on your life, no matter
what has happened since then. And there was probably a time and a place
where you totally surrendered to Him – no strings attached – maybe at a
camp, a conference, in church, alone in your room.

If you cannot remember that time the calling in your heart is for you
to do so. Jesus wants all of us. In the beginning of your spiritual walk you didn’t
care where that commitment took you, how much money you had, what sacrifices
would be required. You were all His for whatever He wanted you to be and
do. Maybe that unconditional surrender has become a conditional
surrender, encumbered by your position, your possessions, your
convenience, your comfort, a lot of stuff. And Jesus is calling you back
to that original surrender where it all began.

It’s time to go back to your Galilee – to rekindle your first love
and remember that it’s still all about Jesus. Jesus wants to bring you
back to where it all started so He can take your life where it’s never
gone before!

———————————————————————
Portions from Ron Hutchcrafts (#5087) 11 July 2006
 
Rev. 2:4-5 “But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.  Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.”

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.”