Growth in the Valley of Life…

Rom 8:28 “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord,
to those who are the called according to His purposes.”

Growth in the Valley of Life….

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
it’s then I have to remember
that it’s in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
and never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God’s love
and would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
and my growth is very slow,
sometimes I need the mountain tops,
but it’s in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
why things happen as they do,
but I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
when I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan’s loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
when I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
that it’s in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
and use my life each day
to share your love with others
and help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
the mountain tops are glorious
But it’s in the valleys I grow!

Have a blessed day!

REMEMBER…

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance
between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can
by Jesus’ power stand up to anything.

II Cor 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I Thes 5:17, 18 “Pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus, concerning you.”

 Good and Bad Angels….

Recently as we were doing our morning devotions we came across a great description of angels. As I thought about how our world portrays them today it struck me how much different real angels truly are. If you think about how our world pictures them you have images of fluffy little creatures that can be our pets or as cute little figurines on display in our living rooms and many other descriptions not found when you study actual angels in the one book that holds truth, the Bible. For you see our world thinks the truths of God are foolishness. We must see everything around us both visible and invisible as God sees them to truly understand.

I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Our study Bible provided the following examples of Angels. For more on angels do some studying by looking up the word angel in your Bible and where and how it is used in scripture. Notice the reactions most of the time when angels appeared. People were afraid of them because of their powerful structure and presence. The following are only a few of the verses found on angels.

Angels

  • There are both good and bad angels;
    • Rev 12:7
    • Because bad angels are allied with satan they have considerably less power and authority than good angels.
  • God sent angels to help certain people so they could understand the significance of what was happening to them.
    • Mat 2:13, Luke 1:11,26 Luke 2:9
  • Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out His work on earth. They bring God’s messages to people;
    • Luke 1:26, Gen 19:1
  • They protect God’s people;
    • Daniel 6:22
  • Offer encouragement;
    • Gen 16:7
  • Give guidance;
    • Numbers 22:32, Exodus 14:19
  • Carry out punishment;
    • 2 Sam 24:16, Rev 7:1
  • Patrol the earth;
    • Zech 1:9-14
  • Fight the forces of evil;
    • 2 Kings 6:16-18, Rev 20:1,2
  • Eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God;
    • Rev 7:11,12

Remember these are but a few passages in scripture describing angelic beings and their purpose in the lives of mankind. The most important thing to remember is that we must weigh all earthly teachings with God’s word as our source of authority. If you feel God has provided an angel that has ministered to you remember to give the praise to the One who sent the helper!

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

Reasons not to mess with a Child…

Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

II Tim 3:15 “And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

Reasons not to mess with a Child:

1) A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a
human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very
small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a
human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, “When I get
to heaven I will ask Jonah”. The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to
hell?” The little girl replied, “Then someone else will have to ask
him”.  I John 5:13 ” These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that ye have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God

2) A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while
they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each
child’s work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently,
she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl
replied, “They will in a minute.”

3) A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her
five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor” thy
Father and thy Mother, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches
us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered,
“Thou shall not kill.”

4) One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the
dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother has
several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette
head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of
your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you
do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns
white.” The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and
then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

5) The children were lined up in the cafeteria of an elementary school
for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. A note
was posted on the apple tray: “Take only ONE. God is watching.” Moving
further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large
pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, “Take all
you want. God is watching the apples.

 Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

What Love looks like…

Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby

didn’t wear boots; he didn’t like them and anyway he didn’t own any.

The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor

job of keeping out the cold.

 

Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as

he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas

gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless, even if I do

come up with an idea, I don’t have any money to spend.”

 

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five

had struggled. It wasn’t because his mother didn’t care, or try, there just

never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the

small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

 

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made

up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister,

who ran the household in their mother’s absence?

 

All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother.

Some how it just wasn’t fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he

had nothing.

 

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk

down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn’t easy being

six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.

 

Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.

Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to

get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his

eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun’s rays reflecting off of something

along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.

 

Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.

As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire

body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned

cold when salesperson after salesperson told him that he could not buy

anything with only a dime.

 

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner

asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could

buy one flower for his mother’s Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at

Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby’s shoulder

and said to him, “You just wait here and I’ll see what I can do for you.”

 

As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a

boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the door

closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality.

All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.

 

Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before

Bobby’s eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny

white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby’s heart sank as

the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.

 

“That will be ten cents young man.” the shop owner said reaching out his

hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime.

Could this be true?  No one else would give him a thing for his dime! Sensing

the boy’s reluctance, the shop owner added, “I just happened to have some

roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?”

 

This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into

his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was

holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, “Merry Christmas, son.”

 

As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife walked out. “Who were you

talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?”

 

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied,

“A strange thing happened to me this morning.  Just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.  When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago.

 

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped

out’ into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn’t feel cold at all.

 

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2 Thes 1:3 “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers,

and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more,

and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.”

The Road to Success…

Hebrews 12:2a “Looking unto Jesus…”

The Road to Success

The road to success is not Straight.
There is a curve called Failure.

A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,

Red lights called Enemies,
Caution lights called Family,

You will have flats along the way,

But, if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,
Insurance called Faith,
A driver called Jesus,
You will make it to a place called Success!

In spite of our unworthiness

Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not 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.

Bitterness and Jealousy Destroy…

Heb 12:15 “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness, springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
************************
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked
for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes,
their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had
been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his
room-mate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color
of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of
the rainbow.  Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of
the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a
parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he
could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed
it with descriptive words.
Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the
other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while
he himself never got to see anything? It didn’t seem fair.  At first
thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed
seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him
sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should
be by that window – that thought, and only that thought now controlled
his life.
Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window
began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man
watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped
for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never
moved never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse
running in.  In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped,
along with that the sound of breathing. Now there was only
silence, deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths.  When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully,
he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly
turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate
who had described such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse
responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She
said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
The sins of jealousy and anger are deadly and left unconfessed they fester and destroy a person.
Psalm 137:7b, 8, 9 “…do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret; it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

The Blessing in the Answer of, NO…

Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.”
 The Blessing in the answer of “NO”

I asked God to take away my pride.
God said “No”.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said “No”.
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said “No”.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said “No”.
I give you blessings; happiness and contentment are up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said “No”.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said “No”.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said “No”.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said… Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!

___________________________________________________________

What if,
GOD couldn’t take the time to bless us today because we couldn’t take the
time to thank HIM yesterday?

What if,
GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn’t follow HIM today?

What if,
We never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?

What if,
GOD didn’t walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day?

What if,
GOD took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?

What if,
GOD didn’t send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be
prepared to pay the price for sin?

What if,
The door of the church was closed because we did not open the door of our heart?

What if,
GOD stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?

What if,
GOD would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him yesterday?

What if,
GOD answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?

What if,
GOD met our needs the way we give Him our lives???

What if, we fail to understand the meaning of this message?
Philip. 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”