Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Romans 13

Love fulfills the law.  Good scripture to memorize:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Will You Accept God's Treasure?

- Author Unknown

The cheerful little girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them, a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night as he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"  "Oh yes, daddy. You know that I love you."  "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection, the one with the pink tail. Remember daddy?  The one you gave me. She's my very favorite." "That's okay, Honey, daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you."  "Then give me your pearls."  "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."  "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. 
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, daddy, this is for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasures. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things that God wants you to let go of. Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners,  relationships, habits and activities that you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing... God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Penalty

God sees how the world is.

God: I made them with the ability to choose to do good or evil, and they chose to do evil...

God looks off into the distance with a disappointed look on His face.

God: Being perfectly just, I cannot ignore their blatant evilness.

God: In my infinite wisdom, I know the only suitable punishment is death. Justice must be served.

God looks sternly ahead with a clenched fist.

God: But...

God's expression becomes troubled.

God: How can I give them death? I LOVE them. The penalty must be paid. But how can their penalty be paid when the cost is so high?

God hangs His head and a single tear falls. He then raises His head and looks ahead with conviction through tears.

God: *I* will pay the penalty.

And so Jesus was born into this world, to do something for us, something big, something we couldn't do ourselves... Jesus wiped the slate clean.

Satan sees how the world is.

Satan: Haha! All these people are sinners! Not a single one is good! They'll all be thrown into the unquenchable fire!

God: You're wrong, Satan. They're square with the house. Their penalty has been paid in full.
Father and Son, Spirit and Human. Jesus died for us, and it's not just a short bout of pain and suffering to be compared with eons of the comforts of heavenly realms. God is eternal. He's outside of time. Everything He's ever done is part of Him every "instant" for eternity. From God's perspective, Jesus is on the cross forever for us. To speak metaphorically using the concept of time, Jesus' physical pain and suffering and God's heartache of seeing His innocent son crucified are such a vivid "memory" to God, it's as if the crucifixion is happening right now. He made this a part of Himself forever for us even though He knew even the "best" of us would often spit in His face and say, "I don't need your ways. I don't need your love. I can take care of myself."

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Faithful Couple

http://www.sunrisechurch.org/the-faithful-couple


I recently read the account of a family that was on vacation years ago in Yosemite National Park. They were fascinated and awed by the magnificent redwood trees. God’s creative hand and majestic beauty was breathtaking. As they walked among the forest giants, they came to what appeared to be a huge redwood tree about forty feet in diameter. The sign at the base of the tree read, "The Faithful Couple." But they were puzzled because it appeared as though this was a single tree, not a “Couple of Trees.”
As the family was enjoying their vacation time throughout the week, they encountered a park ranger and they asked about “The Faithful Couple.” He went on to explain that almost fifteen hundred years ago, two trees had sprouted as seedlings. The two trees that began on the forest ground were approximately fifteen feet apart initially. And for several hundred years, the two trees had grown individually. But as the years passed and the trees got larger, their trunks grew closer and closer together. Then sometime around the age of eight hundred years, the trunks literally touched, and the trees began fusing together as one. The trees uniting together as one have withstood the centuries—thereby giving them the title of “The Faithful Couple.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Smile At McDonalds

Author Unknown:

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called "Smile." The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway, so, I thought this would be a piece of cake.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch. An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around, I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman close to me, he was "smiling". His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.

He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm.

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope."

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope." We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed. In my own way, I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE

Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

To handle yourself, use your head.
To handle others, use your heart.

God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why?

One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise.
Ah the beauty of God's creation is beyond description.
As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work.
As I sat there, I felt the Lord's presence with me.
He asked me, "Do you love me?"
I answered, "Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!"
Then He asked, "If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?"
I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn't be able to do, the things that I took for granted. And I answered, "It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You."
Then the Lord said, "If you were blind, would you still love my creation?"
How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation.
So I answered, "Its hard to think of it, but I would still love you."
The Lord then asked me, "If you were deaf, would you still listen to my word?"
How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God's Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts. I answered, "It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your word."
The Lord then asked, "If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?"
How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks. So I answered, "Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.
And the Lord asked, "Do you really love Me?"
With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, "Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!"
I thought I had answered well, but...
God asked, "THEN WHY DO YOU SIN?"
I answered, "Because I am only human. I am not perfect."
"THEN WHY IN TIMES OF PEACE DO YOU STRAY THE FURTHEST? WHY ONLY IN TIMES OF TROUBLE DO YOU PRAY THE EARNEST?"
No answers. Only tears.
The Lord continued: "Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?"
The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.
"Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the good news? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?"
I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.
"You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idly by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all."
"DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME ?"
I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? When I my heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, " Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child."
The Lord answered, "That is My Grace, My child."
I asked, "Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do You love me so?"
The Lord answered, "Because you are My creation. You are my child. I will never abandon you."
"When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you.
When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you.
When you are down, I will encourage you.
When you fall, I will raise you up.
When you are tired, I will carry you.
I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever."
Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, "How much do You love me?"
The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior. And for the first time, I truly prayed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dear Ruth:

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
Dear Ruth:
I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always, Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me?
I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer."
With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least!"
She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday.
Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"
Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both.
They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have i s a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest."
She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"
"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
"Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.
She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.
"That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
Dear Ruth:
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always Jesus