Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You Need A Word

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21
A “word” from God can bring you the solution you need. God created the world with a word, so imagine what a word from Him could do for your situation. The Bible says, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Notice the words, “Your ears shall hear a word.” But if your spiritual ears are not open, trained and attuned to God, you won’t hear what He is saying to you. Furthermore, if you filter what He’s saying to you through human intellect in order to harmonize it with your own opinions, you will get nowhere.
God gives a “word” to those who have an open ear—and heart. When you pray, what are you looking for? A spiritual high, or a time of intimacy with the Lord in which He speaks and you listen? When you read your Bible are you seeking confirmation of your own thoughts, or are you seeking God’s will? Imagine what one of God’s ideas could do for your life!
“… but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
” (Daniel 11:32). If you dream of doing great things in life, get to know God. He will reveal Himself to you through His Word. You’ll hear a lot of different ideas each day; some will benefit you, others won’t. But when you get a “word” from God it’s like a seed; it has the potential to produce a tree; or better yet, a whole orchard of fruit.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Art of Life

Psalm 16:11You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
LORD, it is not life to live,
If Thy presence Thou deny;
Lord, if Thou Thy presence give,
'T is no longer death to die.
Source and giver of repose,
Singly from Thy smile it flows;
Peace and happiness are Thine;
Mine they are, if Thou art mine.
We live from day to day, as it were, by chance; and forget that human life itself is as much an Art, governed by its own rules and precepts of perfection, as the most complicated profession by which that life is maintained or adorned.
The art of life consists in taking each event which befalls us with a contented mind, confident of good. This makes us grow younger as we grow older, for youth and joy come from the soul to the body more than from the body to the soul. With this method and art and temper of life, we live, though we may be dying. We rejoice always, though in the midst of sorrows; and possess all things, though destitute of everything.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gotcha' God!

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

A young boy at the dinner table asked, "Dad, is God everywhere?" "Yes," his father assured him, "God is everywhere." "Is He in this room?" the boy wanted to know. "Of course," his father said. "If God is everywhere, then He is in this room." Eyeing the sugar bowl on the table, the boy continued, "Well, is God in that sugar bowl?" "Yes," his father replied, "if God is everywhere, I guess we'd have to say that He's even in the sugar bowl." Reaching for the lid, the boy quickly slipped it over the bowl. "Gotcha', God!" he said.

The Israelites also wanted a "sugar bowl" god, someone they could control. Isaiah rebuked them for cutting down a tree and using part of it to warm themselves and with the rest making it "into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, 'Deliver me, for you are my god!'" (44:17). Israel wanted a god who could be contained in their temples and manipulated by their worship--but the God Isaiah had seen (6:1) was not that kind of a God.

How wonderful to know that the real God is so much greater than anything we can imagine or create. His ways and even His thoughts are so far beyond our finite minds that we can't begin to comprehend Him. When we come to Him with our problems and our difficulties, we never have to worry about whether He's big enough to handle them.

Don't try to put God in a sugar bowl. You won't be successful, for He is an awesome God. Rejoice that though you may not be able to understand Him, you will always be able to trust Him.

God will be God regardless of what we do!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hurry Up, God

 Psalm 70:1-5Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord! Let them be ashamed and confounded Who seek my life; Let them be turned back[a] and confused Who desire my hurt. Let them be turned back because of their shame, Who say, “Aha, aha!”  Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”

Has God ever been slow in your life? He was in David's. This undoubtedly was one of the psalms written when David was being harassed by King Saul. So he cries out, "Lord, why don't You do something? You're being awfully slow."
Have you ever pondered the delays of God? He is never in a hurry, but once He starts to work, watch out! He patiently accomplishes His work. David pleads, "Make haste, make haste" (v. 1). He repeats his plea in verse 5: "I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay." If right now it seems as though God is tarrying instead of working, if it seems as though He is delaying instead of acting, what should you do? Seek Him and wait on Him and love Him. Verse 4 says it beautifully: "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, 'Let God be magnified!"' We've seen that phrase before. David, when he was sinking, said, "I . . . will magnify Him with thanksgiving" (Ps. 69:30).

Here's a good lesson for us. When God is not moving as rapidly as we think He should, when our timetables do not coincide, what should we do? Rejoice in Him, love Him and magnify Him. Let Him worry about the timetable. God is always working, and we know that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28). But He waits for the right time to reveal His victories. Let Him watch the clock.

God's delays are a part of your character-building process. The next time God gives you a delay, encourage yourself by remembering that He never stops working for you, and He knows when and how to help you. Submit to His timetable and His care.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Streams in the Desert

Psalm 68:28Your God has commanded your strength; Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.”

The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are "strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust.

"The Lord is my strength" to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery.

"The Lord is my strength" to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.

"The Lord is my strength" to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint.

I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, "It is the coming down that tires me!"

"The Lord is my strength" to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, "If only I could do something!"

When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength. "The Lord is my strength!" "Our sufficiency is of God." The Silver Lining

Monday, May 28, 2012

General John A. Logan's Memorial Day Order

General John A. Logan's
Memorial Day Order

General Order
No. 11

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By command of:


Sunday, May 27, 2012

God's Everlasting Love

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

Are You in the Lord's Army?

Psalm 89:28My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him.”
I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never zoom o'er the enemy,
But I'm in the Lord's army. Yes, sir! I'm in the Lord's army. Yes, sir!
I'm in the Lord's army. Yes, sir!

I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.

I may never zoom o'er the enemy,
But I'm in the Lord's army. Yes, sir!

Remember that one? It was always one of my favorites. In fact, I wish the 'grown-up' church service would have it as a worship song occasionally - just to remind us of something very important:

We are in the Lord's Army
Sure, it's a kids' song- but it has an adult message that is too easily neglected and too often forgotten. When you're a child, it's fun to think about being in the service of the Captain of our salvation...oh but then at some point we get 'mature', which often translates into 'chicken'.

So the issue at hand is: are you involved in the fight? Or perhaps at some point you were taken prisoner by the enemy. If you are a captive, you might not even know it- so let me give you a few characteristics of spiritual P.O.W.'s.
  • They think that many Christians are just too 'radical' for Jesus. After all, they should settle down and try not to 'offend' people too much or too often.
  • They have been led to believe that the early fire they had for Christ was just a temporary spiritual high, but that kind of feeling will probably never come back.
  • They are trapped in the rut of going through the motions of church, Bible reading, and prayer...almost as if they are doing it out of duty instead of desire.
  • They try to witness to others through actions only, thinking that people will understand the gospel without ever being told.
If any of these describe you, the great news is that you hold a 'get out of jail free' card right in your hands! Satan only has as much authority as you give him, so take it back, recommit your life, and go to battle!

Perhaps the old song mentioned above isn't quite enough to get you motivated anymore. If so, allow me to share a somewhat updated version that describes your position more specifically:

I am a Soldier
Author Unknown

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior, of the army of my God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, Prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience,
tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this army at the Rapture or die in this Army;
but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out.
I am faithful, capable, and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior. I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.

I am a solider, a prayer warrior. I am not a wimp.
I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name
and building His Kingdom!

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.
I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.

I am committed.
I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic Tragedy Radios Life Messages To Us Today

 Titanic tragedy radios life messages to us today

“Oh, they built the ship Titanic,   
to sail the ocean blue
And they thought they built a ship
that the water couldn’t go through.
But the good Lord raised his hand,
said the ship would never land.
It was sad when the great
ship went down.”
Or so the version went that we sang at Camp Wise, in Chardon, Ohio, in the 1970s, a song that had been sung at summer camps for the previous 50 years, is sung still, and might very well be sung forever.
Exactly 100 years this Sunday, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, taking the lives of 1,500 passengers. With a weekend sure to be dedicated to its memory, the question is: why? Why this shipwreck? What about it so resonates in the public’s mind? The Lusitania, torpedoed in 1915, took 1,198 lives and is a trivia question. Nobody sings about it.
The obvious answer is that the Titanic story has something for everybody. There is luxury and poverty, heroism and cowardice, its midnight iceberg rendezvous a payback for the boast of being “unsinkable.” Movies and books keep the memory alive, as does its presence in the language — almost everybody knows what rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic means.
As the son of a radio operator, who grew up listening to the urgent chirpings of Morse code coming out of the Hammarlund Super Pro radio receiver displayed in his den, the part of the Titanic story that always gets to me is the heroic tale of the Marconi operators, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride.
As the junior radioman — he was just 22 — Bride had the night shift. It was just after midnight, April 15, 1912, and he was telling Phillips to go to bed, when the captain stuck his head into the wireless room.
“We’ve struck an iceberg,” Captain Edward Smith said. “You better get ready to send out a call for assistance.”
Ten minutes later Smith was back, telling them to start calling for help.
Phillips began tapping out “CQD” ­— “CQ” meant “calling all stations” and “D” meant “distress” — as well as the ship’s location and call letters, “MGY.”
“He flashed away at it and we joked while he did so,” Bride recalled. “All of us made light of the disaster.”
Bride told Phillips that here was his opportunity to send an “SOS.”
“It’s the new call and it may be your last chance to send it,” Bride said. “We picked up first the steamship Frankfurt. We gave her our position and said we had struck an iceberg and needed assistance.”
Phillips reached the Cunard liner Carpathia. “Come at once!” he signaled. The liner replied it was 58 miles away and “coming hard.” Phillips told Bride to tell the captain. “I went through an awful mass of people to his cabin,” he later said. “The decks were full of scrambling men and women.”
Over the next two hours, as the ship slowly sank, Phillips kept sending out distress signals, hoping to find a closer ship ­— there was one, but its radio operator had gone to sleep. Bride kept tabs on what was going on outside.
“I went out on deck and looked around. The water was pretty close up to the boat deck. There was a great scramble aft, and how poor Phillips worked through it, I don’t know,” Bride later recalled.
Phillips suggested “with a sort of a laugh” that Bride look out and see if all the people were off in the boats, or if any boats were left. Bride found one collapsible boat left, only because the men were having an “awful time” trying to get it free. Captain Smith returned to the radio shack one last time.
“Men,” the captain said. “You have done your full duty. You can do no more. Abandon your cabin. Now it’s every man for himself.”
“I looked out,” Bride said. “The boat deck was awash. Phillips clung on sending and sending. He clung on for about 10 minutes, or maybe 15 minutes after the captain had released him. The water was then coming into our cabin. He was a brave man. I learned to love him that night and I suddenly felt for him a great reverence to see him standing there sticking to his work while everybody else was raging about.”
Bride returned to the collapsible boat, and was holding onto it when a wave crested over the deck and washed it away. He turned for one last look at the ship, “smoke and sparks were rushing out of her funnel.” Bride lost hold on that boat and had to swim through the icy water to the other boats, as the band played “Autumn” on deck. Hands pulled him into another lifeboat. Phillips perished.
For me, the Titanic radio operator story is a metaphor for life. It signals to us something about duty and perseverance in the face of difficulty. You’re not the captain. You didn’t design the ship. You don’t own it. But you stay at your station, no matter what, tapping out your messages with all the skill you have, as long as you can, until relieved.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Risen Today

The Resurrection

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Life of Valor

The introduction to the entire Life of Valor resource by former Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Jeff Bramsteadt, based on the film Act of Valor.

The Code shapes the life and values of each and every Navy SEAL. Without it, they would be lost. Our life in Christ is the same.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Matthew Zavala

John 14:1-6

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year - A New Beginning

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
What a privilege we have as Christians. We don't have to trust in ourselves or our New Year Resolutions. There really is no such thing as luck. For God is a God of order and plan. He knows us better that we know ourselves. He even knew us before we were born. (Psalm 139). We can trust in the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 " For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
The words in the above verse are comforting. The Lord knows the plans He has for us. He is Omnipotent and Omnipresent.
When I look at the vastness of the universe that the Lord God created we should be overwhelmed with His love for us. This brings us comfort, peace and joy.
1 John 1:9 - Our New Year’s Resolution
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Isn't this the way to start your NEW YEAR?