Monday, 31 March 2014

Ten Little Christians

Ten Little Christians came to church all the time;
One fell out with the preacher, then there were nine.

Nine Little Christians stayed up late;
One overslept on Sunday, then there were eight.

Eight Little Christians on their way to Heaven;
One took the low road, then there were seven.

Seven Little Christians, chirping like chicks;
One didn't like the singing, then there were six.

Six Little Christians seemed very much alive;
One took a vacation, then there were five.

Five Little Christians pulling for Heaven’s shore;
One stopped to take a rest, then there were four.

Four Little Christians each as busy as a bee;
One had his feelings hurt, then there were three.

Three Little Christians couldn't decide what to do;
One couldn't have his way, then there were two.

Two Little Christians each won one more;
Now don't you see, two plus two equals four.

Four Little Christians worked early and late;
Each brought one, now there were eight.

Eight Little Christians if they double as before;
In just seven Sundays, we have one thousand twenty four.

In this jingle there is a lesson true;
You belong either to the building, or to the wrecking crew.

-Author Unknown

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

I Refuse to be Discouraged!

I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
and here's the reason why:

I have a God who's mighty,
Who's sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
and I am on His team.

He is all-wise and powerful.
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same.

My God knows all that's happening;
Beginning to the end;
His presence is my comfort;
He is my dearest Friend.

When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.

When circumstances threaten
to rob me of my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.

When my heart melts within me,
and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.

The great "I AM" is with me.
My life is in His hand;
The "Son of the Lord" is my hope,
It's in His strength I stand.

I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me,
as through this life I trod.

I'm looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven's throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God
I'm resting in His love.

I give God thanks in everything.
My eyes are on His face;
The battle's His, the victory mine;
He'll help me win the race.

© BJ George

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

11 Things that Don't Define Who You Are

1.Your occupation – It is easy to identify yourself as a teacher or a doctor or stay-at-home mom. But is that really who you are?
2.Your family relationship- Whether you grew up in a two-parent home, with a single parent, with a distant relative, or if your family is close-knit, or a little broken apart, your family relationship doesn’t define you.
3. Your vices- We all have weaknesses. But if you think that you are a failure just because you sometimes fail- you’re wrong.
4.  Your race – No matter the color of your skin you are special on the inside.

5.Your age- We can often identify with those that are close in age. Young and old, be careful not to wrap your identify around your birth date.

6.Your ability/disability – Are you exceptionally good at something or are you unable to do many things because of a special circumstance? What if these things all of a sudden changed? Would you still know where to place your real identity?

7.Your intellect and education- Do you get to write those little letters behind your name like “M.D.” because you worked hard for an education? Or were you not able to finish grade school because you had to work hard to help your parents? Whatever boat you are in your education doesn’t define you.

8.Your physical appearance - Do you like your shape? Do you think your nose it way too big? Do you think you are laden with flaws? Chances are we all have things that we may have been insecure about at one time or another.

9.Your economic status- Whether you were blessed to be inherit great wealth, or may not know where tonight’s meal is coming from there is a God in Heaven who is the ultimate provider.

10.Your health- You can have 1% body fat or be struggling to lose those 15 lbs. You may have fought a battle against cancer or diabetes- still you are so much greater than your health.

11.Politics- Do you identify as a conservative or liberal, democrat or republican?  Regardless of which, be careful not to get your identity wrapped up in politics because you belong to a party much greater.
    The party that you belong to is the Party of Jesus Christ. Our identity isn’t in any of these worldly things but is in the One that is the same yesterday, today and forever!

    My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    Psalm 139:13-16
    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
    1 Peter 2:9
    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

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    Wednesday, 26 March 2014

    11 Valuable Lessons We Learned from Noah's Ark

    Everything we need to know about life, we learned from Noah’s Ark…

    1. Don't miss the boat.

    2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

    3. Plan ahead! It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

    4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

    5. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.

    6. Build your future on high ground.

    7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

    8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

    9.  When you're stressed, float a while.

    10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

    11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

    Genesis 9:12-15
    Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 

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    Tuesday, 25 March 2014

    as told by the sister Carly Reynolds

    Colorado has a large population of homeless people. If you're driving in the metro area, you will probably see a homeless man or woman on the corner of nearly every block.

    My sister drives the same route home every day, getting off the 1-25 highway and exiting onto Colorado Blvd., a large street with about four lanes of traffic on each side of the median. Everyday she passes the same man, who stands on the corner of Colorado Blvd., asking for spare change or a chance at a job.

    One day in particular she was pulled up next to the man, when he began doing something out of the ordinary. He began jogging down Colorado Blvd. Next thing she knew, he had thrown down his sign and started sprinting into the middle of the street.

    That's when she saw the car that was driving diagonally across the 3 lanes of traffic and headed for the median.

    The homeless man, about 35-years-old, ran to the side of the car and attempted to push the car back in the right direction. He knocked on the window of the vehicle, but to no avail.

    He ran across the small median into four lanes of oncoming traffic, gesturing madly for the cars to stop. Thankfully, all 20 cars or so managed to stop just in time to avoid hitting him. The out- of-control vehicle came barreling across the median and across the four lanes of traffic, where just seconds ago cars had been traveling at about 35 MPH.

    The homeless man jumped back in front of the car to attempt slowing it down again. By this time, my sister and several others, were able to pull over and help the man stop the car before it ran into an office building on the other side of the road.

    As it turns out, the woman driving the car had a seizure while driving and passed out in the front seat.

    "Here is a man who most likely spends every day getting ignored by people who are trying not to make eye contact with him so that they don't feel bad not giving him money. Yet he didn't even hesitate to risk his life to save this lady and at least 20 others who would have crashed into her. He didn't expect anything from her and he was back on his corner the next day holding up his sign like nothing had happened. I rolled down my window the next day to praise him and all he had to say was that he thought he could help, so he did."

    John 10:14-18 
     “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,  just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
     “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

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    Monday, 24 March 2014

    Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock.

    Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.

    Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

    When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

    She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

    Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

    Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on its back.

    Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

    I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."

    God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. "Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him ... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)

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    Once there was this very wealthy young man. He lived in a great, elaborate house with dozens of rooms. Each room was more comfortable and more beautiful than the one before it. There were paintings and sculptures; crystal chandeliers; golden, ornate railings on the stairs. More beauty than most have ever seen.

    One day he decided to invite the Lord to come home and stay with him. When the Lord arrived, this young man offered him the very best room in the house. The room was upstairs and at the end of the hall. "This room is yours, Jesus! Stay as long as you like and you can do whatever you want to in this room. Remember Jesus, it's all yours."

    That evening after he had retired for the night there came a loud knocking at the front door. The young man pulled on his robe and made his way downstairs. When he opened the door, he found that the devil had sent three of his demons to attack the man. He quickly tried to close the door, but one of the demons kept sticking his foot in. Sometime later, after a great struggle, he managed to slam the door shut and returned to his room, totally exhausted.

    "Can you believe that," the man thought. "Jesus is upstairs in my very best room sleeping while I am down here battling demons. Oh, well, maybe he just didn't hear." He slept fitfully that night.

    The next day thing went along as normal and, being tired as he was, the young man retired early that evening. Along about midnight, there came such a terrible ruckus at the front door that the young man was sure that whatever it was would tear the door down. He stumbled down the stairs once again and opened the door to find that were dozens of demons now trying to get into his beautiful home.

    For more than three hours he fought and struggled against the demons from hell and finally overtook them enough to shut the door against their attack. All energy seemed to fail him. He really didn't understand this at all. "Why won't the Lord come to my rescue? Why does he allow me to fight all by myself? I feel so alone." Troubled, he found his way to the sofa and fell into a restless sleep.

    The next morning he decided to inquire of the Lord about the happenings of the last two evenings. Quietly he made his way to the elegant bedroom where he had left Jesus. "Jesus," he called as he tapped at the door. "Lord, I don't understand what is happening. For the last two nights I have had to fight the demons away from my door while you laid up here sleeping. Don't you care about me? Did I not give you the very best room in the house?"

    He could see the tears building in Jesus' eyes but continued on, "I just don't understand. I really thought that once I invited you in to live with me that you would take care of me and I gave you the best room in my house and everything. What more can I do?"

    "My precious child," Jesus spoke so softly, "I do love and care for you. I protect all that you have released into my care. But when you invited me to come here and stay, you brought me to this lovely room and you shut the door to the rest of your house. I am Lord of this room but I am not Master of this house. I have protected this room and no demon may enter here."

    "Oh, Lord, please forgive me. Take all of my house - it is yours. I am so sorry that I never offered you all to begin with. I want you to have control of everything." With this, he flung open the bedroom door and knelt at Jesus' feet. "Please forgive me, Lord, for being so selfish."

    Jesus smiled and told him that He had already forgiven him and that He would take care of things from now on. That night as the young man prepared for bed, he thought, "I wonder if those demons will return. I am so tired of fighting them each and every night." But he knew that Jesus said that He would take care of things from now on.

    Along about midnight the banging on the door was frightening. The young man slipped out of his room in time to see Jesus going down the stairs. He watched in awe as Jesus swung open the door, no need to be afraid.

    Satan stood at the door this time demanding to be let in. "What do you want, Satan?" the Lord asked. The devil bowed low in the presence of the Lord, "So sorry, I seem to have gotten the wrong address." And with that, he and the demons all ran away.

    There is a moral to this tale. Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He will take all that you give Him but nothing more. How much of your heart have you given to the Lord? Are you keeping a portion of it away from Him?

    Perhaps the attacks are coming more and more each day. Why not let the Lord fight the battles for you? He is always victorious. I have found that God made man simple, all of man's complexities are of his own devising.

    Revelations 3:15-21
    “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.  So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.  I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
    “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne."

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