Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Please Help Me! - September 30, 2008

Good Tuesday morning! The love of the Lord Jesus shines in you today! Let His name be glorified in us today. How do we glorify the name of Jesus? Through our daily lives we will either glorify Jesus or make people wonder what we are on about. When people know that you love Jesus, they expect certain behaviors. Some of these behaviors are true, but others are the result of lies spread by the enemy. Some might expect us to testify at all times during the work day. However, our employer is not paying us to do this in most cases. One thing that we agree to do as Christians is to obey those things that God has put over us on this earth. Of course the commandments of God come first, but we also obey the government and our employer. As soon as we agree to stop taking our employer's paycheck, we can stop obeying them.

If we cannot testify verbally during our work day, how are we to spread the Good News? One way is through that same obedience we are to practice. People will notice a good servant mentality in us when the boss is firing off directives and orders, as bosses are prone to doing, and will glorify Jesus through our good reactions. I realize, from my own experience, that this is not easy to do. During a typical workday, your job can pile way more tasks upon you than you are capable of doing. It happens to me, and I'm sure it happens to you. Stop to think of a new way to do something and a boss is likely to notice and hand off another task or two to you. Perhaps you had not even started the last two because you had not yet been able to complete the two or three tasks before that! I think we can all relate to that. Just like most of life, the modern workday, and we do praise God that we have jobs in these scary economic days, is filled with way too much to do. Well, since we already have too much on the work plate, go ahead and take another moment to pray for peace and understanding, and then dig into whatever needs done the most. All of it needs done the most? Yes, me too. Do what a counselor told me to do one time; make a list of all the tasks you have outstanding and let the boss put priorities on them. If nothing else he or she will see in writing just what is making you look like a puppy buried in its own hole. You know that sort of trusting, obedient, joyous, but please help me look. :-) Bucky

Monday, September 29, 2008

Strength in Him Alone - September 29, 2008

Good morning! Oh, come let us adore Him! What does this morning bring? Christmas songs for one; a little of Third Day's Christmas Offerings before starting the day. Wow, does the Lord give us strength or what? I did much more than I thought possible yesterday, and with a cold too! Sometimes we may stop to wonder where the energy and strength to do something comes from. The world would have us believe that we get it from within ourselves. However, I have found much more strength, joy, and peace from trusting in God, than I ever found within my self. When you or I go to the cupboard of our own self, we often find that cupboard bare. The constant rush of the world and the emotional drain of the news can leave us with nothing in our inner cupboard. In Jesus, we find a constantly renewing and refreshing spring of life. Strength, joy, peace, and love may come from what we thought an empty cupboard. I think that the Lord ran me through the wringer physically yesterday, just to show me that I receive strength from Him alone in this life and the next. Trust in Jesus to provide the strength we need to excel in this life and bring glory to His name.

Have a great Monday in Christ!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

One Final Checkpoint - September 28, 2008

Good Sunday morning. I see that it is well after 0700 before the sun comes up over the neighbor's house these days. Does it seem to you like the change from more light to more dark accelerates at this time of the year? It does to me, even though the almanac tells me that I am wrong. At the end of this week, we have the Oktoberfest celebration here in Sidney. One of the ways in which men, and some women, will enjoy their free will is in driving home under the influence of alcohol. The local police know this of course, and they set up check points to deter this kind of behavior. What is interesting is that several people will be arrested each and every year for exactly the kind of thing they know the police are determined to stop. While wondering whether it is some kind of game with them, I know those persons caught at the check points will endure some serious insurance bills for the next 3 years. I feel sorry for them. What bothers me more is that there will be one great check point, if you will, at the end of this life that no one will be able to go around or avoid. People need to know the consequences of failing the test given at this check point.

While the penalties one might receive in earthly judgements will come to an end, even for those receiving "life" sentences, the final judgement will hand out eternal penalties for those not found righteous in Christ Jesus. This is a very serious matter! In order to make a sound choice everyone needs to know the alternatives. That is where we come in.

Commissioned by Jesus to spread the Good News, we have a responsibility to use our gifts in making the Good News known to others. One of the best ways to do this in the living of a changed life. Every day people watch each other through various means. Some, through the media or a public office, might have a far reach in their lives, others, like you and I, may not seem to affect many, but somewhere and somehow how we live does affect someone else. Today the Internet has made even the so-called "shut-ins" of yesterday reachable online. Someone who never ventures from their dwelling can reach out across the world to others in need. Does it seem the end times are close? It certainly does to me. The technology is in place for all of the things foretold in the Bible. That thought will cause a pause in your mental stride; it did in my mind!

Trust in the Lord, and live for Him!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Coming Glory! - September 27, 2008

Good Saturday morning! Even with yet another cold, the morning is still grand in Christ Jesus! The cat wants attention this morning, but this writing is more important. I think that I have finally noticed the cost of groceries and gas; those of you with families probably noticed it much sooner. A paycheck just doesn't seem to accomplish what it did a year ago. How appropriate then is Pastor Rogers' devotional this morning? Awaiting His return! How true it is in these dark times. We hope for nothing more than the return of our Lord. The anticipation of Christmas, the happiness of a wedding, a hoped-for date on the calendar, none of this can compare to the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Paul writes that all of nature groans under the stain of sin, crying out for the return of Jesus to the Earth. Waiting is one of the most difficult things to endure, but we do not wait just to pass the time, we wait with great hope and joy. As a child you may remember anticipating, hoping, for something that you really wanted. Our feelings for the return of Jesus are very much like that, but much more than we realize. Try to think of all the pains that are bothering you, even the ones you have muted in the background, suddenly being lifted and replaced with a feeling of great peace and joy. That is what will happen when Jesus returns for us. All of our cares and sorrows, our longings and yearnings, will suddenly be lifted and we will find the answer presented to us in the clouds of glory. Oh glory to Jesus, it surely is fun to write about this!

God bless you this glorious weekend!


Friday, September 26, 2008

A Beautiful New Day - September 26, 2008

Good Friday morning! How good it is to have that "Friday" in there. This morning I realized that one of my major problems in maintaining a good walking habit is yidt. That is not some ancient Hebrew word for laziness, but is an acronym for "yesterday, I did this..." By using something I did yesterday as an excuse for not going out walking on a morning, I sabotage my own effort. This morning that didn't happen. This is not to say that the aches and pains caused by yesterday's activities simply and magically disappeared. However, one cannot fall into the habit of excusing today's inaction by yesterday's action. Unless, of course, one did something risky or dangerous yesterday and find one's self in the hospital today; probably better not to repeat that action! Each day is an exercise in self-analysis and feedback. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves daily. Did you stumble in your Christian walk and sin yesterday? Ask for forgiveness and don't do it today. Did you do something good for someone yesterday? Excellent! Find someone else and do the same thing again today, or find another good deed to do for the same person. Don't let that self-analysis get you down either; mistakes will happen whether they were done deliberately or accidentally. Trust in the Lord to guide you out of that dark valley and live for today!

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful sunrise this morning!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guide Me - September 25, 2008

Good Thursday morning! I believe that we should be finishing up the late nights before too long; the midnight jobs do wear on a person. I remember a song, or at least the title or line from a song, that goes: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer. I'll write it as a title since I believe it is one. Sometimes I like to think of that line when I feel lost in this great ocean of life. At birth we are like little boats thrown out into a huge ocean. For a time, our parents and teachers guide us, but when we leave on our own, we guide our own little boats for a while. Those who believe in Jesus soon learn that we have no idea how rough and huge this ocean is, we come to rely on our Great Redeemer to guide us and to captain our ship. At one time I envied those who felt called to a particular endeavor early in life. I thought that they had it made for it did not seem like I had a definite calling until quite late. However, though those folks may appear to know where they are going in life, I am not so sure they are not mistaken in many cases. Since only God can see the boundaries and ports of this great ocean of life, and only Jesus is the Way, we must have a guide to arrive where we want to go. A humbling thought is to realize that we are given a ship to sail in this life, but have no idea how to get that ship to heaven. Let Jesus be your guide and captain!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tough Love - September 24, 2008

Good Wednesday morning! Will it be more like summer or more like fall today? The question seems to be one we ask every day around these parts. Two weeks have rolled by and that means another change window and another late night of work. Praise God that I have work to do! Do we focus on a couple of clouds at the expense of the blue sky above us? This way of looking at life happens to many of us. We see a cloud or two in our lives, focus on those problems, and miss the marvelous expanse of blue sky that is the remainder of our life. Much that is good goes on each day, and we often fail to be grateful for all that is good while we pray earnestly for the few little clouds. Yes, I know those clouds don't seem so little, and we do often face storms of trials where it seems that the blue sky will never shine through again. However, it is at those times that we need more than ever to look to our Lord Jesus. Encouragement may not always feel soft and fuzzy, often we need a kick in the rear more than a pat on the back. I have heard many tales of God showing someone the way He wants them to go through what might be called tough love. Losing a job suddenly, being forced to relocate your family, and many other events may not be the way we would prefer to make major changes in our lives, but they do sometimes happen. I am confident that some of the folks who relocated after hurricanes have found their calling in Christ through a major change in their lives. Whatever changes may come to us, we can move forward in the confidence that God is still in charge and always will be. One of the ministers on television likes to say, "tough times don't last, but tough people do." Of course we know that any toughness we have comes from Jesus in our hearts. After a bit that saying kind of grows on a person and we start thanking God for His grace and goodness.

Start the day with a "Thank you, Lord Jesus!"


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Walk with God - September 23, 2008

Good Tuesday morning! This morning I ruminated over the negative waves coming from my brain. I wondered why it seemed that I should take some signs as negative. Even those in the world speak of thinking positively, turning frowns upside down, and other sayings to turn our attitudes around. Maybe that "sign" you or I see is not a sign of storm clouds, but is a sign of wonderful blessings headed our way. Is the cloud a storm or is it a shower of blessing? When we go around with dread and despair, we forget who is in charge. God brought us joy and peace in the person of Jesus Christ, who sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to us when He ascended to His place beside God.

I had more time to think this morning, owing to a nice walk. Yes, I began walking in the mornings again, so watch out for some deep thoughts. This time of the year is a nice time for a morning walk; the temperatures are cool and the early morning is dark and quiet. I noticed that the most difficult challenge in walking each morning lies within my head. Each morning, I can think of as many reasons not to walk as to walk, but I feel much better after walking. We all know which way is better for me physically! I often think that I must work my up to running, but that isn't at all true. The lies of the adversary are so many that we would be lost without the Holy Spirit to guide us in this world.

God loves you and so do I!


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Great "I am" - September 22, 2008

Good morning and praise the Lord! When I ask the Lord what I should write about this morning, His answer is simply, "Me". How appropriate though. In this complex world with all of its rushing about, we need a singular point of focus. Is it any wonder that Jesus is called the Rock of our faith? Our minds are so overloaded in these dark times that we must focus upon our Savior and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives us His peace and grace. In Exodus, Moses asked God who he should say was speaking and God responded with that very famous answer, "I am that I am" This becomes more clear to us when we realize that one of the Hebrew names for God is literally "I am". The answer is like many in the Bible, so simple, yet so very complex and beyond our understanding. None of us can define God by human terms. He is our Creator; how does the clay pot define the potter? He is our Savior; how do the ransomed define the one who paid the price they could not bear? The world would have us admit that we are contradictory in our faith. However, we know that the only contradiction is between God and the world. We do not define our Creator, He defines us. We do not save ourselves, Jesus paid the price and saved us. We discover God through the Holy Spirit, but we cannot define or limit Him through our limited human minds. God is at once beyond our human understanding, and yet also our father in heaven, our friend, and our confidant. No one knows our innermost thoughts better than God, and He still loves us!

There is no way that I can write enough in one short morning devotional or in one short lifetime to do justice to the great "I am". What a privilege to be able to do what I can each morning though!

God bless you on this fine Monday morning!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Words of Encouragement - September 21, 2008

Good Sunday morning! God has granted us some wonderful ministers to give us encouragement every Sunday. I am glad for the gift of the Internet that allows us to receive encouragement each day from these same men and women who give such wonderful sermons on Sunday. With all of these messages and opportunities to hear the Good News, you might wonder how anyone can ignore God's grace. We know that before the end comes, everyone will have the chance to decide for Jesus or against Him. A person can turn off the television, radio, Internet connection and live "off the grid", but the message will still reach them somehow. We must not give up in spreading the Good News! Each day from somewhere and via some means or method, I receive encouragement from the Holy Spirit. Anyone else can get that same encouragement simply by asking and listening for the Word. I want to thank God this morning for His words of love and encouragement that come from so many voices and sources. Love and encourage each other daily. Jesus is Lord!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Musings - September 20, 2008

Good Saturday morning! The sun is blinding me this morning, must be something about the changing season that makes it shine straight into my eyeballs while sitting at my computer. There, I had to lower a shade to block the sunlight, and to straighten out the typing I attempted while blinded. I see that the White House is asking Congress for $700 billion to bail out the bad debt of banks. Wow, where do you suppose that much money will come from? Enjoy paying your taxes, you and I just bailed out a bunch of banks. Let us pray that our new banks will prosper as Chrysler did after its bailout in 1980. I am, however, concerned that we are creating or enabling the type of environment where bad decisions are rewarded with a government bailout. How will that affect your vote in this election about 7 weeks from now? I have asked this before, but does it seem like we have spent the last several elections voting for the candidate we feel will do the least damage? Did the Republicans surprise you with their choice for Vice-Presidential candidate? I was surprised, and amused by the media hoopla that came afterwards. Of course the media is a bit rabid about the selection of Gov. Palin, none of them saw it coming either!

I am having a slow Saturday morning. I have done very little and it's almost 0800, tragic indeed. It's also one of those "on call" Saturdays. I am never too anxious to start something on these days as I am expecting an interruption at any time. Is that faith? Perhaps, but in the wrong direction. Why do we find it so easy to believe in the possibility of bad news, and less easy to believe in good news? Always trust in God; put your faith in Him and let the news come as it may. You may find that good news arrives first!

God bless you on this fine Saturday,


Friday, September 19, 2008

Less Than and Happy for it! - September 19, 2008

Good Friday morning! We have enjoyed a week of nice weather, but autumn arrives on Monday, whether we like it or not. I have the opportunity to learn something new at work, and I am grateful for the chance to learn. One of the great joys in our Christian life is in knowing that we are less than God in so many ways, and having absolutely no problem with that! We realize that we cannot love God more than He already loves us, for He knew us and loved us long before we were born or had a single thought in our little heads. We are happy to create a painting, a building, a system, or a novel, but we look out into the night sky and see the magnificent panorama of God's universe stretching out beyond our knowledge or ability to see. Each of us may be called to lay down our imperfect and sinful life for Christ, but He has already laid down His perfect and sinless life for all of us. In the many pursuits on earth, humans strive to be more than other persons in some way. In Christ we strive only to come to our Lord, to be more like Him in every way. We know that anything that we are "more than" our Lord is in the wrong direction. For example, we are more prone to sin than our Lord. That "more than" is one that we struggle with daily and will be overjoyed when Jesus takes that inclination away forever. Take courage! The Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth loves you more than we can imagine. Heaven and nature will shout for joy when Jesus returns; wait patiently and endure to the end.

God loves you, trust in Him,


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friends? - September 18, 2008

Good Thursday morning! The world awaits our presence with just a bit of dread. Yes, the world does not like to be reminded of its sin and eventual doom, and we are a part of that big reminder known as followers of the Way. Christ did not come to condemn the world, but the world condemned Him to death on the cross. Christ came to heal the hurts of the world, but the world wanted instead to hurt Him. We know that Christ arose from the grave on the third day, and later ascended to Heaven to take His rightful place by God the Father. Jesus did mention a couple important things before leaving. 1 - He would return, and 2 - that He would send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon the world in a rush and the Spirit does convict the world of its sins. We are happy to be a part of Jesus and to have the Holy Spirit within us. However, as we move about in this world, the world is going to feel that conviction and it will react in ways that may be hurtful to us. Jesus warned us that this would happen. Some will receive the Good News gladly, but others will react with violence or flight. Have you ever invited friends to church a few times and then suddenly found them scarce? I'm sure that you have. Those same friends may later stir up anger toward you with gossip and back-talking. We know to continue praying for those friends and may later get to see them receive Jesus into their hearts.

Praise the Lord for His presence on this day,


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turn Woe into Wonderful - September 17, 2008

Good Wednesday morning! Well, ouch! I don't particularly want to look at my 401k report these days. The news in the economy seems filled with doom and gloom lately. Should we walk around downcast and down-trodden? Only if we put our faith in the economy or government to save us. You and I have known for sometime that the institutions of this world cannot save us. God alone provides our sustenance and our resources to live and to thrive in this world. Sometimes we see ministers on the telly speak of how we can be wealthy by simply giving to their organization each week. This is a dangerous area to dabble in. I am not saying that we should not tithe, quite the contrary. However, I am sure that that many believed and tithed during the Great Depression and could not say they had wealth in monetary terms. Nor am I speaking against those who tell us to trust in God first, give second, and we will be financially secure. In Christ, we will have enough, perhaps never enough to satisfy our wants, which tend to grow over time and with circumstance, but enough to satisfy our need. During these days of stock market turmoil and hurricane news, we must trust more than ever in our Lord Jesus.

You will see ministers in your churches, on television, radio, and on the Internet, speaking of faith, trust, and the return of Jesus. Difficult news is always followed by an outpouring of the message that God first sent long ago, "Don't be afraid, trust in Me". They needed the message when it was first spoken, and we need it now. Feel free to speak it to each other. Pray for each other and pray for our nation and economy. We have many needs in this life. At times the bad news seems quite overwhelming. Remember who spoke and calmed the storm, healed the sick, and created the universe. Jesus loves you and I; He will never leave us nor forsake us!

God be with you during these times of bad news, turn the woe into wonderful in Christ!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fallible? - September 16, 2008

Good morning! Are you infallible, never making any mistakes or never stumbling in your Christian walk? No, me neither. From deliberate sins to simple mistakes and gaffes we all find ourselves asking forgiveness from God and from our fellow humans. Our mistakes are humbling experiences, but they need not be embarrassing. If another person does not accept our apology, then let the Lord deal with that person. Too often I find myself stewing in the experience, going on and on with the coulda-shoulda-woulda's. Today, I resolved to get that stopped. I am going to make mistakes in all areas of my life and past mistakes need not be replayed in my mind repeatedly. Do friends like to bring up your past blunders for their own amusement? That will happen in this life; I can only hope it makes them feel better.

God reminds us that when He grants us forgiveness, because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, that our sins are put away from Him as far as the east is from the west. I cannot conceive of how far that is, but I am glad. Does the Accuser like to remind you of past sins? Tell him to knock it off and remind him of the forgiveness and grace we have received from the cleansing of the cross.

Praise the name of Jesus on this fine day!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Step out! - September 15, 2008

Good Monday morning! Another work week awaits us, or at least some of us, in the this life we have been granted. Do you ever wonder if your voice will be heard? One need only look at the Bible to see that many different voices are included among its many pages. God could have tasked John with writing the entire New Testament, but He didn't. In the New Testament alone we read Mark, Matthew, Luke, Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John as writers, and often they are only recording the words of our Lord Jesus. Get it into your head now. The Lord can use you! Old or young, fast or slow, simple or complex; whatever you think you are, God knows you and can use you to reach out to someone. Put aside what you think that you can't do, and listen to what the Lord says that He can do through you. Like many of you, I take an inventory of my own skills and resources and come up short on what I think that I need to accomplish the mission. However, we should not try to guess whether we can get something done based upon our own skills and resources, but on the limitless talent and resources of our heavenly Father. Do you look at the road ahead and feel inadequate? Me too... when I look at myself. We are told to look at God, and see His Creation and what He has already done for us. Looking at God, we can see that more than enough of what we need is available to accomplish the mission. Don't think that you can see what God has ready to finish your journey? That is why the Bible calls it faith! The journey ahead does look impossible and we have no idea what God will do to bring us to the other side, but our faith tells us that He will bring us home in the fullness of time. Step out! Start the journey and win the prize. God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

That Big Ol' Drain - September 14, 2008

Good Sunday morning! The gathering of the Lord's people to accomplish some task can be a wonderful thing. It can also make one hurt all over. We moved a family yesterday, and that served to remind me of why I don't want to move very often in this life. While I sit here complaining of my aches, I can't help but think of those down south who may not have a home to move back into. We should pray for those areas hit by hurricanes this year, and remember that the season is not over yet.

It seems that in movies these days drug money is the buried pirate treasure of the age. Many movies are about finding, taking, or making the easy drug money. The funny thing is that God gave the commandment: Thou shalt not steal. I don't recall any exceptions to the rule, pirates, drug dealers or otherwise. However, if you are to believe the moves, drug money is yours for the taking, unless someone comes to take it back, usually at gunpoint in the movies. Sometimes we try to excuse a sin by shifting the blame to someone else. Criminals didn't work hard to make the money, or stole it from someone else, and so we can take what obviously isn't theirs to begin with, so goes the reasoning in much of our media. The Law as laid down in the Old Testament isn't quite so easy-going when it comes to guilt and conviction. Adultery is often treated the same way in our television shows and other media. She is out with this other guy, and so her husband is free to commit adultery with someone else. In one way the movies are correct, once you find some way to rationalize sin and act on it, you will find yourself in a big ol' drain, swirling around until you hit bottom. That is why we are told so many times in the Bible to resist, avoid, and pray about temptation and sin. We know from our Christian experience that fate, luck, chance, or our own abilities are not enough to get us out of sin. Only in Jesus will we receive forgiveness and the strength to resist.

Wow, I feel the weariness today. I need to go back to work in order to rest up. Have a fine and wonderful Sunday in Christ!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Old Comfort - September 13, 2008

Good Saturday morning! Once again we are blessed by a weakened hurricane; once more we can say that it could have been much worse. Lives will go on and the recovery will begin soon. How do we know when injury will strike? A famous quarterback in football goes down in his prime, another injury in pro sports; a disaster strikes along the Gulf coast, and people are displaced from their homes; illness or surgeries may strike in our homes at any time. How are we to go on among all the bad news? At times when all the news seems like bad news, we may pray and hope for something new. Instead, I bring you old comfort. What good does that do? It goes something like this...

Just over 2,000 years ago, a baby was born in Bethlehem. That baby, heralded by a chorus of the heavenly host, brought tidings of great joy for us. We have been reminded that on Christ, the solid rock, we stand. At times like this, it is the message that Jesus brought and another reminder of who is Lord that we must give to each other. Upon the solid rock we stand together, with Jesus in our hearts. Does it seem that the world is full of the sinking sands of bad news and disaster? Yes, at times it seems just that way. We don't know if any of us can take one more round of bad news, disasters, sickness or death, and yet we go one, praising God for His infinite mercy and grace. One of the great witnesses we can have in this world is to praise God in the face of extreme difficulties. No one is going to tell you that will be easy, but trust in Christ to give each of us the strength to endure in the face of the tempest roaring through this world. We are so fragile, but our Lord is the sovereign Creator of the Universe.

Watch the sunrise this morning, cloudy or clear, and remember the birth of our Lord,


Friday, September 12, 2008

React in Love and Prayer - September 12, 2008

Ah, the comfort of a normal morning! Good Friday morning to you. No rush and no late night preceding today. More rain today, but not nearly so much as is expected down in Texas. Please remember to pray for those in the path of Hurricane Ike.

Have you ever had something bothering you, a bee in your bonnet so to speak, and wanted to fly off the handle? Our natural inclination is toward fantasies of charging into a meeting of important folks to speak our minds. Of course, in our fantasies "they" see that we are right, wise, and mistreated, and that the situation should be remedied and so on. However, in reality no one likes to be lectured and not the least of all by one whom they think should be silent. We need to resist that inclination and first come to God. I did that not too long ago and the alternative given me was to ask when the time was right. I can tell you that the reaction I received was so much better than it would have been had I followed my inclination to lash out in anger. Perhaps I am right and what I seek is overdue for attention, but would it have helped my cause to anger or irritate those in charge? Probably not. Often in prayer and in our daily lives, the Lord will show us a different way. The way of love, which Jesus showed every day of His life. Don't you think that Jesus could have straightened "them" and everything else out back when He came the first time? Of course He could have. However, He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it as stated in John 3:17. As James points out, human anger does not result in the righteousness that God wants. Far better for us to react in love and prayer rather than in anger and shouting. Do you fear that love and prayer will not give you the satisfaction that you desire? Most of us do, but look toward the result. Which form of reaction is more likely to get the object of your desire? Better still, imagine how you would feel if someone approached you in love and prayer as opposed to coming to you in anger.

Praise God for the joy of knowing Jesus better each day!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inward and Outward Facing? - September 10, 2008

Good morning at mid-week! We have started the run-up to busy season, so more changes late tonight. The devotional may be late or very early tomorrow. Late night writing can give one a different perspective on many things, but I wouldn't recommend it as a habit unless you are typically a late night type of person. Do you love your co-workers enough to point them to the Lord? Perhaps you are forbidden to speak of such things at work; that happens in many places of employment these days. However, the way we live can still point others to the Lord and His gift of salvation. Certainly in moments of testing, such as to lie or tell the truth, we can be a witness for Christ, but it is the everyday moments that really add up. Are you cranky at work, obviously wanting to be elsewhere? Then your witness may not be pointing folks in the right direction. I have resolved that I will love my work and desire to do an excellent job for my employer. That may not be obvious to my co-workers just yet, but I think that if I continue resolving that until it becomes habit, the change will become known to all. I know that I have at least a couple of years left in my current job; why not make them the best years of my tenure there? As I have come to realize, most of my problems start inside my own mind. Therefore, that is the place where the main combat must take place. It seems that the whole armor of God is both outward and, perhaps more importantly, inward facing armor.

Start up your inner joy motor this morning in Christ Jesus!


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Slaves of Christ? - September 9, 2008

Good Tuesday morning! The light of the Lord Jesus Christ shines in you today! In the world, slaves are gained through conquest. Despotic rulers force slaves to do their bidding through threats and intimidation. To be a slave in this world is a shameful thing for both the slave and the master. Why then would the apostles claim to be slaves of Christ Jesus? Why volunteer to be a slave? One answer may lie in humility. These men and women in the early church humbled themselves in order to show others that they were no longer in charge. We come to Jesus in total surrender, and Jesus accepts our surrender. However, I don't believe that Jesus accepts any slaves. Instead, He tells us, "Stand, and walk with Me!" Whatever will the world do with the One who has no desire to conquer, but accepts total surrender? The same One who begins life as new, only after we come to the end of our self. The One who loves the unlovable and raises up the spiritually dead. The Savior who accepts the vanquished, though He did not defeat them, and raises them up to be His friends. Whatever will the world do with this Jesus?

We know that Jesus and the world do not mix. The world can only decide on an individual basis. Accept Jesus as Lord, or reject the only Way to salvation. It is interesting that the ones who claim to be slaves, the apostles and each of us who believe in Jesus, are not, and the ones who claim to be free in this world, are. I am so glad that Jesus has set us free! Praise God for the life of Jesus!

Have a wonderful and Christ-filled day!


Monday, September 08, 2008

Discernment - September 8, 2008

Good Monday morning! We have the opportunity to go out into the world and do good works on this day. Writing about Jesus is fraught with peril. Eh? How can writing about our Lord be perilous to anyone? When writing or speaking about our Lord Jesus, one must be careful to check for agreement with the Word. This can be the Bible, the Word of God, or it can be through the Holy Spirit. Pastor Rogers reminds us this morning that not all ministers have our salvation in mind when they speak or write. I believe that God calls many men and women to minister to us, and that the deceivers are few in number. However, those few can be eagerly listened to; just as the false prophets were eagerly listened to in biblical times. Solomon proved himself wise not by the wisdom that God gave to him, but by the choice he made when God asked him what he wanted most. Solomon asked for discernment, the ability to judge wisely, in all things. As the earthly ruler of God's chosen people, this was a very important quality to have. We too need to ask for discernment in all things. Not just when listening to our ministers, but in watching the news on television, listening to the radio, reading magazines and books, and in normal conversation. Test your ministers and check each other. We all have opinions; sometimes those opinions are dangerously wrong. We can check with the Bible and check with each other to help discern the truth.

Praise and glory to God Almighty!


Prayer Requests!
The elections will soon be underway, pray for wise leaders who believe in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Biggest Yoke - September 7, 2008

Good Sunday morning! The Hour of Power will start soon, but I am excited to be here writing once more. Nice weather this weekend, cool and rainy with a touch of autumn in the air. This morning, Pastor Rogers' devotional touched a neuron somewhere deep in my brain and triggered a response within me. Submission is a touchy subject, some believe one thing about it and others something similar, but not quite the same. I acknowledge that Jesus' yoke is indeed light, for I often write this devotional without feeling the incredible responsibility of my words. If I felt that responsibility too much, I might not write at all. Today it came to me to write about the heaviest responsibility and where it lies in our walk of faith.

The Biggest Yoke

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." " Matt 11:28-30
Who among us does not feel a heavy burden today? Exactly, those who are not saved may feel their life is going pretty good. We see those with great success in this life, bouncing along without seemingly any serious cares in this world. Our lives, on the other hand, seem to go from heavy burden to heavy burden with barely a rest in between. So what is it that Jesus will teach us? Perhaps to release those heavy burdens to Him! In our pride we may cling to heavy burdens that Jesus wants us to give up to Him. In my life, I have often worried about many things that I have little or no control over. This type of heavy burden is one that Jesus would not have me to carry. Along with the worries come anxieties over events that will never happen. More burdens that I do not need to carry. You may have similar or very different burdens that you do not need to bear. Jesus wants all of those burdens given over to Him.

In training, the Navy SEAL team candidates are made to carry huge logs as a team. The team leaders wisely learn, or are told, to arrange their teams by height so that each member carries an equal share of the burden. Imagine one team staggering under their log at the end of a day, stumbling and weary as they try to get one more lap around the beach. Suddenly a new team member steps in and offers to carry the entire log while the team rests. The team refuses and stumbles on. Standing to one side, or watching from a comfortable chair, you might wonder at the mental stability of that team. Refusing help when it is offered? However, we have probably done the same thing in our own lives, carrying burdens much too heavy for us and refusing the salvation that Jesus offers. Just when it seems the "log" is about to crush us, we finally come to realize that we need a savior.

What about that savior of ours? Where do those burdens go that He picks up from each and every one of us? The biggest yoke of all is borne by the one who promises a light burden to us. On His yoke is truly the weight of the universe. When we fall at His feet and our heavy burdens roll off, we often forget what He tells us at that moment. "Stand, and walk with Me!" Our Lord does not stomp on our prostrate forms, or gloat with satisfaction over our humiliation. No, He tells us to stand and walk with Him. How ever did we come to deserve such a leader and friend as this Jesus? The truth is that we do not deserve such an honor and the gift of eternal life. He gives us this gift and honor out of His own love for us. Bring your burdens to the One who bears the biggest yoke, and love Him with the great adoration and praise that He deserves from us!

Hallelujah for the Day!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Save Your Self? - September 6, 2008

Good afternoon! After making it through the morning with no Internet connection, again, I am back. I hope you are all listening or watching the Huskers' game. Okay, many of you may not care about the college football games. I can hear a radio or two playing around the neighborhood with the game on.

Are you afraid to admit to the Lord that you need help? One of the marks of pride in a person is that he or she can do everything for themselves. I have been in that position, and I'm sure that many others could say the same thing. We might call it stubbornness or pig-headed, or many other things, but when we will not ask the Lord for help, we are telling our savior that we do not need Him. Jesus told us the He alone is the way to salvation. How can we save ourselves if we are not the way? As you can see, saving your self does not work. You either believe that Jesus is the Way, just as He said, or you try to save your self and will, of course, fail. You might say that having Jesus save "me" is okay, but "I" will take care of this or that other thing in my life. We know however that Jesus wants us to surrender all of our life to Him. We cannot say that we believe in Jesus only up to a certain point. If you are refusing to ask our Lord God to help with everything, you might as well not ask for anything. I can think of areas and times in my own life when I didn't ask God to help first, but instead took off on my own. Most of the time that doesn't work out very well. Need help? Start with prayer, come to the One who is sovereign over all things. Put your trust and your life in Jesus.

Have a great Saturday in Jesus!


Friday, September 05, 2008

Daydreaming? - September 5, 2008

Good Friday morning...for the second time. Yes, one of those early morning installs and then up again in the same morning. The rain is a nice touch though, we can certainly use the moisture in our area. Daydreaming today? I know that Satan would gladly see any of us distracted from the work at hand by losing our selves in daydreams and fantasies. Too easily, we let our mind wander during a time of meditation, or fantasize about something when we should be engaged with another person. This is not to say that imagination or daydreaming is bad in and of itself. Many great ideas and inventions have come from daydreams and imagination. Like many things in this life, our imagination is only bad for us when we misuse or abuse the privilege. Learning to keep our minds in control, or self-discipline, is not an easy assignment. Jesus spoke of lusting after a woman in your heart; one of the commandments speaks is about coveting; avoiding either one is an exercise in mental self-discipline. We don't like the sound of discipline; it speaks against a rebellious nature within us. However, this is something that we must learn in this lifetime.

My mind is especially prone to wandering this morning, probably having something to do with sleeping less than four hours last night. Sometimes a subject for the morning devotional presents itself in my own head. On a morning such as this one, I could easily waste an hour or two in a semi-conscious state of daydreaming. However, that wouldn't get the job done. Hallelujah for the day! I pray that you have a wonderful weekend in Christ Jesus.

Think on the blessings of Christ this day,


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Faith in Imperfect People - September 4, 2008

Good Thursday morning! It is a back to work day for me, and a long one it will be too. We have work to do during the evening hours tonight. This morning is also the coolest we have seen in months. A very brisk 36° this morning to greet us with an early notice of autumn. This morning I also started on the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. You may not immediately recognize what this chapter is, but this is one of the more important chapters in the Bible. By faith Noah built an ark... Do remember it now? Yes, the chapter often called the faith hall of fame. In this chapter are many reminders to us of how imperfect people were justified by their faith in God. We have the advantage of the entire New Testament that these folks did not have. The task remains the same though, believe and live in Christ. While the heroes of the faith looked forward to Messiah, we can read the accounts of Jesus' arrival and death on the cross. I like reading this chapter during times of doubt, but there are so many chapters in the Bible that I love! I need to work on being able to recall every chapter in the Bible on a daily basis. Yes, that will take a lifetime, perhaps more, of work to be able to perform such a feat of recall. Have a great day in Christ Jesus, and do make note of the action point in Pastor Rogers' devotional this morning.

God loves you, apart from your performance!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Music in Heaven - September 3, 2008

Good morning! A wind chill of 38° this morning speaks for itself in regard to how it feels outside. I see the neighbor has decided not to ride his motorcycle to work today; we can certainly understand that decision. Praise God for the changing seasons!

Why do you want to go to heaven? I think that one major reason for me is to hear the wonderful music of the heavenly choir praising God. The evidence for this is in how much I and others enjoy music here on the earth. We may enjoy recorded or live music, hard rock or classical, or any other of the many forms of music. We might even make our own music through singing or playing an instrument. However, I think that all the music we enjoy now will fall short of God's glorious standard in heaven. What a sight and sound those shepherds enjoyed in Judah when the heavenly host announced the birth of our Savior with praises to God! I mention Christmas music a lot in this devotional, and folks at work know that I start listening to Christmas music a bit earlier than most. However, I suspect that if I were to take all of my Christmas music and combine it into one great symphony that it would still fall far short of what we can expect to hear, see, and feel in Heaven. We are simply too limited by our earthly experience to have more than a very rudimentary picture of what it will be like with Jesus in Heaven.

Praise God for our joyous hope of Heaven!