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  #111  
Old 02-25-2009, 04:54 AM
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Default Feb. 25

February 25, 2009

Okello’s Story, Our Story

READ: Luke 5:12-16

[Jesus] put out His hand and touched [the leper]. —Luke 5:13

My friend Roxanne has had some impressive jobs in her life. She has covered the Olympics as a reporter. She has worked in Washington, DC, for noted people and companies. For years, she has written articles about top Christian athletes. But none of those jobs can compare with what she is doing now: giving the love of Jesus to children in Uganda.

What are her days like? Consider the rainy Thursday when she walked the muddy pathway to a cancer ward. Once inside, she scooped up little Okello, whose arms bore sores from poor IV care and whose body raged with a high fever. She carried him to the office of the only cancer doctor in the building and stayed with him until he got help and his condition stabilized.

Jesus, our example, spent His entire ministry among the suffering, healing them and bringing them the good news of God’s love (Luke 7:21-22).

How significant are the jobs we do? Sure, it’s vital to make a living to support ourselves and our families. But is there something we can do to help relieve the suffering in our world of pain? We may not be able to move to Uganda like Roxanne, but we can all find ways to assist someone. In whose life will you make a difference? — Dave Branon

God uses us to show His love
To people caught in life’s despair;
Our deeds of kindness open doors
To talk of God and His great care. —Sper


One measure of our likeness to Christ is our sensitivity to the suffering of others.
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  #112  
Old 02-26-2009, 04:32 AM
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Default Feb. 26

February 26, 2009

A Sad Split

READ: Malachi 2:10-16

Let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. —Malachi 2:15

The drama played out in a nest of bald eagles monitored by a webcam. A beloved eagle family, viewed by many via the Internet, was breaking up. After raising several offspring in previous seasons, the mother again laid new eggs in the spring. But then a young female invaded their happy home. When Dad started cavorting with her, Mom disappeared and the life in the abandoned eggs died.

In an Internet chat room, questions and accusations flew wildly. Everyone who loved the pair was distraught. Biologists warned the amateur eagle enthusiasts not to attribute human values to birds. But everyone did. We all wanted the original couple to reunite. Everyone seemed to “know” that the family unit is sacred.

As chat room members expressed their sadness, I wondered if they knew that God feels much the same way about human family breakups. I also wondered about myself: Why did I feel more sadness over the eagles than over the fractured human families in my community? Clearly, I need to revise my priorities.

In Malachi 2, we see God’s view of marriage. It symbolizes His covenant with His people (v.11). He takes it very seriously—and so should we. — Julie Ackerman Link

Thinking It Over
In Malachi 2:11, what is “profaned” and how?
How does Malachi 2:15 echo Genesis 2:24?
Why is this important? (Mal. 2:15-16).


Put Christ first if you want your marriage to last.
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  #113  
Old 02-27-2009, 04:22 AM
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Default Feb. 27

February 27, 2009

Quiet Times

READ: Psalm 23:1-3; Mark 6:30-32

Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10

My friend Mary told me that she had always valued the time she spent fishing with her dad. Not being a fishing aficionado myself, I was curious about what she found so enjoyable. “I just like being with my dad,” she said. “So you just fish and talk?” I asked her. “Oh, no, we don’t really talk,” she said. “We just fish.”

It wasn’t the conversation—it was the company.

Did you ever think about how much time we spend talking? In what we like to call our “quiet time” with God, we usually fill in any silence with our prayers. But do we ever practice just being “still”?

God said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). When Jesus noticed that the disciples were so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat, He told them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). When we leave the distractions of life behind, we can more easily rest and refocus on God.

Are you allowing quiet moments alone with God to be a part of your life? Do you desire for Him to restore your soul? (Ps. 23:1-3). Let Him teach you how to “be still.” And listen when Jesus invites you: “Come aside with Me and rest a while.” — Cindy Hess Kasper

The quiet times we spend with God
In solitude and prayer
Will strengthen and restore our souls
And help us sense His care. —Sper


Quiet times with God store up power for future emergencies.
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  #114  
Old 02-28-2009, 04:07 AM
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Default Feb. 28

February 28, 2009

Fever Pitch

READ: Matthew 22:34-40

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. —Matthew 22:39

In the movie Fever Pitch, Ben Wrightman is crazy about the Boston Red Sox baseball team. He rarely misses a game during the spring and summer months.

One winter, Ben falls in love with a young woman named Lindsey and wins her heart. Then spring rolls around, and she finds out that he’s a different person during baseball season. He has no time for her unless she goes to the games with him.

When Lindsey ends her relationship with Ben because of his fanaticism, he talks with a young friend, who says, “You love the Sox. But tell me, have they ever loved you back?” Those words cause Ben to analyze his priorities and to give more time to the woman he loves, who loves him back.

We pour our lives into hobbies, pleasures, activities, work—many good things. But two things should always be thought about when making our choices. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37,39).

When it seems our life is getting out of balance, the question, “Has that hobby or activity or thing ever loved me back?” may help to keep us in check. Loving God and loving people are what really count. — Anne Cetas

Follow with reverent steps the great example
Of Him whose holy work was doing good:
So shall the wide earth seem our Father’s temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude. —Whittier


We show our love for God when we share His love with others.
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  #115  
Old 03-01-2009, 04:22 AM
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March 1, 2009

The Need For Nourishment

READ: Psalm 37:1-11

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3

Our grandson Cameron was born 6 weeks prematurely. Undersized and in danger, he became a resident of the hospital’s neonatal unit for about 2 weeks until he gained enough weight to go home. His biggest challenge was that, in the physical exercise of eating, he burned more calories than he was taking in. This obviously hindered his development. It seemed that the little guy took two steps backward for every step of progress he made.

No medicine or treatment could solve the problem; he just needed the strength-giving fortification of nourishment.

As followers of Christ, we are constantly finding our emotional and spiritual reserves drained by the challenges of life in a fallen world. In such times, we need nourishment to strengthen us. In Psalm 37, David encouraged us to strengthen our hearts by feeding our souls. He wrote, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (v.3).

When weakness afflicts us, the reassurance of God’s never-ending faithfulness can enable us to carry on in His name. His faithful care is the nourishment we need, giving us, as the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” says, “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.” — Bill Crowder

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! —Chisholm
© Renewal 1951. W.M. Runyan. Hope Publishing.


Feed on God’s faithfulness to find the strength you need.
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  #116  
Old 03-02-2009, 04:27 AM
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March 2, 2009

Finding Our Calling

READ: Ephesians 4:1-16

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. —Ephesians 4:1

A continuing struggle as we seek to follow Christ is trying to find our calling in life. While we often think in terms of occupation and location, perhaps a more important issue is one of character—the being that undergirds doing. “Lord, who do You want me to be?”

In Ephesians 4, Paul wrote, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (v.1). He followed this with three “be’s,” as one translation renders it: be humble, be gentle, be patient, “bearing with one another in love” (v.2 NIV). Paul wrote this from prison, a difficult place where he continued to live out his calling from God.

Oswald Chambers said: “Consecration is not the giving over of the calling in life to God, but the separation from all other callings and the giving over of ourselves to God, letting His providence place us where He will—in business, or law, or science; in workshop, in politics, or in drudgery. We are to be there working according to the laws and principles of the Kingdom of God.”

When we are the right people before God, we can do whatever task He sends, wherever He puts us. In so doing, we discover and affirm His calling for us. — David C. McCasland

You are called with a holy calling
The light of the world to be;
To lift up the lamp of the gospel
That others the light may see. —Anon.


It’s not what you do but who you are that’s most important.
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  #117  
Old 03-02-2009, 11:09 AM
Ratcat Ratcat is offline
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Nicely done mate. Thankyou.
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  #118  
Old 03-02-2009, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratcat View Post
Nicely done mate. Thankyou.
You bet, thankful you enjoy them.
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  #119  
Old 03-03-2009, 04:55 AM
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Default Mar. 3

March 3, 2009

What Are We Holding On To?

READ: 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life. —1 Timothy 6:12

Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy came to life in recent years on film. In the second epic story, the hero, Frodo, reached a point of despair and wearily confided to his friend, “I can’t do this, Sam.” As a good friend, Sam gave a rousing speech: “It’s like in the great stories . . . . Full of darkness and danger they were. . . . Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.” Which prompted Frodo to ask: “What are we holding on to, Sam?”

It’s a significant question, one that we all need to ask ourselves. Living in a fallen, broken world, it’s no wonder that sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the powers of darkness. When we are at the point of despair, ready to throw in the towel, we do well to follow Paul’s advice to Timothy: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:12).

In life’s battles, let’s hold on to the fact that good will triumph over evil in the end, that one day we will see our Master and Leader face-to-face, and we will reign with Him forever. You can be part of this great story, knowing that if you have trusted Jesus for salvation you are guaranteed a victorious ending! — Joe Stowell

Though weak and helpless in life’s fray,
God’s mighty power shall be my stay;
Without, within, He gives to me
The strength to gain the victory. —D. De Haan


The trials of earth are small compared with the triumphs of heaven.
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  #120  
Old 03-03-2009, 09:19 PM
FFDell FFDell is offline
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dude gotta say i enjoy this alot! i slack a lot in my private time and this is nice and easy little read that i can to when i get a chance on the computer!! thanks
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