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  #1311  
Old 03-06-2012, 01:18 AM
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Default Mar. 6

Dingo The Dog

March 6, 2012

Read: Philippians 2:1-4

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others. —Philippians 2:4

Harry Tupper is a fishing legend here in Idaho where I live. There’s a spot on Henry’s Lake over on the east side of the state that’s named for him: “Tupper’s Hole.”

The thing I remember most about Harry, aside from his rare ability to catch those huge Henry’s Lake trout, was his dog, Dingo. Now there was a dog! Dingo used to sit alongside Harry in his boat and watch intently while he fished. When the old fisherman hooked a trout, Dingo would bark furiously until the fish was netted and released.

Dingo’s enthusiasm taught me something: It’s better to get more excited about what others are doing than what we are doing.

So, as I read Philippians 2:4 and think about Dingo, I ask myself: Do I spend time thinking about “the interests of others”? Do I get as excited about what God is doing in and through a friend as I do about what He is doing in and through me? Do I long to see others grow in grace and find success, though it may have been my efforts that made them prosper?

This is the measure of greatness, for we are most like God when our thoughts for ourselves are lost in our thoughts for others. Paul said it best: “Let each esteem others better than himself” (2:3). Is that how we live?
Love feels the sorrows others feel,
It longs to give support,
And love is quick to take delight
In every good report. —D. De Haan
A life filled with love for the Lord and for others is a fulfilling life.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #1312  
Old 03-06-2012, 02:48 PM
Shadrac Shadrac is offline
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Default Rocks

This one rocks for so many reasons, but for those of us who love to watch others in our sport flourish...this is just spot on!!!
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  #1313  
Old 03-07-2012, 02:55 AM
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Default Mar. 7

Handle With Care

March 7, 2012

Read: Psalm 90:1-12

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. —Psalm 90:12

We live in a society that’s overrun with warning labels. From disclaimers on pills, to “use-by” dates on soup cans, to danger signs on chain saws—warning labels draw our attention to impending hazards. Recently I received a box with a precious gift inside. The sender had attached a big red sticker to the package that said, fragile: handle with care. When I think about life and its fragility, I wonder if we shouldn’t all wear one of those red stickers.

It’s not a good idea to cruise through life thinking that we are invincible and that everything is going to be just fine—only to discover that we are far more fragile than we thought. It takes only a call from the doctor telling us that we have a life-threatening disease, or the swerve of a careless driver in front of us to remind us that life is extremely uncertain. There are no guarantees! None of us can be certain of another breath. So the psalmist has an important piece of advice . . . a warning label of sorts: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

Let’s choose to live as though this were our last moment on earth by loving more deeply, forgiving more readily, giving more generously, and speaking more kindly.

That’s how to handle life with care.
To run the race of life in Christ, This must become your daily goal: Confess your sins, trust God for strength, Use discipline and self-control. —Sper
Yesterday is gone; tomorrow is uncertain; today is here. Use it wisely.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #1314  
Old 03-08-2012, 02:19 AM
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Default Mar. 8

The Enemy Of Trust

March 8, 2012

Read: Judges 7:2-8

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many.” —Judges 7:2

Military commanders always want to have enough troops to accomplish their mission. Most would prefer having too many not too few, but not everyone agrees on just how many troops will be enough.

When Gideon recruited an army of 32,000 men to stand against those who oppressed the Israelites, the Lord told him, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judg. 7:2).

So the Lord began to reduce Gideon’s army. When the fearful were allowed to leave, 22,000 men went home (v.3). A second reduction cut the force from the remaining 10,000 to 300 troops, of whom the Lord said, “By the three hundred . . . I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand” (v.7). And so it happened (vv.19-23).

In our life of faith, our resources can become the enemy of trust. God wants us to depend on Him, not our own strength, whether physical, financial, or intellectual.

When the Lord reduces our resources from “32,000 to 300,” it is not punishment. It is preparation for Him to be glorified through our lives as we acknowledge and trust His power.
Trust in God and you will know
He can vanquish any foe;
Simply trust Him day by day—
He will be your strength and stay. —D. De Haan
When God gives us an impossible task— it becomes possible.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #1315  
Old 03-09-2012, 03:31 AM
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Default Mar. 9

Acts Of Gratitude

March 9, 2012

Read: Micah 6:1-8

What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? —Micah 6:8

Few people knew me better as a boy than Francis Allen, the pastor who led me to Jesus Christ. A fire-and-brimstone preacher in the pulpit, he was a near-perfect example of the gentleness of God’s love outside of it.

Early on, Francis recognized a tendency in me to try to “buy” approval by working harder than expected and doing more than people asked. “These are good traits to give as gifts to others,” he would tell me, “but you should never use them to buy acceptance and love from people—or from God.”

To help me understand this, he told me to read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:30 that His “yoke is easy”—a statement that sometimes seems too simple to be true. Then, pointing to Micah 6:6-8, he said: “Now read this and ask yourself if there are any gifts you can give God that He doesn’t already have.” The answer, of course, is no.

Then he went on to explain that God cannot be bought—the gift of grace is free. Since this is true, what should be our response? “To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (v.8). I learned that these were acts of gratitude—not of purchase.

Let Micah 6 be a reminder that grace is free and that faithful living is our grateful response.
We’re saved by grace through faith alone,
Good works can have no part;
But God rewards each loving deed
That’s done with all our heart. —D. De Haan
Good works are not the means of salvation but the result.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #1316  
Old 03-10-2012, 02:39 AM
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Default Mar. 10

Shine Anyway

March 10, 2012

Read: Ephesians 5:1-10

To be honest, I wasn’t happy to be making another trip to the store. For the previous 4 weeks, my wife and I had been trying to get a refund for a bad refrigerator. As I spoke with the manager—again—it seemed that we were heading down another dead-end road. As we talked, I wondered if we would ever get our money back, but I tried to be gracious.

At one point the manager said, “By now, customers are usually yelling at me, but you’ve been so patient.” Then he said, “Let’s try something else.” He asked me some questions and punched some numbers into a cash register. After a short delay—and some stories about irate customers—the machine spit out a receipt showing a refund! Our appliance nightmare was over. “Thanks for being so good to work with,” he said as we parted ways.

While I think being nice when I didn’t feel nice helped in this process, getting refunds is not why we should show kindness to others. The real reason is that as Christians we are to reflect the light of Jesus (Eph. 5:8) on everyone—whether it’s an irate neighbor, a bumbling waiter, or a department store manager. Our speech and behavior are to be a positive witness (Eph. 4:29-32; Col. 4:6). Are you facing a conflict? Let Jesus’ light shine through.
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  #1317  
Old 03-11-2012, 04:39 AM
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Default Mar. 11

Beauty In The Church

March 11, 2012

Read: Exodus 36:1-7

When my husband, Jay, and I decided to build a new house, we didn’t recruit friends and family who enjoy working with power tools; instead we hired a skilled builder to create something both functional and beautiful.

Beauty in the church building, however, is not always a high priority. Some associate it with impracticality, so anything ornate or decorative is considered wasteful. But that wasn’t God’s attitude when He established a place of worship for the ancient Israelites. He didn’t recruit just anybody to set up an ordinary tent. He appointed skilled craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab (Ex. 36:1), to decorate the tabernacle with finely-woven tapestries and intricately designed ornaments (37:17-20).

I think the beauty was important then because it reminded the people of the worth of God in their worship. During the dry and dusty days of desert wanderings, they needed a reminder of God’s majesty.

The beauty created by God’s people in worship settings today can serve the same purpose. We offer God our best talents because He is worthy. Beauty also gives us a glimpse of heaven and whets our appetites for what God is preparing for our future.
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  #1318  
Old 03-11-2012, 05:58 PM
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thanks for posting
hunter
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  #1319  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:25 AM
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Default Mar. 12

The Greatest

March 12, 2012

Read: Matthew 22:34-40

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. —Matthew 22:37-38

What is the greatest thing in sports? Is it championships? Records? Honors? In the Palestra, the University of Pennsylvania basketball arena, a plaque offers a different perspective on the greatest thing in sports. It reads: “To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all.” This is a refreshing reminder that sports are, after all, just the games we played with joy as kids.

A religious leader once asked Jesus about greatness: “Which is the great commandment?” (Matt. 22:36). Jesus responded by challenging that leader to love—love God and love others. Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).

Whatever else our faith in Christ compels us to do, there is nothing greater we can do than to show our love—for love reveals the heart of our holy heavenly Father. After all, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). It’s easy to be sidetracked by lesser things, but our focus must remain on the greatest thing—loving our God. That in turn enables us to love one another. There’s nothing greater.
When amazed by His love for me, To love Him back became my prayer. I sought an answer sincerely— It was: Love the neighbor who’s there. —Verway
The proof of our love for God is our obedience to the commands of God.
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  #1320  
Old 03-19-2012, 12:24 AM
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Default Mar. 19

The Wonder Of Wilderness

March 19, 2012

Read: Psalm 98

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. —Psalm 98:4

The psalmists had an advantage in praise because of their closer tie to the natural world. David began life outdoors as a shepherd, then spent years hiding in the rocky terrain of Israel. Not surprisingly, a great love, even reverence, for the natural world shines through many of his poems. The psalms present a world that fits together as a whole, with everything upheld by a personal God watching over it.

Wilderness announces to our senses the splendor of an invisible, untamable God. How can we not offer praise to the One who dreamed up porcupines and elk, who splashed bright-green aspen trees across hillsides of gray rock, who transforms the same landscape into a work of art with every blizzard?

The world, in the psalmist’s imagination, cannot contain the delight God inspires. “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises” (Ps. 98:4). Nature itself joins in: “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord” (v.8).

The psalms wonderfully solve the problem of a praise-deficient culture by providing the necessary words. We merely need to enter into those words, letting God use the psalms to realign our inner attitudes.
All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing, Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon
with softer gleam! O praise Him! —St. Francis of Assisi
In praise, the creature happily acknowledges that everything good comes from the Creator.
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-Colossians 3:23

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