Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31   Entries 81-85 of 151
May 16, 2017, 10:48 AM

May 17, 2017

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

     Are we thoroughly equipped to carry out good works?  How do we prepare ourselves to be a thoroughly equipped Christian?  In many ways, we are being out-argued because we are not taking the time to prepare.  Many Christians are giving in to the current culture because they are ill prepared to discuss issues.  How do we become prepared?  How do we become thoroughly equipped?  We must engage the Bible.  The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to a lost world.  The Bible reveals God’s only plan to save mankind.  The Bible shows us the way to live and influence others with the Good News of Jesus.  The sad truth is that Christians are having little impact on reaching others with the Gospel.

     What if you heard these words from your child or from another Christian: “I just don’t believe what you believe anymore”?  The truth is, we are hearing similar comments from younger generations all the time.  Although many of these grew up in Christian homes, attended church regularly and were very active participants in their youth group, they are now struggling with answers to many cultural issues.  Why?  They have never been fully and thoroughly equipped to be in a real battle.  The passage above reveals to us the importance of knowing the Bible, not just reading it.  The Bible is vital for teaching us the truth about God and His desire for us to live to honor Him.  The Bible is our reference for decisions we make as we live in a very chaotic world.

     The Bible is also useful for rebuking.  As we read and study God’s Word, we become aware of sin.  We become aware of those things which are contrary to the ways of God.  When we are made aware of wrongdoing, the Bible offers us the solution to be in relationship with God through Christ (for those who are lost) or back in right fellowship with God (for Christians).  We must recognize the wrong, confess it before God and ask for His forgiveness.  As we spend time in God’s Word (not just in books about God’s Word), the Holy Spirit guides us to fulfill God’s purpose and face difficult situations.  Without this proper training, we are tempted to accept the subtle inconsistencies that the enemy puts forth among a culture without Christ.  Emotional experiences are wonderful as we worship God together, but we cannot depend solely on emotion as we battle the enemy.   We must crave God’s Word and spend time studying so that we are thoroughly equipped for every good work which includes giving insight to a lost and confused world.    May you experience a blessed and prosperous week as you fully engage God’s Word.

                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

May 9, 2017, 11:16 AM

May 10, 2017

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  Proverbs 31: 28-31

     Moms are special!  The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless.  A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and friend.  A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of her wants and needs for the wants and needs of her children.  A mother works hard to make sure her children are equipped with the knowledge, wisdom, skill, and abilities to make decisions in a difficult world.  Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most demanding yet the most rewarding job a woman will ever experience.  However, the greatest responsibility of a mother is to “train up” their children to be followers of Jesus!

     “Make sure to call mama on Mother’s Day, her birthday and the rest.  You know she’s sitting by the phone wishing you all the best.  She doesn’t want to bother you so she waits for YOU to phone.  She has so much time now, most of it spent alone.  She knows you are very busy now, with work and kids and wife.  She helps you out whenever she can, she is the one who gave you life.  The years go by, so fast they fly; the years just never stop.  She has joined the local church and at local thrift stores she shops.  Luckily you have an organized wife who sends the cards you sign.  You moved away for job prospects not because you wanted to leave her behind.  She quietly lives her life puttering around the yard, thinking of ways she could help you and cherishing your beautiful cards.  Whenever you think of her, please listen and take the time, because I would give everything I have for just five minutes with mine!”  Debbie Leads

     People may not remember many of the things you do in life.  However, when you are the mother God called you to be, your children will never forget the impact you’ve had on them.  Let us pray for our mothers.  Father, thank-you for the millions of mothers who are never in the limelight but raise their children the way you have instructed them.  Thank-you for the mothers who love you and are faithful and true.  You know them and will reward them.  Amen.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and to those who have been like a mom to others. 

                                                                                                We love and appreciate you,                                                                                                                          Brad and Virginia

May 2, 2017, 11:21 AM

May 3, 2017

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”  Titus 2:7-8

     “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians:  who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”   Brennan Manning

     What do we say to an unbelieving world?  What does our lifestyle say about our relationship with God?  What does our lifestyle say about our belief in the Bible?  We do not like to hear it, but we are trying so hard to intertwine the world’s standards into our Christian standards.  It simply will not work!   Peter reminds us (1 Peter 2:15) to be holy in all that we do.  The world has such a grasp and uses this hold to challenge Christians to compromise their beliefs.  As Christians, we live under grace but grace does not give us the right to join in all the ways of the world.  In fact, because of grace, we recognize God and what He has done for us.  As we recognize God’s mercy toward us we should strive to please Him in every way.  Think about our lives for just a minute.  Does my speech honor God?  Does my appearance honor God?  Do the decisions I make honor God?  What does my life really show to a lost world?

     Now, a very important question?  Does living the Christian life mean that we never give in to temptation?  Absolutely not!  However, when we do sin, do we acknowledge that sin for what it is, or do we overlook our actions with the famous excuse that “everybody does it”?  God has called us to live the abundant life.  The abundant life does not consist of a little bit of God mixed in with a little bit of the world.  Remember the Christian balance from Sunday morning?  The balance in the Christian’s life is this: one hundred percent of my cooperation and willingness to say yes to God and one hundred percent of God’s power and presence in my life.  Are we consciously and consistently presenting our lives to Jesus daily?

     There are lost people all around us.  They are looking for the abundant life that Jesus describes in John 10:10. Their problem is that they are looking in all the wrong places.  We have the answer, but do we exemplify the lifestyle that will encourage them to seek Jesus?  May we examine our life, repent, and ask forgiveness for those things we’ve done against God and live in a way that honors Him.  Only then will we have an impact on those around us and be an example for them so that they will want to seek God for the abundant life.

                                                                                                                     We love you,

                                                                                                                     Brad and Virginia

April 25, 2017, 11:08 AM

April 26, 2017

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  Psalm 37:7

Is your first priority in life to obey God?  In order to be obedient, we must first learn to listen.    Our culture finds it increasingly difficult to listen to God because listening oftentimes requires a period of waiting.  All it takes is a quick glance around us to understand that we have no clue about waiting.  We are so accustomed to having our way and getting what we want that we rarely take time to seek God’s counsel.  In many ways, God has become very distant to us.  We have example after example throughout Scripture of the same thing happening with Israel.  We mentioned the church at Ephesus Sunday morning.  Jesus’ response to them was this: “You have forsaken the love you had at first”.  In other words, their love for God had grown cold and the relationship with Him had become very distant.  Are we there?

                When is the last time we experienced God?  Is God real to you in your daily walk?  Do you experience God during the events of a busy day?  Do you experience God during your devotion and quiet time?  Do you experience God as you walk outside in the beauty of nature?  Do you experience God during our “worship” services?  We have such a tendency to become schedule followers rather than God-followers.  We need to (and must) experience a fresh revelation from God!  Experiencing God may be totally different from the way things have been in the past.  Would we even notice if God’s presence was not with us on any given Sunday morning?  We become so entangled in our busy-ness that we have no time to seek God, much less to wait on Him for direction.

                Our society has begun paying the price for our lack of zeal toward God.  Things are certainly not as they once were.  We need revival among us!  I am not talking about a series of a few days listening to a great speaker.  I am talking about a change of heart and a real desire to be obedient to our Father.  May we be reminded of God’s promise to His people found in Deuteronomy 28: “The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to Him.  Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.  The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land He swore to your ancestors to give you”.  Lest we forget, as wonderful as the blessings could be, there were also stiff consequences for disobedience.  Listen to these words, “however, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you”.  May we be careful to seek, listen and obey God as we faithfully serve Him this week!

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

April 18, 2017, 10:30 AM

April 19, 2017

I recently read again an excerpt from Patrick Morley’s book I Surrender.  I would like to share that excerpt with you this week as a reminder to “take time for the moment”.

A quiet teen-ager, David loved reading books and watching ‘Dr. Who’.  Countless volumes of science fiction passed before his eyes.  Birds of prey especially intrigued David, and he earned a college scholarship for his volunteer work repairing the broken wings of eagles.  He loved Christ.

Here are some excerpts from a letter received from his dad:

One evening when I came home I was greeted by a tall, slender, blonde teen-aged girl whom I had never met.  David had struck up a conversation with her in the grocery store and invited her to stay in our home!  Her name was Debbie.  Her parents had beaten her and kicked her out of their home.  She was battered, physically and emotionally.  She lived with us for five weeks, recovered, and now lives with an aunt.  She is now a Christian.  He took time for the moment, and it made a difference.

I scolded David several times for not being home on time in the late afternoons.  He said nothing in his defense for this repeated behavior.  Only much later did I find out where he had been and what he was doing.  One of his friends had an eye disease and was going blind.  He was reading books to her.  He took time for the moment.

One Friday afternoon about 3:45 p.m. I called my wife from work to tell her I loved her and see how her day was going.  She told me that David had stopped by after work for a visit.  He and I talked for a few minutes, arranging a shopping trip to buy his mother’s Christmas present.  We agreed to meet at 6:00 p.m.  I told him I loved him and heard the reply ‘I love you too, dad.  Good-bye.’  David died in an accident fourteen minutes later.

How precious that brief moment on the telephone has become.  How many fathers never hear those words?  How many of us are too busy to take time for the moment?  We are not really in a position to judge if we have time because we do not know what a difference that moment can make in someone’s life.  That moment has caused me to care more, look deeper, search harder, pray longer, and seek understanding.

May we learn to take time for the moment every day.  May God’s blessings be yours in abundance this week as we strive to please Him!

                                                                                                                                                             We love you,                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brad and Virginia

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