Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe(AS) and shaved his head.(AT) Then he fell to the ground in worship(AU) 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c](AV)
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;(AW)
may the name of the Lord be praised.”(AX)
I wish I could be like Job. I’ve gone through a lot in my years, but nothing like him. He had just had various messengers come to him and tell him that all of his livestock was dead, all of his workers, and all 10 of his children had died at once. All within an hour. So what does he do? Job 1:20 tells us that he fell to the ground and worshipped God. That is truly an amazing act of faithfulness!
How many times have we gone through just a fraction of what Job did, and yet all we did was complain or feel sorry for ourselves? I know I’ve done both. We need to become more like Jobe and find our ability to worship and love God in ANY circumstances.
So how do we become like Job? We take each set of circumstances that bring us a rough patch in life, and praise God that it’s not worse. Every time we do this, it becomes easier to do because we grow stronger. We become worship athletes if you will, and our ability to run the race that we call life much stronger in our faith, and much happier.
What do you give God?
Genesis 4:1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions  from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Would you get jealous of someone else if they brought a better gift to God than yours? If you would, there’s a way to prevent that, bring the best you have to God.
God doesn’t necessarily judge us on what we bring in terms of money, He just wants the best of what we’re able to give. An example of this is found in Mark 12:43,44
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
It’s not how much we give in Dollars, it’s how much we give from our hearts. So what have you given your best of today? Your time? Your devotion? Your attention? All of these things are worth more than gold to God, and you can afford to give them.
Beginning today, wake up in the morning, pray that God shows you what He wants from you, and give it your best. Make it an offering of sacrifice, but make sure it’s the best of what you have. Doing this will bring more blessings than you have ever seen.
Today’s look at the books that most people know very little about is….
2 Chronicles: Be Wise and Learn from History
This is a book for history buffs. Along with 1 Chronicles, this book is a compilation of official and unofficial documents, the record of the history of God’s people. The history in 2 Chronicles extends from the beginning of King Solomon’s rule to the exile of Judah to Babylon. The author, likely Ezra, focused on telling the story of King David’s descendants and the centrality of the Holy City, Jerusalem, to their lives.
Solomon established his authority, unified Israel, and set about to put down early rebellions against his throne. He also built a glorious temple in Jerusalem. Israel’s history during these years included kings who “did right in the sight of the Lord,” others who “did evil,” and some who strayed and then repented. Solomon, on the other hand, started off following God but fell into sin.
While there are some who like to erase history, those who are wise will learn from it. Remember God’s blessings. Remember the consequences of sin. Use it all to grow in faith and obedience.

1.  Give something away- no strings attached.
2.  Do a kindness- and forget it.
3.  Spend a few minutes with the aged- their experience is priceless guidance.
4.  Look intently into the face of a baby- and marvel.
5.  Laugh often- it’s life’s lubricant.
6.  Give thanks- a thousand times a day is not enough.
7.  Pray- or you will lose the way.
8.  Plan as though you’ll live forever- because you will.
10.  Live as though you’ll die tomorrow- because you will, on some tomorrow.

“We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again …”—Luke 15:32

This parable is often wrongly named. In the second part of the story the prodigal son shrinks into the background, and we meet his older brother. The father actually has more trouble with this son than with the younger one. In the end we are not sure if the older brother will even join the feast. But how would we behave in a similar situation?

Both the prodigal and the older brother are self-centered. The younger son’s main concern is to rid himself of the restrictions of home and family life and be freed to do as he pleases in the attractive outside world. The older son grumbles about the sacrifices he has made and the luxuries he has missed while working and being responsible. He cannot acknowledge his father’s joy; it makes no sense to him. In the end, the older brother doesn’t want anything to do with fellowship with his father just as the younger son did earlier.

We can understand the older brother’s position; he was just following the normal cultural patterns, and he wanted to see evidence of a changed life before he would celebrate his brother’s return.

Longtime Christians often place similar demands on others to shape up and get it together when really it is time to celebrate. The Father has welcomed home the forgiven sinner, and we must be ready to join the party.

Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee...

Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, Ernst Georg Bartsch, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They saw Jesusapproaching the boat, walking on the water. John 6:19


Good teachers come up with amazing ways to get students’ attention. Kindergarten teachers quiet their voices to get children to settle down. Coaches have a knack for using the right words and tactics to motivate their players to win.


When Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, that got his disciples to pay attention to who he was and what he was about! At the time, though, they might not have realized he was the best teacher they could ever have.


They had probably figured it would be an uneventful evening. The disciples were on their way to the other side of the lake while Jesus stayed back on shore to spend some time alone (John 6:15). The wind and waves, however, started getting rough, and the disciples were probably growing concerned for their safety. Then somewhere in the middle of the lake, Jesus came right out to them, walking on the water!


Now they were scared! How do you think you would have reacted to that?


Why did Jesus do that? He wanted his disciples—and us—to pay attention to him as their chief focus even when the storms of life seem to take over. His voice breaks through the rumble of water and wind and says, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”


Jesus wants your undivided attention today. Are you keeping your eyes on him?


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.

I have been working hard over the last couple of months to get our pool in tip top condition. A few months ago, the filtration pretty much stopped, and the pool became stagnant, and in the hot desert sun, soon turned green and thick as syrup with algae. In short, it became an eye sore and a gathering place for mosquitoes. Something had to be done.

With not much enthusiasm, I rented a sump pump and spent the entire weekend draining, scrubbing, cleaning filters, and refilling the pool. If you’ve never done this, I cannot tell you how hard of work this is, especially in the hot sun. After the water had filled the freshly scrubbed pool, I proudly turned on the pump with a big smile and a sense of pride. NOT, as I looked at the pool skimmer, I was so disappointed. For some reason the pump just wasn’t doing it’s job and I didn’t have the money for a repairman. I had to get it working, or I would be back in the same boat again.

My brilliant wife came up with an idea after looking the problem up online. It may be the pump impeller clogged. So I took the pump up, and sure as anything the impeller blades were full of debris. I cleaned them out and put the pump back on, and lo and behold, the skimmer started filtering the pool better than I had ever seen. As I look at my pool, and how clean and inviting it is for me to jump into, I wonder if Jesus wants to jump into my heart.

OK, that was a weird question, but here’s why I wonder that. It’s been 2 months since I cleaned that pool and it is clearer than any pool I’ve ever seen. But, as I looked at it with pride, I noticed it was so clear that I could see things at the bottom that I would never notice if I hadn’t cleaned it so well. Now the things I’m referring to were small, like a few small leaves, some dirt, and a couple of twigs blown in by the strong desert winds we get. However, even though they were small, they bothered me, and I didn’t want to get in until I had vacuumed the pool and it was COMPLETELY clean again. this is the perfect example of how God must look at our hearts.

Our hearts like the pool, can be drained of sin, scrubbed with the brush of righteousness, filled back up with the Holy Spirit, the Bible (Our filtration) can be up and running again, but unless we maintain the bottom of the pool as well as the water, is it clean enough for the Lord? If we want a life filled with God, then we will make sure our hearts are clean and pure, a place where He would want to dwell. Now our hearts, like my pool will start to get dirty again with time, but we need to stay on top of our sin, constantly keeping an eye out for it gathering at the bottom of our hearts, often out of sight, like the bottom of  a pool. We want our hearts to be like that pool now, clean from top to bottom. Making the Lord WANT to jump in and make Him proud.

OK, so I know this is a different analogy, but our lives can and should be a reflection of our relationship with the Lord. Is yours?


What I’m going to share with you today is a version of a popular email forward. The author is unknown. But because the advice is so simple and foundational, it’s probably worth reviewing again.

What strikes you will be dependent upon what’s going on in your life.  I hope what sticks with you will be the thing you need to work on.

Simple Steps to a Good Life


Every day, find time to be alone.

    • Pray.
    • Go to bed on time.
    • Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
    • Say NO to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.
    • Delegate tasks to capable others.
    • Simplify and unclutter your life.
    • Less is more.
    • Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
    • Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
    • Take one day at a time.
    • Separate worries from concerns.If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do, and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
    • Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
    • Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet,an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
    • K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut).This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
    • Do something for the Kid in You every day.
      Carry a spiritually enlightening book with you to read while waiting in line.
    • Eat right.
    • Get your mail, papers and files organized.


    Listen to a CD or MP3 (or the !) while driving that can help improveyour quality of life…

  • Write down thoughts and inspirations.
  • Having problems? Talk to God on the spot.Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
  • Make friends with Godly people.
    Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
  • Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hopeis often a good ‘Thank you GOD.’
  • Laugh.

A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”

“Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”

“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”

“Three points?” he says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”

“Terrific!” says St. Peter, “that’s certainly worth a point.”

“One point? Golly. How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”

“Fantasic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.

“TWO POINTS!!” the man cries, “At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!”

“Come on in!”