Monday, December 30, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/31/2013)...

A New Year's Prayer...
May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God's love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead. 
- Anonymous 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

1 Peter 5:6-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/30/2013)...

"Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday."
- Fortune cookie...from Sunday lunch

1 Peter 5:6-11 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

James 3:1-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/27/2013)

In 1752, a group of Methodist men, which included John Wesley, signed a covenant that provides an excellent model for us in the matter of gossip. The six articles of their solemn agreement read:

1. We will not listen or willingly inquire after ill concerning one another;
2. That, if we do hear of any ill of each other, we will not be forward to believe it;
3. That as soon as possible we will communicate what we hear by speaking or writing to the person concerned;
4. That until we have done this, we will not write or speak a syllable of it to any other person;
5. That neither will we mention it, after we have done this, to any other person:
6. That we will not make any other exception to any of these rules unless we think ourselves absolutely obliged in conference.
- Tann, Paul Lee. Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1979, pg. 526

James 3:1-12 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. 
We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. 
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Philippians 2:5-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/25/2013)...

Merry Christmas

What can I give him, poor as I am? 
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; 
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; 
yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
- Christina G. Rossetti
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Rossetti

Philippians 2:5-11 (NLT) You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/24/2013)

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
- G. K. Chesterton

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/23/2013)...

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.
- Dave Barry (Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide")

Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT) Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Romans 10:14-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/20/2013)...

The following is an excerpt taken from a blog entry Ashley Burkhardsmeier wrote just prior to her departure for South Sudan earlier this month. This young lady is a missionary with Africa Inland Missions (AIM) and will serve two years in South Sudan. I do not know Ashley personally, but her world mission vision and commitment as expressed in these closing blog remarks serve as motivation for personal daily perspective. How very encouraging it is to see young people passionate to do their part in fulfilling the Great Commission.

This is it.
Heart called.
Confirmation found.
Team formed.
Prayers lifted.
Money raised.
Preparation completed.
Feet ready.
Let's Go.
~ Missionary Ashley Burkhardsmeier
(www.beautifulthefeet.blogspot.com/)

Romans 10:14-15 (NLT) But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

John 3:16-17 (NKJV); Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/19/2013)...

"As I drove to work today, I was pondering different things about Christmas....santa, Jesus, even the popular elf on the shelf. And then it hit me....we are trying to teach our kids two totally different messages....on one hand, we want our children to be "good" so that they can receive presents.....however God gave us a gift that we could never be "good" enough to receive. We are teaching our kids that they have to earn their gifts, but yet God showed us unconditional love by giving us Christ. Just something to think about. I think I am going to re-think how I approach Christmas with my children....if you are "good" or "bad" you are going to be given my presents and presence because I love you, not because of anything you have done. Ok, back to work and off of my philosophical rant.....Merry Christmas!!"
- Jessica Barger Anderson (www.facebook.com)

John 3:16-17 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Luke 2:1-7 (NKJV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/18/2013)...

And is it true? And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Became a Child on earth for me?
- Sir John Betjeman (1954).

Luke 2:1-7 (NKJV) And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Luke 2:15-20 (NKJV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/17/2013)...

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'
- Dave Barry in "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"

 Luke 2:15-20 (NKJV) So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/16/2013)...

“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
― Maya Angelou

Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/13/2013)...

“You weren't an accident. You weren't mass produced. You aren't an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.” 
― Max Lucado, The Christmas Candle

Psalm 139:13-18 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/12/2013)...

Three small boys were in a Christmas play at school.
They represented the three wise men and they were to give their gifts to baby Jesus. The first boy stepped forward, held out the gift in his hands and said, “Gold.” The second boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Myrrh.” The third boy stepped forward, held out his gift and said, “Frank sent this.”
- David Owens

Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT) 1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” 3. King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: 6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8 Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” 9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Proverbs 31:25-31 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/11/2013)...

   According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
   Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen - had to be a girl.
   We should have known. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.


Proverbs 31:25-31 (NLT) She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. 27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. 28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. 31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” 
― Nelson Mandela

Romans 5:1-5 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Romans 14:1-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/9/2013)...

MERRY CHRISTMAS...

There is no spiritual significance to having or not having a Christmas tree. Whatever choice we make, the motive behind a believer’s decision about this, as in all matters of conscience, must be to please the Lord. Romans 14:5-6a sets out the principle in a passage about liberty: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord.” The Lord is grieved when Christians look down upon one another for either celebrating or not celebrating Christmas. This is spiritual pride. When we feel that somehow we have achieved a higher plain of spirituality by doing or not doing something about which the Bible is silent, we misuse our freedom in Christ, create divisions within His body, and thereby dishonor the Lord. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Lee Strobel

Romans 14:1-9 (NLT) Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. 

http://www.gotquestions.org/Christmas-tree.html#ixzz2mmyGWKmr


Thursday, December 5, 2013

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/6/2013)...

Be encouraged, child of God. He loves you even in the midst of your pain. He loves you even when you don't love Him. He loves you when you feel utterly alone. He loves you with an everlasting love. Your suffering can take many things away form you, your health, your happiness, your prosperity, your popularity, your friends, your career, even your family. But there's one thing suffering can't take away: it can't take away the love of God.
- Ray Pritchard

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1 John 2:3-6 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/5/2013)...

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” 
― John Wesley

1 John 2:3-6 (NLT) And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ephesians 6:11-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/4/2013)...

"The Bible would not have told us to take up the whole armor of God in order to withstand evil if evil could have been withstood without doing that." 
Stormiest Omartin (The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience)

Ephesians 6:11-18 (NLT) Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 



Monday, December 2, 2013

Philemon 1:5-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/3/2013)...

"I felt my legs were praying." (A reflection of his marching together with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., during the 1960s)
- Abraham Joshua Heschel

Philemon 1:5-7 (NLT) I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Isaiah 58:13-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/2/2013)...

"It is a day [Sabbath] on which we are called upon to show what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the creation of the world to the world of creation."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel (Jewish theologian)

Isaiah 58:13-14 (NLT) “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord ’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 

Psalm 122:1 (NLT) "I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” 

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/25/2013)...

Greatest man in history, named Jesus. Had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime.. Yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.


Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT) Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/22/2013)...

“I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. It would make him more appreciative of sight and the joys of sound.”
- Helen Keller

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/21/2013)...

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read." 
~ Mark Twain

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/20/2013)...

"Death stung himself to death when he stung Christ." 
~ William Romaine 

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NLT) But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 
   Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” 
   For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
   So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ezekiel 16:46-52 (NLT).,,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/19/2013)...

QUOTE (NLT) The city of Sodom, a symbol of total corruption, was completely destroyed by God for its wickedness (Genesis 19:24, 25). Samaria, the capital of what had been the northern kingdom (Israel), was despised and rejected by the Jews in Judah. To be called a sister of Samaria and Sodom was bad enough, but to be called more wicked than they were meant that Judah's sins were an unspeakable abomination and that its doom was inevitable. The reason it was considered worse was not necessarily that Judah's sins were worse but that Judah knew better. In that light, we who live in an age when God's message is made clear to us through the Bible are worse than Judah if we continue in sin (see Matthew 11:20-24).

It is easy to judge and condemn Sodom, especially for its terrible sexual sins. Ezekiel reminded Judah, however, that Sodom was destroyed because of its pride, laziness, gluttony, and unconcern for the poor and needy. It is easy to be selective in what we consider gross sin. If we do not commit such horrible sins as adultery, homosexuality, stealing, and murder, we may think we are living good enough lives. But what about sins like pride, laziness, gluttony, and indifference to the needy? These sins may not be as shocking to you as the others, but they are also forbidden by God.

TEXT - Ezekiel 16:46-52 (NLT) Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south. But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you. Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous. 

TEXT - 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT) You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/18/2013)...

"...Instead, we’d rather believe that faith is a stick and God is a piƱata, and if we swing hard enough, health and wealth will come pouring down upon us. We don’t want to hear that we have to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” and so we keep buying books and listening to teachers who promise to give us a map showing us how to walk around the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t want to embrace suffering. We want to avoid it."
~ Mark Driscoll

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NLT) But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:10-17 NLT)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

James 1:19-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING 11/15/2013)...

Karl Marx said that "Religion is the opiate (drug) of the people." What he meant was that religion puts folk in a spiritual and social state of drowsiness, and allows others to have control over them. However, it is not religion that drugs people, but sin. True religion empowers one to be alert to the destructiveness of sin and righteousness of God. 

James 1:19-27 (NLT) 19  Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21  So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. 
22  But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 
26  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/14/2013)...

"Don't put a period where God has put a comma. He is not done with you. No matter your age, you are a work in progress—and He is still working."

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT) We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Proverbs 26:17-23 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/13/2013)...

"Don't make trouble for yourself."
~ David Frauenshuh

Proverbs 26:17-23 (NLT) Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears. Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/12/2013)...

"I know where I've come from. I know why I'm here. I know where I'm going. Do you?" 
- Billy Graham in "The Cross"

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT) As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

James 1:2-4, 12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/11/2013)...

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill

James 1:2-4, 12 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/8/2013)...

"One day I was sitting on the banks of a river. I took from the water a round stone and I broke it. Inside it was perfectly dry. That stone had been lying in the water for a long time but the water had not penetrated it. Then I thought that the same thing happened to [people] in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity but Christianity has not penetrated, does not live within them."
- Sandhu Singh (Indian Christ-follower)

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT) So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/7/2013)...

"If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Jim Rohn

NOTE...the following verses record a promise God made to Israel during their seventy year captivity. Such encouraging words are certainly applicable to Christ-followers today...

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

James 3:13-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/6/2013)...

"Envy is one of the great enemies of active spirituality.  It keeps us from loving our neighbours, from functioning with others in community, and from affirming people's unique worth.  It also steals contentment from the heart.  Is there anything or anyone you are envious of?"
- Chuck Swindoll

James 3:13-18 (NLT) If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Romans 13:1-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/5/2013)...

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

Romans 13:1-7 (NLT) Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-31 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/4/2013)...

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her."
- Max Lucado

Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-31 (NLT) Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. 
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. 
Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” 
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 
Reward her for all she has done. 
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Proverbs 2:1-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/1/2013)...

"I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking God to do His work though me."
- Hudson Taylor

Proverbs 2:1-9 (NLT) My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Philippians 3:10-14

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/31/2013)...

"This is the only time in history when I get to fight for God. This is the only part of my eternal story when I am actually in the battle. Once I die, I'll be in celebration mode in a glorified body in a whole different set of circumstances. But this is my limited window of opportunity, and I'm going to fight the good fight for all I'm worth."
Joni Eareckson Tada

Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Proverbs 9:7-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/30/2013)...

"A very wise man once told me that tucked deep inside every critic's attack is usually at least a tiny kernel of truth. And rather than lashing back, he advised, I should spend my energy figuring out what it is."
Bill Hybels
Axiom (pg. 159)

Proverbs 9:7-9 (NLT) Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

1 Timothy 6:7-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/29/2013)...

STUFF...Why do we have and/or need so much stuff?!...ponders Tammy Stump, friend of mine. She just got back to the US from a relatively inexpensive world tour...primarily of Third World countries...or at least she traveled like a Third World-er. Having experienced a few Third World short-term mission excursions myself, I could appreciate her having to reacclimate to American culture. 

My dad, born in 1916, grew up part of a farming family in Linneus, Maine. Several times I recall asking him about life on the farm. One of my inquiries involved how the Rockwell farm family was affected by the 1930's Great Depression. He observed that they were hardly aware there was a depression. The vast majority of what was needed to live on was provided by their farm. Very little cash for "stuff" was needed. 

1 Timothy 6:7-10 (NLT) After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Philippians 1:27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/28/2013)...

"Your walk with God does not depend on people, places, things or events."
Dr. Henry Brandt

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/25/2013)...

12 Reasons Why a Pastor Quit Attending Sports Events

1. The coach never came to visit me.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/24/2013)..,

I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.
- Mother Teresa

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (NLT) Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 
We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/23/2013)...

An egg broken from an outside force...ends a life.
An egg broken from within...begins a life.
Great things always begin from within.

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Colossians 3:23 (NLT) Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Matthew 25:34-40 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/22/2013)...

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." 
~ Mother Teresa

Matthew 25:34-40 (NLT) “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 
"Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Psalm 118:24 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/21/2013)...

Have you ever had a day that started wrong and continued a downward spiral until evening? Maybe you haven’t started with your focus in the right place. Many times you’re thinking about schedules and trying to work through the day before it starts. Your day can take off much stronger and end with peace in your heart when you begin with God’s word.
You wake up and don’t really want to start your day. It happens to the best of us—yet this is your day in the Lord, you might not get another one…don’t miss it!
- Crystal McDowell

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Luke 12:6-7 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/18/2013)...

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." 
~ Mother Teresa

Luke 12:6-7 (NLT) What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mark 6:30-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/17/2013)...

If your phone does not Sabbath, your soul cannot Sabbath.
- Sasha Lane

Mark 6:30-32 (NLT) 30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat. 32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/16/2013)...

I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light." 
~ Mary Gardiner Brainard

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/15/2013)...

Hell is truth seen too late.

Luke 16:19-31 (NLT) Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

"Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. 
The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. 

"The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ 

"But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’ 

“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’ 

“But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’ 

"The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ 

“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Matthew 25:31-36 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/14/2013)...

"...human beings, when given the most basic kinds of love and attention, find significant transformation and discover their humanity, dignity, and at least momentary happiness."
Mother Teresa, No Greater Love
Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos

Matthew 25:31-36 (NLT) But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/11/2013)...

"There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth." 
- Leo Tolstoy

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/10/2013)...

"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." Mother Teresa

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/9/2013)...

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." 
- Aristotle

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

1 Peter. 5:6-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/8/2013)...

“O Lord, give me a backbone as big as a sawlog and ribs like sleepers under the church floor; put iron shoes on me and galvanized breeches and hang a wagon load of determination in the gable-end of my soul, and help me to sign the contract to fight the devil as long as I have a vision and bite him as long as I have a tooth, and then gum him till I die. Amen.”
Reuben (Uncle Bud) Robinson (1860-1942)

1 Peter 5:6-9 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/7/2013)...

God's power to restore is stronger than Satan's power to destroy.
Julie Ackerman Link

Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT) With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Proverbs 8:12-16 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/30/2013)...

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to emplore His protection and favor."
George Washington

Proverbs 8:12-16 (NLT) “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments. “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Luke 6:46-49 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/27/2013)...

Love to Christ is proved by doing
the things which He commands,
and not merely saying, "Lord, Lord."
C. H. Mackintosh (1820-1896)

Luke 6:46-49 (NLT) “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/26/2013)...

When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first wonder will be to see many there whom I did not expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people who I did expect to see; and the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.
John Newton (1725-1807)

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NLT) Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY's READING (9/25/2013)...

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing.
But, O, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story — saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon ‘twill be,
But this I know — my All in All
Has now in heaven a place for me,
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story — saved by grace.

By Fanny Crosby (blind)

1 John 3:1-3 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ephesians 3:14-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/24/2013)...

“Sometimes when I'm faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there's a cook.”
Ronald Reagan

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NLT) When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

James 1:2-4 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/23/2013)...

Oh, what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot nor I won't.
by Fanny Crosby

James 1:2-4 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Psalm 33:4-22 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/19/2013)...

"If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
Ronald Reagan

Psalm 33:4-22 (NLT) For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 
5. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. 
6. The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 
7. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 
8. Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 
9. For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command. 
10. The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. 
11. But the Lord ’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. 
12. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. 
13. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 
14. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 
15. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 
16. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 
17. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you. 
18. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 
19. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. 
20. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 
21. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 
22. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Philippians 4:10-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/18/2013)...

"We are never defeated unless we give up on God."
Ronald Reagan

Philippians 4:10-14 (NLT) How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Exodus 20:3-17 (NLT)

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/17/2013)...

"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U. S. Congress."
Ronald Reagan

Exodus 20:3-7, 9-17 (NLT)
1. You must not have any other god but me. 
2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 
3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 
4. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. 
5. Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 
6. You must not murder. 
7. You must not commit adultery. 
8. You must not steal. 
9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 
10. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Matthew 14:23 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (9/13/2013)...

Jesus and prayer...

Matthew 14:23 (NLT) Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 

“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” - Samuel Chadwick