Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Romans 12:9-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/31/2015)...

Be always at War with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you, a better person. 
- By Benjamin Franklin

Romans 12:9-18 (NLT) Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/29/2015)...

Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! 
- Edward Payson Powell

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ephesians 4:21-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/28/2015)...

Don’t think of the opportunities that you have missed in the last year. The New Year is an unwritten book, so choose your actions and words wisely and fill it up with pages that are worth reading by the end of the year.
- Eazi Abhi

Ephesians 4:21-32 (NLT) 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. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Acts 20:32-35 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/23/2015)...

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
– Eric Sevareid, CBS News journalist

Acts 20:32-35 (NLT) And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself. “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ””

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/21/2015)...

The world would be better off if people tried to become better. And people would become better if they stopped trying to become better off. For when everybody tries to become better off, nobody becomes better off. But when everybody tries to become better, everybody is better off.
- Paul Maurin

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) 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.

Friday, December 18, 2015

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

FROM TODAY’S READING (12/18/2015)...
 
The Love Chapter (1 Corinthians 13) Christmas Version...
 
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
 
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
 
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
 
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
 
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
 
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
 
Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!
 
- Unknown Author
 
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. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Luke 2:36-37 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/17/2015)...

When Are You Too Old?

When asked how it was that she has lived so long, one 91-year-old woman replied, "I think God is testing the patience of my relatives."

When is "too old"? At what age do we give up? At 100, Grandma Moses was still painting, and Titian painted "Battle of Lepants" when he was 98.

At 93, George Bernard Shaw wrote "Farfetched Fables."

At 91, Eamon de Valera served as president of Ireland.

At 90, Pablo Picasso still drew and engraved.

At 89, Arthur Rubinstein gave one of his greatest recitals in New York's Carnegie Hall, and Pablo Casals, at 88, still performed cello concerts.

At 82, Winston Churchill wrote the four-volume work, "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples," Leo Tolstoy completed "I Cannot Be Silent," and Goethe, at the same age, finished "Faust."

At 81, Benjamin Franklin engineered the diplomacy, which led to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

When are you "too old"? Only on the day when you truly have nothing left to give. And the good news is this: that day never has to arrive!

by Steve Goodier

Titus 2:2 (NLT) Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.

Luke 2:36-37 (NLT) Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

1 Peter 3:15-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/15/2015)...

The Six C's of Character...

1. Be a person of conscience. Listen to the inner voice that helps you know right from wrong and urges you to do what is good and noble.
 
2. Be courageous. Confront the challenges and choices of your life forthrightly. Make the tough decisions that need to be made and, above all, maintain your integrity by doing what you know to be right even when it costs more than you want to pay.
 
3. Be considerate. Be more deliberative, thoughtful, and attentive as to how your words and actions will affect others, and reflect on your character. Think ahead so you can avoid undesirable and undesired consequences.
 
4. Be compassionate. Demonstrate a genuine concern for the well-being of others. Be kinder and more charitable. Strive to understand more and judge less.
 
5. Be confident in your capacity to overcome whatever difficulties come your way with integrity and dignity. Don't underestimate your resiliency. Resolve to persist until you prevail.
 
6. Be in control of your emotions, appetites, and urges that tempt you to compromise your principles or sacrifice long-term goals for short-term indulgences.

By Michael Josephson

1 Peter 3:15-18 (NIV) But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/14/2015)...

A Winner's Blueprint For Achievement...
Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are pouting.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.
by William Arthur Ward

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Philippians 4:13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/11/2015)...

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision where I live in the heights with Thee and in the depths with me. Hemmed in by the mountains of sin, I yet see Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox...
that the way down is the way up
that to be lowly is to be high
that the broken heart is the healed heart
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul
that to have nothing is to possess all
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown 
that to give is to receive
that the valley is the place of clearest vision.

I love the Lord and thank Him for all that he has done and is doing and shall do in my life. He is my source of my existence. He is my LIFE. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
- Unknown


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Merry Christmas...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/10/2015)...

Merry Christmas.

The Christ (God) of Christmas...

When I fall, He lifts me up!

When I fail, He forgives!

When I am weak, He is strong!

When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!

When I stumble, He steadies me!

When I am hurt, He heals me!

When I am broken, He mends me!

When I am blind, He leads me!

When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me!

When I face persecution, He shields me!

When I face problems, He comforts me!

When I face loss, He provides for me!

When I face death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and every way.

He is God, He is faithful.

I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world!
So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, know and understand this . . .
God said it and that settles it. God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.
Everyday is a blessing because God is!
- Author Unknown 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Merry Christmas...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/8/2015)...

MERRY CHRISTMAS...The Christ of Christmas is gift-wrapped in every book of the Bible...
In Genesis, Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman.
In Exodus, He is the passover lamb.
In Leviticus, He is our high priest.
In Numbers, He is the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
In Deuteronomy, He is the prophet like unto Moses.
In Joshua, He is the captain of our salvation.
In Judges, He is our judge and lawgiver.
In Ruth, He is our kinsman redeemer.
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is our trusted prophet.
In Kings and Chronicles, He is our reigning king.
In Ezra, He is the rebuilder of the broken down walls of human life.
In Esther, He is our Mordecai.
In Job, He is our ever-living redeemer.
In Psalms, He is our shepherd.
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is our wisdom.
In the Song of Solomon, He is the loving bridegroom.
In Isaiah, He is the prince of peace.
In Jeremiah, He is the righteous branch.
In Lamentations, He is our weeping prophet.
In Ezekiel, He is the wonderful four-faced man.
In Daniel, He is the forth man in life’s “fiery furnace.”
In Hosea, He is the faithful husband, forever married to the backslider.
In Joel, He is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost and fire.
In Amos, He is our burden-bearer.
In Obadiah, He is the mighty to save.
In Jonah, He is our great foreign missionary.
In Micah, He is the messenger of beautiful feet.
In Nahum, He is the avenger of God’s elect.
In Habakkuk, he is God’s evangelist, crying, “revive thy work in the midst of the years.”
In Zephaniah, He is our Saviour.
In Haggai, He is the restorer of God’s lost heritage.
In Zechariah, He is the fountain opened up in the house of David for sin and uncleanness.
In Malachi, He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.
In Matthew, He is King of the Jews.
In Mark, He is the Servant.
In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
In John, He is the Son of God.
In Acts, He is the Savior of the world.
In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
In 1st Corinthians, He is the Rock that followed Israel.
In 2nd Corinthians, He is the Triumphant One, giving victory.
In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
In Ephesians, He is Head of the Church.
In Philippians, He is your joy.
In Colossians, He is your completeness.
In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, He is your hope.
In 1st Timothy, He is your faith.
In 2nd Timothy, He is your stability.
In Philemon, He is your Benefactor.
In Titus, He is truth.
In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
In James, he is the Power behind your faith.
In 1st Peter, He is your example.
In 2nd Peter, He is your purity.
In 1st John, He is your life.
In 2nd John, He is your pattern.
In 3rd John, He is your motivation.
In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
In Revelation, He is your coming King.
- Origin Unknown

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/7/2015)...

A little humor to start the week (emphasis on "little")...

Top 10 signs you are in a he wrong church:

10. The church bus has gun racks.
9. The church staff consists of senior pastor, associate pastor and sociopastor.
8. The Bible they use is the Dr. Seuss version.
7. There is an ATM in the lobby.
6. The praise choir wears leather skinny jeans.
5. The worship services are B.Y.O.S. (bring your own snake).
4. Communion is a two-drink minimum.
3. The pastor regularly attends meetings in Las Vegas.
2. The ushers ask, "Smoking or non-smoking?"
1. The Women's Quartet are all married to the pastor.

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Proverbs 15:13 (NLT) A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NLT) A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Philippians 2:1-4, 14-16 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/4/2015)...

The mistakes to avoid...
Remorse over yesterday's failures.
Anxiety over today's problems.
Worry over tomorrow's uncertainty.
Waste of the moment's opportunity.
Procrastination with one's present duty.
Resentment of another's success.
Criticism of a neighbor's imperfection.
Impatience with youth's immaturity.
Skepticism of our nation's future.
Unbelief in God's providence.
  by William Arthur Ward

Philippians 2:1-4, 14-16 (NLT) Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too...
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/3/2015)...

Truths For Living...

The more generous we are, the more joyous we become.
The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become.
The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we become.
The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become.
The more outgoing we are, the more helpful we become.
The more curious we are, the more creative we become.
The more patient we are, the more understanding we become.
The more persistent we are, the more successful we become.
- by William Arthur Ward

 Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out fbor all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/2/2015)...

SEVEN CARDINAL RULES OF LIFE...
1. Make Peace with Your Past so it does not spoil your present...Your past does not define your future – you actions and beliefs do.
2. What others think of you is none of your business...It is how much you value yourself and how important you think you are.
3. Time heals almost everything give time, time...Pain will be less hurting. Scars make us who we are, they explain our life and who we are, they challenge us and force us to be strong.
4. No one is the reason for your own happiness, except you yourself...Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside.
5. Don’t compare your life with others’...you have no idea what their journey is about. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we would grab ours back as fast as we could.
6. Stop thinking too much...it’s all right not to know all the answers. Sometimes there is no answer, not going to be any answer, never has been an answer. That’s the answer! Just accept it, move on. Next!
7. Smile...you don’t own all the problems in the world. A smile can brighten the darkest day and make life more beautiful. It is a potential curve to turn a life around and set everything straight.
- by Stephen Covey

Proverbs 3:13-18 (NLT) Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.