Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/31/2016)...

"I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart and not with his lips only, follow me!”
- Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) ...an Italian general, politician and nationalist who played a large role in the history of Italy. 

Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”





Friday, May 27, 2016

Psalm 34:18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/27/2016)...

MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE...

"The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we -- in a less final, less heroic way -- be willing to give of ourselves."
- President Ronald Reagan (May 31, 1982)

Psalms 34:18 (NLT) The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

John 15:13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/26/2016)...

MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE...

What is so special about a poppy on Remembrance Day? Why not use a pansy? Scarlet poppies grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century, transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.

In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as the First World War raged through Europe’s heart. 

The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in the First World War and later conflicts. Here’s few lines from the poem:

‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.’

John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Psalm 82:3-4 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/25/2016)...

MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE...

"We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.” 

“Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.” 

“The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers [at] the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing.”

“Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.” 

“Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.” 

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

- President Ronald Reagan (speech at 40th anniversary of D-Day)

Psalms 82:3-4 (NLT) Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/24/2016)...

When I am conscious of the fear of failure holding me back, I go through a kind of personal checklist:  
1. Does this fear come basically from pride, a fear that I will not live up to my own expectations or to those of others?  
2. Do I remember that God has called me first to faithfulness, then to efficiency?  
3. Do I trust that the Holy Spirit is working before me, with me, and through me?  
4. Do I remember that I am called to be neither more nor less successful than Jesus Christ was?  
5. Do I remember that God does his greatest work when I seem to be weakest? Isn’t that, after all, the mystery of the cross?  
- Leighton Ford (Good News is for Sharing, p. 65.)

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Image: Creative Commons 

Friday, May 20, 2016

I John 4:7-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/20/2016)...

"Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved."
- Kate Samperi (Celebrating Mothers: A Book of Appreciation)

1 John 4:7-12 (NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Psalm 31:24 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/19/2016)...

Many years ago a young Midwestern lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends thought it best to keep all knives and razors out of his reach. He questioned his life's calling and the prudence of even attempting to follow it through. During this time he wrote, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not." But somehow, from somewhere, Abraham Lincoln received the encouragement he needed, and the achievements of his life thoroughly vindicated his bout with discouragement. 
- Chuck Swindoll (Today In The Word, Dec. 1989, pg. 20)

Psalms 31:24 (NLT) So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/18/2016)...

How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting an overturned salt container is conspicuously placed before Judas. In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt." Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary." Thousands of Napoleon?s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked salt. The human body contains about 4oz. of salt. Without enough of it, muscles won't contract, blood won't circulate, food won't digest and the heart won't beat a beat. Without a doubt, salt is the essence of life. And Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth."
- Unknown

Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT) You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 
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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/17/2016)...

"I thought when I became a Christian I had nothing to do but just to lay my oars in the bottom of the boat and float along. But I soon found that I would have to go against the current."
- D. L. Moody (1837-1899)

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.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2 Timothy 2:15-16 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/16/2016)...

"The Bible is the greatest of all books; to study it is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals."
- Dr. Charles Ryrie (3/2/1925 - 2/16/2016)

2 Timothy 2:15-16 (NLT) Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/12/2016)...

“Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.”
- Jerry Bridges 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT) "...So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- Apostle Paul

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/11/2016)...

One year, my best friend and I devised what we thought was a brilliant and creative plan for mischief. We decided to break into the basement of the local five-and-dime store. We did not plan to rob the place (Sunday School boys would never do that sort of the thing); instead, we planned to do something that, as far as the owner of the store was concerned, would have been far worse. Our plan was to get into that five-and-dime store and change the price tags on things.

We imagined what it would be like the next morning when people came into the store and discovered that radios were selling for a quarter and bobby pins were priced at five dollars each. With diabolical glee, we wondered what it would be like in that store when nobody could figure out what the prices of things really should be.

Sometimes I think that Satan has played the same kind of trick on all of us. Sometimes I think that he has broken into our lives and changed the price tags on things. Too often, under the influences of his malicious ploy, we treat what deserves to be treated with loving care as though it were of little worth. On the other hand, we find ourselves tempted to make great sacrifices for that which, in the long run of life, has no lasting value and delivers very little gratification. Sometimes I think that one of the worst consequences of being fallen creatures is our failure to understand what really is important in life.
- Tony Campolo ("Who Switched The Price Tags")

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT) Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

THAT'S MY KING

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/10/2016)...

THAT'S MY KING by Dr. S. M. Lockridge (1953-1993)

"He’s enduringly strong, He’s entirely sincere, He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. He’s God’s Son. He’s a sinner’s savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s preeminent. He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest idea in philosophy. He’s the fundamental truth in theology. He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick, He cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors, He delivers captives, He defends the feeble, He blesses the young, He serves the unfortunate, He regards the aged, He rewards the diligent, He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?

Well, my king is the king of knowledge, He’s the well-spring of wisdom, He’s the doorway of deliverance, He’s the pathway of peace, He’s the roadway of righteousness, He’s the highway of holiness He’s the gateway of glory, He’s the master of the mighty, He’s the captain of the conquerors, He’s the head of the heroes, He’s the leader of the legislators, He’s the overseer of the overcomers, He’s the governor of governors, He’s the prince of princes, He’s the king of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Well. I wish I could describe Him to you. But He’s indescribable. Yes. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible, He’s irresistible. I’m trying to tell you, the Heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him. Well. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my king!

He always has been, and He always will be. I’m talking about He [who] had no predecessor and He [who] has no successor. There was nobody before Him and there will be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him, and He’s not going to resign. We try to get prestige and honor and glory to ourselves, but the glory is all His. Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. How long is that? And ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and when you get through with all of the forevers, then 'Amen'." 

“Oh I wish I could describe him to you.” 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Proverbs 4:20-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING 5/4/2016)..,

The Easy and The Hard...We all have the same questions: Why is life so tough? Well, there's an answer to that: When my husband and I were raising our five children, we taught them everything we knew. Now we know that was not much If we could do it over, here are some critical facts about human nature that I would start teaching them before they were old enough to brush their teeth without help.

Bad is easy. Good is hard.
Losing is easy. Winning is hard.
Talking is easy. Listening is hard.
Watching TV is easy. Reading is hard.
Giving advice is easy. Taking advice is hard.
Flab is easy. Muscle is hard.
Stop is easy. Go is hard.
Dirty is easy. Clean is hard.
Take is easy. Give is hard.
Dream is easy. Think is hard.
Lying is easy. Truth is hard.
Sleeping is easy. Waking is hard.
Talking about God is easy. Praying to God is hard.
Watching basketball is easy. Playing basketball is hard.
Holding a grudge is easy. Forgiving is hard.
Telling a secret is easy. Keeping a secret is hard.
Play is easy. Work is hard.
Falling is easy. Getting up is hard.
Spending is easy. Saving is hard.
Eating is easy. Saving is hard.
Doubt is easy. Faith is hard.
Laughter is easy. Tears are hard.
Criticizing is easy. Taking criticism is hard.
Letting go is easy. Hanging on is hard.
Secret sin is easy. Confession is hard.
Pride is easy. Humility is hard.
Excusing oneself is easy. Excusing others is hard.
Borrowing is easy. Paying back is hard.
Sex is easy. Love is hard.
Argument is easy. Negotiation is hard.
Naughty is easy. Nice is hard.
Going alone is easy. Walking alone is hard.
Dumb is easy. Smart is hard.
Messy is easy. Neat is hard.
Cowardice is easy. Bravery is hard.
War is easy. Peace is hard.
Poor is easy. Rich is hard.
Sarcasm is easy. Sincerity is hard.
An F is easy. An A is hard.
Growing weeds is easy. Growing flowers is hard.
Reaction is easy. Action is hard.
Can't do is easy. Can do is hard.
Feasting is easy. Fasting is hard.
Following is easy. Leading is hard.
Having friends is easy. Being a friend is hard.
Dying is easy. Living is hard.

If you ask why all this is so, why is life so hard, I'll tell you, it just is. Nothing in life that is good and worthwhile comes without effort.
We are born, all of us, with a nature that is drawn to the easy rather than the hard.
Knowing this about one self and others softens the heart and builds iron into the will, keeps us going when all around is crumbling, when friends forsake, when the heart breaks, and the courage and confidence shatter.
Knowing that such experiences are part of the deal gives us opportunities to choose to do hard things. Constant challenges make our journery exhilarating, wonderfully fulfilling, never, never boring. As the Arabs put it, "All sunshine makes a desert.

And here's a small secret that most sad and lonely people never learn: Deep down inside we are all asking the question. No matter who you are, life is hard, and we all ask why it sould be so.

But there is confort in knowing we're not alone. So maybe your child - or the person sitting over there - needs to hear from you right this minute that sometimes you question too, but that the One who knows us best and loves us most promises that for those who choose the hard was, "the dawn gives way to morning splendor while the evil grope and stumble in the dark."
- Beverly Heirich

Proverbs 4:20-27 (NLT) My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. 
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/3/2016)...

"Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face."
- Mike Tyson

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."
- Vince Lombardi

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NLT) We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (5/2/2016)...

Is Solomon recommending we make life a big, irresponsible party? No, he is encouraging us to take pleasure in what we're doing now and to enjoy life because it comes from God's hand. True enjoyment in life comes only as we follow God's guidelines for living. Without him, satisfaction is a lost search. Those who really know how to enjoy life are the ones who take life each day as a gift from God, thanking him for it and serving him in it. Those without God will have no relief from toil and no direction to guide them through life's complications.
- Life Application Bible note

 Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 (NLT) "Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. 
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NLT) "That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”