Thursday, June 30, 2016

Galatians 5:1 (ESV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/30/2016)...

[T]he teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally….impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.
- President Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919)

One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations. . . . I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.
- Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845)

Galatians 5:1 (ESV) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Sarah Browning)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2 Corinthians 3:17 ( NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/29/2016)...

"I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people. . . . I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country."
- Justice Earl Warren ("Breakfast In Washington," Time, 2/15/1954)

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT) For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Stephen Depolo)

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1 Peter 2:15-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/28/2016)...

   "[In] what sense can [America] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or that the people are in any manner compelled to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within our borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions. Nevertheless, we constantly speak of this republic as a Christian nation – in fact, as the leading Christian nation of the world."
- Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer (1837-1910) "The United States: A Christian Nation" (Philadelphia: J. C. Winston Company, 1905), p 57.

1 Peter 2:15-17 (NLT) It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.

Image: Creative Commons (Google/photos1.com./blogger)




Monday, June 27, 2016

Daniel 6:6-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/27/2016)...

"The big issue is not what city you live IN but what city you live FOR. Daniel lived in Babylon, but he lived for Heaven."
- Professor John Lennon (#RZIMI)

Daniel 6:6-13 (NLT) So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” So King Darius signed the law. 
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 
Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. So they went straight to the king and reminded him about his law. “Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions?” “Yes,” the king replied, “that decision stands; it is an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” 
Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.”
Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT) But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Image: Creative Commons (Chris Yarzab/Flickr)


Friday, June 24, 2016

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING(6/24/2016)...


I watched a potter at work today – choosing a marl of bluish-grey,
Ugly and dirty, unpromising stuff; he took it, and washed it till he’d got enough to finish the task he’d set for the day.

His foot was steady, his hands were firm, I saw the wheel begin to turn –
faster and faster, it spun on its way, then – all of a sudden he threw the clay. How many years did it take to learn?

With love and patience those hands so skilled, shape up the pot that he has willed. So long ago, before he began, he had in his mind his own special plan and now at last it’s being fulfilled.

He slows down the wheel, and with fingers neat he places his pot in the infinite heat of the oven, so hot that it tempers the pot until tested and tried his work is complete.

Does the pot he now holds bring him pleasure? Will it always be something to treasure? You and I are God’s clay – will we let Him today
mould us to give Him this joy beyond measure?
- Cilla Watkins


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.

Image: Creative Commons (solarlectionarybiblestudy.files.wordpress.com)


Thursday, June 23, 2016

1 John 1:5-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/23/2016)...

"Many blush to confess their faults, who never blush to commit them."
- William Secker

1 John 1:5-10 (NLT) This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/22/2016)...

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
 - C.S. Lewis

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) 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.


Image: Creative Commons (Google)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I John 5:13-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/21/2016)...

"If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that's as obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer. I just have to trust Him."
- Anne Graham Lotz

1 John 5:13-15 (NLT) I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

James 4:1-3 (NLT) What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

Image: Creative Commons (Flickr)


Friday, June 17, 2016

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/17/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, "Make me the kind of  man my Daddy is." Later that night, the Father prayed, "Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son thinks I am."
- Unknown

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NLT) And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Image: Creative Commons (god treasure.blogspot.com)


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Exodus 20:12 (NIV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/16/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

The tradition of celebrating Father's Day as seen today originated in the last century. Though there are several people who are credited for furthering the cause of Father's Day, there is far greater acceptance for Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd's contribution. A doting daughter from Spokane, Washington, Ms Dodd is recognized as the Founder or Mother of the Father's Day Festival. 

Many people laughed and joked at Sonora's idea. But her will did not droop. She began a sincere campaign lobbying for the cause of Father's Day. Her hard work began to show signs of success when Spokane celebrated its first Father's Day on June 19, 1910 with the support of Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). To pay tribute to her affectionate father, Sonora wished that Father's Day be celebrated on her father's birthday on June 5, but it so happened that there was not enough time for preparation and the day came to be celebrated on third Sunday in the month of June. 

The noble idea of celebrating Father's Day became quite popular in US so much so that President Woodrow Wilson approved of the festival in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge too supported the idea but it was President Lyndon Johnson who signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. 

Inception of the Father's Day took place in Sonora's mind when she happened to hear a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Sonora, who was 27 then, had begun to recognize the hardships her father must have gone through while bringing up his six children alone. When Sonora was 16, her mother had died during childbirth. Sonora's father a Civil War veteran by the name of William Jackson Smart raised six children including the newborn on his own. Sonora questioned that if there is a day to recognize mothers then why is not there a day to honor fathers? 

Exodus 20:12 (NIV) Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Proverbs 23:22-24 (NIV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/15/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

Back by popular demand...
4 years: My Daddy can do anything! 
7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.
8 years: My father does not know quite everything.
12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.
14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!
25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad's idea first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!
65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.
- Unknown

Proverbs 23:22-24 (NIV) Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Psalm 103:13 (NIV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/14/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

"Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again."
- Jimmy Piersal 

Psalm 103:13 (NIV) As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him...
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Psalm 127:3-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/13/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich."
- Colonel Potter (*M*A*S*H)

Psalms 127:3-5 (NLT) Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!...

Image: Creative Commons 



Friday, June 10, 2016

Romans 12:11-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/10/2016)...

The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true -- action precedes motivation. You have to ''prime the pump'' and get the juice flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day.
- Robert McKain 

Romans 12:11-12 (NLT) Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Romans 1:19-20 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/9/2016)...

To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge” 
- Ravi Zacharias

Romans 1:19-20 (NLT) They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Joshua 1:8 (ESV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/8/2016)...

When Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, was restored and returned to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the curators performed a simple, yet remarkable experiment. They asked visitors to submit questions about the painting. The curators then prepared answers to over 50 questions, ranking the questions according to popularity. 

Some of these questions focused on issues which curators usually don’t like to include: How much does the painting cost? Has this painting ever been forged? Are there mistakes in the painting? 

Other questions focused on traditional artistic issues: Why did Rembrandt paint the subject? Who were the people in the painting? What techniques did Rembrandt pioneer in the particular work?

In a room next to the gallery which held the painting, the curators papered the walls with these questions (and answers). Visitors had to pass through this room before entering the gallery.

The curious outcome was that the average length of time people spent viewing the painting increased from six minutes to over half an hour. Visitors alternated between reading questions and answers and examining the painting. They said that the questions encouraged them to look longer, to look closer, and to remember more. The questions helped them create richer ideas about the painting and to see the painting in new ways. 
- Source: Bits and Pieces

Joshua 1:8 (ESV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalms 1:1-2 (NLT) Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.

- Image: Creative Commons (Wikipedia Commons: The Night Watch)


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Psalm 78:5-8 (ESV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/7/2016)...

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHT...

“We’re all selfish. Selfish to the core. God sometimes chooses to deal with our selfishness by giving us someone to care for who is infinitely more selfish than you. Babies are not only the cutest creatures on the face of the earth, they are by far the most selfish. Farrar goes on to write: “The way God deals with my own selfishness is to give me someone to serve who has zero interest in serving me. You can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Not too many people in the world could out-selfish me one-on-one. But every time we’ve had a baby, I’ve met my match. Each of my kids resembled me. I don’t mean they looked like me, I mean they were as selfish as me. That meant that somebody in the family was going to have to grow up. Guess who was nominated?"
- Steve Farrar (Point Man)

Psalms 78:5-8 (ESV) He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ephesians 4:29-30 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/6/2016)...

The Optimist vs. the Pessimist
 
An optimist sees the best in the world, while a pessimist sees only the worst. An optimist finds the positive in the negative, and a pessimist can only find the negative in the positive.
 
For example, an avid duck hunter was in the market for a new bird dog. His search ended when he found a dog that could actually walk on water to retrieve a duck. Shocked by his find, he was sure none of his friends would ever believe him.
 
He decided to try to break the news to a friend of his, a pessimist by nature, and invited him to hunt with him and his new dog. As they waited by the shore, a flock of ducks flew by. They fired, and a duck fell. The dog responded and jumped into the water. The dog, however, did not sink but instead walked across the water to retrieve the bird, never getting more than his paws wet. This continued all day long; each time a duck fell, the dog walked across the surface of the water to retrieve it.
 
The pessimist watched carefully, saw everything, but did not say a single word.

On the drive home the hunter asked his friend, "Did you notice anything unusual about my new dog?" "I sure did," responded the pessimist. "He can't swim."

Ephesians 4:29-30 (NLT) 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.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Philippians 4:8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/3/2016)...

Pessimist vs. Optimist
 
The pessimist finds fault;

The optimist discovers a remedy.
 
The pessimist seeks sympathy;

The optimist spreads cheer.
 
The pessimist criticizes circumstances;

The optimist changes conditions.
 
The pessimist complains about the apple seeds;

The optimist plants them.
 
The pessimist imagines impending peril;

The optimist sees signs of prosperity.
 
The pessimist disparages;

The optimist encourages.
 
The pessimist creates loneliness;

The optimist finds friends.
 
The pessimist nibbles at the negative;

The optimist is nourished by the positive.
 
The pessimist builds barriers;

The optimist removes roadblocks.
 
The pessimist invents trouble;

The optimist enriches the environment.

Philippians 4:8 (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.

Hebrews 10:35-39 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/2/2016)...

 "The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive." 
- Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO...2016 commencement address at UC Berkley)

Hebrews 10:35-39 (NLT) So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. 
For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.
But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.

John 20:24-29 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (6/1/2016)...

"You are familiar with Albrecht Durer’s famous painting "The Praying Hands," but do you know the story behind it? The painting was inspired by the sacrificial, loving acts of a friend. Durer and an older friend were struggling to make a go as artists. Recognizing Durer’s talent, the older man took a job to provide for both of them until Durer could complete his art studies. The work was labor, but he did it gladly for his friend. Finally, Durer made a sale. The money was enough to care for both of them for several months. Now his older friend could resume his painting, but the older man’s hands had become so stiff from the hard labor that he was unable to paint.
One day when Durer returned home, he found his friend in prayer, his work-worn hands folded reverently. Durer painted a picture of these hands, capturing them for ages to come as a memorial to the love and sacrifice of his older friend." 
- Frank Morgan, Jr. ("Keys To Unlock Yourself" Nashville : Braodman Press, 1985, pp. 75-76). 

John 20:24-29 (NLT) One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “
My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Image: Creative Commons (Wikipedia)