Thursday, December 14, 2017

Matthew 1:20-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/14/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us." We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!"

John MacArthur


Matthew 1:20-25 (NLT) As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” 

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.


Isaiah 7:14 NLT All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Adobe of Chaos)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/13/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"His poverty was so great that He was born in another man's house, and buried in another man's tomb."


Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT) As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”


Hebrews 10:5-7 (NKJV) Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”




Image: Creative Commons (Google/unknown origin)

Monday, December 11, 2017

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/11/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"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 


Psalms 139:13-14, 17-18 (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.

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!




Image: Creative Commons (freedesignfile.com)

Friday, December 8, 2017

John 3:16-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/8/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years... Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart."

George Matthew Adams


John 3:16-17 (NLT) For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.




Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia/public domain)


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Luke 4:14-22 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/6/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS


"When the song of the angels is stilled, 

When the star in the sky is gone, 

When the kings and princes are home, 

When the shepherds are back with their flock, 

The work of Christmas begins: 

...To find the lost, 

To heal the broken, 

To feed the hungry, 

To release the prisoner, 

To rebuild the nations, 

To bring peace among brothers, 

To make music in the heart."

~ Howard Thurman


 Luke 4:14-22 (NLT) Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 


When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come. ” 


He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 


Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Matthew 2:7-11 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/4/2017)...


"The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence."

Bangor Christmas Parade of Lights (2017)


Matthew 2:7-11 (NLT) 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.




Image: Christmas Parade(2017)

Friday, December 1, 2017

1 Corinthians 10:14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/1/2017)...


"When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an 'idol,' something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, 'What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?' It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger."

Tim Keller (Pastor/theologian/apologist/author)


 1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.


Ephesians 4:21-27 (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.




Image: Creative Commons (unknown origin)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/30/2017)...


"Who decided traditional virtues were no longer viable and should not be taught to schoolchildren? Was a study conducted that found young people were being damaged from learning how to live and respect one another? Were they expected to catch these virtues on their own without guidance from elders? If so, why do we teach table manners, not interrupting when someone else is talking, sharing and many other things to counter what our lower nature doesn’t teach us?"

by Cal Thomas - (The Return of Virtue 11/30/2017)


"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”

Author unknown


"Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” 

by Bob Talbert


Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (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.


Matthew 18:3-6 (NLT) Then [Jesus] said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”




Image: Creative Commons (Pixabay)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Psalm 16:7-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/29/2017)...


"If you hope for happiness in the world, hope for it from God, and not from the world."

David Brainerd (1718-1747/Missionary to Native Americans)


Psalms 16:7-11 (NLT) I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.




Image: Creative Commons (Norman Rockwell/Public Domain)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Luke 7:36-50 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/28/2017)...


"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever."

Vance Havner


Luke 7:36-50 (NLT) One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. 


When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 


Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. 


When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” 


Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” 


"Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. 

 

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” 


Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” 


"That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 


"I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” 


The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?” 


And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”




Image: Creative Commons (Google search/unknown origin)


Monday, November 27, 2017

Proverbs 12:25 (NLT).,,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/27/2017)...


"A really great person is the person who makes every person feel great."

G. K. Chesterton 


Proverbs 12:25 (NLT) Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.


Philippians 2:1-8 (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. 

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.




Image: Creative Commons (Pixabay)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/22/2017)...


HAPPY THANKSGIVING


"Thankfulness is not something God gives us. It is not a spiritual gift and it is not a spiritual fruit. We can receive God's peace, joy and love, but thankfulness is something that we give to Godand to others. It is a choice that we make. Let us thank Him today with songs of celebration, hearts of strong devotion and acts of admiration."

Roy Lessin


Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.




Image: Creative Commons (Google/CC)



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

1 Timothy 5:15-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/21/2017)...


HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Every day is a day to be thankful. Life’s abundance has no limit, and gratitude is what keeps that abundance flowing.


In every circumstance there is something for which to be thankful. Even when there seems to be nothing else, there is hope.


Being truly thankful makes you infinitely more resourceful. By sincerely appreciating what you have, you find new and valuable ways to make use of it.


Gratitude makes you more generous and creative. By focusing on how fortunate you are, you’re able to give the best you can give.


When you are happy, be thankful and your happiness is greatly multiplied. When you are feeling down, be thankful and you’ll soon be feeling much better.


Whatever may come, see it as an opportunity to be sincerely thankful. And let life’s abundance flow more and more freely into all your world.

Ralph Marston (greatday.com)


1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (NLT) See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.




Image: Creative Commons (wxpr.org)

Monday, November 20, 2017

1 Timothy 4:3-4 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/20/2017)...


HAPPY THANKSGIVING


"May your stuffing be tasty May your turkey plump, 

May your potatoes and gravy Have nary a lump. 

May your yams be delicious And your pies take the prize, 

And may your Thanksgiving dinner Stay off your thighs!"

Grandpa Jones


1 Timothy 4:3b-4 (NLT) But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.




Image: Creative Commons (public domain)


Friday, November 17, 2017

Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/17/2017)...


"Go ahead, make my day."

Clint Eastwood


Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT) May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.


1 Corinthians 16:23-24 (NLT) May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Christos Tsoumplekas)


Thursday, November 16, 2017

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/16/2017)...


"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be."

John Wayne


1 Peter 2:16-17 (NLT) 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 (wikimedia)


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/15/2017)...


"I'm a football coach. I'm not a doctor.,They don't call plays, I don't do surgeries. We have a great deal here."

Bill Belichick (Head Coach of NE Patriots)


Romans 12:6-8 (NLT) In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.




Image: Creative Commons (wikimedia)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Colossians 1:11-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/13/2017)...


"Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."

Dean Karnazes (author/runner)


Colossians 1:11-12 (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...




Image: Creative Commons (Pixabay)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/10/2017)...


"You don't need to carry the burden of a lesser god...a god on a shelf, a god in a box, or a god in a bottle. No, you need a God who can place 100 billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies in the universe. You need a God who van shape two fists of flesh into 75 to 100 billion nerve cells, each with as many as 10,000 connections to other nerve-cells, place it in a skull, and call it a brain."

Max Lucado (Safe in the Shepherd's Arms)


Psalms 90:2 (NLT) Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.


Psalms 139:13-16 (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.




Image: Creative Commons (apriso.com)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/9/2017)...


"Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


1 Peter 5:6-7 (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.


John 14:27 (NLT) I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.


Psalms 56:3-4 (NLT) But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?




Image: Creative Commons (upsplash/Aziz Acharki)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

John 8:12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/8/2017)...


"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

Francis of Assisi


John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”


2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NLT) For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”




Image: Creative Commons (pxhere)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/7/2017)...


"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


1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT) urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Theresa Thompson)

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/6/2017)...


"We believe that 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety. Your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all."

Brian Tracy (Entrepreneur)


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.




Image: Creative Commons (pxhere.com)

Monday, October 30, 2017

John 1:10-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/30/2017)...


"I believe in God. Nobody made me believe; I don't think you can or should try to force someone to believe something. And even though my parents taught me stuff about God and read Bible stories to me from as early as I can remember... it was my choice to become a believer in Him. The way I see it, putting our faith in God is something that each person has to come to on his or her own. It's your own personal relationship with Him; a bond that's as unique as a fingerprint."

Bethany Hamilton (bethanyhamilton.com)


John 1:10-13 (NLT) He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.




Image: Creative Commons (pxhere.com)