Thursday, December 28, 2017

Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/28/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"From New Year’s on the outlook brightens; good humor lost in a mood of failure returns. I resolve to stop complaining."

Leonard Bernstein (American composer, conductor, author)


Ephesians 4:28-32 (NLT) 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.


Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT) 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.


Romans 15:13 (NLT) I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.




Image: Creative Commons (Google Images/Alan Turkus)


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/27/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year."

Vern McLellan


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.




Image: Creative Commons (Google Images/davidyuweb)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

John 8:12 (NLT)..,

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/26/2017)...


HAPPY NEW YEAR


"Christmas night is a solemn and encouraging reminder that Christ truly is the Light of a New Year."

Rocky


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.


John 12:34-36 (NLT) The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?” 

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light...."


Psalms 27:1 (NLT) The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?




Friday, December 22, 2017

Titus 3:5-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/22/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


"Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself."

Norman W. Brooks


Titus 3:5-7 (NLT) He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.


1 John 4:19 (NLT) We love each other because he loved us first.




Image: Creative Commons ("Addoration by the Shepperds”  by Wolfgang Sauber)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

1 John 4:9-17 NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (12/21/2017)...


MERRY CHRISTMAS 


"Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas."

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)


1 John 4:9-17 (NLT) 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. 


And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. 


God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.




Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Steve Snobgrass)

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)