Monday, November 19, 2018

FROM TODAY’S READING (11/19/2018)...


“You take approximately 23,000 breaths every day, but when was the last time you thanked God for one of them? The process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide is a complicated respiratory task that requires physiological precision. We tend to thank God for the things that take our breath away. And that's fine. But maybe we should thank him for every other breath too!”

Mark Batterson, All In (Zondervan, 2013), page 119


Psalms 150:6 (NLT) Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!



Image: Creative Commons (Flickr.com/Ernst Vikne)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Proverbs 15:13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/16/2018)...


“Smiling is infectious; you can catch it like the flu. Some smiled at me today, and I started smiling too.”

Anonymous


“If you smile at someone, they might smile back.”

Anonymous


“Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”

W.C.Fields


“It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.”

Anonymous


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


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



Image: Creative Commons (Pinterest.com/Colleen Upton)

Acts 20:34-35 (NLTJ...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/15/2018)...


“Take a look at those two open hands of yours. They are tools with which to serve, make friends, and reach out for the best in life. Open hands open the way to achievement. Put them to work today.”

Wilfred A. Patterson


Acts of the Apostles 20:34-35 (NLT) You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”



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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Joshua 1:9 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/14/2018)...


Fate handed the quitter a bump, and he dropped;

The road seemed too rough to go, so he stopped.

He thought of his hurt, and there came to his mind

The easier path he was leaving behind.

“Oh, it’s all much too hard,” said the quitter right then;

“I’ll stop where I am and not try it again.”


He sat by the road and he made up his tale

To tell when men asked why he happened to fail.

A thousand excuses flew up to his tongue,

And these on the thread of his story he strung,

But the truth of the matter he didn’t admit;

He never once said, “I was frightened and quit.”


Whenever the quitter sits down by the road

And drops from the struggle to lighten his load,

He can always recall to his own peace of mind

A string of excuses for falling behind;

But somehow or other he can’t think of one

Good reason for battling and going right on.


Oh, when the bump comes and fate hands you a jar,

Don’t baby yourself, boy, whoever you are;

Don’t pity yourself and talk over your woes;

Don’t think up excuses for dodging the blows.

But stick to the battle and see the thing through.

And don’t be a quitter, whatever you do.

- Edgar A. Guest


Joshua 1:9 (NLT) This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.



Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Isaiah40:31 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/13/2018)...


When the “storms of life” gather darkly ahead,

I think of these wonderful words I once read

And I say to myself as “threatening clouds” hover

Don’t “fold up your wings” and “run for cover”


But like the eagle “spread wide your wings”

and “soar far above” the trouble life brings,

For the eagle knows that the higher he flies

The more tranquil and brighter become the skies…


And there is nothing in life God ever asks us to bear

That we can’t soar above “On the Wings of Prayer,”

And in looking back over the “storm you passed through”

You’ll find you gained strength and new courage, too,


For in facing “life’s storms” with an eagle’s wings

You can fly far above earth’s small, petty things.

by Helen Steiner Rice


Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.



Image: Creative Commons (wallpaper.wiki)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/9/2018)...


“What I focus on in life is what I get. And if I concentrate on how bad I am or how wrong I am or how inadequate I am, if I concentrate on what I can’t do and how there’s not enough time in which to do it, isn’t that what I get every time? And when I think about how powerful I am, and when I think about what I have left to contribute, and when I think about the difference I can make on this planet, then that’s what I get. You see, I recognize that it’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do about it.”

W. Mitchell


Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT) 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.



Image: Creative Commons (Dimitris Kalogeropoylos’s Flickr photostream)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Philippians 4:12-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/8/2018)...


“What I focus on in life is what I get. And if I concentrate on how bad I am or how wrong I am or how inadequate I am, if I concentrate on what I can’t do and how there’s not enough time in which to do it, isn’t that what I get every time? And when I think about how powerful I am, and when I think about what I have left to contribute, and when I think about the difference I can make on this planet, then that’s what I get. You see, I recognize that it’s not what happens to you; it’s what you do about it.”

W. Mitchell


Philippians 4:12-13 (NLT) I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.



Image: Creative Commons (Achieve by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images)




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Psalm 46:10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/7/2018)...


“The silence between the notes makes the music. And lest we forget, the longer the silence, the more incredibly beautiful and powerful the music when it finally swells and the symphony goes on.”

Brianna Wiest


Psalms 46:10 (NLT) Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.


Psalms 62:5-8 (NLT) Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Interlude



Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia Commons/File:MITO Orchestra Sinfonica RAI.jpg)


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/6/2018)...


“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty;  if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted;  laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes;  corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws;  the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”

Noah Webster (1758-1843) Advisor to the Founding Fathers, statesman, educator, lexicographer and author of Webster’s Dictionary. History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 349.


Proverbs 11:14 (NLT) Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.


1 Peter 2:13-17 (NLT) For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. 

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 (Flickr/Kelly Minars)

Monday, November 5, 2018

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/5/2018)...


“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.”

Pericles


1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT I 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. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.



Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/2/2018)...


“When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.”

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)


Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4-7 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to cry and a time to laugh. 

A time to grieve and a time to dance. 

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. 

A time to embrace and a time to turn away. 

A time to search and a time to quit searching. 

A time to keep and a time to throw away. 

A time to tear and a time to mend. 

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.



Image: (Creativecommons.org/ Ross Huggett)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

James 2:14-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/1/2018)...


“It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work. Faith is mighty, but action with faith is mightier. Desiring is helpful, but work and desire are invincible.”

Thomas Robert Gaines


James 2:14-17 (NLT) What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.



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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/31/2018)...


“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”

Philip James Bailey


Colossians 3:17 (NIV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/30/2018)...


“You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.”

A. J. Kitt


Proverbs 25:28 NLT A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.


2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) ...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.



Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Leo Reynolds)


Monday, October 29, 2018

Romans 15:3-6 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/29/2018)...


“The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one.  He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light; mousing for vermin and never seeing noble game.”

Henry Ward Beecher


 Romans 15:3-6 (NLT) For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. 

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.



Image:Creative Commons (daveenjoys.com)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Isaiah 1:16-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/26/2018)...


“Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life like yours, this earth would be God's Paradise.”

Phillips Brooks (Trinity Church, Boston, MA)


Isaiah 1:16-17 (NLT) Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.



Image: Creative Commons (Flickr/Steven Depolo)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Psalm 46:1-3 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/25/2018)...


"The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths."

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Psalms 46:1-3 (NLT) God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude



Image: Creative Commons/Deep Blue Sea. Jan Juc, Vic Australia. Copyright: Gary Light. Creative Commons License: (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Romans 14:12-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/24/2018)...


"A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded."

Tyne Daly


"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."

H. L. Mencken


Romans 14:12-13 (NLT) Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.


Romans 15:2-6 (NLT) We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. 

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


j

Image: Creative Commons (PLIXS/Free Stock Photo)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Proverbs 19:20 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/23/2018)...


Famed preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote that he remained observant throughout each day...always looking for his next sermon illustration. I have found his advice most helpful. The attached image taken at a recent dentist office visit is such an example...

Rocky


Proverbs 19:20 (NLT) Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.





Monday, October 22, 2018

Psalm 37:3-5 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/22/2018)...


"If there are things you don't like in the world you grew up in, make your own life different."

Dave Thomas


Psalms 37:3-5 (NLT) Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.



Image: Creative Commons (Allen Graffiti)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Psalm 118:24 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/19/2018)...


"A great attitude becomes a great day which becomes a great month which becomes a great year which becomes a great life."

Mandy Hale


Psalms 118:24 (NLT) This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.


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.



Image: Creative Commons (ND Struper)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/18/2018)...


"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Vivian Greene


1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT) Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hebrews 10:36 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/17/2018)...


“As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed."

Vincent Van Gogh


Hebrews 10:36 (NLT) 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.


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. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.



Creative Commons: Wikimedia/Peasant woman binding sheaves

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/16/2018)...


My wife has been walking approximately six miles per day with one of her friends. And, yes, that is twelve months of the year...that would be  a Maine year. You can imagine my concern for her well-being. 


"Be careful not to injure your muscles."

"You're going to get frost bite!"

"Watch out for coyotes and black bears...and rabid coons...or large gray squirrels!"

"Don't get hit by a school bus or dump truck." 

"Don't get whacked by a drunk, druggy, texters,or person in my age bracket!" 

"Man, it is really cold out there!"

"Man, it is really warm and muggy today!"

"Man, looks like it is going to rain."

"Shouldn't you take a break?" 

"You really should let that blister heal up."

"Wow...congrats...you finished another half-marathon."


I started walking three miles per day last week. This morning I asked her about the cold walking weather...34 degrees. She simply and lovingly replied, "Would you rather be cold, uncomfortable, and healthy walking outside or warm, comfortable, and unhealthy sitting in your easy-chair?"


I just returned from another three-mile walk. :-)


1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT) Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.





Monday, October 15, 2018

Psalm 34:1-6 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/15/2018)...


"Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do,but it won't get you anywhere."

Corrie Ten Boom


Psalms 34:1-6 (NLT) I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. 

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.



Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia/The Progressive Farmer)


Friday, October 12, 2018

Luke 8:22-25 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/12/2018)...


"No one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm."

Charles F. Kettering


Luke 8:22-25 (NLT) One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. 

The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” 

The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”



Image: Creative Commons Wikimedia/The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt 1632

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/11/2018)...


I walked a mile with Pleasure -

She chattered all the way

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow

And ne'er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

by Robert Browning Hamilton


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT) 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.



Image: Creative Commons (Wikimedia Commons)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

FROM TODAY'S READING (10/10/2018)...


For every achievement there is a price.

For every goal there is an opponent.

For every victory there is a problem.

For every triumph there is sacrifice.

by William Arthur Ward


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 (Wikipedia)