Posted 3/11/14 at 9:44 AM | Children's Bible Hour
Tom was a little nervous as he waited for his turn to read the essay he had written for the Grandparents' Day program. Grandpa smiled encouragingly as they listened while other classmates read their papers.
Katie was the first reader. "I like my grandma because she takes me shopping and buys me lots of stuff," Katie read. She went on to list several gifts her grandmother had gotten for her.
Robert was next. "I like my grandma because she bakes cakes and cookies for me. My grandpa gives me candy all the time. I like them both. The end."
"Grandpa never scolds me," Amanda read. "He takes me out to eat and I can have whatever I want. Grandma lets me stay up late when I sleep there. Grandma and Grandpa let me watch whatever I want on TV, too." Amanda sat down.
Finally, it was Tom's turn. "My grandpa is my friend," read Tom. "He always takes time to listen to me. He helps me when I need him. Grandpa scolds me when I'm bad because he wants me to be good. But he always loves me, no matter what." When Tom finished, his grandfather gave him a big smile. FULL POST
Posted 3/11/14 at 12:23 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." -Ephesians 5:15-16
Once in a while, I meet a Christian single who is very dissatisfied with his lot in life. He seems to be hovering over life, fixed in a holding pattern, until God reveals that perfect mate who will share life and ministry and make his life complete. I can't help but feel sorry for that type of person. He is never content. Because he is so busy gazing on what he thinks are greener, more productive pastures, he misses God's will for him today. How sad, and how unnecessary. God has called each of us to a particular station in life. That station may change, just as the seasons change, but each is for a specific purpose.
Therefore, it behooves the single person to be careful how he conducts his life. I like to call it having "single savvy." The Random House Dictionary defines "savvy" as being "wise, having understanding." Ephesians 5 picks up this thought when it encourages all of us--single and married alike--to be wise, to make the most of our time. Why? Because the days are evil. Just look around you. It doesn't take long to figure that out. Billboards blare out provocative images. Television and movies splash sexual acts across the screen and into our living rooms. Gay and lesbian militants scream for legalized homosexual marriage and the right to adopt children. A government who prays before every session casts prayer out of its nation's schools. Need I say more? The days are indeed evil. So, how can the single find purpose in his current situation, walk as a wise person, and make the most of his time in these evil days? I offer these suggestions: FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 11:41 AM | Victoria Osteen |
If you ask most people what love is, they will tell you that it's a feeling or emotion. We certainly do describe what we feel for people as love, but true, biblical love is isn't about the way we feel. The Bible says to choose love. That means love is a choice. It's the choice to treat others according to God's Word rather than according to what we feel because let's face it, we don't always feel like being loving.
It's easy to love the people who love you back. It's easy to be patient and kind to people who are patient and kind to you. But, what about the people who are frustrating and irritating? What about the people who constantly rub you the wrong way or don't ever seem to do things the way you want them to? I call these people "sandpaper" people. This is when you need to make the choice to love. God isn't going to give you a "pass" and say, "Oh, don't worry about loving them; they irritate me, too." No, God is love. Love is God. When we choose love, we are choosing God and His ways. FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 11:14 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I saw a documentary on championship racehorses; the kind you see running the Kentucky Derby. It's not a coincidence that those horses end up being the fastest horses in the world. They've been carefully studied and carefully bred for generations. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to breed a racehorse with a champion stallion. Before breeding, the owners will go back 50 or 60 years and study the bloodline of a particular stallion. They'll research his father, his grandfather and study how long their stride was, how tall their legs were, their takeoff speed, their endurance. With all this information, they'll choose what they believe to be the perfect match. They understand winners don't just randomly happen. It's in their DNA. That's what sets these horses apart. They have generation after generation of champions on the inside. FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 10:00 AM | Children's Bible Hour
Janelle slipped a box of matches and a candle out of the kitchen cabinet, and headed for her room. After carefully locking her door, she lit the candle and placed it on a corner of her brand new desk. Her hand glided across the shiny top. I love this desk. she thought. It's so pretty--especially with a candle on it! I'm always going to take super-good care of it!
Janelle picked up a book and began to read. She had read only a page when she heard Angie, her little sister, outside her door. "Janelle, I want to come in," called Angie. "Open the door!" Janelle ignored her. "Mommy!" Angie called loudly. "Janelle won't let me in her room."
With a fast beating heart, Janelle reached for the candle to blow it out. But in her haste she knocked it over. To her horror, a piece of paper on her desk caught fire! But it was a small piece, and the flame went out quickly. She sighed in relief, picked up the whole mess, shut it in her closet, and unlocked her door. "Angie, why don't you play in your own room?" she said as Mom came to see what the trouble was. "I'm busy." FULL POST
Posted 3/8/14 at 9:51 AM | Karen Farris |
In the corner of the garden are three rows of blackberries. The fruit I love, taking care of their thorny canes, not so much. In late winter, with long sleeves, thick gloves, and a sharpened sniper I face the gnarled mess.
My inclination is to walk away, but instead, I begin snipping off last year’s browned and brittle canes. I quickly discern that I’m tardy to the party.
New growth is already happily growing over last year’s decaying jumble and rooting itself where it doesn’t belong.
Blackberry therapy is all about cutting off the old while firmly attaching the new to the heavy-duty wire supports. The blackberry patch is a lot like me—complete with brittle, old brambles needing to be pruned off and thorny branches attaching themselves far away from the sturdy vine. Carefully avoiding the thorns, I affix each haphazard young branch close to the main vine—so it can thrive near its source of nutrients.
The fiercely independent blackberries are not easily tamed. Reluctant obedience—just like my own can be. Blackberry thorns routinely embed themselves in thumbs and fingers. Days of painful festering follow. I wonder how many of my thorny words have caused festering wounds? Just another way I share the bramble-like world of blackberries. FULL POST
Posted 3/7/14 at 8:59 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"Here's ten dollars," said Mom as handing Juan a shopping list and the money. "That will be a little more than you need. Get everything on the list, and you may keep the change."
"All right!" exclaimed Juan. He took the money and headed for the store. He got the items for his mother and went to pay for them, pleased to hear that he'd have a whole dollar and twenty-seven cents to keep for himself.
As Juan started home, he pulled the change from his pocket, then looked at it in surprise. Ten dollars and twenty-seven cents! he thought. Wow! The cashier gave me the wrong amount. Awesome! I'll get some candy and save the rest for Saturday when I go to the amusement park with Steve. Juan felt a little uncomfortable with his decision. He knew most of the money didn't really belong to him, but he hesitated only a moment before stopping at another store to buy candy. FULL POST
Posted 3/6/14 at 4:59 PM | Sunny Shell |
Following the Master of my soul is sometimes a lonely road; sadly, even within the Christian community.
It seems these days, that Christians have become as worldly as the world we live in. We live, laugh and love with those who live, laugh and love with us, while we shun those who make us feel uncomfortable.
We hypocritically and foolishly judge one another based on our personal affinities and ideologies of how we think life ought to be lived, whilst all the time, we dismiss our Savior's command to love as He has loved us; in accordance with His perfect and righteous judgment (Jn 7:24), rather than with our imperfect and Pharisaical views (Ps 55:12-14, Matt 7:5).
If we encourage and excuse those who indulge in the same sins we do, while we condemn and reject those who love us enough to rebuke us with the word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17), how will we ever mature in our faith (Prov 27:6)? FULL POST
Posted 3/6/14 at 11:01 AM | Justin Buzzard |
Don’t pretend that life isn’t painful.
People that you meet, Christians that you meet, who tell you that life isn’t painful are pretending. They’re selling you something.
Life is painful.
And only Jesus can fix the pain.
God is the only answer to the pain. Only Christianity reveals a God who suffers, a God has fully experienced the worst pain this world has to offer. Only Christianity reveals a God who can heal and redeem all the pain in your life and make something beautiful out of it.>
Posted 3/6/14 at 8:58 AM | Children's Bible Hour
Shannon laughed as she watched her little brother crawl around the lawn with Zach, his one-year-old cousin. "Josh was proud when he turned three, but I guess he's going back to being a baby again," Shannon said when Mom came outside.
"Copying your cousin, are you, Josh?" said Mom, picking up little Zach. "Well, lunch is ready. You bring Josh in with you, okay, Shannon?"
During lunch, Zach dumped his bowl of food on the floor, and the next minute Shannon jumped as a piece of bread hit her face. "Joshua!" exclaimed Mom sternly. "You know better than to throw food."
"Yeah, Josh. Cut that out!" scolded Shannon. She sighed. "Why does Josh copy Zach?" she wondered. "Zach should copy Josh instead." FULL POST