Posted 5/6/13 at 7:22 AM | David Litwin |
In my pre-teen years, I often handed over my pittance of a weekly allowance to the cashier at the local hobby supply store. Completing enough chores that week meant I could make it out of the store with a model plane kit and few small bottles of Testors Paint before the money ran out. The assembled model plane on the cover of the box was always the pinnacle of perfection. No doubt it had been constructed by some forty year old engineer who had assembled model kits since the early fifties. But I didn’t know that. So every time I came home with a new kit, I told my parents that, this time, my final construction was going to look just like the box. And every time… it didn’t.
My desire, or better yet – my declaration – was perfection. But what was seen was… well, it certainly was less than that.
It is interesting that in the first chapter of Genesis we see God following suit, making a declaration first, and then seeing the result second. In God’s case, what He declares and what He sees coalesce.
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” (Genesis 1:20, NIV) FULL POST
Posted 5/5/13 at 10:15 PM | Patricia J Cox
People are human and they sin. Their sin against us can hurt us in many different ways. Whether a person's sin against us is sexual, physical, emotional/psychological, spiritual, financial, or in some other area it effects our relationship with them. We don't want to be around them. We don't care about them. We don't care about what they need. We don't have any respect for them. We are malicious in our gossip about them to others. We become critical and judgmental.
We become bitter and resentful. Sometimes we become full of hatred towards them and even entertain the thought of wanting to kill them or at least desire for them to experience the same kind of sin we experienced so they can hurt like we do.
Our relationships with others are affected as well. Sometimes in a similar way as it was with the person who originally hurt or sinned against us.
Posted 5/3/13 at 10:33 AM | Joel Osteen
I met a lady a couple of years ago after the service. She was in town for treatment at M.D. Anderson, a cancer hospital in Houston. She was going to have a tumor removed, and then she was going to have to take chemotherapy. All of her medical records, blood work, and X-rays were shipped from her hospital back at home. The doctor she was seeing here wanted her to retake all the tests and redo all the X-rays just to double-check and verify her diagnosis. She was already scheduled for surgery when the doctor called her in. He had received the test results and couldn't find the tumor anymore. It was very clear on one X-ray, but on the new one, you couldn't see anything. He said, "I've been doing this for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this before."
What was that? That was God overwhelming her with a flood of healing. It was a flood of His restoration. Friend, God can do what medicine cannot do. God made your body. He has you in the palm of His hand. The good news is that God has the final say. He said, "The number of your days I will fulfill." That means sickness doesn't determine how long you're going to live; God does. Nothing can snatch you out of His hand. If it's not your time to go, then you're not going to go. You may be facing a major illness. It doesn't look good in the natural, but you're under a Flash Flood Warning. Any moment you could see a flood of healing. Any moment God could turn that around. FULL POST
Posted 5/3/13 at 10:17 AM | Children's Bible Hour |
Passenger trains no longer came through the little town of Judson, but for the city's anniversary celebration, a train was running on the old tracks once again. "Look, Dad!" exclaimed John, pointing to a sign.
"Free Rides!" Dad read aloud. "Climb aboard and enjoy an old-fashioned train ride to Rock Island." So John and Dad got on the train.
After what seemed a long time, John asked, "Shouldn't we be going by now?"
Dad looked around. "Maybe they're waiting for more people," he suggested.
Just then a conductor stepped into the car. "Guess you folks didn't read the sign carefully," he said after greeting the people. "This car's not going anywhere."
"How come?" asked John in surprise.
"It's on a side track and isn't hooked up to an engine," the man explained. "The train on the main track is the one we're using. It will be back soon, and then you can have a ride."
John and his father felt a little foolish as they and several others got off the train to wait. "We got on that train fully expecting a ride to Rock Island, but we didn't get there," Dad observed. "We were on the wrong track and weren't attached to the engine we needed. That reminds me of Uncle Perry."
"It does? Why?" asked John. FULL POST
Posted 5/2/13 at 2:57 PM | Jack Wellman |
When the Boston Red Sox finally won the World Series a few years ago, they said that the curse was reversed. The curse was supposedly imposed upon the Red Sox when they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees early in the 20th Century. In a similar fashion, Jesus Christ reversed the curse on humanity by redeeming mankind and restoring us to a right relationship with God which had been severed in the Garden. Paul wrote about this when he said, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole” (Gal 3:13). By this voluntary act of Jesus Christ, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21) which was done “to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Gal 4:5). That’s why the gospel is called good news. It was bad news for Christ on the cross but the best of news for us who were separated from God by our sin. FULL POST
Posted 5/2/13 at 12:43 PM | Children's Bible Hour
Jenna glanced out the window just as elderly Mrs. Carlson tripped over the curb and fell to the ground. I wish Mom were home, thought Jenna as she jumped up and ran out to see if her neighbor was hurt. Mrs. Carlson was trying to get up when Jenna reached her, but she obviously was in great pain. "It's my back," gasped Mrs. Carlson. "I hope I didn't break it."
"Don't move," cautioned Jenna. "You might hurt yourself worse. I'll go and call 911." Mrs. Carlson nodded, and Jenna ran back into the house.
When Jenna returned, Mrs. Carlson looked up and smiled weakly. "Thanks so much, Jenna," she said. "You seem to know what to do." Soon the ambulance arrived, and the paramedics carefully lifted Mrs. Carlson into the vehicle.
At Sunday school the next day, Jenna told her class about the incident. "I'm glad I took a first aid course last summer," said Jenna. "I knew enough to have Mrs. Carlson lie still so she wouldn't hurt herself worse."
"That's great!" exclaimed Mr. Berry, the teacher. "It's good to know what to do in emergencies." He paused briefly. "You know," he added, "it's good to be prepared to give physical help when it's needed, and we should also be prepared to give spiritual help to those we meet." FULL POST
Posted 5/1/13 at 9:09 AM | Children's Bible Hour
Charlie pushed open the door that had a sign with Dr. David Brown--the name of his father--printed on it. As he entered the waiting room, the office nurse smiled at him. "Hi, Charlie," she said. "Your dad is almost done for the day. He'll be with you in a few minutes."
Soon Charlie and his father were in the car, headed for home. "Dad, I heard on the radio that the president was having his annual checkup today," said Charlie. "When people come in for a one of those, they usually feel okay, don't they? So how do you tell whether they're sick or not?"
"Well, we check a lot of things and may run some tests," said Dad with a smile. "Generally, if the vital signs are all good, the patient is healthy."
"Vital signs?" asked Charlie. "Like what?"
"Oh, things like blood pressure, heartbeat, and lungs," said Dad. "I also check the patients' height and weight and look at their ears, eyes, nose, and throat. I ask if they have any complaints at all. If I suspect there's any problem, I order other tests."
"And that's why a checkup is so important?" asked Charlie. "Because there might be something wrong even if you feel good?"
Dad nodded. "The sooner illnesses are detected and treated, the better the chance of a cure," he said. As he turned into the driveway, Dad added, "There's another kind of checkup that's even more important--and it's one we can give ourselves." FULL POST
Posted 5/1/13 at 2:51 AM | Bindings: Reflections on Faith, Life, and Good Books
A few weeks ago, as we came back from a shopping trip, a driver in a van ran a stop sign on a side road. He crossed the highway only a few feet in front of my husband and I, riding in our almost twenty-year old pickup. My husband hit the brakes. Grinding crash as we collided with the van anyway.
Our seat belts held, but eyeglasses flew off our faces. Shaken, we picked them up, thankfully unbroken, and exited the car. I was aware of slight pain in my ankle, but I was grateful to be walking. We all, in fact, walked away from the accident with no serious injuries.
From the beginning, as I got out of our beloved pickup, the front now bashed in, I was aware of sadness—sadness that not everyone knew the blessings we did. Drunk drivers in our area recently caused several fatal accidents. Nobody wishes for accidents, but if accidents happen, I wish all would end as well as ours did. I wish all knew the kindness of strangers who stopped to make sure we were all right, to act as witnesses, and to direct traffic until the police arrived. I wish they all knew the professionalism of the emergency personnel and the policemen who took charge and of the hospital staff who later checked out our bruises. FULL POST
Posted 4/30/13 at 10:45 AM | Children's Bible Hour
"All together now!" Amanda called out. She and Grandpa sat in the back of a pedal boat; her sister Jessica and Grandma sat in the front. They started out all pedaling together.
They were having a good time, but when Jessica got tired, she lifted her feet. For a while, Grandma kept pedaling, but then she stopped, too.
"I need to give my knees a rest," said Grandpa a few minutes later. He stretched his legs out on the side of the boat, leaving Amanda to pedal alone.
"This is too hard since you all of you quit," muttered Amanda. She quit pedaling, and the boat soon drifted to a stop.
They enjoyed drifting for a little while; then Grandpa sat up straight. "Pedaling is harder than it looks," he said, "but are you all ready to tackle it again? If we don't work together, we'll sit out here all day."
"Yeah, and I'm getting hungry," said Jessica. She lifted her feet and began to pedal. The others did the same, and soon they were back at the boat dock.
"That was fun," said Amanda as they headed for a restaurant, "except when I had to pedal alone."
Grandpa smiled. "That reminds me of a Bible verse," he said. "Galatians 6:2 says, Bear one another's burdens.' How can we do that?" FULL POST