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Monday, October 5, 2015

Leadership Magazine carried a story about 4 young men, Bible College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marbleized, & he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face. His clothes were ragged & torn. His shoes didn’t match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell. The boys felt sorry for him & bought some of his vegetables just to help him out. Then he went on his way.

But from that time on, every Saturday he appeared at their door with his basket of vegetables.
As the boys got to know him a little bit better, they began inviting him in to visit a while before continuing on his rounds.

They soon discovered that his eyes looked marbleized, not because of drugs or alcohol, but because of cataracts. They learned that he lived just down the street in an old shack. They also found out that he could play the harmonica, & that he loved to play Christian hymns, & that he really loved God. So every Saturday they would invite him in, & he would play his harmonica & they would sing Christian hymns together. They became good friends, & the boys began trying to figure out ways to help him.

One Saturday morning, the story says, right in the middle of all their singing & praising, he suddenly said to them, "God is so good!" And they all agreed, "Yes, God is so good."

He went on, "You know why he is so good?"
They said, "Why?" He said, "Because yesterday, when I got up & opened my door, there were boxes full of clothes & shoes & coats & gloves. Yes, God is so good!"

And the boys smiled at each other & chimed in, "Yes, God is so good."
He went on, "You know why He is so good?"

They answered, "You already told us why. What more?"
He said, "Because I found a family who could use those things, & I gave them all away."

Monday, September 28, 2015

August H. Francke and the Homeless Orphans

In the latter part of the 17th century, German preacher August H. Francke founded an orphanage to care for the homeless children of Halle. One day when Francke desperately needed funds to carry on his work, a destitute Christian widow came to his door begging for a ducat--a gold coin.

Because of his financial situation, he politely but regretfully told her he couldn't help her. Disheartened, the woman began to weep. Moved by her tears, Francke asked her to wait while he went to his room to pray.

After seeking God's guidance, he felt that the Holy Spirit wanted him to change his mind. So, trusting the Lord to meet his own needs, he gave her the money.

Two mornings later, he received a letter of thanks from the widow. She explained that because of his generosity she had asked the Lord to shower the orphanage with gifts.

That same day Francke received 12 ducats from a wealthy lady and 2 more from a friend in Sweden. He thought he had been amply rewarded for helping the widow, but he was soon informed that the orphanage was to receive 500 gold pieces from the estate of Prince Lodewyk Van Wurtenburg.

When he heard this, Francke wept in gratitude. In sacrificially providing for that needy widow, he had been enriched, not impoverished.

Proverbs 28:27 New International Version (NIV)

27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

God Provides!

Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story.

 "A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister.

One of the girls responded,

 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead.
And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.'

That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it.
 Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle!

Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming,
'If God sent that, I'm sure He also sent a doll!'
And she was right!

The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child's sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies' group to include both of those specific articles."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Make Prayer A Habit

Luke 5:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Habits are powerful things. We form our habits, then our habits form us.
So this year are you going to stop talking about it, and make it a habit to spend time with God in prayer each day?

If your desire is to be like Jesus, you must begin to pray regularly, for He ‘often withdrew to lonely places and prayed’.
Don’t let the word ‘lonely’ intimidate you. Once you cultivate an awareness of God’s presence, you’ll prefer His company to that of anybody else.

Don’t let the word ‘withdrew’ intimidate you.
Just shut off your TV, your computer and your mobile phone and you’ll make a wonderful discovery:

Psalm 16:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 John Wesley said,
‘I have so much to do that I must spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.’

 Martin Luther said,
 ‘Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.’

 The hymnist wrote:

‘Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, that calls me from a world of care. And bids me at my Father’s throne, make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief my soul has often found relief, and often escaped the tempter’s snare, by thy return, sweet hour of prayer.’

When the disciples asked Jesus about prayer, He began by saying,

Matthew 6:9-15 New International Version (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


  1. Matthew 6:13 The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Is There a Catfish in Your Tank?

- Anonymous

Some fish suppliers were having problems in shipping codfish from the East Coast. By the time the fish reached the West coast, they were spoiled. They froze them, but by the time the fish arrived, they were mushy. They decided to send them alive. But the fish arrived dead.

So they tried sending the fish alive again, but with one difference.

They included a catfish in each tank. You see, the catfish is the natural enemy of the codfish. By the time the codfish arrived, they were alive and well, because they had spent their trip fleeing the catfish. This is my point.

 Maybe God has put a catfish in your tank to keep you alive and well spiritually.

 It's called Persecution.

Maybe there's a person at work who always has eight hard questions for you every Monday morning regarding spiritual things. Maybe it’s that neighbour who is giving you a hard time for your faith in Jesus.

Maybe it is a spouse or family member who doesn't believe.

You are wondering why this is happening. It is like that catfish. That person is keeping you on your toes.

Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples,

John 15:19English Standard Version (ESV)

19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

God will allow persecution in the life of the believer.

If you're experiencing persecution, here are two things to remember:

 1. Persecution confirms that you are a child of God.
 2. Persecution causes you to cling closer to Jesus.

When you are suffering persecution for your faith, remember that this world is not your home.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Beggar's Rags

- Author unknown

A beggar lived near the king's palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate.
The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble.
 Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. "Please, sire, I would like to speak to the king."
"Wait here," the guard replied. In a few minutes, he was back. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.

"You wish to see me?" asked the king.
"Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?"

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king's face.
 "You have been wise in coming to me," the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. "Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes."

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for.
"You are now eligible to attend the king's banquet tomorrow night," said the prince.
"But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever." The beggar dropped to his knees. "Oh, thank you," he cried.

But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated.
What if the prince was wrong?
What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should.
 He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right.
The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went.
They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.

One day as he lay dying, the king visited him.
The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince's words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty.
He wept bitterly at his folly. And the king wept with him.
We have all been invited into the royal family--the family of God.

 To feast at God's dinner table, all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the "new clothes" of faith which is provided by God's Son Jesus Christ.

But we cannot hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living. Those things must be discarded if we are to experience true royalty and abundant life in Christ.

What are you holding on to from your life before knowing Jesus?

Whatever it is, get rid of it! God will give you everything you need ... you don't need to rely on the world to satisfy you anymore!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Little Burnt Toast

- Samuel Machado

"When I was a little girl, my mom liked to cook food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made some toast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember Watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got Up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad For burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: 'Baby, I love burned toast.'

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if He really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, 'Debbie, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!' You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook.

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship again that may be a "close-friend relationship, husband-wife relationship or to that matter any relationship whatsoever" !!!!

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship in fact - as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!! "

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket, but into your own"

1 Peter 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.