“AVOIDED AMPUTATION!”

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  Philippians 2:3-4 NIV   Read:  Philippians 2:1-4   There was a recent news story of a man who slipped and his leg was caught between a subway train and the platform.  The train was about to start and the man’s leg was sure to be ripped from his body or he would be dragged to his death.   All at once a crowd gathered and pushed the subway car sideways just enough to free his leg.  What one person could not do alone, all working together saved this man’s leg and probably his life!  If only one person had not pushed against that subway car, he would not have been freed. Do you ever feel you don’t matter?  Are you convinced your words or actions are not important?   You do matter and you are important.   We each have a job to do, a role to play and occasionally a brief moment of fame.   Our best job or responsibility is when we are not solo, but are working with others for the good of others.   As Christians, we need to understand we are important and our strengths are complimentary to the body of believers.  Each of us is an important part of the whole.  Whether you are pushing against a subway car in order to save a man or picking a single flower to gift to another, your action is important to someone.   Today’s prayer: ...

“PLACE HAND IN MOUTH!”

“Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.”  Proverbs 11:12 NIV   Read:  Proverbs 11:9-13   There have been times we all have been able to put our foot in our mouth.  I have been guilty of taking my foot out of my mouth only long enough to get the other one in.  The phrase, putting your foot in your mouth, probably originated in the 1800’s.  It may refer to the deadly cattle disease, hoof and mouth. Or simply stepping in something that was more than unpleasant.  We suffer too often from foot in mouth disease.   ‘Place hand in mouth!’ should be the first instruction of the day for many of us.  Putting our hands in our mouths and holding our tongues may be the only way we can control our words.   By putting our hands in our mouths, we may avoid putting our feet in our mouths.   Can you put your hand in your mouth?  Do you ever have a problem holding back misspoken words that come out uncomplimentary, rude and often just plain cruel? In Romans 14:11 we read;  “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God,'”   Our tongues can and should be used to honor our LORD with words of praise and respect.  We can also lift others up with words of kindness and support. Place your hand in your mouth and hold your tongue before you put your foot in your mouth…you might find it more appetizing…and more gracious to the hearts of...

“YOUR SONG BOOK TO LIFE”

“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  Psalms 96:2 NIV   Read:  Psalms 96   One of the most repeated commands in scripture throughout your Bible is to sing.  Singing sure seems a lot more beneficial than being angry or depressed.  Our society defines our actions in songs.   Some songs are good and lead us to worship, while others songs have become popular with words of vulgarity and crime.   Radios blare songs of love and songs of hate.  What you choose to listen will help define your thoughts, actions and how you deal with people and situations.  Are you listening to songs to model you as GOD wants or are your listening silently praising the world of Satan?   Of the over one hundred scriptural instructions to sing, almost all direct us to sing praises to our LORD.   The book of Psalms is your ‘song book to life’.   There are more declarations to praise our GOD in Psalms than in all other verses of scripture. The Psalms teach us to not only sing but they teach us to sing in praise as we worship, study, hear, learn, teach others, help others, share HIS Word and pray.   When is the last time you enjoyed the book of Psalms?   Like the old cowboy in the chili commercial said…”Well, that’s been too long!”  Sing the Psalms.  You will be glad you did.  Do it today.   Today’s prayer:  “LORD, Thank YOU for being my GOD.  Thank YOU for guiding me through YOUR word.   Today, I will make an extra effort to sing...

“TIME TO HARVEST CROPS!”

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11 NIV   Read:   Hebrews 12:4-12   In my weekly drives from San Antonio to Aransas Pass to work on the house being remodeled for the Pastors’ Retreat, I pass through the coastal plains.   With the warm climate, their planting season is very early.  This results in their harvest time being in the middle of the summer.   Maize and feed corn were harvested six weeks ago, while huge cotton bales have been lining the roads for the last few weeks.  As the months go by, harvest time will continue northward over the next month or so.   There are times in each of our lives when we by choice or not harvest what we have sown.  There are times to reflect upon and embrace our work and our efforts during these years our LORD has given us.   Are you prepared to harvest the crops you have planted?  Will your grain bins be overflowing, your cellars stocked well and your barns full of the livestock of your life?  Or, will you harvest the disappointing crops of your errors and sinful ways?   You have a choice.   Take the time to read today’s scripture reading, Hebrew 12: 4-12.   GOD tells us in order to harvest well, we must be disciplined in our lives.  We are to plant and care for our crops so they yield a full harvest.   Unlike growing seasons, we can plant daily.  Your storehouse and barns are...

“DON’T LIVE THERE!”

“But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”  2Peter 1:9 NIV Read: 2Peter 1:5-10 I once read;  “Leave tomorrow behind, you don’t live there anymore.”   We all too often live in the past, full of regrets.   Or maybe, you are looking back at the doubts and insecurities of past errors. Where are you living?   If you are living in the past, ask yourself why.   What does the past offer that the future doesn’t?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing. Simon Peter wrote GOD’S perfect Word in today’s scripture reading and completes GOD’S Blessings with a comforting instruction of our future in verses 10 and 11. “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.  For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.”   Now, that’s where to live! This reminds us of the future we all can have.  It is not based on yesterday.   You can’t go back to all the yesterdays of your life.  But, you can follow the scriptural words of Peter and do each and every thing GOD tells us in today’s reading. Goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love are all instructions for today and the future.   These are of not instructions of the past you cannot change.   They are the instructions of the future you can live in. Today’s prayer: “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for hearing my prayer.   Help me today to shed...

“IS TRUTH DEAD?”

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  1John 1:8 NIV Read:  1John 1:5-10 “IS TRUTH DEAD?” was the entire cover of Time magazine this past April.   The story was about the truth and lack of truth in the politics of our great nation.   Still, the subject is worth exploring as the lack of truth reflects the mood of our nation and society all too much.     Does everyone you know always tell the truth?  Always?   How about you?   Do you always tell the truth?  Always?  I wonder if everyone I have ever met always tells the truth.   It would be great if everyone did.  Yet, it seems even the best of us ‘stretch’ the truth or leave part of it out when we speak. The truth is the only truth in this world we are spending time is the Holy Scripture of GOD.   Every word of every verse of every book is the only Truth you can depend.  As you are caught up in the evils of this world, take a break and enjoy GOD.  Enjoy all of HIS truths knowing HE will lead you to the truth in your life.   Jeremiah wrote of Judah in chapter 7, verse 28: “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.”    Are we a nation like Judah?   It is not just about politics.  Are you being truthful to all you know and meet?   Isn’t it time we...