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Showing posts from May, 2009

Dr. George W. Truett and a gift that took 62 years to arrive!

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Dr. George W. Truett was Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1897- 1944. Dr. Truett was a world renowned preacher, and a dignified statesman.

*He was one of the most significant Southern Baptist preachers of his era. He was invited by President Woodrow Wilson both to address the Allied forces in Europe and gave a particularly memorable speech preaching to 15,000 supporting freedom of religion on the steps of the US Capitol in 1920. *Wikipedia article

He was a three time president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I have admired his life and ministry for more than 20 years!

Little did I know, that my admiration for Dr. Truett would be enhanced by an event that is beyond coincidence!

In the course of my own pastoral duties. I visited several years ago (2005) in the home of a guest that attended the church (In Colorado) I was pastoring at the time.

In meeting him, I discovered an 85 year old man with a PhD from the University of Colorado, who taught pharmaceutical chemistry …

In Honor of Peter Marshall.

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In Memory of a Man who was after God's own heart. As a younger minister my heart warmed to His preaching, (From recorded sermons) the soaring diction, the impassioned eloquent proclamation of truth, through a life consumed by Christ!

As a middle aged Pastor now, the memory of this incomparable Preacher continues to inspire!

I am so looking forward to meeting Dr. Marshall in heaven! Few people in my life's journey have touched me as deeply as the late Peter Marshall.


Here is just a sample of his profound way of turning a phrase...

• A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.

• Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.

• God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.

• If you hug to yourself any resentment against anybody else, you destroy the bridge by which God would come to…

Peter Marshall on Effective Preaching

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Graduations remind me of my own youth, and the choices, guidance (Of The Lord) and life experiences that have brought me to where I am today, serving a growing, loving Church in Wyoming.

It seems like yesterday that I took a diploma from my High School principle and began my post High School journey.

Years of academic preparation, was to follow. I remember, those fledgling first opportunities to minister, the encouragement and patience of early congregations.

I use to say to the Churches I served as I began my ministry..."there must be a special place in heaven, for congregations that have young Pastors"!

What a trip it has been!

Of the many mentors that have benefited my life, I am thinking today of the wonderful Scottish Pastor Peter Marshall. He emigrated to the United States via Ellis island,(arriving in 1925) worked his way through Seminary, and became in time one of the most influential voices for God in America, even becoming Chaplain of the U.S. Senate!

Heart problems …

Jesus, Lord over Nature!

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John’s Gospel chapter 6 records our Lord walking on the Sea of Galilee, walking toward the disciples who were huddled in side their fishing boat trying to ride out a terrible storm!

Just one disciple (Peter) will step out and walk toward Jesus on the waves!

Take a long moment and concentrate on the above image. If you were to describe what your seeing what words come to mind?

Miraculous...

In control...

Jesus the Lord of nature!

The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side.  More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles wide and 7 miles long. 

At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. 

The rabbis said of it, "Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight."

On board their fishing craft, the disciples clothes are damp, their hair blowing in the wind, enduring the teeming waves, the disciples are about to experience a phenomenon they had never seen befor…

Become a Student of the Word of God!

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The Ace book binding company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, specializes in rebinding worn, and tattered Bibles. There motto Quality & Experience passed down 3 Generations!

They live up to it!

One good friend of mine sent them his first study Bible purchased in the early 80’s…the result amazing!

Ace Book Binding can rebind your Bible in leather choices that include: Black, Burgundy, Navy Blue, Caramel Brown, Forest Green, Chocolate Brown, True Red, Rose, Purple, Royal Blue, Teal, White, Cream, Dark Olive Green, Coral, Lavender, Marbled Brown, Coffee Brown, Natural...(This is only a partial list of their most popular colors!)

I appreciate good craftsmanship, and love quality leather Bibles….yet I know, we know, that deep down the critical need is to get the word of God into us!

The Apostle Paul said as much to a young man named Timothy...

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." …

How to Behave in a Cave!

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I cry aloud to the LORD;
I plead aloud to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I reveal my trouble to Him. 3 Although my spirit is weak within me,
You know my way. Along this path I travel
they have hidden a trap for me.

4 Look to the right and see: no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me. 5 I cry to You, LORD; I say, "You are my shelter, my
portion in the land of the living."

6 Listen to my cry, for I am very weak.
Rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.

7 Free me from prison so that I can praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because You deal generously with me.
(Psalm 142: 1-7). Holman Christian Standard Bible

David the boy wonder from the hills, has been anointed the heir apparent to the throne of Israel. Only problem was, the throne had yet to be vacated!

From the time David was anointed the "Next" King, until he became King, about ten years! A Decade of trying …

Don't Worry, Trust!

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).

I have read: An average person's anxiety is focused on:

40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can't be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced

Worry and anxiety seem to always wait for an opportune time to pounce on us, when were the least bit ready!

We have all heard reassuring, stirring sermons from preachers and evangelists and other reminders from Sunday School teachers, parents and friends that tell us that worry is a waste of energy!

They say and teach what we know to be true, anxiety is in fact doubt,...doubt that t…

Persecuted yet believing!

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*Open Doors UK, works to serve and support persecuted Christians around the world, has reported a call for prayers for North Korea, the last surviving bastion of world Communism and one of the most closed-off countries in the world.

Praying for a breakthrough in North Korea. Only 200–400,000 of North Korea's 20 million people are Christians. *(Open Doors UK)

According to Open Doors statistics, at least 200,000 people are currently interned in concentration camps under harsh living conditions, with an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 of them Christians, according to ‘Brother Peter’.

“Without prayer the North Korean church can’t survive,” said Peter in the Open Doors press statement, who reported widespread suffering within the Communist country; smugglers and defectors are often tortured to death after being caught at the Chinese border.

“Their last days or weeks are terrible.

The North Korean authorities submit them to days of interrogation and severe beatings without giving them fo…

The Church I want to Pastor!

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When you see this painting by Thomas Kincaid, the “Painter of Lights”, what do you think of? When I first saw it I thought, man what a landscaping budget!

In his usual way, the artist is showing light filling the church set against a backdrop of a splash of colors and beauty!


How do you see the Church you attend?

Pastor Davon Huss once said:

“A church that has passion is a church where "Discouraged folks cheer up, dishonest folks fess up, sour folks sweeten up, closed folk, open up, gossipers shut up, conflicted folks make up, sleeping folks wake up, lukewarm folk, fire up, dry bones shake up, and pew potatoes stand up!

But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up!"

I want to Pastor a Church like that!

Another Shot

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If you ever wanted a second chance, if you ever wanted to do it all over and do it right, then listen to Joe Kita. He did it for all of us." (Regis Philbin)

We all have our regrets, but rarely do we give ourselves a chance to try to do anything about them. After turning forty, Joe Kita set out to relive his top-twenty personal regrets.

*In his book, Another Shot, Joe Kita, recounts his adventures-from the hilarious to the poignant.. Bemoaning the selling of his first love, a powerhouse Camaro, he hires a private detective to find it. Still smarting from the sting of getting cut from his high school basketball team, he convinces his alma mater's coach to let him try out for the squad again-more than twenty years later. (*From The Books Introduction)

In a follow up book Joe determined it was time to face his fears. He made a list of 10 and set out to conquer every single one. He picked deep, dark, knee-knocking fears, like being alone, flying, and death!

He tried s…

The Way We Were!

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*The Amazon River is the greatest river in the world. It contains over 20% of the earth’s fresh water. During the rainy season it expands to 24.8 miles wide at inland points. Where it opens into the Atlantic Ocean it is 202 miles wide, discharging eight trillion gallons of fresh water a day into the ocean. That fresh water can be detected over 200 miles out into the sea! *Wikepedia

Theologian John S. Dunne tells the story about a group of Spanish sailors who reached the continent of South America after a long and dangerous voyage. They happened to approach right at the headwaters of the Amazon River, an expanse of water so wide the sailors assumed it was a continuation of the Atlantic Ocean.

But these Spanish sailors didn’t realize that subtle change in the water. They had spent months knowing they couldn’t drink the water in which they were traveling. Any experienced sailor knows that drinking salt water will kill you. Although it didn’t look much different, and the change had …

Gods timing!

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"And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
(Matthew 21:22).

In a little book called Small Miracles you can read the true story of Kevin and Faith – a couple who just after their marriage were vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains.

They were out in a lake in a canoe and Faith let her hand go down in the pool of water to drift for a while. Her wedding ring slipped off her finger and down into the lake. Kevin, being a good young husband dove again and again and again in that lake trying to find that ring. He could never find it.

He said to his wife, “I’ll buy you a new one.” She said, “I don’t want a new one. That is the one you first slipped on my finger—that is the one I want.” Sadly, she left that lake without having ever found her ring.

20 years after Faith lost her ring, her husband and their son went fishing in that same lake. One of them caught a large trout and when Faith was cleaning that fish, she found her engagement ring!

What are you believi…

Dr. Seuss on Indecisiveness, and the Church you hope to find!

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Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad Who came to two sides in the fork in the road? He looked one way then the other way, too. So the Zoad had to make up his mind what to do. ... If I go to place one, that place may be hot. So how will I know if I like it or not? On the other hand though, I'll feel such a fool, If... I go to place two and find it's too cool. ...

So place one may be the best, and he started to go. And he stopped and he said, On the other hand though ... On the other hand, other hand, other hand though ... Play safe, cried the Zoad, I'm no dunce. I'll simply start off to both places at once. And that's how the Zoad who would not take a chance Got no place at all with the split in his pants!


Far to many people are like the Zoad when it comes to selecting a Church, that kind of indecisiveness can have eternal consequences!

The book of Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul to a Church he had never personally visited. Word however had reached …

Memories of Dr. Adrian Rogers

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The great Scottish preacher Peter Marshall once said “It’s not the duration of a life that counts but the donation”.

How thankful Southern Baptist should be for the duration and donation of the life of Adrian Rogers. Dr. Rogers pastored the historic Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee, from 1972 until his retirement in 2005. He left for heaven in November of the same year.

He was a three time president of the Southern Baptist Convention. A preacher without peer, and a statesman in the first order.

I had the opportunity to meet him on four different occasions, each time he looked intently into my eyes, and expressed genuine and heartfelt interest in my own ministry journey.


He was so very kind, I never felt rushed in his presence, it was if I was the most important person in the world to him.

When I think of Dr. Rogers, I am reminded of this truth:

"People will forget what you say, but they will never forget the way you made them feel."


Dr. Rogers, thank you for the…

Chanel Living Large!

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Chanel is the world's oldest pooch, with 21 years under her collar, but she never learned how to beg.

"She's independent. If she didn't want to do something, she had a look she would give, and she usually got her way,"

Long Islander Denice Shaughnessy, joked of her aging dachshund, Chanel, whose 147th birthday -- in people years – was May 6 2009!

Her home is kept at a constant 72 degrees. She eats boiled chicken with whole-wheat pasta, and a specially selected soft treat designed for her ancient teeth.

And she spends her days relaxing at home, only taking walks in the summer.

"She used to run three miles with me every day," said Shaughnessy, a high-school principal's secretary who adopted Chanel from a Virginia shelter as a 6-week-old pup.

"She still enjoys a walk, but now she's carried for a lot of it." New York Post May 6 2009

Whether walking or riding life should be enjoyed!

Honoring those in Authority

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A. W. Tozer was a renowned Missionary Alliance Pastor who in a addition to having a prolific preaching writing and conference ministry had a deep love for children. On one occasion Tozer was walking with a friend to a restaurant near the church, they happened upon a grimy little boy playing on the sidewalk. Tozer stopped and asked him:

How old are you, sonny?

Without looking up, the little fellow answered, “I’m three.” “You couldn’t possibly be three years old,” Tozer objected. His integrity assailed, the boy at last looked up. “I am, too.” He asserted. I am three years old!” “No,” insisted Tozer. “You couldn’t possibly be three. No-body could get that dirty in three years!

One assured experience of parenthood, is dealing with children who are drawn to dirt like a magnet!

Being a parent is hard. I think you could make the case that parenting today is harder than ever before.

It's not easy raising kids these days, so say more than 2,000 parents in a new Pew Research Center stu…

Honor is a choice

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Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12).

Honor is a choice

Each day the choices of life come to us one after another. We have to make a decision to listen and act upon the blaring alarm clock by our bedside….do we push snooze, if so how many times? We stumble to the bathroom, where we decide if we will make ourselves socially acceptable that day, and shower…the many people you will encounter in the next so many hours, unconsciously are hoping you will decide yes! And so it goes, what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, when to leave for work, what to eat for lunch. That’s life, one decision after another.

In a fascinating on-line article about becoming a creative person, that is turning the thoughts and decisions of life into productive living, I learned, that according to Nobel Prize winner Herbert A. Simon, creative people must have abundant "relevant knowledge.&qu…

No turning back!

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To love God with our total being calls for focused intensity! We make time for what interests us. Are you willing to follow the Lord with all that you are, all that you can be?

When Julius Caesar landed on the shores of Britain with his Roman legions He took a bold and decisive step to ensure the success of his military venture. Ordering his men to march to the edge of the Cliffs of Dover, he commanded them to look down at the water below.

To their amazement, they saw every ship in which they had crossed the channel engulfed in flames. Caesar had deliberately cut off any possibility of retreat.

Now that his soldiers were unable to return to the continent, there was nothing left for them to do but to advance and conquer! And that is exactly what they did.

Love God, with intensity, with abandonment (Be all in) a passion that by its very breadth and scope engages our life to the hilt!

Got Soul?

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What is the soul? We have all heard of soul food, soul music,soul train! Well you would remember that if your a baby boomer! We sometimes refer to someone as a lost soul…but if pressed for a definition, how would you define soul?

Augustine, one of western Christianity's most influential early Christian thinkers, described the soul as "a special substance, endowed with reason, adapted to rule the body".

Soul -noun Soul is a Middle English word coined before the 12th century.

1: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
3: a person's total self 2009 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated


"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

We then, are Spirit, Soul, and Body.

*With my …

Gone Fishing

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I can’t remember when my dad first met Dutch, or how their friendship came about. Dutch was a rancher in eastern Colorado, who owned thousands of acres, we owned 5…..but somehow they met, and became friends. Dutch was kind and friendly and invited us to fish on his property.

The land was flat, hot….and well to a kid, of about 9…..boring! Dutch had two ponds stocked with catfish, and on a Saturday with the sun beating down, we went East to fish! My dad went to one pond, and sent my little brother and I to the other one…( I'm sure He wanted to distance himself from tangling fishing lines, baiting hooks, tying on sinkers)….well you have fished with kids before haven’t you?

Accepting our abandonment we began to fish……did we ever……as soon as the bait hit water….a bite, a hook set…a fish caught! Wow! To this day I have never seen fish so anxious, to leave their watery home!

In between baiting , and catching and reeling…I looked over at my Dad all alone, at his pond….he was watching us…

The world's smiles are more dangerous that its frowns!

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If I had a brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I ...daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother's heart; surely I too must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?" C.H. Spurgeon.

The world's smiles are more dangerous that its frowns! Yet it seems that increasingly the church is being influenced by the world. We are hesitant to be distinct…. afraid of what people might think.

Why are we not more concerned with what the Lord thinks? Consider this passage from Revelation 2 written to the church at Thyatira

The Son of God, the One whose eyes are like a fiery flame, and whose feet are like fine bronze says: 19 I know your works—your love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. Your last works are greater than the first. 20 But I have this against you: you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and teaches an…

Struggles

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In October of 2008 in midtown Manhattan, time stood still literally. After the country's debt surpassed $10 trillion, the marquee-sized debt clock in Times Square, which has kept a running tally of the U.S. national debt for nearly 20 years, ran out of digits.

For a nation already struggling with a bleak economic reality, it was a less-than-reassuring display.

Several news organizations quipped about such a literal "sign of the times," while another newspaper offered its own brand of gallows humor: "If everyone just donated one dollar, we would have enough money to buy a new clock.“
A little history on the clock: It was created in 1989 by Manhattan real estate developer Seymour Durst to inform the public about the nation's snowballing national debt (back then, it was $2.7 trillion).

According to the Treasury, the national debt has grown more than $500 billion each year since fiscal year 2003! These are harrowing difficult times!
Americans are strug…

Last Meal

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Walls unit is the oldest prison unit in the state of Texas. Texas State Law states that no state execution may take place outside the City limits of Huntsville, Texas. Brian Price spent time as an inmate inside the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Tex., where the state's executions are carried out. His job assignment in prison was preparing dinner meals for the general population, a responsibility assigned to him because of his work in a pizza parlor as a teenager.

He explains his duty this way: As a dinner cook, I was asked to volunteer for the morbid task of preparing last meals requested by men and women condemned to die. This was a job that most of the cooks declined to accept, saying it gave them the creeps. I too had shunned the responsibility, wanting to minimize my contact with death row. But on one particular day there were no volunteers, so I decided that I would

The last meal is an ancient tradition, which some say predates the death of Christ. I always thought of the last meals…

Life's Significant Events!

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Each of us participate in significant life events. Moments in time that seem to hang in the air, then suddenly they no longer are a part of our present…but our past.

Memories of these life events be it graduations, weddings , funerals, proposals will come to you from time to time as reminders of another time and place when that particular event filled your senses.

Jesus wants to be a part of each and every one of your life events! In John’s gospel he is an honored guest to a wedding. Their will be no occasion in your life that our Lord doesn’t want to be invited to. None. Even the times of failure when you are overcome with a sense of defeat …Jesus will be there to soothe, comfort and befriend you.

A young man said to his father at breakfast one morning, "Dad, I'm going to get married." "How do you know you're ready to get married?" asked the father. "Are you in love?" "I sure am," said the son. "How do you know you'r…

He blew and they were scattered!

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In God we trust is printed on every coin issued in the United States. In 1588 in England Queen Elizabeth, ordered that a Gold coin be struck with the motto…” He blew and they were scattered”, …He blew and they were scattered?
Why in the world would that phrase be put on a Gold medal? In May 1588 Spain was the most powerful nation on earth. And riding the crest of that power, the Spanish had set their sights on invading and capturing England.

To accomplish that task King Philipp of Spain sent his navy, the most powerful Navy on the seas. This fleet made up of over 100 warships was known as the invincible Armada. No nation on earth could hope to defeat it.

Departing Spain the Navy headed North toward England. Before they could attack however they ran into a monster storm. Actually a hurricane far north, of the path hurricanes normally roam. And it was this staggering hurricane with its murderous winds that virtually annihilated the Spanish armada. That was the end of Spain as a world p…

Our Lords expectations of His people

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And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God… Shall is a strong word isn’t it? It is demanding, it brings to mind the absolutes of childhood…you shall clean your room! You shall not fight with your brother and sister! Now I don’t remember my Dad or Mom using the word “Shall” exactly…but they were well acquainted with the word synonyms!

According to the online legal dictionary by farlex,

Shall:

1) an imperative command as in "you shall not kill."

2) In some statutes, "shall" is a direction but does not mean mandatory, depending on the context.


Growing up in my house shall was mandatory! Provided you relished living! We must not provide an out for this command from the Lord Jesus Christ, by suggesting that His words are not mandatory, that we can pick and choose our obedience the way some select food from a cafeteria line.

I will have a little bit of commitment, not too much, a small scoop of discipline if you will…a full portion of love thank you very muc…

The Kind of people we should be

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And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40). ESV

“Foundational in Deuteronomy 6:5 and repeated twice daily by faithful Jews, this passage encapsulates the idea of total devotion to God and includes the duty to obey the rest of God's commandments.” ESV Study Bible notes

I have learned that people do what they enjoy doing. That is, people make time for what interests them. Today in our fast paced lives, time is the one commodity that most people are least likely to give away.

It’s been said “Don’t waste time, for time is the stuff of life”. For believers who want to grow in Christlikeness, that is becoming like him (And if a believer has no such desire, something is lacking in the very core of their fait…

This Day His Day!

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“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4)

Opportunities, days of surrender to the Lord, pass rapidly. It’s hard to believe but I once read that the average person lives just 25,000 days! Don't get out the calculator just yet.

Days that test us, thrill us, frighten and fulfill us. That’s life!

Life is difficult and often the mere act of living drains our energy, especially when look far out into the distant horizon and wonder what waits around the next corner.

Why is it that we tend to think we will be happy somewhere out there? When I pay off the mortgage, when the kids walk across a stage to take a college diploma in hand (And we can stop dying of maltuition) when I reach this goal, look this particular way…drive that model of car.

Happiness is not in the murky distance…..you and I will not finally arrive on day 19,003 feeling totally fulfilled day 23,001 will not necessarily be a zip pity doo da day! I…