Anticipation of trouble makes trifles appear unduly large, and the troubles that never come make up an imagined burden that will crush the spirit.  They are haunting specters, as unsubstantial as a bad dream, and we spend the strength that should be expended in constructive work and services in fighting problems that do not even exist.

 

Psalm 37:1 (NKJV) Do not fret.

 

Credit: Billy Graham – Unto The Hills  devotional

Tamara Lowe’s rap video.


The lyrics to this awesome rhyme:

To be a survivor in this Amazing Race with the need for speed you need God’s Grace and if your desperate like housewives watching days of our lives, you can’t cope without hope and that is not on a soap. If your looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil you can shop non-stop or pop a pill, but the void won’t fill and the pain won’t kill until you love the one that hung on a hill. Kicking back in your lazy boy easy chair watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, nah your not gonna find it there. No American Idol or Council Tribal has the final answer that will satisfy ya. C. S. I. ain’t got a clue. S.V.U. Don’t know what to do Not the E R or those seen on a CD TV DVD or MP3 can save you and me. CNN has got no Good News here’s a headline you must choose. It’s not a simple life Paris Hilton, It’s treading on thin ice living in sin. You can be an apprentice for Donald Trump or eat Fear Factor fast food from a dump you can be a heavy hitter or wheel of fortune winner or a Fox news no spin spinner or flat sinner but you better check this life that your livin’ and make sure your sins are forgiven I bet cha 50 cent Elvis done come and went, and eventually every Black-eyed-pea, Gwen Stefani, P-Diddy and Britney. Every wanna-be on M T V with their Icy Bling, every Dixie Chick that Sings, they all gonna see the king of kings. I don’t care if your J-Lo, Leno or Bono. One thing you gotta know. Some day your gonna die, Bro. Then Where are you gonna go. Hey, i’m not talking some punk junk that is irrelevant. Like your Grandma’s church from way back when. It’s not some preacher feature on T B N. that you need to be liking or listening. The real superstar is Jesus Christ. He’s the way, the truth and the life. One day he’s gonna split the sky. He is the brightest light and the highest high and so what I came to say and what I’m telling you is don’t buy that stupid stuff they be selling ya it’s all designed to fill your head and waste your space until your dead here’s the bottom line in my rhyme. Give your life to God while there is still time.

AMEN!!

Letter from Jesus about Christmas —

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those  of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you  want to celebrate my birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn.  If all my followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks was. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell me all the time.If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth, here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares

about them.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up… It will be nice hearing from you again.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that some in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary–especially one who takes my love and  Good News to those who have never heard my name.

9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don’t forget; I am God and can take care of myself. Just love me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

I do not believe that God has given up on our country. He did not give up on Ninevah (Jonah 3). He was willing to save Sodom if there were even ten righteous men there (Genesis 18:32).

There are two things that I am going to begin praying for daily and I invite you to join me. If Jesus is Lord of your life, I invite you to share these prayer requests with your friends and family.

1. I pray that Jesus will make it obvious to all who are the sheep and who are the goats in Congress (Matthew 25:31-46). There are too many wearing sheepskins to cover their goathides. I also pray that he will raise up sheep to take the place of the goats in governing this country.
2. Isaiah 6:1-4 I pray that God’s glory will fill our country and be revealed to the world. I pray that his glory will shake the doorposts and thresholds of the Capitol Building.

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a “minor” automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son.. She grieved over their loss.

Troubles had multiplied.

Her husband’s company “threatened” to transfer his job to a new location. Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend suggested that Sandra’s grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.

“She has no idea what I’m feeling,” thought Sandra with a shudder “Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?” she wondered.. “For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended me? For an airbag that saved my life, but took my child’s?”

“Good afternoon, can I help you?”

Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk. “I . . . I need an arrangement,” stammered Sandra.

“For Thanksgiving? I’m convinced that flowers tell stories, ”

she continued.. “Are you looking for something that conveys ‘gratitude’ this Thanksgiving?”

“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted out. “In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.”

Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you..”

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer….

“Hi, Barbara, let me get your order.” She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped; there were no flowers.

“Do you want these in a box?” asked the clerk. Sandra watched was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

“Yes, please,” Barbara replied with an appreciative smile.

“You’d think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn’t be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again,” she said, as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, “Ah, that lady just left with . . . uh . . ..

she left with no flowers!”

“That’s right,” said the clerk. “I cut off the flowers. That’s the ‘Special’. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do today,” explained the clerk.. ” She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery. That same year I had lost my husband,” continued the clerk. “For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel..”

“So what did you do?” asked Sandra.

“I learned to be thankful for thorns,” answered the clerk quietly.

“I’ve always thanked God for the good things in my life and I never questioned Him why those good things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, ‘Why? Why me?!’

It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had tried to tell her. “I guess the truth is I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.”

Just then someone else walked in the shop.

“Hey, Phil!” the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man.

“My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement, twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!” laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator..

“Those are for your wife?” asked Sandra incredulously.

“Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?”

“Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced,” Phil replied. “After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord’s grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem, the Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from “thorny” times. That was good enough for me.

I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific “problem” and give thanks for what that problem taught us.”

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”

“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life” Sandra said to the clerk. “It’s all too . . fresh.”

“Well,” the clerk replied carefully, “my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time.. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love…. Don’t resent the thorns.”

Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. “I’ll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please,” she managed to choke out.

“I hoped you would,” said the clerk gently. “I’ll have them ready in a minute.”

“Thank you. What do I owe you?”

“Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart… The first year’s arrangement is always on me.”

The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. “I’ll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first.”

It read:
“My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.”

Praise Him for the roses;

thank Him for the thorns.

God Bless all of you.

Be thankful for all that the Lord does for you.
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly,
and leave the rest to God..”

New  Pledge of Allegiance

Now  I sit me down in school
Where praying is against  the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If  Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our  hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom thing..
The law is specific, the law is precise..
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God’s name is prohibited by the state.

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks..
We can carry smut, but not the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me  liable.

We  can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the ‘unwed  daddy,’ our Senior King.
It’s ‘inappropriate’ to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such ‘judgments’ do not belong..

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It’s scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school’s a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
Amen

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
“He will defy the Most High God, and try to change all laws, morals, and customs. God’s people will be helpless in his hands for three and a half years.” (Daniel 7:25, TLB)

For several weeks, months actually, we have been studying the Book of Daniel in Sunday School. I have to admit that prophesy has never held a really strong interest to me. My mind is far more mechanical than philosophical, given to math and engineering more than philosophy or dreaming.. But this verse literally jumped out at both Gail (my wife) and me. Immediately we both saw this as VERY current. It is now July, 2009… the current presidential term and some senate terms, and all house terms will end in 3 1/2 years!

Virtually all Bible experts date this as having been written around 535 B.C. The experts also say this was a prophesy of the Roman Empire to come about 400 years in the future of this prophesy (around 146 B.C). Why then, does this seem so current and real for today? Perhaps the Bible explains it best in its own words. Hebrews 4:12 states that the Word of God is “quick and powerful” meaning alive and active. Jesus Himself told Satan that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that “proceedeth” (meaning currently being spoken) out of the mouth of God. Now we believe that the Bible is complete and is not subject to new words being added. However, it is alive and active. Therefore, I believe strongly that the precepts and principles written for specific times and events are applicable to ALL times and events.

From those who don’t believe in the infallibility of the Bible, the argument comes that cultures, times, morals, etc. were different then and that today’s truths are different. I do not agree. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:8-11 (TLB) that ” …History merely repeats itself. Nothing is truly new; it has all been done or said before”… “How do you know it didn’t exist long ages ago? We don’t remember what happened in those former times, and in the future generations no one will remember what we have done back here.” Thank God, we have God’s Word, the Bible, where these things have been written down so we do know what was said and done back there.

Right is right and wrong is wrong. God is good and sin is evil. These absolutes are not relevant to time and circumstance. Do God’s people always do right and not sin? Unfortunately, no they don’t. We try, but we are sinners by nature and often do not succeed. Thank God who sent Jesus, who, through the shedding of his own blood, we who accept it are redeemed from sin. That forgiveness is once and for all, but is also renewable every day, every minute until that day when we are with Him and no longer have the influence of sin on us.

So then, is Daniel 7:25 a prophesy relating to today’s American political administration? I don’t know. I do know that Acts 17:24-28 the apostle Paul stated that God is not subject to man’s changes and that God Himself set the exact time and place for nations and each individual to be. I have no problem believing that God spoke from His “living and active” word to Gail and me at the exact same time in that exact place. What if nothing new comes from this prophesy in 3 ½ years? Still no problem, and that makes it no less real for us. After all, as Solomon said, “Nothing is truly new, it has all been done or said before”
As Steve Brown,  a mentor of mine, would say “Now you think about that”!

Christians , What a Weird Bunch

A. W. Towzer, (A favorite teacher of mine) wrote… “A Real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows t hat which passeth knowledge.”

Now THAT sounds pretty weird, foolish even…

However, Paul the apostle (another favorite teacher) wrote in 1 Corinthians 1…. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom,…” (v25) and “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…” (v27) And in chapter 2… “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him….” (v14)

Yeah, in the minds of non-Christians, I guess we seem pretty foolish and weird. But Jim Elliot, the Christian martyr, summed it up best for me when he said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

The truly amazing thing is that immediately upon receiving Christ as savior and truly believing in God, the Christian begins his journey to understand and gain “God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory…” (1 Cor. 2:7)

So, don’t fret if the world of unbelievers think you to be wierd or foolish… It has always been so and is not likely to change before His returning. Take comfort in your “wierdness”. Celebrate it!!!

Why? Because, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Dave H

ingodwetrustSimple words, in which we exchange back and forth throughout our daily lives. Do we know what it means? We print it on our money, most of us stand behind and up for it. Really, though, how many of us truly trust in God as it says we do on our money. This is big! Our nation, founded on godly principles and men of godly character, understood it when it became part of our national motto, but it seems has completely lost sight of it. Now we say American Pride.. etc, etc.. The thing is, you can be proud, but when pride pushes aside trust in God.. well we’ve seen many many great nations, full of pride, crumble to nothing, swiftly.. at the loss of trust in God. Ask God to reveal the message in Romans 1:21-32 and then read it. Idolatry doesn’t mean that we build a statue and kneel down before it, it is simply putting something other than God first.. The very money we print this motto on has become an idol in America.. The American Dream.. Do you have a dream that you would sacrifice everything to realize? Think about it..

update:  The mere consideration of the following means we’ve gone to far: