Friday, July 29, 2011

Do You Do The Very Thing You Hate?

Paul said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Romans 7:18-19)

Hey Gang: Did you know that the Bible is filled with very effective road maps to living truly effective lives. For instance look at Colossians three and note that Paul gives us a formula for change.

But before giving us the formula he sets the prerequisites for implementation and success of this formula in verse one, “Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ”. The principles in the Word are many but keep in mind there are prerequisites to receiving God’s blessings.

Paul goes on and gives us the ‘rest of the story’, “…keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”.

He then gives us step one to the change process: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” What a joy there is in knowing that, when we have surrendered our lives to Christ, we are literally hidden with Him and when He is revealed, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Wow!, Just plain wow!

Now Paul goes on with the prerequisites to being hidden with Him, “…consider your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”

Is Paul saying that God would like us to die to these things? No, I believe it goes a lot deeper. Notice Paul’s next words, “For it is because of these things the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience”.

Sooo, young folks, remember the hillbilly adage, “Your gunna get what ya always got if ya do what ya always did’. You will make choices today. Will you “put off” those things that offend God and “put on” those things that bring honor and glory to Abba Father? Will you “let God” have full control of your day?



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Living Waters - Part Two -

“Jesus said, ‘If a man is thirsty let him come to Me and drink; Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow within him.” (John 4:13-14)

Hey Gang: I was out cutting up a tree that did not survive the latest wind storm, probably not a good idea for someone as old as dirt to be doing that when the temperature was hovering in the mid-nineties, but patience is not one of my greatest attributes. As I have grown older I find it necessary to take more and longer breaks to recharge my burners – like work fifteen minutes and take a half hour break. (not really)

As I was sitting under a tree drinking ‘cool clear water’ my thoughts once again returned to those very happy days when I was getting my hands dirty digging in the sands at Tel Tamar in the desert of the Wilderness of Zin, Israel.

There are three basic sources of water in the desert: cisterns, wells and springs. The cistern system consisting of aqueducts to funnel water into basins for storage and is ingenious. Masada had cisterns capable of holding millions of gallons of water. At best this is a temporary way of storing water. Most water is obtained from wells.

To the Bedouin finding water is a simple thing. It is said that the desert sand to the Bedouin is like the morning newspaper to the Englishman, only with fewer misprints. He knows how to track and where to find water.

Again we see the analogies between our physical walk through the wilderness and our spiritual lives. A sign of our entrance into the Promised Land is adequate spiritual nourishment that comes with our covenant relationship to God through Christ Jesus; but to secure this we must dig a well deep enough to assure adequate water.

Surface water is dangerous and folly. We cannot live on intermittent blessings. We need a much deeper source brought on by showers of blessings; a source to be drawn upon when there is no rain for long periods of time.

David wrote about the spiritual man who “… was like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruits in season” (Psa. 1:3). Jeremiah warned, ,“The people have committed two sins, they have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and they have dug cisterns that cannot hold water. (2:13)

Soooo, my young friends “Jesus said if a man is thirsty let him come to Me and drink; Whoever believes in Me, streams of living water will flow within him.” (John 7:37) How’s your water supply this morning. Are you relying on a cistern or a spring or have you sunk your well in the living waters, Jesus as your Lord.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Living Waters!

Jesus answered and said to her, ”If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)

I cannot say that I am a sojourner in the land identified by God as the “land of milk and honey” but I have spent enough time in the Arabah, the desert of Southern Israel, to gain a great respect for the desert. I learned, from some of the older salts who have traversed the desert lands, that the desert does not take prisoners but rather kills those who do not respect its lethal ways and take adequate steps to protect themselves.

When we were working in the crops or remodeling buildings and erecting stone walls, we always picked the biggest dude and made him the water boy. His job was to rotate among the troops every half hour and, not ask ‘if’ they would like to have a cup of water but rather ‘demand’ that they drink a cup of water, for you see one does not get thirsty or feel the need for water in the desert.

Everyone who travels in the desert knows that water, not food, is the source of life. Without it you are not going to survive for long. In the desert water is an ‘act of the will‘, for thirst is not an issue nor is sweating. Sweat evaporates as it appears on the skin and you never feel thirsty. In essence dehydration in the desert is a silent killer.

Do we not have similar problems when we move through our spiritual wildernesses? Spiritual thirst, the need for ‘Living Water’, is the dominating factor in the lives of all human beings. It begins with a deep longing for something to fill that vacuum that is just the size of God in our chest cavities. Jesus said that our hunger for righteousness will be filled when we seek Him with all our heart, but we also know our natural man likes to kick up his heels and park our armor in the closet for a season or two.

Paul said “Hey gang, “I sometimes do the very thing I hate”. I wish I did not have to admit it, but I sometimes, like Paul, I do the very things I hate. God knew that Satan would have his victories and we would choose to go our own way periodically but He loved you and me so much, He made provision for prodigals who go astray. And we know, that we know, that we know, that is what the cross is all about and “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. (Romans 8:1)

Soooo, my young lads and lassies, keep in mind when you have thirst that water cannot quench, Jesus will meet you at your well and give you “Living Water”.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anniversary Day - I Have Been Blessed - Have You?

“Give and it shall be given to you…For by your standard of measure it will be given to you in return.” (Luke 6:38.

This morning Gramps’ message is the two hundred and sixtieth message or one year Anniversary of Pop’s devotionals now ‘Gramps morning thoughts’. I don’t know if you realize how very amazing that is! As a youngster I had a very difficult time in school. I believe, if you were able to poll all of my teachers from first grade through college, all would agree that writing and expressing myself was not my long suit.

One of the points that I tried to drive deep into the minds and hearts of those who came to work at the Village was ‘You should not look for the harvest’ - that is up to God. Your job is to be a ‘seed planter’. Let the change process come through the work of the Holy Spirit. Looking for the harvest leads to burnout!

It has been my prayer, since message number one went out, that the morning messages would be an encouragement and build a little fire in the hearts of the readers as they get ready to face the battle of each day. I would also suggest that I am the one that gains the most from these morning messages, for I am the one who does the research in the Word and many other sources that come across my desk as I seek help and guidance from Abba Father

I have always tried to remain outside of the repetition loop because I know folks tend to tire of the ‘same old thing’ and seek new venues that perk their appetites. I have a confession to make, I have wondered if it is time for me to seek other avenues of service to my Lord, but each time I begin to consider ending the morning messages, it seems God opens new doors on what He would have me send out to you!

When a good friend and Christian brother suggested that I should consider developing a blog for the messages I did not have a clue as to what a ‘blog’ was. When he offered to set it up and help with the maintenance and adding the graphics to the ‘blog’ I readily agreed. I have learned that the real value of the ‘blog’ is the encouragement received by me personally because I know by the numbers that there are people who are reading the ‘blog’.

I pray that the morning thoughts are helpful for you and that you share the messages with others through your actions and words throughout the day.



Monday, July 25, 2011

Did You Ever Really Wish That?

Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always” (Proverbs 23:17)

Okay, I admit it. I know I am not supposed to ‘envy’ people who have wonderful talents and can do all those things that I would like to be able to do, but I do! I would dearly love to be able to paint a beautiful picture or play an instrument, or be a great orator but God choose not to give me those talents.

But as I have grown more mature (a nice way of saying I am getting as old as dirt) Paul’s message that we each have very special talents has impacted my thinking. However, it is how committed we are to using those special talents for the building of the Kingdom of God that determines the crowns that will be ours on judgment day!

Have you ever noticed that when God looks for something for His service, He usually looks for something common! Something that we all would understand! He prefers to hone His own edge out of rough metal. An old country preacher put it this way, “When He really needs something done, He looks for a broken vessel and smashes it, and then remolds it into the image of His Son.”

I believe most scholars would agree that Paul was a rough sort of dude. He was as anti ‘The Way’ as one could get; a Pharisee, a persecutor of God’s people, but, one day on the Damascus Road God looked down and said, “I’ll take that one!”, and molded him into His image!.

When God chose the person who would introduce Jesus to the world, he chose a wild sort of prophet, the eater of locust and wild honey. Yet Jesus said, “Among those born of women there is no one greater than John”. (Matthew 11:11)

Sooooo, if God can use a murderer (Moses) who had just spent forty years being honed into a sharp edge to lead his people from the bondage of Egypt, why not you or me? Will you be that person who, when God asks, “Who can I send?” respond, “Here, send me.”



Friday, July 22, 2011

The Last Chapter Of The Miracle of the Gideon Bible!

We know the story of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus, both died and Lazarus was carried away to the bosom of Abraham and the rich man buried. “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.”

“And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue for I am in agony in this flame.” (Luke 16:23-24)

The amazing part of the ‘Ted Story’ is that the State had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to change Ted’s attitude and the way he was living his life, and they failed but a sixty- nine cent Gideon Bible changed his life forever!

Many years ago, after walking through this experience with Ted, I made a promise to God and to myself. I would fight continually for those young souls who were floundering, frightened, with no direction and introduce them to the God of the Gideon Bible.

I did a mini study recently of Heaven and the Lake of Fire. A study that frightened me, for I know there are those of my family and loved ones who do not know Jesus as Lord. It terrifies me when I read the description of what awaits them on that final judgment day if they do not surrender their lives to Jesus.

Sooo, my young friends and compatriots, I pray you will join me and make a commitment to never give up a person no matter how hard they may appear. Ted learned that our God is an awesome God while in a nine by nine cell.

I pray daily that God will give me the opportunity to snatch another Ted from the evil one.

A postscript to Ted’s story: God released him from prison in less than three years and he immediately went out and bought a ten-pound Bible, shorts, sandals, a tank top and went to Haight Asbury were he has rescued many young folks who were on the same track he had walked.

God has a great desire for you. He wants to use you and me to be a Ted to someone who is on a one- way track to the Lake of Fire. Think about that for a moment and then pick up your Sword and ask God to lead you to a person that you can snatch from Satan’s web.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

But The Day Was Not Over - A Continuation Of The Miracle Of The Gideon Bible!

On my ten o’clock check I was not greeted by verbiage that turned the air blue which was a first. I must admit I approached the door with a wee bit of fear and trepidation. True, he was locked inside a metal cage inside a cement room, but just being near a person with Ted’s loving ways was enough to send chills down my spine.

But when I looked through the slot I was amazed to see Ted sitting in the corner with a piece of Gideon Bible paper in his hands. But the truly amazing thing was the hardness of his face was gone. He ask , “Mr. H. would you give me another Gideon Bible if I promised not to tear it up?” I am not sure Ted ever made a promise not to do something before in his life.

I gave him another Bible. And then I watched one of the greatest miracles I have been blessed to see in my life time, the transformation of a violent, hate filled young man whose life had been one of failure, loneliness and total frustration, change into a born-again child of God. That night, in the midst of a driving rain storm, God looked down from the heavenlies and said, ’I’ll take that one!’

It was my great privilege to hear Ted ask Father God to forgive him for the mess he had made out of his life. I heard him pray for forgiveness for all of the people he had hurt and all of the pain and agony he had caused in the lives of so many. And I heard Ted surrender his life to God to be used as He desired.

Three days later, Ted was placed in a bus in hand cuffs and leg chains to be delivered to Tracy Industrial School, a maximum security prison for juveniles, to begin serving his sentence. But, as the guards readily admitted, the Ted they receive was not the Ted they expected.

Soooo, Lads and Lassies, keep in mind, changing folks whose lives are a mess is a piece of cake for God. All He needs is someone who is willing to be eaten alive and still reach out to that person with love and compassion to be an intercessor. Are you willing?



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Miracle Of The Sixty-Nine Cent Gideon Bible!

Ted was about as mean as any cuss I had the unfortunate experience of crossing paths with. He was far advanced in the areas of nastiness and just plain meanness than his sixteen years seemed normal. In my tenure as a counselor in the Hard Core Section of the Juvenile Hall, only two intakes were worthy of being totally isolated from the general population and he was one of them.

As Senior Counselor, it was my job to check on Ted every hour to make sure he was still alive and well, (physically). Each time I would ask him if he needed anything and each time he would come up with a new rendition of my name.

I would like to share some of Ted’s back ground to set the stage for the unbelievable miracle that occurred in the isolation cell one night but it would take pages. But let me say that Ted had been a frequent visitor in the Hall since the age of eight and had spent several tours at the various training schools around the state. He was referred to as a ‘very bad motor scooter by staff and kids alike.’

On my nine o’clock round I once again asked Ted if he needed anything that I was permitted to give him. Again the air turned blue as Ted cursed everything from his birth to my mother. But as I was leaving, he called me back and ask for something to read. I accommodated his request by pushing a Gideon New Testament through the slot in the door.

On the next trip by his door I once again peered through the slot to see if Ted was reading the New Testament and not to my surprise, Ted was up to his knees in Gideon Bible paper and the intensity level in his voice reached a new level.

If someone would have suggested that Ted would be anything but a nasty and mean human being who would spend most of the rest of his life in one lock up facility or another, I certainly had no grounds to rebuke such a thought.

I had learned in my early tenure of working with the bad hombres that found their way into my area that nothing I could say would penetrate the shells that these young men had developed. I also learned that they responded only to how I handled myself and how consistent I was in reaching out to them with something they really did not understand – compassion in Jesus.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jesus Can Be Your Burden Bearer - Your Choice!

“Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy.” (Psalm 33:1-3)

It is always amazing to me how God uses the normal everyday things to remind us of the truths that He placed in His word as principles that can make our lives so much better. The mowers were out yesterday cutting the grass. I love to cut our grass not because I enjoy riding around on the mower for a couple hours but because the motor is loud and I can sing praises to my God at the top of my lungs and not offend anyone.

As I watched them twist and turn to make sure they cut every blade of grass evenly one of those very special scriptures popped into my mind. Again it is probably one that you are familiar with but it is good to read and reread the red lettered words.

Jesus was teaching and used this analogy “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom”.

Soooo. What is He saying to you this morning? You don’t have to carry worries, fears, or sickness alone. Jesus is right there with arms extended, encouraging you to place those things in His strong arms – but you certainly do not have to accept His open arms policy. Jesus can be your burden bearer or you can go it alone – your choice!



Monday, July 18, 2011

Have You Checked The Time Lately?

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff, and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts., “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1)

Hey Gang: Do you think the day has arrived? Are we living in that time referred to by the prophets of old as the “latter days” or ”last days”?

Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when his disciples came up to Him and asked, “When shall these things happen and what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?” His first words in answering their question are ones we need to take to heart, “Do not be deceived.” (Matthew 24)

Notice, in verse 25 of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus said, “Behold I have told you in advance. Later He said, “I do not want you to be unaware of what is coming down.” In other words, you have a choice, you can be as the five prudent virgins and have your lamps prepared for the coming of the Husband, or you can neglect filling your lamp with His warning of what is to come.

It was reported recently that the number one problem in our world today, and one that leads to many maladies, is fear. The news is filled with a constant diet of woe, agony and pain. God warned that this is precisely what is going to happen just prior to His releasing His Son to come and take back what is rightfully his.

So, should we join the fear and anxiety crowd? I think not. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you”. (John 14:27) Is it okay to be fearful? Malachi tells us, “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall”. (Malachi 4:2)

Soooo, young warriors, is your sword sharpened and ready for battle? For we know not what hour He will chose to come.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Are You A Pussy Cat Or A Roaring Lion?

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead, for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (I Peter 3:8-9)

A guided tour of heaven was one of the high points of the indoctrination for newcomers to heaven. In the course of the tour, the tour guide described all of the wonderful points of interest of heaven but tended to ignore one complex of buildings.

One of the newcomers asked what that group of buildings was. The tour guide said, “Oh, you don’t want to see what is inside those buildings” and went on with his tour. At the completion of the tour, he asked if there were any questions. The newcomer once again asked what was in the buildings and why we did not want to see it.

The tour guide finally agreed to take them and let them see what was in the buildings. When they walked in they discovered long lines of shelving, from roof to ground, and on each of the selves were brown paper bags with a ribbon tied around the neck.

When asked what was in the bag, the tour guide said, “There is a bag there for every person who ever lived on earth and contained within the bags are all the blessings God wanted to give to that person but were refused or neglected.

I have learned, in my three score and seventeen years that the blessings of God do not necessarily come to the passive or lax. I get the idea that some folks think that Christians are to be nice, quiet, almost wimpy people. Not so! As one man wrote, “Prayer is not a lovely sedan for a sightseeing trip around the city; prayer is a truck that goes straight to the warehouse, backs up, loads and comes home with the goods.”

Soooo, my young friends, are you a pushcart kind of prayer warrior? Or are you a Mack Truck that backs up to the warehouse and comes home with the goods? Something to chew on today!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Another Minute Lord!

This has been a very busy time and even though I refuse to use the cop-out “I am too busy” to do what God has placed in my heart to do, I decided to give Gramps the day off and send along several pieces from Gramps’ endorphin file. These are worthy to be filed in the recesses of your heart.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?''That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' 'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.” Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

Sooooo, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How's You Gas Supply?

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) Are the words “His riches” in bold or underlined in your Sword?’ They are in mine, because I find I continually have needs.

Hey Gang, now that you have filled your gas tanks with a season of time alone with the Lord…You have filled your gas tanks, haven’t you? Okay, I will wait……………….

Now that you have filled your gas tanks we can move on. Keep in mind that God has provided all you need to live a truly successful and even prosperous not necessarily financially prosperous life. That does not mean that He will not provide for your every need according to His riches in glory but it does mean that you may not be the recipient of many of the bangles and beads of this world.

We have been blessed to go to Israel on several occasions and on each occasion we have been blessed to visit the place where Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount. One of my favorite verses in that sermon is “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34) Can you say amen to that?

And after you have sought His kingdom and His righteousness, one of those fabulous fringe benefits that is added unto you is “Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened”. (Matthew 7:7-8)

But, there is a prerequisite to this promise. Our Lord Jesus said, “Have faith in God. Truly I say, to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, “all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:22-24)

Soooo, young warriors, keep in mind, without faith your prayers will be like lead balloons.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Check Out The Word "Measure"

“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance”. (Luke 8:15)

Hey Gang: Did it work? I mean did you put on the praise music and sing at the top of your lungs on your way to work? Or were you a sour puss? Do you want God’s blessings? Then you must become a seed planter! But before you choose the kind of seed you want to sow, you need to ponder the truth that you are going to “reap what you sow in the same measure that you give”.

Doctor Luke gave us the pathway to reaping when he wrote the following, “Give first, and then it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return”. (Luke 6:38)

Notice, there is a very interesting and important -even critical- word in this verse ‘measure’. We find this principle throughout the Bible and used by Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that we will be judged in the same ‘measure’ that we judge others and we will be forgiven by Father God in the same ‘measure’ that we forgive others.

Does that sound like our values will determine our choices and our choices our destiny? I think so! God gave us a will and said “go for it”. But keep in mind the old Dutch adage “If yur gunna do what ya always did, yur gunna get what ya always got!”

Soooo, today, within the hour, you will probably have the opportunity to plant a seed. I love to do it at Walmart. A simple smile or “good morning” to the cashier or person stocking the shelves, or at the checkout counter when I let the other guy go first, seems to generate sincere smiles.

And do you want to know a little secret, I enjoy doing these little things because most of the time they bring a smile to the face of the receiver of this sincere gesture. You can see that you have planted the seed of joy into someone’s dreary day. Try it, you might really like it.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Do You Love ME? I Mean Really Love ME?

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. (I John 4:10)

Hey gang: Time for a little evaluation from deep within the recesses of your heart. Eagle Village kids and ours had all been safely tucked into their beds and were in the arms of Morpheus and I was deep into completing the paper work for the day when I sensed a presence in the room. I turned to find one of the lads standing in the doorway.

I asked if he would like to come and sit on my lap for a moment or two before going back to bed. This he readily accepted. One did not have to be a brain surgeon to realize he had something very important on his mind.

After becoming securely tucked into my lap, he asked me a question that changed the total course of our work at the Village, a question I hear even today as I think of that encounter with a child who had a deep concern “Do you love me?” He was not interested in rhetoric that night but wanted to feel in his heart that I, indeed, meant what I said.

After taking a moment or two to answer this most important question, for I knew this was not rhetoric time but time for heart to heart communication, I said, “Yes, I love you show me how I can prove that to you”. Out of his heart came profound truth, “Help my mother”.

“I love you, do you love me?” The note was signed by God and delivered by His only Son. Do you think God was being vulnerable when he sent that message to His creation? I do!. Did He know how I would respond? I am not sure. But this I know He wanted me to know that His feelings for me would never change! He sent very clear messages that “Yes, He does indeed love me with an irrevocable love.”

Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” I sense that Peter may have been a wee bit quick and brash in his answer to that profound question. Peter tended to be quick and brash at times. Jesus asked the same question a second time, perhaps to get Peter to put his emotions aside and dig deep into his heart to see how very deeply he loved Jesus. And a third time, “Peter, do you love me?” Remember the question that night in my study from the heart of an eleven year old who was not sure if I loved him enough to pay the price of that love? Jesus responded, ”If you love Me, “Feed my sheep”.

Soooo, young warriors of Christ, Jesus is asking you this morning “Do you love Me”? Then “Feed MY sheep!” So how will you respond today? Not sure? Oh, it’s easy, “We love because He first loved us”



Friday, July 8, 2011

Sing For Joy In The Lord!

I cut the grass yesterday and did not miss a blade. But I am also paying the piper for my stick to it attitude. The weather man is saying we will have rain the next several days followed by some rather warm temperatures. So, what that means is I will be back on ye old mowing machine once again in three or four days and bless the neighbors with my singing praises.

What do you think might have been going through the mind and heart of the Psalmist when he wrote these words, “Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:1-5)

I didn’t have a lyre or ten string harp to accompany me nor did I sing to Him a new song. As a matter of fact I tend to sing a trilogy when I am mowing. The first is a song that I learned sitting under the teaching of one Ada Alloway, the song leader of our Sunday School. It is one I hope will be sung at my going away party to the heavenlies titled “Jesus Loves Me” .

It is also one that has tremendous truths that can fill ones heart with the joy of the Lord. I noticed my neighbors were all away so I could belt it out with all my gusto- “Jesus loves me this I know”. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so. Wow, is it not awesome to know Jesus loves you and me?

The second song I hope will be sung as I hear My Lord say “Well down, true and faithful servant, enterthe Kingdom of Heaven!”, is one that every time it was my turn to request a song, I always requested the little chorus This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”.

The third song that completes my trilogy of praise to Abba Father is a relatively new one when compared to the first two,. “Lord, Make Me a Sanctuary.” But it was only recently that God pointed out to me that each song is a prerequisite to the next song. Jesus Loves me this I know, is the foundation truth to this “Little light of mine I am going to let it shine”, and this, too ,is a prerequisite to “Lord Make Me a Sanctuary”.

Sooo, my young friends as you are flitting from heather and yon, sing to the Lord A new Song, or plug into Gramp’s trilogy. I know each and all know them from the Ada Alloways who have left their marks in your lives