Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Perfect Gift

            Years ago a friend sent me a Christmas card with a large check in it. I wrote her a note back and said in a teasing way, "How did you know what I wanted for Christmas? This is the perfect gift." Then I enjoyed dreaming about what I would do with this gift. 
            Final Decision? I gave my grandchildren something special for Christmas, paid a bill, and spoil myself with a small gift I would never have considered. My mind connected with the Bible verse, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father…James 1:17 (KJV) It struck to me that at Christmas we all got a perfect gift from the Father.
            This gift paid the debt called sin that we couldn’t pay. This gift can be given to family, or any one we choose. And this gift spoils us personally with treasures that are just for us. We receive trinkets of peace and joy, and answers to prayers that only He knew we wanted. The perfect gift…Jesus.
Prayer: Give us wisdom on how to share your all-inclusive gift.
Question: Who can I give the Father’s gift to this week?
Scripture: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NKJV)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Terrific Thirty Three

Merry Christmas. Happy Easter. Terrific Thirty-three. We celebrate Jesus’ virgin birthday. We celebrate his victorious death. But thirty-three years on planet earth with sinful people was no small accomplishment. Jesus’ time on earth examples how we can live a victorious life every day.

I can hear you whining….  He was God so it was easy for him. I’m a human it’s hard for me. No, Jesus was called Son of God and Son of Man. He lived his life on earth as the Son of Man. If he hadn’t Satan would have called, “Foul.” The plan of redemption would not have been legal if not accomplished by a Second Adam.

Remember Hebrews chapter four reads, “But we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” We don’t have record of Jesus’ life between twelve and thirty-three. But every way means every way so it includes your temptations.

How did Jesus as a man live this sinless life? Remember Jesus not only dealt with bad Pharisees. The biggest hurts came from good brothers and disciples who didn’t understand him. Jesus kept a direct line open to his Father. He did nothing unless he saw his Father do it.

1 Peter 2 describes his victory this way. When he was insulted he didn’t insult back. When he suffered he didn’t threaten them. He didn’t argue or explain to others. Instead He talked and committed it to his Father who judged each situation righteously.

Peter has the nerve to tell us that Jesus’ life is our example as we live our lives.

We press toward the mark for a prize. The goal is perfection. Aim for the stars. If we fail we thank God for forgiveness.

But don’t wake up tomorrow and think, “Today I’m going to sin.” Wake up and shout, “Today I’m going to win.” Thank you Jesus for a Terrific Thirty-three!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


 She struggled out of bed and hobbled to the couch. Today she felt old and tired.
She was old and tired. Should she get dressed and go to church or go back to bed? Who would miss her if she stayed in bed one Sunday?
            Just then the Apple phone that her son insisted she needed rang. She didn’t recognize the number, but felt she should answer it anyway.
            “Hi, I’m calling from Colorado. Do you know who this is?”
            The male voice sounded solid and strong and vaguely familiar. “No, I’m sorry.”
            “I’ll give you a clue. I went to church with you and sat in the left front every Sunday. You used to hug me and pray over me.”
“Darwin, Is that you?” she exclaimed. “I wondered what happened to you,”
“I’m married to a wonderful Christian woman and we oversee the whole children’s department in my church. I called to thank you. I don’t think I would be alive without you and the church. Thank You.”
As they talked she recalled his struggles. But she also visualized him with his arms raised in thanks and praise every Sunday.
            He sent a picture of their first child on her new phone, and invited her to come to Colorado and visit them anytime. Finally they hung up.
            She looked at the clock and took a deep breath. Yes, she had time to make it to church. She felt an unusual strength surge through her when he said, “Thank you.”

 “…give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalms 107:8-9
 Prayer: Thank you LORD for the power in thanks giving.                   

Friday, November 10, 2017


           I’d runaway when I was a kid a few times. Usually I’d announce to my mother that I was running away. Then I’d hid behind the piano and eat a bologna sandwich until I’d made her sorry for scolding me. Or I’d go across to “Tarzan’s Jungle” and hid in a tree for hours. She never looked for me.
            But this time it was different. I was twenty-two and married when I  jumped into the car and ran away from home. I drove to a secret place to get God’s attention. I shut the car off and screamed, “I’m not going home until you tell me what to do. My husband is impossible.”
            It got dark. It got darker. Finally he spoke. “I’ve created the heavens and the earth and nothing is impossible for me.”
            “Is that all you have to say,” I screamed. I wanted specifics.
            Suddenly it hit me how funny it was to talk back to God. I began to laugh, and laugh, and laugh until my stomach hurt.
            Finally, because God had spoken to his little kid I was ready to go home to my possible situation.
Behold, I am the LORD the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

God's Daylight Savings

 Turn your clock forward. Turn your clock backward. The contentious idea of Daylight Saving Time became law March 19, 1918. However, even today some love it and some hate it. Did you know God used daylight savings time twice?
             Joshua chapter nine and ten give this amazing account. The Gibeonites deceived Joshua because he “asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” He made a covenant with them, and then had to defend them from five kings. (Oh how much trouble we get into when we don’t ask the LORD first.) 

 "The Lord said, 'Do not be afraid of them; 
I have given them into your hand. Not one will withstand you.'
Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel…
'Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.'
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
                                           till the nation avenged itself on its enemies."

In 2 Kings 20 God's daylight savings was a sign to Hezekiah he would live fifteen more years.      

"I’m going to heal you. In three days you will walk on your own legs
 into The Temple of God. I’ve added fifteen years to your life…
This will be your sign from God, said Isaiah,  God
 is doing what he said he’d do…
So Isaiah called out in prayer to God, and the shadow
 went back ten degrees on Ahaz’s sundial." 
And the moral of these stories is this: Pray so you don’t get into trouble. Pray when you get into trouble. And remember to set your clock back an hour this Sunday November 5th.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

True Friend and Writer

       "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." This is the famous quote from Charlotte's Web spoken by Wilbur the pig.
        Charlotte the spider gives insight into what makes for a true friend. "I’m not going to let them kill you. Promises are something I keep," she tells Wilbur. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be blessed with a true friend like that?
        As I thought about the unusual relationship between these two friends I realized that I had someone like Charlotte who does all three. He is my friend, a good writer, and he keeps his promises.
        He is a true friend. He comforts, counsels, and always looks out for me so my enemy doesn’t kill, rob or destroy me.
When he tells me something he keeps his word. Always! “For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
        My friend is also an author. He wrote sixty-six books. "All scripture is God-breathed..." (2 Timothy 3:16.)  I love to read his books.
Talk about an unusual friendship. My friend created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. The Creator calls me his creation a friend. I am so blessed. Is he your true friend, too?

“I no longer call you servants…I have called you friend.” John 15:15

Monday, October 2, 2017

Selective Hearing

The adorable little boy sitting in a grocery cart at the checkout was about five with chunky cheeks. His pudgy hands covered his ears. His large brown eyes spoke “no” while he shook his head from side to side. “Mama has to take you to the day care.” Head and hands continued to shake back and forth vigorously as his mother spoke.
            “ You’ll get to play with the other children.” Staring straight ahead he continued to shake his head and refused to hear her.
            “Marcus, I have to go to work,” she spoke sternly. His eyes changed from stubbornness to sorrow, and his head shook slower. Tears began to flow.
            “Sugar, if you’re a good boy this week, Mama will take you to Chucky Cheese when I get my paycheck.” He removed his hands, and his smile told everyone that these words he had heard.
            I had just studied the book of Mathew and decided Marcus reminded me of Jesus’ disciples. They also had selective hearing. In Matthew Jesus told his disciples clearly that he was going to die and be raised from the dead in three days. Five times he referenced his death! The disciples were like little boys who refused to hear words they didn’t want to hear.
            However, when the disciples heard they were to be honored and sit upon thrones their hearing improved. This statement, recorded only once in chapter twenty is heard clearly. James and John with their mother’s help connive to get the two best thrones. Jesus’ words about his crucifixion are forgotten and they think only about themselves. I decide that young and old put their hands over their ears to stop words we don’t want to hear.
Scripture: "In this world you will have trouble. 
                  But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV