Friday, July 30, 2010

+DEV+ God and Birds

Date: July 30, 2010 12:59 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Birds

God and Birds

“’Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap’, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. ‘Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?’” (Matthew 6:26a, 27)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:25-34

My family is enchanted with birds. We watch, house, feed and water them. At our home we have a wren bird house inches from our back door, and-unbelievably-some were brave enough to nest there. We witnessed the fascinating process up close. They are busy, happy creatures; to-ing and fro-ing; eating what they can find; choosing mates; building nests; raising families; vigilantly watching for the enemy; and stopping every little while to sing. Worry has no place in their lives. What a simple analogy for the way we should live. No wonder Jesus referred to them!

"Worry" is both a noun and a verb. So if worry is what we've chosen, either we are in a state of it or we are doing it. Jesus, knowing that we list towards worry, took care to teach us the way to keep from veering in its direction. That way is faith. God is our provider. While worry immobilizes, faith moves us to righteous activity.

So like birds, don't worry about tomorrow. Keep moving forward and take time to sing!

Insight: Staying focused on today-not yesterday or tomorrow-is the only place you can find grace to live worry-free. Faith is now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

+DEV+ God and a Feather

Date: July 28, 2010 10:59 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and a Feather

God and a Feather

"...Not one [sparrow] will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid..." (Matthew 10:29b-31).
Scripture Focus: Romans 8:14-16

On January 15, 2009, a US Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River when a flock of birds knocked out both engines. On January 15, 2009, a US Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River when a flock of birds knocked out both engines. All 155 people including a little baby survived. The heroic pilot and crew responded text book perfectly; the Hudson was smooth, and nearby boats immediately offered rescue. It was called "Miracle on the Hudson." Later investigation of the engines' remains discovered a single feather.

This epic moment in time was distilled down to a feather. Awestruck, I saw the macro and micro hand of God. He spared all 155 people, each known down to the numbers of hairs on their heads. A flock of geese, also known individually by God, brutally lost their lives in His presence. He knows the one that feather belonged to. Their lives were lost, but 155 priceless souls were saved. The heart of God is vast and tender...every living thing matters to God; He is the Creator of us all. And yet, we alone are privileged enough to call Him Father. How valuable and precious we are to Him!

Insight: Don't be afraid that you have somehow slipped through the cracks beyond God's notice. If He knows every bird you see, He certainly knows you!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

+DEV+ God and Responsibility

Date: July 27, 2010 9:12 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Responsibility

God and Responsibility

"You made him ruler over the works of your hands . . . all flocks and the herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish the sea..." (Psalm 8:6-8).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 1:20-26

God has truly honored us in making us responsible for the stewardship of His creation. The context of this Scripture expresses absolute wonder that God would even do such a thing. Unfortunately, we have made rather a muck of it. The truth is we couldn't help ourselves! We are sinners. Should the Christian response be to throw our hands in the air in an "Oh, well" attitude? Absolutely not! We have been charged by God to take care of the earth, and we need to do it. The "What difference can one person make?" attitude is not Christian either. God made every person in His image and imbued each with significance and worth.

There is yet another attitude abroad derived from evolutionary theory that suggests that we are on the same plane as every other living thing. On the contrary, the Bible says, "You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor" (vs. 5). We are not the equals of creation-we are its masters! Therefore, steward well in the name of the Lord.

Insight: You can make a difference. Be a good steward of everything you can-it is an act of obedience to God.

+DEV+ God and a Watered Path

Date: July 27, 2010 12:23 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God and a Watered Path

God and a Watered Path

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 43:14-21

The post-modern world is an increasingly dry wasteland for all people of faith, especially Christians. The devil has virulently targeted us because he knows the truth as well as we do and seeks to silence it. But God is already in the process of creating a pathway through this desert. We travel with water! It wells from springs within us. So this promise of deliverance through the dry wasteland is as much a part of the journey as it is our future. The Spirit through us is already creating streams in the desert. The more we submit ourselves to God and pour out what is within us, the more drinking water there will be for the world.

In the first Exodus God created dry land in the midst of the sea. Now He will create rivers amidst the dry land: "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams" (Isaiah 44:3-4). See, He has already begun!

Insight: You are meant to "water" the people around you through your friendship and sensitivity to their needs. Let them drink from the Spirit's well.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

+DEV+ God and Water and Fire

Date: July 25, 2010 9:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Water and Fire

God and Water and Fire

"When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned..." (Isaiah 43:2).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 88:1-5

Where did we get the idea that if we became believers we would never have difficulties or that our troubles would be minimal? We read when it seems that we will drown; when we walk through fires of oppression. The troubles are assumed. But the ensuing promises are that with God's help and presence in our lives, we will survive; we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Mercifully, through it all we are offered His comfort and the protection of our souls. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield" (Psalm 91:4).

God wants to protect your faith, especially during hard times. Do not rely on your own understanding. Stick to what He says, not to what you can see. You will surely see the hand of God rescuing you out of water and fire!

Insight: You are in good company. Not one of the heroes of the faith had an easy life. But God changed the world through them!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

+DEV+ God and the Cycle

Date: July 22, 2010 9:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and the Cycle

God and the Cycle

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them....The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:7, 8).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 37:1-11

Everything right now has a beginning and an end. God set this into place for our protection after mankind's fall from perfection, when evil tainted the world (Genesis 3:22). He would not allow us to be eternally shackled to evil before He gave us another chance to live forever in harmony with Him through Jesus Christ. So for now, in our beautiful but broken world, it is actually a mercy that everything withers and fades in this temporal, continual cycle.

Only God's Word stands forever. The Holy Bible, the living breath of God, is the only still place in our constantly undulating lives. What we learn from Scripture is wisdom that speaks into every era, nation, and culture. It stands rock solid and does not change with the winds of opinion. Here is the rock on which to build our lives.

Wherever we work or play or cast our vote, we shouldn't be surprised or discouraged when our efforts for good only have a season. Remain steady amidst this flowering and fading cycle of life.

Insight: You are meant to stand solidly on God's Word and work tirelessly in His kingdom on earth. Your efforts always matter to God.

+DEV+ God and the Earth

Date: July 22, 2010 2:27 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God and the Earth

God and the Earth

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary..." (Isaiah 40:28).
Scripture Focus: Job 42:2-5

Do you ever wonder whether God grows weary of hearing about our endless troubles? Here is the answer: He never does! Human beings are very good at projecting their own thoughts and feelings upon God. So often in our prayers we counsel Him; we wheedle, whine, worry, complain, bargain, question and explain as if He needs clarification from us. Great is His patience! I would grow frustrated with people who are as dense we often are. The beginning of verse 28 seems to say "Don't you get it? I've been around literally forever! I created your whole planet and the stars beyond. I do it all the time. I made everything. I understand everything! I get your problem." He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand (vs. 15).

We ought to consider with Isaiah, "Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way" (vs. 14)? It is important to hear and understand that your God is able to deal with anything that comes your way. He has promised to take care of you, and He will!

Insight: The whole earth is in God's hands. Nothing is too big or too small. He will bring His wisdom and power to all of it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



Sarah Palin Democrat, Independent, or Republican.... The second half of this email should make all of us very sick, send this on ..... Especially the second half...... READ TO THE VERY END! VERY ENLIGHTENING!!! AND VERY DISTURBING!!!

By Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman. As posted in comments on Greta's article referencing the MOVEON ad about Sarah Palin.

The last 45 of my 66 years I've spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska. I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year. Here's the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It's not about persona, style, rhetoric, it's about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I'm about to mention here.

1. Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor's office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican's "Corrupt Bastards Club" (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits. The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, "la la la la" (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.

2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called "ACES." Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, "don't let the door hit you in the stern on your way out." They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.

3. The other thing she did when she walked into the governor's office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as "pork." She went through the list, took 85% of them and placed them in the "when-hell-freezes-over" stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we'll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor's jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor's cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning - I imagine - that she's packing heat herself). I'm still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.

4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed "gosh and golly" mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn't impress you, then you're trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.

5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn't start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started. Then, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.

6. President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewable by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona. Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that's just a cover-up. I'm still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what Alaska has done in two and a half years. I won't be holding my breath.

By the way, she was content to return to Alaska after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn't let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off. Shoulda known better.

You have just read the truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the Democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her. I guess they are only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, immoral people, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents' wives.

So "You go, Girl." I only wish the men in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals. I rest my case. Only FOOLS listen to the biased media.

If you've read this far............................................... Now ,open your eyes.......... First Lady Michelle Obama's Servant List and Pay Scale:

First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants

1. $172,2000 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. $100,000 - Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 - Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $64,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. $57,500 - Lewis, Dan a M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary to The First Lady)
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special=2 0Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to The First Lady)
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)
18. $43,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $35,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $35,000 - Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
(This is community organizing at it's finest.) There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whosesole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady's social life. One wonders why she needs so much help,at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President's own pocket. Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and "First Hairstylist" Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe.


Copyright 2009 CanadaFreePress.Com

Yes, I know, The Canadian Free Press has to publish this because the USA media is too scared they might be considered racist. Sorry USA !

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

+DEV+ God and Eagles

Date: July 20, 2010 9:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Eagles

God and Eagles

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles..." (Isaiah 40:29,31a).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 40

This chapter prophesying the advent of Messiah begins with the famous words of consolation: "Comfort, comfort my people," and ends with the promise of renewed strength: the exhilarating comparison to the masters of soaring: eagles! Bestowed with enormous wingspans, these noble birds are able to catch rising warm air masses and spiral high into the sky for long stretches of time, flapping their wings very little.

What is God through Isaiah telling us? Yes, it has been difficult, but, "Your God is coming" (vs. 9)! And victorious Messiah did come-His Spirit is alive within us! Then " can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?" (vs. 27) He knows. His Spirit within us has incomparable power and strength, and He desires that we use it to soar high and glide. God wants us to soar like eagles over these times. He gives us this clear picture to inspire us to trust Him. He infuses us with His immense power, enabling us to catch the wind of the Spirit and spiral into the sky, effortlessly soaring...

Insight: You cannot fly when you're constantly bearing the weight of your burdens. Name them and release them into God's hands. Let your spirit soar!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

+DEV+ God and Night

Date: July 18, 2010 9:49 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Night

God and Night

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him..." (Psalm 8:3-4)?
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 40:12-27

We've recently moved far enough away from city lights that unless it is cloudy, the sky's displays are crystal clear at night. Myriad stars shine brilliantly low in the sky so that the constellations glitter and preen. The moon is spectacular-huge and glowing, casting soft, silvery light. I am mesmerized...

It amazes me that these are things that every single human eye has beheld. Billions upon billions of people from every corner of the earth from every age, every life named and fully known, has seen what I see-the moon and countless, countless stars resplendently shining in the night; each one precious to God. And He made us all and holds us in His hands.

"'To whom will you compare me...' says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name..." (Isaiah 40:25-26). How can such a One love me? And yet it is so.

Insight: God's love called you into life. You were meant to be! You are fully known and completely accepted. Allow that into your spirit and rest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

+DEV+ God and Storm

Date: July 15, 2010 11:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Storm

God and Storm

"Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me..." (Psalm 42:7-8a).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 40:1-5

None of us is a stranger to the tumult of raging seas and surging tides that sweep over us, especially now. Things we have taken for granted are suddenly uncertain. Some of us have been parted from loved ones; some of us have lost our retirements or jobs; for some, even our homes and ability to feed our families are at stake. The waves of depression and anxiety are crashing down and threatening to sweep us into the sea.

We have a decision to make: to fully place our confidence in God and believe that He is willing to deliver on His promises. He is the only life boat! And He commands the seas.

Our goal is not to conjure up good feelings during bad times. Rather, we believe God is good even when things are terrible. That is hard work. How do we accomplish it? We cling to Him, to the Scriptures and to the body of Christ. Each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon us. It is there for us. Let us choose to join in solidarity and sing His songs through the night!

Insight: The Lord is your refuge and strength, ready and willing to help in times of trouble, even when the oceans roar and foam. Believe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

+DEV+ God and Thirst

Date: July 13, 2010 10:46 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Thirst

God and Thirst

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God" (Psalm 42:1-2)?
Scripture Focus: Psalm 63:1-8

I can't bear to see documentaries showing animals suffering during drought. Watching them die of thirst is torture. I always close my eyes.

However, God sees far worse all the time, and He will not close his eyes. People are dying of spiritual thirst, quenching it with any water they can find, even if it is stagnant and fetid. We can't look at this very often. It is too painful. We're told repeatedly that our message is dry as dust. It's much easier to stay around our own stream, even if it dries up from time to time.

We have the advantage. Even during personal spiritual drought we, like the psalmist, know what we're thirsty for. We've drunk deeply from the River of Life and are acutely uncomfortable when we feel parched and separated from God.

But what about those who are always separated from God? They have no idea what it is to be filled to overflowing with the love of Christ. We cannot close our eyes. Pray for the Church. We're the world's last hope.

Insight: Streams of living water flow through you. Ask God for the courage to show you ways and opportunities to lead spiritually thirsty people to Christ.

+DEV+ God and Nature's Rebellion

Date: July 13, 2010 1:42 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Nature's Rebellion

God and Nature's Rebellion

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble...we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea Ö" (Psalm 46:1-3a).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 46

We have seen in our lifetime the terrible destructive power of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes. Nature, helplessly subjected to the fall of all creation (Romans 8:20), heaves, crashes, and twists in violent rebellion to its curse, leaving behind dreadful devastation. These terrifying images are imprinted in our memories.

But this psalmist resolutely plants his feet in the ground and declares, "Go ahead-we will not fear..." There are different images engraved upon his spirit: The Lord of Heaven's Armies; The Lord of Creation; God his fortress; God his refuge and strength-all mightier than anything the earth can deliver. Trust can only trump fear when it has been strengthened by an intimate relationship with God. It is wise to memorize and dwell on heartening verses, asking the Spirit to engrave them on our spirits so they spring to mind in times of crisis. Though for now these things must occur, know that almighty God instantly offers refuge and strength in times of trouble.

Insight: The Lord is bigger and more powerful than anything this angry earth has to offer. He will help us get through anything that comes. Memorize!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

+DEV+ God and Creation

Date: July 11, 2010 9:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Creation

God and Creation

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities...have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).
Scripture Focus: Romans 1:18-25

The war between proponents of intelligent design and evolution rages on with evolutionists controlling academia. Noted author of The God Delusion, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues that a super-natural creator almost certainly does not exist. In a 2005 interview, Dawkins called atheism the logical extension of understanding evolution. Recently he asserted that aliens are more likely than a god to have created human beings.

Contrast this with a man Brother Andrew met in a remote Russian forest. This man saw God through creation as he walked through the forest and was moved with desire to know Him. He had knowledge of salvation's plan from beginning to end without ever having been told: God divinely revealed it. He expressed tearful amazement that it was recorded somewhere-he'd never seen a Bible.

One brilliant man can see only his own conclusions; another man sees and hears the shout of creation gloriously proclaiming the beauty and power of its divine Creator.

Insight: Today, stop and look at the earth and sky. Note their visible qualities and receive what they reveal about God. They are His constant witnesses.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

+DEV+ God and Fruit Trees

Date: July 8, 2010 8:19 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Fruit Trees

God and Fruit Trees

"His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season..." (Psalm 1:2-3).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 1:1-6

We are constantly buffeted by the world's news. War, rumors of war, financial crisis, joblessness, famine, earth quakes, etc. are things we absorb into our souls everyday. Some of us are news junkies and feed on it; others know just enough to stay informed or avoid it altogether. Yet in stark contrast there is this incredible picture of promise, peace and prosperity from an anonymous psalmist.

Verse 1 urges us to ignore the advice of the wicked, avoid constant companionship with habitual sinners and refrain from joining in with those who mock and ridicule God; interesting, since this is often the media's voice. It's no wonder that we live with nagging anxiety and worry.

The antidote is not to avoid the media but to tip the scales in favor of refreshing and replenishing ourselves with God's Word. The more we do, the more His water of life will reach our dry spirits. Then we'll be like leafy trees planted by a river . . . prospering, bearing fruit and never withering regardless of the news!

Insight: What do you think about most? Make an honest assessment of the fruit of your thinking. You can live in peace by changing fruitless habits.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

+DEV+ God and Seasons

Date: July 7, 2010 11:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Seasons

God and Seasons

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).
Scripture Focus: Ecclesiastes 3:1-12

The complete passage about the seasons of life has an ebb and flow, like the rhythm of the tides: the tides come in; the tides go out, the tides come in, the tides go out . . . Every phrase is conjoined with its opposite in an inexorably linked cycle.

Because we live within these seasons, change is at the root of our being. The rhythm of change is part of every life. We see it in creation: the turning of the seasons; sunrise, sunset; the planting, the harvest. We see change in our bodies, our understanding, our relationships, our activities, our employment, our country. The rhythms repeat.

Yet many of us are caught off guard and obstinately resist change. Some come unexpectedly; some are infinitely less pleasant than others and can only be patiently endured. Each season has much to teach us. In God every season offers promise and fulfillment, the very most glorious one awaiting us: when we shall all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call (1 Corinthians 15:51).

Insight: What season do you find yourself in? God ordains the length of the seasons and every one produces good fruit if we're open.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

+DEV+ God and the Wind and Waves

Date: July 6, 2010 10:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and the Wind and Waves

God and the Wind and Waves

"'Lord, save us! We're going to drown!' He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves..." (Matthew 8:25-26).
Scripture Focus: Mark 4:35-41

This familiar passage refers to the time when the disciples and Jesus were together in a boat traveling across a lake. A sudden storm blew up, and high waves broke into the boat which began to take in water. They were in extreme danger, yet Jesus slept at the back of the boat, undisturbed by the sea's violence. They woke Him shouting, "Don't you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38). They were shocked (Mark 4:41) when after a word from Jesus, the raging sea instantly obeyed His command.

Although Jesus was physically with the disciples, they still felt themselves in danger. That's how we feel sometimes, as if we have to shout and wake up the sleeping Jesus to do something. "Why are you afraid?" He asks. He is teaching us to trust Him. Even during the fiercest storms when we're knee deep in water, when we fear everything is lost, Jesus is always in command. Our lack of faith is exposed during these times, but He can instantly calm any storm at any moment. Do not be afraid. You will live!

Insight: If a storm is brewing in your life, try to transition from anxious mental repetition into trusting prayer. God will calm the storm inside.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Bible,
reveals the mind of God, the state of man,
the way of salvation, the doom of sinners,
and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts binding,
its histories are true, its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe,
and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you,
and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff,
the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword,
and the Christian's charter.

Here, Heaven is opened and the gates of
hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand subject, our good is its design,
the glory of God its end.

It should fill your memory, rule your heart,
and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

It is given in life, will be opened in the judgment,
and will be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward
the greatest labor, and will condemn all those who
trifle with its sacred contents.

Owned, it is riches; studied, it is wisdom; trusted, it
is salvation; loved, it is character; and obeyed, it
is power.

~author unknown~

Sunday, July 4, 2010

+DEV+ God and the New Eden

Date: July 4, 2010 8:47 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and the New Eden

God and the New Eden

"the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them" (Isaiah 11:6).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 11:1-10

YouTube has a clip that seems to foreshadow this. Two men raised a lion cub in domesticity but had to release him into the wild after he matured. Later the young men looked for and found the lion and his mate in their natural habitat. They had no idea whether he would remember them since he had long been among his own kind. After a moment's hesitation the lion recognized them and bounded joyfully into their arms! His lioness followed suit, showing no fear of the strangers.

These occurrences and the world Isaiah describes fascinate us: they are beyond normal, yet we instinctively feel they shouldn't be. Eden still glimmers faintly within us in our longing for a perfect world. Isaiah foresaw a renewed earth and world order, as did John (Revelation 21, 22), in which Jesus will reign over nature and mankind! Though it won't happen in this world because it is too broken, God promises an incredible future in which we will experience what Isaiah describes, the home God always intended for us. Eden!

Insight: Do not let a dismissive "pie in the sky" attitude rob you of a pleasurable anticipation of the future God has planned. It's your destiny!

Friday, July 2, 2010

+DEV+ God and Weedy Impostors

Date: July 2, 2010 12:09 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Weedy Impostors

God and Weedy Impostors

"'Where did the weeds come from?' 'An enemy has done this,' he replied. The servants asked, 'Do you want us to pull them up?' ' may root up the wheat with them...'" (Matthew 13:27b-29).
Scripture Focus: Matthew 13:24-29

Here's the devil's crafty plan: Plant impostors (weeds) among the body of Christ (wheat) and use them as instruments of deception; people who are loved and respected will more easily dupe others into ungodly thinking or behavior. It is easy for any of us to turn a blind eye or to spiritualize and excuse wrong when our love and loyalty are involved. Satan seeks to thwart the renewing of our minds to maintain control over our thoughts, slowing our maturation which would be deadly to him. This is one reason it is important to follow uncompromisingly the teachings of the Scriptures. Love for our friends should never alter the rule of God's Word over our own lives.

But neither must believers be judgmental and self-righteous. We're to love everyone, just not blindly! Love and approval are not synonymous.
I can love you and not agree with what you do;
I can share my concerns. Still, we're not "holy weeders." We could accidentally uproot wheat! Only God can perfectly judge anyone's heart.

Insight: The people in your life that seem a bit weedy need your love and your prayers, most of all. Pray for guidance.