Sunday, December 30, 2012

+DEV+ Loving God

Date: December 30, 2012 9:07 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Loving God

Loving God

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long...Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:97, 105).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 119:89-104

Years ago while memorizing Scripture verses, I fell in love with verse 97 of the longest Psalm in the Bible. It has been a daily key to life for me. I have focused, meditated, and passed on to others the power and truth of these words. Through the preaching of one of our pastors during my military years, God inspired my spirit and generated in me a love for His Word. In times of distress I have remembered these words and others hidden in and etched forever upon my own heart.

Beginning the New Year, I am reminded of verses (and paragraphs!) of God's Word that have lived with me through the years. How I commend God's Word to you! How I pray that you will discover a wonderful and fresh love for Scripture. And more than anything, discover HIM above all else in a year that promises to be filled with challenges. I pray you will find the time to meditate on, to contemplate, and to devote yourself to the Bible, a light for your path pointing you daily to the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. 

Insight: God's word is a treasure beyond compare, giving us wealth beyond this world. it transforms, heals, and guides us into a deeper relationship with Him.

Friday, December 28, 2012

She survived Hitler and wants to warn America

She survived Hitler and wants to warn America
posted byRob Kerby, Senior Editor

Kitty Werthmann
Kitty Werthmann survived Hitler.
"What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or read in history books," she likes to tell audiences.
"I am a witness to history.
"I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

Adolph Hitler
"We voted him in."
If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn't so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.
"We elected him by a landslide - 98 percent of the vote," she recalls.
She wasn't old enough to vote in 1938 - approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.
"Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force."
No so.

Hitler is welcomed to Austria
"In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs.
"My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.'
"We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933." she recalls. "We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

Austrian girls welcome Hitler
"Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group - Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.
"Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
"We were overjoyed," remembers Kitty, "and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

Austrians saluting
"After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
"Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
"Then we lost religious education for kids

Poster promoting "Hitler Youth"
"Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang 'Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,' and had physical education.
"Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail."
And then things got worse.
"The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.
"We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
"My mother was very unhappy," remembers Kitty. "When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination.
"I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

A pro-Hitler rally
"Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.
"It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
"Then food rationing began
"In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death.
"Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.
"Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

Young Austrians
"It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps," remembers Kitty. "During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.
"They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.
"When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.
"Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
"When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.
"You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.
"The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
"Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..
"After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.
"When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.
"If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
"As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.
"All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
"We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.
" Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands.
"Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
"We had consumer protection, too

Austrian kids loyal to Hitler
"We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
"In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.
"So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.
"I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.
"I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.
"They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
"As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
"Then they took our guns
"Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

Kitty Werthmann
"No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.
"Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom."
"This is my eye-witness account.
"It's true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.
"America is truly is the greatest country in the world.
"Don't let freedom slip away.
"After America, there is no place to go."

Read more:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Protection

Date: December 27, 2012 11:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Protection

Message of Protection

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me. ...Show the wonder of your great love. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings."  (Psalm 17:6-8)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 6:5-22

I love the secrecy of Christmas gifts. My mom was the champion at buying early and hiding well. The problem was that she usually couldn't find some of those gifts for months after.

When sin spoiled what God intended for His creation, He chose to destroy all that was infected, except believing Noah and his family. We read that Noah was surrounded by wickedness, yet he found favor in God's eyes. In essence, Noah and his family were "hidden," spared from destruction, through God's gracious protection of them. The ark is a picture of shelter from sin as Noah, his family, and the animals were safely hidden inside. (See Genesis 7-8) They were all hidden, but God had not forgotten where He had put them!

When sin attempts to destroy, remember that our "life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). He is our protection from eternal destruction, our hope from despair, our new life from old. It's a message we can hide in our hearts and sing out to others, especially during this Christmas season.

Insight: Christ protects us from sin's grasp by hiding us in Himself, and He is already hidden in God. What a perfect hiding place!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

+DEV+ Snow in December

Date: December 25, 2012 9:32 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Snow in December

Snow in December

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 51:1-12

I don't know if there is anything more beautiful in the world than a farm after a December snowfall. With only the fence posts and the buildings showing, the entire farm is under a beautiful, pure white blanket. It is awesome, something many have seen only on a calendar.

When David was confronted with his sins, he cried out in the 51st Psalm, "Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Christ forgives us and makes us absolutely clean. We stand before him now-not just a calendar photo, but the real thing-as white as the newly fallen snow.

There are no sins that Christ cannot forgive. His suffering and death paid the price for all of our wrongdoing. When we confess our sins and ask Christ into our lives, His blood washes away our guilt. And when God the Father looks at us, He only sees Christ's covering. Everything is forgiven.

Snow in December sparkles in the moonlight. Blood-washed saints of God sparkle every day, bringing light into a world of great darkness.

Insight: Thank God for His forgiveness. His mercies are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness.

The Whole Christmas Story

Date: December 25, 2012 12:38 AM
Topic: The Whole Christmas Story

The Whole Christmas Story   
Scripture Focus: John 1:29-34
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

Great anticipation and high hope surround the birth of a baby. This was most certainly the case as Mary and Joseph viewed their tiny newborn Son. While Mother was taking in all the details for her mental scrapbook, Dad was perhaps envisioning the first hammer he would place in his grip.

There was another interested party who had both the beginning and the end in sight. God the Father knew that His Son was destined for a cross. Among the titles His Son was to collect were Suffering Servant, Sacrificial Lamb, and Man of Sorrows.

The contrast is almost too much to comprehend. Jesus' disciples certainly struggled with it: How could our hope of salvation be headed for crucifixion? Still today, when we look at a manger scene, it is hard to envision this same Child being forced to wear a crown of thorns.

At Christmas we celebrate the new life and hope that rests in the manger at Bethlehem. But without the cross of Easter, the wonderful expectancy of Christmas offers no abiding life, hope, or joy.

INSIGHT: This Christmas, celebrate the birth of Jesus for all that it means. He is both a King deserving of praise and a Servant willing to die for us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Original Christmas Tree

Date: December 24, 2012 3:08 AM
Topic: The Original Christmas Tree

The Original Christmas Tree   
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 6:8-13
“Though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land” (Isaiah 6:13).

Decorating the Christmas tree was always a great event with out family. On Thanksgiving weekend we would go to the tree farm, choose and cut own our tree, and bring it home. Everyone helped Dad anchor it in the tree stand. Mom would put on the lights, and the children hung ornaments. With great joy and Christmas carols playing in the background, we stood back to admire our work.

But out in the fields we left behind an ugly stump, never thinking of it as symbolic of Isaiah's “holy seed.” Jesus came from that stump and brought beauty and life. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (11:1).

It was always a sad day when we would take down the dead, dry Christmas tree, stripping it of its decorations. Abandoned outside, its last light came from flames that consumed it. In contrast, we can remember the original Christmas tree from Jesse's stump - Jesus, the light of the world, whose beams can never be extinguished.

INSIGHT: Praise God for His Son, now and everlasting life forever.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


(Mike Inman)

On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Five Cases Of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Six M107 50cal rifles
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me,
Seven Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Six M107 50cal rifles
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me,
Eight Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Seven UTS-15 tactical shotguns
Six M107 50cal rifles
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me,
Nine Cases hand grenades
Eight Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Six M107 50cal rifles
Six Six 50cal rifles
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me,
Ten M134 Triple Gatling cannons
Nine Cases hand grenades
Eight Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Seven UTS-15 tactical shotguns
Six M107 50cal rifles
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.SKS's

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me,
Eleven tones of plastic
Ten M134 Triple Gatling cannons
Nine Cases hand grenades
Eight Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Seven UTS-15 tactical shotguns
Six M107 50cal rifle
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.SKS's

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Twelve nuclear bombs
Eleven tones of plastic
Ten M134 Triple Gatling cannons
Nine Cases hand grenades
Eight Barska 6-24x50 Sniper Scopes
Seven UTS-15 tactical shotguns
Six M107 50cal rifle
Five cases of Rounds
Four Sig Sauer 556R
Three AK-47's
Two SKS's
And A cartridge in a bear tree.SKS's

Friday, December 21, 2012

+DEV+ See, the Lion

Date: December 21, 2012 12:16 AM
Topic: +DEV+  See, the Lion

See, the Lion

"Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion... He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (Revelation 5:5)
Scripture Focus: Luke 9:28-36

My mind goes back to the mountain top where John communed with Moses, Elijah and his dear friend, Jesus. They spoke of how Jesus must die to set people free. Moses knew obedience to the Law could never do that. Elijah, with all his miracle-working power, could not do it. They had no power, whatsoever, to break the seals of sin that bind mankind.

In our time, many believe that they can please God by doing good. Others look for some spiritual experience that will give them power to succeed. If the law of Moses or miraculous deeds could set people free, why would Jesus have had to die at all? How could we ever think we could do enough to earn God's mercy?

Neither Moses nor Elijah nor anyone in heaven nor in the earth or under the earth was able to break the seals of that book. When Moses and Elijah had gone, Jesus remained. Jesus alone is able to cut through that which binds us. Do not weep with John, for Jesus is worthy. See, the Lion. Dry your tears and look! Praise Him now and forever.

Insight: Forgive Us, Lord, For Our Tendency To Look For Self-Help Solutions To Our Spiritual Bondage. Only Jesus-Help Can Set Us Free.

A real gun-seizure scenario would cause a Civil War 2

A 'what if' gun-seizure scenario

Exclusive: Joseph Farah warns, 'Something very bad for America is coming'

(Editor’s note: The following commentary by Joseph Farah is a hypothetical scenario, but one all-too-believable given the anti-gun hysteria in the media and here in the nation’s capital. It is offered in the spirit of what former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel once said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”)
WASHINGTON – President Obama today issued a sweeping executive order banning the manufacture, sale and possession of all semi-automatic firearms in the U.S.
Obama cited for his authority for the action a national state of emergency that has been in effect ever since Sept. 11, 2001, and renewed annually by both President George W. Bush and Obama ever since. He also cited portions of the Patriot Act that suspend certain civil rights that remain classified.
The dramatic action by the president follows closely on the heels of the Newtown, Conn., massacre of 27 schoolchildren and teachers by Adam Lanza a week ago.
Gun-control advocates have been pushing for tighter gun control ever since the attack on the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the fourth mass shooting in the U.S. in 2012.
Yet the action was surprising because Obama vowed to present a detailed plan of action in January after naming Vice President Joe Biden to head a blue-ribbon panel including Cabinet members, law enforcement officials and various agencies of the government. Biden convened the first meeting of the panel only yesterday.
That’s how quickly it could happen.
That’s how liberty could be lost in America in one day.
For many, today was the day the world was supposed to end, according to the Mayan calendar and other ancient documents.
It didn’t, of course. But a scenario like the above would certainly change the world in an instant. The last great hope for mankind and freedom could be turned upside-down in the name of national security and safety.
Americans would no longer be the masters of their government, as the founders intended. They would become subjects of their government, as most people in the world have been since the beginning of time.
It might seem implausible, unthinkable, far-fetched – even un-American and, of course, unconstitutional – but has anything like that that ever stopped Barack Obama before?
Am I suggesting this will happen?
Am I suggesting it could happen?
And that’s why I am putting it out there for the American people.
We are very, very close to seeing some draconian action in Washington on this specific action – the unalienable freedom that secures all the rest of our constitutionally guarded liberties.
It may come in a more conventional form – with some legislators who formerly supported gun rights – yielding to the political winds and media distortion sweeping the country.
But it might also happen in an unconventional and unexpected form – with an executive order. You might recall how Paul Begala, a top political adviser to former President Bill Clinton described executive orders: “Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.”
Obama wouldn’t be the first president to do an end-run around Congress to “make law.”
If I’m not scaring you yet, consider this: I am writing this column just minutes after getting a call from someone whose job it is to seek out reliable intelligence reports to protect people in the event of catastrophic events. He, in turn, had just talked someone he described as a very reliable source who had worked in government and in the arms industry who had this normally calm, collected former military officer in a state of near panic because he was told this action could be announced today.
Normally, that would be a little thin for me to go marching out to sound the alarm of this hypothetical scenario.
And then I found this – a real news story from Reuters published at 11:54 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 19: “The Obama administration will consider executive actions and specific proposals for legislation as part of its gun policy response to the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday (emphasis added).
“Holder, who has been a vocal proponent of a new ban on certain semiautomatic rifles, told reporters that a range of options need to be considered in the coming weeks.
“Those options will have to include a ‘strong and robust’ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the chronically under-funded agency that enforces federal gun laws, he said.
“‘It’s clear that we need to do more,’ Holder said. He did not specifically call on Wednesday for a return of the assault weapon ban.”
Trust me when I tell you this: Something very bad for America is coming very soon.

Have you been wondering why the government has been stockpiling millions and millions of rounds of ammo? This could be why!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

+DEV+ Who is Worthy?

Date: December 20, 2012 12:46 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Who is Worthy?

Who is Worthy?

"Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals 'Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?'"  (Revelation 5:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Revelation 5

God prepared John for this moment when the book of the Revelation would be opened. John knew that soon he would understand what God was doing and His intention for the future. So John couldn't be anything other than excited at what was about to be revealed. Things were unfolding marvelously. The book was in plain view, held by God Himself. But it was completely sealed with seven seals. While God looked around for one good enough to open it, a mighty angel boomed out in a voice which reverberated throughout heaven, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?"

The answer was as clear as the question: "No one is found who can do it!" Hearing that, John wept and wept, overcome with disappointment and dashed hopes. God was preparing him for a new sighting of Jesus, this time through the prism of tears.

Who can break the seals that bind me? Not me. Not my pastor. Not my counselor. Not all the philosophers through time. Only One is worthy; His name is Jesus.

Insight: "Worthy Is The Lamb Who Was Slain, To Receive Honor And Glory And Praise!" (Revelation 5:12)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

+DEV+ Message of Love

Date: December 18, 2012 9:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Message of Love

Message of Love

"Neither death nor life...the present nor the future, nor any powers...nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (ROMANS 8:38-39)
Scripture Focus: John 15:1-17

As a child I always knew that on May 23rd there would be a note in my lunch kit. I even knew what it would say because it was the same message year after year: "Happy birthday, honey! Love, Mom." It wasn't elaborate, but to my child's heart it was a clear message of absolute belonging and love.

As an adult I deal with messages every day. Some I can ignore, many require a response, but the ones I treasure most are the unspoken ones, especially from family and friends. It may only be a warm smile, or a helping hand, but I know they are saying, "I love you."

God is the master message giver, and His greatest message ever came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, His living Word, His messages have always been the same: "My child, you are mine and you are loved." It is not a message we deserve, but one that God, in His love, has given. It is full of absolute belonging, love, and hope. If you haven't heard it for awhile, or believed it, listen carefully. You'll hear, "You are loved."

Insight: Jesus Is The Ultimate Message Of God's Love To Us. Let's Remember This As We Begin To Prepare Our Hearts To Celebrate His Birth.

Monday, December 17, 2012

+DEV+ Jesus Holds the Keys

Date: December 17, 2012 11:41 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Jesus Holds the Keys

Jesus Holds the Keys

 "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."  (Revelation 1:18)
Scripture Focus: John 14:18-29

When Jesus revealed Himself to John, He reminded him that once He was alive, then He was dead, and now He is alive forever. John needed that reassurance. Jesus is alive and active right now, no matter where we are. Not only is He eternally alive, He has ultimate authority, even over the death of those who follow Jesus, and that would include John.

At the time of Revelation, all the disciples, even Paul, had died martyrs' deaths. John had outlived them all. Why? Jesus knew why. He would not allow any of His sheep to die without His consent. He held the keys to John's death. Martyrs were dying all over the Empire. Jesus not only knew, but was mysteriously turning those keys for His ultimate, loving purpose.

What a vision! What a Jesus! John was satisfied. He saw Jesus, and now - come what may - he would proceed without fear. Scene after scene would open and unfold to John, some of it unsettling, some lyrical. But John was prepared because he believed in Jesus all over again. Won't you do the same?

Insight: May we never forget, even for a moment, that Jesus is alive and at work forever and ever.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

+DEV+ When We See Jesus

Date: December 16, 2012 8:11 PM
Topic: +DEV+  When We See Jesus

When We See Jesus

"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'"  (Revelation 1:17)
Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 1:28- 2:10

John's experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration and in Revelation were almost identical. On the Mount, when Jesus was set alight with glory, John fell on his face. In Revelation when he realized it was Jesus, he "fell at his feet as though dead." On the Mount Jesus touched him. In Revelation John felt the exciting touch of Jesus, again, along with the same word of comfort: "Do not be afraid." It seems that every meaningful meeting with Jesus has the same eternal ring about it: We see Him. We fall in worship. He touches us. He gives a word for us. Our hearts are comforted and revived.

It took a while until John recognized Jesus. You can almost hear John say, "Jesus, it is you!" It is good to see what He does, but it is infinitely better to see Jesus Himself. Doubts and questions go; hope is restored. Nothing revives the heart like a new vision of Jesus new, yes, but laced with familiar feelings. We realize to our utter amazement that He has been there all the time, even if hidden from view.

Insight: When Jesus seems hidden, recall what you saw when you did see Him. He has not changed. He is faithful.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

+DEV+ Our Need to See Jesus Again

Date: December 11, 2012 11:58 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Our Need to See Jesus Again

Our Need to See Jesus Again

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place."  (Revelation 1:1)
Scripture Focus: Revelation 1:1-5

The Apostle John, now about 95 years old, found his faith tested as the power of Rome crashed on the churches in central Turkey, his churches. A new Emperor arose who demanded that everyone in the Empire, slave or free, acknowledge his divinity.

Those who had made Jesus their Lord could never do such a thing, John included. So dark clouds of persecution released a storm of harassment and death upon Jesus' contented sheep. John was forcefully taken to an island off Turkey's coast where the weight of persecution fell on his aged shoulders. Now, what?

John needed "a revival." He needed to have faith and courage to face the present dark night of testing. He cried out to God for help. God did what He always does when a heart grows desperate; He showed John the only thing that can revive the heart of a disciple. He showed him Jesus, again. That is true revival - to see Jesus, again. As we are buffeted by the icy blast of trials, we are satisfied with nothing less than a new vision of Jesus.

Insight: You and I do not need a new experience, a new insight, a new spiritual gift, a new book. We just need to see Jesus, again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

+DEV+ Vision of the Heart

Date: December 10, 2012 10:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Vision of the Heart

Vision of the Heart

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you" (Ephesians 1:18)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 119:32-37

My parents often warned me, "Take care of your eyes. They're the only ones you get!" They also taught me that I and everyone else was born blind, spiritually blind.

According to the Bible, our hearts, the wellsprings of our beings, are deceitful and beyond cure because of sin (Jeremiah 17:9). St. Augustine put it this way: "Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen." How can we do that if the eyesight in our inmost being is damaged beyond repair?

The truth is we cannot. However, through His marvelous grace and love, God has provided the cure in the person of Jesus Christ. He wants to come into our hearts, wash them clean, and repair all the damage that sin has done. Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart, into that innermost part of who you are, to restore your spiritual eyesight? If not, will you do it now? God will forgive your sin so you can gaze on Him and see life from a whole new perspective.

Insight: Thou Hast Bid Me Gaze Upon Thee; And Thy Beauty Fills My Soul; For By Thy Transforming Power; Thou Hast Made Me Whole. (Jean Sophia Pigott, 1876)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

+DEV+ Whose Temple?

Date: December 9, 2012 11:31 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Whose Temple?

Whose Temple?

"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4:4-7

The other day I heard someone on TV proudly say, "My body is a temple!" He meant that he didn't do anything unhealthy to his body. However, the word temple means "a building used for worship of a god." One had to wonder what "god" this person was worshiping in his temple. The god of self?

There is another definition for temple. It's "a place in which God specially dwells," as in the Old Testament tabernacle. These are the kind of temples we believers in Christ are: dwelling places for God. When we ask Jesus into our hearts, the Holy Spirit makes His home in us. We honor God by giving our bodies to Him, in gratitude for the high cost with which we were redeemed, the incalculable price of Jesus' blood. The Holy Spirit changes us so that we no longer live our lives for ourselves. Instead we live for Him.

But there is more! The Holy Spirit shines God's glory out from us, transforming us into living revelations of the Light of life to the world around us. Our lives speak loudly of His goodness.

Insight: Holy Ghost with light divine; shine upon this heart of mine; see to thee I yield my heart; shed thy life through every part. (Rowland Hill, 1782)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

True Story - If You Love Horses You'll Like This Story

Date: December 8, 2012 1:29 AM
Topic: True Story - If You Love Horses You'll Like This Story

Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.
Because of Love (Please read all the way to the end)

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks "Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One." She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?"

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, " Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.

His arm slid defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her near with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied softly, "We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love."

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.

The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One".

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and withered hand.

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new year's crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.

Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift---

Because of love. Only Because of love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy... And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle

This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better.

Friday, December 7, 2012

+DEV+ Thirsty?

Date: December 7, 2012 1:46 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Thirsty?


"Let them give thanks for his unfailing love for he satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things."  (Psalm 107: 9)
Scripture Focus: John 4:4-15

On traveling through Colorado several times, I've learned through experience (that is, the hard way!) how the high altitude and the low humidity give one a deep thirst which, if not properly quenched, affects the whole body.

Jesus surely knew this kind of thirst, walking as He did through the hot, dry desert paths of Israel. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He was thirsty, but He knew immediately that the thirst she suffered from - a thirsty heart - was deeper yet. Eventually the woman recognized Jesus was offering her Himself, the thirst-satisfying Giver of eternal life.

Heart thirst is common to everyone. Trying to walk through life without Christ's living water is like trying to hike through the desert without real water - the end results of both are deadly. If you have never asked Christ to quench your heart thirst with His salvation, won't you do it now? If you already have trusted Jesus, but are still trying to satisfy your soul with something other than Him, won't you come to Him today?

Insight: Like the woman at the well i was seeking; and then i heard my savior speaking; 'draw from my well that never shall run dry.' (Clara T. Williams, 1875)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

+DEV+ The Heart of Obsession

Date: December 5, 2012 11:22 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Heart of Obsession

The Heart of Obsession

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:19)
Scripture Focus: Luke 12:16-21

A comic on a bulletin board shows an irate artist standing at his easel late at night, palette and brush in hand, shouting at his wife, "Workaholic? Brokers and salesmen are workaholics. Artists are obsessed. There's a difference!"

Difference? Perhaps. But less like apples and oranges, and more like Fuji and Gala. Obsessive immersion in one's profession can begin innocently as we start up the career ladder. In time it may seem to take on a life of its own. Could it be that we become obsessed, not so much with trying to get ahead, as with unwittingly attempting to fill an unrelated void of unmet needs in our hearts?

Longer hours and greater success, however, aren't meant to satisfy our deepest desires and longings. The remedy is not working harder, but letting go and resting in Jesus. When we give Him our striving, needy hearts, He fills them with contentment and peace. Jesus said, "My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled" (John 14:27).

Insight: O Soul Are You Weary And Troubled?; No Light In The Darkness You See?; There's Light For A Look At The Savior; And Life More Abundant And Free. (Author Unknown)

Monday, December 3, 2012

+DEV+ Interrupted!

Date: December 3, 2012 11:11 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Interrupted!


"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."  (Proverbs 16:9)
Scripture Focus: Acts 8:26-39

List-making is my style of planning. Every morning I think about what needs doing, who needs calling or seeing, and I write out my "to do" list. It's encouraging to check off the "dones" at the end of the day. All too often, however, something unforeseen happens and, suddenly, the list is history as new plans overtake the old. Rather than viewing these disruptions as annoying and inconvenient, I have gotten better over time at seeing the Lord's fingerprints on them.

You can be sure that Phillip was doing something or going somewhere when that angel told him he was needed elsewhere. Perhaps there would be one less soul in heaven had Phillip decided he was too busy that day for something not on his schedule.

How we view interruptions says a lot about how loosely our hearts hold our agendas and how tightly they cling to Jesus who reigns as King of the Universe. The closer communication we live in with Him, the easier it is to see the blessing instead of the bother, in a calendar correction.

Insight: Channels Only, Blessed Master; But With All Thy Wondrous Power; Flowing Through Us, Thou Canst Use Us; Every Day And Every Hour. (Mary E. Maxwell, 1900)

+DEV+ Abiding Hearts

Date: December 3, 2012 12:22 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Abiding Hearts

Abiding Hearts

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  (John 15:5)
Scripture Focus: John 15:1-8

Abiding is a spiritually symbiotic attachment of our hearts, the branches, to Jesus, the heavenly Vine, and the power and life source to the branch. Our hearts or branches are secure in and protected by the Vine so nothing severs it. They are completely dependent on the Vine to produce leaves, much less fruit. Unless they receive nutrients every moment from the Vine, our hearts or branches are capable of nothing.

The word symbiosis implies a mutual benefit. What do we branches give back to the Vine? Our fruitfulness as disciples brings glory to both Jesus and His Father. The apostle Paul tells us that we were grafted into the Vine "to the praise of his glorious grace" (Ephesians 1:6a).

But the branch is passive. It just stays there and grows. Abiding in Jesus does not imply active striving. Abide means sit, dwell, remain - all words of calmness and passivity. Andrew Murray said, "Do not be occupied with abiding - be occupied with Christ." Sit with Jesus. Remain with Jesus. Dwell with Jesus.

Insight: Only One Heart's Devotion; Savior, O May It Be; Consecrated Alone To Thy Matchless Glory; Yielded Fully To Thee. (Avis B. Christiansen, Copyright Singspiration 1937)