Friday, April 30, 2010

Secondhand Spirituality

Come near to God, and God will come near to you. James 4:8

Some of us have tried to have a daily quiet time and have not been successful. Others of us have a hard time concentrating. And all of us are busy. So rather than spend time with God, listening for his voice, we'll let others spend time with him and then benefit from their experience. Let them tell us what God is saying. After all, isn't that why we pay preachers? …

If that is your approach, if your spiritual experiences are secondhand and not firsthand, I'd like to challenge you with this thought: Do you do that with others parts of your life? …

You don't do that with vacations… You don't do that with romance… You don't let someone eat on your behalf, do you? [There are] certain things no one can do for you.

And one of those is spending time with God.

Max Lucado - Just Like Jesus

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hooker Falls in the Autumn

John 4:14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst...”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

God is Thinking About You

Psalm 139:17-18
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

"The Bible identifies God as our heavenly Father. He isn't a father who is too busy with His work that He doesn't have time for you. You are God's work. You are what He thinks about all day long. Since before the world was created, God knew and loved you. As you go about your hectic schedule today, take a little time to think about God - He is thinking about you."

"God is in the Small Stuff"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lyrid Meteor Showers

For those who enjoy watching the sky at night...  God's Lightshow!

The Lyrid Meteor Showers are this week.

The Lyrid meteor shower is not one of the strongest of the annual meteor showers, but it can be enjoyable to those meteor observers thirsting for something after over three and a half months of weak meteor activity.

The Lyrids generally begin on April 16 and end on April 26, with maximum generally occurring during the night of April 21/22. At maximum, hourly rates can reach about 10 meteors per hour. The Lyrids are particularly interesting for two reason. First, observations have been identified back to at least 2600 years, which is longer than any other meteor shower. Second, the meteor shower occasionally experiences an outburst of about 100 meteors per hour and the reason is basically unknown.

There are other, weaker meteor showers going on around the same time as the Lyrids. The Lyrids move rather fast. When you see a meteor, mentally trace it backwards. If you end up at the constellation Lyra then you have probably seen a Lyrid meteor! If you are not sure where Lyra is in the sky, the following charts will help you find it from both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Day of Prayer is Under Attack

Comment and leave your suggestions here.

National Day of Prayer declared unconstitutional

The National Day of Prayer is UNDER ATTACK!

What are you going to do about it??

April 17, 2010
National Day of Prayer declared unconstitutional
Phil Boehmke

On Thursday, American Patriots from all across our nation gathered together in a celebration of national unity in defense of our freedom. As we exercised our God given rights under the protection of the First Amendment to our Constitution, a terrible injustice was being perpetrated in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

A Wisconsin federal judge on Thursday found the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, saying it violates the First Amendment prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin was a victory for the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Crabb, a Jimmy Carter appointee claims that since the purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to "encourage" all Americans to pray, it is unconstitutional. The operative word here is "ecourage," this is not a mandate or even a request from the government, it is merely encouragement.

The federal government and our 50 states all have spent valuable resources to encourage us all to refrain from using tobacco products and in fact they actively encourage us to quit smoking through onerous taxation. Mrs. Obama is encouraging us all (especially the children) to eat healthier foods and exercise. There are a myriad of ways in which our government acts through advertising, regulation and taxation to encourage us to live in the manner that they feel is best.

The First Amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibition the free exercise thereof..." and as the National Day of Prayer carries no mandate and no penalty and does not exclude any religious belief (or lack thereof) it could hardly be in conflict with the constitution.

Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed an amices brief in the case on behalf of 31 members of Congress, said he was confident the decision would be overturned on appeal.

"This is one district court judge," said Sekulow, an attorney with the public interest law firm founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. "It's not like it's happening all over the country. In no way do we think this is the mainstream of judicial thinking in the United States."

If the loyal Americans that I had the great pleasure of joining with in friendship during the Crystal Lake, Illinois Tea Party had been aware of Ms. Crabb's outrageous decision it is safe to say that they would have aroused her praying for her!

Phil Boehmke

Article Link

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Only Path

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. —Joh_14:6

Tolerance. A prized virtue today. The ability to be understanding of those with whom you differ is a sign of sophistication. Jesus, too, was a champion of tolerance:

• Tolerant of the disciples when they doubted.

• Tolerant of the crowds when they misunderstood.

• Tolerant of us when we fall.

But there is one area where Jesus was intolerant. There was one area where he was unindulgent and dogmatic…

As far as he was concerned, when it comes to salvation, there aren't several roads … there is only one road… There aren't several paths … there is only one path. And that path is Jesus himself.

That is why it is so hard for people to believe in Jesus. It's much easier to consider him one of several options rather than the option. But such a philosophy is no option.

Max Lucado - A Gentle Thunder

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Love Hung on a Cross

God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. —Joh_3:16

He looked around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three figures hung on three crosses. Arms spread. Heads fallen forward. They moaned with the wind.

Men clad in soldier's garb sat on the ground near the trio…

Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the hill, … faces tear-streaked.

All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue. All eternity poised to protect. But the Creator gave no command.

"It must be done …" he said, and withdrew.

The angel spoke again. "It would be less painful …"

The Creator interrupted softly. "But it wouldn't be love."

Max Lucado - In the Eye of the Storm

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas: Tote Bags, Aprons, Ceramic Tiles, Keepsake Boxes, Mouse Pads, Coasters, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, Framed Art, Canvas Gallery Wraps

Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Day of Prayer

Thursday May 6, 2010

Mark Your Calendar

We need it now more than ever!

National Day of Prayer Website

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tipped Scales

Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. —Eph_3:19
It wasn't right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. And it wasn't right that the Son of God was forced to hear the silence of God.
It wasn't right, but it happened.

For while Jesus was on the cross, God sat on his hands. He turned his back. He ignored the screams of the innocent.

He sat in silence while the sins of the world were placed upon his Son. And he did nothing while a cry a million times bloodier than John's echoed in the black sky: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Was it right? No.
Was it fair? No.
Was it love? Yes.

The Applause of Heaven - Max Lucado

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Debt is Paid

Though your sins are like scarlet, they can be as white as snow. Though your sins are deep red, they can be white like wool. —Isa_1:18

When Jesus told us to pray for forgiveness of our debts as we forgive our own debtors, he knew who would be the one to pay the debt. As he would hang on the cross he would say, "It is finished"… the debt is paid!

There are some facts that will never change. One fact is that you are forgiven. If you are in Christ, when he sees you, your sins are covered—he doesn't see them. He sees you better than you see yourself. And that is a glorious fact of your life.

Max Lucado "Walking with the Savior"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Autumn Path

Hosea 14:9

"For the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Divine Design

Teenagers quickly learn that it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.  We often take the same approach with God.  We make plans for what we want, and we leave God out of the planning process.  Then we involve God by asking Him to "bless" what we have already decided to do.  Don't treat God like a magic wand that you wave over your plans.  Involve Him at the very beginning.
I know I'm guilty of this and it really hits home for me.

Pro 3:5-6
(5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

(6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

God is in the Small Stuff - By Bruce & Stan (Devotional)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Steps to Peace With God

Step 1: God's Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life—abundant and eternal.

The Bible says ...

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." —Romans 5:1 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)

Step 2: The Problem: Our Separation

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.
We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God

The Bible says ...

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Our Attempts to Reach God

People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God ...

The Bible says ...

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." —Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." —Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

No bridge reaches God ... except one.

Step 3: God's Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.

The Bible says ...

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ."
—1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."
—1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
—Romans 5:8 (NIV)

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Step 4: Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.

The Bible says ...

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will
come in and eat with him, and he with me."
—Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to
become children of God."
—John 1:12 (NIV)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised
Him from the dead, you will be saved."
—Romans 10:9 (NIV)
Where are you?

Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?

Here is how you can receive Christ:
1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.
(Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

Resource: Billy Graham Website

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Happy Easter!

Luke 24:1-8

Luk 24:1-8
(1) Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
(2) But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
(3) Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
(4) And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
(5) Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
(6) He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
(7) saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' "
(8) And they remembered His words.

Also read Matthew 28:1-6, Mark 16:1-6, John 20 & 21

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Cross

Wishing everyone a blessed holiday!

Isaiah 53 - The Suffering Servant

The Holy of Holies

Another Old Testament prophet's predictions on Jesus' sufferings at the cross.

Start with Isaish 52:13 and read through chapter 53.

Isa 52:13-53:12
(13) Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
(14) Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
(15) So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.
(1) Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
(2) For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
(3) He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
(4) Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
(5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
(7) He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
(8) He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
(9) And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
(10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
(11) He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
(12) Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

The accuracy is amazing!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Cloak of Humanity

The Cloak of Humanity

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be very sad and troubled. Mark 14:33

"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death" (Heb_5:7 ).
My, what a portrait! Jesus is in pain. Jesus is on the stage of fear. Jesus is cloaked, not in sainthood, but in humanity.
The next time the fog finds you, you might do well to remember Jesus in the garden. The next time you think that no one understands, reread the fourteenth chapter of Mark. The next time your self-pity convinces you that no one cares, pay a visit to Gethsemane. And the next time you wonder if God really perceives the pain that prevails on this dusty planet, listen to him pleading among the twisted trees.

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

Max Lucado

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Good Shepherd

John 10:11
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."