Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heart Song

Once upon A time there was a great man who married the woman of his dreams.
With their love, they created a little girl.
She was a bright and cheerful little girl and the great man loved her very much.

When she was very little, he would pick he up, hum a tune and dance with her around the room, and he would tell her, "I love you, little girl."

When the little girl was growing up, the great man would hug her and tell her, "I love you, little girl."

The little girl would pout and say, "I'm not a little girl anymore." Then the man would laugh and say, "But to me, you'll always be my little girl."

The little girl who-was-not-little-anymore left her home and went into the world. As she learned more about herself, she learned more about the man. She saw that he truly was great and strong, for now she recognized his strengths. One of his strengths was his ability to express his love to his family. It didn't matter where she went in the world, the man would call her and say, "I love you, little girl."

The day came when the little girl who-was-not-little-anymore received a phone call. The great man was damaged. He had had a stroke. He was aphasic, they explained to the girl. He couldn't talk, anymore and they weren't sure that he could understand the words spoken to him. He could no longer smile, laugh, walk, hug, dance or tell the little girl who-was-not-little-anymore that he loved her.

And so she went to the side of the great man.
When she walked into the room and saw him, he looked small and not strong at all. He looked at her and tried to speak, but he could not.

The little girl did the only thing she could do. She climbed up on the bed next to the great man.

Tears ran from both of their eyes and she drew her arms around the useless shoulders of her father. Her head on his chest, she thought of many things. She remembered the wonderful times together and how she had always felt protected and cherished by the great man. She felt grief for the loss she was to endure, the words of love that had comforted her.

And then she heard from within the man, the beat of his heart. The heart where the music and the words had always lived. The heart beat on, steadily unconcerned about the damage to the rest of the body. And while she rested there, the magic happened.

She heard what she needed to hear.

His heart beat out the words that his mouth could no longer say.....

I love you
I love you
I love you

Little girl
Little girl
Little girl

And she was comforted

Patty Hansen
All posters

Blessings, Mimi

Friday, June 27, 2014

What is That in Your Hand?

Moses didn't have much--a handful of sheep on the slopes of a blistered mountain.

He also had eighty years of memories, some of them sad and regretful. He had some clothes, a family, a wise father-in-law, a tent in the desert.
That's about it.

O yes, he had a staff.

Moses Forbids the People to Follow Him by James Tissot
Moses Forbids the People to Follow Him

So the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"

He said, "A rod."

He'd probably found a broken branch from some sturdy tree, maybe six or seven feet long and reasonably straight. He'd seasoned and smoothed it to become his walking cane; plus it was useful in herding sheep and warding off predators. But it was quite ordinary -- just a rod.

On rugged Mount Horeb that day, as Moses argued with the Lord about his inadequacies, for the mission being assigned him, God asked a simple question:

"What is that in your hand?"

It was a broken branch, a piece of dead wood, a rod. But the lord wanted it, and the Lord touched it, and the Lord used it to baffle the magicians of Egypt, to turn the Nile to blood, to part the waters of the Red Sea,
Moses Crossing the Red Sea by French School
Moses Crossing the Red Sea

create streams in the desert, and to deliver His people again and again.

Moses in the Wilderness by Clive Uptton
Moses in the Wilderness

What is that in your hand?

Reading an Old Bible During a Service
Reading an Old Bible During a Service

Little is much if God is in it.
Barbara Fairchild
Dr. David Jeremiah
all posters

Can God use what is in your hand?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

God Is With Us... In Our Daily Walk

  • A close walk with the Lord is an important part of a believer's life...

"God will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. (Isaiah 2:3)

"May God turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers". (1 Kings 8:58)

"Your love is ever before me, Lord, and I walk continually in your truth". (Psalm 26:3)

"Walk in the way of understanding". (Proverbs 9:6)

" Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21)

"What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 10:12


Friday, June 20, 2014

Prayer is a Relationship

Prayer is a two-way fellowship and communication with God. You speak to God and He speaks to you. It is not a one-way conversation. Your personal prayer life may primarily be one-way communication -- you talking to God. Prayer is more than that. Prayer includes listening as well. In fact, what God says in prayer is far more important that what you say.

My Prayer by Danny Hahlbohm
My Prayer

Prayer is a relationship, not just a religious activity. Prayer is designed more to adjust you to God than to adjust God to you.

God doesn't need your prayers, but He wants you to pray.

You need to pray because of what God wants to do in and through your life during your praying. God speaks to His people by the Holy Spirit through prayer.

When the Holy Spirit reveals a spiritual truth to you in prayer, He is present and working actively in your life. Genuine prayer does not lead to an encounter with God. It is
an encounter with God.

This is what happens as you seek God's will in prayer:

1. God takes the initiative by causing you to want to pray.

2. The Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, reveals to you the will of God.

3. In the Spirit, you pray in agreement with the will of God.

4. You adjust your life to the truth (to God).

5. You look and listen for confirmation or further direction from the Bible, circumstances, and the church (other believers).

6. You obey.

7. God works in you and through you to accomplish His purposes.

8. You experience Him just as the Spirit revealed as you prayed.

I believe the Spirit of God often uses the Word of God when you pray.
Reading the Bible by Newell Convers Wyeth
Reading the Bible

I find that when I pray about something, Scripture often comes to my mind. I don't see it as a distraction. I believe He is trying to guide me through the Scripture. I have found that as I pray about a particular matter, the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and applies it to my heart and my mind to reveal the truth.

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Now he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom. 8:26-27)
Experiencing God
By Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King
images courtesy of All Posters

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Who You Are Makes A Difference

A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in high school by telling them the difference they each made. Using a process
California, she called each student to the front of the class, one at a time.

First she told them how the student made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters which read, "Who I Am Makes a Difference."

Afterwards the teacher decided to do a class project to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a community.
  • She gave each of the students three more ribbons and instructed them to go out and spread this acknowledgment ceremony.
  • Then they were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom and report back to the class in about a week.
One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a nearby company and honored him for helping him with his career planning. He gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt.
  • Then he gave him two extra ribbons, and said, "We're doing a class project on recognition, and we'd like you to go out, find somebody to honor, give them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going.
  • Then please report back to me and tell me what happened."
Later that day the junior executive went in to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a grouchy fellow.
  • He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said, "Well, sure."
The junior executive took the blue ribbon and placed it right on his boss's jacket above his heart.
  • As he gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, "Would you do me a favor? Would you take this extra ribbon and pass it on by honoring somebody else?
  • The young boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in school and we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out how it affects people."
That night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son and sat him down.
  • He said, "The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius.
  • Imagine. He thinks I'm a creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says "Who I Am Makes A Difference' on my jacket above my heart.

He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor.
  • As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon and I thought about you. I want to honor you.
  • "My days are really hectic and when I come home I don't pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess, but somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You're a great kid and I love you!"
The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn't stop crying. His whole body shook. He looked up at his father and said through his tears, "I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn't think you loved me. Now I don't need to."

Helice Bridges

You each mean a great deal to me,

Friday, June 13, 2014

The B-I-B-L-E

The Bible: Still Life by Vincent van Gogh
The Bible: Still Life

The Bible is a resource book for man to fulfill his life and for mankind to fulfill its highest destiny.

The Bible is a book written for man.

Unfortunately, there are many who think of the Bible as a book which is written against man. They see the Bible as a law book to tell them what they cannot do and threaten them with judgments if they dare to do those forbidden things.

Such an interpretation misses the whole purpose of the Bible.

The bible is not to keep man from doing something and going somewhere but to help man do what will make him the fullest man and help him to get to his highest destiny.

The highway needs signs which will help a person get to his destination.
Traffic Signs Over Highway with City Skyline Beyond at Dusk, Minneapolis, United States of America by Richard Cummins
Traffic Signs Over Highway with City Skyline Beyond at Dusk, Minneapolis, United States of America

Some of those signs will mark the lane one should drive in if he is to execute the proper turn. They will mark what speed that turn can be taken in order to arrive safely where one wants to go. Signs are placed there in order to help a person get where he wants to go. Even stop signs and speed limit signs serve that purpose.

The Bible is filled with injunctions which in the long run will help us get where we want to go even though we may chafe under the admonitions.

We may also be able to go over the speed limit or go through an intersection without stopping where there is a stop sign and not be arrested or have an accident. Sooner or later, however, such behavior will result in an occasion where we will never get where we want to go.

We may find that the same principle holds true as we think about the Bible. We may get by from time to time disobeying the injunctions; however, in the long run such behavior will hinder us from getting where we want to go. It is in this way that the Bible was written for men, not against men.

Thereby the Bible is the book that shapes our destiny as believing and practicing Christians.

The Bible shapes the destiny of individuals. It is persons as individuals who have faith and thereby seek the resources and guidance of the Bible. Individuals need not despair and think that the Bible was written for the great men of history. Leaders of society need not despair feeling that the Bible was written only for the common man and the less complicated issues.

The Bible deals with individual destiny.

A part of our individual destiny is death and whatever is beyond it. The Bible clearly deals with this issue, culminating in the promise of Jesus' own resurrection as being the first fruits of the destiny of those who are in Christ.
The Resurrection of Christ, from the Isenheim Altarpiece circa 1512-16 by Matthias Grünewald
The Resurrection of Christ, from the Isenheim Altarpiece circa 1512-16

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)
Prayer of Dedication
O God
of majesty and love;
We seek to follow thee down the paths of life
Until at last we are with thee for eternity.

We recognize the Scriptures
To be our guide to thee;
To be the light which shines on our path to thee;
To be the warning signs to keep us from straying
from thee.
We know that the Scriptures
Tell us of thy majesty;
Point us to thy love;
Warn us of thy judgement'
Enlighten us of thy plan.

We hold the Scriptures to be holy as they have been
Made sacred by the Spirit in his inspiring them;
Made sacred by thy church in her choosing them;
Made sacred by the saints by using them.

We go to the Scriptures because we
Seek the love of God;
Search the truth of God;
Desire what is good for man;
Covet what is right for ourselves.

We confess that the Scriptures speak to us about
the faith we should have for the unknown;
The love we should have for the unwanted;
The hope we should have in the unseen.

Lord, O Lord,
Let the Scriptures speak to us:
Let us not be blinded by our prejudice;
Let the Scriptures speak to us again
Out of the freshness of new experiences with thee;
Let the Scriptures speak to us again
Out of the needs of our own souls;
Let the Scriptures speak to us again
Out of the crises of a troubled world.

Lord, our Lord,
Thou are our God.

We thank thee
That thou hast not kept silent but hast spoken
through the prophets, Jesus Christ, and now
through Scriptures.

We thank thee
That thou hast not left us orphans but art present
in thy Spirit through the Scriptures.

We thank thee
For our salvation now and forever more;
For Jesus Christ who made it possible; and
For the Bible which made it known.

Rightly dividing the word
by Doran McCarthy
images courtesy of All Posters

Monday, June 9, 2014


Some of the greatest success stories of history have followed a word of encouragement or an act of confidence by a love one or a trusting friend.

Had it not been for a confident wife, Sophia, we might not have listed among the great names of literature, the name of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

  • When Nathaniel, a heartbroken man, went home to tell his wife that he was a failure and had been fired from his job in a customhouse, she surprised him with an exclamation of joy.
"Now," she said triumphantly, "you can write your book!"
"Yes," replied the man, with sagging confidence, "and what shall we live on while I am writing it?"
  • To his amazement, she opened a drawer and pulled out a substantial amount of money.
"Where on earth did you get that?" he exclaimed.

"I have always known you were a man of genius," she told him. "I knew that someday you would write a masterpiece. So every week, out of the money you gave me for housekeeping, I saved a little bit. So here is enough to last us for one whole year."
  • From her trust and confidence came one of the greatest novels of American literature, The Scarlet Letter
Nido Qubein

Lesson Well Learned, Mimi