WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?

APRIL 21

            “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries?  Some loose change, right?  But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you,  down to the last detail -even numbering the hairs on your head!  So don’t be humiliated… You’re worth more than a million canaries.”   Luke 12:6-7  The Message Bible

            I certainly don’t mind helping out God when I can.  And lately I’m doing a lot of it.  Why this morning alone, I lost hair number 10345, 2000456, 35, 45673, and 444332.  Now God doesn’t have to keep track of all those hair numbers.  LOL….  I used to think that God knew exactly how many hairs I had on my head, (and face with the beard), but the fact is, that He has them each one numbered.

            God knows that we are worth more than the average cost.  We are worth Jesus dying on a cross for. But do we really believe and live like that?

            Why Lord am I so anxious about today, or tomorrow?  After all, You said that you would supply my every need.  Why do I devalue my contribution to life?  After all,  You said I’m worth more than a million canaries.

            And so is that abusive person at work who is out to get you.  And so is that inconsiderate driver who will cut you off on your way to work this morning.  And so is that relative who cheated you.  God never overlooks a sparrow. And He doesn’t want to overlook one of them.  They just need to see how much God loves them.  Show someone today.

 

 

A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher only wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull. The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store. The attorney for the railroad immediately cornered the rancher and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking. After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher,

“You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”

The old rancher replied, “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that durned bull came home this morning.”



BECOMING A SERVANT

APRIL 20

“Do you want to stand out?  Then step down. Be a servant.  If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”   Matthew 23:11-12 The Message Bible

            One of the hardest teachings of Jesus is that if you want to rise the corporate ladder of Christianity, you have to learn to knell down in servant hood.  To be a true servant, to give of yourself to others, without complaining or comparing is truly a Godly act.

            We are raised to do good, take credit for doing good and then remind everyone about how good we are.  Our generation has turned into a “me” generation.  Everything that comes down the pike we feel like we deserve to have as many of as possible.  It is amazing to think that the average home has 3.4 Televisions.  We have every major appliance known to mankind and the freezer is full of more variety of fast foods than ever, but the battle cry of America is “MORE, MORE, and MORE!!!”

            Today, I challenge to find someone to do a simple act of kindness for, and let that action become the reward you receive.  Become a servant today, rather than a taker.

 

 

As the lawyer woke up after surgery, he said, “Why are all the blinds drawn?”

The doctor answered, “There’s a big fire across the street, and we didn’t want you to think the operation was a failure.”

 

Three ladies were discussing the travails of getting older.  One said, “Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand in front of the refrigerator and can’t  remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich.”

The second lady chimed in, “Yes, some times I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can’t remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down.”

The third one responded, ” Well, I’m glad I don’t have that problem; knock on wood,” as she rapped her knuckles on the table, then said, “That must be the door, I’ll get it!”

 

The soldier serving overseas, far from home was annoyed and upset when his girl wrote breaking off their engagement and asking for her photograph back.

He went out and collected from his friends all the unwanted photographs of women that he could find, bundled them all together and sent them back with a note saying:

“Regret I cannot remember which one is you — please keep your photo and return the others.



SPIRITUAL WISDOM

APRIL 19

“If you make Insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,  Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours: you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:3-5  The Message Bible.

Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn’t a once-a-week hobby, it is the daily discipline of a lifetime. But in this age of microwave ovens, fast foods, digests, and numerous “made easy” books, many people are out of the habit of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord. Thanks to television, their attention span is brief; thanks to religious entertainment that passes for worship, their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn’t “pleasant to [their] soul” (Prov. 2:10). It’s no wonder fewer and fewer people “take time to be holy” and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way.

            If we do our part, God will keep His promise and protect us from the enemy (vv. 7-8): “He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones” (niv). “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11, nkjv).

People are willing to work diligently in their jobs because they know they’ll earn a paycheck, but what about applying themselves diligently to God’s Word in order to gain spiritual riches that are more valuable than gold and silver and jewels, riches that will last forever? (See 2:4; 3:13-15; 8:10-21; 16:16.) There’s a price to pay if we would gain spiritual wisdom, but there’s an even greater price to pay if we don’t gain it. We must walk with God through the study of His Word.

From “Be Skillful (Proverbs) by Warren Weirsbe

 

           

Seeing Eye Dog (true story)

 I was flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  By the time we took off, there had been a 45-minute delay and everybody on board was ticked.

 Unexpectedly, we stopped in Sacramento on the way.  The flight attendant explained that there would be another 45-minute delay, and if we wanted to get off the aircraft, we would reboard in 30 minutes.

 Everybody got off the plane except one gentleman who was blind.  I noticed him as I walked by and could tell he had flown before because his Seeing Eye dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of him throughout the entire flight.  I could also tell he had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached him and, calling him by name, said, “Keith, we’re in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?”  Keith replied, “No thanks, but maybe my dog would like to stretch his legs.”

 Picture this … all the people in the gate area came to a completely quiet standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with the Seeing Eye dog!  The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.  People scattered.  They not only tried to change planes,

they also were trying to change airlines!

 



CRAZY PRAISE

April 16

“Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies; praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness… Let every living, breathing creature praise God!”  – Psalms 150:1-2,6 The Message Bible

            I am quite sure that most of you attended your house of worship this week.  And in that atmosphere, I trust that you found a vital lifeline to God through the Praise and Worship Celebration of your particular faith.  There is something awesome when likeminded friends, family and community of faith raise their voices as one to honor and adore the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

            But do we take this praise as a lifestyle for all to see.  The Psalmist could say, “praise him under the open skies.”  That was easy for David to do, since he spend so much of his life laying out under those open skies. Do you think that he could have been establishing a trend for us today?  Could he have meant, “praise him wherever you spend the majority of your time”?  Or maybe he could have said, “praise him when you are at your place of business or service”.  Or just perhaps, he could say, “Wherever you are, give God the praise.”

            Not only does he tell us where to praise, but for what to praise. “Praise him for his acts of power…” I usually think of “thanksgiving” when I praise God for what he has done in my life.  But sometimes it just needs to be said. “Praise you Lord for all you’ve done.”

            And of course he reminds us that we are to Praise God for simply, who He is.  When I can’t think of anything else to praise God for, I just praise Him for being God. Isn’t He worthy of that kind of praise anyway.  Several years ago, I took a three day sabbatical and spend that time, fasting, praying and just studying what the Scriptures say about Who God is.  That adventure changed my life dramatically.  For when you see God and who He is, all the problems of life will shrivel up and blow away.

            And finally, the psalmist tells us who should Praise God.  Everything that has breathe.  So if you are breathing, you should be praising.  I’m waiting. So give Him Praise.

Ps. When things seem to be going crazy, and not seemingly working out right. Give God a “Crazy Praise” – a praise that don’t make no sense.

 

 

A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along, when all of a sudden, a cat attacks them.

The mother mouse goes, “BARK!” and the cat runs away. “See?” says the mother mouse to her baby. “Now do you see why it’s important to learn a foreign language?”

 

A panhandler was caught trying to sneak aboard a Princess liner about to embark on a three-day trip to the Bahamas. He was caught by the Purser who threw him off the ship telling him, … ”Beggars can’t be cruisers.”



SPIRITUAL FOG

APRIL 15

Matthew 7: 9.  Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

When you read this passage of scripture, you assume that the son is a good son to his father, and he is making a perfectly good and certainly appropriate request that his father provide him with some food.  Who else would the son have more right to ask for such a request?  Certainly, it is the father’s duty is to provide for the needs of his family. 

On the other hand, we talk as if God hears our prayers regardless of our relationship to Him.  If you suspect that God in not answering your prayers, question yourself as to your motives.  Intensify your search for a possible reason and examine your attitude.  Is your relationship right with your spouse and your children, or perhaps your fellow students?  Have you been “good child?”  Can you really ask your father for blessings, when you have been irritable and cross with your family closest to you.  Perhaps it is time for an “attitude check.”

Have I been asking God to provide me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone that I owe?  Have I asked God for something that I withhold from others?  Do I refuse to help someone, because I do not like them?  Have I been living as a child of God among my relatives and friends? (Matthew 7: 12).  Am I a child of God only by virtue of being “Born Again” or am I really “walking in the light” daily. 

Prayer should not be just a trivial religious expression or a matter of mystical or emotional fellowship with God.  We are all very good at producing spiritual fog that tends to blind no one but ourselves.  Examine the evidence.  Is there an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude?  Clean your slate, clear the blockage, now pray as a living “Child of God.”

Today’s inspiration from Jack,

 

 

* The majority of HMO plans I’ve seen can be likened to hospital   gowns — you only think you’re covered.

* There’s one big advantage in being over 50 — you don’t get a lot   of calls from insurance salesmen.

  Two men were down on their luck and decided to paint houses to earn some extra money.  To start their business they asked the pastor of a local church if he would be interested in their service.  He agreed and the men went out to buy the paint.

 As they drove to the paint store they decided that they would mix half paint and half water to try to increase their profits.

  When they finished the job they called the pastor outside to look at their work.  “It looks wonderful,” the pastor said and as he started to hand them the check a small raincloud appeared.  All at once it started to rain and washed the paint off the church.

  As the three of them stood there in disbelief, a voice from heaven said “Repaint and thin no more.”



SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS

APRIL 14

Luke 24: 16, 31.  Their eyes were restrained so they did not know Him…  Their eyes were opened, and they knew Him.

Jesus said, “Come to me… and I will give you rest,” that is to say, I will  put you in the place where your eyes are open.  Jesus seems to be saying,  “Stop and smell the roses.” 

Oswald Chambers in one of his writings says, “Jesus will cause you to notice lilies and sparrows and grass.  Who in their right sense would bothers about such things!  We are more interested in the cares of this world because they demand our attention, while other things do not.  …One can see for the first time the handiwork of God in the petals of a flower.

A dear brother sent me this to use as needed.  Please consider this in the light of spiritual blindness that we all seem to suffer from time to time:  “Jesus never met a disease he could not cure, or a birth defect he could not reverse, or even a demon he could not exorcise. But he did meet a lot of skeptics he could not convince and sinners he could not convert.”  Philip Yancey

 

I live in Texas. I have two friends that are sisters. One day, they approached me and asked where the lighthouses were.

When I tried to probe a little bit, I was told, “Yeah, they’re good paying jobs and have lots of ads in the paper, but we don’t know where the lighthouses are to apply.”

I told them, “There are no lighthouses in Texas. Let me see that newspaper.” 

Sure enough, there were ads for . . . “Light Housekeeping needed. Apply in person.”

 

A musician who joined an orchestra on a cruise ship was having difficulty keeping time with the rest of the band.

Finally, the captain said, “Either you learn to keep time or I’ll throw you overboard. . . . It’s up to you, sync or swim.”



MARVELOUSLY MADE

APRIL 13

“Oh  yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.  I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvelously made!  I worship in adoration – what a creation!”  Psalm 139:13-14 The Message Bible

 

            Growing up we used to build all sorts of castles, forts, play houses and structures.  They were made with any old scraps that we could find and fasten together somehow.  Each time we would finish a masterpiece creation, we would daydream about what it would be like if we had some “real” materials, you know those “store-bought” kind.

            Aren’t you glad that God took the very finest materials and formed you within your mother’s womb?  He took the cream-of-the-crop stuff and put it all inside and outside you. He fashioned it carefully and made a marvelous creation.

            But how often we devalue what God has invested in us.  One of the most hideous description of this kind of treatment was announced on the news today.  A 21 year old woman in Canada was given a suspended sentence and put on probation for two years because she killed her own baby at birth.  It seems that she gave birth in a tub filled with 18 inches of water. When the baby was born, she just drowned it, wrapped in a trash bag and put it outside her parent’s back yard.

            But even though we never have or never will do such a crime, we still a responsibility that we are God made Creations every time we are born. 

            Those forts, etc that I mentioned at the beginning. The one unique thing about them is that they were the perfect size for our needs.  We tend to build things relative to ourselves.  But God’s breathtaking plan included the provision that planet earth would be the perfect proportion for our marvelous bodies.  The mountains are not too high, nor the ocean too deep that man is in perfect reflection of it all.

 

Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room.  After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer.  “Fine”, said the pleased mother. “If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you.”

“Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave,” said Johnny.

“I asked Him to help you put up with me.”

 

“Information? I need the number of the Caseway Insurance Company.”

“Would you spell that, please?”

“Certainly. C as in sea. A as in aye. S as in sea. E as in eye. W as in why. A as in are. Y as in you.”

The operator pauses. “Just a minute, sir. I’ll connect you with my supervisor . . .”

 

A couple of weeks after hearing a sermon on Psalms 51:2-4 (knowing my own hidden secrets) and Psalms 52:3-4 (lies and deceit), a man wrote the following letter to the IRS:

I have been unable to sleep, knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I understated my taxable income, and have enclosed a check for $150.00.

Sincerely,

Taxpayer



OUR RIGHTS VS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS

APRIL 12

“Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners… and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us.  Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself.  A pure gift.  He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be.  And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”  Romans 3:23-24  The Message Bible

 

            As a pastor, it always amazes me to see how an individual can come to Christ in the midst of a crisis in their lives, and as soon as the crisis is over, you never see them again until the next crisis.

            Now don’t get me wrong, it is exciting to see someone come to Christ, even as a result of having a crisis in their life.  Jesus is truly the answer to ALL of life’s problems and crisis’s.  It is so wonderful to have a person like Him in the midst of those crisis’s.  And the awesome part is that He never turns anyone away from His loving care.

            But I find the fact that HE is always there a comfort and a pleasure to enjoy my life with Him. I mean, He has given us, as the Message says it, “A pure gift” the gift of His Righteousness.  I heard someone talking about our “Me” generation reception of Christ as Lord and Savior like this:  “HE takes our RIGHTNESS and replaces it with HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  All we want to do is what is “Right” for me, what “feels” good at the time.  God wants to replace that with the cloak of His Righteousness or His “right standing” with God the Father.  So when we stand before God, it is not because of our correctness or strength,  It is because Jesus has made access to the Father through our salvation.

            So no matter what the past holds against you.  No matter how big a mess you’ve made. Jesus Christ has made it possible for you to stand before an Omnipotent God to receive your Blessed Life in Christ.  So walk in it and BE BLESSED!

 

Nostalgic

A 17-year-old girl had just gotten her driver’s license and offered to take her mom’s car to the gas station. She pulled up to the full-service pumps, and the attendant asked, “What grade, miss?”

            “Eleventh!” she replied.

 

Do you suppose that it occurs to the power company that they are making a double pun when they send their bill commanding “Please Pay Current Charges” ?

 

A Columbia Doctor’s secretary called an old farmer out my way and said: “Your check came back.”

The old man replied, “So did my arthritis.”



HARD TIMES COMPANIONS

APRIL 9

            “All praise to the God and the Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!  Father of all mercy!  God of all healing counsel!  He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 , The Message Bible

Probably all of us are quite familiar with the prose entitled “Footprints”, where the author finds that through the hard times, God often “carries” us.  Several years ago, I heard a sermon preached by Anne Gmininez, on Psalms 23 where she stated, “God intends us to go “THROUGH”.  Not camp in. Homestead new territory. Or set up residence IN the Valley”.  The complete thought of going through, is that we WILL get to the other side.

But here Paul reminds us that we do not go through alone.  God comes alongside us to walk hand in hand.  God will never leave us, nor forsake us. Just remember, He is walking alongside you today, no matter where you’re walking. He intends to stay with you until you get THROUGH.

But Paul also exhorts us to walk “alongside someone else who is going through hard times”.  It is by our experience with, God at our side, that prepares us to walk alongside others. 

I challenge you today, to think of someone going “through” a hard time, I doubt that you will have to search very far, and reach out and walk with them until they get “THROUGH”.  Make the commitment to stay with them until they are on the victory side.  And then you and they will be Blessed.

 

 

Patient: It’s been one month since my last visit and I still feel miserable.

Doctor: Did you follow the instructions on the medicine I gave you?

Patient: I sure did. The bottle said “keep tightly closed.”

 

 

On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, “If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers.”  A little voice from the back of the room asked, “How will that help?”



REVIVAL IS FOR EVERYONE

APRIL 8

Isaiah 55: 6-13.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,  (for) my ways higher that your ways and my thoughts (higher) than your thoughts.

            Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t think the way that we do….. boy would this world be different if I had my way about it.  Why only the righteous would be Blessed. Yet, in Matthew 5:45, Jesus is saying that the sun will rise and the rain will fall on the just and the unjust.  In life the trees, the grass and the vegetables are all watered, but so are the weeds. 

            I do believe that the Lord is calling his church and the world into a great Revival. But during every religious awakening, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the false and the true are all prospered?  This is an aspect of God’s truth that we ought to remember.

When you are praying for revival to come into your church or into your family,

you must be aware of the fact that there may be a great deal of thunder and lightning before the peace and the calm.  A movement of God may bring peace, but it can also spawn a storm of chaos in its approach.  When you see the Spirit of God moving in your mists, it is not the time for rejoicing, it is the time for fasting and prayer. For God’s Word is melting the lives of believers as well as unbelievers, and the bands around many hearts are being broken.  It is not time for celebration until the fullness of God’s blessings are allowed to flow into all the right channels.  Do not become complacent until God has had His way.

 

 

Who Killed the Construction Worker ?

A workman was killed at a construction site. The police began questioning a number of the other workers. Based with past brushes with the law, many of these workers were considered prime suspects.

The electrician was suspected of wiretapping once but was never charged.

The carpenter thought he was a stud. He tried to frame another man one time.

The glazier went to great panes to conceal his past. He still claims that he didn’t do anything, that he was framed.

The painter had a brush with the law several years ago.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor is known to pack heat. He was arrested once but duct the charges.

The mason gets stoned regularly.

The cabinet maker is an accomplished counter fitter.

The investigation is continuing

 




 

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