YOUR BRIDAL DRESS

APRIL 29

“The Marriage of the Lamb has come; his Wife has made herself ready.  She was given a bridal gown of bright and shining linen.  The linen is the righteousness of the saints.” The Angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.”  Revelation 19: 7-9 The Message Bible

            One of the most exciting things about a pastor’s ministry is the ability to perform wedding ceremonies. To stand there as the bridegroom solemnly waits and to see the Bride make her grand entrance, all eyes upon her as she walks down the aisle.

            Every lady in the sanctuary measuring the appearance of the wedding dress. The Aw’s and sighs as she passes pew by pew.  Every man squirming in his seat as he looks at the Bridegroom all decked out if a rented tuxedo that rarely fits.

            Mixed emotions is about the only way that I can explain it when Bride and Bridegroom arrive at the altar.  Some couples are smiling from ear to ear.  Some are so tense and frightened that only a glaze comes over them. And then some couples are like the last wedding I did, when both Bride and Bridegroom shed tears of joy as they met at that altar.

            Having two girls first, I tried to get it across that if a wedding ceremony was to be as biblical as possible, then the bridegroom should have to purchase the wedding dress for the bride. (I never knew that you could spend thousands of dollars for a dress that you would wear one time.)

            Now isn’t that what this verse is saying.  The Bridegroom, Jesus Christ Himself, has provided the bridal gown for the church.  And He has offered the proposal and the church has accepted the proposal to be His Bride. Now He is busy preparing a home and provide the gown of righteousness for His Bride.

            Experience tells me that it takes more than one fitting to get that bridal gown “Just Right”.  So it is with us.  When did you go in for your last “fitting” session for the gown of righteousness?  Don’t be caught trying to produce your own wedding gown.  Christ has already chosen and given it to you.  Stop by the Dress Shop today.  Try on His Righteousness. The Wedding may be tomorrow.

            – Pastor Don

 

 

 

ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM TREES

* It’s important to have roots.

* In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out.

* Don’t pine away over old flames.

* If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.

* Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows.

* Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.

* If you want to maintain accurate records, keep a log.

* To be politically correct, don’t wear firs.

* Grow where you’re planted.

* It’s perfectly okay to be a late bloomer.

* Avoid people who would like to cut you down.

* Get all spruced up when you have a hot date.

* If the party gets boring, just leaf.

* You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.

* It’s more important to be honest than poplar.



IS YOUR MIRROR CLEAN?

APRIL 28

            “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful  one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.  – 2 Timothy 3:15-17 The Message Bible.

            The Word of God is a mirror that reflects our image the way that God sees it.  He reveals our true selves as we openly accept the image that He sees in us.

            Several years ago, I took my wife, Judy, to one of those “nice” restaurants. You know the kind.  It used to be a barn but they fixed it up on the inside and made the dining area candlelight dark.  A nice place for an anniversary dinner.

            During the meal, I dropped something on my tie, so I took my napkin and wiped it away. A little later, I excuse myself to the men’s room and discovered that the spot was still visible, so I used a little soap and water to finish the cleaning job.

            When I went to the cashier’s booth to pay the check, have you ever noticed that the cashier’s spot always has lighting 10 times brighter than the dining area, I realized that the spot was still showing, so I did more of the rubbing, cleaning thing.

            Finally when we went outside into the Sunlight….. this tie’s got to go to the cleaners.

            God’s Word progressively reveals our spots and imperfections so that we can turn the cleaning over to Him. And when He get through, His reflection can be seen in us so that His Glory is released.

            – Pastor Don

 

 

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?”

“Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life,” her mother tried to explain, keeping it  simple.

The child  thought about this for a moment, then said, “So why’s the groom wearing  black?”

The best way for a man to remember his wife’s birthday is to forget it just once.

Being a husband is like any other job. It helps a lot if you like the boss.

Marriage counselor to wife: “Maybe your problem is that you’ve been waking up grumpy in the morning.”

“No, I always let him sleep.”

The honeymoon is over when he no longer smiles gently as he scrapes the burnt toast.

It has been proven that married life is healthy. Statistics show that single people die sooner than married folks. So, if you’re looking for a long life and a slow death, get married.



PROCRASTINATION

APRIL 27

Procrastination is a killer.

When you choose to kill time, you begin to kill those gifts and callings which God has placed within your life.  The Living Bible paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 11:4 reads, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

The first step in procrastination is to eliminate all excuses and reasons for not taking decisive and immediate action.

Everybody is on the move. They are moving forwards, backwards, or on a treadmill. The mistake most people make is thinking that the main goal of life is to stay busy.  Such thinking is a trap.  What is important is not whether a person is busy, but whether he is progressing.  It is a question of activity versus accomplishment.

A gentleman named John Henry Fabre conducted an experiment with pro-cessionary caterpillars.  They are so named because of their peculiar habit of blindly following each other no matter how they are lined up or where they are going.  This man took a group of these tiny creatures and did something interesting with them.  He placed them in a circle.  For 24 hours the caterpillars dutifully followed one another around and around.  Then he did something else. He place the caterpillars around a saucer full of pine needles (their favorite food). For six days the mindless creatures moved around and around the saucer, literally dying from starvation and exhaustion even though an abundance of choice food was located less than two inches away.

Procrastination is a primary tool of the devil to hold us back and to make us miss God’s timing in our lives.  The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuses to labour (Prov. 21:25).  The fact is, the longer we take to act on God’s direction, the more unclear it becomes.       

            John L. Mason,  An Enemy Called Average

 

 

 

On some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle.  One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, “What time is it?”

The tower responded, “Who is calling?”

The aircraft replied, “What difference does it make?”

The tower replied “It makes a lot of difference.  If it is an American Airlines Flight, it is 3 o’clock.  If it is an Air Force,  it is 1500 hours.  If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.  If it is

an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.”



LOSER LIMP

APRIL 26

            “Decide today to get rid of any “loser’s limps” which you may still be carrying from some past experience. As followers of Jesus Christ, you and I need to break the power of the past to dominate our present and determine our future.”

            “In Luke 9:62, Jesus said,  No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  If we are not careful, the more we look backward, the less able we are to see forward.  The past makes no difference concerning what God can do for us today.”

            “That is the beauty of the Christian life.  Even when we have failed, we are able to ask for forgiveness and be totally cleansed of and released from our past actions.  Whatever hold the past may have on us can be broken.  It is never God Who holds us back.  It is always our own choosing to allow the past to keep us from living to the fullest in the present and future.  Failure is waiting around the corner for those who are living off of yesterday’s successes and failures.  We should choose to be forward-focus, not past-possessed.  We should learn to profit from the past, but to invest in the future.”

            “In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Paul writes: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

            “The Key here is “forgetting those things which are behind: In order to reach for the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  To fulfill our calling in Christ, we must first forget that which lies behind.  Probably the most common stronghold in a person’s life is his past mistakes and failures.  Today is the day to begin to shake off the shackles of the past and move forward.”

            “The past is past. It has no life.”

                        John L. Mason, An Enemy Called Average

 

 

Dear Pastor

Dear Pastor, I know God loves everybody but He never met my sister. Yours sincerely, Arnold. Age 8, Nashville.

Dear Pastor, Please say in your sermon that Peter Peterson has been a good boy all week. I am Peter Peterson. Sincerely, Pete. Age 9, Phoenix

Dear Pastor, My father should be a minister. Every day he gives us a sermon about something. Robert Anderson, age 11

Dear Pastor, I’m sorry I can’t leave more money in the plate, but my father didn’t give me a raise in my allowance. Could you have a sermon about a raise in my allowance? Love, Patty. Age 10, New Haven

Dear Pastor, My mother is very religious. She goes to play bingo at church every week even if she has a cold. Yours truly, Annette. Age 9, Albany

Dear Pastor, I would like to go to heaven someday because I know my brother won’t be there. Stephen. Age 8, Chicago

Dear Pastor, I think a lot more people would come to your church if you moved it to Disneyland. Loreen. Age 9. Tacoma



A RADIANT LIGHT

A RADIANT LIGHT

APRIL 23

            “This is the crisis we’re in:  God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness.  They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God… But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”  John 3:19-21 The Message Bible.

            I loved the way the Message Bible interprets this verse.  It explains so easily why men and women continue to walk in the darkness of life rather than the light of God.  They simply are not interested in pleasing God. 

            The problem that I see with this is, why do believers, who say they are interested in pleasing God, not walking in the brightness of His light. WE seem to want to hang around the “Grey” areas a lot of times.  Trying to keep one foot in God’s light and the other on the edge of darkness. 

            The world is looking for someone to show them a “CLEAR” light.  A bright and shining light that will illuminate their way.  No don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think we’re going to be like the TV angels whose hair shines with a glow when they expose who they are to the charges.  We don’t all get “halo’s” all the time, but we do need a picture of HOPE for a hopeless society. 

            So be a radiance of light to the dark corners of your world.  Spread a little light this week and BE BLESSED!

 

 

One of the life’s mysteries is how a two pound box of candy can make a person gain five pounds.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to

leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Inside me is a thin person struggling to get out, but that person can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.

 



THE FORGOTTEN 10 OTHER COMMANDMENTS

APRIL 22

Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.

Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

Thou shall face each problem as it comes.  You can only handle one at a time anyway.

Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

Thou shall not borrow other people’s problems.  They can better care for them than you can.

Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone.  Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!

Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear different ideas from your own.  It is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some people do know more than you do.

Thou shall not become “bogged down” by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.

Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.

 

 

Adam was walking around the garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked him,  “What is wrong with you?”  Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to and was very lonely.

God said that he was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be “a woman.”  He said, “This person will gather food for you, cook for you, when you discover clothing, she’ll wash it for you.  She will always agree with every decision you make.  She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them.  She will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it and do whatever you want.”

Adam asked God, “What will a woman like this cost?”

God replied, “An arm and a leg.”

Then Adam asked, “What can I get for a rib?”  The rest is history.



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.”




 

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