SEE YOU IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY!

NOVEMBER 5, 2020

Let us go into the house of the Lord. PSALM 122:1

What’s your reason for not going to church? Before you answer, read Ten Reasons Why I Never Wash!

 

(1) I was forced to wash as a child. (2) People who wash are all hypocrites; they think they are cleaner than everyone else. (3) There are so many different kinds of soap; I just can’t decide which one is best for me. (4) I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped doing it. (5) I only wash on special occasions like

Christmas and Easter. (6) None of my friends wash. (7) I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier. (8) I don’t have time to wash. (9) The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer, (10) The people who make soap are only after your money! Sound familiar?

Speaking of the church, Paul writes: “There should be no division .. .its parts should ha ve equal concern for each other … each one of YOLl is a part of it” (lCo 12:25-27 NIV). You are part of Christ’s body, the church, so you need to be there! Watchman Nee says: “Alone I cannot serve the Lord effectively, and he will spare no pains to teach me tbis. He will bring things to an end, allowing doors to close and leaving me effectively knocking my head against a wall until I realize that I need the help of the body, as well as of the Lord. ” There are truths taught in God’s house that you won’t hear anywhere else. There you’ll

find a spiritual family to belong to, a faith to live by, and a focus that gets your eyes where they should be-on Christ! So, see you in church on Sunday!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?

 

If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

 

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?



A LOVE LETTER FROM JESUS (3)

NOVEMBER 4

You … are a letter front Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV

                YOU know a Letter is addressed to YOU, the question becomes it say? Certain key words in 2 Corinthians stand out: “transformed,” “renounced,” and “made new!” “We … are being transformed into his likeness” (2Co 3:18 NIV). “We have renounced secret and shameful ways” (2Co 4:2 NIV). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2Co 5:17 NIV). The message in our letter should make it clear that we’re not the people we used to be, because:

(a) Christ has changed LIS mentally. Being “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Ro 12:2) we now look at life, ourselves, others, our challenges and options in light of God’s thoughts, not ours. We see opportunities where we saw only obstacles, and possibilities where we saw only problems. Minds that were frazzled with worry, are now filled with confidence and peace. (b) Christ has changed us morally. The list of wrongdoers mentioned in leo 6:9-10 was a lifestyle all too familiar to us. It includes the immoral, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, etc. Then comes glorious verse 11: “And that

is what some of you were. But you were washed … sanctified … justified in the name of the Lord jesus Christ” (NIV). He has transformed our character. (c) Christ has changed us spiritually. Once we were unable to enjoy His Word, His worship and His ways. Now, alive by His indwelling Spirit, we revel in these things (See ‘ICo 2:14)t Your letter should read: “Jesus changed my life, and if you Jet Him, He will change yours too!” So today, deliver your love letter to everyone you meet.

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

The young preacher was asked what was meant by the word “procrastination.”

“I really don’t know,” he replied.

“However, I think it is something Presbyterians believe in.”



A LOVE LETTER FROM JESUS (2)

NOVEMBER 3

You … are a letter from Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NIV

Bible says your life is a love letter from Jesus, “known and read by everybody.” But a letter is only effective, if it is easily read and understood. An older friend said of his deteriorating handwriting, “I can still read writin’, but I can’t write readin’!” Incomprehensible writing distorts the message and discourages the reader. The purpose, to convey the writer’s thoughts, is lost, and the reader either stops reading or fails to get the .message.

To ensure that your love letter from Jesus gets through to the people He’s sending it to, here are some common distortions to avoid: (a) Dishonesty, like padding your expense account, stealing company time or taking home items you think won’t be missed. (b) A begrudging, resentful attitude when a friend,

fellow worker or boss asks you to go the extra mile and help at an inconvenient time. (c) Shoddy workmanship, reflected in a substandard product or service. (d) Undependability and inconsistency, such as when you can’t be counted on to be where you’re supposed to be, or to fulfill your obligations. (e) Being a killjoy. Christians who lack a sense of humor and resiliency, who act like they’re “joy-impaired,” hurt the cause of Christ. (f) Touchiness, like when you wear your feelings on your sleeve,

are easily upset and overreact to unintended offenses. (g) Temper tantrums, where you’re crabby and grumpy because things don’t go your way. (h) “Holy joe-iris” that makes you speak in self-righteous, supercilious tones. Since you are being “known and read by everybody,” guard against these behaviors that distort the life-giving message God wants to send to others through you.

Taken from the BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

An eye witness account from New York City, on a cold day in December, some years ago:

A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing in front of a shoe store on the sidewalk, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, “My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!”

“I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.

Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.”

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her,

“Are you God’s wife?”



A LOVE LETTER FROM JESUS (1)

NOVEMBER 2

You … are a letter from Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NIY

John 3:16 is the greatest message ever sent to man. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” God sent Jesus to demonstrate His love and He sends us to declare it! “You … are a letter from Christ … written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,” to a lost, stressed-out world

searching for answers.

Now, when a letter arrives certain questions arise: (1) Who is it addressed to? This letter is addressed to “whoever believes.” For every person you meet, you have something they need, something more important than a tax cut, a salary increase, a solution for global warming or a cancer cure. Friends, enemies, relatives, neighbors, workmates and strangers need the message you have and the hope you bring. (2) Who is it frond The author’s identity determines the reader’s interest level, You are a letter from Christ, about Christ. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2Co 4:5 NIV). Our message is not about us; it’s about Jesus. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). Religious folks advertise their religion. We advocate Christ. “But are people really interested in Jesus?” you ask. Yes! In His lifetime He drew multitudes. Since His death and resurrection He draws countless millions of both sexes, all strata of society and every nation on earth. “But I, when I am lifted up … will draw all men to myself” (In 12:32 NIV). Today

nothing is more needed than a living portrait of Jesus Christ, so deliver your love letter to “whoever” crosses your path!

Taken from the Best of the WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

“I hope you didn’t take it personally, Pastor” an embarrassed woman said after a church service, “when my husband walked out during your sermon.”

“I did find it rather disconcerting,” the pastor replied.

“It’s not a reflection on you, Pastor” insisted the church goer.

“Carl has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.



LET GOD HEAL YOUR WOUNDS

OCTOBER 30

I will … heal your wounds. JEREMIAH 30:17 NIV

Addressing the student body at Virginia Tech after a shooting rampage that left thirty of them dead and dozens more wounded, Philip Yancey said: “Peter said to Jesus … ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.’ You’ve heard, ‘Things will get better, you’ll get past this.’ Those who offer such comfort mean well, and what you feel now you won’t always feel. Yet you’re a different person because of that day. When three of my friends died I came across these lines: ‘Grief melts away like snow in May,’ as if there were no such thing as cold. I dung to that, even as grief smothered me like an avalanche. It did melt away, but like snow it came back in fierce, unexpected ways, triggered by a sound, a smell, a fragment of memory.”

Yancey continued: “Pain is a sign of life and love. I’m wearing a neck brace because I broke my neck in an accident. Initially medical workers refused to give me medication because they needed my response. The doctor kept asking, ‘Does this hurt? Can you feel that?’ The answer he desperately wanted was, ‘Yes, it hurts, I can feel it,’ proof that my spinal cord hadn’t been severed. Pain offers proof of life, of connection. In deep wounds two kinds of tissue must heal: connective tissue, plus the outer protective tissue. If the outer protective tissue heals too quickly the inner connective tissue won’t heal properly,

leading to complications later.” Don’t attempt healing alone; real healing takes time; it takes place where God’s presence, God’s peace, and God’s people are. Are you hurting today? Turn to God. His promise to you is “I will. .. heal your wounds.”

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. You miss worship one Sunday morning and by 2 o’clock that afternoon you have

had a dozen phone calls inquiring about your health.

 

  1. High notes on the organ set dogs in the parking lot to howling.

 

  1. People wonder when Jesus fed the 5,000 whether the two fish were bass or catfish.

 

  1. It’s not heaven, but you can see heaven from there.

 

  1. The final words, of the benediction are, “Y’all come on back now, ya hear!”


GOD’S INDWELLING SPIRIT INTERPRETS FOR US

OCTOBER 29

We do not know what we should pray for … but the spirit … makes intercession for us. ROMANS 6:26 NKJV      

When you go to a foreign country you can feel uncomforable and a bit lost, because you don’t speak the language. Everything is different from what you’re accustomed to.

The language of the spiritual world is prayer. And since the spiritual world is the source of our power, victory, peace, joy, and everything else we need, it’s essential that we learn to speak it. The good news is, we have the perfect teacher and interpreter -the Holy Spirit Himself. One of His jobs is to teach us the

language of prayer and guide us when it comes to addressing God. And He’s good at this job! The Bible says the Holy Spirit can interpret our prayers to God even when we don’t know what to say. “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of

our wordless sighs, our aching groans” (Ro 8:26 TM). Isn’t that wonderful?

Prayer is the link between the physical and the spiritual world-and since the spiritual world controls the physical, getting connected to the world above affects our functioning in the world below. And because prayer is relational, the Holy Spirit will communicate God’s heart back to us by connecting with our human spirit so that we’ll hear God talk to us in the deepest part of our being. That’s why prayer cannot be rushed. It’s also why taking time to meditate and be still before God is so important. It allows the Holy Spirit to share God’s thoughts with us, so that we begin thinking His way. How valuable is that?

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. The only time people lock their cars in the parking lot is during the summer and

then only so their neighbors can’t leave them a bag of squash.

 

  1. There is no such thing as a “secret” sin.

 

  1. Baptism is referred to as “branding.”

 

  1. There is a special fund-raiser for a new septic tank.

 

  1. Finding and returning lost sheep is not just a parable.


ALLOW GOD TO SHAPE YOU

OCTOBER 28

We are the clay, and You our potter. ISAIAH 64:8 NKJV

Imagine a beautiful china teacup saying: “I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was just a cold, hard, colorless lump of day. One day the potter picked me up and said, ‘I could do something with this.’ Then he started to put pressure on me and change my shape. I said, ‘What are you doing? That hurts. Stop!’ But he said, ‘Not yet.’ Then he put me on a wheel and began to spin me around and around until I shouted, ‘Let me off.’ He replied, ‘Not yet.’ Then he shaped me into a cup and put me in a hot oven. I cried, ‘Let me out of here, I’m suffocating.’ But he looked at me and said, ‘Not yet.’ When he took

me out, I thought his work on me was over, but then he started to paint me. I couldn’t believe what he did next. He put me back into the oven, and I said, ‘I can’t stand this, please let me out!’ But be said, ‘Not yet.’ Finally he took me out of the oven and set me on a shelf where I thought he had forgotten me. Then one day be took me off the shelf and held me up before a mirror. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had become a beautiful teacup that everyone wants to buy.”

There are things going on in your life today that you don’t understand. When you finally get to the place God wants you to be, you’ll realize that He has been making YOU into a vessel He can use, bless, and use to bless others. So, allow God to shape you!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. Prayers regarding the weather are a standard part of every worship service.

 

  1. A singing group is known as “The O.K. Chorale.”

 

  1. The church directory doesn’t have last names.

 

  1. The pastor wears boots.

 

  1. Four generations of one family sit together in worship every Sunday.


CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER (2)

OCTOBER 26

Bear one another’s burdens. GALATIANS 6:2 NKJV

 

Millions of caregivers are at risk because of self-neglect. Suzanne Mintz of the National Family Caregivers Association has been taking care of her husband, who has multiple sclerosis, for years. Her breaking point came the day he fell, “AlI could do was drag him across the floor,” she said. “I’m five feet one; he’s five feet eight. It took forty-five minutes … that’s when I knew this wasn’t a one-person job.” The Bible says: “We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength” (Ro 15:1 NAS). Experts in care giving offer this helpful advice: Compromise: If you’re a relative, avoid family disputes. Don’t let old issues divide you; it’s time to stick together. Co- ordinate: If you’re good with insurance and legal documents, offer your services. Help prepare a game plan for when an illness advances; adult children often avoid that conversation. Encourage, Help the caregiver to find professional support. If they’re uncomfortable with in-person support groups, many organizations have on-line resources. Facilitate: Ask somebody objective, a pastor or social worker, to negotiate in stressful

situations where the caregiver is struggling with the patient, family members, or medical providers. Investigate: Locating books and websites and contacting organizations that help the caregiver learn more about a patient’s illness, can save them time. Listen: Asking the caregiver to tell you their story,

can provide a much-needed release and help you understand their needs. Socialize: Organize events with family, community and church, and if possible include the patient. Remember, by carrying somebody else’s burdens even for a little while, you’re fulfilling “the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

You might be in a country church if:

  1. The doors are never locked.

 

  1. The Call to Worship is, “Y’all come on in!”

 

  1. People grumble about Noah letting coyotes on the Ark.

 

  1. The Preacher says, “I’d like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering”

– and five guys stand up.

 

  1. The restroom is outside.


CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER (1)

OCTOBER 26

Bear one another’s burdens. GALATIANS 6:2 NKJV

 

Millions of caregivers are at risk because of self-neglect. Suzanne Mintz of the National Family Caregivers Association has been taking care of her husband, who has multiple sclerosis, for years. Her breaking point came the day he fell, “AlI could do was drag him across the floor,” she said. “I’m five feet one; he’s five feet eight. It took forty-five minutes … that’s when I knew this wasn’t a one-person job.” The Bible says: “We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength” (Ro 15:1 NAS). Experts in care giving offer this helpful advice: Compromise: If you’re a relative, avoid family disputes. Don’t let old issues divide you; it’s time to stick together. Co- ordinate: If you’re good with insurance and legal documents, offer your services. Help prepare a game plan for when an illness advances; adult children often avoid that conversation. Encourage, Help the caregiver to find professional support. If they’re uncomfortable with in-person support groups, many organizations have on-line resources. Facilitate: Ask somebody objective, a pastor or social worker, to negotiate in stressful

situations where the caregiver is struggling with the patient, family members, or medical providers. Investigate: Locating books and websites and contacting organizations that help the caregiver learn more about a patient’s illness, can save them time. Listen: Asking the caregiver to tell you their story,

can provide a much-needed release and help you understand their needs. Socialize: Organize events with family, community and church, and if possible include the patient. Remember, by carrying somebody else’s burdens even for a little while, you’re fulfilling “the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

You might be in a country church if:

  1. The doors are never locked.

 

  1. The Call to Worship is, “Y’all come on in!”

 

  1. People grumble about Noah letting coyotes on the Ark.

 

  1. The Preacher says, “I’d like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering”

– and five guys stand up.

 

  1. The restroom is outside.


RANSOMED, REDEEMED, RESTORED!

OCTOBER 23, 2020

He provided redemption for his people. PSALM 111:9 NIV

Ever been to a pawnshop? You’ll find them in most major cities. The idea is simple; if you need money, you take a valuable item like jewelry or a musical instrument to the shop where the pawnbroker appraises it and gives you cash. But if you don’t return within the specified time to redeem it, you forfeit ownership. Although it was yours originally, you no longer have legal possession till you pay the price to get it back. And if you wait too long, it can be lost forever.

 Have you ever thought of yourself as somebody who needs to be redeemed, so you can be returned to your rightful owner? The Bible says God created us to enjoy fellowship with Him. But sin caused us to fall into “the snare of the devil. .. held captive … to do his will” (2Ti 2:26 NAS). Restoration to God,

your rightful owner, could only come through redemption. And that’s exactly what God did! “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (jn 3:16). Christ’s death on the cross was the price of your redemption; that’s

how much God values you! But redemption only becomes a reality when you realize that you’re a sinner, and trust in Christ as your Savior. The moment you do, He reunites you with your heavenly Father-ransomed, redeemed, restored to your original owner. So the question is: have you taken God up on His offer of salvation, the one that makes you a member of His family? If you’re able to read this, it’s not too late. You can do it right now wherever you are.

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY.

 

A large corporation recently hired several cannibals. “You are all part of our team now,” said the HR (Human Resources) rep during the welcoming briefing. “You get all of the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don’t eat any of the other employees.” The cannibals promised they would not.

Four weeks later their boss remarked, “You’re all working very hard and I’m satisfied with your work. However, one of our secretaries has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to her?” The cannibals all shook their heads, “No.”

After the boss had left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others, “Which one of you idiots ate the secretary?” A hand rose hesitantly.

“You fool!” the leader continued. “For four weeks we’ve been eating managers and no one noticed anything. But NOOOooo, you had to go and eat someone who actually does something!!!”




 

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