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Showing posts from May 11, 2014

Cheerful Heart

What you think is what is real to you. Solomon said that "All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast." (Proverbs 15:15) We build a story in our minds about what is happening to us. That story is built off of our impressions, our misinterpretations, a portion of the facts and is influenced by others experiences and suggestions, too. That story infiltrates our heart and creates attitudes and actions that agree with the negative state of our life. This sadness brings you to believe that you are unable to overcome what is surrounding you. So, a person who thinks they are oppressed has an oppressed life but a person that does not allow their circumstances or situations to control their thinking sees life differently. They have a principle within them of inward satisfaction which brings comfort in the most trying of circumstances. We remember slaves that sang in the fields and placed God into their situations. We remember great leade…

Characteristics of a Positive Life

There is much to learn about living a positive life from the simple story of David and Goliath. We think of this as a story for children but it is in fact a powerful story of positive living. David was a young man who was charged with the keeping of his father's sheep. That may not seem so important but the place where he was put became the training ground for his future. David had already been requested by Saul to play his harp to sooth Saul's soul when the evil spirit came to trouble him. He carried out this responsibility even though he was still tending his father's sheep. In the battle of the Philistines with Israel when Goliath for forty days came out in front of the armies to declare his prowess and challenge Israel to send out a person to fight, he was met only with fear from Israel. (1 Samuel 17:17-19) David's three oldest brothers were a part of this army where none went forward to fight Goliath. David was sent with roasted grain, ten loaves of bread and te…

The Guard's Declaration

The men who were to carry out the orders of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of the Jews under Roman dominion) didn't speak much. They were men of action and servants to the decision makers will but concerning Jesus they did say the following: They were sent to arrest Jesus but did not and said, "No one ever spoke the way this man does." (John 7:32, 46)They were at the cross of Jesus, saw the earthquake and all that had happened, were terrified and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:54)A centurion at the cross after "seeing what had happened, praised God and said, Surely this was a righteous man." (Luke 23:47) These men had inflicted death on many and had seen them die before them. They were rough men; men who gave no mercy. However, having put Jesus on the cross and watched him die they chose to declare his innocence and uniqueness. Can we believe their words? Yes, because they had no reason to say…

Name

How powerful is a name? We think of names like Hitler, Stalin, Roosevelt, Moses, Joshua, Jesus Christ, and God as names that have power in their very mention  and carry with them a reputation (whether evil or good). The prophet Samuel was clarifying this to the people of Israel about God after they had done much evil. He was challenging them to serve God not idols and said, "For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own."(1 Samuel 12:22) There is much in a name. Phillips, Craig and Dean understand that power and presence and express it in the lyrics of Your Name:  (listen to it on Youtube) As morning dawns and evening fades
You inspire songs of praise
That rise from earth to touch Your heart and glorify Your Name

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name

Jesus, in Your Name we pray
Com…

Recognizing God

It might be more difficult to recognize God's presence and power when things are going well. But when they are going badly and God steps in and changes things it is easier to see Him working. Psalm 107 encourages us to "give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." (vs. 1) Four illustrations are given where persons needed His deliverance: Some wandered in desert wastelands, were hungry and thirsty, their lives ebbing away (vss. 4-5)Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, subjected to bitter labor, stumbled, and no one helped them (vss. 10, 12)Some became fools through their rebellious ways, suffered affliction, and drew near to the gates of death (vss.17-18)Others were in ships in great storms where they reeled and staggered, and were at their wits' end (vss. 23 ,27) Each of these instances is followed by an almost identical statement: "Then they cried to the Lo…