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Showing posts from March, 2011

ALWAYS WORTH IT

Have you thought to yourself; “How could I ever be used of God? I’ve got so many failures and flaws. I have a bad family life. My family has a bad reputation. I don’t have a nice house. I’m poor. I’ve been rejected by my own family.” Well consider this: When the angel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God, he didn't conclude with the words, "Therefore, we'll put you in a mansion with a team of servants at your beck and call." One could argue that she deserved it, but that's not the life God calls us to. He calls us to a life with a price tag—a life of sacrifice.

Mary was the greatest of all women, but instead of being given luxury, she was given simplicity. Her husband was a poor carpenter. They lived in a poor community in Galilee, kind of like living in the Appalachia hills of east Tennessee. When she was 8 months pregnant, she was required to take a long journey to a distant city. It was there she gave birth to her child — not in a comfo…

QUICK TO FORGET

After 400 years of oppression and severe slavery God used Moses to free the Israelites from Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. All along the way during Israel’s journey into freedom God supernaturally provided them with manna — a special food — and water. No one went hungry. But, a year into the journey on the way to the Promised Land, folks began complaining about the food.

Numbers 11:4-6 reports that: Some troublemakers among them wanted better food, and soon all the Israelites began complaining. They said, "We want meat! We remember the fish we ate for free in Egypt. We also had cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"

The children of God wanted meat. They remembered the good old days of the free fish and veggies from the land of Egypt and longed for them. But, in reality, those days were anything but good. They were difficult days of slavery. They were days the Israelites cried out to God for deli…

SACRIFICE OF THANKS-GIVING

Fulton J. Sheen possibly the first television preacher said, "An interesting phenomenon in children is that gratitude or thankfulness comes relatively late in their young lives. They almost have to be taught it; if not, they grow up thinking that the world owes them a living."

A mother once told me that she didn't want to force her son to say "Thank you" unless he really felt like it saying it. She said, "If I teach him to say 'thank you' when he doesn't feel thankful, I'm teaching him that it's OK to be a hypocrite."

That's not even close to what gratitude is. Our feelings have nothing to do with why we express it. Gratitude is not an emotion, it's an action. The act of saying "thank you" is for the benefit of the other person. It's about their feelings, not yours.

The same is true when it comes to saying "Thank you" to God. Thankfulness is the proper response to the goodness of God. We say "than…

BEAUTIFUL IRRITATION

I read that It takes an oyster somewhere from three to six years to create a perfect pearl. It all starts with a small piece of sand or some other kind of irritant entering the oyster. The oyster then coats it with layers of an iridescent inorganic composite material called nacre which, after years of this process, we come to know as a pearl, like we see on necklaces in jewelry stores.

Like the sand in an oyster, God uses a little irritation in our life to create beauty. A friend once told me that he never prayed for his children to be happy. For if they were always happy, he said how would they ever develop character and experience personal growth?

Going through irritating times is not pleasant. ”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Note that these words from James 1:2-4 do not tell …