International aid stretches to many regions. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, has a ministry, “Samaritan’s Purse.” They give abundant outreach to provide for the needs of people in war-torn, economically deficient and weather damaged areas. Samaritan’s Purse provides evangelistic training, medical, education/literacy, construction and feeding programs. They also have a program called, “Operation Christmas Child.” Joyce Meyer World Missions has an international ministry outreach called, “Hand of Hope.” It provides free medical and dental care among other vital services. Haiti is once again in dire need of aid due to Hurricane Matthew. Disaster relief is in motion for that area and others affected by Matthew. Rebuilding is an enormous task. International help is essential to restore stability to the subject regions. It is deeply heartening to know that caring, skilled and qualified folks are willing to assist and follow through with performances that considerably impact in meaningful ways. Global helpers fill critical needs, and much gratitude flows for what they do to spread care through multiple actions on behalf of needyContinue reading »

Autumn is on the horizon A time to reap what’s been sown Seasonal changes occur – Leaves gain new colors and flutter from the trees Coolness arrives in our mornings Pumpkins display their artistic carvings Hay rides fill with gleeful children Candy apples delight our eager taste buds The Lord tells us that we reap what we sow – Yes, we learn the truths in that message – Throughout the Bible we read of the realities of consequences reaped from sown acts of good and evil Splendid changes are on the horizon for those who chose closeness to God Indeed, it’s a win win choice of direction Harvest time is ever present in the kingdom . . .

We are appointed to be diligent laborers in the “vineyards” of the Lord. In Matthew 20 – KJV, we read about ungrateful laborers and how the householder dealt with their dispositions. In Matthew 21 – KJV, beginning at verse 28, we read about the man and his two sons. One son informed that he would not work in his father’s vineyard. Afterward, he repented and went to labor there. The second son agreed to work in the vineyard but was a no show. The first son did the will of his father. Sometimes we reach spiritual, mental and physical postures where we grow weary. We have our seasons, too, when we don’t feel sufficiently appreciated. The Bible, though, empowers us with this verse in 1 Corinthians 15:58 – KJV, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Glory to God, too, that we’re comforted by a favorite verseContinue reading »

In the Bible, the name of the mother of Moses isn’t given. The act — Exodus 2:3 — that she did resulted in Moses being brought into the care of the daughter of king Pharaoh. The king’s daughter paid wages for a woman to nurse Moses unaware that that woman was his mother. Moses grew in the house of Pharaoh, learned the ways of the Egyptians, and became the main man who God used in the exodus of the Israelites from the land of Egypt. The deed of Moses’ mother set essential “wheels” in motion on behalf of the people of Israel. In the book of Judges, Chapter 4, we read about the brave actions of Deborah, the prophetess who judged Israel for a season. I love reading about her role as a judge. She issued instructions and was instrumental in the execution of the tasks necessary to assure victory. She was a woman on a mission that indeed got accomplished, of course, with the hand of God in theContinue reading »

Tributes are indeed fitting for the godly, noble and courageous women mentioned in the Bible. We read about precious, Mary, the mother of Jesus and her dear cousin Elizabeth who gave birth to John the Baptist. John baptized Jesus and we read in Matthew 3:17 – KJV, these words spoken by God, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” I wonder what it was like for those two women to raise Jesus and John. Imagine those spirited households! Certainly, God knew who’d make the best mothers. We don’t know whether John was an only child of his parents. The Bible does tell us that Jesus had sisters and brothers. It had to be strikingly interesting to raise the Son of God in the home with siblings not charged with such awesome missions to accomplish. Huge admiration swells for Mary’s role in the rearing of Christ Jesus. Of course, Joseph had a vital role, as well. Elizabeth’s role was an important one, too, with her husband ZachariasContinue reading »

We are approaching the first Monday in September, which in America and Canada is Labor Day. In the USA, it became a federal holiday in 1894 as a tribute to the achievements of American workers. Appreciation extends to the many people who have made and who now make valuable contributions to work places. Indeed, there are many folks who regularly sacrifice to provide services to others. Years ago, manual labor was more prevalent. Some workers toiled in intense heat on farms, in mines, and in factories. Lots of muscle work was put in to do the assorted jobs. Such continues but the numbers in such fields have diminished. In high and low places, laborers perform, often in dangerous environments, to accomplish necessary tasks. Currently, computer usage has replaced much that was done manually. Yes, things have changed considerably in the labor markets. The Bible tells us in Mark 6:3 – KJV that Jesus was a carpenter. It says, “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother ofContinue reading »

How long are You going to allow the violence to go on? Look at us. Look at what we’re becoming. Is this the reason why the floods came, the Earth opened up, releasing the waters of the deep as the rain came down? Was the Earth so violent, so unforgiving, so malicious, that You had no choice, but to end the carnage that had spread to every corner of the world? Was there no escape from one killing another? Had crime spread so far, been so prevalent, that no one was safe in their homes? Children no longer went outside to play? No one traveled across the countryside to spend time away? Fear replaced the joy that was supposed to blanket the Earth You made? This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t the plan at all. Time to start all over again. But there was a glimmer of hope. There were the families of Noah and his children and their families. You kept them alive. You had mercy, You had graceContinue reading »

Wondrous delights surface as we dwell on the abundant lessons of Master Teacher, Jesus – Yes, he’s much more but this focus is Lord as teacher The good book is packed with accounts of his teaching excellence on manifold levels vast beyond our comprehension On the mount, Jesus taught In the garden, Jesus taught At the wedding, Jesus taught Inside the boat, Jesus taught In the temple, Jesus taught He had/has rapt audiences along with dissenters yet, Jesus taught/teaches profoundly with unmatched skill How fortunate that we have the teachings of Christ to guide and to help us navigate our varied spiritual journeys The splendor is awesome to live and behold . . .

Sorrow came to visit, and grief sought to consume him – It was challenging to escape the inner turmoil – Remedy? He helped his neighbor – Reaching out to help eased his sorrow Widowed and lonely What did she do? She wallowed awhile then unselfishly, she “kissed” her self-pity goodbye – In she went to soothe neglected elderly folks who welcomed her in earnest – She adds the Lord’s light whenever she visits the assisted living home – Truly, helping others helps her Retired and bored – Bingo and golf aren’t enough to fulfill – Seeking, seeking more to complete his mundane life – Ah ha! He found more to satisfy – How so? He’s now a volunteer for the church bus ministry Yes, giving transpo drives folks and fuels his inner “engine” Yes, indeed, helping others gives plenty joyous gains. Certainly, helping others helps us.

In the Bible, we read of how Jesus went about helping others. He healed, ministered, fed, encouraged, and taught. He exhibited love, patience, and wisdom throughout his engagement with all sorts of folks. Even when Jesus wasn’t shown love, respect and appreciation, he remained loyal to God and gospel truths. We marvel at how the Lord solidly stood strong in the midst of various sentiments, expressions and spiritual postures. The Bible shares that Jesus helped by raising the dead, healing the sick, lifting spirits, and rebuking unwise choices. He cast out demons, as well as restored sight and hearing. He multiplied and fed fish and bread to thousands of folks, and at a wedding, Jesus turned water into wine. Yes, he abundantly helped. The Bible also shares that Jesus gave his life for folks to live lives more abundantly — John 10:10 – KJV — The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they mightContinue reading »

We have God to thank For our independence – Thank you, Lord For love, courage and hope – We’re blessed to have freedom To practice religion – Thank you for such precious and joyous liberties We’re grateful for the symbolism of the red, white and blue, including our flag with stars representing of our union We thank you, Lord for the soldiers who serve to add to the continued protection of our great nation We’re thankful for the assorted ways to enjoy our families and other loved ones because the precious gift of freedom was granted us those many years ago We appreciate the fun, food and fireworks displays that annually occur in honor of our independence Yes, dear Lord, thank you for another Fourth of July and for all of the bountiful things that you’ve lovingly and generously bestowed upon us.