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 »

I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs and even though later in life my wife and I were busy as traveling missionaries; we felt a dog would be a welcome addition to our household. So we got ourselves a nice brown puppy, and the fun began. Puppy training, walks in the morning, exploring the distant fields together at dusk, and loads of chewed up shoes, and a gentle friend for the children. Then my wife got him a collar. Not just any collar, but the best one she could find. A stainless steel collar, complete with a gold color name tag, and when we attached the accompanying red handkerchief to it, he almost seemed better dressed than any of us. “That was an expensive collar,” I questioned my wife. “Sure,” she answered a little sheepishly. “But, it will last us a lifetime, and… it looks so nice.” Money was tight, and I couldn’t see how we could afford such an extravagant collar. I would haveContinue reading »

My heart goes out to the folks involved in child custody issues. Comfort, though, is in the awareness that God is an ever-present help. Psalm 46:1 – KJV, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Yes, no matter what happens, God is love and what the Bible teaches about love and the Lord’s aid provides immense measures of relief. There are instances when, due to actions of vindictiveness, people are being deprived of access to their children. Of course, there are cases when such access is deemed safe and in the best interest of the subject children. We know, though, that there are situations when there are issues of spiteful deprivation. Particularly, disturbing are the times when youth are relocated to foreign countries, which makes custody matters even more challenging. Christians are some of those involved in heart-wrenching custody battles. It’s so draining for parents to be engaged in those sharp disagreements. Of course, children suffer considerably through the ordeals. Thanks be unto God thatContinue reading »

Learning, learning, learning It continues Forever ongoing – Elementary, Middle, High We’re taught Sunday school Bible study Sermons, Lessons, tests – Learning, learning, and learning some more We gain, we develop and progress – Brain and heart challenges Come in plentiful supply – Our achievements Build and cheer us – Learning, learning and learning some more We grasp, we forget We recall and review – Notes, bookmarks, and graphics galore Learning, learning and learning some more Knowledge of God transcends all other topics of learning – Love lessons, Jesus lessons, Wisdom lessons, gospel lessons – Learning, learning and learning some more Nothing adds up better Than learning of the Most High – Learning, learning and learning some more.

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 »

A humorous look at our present time “Your contumacious attitude will get you into deep trouble son. Why are you so feckless?” My mother’s eyes were angry and dark as she spat out the words, which is why I knew, as a nine-year-old boy, that I was in trouble. But what did she mean? I knew I had been disrespectful and I hadn’t been doing my chores and I had even lied. That part I understood. But I didn’t understand the words she was using. Was I contumacious? And feckless? It sounded like a disease. Where did I pick it up? My mother, being an old English schoolteacher, was fond of using difficult words. It confused me. My father, who had left my mother when I was three, raised me in the Netherlands and therefore English wasn’t my first language. “Sorry Mom,” I answered timidly. “But what do these words mean?” “Go to the library and find out!” My mother was clearly not in the teaching mood. “Your father’s truculentContinue 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 . . .