I super love the account in the Bible in 1 Samuel 16 – KJV. God instructed Samuel to go to the home of Jesse with the purpose to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Samuel thought that surely Eliab was the anointed of the Lord. The Lord told Samuel that Eliab wasn’t the one. Next was Abinadab; he wasn’t the one either. Then came Shammah, again a son who wasn’t the one. “ . . . Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.” 1 Samuel 16:10 – KJV. The Lord spoke these words to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 – KJV, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” What comforts to know that God looks on the heart and that it pleases theContinue reading »

Once again we’re soon coming on December 25th, the day we celebrate the birth of Christ – yes Christmas. The Bible account of his arrival is deeply cherished by Christians. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph traveled and reached Bethlehem where the Lord was born in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. Wise men were guided to look upon the newborn Saviour. They lovingly and generously came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Repeated readings and sermons about the birth of Christ haven’t dampened the beauty of that rich event shared so splendidly in the Bible. Some church bodies have a custom of early morning Christmas services. Attending helps parishioners to be reminded of lifestyle priorities. Love and service to Christ transcend our material holiday activities. Yes, the hope of glory stands way beyond all the rest. Colossians 1:27 – KJV, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,Continue reading »

The other day I read a touching anecdote which deserves to be shared. A father and his daughter were no longer on speaking terms. Things had happened and as a result, they both had locked away the love they had once felt for each other in the dungeons of their hearts. One day the daughter heard that the father was dying and she decided to at least see the old man one last time before he would pass on to the next world. When she sat at his bedside both of them were still. What could they say? At last, the dying man broke the silence and whispered, “My dear child, do you know that I have always loved you? I am so very sorry for the things I did wrong.” The daughter looked at him, and the bitterness welled up in her heart. “You said, you would always be there for me… But you weren’t. You hurt me that way.” The old man raised his bushy eyebrows. “How, child?Continue reading »

One of the most heartwarming accounts in the Bible is of the good Samaritan. Many other folks and I adore that story. It reveals that the man in need was rejected by a priest and a Levite, but helped by a good Samaritan. Luke 10:33-35 – KJV But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Beautiful feelings rise within when I recall the numerous occasions when good Samaritans have assisted in emergencies, and with different needs and desires. Reminders such as those bolsters hope in humanity.Continue 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 »

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 inspiring it is to read, in the Bible, assorted accounts of courage. Great reading indeed. Of course, one of the all time favorites is what we read about the showdown between David and Goliath. From a natural standpoint, the odds were against David. Goliath disdained him. Yes, he underestimated the small in stature young man. Obviously, Goliath had more in height and in his experience as a warrior. David, though, had power from Almighty God, who no foe can defeat. David was confident that he’d gain victory over his giant foe. The lad, David, was certain that he had, in his spiritual arsenal, the ultimate reinforcement. How impressive is it that he hasted and ran toward his enemy – 1 Samuel 17:48- KJV? David didn’t hesitate, cower or retreat. He went full throttle to handle the business of his God. Goliath uttered threatening declarations about his perceived triumphant posture. Yes, he talked the talk, but the Lord saw to it that he didn’t “deliver the goods.” David was theContinue reading »

“Once,” the preacher said, “I was invited to speak in an institution for people with mental problems. While there I met a man whose main problem was that he was constantly afraid he wouldn’t get his next meal. Every time, after he finished a meal; be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, fear set in that the caretakers would not give him his next meal. Whatever the nurses would tell him, it was to no avail. He worried and worried some more. But this man was locked up in an institution. However,” the pastor concluded, “shouldn’t we, as children of the King, be more sensible?” Even though we have found faith in God and we know the Savior, still it seems we can all do better in the area of fear and worry. Worry is the enemy that we should not underestimate, but that we all encounter at one time or another. If we truly believe, though, that God will take care of us and really is watching over us, thenContinue reading »

Once upon a time, a mother was walking down the street with her little boy. Not anything unusual, except that the little boy had had polio and could hardly walk and was struggling along with his iron braces. A pitiful sight, but not to the mother; she was full of radiant joy and encouraged her son to keep going. “Good boy…It’s going so well,” she exclaimed jubilantly. Then the boy looked up and said, “Maybe, I can still learn to run after all! Would it be all right if I try?” A difficult question; of course that boy couldn’t run. Anybody could see that. He would fall and hurt himself. But the mother was confident and encouraged her son. “Come on son… give it a try. You can do more than you know.” The boy sighed and then took a few steps forward. He didn’t in any way resemble a seasoned runner, participating in a trial, but the boy did move, and for a few steps, it went well. ButContinue reading »

Heartfelt thanks extend to those who lovingly engage in prison ministries. Confined “residents” certainly benefit from such care and attentiveness. The visits help to handle some of the mundane aspects of being incarcerated. Yep, the residents welcome escapes from their routines and standard operating procedures. Undoubtedly, prison ministries are worthwhile for the visitors and for the residents. Sharing and caring aids in all environments. Some residents don’t receive any other visitors and thus, they especially look forward to the times when prison ministry folks arrive to encourage and to share of God’s love. We have no idea how many people are in jails and prisons for crimes that they didn’t commit. My heart grieves for instances of that type. We’ve read and heard reports of legal defenses that succeeded in having convictions removed for innocent folks, some of whom spent years being held for what they’d been wrongly convicted of doing. Truly, we have no full fledged awareness of what their experiences were like. It’s indeed heartening to know ofContinue reading »