No Devotional today... We're celebrating Columbus Day!
≈ Devotional for Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"Another Bright Idea"
A few weeks ago, I had the bright idea to purchase a colorful bird feeder for the red bird, doves and other species that are found in and around the house.
My spouse mounted the bracket on the side of the house and attached the feeder where I could view the birds from any vantage point off the living room or the breakfast nook.
I was so excited to see so many of God’s creatures coming to feed. However, I wound up with an unexpected surprise!
Two squirrels found their way across the roofline, would climb down the side of our brick house and use the feeder too! The squirrel seems to eat most of the food and the poor birds get little.
After a lot of thought, my spouse had another bright idea. He’d buy some PVC pipe; attach a tee to it, some wood to then attach the bracket. It was moved into the yard away from the house and we had a foolproof plan, so we thought!
We looked up and the squirrel was climbing the pole with little difficulty. He then perched himself on the feeder until we shooed it away.
That squirrel is determined to get food, despite the obstacles we put in its way. If he can’t climb the pole, he eats the leftovers the birds scatter on the ground.
His tenacity reminds me of the parable of the seed found in Mark 4:13-20 (New Century Version)
Jesus Explains the Seed Story
13Then Jesus said to his followers, "Don't you understand this story? If you don't, how will you understand any story? 14The farmer is like a person who plants God's message in people. 15Sometimes the teaching falls on the road. This is like the people who hear the teaching of God, but Satan quickly comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. 16Others are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly accept it with joy. 17But since they don't allow the teaching to go deep into their lives, they keep it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly give up. 18Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, 19but the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives. 20Others are like the seed planted in the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce fruit - sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more."
GospeLines Prayer: Father, there are no foolproof plans in life. We don’t have that kind of power, but You have the perfect plan!
May we have the tenacity of the squirrel… always seeking, pushing onward to know You and to feed on Your word. Despite the obstacles that may come our way, we can be only be fruitful when we are rooted firmly in You.
Thank You, Lord for being merciful and for providing the food to sustain us. We know we are “not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under Your table. But thou art the same Lord.”
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, October 14, 2009
“A Boy’s Dying Wish”
Eleven year old Brenden Foster said he wanted to make a difference before his time came. Three years ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. He lost the battle on November 21, 2008, but not before leaving a legacy that will never be forgotten.
His dying wish was to help the homeless by sharing food and water with them. “I was coming home from one of my clinic appointments and I saw this big thing full of homeless people and then I thought, I should just get them something.” And the nation responded by donating tens of thousands of dollars and tons of food on Brenden’s behalf.
His darkest hour was his brightest light.
This is the Thanksgiving season here in the United States, a time of family and fellowship, lots of games, laughter and food. When Thursday comes around I’m sure I will eat more than my share of turkey and dressing, and I am drooling over that pecan pie my wife has promised. But my heart is melancholy right now, thinking about Brenden’s homeless, and my starving friends in Zimbabwe. My heart goes out to all of them. Oh, how I wish I could make a difference!
What would be your dying wish if your doctor said, as he did to Brenden, “You have only two weeks to live!”
Many might wish for an expensive vacation around the world, or an opportunity to visit a famous person. A child might dream about going to a fire station and sounding the siren. I would hope my last wish would not be a frivolous one.
My prayer is that in my final hour my heart would turn to my family, my friends… those whom I know that are still starving to death because they have not tasted of the Bread of Life nor drank from the cup of Living Water. The greatest gift I can offer to anyone is a morsel from the Lord’s Table of Bountiful Blessing.
Give someone that priceless treasure of Everlasting Life!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, many times, you have spread Your table before me and I have partaken without sharing it with others. My desire is that You will give me a moment in time when I will not only be able to share, but that they will receive, as well. Please, Lord, these are the people I love dearest of all. Help me make a way for them to find You before it is too late. Amen and amen
There were wars and rumors of wars.Out of the hearts of the people came evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.False prophets appeared and deceived many people.Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many had grown cold.And the people cursed the darkness.
So was the condition of the world 2,000 years ago.
In the midst of this darkness, a true light that gives light to every man came into the world. "I am the light of the world.Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
God was in the world; and, though the world was made by Him, many in the world did not recognize Him.
There are wars and rumors of wars.Out of the hearts of the people come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.False prophets appear and deceive many people.Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many has grown cold.And the people curse the darkness.
So is the condition of the world today.
Jesus brought light into the world 2,000 years ago.This same Jesus is coming back; however, He did not leave us in the dark.He promised that His light will be with us always (Mathew 28:20).The Holy Spirit has been sent to us to remind us of His light so we do not have to be afraid (John 14:25-27).
Don't put His light under a bowl; instead; rejoice, and put it on a stand where everything exposed by it will become visible.
Let’s celebrate the coming of The Light into the world; let's make a new commitment, a new covenant with our Lord to spread His light to all around us every day.
"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:14)
"Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)
A storm is brewing out there. If you live in Miami that could mean a hurricane is coming, but in West Texas or Kansas, it is more likely a dust or hail storm. In a recent devotional by Carla we learned that about all you can do when something like that is about to happen is to hunker down and pray.
Our nation is facing the possibility of a recession that could alter our lifestyle in so many ways. Spending habits will change; vacation plans may be canceled; in some cases, education may be delayed. And we will hear a lot of moaning about how tough things are with the economy. Make no mistake about it, things could really get tough.
Sherry and I have friends in Zimbabwe. We’ve been sending food to a family there for several months. If you want to know about hard times, search Zimbabwe News on your favorite search engine. Inflation there has reached 231 million percent. A loaf of bread, which cannot be found in any market, costs $10,000 Zimbabwe dollars. The government is in shambles.
Hard times coming to the USA? Our Zimbabwe friend, Mary (not her real name), is a college educated mother who has a professional job in a downtown office building in the capitol city of Harare. She lives in an unfinished home that she tried to complete while holding down three jobs when the children were younger. One of those jobs was teaching in the local university. So far, her cries to God have gone unanswered. But she has not given up hope. This week she will leave her children behind and travel to South Africa in hopes of finding some kind of employment. Her income in Zimbabwe is only eight American dollars per month!
Not only will there be danger while she travels, but she will also have a very difficult time finding any kind of job at all. Her desperation has led her to action and her faith has led her to pray like there is no tomorrow.
In a recent email, Mary shared these words:
“I do not want to confess negatively into my life but I have had a rough life… So the economic challenges coupled with the semblance of a marriage and a yearning to provide better for the children is driving me. If I stay I will die, if I go I will die so better to die trying…
I will go to South Africa. I am believing God for a breakthrough because He will light my path. He is God Ebenezer-thus far He has taken care of our family. I am an anointed child of God - as He is so am I - He is able to create -as He is so am I -so am able to create. He is able to order things into being - As He is so am I - I am able to order things into being. I am blessed from the crown of my head to the sole of my feet. Greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world. I am more than a conqueror. I serve a God of wonder - one who divided the Red Sea and the Israelites walked on dry sand - He said the Egyptians you see today you shall see no more - so shall it be in my life. His name is Jehovah, He is Jehovah Jireh - God the Provider, He is Jehovah Elshaddai - God Almighty - the Great and Breasted one. He is Jehovah Elohim. Father God I thank you for being able to partake into your kingdom.
As I indicated I have adopted you and Sherry as my spiritual parents; I will sometimes call you mummy and daddy but I will continue calling you Pastor and Sherry. Pastor - it will be well with me. Please continue to cover me and the children in prayer.”
Beloved GospeLines family, if there is a storm brewing on the horizon; let us muster the faith and hope of a Zimbabwean mother who is willing to lay it all on the line. No matter how difficult it may become, let us praise Jehovah Jireh, God is our provider.