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THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” ~‭Genesis‬ ‭28‬:‭15‬ (NLT)

While in context, this scripture was God’s promise to Israel, I know the same promise applies to us today. I for one am leaning on His promise to bring me home.

ANOTHER CHAPTER IN LIFE’S LESSON – by judith johnson krypta

time_will_tellA young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy
next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man.

College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way.
In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his
dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little
time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his
wife and son.

He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last
night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through
his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his
childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I
thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years
ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him, he’d ask how
you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent
over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in
to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be
in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time
teaching me things he thought were important.
Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next
flight to his hometown.

Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his mom stopped
by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like
crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and
time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held
memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…

Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his
desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside.
All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,’” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack
remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the
Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said.
“I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning
home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox.

“Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop
by the main post office within the next three days,” the note
read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.

The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a
hundred years ago.

The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address
caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package.
There inside was the gold box and an envelope.

Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack
Bennett.

It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped
to the letter.

His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully
unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket
watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing,
he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved:
“Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office
and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

“Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet…thanks for your time!”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away.”

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

I said, ‘Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?’

“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.

“Yet I still belong to You;
You hold my right hand.
You guide me with Your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
I desire You more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.”

~Psalms‬ ‭73‬:‭12-13, 21, 23-26‬ (NLT)

DIVORCE AND IT’S EFFECT ON EDUCATION – compilation by willetta

image

While children of divorce do not always experience problems, there are significant negative differences in teen births and high school dropout rates between children whose parents have divorced and those whose parents have remained together.

High School Dropout Rate – Two-Parent (13%); Divorce (31%)

Teen Birth Risk – Two-Parent (11%); Divorce (33%)

73% of children receive a high school diploma and another 12% receive a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Nevertheless, of the 15% who do not receive a high school diploma, children from divorced families are about twice as likely to drop out of school …

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THOUGHT OF THE DAY

‘My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “ LORD, I am coming.”’
~Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭8‬ (NLT)

I thought about the response the Psalmist gave The Lord when He called. I pictured excitement, like a heart leaping when someone you love calls.

But then I thought about how it feels when your boss calls you in to talk, and says, “shut the door.” My heart twinges a bit then wondering just what is next (out of fear).

I then wondered which response I would truly have if He calls me. I have to admit, it would be a little of both. I long to be in His prescence, but He frightens me too. I have seen the wrath He is capable of, and yet, He would choose to offer me mercy.

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? by kevin horath

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 6.26.11 AM

Have you ever wondered if you could pass God’s smell test? Did you know He had a smell test?

I recently shared a “new” smell to Dozsar. I caught this largemouth bass from our pond over the weekend. Knowing that he had never seen (or smelled) a fish, I thought I would introduce him to this new fragrance. It must not have smelled that great because he wasn’t that interested. Had that been a piece of steak, he would have gone nuts. But, something must not have smelled right. So, he did not accept it. He lost interest.

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THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
~Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ (NLT)

I probably have posted this before, because every time I stumble on this verse, I stop. How many times in life do we find ourselves in a crossroads, wondering what next step to take? We often forget to consider the big picture that only God knows, and we tend to focus only on what we can see.

It is difficult to trust when we can’t see what God can see, but that’s when we have to assume again that God has His purpose in what we do. I’m going to work on this.

I’M TIRED OF CHURCH by kathy

“I’m tired of church.”

This was the bold statement our pastor made to us this morning. He went on to say he remains passionate for God, and he loves us, the people, even more than ever. He’s not tired of God. He’s not tired of us. He’s tired of “church.”

Now, I can’t speak for him, and what he means, but for me, that statement was revolutionary.

Let’s take a moment to think about the Sunday church service. We may go a few minutes early to catch up with people we haven’t seen in a week, have some coffee and donuts, and smile together. We then go into the service, sing joyfully with the praise and worship team, and then sit down to hear the announcements. We then are instructed to get up, introduce ourselves and greet one another as the praise and worship team gets ready to sing another joyful song. Then, we begin the prayer service, inviting anyone needing prayer to go up front and receive personal prayer from the pastors, elders and other praying members. Our praise and worship teams sings a couple slower songs during this prayer time. After the prayer time, we sit down to listen to a 30 minute sermon by any one of our talented pastors. Then, we pray for anyone who may wish to give their life to Jesus, and we are dismissed. That’s our pattern. Other churches have other patterns.

Are we in a rut? Maybe.

Have we become married to the patterns that we forget to pay attention to the needs of the people? Are we really digging into the depth of God’s Word? Are we equipping ourselves to go out into the world and win souls for Jesus?

I wonder.

The New Testament Church was not a pattern of services, but was a living group of believers who followed after one purpose: going out and winning souls. I can’t wait to hear more about this in our church, and I hope others will join me in prayer for our leaders. I believe we are hearing the wake up call of the American Church.

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

“They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” ~Acts 2:42, 46-47 (NLT)

The New Testament Church is the model we need to follow. Love God. Love People.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

I’ve been reading Ezekiel the last few days, and I have been overwhelmed by the graphic nature of God’s wrath as shown to Ezekiel in his visions. This morning, Ezekiel watched 6 men under the Lord’s direction murder (punish) anyone the man in linen with the writer’s case had not marked as righteous. (Ezekiel 9)

Yet, even here in this gruesome vision, we see another nugget of God’s demonstrated love and mercy for His people.

“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” ~Ezekiel‬ ‭11‬:‭19-20‬ (NLT)

I’m going to focus on His mercy today.

15 THINGS

 

15 THINGS