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Inspiration For Today

March 28, 2011
Matters of the Heart

Deuteronomy 6:5-6 (New International Version, ©2011)
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

In the US we spend alot of time focusing on external beauty.  This obsession with our outward appearance is not just physical, its also often how we live our spiritual lives.  There are many who appear to be spiritual by all outward appearances, but in actuality they are carnal.  God is more concerned with the conditions of our hearts than anything else, for ultimately it is our hearts that will be judged in the last day. True spiritual life is characterized by love, compassion, discipline, patience, kindness, faith, and hope.  In contrast - the carnal life is filled with envy, strife, malice, hatred, fighting, and lack of self control.  When you look at the body of Christ what do you see?  Hey, I'm just asking.  I believe when we listen to God with our hearts, He will teach us to minister to the hearts of those around us.

The path to real life in the spirit always starts at the heart not in our actions...and not the other way around.

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March 25, 2011
Obligated to Bless

Matthew 25:40 (King James Version)
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

This morning while driving to work I heard a story on the radio that moved me to tears.  They were not tears of sadness, but of joy.  The radio announcer on the station I listen to has been asking people to call in to share stories about random acts of kindness of which they have been the recipient.  The woman who called in talked about how a perfect stranger blessed her family with money to get through the holidays.  This woman in turn, blessed someone else when she was back on her feet.  I've heard stories like this before, but for some reason tears flowed like a river as I listened.   We often turn on the radio and/or television and all we hear is negativity and disaster...especially lately.  I think the story touched my heart because it was a reminder to me that there are still godly and compassionate people in this world that Dad is able to work through.
Are you one of them?

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March 24, 2011
More from Hawaii...




Psalm 1:1-3 (King James Version)
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The trees in the picture above were found throughout the island of Kauai, and always near the shorelines and beaches.  What was so amazing to me about this tree was that each branch reached down to gather together at the root of the tree.  And although the branches were  separate and each had its own shape, size and even direction, they all stemmed from that one root and formed one beautiful tree.  I doubt that this is the tree the psalmist spoke of, but it makes me think of the body of Christ, many members but one body - rooted together and grounded in love. 
Unmoveable and Beautiful!

PS:  Did you notice that the picture has three trees? (Father, Son, Spirit)
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March 23, 2011
No Turning Back

Hebrews 10:32-38 (New Living Translation)
Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.  You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.  So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”

Suffering and disappointment in life can sometimes shove you backwards with such force that a fall in inevitable. And getting back up can be difficult.  Today's blog is dedicated to those who are still struggling to get back up.  Listen, there is no shame in the fall, the shame is when we fail to see the grace filled heart of our Dad who is reaching out to pull us back up on our feet.  There is some value in forgetting the past, and walking in the here and now.  But every now and again its good to remember the former days.  Especially when you can recall the fire and zeal you once had for the Lord.  I don't know about you, but I am so thankful that we serve a God that will not leave us in our mess. 
Get up!

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March 22, 2011
More from Hawaii...

Luke 18:7-9 (King James Version)

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

 The picture above is one of the things that struck me as odd in Hawaii.  Within the resort where I stayed there was a beautifully landscaped area that was fairly large with signs posted which read, "Please do not enter, our ancestors are at rest here."  It was sort of spooky, lol!  I wondered what that was all about until I purchased a CD of a the local musician and the artist sang about the sadness of the those who live in Hawaii.  Apparently our vacation spots were not the joy of everyone.  The locals were sort of upset about all the building of condos and resorts on the sacred land their ancestors had fought for.  Although they had no problem sharing the beauty of their land and heritage, all the commercialism and building had caused ill effects on the integrity of what was deemed holy and sacred.  The words to one of the songs asked a question; What would their king and queen say if they were to come back today to see the land of Hawaii?  The song writer wanted to know if they would they smile in contentment, or hang their heads and cry.  It made me think of how we, the church, have become so commercialized and have moved so far away from the grace that Christ went through so much to give to us.  What would he say if he were to come back today?   Would he smile and be content, or would he hang his head and cry? I'm just askin.

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March 21, 2011
Worth Mentioning

Psalm 19:7-10 (King James Version)
T
he law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

We have so many ways to communicate useful and often not useful information nowadays; television, radio, internet, texting , etc.  Some of the most popular ways of communicating recently have been the electronic mediums of Facebook and Twitter.  If you're over 50 those names may not be familiar, lol!  Let me explain.  They are social networking internet sites where people write (post) their thoughts and ideas.  The problem is some of the stuff you read on these sites are often not worth mentioning.  People post things like what they had for breakfast, or some rediculous lashing out at one another.  It's really unsettling at times.  I wonder what would happen if people used these resources to communicate the Word of God.  The Word is worth mentioning because of its life giving qualities.  It's able to make us wise, bring hope and peace.  And the benefits of putting the Word into practice is limitless.   Today, instead of sharing the hottest gossip, or even the headlines of gloom and doom, let's share the Word with one another.  Let's post it, tweet it, and text it to one another.  It's worth mentioning.

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March 18, 2011
He's Making Me

Psalm 23:1-3 (New Living Translation)

 The Lord is my shepherd;  I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Today's picture is one I took while flying over the Waimea Canyon and Falls.  It made me think of this scripture and I could picture myself lying in these beautiful green pastures beside those still waters!  Even though I have chosen to use the NLT version for today's reading, I love the King James translation that says, "he maketh me to lie down in green pastures".  That word maketh means "to prepare".  I believe that our Father is indeed preparing us for paradise and we will soon rest with Him there for eternity.  Is that good news or what!

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March 17, 2011
Lessons from Hawaii (Part 2)



Hebrews 12:11-12 (King James Version)
 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Today's picture is an ariel view of the Napali coast line.  Our tour pilot explained to us that the violent winds and crashing waves of the coastal line were the reason for the deep and beautiful carvings in the mountains that are now referred to as "the cathedrals".  It reminded me of the beauty that is carved into our souls through the winds of adversity and trouble.  If we hold on through tough times, we too will show off the master's handy work as others are able to see the beauty that only strong winds and waves can produce. 

Be strong, family.  Dad is up to something beautiful!

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March 16, 2011
Lessons from Hawaii



Psalm 27:1 (King James Version)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

I recently traveled to the beautiful land of Kauai, Hawaii.  The trip was one I will never forget and I am so thankful for the opportunity.  The most amazing part of this trip for me was the scenery.  No matter where you were on this tiny island in the middle of the vast pacific ocean, you were graced with the glory of God.  Over the next few days, I will share what I saw through some of my photos.  Enjoy!
Today's picture is from a wildlife and nature preservation high in the mountains of Kauai.  The old lighthouse there kept watch over ships in years gone by.  When we arrived, one of my brothers was dissapointed that the lighthouse was under much needed repairs and that we were not able to go inside for a tour.  It was disappointing and I wondered who now kept watch over the seas.  It did not take long for me to remember that the seas, my life,  and all those who trust in the Lord, never have to be afraid of not having the guidance and watchful eye of our father.  His all seeing eye is our lighthouse, from everlasting to everlasting. 













 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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