Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pray for Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding

Pray: "Lord, as I face today, fill me with the knowledge of your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (Colossians 1:9).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Worship and worry cannot live in the same heart

Growing up, I learned a little Sunday school chorus that has carried with me throughout life. Maybe some of you also remember it. Let me share it with you here:

Why worry when you can pray.
Trust Jesus. He’ll be your stay.
Don’t be a doubting Thomas.
Rest fully on his promise.
Why worry, worry, worry, worry
When you can pray!


Today, my husband was reading out loud from a book called Prodigals and Those Who Love Them by Ruth Graham Bell. This magnificent quote really jumped out at me. I believe it will speak to you today, my friend:

"I learned that worship and worry cannot live in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive." —Ruth Graham Bell in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1Qn7HaU

Please feel free to add your comments.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick Trivia
How much do you know about Saint Patrick?
Select "true" or "false" for each question.
Then check your answers at the bottom of this blog post.

True or False: St. Patrick was Irish.
True or False: His real name was Patrick.
True or False: His birthday was March 17.
True or False: He was kidnapped and sold as a slave.
True or False: He drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

Did you know?

* St. Patrick wasn't Irish. He was born in mainland Britain.
* His real name wasn't Patrick. It was Maewyn Succat. Pope Celestine gave him the name Patrick later in his life, and we still know him by that name today.
* St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish Pirates from what is now known as Wales when he was 16 and sold as a slave in Ireland.
* While enslaved, something special happened to Patrick. He said, "It was there that the Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins, and turn with all my heart to the Lord, my God."
* After six years of slavery, during which he became a Christian, St. Patrick escaped from Ireland.
* When back in Britain, St. Patrick was called to return to Ireland as a missionary with a message.


Patrick's Message

 

Slave

When Patrick was in slavery, he came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior. He realized that he was not just a slave to the Irish, but also a slave to sin. We, too, are slaves to sin. The Bible says, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" and "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (Romans 3:23; John 8:34). We have all lied or stolen something, had bad thoughts or meant ill to our fellow man. We have all sinned.

 

Separated

Patrick was separated from his homeland, but he was also separated from God because of his sin. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). We are also separated from God because of our sins.

 

Saved

Patrick realized he could be saved from the consequences of his sin by placing his faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day so that we can be saved.

Patrick did not trust in any of his own efforts for salvation—he trusted in Jesus Christ alone. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

 

Sent

After Patrick became a Christian and received new life in Christ, he escaped from slavery in Ireland. This led to new opportunities. Later, when he was in Britain, he was sent as a missionary. Where? Back to Ireland! Jesus was sent here to give us new life. He said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31)—as Patrick was!

Trivia answers: False, False, False, True, False

Be sure to visit our Irish Gift Shoppe.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I'd Rather See a Sermon / Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?

I’d Rather See a Sermon

by Edgar A. Guest


I'd rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example's always clear;

And the best of all preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it
if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;

For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.



While we're on the subject, here's an old Sunday school song:

Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you to spread the Gospel news,
So walk it, and talk it—
A sermon in shoes.

Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you to spread the Gospel news,
So walk it, and talk it.
Live it, and give it—
A sermon in shoes.

Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you to spread the Gospel news,
So walk it, and talk it.
Live it, and give it.
Teach it, and preach it—
A sermon in shoes.

Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you to spread the Gospel news,
So walk it, and talk it.
Live it, and give it.
Teach it, and preach it.
Know it, and show it—
A sermon in shoes.


Click here to listen to the song.

Recommended reading:

Preparing Evangelistic Sermons
Design for Living: Lessons on Holiness from the Sermon on the Mount by J. Dwight Pentecost
Children's Music

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Life Changed Forever by One Wrong Decision

The ministry behind Swiss Valley Christian Bookstore is The Missing Link, which is a prison and Internet ministry linking troubled youth and adults with life-changing programs. After a prison chapel service at a very large correctional facility, Chaplain Mario (the founder of The Missing Link) stayed on to visit a 21-year-old young man who had just been locked up. For the sake of privacy, we'll call him Doug. A family member had asked if Chaplain Mario would visit Doug. 

Doug had never been in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, one day he made a decision to drink alcohol—his first drink. Driving home, he hit another car and killed a young man. Now he was fearful and frightened, sitting alone in a prison cell, facing vehicular homicide charges. Chaplain Mario was privileged to lead him to the Lord and left a Black Samson book and other life-changing literature with him.

On the next visit, they just had some small talk but the amazing thing was the change that had come over Doug since the first visit. There was a real glow on his face and there seemed to be a real peace. Doug seemed to be very much alive and was eager to talk. He said, "Hey, let me tell you what happened, between you and me. I held a Bible study with the cellie next to me."

I said, "How's that? Wow! That's great. That's amazing! How did you do it?"

"Well," he continued out of earshot from the prison guard, "there's a hole in the wall. Shhh!!! There's a hole in the wall so I can see the other guy next to me. He was released several days ago but before he left, I was able to lead him to the Lord."

I responded, "Wow! That's great, Doug. That's really great. I'm so proud of you."

"But now," he went on, "there's a new guy here—a new prisoner—and last night...believe it or not, Chaplain Mario, I was able to lead him to the Lord last night."

And Chaplain Mario said, "Wow! You are really something!" Here was a new convert and already he's leading others to the Lord.

"Do you have any prayer requests?" Chaplain Mario asked.

"Yes," he said. "Pray that God would give me more wisdom and understanding."

"God will do that for you," Chaplain Mario responded. "The Bible says if you lack wisdom, God will give it to you and He will not hold it back from you. He will give it to you in big measure and make sure that you get all the wisdom you need."

Chaplain Mario was able to spend about half an hour with him, even though the rest of the prison was on lock down.

Doug has now been sentenced to 8 years in prison and has had his driver's license revoked for life—a tough punishment for one foolish decision. Please pray for Doug, that he continues to remain faithful in his Christian walk.

Resource suggestions: 

Making the Best of a Bad Decision by Dr. Erwin Lutzer
When Good Kids Make Bad Choices: Help and Hope for Hurting Parents
Youth Halted Between Bad Choices and God's Purpose



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Lost Art of Kindness

Being out and about town, it’s very easy to run into people who are rude. It seems they flourish everywhere you go. When I see someone being kind to another person, it makes me smile all over, inside and out. I think every cell in my body smiles. You know why? It’s because you see so little kindness nowadays and when you actually do witness it, it’s like seeing a brilliant spotlight shining down on a stage surrounded by darkness.

In my time of devotions today, I read a passage of Scripture that just jumped off the page at me. Do you realize that when you show kindness to another person, you are being a minister of God. It’s a beautiful way of showing God’s love to another—letting your light shine. Read it for yourself in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10. As a matter of fact, this passage of Scripture shows over 30 ways you can live your life as a minister of God. Much depends on how you respond to life, but that’s another topic that could fill a book so I won’t go there now.

Take your light out from under that bushel and let it shower down spotlights of kindness everywhere you go today!

To find out more about kindness and how it can turn your life and business around, see the resources I’ve listed below:


The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness
The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Then and Now
Random Acts of Kindness Then and Now










Leading with Kindness
Leading with Kindness
A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy & Kindness for Young Ladies
A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy & Kindness for Young Ladies
Let’s Be Kind by P. K. Hallinan Ideals Publications
Let’s Be Kind by P. K. Hallinan (Ideals Publications)
Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution
Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution
Paws & Tales: Being Kind & Caring DVD
Paws & Tales: Being Kind & Caring DVD
Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Respectful, Kind, Considerate Children
Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Respectful, Kind, Considerate Children

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'll Trust In Him by Ira Stanphill

I'd just like to post the lyrics to a favorite song that has meant a lot to me. I pray it will be a blessing to you.

I’ll Trust In Him
Words and Music by Ira Stanphill

Verse 1
Sometimes there’s heartache, sometimes there’s burden
Sometimes there’s sorrow, too hard to bear.
But in the stillness I hear Him whisper,
Just talk it over with me in prayer.
For there’s a balm in Gilead for your sorrow
And there’s an oil of gladness in His hand
And until midnight turns to brightest morrow
I’ll trust in Him tho’ I don’t understand.

Verse 2
Tho’ discontented, tho’ disappointed
Tho’ sad bereavement, may cloud my day,
I’ll still be faithful to Him forever
And keep on walking the narrow way.
He bore the cross and walked the path before me
They pierced His side and nails were in His hand
And until death or rapture I’ll be faithful
And trust in Him tho’ I don’t understand.

Verse 3
Content with Jesus, content He leads us,
Content to follow my Lord each day,
And seeking treasures beyond tomorrow
Denying pleasures for just today.
Tho’ trials make the journey rough and rugged
And teardrops fall this side of Beulah land.
I’ll bear the cross to wear a crown of glory
And trust in Him tho’ I don’t understand.

(c) 1950 by Ira Stanphill
No. 2 Heartwarming Songs—Ira Stanphill and John T. Benson, p.70