Archive for November, 2013


Feed Me

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
(Hebrews 13:16 NLT)

I was at a friends house recently for dinner and I ate a little too much. The food was delicious so I helped myself to a second plate full of food. Of course all these additional calories were not necessary. When I was younger I could eat a lot more since I was still growing. Our bones stop developing at about age 25 and our metabolism slows down by 2% each decade thereafter so we have to eat less or increase our activity level to avoid gaining body weight. When we are young we tend to sleep and eat more because we are still growing but as we get older we eat and sleep less becoming more productive working at our careers. When we are spiritually immature we require more time feeding on God’s Word and resting in his presence to develop our Christ-like character but with spiritual maturity our hands should start to work in serving God by doing good and meeting other people’s needs. We exercise those spiritual calories building God’s kingdom by applying his Word to love others.

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Giving and Taking

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
(Psalms 55:22 NLT)

My secretary shared a portion of her lunch with me recently. When she first offered me the food I politely refused. She encouraged me again to take some of her food since it was good. I knew the food was delicious and I was hungry but again I politely refused. Finally she put a portion of her food on a plate and gave it directly to me and left the room. Of course now I could do nothing but receive the food and with gladness I ate the meal. This story reminds me of how we should come to the Lord in prayer. The Bible encourages us to pray. “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalms 116:2) but often we ask God to take away a problem instead of giving it directly to him. We expect him to remove the difficult situation immediately but God is a gentleman and he waits for us to completely surrender our burdens to him rather than taking them from us.

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Change of Seasons

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV)

The early winter storm can take us by surprise if we are not prepared. An unexpected large snowfall overnight can result in a great disruption of public services. People are immobilized until utility vehicles can plow the snow and clear the roads. The cold weather contains people inside their houses and the usual routine is completely disrupted. Fortunately the weather forecast can predict a coming storm so that people can prepare themselves. Life can progress as seasons. The difficult storms of circumstances can arise suddenly rendering us immobilized. But God has provided us with his Holy Word to prepare us for these seasonal trials. The Bible instructs us to “be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2) We are blessed even in these seasonal afflictions when we study the Scriptures. Seasons may change but the Lord does not change. (Malachi 3:6) God is always the same. (Psalms 102:27) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Ordinary people rely on the passage of time for the change of a season but the extraordinary people of God put their trust in the One who has established the times and the seasons.

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Exploding Love

“Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.”
(Song of Songs 8:6 NLT)

Most people look forward to seeing fireworks as they are used and recognized internationally for celebrating special events. Fireworks contain combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited. They are designed to burn with flames or sparks of many colors as they completely transform the darkness of night into a brilliant display of light. Like fireworks love can suddenly explode in our lives to completely illuminate the darkness of a hopeless routine. Love ignites our internal chemistry to awaken the long lost spectacular emotions of passion and romance. But true unconditional love is impossible without God for God is love.(1 John 4:8) God exploded his love onto the earth by “sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”(1 John 4:9-11) God’s love has completely changed the internal condition of our hearts and since “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5) the love of God can explode out of our hearts to forever brighten the night of this world.

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Feed the Hungry

“I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.”
(Job 23:12 NLT)

I was out enjoying the day sitting on a park bench when a homeless man approached me. He said that he was hungry and wanted five dollars to buy food. I just happened to have my lunch with me so I offered the man a blueberry bagel with walnut honey cheese. The hungry man refused the bagel so I presented him some fresh fruit but again he declined my gift. One last time I attempted to give him an organic chocolate chip energy bar but to my surprise he also rejected the delicious snack because he just wanted five dollars to buy fast food. This man was hungry but not for good nutritious food. Some people behave exactly like this hungry man.They want food but they reject the Word of God as the bread of life that blesses our whole being. The Holy Bible gives us the perfect food for our souls. Jesus said that “people do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) So if you’re hungry feed on the best food and study God’s Holy Word.

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It’s All Good

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
(Genesis 1:29, 31 NIV)

The market is saturated with health and wellness products. Everywhere you look there is some company capitalizing on the latest nutrition trends. There are antioxidants that reduce the free radicals that damage our bodies. Multivitamins and multiminerals make up for dietary deficiencies in food. Fatty acids reduce body inflammation. Fiber can prevent gastrointestinal cancers. Herbs and botanicals improve immune system function. Probiotics promote digestive system health. Then there are the green supplements for those not eating enough vegetables and marine supplements for joint health. The list of health products is long and can make your head spin just thinking about what to buy. Fortunately there is one easy solution to this marketplace madness and that’s buy organic and eat food in it’s original form as God made it. Natural organic food is not genetically modified and the farmers do not use pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Health supplements attempt to isolate beneficial compounds in a manufacturing process but natural food sources have the entire entourage of nutrients, phytochemicals, fiber, and enzymes already in the perfect combinations designed by our Creator because everything that God made was very good for us.

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Good Neighbors

“Do everything without complaining and arguing.”
(Philippians 2:14)

I came across a dog park one day and stopped to watch the social interaction between all the different breeds. I noticed that some dogs were barking excessively and creating an unnecessary disturbance. These delinquent dogs would not be very good to have as a neighbor because their noise ruined everyone’s peace. Dogs bark when they are bored, lonely or when they just want some attention. With proper training and family interaction this bad habit can be resolved. Some people behave just like a disorderly dog. They frequently complain and criticize others to receive attention. They certainly do not make very good neighbors. The Bible instructs us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) and offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9) If we love our neighbors we look for ways to build them up and not tear them down. By obeying the instructions in God’s Word and exercising self control of the tongue we can improve our social skills and be good neighbors. There will always be those neighbors who “bark excessively” but a little love goes a long way to quiet even the noisiest complainers.

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Beautiful Images

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

I like to take photographs to remember special places or events. The photo image brings to conscious awareness the memory of a past joyful occasion but imagine going to a beautiful place with loved ones and attempting to take photos but your camera did not work. Of course you would be disappointed in not being able to capture the precious moment in your personal history. The exact opportunity may never come up again in the same way. All that you can do is stay as long as possible in that special place savoring every second of the experience but eventually it passes by and comes to an end. For all those who believe in Christ Jesus the good news is that when the curtains close on one scene they open to an even better scene as the Lord transforms our lives into his image. So there is no need to stop and take photographs in order to remember the past when the future shines even brighter in Christ as we live from glory to glory.

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Be Berry Patient

“Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.”
(Romans 5:3 AMP)

With the Holidays just around the corner I have noticed cranberries for sale in many grocery stores. Cranberry sauce is always on the menu in most traditional North American Thanksgiving dinners. Raw cranberries are one of the superfruits due to their high nutrient content and antioxidant potential. The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score ranks cranberries as one of the top foods. They are also great sources of Vitamin C and the essential dietary mineral manganese. Research has shown that drinking just 300 mL daily of cranberry juice may inhibit bacterial attachment to the bladder to guard against bacterial infections of the urinary system.(1) With such great health benefits why wouldn’t everyone want to eat cranberries? The problem is that cranberries are too tart to be eaten raw. They are so sour and bitter they have to be blended with other fruit juices to decrease their severe tartness. Sometimes we have to drink down some distasteful circumstances in order for our lives to experience the benefits. God can use the very sour troubles that afflict us to develop the fruit of patience in our character but be “berry” patient because this process is not so sweet.

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberry

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What time is it?

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
(John 14:6 NKJV)

I awoke the other morning and noted what time it was. I got dressed but as I drove my car to the fitness gym I realized that the time on the dashboard clock was different. What made matters even more confusing was that the three clocks in the gym were all different times as well. I was puzzled and wondered what the real time actually was? Fortunately we have a perfect time standard to refer to. The world’s most accurate atomic clock only gains or loses one second every 100 million years.(1) We can be certain of the absolute real time on earth but are we certain of absolute truth in regards to spiritual realities? There are many religions in the world that are all very different and so they cannot all be correct. If one is correct then logically the others are not correct. Jesus said that He is the only way. He was either telling the truth, He was crazy, or He was a liar. But since everyone agrees that Jesus was a good man, how then could He be both good and crazy, or good and a liar? He had to be telling the truth. He is our perfect standard. So what time is it? Time to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

1)http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6151/1215

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