40 Day Challenge

As most of you know, our church has been challenged by Pastor Danny to set aside 30 minutes a day, every day, for 40 days to read the Word aloud with our families, beginning and ending in prayer. Today I received the following in an email newsletter from author Ray Comfort at Living Waters. I must say that I know too well the “excuses” he mentions, as we have been fighting many of them in this challenge. I hope that his thoughts might encourage you and strengthen your resolve to have a “family altar” time, too.

If you want “godly offspring,” it is essential that you make the time to establish a family altar. Build it out of the unmovable rocks of resolution. You will need to be resolute about this because it will be a battle. Your flesh will fight it, and you can be sure there will be a continual spiritual battle within your mind. “Circumstances” will constantly crop up. Your kids will occasionally groan when you announce that it is time for devotions. Loved ones may subtly, subconsciously discourage you. However, your time of family devotions should be a priority for your whole family. Don’t be legalistic about it, but as much as possible, put all other things aside before you postpone or cancel family devotions.

It will be an altar of sacrifice, as you sacrifice your time, your energy, and sometimes your dignity. For years, our kids heard, “Six o’clock—reading time.” My wife and I dropped whatever we were doing, and the children learned to do the same, and we gathered as a family. Making it a priority for your family’s growth will speak volumes about its importance in their lives.

Again, you will find that there are many excuses for not having devotions. You may be pressed for time, feel tired, or think you are unable to teach the Bible. However, there is one very powerful reasonwhy you should have daily devotions: the eternal salvation of your children. (Adapted from How to Bring Your Children to Christ…& Keep Them There.)

Malachi 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

Legacies

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing…

Our church family is mourning the recent loss of a beloved father, grandfather and brother in Christ. After learning of Bro. Waitman Davis’ passing on Wednesday I was blessed to hear several wonderful memories that some of my brothers and sisters have of him. Adding those touching stories to the personal memories of him I have somehow makes him all the more precious to me.

During one of my conversations, Sis. Vaunda and I had the same thought at nearly the same moment: these memories are a part of his legacy. What kind of legacy are we leaving with the memories we make with those around us? Bro. Waitman’s left memories of how kind and loving he was. How devoted to his family and church he was, among other things. But the most significant memory attached to his legacy: his love and devotion to his Lord. Now that is a legacy worth leaving and remembering.

Charles Spurgeon – Daily Help

If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes the common pebbles of God’s temporal bounties more precious than diamonds; and spiritual prayer cuts the diamond, and makes it glisten more. When thou art wrestling, like Jacob with the angel, and art nearly thrown down, ask the Holy Spirit to nerve thine arm. Consider how the Holy Spirit is the chariot-wheel of prayer. Prayer may be the chariot, the desire may draw it forth, but the Spirit is the very wheel whereby it moveth.

Spurgeon Nugget

“And ye shall be witnesses unto Me.”-Acts 1:8

In order to learn how to discharge your duty as a witness for Christ, look at His example. He is always witnessing: by the well of Samaria, or in the Temple of Jerusalem: by the lake of Gennesaret, or on the mountain’s brow. He is witnessing night and day; His mighty prayers are as vocal to God as His daily services. He witnesses under all circumstances; Scribes and Pharisees cannot shut His mouth; even before Pilate He witnesses a good confession. He witnesses so clearly, and distinctly that there is no mistake in Him. Christian, make your life a clear testimony. Be you as the brook wherein you may see every stone at the bottom-not as the muddy creek, of which you only see the surface-but clear and transparent, so that your heart’s love to God and man may be visible to all. You need not say, “I am true:” be true. Boast not of integrity, but be upright. So shall your testimony be such that men cannot help seeing it. Never, for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness. Your lips have been warmed with a coal from off the altar; let them speak as like heaven-touched lips should do. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand.” Watch not the clouds, consult not the wind-in season and out of season witness for the Saviour, and if it shall come to pass that for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s you shall endure suffering in any shape, shrink not, but rejoice in the honour thus conferred upon you, that you are counted worthy to suffer with your Lord; and joy also in this-that your sufferings, your losses, and persecutions shall make you a platform, from which the more vigorously and with greater power you shall witness for Christ Jesus. Study your great Exemplar, and be filled with His Spirit. Remember that you need much teaching, much upholding, much grace, and much humility, if your witnessing is to be to your Master’s glory.

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The Value of Time

Four Seasons - Longbridge Road
Image by joiseyshowaa via Flickr

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.
To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.
To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.
To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby…..
To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when

You can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member:
LOSE ONE.

The origin of this letter is unknown.

Ecc 3:1-8  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  (2)  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3)  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (5)  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (6)  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (7)  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (8)  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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Father’s Day

After reading an article by David McCasland, I was inspired to share some thoughts that I gleaned from his writing and from some personal reflection.  And since this is our last weekday before we celebrate Father’s Day I figured this was a pretty good day to do it.

As fathers, we have many responsibilities, not only to our children but that is my focus today.  One of the first that comes to mind is to raise a child up in the ways of the Lord and he will remember and stay in His ways as he ages (Pro. 22:6).  The Bible is our guidebook for all things, including raising children.  God shows us how we ought to teach our children, gives us examples of how we should live (or act), not just in front of our kids but with all people and situations, and tells us not to spoil our kids but raise them with discipline (Proverbs 13:24; 23:13).  If only  we all, myself included, were to use these perfect ‘guidelines’, what a much better world we would live in.

As our children grow our roles change in their lives.  Though the role may change, it never ends.  Praise and encouragement are profitable at any age.  And the all powerful tool of prayer should be used from the day we learn of the impending birth to the end of our time here on earth with them.

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Col. 3:21; Eph. 6:4b)

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for the honor and responsibility You have given me to be a father and grandfather.  I pray that I will be more obedient to Your Word in my relationships with my children and grandchild, and in all things.

Greg Wolford

©2009

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Follow Up to ACTS 3

Thursday afternoon I got a very pleasant email fromo/ Denna Vance-Brown (the o/ is her personal signature-symbol “to signify In All Things, Give Thanks Unto the Lord”), daughter of Bro. Edison and Sis. Linda Vance. It was a reflection of what Thursday’s devotion on thanksgiving reminded her of. With her permission I share her unedited reflection with you today.

Daily Devotions: The ACTS of Prayer – Thanksgiving

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

Today’s devotion reminds us to be Thankful for all that HE has given us. This part of the acronym (Thanksgiving) reminds me of a song that we use to sing in church.

I Will Bless Thee, O Lord

I will bless Thee, O Lord,
I will bless Thee, O Lord,
With a heart of thanksgiving,
I will bless Thee, O Lord.

With my hands lifted up,
And my mouth filled with praise,
With a heart of thanksgiving,
I will bless Thee, O Lord.

We go through our spiritual life, asking God to answer one prayer or another. But how often do we stop to THANK HIM for answering the prayer? It may not always be the answer that we were looking for. And it may not be within our timeframe. But HE does answer our prayers. And in doing so, we should take the time to Thank HIM. A heart felt deep thanksgiving.

Throughout the Bible, we are reminded to thank God. Everything that we are and can be can only be successfully achieved through HIS grace and mercy. Without HIM, we would be and have nothing. HE provides all of our needs. Everything we have is HIS. We are only stewards of what HE sees fit to give us. So it should be second nature to Thank HIM.

I am reminded of the time when I graduated from high school and when I got married. The gifts just flooded in. My mother kept asking me “Did you remember to send out a Thank You card to…..” This was hard for me. Although it may be hard to believe now, but at the time, I was not the type of person who sat down to write letters or Thank You cards.

Think of the times when you gave a gift to someone that you love. Did you receive a heartfelt Thank You? Maybe with a hug around the neck? A peck on the cheek? My fo ur year old, Breanna, will come up to me and kiss me on the cheek with a hug around the neck. She will say, “I Love you. Thank You for being my mommy.” I don’t care what kind of day that I am having, that spontaneous response from my child will always brighten my day that much more.

Then I get to thinking, how much God is delighted when we lift our hands toward Heaven and say, “Thank You for being God.” We are HIS children. In my mind, I would like to think that when we lift our hands toward Heaven with a heart of Thanksgiving, then it is no different than my own child climbing in my lap, hugging my neck, kissing my cheek, and saying “I Love You.”

Psalm 69:29-31 (KJV)

29) But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

30) I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

31) This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Psalm 95:1-3 (KJV)

1) O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let=2 0us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

2) Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3) For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 100:3-5 (KJV)

3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

o/ Denna Vance-Brown