Friday, February 27, 2009

Love Never Fades nor Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love Never Fails
This devotion today will require about 10 minutes of your time but, I Promise you it will be worth it. As a matter of fact TIME is really the point today. We must take time to let those around us know how much we love them because all to soon they are gone. We do not get another chance. Take the time to watch both videos. It will be worth it.
The picture is of Steven Curtis Chapman and his little girl Maria.
There are two video clips. watch the first it will help you understand and appreciate the second one.
Be sure to hug those that are special to you a little tighter today

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Voice of Truth

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
So many voices calling to us each day. Each one telling us they are the voice of truth. The Media, Government, CEOs,Politicians, even Religious Leaders. How do you know who to listen to? How do you know which one is telling you the Truth? In this passage Christ said He was the Voice of Truth. All I know is that He has never lied to me, always been there when I needed Him, and sticks closer than a brother, and last but not least He did give His life for me,and you. When it's all said and done Jesus is the one voice you can trust above all others. I hope you enjoy today's song by casting Crowns.
Click on the link below and turn up the speakers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who Am I ?

1 Chronicles 17:16 Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?
Who am I that Christ would go to the Cross for me and die that I might have eternal life. Sometimes we feel insignificant, unimportant, almost anonymous. Ever felt like that? Then I think that the creator of the Universe knows who I am and where I am and what I am going through. That no matter what is going on I can always call upon the Lord and He will answer. He will not leave me nor forsake me. God wants the very best for me and has a plan for my life
( Jeremiah 29:11). Who am I? I am a child of the King. Best friend of the one who hung the stars and created all that you see. Everyone I meet today has the potential to have that relationship with God and you and I can help them get there. Listen to the words of today's song. When you get to end of the song answer the question....Who Am I? Click on the link below to hear the song, turn your speakers up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Come Now is the Time to Worship

Psalm 66:4"All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name."

Today we will try something new for our devotional time. I am including a link to one of my favorite praise songs we do at our Church. You can click on it and listen while you prepare for your day. Remember Worship is so much more than just attending a Worship Service. It is how you live your life every day and treat others. As this day begins dedicate it to your Lord. Ask God for opportunities to minister to others today. Come Now is the Time to Worship.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Old Barns

(Photo by Hazel King)

Where I live, old barns like this one still dot the landscape, bringing back memories of bygone days. We often look with nostalgia upon the past, thinking of it as the “good old days.” Someday we may look back on 2009 through the same rose-colored glasses. On the other hand, things in our past can hinder our Christian walk. We store our past hurts in “old barns,” unable to let go of the pain. If God can forgive and forget our sins by casting them into the depths of the sea, he can surely heal our memories and free us to live victoriously in him. Old barns are monuments to the past but they are more like tombstones than museums. It is okay to look back at the past with fondness. It is fine to look toward the future and envision a better life for ourselves. But let’s not let regrets about the past or plans for the future steal our present. It is all we have. The Apostle Paul said, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14, KJV). We will be happier and more effective Christians if we find a way to do the same.

-Hazel King
© 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Say Something Nice

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
I remember a story about a man sitting on the front porch with his future son in law, and he was sharing some great advice with the young man. He gave him a present. When the young man opened it he discovered a old time pocket watch. When he opened the cover on the inside there was an inscription. It read, " Say something nice to Mary every day." Great advice. We should all practice it. I hear parents talking to children in harsh tones. Husbands and wives exchanging sharp words. We often talk to complete strangers kinder than we do the people we say we love. We should all make it a practice to say something nice to those we love everyday. This devotion is more than something we should read today, it is something we should do. Right now would be a good time.
I welcome your comments, and prayer requests.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You Are Important to God

Luke 12:7" Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

God is watching over this bird. The bird has no worries, no stress, no ulcers, no bills. It wakes up each morning and sings. Enjoys the day and, eats the food God has provided. What about us? Who is watching over us? Fortunately we have a host of folks watching over us. Investors, bankers, politicians, corporate executives, medical advisers, doctors, mortgage consultants, the IRS. The list is endless and so are the headaches. I do not believe God intended for life to be this confusing. We were created for fellowship with God. To enjoy His creation and this short life we have been given. We live in one of the most prosperous nations on the face of the earth and people are dying every day from stress and anxiety. We are consumed by Possessions, power, popularity, and people. We watch TV and everyday see advertisers pushing products we can not live without. It is all about the House we live in, the car we drive, the label sown in the clothes we wear. We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't know. Unemployment is at an all time high. Foreclosures are spreading like wild fire. Is this really how God intended us to live? Step back, take a deep breath, get your priorities in order. God, Family, Vocation, Church. There are no foreclosure signs on the nests. The birds are not waiting for food stamps. They are not lined up to see the Bird Dr. They are busy enjoying the life God intended them to have. The verse says we are more important to God than the sparrows. I suppose we need to ask how important is God to us?

I welcome your comments, ideas, prayer requests.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Amazing Love

(Photo by Hazel King)

Whether you just celebrated Valentine’s Day or observed “Singles Awareness Day” instead, chances are your thoughts have turned to love these past few days. Regardless of our couple status, love is worth celebrating. Romantic love is wonderful but so is the love for our family and friends, our children, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Most wonderful of all is the love Christ has for us. Our faith and hope are anchored in his love for us and the joy of our salvation is found in our love for him. It is easy to understand why we love the one who gave himself for us, but it is difficult to see why he loves us. We feel so undeserving of his love that we may even reject it, thinking we are not worthy. It’s true. We aren’t--but he loves us, anyway. A friend put it this way: God loves us in spite of us. It’s called grace and it’s amazing.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, KJV)

by Hazel King
(c) 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's All About Love

Saturday is Valentines Day. When we think about that we think about Love. Many think Love is an emotion, really it is an act of the Will. I heard a story about a young girl who needed a blood transfusion. She had a very rare blood type and they were having trouble finding a blood donor. Her younger brother volunteered but they thought he was too young. Finally with no options left the Dr. went and asked the young boy, who was a perfect match, if he would give his blood to save his sisters life. He agreed right away. They put him on a bed next to his sister and were going to do a direct transfusion. The blood started to flow and the Dr. noticed tears running down his face. Whats the matter, asked the Dr. The little boy looked up at the Dr. through the tears and asked , "when am I going to die?" What do you mean asked the Dr. You said I was giving my blood to save her life. He thought they were taking all of his blood and he was going to die. The Dr. assured him that he would be OK. That is the picture of real love. The willingness to give your life for another. Who do you Love that much? Christ Loves us that much. Christ Loves You that much.
John 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are We Paying Attention

When you listen to all the news about the economy, do you understand all that is being said? It seems there are many opinions as to what got us in this condition and many more about how to proceed now that we are here. What makes it more confusing is that each person speaking seems to hold some important office or have credentials identifying them as an expert. The truth is they can not all be right. So how do you know who is telling the Truth?
Jesus said He was the Truth in John 14:6.
Ephesians 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
The message of Truth..... Salvation. How do we know Jesus was telling us the Truth. One way is to realize He was willing to die for what he said. He gave His life for the truth. I wonder if we lined all these experts up in Washington would they be willing to die for what they are telling us is the Truth. I don't know that their opinions are worth very much if they don't cost something.
Which brings me to my final point. There are many churches preaching many different messages. How can you know which one is telling the Truth. The main way is to make sure that what is being said from the pulpit agrees with scripture. It is not true just because some minister says it. Are We Paying Attention?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You've Got Mail

I wonder if pictures like this are going to become the reality of our society. Most of the mail I receive now is electronic, or e-mail. People communicate through their Blackberry's, cell phones, text, far more than we do the mail. Also most of the mail we receive now in the box is junk mail and advertisements. I must admit though it used to be quite a thrill to go to the box and receive a Letter. A letter with your name on it, addressed to you and from the return address you knew who sent it. I could hardly wait to open it and read something that had been written just to me. The Bible contains many letters written to us by God. The word that is used in scripture is "Epistle" but, it means letter. There are 21 of them in the New Testament. How exciting it is to pick up God's Word and read something written to me by the Creator of the Universe. Some of them are Love Letters some are letters of Encouragement, instruction, advice. Why don't you pick up the Bible today and open it to one of these letters and read what God wants to say to you right now. You've Got Mail.
I welcome your comments, thoughts and prayer requests.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who Really Loves You?

For God so loVed the world,
That He gAve
His onLy
That whosoever
Believes In Him
Should Not perish,
But have Everlasting life.'
John 3:16
Have a great Valentines Day. Be sure to tell the special people in your life how much you love them and while your at it maybe we should take time to tell God, who gave us so much, how much we love Him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

We All Need Encouraging

1 Thessalonians 3:2... and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,
I once read a story of a Pastor who went to visit a man that had not been in Church for some time. The man invited him in and that sat in front of a warm fire drinking coffee and exchanging small talk. The Pastor leaned forward and removed a log from the fire and placed in front of the fire on some some stones. After a short time the log went out. They continued to talk about the weather and family and then the Pastor placed the log back in the fire and immediately it burst into flame. The Pastor got up to leave and the man walked him to the door handed him his coat and said " I get the message and I will be there Sunday."
I know so many people who stop attending Church and their fire goes out. When they start back they catch fire again and get involved in God's work. It is so easy to miss a Sunday then two and before we know it we are not attending at all. Some of us may need encouraging and others need to take the role of encourager. Is there someone you know that you have not seen in Church in a while? If someone just came to your mind they are now your responsibility. You can be used by God to be the Timothy sent to encourage them. Or, you can simply click off of this devotion and do nothing. The choice is yours.
I welcome your thoughts, comments and prayer requests.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Three Trees

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world!"The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" The first tree said.The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even river; instead she was taken to a little lake.The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful." She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beam was Yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And Every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.So next time you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

I want to thank Hazel King for taking care of the devotions this week. It gave me a break and a chance to read, think and pray. I will look forward to posting next week. Today I share this story which has been passed around for years now. Maybe it will help someone struggling with God's Will for their life. Have a great weekend.

Thanks to my friend Rob Beck for sending me this story.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Word from God

(Photo by Hazel King)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

“So will my word be which goes forth from my mouth; it will not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

"For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

(Isaiah 55:7-12, NASB)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Watch Me!

(Source Unknown)

An only child, my grandson does not like to play alone. “Watch me, Daddy!” he says as he mimics the moves and posturing of his current heroes, whether cowboys or professional wrestlers. “Watch me play my game, Meme,” he tells me when he plays video games. I suppose his imaginary scenarios are more rewarding when observed by someone else. So we watch him play and applaud his achievements as we watch him grow. We watch him while all the while he is watching us, his real heroes and role models. Without realizing it, he is absorbing our values, our character, and the way we live our lives. Do we really grasp the extent of our impact on our children and grandchildren? If we want them to grow up to be men and women of faith and integrity, we have to show them what that looks like. We have to be the kind of person we want them to be. If we can’t feel good about saying, “Watch me!” we need to make some changes in our lives. This isn’t a game, but a matter of eternal life.
“Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don't forget anything of what you've seen. Don't let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you've seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.” (Deuteronomy 4:7, The Message)
By Hazel King
© 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Best Friends

(Photo by Hazel King)

Best friends have a close relationship, sometimes closer than their bond with family. They have a lot in common and share similar interests. They think alike. Sometimes they even look alike or use the same hair stylist. Best friends share their joys and sorrows, laughter and tears. Often, the bonds of friendship last a lifetime. When something good happens to you, who do you want to call? When you’re in trouble, who do you turn to first? Whoever that person is, that’s the one you consider your best friend. The Bible says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. That friend is Jesus. He gave his life on the cross so that we can be reconciled—restored to friendship—with the Father. Why not make Jesus your best friend? Other friends may come and go but Jesus has promised never to leave us or forsake us, even to the end of the world. We can even share eternity with him after the world ends. You can’t have a better friend than that.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NASB)

By Hazel King
© 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Shack

(Photo by Hazel King)

"The Shack" by William Paul Young is a work of fiction and not a theological textbook. The best-selling novel has created a stir by its unorthodox presentation of the gospel message. If you have read this book, you know that it can seriously challenge your idea of God. If you plan to read it, be prepared to have your preconceived notions turned upside down. I do not necessarily agree or disagree with the way God is presented in the book, but it gave me plenty to ponder. We tend to be more comfortable with our “God-in-the-box” than with the truth that God cannot be boxed in. He so far exceeds our imaginations that we cannot truly grasp even the concept of God, much less the reality. That is where faith comes in. If we come to God, we must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. "The Shack" does an admirable job of presenting the nature of God and his overwhelming love for the people he created. More than sacrifice, more than rote obedience, God desires to be in relationship and daily fellowship with his children. It is that simple--and that complex.

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” (A.W. Tozer)

By Hazel King
© 2009