Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by ampaterry, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ‘Eagles may soar – but Weasels don’t get sucked into Jet Engines!’
    That was a poster that someone put up in my old Engineering department. It is funny, but it is also terrible because in so many cases, it is believed! Such belief holds people back from what they might become.

    The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails... but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure. If you fear failure, why do you not also fear lack of success? They are the same thing, you know, in that neither attains the prize! And fearing failure so much that you take no chance guarantees that you will have a lack of success!

    As Lowell wrote:
    It's Not failure, but low aim that's a crime.

    As Teddy Roosevelt believed:
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

    2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NLT);
    “But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?”

    We are ALL adequate for this task; all it requires is that we step forth from that gray twilight that hides us in a fog of not winning/not loosing, and come into the light of the Son – S-O-N, that is!

    May God bless us all with the joy of soaring as an Eagle, even though we risk getting sucked into a jet engine, rather than spend our lives slinking around in seeming safety, hidden in the underbrush.
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, guys -
    This morning, I copied a BUNCH of data files from this to my notebook.
    I also downloaded and ran a registry cleaner.
    God performs miracles, absolutely.
    And a prudent Christian does what they can to take care of what they can.
    An ounce of prevention - -

    Today, the Jewish people celebrate the last day of Sukkot, called Hoshana Rabba, which means Great Salvation. Judgement for the year is rendered on Rosh Hashanah, completed on Yom Kippur, and delivered on Hoshana Rabba, today.
    Today, they will gather in the synagogue and have prayers and responsive readings from the prayer book. The entire congregation then marches around the Bima (raised area at the front) seven times. Following this, they beat willow branches on the floor five times. There is no blessing recited over this portion since it is merely a custom.
    It is customary to stay awake all night (that is last night, as the Jewish day begins at sundown) and recite the Tikkun service, read from Deuteronomy , recite the entire book of Psalms, and through this to join the night and the day through study and prayer.
    On this day, festive clothes are worn, some white as on Yom Kippur. They also light the candles which remain from Yom Kippur. They eat an especially festive meal today, and later on a light snack and special prayer is recited after this last act of dwelling in the booth.
    I have always been a little blank on all the ceremony and traditions observed in the Jewish community, especially those with no scriptural reference. But after attending a Jewish service on Yom Kippur, I have to say that these people are some of the warmest and most loving folks I have ever been around. One thing particularly that struck me was the kissing – They greet each other with a kiss at about the frequency that Christians exchange hugs. But the New Testament, OUR book, says:

    Romans 16:15-16 (NCV);
    Greetings to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and to all God’s people with them. Greet each other with a holy kiss. All of Christ’s churches send greetings to you.

    Verse 17 addresses well, I believe, those who oppose the Jewish people:

    "Brothers and sisters, I ask you to look out for those who cause people to be against each other and who upset other people’s faith. They are against the true teaching you learned, so stay away from them."

    May God bless each and every one of you -
  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Terry, I keep reading these and keep being encouraged. Thanks.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you!

    Today is Columbus day.
    The simple days of my youth when we were taught that Columbus discovered America are long gone now. We now know the vikings were ahead of Columbus, and led by Leif Eriksson set up a colony in the new world. We are positive of that. But there are indications in the North East that the Phoenicians were here ahead of even the vikings. And there is other evidence that there was a Hebrew influence here prior to Columbus as well, in places like the Bat Creek find in TN. And long before all of these, there was a land bridge from Siberia, and there were several expeditions into the Americas from that avenue, with the Eskimo's being the most obvious examples.
    So, why do we continue to celebrate Columbus Day?
    Because Columbus led the first European incursion into the new world that survived with their culture intact, and became the dominant people on this continent.
    Not to mention the fact that what Columbus sought was a shorter trade route to the Orient, which means his arrival in the new world was an accident.
    We read about the guy that accidentally discovered Ivory Soap by letting his soap mixing machine run too long. We hear about the one that accidentally invented the Slinky when he made a bunch of springs to the wrong specification. We are told that the Post-it note inventor was initially chastised for making a paper glue that did not hold very well. But the settlement of the New World through Columbus accidentally stumbling on it is a far greater discovery than any of these. You might even think this was God's will, wouldn't you?

    And the quote for today is from one of the Apocryphal books:
    Wisdom of Solomon 14:2-3 (NRSV);
    2 For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel, and wisdom was the artisan who built it;
    3 but it is your providence, O Father, that steers its course, because you have given it a path in the sea, and a safe way through the waves,

    May God bless each one of you -
  5. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    God rules and over-rules in and through the lives and actions of men. This is just one more example.

    Thanks again, Terry.
  6. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    He does indeed, BlackEagle!

    And today is yet another recognized day.

    On October 9th of 1825, the ship Restauration docked in New York harbor. Aboard this ship was the first organized group if immigrants from Norway to the United States. For that reason, when Lief Erikson Day was proclaimed in 1964, this date was chosen to celebrate it.

    Lief Erikson day is the day set aside to honor the first non-American to establish a colony in the new world. While there is some evidence that there might have been visits here prior to Erikson's, there is little doubt that Lief Erikson was the first to establish a colony here. He arrived here in 1002, a full 490 years before Columbus. This is recorded in Nordic sagas and other accounts, and physical evidence has come from archaeological discoveries in Newfoundland.

    But the colony had a lot of difficulties. They were in constant battles with the Native Americans, or Skraelings as these Vikings called them. Although the Vikings had steel weapons which were superior to those of the native population and gave them a military advantage, the natives superior numbers, in just a few years, helped to force the colony to wither and die.

    The other factor that caused its demise was the cooling climate. When Lief arrived, he named it Vinland because of the wild grapes growing there. But the climate cooled, and increasing arctic ice made it more and more difficult to maintain trade lines. Greenland was also so named because of the greenery growing there when the Scandinavians arrived.
    Luckily, back in those days we had no climatologists to tell everyone that the climate change was being caused by man, so no draconian laws were put in place to reduce the use of cook fires, which surely caused a pollutant that reflected the suns heat away from the earth, causing the cooling. The lack of cooking would have led to various diseases which would probably have caused the human race to join the Dinosaur and Dodo bird in extinction.

    And with that thought, the Bible verses for today:
    Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV);
    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    Romans 1:22 (KJV);
    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    May God bless each and every one of you!
  7. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That Romans 1:22 really summarises a lot of today's so-called wisdom. I think our grandchildren will either laugh at us for being so gullible over climate change, or curse us for believing man is responsible for climate change and imposing draconian laws on the world population...if they haven't been brainwashed. By "us" I mean people in general. "us" definitely does not include me in this case.

    Ever notice how God controls the physical world? Starting with climate change in Genesis, post flood; making the earth (or sun) stand still in Exodus; making the shadow go back a few degrees for one of the Kings; drought in the time of Elijah and Joseph; and the list goes on.

    Those who claim man is responsible for climate change are arrogant fools educated far beyond their intelligence.

    Thanks again, Terry.
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Lief Erikson has been removed from the history books as his documented travels puts global warming theory at risk as when he discovered Vinland it was covered in vines and green growth

    now its all snowy and cold

    cant blame that on trucks and cars eh ??

    so they wroten him out of your school books

    and the islamics have been writing their islamic discoverers of america, in to your history books watch next year as to what they OK as history

    i been watching the debates and meetings memo's

    if obozo gets back in your gonna have to forget columbus day and start al wassari day even though al wassari is only a legend stolen from the eqyptians

    He discovered america and if you dont agree your a racist and islamaphobe according to the new push
  9. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Revisionist history, guys, is alive and well and living on planet Earth.

    For today:

    Pride has been considered one of the seven deadly sins. It is a horrible thing to battle, in that it can grow stronger as we grow in other virtues, and work toward perfection. Of all the virtues we strive as Christians to attain, it is the single most allusive. As we work hard at chasing this goal, just when we think “I HAVE it!”, we have lost it.

    Spurgeon, the greatest evangelist this side of Paul, said:
    “Success exposes a man to the pressure of people and thus tempts him to hold on to his gains by means of fleshly methods and practices, and to let himself be ruled wholly by the dictatorial demands of incessant expansion. Success can go to my head, and will unless I remember that it is God who accomplishes the work, that He can continue to do so without my help, and that He will be able to make out with other means whenever He cuts me down to size.”

    2 Samuel 7:18 (KJV);
    “Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?”

    Even King David was a humble man when he stood before the Lord; no matter how high we attain, if we would be perfect, we will not think we are perfect.

    Proverbs 16:18-19 (NIV);
    “Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.
    Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.”

    Solomon knew that Pride was to be avoided at all costs. In the final analysis, it is the meek that shall inherit the earth.

    May God bless each one of you -
  10. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I'm a humble person. I've worked hard over many years to become so humble, and now I can say, I'm very proud of how humble I have become. :eek:

    History and literature are littered with the corpses of proud people. I wonder if that's partly why the recent presidential debate went the way it did?
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    LOL Blackeagle!
    And probably correct in re the debate!

    For today, a story from my life.

    Many years ago, I was in an Illinois winter blizzard, trying to get home from work. I finally got behind a snow-plow, and followed it to within about a mile of our house. I turned off onto our road, and within a hundred yards, I could go no further because of the snow drifts. I got out of the car, and started walking. Within a few dozen steps, my legs were going numb, and I knew I could not walk that far in the bitter wind and cold, so I returned to the car. I figured I would drive back to town and spend the night there with my folks. When I got to the intersection where I had been following the snowplow, the roads in all directions were drifted shut. I had about ¼ tank of gas. Below zero temp's, bitter wind, blinding snow - this situation was VERY bad.
    I leaned my head on the steering wheel, and prayed to God for guidance and help in how to get out of this situation. Suddenly, I knew what to do. Jerking my head back up, I turned right, aimed for the first snowdrift and accelerated the little car.
    Driving an Opal into a four foot deep drift was a total leap of faith.
    Blind faith.
    I hit the drift, and it came up over the hood and washed across the windshield. Barely making it through the other side, I looked in amazement at bare pavement! I drove a mile to the next intersection which would bring me toward my house by the back way. Blinding snow, coming completely horizontal, and even the BELOW GRADE sections of the road were completely clear! When I reached the intersection, I turned right – onto clear pavement once again! After another mile, I came to the road I lived on, and turned right yet again – this time onto completely clear gravel! Arriving at our house, I saw the driveway was also clear, as was the place beside the house where I always parked! I drove in, parked the car, and turned off the engine. I sat there and watched the road I had just driven in on drift shut behind me. Tears streamed down my face as I contemplated the love of God for – me!

    Psalm 121:7-8 (KJV);
    “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:3 (KJV);
    “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.”

    I will talk to you again tomorrow - and may God RICHLY bless you.
  12. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    Great story, Terry. God had long-term plans for you that didn't involving perishing in a snowdrift. Doesn't it put chills down your back when you experience such strong divine intervention? There are times when I feel He's not listening, but truly He's probably saying "no" or "just wait...." Then there have been times when His presence is right there and undeniable. Clear roads in a blizzard just for you - now what does >that< tell you? :)
  13. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I've had a few experiences similar Terry.
    My wife was TERRIFIED of storms for many years. One time in particular things were very bad. Lightning, high winds & tremendous thunder were really scaring my wife.

    We were watching radar as these storms were going crazy and I prayed that they would break up & go around. Within seconds the thunder & lightning stopped. The wind and heavy rain ceased immediately & the clouds parted directly over our property. On radar we could literally see the storm break into as it passed over our property; then close back after it went by.

    It truly was an amazing miracle. I have seen God do this on at least 6 occasions. Every time it happens, it's just as awesome as the first.

    But, I have to ask myself, should we really be amazed when God performs a miracle for us?

    Or-

    Should we take a lesson from Jesus when he spoke to the storm, the fig tree, to the sick & even the dead; and truly EXPECT that God will perform a miracle on our behalf?

    (I honestly think the lessons Jesus was trying to teach us when HE quieted the storm, healed the sick & raised the dead was to TRUST God & "expect" HIM to move on our behalf.)

    -
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  14. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Seeing God answer prayer is a wonderful thing. He had done that for Dad and Mom, and for us as a family on a number of occasions. Those are exciting testimonies to read and hear. The message of a life reaches and teaches another life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Psalm 121 is our family traveling Psalm. We would sing a metrical version of it to the tune of Abbeyville. The tune always reminds me of a car working its way up through the gears.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  15. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am never amazed that God CAN perform miracles.
    I am always amazed that he WANTS to perform them for US.
    No matter how we judge a being, God is further above us than we are above a hill of ants in the yard.
    How far would we go to help out an ant?
    Who among us would send their son to DIE for a hill of ants?
    I absolutely cannot fathom God's love for us.
    I am eternaly GRATEFUL for it, but I will never understand it.

    For today:

    In a psychological study when a random sample of male adults were asked to rank themselves on the ability to get along with others, all subjects, 100 percent, put themselves in the top half of the population. Sixty percent rated themselves in the top 10 percent of the population, and a full 25 percent ever so humbly thought they were in the top 1 percent of the population.

    In a parallel finding, 70 percent rated themselves in the top one quarter in leadership; only 2 percent felt they were below average as leaders.

    Finally, in an area in which self-deception should be hard for most males, at least, 60 percent said they were in the top quarter of athletic ability; only 6 percent said they were below average.

    We all think we're tops. We're exuberantly, wildly irrational about ourselves.
    I knew a girl who felt that she should do something that had more meaning than her normal day to day routine. I directed her into several charitable outreaches, and she seemed to be a bit reluctant to enter into any of them. She ended up a big sister to a troubled teen, and after a brief period the relationship seemed to dissolve. After several more suggestions, it became apparent what the problem was; she wanted to sit behind a desk and run something, not actually go out and work for something!

    Galatians 6:3-4 (KJV);
    “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

    James 4:6-10 (KJV);
    “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

    May God grant each one of us the ability to walk in the narrow path that is both self confident and humble.
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