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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    At one time J. Wilbur Chapman experienced a great sorrow that nearly shook his faith. In addition, his finances were almost depleted just when it was necessary for him to take a long trip to the western United States. One of the elders of his church who was a wealthy banker came to his home to offer a word of comfort and encouragement. As he left, he slipped a piece of paper into the pastor's hand. Chapman looked at it and was surprised to find that it was a check made out to him and signed by this rich friend. But the figures to indicate the amount of the gift were missing. "Did you really mean to give me a signed blank check?" he asked. "Yes," said the man. "I didn't know how much you'd need, and I wanted to be sure you would have enough." Later Chapman commented, "While I never had to use that check, it gave me a secure feeling to know that thousands of dollars were literally at my disposal."

    God has given us a signed check:

    Philippians 4:19 (KJV);
    “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

    Romans 11:33 (GWT);
    “God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways.”

    Ephesians 3:16-17 (GWT);
    “I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.”

    Now – after reading and considering those verses – who is it, exactly, that has the greatest riches at their disposal? It is God’s children – it is the Christians – it is US – it is YOU and it is ME! WE are walking around with a signed blank check in our pocket, and everything is ours for the asking!

    May God bless each one of you -
  2. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks again, Terry;
    Yesterday's: Makes me think of what Jesus said about he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. God gives us small tasks to test, prepare, us for larger more important tasks. If we do well at small tasks He will trust us with larger tasks.

    Today: Romans 8:32 comes to mind.
  3. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you!

    For today, something I adapted from Sermon Central:

    Several years ago a submarine surfaced which had been submerged for many hours. At first radio contact, the captain was asked, "How did the terrible storm last night affect you?" The officer was surprised and exclaimed, "Storm? We didn't even know there was one!" The sub had been so far beneath the surface that it had reached an area of complete calm. Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are never stirred.

    We often see the same thing on a commercial airliner; it will be cloudy, blustery, raining, and a generally miserable day at the airport; then the plane will angle up, and soon breaks through the clouds and into the brilliant sunlight, and proceeds to it’s destination in perfect peace, far above the turbulent storm.

    The Christian's mind will be protected against the hammering waves of worry and blustry winds of turmoil if it is resting completely in faith in God. There, sheltered by His grace and fed by His Holy Spirit, the believer can find the perfect tranquility that only Christ can provide, far removed from the storms of trouble.

    Matt 8:24-27 (KJV);
    “And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

    Philippians 4:6,7 (KJV);
    “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    May God bless each one of you -
  4. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Psalm 46 is another chapter...It was an anchor for Martin Luther. Sung to the tune Ein Feste Burg.

    Phil. 4:6-7 has been one of my companions many years.

    Thanks, Terry. And Amen.
  5. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you!

    Today is another recognized day. Almost a century ago, George Bonham of the Lions Club International, watched a blind man try to cross the street in Peoria, IL using a dark cane common at that time. The problem was obvious; the cane blended in with the pavement, and the motorists did not see it, not recognizing that this man was blind. Bonham came up with the idea that if the cane was white, drivers could see it more easily. The Lions Club painted this cane white, and immediately started promoting the use of white canes by the visually impaired.
    The first ordinance giving the right-of-way to people using a white cane was passed in Peoria IL in December of 1930.
    The United States Congress, on October 6th of 1964, passed legislation recognizing October 15th as White Cane Safety day.
    The white cane, with the red painted tip or stripe, has become such a universally recognized symbol that virtually no one fails to realize that the person using it is visually impaired and should be granted the right-of-way. These tools are a great asset to the visually impaired, as they give them a degree of mobility that was simply not available to them prior to the universal recognition they afford.
    I was born and raised in Pekin, IL, just a few minutes South of Peoria, and I did not hear a thing about that area being the one that saw the origination of the white cane as such a wonderful tool. The official recognition of this day should serve to ensure that everyone is aware of the meaning of the white cane, and cause them to ensure that these members of our society are given every chance to lead as normal a life as possible.

    There will come a time when these tools are no longer needed, though.

    Psalm 146:5-8 (KJV);
    Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

    May God bless each one of you -
  6. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    ...unfortunately there is no white cane for the sprirtual blindness Jesus talks about in John 9:39-41.

    But I am impressed with how the physically blind are remarkably sensitive to the messages their white canes communicate.
  7. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That reminds me of a story you will have to get Sam to tell some time -

    Today is another recognized day.

    Patricia Bays Haroski was an employee of State Farm Insurance in Deerfield, IL in 1958, when I was a Sophomore in High School in Pekin, IL. Patricia felt that younger employees in particular did not understand the challenges that supervisors face in the daily operation of a business, so she set out to do something about it. She petitioned the Chamber of Commerce of the US to designate October 16th, today, as National Boss Day. She chose this day because it was her fathers birthday. It was her hope through this recognition to improve relationships between employees and supervisors.

    I did not celebrate Boss day that year, because before I had my drivers license, I only worked for myself at a variety of ventures. Dad gave me the use of one rather isolated field and his equipment to raise a corn crop that year, on the provision that I would pay for the seed and the gas I used. I planted it with a one row corn planter, weeded it with a two row cultivator, and picked it by hand, shucking each ear with a husking hook and tossing it into a trailer attached to the tractor. I had done all this before, but this was the first time it was MINE. We attached that trailer to dad's car, and he drove it to town and sold the crop at the grain elevator.

    Now, in retrospect, I see that Dad was actually my boss; it was his equipment, his land, his stipulations. And the way he set this up, he was a GREAT boss. He taught me a lot about the rewards of hard work and the effect that uncontrollable elements in farming like weather can have on income. Over the rest of my life, I have never earned so little for so much labor, but I have also found few incomes more satisfying than that one was in the summer of 1958.

    Thanks, Dad – you were a great boss.

    Thank your boss today, or the nearest work-day to today.

    This scripture speaks of slaves, but look at it in the context of Wage slaves, which is what we always spoke of ourselves as being:

    1 Timothy 6:1 (MSG);
    Whoever is a slave must make the best of it, giving respect to his master so that outsiders don't blame God and our teaching for his behavior.

    May God bless each one of you -
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Terry;
    I'll have to remember this when I get to work tomorrow.

    Bosses are part of the way God works in our lives, and we can be thankful to Him if we have good bosses.
  9. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    And we can be thankful to Him if we have a bad one, too.
    There must be SOMETHING we need to learn - -

    For today, I am telling a story from my past, somewhat over three decades ago. I have told this before, but I think it is very powerful and worth repeating.

    Many years ago, we attended a ‘home mission’ church, which means a very small one, just starting. We had just bought a side of beef, and found that it would not all fit in our freezer, so we decided to take some of it to our pastor, a great man with a very large family and very little income. On the way, we spotted a truck parked in a vacant lot with a big sign selling potatoes by the 100# bag for a very reasonable price. We stopped and bought a bag, and my wife said we should get one for the pastor too, so we did. We delivered the grocery bags of meat and the huge bag of potatoes to him, and he of course thanked us very graciously. Several months later, he read this verse as his text on Sunday:

    Matthew 6:31-33 (KJV);
    Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

    Then he followed this passage with an illustration. He said that the preceding months had been especially hard for his family, and there came a time when they were completely broke, and there was not one bite of food in the house. In faith, they had set the table with empty plates and table service, and had given thanks to God for the food they knew he would bless them with. Right after ‘amen’, there was a knock on the door, and when they answered it they found ‘one of our church family’ there – with grocery bags of meat, and a 100# sack of potatoes. My wife and I sat there with tears in our eyes – we had no idea he had been in such dire need, but had been used of God to bring him relief!

    This story would be more dramatic, perhaps, if I could say that God had told us to take food to the pastor, but that is not what happened. What DID happen is that God blessed us with more meat than we could use, and with a bargain on potatoes sufficient that we would buy extra for someone else, for no particular reason that we could discern.

    God does work in mysterious ways – but his wonders always get performed.
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Note the above quote is not VERBATUM from the KJV.
    There should be a full colon following the paranthetical inclusion, right after "seek".
    The software of this group took that colin and the closed paranthesis and turned them into a smilie, so I deleted the colon!!
  11. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    Excellent reminder, Terry. There are times, like right now, when I'm searching for God's guidance that I anticipate it coming in banners, fanfare, clear messages. Doesn't usually happen that way. . . . However, as in your experience, He will have us doing and thinking things for no reason apparent to us. Looking back, we might see how He's directed us but not while He's doing it. I think the key here is to be open-minded, receptive and willing to be guided by Him. Easy to say; not so easy to do. Still, something to strive for.

    Krogen
  12. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Wow. What a blessing to know God has used you in someone else's life as an answer to prayer. I think that's a little of what God means about having a gift of giving He describes in Romans 12:8. He puts some people in a position of being able to help financially, and they get a real thrill out of doing just that.

    We've been on the receiving end of such blessings ourselves, as I was growing up, and later in life.

    Both giving and receiving are reason to be humble before God, and thankful.

    Re: your PS: I've begun to say, "don't let the technology get in the way of the message." :) :)
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, guys.

    Krogen, you have stated something here that I think needs to be expanded into today's devotional.

    There is a passage in Exodus that is puzzling to many readers:

    Exodus 33:20-23 (KJV):
    20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
    21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
    22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
    23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

    When I first read that, I thought 'What the HEY? Why on EARTH is it OK to see God's back, but not His front? And why in the WORLD would it kill someone to see His face, as verse 20 seems to say?"

    Every time I read it after that, for many years, I had the same puzzling questions about it.

    But with the years and experience of life, the real meaning became clear to me.
    By His FACE, it is not speaking of the front of His head with His eyes, nose and mouth on it. It is speaking of WHERE God is FACING - IOW, His DIRECTION, His PLANS, His future and present ACTIONS.

    By His Back Parts, it is not speaking of His back side, but rather of what is BEHIND Him, what He has already DONE.

    It is saying exactly what Krogen spoke of; we can see where God has BEEN, but not where He is GOING.

    In my story, we discovered MONTHS after the fact, exactly what God had done.
    We saw His BACK. But at the time, we had no idea He was involved; we could not see His FACE.

    And that reference to death for seeing His face in verse 20?
    It just means that, although we cannot see His plans in this physical life, we WILL have complete understanding of them in the NEXT life, as Paul said:

    1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV);
    12 For now we see throug a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I look forward to having the darkness cleared from my vision -

    God bless you, guys -
  14. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Terry,
    That is one of the most insightful explanations of that passage of scripture I've heard. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  15. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like Isaiah 55:8-9:
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither 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.

    We cannot understand God's plan fully; only try to be like Abraham's servant: "I being in the way, the Lord led me."
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