Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

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

  1. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Amen Terry,
    Been to Las Vegas once or twice and know exactly what you mean. Thanks for the scripture.
  2. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Terry you are right about our city and it's sin. Ten years ago I always thought that if we did not have such a large population of Mormons here this place would have run wilder. Their moral standards and voter statistics kept things in check. Now we have a lot of other churhces that are outgrowing their buildings. When our church moved to a larger building around Easter it seemed cavernous and now it is hard to find a seat. Our city still has a lot of problems but it gives us Christians so many more chances to serve.
  3. Python

    Python Former Guest

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    It only takes being guilty of "one" sin, be it mental or physical, to get a reservation in hell.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pipeman, it sounds like Vegas has improved in the time since I have been there - that is GREAT!! My trip was - shoot, about 15 years ago or so I guess -

    I appreciate the support, guys!!

    For today:


    Judy is always overly concerned about what people think of her. As a good balanced pair, we offset each others traits nicely. In this case, that means that I couldn’t care less about what other people think of me. Of course, she is always reminding me of how something will look, and convincing me to act in a more suitable manner. And for my part, I am always working to get her to not be so effected by the opinions of others.

    Abraham Lincoln said “If you’re right – first make sure you are right – and then let nothing stand in your way!” So, the important thing is to know you are doing the RIGHT thing! If you are positive of that, then pay no attention to what others say.

    Now, if you are not positive of the rightness of your actions, should you be dissuaded by the voice of one person? Probably not, because if I say it is raining outside, there will be at least ONE person who would disagree; that’s just the way people are. But if you begin to hear the same thing from more than one person – let me modify a modern proverb for that situation:

    “If one man calls you a donkey, pay him no mind. If two men call you a donkey, look in a mirror. If three men call you a donkey, go buy a saddle.”

    Scripture tells us that we should accept criticism from others with the attitude that they are trying to help us:
    Psalms 141:5 (NCV);
    "If a good person punished me, that would be kind. If he corrected me, that would be like perfumed oil on my head. I shouldn't refuse it. But I pray against those who do evil."

    And it tells us that God is the source of our discipline and correction, and that it is given in love:
    Hebrews 12:4-6 (GWT);
    "You struggle against sin, but your struggles haven't killed you. You have forgotten the encouraging words that God speaks to you as his children: My child, pay attention when the Lord disciplines you. Don't give up when he corrects you. The Lord disciplines everyone he loves. He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child."

    May God bless each and every one of you!
  5. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    “In the olden times,” Charles Spurgeon said, “when Oriental despots had things pretty much their own way, they expected all ambassadors from the West to prostrate themselves if they were permitted to appear before his Celestial Brightness, the Brother of the Sun and the Cousin of the Moon. Money- loving traders agreed to this and ate dust with glee while envisioning profitable trading. When England sent her ambassadors abroad, the story was different. These men representing the powerful England stood bolt upright. They were told that they could not be indulged with a vision of the Brother of the Sun and the Cousin of the Moon without going down on their hands and knees. "Very well," said the Englishmen, "we will dispense with the luxury. But tell his Celestial Splendor that it is very likely that his Serenity will hear our cannon at his palace gates before long, and that their booming is not quite so harmless as the cooing of his Sublimity's doves." The ambassadors of the British Crown were no cringing petitioners; the British empire rose in the respect of the Oriental nations as a result of this visit.”

    As Christians we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, and while we live we are in this world, which is the devils domain. Daily, we face a world that tells us we must prostrate ourselves to the things of this world! If we wish to get along with the world, we must do as the world does, and act as the world acts. We must believe what the world tells us, and only speak what the world wants to hear. Personally, I couldn't care less what the world thinks. I am out to please God, and Him alone will I serve!

    The Word of God tells us that we should not cringe from anything the world brings before us:
    Proverbs 28:1 (KJV);
    "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."

    And it tells us that we are to speak openly about the truth of the gospel when dealing with the world:
    2 Corinthians 3:12 (KJV);
    "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:"

    I believe TFF stands up for what they believe quite well against a world that seems to be circling the drain. May God bless each one of you for that!
  6. Juker

    Juker New Member

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    Amen, Terry.
  7. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that, Terry.
    As you say, there is a great temptation to follow the route of least resistance, to "go with the flow" and not rock the boat.

    For some the decision to obey God rather than to compromise or conform to the world is much more stark. Today there is a minister in one of the middle east countries under sentence of death because he converted to Christianity from Islam and will not recant.

    In 1974 my parents were travelling through the middle east and heard about the convert to Christianity who would not recant, and "fell" off a train. In Scotland there was a time called the "Killing Times" during the 1600's when just carrying a Bible was grounds for immediate execution and missing a church service conducted by one of the King's curates was grounds for heavy fines and imprisonment. Many of these "criminals" were exiled to the colonies or to Australia. When I was much younger we visited many of the martyrs' monuments in Scotland and reviewed the stories of these brave men, women and children. It was one of the major influences in my becoming a Christian: these people had something so important to live for they were willing to suffer and even die for it. I wanted something wothwhile to live for. Back then, and today, the people all were saying, "we must obey God, rather than man."

    It's the same decision the Christians had to make in Smyrna, Rev. 2:10--"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." A brief history/culture investigation shows Smyrna was extremely loyal to Rome and all her citizens were required by law to once a year burn a pinch of incense and say "Caesar is Lord". The Christians could not do that and suffered the consequences.
  8. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, guys!

    And the decision to follow God has even more to it.
    We must follow Him in the way He wants us to, and for the right reason as well.

    There was a brigade of artillery moving at full gallop over a piece of uneven ground intersected by a ditch full of water when one of the guns got stuck in the ditch. The first gunner, a man of great strength, jumped down into the water and, setting his shoulders to one of the wheels, lifted it out of the mud. He resumed his seat, and the artillery movement continued.
    Prince Augustus of Prussia, who came up at the moment, cried, "Bravo, my lad," and tearing off a strip from his sash, gave it to the artilleryman, telling him to fasten it to his sword- belt in remembrance. In the evening, the soldier, when in his barracks, was surprised by receiving a gratuity of 150 golden crowns.

    A short time after, another artilleryman, having heard this anecdote, wished in his turn to display his strength. Soon Prince Augustus was at the arsenal of Berlin and ordered a 24- pounder to be mounted on its carriage. This artilleryman immediately ran over and picked up the cannon and set it in place by himself. The prince, however, said "This man is a fool. He has risked his limbs, and wasted his strength without any necessity. Let him be under arrest for three days."

    This story gives us a warning against being just a copy-cat. An action may be noble and praiseworthy for one person to do, but be ridiculous for someone else in slightly different circumstances to do.

    When you are following God, you must follow GOD, by the leading of the Holy Spirit. That means you do NOT simply look at some noteworthy Christian and attempt to duplicate what they have done.

    The Word of God tells us that we are to follow Jesus Christ:
    Colossians 3:22-24 (KJV);
    "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."

    God bless you, guys, with the sure knowledge of HOW He wishes you to follow him as well as why.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    excellent teaching Terry

    cheers eh !
  10. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Great message Terry. It is along the lines of an idea our pastor planted in us about the same thing. He suggests getting up a little earlier than everyone in the house and start your daily prayers while it is still quiet and there are no distractions. Ask God what his plans are for your day and what He needs you to do. They sometimes differ from what you had planned but His way always works out better in the end.
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the support, guys!

    Pipeman, I have done that for many years.
    One of the first things I do in the morning is let my dog out to do his business.
    I rise much before dawn, so it is still dark when I do this.
    I step out into the night, look up at the stars overhead, and cannot help but raise my hands to the heavens and give thanks and praise to God for his blessings to me. It is just a natural start for the day.

    A later part of my daily routine is a devotional:

    Tonight, lots of people will be drinking. Some of those will drive, get in wrecks and be injured. Some will die from those injuries. Some people, therefore, will end their lives due to celebrating the end of a calendar year.

    Judy and I will be here at home. If we die today it will be because the Lord deems it, not due to conformity. That makes us oddball, doesn't it? That's OK – we are in GOOD company. Albert Einstein, for instance – and I mean absolutely no disrespect at all, for Albert Einstein is one of my favorite people of all time – but he was not exactly one of the crowd, was he? He always had the wild hair standing up all over his head – he always wore wrinkled clothes that looked like he had slept in them – and probably did. His wife had to keep after him or he would walk outside in the winter without a coat, or in the rain with no umbrella or boots. I believe he is the one that caused the phrase ‘absent minded professor’ to be coined!

    It is an undeniable fact that many people who do the right thing are considered on the lunatic fringe for some or all of their lives.

    If you stand up to be counted, from time to time you may get knocked down. But remember this: a person flattened by an opponent can get up again. A person flattened by conformity stays down for good.

    The Word of God tells us that our courage to stand up has a firm basis:
    Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV);
    "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

    We are told that we have a greater power behind us than the power behind the world:
    2 Chronicles 32:7 (KJV);
    "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:"

    And finally, we are to never fear those that oppose us, in ANYTHING!
    Philippians 1:28 (KJV);
    "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."

    May God bless you, guys, with unconformity!!
  12. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that Terry;
    Your thoughts stimulate my thinking.
    Makes me think of Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    We are nonconformists to the world, but we become conformed to what God wants us to be.
    When the task seems too great, there are many passages that say He is right here with us. I like Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
    (Please excuse the KJV--It's what I memorized this in years ago and it sort of sticks with me.)
    God is the one who commands us--we have His commission, His warrant, His authority, to be different from the rest of the world. We need to be different in line with Joshua 1:8 and Romans 12:1.

    Oh, and Happy New Year to all!!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    GOOD stuff, BlackEagle -
    Exactly correct; conformity to the will of God IS non-conformity to the world.

    Today is a recognized day.
    And for more than just simply because we designated this the day to change the calendar year on.

    Today, the Catholic Church celebrates The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God.

    They say in the 4th and 5th centuries debates about the nature of Christ raged in the Church concerning Christ's divine and human natures. At the center of this debate was a title of Mary. Since at least the 3rd century, Christians had referred to Mary as theotokos, meaning "God-bearer." Related to theotokos, Mary was popularly called the mother of God, but the patriarch of Constantinople from 428-431, Nestorius, objected. He suggested that Mary was only the mother of Jesus' human nature, but not his divine nature. Nestorius' ideas (or at least how others perceived his arguments) were condemned at the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, and again at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. The Church decided that Christ was fully God and fully human, and these natures were united in one person, Jesus Christ. Thus Mary could be called "mother of God" since she gave birth to Jesus who was fully divine as well as human. Since this time, Mary has been frequently honored as the "mother of God" by Catholics, Orthodox, and many Protestants.

    The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God falls exactly one week after Christmas, which is a fitting time to honor Mary as Mother of Jesus. When they celebrate the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God they are not only honoring Mary, they say, but Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully human. Calling Mary "mother of God" is the highest honor they feel they can give Mary. Just as Christmas honors Jesus as the "Prince of Peace," the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God honors Mary as the "Queen of Peace" This solemnity, falling on New Year's Day, is also designated the World Day of Peace.

    Do I have a problem with this teaching?
    Not at all, provided that it is made clear that Mary is MORTAL, and Jesus is DIVINE. If this teaching is used to elevate Mary to the same level as God, then it falls into error.
    Meanwhile, let us join our Catholic brothers and sisters in prayer, thank God for his sacrifice for us and ask for the blessing of peace to all mankind.

    And a Happy New Year to every one of you -
  14. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Very interesting bit of history. I had no idea about any of that. At least it gives a meaning to this day besides a bigger number.
  15. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I found that bit of research to be rather refreshing, pipeman - a bit of significance outside of the norm.

    For today:

    Many churches have a dress code. Oh, it is not written down in the bylaws, at least not in most cases, but it is indeed there. If you notice that everyone is wearing a tie, then you can rest assured that you will be expected to wear one also.

    In the many years I spent in the work force, I was exposed to numerous dress codes. As a Factory Rep. who worked on dirty greasy machinery at customer locations, I was forced to wear a white shirt, tie, and jacket. As an Engineer, the dress code changed with the management; everything from suit only to blue jeans was acceptable at one time or another.

    I once read about a cool dress code in South Padre Island, a resort area just off the coast of Texas:
    No ties allowed!
    No joke. The first time you're caught wearing a tie, they give you a warning. But if they catch you again, they'll fine you, take your tie away and destroy it! The dress code says "The very appearance of a tie causes a discordant note for our visitors." Sounds like my kind of place!

    God tells us of his contempt for fancy dress:
    Isaiah 3:16-24 (KJV);
    "Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty."

    God couldn't care less what we have on the outside; he cares about what is on the inside.

    May God bless you, guys -
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