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Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

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

  1. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Terry from what they said on the news this is the first and it was set up be a charitable organization. I like the idea too.:)
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I dug around a bit -
    Pay It Forward, it seems, is a very ancient concept, described in the fourth century BC. Those exact words were the title of a book, later a movie, and New Zealand started the modern movement in the 21's century. Since then, a lot of countries are listed as taking part, but still nothing 'official' on it.
    This is an opportunity for someone to rally support for this and petition Congress to recognize it - -

    Today, once again, is a recognized day. This is National Arbor Day. Started in January of 1872 by J. Sterling Morton who was then the Secretary of the Nebraska Territory, the first celebration was on April 10th of that year, and it is estimated that Nebraska planted more than one million trees that year.
    As time passed, the date for Arbor day has become different for different states to suit their local climate, but the last Friday in April is the most common one, so has been picked as the day for the National Arbor Day.

    Morton once said “Each generation takes the earth as trustee's.” How exactly right he was. It behooves all of us to utilize our natural resources wisely, so future generations can benefit from them as well as ourselves. Planting trees is an excellent way to do this. We must ensure that we always plant as many as we harvest, or we are reaping benefit that will be paid for by our children's children.

    Arbor Day is nothing new to a Christian. We call it Stewardship, which is something that extends far beyond obeying God's directions in regard to our money. Stewardship extends into every avenue of our lives, from personal time and resources to group time and resources.

    We are to have dominion over and the use of the Earth:
    Genesis 1:27-29 (KJV);
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    And we are to care for it:
    Genesis 2:15 (KJV);
    And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

    Let us all be good stewards today of ALL living things which God has blessed us with.

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

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Psalm 24:1-2 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

    As you say, we are stewards, caretakers of God's creation. One of my favorite ideas. Thanks, Terry.
  4. sub-moa

    sub-moa Member

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    In a peaceful spirit there can be no anger, In a angry spirit there can be no peace.:)
  5. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent verse, BlackEagle. I love the idea too -

    Sub-Moa, that is so true!

    For today, I have a story taken from a sermon by Matthew Barker.

    A father and his young daughter got along extremely well, and they spent a lot of time together. Then the father noticed a change in his daughter. If he went for a walk, she excused herself from going. If he watched a movie on TV, she excused herself and spent the time in her room. He grieved about it, but did not want to intrude upon her newly desired solitude. When his birthday came, she presented him with a pair of exquisitely worked slippers, saying, "This is what I have been making for you for the last three months."
    Then he understood what had been the matter lately, and he said, "My darling, I like these slippers very much, but next time buy the slippers and let me have you all the days. I would rather have my child than anything she can make for me."

    I read that story, and immediately a portion of scripture got a new meaning for me, a meaning which I had never seen in it before.

    Revelation 2:2-4 (KJV);
    I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
    Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

    Did you see that?
    “I know your works and your labor and your patience - - - - but you have left your first love.” God is telling us that he KNOWS how hard we work for him, and he LOVES us for it, but never wants us to be so busy working FOR Him that we neglect to spend time WITH Him! No matter how much you want to do, or even think you HAVE to do, you can always find time to spend with the Lord.

    May God bless each one of you -
  6. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The Letters to the Seven Churches are a fascinating study. Each letter was tailored to the church and reflects the social, economic, political, geographic and cultural history and situation of the city and the church in the city.

    The church in Ephesus was indeed hard working, but had lost sight of the reason for the work, and was doing its work for work's sake, not for Christ, as you suggest. Too many churches and Christians today are in the same situation, busy for the sake of being busy rather than carrying out the Great Commission and just being with God.

    It also reminds me of the gentle rebuke Jesus gave Martha in Luke 10:38-42 (41-42):
    Thanks, Terry
  7. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Leslie Stokes, an English Baptist minister, once told a parable that applies to many today:
    Once upon a time there was a tree. It was a lovely-looking tree, shapely, strong, and stately. But appearances are not always to be trusted, and they were not in this case. For the tree knew inwardly that its massive strength was beginning to wane. When the wind was strong it had felt itself shaking ominously, and heard suspicious creaks. So, wisely, it took itself in hand. With much effort it grew another branch or two, and then looked stronger and safer than ever. But when the next gale blew, there was a terrific snapping of roots and, but for the support of a friendly neighbor, it would have been flat on the ground.When the tree had recovered from the shock, it looked at its neighbor curiously. "Tell me," it asked, "how is it that you have not only stood your ground, but are even able to help me, too?"

    "Oh," replied the neighbor, "that's easy. When you were busy growing new branches, I was strengthening my roots."

    This story has at least two applications for the Christian. First, on a personal level, it can apply to the Christian that is interested in all the peripheral issues, and ignores his own spiritual condition. He is interested in wearing the proper clothes to the proper church, and arriving driving the proper car, sitting next to the proper people, but has no idea what God’s will is for his life, because he has never sought to find it. Rarely does one in this group come to the religious forum here, although it has happened.

    On a larger scale, it applies to the church that is very involved in youth activities, has many programs for adults, has a lot of social interaction between members, is always involved in church dinners, ice cream socials, pancake suppers, and Bingo night activities. This church is likely to have a TV program where it reaches out to the entire world, but it has yet to have a single member knock on the door of the people living right beside the church to find out if they have a church home or not. This church is politically correct and socially correct, very large and prosperous, but spiritually dead.

    Give me that old time religion, even if that means ten people meeting in the home of one of the members – and hold the bingo.

    May God bless you, guys -
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    hear hear!!!
  9. nightwalker

    nightwalker New Member

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    I find it quite easy to sit, more difficult to do, and most difficult to seek and wait, seek and wait seek and wait...
  10. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow, BlackEagle, very close indeed.

    When you posted that, we were in the Eastern Caribbean without internet access, and I got so far behind on that trip that I never did catch up with all the back posts -

    GREAT job on that piece!

    For Today:

    A certain Duke of Milan was so hated for his unbearable cruelty that everybody prayed day and night for something bad to happen to him.

    Someone noticed that every day at sunrise a decrepit old woman entered a church and prayed to God that he give the Duke health and long life.

    The Duke, hearing about this and knowing very well that he did not deserve that for his virtue, sent for the old woman and asked her why she prayed to God for him every day.

    "I admit," she said, "that I have done this until now for good reasons. This is because when I was a young girl the Milanese had a very cruel lord, and I wished that he should fall from power and die. After he died he was succeeded by another who was no better than he, wherefore I believed once more that it would be to our great advantage if he were killed.

    "Now you are our third lord, and you are more wicked and cruel than the first two. I fear, therefore, that after your death you will be succeeded by someone worse than you are; and so I never stop praying God to let you live for a long time."

    The tyrant was too ashamed to punish the elderly woman for her outspoken words.

    I have had people in my life that did their best to do me ill. I had a very hard time forgiving these people, because the natural human tendency is to dream of getting EVEN with them! But I have now, finally, been able to forgive them, although I cannot yet forget.
    Sgt. LaFredo, as the worst of the bunch, I forgive you for the great efforts you expended to destroy my life while I was in the Air Force. I forgive you for telling blatant lies about me in my permanent military record. I spent years overcoming those, and finally succeeded. I then spent more years overcoming my hatred of you because of them. I repent of the desire to run over you with my car. I repent of the desire to beat you senseless while laughing maniacally. I repent of the desire to put you through all the same type of trouble which you have put me through. In fact, I sincerely hope that you have found the Lord. You do, after all, need him more than any individual I have ever met in my rather long and interesting life.

    Hmm. On reading that, it sounds like I have NOT forgiven him.

    Oh well, pretty close - and I will keep working on it.

    May God bless each one of you!
  12. nightwalker

    nightwalker New Member

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    Very good. Thanks for the honest reminder.
  13. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Thanks Terry you just reinforced something I saw on a Joyce Myers show recently. She was showing why some prayers may seem or be unanswered due to us holding a grudge or not truly forgiving someone. She suggested when we pray we state we have a forgiving heart. If we don't and think we have the Lord will let us know. Maybe your reinforcing this is someone telling me I have someone to truly forgive.:D
  14. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It is indeed hard to fogive and forget. In 1974 we visited the site of one of the Nazi concentration camps. A multi-faith (Protestant, Jewish, Catholic) chapel had been set up there and we talked with the pastor. He had been a prisoner in the camp; he explained a little of the place to us, and his experiences. He also told us it was important to forgive the Nazi's for what they had done (as did Corrie ten Boom), but not forget, lest we allow the same thing to happen again.

    I see forgiveness as holding the offense/offender in my open hand, and letting God take the offense away to deal with as He sees best. "Vengance is mine, saith the Lord", and He is a lot more creative than I am at either punishing or redeeming the offender. That way I don't have anything on my conscience if something happens to that person.
  15. pipeman525

    pipeman525 New Member

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    Black Eagle I could not agree more. You know sometimes we stay mad at someone who does not even know they hurt us or did something wrong. Maybe they don't care. By not forgiving, the only person in that case who suffers is us. They go on their merry way and don't know or care that you are mad.
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