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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    I have been praying that one often, Tim, particularly for the last fifteen days -
  2. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    Glad you're getting reconnected, Terry. I joke about the phone system out here in the sticks. It works quite well when you pull tight on the string and talk right into the tin can. . . ;-)

    I find these days, prayer for me is more of a chat with God. Like He's right beside me and when a thought pops into my head, I share it. It used to be a twice-daily routine. Now it's more ad hoc. It feels better to be in regular communication, but I admit, I'm still struggling with no answer, delayed answers or simply the answer is "no." I know this is all according to His plan and schedule, so I'll be patient. As you point out, though, regular prayer is the right thing.

    Krogen
  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I believe that praying God's Words back to Him is one of the more effective ways of praying, but like you, Krogen, I do like to have an ongoing conversation with Him. It's an application of Philippians 4:6-7.

    Psalm 34 is appropriate in many ways these days...
    I like verse 4:
    Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

    As I delight myself in the Lord, He brings my desires into line with His desires--He gives me His desires. Then as I ask Him, He answers.

    But I still find what you find; Some "yes", some "no", some "wait".
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me 'to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God - - -' ”

    So begins the declaration made by George Washington to establish the day of Thanksgiving which we celebrate today. Notice the distinct lack, in the presidency and in both houses of congress, of objection to this obvious 'violation' of the 'separation of church and state'. This may be attributed to the fact that the colonists had not been educated in an Atheistic school system, and the ACLU had not been formed yet.

    Our forefathers KNEW that their existence was due to the providence of God. They knew that the early colonists who arrived in 1620 had given thanks for their survival the following season, 1621, and held a grand feast to celebrate God's blessings on them. This was repeated each year at various times in the harvest season, but was not formalized until Washington made the first declaration. The date was set in 1941 to the present fourth Thursday in November, following a period of moving it around for marketing reasons, which brought many protests from the citizens of our nation.

    Sometimes folks have a hard time keeping themselves in a continual attitude of thankfulness to God. We should work on this, and try to attain it. But on this day, at the very least, let us follow this passage from Psalms:

    Psalm 95:1-6 (KJV); O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

    May God bless each one of you with the ability to realize you have much to be thankful for.

    For instance; my wife has always been into horses, working part-time jobs when she was 13 to pay for the upkeep on a horse. I joined her in this interest by buying a double registered palomino quarter horse who was two years old. A few years ago she fell in the horse lot and could not get up again; her aged body just couldn't go on. I called the vet to come and put her down, and he was out on another call and could not get out here in less than four hours. I looked at her shivvering on the cold winter ground and knew I could not make her go through more hours of torment. I got my 1911, aimed between her eyes and prayed for god to guide the shot so she would not suffer. The horrible shot rang out, and she died instantly.
    My immediate reaction was sorrow at my loss and anger that she was gone.

    Then I realized that I had been blessed to spend thirty years of my life with this wonderful animal.

    The same has been true of several different dogs that were MINE.
    I miss them all, I grieve for each, but my mind is filled with so many wonderful memories of them that each is still a blessing to me.

    I am thankful, Lord -
  5. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Wow Terry,
    You are far braver than I. I've had to take several beloved dogs and a cat (the only cat I've ever loved), to the vet to be put down. I've also had to have horses put down. But, I just don't think I could take my 45 to them.

    We have an old guy now; that has been with us for almost 20yrs. He is very, very special! He's more like an old lovable hound dog & a member of the family than anything else. I swear if we had room, he'd stay in the house. (A friend of ours has a huge home with an "attached" barn; where some of his horses actually have their stalls as part of the house.)

    I would love to have something like that for our special guy! He's the most intelligent & level headed horse I've ever had the pleasure to be around. We don't ride him anymore because he's arthritic. In the next couple of years we'll probably take him to a retirement farm. We have done this with several special horses. There they get to live out the rest of their days in huge wide open pastures. When they get to weak, sick or old, they are humanely put down & buried in their own grave.


    -
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  6. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Terry;
    Another thing to be thankful for...your internet seems to be working better now.
  7. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, guys - it IS better, now that I have a new system scheduled to be installed this weekend! Kinda like how your car runs perfectly when you decide to trade it in on a new one.

    Tim, it is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.
    But there comes a time when it HAS to be done, and some times circumstances force that action on the owner. I had covered her with a blanket, and a pillow under her head, but she was shaking from the cold ground under her and groaning in pain. I could not make her go through hours of that waiting for the vet.
    And God strengthened me, and guided the bullet.
    I am positive that I released her from age and pain, and allowed her to go to a place of endless green hills of knee high grass and bubbling cool streams, where she waits for me -
    When the army of God rides into Armageddon, one of those white horses will be a palomino, and the dude on her back will be me.

    For today:

    A reporter asked the late President Herbert Hoover, "Mr. President, how do you handle criticism? Do you ever get agitated or tense?"
    "No," President Hoover said, seemingly surprised at the question, "of course not."
    "But," the reporter went on, "when I was a boy you were one of the most popular men in the world. Then, for a while you became one of the most unpopular, with nearly everyone against you. Didn't any of this meanness and criticism every get under your skin?"
    "No, I knew when I went into politics what I might expect, so when it came I wasn't disappointed or upset," he said. He lowered his familiar bushy eyebrows and looked directly into the reporter's eyes. "Besides, I have 'peace at the center,' you know," he added.

    Inner peace comes from looking to God, our source. Peace is the gift of Jesus Christ. Jesus, before leaving His disciples, said:

    John 14:27 (KJV);
    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

    How about you? Do you get upset at what people say to you, or about you? Are you upset by what other people think? If we find ourselves in that state, we need to take this verse to heart, and make sure that each one of us has ‘peace at the center’. Once we have that, we can handle anything the world throws at us!

    Knowing you NEED peace is not the same as HAVING peace though, is it? To find it, you have to know were to look for it! The source of Peace is the knowledge of Jesus Christ. GIIC! That stands for God Is In Control. When you enter into a relationship with Jesus, and study about his teachings, and talk with him every day, you will come to the place where you KNOW this to be true; GIIC. With that simple knowledge comes peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding.

    May God grant each one of us that kind of peace.
  8. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is from the book In Search of Excellence.
    Dick Walton of a very successful company called Wal-Mart says, "It's terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys." Walton stories have become legends. According to The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Walton couldn't sleep a few weeks back. He got up and bought four dozen donuts at an all night bakery. At 2:30 a.m., he took them to a distribution center and chatted for a while with workers from the shipping docks. As a result he discovered that two more shower stalls were needed at that location." Again, the astonishing point is not the story per se: any small business person could relate a host of similar tales. The surprising news is that a top executive still exhibits such a bone- deep form of concern for his people in a $2 billion enterprise.

    Romans 12:10-11 (KJV);
    “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”

    Romans 12:16-18 (KJV);
    “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

    Romans 13:8 (KJV);
    “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

    The point of the story, and of those verses, is that we should care for each other. I still cannot grasp how God, an omnipotent being, could care anything about us; but I am glad he does, and I will pattern my life after that of Jesus Christ, and do my very best to care for all people, just as he does.

    May God bless each one of you, guys -
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Terry;

    Thankful to hear the internet connection is behaving. I sometimes pray that the technology will not get in the way of the message.

    I decided long ago that the only judgement of my life that really matters is God's; what others think may or may not be important. Others' complaints may be insights on things I need to change in me, or just spurious.

    But I can be a little like Peter who got his eyes off Christ when he was walking on the water and started to sink. If I loose sight of Christ, and pay attention to those around me I start to react to others' comments. I start to sink in waves of self pity.

    I like Philippians 4:6-7.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  10. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Heh, Heh;
    By the time I had finished the last comment about yesterday's, you had put in today's devotional.

    I am thankful to God for the caring I see in this forum.

    We should care for each other, and for those not in the same "rank" as we are. Jesus did what you are talking about when he told the disciples to "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not."

    Ephesians 6 touches on that.

    Thanks again, Terry.
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, BlackEagle -
    I, too, find this forum very encouraging.
    It is pretty easy to conclude that a conservative Christian is a rare thing, then we find a forum like this and it is GREAT!

    For today:

    Bruce Larson, in his book, Wind and Fire, points out some interesting facts about Sandhill cranes: "These large birds, who fly great distances across continents, have three remarkable qualities. First, they rotate leadership. No one bird stays out in front all the time. Second, they choose leaders who can handle turbulence. And then, all during the time one bird is leading, the rest are honking their affirmation.

    Now I don’t know if Mr. Larson was aware of it or not, but Sandhill Cranes are not the only creatures that do this. Anyone that has ever studied the huge flying V’s of the Canadian Geese has noticed the same thing! The point goose will drop back, and is replaced by another, who has been riding in his slipstream. And – no matter how high they are above you, you can hear all the followers honking encouragement to the one in front!

    That idea should not end with the animal kingdom! What a great model it makes for the Church, as well. The Church sure needs leaders who can handle turbulence and who are aware that they cannot handle it all, all the time, but must spread some of that leadership around! But most of all, we need a church where we are all honking encouragement."

    1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 (KJV);
    “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

    Go to Church and get involved there! Maybe you can lead a song – maybe you can lead a Bible study – maybe you can lead a youth group – maybe you can lead the congregation in a prayer – but even if you don’t feel you can do any of those things, go to church anyway; Everyone can at least HONK!

    May God bless each one of you -
  12. IShootBack

    IShootBack Active Member

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    Thanks for the great lesson today.

    We do this at our church by having one men's ministry. Men can and do get involved in other ministries, but we have one dedicated men's group. This dedicated group of men (around 100) are involved in every one of the 150 or so ministries we do each month. Sometimes it's setting up, sometimes it's performing security, sometimes teaching or leading a group out street witnessing, sometimes working with our kids, and some men's job is to honk...

    This group of men believes the Great Commission is a way of life. Every man is invited to join, but honestly, most men are not willing to be accountable or submissive to leadership or to Jesus.
  13. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I think of Exodus 17 where Aaron and Hur held Moses' hands up so he could pray for Israel during a crucial battle.
    Paul kept asking the churches to whom he was writing to pray for him.

    HONK!! er, I mean, Amen. :)
  14. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, guys, for the honks. They are most encouraging!

    For today, I want to relate a story told by a preacher who pastored a church which was once visited by the well known D. L. Moody. The fame of Moody was far and wide and when it was announced that the well-known evangelist was coming, thousands came to hear.
    One evening a little boy came alone to the door of the large church. The usher at the door stopped the small dirty ragged boy and told him that he should go home and be in bed. When the boy explained that he wanted to see Mr. Moody the usher refused to let him come in. The little boy, downcast and disappointed, walked to the side of the building and began to cry.

    Just then a carriage came to the church entrance and Moody got out. He heard the crying and saw the little boy leaning against the wall. Moody walked over to him and asked his trouble.
    The boy looked up and explained how he wanted to hear Mr. Moody but wasn't allowed inside.
    Moody smiled and said, "Do you really want to hear Mr. Moody?"
    "Yes, Sir!" was the reply.
    "Well, I know how to get you in, but you have to do exactly what I tell you to."
    The little boy said, "I will."
    So, putting his coattails in the hands of the boy, Moody told him to hold on to them and not let loose until he told him to. Moody entered the building and walked to the platform. Reaching the pulpit, he said, "Well done. I told you that if you would only hold on you would get in. Now, my boy, you sit there." Moody put him on the chair reserved for himself and for the evening the boy listened to the great preacher.

    The minister who told the story said, "I know the story is true for it happened in my church. Yes, I know it's true because I was that little boy. I heard the great D. L. Moody preach, but little did I know when I clung to his coattails that someday I would become the minister of that same church."

    Matt 19:14 (KJV);
    “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

    Moody knew something that Jesus knew, but that many of us forget. The children are the leaders of tomorrow! If we desire continuity of our faith, we must open many doors to the young, in spite of the voices around us that will discourage it, because they are ‘not old enough’. A young person is going to follow someone – let’s make sure it is the right example they follow.

    May God bless each one of you -
  15. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One day in Alaska we were driving our old car out in the wilds when it suddenly died, and I could see smoke curling from under the hood. I jumped out, opened the hood, and was trying to make some sense out of the haze of smoke that covered everything inside, when an arm reached past me from behind and a hand holding a pair of lineman’s pliers reached into the maze and deftly clipped one wire. Immediately the smoking stopped. I turned around and thanked this stranger for keeping our car from burning up.
    “Well,” he said, “It’s not fixed yet; hold on a minute!” With that, he went to his truck, returned with a four foot length of wire which he used to replace shorted and burned wire with. I tried it, and it started perfectly. I thanked him, he got in his truck and drove away with a smile – obviously not wanting any more than the thank you he had already received.
    I was reminded of that story when I read this from Living Faithfully by J. Allen Blair. He told of a man who was struggling to get to Grand Central Station in New York City. The wind blew fiercely, and the rain beat down on him as he lugged his two heavy suitcases toward the terminal. Occasionally he would pause to rest and regain his strength before trudging on against the elements.
    At one point he was almost ready to collapse, when a man suddenly appeared by his side, took the suitcases, and said in a strangely familiar voice, "We're going the same way. You look as if you could use some help."
    When they had reached the shelter of the station, the weary traveler, the renowned educator Booker T. Washington, asked the man, "Please, sir, what is your name?"
    The man replied, "The name, my friend, is Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt."

    Luke 22:25-26 (KJV);
    “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

    I have often wondered just who that man was that helped us that day out in the wilds of Alaska – certainly a benefactor - or perhaps not a man at all.

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

    Krogen Member

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    Good one, Terry. :D

    There are times where I need to have God reach in and clip out burning, smoldering, threatening "wires" in my "engine room." He'll fix them too.
  17. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Terry;
    It reminds me of the message Jesus was getting across when He washed the disciples' feet in John 13:12-17: "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."--v14,
    or Matthew 23--11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
  18. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, guys!

    Todays devotional is based on an article in Fundamentalist Journal by Cal Thomas titled "Dear God, Please Don't Let Me Be a Christian Leader!"

    Cal found himself called a "Christian leader" by a leading Christian magazine and he wondered what that meant. More speaking engagements? Perhaps an appearance on a Christian talk show?
    "It would certainly give me the right to start putting Scripture references under my signed name in books I have written. I would surely sign more Bibles, which I find a curious practice since I didn't write that Book."
    Thomas wonders if we have reversed things. God's strength is made perfect in weakness. "In a church I once attended, there was a man of tremendous faith. His wife is an alcoholic. His daughter has psychological problems. He was often poor in health. Yet, week after week, he never complained. He always smiled and asked me how I was doing. He faithfully brought to church a young blind man who had no transportation. He always sat with the blind man, helping him sing the hymns by saying the words into his ear. That man was a 'Christian leader' if ever there was one."

    Philippians 2:3-4 (KJV);
    “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

    Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV);
    “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

    Do your best to be a TRUE ‘Christian leader’; Reach out to someone in need with a helping hand. Reach out to someone who is hurting with a word of comfort. Reach out to someone lost with the Good News that Jesus died for their sins!

    May God bless each one of you -
  19. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Humility, servanthood; Galatians 5:22 and ff. The fruits of the Spirit.

    Thanks, Terry.
  20. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    BlackEagle, I once read that Humility is the most difficult part of Christianity, because as soon as you think "I have it!", you've lost it.

    For today:

    I have said many times that I have some problems with denominational churches, not the least of which is the list of rules which most of them adopt. Now they usually claim they are from scripture, and can usually point out a scripture verse somewhere which can be interpreted as giving them this or that rule, but very often you can read the rule, then read the scripture verse, and think “How on earth did they get THAT from THIS??” I have always preferred to get my list of rules direct from scripture, not re-written for my benefit. I have even pointed out that, in my experience, the list of rules which a church adopts is usually composed of things which the leadership of that church never had any problem with anyway!

    Well, I have said that for years, but I just found out that I am not the first to say it. I read where Walter Arnold of the National Geographic said: “When people decide to take up reforming, they first find something that won't interfere with their style of living. Then, brother, can they reform!”

    Jesus tells us about judgment:

    Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV);
    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    At my church you won’t find a list of rules on the wall; we think the book of rules called the Bible is sufficient for our purpose, and we do our very best to apply it to ourselves first.

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