The Beauty Of Today - Did You Miss It?

I am what you would call a morning person. I always have been. Most of the time it doesn't matter what time I go to bed, I still wake up at about the same time...early! My Dad used to say when I was a kid I was like a vampire. At a certain time every evening (usually not too late) I would shut down almost instantly. Then next morning I would pop out of a deep sleep, abruptly open my eyes, and hop out of bed with a bright smile. Well, things run just a bit slower now, but I still enjoy the freshness of a brand new morning. I love it when the dew is still on the ground. I love waking up just in time to awaken the dawn, as David writes in the Psalms. "Sleeping in" for me is mostly not an option, or it means sleeping until just after the sun rises. Knowing the day has begun motivates me to get out of bed before I miss too much of it!

I have learned over the years of being an early riser to appreciate each day thoroughly.  I am at an age now (not over the hill but no longer at the bottom looking up) that each day has more value than when I was younger. At some point in my middle-aged years I realized the day that just ended was gone forever! Each day passes like a grain of sand that falls through the hour glass. When it is through...and there are only so many left.  Our life is like that.  Today will never come again. Yesterday is gone. We can definitely prepare for tomorrow, but when tomorrow becomes today we must make the most of it.

What can I do today that will impact tomorrow in a positive way? What can I give my children today they will remember for the rest of their lives? Is arguing with those I love so important that I'm willing to purchase it with time I'll never get back? Ephesians 4: 26 says, "Be angry, and yet do not sin; so do not let the sun go down on your anger." I know now Paul was not only encouraging us NOT to give an opportunity to the devil. He was also telling us that when the sun goes down the day has ended. And that day, spent in anger toward someone, is gone forever.

Most of us look at the end of our natural lives as final. However, even from a natural perspective what we do today has an effect on people long after we are gone. In addition, what we do today has an incredible eternal effect on ourselves! That's why Paul writes that we should "redeem the time because the days are evil". It's quite easy to get involved in evil that has negative effects on our families and ourselves. But that evil also has an effect on us eternally.  It takes a firm commitment to Jesus, and an appreciation of today's breath of life to redeem our time.  

Finally let me encourage you to take a break. Stop...take a deep breath. Look around at the day happening around you. Slow time down a bit by enjoying the beauty of the day. Let me emphasize once again that every second that passes by is gone forever, and you've only got so many left.

768780: The Pursuit of God The Pursuit of God
By A.W. Tozer

Do you hunger for a vibrant spiritual life? Join Tozer in his passionate search for God! Offering relevant, time-tested insights, he encourages you to seek a personal relationship with your heavenly Father with single-mindedness, clarity, and commitment. His powerful reflections are complemented by devotional thoughts from Charles Swindoll, Britt Merrick, and others. 192 pages, softcover from Regal.

The Israel-Arab conflict

Please take the 7 minutes to view this video. It explains the conflict between Israel and Palestine as it exists today. While this video touches more on modern history, modern history is the result of what started way back in Biblical times. 

The mainstream news media reports Middle East events as if Israel is the bad one. Yes, war is never a good thing, and sadly innocent people die. But sometimes war is necessary. This video explains why Israel must defend herself against those who have always wanted to destroy her. Add to that the truth that the nation of Israel is God's chosen people. When all is said and done, God will fulfill His promised, glorious destiny for Israel. I am glad to be a friend of Israel!

Please share this post if you will. Thanks!  

63799: The Battle for Jerusalem

The Battle for Jerusalem

By John Hagee

In the infancy of the twenty-first century, Americans struggle to respond to the violent terrorists attacks that invaded our shores on September 11,2001. Citizens of the most powerful country on earth watched in horrified astonishment as a handful of men brought the Untied State to its knees. Wall Street quaked, national air traffic grounded to a halt, and normal life ceased to exist. To understand causes behind these events, we must look at the ancient and contemporary conflicts between Arabs and Jews. In this updated version of The Battle for Jerusalem, John Hagee explores the powerful significance of the Temple Mount, a thirty-five acre parcel that is the most fiercely contested real estate on earth. In clear terms Hagee also explains how the situation in Israel will continue to affect global politics, America's energy supply, and the world economy. Terrorists are motivated by more than political and economic reasons. They are also motivated by their extreme religious beliefs, and the repercussions of the strife between good and evil will continue to reverberate across the planet. Make no mistake--the significance of the ancient city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount will never diminish. These two names will become more frequent in the world media as God reveals His plan for the ages, which unfolds in the battle for Jerusalem

205288: Dateline Jerusalem: An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East Dateline Jerusalem: An Eyewitness Account of Prophecies Unfolding in the Middle East
By Chris Mitchell

History's final chapter will be written in Jerusalem.

When an Iranian president thunders a murderous threat or an obscure Turkish drunkard has a dream in Mecca or a Jewish couple from Brooklyn lands at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, these events might seem disconnected. But they're not. In Dateline Jerusalem, CBN News correspondent Chris Mitchell connects the dots and unveils Jerusalem as the epicenter and crossroads of the spiritual, political, and, yes, supernatural worlds.

For thousands of years, Jerusalem's powerful draw has always transcended simple economics, military strategy, and religious affiliation.

In our own time, as the Arab Spring threatens to become an Islamic Winter, one commentator warns: "The Arab Spring doesn't lead to democracy, it leads to Jerusalem." Indeed, the fragile peace of Israel is in new peril as violent Islamic factions vie for control of surrounding nations. Yet Muslims are converting to Christianity in record numbers. Dateline Jerusalem untangles and chronicles all this through the riveting narrative of a Christian reporter in the upheaval of the modern Fertile Crescent.

We live in a world where we cannot afford to be ill informed. What happens in the strategic Middle East, Israel, and Jerusalem is critical. It matters to you. Today's news might focus on Washington, New York, London, or Moscow, but history's final chapter will be written in Jerusalem.

Grace Defines Who And What You Really Are

Who are you? What are you? Actually I know that if you're reading this post you are at least a human being. If I don't know you personally, I probably don't know who your are. There is One however, who knows who and what you are, because He created you in Christ to be that way.

Who are you? Are you the product of your past? Do your past failures define who you really are? Do your accomplishments and works define what you are? The truth is, it's time for we followers of Jesus Christ to understand who and what we Him. It is not by our bad works, or good works that we are defined...but by His grace. The real you has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with Him!

The Apostle Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament. He was used mightily of God to do great exploits. The life Paul lived still greatly impacts the church today. But listen to what Paul writes: "For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Cor. 15:9)

Obviously Paul considered himself to be one of the least of the Apostles because he was way down on the list of those whom Jesus appeared to (Chronologically speaking). He was not one of the original Apostles, even though God used him more than many of them. Paul did not consider himself fit to be called an Apostle (much less actually be an Apostle) because he had persecuted the newly born church with fervent zeal. He put folks in prison for believing in and serving Jesus. He even persecuted some to the death. He was on his way to Damascus with authorization to persecute Christians there, and to drag some back to Jerusalem, when Jesus invaded his life. Paul was drastically changed by the Lord Jesus. He was never the same after that divine confrontation on the road! Grace is what changed him. God's grace.

Paul was well aware of his past mistakes and present struggles with them. But he didn't let them define who he was, or what he was. He went on to say, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them (other apostles), yet not I, but the grace of God with me." (1 Cor. 15:10) No matter how evil or good (by religious standards) Paul's past was, and how much he struggled with it as a Christian, he understood the defining power of grace. It was the grace of God that made Paul who and what he was. He was secure in that!

Are you struggling with sins or mistakes of your past? Do you struggle with your humanity?  Are you struggling with the fact that you are struggling? You are not alone.The fact that you struggle doesn't make you saved or unsaved. God's grace is what saves. God's grace is what defines who and what you are because you are saved.

And finally, I have a feeling Paul struggled with the fact that he persecuted the church. I'm sure the enemy reminded him constantly of what he did. But what Paul did has no bearing on who and what he now is in Christ. "He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:17) As a born-again follower of Jesus, you are the righteousness of God. Even when you stumble and fall as a follower of Christ....who and what you really are is the righteousness of God. By God's grace you are what you are. By God's grace you are who you are. It is time for you (and me) to walk and live in that grace.

6691100: If Not for the Grace of God Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations & Struggle If Not for the Grace of God Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations & Struggle
By Joyce Meyer

You may have heard the term grace defined as "undeserved favor." While this is true, grace is much more than that. It is the power of God available to meet all your needs. Everything you receive from God must come by grace through faith. In If Not for the Grace of God, bestselling author Joyce Meyer explains the power of the grace of God and how you can receive it through faith. Joyce teaches the difference between having faith in God, which will bring you into peace and rest, and having faith in your own abilities, which will bring you into frustration. By applying the principles outlined in this book, you will learn what grace is, the power of grace, how to be free from worry and frustration, how to live a holy life by grace and much more.
7976EB: If Not for the Grace of God: Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations and Struggles - eBook If Not for the Grace of God: Learning to Live Independent of Frustrations and Struggles - eBook
By Joyce Meyer

How Are You Raising Your Children?

A day in the life of a typical Christian parent with children at home is pretty hectic. Today it doesn't matter how old the children are (child or teenager) families are consumed with the activities the children are involved in. Whether it is soccer, football, baseball, dance, music, after school activities, (I'll stop with just these few), parents are continually on the go, and the children also are consumed.

Today many children have their own smart phones and are consumed with talking, texting, gaming, or social networking.....continually. Add to that, movies, TV, and homework. Is there any time for God in their lives? I'm not talking about church on Sundays. I don't mean an occasional midweek service.

Christian are YOU raising your children? Are you training them to be servants of God? Or, are you waiting and hoping (in the midst of all the secular activity) they will one day make the decision on their own to serve God?

The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) This scripture carries so much truth and power. Train up a child to serve God, even years and years later he/she will still be serving God! (Steve's paraphrase.) To train a child is to teach, instruct, admonish, encourage, demonstrate, and prepare them to serve God. Training changes the life of a child. And this my friend changes the world!

Many younger children from Christian homes today know more about Power Rangers and Transformers than they do the Word of God. Many are fluent in the language of texting, and know more about the latest video games than they know about fervent prayer. I recently watched a Christian TV show about short-term missions. A short-term missionary took his 6 and 8 year old sons to Central America. He had prepared them to preach the gospel. They did! While they still acted exactly like 6 and 8 year old boys, they were also prepared to preach short, but very powerful messages about Jesus. Many adults received salvation, and many were healed as a result of their preaching and their prayers. Christian parents, how are you training your children? Are teaching them to live for Jesus...NOW?

"How do I train up my child in the way he or she should go?" The answer to this is very simple. Obey God's Word. Just do it! Here are just a few things you must do to train up your child to serve God:
  1. You must live for Him 24 X 7. Be the same at home as you are at church or around other Christians.
  2. Take the time to pray daily with your children. Not just a little "bless them" prayer as they run out the door. Teach them the importance of the power of prayer, by praying with them. Teach them to pray for you and others as they grow.
  3. Share the Word with them daily. Have a family devotion in which you read verses of Scripture to them and explain the Scriptures. Then when they're a little older have them read Scripture and explain them to you. Teach them that the Word of God (and prayer) take priority over all their extracurricular activities!
  4. Be real with your children. When you make a mistake, admit it. Apologize to them when you are wrong. Pride will keep you from this, but don't let it. Be real. Be honest. Be a Godly example in every area.
  5. Daddy, love Mommy. Demonstrate your love for her to the children. Mommy, love Daddy and don't belittle him. Let the children see you love each other more than anyone else...outside of God. Children thrive now and in the future who come from homes in which Daddy and Mommy love each other, and Jesus is the foundation of their love.
You can train your children to love Jesus more than you do! How? You love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If you are not completely committed, don't expect them to be either. But if you are...expect them to soar in the days and years to come!

In the Islamic world children are trained from a very early age. They are indoctrinated in the things of Islam. Nothing is more important to them than Islam. Many are prepared to give their lives for the cause of Islam. Christian parent...are you training your child or children to serve God? Are you training them to lay down their lives for the cause of Jesus Christ? Or do they spend the majority of their time looking to a smart phone, a computer screen, or television? Could they share the gospel with one of their peers? Can you? It's time to wake up? Your personal world will be controlled by evil if you don't raise up a generation of warriors who stand for Jesus and His righteousness. Prepare you children now. Don't wait until it is too late!

29948EB: Training Children to Be Strong in Spirit - eBook Training Children to Be Strong in Spirit - eBook
By Michael Pearl

Learn how to develop wisdom, self-discipline and other virtues by making a few simple changes in how you raise your children. By doing so, you will put them in the stream of God's special favor and throughout their lives, they will attract the favor of others.
1002582: Training your Child to be Sexually Pure Training your Child to be Sexually Pure
By Fred Stoeker

Mother and son Lisa and Tyler Sexton discuss their amazing story of parenting a child with special needs and how - through God's work and faithfulness - Tyler was able to overcome limitations and pursue a medical degree. Includes the additional audio from the "Men: Maintaining Sexual Purity" broadcast.

Integrity Or Perversion...What's Your Choice?

As a child I remember election day in our little town of Bay Springs. It was a big thing, especially if it was a Gubernatorial or Presidential election. On election night the streets of downtown would be filled with people. At the top of the hill extra lights were strung up, and there was a really, really big black board on which elections results would be posted. Someone would climb the ladder periodically to change the figures as the returns came in. There would be music, and even food! Great memories!

Another thing I remember about political races growing up was that folks ran on their own merits and accomplishments. It was not necessary to tear down your opponent in order to exalt yourself. It was truly "May the best person win." Sadly now it is, "May the worst, filthiest, dirtiest, scurviest, low-down dog lose! And I'll make sure you're the worst, filthiest, dirtiest, scurviest, low-down dog by slinging mud all over you!" These days I actually dread (with a passion) election season.

It amazes me! It also sickens me to see adults conspiring and dirt digging to take down their opponents. I will venture to say that in the latest Senatorial race here in Mississippi about 95% of all political advertising was about dirt on the other guy. This means that maybe (just maybe) we got only 5% of legitimate stuff on the candidates running. Just curious...are you tired of all the mudslinging?

One thing is missing today that was prevalent years ago in our land. It is integrity. Integrity is a missing virtue. The lack of integrity among our leaders is the result of the erosion of morality in politics, as well as all throughout our land. What is integrity? Integrity is adherence to moral and ethical standards. It is soundness of moral character. Integrity is just plain ole honesty. My, my, how we need integrity in our world today. Integrity is a Godly virtue. Integrity is founded on the goodness and righteousness of God. One who truly walks in the righteousness of God walks in integrity.

The Bible contains a wealth Scripture about integrity. "He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out." (Psalm 10:9) The Bible is clear about something: the lack of integrity means an abundance of perversion. Perversion is manifested in forms like dishonesty, irresponsibility, greed, deception, lies, blame-shifting, and more. Think about this politicians and leaders of all levels in our land; if you are not walking in integrity, you are walking in perversion. (See above verse.)

One of the greatest examples of integrity from the Scripture is Job. Job was a contemporary of Abraham. Job loved and served God. Job lost everything. He lost his children, cattle, land, and just about everything rather abruptly. His friends came to him believing he had sinned against God somehow for all of this to happen to him. But job insisted time and time again, that he was righteous before God. He emphatically claimed integrity before God, and perceived God was testing him. Listen to the council of his lovely wife (whom he did not lose), "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9) Instead of listening to his "comforters", Job stood firm on the integrity that was rooted within his heart. He knew he hadn't sinned against God in a way that would cause him to lose it all.

Job said a bit later, ""As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth." (Job 19:25) He was convinced that in the end (or in God's timing) He would vindicate him as he stood firmly on integrity. He did! "The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold." (Job 42:10) The Bible says God blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. He blessed all of his family as well. Integrity always wins out in the end if we hold to it!

I challenge you right now to walk in integrity. Walk in God's righteousness, even when no one (but God) is watching. Walk in integrity because your love for God is so strong you simply want to please Him. Resist the pressure to promote self, and trust God. Help me bring back the virtue of integrity to a world steeped in perversion. What do you think?

79424: The Power of Integrity The Power of Integrity
By John MacArthur

Total integrity---in your character and in your conduct---is crucial if you want to truly live for Christ. But how do you cultivate it? In this powerful book, MacArthur draws from the examples of biblical men to show how both men and women can build lives of godly integrity, inside and out. 192 pages, softcover from Crossway Books.

280339: Great Lives: Joseph: A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness Great Lives: Joseph: A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness
By Charles Swindoll

He was raised in a dysfunctional family, resisted tremendous temptation, and had his tenacious faith severely tested in prison. And God blessed Joseph with great achievements and honor. Take a fresh look at this triumphant story of forgiveness---you'll learn practical lessons on integrity and how you can stand firm in the face of betrayal. 240 pages, softcover from Nelson.