Friday, May 30, 2008

Recently I was a witness of one funny and at the same time absurd event that happened in a city of Ternopil, West of Ukraine. I was driving in the center of the city and saw a road police loading a Mercedes car on their wrecker truck.  dutch car (4)

It was a regular event that happens often in Ternopil, as our road police set a lot of forbidden parking places ( that were allowed before) and in case of driver's violation, they come with the special wrecker and take a car to their parking place. Then a driver needs to pay money (fine) to take his/her car back. It is a regular driving rule that exists in almost every country..with the exception, that here there are no signs that tells about forbidden parking, not enough parking zones( or better to say almost not at all and that police acts like "thefts" when they take a car. They look first if the driver is not around, then "sneak" , load a car and then - " run away". Usually if a driver is back, he makes them give his/her car back, as their action are not fully legally.  dutch car

So when I drove closer, I saw familiar car tags and they were not Ukrainian ones. This year we visited Holland and I recognized Dutch tags!  It was so ridiculous for me that I felt sorry for my country. It was ok, when we punish our drivers ( as I mentioned before  not on  a " legal and true base", but it looked too awful that the police did it to foreigners, who came to Ternopil to be guests and  expect to warm acceptance. Here you are warm Ukrainian police acceptance!!!dutch car (1)

I took my mobile phone and took some photos with that event. Then drove further and stopped, as wanted to help somehow.

It was a Dutch man with Ukrainian lady ( I couldn't make photos of any of them), and the lady was making calls somewhere, explaining what happened with them. Probably they could be her friends of family. Meanwhile a Dutch man tried to explain to police using  his hands and broken English that he was sorry and he needed his car. The answer of police was in Ukrainian and rude manner - " it is your problem, you were not supposed to park a car here". It was such a sad picture and seeing that I was so sorry for our rudeness toward other people!!dutch car (2)

 

Then me and my coworker came to that couple, trying to help. As soon as we started to talk, Ukrainian lady thanked us for help and told they didn't need any help, as she informed her friends already, who were supposed to help. The Dutch man, just stood close, observing conversation. We wished them the best and went away. Finally the car was loaded on a police truck and taken away. dutch car (5)

There is a moral in this story. If you are in Ukraine - watch the policemen and their truck, as they will appear "sneaking around" and want to take a foreign car, as they can charge more for it.. opr00IPJ 

P.S. Next day I saw accidentally the same car, from the direction of police parking place , so I made conclusion that they were able to take their car just on the next day. But glad that they were able to take it anyway...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

visje posterhttp://www.visjeposters.nl/

Wanted to share with you with this great powerful  resource for inspiration. This is a Dutch website with great Christian cards that  are really awesome. Some of them I have posted on this blog and think that will post more.

Even it is Dutch resource, there are many posters, cards in English. So be encouraged!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

vis038 What feelings say, what Jesus says.

Feeling says: You are so weak
Jesus says: That's how you can show my power

Feeling says: Build a wall
Jesus says: Nothing can separate My love from you

Feeling says: You should bow down
Jesus says: Lift your head up

Feeling says: How can you carry on?
Jesus says: If you expect from Me

Feeling says: Look around you
Jesus says: Look at Me

Feeling says: You will never overcome this
Jesus says: I set you free

Feeling says: People don't like you
Jesus says: I'm FOR you, who will be against you?

Feeling says: You stumble again and again
Jesus says: I hold you

Feeling says: You have so many cares
Jesus says: Give Me your burdens

Feeling says: You always have shortcomings
Jesus says: In Me you are perfect

Feeling says: You can only cry
Jesus says: Rejoice always

Feeling says: You are inferior
Jesus says: You are precious for Me

Feeling says: Again you didn't pray enough
Jesus says: Sleep, and rest in my peace

If you like this verse, please click on the link below and you'll have an address to the website, that has tonnes of such verses and cards (unfortunately, it is in Dutch, but there are in English too).

http://vitalyshalom.blogspot.com/2008/05/great-dutch-website-with-christian.html

Friday, May 23, 2008

What if God was one of us? This flash can bring double meaning to those who see it. One group of Christians criticized it as it was accepted as mockery over God. Another groups thinks that the author wants to say that people are mean, but God is good.

I personally was encouraged by this flash, so you, please, decide yourself.

The written words to this songs helped me to understand what the singer sings about. So have put the lyric for this song on My LIfe Review in Encouraging Stories, so if you need, use this link:

http://vitalyshalom.blogspot.com/2008/05/what-if-god-was-one-of-us.html

monitor I was sent this wonderful program that I enjoyed very much. It is a light and easy to use. All you need is Adobe Flash Player installed in your browser.   Just click on a link below. Waiting for your comments.

http://www.libo.ru/i447.html

JoanOsbourneOneOfUsCDSingleCover Joan Osborne - One of us

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with him in all his glory
what would you ask if you had just one question?

Yeah, Yeah, God is great
Yeah, Yeah, God is good
Yeah Yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

If God had a face
What would it look like?
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and Jesus and the saints
and all the Prophets

Yeah Yeah God is great
Yeah Yeah God is good
Yeah Yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody callin' on the phone
cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

       Children005God the Parent
      Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to God's kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: "Don't."
      "Don't what?" Adam asked.
      "Don't eat the Forbidden Fruit." God replied.
      "Forbidden fruit? We got Forbidden Fruit?
      Hey, Eve..we got Forbidden Fruit!"
      "No way!"
      "Where?"
      "Don't eat that fruit!" said God.
      "Why?"
      "Because I am your Creator and I said so!" said God, wondering why he hadn't stopped after making the elephants.
      A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and was angry.
      "Didn't I tell you not to eat that fruit?" the 'First Parent' asked.
      "Uh huh," Adam replied.
      "Then why did you?"
      "I dunno," Eve answered.
      "She started it!" Adam said.
      "Did not!"
      "DID so!"
      "DID NOT!"
      Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own...thus the pattern was set, and it has never changed.

jesus praying Overcoming Swaying Faith                                                     Matthew 14:22-32
The Lord wants to do far more in believers' lives and through their witness than most are willing to allow. We believe that He can do great things, but the problem is that we are not sure He will act on our behalf. Consequently, we feel we are unable to trust Him fully for personal answers.

Vacillating between faith and doubt like a boat in a storm makes for a sick and tired Christian. If we desire to calm the sea of faith, we must first act on our will rather than simply making choices according to feelings or sight. Peter walked on water because he proceeded in trust instead of by reason. As believers, we will not become stable in our faith until we recognize that believing God is a choice.

The second action of a faithful believer is to focus attention on God.When we look at our circumstances, we are restricted to our own limited view of the situation. As long as Peter was staring at Jesus, his feet stayed on the water's surface, but the moment he looked at the wind-whipped waves, he began to sink.
Finally, we are to maintain our focus on the Lord by keeping our mind in the Word. We cannot trust our sight, reason, or knowledge to steer us through a storm of doubt. All we can truly depend upon is Scripture.

Choose to believe that the Lord will work on your behalf. Then focus your attention upon Him, and claim a promise from Scripture that applies to the situation challenging you. When those three actions regularly become a part of your life, you will stop swaying. The heavenly Father will honor your steadfast faith.

Water and fire The Faith to Hold Out
Hebrews 12:1-3
Sometimes our life seems like a long, dark tunnel. Perhaps we are unable to discover a solution for a problem, or we cannot find relief from pain. Regardless of the direction we turn, we find no hope for anything better than our present circumstances.

Thankfully, we serve a God who feels our pain and knows our limitations first-hand. Jesus Christ walked through the valley of the shadow of death and cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"(Mark 15:34). This means that when our faith is stretched to the breaking point, our strength is exhausted, and our dreams are broken like shattered glass, Jesus understands. And He asks us to hold out when everything in us screams to give up.
Giving up means abandoning God's help for our own puny strength.We try to manipulate a situation or simply avoid pain. In essence, we're choosing to believe that Satan in his worldly power is stronger than Christ within us—which is the exact opposite of what the Bible says is true. (1 John 4:4) Of course, the Devil is not more powerful, but we let him win a battle if we give up on the assurance that God will see us through difficulty. When we have that attitude, we miss the Father's blessing and limit our usefulness in His kingdom.

Even when we cannot detect His involvement, God is working every moment on our problem. But we must trust His perfect timing for revealing the answer. Your Father knows your hurt, and He will bring you through that dark tunnel. Do not give up before reaching His blessing

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

jesus and boat The Swaying Battle of Faith
James 1:1-8
It is easy to have faith that God is going to do something in the distant future. For example, if you were to walk into a church service and ask the congregation, "Who believes that Jesus Christ is returning?" nearly every hand would go up. But if you ask an indebted man whether he thinks God will reduce his liability in three months, he is likely to express doubts. And yet our day-to-day life is where we must practice unswerving faith if we hope to be effective for the Lord.

James tells us that our faith cannot be like the waves of the sea. Stormy waters rush first in one direction and then seem to double back on themselves and race the opposite way. In the Christian life, we rush forward to do the Lord's will until He makes a difficult request or allows a painful experience to confront us. Suddenly we are driven in the other direction by our doubts.
The reason we hesitate to trust God fully is that we judge our circumstances by what we see. Sight is often the enemy of faith because our eyes and brains cannot envision a method for the Lord to do what He promises. Our scriptural knowledge that God can do anything and our experience of His past faithfulness make us want to follow His will. But the obvious impracticality of our situation fills us with doubt. And so we are tossed like a sea wave.

Faith can overcome doubt only through action. We turn a blind eye to circumstances and make the first step toward doing God's work. If we exercise our faith every day, those seas of doubt cannot rage so fiercely.

Jesus and Peter Why We Hesitate to Trust
Luke 5:1-11
On the Sea of Galilee, the optimal time for fishing had passed hours earlier, so the fishermen cleaned their nets instead. But one lowered his into the water at the request of an itinerant preacher. The reward for Peter's trust was a net-breaking catch.

As believers, we want equal success in over-coming doubts so that we can courageously follow God. But sometimes we rely on our own faculties to decide whether or not we will trust Him. Perhaps what He is asking of us seems unreasonable. For instance, the principle of tithing goes against human wisdom: When we give God one-tenth of our income, He makes the remaining 90 percent spread farther than a hoarded 100 percent could.
In other situations, we hesitate to trust the Lord because our knowledge or experience contradicts His plan. All of Peter's expertise indicated that fishing at such an hour would be useless. Sometimes God challenges believers to act even when they do not understand how they can be successful.

Listening to others' opinions is another stumbling block to unswerving faith. There is a time for seeking godly counsel, but when the Lord makes His will clear, we are to act. We are not to pick up the phone to ask a few friends what they think. No opinion matters except that of Jehovah, who does not make mistakes in presenting His plan.
The next time you find yourself in doubt, think about what is causing you to hesitate. Then you can pray specifically to overcome the faith hurdle and move on to receive your reward.

Monday, May 19, 2008

storm It was the middle of the night. There were high winds, crashing waves, low visibility, and only a small boat on the Sea of Galilee. For the disciples, the situation had reached crisis proportions, and Jesus was not with them. He was on the mountainside praying, and they were alone.

Hidden by the storm, perhaps they thought Jesus had forgotten them. However, He knew exactly where the disciples were and what they were experiencing. Though we can’t see Jesus physically, He is omniscient—He can identify where we are at every moment. No darkness can hide us; no trial can obscure His vision. We are always seen, known, and understood!
Leaving that place of prayer, Jesus sought out the disciples. He will do the same for us as well. However, the disciples did not recognize Him because He went to them by walking on the water. Jesus often does not come the way we might expect. Our preconceived ideas of how He works can cause us to wonder where He is and fail to recognize His nearness.

Experiencing Jesus’ presence in hard times can teach us precious truths. During an earlier rough sea adventure, the disciples observed both Jesus’ trust in God and His authority over nature. (Matthew 8:23-26) In the latest storm, they watched the Lord walk on water—and they saw one of their own do it too. Through the storms, they learned who Jesus was, what He could do, and what their own potential was.
When turmoil hits, let’s ask for spiritual eyes to discern the Lord’s presence.. Then, we must listen for His voice and obey. (John 10:27)

Through Troubled Waters

boat
Psalm 32:1-8
In a terrible storm, the familiar disappears because swirling rain blocks our vision. Difficulties bring about the same effect in our minds. They create strong emotions that cloud our ability to think. God has given us some promises to help us find our way through trials.

First, the Lord has committed Himself to instructing us. When we wait on Him, He will give us insight into our situation—since He sees all things, He knows what steps we are to take. We may be surprised at the instruction, though, for His ways are not like our human ones. (Isaiah 55:8-9) For example, when people hurt us badly, God’s Spirit will remind us that vengeance is the Lord’s; our part is to live at peace with them. (Romans 12:17-19)
Second, God has promised to teach us how to apply the truth He has given us. As we meditate on Scripture, His Spirit will show us the relevance of God’s Word to our problem. Let’s imagine we are faced with someone making unreasonable financial demands of us. How are we to respond? God may tell us to meet the request or even to give extra in order to bless that person. (Matthew 5:40-41)
Third, the Lord provides guidance as He keeps watch over us. When company is present, a parent may quietly guide a child’s behavior through various “looks” in order to encourage, instruct, or warn. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual promptings to guide our actions and decisions.
What troubled waters are you trying to navigate? These promises are stepping stones to finding your way through those harsh circumstances.

Learning in Troubled Waters

Peter Psalm 34:1-19
God promises that when we face challenging times, He will keep His divine eye upon us. He wants to teach and guide us through the difficulty, but we must position ourselves to respond to His signals. That is, we need to:
Have a real longing to follow God’s way and His way only. The Scriptures compare this kind of yearning to “a deer panting for water”(Psalm 42:1),which should describe us each time we choose to wait for God’s direction rather than act on our own.

Be willing to be taught by God. He will transform trials into times of learning for those who look to Him for guidance. Such was the case with Hannah as she pleaded for a child (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10). It was also true for Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. (John 11:17-27) We need willing spirits if we are to learn what God wants to teach us in the “classroom” of His choice. Most of us would design a comfortable, pleasurable setting in which to gain understanding. But God knows the best way to instill wisdom and may choose pain and trouble as the place of instruction.

Yield to His will. Before we know God’s solution, He asks us to commit ourselves to His way. The Lord calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to acknowledge our helplessness without Him. (John 15:5) To declare His way is always best.
Troubles are an unwelcome fact of life, but they can have value. Often what we wanted to avoid turns out to be the very thing we needed. God asks that we have a tender heart, a teachable spirit, and a yielded will. Does this describe you?

God's nature The Three Un-Wise Men

by Phil Bliss

Meet Joe. Joe is not his real name and in fact Joe could be anybody's name. Joe believes in God but doesn't feel he needs to have any type of relationship with God. To Joe God is this supernatural being that created the Earth and keeps the world in balance and gives miracles and healings when someone is sick. That is the extent of God to Joe. Joe believes that religion is for those that have a void in their life. He has no voids. Joe graduated from college and started working for 25 thousand a year. Fourteen years later, Joe is making four times what he made when he first graduated from college, he has a house in the suburbs, a wife, a child and a dog. He will probably be a VP before he is 40 and he works out three times a week so he is in really good health. Joe doesn't need God.

Meet Jack. Jack is not his real name and in fact Jack could be anybody's name. Jack believes in God but doesn't like God because Jack feels God doesn't like him. Jack sees Christians that seem to have happy lives and thinks God likes them. You see Jack has had about seven different jobs since graduating from High School 18 years ago. The mines close or the plants close or the work is just too strenuous for his back problems. Jack often wonders why God doesn't like him but never asks God. Jack just continues to feel miserable and continues to hang out with the guys on Saturday night and laugh at the old folks as they leave the catholic church across from the local bar. Jack doesn't need God.

Meet James. James is not his real name and in fact James could be anybody's name. James does not believe in God. James is fresh out of college and has a degree that he will probably never use but at least he has it. For now he is working odd jobs and wherever he can. James is free and young and loves a good party. James doesn't believe in God because he never learned the truth about God. James grew up without prayer in school and was taught evolution and it sounded good so it could not be wrong. James thinks that religious people are cool but they are really missing something. He believes they make up a God to cover up their iniquities. He knows he has some iniquities, but he covers them up with some free time with his friends. James is considering what life has to offer him and he sees no future. He thinks life is a big waste and is waiting for someone to give him the real meaning of life so he can discuss it with him. James doesn't need God.

The fact is that we all need God. He does exist and he does not hate anyone. He loves all of us but he hates our sins. He hates the pride that Joe has. He hates the self pity that Jack feels and he hates the lack of trust that James harbors. The truth is that Joe, Jack and James are like many people alive today. Many people feel they don't need God because they have all they need in their jobs and their life in the suburbs. Many people feel that God has forsaken them and they don't want any part of him. Many others were never told about God and have a hard time believing he could exist. Jesus said to his disciples "Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." He told us to do this because he knew there were Joes, Jacks and James's in the world. He told us to do this because he loves every single one of them.

If you are a Joe or a Jack or a James, try to find out more about God. He does love you. If you are not a Joe or a Jack or a James, but know one of them. Pray for them and speak to them. Share your life with them and tell them how a relationship with Jesus Christ has changed your life.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

rain One rainy afternoon I was driving along one   of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. "Dad, I'm thinking of something."

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear. "What are you thinking?" I asked.

"The rain! ;" she began, "is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away." After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Aspen."

Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?" Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer: "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Child For those who misuse the word love, even kids have a better understanding than adults. A group of professional people posted this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds: "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have magined.

1. When my grandma got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her now all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.
Rebecca - age 8

2. When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You just know that your name is safe in their mouths.
Billy - age 4
3. Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving Cologne and they go out and smell each other.
Kari - age 5
4. Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French Fries without making them give you any of theirs.
Chrissy - age 6
5. Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.
Terri - age 4
6. Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.
Danny - age 7
7. Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.
Emily - age 8
8. Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
Bobby - age 7
9. If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.
Nikka - age 6
10. Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.
Noelle - age 7
11. Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends, even after they know each other so well.
Tommy - age 6
12. My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.
Clare - age 6
13. Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.
Chris - age 7
14. Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.
Mary Ann - age 4
15. When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.
Karen - age 7
16. Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and doesn't think it's gross.
Mark - age 6
17. You really shouldn't say "I LOVE YOU" unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.
Jessica - age 8

And the winner was a 4 year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly man who had just lost his wife. When the child saw the man cry, the little boy went over into the man's yard and climbed on top of the man's lap and just sat there.
When the boy's mother asked him what he'd said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No wonder they call Him Saviour He Understands

Cries of loneliness. Tune out the traffic and turn down the TV. The cry is there. You can hear their cries. You can hear them in the convalescent home among the sighs and the shuffling feet. You can hear them in the prisons among the moans of shame and the calls for mercy. You can hear them if you walk the manicured streets of suburban America, among the aborted ambitions and aging homecoming queens. Listen for it in the halls of our high schools where peer pressure weeds out the “have-nots” from the “haves.”

Many of you have been spared this cruel cry. Oh, you have been homesick or upset a time or two. But despair? Far from it. Suicide? Of course not. Be thankful that it hasn’t knocked on your door. Pray that it never will. If you have yet to fight this battle, you are welcome to read on if you wish, but I’m really writing to someone else.

I am writing to those who know this cry firsthand. I’m writing to those of you whose days are bookended with broken hearts and long evenings. I’m writing to those of you who can find a lonely person simply by looking in the mirror.
For you, loneliness is a way of life. The sleepless nights. The lonely bed. The distrust. The fear of tomorrow. The unending hurt.
When did it begin? In your childhood? At the divorce? At retirement? At the cemetery? When the kids left home?

Maybe you have fooled everyone. No one knows that you are lonely. On the outside you are packaged perfectly. Your smile is quick. Your job is stable. Your clothes are sharp. Your waist is thin. Your calendar is full. Your walk brisk. Your talk impressive. But when you look in the mirror, you fool no one. When you are alone, the duplicity ceases and the pain surfaces.

Or maybe you don’t try to hide it. Maybe you have always been outside the circle looking in, and everyone knows it. Your conversation is a bit awkward. Your companionship is seldom requested. Your clothes are dull. Your looks are common. Ziggy is your hero and Charlie Brown is your mentor.
Am I striking a chord? If I am, if you have nodded or sighed in understanding, I have an important message for you.

The most gut-wrenching cry of loneliness in history came not from a prisoner or a widow or a patient. It came from a hill, from a cross, from a Messiah. “My God, my God,” he screamed, “why did you abandon me!” (Matthew 27:46)
Never have words carried so much hurt. Never has one being been so lonely.
Out of the silent sky come the words screamed by all who walk in the desert of loneliness. “Why? Why did you abandon me?”

I keep thinking of all the people who cast despairing eyes toward the dark heavens and cry “Why?”
And I imagine him. I imagine him listening. I picture his eyes misting and a pierced hand brushing away a tear. And although he may offer no answer, although he may solve no dilemma, although the question may freeze painfully in midair, he who also was once alone, understands.

(extract is taken from "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior" by Max Lucado)a link to buy the whole book:

http://www.maxlucado.net/shopping6.00/shopexd.asp?id=23402

Friday, May 9, 2008

   http://www.interviewwithgod.com/forgiven/ 

Christ

"We conclude that a person has God's approval by faith, not by his own efforts" (Romans 3:28) (by God's Word Translation)

Cannot locate it right on the page, so click  on the link above. Be blessed!

http://www.interviewwithgod.com/proverbs31/

wise wife

  

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty evaporates, but a woman who has the fear of the LORD should be praised" (Proverbs 31:30)(by God's Word Translation)

Just click on this link and you ''ll be automatically brought there. The flash is awesome!!!

http://www.interviewwithgod.com/majesty/

Jesus birth

 

 

 

 

"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him?" (Mattew 2:2) (by New International Version)

I believe that even it is not a Christmas time, but for us the birth of Christ has to happen every day. Every day we should remind ourself that He is born and together with wise men, who came from the east to Jerusalem, we should come and bow down before Him. But not before a child...but before a King, in His Majesty...

heart

"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open up your heart..."

"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. "I'll cut your heart open, "he continued, "to see how much damage has been done..."

"But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus in it.”
The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly.   

"When I see how much damage has been done, I'll plan what to do next."

"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The hymns all say He lives there. You'll find Him in my heart."

The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll find in your heart.  I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels.  And I'll find out if I can make you well."

"You'll find Jesus there too. He lives there."

The surgeon left.  The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery,"...damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration.  No hope for transplant, no hope for cure.

Therapy: painkillers and bed rest.  Prognosis:," here he paused, "death within one year." He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said.  "Why?" he asked aloud. "Why did You do this?  You've put him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've cursed him to an early death. Why?"

The Lord answered and said, The boy, My lamb, was not meant for your flock, and will forever be.  Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and My flock will continue to grow."

The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter.  "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in months.  Why?"

The Lord answered, "The boy, My lamb, shall return to My flock, for he has done his duty: I did not put My lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb."

The surgeon wept.  The surgeon sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?"
"Yes," said the surgeon.

"What did you find?" asked the boy.

"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

God Shouldn't Have Called You

There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you.
But don't worry.
You're in good company.

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Mary was lazy.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul--well, lots of
folks did.

But God doesn't require a job interview. He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses, because He's more our Dad than our Boss. He doesn't look at financial gain or loss. He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

As much as we try, God's gifts are free. We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be Wonderful. Satan says, "You're not worthy." Jesus says, "So what? I AM." Satan looks back and sees our mistakes. God looks back and sees the cross. He doesn't calculate what you did in '78. It's not even on the record. Sure. There are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us. But if we are magically in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He'll use us in spite of who we are, where we've been, or what we look like.

Twenty Whys..


1. WHY SHOULD I SAY I CAN'T
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS I CAN DO ALL THINGS
THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH?
(Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.)

2. WHY SHOULD I LACK
WHEN I KNOW THAT GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL
MY NEEDS ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN
GLORY IN CHRIST JESUS?
(Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.)

3. WHY SHOULD I FEAR
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS GOD HAS NOT GIVEN
ME A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER,
LOVE AND A SOUND MIND?
(Timothy II 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.)

4. WHY SHOULD I BATTLE
WITH UNBELIEF KNOWING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN
TO ME A MEASURE OF FAITH?
(Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that
is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;
but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man
the measure of faith.)

5. WHY SHOULD I BE WEAK
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT THE LORD IS
MY STRENGTH AND TO TAKE ACTION
BECAUSE I KNOW GOD?
(Psalm 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly
against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people
that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. )

6. WHY SHOULD I ALLOW
SATAN VICTORY IN MY LIFE WHEN
HE THAT IS IN ME IS GREATER THAN
HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD?
(John I 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.)

7. WHY SHOULD I FEEL DEFEATED
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD ALWAYS
LEADS ME IN TRIUMPH?
(Corinthians II 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth
us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his
knowledge by us in every place.)

8. WHY SHOULD I LACK WISDOM
WHEN CHRIST BECAME WISDOM TO ME FROM
GOD AND GOD GIVES WISDOM TO ME GENEROUSLY
WHEN I ASK HIM FOR IT?
(Corinthians I 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,
who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,
and sanctification, and redemption:
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him. )

9. WHY SHOULD I BE DEPRESSED
WHEN I CAN CALL TO MIND GOD'S LOVINGKINDNESS,
COMPASSION AND FAITHFULNESS
AND HAVE HOPE?
(Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. )

l0 WHY SHOULD I WORRY AND FRET
WHEN I CAN CAST ALL MY CARES ON CHRIST,
WHO CARES FOR ME?
(Peter I 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.)

11. WHY SHOULD I EVER BE IN BONDAGE
KNOWING THAT THERE IS LIBERTY WHERE
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS?
(Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ
hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.)

12. WHY SHOULD I FEEL CONDEMNATION
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS I AM NOT CONDEMNED
BECAUSE I AM IN CHRIST?
(Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.)

13. WHY SHOULD I FEEL LONELY
WHEN JESUS SAID HE IS WITH ME ALWAYS AND
HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME OR FORSAKE ME ?
(Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world. Amen.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness;
and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said,
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. )

14 WHY SHOULD I FEEL ACCURSED OR VICTIMIZED
WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS THAT CHRIST REDEEMED
ME FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW THAT
I MIGHT RECEIVE HIS SPIRIT?
(Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
being made a curse for us: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith.)

15 WHY SHOULD I BE DISCONTENT
WHEN I, LIKE PAUL, CAN LEARN TO BE
CONTENT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES?
(Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.)

16. WHY SHOULD I FEEL WORTHLESS
WHEN CHRIST BECAME SIN ON MY BEHALF
THAT I MIGHT BECOME THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM?
(Corinthians II 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. )

17. WHY SHOULD I FEEL SELF-CONSCIOUS
AND INSECURE KNOWING THAT NO ONE CAN BE
AGAINST ME WHEN GOD IS FOR ME?
(Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us? )

18. WHY SHOULD I BE CONFUSED
WHEN GOD IS THE AUTHOR OF PEACE AND HE GIVES ME KNOWLEDGE THROUGH HIS
INDWELLING SPIRIT?
(Corinthians I 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion,
but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. )

19 WHY SHOULD I FEEL LIKE A FAILURE
WHEN I AM A CONQUEROR IN ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST?
(Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.)

20. WHY SHOULD I BECOME SO ANXIOUS
WHEN I CAN TAKE COURAGE KNOWING THAT
JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD AND ITS
TRIBULATIONS?

Friday, May 2, 2008

A student and his atheist teacher

There was a professor of philosophy who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic.

For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation.

At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!" In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can't do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces.

All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students thought that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman who happened to enroll. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith...he hoped.

Finally, the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood
up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking, when it hit the ground!"

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken.

The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God's love for them and of His power through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


A story about a woman and her mother-in-law

A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married & went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.
Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all.

Mr. Huang thought for awhile, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you."

Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do "Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body.
Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you, when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. "Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper! r, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother.

After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening. One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law. She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her."

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."

HAVE YOU REALIZED that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you? There is a wise Chinese saying: "The person who loves others will also be loved in return." God might be trying to work in another person's life through you.

"A candle loses nothing if it is used to light another one"