Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the day that we remember those who have fallen, the men and women who have died to serve our country, whether in battle or in peace, those who have sacrificed all for the sake of their fellow man's freedom. Let us never forget how much was given so we could enjoy this day and every day with the freedom that we have.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Putting Your All On the Altar (Day 4)

The Christian life is not adding Jesus to one's own way of life but renouncing that personal way of life for His and being willing to pay whatever cost that may require. -John MacArthur

Psalm 1:2 tells us about a godly man. It says, "His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Do you delight in the law of the Lord? And are you meditating on it day and night?

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer! (Ps. 19:14)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Putting Your All On the Altar (Day 3)

Hungry? Tired? Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

As you immerse yourself in God’s Word and hide it in your heart, I pray that your relationship with God will deepen and your faith in Him will grow stronger and stronger.

The Lord brought encouragement to me today, as He faithfully has been each day. It was through a DVD about the Wurmbrands. After eight and a half years, Pastor Wurmbrand was released from his first imprisonment and you know what he did? For the first three days, he fasted and gave thanks!

I also learned that although Sabina was so hungry that she ate tree bark and grass to sustain her she continued to fast for one day every week -no matter what.

May God bless you and give you more of His grace as you continue to grow in Him.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Putting Your All On the Altar (Day 2)

I wish that saints would cling to Christ half as earnestly as sinners cling to the devil. If we were as willing to suffer for God as some are willing to suffer for their lusts, what perseverance and zeal would be seen on all sides! -Charles Spurgeon

Whoever has Christ in his heart, so that no earthly or temporal things -- not even those that are legitimate and allowed -- are preferred to Him, has Christ as a foundation. But if these things be preferred, then even though a man seem to have faith in Christ, yet Christ is not the foundation to that man. -Augustine

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

May we too be able to say, "Lord we have left all, and have followed You!" (Mark 10:28)

I've heard it said, it doesn't take a great man to be a Christian, it just takes all of him.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Putting Your All On the Altar (Day 1)

I have heard the voice of Jesus calling clearly "Follow Me"
No one else would ever promise life eternal and so free.

All to Thee, I give my all to Thee,
All to Thee, Thine only will I be;
All to Thee, O Christ of Calvary,
My prayer shall ever be, my all to Thee.

Tho' unworthy of salvation, Jesus sought me for His own;
On the cross He died to save me, now I long to make Him known.

All to Thee, I give my all to Thee,
All to Thee, Thine only will I be;
All to Thee, O Christ of Calvary,
My prayer shall ever be, my all to Thee.

Only Jesus is the answer for the happiness we seek;
He alone can lift life's burden, and give strength unto the weak.

All to Thee, I give my all to Thee,
All to Thee, Thine only will I be;
All to Thee, O Christ of Calvary,
My prayer shall ever be,
my all to Thee.

Psalms 37:3-6, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday."

We are told that when we draw near to God and He will draw near to us! Cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts. (James 7:8)

This is the first day. In the beginning we may be filled to the brim with motivation and joy, but be prepared; you will face counter attack from the enemy. Don't let the fire die down.


P.S. What Scripture are you memorizing? Are you learning anything new? Feel free to share things you've gone through along the way. I would love to hear from you. I wouldn't mind seeing a giant comment anytime this week. ; ]

Verse of the Week

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Total Surrender

When the Lord calls you to consecrate your life to Him, He is looking for a living, breathing, moving sacrifice. He wants a total surrender of your will, your intellect, your mind, your five senses, your emotions, your actions.

I pray that you will take a closer look at who you are. From now on you can live your life for a different purpose than for this world alone. I pray that you will hear the call of God and begin to consider eternity as your perspective.

But I must also warn you: If this is your decision, know that you have chosen to walk a narrow road. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He set some conditions before them. The choice you make to follow Christ involves a cost. There will be inconveniences, difficulties, pain and counterattack by Satan.

But praise the Lord, whether you are standing or have fallen, you can rejoice because you have surrendered your self to Him. When everything has been said and done, and the earth as we know it is only a memory, Jesus will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And His approval is all that matters.
-K. P. Yohannan

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time: Use It or Lose It!

John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

Our time here on earth is so precious; every single minute we have is a gift.

Before Jesus left this earth He said, "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." (John 17:4) He got his job done. He did his work while it was still day.

"Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35)

We have work to do! As Christians we have been given a commission, we have a race to run, a task to carry out, and goal to accomplish.

So, let me ask you: How are you using your time?

Maybe you want to spend the next couple days and chart down what you really spend your time on. But I don't think it will be that hard for you to figure out what you're spending the biggest percent of you time on.

How often I waste precious moments I could spend with my Saviour!

"Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?" -William Carry

Psalm 63:1,3-4 says, "O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live;"

So here is my challenge:

I challenge you to dramatically change your lifestyle for one week; drawing nearer to God, by applying these verse to your life for one week.

1: "O GOD, You are my God; early will I seek You!" For one week I challenge you to start rising earlier than normal to pray, seek, read His Word, and praise Him. I'm not going to give you a set time to wake-up at. I chose to minus 15 minutes each day for the first few days, and then minus 10 minutes for another couple days, and now I take away 5 minutes each day.

For example: If I normally woke up at 7:00,
Day 1's wake up time would be: 6:45,
Day 2: 6:30,
Day 3: 6:15,
Day 4: 5:05, and so on.

2: "My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Because Your loving kindness is better than life" Here is where I challenge you to do something many Christians would call "too extreme" or say that I'm "just being legalistic". Fasting. Again, I'm not going to give you any specific requirements for fasting, I just want to challenge you to do it this week. Life is more than food, and His loving kindness more than life.

"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger... that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

I have to admit, many times in the past I would back down, not wanting to fast from such delicious and satisfying food. But I can truly say that there have been times when I was so satisfied with the Bread of Life that I never felt the pangs of hunger. Of course, much of the time I would see some of my favorite foods and my empty stomach would have to ignore the longing, and my heart would have to fill with His words. Words much sweeter than honey.

I chose to hear from my stomach not "Feed me! Feed me!" but rather, "Pray! Pray! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you! Set your mind on things above not on things on the earth!"

I know I will never find water that quenches all thirst unless I come near unto my Lord, and drink from the Living Water!

One more thing I would like to say about fasting: you can add to you list of things to fast from! (No I'm not trying to be cruel, I promise.) For the next week try going with out T.V., Internet, or anything that will take away from time that could be spent with Him.

3: "My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live." Recite scripture. Dive deep into God's Word, the Bible. Psalms 119:9, "How can a young man cleanse his ways? By taking heed according to Your word." For the next week memorize passages from the Bible, and continually meditate on His Word. (Memorizing Psalm 63:1-4 might help to keep you on track...)

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:25,26)

Is God your one and only desire? Let the Lord be the strength of your heart and your portion forever!

So who is with me? Who will take the challenge?

"It is time to seek the Lord." (Hosea 10:12)


P.S. Starting Monday I will post encouragement and tips for the week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I love what missionary C. T. Studd wrote and I thought I would share it before I put forth my challenge.

Say not–Is the thing possible?
But–God is omnipotent!

Say not–Look what I’d lose!
But–See what I’d gain!

Say not–Have I the wisdom?
But–Am I a fool? I Cor. 3:18

Say not–I might lose my life!
But–I must save their souls!

Say not–Should I leave my possessions?
But–Christ’s my inheritance!

Say not–Is it the right time?
But–Christ’s coming soon!

Say not–What salary shall I draw?
But–The Bible’s my cheque book!

Say not–I fear the hardships!
But–I shall reign if I suffer!

Say not–Who’s on the Committee?
But–God’s our Director!

Say not–Shall I not starve?
But–God feeds the birds!

Say not–I have no talents!
But–Christ is my wisdom!

Say not–Have I the faith?
But–Doubting is sin!

Say not–I am not eloquent!
But–Who made man’s mouth?

Say not–I don’t want to be fanatical!
But–Make me a flame of fire!

Say not–I am a doctor. Who’ll build and support my hospital?
But–I trust God for all!

Say not–I fear the devil!
But–With the sling of faith and a smooth stone from the Book, I’ll knock Goliath’s head off!

Say not–Good-bye (in tears), I’ll soon come back again!
But–I’m off to the Devil’s Den to turn the Devil out! How lucky I am! I’ve got my “Blue” at last! Certainly I am to be congratulated. Thanks awfully!


Up, for this is the day: is not the Lord gone out before thee?”
Up! Up! Ye Baraks.
Up! Up! Ye Deborahs.
Up! Up! to this work of the Lord.

- "Mother" C.T. Studd

Monday, May 9, 2011

Orphan Lullaby

P.S. I have an upcoming post in which I am going to give you a challenge that will last one week. Be ready.... :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Day of Prayer- 4/4

My favorite quote on prayer:

"When we go before God in prayer with a cold, dull heart, and in a lifeless and listless manner pray to him for eternal blessings... we should think of Christ's earnest prayers that he poured out to God, with tears and a bloody sweat. The consideration of it may well make us ashamed of our dull, lifeless prayers to God, [in which] we rather ask a denial than ask to be heard; for the language of such a manner of praying to God is that we do not look upon the benefit that we pray for as of any great importance, that we are indifferent whether God answers us or not. The example of Jacob in wrestling with God for the blessing should teach us earnestness in our prayers, but more especially the example of Jesus Christ, who wrestled with God in a bloody sweat. If we were sensible as Christ was of the great importance of those benefits that are of eternal consequence, our prayers to God for such benefits would be after another manner than now they are. Our souls also would with earnest labor and strife be engaged in this duty." - Jonathan Edwards, 18th century preacher and missionary

National Day of Prayer- 3/4

What Should We Pray For? cont'd

Psalm 122:6 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you."

Colossians 4:2-4 "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." And Ephesians 6:17-19, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,"

National Day of Prayer- 2/4

What Should We Pray For?

1 Timothy 2:1-2, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence."

Matthew 5:44b, "...pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,"

Pray for all men. We should not just pray for those who are Christians, or who are sick or hurting. We should even pray for those who are better off than us and look down on us and our faith, those who spitefully use us and persecute us; we are told to pray for all men.

Paul mentions three things about this command to pray that we should take note of. First, he mentions its paramount importance: "First of all, I urge you to pray!" He tells us "Give thanks!" How many times we must be reminded to give thanks! How ungrateful we are! Lastly he tells us to pray for all people, and all who are in authority.

(I find it funny that Paul tells us to pray for everyone but then has to tell us that includes our authority/bosses/leaders and the like.)

National Day of Prayer- 1/4

How Should We Pray?

1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."

Luke 18 has a couple great examples of how to pray. 1) The tax collector, who in his awareness of his own sin would not even look up to heaven as he prayed "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

In the same chapter Jesus also spoke the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge. After the widow came to the judge again and again then he gave her justice. Then Jesus said in verse 7, "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?" (emphasis added)

Matthew 6:9-15, "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

The latter answer, also answers another question: What should we pray for? Not only do we first give God, the Father, the glory due His name, but we also ask His will to be done. We ask only for what we need. We ask to be forgiven as we forgive (that can be a scary thought!). We pray that God would keep us on the narrow path; away from temptation. And we finish by again praising Him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Is There a Rich Young Ruler In You?

Economist Robert L. Heilbroner's description of what an American family would have to give up if they lived among the 1 billion people in the Two-Thirds World:

We begin by invading the house of our imaginary American family to strip it of its furniture. Everything goes: beds, chairs, tables, television sets, lamps. We will leave the family with a few old blankets, a kitchen table, a wooden chair. Along with the bureaus go the clothes. Each member of the family may keep in his wardrobe his oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. We will permit a pair of shoes for the head of the family, but none for the wife or children.

We move to the kitchen. The appliances have already been taken out so we move to the cupboards...The box of matches may stay, a small bag of flour, some sugar, and salt. A few moldy potatoes, already in the garbage can, must be hastily rescued, for they will provide much of tonight’s meal. We will leave a handful of onions and a dish of dried beans. All the rest we take away: the meat, the fresh vegetables, the canned goods, the crackers, the candy.
Now we have stripped the house: the bathroom has been dismantled, the running water shut off, the electric wires taken out. Next we take away the house. The family can move to the tool shed. . . Communications must go next. No more newspapers, magazines, books - not that they are missed since we must take away our family’s literacy as well. Instead, in our shanty town, we will allow one radio...

Now government services must go. No more postman, no more firemen. There is a school but it is three miles away and it consists of two classrooms...There are, of course, no hospitals or doctors nearby. The nearest clinic is 10 miles away and is tended by a midwife. It can be reached by bicycle, provided that the family has a bicycle, which is unlikely...

Finally, money. We will allow our family a cash hoard of $5.00. This will prevent our breadwinner from experiencing the tragedy of an Iranian peasant who went blind because he could not raise $3.94, which he mistakenly thought he needed to receive admission to a hospital where he could have been cured.*

Living in America, I often an reminded of the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus(Luke 16:19-31). And of the time Jesus spoke with the rich young ruler... "Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich." (Luke 18:18-23)

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit." (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

Doesn't that sound like our culture now? Full of food and abundance, yet to proud to help the poor and needy!

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)

*Robert L. Heilbroner, The Great Ascent: The Struggle for Economic Development in Our Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), pp. 33-36

Verse of the Week

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's May!

"I pray for you, that all your misgivings will be melted to thanksgivings. Remember that the shadow a thing casts often far exceeds the size of the thing itself (especially if the light be low on the horizon) and though some future fear may strut brave darkness as you approach, the thing itself will be but a speck when seen from beyond. Oh that He would restore us often with that 'aspect from beyond,' to see a thing as He sees it, to remember that He dealeth with us as with sons."
Jim Elliot