Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Re-post From Herbert Vander Lugt of Our Daily Bread

Seasons Of Life

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When I was a pastor, I served many women who were moms. I called on them in the hospital and rejoiced with them for their precious babies who had come into the world. I counseled with anxious mothers and tried to assure them that God was watching over their rebellious teenagers. I stood with mothers at the bedside of injured or ill children and felt their pain. And I cried with them in their grief when their son or daughter died.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, also experienced times of joy and sorrow. What joy she must have felt when the Christ-child was born! (Luke 2:7). What excitement when the shepherds and later the wise men came to worship Him (vv.8-20; Matt. 2:1-12). What uneasiness when Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). And what heart-wrenching grief as Mary watched her Son dying on the cross! (John 19:25-30). But her seasons of being a mother didn’t end with that terrible scene. She rejoiced that He rose from the grave.
Mothers, and all of us for that matter, experience many great joys and intense sorrows. But when we submit our lives to the Lord, every season of life can serve His eternal purposes.
Thank You, Lord, for motherhood
With all its vale of tears,
For happy moments never dimmed
Through all the many years. —Strecker
Being a mom is a sacred partnership with God.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Recently I realized that all of the photos and mementos in my office represent the past. I considered removing them, but wondered if those reminders of people, places, and events might serve some purpose beyond nostalgia. To avoid being mired in the “yesterdays” of life, I needed to discover the value of those items for today and tomorrow.
When God’s people crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, He told their leader, Joshua, to choose 12 men, have each one take a stone from the middle of the river, and carry it to their campsite that night (Josh. 4:1-5). Joshua set up the stones as a memorial so that when future generations asked, “What do these stones mean to you?” they could tell them about God’s faithfulness in holding back the water while they crossed (vv.6-7).
As followers of Christ, it’s good for us to have tangible evidence of God’s help in the past. Those mementos remind us that His faithfulness continues today, and we can follow Him confidently into the future. Our “stones” may also help others know that God’s hand is mighty, as they encourage us to fear the Lord our God forever (v.24).
The memories of what God has done for us can become building blocks for today and tomorrow.
Thinking It Over
How has God shown Himself to be faithful to
you and your family? What would help you to remember?
Is there someone you can talk to about it today?
Precious memories of yesterday can strengthen our faith today and tomorrow.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Waiting To Cheer

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In his very first Little League baseball game, a young player on the team I was coaching got hit in the face with a ball. He was not hurt but was understandably shaken. For the rest of the season, he was afraid of the ball. Game after game, he bravely tried, but he just couldn’t seem to hit the ball.
In our final game, we were hopelessly behind, with nothing to cheer about. Then that young man stepped up to take his turn. Thwack! To everyone’s surprise, he hit the ball sharply! His teammates went wild; his parents and his teammates’ parents cheered loudly. Even though we were still losing the game, I was jumping up and down! We all loved this kid and cheered him on.
I imagine that the Lord cheers us on in our lives as well. He loves us deeply and desires that we “may be able to comprehend . . . what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19).
Some think of the Lord as unloving and waiting for us to slip up so He can punish us. So we have the privilege of telling them of His deep love for them. Imagine their joy when they hear about the God who loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for their sin and who wants to cheer them on!
Help us, heavenly Father, to see the many
ways You love and encourage us; then help
us to love and encourage those around
us so that they can see You in us.
The nail-pierced hands of Jesus reveal the love-filled heart of God.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Re-post From David C. Egner of Our Daily Bread

Golden Eagle

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My son Mark and I were leaving the Clyde Peterson Ranch in Wyoming to head back to Michigan. In the distance we spotted a huge bird sitting in a solitary tree overlooking a steep canyon. As we approached, the golden eagle leaped from the tree and soared out over the canyon, the golden streaks in its feathers shimmering in the morning sun. Its immense size and beauty filled us with wonder. We felt privileged to witness this magnificent demonstration of God’s awesome creativity.
Creation displays God’s “wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). And when we stop to meditate on those works, we can’t help but be awed as our minds and spirits are moved to reflect on the character of the God who created them.
That golden eagle told my son and me a story of the creative genius of our mighty God. So does the flitting songbird, the doe with her playful fawn, the pounding surf, and delicate little flowers such as bachelor’s-button and spring beauty. In the most unexpected moments and out-of-the-way places the Lord shines His glory in this world in order to reveal Himself to us. Those serendipitous moments are opportunities to “meditate . . . on [His] wondrous works” (v.5).
This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought. —Babcock
Always be on the lookout for wonder. —E. B. White

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

We Can Trust Him

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I know very little about persecution. My physical well-being has never been threatened because of what I believe or what I say. What little I “know” about the subject comes from what I hear and read. But that is not true for many of our brothers and sisters around the world. Some of them live in danger every day simply because they love Jesus and want others to know Him too.
There is another form of persecution that may not be life-threatening, but it is heartbreaking. It’s the persecution that comes from non-Christian family members. When loved ones ridicule our faith and mock us for what we believe and how we express our love for God, we feel rejected and unloved.
Paul warned believers that following Jesus would result in persecution: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12), and we know that sometimes rejection will come from those we love (Matt. 10:34-36). But when people we love reject the God we love, the rejection feels personal.
Jesus told us to pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44), and that includes more than strangers who hate us. God is able to give us grace to persevere through persecution even when it comes from those we love.
Lord, give us grace to pray for those
Who seek our harm and not our good;
And teach us how to show them love
In ways that will be understood. —Sper
People may mock our message but they can’t stop our prayers.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Always Preparing

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
While my son was home for an extended visit, he knocked on my office door one morning and asked me what I was doing. “I’m preparing for Sunday school,” I told him. Then, thinking about all the time I spend in my office, I said, “It seems like I’m always preparing for something.”
I’m grateful for the opportunities God gives me to reach out to others. There’s some stress, though, when you’re always getting something ready for somebody. It’s hard to balance priorities with the pressure to prepare a lesson, a message, or a document continually on your mind.
This idea of constant preparation intrigued me, so I checked the Bible to see if it talks about the subject. I found that we are called to always be preparing. A heart dedicated to God must be prepared to serve Him (1 Sam. 7:3). We are to be ready to do good works (2 Tim. 2:21) and to defend scriptural truth (1 Peter 3:15). And Paul reminds us that even our giving takes planning (2 Cor. 9:5).
That’s just a start. Living a life that pleases the Lord takes mental, spiritual, and physical preparation. But we don’t need to stress, because He will enable us with His power. Let’s ask God to guide us as we prepare to serve, honor, and tell others about Him.
Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare. —Thrupp
The best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.

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