Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Beginnings.....

New beginnings

By Sheila Schuller Coleman

"Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." – Ephesians 4:24

A blank slate. A new semester. A fresh start.

What do all these share in common? A chance to start over! What a powerful opportunity it is when you are able to put aside the old false starts…the dead ends…the disappointments. The old has passed, the new day is here! You don't have to be shackled by the past when you have a beautiful future before you. That is the powerful message of Christianity. And the New Year reminds you that your past has been redeemed, and as a result you can face tomorrow with joyful anticipation!

So…grab hold of this powerful opportunity! Don't let it slip it away! Take advantage of Christ's offer for a new beginning. Start today to build a powerful new tomorrow—with God's help!

each day............

Each Day

A new year just beginning,
Each day a fresh, new start,
To fulfill your hopes
And pursue the dreams
Sustained within your heart.

Put God in charge;
He'll plant the seeds
Of affection, love and care.
Like a garden, your life will grow
With kindness flowering there.

And as you face the wonder
Of each day's mysteries,
You'll see God's hand
Unfolding, daily, possibilities!

And as each day comes to a close,
Dream a dream or two,
Then with a prayer thank dear God
For each day given to you.
Poet, Gael Phaneuf

Lessons in Rick Warren

Lessons in Contentment
by Rick Warren

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

*** *** *** ***

Here are four steps to develop contentment in your life.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others. When you compare your life with someone else’s, the only place it can lead is toward discontentment. There will always be people who appear to be better off than you, but you don’t know their real circumstances.

I recall counseling a husband many years ago, and he said he wished his wife could be more like so-and-so, and he named a woman in our congregation. What he didn’t know is that the woman was a functioning alcoholic causing incredible heartache and stress for her family and for her husband.

That’s why the Bible teaches it is unwise to compare (2 Corinthians 10:12).

2. Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Learning to be content requires that you stop any “when and then” thinking – “When I am ___________, then I’ll be happy.” (You fill in the blank.)

The reason we fall into this trap is that we may actually be content for a little while but it won’t last. But, more than likely, someone else or something else will come along and drain the contentment from your life.

But listen, you are unique. God created you to be like nobody else, so why would you want to be anyone else. God is perfect, and you were his perfect choice to be you. Understanding that is a huge step toward being content with your life.

And then look at all the things God has given you. So often we allow what we don’t have to so dominate our focus that we forget the many wonderful things we already have, not only material blessing, but far more important things, such as family and friends.

3. Give yourself to others. If you will begin giving yourself to others, sharing what things you do have, sharing your time and your talents, you will find yourself learning to be content. Helping others will give you an appreciation for what you have and who you are, but more importantly, you will find yourself growing content. Why? Because God designed us to serve and share with others, and until we do that, we will feel great discontent.

4. Focus on things with eternal value. The real secret to becoming content is to focus on the things that have eternal value. It may be a familiar teaching to you, but Jesus said we should store up our treasures in heaven, and not on earth “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).

Think about the things in your life: What will last forever? What will last at least for your lifetime? What will last a few short years, or months, or days? Based on eternal value, what things are most important in your life? Where – and with whom – should you put your most time and energy?

By re-organizing your life around eternal priorities, you’ll find yourself growing in contentment as you live according to God’s design and purpose.

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where do we spend our time and money........

Evaluate Where You Will Spend Time, Money in New Year
Judy Woodward Bates

The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5, chastises the Corinthian church because of their acceptance of a blatantly immoral man among their members. Paul tells them: "... Shouldn't you ... have been filled with grief and ... put out of your fellowship the man who did this?" (v. 2). Paul wanted the church, the corporate body of believers, to understand that though they were to love sinners (just as all of them -- and us -- were merely sinners saved by grace), they were never to embrace or ignore believers' sins.

Fact is, all transgression hinders us from the true freedom found only when we are in right fellowship with Christ. Since each one who claims His name stands as His representative in this world, how are we to conduct ourselves? Are we to gossip? Are we to backbite? What about sarcasm? None of these things pleases our Heavenly Father, nor do these things further His Kingdom here on earth.

Yet one of the greatest sins running rampant among the people of God is the sin of busyness -- we're so busy "gettin' while the gettin's good." We take time to go to work at our secular jobs, but do we take time to witness while we're on the job? Many of us take plenty of time and money to have our hair done, nails done, even facials and massages, but do we take time to participate in worship or to attend classes that help us understand and draw closer to the Creator of the universe? Too, how financially generous are we with others when we are so very liberal with ourselves?

There are oodles of us who have the time and money to go out and discover new eateries and stuff ourselves with good food, but do we offer the time or money to help feed the hungry? And when we've had enough of our overindulgence, we can afford to pay others to help us stay away from the table through weight loss programs, exercise and medical plans -- but do we use any of God's blessings to meet the multiplicity of needs among those less fortunate than ourselves?

In the midst of this fiery chapter concerning the immorality within the church, Paul admonishes the believers to clean up their acts. Before Paul concludes with, "Expel the wicked from among you" (v. 13), a quote from Old Testament teachings, he warns the church about being prideful and about dealing with the clutter in their lives. Sexual immorality and busyness: you mean either sin is displeasing to God? Most certainly.

Paul said that followers of Jesus Christ are to be "... bread without yeast," which he went on to explain means we are to be "... the bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8). We are to sincerely and truthfully seek to be like Jesus, who most assuredly put others before Himself.

If we're honest, most of us are packed with the "yeast" of busyness. Our lives are so overfilled that we are barely able to go through our daily routines. We're constantly tired, stressed and, in general, unhappy. And when our lives are like this, we can't enjoy our own company, let alone be a blessing to someone else.

So be honest. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as "I can't juggle one more thing," how crammed-full is your life? Maybe it's time to sit down and make a list of all your responsibilities and "busynesses" and see which ones can be eliminated or better managed.

In verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul warns the church "... to get rid of the old yeast [leaven], that ye may be a new lump." I don't know about you, but I know there are a lot of "busy" things in my life. As the year 2009 begins, the time for Christ's return draws ever closer. Let's re-commit our cluttered lives to the Lord and ask Him to show us how to become brand new "lumps" for His glory!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don't settle for Happiness...Aim for Rick Warren

Don’t Settle for Happiness; Aim for Joy
by Rick Warren

“Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy …” Philippians 3:1 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

A man once told me that he’d broken up with his fiancĂ© because she didn’t make him happy enough. Mind you, he was happy with her; she just didn’t make him as happy as he felt a future wife should.

What this man told me gives memorable insight into how some people view happiness: They believe happiness is dependent upon the people, the things, and the circumstances that surrounded them.

Yet, the Bible says don’t settle for happiness; aim for joy.

Joy comes from within; joy is not dependent upon the people in your life, or the possessions you accumulate, or what’s happening at this point in your life.

God says you’ll find joy, when you trust that he’s in control and working to use the good – and the bad – of your life for a greater purpose.

The apostle Paul understood this, writing about joy while in prison, chained to a guard, alone in a foreign city: “Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy …” (Philippians 3:1 NLT).

He suggested there are two keys to transforming mere happiness into a deeply-felt, ever-present joy:

First, live each day by grace. Grace means you don’t have to earn God’s love or his approval. And here’s some joyful news: If you don’t have to earn God’s love, then you don’t have to earn anyone else’s love.

God offers his love unconditionally, and you can joyfully live in that grace everyday, all day long. Understanding this drains the tension from your life: you can make mistakes and know that you’re still loved by God, who desires a relationship with you over any rules or rituals.

The man who broke up with his fiancĂ© appears to have had difficulty in understanding grace. His love came with conditions – “As long as you make me happy, I’ll love you” – and that means he probably assumes the love he receives from others is conditional too. How can anyone experience joy when they live each day thinking they have to earn love?

Second, stay focused on what’s really important. There are a lot of little things that can steal your joy – but only if you let them. Jesus taught this: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV).

My sister, Chaundel, thought about this Bible passage when she learned her house in Maryville , California , was under 9 feet of water. While she and her husband, Tom, were out to dinner, the local levy broke and flooded the area. Even in her grief, she joked, “We drove our Chevy to the levy, and the levy was dry.”

Looking back on that time, Chaundel says, “God taught us that such a loss really makes you think about what’s important and what’s going to last. Our possessions were wiped out in a matter of minutes, but the important thing is that we were alive and well. Within a year, our house was rebuilt, but we could have never replaced each other.”

Happiness is overrated. On the other hand, joy is often forgotten. Yet, joy will stabilize your life as you embrace grace and focus on the things that are truly important, moving a bad hair day down the list and relationships up to the top. No matter what happens, may God give you joy.
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

The Dime.........


Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby
didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The
thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of
keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought,

"This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money
to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five
had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just
never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small
wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up
for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister,
who ran the house hold in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters
had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't
fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down
to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked
from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so
beautiful and so out of reach.

It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when
suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting
off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny
dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.
As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire
body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly
turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with
only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner
asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could
buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at
Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder
and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you."
As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a
boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the
door closing as the last customer left jolted Bobby back to reality. All
alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone

and afraid.

Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before
Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny
white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart sank as
the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.
"That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said reaching out his
hand for the dime.

Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true?
No one else would give him a thing for his dime! Sensing the boy's
reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on
sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?" This time Bobby did not
hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it
was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he
heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. "Who were you
talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he
replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting
up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set
aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time
whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just
a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a
flower for his mother with one small dime. When I looked at him, I saw
myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother
a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street
and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw that little
boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my
very best roses."

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped
out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

May this story instill the spirit of Christmas in you enough to pass this
act along.

Have a Joyous and Peace-filled season.

-- Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas...God's gift to us all Rick Warren

Christmas: Open Your Gift from God
by Rick Warren

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. Romans 5:1 (MSG)

*** *** *** ***

You’re not reading this by accident. No, God knew before you were born that you would be here in this moment. He planned to get your attention for just a few seconds so he could say this to you: “I’ve seen every hurt in your life, and I’ve never stopped loving you. You matter to me. I love you more than you will ever know. I made you to love you, and I’ve been waiting for you to love me back.”

God is saying, “I want the rest of your life to be the best of your life. I’m with you, and I’m for you. I want to save you from your past. I want to save you for the purpose I made you for. And I want to save you by my grace. If you’ll let me do that, I will give you peace with me, peace of me, and peace with other people. But you’ve got to open the door and receive the Christmas gift.”

If you gave me a Christmas gift and I never opened it, you would be disappointed. And it would be a worthless gift because I don’t receive the benefit of a gift I never opened.

Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to you. Yet some of us have gone Christmas after Christmas and never opened the best gift of all – God’s gift of salvation. Why even celebrate Christmas if you’re not going to open the biggest gift? It doesn’t make sense to leave unwrapped the gift of your past forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in heaven.

Jesus Christ says to you, “I can replace the frustration in your heart with peace. I can replace the guilt, resentment, shame, and grudges with forgiveness. I can replace the worry and anxiety with confidence and faith. I can replace depression or despair with hope. I can replace emptiness with meaning and purpose. I can replace confusion with clarity. But I’m not going to break down the door of your heart. You’ve got to invite me in.”

God says: “It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from, if you want me and you are ready to do as I say, the door is open.”

It doesn’t matter what your religious background is – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, Baptist, Hindu, or no religion. This is not about religion. God didn’t send Jesus to give you religion. He sent him so you could have a personal relationship with God. It’s all about relationship.

Below is a prayer I prayed years ago when I stepped across the line and became a friend of God’s. It’s a pretty simple prayer. If these words express the desire in your heart, read them as if you are talking to God.


Dear God, I’m scared, but I want to get to know you. I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you’re with me even when I didn’t recognize it. I thank you that you are for me; that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.

I admit I never even realized I needed a Savior, but today I want to receive the Christmas gift of your Son. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. Save me from myself.

I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and have a relationship with you.

I need peace with you, God, and I need you to put your peace in my heart. I need you to take away the stress and fill me with your love. Help me be a peacemaker, to help others find peace with you and each other. In your name I pray, amen.
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

suffering and loss at christmas

If you are suffering from the loss of a loved one this Christmas,
the following message is for you. Also if you are not suffering
from that loss, but know of someone who is, why not forward
this message to them. For it has ministered to many over the
past few years! It is called:

"My First Christmas In Heaven"

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas
choir up here. I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices
bring. For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away, We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold.
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ
this year.
Author Unknown

Consequences of Charles Stanley

Consequences of Unforgiveness
Hebrews 12:14-15

Scripture stresses the importance of pardoning those who have offended us. While it may feel natural to pull away from hurtful people, refusing to forgive has consequences far worse than the pain of being wronged.

Unforgiveness . . .

• Harms family interactions. Have you ever tried to maintain a growing relationship with an individual who's rooted in bitterness? You can't do it, because that person is fixated on his unhealthy feelings about someone else. Moreover, it's hard to spend time with anyone consumed by bitterness, because such people simply cease being likable.

• Hinders prayer life. Unforgiveness is sin, and unconfessed sin creates "static" in our relationship with God. So we must forgive others before prayer or worship (Matt. 5:23-24).

• Damages one's personal witness. The highlight of your testimony is salvation, which centers around the truth that the Lord has forgiven all your sins. How can you stress the importance of this if your listener can't see even a hint of forgiveness in your own life?

• Thwarts spiritual growth. God will not bless sinful actions. And so, if you are living a life mired in unforgiveness, you cannot expect Him to shower you with His blessings. By persisting in disobedience, you disrupt intimate fellowship with the Lord and put yourself in a dangerous, weak position.

Is there anyone you need to forgive today? Don't let another night pass without granting that forgiveness. There is more at stake here than you may have realized.

Friday, December 12, 2008



1. Thou shalt give thy heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of thy
Christmas list

2. Thou shalt prepare thy soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts
that thy soul is forgotten.

3. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of
its spiritual reality.

4. Thou shalt not burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with
complaints and demands.

5. Thou shalt give thyself with thy gift. This will increase its value a
hundred fold, and he who receiveth it shall treasure it forever.

6. Thou shalt not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least
expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.

7. Thou shalt not neglect the needy. Share thy blessings with many who will
go hungry and cold unless thou are generous.

8. Thou shalt not neglect thy church. Its services highlight the true
meaning of the season.

9. Thou shalt be as a little child. Not until thou has become in spirit as a
little one art thou ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

10. Thou shall not forget to share your joy, peace and faith with those
around you.

-- Author Unknown

Friday, December 5, 2008

the week before Christmas...

By Scott Murray

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the church
Every creature was stirring, they were sitting on Birch

The programs were ready, everything was prepared
In hopes that the people soon would be there

The decorations were piled all over the place
From trees and garland, to pinecones and lace

The pastor all dressed up, the youth guy in jeans
Had started discussing what Christmas means

The gifts and the baskets, the ribbons and bows
And all of the children all covered in snow

Too often the problem we face every year
Is no one remembers any more than good cheer

For Christmas is not just a time to be getting
There’s something that schools are indeed forgetting

The birth of a saviour, in a manger with hay
Is really the reason to celebrate this day

While Santa and reindeer may seem to be right,
Who wants to celebrate a fat man in tights?

So in your efforts, remember this season
That Jesus my friends, is truly the reason

He did not come just for the winter
But also to die on two giant splinters

There not to stay, he just went to call
And bring back with him Salvation for all

The meeting was over and to their delight
The people were gathered, for Christmas that night

Copyright 2003 Scott Murray. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.


Develop "the velvet hammer" by learning to say hard things in a soft way.


Abandoning the Charles Stanley

Abandoning the Self-Life
Jonah 4

The believer's self-life is composed of the habits, attitudes, and relationships he or she is unwilling to surrender. Keeping those things from the Lord gives people a sense of independence, which is highly prized in our current culture. However, by following "self," we interfere with God's purpose. He wants every aspect of our life submitted to His will.

Jonah mistook rebellion for freedom. The fourth chapter of his story paints a vivid picture of the prophet sweltering in the sun--and in the heat of his hatred. His blood boiled when God showed mercy to the Ninevites. "I have good reason to be angry, even to death," he ranted (v. 9). God had used him to save more than 120,000 souls, but he was angry because he desired their destruction.

Freedom is not the same as autonomy. There is only one true liberty: walking in full obedience to the Lord. Jonah obeyed with his body but not with his heart. And his bitterness shows that stubbornly clinging to our self-life is a snare for the spirit. Unhealthy routines, like thick weeds in our path, prevent us from moving forward. So God is determined to break us loose from any hindrance.

Sadly, Jonah resisted the Lord's every attempt to crack his pride. Believers have the right to choose self over submission, but the cost of doing so is high. We may steep in emotional turmoil like the prophet. Or God might deny us ministry opportunities. Whatever the consequences, one thing is certain: autonomy will cause us to miss the blessing of intimacy with the Lord--and nothing we value is worth that.

Brokenness : the Charles Stanley

Brokenness: The Protest
Jonah 1

The children's story about Jonah and the whale presents the prophet in a rather rosy light: After three days in the fish's belly, he relents and goes merrily on to Nineveh. End of story.

The Bible narrative has the same components (storm, big fish, repentant Ninevites) but a totally different context. From the moment Jonah chose to flee till the end of the book, his heart was in rebellion against God.

The inhabitants of Nineveh were Assyrians, a people known for their aggression and cruelty. Since they were the sworn enemies of Israel, Jonah had good reason to despise them. However, God loved the Ninevites and desired their repentance. The challenging task of ministering to them carried an additional purpose: breaking Jonah's unloving spirit--an attitude so strong that he preferred to die rather than see the enemy saved (Jonah 4:3).

God longed to mold the prophet's character to reflect His own--He wanted a willing, loving servant, but Jonah resisted at every turn. Pride and hatred drove him ever deeper into rebellion. Note that while he agreed to go to Nineveh, he didn't repent (Jonah 2:9). The Lord wasn't fooled; He knew Jonah's heart remained hard. So as the Ninevites rejoiced over deliverance, their minister stewed in his bitterness. Emotional and mental anguish were high prices to pay for resistance.

What keeps you from serving the Lord fully? You probably already know the area of your life He is trying to break. The process is painful, but it's done for your good and His glory. Give in to Him.

Persevering through Char;es Stanley

Persevering Through Silence
Job 23:16-17

Yesterday we noted that God always has a purpose for being silent. I learned this lesson--and its corollary--in college.

One day during my senior year, I prepared to pray over a situation that would impact my future. But as I got on my knees, I felt as if God was suddenly gone. For three days and nights, His presence seemed miles away. The fourth evening, some friends gathered to intercede on my behalf, but to no avail. Nearly defeated, I was headed back to my room when I saw my buddy Don's light. I climbed through his open window (the dorms were locked), and we prayed until dawn. Still nothing.

I beseeched the Father all week. Then, at last, He dramatically intervened in my life to clearly dictate my next steps. The corollary is this: When God is silent, keep on praying!

Far too many times, I have heard people say they quit praying about a need because there was no answer. Matthew 17:20 says that faith the size of a mustard seed is able to move mountains--then imagine how tiny our trust must be when we give up on the Lord! Believers cannot treat prayers like quarters fed into a vending machine, which gives an instant response. Talking to God is a long-term investment in the intimate friendship we have with Him.

Though God may be silent for a time, He never ceases working on our behalf. When the time is right, He provides an outcome that aligns with His perfect plan. Giving up before the Lord responds to your call is a grave mistake. So pray on, friends. Pray on!

a Diamond funny.....

Morris ran into Jacob while shopping at the mall the other day in front of one of the jewelry stores. Noticing a conspicuously small gift wrapped box in his hand, Morris asked if was a gift for Jacob's wife Becky.

Jacob told Morris, "With Christmas coming up, I asked Becky what she wanted and she said, "Oh, I don't know just give me something with lots of diamonds in it."

"So what did you get her?" Morris asked.

Jacob smiled and replied, "I bought her a deck of cards."


How does Santa Claus take pictures? With his North Pole-aroid.


When GOD is Charles Stanley

When God Is Silent
John 11:1-6

When Lazarus was dying, his sisters urgently called for Jesus. Imagine how their grief must have compounded when He didn't instantly respond to their request.

God's silence is difficult to accept. We want Him to leap into action when we call, particularly if we are hurting or afraid. But since He promises to meet our needs, we can be sure that a silence from heaven has purpose.

Silence grabs our attention. The disciples knew that Jesus could heal, so they must have wondered why He delayed instead of rushing to His friend's bedside. But the Lord wanted them to witness something even greater: His power over death. They had been confused by His statements about conquering death, and they needed to understand that He could fulfill His own resurrection prophecies (Mark 9:31-32). The miracle at Lazarus' tomb was part of their preparation.

Silence teaches us to trust. Mary and Martha sent word of Lazarus' illness because they anticipated that the Lord would heal him. But would their faith waver if that expectation was not met? Martha answered the question by stating, "I believe that you are the Christ" (John 11:21-27 niv). The Lord rewarded the women's trust with a stunning miracle: their brother's return to life.

At times, the only thing we can hear when we pray is our own breathing. That can be frustrating and frightening. But Scripture says God is always with us, and His silence will not last forever (Job 23:8-10; Heb. 13:5). Cling to those promises as you seek the purpose behind His silence.

aChristmas Play funny.......

A little boy, excited about his part in the Christmas play at school, came home and shouted, "I got a part in the Christmas play! I got a part in the Christmas play!"

"What part did you get?" asked his mother excitedly.

"I'm one of the three wise guys!"

[forwarded by Bob Martin]


If athletes get athlete's foot, what do astronauts get? Missile toe.