Thursday, February 26, 2009 Charles Stanley

Resurrection: Our New Body
2 Corinthians 5:1-10

What a scene will occur at the sounding of the Lord's trumpet! The "dead in Christ" will emerge from their resting places all over the earth and soar into the sky; these saints' resurrected bodies will reunite with their spirits, which will have been residing in heaven with Jesus. Close behind them will follow believers who haven't yet departed this life--at that moment, they'll miraculously be changed as they are "caught up . . . to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

The description sounds extraordinary, but in fact, the plan is practical. We're going to need a body with which to enjoy the new heaven and new earth that Jesus is preparing for His followers. However, earthly flesh and bones will not do. They age, break, and succumb to sin. So God promised to transform our humble structures into glorious bodies like the one Christ had after His resurrection. Common temptations and limitations will be gone. In addition, our physical substance will be altered so that we are not restricted by time and space. Remember, Jesus didn't bother with doors (John 20:19)! Our new bodies will be suited for the environment where we are to dwell forever--an ageless eternity in which all of our needs are perfectly met.

Each believer will still be him- or herself. Friends and family long separated will recognize one another; our personalities will be unchanged, except that we'll be absolutely sinless. At last, you and I will be the persons that God intends for us to be. And we'll be housed in a body fashioned like that of Christ--perfect, sinless, and complete. Charles Stanley

The Good News about Death
1 Corinthians 15:50-58

The Word of God teaches that physical death is the beginning of a new existence for believers. The Lord has prepared an eternal home where those who honor His name can rejoice forever. The condition for entry is simple: believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and receive His forgiveness.

Some people regard this prerequisite for admittance as narrow-minded. Hanging a "For Believers Only" sign on a place as special as heaven seems unfair to them. God set up that limitation for a reason. All the way back in the Garden of Eden, He laid down a law to protect His creation: Do not disobey Me. The penalty for breaking that command is death.

Of course, we all violate the law because we are flawed human beings. In order to save people from the consequence of their wrongdoing, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to shoulder all of our sin and die in our place. Our Savior fulfilled the law while taking our punishment. The good news is that He did not remain in the grave--Christ arose victoriously after three days!

God promised in His Word that those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior share in His resurrection. When a believer dies, the heavenly gate swings open, and he or she has the same triumph over death that Jesus did. This means that when we leave this world, we do not simply disappear into vapor. We continue serving the Lord in heaven.

Death is not the end. It's the moment we claim our ultimate victory over the lord of this world, Satan, by entering God's presence forever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the PERKS of getting older with age


01. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

02. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

03. No one expects you to run--anywhere.

04. People call at 9 pm and ask, did I wake you?

05. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

06. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

07. Things you buy now won't wear out.

08. You can eat supper at 4 pm.

09. You can live without sex but not your glasses.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

13. You sing along with elevator music.

14. Your eyes won't get much worse.

15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the National Weather Service.

17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

PEACE.......the BEATLES or Bill Crowder

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds. —Philippians 4:7

At the height of their popularity, creativity, and wealth, the Beatles produced a controversial project called “The White Album.” It signaled the breakup of the band by featuring pieces that were primarily individual in nature instead of collaborative.

It also revealed a growing disenchantment with all that their fame had produced. In his song “I’m So Tired,” John Lennon expressed the emptiness of his “successful” and wealthy life with these profound words: “I’d give you everything I’ve got for a little peace of mind.” All that he had, all that he had accomplished, and all that he had become could not meet this simple, yet deep, personal need.

The world we live in cannot offer peace. It offers only poor options. Pleasure, power, and possessions are no substitute for peace of heart and mind.

Paul reminded the believers at Philippi, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). This is the peace God brings to those who have been reconciled to God by faith in His Son Jesus (Eph. 2:14-16). It is a peace we are to share with a world that is desperate for it.

Peace—real peace—is found only in a relationship with Jesus. Have you received His peace? —Bill Crowder

Finding Real Peace
Accept the reconciliation God offers by asking Him
to forgive you. Believe that His Son Jesus died on the
cross for your sins and was raised from the dead.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. —Jesus

Twenty-one thoughts to live by..........


ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, t heir
conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't
have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way
to live life completely.

TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! .... When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer,
smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great

FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and
Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to
correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

Knock Knock


I knocked at heaven's door this morning.

God asked me...'My child, what can I do for you?'

And I said, 'Father, please protect and bless the person reading this

God smiled and answered...' Request granted'.

Billy Graham Quotes........


"My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with
God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ."

"Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God."

"The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless."

"The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course."

"It is not the body's posture, but the heart's attitude that counts when we

"A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have
true respect for anyone."

"A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town

"Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a
daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ."

"Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think."

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others
are often stiffened."

"Give me five minutes with a person's checkbook, and I will tell you where
their heart is."

"God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give

"God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are."

"God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it
was God saying to the world, "I love you.""

"God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it
takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there."

"God's angels often protect his servants from potential enemies."

"I just want to lobby for God."

"I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all

"If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help
straighten out almost every other area in his life."

"If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew."

"Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for

"My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world."

"Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love."

"Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in
the molding of character in her children."

"Only those who want everything done for them are bored."

"Read the Bible. Work hard and honestly. And don't complain."

"Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul.
Was it worth it?"

"Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a
sign of strength."

"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep
discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and
say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'"

"The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion,
not freedom from religion."

"The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.
The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the
lost and helpless."

"The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the
world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The
world has never been the same."

"The word 'romance,' according to the dictionary, means excitement,
adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime."

"There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when
riches possess men."

"We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing."

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is
lost; when character is lost, all is lost."

"You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole."

Pancakes and Love......


Six year old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents
pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter,
opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on
the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed
in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the
floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten. Brandon was covered
with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good
for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn't know what to do
next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, and he didn't
know how the stove worked!

Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push
her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to
clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas
white and sticky. And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big
crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was make
them proud. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But
his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up
his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and
sticky in the process.

That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it
turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend or we
can't stand our job or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there
in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God
picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets
all over Him. But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to
"make pancakes," for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right,
and then they'll be glad we tried...

-- Author Unknown

my unseen guest..........

"My Unseen Guest"

God walks the trail with me each day,
He is my Friend, My Guide
However long or steep the road,
He's ever by my side.

He sits with me in evening's hush;
We speak, we laugh, we pray,
And my heart sings a joyful song...
He's never far away.

And through each dark and lonely night,
He's guarding from above.
In perfect peace, I rest secure
In His eternal love.
Poet, Lee Simmons



Pappy was a pleasant-looking old fellow. He had the whitest hair which he
kept neatly cut and combed. His eyes were blue, though faded with age, and
they seemed to emit a warmth from within. His face was quite drawn, but when
he smiled, even his wrinkles seemed to soften and smile with him. He had a
talent for whistling and did so happily each day as he dusted and swept his
pawnshop; even so, he had a secret sadness, but everyone who knew him
respected and adored him.

Most of Pappy's customers returned for their goods, and he did not do much
business, but he did not mind. To him, the shop was not a livelihood as much
as a welcome pastime.

There was a room in the back of his shop where he spent time tinkering with
a menagerie of his own precious items. He referred to this back room as
"memory hall." In it were pocket watches, clocks, and electric trains. There
were miniature steam engines and antique toys made of wood, tin, or cast
iron, and there were various other obsolete trinkets as well.

Spending time in memory hall delighted him as he recalled many treasured
moments from his past. He handled each item with care, and sometimes he
would close his eyes and pause to relive a sweet, simple childhood memory.

One day, Pappy was working to his heart's content reassembling an old
railroad lantern. As he worked, he whistled the melody of a railroad tune
and reminisced about his own past as a switchman. It was a typical day at
the shop. Outside, the sun illuminated the clear sky, and a slight wind
passed through the door. Whenever the weather was this nice, Pappy kept the
inner door open. He enjoyed the fresh air-almost as much as the distinctive
smell of antiques and old engine oil.

As he was polishing his newly restored lantern, he heard the tinkling of his
bell on the shop door. The bell, which produced a uniquely charming
resound, had been in Pappy's family for over a hundred years. He cherished
it dearly and enjoyed sharing its song with all who came to his shop.
Although the bell hung on the inside of the main door, Pappy had strung a
wire to the screen door so that it would ring whether the inner door was
open or not. Prompted by the bell, he left memory hall to greet his

At first, he did not see her. Her shiny, soft curls barely topped the

"And how can I help you, little lady?" Pappy's voice was jovial.

"Hello, sir." The little girl spoke almost in a whisper. She was dainty.
Bashful. Innocent. She looked at Pappy with her big brown eyes, then slowly
scanned the room in search of something special. Shyly she told him, "I'd
like to buy a present, sir."

"Well, let's see," Pappy said, "who is this present for?"

"My grandpa. It's for my grandpa. But I don't know what to get."

Pappy began to make suggestions. "How about a pocket watch? It's in good
condition. I fixed it myself," he said proudly.

The little girl didn't answer. She had walked to the doorway and put her
small hand on the door. She wiggled the door gently to ring the bell.
Pappy's face seemed to glow as he saw her smiling with excitement.

"This is just right," the little girl bubbled. "Momma says grandpa loves

Just then, Pappy's expression changed. Fearful of breaking the little girl's
heart, he told her, "I'm sorry, missy. That's not for sale. Maybe your
grandpa would like this little radio."

The little girl looked at the radio, lowered her head, and sadly sighed,
"No, I don't think so."

In an effort to help her understand, Pappy told her the story of how the
bell had been in his family for so many years, and that was why he didn't
want to sell it.

The little girl looked up at him, and with a giant tear in her eye, sweetly
said, "I guess I understand. Thank you, anyway."

Suddenly, Pappy thought of how the rest of the family was all gone now,
except for his estranged daughter whom he had not seen in nearly a decade.

Why not, he thought. Why not pass it on to someone who will share it with a
loved one? God only knows where it will end up anyway.

"Wait...little lady." Pappy spoke just as the little girl was going out the
door--just as he was hearing his bell ring for the last time. "I've decided
to sell the bell. Here's a hanky. Blow your nose."

The little girl began to clap her hands. "Oh, thank you, sir. Grandpa will
be so happy."

"Okay, little lady. Okay." Pappy felt good about helping the child; he knew,
however, he would miss the bell. "You must promise to take good care of the
bell for your grandpa--and for me, too, okay?" He carefully placed the bell
in a brown paper bag.

"Oh, I promise," said the little girl. Then, she suddenly became very still
and quiet. There was something she had forgotten to ask. She looked up at
Pappy with great concern, and again almost in a whisper, asked, "How much
will it cost?"

"Well, let's see. How much have you got to spend?" Pappy asked with a grin.

The child pulled a small coin purse from her pocket then reached up and
emptied two dollars and forty-seven cents onto the counter.

After briefly questioning his own sanity, Pappy said, "Little lady, this is
your lucky day. That bell costs exactly two dollars and forty-seven cents."

Later that evening as Pappy prepared to close up shop, he found himself
thinking about his bell. Already he had decided not to put up another one.
He thought about the child and wondered if her grandpa like his gift. Surely
he would cherish anything from such a precious grandchild.

At that moment, just as he was going to turn off the light in memory hall,
Pappy thought he heard his bell. Again, he questioned his sanity; he turned
toward the door, and there stood the little girl. She was ringing the bell
and smiling sweetly.

Pappy was puzzled as he strolled toward the small child. "What's this,
little lady? Have you changed your mind?"

"No," she grinned. "Momma says it's for you."

Before Pappy had time to say another word, the child's mother stepped into
the doorway, and choking back a tear, she gently said, "Hello, Dad."

The little girl tugged on her grandpa's shirttail. "Here, Grandpa. Here's
your hanky. Blow your nose."

-- Author Unknown

Pinewood Derby [the wisdom of a child ]

PINEWOOD DERBY (The wisdom of a child)

My son Gilbert was eight years old and had been in Cub Scouts only a short
time. During one of his meetings he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of
wood and four tires and told to return home and give all to "dad".

That was not an easy task for Gilbert to do. Dad was not receptive to doing
things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at
the idea of making a pine wood derby car with his young, eager son. The
block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed.

Finally, mom stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project
began. Having no carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply
read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud
the measurements, the rules of what we could do and what we couldn't do.

Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. A
little lopsided, but looking great (at least through the eyes of mom).
Gilbert had not seen any of the other kids' cars and was feeling pretty
proud of his "Blue Lightning", the pride that comes with knowing you did
something on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue pinewood derby in his hand and pride
in his heart we headed to the big race. Once there my little one's pride
turned to humility. Gilbert's car was obviously the only car made entirely
on his own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool
paint jobs and sleek body styles made for speed.

A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert's lopsided, wobbly,
unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility, Gilbert was the only boy
without a man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent
homes at least had an uncle or grandfather by their side, Gilbert had "mom".

As the race began it was done in elimination fashion. You kept racing as
long as you were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the finely
sanded ramp. Finally it was between Gilbert and the sleekest, fastest
looking car there. As the last race was about to begin, my wide eyed, shy
eight year old ask if they could stop the race for a minute, because he
wanted to pray. The race stopped.

Gilbert went to his knees clutching his funny looking block of wood between
his hands. With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Father. He
prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile on
his face and announced, 'Okay, I am ready."

As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car
sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart and
watched his block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed
and rushed over the finish line a fraction of a second before Tommy's car.

Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud "Thank You" as the crowd roared in
approval. The Scout Master came up to Gilbert with microphone in hand and
asked the obvious question, "So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?"

To which my young son answered, "Oh, no sir. That wouldn't be fair to ask
God to help you beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I wouldn't
cry when I lost."

Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert didn't ask God to win
the race, he didn't ask God to fix the outcome. Gilbert asked God to give
him strength in the outcome. When Gilbert first saw the other cars he didn't
cry out to God, "No fair, they had a father's help!". No, he went to his
Father for strength. Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God
to rig the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to
remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God's strength to get
through the struggle. "I can do everything through Him who gives me
strength." Philippians 4:13

Gilbert's simple prayer spoke volumes to those present that night. He never
doubted that God would indeed answer his request. He didn't pray to win,
thus hurt someone else, he prayed that God supply the grace to lose with
dignity. Gilbert, by his stopping the race to speak to his Father also
showed the crowd that he wasn't there without a "dad", but His Father was
most definitely there with him. Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that
night, with his Father at his side.

May we all learn to pray this way.

-- Author Unknown

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How is healthy is your church..........

A t-Shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes was literally
Bill's wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He was
brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a
Christian while attending college. Across the street from the
campus was a well-dressed, very conservative church. They
wanted to develop a ministry to the students but were not
sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decided to go there. He walked in with no
shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service had
already started and so Bill walked down the aisle looking for a
seat. The church was completely packed and he couldn't find
a seat. By now, people were really looking a bit uncomfortable,
but no one said anything. Bill got closer and closer and closer
to the pulpit, and when he realized there were no seats, he
just sat down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in
the air was thick. About that time, the minister realized
that from way at the back of the church, a deacon was slowly
making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon was in his
eighties, had silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly
man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walked with
a cane and, as he started walking toward this boy, everyone
was saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what
he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and
of his background to understand some college kid on
the floor?

It took a long time for the man to reach the boy. The
church was utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's
cane. All eyes were focused on him. You couldn't even hear
anyone breathing. The minister couldn't even preach the
sermon until the deacon did what he had to do. And now
they saw this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With
great difficulty, he lowered himself and sat down next to Bill,
smiles, shakes his hand, and worshiped with him so he
won't be alone.

Everyone choked up with emotion. When the minister
regained control, he said, "What I'm about to preach, you
will never remember. What you have just seen, you will
never forget."

The moral of the story, "Be careful how you live. You may
be the only Bible some people will ever read".

Friday, February 13, 2009

the Cross--a Symbol of Supreme Charles Stanley

The Cross: Symbol of Supreme Love
John 10:18

Countless people wear a cross because it symbolizes Christianity. But few fully grasp the depth of love that it represents.

The cross stands for what is arguably history's most painful method of execution. Crucifixion usually began with two soldiers flogging the criminal from the front and back. They used a strap with three leather cords, each containing a piece of embedded bone that tore flesh to ribbons. No wonder Jesus fell and struggled to carry His cross after such treatment.

The soldiers then hammered a long square nail into the hands or wrists; this shape would heighten the already excruciating pain. Another nail was driven through the ankles into the wood. Raising the cross, executioners would then drop it into a hole in the ground, the "thud" further tearing flesh. In order to breathe, the convicted man had to push up on his bloody ankles.

Jesus was God, but He was also fully man. So He experienced the physical agony any human would feel at such brutality. On top of that, He felt emotional and spiritual anguish because the nation rejected Him and His disciples denied Him. Worst of all, when He took our sin upon Himself, the Father turned away (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21). Yet Jesus didn't see Himself as a victim; He willingly offered His blood on our behalf and considered it a joy (Heb. 12:2). No greater love exists.

Take time to consider all that Jesus endured on the cross for your sake. As you begin to grasp the enormity of His sacrifice, thank Him for His boundless love.


"On Love"

"Love is the fulfilment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest."
--Augustine of Hippo

"If I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
--Amy Carmichael

"But it is doubtless true, and evident from these Scriptures, that the essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and that in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion."
--Jonathan Edwards

"A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver."
--Thomas à Kempis

"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now."
--C. S. Lewis

"Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training."
--D. L. Moody

"Love is the greatest thing that God can give us for Himself is love: and it is the greatest thing we can give to God."
--Jeremy Taylor

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Living in Charles Stanley

Living in Bondage
John 8:31-36

Freedom is one of humanity's most prized possessions. That's why Patrick Henry's famous declaration, "Give me liberty or give me death," resonated with the colonists. His sentiment ignited a revolution and helped bring about the birth of our free nation.

Yet many inhabitants of this land are in captivity. You see, people aren't simply physical beings; they're also spiritual. And they can be enslaved spiritually as well as physically.

Jesus said that anyone who commits sin is in bondage to it (John 8:34). He was referring to continuous wrongs that become a lifestyle, even for the believer. Almost anything--including the pursuit of power, money, or relationships--can develop into a pattern of sinful living.

Usually, ungodly habits begin in a way that seems innocent and fulfills a desire or need. For example, a person might justify working too much in order to take care of his family. Over time, he may become desensitized to any guilt he originally felt. As he gradually senses less conviction by the Holy Spirit, the habit becomes a comfort and eventually controls him. Though he may hate it, he is powerless to stop. Ironically, people in this state often say and believe that they could stop the behavior
if they so chose. But they are deceived.

Neither human determination nor effort can overcome the bondage. Yet what man is unable to do, God can achieve (Luke 18:27).

Take an honest look at your life's motivations. Is there some habit, emotion, or dream that "owns" you? Jesus --and Jesus alone--can set you free.

Rekindling the Charles Stanley

Rekindling the Fire
John 10:10

The Lord created us to live passionately for Him. In that way, we enjoy the blessings of an intimate relationship with our Creator. But there are other benefits as well. Just as the warmth and beauty of flames draw people toward the fireplace, God also uses our passion to draw others to Himself.

So, not just for our own sake but also for the sake of others, we must be careful not to let our fervor toward God fade. Thankfully, the indwelling Holy Spirit nudges believers who start to head in the wrong direction. If you sense this to be the case, you can take several steps to realign yourself with Him.

First, evaluate where you are spiritually--ask God whether your fire has grown cold. Second, acknowledge any distance you have allowed to separate you from your heavenly Father, and repent. Third, refocus your attention on Jesus; meditate on how He teaches His followers to live. Spend quality time in Scripture daily, asking the Lord to speak to you through His Word. Pray, not by using fancy words but by crying out earnestly and seeking God's face. Fourth, rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide you back to an intimate and exciting relationship with the Father. Finally, love and serve God by worshiping Him and reaching out to others.

What occupies your time and attention? Do your thoughts and conversation tend to revolve around worldly topics or the things of God? If your fire for Christ has dwindled, take the necessary steps today to renew your passion. Living closely with Him is well worth the effort and discipline.

When your fire grows Charles Stanley

When Your Fire Grows Dim
2 Timothy 1:1-11

Do you feel yourself growing cold toward the Lord? Though we, who are children of God, can never lose our salvation, it is possible for our spiritual passion to cool.

Today's passage reveals that even Timothy experienced a decrease in his excitement for God. That's why Paul wrote, encouraging the young pastor at Ephesus to fan the flame of his faith.

Spiritual "cooling" can happen to any Christian. Oftentimes, it starts when tragedy or disappointment diverts one's attention. Instead of crying out to the Lord and finding shelter in Him, the believer slowly ceases reading the Bible. The Word of God is like wood in a fireplace: the flames can be kept alive only when there are logs to burn. As less time is spent in Scripture, other aspects of the relationship with God are affected: church attendance diminishes, giving becomes sporadic, and prayer--which seems increasingly stale--is used only for emergencies.

No longer willing to stand up for what he once deemed important, the Christian soon starts to compromise. He may feel plagued by guilt and become defensive about the way he is living. Finally, the joy, contentment, and peace from God are replaced by worry, doubt, and fear.

A believer who allows himself to drift will miss out on the joy and fulfillment of a rich relationship with the Lord. Think back. Is your excitement about the things of God stronger than ever before? Or has it diminished over time? If your fire needs stoking, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how.

Friday, February 6, 2009

a series of funnies..........


It was Palm Sunday, and because of a sore throat, five year old Billy
stayed home from Church with a sitter. When his family returned
home they were carrying several Palm Branches. Billy asked what
they were for? His parents replied "People held them over Jesus'
head as He walked by." "Wouldn't you know it," Billy fumed, "The
one Sunday I don't go to Church, HE showed up!"


One Easter Sunday as the Minister was preaching the Children's
Sermon, he reached into his bag of props and pulled out an egg.
He pointed at the egg and asked the children, "What's in here?"
I know a little boy exclaimed, "Pantyhose!"


Little Johnny asked his Grandma how old she was. Grandma
answered, "39 and holding." Johnny thought for a moment, and
then said, "And how old would you be if you let go?"


A little boy was in a relative's wedding. As he was going down the
aisle, he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd. While
facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.
So it went, step ROAR step, ROAR, step,, ROAR, all the way down
the aisle. As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from
laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit.

When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, "I was
being the Ring Bear."


One Sunday in a Midwest City, a young child was "acting up" during
the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain
some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally,
the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle
on his way out.

Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called
loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"


One particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash
baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."


A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can' t make me a
better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."


A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on
the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."


A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,
looking at the old pages as he turned them. Then something
fell out of the Bible. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It
was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between
the pages."Mama, look what I found," the boy called out.
"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked. With
astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "It's
Adam's suit."


The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he
preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike
cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in
the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several
circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her
mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"


Six-year old Angie, and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting
together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.

Finally, his big sister had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out
loud in church."

"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.

Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two
men standing by the door? They're hushers."


My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do
you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo,
while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied.


A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was
becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then, one day,
she floored her grandmother by asking, "Which Virgin was the
mother of Jesus? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?"


A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.
They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if
anyone could tell her what it was.

Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not
take the covers off the neighbor's wife."


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jeffie and Grandpa..........


Jeffie was in his playpen and he was crying. Tears were rolling down his
little cheeks, his face was red as it could be. He was crying, and he looked
pitiful in his little baseball T-shirt and a diaper.

Then Jeffie's Grandpa entered the room; Jeffie's little face lit up when he
saw his Grandpa! He immediately reached out his little arms in supplication
and said "Out Pa Pa out."

What is a Grandpa to do? How can someone resist that?

So Grandpa went over to the playpen, he bent over. He reached down to lift
his little buddy from captivity and distress . . .

Just then "Law and Order" walked into the room.

Momma said "Jeffie, you stay right there! I'm punishing you because you have
been naughty! Dad, leave Jeffie alone!"

What is a Grandpa to do?

Grandpa backs off and is thinking, "I can't just pick up a book and read it
with Jeffie here. He would think I was uncaring and distant. I can't leave
the room because he would feel like I have abandoned him."

What is a Grandpa to do?

But you know what? Love always finds a way. Since Grandpa couldn't take
Jeffie out of the playpen, Grandpa climbed in with Jeffie!

Grandpa said "If you are in the playpen buddy, I'm in the playpen too. What
are you in for? What is your sentence?"

Having Grandpa join him in his "prison cell" brought Jeffie great comfort
and joy
. In the midst of his captivity, Jeffie no longer felt so alone.

What Jeffie's Grandpa did is also a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us
when He came to Earth as a baby.

God the Father yearned to reach down into our "playpen of captivity" and
pull us out. He could not . . . because of our disobedience . . . because of
our sin. What did God do?

God climbed into our "playpen" with us!

When Jesus Christ entered into our "playpen of captivity," He took the sin
and disobedience that should have been ours alone, releasing us from our
captivity . . . allowing us the opportunity to experience the fullness of
life God has for us!

The message is simple, clear and personal: God with us . . . He loves you so
much He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life. For God did not
send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world
through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of
God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18 (NIV)

-- Author Unknown

Not Home Yet.........


An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years and was
returning to New York to retire. They had no pension; their health was
broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they
were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning
from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.

No one paid any attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied
the President's entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the
great man. As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to
his wife, "Something is wrong.

Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all
these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes
back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives
two hoots about us."

"Dear, you shouldn't feel that way," his wife said. "I can't help it; it
doesn't seem right." When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to
greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers
were full of the President's arrival.

No one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a
cheap flat on the East Side, hoping the next day to see what they could do
to make a living in the city.

That night the man's spirit broke. He said to his wife, "I can't take this;
God is not treating us fairly." His wife replied, "Why don't you go in the
bedroom and tell that to the Lord?"

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was
completely different. His wife asked, "Dear, what happened?"

"The Lord settled it with me," he said. "I told him how bitter I was that
the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us
as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put
his hand on my shoulder and simply said, 'But you're not home yet!"

-- Author Unknown