Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, January 29, 2011


But no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. - James 3:8 (NCV)
      Not all of our adventures are real. Sometimes they’re nothing more than dreams. After fainting at the sight of Harold’s clean room, Stella had a strange adventure in the Dream Zone.

      It all seemed to start with Bernadette coming over to introduce her new friend Cindy. As Stella slowly raised her head and gave out a moan, Bernadette asked her why she was laying on the floor. “It’s none of your business,” Stella snapped back, “I fainted because Harold cleaned his room.”

     After blinking a few times, because she thought she was seeing double, Stella snapped at Bernadette again. “Who’s that weird looking person standing next to you?” Now the person standing next to Bernadette was her new neighbor Cindy. Bernadette had brought her over to introduce her.

     After being introduced, Cindy had to ask Stella if the room they were in was hers. After Stella told Cindy it was her brother’s room, Cindy told Stella that He must be a very neat person. Now Harold is hardly ever neat so when Stella heard that she started laughing hysterically saying, “Harold, neat? Where did you find this weirdo Bernadette? Why don’t you tell her to take a hike. Anybody who thinks Harold is neat isn’t worth being around.”

     “She’s not a weirdo, she’s my new neighbor and friend and I will not tell her to take a hike.” Bernadette responded. That made Stella mad and she started calling Bernadette and Cindy names like Miss Nosy and Miss Windy and making fun of how they looked. She even told Bernadette that she should take a hike. When Bernadette heard that she started to cry.

     “Is this the way you treat all your friends?” Cindy asked. Stella told her that she wasn’t her friend and she should get lost NOW. Than something happened that made Stella cry. Bernadette asked Cindy to be her new best friend because Stella was talking so mean. And with that they left Stella crying all alone

      After awhile Stella heard a voice that seem to come from no where. It said “James 3:8 - but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. Stella’s tongue has turned to poison and has spoken unkind words to her ex best friend Bernadette. Has she lost her forever as a result? Time will tell.

      When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies. Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell, and it starts a fire that influences all of life. People can tame every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have tamed them, but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water.
James 3:3-12 (NCV)
      How deadly is your tongue? What kind of trouble does your tongue start?

      The tongue has awesome potential for harm, as the forest fire analogy suggests. At 9:00 one Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, poor Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern as she was being milked, starting the great Chicago Fire, which blackened three and one half miles of the city, destroying over 17,000 buildings before it was checked by gunpowder explosions on the south line of the fire. The fire lasted two days and cost over 250 lives. But, ironically, that was not the greatest inferno in the Midwest that year. Historians tell us that on the same day that dry autumn a spark ignited a raging fire in the North Woods of Wisconsin which burned for an entire month, taking more lives than the Chicago Fire. A veritable firestorm destroyed billions of yards of precious timber — all from one spark!(Preaching the Word)
  • Warnings abound in the Bible about the use of one's tongue.
    • The Scripture says, “A person must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days. He must not say evil things, and he must not tell lies. - 1 Peter 3:10 (NCV)
    • When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. - Ephesians 4:29 (NCV)
    • People who think they are religious but say things they should not say are just fooling themselves. Their “religion“ is worth nothing. - James 1:26 (NCV)
  • The Bible also tells us that what you say is a sign of what you think
    • Jesus said, “Do you still not understand? Surely you know that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then goes out of the body. But what people say with their mouths comes from the way they think; these are the things that make people unclean. Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others. - Matthew 15:16-19 (NCV)
  • On the brighter side there are advantages to keeping your tongue under control.
    • Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives, but whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined. - Proverbs 13:3 (NCV)
    • He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. - Proverbs 21:23 (NASB)
    • The words you have said will be used to judge you. Some of your words will prove you right, but some of your words will prove you guilty. - Matthew 12:37 (NCV)
     Here's Something to Ponder
  • Think carefully about what we say
  • Bite our tongues when biting words are in store

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way Hebrews 12:1b (TEV)

      Do you have a bedroom that gets messy, so messy you can’t see the floor? Harold’s bedroom was even messier, that was, until he decided to clean it.

      After cleaning his room, Harold almost got in trouble when his Dad walked by. Harold’s Dad’s name is Bill and he thought Harold was in his sister’s room because it was so clean. Harold had to remind his Dad that his sister’s carpet is red not brown. After hearing that Bill was so surprised that Harold cleaned his room that he had to sit down before he fainted. After a few minutes, Bill finally asked Harold what happened and was probably sorry he did.

      “Mom said I couldn’t eat till my room was clean, so I came in here and started to do some cleaning. Since I don’t like school very much, I threw away all my old school papers. They filled up two garbage bags. When I did that I found a bunch of missing baseball and football cards. With all my missing cards found I decided to put them away next. Did you know I have an entire 1992 collection of baseball cards? When I got them all neatly put into their boxes I went to slide them under the bed but the wouldn’t fit so I pulled all the junk out from under there. Remember that box of frogs I got last spring? Well, I found it under my bed along with lots of candy and food and junk. I filled up another garbage bag just from under the bed. Did you know I have five baseball gloves? All those times I lost my ball gloves they were in my room. I found over two hundred cars, trucks, planes, and motorcycle, several broken toys and models, sixteen balls, a half stuffed teddy bear six wads of gum and...” Harold would have kept on going but his Dad finally interrupted him. “I think I get the picture,” he said.

      I think Harold was sort of glad he had cleaned his room because he wasn’t going to have to trip over things any more and he was going to be able to find things when he needed them. Thinking about his clean room, Harold had to ask his Dad “How did it get to be so messy?”

      Bill than told Harold it got messy a little bit at a time by not taking care of things every day. “If we don’t clean our rooms up daily, the little messes we make soon become big messes.” Harold’s Dad went on, “Our live are just like this room. but it’s not school papers and toys that mess them up, but sin. We let all kinds of little sins like lies and cheating, or taking some little thing we shouldn’t, build up in our lives. They don’t seem like very much, but if we don’t keep them cleaned out of our lives, they build up until our lives are nothing but a big mess.

      As they were heading to eat, Stella walked in, saw Harold’s clean room and fainted.

      As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God's throne. Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed.
Hebrews 12:1-4 (TEV)

      What is it the takes our lives and turns them in to disaster zones?
  • The things that bring worldly pleasure
  • The wrong input, be it form TV shows, Radio programs, Movies, Music, Printed material, Friends advice...
  • Over Indulgence in things that should or shouldn't be.
  • A desire to win no matter the cost.
  • Slips of the tongue.
  • Pride.
  • Possessions.
      Some of these things may not seem like much but over time, little by little, if they are not kept cleaned out, they can turn our lives into disaster zones. Thankfully, God's Word offers us some advice to help us move towards cleanliness and yes, it will takes some effort on our part.
  • Admit our mess to God
    • People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. - Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
    • But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. - 1 John 1:9 (NLT)
  • Do some house cleaning
    • "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, - Isaiah 1:16 (NASB95)
    • So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. - James 1:21 (NLT)
  • Leave things alone
    • But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. - Romans 13:14 (ESV)
    • Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. 1 Peter 2:11 (HCSB)

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • Is your life for clutter
  • Do you take the time to clean it

Sunday, January 16, 2011


"Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat." 2 Thes. 3:10b (TEV)
      Do you ever get hungry? Have you ever been hungry because you were sent to your room without supper. Harold Peterson is a boy who is often found looking for food because he’s hungry - hungry because he keeps getting sent to his room with out lunch.

     Several weeks ago Harold was wandering around looking for something to eat when he met up with Barney. On this particular day Barney was trying to memorize a new memory verse for his Sunday School class. The verse he was learning was 1 Thessalonians 3:10 and it said something about not eating and not working, but he wasn’t sure what it meant.

     “What are you mumbling about?” Harold asked as he picked up Barney’s Bible to look under it. “What are you looking for under my Bible?” Barney replied. “Food,” said Harold, “I’m starving.” “You always think your starving,” said Barney. “This time I really am,” said Harold, “I got sent to my room again without any lunch.”

     When asked why he got sent to his room, Harold started to mumble about how his mom said he had to clean his room or go without lunch, and that he didn’t think his room was messy even though there was so much stuff on the floor that you couldn’t see it. “I moved some stuff around,” he said, “But mom said that wasn’t good enough, and now I might not get supper either and we’re having my favorite meal.”

     “Every meal is your favorite,” Barney said and than asked him if he was going to clean his room now. Harold said he didn’t think he could handle doing all that work and when he said that Barney told Harold about his memory verse and how it said those who don’t work shouldn’t eat. Harold thought his mom must have been reading that same verse, and so did Robert.

      Who’s’ Robert? Robert is Harold’s grandpa. His full name is Robert Grey but all the kids just call him Grandpa. Anyway, Grandpa Grey, as I call him, had overheard the boys talking and tried to help them understand the verse Barney was learning and how it applied to Harold and his getting sent to his room without getting to eat.

      Harold than decided it might be a good idea to clean his room and what a story that turned out to be but I’ll save that for next time

      Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 (NLT)
      Despite Harold's feeling about working to clean his room, work is not a bad thing. If you stop and think about it, work is a command from God.
  • Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. - Genesis 2:15 (NAS)
  • Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, - Exodus 20:9 (ESV)
      Not only does the Bible tell us we are to work but it gives us some very good reasons to work some of which are:
  • To provide for one's family - But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. - 1 Timothy 5:8 (NAS)
  • To have something to share - He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. - Ephesians 4:28
  • Because we are ultimately working for the Lord - Don't work hard only when your master is watching and then shirk when he isn't looking; work hard and with gladness all the time, as though working for Christ, doing the will of God with all your hearts. Remember, the Lord will pay you for each good thing you do, whether you are slave or free. - Ephesians 6:6-8 (TLB)
      On the flip side of things, laziness often leads to trouble. For Harold it meant going without eating similar to the command Paul gave the Thessalonians. As for many of us, laziness can lead to more than just hunger. Consider the words of Solomon: I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. - Proverbs 24:30-34 (NLT)

     Here's Something to Ponder
  • Are you working hard at working hard.
  • Are you being lazy in regards to being lazy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"So the body is not one part but many." 1 Cor 12:14
      Do you look like a boy with a puff of blonde hair on your head, who likes to ware the same striped shirt all the time? Do you like to eat a lot, and play outside? Do you like skunks and want one for a pet? Does your bedroom get so messy you can’t get in it and you always seem to be getting in trouble? Do you like to be mean to your sister? If you do, you might be Harold Peterson.

      Do you look like a boy whose hair is black, short and curly and your skin is kind of black too? Do you like to read the Bible and memorize verses? Do you like to help people and make them feel good? Do you find your self getting in trouble because of your best friend Harold? If you do, you might be Barney Lee.

      Maybe you’re not a boy but a girl. Are you a girl with long blonde hair who’s just crazy about boys unless the boy is her brother? Are you a girl who likes to talk and talk and talk? Are you a girl who thinks she always knows better than others and sometimes even God? If you are, you might be Harold’s sister Stella Peterson.

      Are you a girl with long brown hair with bows in it? Are you kind of shy and don’t like to talk much? Are you often getting words mixed up when you do talk? Are you able to put up with your best friend always doing the talking and still be her friend? If you are, you might be Stella’s good friend Bernadette Henderson.

      Maybe you're orphaned like Louie Blackwood and covered with freckles and never seemed to get noticed. Maybe your really old like the Greys. Maybe you live on a farm like the McDonalds or you live in town like the Miller twins. Or, maybe you’re just like you. From the Bible we can learn that God not only made us but He made us all different.

      In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul talks about the body and how it is made up of parts that are different,yet different for a reason.

     So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor again the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 
1 Corinthians 12:14-21 (HCSB)
     When you look at your own body, does your eye look like an elbow? Does your foot work like a tongue? Imagine taking your shoes off to talk. Would you always have bad breath? Are your fingers like a bunch of noses that run when you get a cold? What if you stomach decided to take over the job of pumping blood through you body? Sounds silly doesn’t it?
     Who made your foot your foot? Who made your hands your hands? Who made your stomach your stomach? Who placed them where they are? All parts of the body are needed, but not only are they needed they are needed where God put them.
      Just like our body parts are different from each other so we are different from each other. and we're different on purpose. Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if we were all the same, if everybody was just like you, or me. I admit that there are times I wish there were more people around just like me but if there were would everything get done that needed to get done.? Would we be able to get along with our-self? Would we get bored with each other?

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • Are you striving to be who God made you to be
  • Are you using your unique talents/gifts/abilities in a way that pleases God.