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, November 26, 2011


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, - Psalms 100:4a (NKJV)

      It was the day after Thanksgiving and Helen and Daisy were heading out together to do some early Christmas shopping. Hoping to get to the mall before the long lines formed, they left at 4:30 in the morning but they soon found they weren’t alone. As they pulled into the mall parking lot they found it already full.

     After driving around the parking lot ten times, they finally found a spot to park and headed into the stores. Once inside, they found themselves standing in long lines no matter where they went. As they stood in the line at the shoe store Daisy happened to ask Helen how her Thanksgiving went.

     “Horrible!” Helen told her, “I had my daughter’s family over for Thanksgiving.” “It couldn’t have been that bad could it?” Daisy asked as their line moved forward a couple of feet. “Isn’t Thanksgiving a day to spend in a spirit of thanksgiving, especially to God?” Helen asked in return “It’s suppose to be.” Daisy replied

     “That’s what I thought,”Helen told her, “But the only thanks I heard all day was a short prayer before we ate. I thought Psalms 100:4 says to Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, (NKJV)” “No one was thankful?” Daisy said in shock “You’re kidding aren’t you?”

     “I wish I was.” Helen complained, “All Robert and Bill did all day was sit in front of the big screen TV watching football and yelling at the referees. Instead of helping me in the kitchen, Martha just stood in my way and complained about Harold and Stella. And as for those two grand kids of mine, I should have taken them out back with a whip.”

     “On Thanksgiving!” Daisy said with a gasp. “All those two kids did in the morning was fight and argue about which parade to watch.” Helen continued, “Stella even broke one of my good plates on Harold’s head. At lunch Harold turned into a pig spilling lots of food and gulping down everything in sight. I didn’t think anybody could eat that much and still be hungry. At least Harold didn’t leave any leftovers”

     “I guess you’re right.” Daisy told Helen, “Your Thanksgiving was horrible. How about you? How thankful were you yesterday?” “Me?” Helen replied “What was there to be thankful for? Besides, I was too busy in the kitchen.” “Sounds like you had more of an Un-Thanksgiving to me.” replied Daisy as their line moved forward two more feet.

     What was your Thanksgiving like? Was it anything like the Helen had with her family? More often than not we are guilty of having a Thanksgiving much like theirs. Thankfully we have many examples of thankfulness in the Bible that we can turn to for encouragement like the story of Belteshazzar.

     Who was Belteshazzar? Belteshazzar was a young man who had it all and nothing. More than once he found his life on the line while living in a foreign country where he was loved and despised.

     As a young man he was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and brought to his court where he was trained up to serve the king. One may wonder if he had any reason to be thankful especially when we find that he was to be executed along with his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah and many others

     You see, the king had, had a very bad dream and it scared him. He wanted to know what the dream meant but he couldn't remember what the dream even was. He called for the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to come and tell him what his dream was and what it meant but none of them could do it. This angered the king and he issued the execution of all the wise men which included Belteshazzar.

     Upon learning that he was to be executed Belteshazzar also known as Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king. Daniel was given the dream and its meaning and Daniel responded with these words.

     "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king's matter.”

     We don't need to wait until Thanksgiving day to be thankful. We don't need to wait until we go through situations like Daniel went through to be thankful. We can be thankful 100% of the time
  • Deuteronomy 8:10 - When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. (NIV)
  • Psalms 100:4 - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (NKJV)
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (HCSB) – This verse is the theme of one of my other blogs called Everyday Thankfulness
     In Luke 17:11-19 we read of the cleansing of the ten lepers and how only one – a foreigner – came back, bowed down at Jesus' feet and thanked Him. Let's not be the other like the other nine.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Were you truly thankful on Thanksgiving?
  • Do you find ways to be thankful everyday?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Test everything that is said 1 Thessalonians 5:21a (TLB)

     There are several verses in the Bible similar to what we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where it says “test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it.” (TLB) But all to often we fail to check things out as happened to Bernadette one month after a trip to the super market..

     For a whole week, Bernadette had been walking around scared, scared form something she had read while standing in line at the supermarket. This day was no different and Daisy could tell something was bothering Bernadette all through Sunday School. As all the other kids were leaving the class room, Daisy called Bernadette to her desk.

     “Are you okay?” Daisy asked Bernadette when she made it to her desk. “We’re all doomed and there’s no way to escape.” came Bernadette’s reply. “It’s coming from outer space and it’s going to eat all of us.”

     “What’s coming form outer space?” Daisy asked. “The ‘Great Octo’ space creature,” Bernadette told her, “It has eight legs and arms and huge bulgy eyes and it’s the size of a 20 story building and it eats people and nothing can stop it and....” “And I think you’ve been hanging around Harold too much,” Daisy interrupted, “How can you believe such a corny idea?”

     “I haven’t seen Harold in weeks,” Bernadette replied, “He’s too busy chasing Muffy, and the story isn’t corny, it’s true, I read it in the news magazine at the supermarket. Not only are we in trouble from the ‘Great Octo’ space creature, but people are starting to burst into flames while taking showers. I’m afraid to even go near the bath tub.”

     “What news magazine have you been reading?” Daisy asked as she tried to think of one that would publish such corny stories. “The ‘Blue Moon News’,” came Bernadette’s reply. “I read it while I was waiting in line at the checkout stand.” Upon hearing that, Daisy started to laugh, but Bernadette didn’t think it was funny. “What’s so funny?” she asked.

     “Bernadette,” Daisy answered her, “The ‘Blue Moon News’ is nothing but a gossip tabloid. Those stories aren’t true at all.” “A gossip tabloid?” Bernadette said with a bit of surprise in her voice, “You mean I can take showers again, and we’re not going to be eaten by a space creature?” “That’s right.” Daisy encouraged her.

     “That’s great news.” Bernadette exclaimed, “I need to go tell Stella we can take showers again. Thanks for helping me, Daisy.” And with that Bernadette took off with a smile on her face.

     Have you ever heard stories like those Bernadette mentioned? Or read the headlines in the tabloids at the checkout stand? (You wouldn't actually buy one, right) The two stories Bernadette talked about were based on actually headlines I saw while standing in a check out line. I've seen many other headlines and they often make them appear real but you can't believe you read or hear if you do you may end up like Bernadette or Joshua and the Israelites.

     The story I'm referring to is found in Joshua chapter 9 and when we get to verse 3 we read - When the people of Gibeon heard how Joshua had defeated Jericho and Ai, they decided to trick the Israelites. They gathered old sacks and old leather wine bags that were cracked and mended, and they put them on the backs of their donkeys. They put old sandals on their feet and wore old clothes, and they took some dry, moldy bread. Then they went to Joshua in the camp near Gilgal. The men said to Joshua and the Israelites, “We have traveled from a faraway country. Make a peace agreement with us.”

     When we drop down to verse 14 we read that The men of Israel tasted the bread, but they did not ask the Lord what to do. So Joshua agreed to make peace with the Gibeonites and to let them live. And the leaders of the Israelites swore an oath to keep the agreement. Three days after they had made the agreement, the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites lived nearby. (NCV)

     To sum the story up, the Gibeonites lied, Joshua believed them and instead of destroying them as God had commanded the treaty forced Joshua to save them because it was promised before God.

     How easily are we tricked into believing things that are false? Proverbs 14:15 says “A fool will believe anything; smart people watch their step. (TEV) When it comes to some things we almost always disbelieve what we hear or read but there are times when we accept things with out question when we should have checked things out.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 - but test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it. (TLB)
  • 1 John 4:1 - Dearly loved friends, don't always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is. For there are many false teachers around, (TLB)
  • Acts 17:10-11 - That same night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea where they went to the Jewish synagogue. These Jews were more willing to listen than the Jews in Thessalonica. The Bereans were eager to hear what Paul and Silas said and studied the Scriptures every day to find out if these things were true. (NCV)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you believe things that you should have checked out?
  • Do you fail to believe things that you should have checked out?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Stop telling lies. - Ephesians 4:25 (NLT)

     It was a quiet afternoon and Cindy decided to spend some time studying her Bible in the tree house. As she climbed up into the tree house and opened up her Bible she happened to glance up and see her sister sneaking around as if she was trying to hide from someone or something.

     “I wonder what kind of trouble Mindy’s in this time.” Cindy said to herself as she turned her attention to the Bible verse she was trying to memorize. The next she knew Mindy came bursting through the door slamming it behind her. “Mindy!” Cindy yelled at her sister and scared her half to death “What are you doing?”
     I’m not here” Mindy told her sister as she sat in a corner and pulled a blanket over her head. “Yes you are!” Cindy said with an irritated voice, “What’s going on? Are you in trouble?” “I can’t hear you.” came a muffled reply from under the blanket. “I told you, I’m not here.” “Yes you are!” Cindy yelled back, “Don’t lie!”
     “I already did.” Mindy replied with a muffled voice “What?” Cindy replied as she went and pulled the blanket off of Mindy’s head. “Remember how Mom and Dad said I could go to Bernadette’s house last night?” “Yeah.” Cindy said as she remembered the fuss her sister made until her parents said yes. “Well, Dad just found out Bernadette isn’t in town.”

     “What!?” Cindy said, “Then where were you last night?” “On a date.” Mindy replied as she drew the blanket back over her head. “A date!” Cindy shrieked. “You know we can’t date until we’re 17. What were you thinking? You’ll be grounded for the rest of your life when Dad find’s out” “If he find’s out.” Mindy said from under the blanket.

     “What going to happen when your date come’s looking for you?” Cindy asked her sister “Dad will surely find out than.” “Um, ah, I told him I was you.” Mindy told Cindy. “Who is he?” Cindy had to ask. “George Olson.” Mindy told her. “You mean Cherry’s older brother?” “Yeah.” Mindy replied with a look of wonderment in her eyes, “How do you know Cherry?”

     “Cherry,” Cindy said “is one of my friends and she was here last night playing card games with Dad and me” “What!” Mindy shouted when she learned that “No Way! I’m doomed. Do you think I should just run away?” “Actually, I think you should go fess up to your lies, you know, tell the truth.”Cindy told her “And let me get back to my Bible verse.”

     “What verse is that?” Mindy asked. “Ephesians 4:25 Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. (NLT)” Cindy told her. “That figures.” Mindy responded as grabbed for another blanket to hide under

       In 1 Samuel 8 we learn that when Samuel was old he made his sons judges over Israel but they were corrupt. As a result the people came to Samuel and asked him to appoint a king over them like all the other nations. While this displeased Samuel, with God's help he did what the people wanted and he appointed Saul as their first king, a tall handsome man with a few screws loose.

      On one occasion, Samuel said to Saul, "The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' " 1 Samuel 15:1-3 (ESV)

      As we read further we find that Saul immediately put together an army and headed off to war to do as God had bid him but we read in verse 9 that Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. This brought another visit form Samuel.

       When Samuel arrived, Saul went out to meet him and made a bold claim “I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” Samuel knew otherwise for not only did God tell Samuel, the evidence that Saul had not preformed the commandment of the Lord was bleating. After being confronted with the facts Saul again tried to lay claim that he had obeyed God but Samuel didn't buy it. This led to Samuel famous words in verses 23-23 “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

     Lying is never a good thing.
  • Lies are an abomination to God - Proverbs 12:22a Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, (ESV)
  • Liars will not be allowed in God's presence - Psalms 101:7 I will not allow deceivers to serve me, and liars will not be allowed to enter my presence. (NLT)
  • Liars will not go unpunished – Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. (NIV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How many times have lies come back to haunt you?
  • Are you willing to tell the truth?

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I urge you to imitate me. - 1 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)

      It was late afternoon when Cindy finished her school work and headed outside to play with her sister. As usual, she found her in the tree house in the backyard and as always, she was mumbling on about something. “Mindy,” Cindy called out to her, “Do you want to play?” But all Mindy could say in response was “Oooooooh, Aaaaaaah. I think I am in love.”

     “Mindy,” Cindy called again, “Do you want to play?” And this time Mindy responded with an “Aaaaaaah. Mr. Klinker Klunker .I would gladly go with you.” and an “Oooooooh, I thought you would never ask.” “What?” Cindy replied, “Who are you talking too?” But Mindy never heard her.

     “Me? Be Mrs. Klinker Klunker? You’re so wonderful!” MIndy called out a little but later. After hearing that, Cindy decided her sister needed to be brought back to real life. “Who is Mr. Klinker Klunker?” “My hero.” replied Mindy with a dreamy look on her face.

     “You have a crush on someone, don’t you?” Cindy asked her sister. “Oh, I would do anything for him.” Mindy replied. “Anything?” quizzed Cindy. “And someday I want to be just like him and star in my own movie.” Mindy continued. “Mr. Klunker is a movie star?” Cindy asked. “Heavenly, isn’t it.”Mindy said, still looking dreamy.

     “What kind of movies does he star in?” Cindy asked but Mindy didn’t know all she said was “I’ve never seen one. Mom and Dad won’t let me watch R rated movies” “R rated!” exclaimed Cindy. “Yeah, Mom says it’s because he’s indecent, and Dad says his language is terrible.” Than how do you know who he even is?” Cindy wondered out loud.

     “I saw him on a talk show once and he was Sooooooo handsome,” Mindy replied, “I liked the way he tore down all those people on the show and the way he hit that one guy shows how strong he is.” “Mindy,” Cindy replied, “You know we’re not suppose to have ungodly heros. Mr, Klinker is nothing but a klunker, just like Dad’s old car.”

     “What does God have to do with it?” asked Mindy. “Everything.” answered Cindy. “I was just reading about it this morning in the Bible. It says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. We need to be sure to imitate godly people instead of the Klinker Klunkers in our life.”

     “You sure know how to spoil a good time.” Mindy said as she climbed down from the tree house. “I’ll see you later.”

     Have you ever had a klunker for a hero? Have you ever said when I grow up I want to be just like ..... ? Sometimes we lift up everyday people to hero status which is not always a bad thing but sometimes we lift up the wrong people or lift them up to far as happened to Paul - the one who wrote 1 Corinthians 11:1 and a few other versus.

     Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey and had entered into Lystra to do some preaching. One day they met a man who had been crippled from birth and as a result had never walked. Lets pick the story up in Acts 14:8 and see what happened.

     As this man was listening to Paul speak, Paul looked straight at him and saw that he believed God could heal him. So he cried out, “Stand up on your feet!“ The man jumped up and began walking around. When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like humans and have come down to us!“ Then the people began to call Barnabas “Zeus“ and Paul “Hermes,“ because he was the main speaker. The priest in the temple of Zeus, which was near the city, brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. He and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard about it, they tore their clothes. They ran in among the people, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings like you. We are bringing you the Good News and are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted. Yet he proved he is real by showing kindness, by giving you rain from heaven and crops at the right times, by giving you food and filling your hearts with joy.“ Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them. - Acts 14:9-18 (NCV)

     Writing to those in Corinth Paul says in1 Corinthians 4:14-16 - I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me. (NLT) While Paul and Barnabas were definitely looked up to after they healed the crippled man and while that's not a bad thing, the people of Lystra went to far and lifted Paul and Barnabas to god status.

     When one looks at the first couple commandments in the Ten Commandments we are reminded that there is to be one God and we are not to lift another to that status or be god ourself. - Exodus 20:1-6 - Then God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. “You must not have any other gods except me. “You must not make for yourselves an idol that looks like anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the water below the land. You must not worship or serve any idol, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. If you hate me, I will punish your children, and even your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But I show kindness to thousands who love me and obey my commands. (NCV)

     When we raise up people to be our hero - not god status - so that we might follow their examples - let us do so because they are ultimately imitators of Christ as Paul mentions as a reason for imitating him. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.- 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NAS)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What kind of people are you imitating - are they Christ like?
  • What kind of example are you to others - are you Christ like?