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 28, 2012


     It was Friday and while most kids had already left school for the weekend, Harold found himself staying late to clean gum off desks in his classroom. He told the teacher he was just saving it for later but she didn't buy it and now he had to clean it off from every desk but first he had to find the custodian and get some cleaning supplies.

     “Hello!” Harold called out when he got to the custodian's supply room, “Anybody here?” Receiving no answer, Harold started rummaging around looking for something to get the gum off the desks and he soon realized he was actually in the teacher's supply room and with all that stuff to get into he quickly forgot why he was even there.

     “Just think of all the things I could do with this paint.” Harold thought out loud as he sat down on the floor to take a closer look. As he reached to take some a shove in his pocket he heard someone enter the room. Knowing he shouldn't be in there and not wanting to get caught he quickly rolled under a bottom shelf.

     It wasn't long before Harold could see the feet of two teachers standing beside the shelf he was hiding under. As the teachers stood there, Harold could hear them talking about some of the kids in his class. He didn't pay much attention until one of the teachers mentioned the name Harold.

     Thinking that they would have nothing good to say about him he was very surprised when he heard one start talking about how good he was. “I think Harold is the best student I have ever had.” he heard one of them say. “Wow!” Harold thought “I never knew I was that good. I wonder if they'll say anything else about me.”

     “I have to agree.” the other teacher replied, “And Monday I plan to give Harold the Good Student Award in front of the entire class.” “Well,” The other teacher responded, “He sure deserves it. Harold is the first person I have ever had to ace the big test.” “Monday is really going to be a great day.” Harold thought to himself as he laid there for another half hour soaking in the praise of the teachers.

     All weekend Harold could think of nothing but receiving the Good Student Award and rubbing it in his sister's face -literally and when Monday came around he couldn't wait to get to school.

     “Class.” the teacher called out just before time to go home. “I would like to hand out the Good Student Award and I would like Harold Henderson to come to the front of the room.” Upon hearing the name Harold, Harold jumped up and headed to the front of the room. “I'm here!” Harold told the teacher. “Why?” The teacher asked, “I didn't call your name, I called Harold Henderson. But, as long as you are here, you need to report to the principle's office. You forgot to do something last Friday.”

     “Oh, great!” Harold mumbled and turned to leave and as he did he bumped into a boy with glasses and a pencil over his ear. “Hi, Harold.” he said, “I'm Harold Henderson. See you later.” “This is not good.” Harold mumbled and than walked into a closed door embarrassing himself even more.

     In the book of Esther there is this story of a man who was just like Harold Peterson - conceited. Here's the story.

     That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the historical records of his kingdom so they could be read to him. In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king's private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate the king. "What reward or recognition did we ever give Mordecai for this?" the king asked. His attendants replied, "Nothing has been done." "Who is that in the outer court?" the king inquired. Now, as it happened, Haman had just arrived in the outer court of the palace to ask the king to hang Mordecai from the gallows he had prepared. So the attendants replied to the king, "Haman is out there." "Bring him in," the king ordered. So Haman came in, and the king said, "What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?" Haman thought to himself, "Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?" So he replied, "If the king wishes to honor someone, he should bring out one of the king's own royal robes, as well as the king's own horse with a royal emblem on its head. Instruct one of the king's most noble princes to dress the man in the king's robe and to lead him through the city square on the king's own horse. Have the prince shout as they go, `This is what happens to those the king wishes to honor!' " "Excellent!" the king said to Haman. "Hurry and get the robe and my horse, and do just as you have said for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the gate of the palace. Do not fail to carry out everything you have suggested." So Haman took the robe and put it on Mordecai, placed him on the king's own horse, and led him through the city square, shouting, "This is what happens to those the king wishes to honor!" Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. - Esther 6:1-12 (NLT)

     Haman's conceit eventually led him to a hanging – his own. God's word gives us many warning when it comes to being conceited. Here are some. Of them

  • Proverbs 3:7a Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; (TEV)
  • Romans 12:3a Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. (NCV)
  • Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with each other. Don't try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all! (NLT)
  • Philippians 2:3-4 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. (NLT)

     The answer to conceit is also found in the verses above and it is humility.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you think yourself better than you really are?
  • When you are praised, do you let it go to your head?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Psalms 139:14a (NKJV)

      As a doctor, Timothy Henderson enjoyed his job. He loved being around people and being able to help them and make them better. He often thought of himself as an extension of Jesus even though he couldn't preform the miracles that Jesus did. Today was an exception, today he was not enjoying his job, today he had to be the bearer of some bad news.

     At the Peterson household, it seemed as if it would be another normal day. Harold and Stella were fighting while trying to get ready for school, Bill was trying to remember where he put his brief case the night before so he could go to work and Martha was in the bathroom throwing up because of her pregnancy but all was about to change.

     Just after the kids had left for school, Martha came out of the bathroom shaking like an earthquake.. When Bill saw her he was about to start teasing her but he held his tongue and it was a good thing he did for Martha was shaking because she was scared, because something wasn't right. “Bill,” she called out to her husband, “You need to get me to the hospital.” and than she passed out on the floor.

     After two quick phone calls – one for an ambulance and one to say he wouldn't be coming to work, and not knowing what else to do, Bill grabbed some water and started splashing it on his wife's face. After a few minutes of this, Martha opened her eyes and started to say “I'm scared.” At the same time the ambulance showed up and off they went to the hospital.

     Soon, Bill found himself barraged with a ton of paper work while Dr. Henderson examined Martha to try and figure out what was wrong. He ordered up several blood tests and an ultra sound and after what seemed like ages he had the results.

     “Bill.” the doctor called out when he found him in the waiting room, “You better come back here.” As soon as Bill got back to the examination room he sat down next to Martha and held her hand. “I'm afraid I have some bad news.” Doc started to say, “And I wish I didn't have to tell you this.” “Is my wife dying?” Bill had to ask when he heard that.

     “No.” Doc assured him, “Your wife isn't dying but the baby..” The Doc got a lump in his throat and had to stop talking. “What about the baby?” Martha asked as she started to shake again and with tears in his eyes Doc told them that the baby had died and Martha was having a miscarriage. Upon hearing the news Bill wrapped his arms around his wife and they both cried.

     Later that evening as Harold and Stella received the news they put aside their fighting and when they went to see their mom, together they wrapped their arms around her in silence.

     How precious is an unborn child to you? This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

     I'm not sure who put this together for I found it in several places on the Internet but here it is.

     On September 11, 2001 evil doers killed over 4,000 people. They were future leaders of this nation, doctors who could have saved many, scientist who may have found a cure for cancer, evangelist who may have lead thousands to the Lord and they were loved. Yes on September 11, 2001, evil doers killed over 4000 people.

     On September 12, 2001 evil doers killed over 4000 people and again on September 13 and 14 and 15. Every day evil doers are killing over 4000 unborn babies. 4000 each day, 28,000 each week, 112,000 each month and 1,460,000 each year.

     All those deaths and why? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states: * 1% are victims of incest or rape * 1% had fetal abnormalities * 4% had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy * 50% said they didn’t want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships * 66% stated they could not afford a child *75% said the child would interfere with their lives. (1)

     Children, babies, and even people no longer seem to be important, they are no longer special yet God's word tells us that children, babies and even us are;
  • Created in God's image - Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. (HCSB)
  • Formed by God in the womb - Psalms 139:13-16 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know [this] very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all [my] days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. (HCSB)
  • A gift from God - Psalms 127:3-5 Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands. How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. (NLT)
     Long before a child is born he or she is very much alive - Medical authorities determine a person to be “alive” if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. With that in mind, it is eye-opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at eighteen days (two and one-half weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity forty days (a little over five and one-half weeks) after conception.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How do you see the life of a child before birth?
  • Is life important to you?

    (1) Statistics cited in Rescue Update, June/July 1989, Southern California Operation Rescue, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 12.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Let the little children come to me. (NCV) Mark 10:14A

      Have you ever heard of the saying “Children should be seen and not heard?” That was a question that was asked by a reporter that had knocked on the Blackwood’s front door. The reporter was working for the local newspaper and was asked to see if the people of Pupperville thought children were important.

      “I have.” Louie answered, “And it seems that I’m not only not heard, but I’m often not even seen. Many of the older people often make me feel like I’m not important and often times the walk right by me as if I don’t even exist.” Totally ignoring Louie’s response, the reporter asks to see one of his parents.

      “One could ask you the same thing.” Randy said as he came to the door. “Well, of course I believe children are important.” the reporter told him, “After all, I’m doing this survey for the newspaper.” “Is that why you ignored Louie’s answer?” Randy asked the reporter in return. “Louie?” the reporter replied, “Who’s Louie?”

      “Louie happens to be the child that answered the door.” Randy told the reporter. “Yeah!” thought Louie to himself, “You could have listened to me.” “Well, um, ah,” the reporter started to mumble, “Our readers don’t want to know what children have to say, they want to know what REAL people have to say.”

      “Are you saying children aren’t real?” Randy quizzed the reporter. “Are you saying that Harold, Stella, Bernadette, and Barney aren’t real?” “Who are they?” asked the reporter. “Just some of the most important people in our church’s youth group.” Randy told the reporter. “But that’s because they are people and not children.” the reporter responded.

      “But they are children.” Louie said with a big laugh, “Why do you think they call it a youth group?” “Let me remind you of what Jesus thought of children in Mark 10:13-16.” Randy told the reporter, “There, we read these words Some people brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them, but his followers told them to stop. When Jesus saw this, he was upset and said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children. I tell you the truth, you must accept the kingdom of God as if you were a little child, or you will never enter it.“ Then Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them. (NCV)

      Upon hearing those words the reporter turned to walk away and tripped over Harold who had walked up behind him. “Why can’t you kids stay out of the way!?” he yelled “Haven’t you heard kids are, are, are, never mind.” and he got up and left, mumbling something about how there should be a law against having kids.

      Prior to the verses quoted by Randy in our story Jesus had been busy teaching grown ups. This particular story about Jesus is not only found in Mark but also in Matthew and Luke where we learn what Jesus had been teaching.

      Prior to the story in Matthew 19 the Pharisees had been trying to trick Jesus with a question on divorce which lead Jesus into a lesson on marriage. When we turn to the story in Luke 18 we find Jesus was also teaching his followers about prayer and how we should be persistent in praying yet we are to be humble in our praying.

      It is this setting that the little children were being brought to Jesus so He could touch them. It seems to have been a custom in Jesus' day to bring young children to important religious leaders and teachers to be blessed with the laying of hands on the child's head and offering a prayer for them.

      Maybe the disciples thought children were a bother or a distraction to the work Jesus was doing, we don't know but we do know they tried to keep the parents from bringing them to Jesus and we know that Jesus was not happy with His disciples for trying to shew them away and chewed them out.

      “Let the little children come to me.” He told the disciples, “Become like little children.” He told them' “Or you won't enter the kingdom of God” What a blow that must have been to the disciples and what a blow it could be to us if we treat children the same way.

      In a society that's devoted to self – children become a nuisance or a hindrance for they take time, effort, love, discipline, training, and the list can go on but each and every child is worth it 100%

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you treat the children in your life like Jesus did or His disciples did?
  • Are you willing to look at children as your example?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


But no one can tame the tongue; James 3:8a (NAS)

     The new year had come but nothing new had come with it. At least not at the Peterson house. As usual, Bill was busy at work, Martha was at home on the phone trying to put together plans for a Valentine’s banquet, and Harold and Stella were at it again.

     “I am not an ugly monster! You are!” Stella yelled as she ran into the kitchen “What did you call me?” Martha asked Stella as she covered up the end of the phone. “I wasn’t talking to you.” Stella told her mom, “I was talking to Dog Breath.” “You mean Muffy?” Martha asked. “No, Harold.” Stella replied.

     Just then, Harold came into the kitchen and started in, “What did you call me you pig?” he yelled at his sister. “I said you smell like a dog and thank you for calling me a pig.” Stella replied, “I am after all a Pretty Intelligent Girl.” “You mean Pretty Ignorant Girl.” Harold retorted. “I am not, Squid Brain.” Stella yelled back at Harold. “At least squids have brains.” Harold quickly replied.

     “Alright, you two,” Martha said as she hung up the phone, “What’s going on here?” “He started it.” Stella told her Mom. “I did not, you did.” Harold said trying to put the blame back on his sister. “No, you did, you big baboon!” Stella responded. “Well,” Harold answered back, “You’re the one that looks like a monkey or at least acts like one. You Retard.”

     On and on they went calling each other names until finally, Martha interrupted them. “Enough!” She yelled at the top of her lungs. “I think you’ve done enough name calling and criticizing, and you still haven’t told me what’s going on here.” “I told you, he started it.” Stella answered. “Started what?” Martha demanded. “I’m thinking.” Stella replied and than it started all over again.

     “You have to have a brain to think.” Harold shouted at his sister who in turn called Harold a Hog Face Brat. To which he replied by calling Stella a toad face with warts all over it. “I am not.” Stella shot back. “You are too.” Harold continued, “In fact, you’re so ugly that only a mother could love you.”

     “Well, your mom is so ugly, ” Stella started to say when her mother interrupted her, “Your mom is what?” Martha asked. Taking a quick glance at her mom, Stella started to sputter and cough and than ran off to her room and Harold decided he needed to go look for Muffy. “When will they ever learn?” Martha said to herself as she picked up the phone.

     James 3:8-10 says - But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. (NAS)

     There's an old saying - “Sticks and stone may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” But, names can hurt for if they couldn't they may not be said. Name calling may come in different forms such as what happened to Jesus in Matthew 12 after He healed a blind mute by casting out a demon.

     Then some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon. Jesus healed the man so that he could talk and see. All the people were amazed and said, “Perhaps this man is the Son of David!“ When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, to force demons out of people.“ Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking, so he said to them, “Every kingdom that is divided against itself will be destroyed. And any city or family that is divided against itself will not continue. And if Satan forces out himself, then Satan is divided against himself, and his kingdom will not continue. You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. If that is true, then what power do your people use to force out demons? So they will be your judges. But if I use the power of God’s Spirit to force out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. - Matthew 12:22-28 (NCV)

     After Jesus healed the man it appears as if the Pharisees became Jealous and they quickly tried to put Jesus down claiming he was doing His work in the name of Beelzebul – the prince of demons – of course when demons are cast out they are cast out in Jesus' name so it's almost as if they were calling Jesus Beelzebul himself.

     A couple chapters earlier Jesus made it know that He had been called Beelzebul and his followers would likely be called worse. - A student is not better than his teacher, and a servant is not better than his master. A student should be satisfied to become like his teacher; a servant should be satisfied to become like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, then the other members of the family will be called worse names! Matthew 10:24-25 (NCV)

     Beelzebul isn't the only name Jesus was called. Matthew 11:19 says He was called other names as well - And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, `He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it." (NLT)

     The Bible warns against name calling - Matthew 5:22 - But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (NLT) Add to this Proverbs 4:24 - Don’t use your mouth to tell lies; don’t ever say things that are not true. (NCV) and we should get the idea to not behave like Harold and Stella or the Pharisees

     Much more could be said about name calling and how it goes against the Biblical command to build each other up or how when we call someone names we may actually be calling Jesus names in the process but I'm running short on time and space but that doesn't mean you can't study it out some more. In the mean time....

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Are you initiating name calling?
  • Do you return name calling when called names?