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, December 27, 2014


     Daisy had been looking forward to getting some after Christmas shopping in and the day after Christmas she headed to the mall. She had no idea what she was going to buy but she knew she had to get some shopping in with all those after Christmas sales. As she walked by the food court she couldn't help but notice the Miller twins sitting with their backs to each other.

     “Did you have a good Christmas, Mindy?” Daisy asked as walking over to the girls. “NO!” Mindy said with a scowl. “You didn't?” Daisy asked. “How could I with you know who around.” Mindy snapped while pointing to her sister. “It’s all her fault and she’s trying to blame me for it.”

     “It is not my fault.!” Cindy shouted and gave her sister a shove, “It was your idea.” “Was not, you liar!” Mindy yelled back while returning her sister's shove. “My sister indeed..” “Well, Cindy snapped back, “She would probably be a better sister than you!” Not wanting a fight to break out Daisy intervened asking them “What is going on here?”

     “I told you. “ Mindy said, “It's her fault.” “Don't believe her.” Cindy interrupted, “It's her fault.” “What is?” Daisy demanded “She came up with the idea to get Stella out of the hospital.” Mindy said, “It's her fault.” “It was your idea to dress her up like one of us.” Cindy retorted, “So it's your fault.”

     “Well, it was your clothes we used.” Mindy said. “It was your make up.” Cindy returned. “But why in the world did you help Stella escape?” Daisy asked. “She's our friend.” Mindy said. “And we wanted to help her.” Cindy added.

     “Where is Stella now?” Daisy asked. “In the hospital.” Cindy said looking at the floor. “And she had to miss Christmas.” Mindy added. “Is Harold still in the hospital?” Daisy asked next. “No.” Mindy said, “He got to go home.” “But Stella had to stay because she wasn’t there when she needed to be.”

     “Sounds like your plan didn't work, did it.” Daisy said. “And it's all her fault that it didn't.” Mindy said “It was not, It was your fault!” Cindy countered. “Was not!” Mindy said raising her voice. “Was too” Cindy returned raising her voice as well. And the next thing Daisy knew Mindy and Cindy were screaming at each other “WAS NOT! WAS TOO!”

     “Alright you two.” Daisy interrupted, “That's enough” “Fine!” Mindy said, “By the way have you seen my husband Joseph? We are suppose to be going to Bethlehem.” “What did you say Mindy?” Daisy asked not expecting that kind of a response. “Mindy?” Mindy said, “I'm Mary.” “Oh no!” Daisy said, “She's got the disease. Cindy, quick, you need to get your sister to the hospital. She’s got whatever Stella had.”

     “Help her?” Cindy scoffed, “No Way. Besides, I need to go find my brother Moses.” “Joseph! Joseph!” Mindy hollered, “ I think it’s time to have a baby.” And then both Mindy and Cindy took off in opposite directions. “Oh, no!” Daisy said again, I need to find the mall security, those girls need to be caught.”

     Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. - Genesis 12:1,5 (ESV)

     Abram did as God told him but it wasn't long before strife broke out. And just like Mindy and Cindy, there was likely pushing and shoving and arguing and.... well, let's see what happened.

      So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left." And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you." So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.
Genesis 13:1-18 (ESV)

     Strife is something that should be frowned upon and we are warned of such in the Bible.
  • Proverbs 3:30 Don’t accuse anyone without cause, when he has done you no harm. (HCSB)
  • Proverbs 25:8 Don’t take a matter to court hastily. Otherwise, what will you do afterwards if your opponent humiliates you? (HCSB)
  • Proverbs 26:20 Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. (HCSB)
     Here's how we should be living
  • Romans 12:16,18 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! Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. (NLT)
  • Philippians 2:3 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. (NLT)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways do you cause strife?
  • In what ways do you bring about harmony?

Saturday, December 13, 2014


     It was a beautiful day and Randy thought he would take advantage of the day and get out and walk the neighbor hood, and visit some of the families from church. His third stop brought him to the Peterson house and as he was about to knock on the door, the door flew open and Bill plowed right into him knocking him to the ground with Bill landing on top.

      “Help!” Randy called out, “I'm being attacked.” “Help?” Bill exclaimed, “I'm the one that needs help.” “What's wrong?” Randy said as Bill rolled off of him and sat up. “The great escape.” Bill exclaimed, “Martha just called from the hospital and I've got to go.” “Who escaped?” Randy asked as he sat up next. “Stella!” Bill said.

     “Does that mean she's still in the hospital?” Randy asked. “No!” Bill exclaimed, “She's escaped.” “Does that mean she's not better yet?” Randy asked. “Something like that.” Bill said, “But it may be worse.” “Who does she think she is this time?” Randy asked “Herself?” Bill said hesitantly. “Than she's alright.” Randy said about ready to say “Praise the Lord.”

     “Not according to the doctor.” Bill said, “According to him she's gotten worse.” “I'm confused.” Randy said. “Her memory has returned.” Bill explained, “But there's more wrong than just that. For starters, whatever she has, has become contagious.” “Oh, no!” Randy exclaimed, “You need to find her.”

     “I know.” Bill said, “Have you seen her?” “No I haven't.” Randy said, “And I've been out and about in the neighborhood.” “Are you sure?” Bill asked, “She's wearing a disguise.” “A disguise?” Randy said, “What kind of disguise?” “I’m not a hundred percent certain.” Bill said, “All I know, is that is how she escaped. From the hospital.”

     “Where did she get a disguise?” Randy asked. “My wife thinks the Miller twins brought to her.” Bill answered. “Surely the nurses at the hospital would have known it was her.” Randy said. “Martha said they claimed she was their sister.” Bill said, “And since they did it as people were changing shifts, everybody was still uncertain who all was there.”

     “Well, what’s the worse thing that could happen if they don’t find her.” Randy asked. “We may all end up losing our memories.” Bill said, But even worse, if it isn't treated, the doctor thinks we could all die.” “Well if it's that serious, why are you sitting here talking to me?” Randy said “Go find her!” “I’m going, I’m going.” Bill said as he stood up and took off. “I'll keep my eyes open for her.” Randy called out after him and then got up and headed to the next house on the block.”

     Does God like lying? Can lying ever be okay or needed? Can our lies cause more problems than they are suppose to solve? Does anyone know when we lie even when we keep it secret? Claiming Stella was A sister was a lie about like the one that Abraham told in Genesis 12:10-20 and while it may have seemed nobody would have known, it was known and caused a major problem.

     At that time there was a severe famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to wait it out. As he was approaching the borders of Egypt, Abram said to Sarai, "You are a very beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, `This is his wife. Let's kill him; then we can have her!' But if you say you are my sister, then the Egyptians will treat me well because of their interest in you, and they will spare my life." And sure enough, when they arrived in Egypt, everyone spoke of her beauty. When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to their king, the pharaoh, and she was taken into his harem. Then Pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her—sheep, cattle, donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. But the LORD sent a terrible plague upon Pharaoh's household because of Sarai, Abram's wife. So Pharaoh called for Abram and accused him sharply. "What is this you have done to me?" he demanded. "Why didn't you tell me she was your wife? Why were you willing to let me marry her, saying she was your sister? Here is your wife! Take her and be gone!" Pharaoh then sent them out of the country under armed escort—Abram and his wife, with all their household and belongings.
Genesis 12:10-20 (NLT)

     Does God like lying? Can lying ever be okay or needed? Can our lies cause more problems than they are suppose to solve? Does anyone know when we lie even when we keep it secret?

     Proverbs 25:26 Says - A good person who gives in to evil is like a muddy spring or a dirty well. (NCV) Abram gave into evil, he did what God hates, he lied. Proverbs 12:22 says - The LORD hates those who tell lies but is pleased with those who keep their promises. (NCV)

     Abram lied because he feared men over God.
  • Proverbs 29:25 Being afraid of people can get you into trouble, but if you trust the LORD, you will be safe. (NCV)
  • Luke 12:4 I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of people who can kill the body but after that can do nothing more to hurt you. (NCV)
     Lying originates with the Devil - John 8:44 says You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (ESV)

     Lies come but they will not last forever even if we think they will for God knows all. Proverbs 12:19 says - Truth will continue forever, but lies are only for a moment. (NCV) Abram lied, but God knew what was going on and He brought trouble on Pharaoh's household. Abrams lie affected more then just himself. Stella's lie will affect others as well.

     So, Here's Something To Ponder
  • What lies have you told thinking you were doing good?
  • In what ways have lies got you into deeper trouble?

Saturday, December 6, 2014


     It was early December and John McDonald was out in the barn doing chores or at least he was suppose to be doing them. Seeing how Christmas would soon be here, his mind kept wandering, wondering about travel plans. Three times he accidentally knocked over the milk bucket and once he sat on a pitch fork. Still he had a hard time paying attention to what he was suppose to be doing.

     “What do you think we should do?” He asked one of the cows and he heard what he thought was the cow say “I, I, I don't know.” “Huh!” John exclaimed and fell backward off his milking stool, “Cows don't talk.” Looking around the barn he quickly spotted Harold Peterson sitting on a bail of hay. “I thought you were in the hospital.” John said, “Does this mean your well. Does this mean you are yourself again?”

     “I, I, I, I’m scared.” Harold said, “I have to leave.” “You've never been scared before.” John said, Why should this time be any different.” “This time, I have to take all that I have and go.” Harold said, “I'm moving.” “I don't remember your parents saying anything about moving.” John said, “Where are you going?” “I don’t know.” Harold said, “And that's why I'm so scared.”

     Something wasn't making sense and John was starting to wonder if Harold was all right. “You're not going alone are you?” he asked. “No.” Harold said, “I’m bringing my wife with me.” “Wife!” John exclaimed as he choked on the gum he had been chewing, “Since when have you been married?”

     “Sarah and I have been married for a long time.” Harold said. “Harold,” John said, “Did you escape from the hospital? “Harold?” Harold questioned, “I'm not Harold. I'm Abraham.” “As in the father of Isaac?” John asked. “No.” Harold replied, “We don’t have any kids yet, but God has promised to make me a great nation.”

     Hearing that made John think of what he heard Martha say in church the previous week and started to put two and two together. “You must still be under the influence of that potion that exploded in your lab.” He said. “I don’t know anything about a potion or a lab.” Harold said, “I just know I’m suppose to pack everything up and leave and I’m scared.”

     “Well, I think I may know of someone who might be able to help you.” John told him “Just go to the corner of Elm and Mary street and you will find a big building there with the letters H-o-s-p-I-t-a-l on the front.” “Thank you kind sir.” Harold said, “Who should I ask for?” “Just ask for Doctor.” John said “And if you wait a few minutes I'll even take you there.” “Thank you so much for your help.” Harold said “I'll wait. I'm in no hurry to move.”

     Dr Seuss has a book titled “Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now” In which Marvin K Mooney is told to go now. So, what do you do when someone tells you to go? What if it was God telling you to go? What if He promised great things? Abraham, the guy Harold thought he was is just such a man but God hadn't changed his name yet. He was still being called Abram.

      Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev.
Genesis 12:1-9 (NASB)

     Leaving all you have known for a place and a promise could be scary. Here are some great promises to those who follow God's bidding.
  • If God calls us, He'll be with us - Genesis 26:24 The LORD appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. I will bless you and give you many descendants because of my servant Abraham.“ (NCV)
  • If we run out, God will take care of us - 1 Kings 17:13 “Don’t worry,“ Elijah said to her. “Go home and cook your food as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread from the flour you have, and bring it to me. Then cook something for yourself and your son. (NCV)
  • If in trouble God help is bigger - 2 Kings 6:16 Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.“ (NCV)
  • If weak, God will give strength - Isaiah 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (NLT)
  • If suffering, God is still there - Isaiah 43:2-3 When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end— Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! (MSG)
  • Remember, You're important to God - Matthew 10:30-31 God even knows how many hairs are on your head. So don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows. (NCV)
     If you grab yourself a Bible and read the stories around these verses they will make even more sense but even with these snippets, you can see God will take care of us it we will follow Him , do as He asks and go where He wants us to.

     Here's Something To Ponder
  • Where might God ask you to go?
  • Would you be willing to go as Abraham did?