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 24, 2015


     Helen Grey was wondering what she should make for supper, not for herself but for some of the families who's kids had contracted whatever it was that Stella and Harold had created. Rummaging through her pantry, Helen didn't hear her daughter come in and she didn't even hear her walk up behind her until Martha started to sob.

     “Now, now.” Helen said putting her arm around Martha, “It's going to be alright. The doc said they were going to get better.” I know.” Martha said, “But, but, that's not it.” “Is something else wrong?” Helen asked as a look of concern came over her face. With her head bowed low Martha said “Do you have some money I can borrow?”

     “Money?!” Helen responded, “Is that all? That's not so bad. How much do you need?” “Two hundred and fifty.” Martha started to answer. “That is a little bit.” Martha injected, “But I think I can help.” “Thousand.” Helen finished saying. Martha pulled away from Helen and looking her in the eye asked, “Did you say two hundred and fifty thousand?”

     “Yeah.” Martha said and started to cry harder. “That's a lot of MONEY!” Helen said. “I know.” Martha said between her sobs, “But that's what they said it would cost.” “No wonder you're crying.” Helen said, I would be too if I had a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar hospital bill.” “HOSPITAL BILL?” Martha said looking up. “I forgot about that.”

     “Than what do you need two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for?” Helen asked in surprise. “Bill.” Martha said. “What bill?” Helen asked, “Is there another bill besides the hospital bill?” “My husband Bill.” Helen said, “He needs the money.” But why does he need the money?” Martha asked.
Because he's in jail.” Helen said, “He needs it to post bail.”

     “What in the world is he doing in jail?” Helen said in surprise. “The hospital had him arrested and put in jail.” Martha said, “He kept trying to help the doctors cure Harold and Stella.” “Is that so bad?” Helen asked. “It was.” Martha said, “Because he thought he knew better than the doctors and kept getting in the way and making things worse.” “And they put him in jail for that?” Helen asked.

     “It was the only way they could get him out of the way so they could get their job done.” Martha said with a sigh. “Well, I'm sorry.” Helen said, “I don’t have that much money to lend you.” “I didn't think so.” Helen said “Oh well, well, maybe this way the doctors can finish curing the kids. See you later. Is there anything I can do to help you so I can take my mind off of everything.?” “Sure.” Helen said, “Peel me some potatoes. I think I know what I'm going to make.”

     But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what can you give me? I have no son, so my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.“ Abram said, “Look, you have given me no son, so a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.“ Then the LORD spoke his word to Abram: “He will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own who will inherit what you have.“ - Genesis 15:2-4 (NCV)

     Abram was going to make a slave his heir but God said NO! God told Abran he would have a son of his own but guess what? His wife didn't seem to be having children, they were getting old and something needed to be done but who should do it? Should God be allowed or does someone else need to try and get the job done?

     Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children, but she had a slave girl from Egypt named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “Look, the LORD has not allowed me to have children, so have sexual relations with my slave girl. If she has a child, maybe I can have my own family through her.“ Abram did what Sarai said. It was after he had lived ten years in Canaan that Sarai gave Hagar to her husband Abram. (Hagar was her slave girl from Egypt.) Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai badly. Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is your fault. I gave my slave girl to you, and when she became pregnant, she began to treat me badly. Let the LORD decide who is right—you or me.“ But Abram said to Sarai, “You are Hagar’s mistress. Do anything you want to her.“ Then Sarai was hard on Hagar, and Hagar ran away. The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the desert, by the road to Shur. The angel said, “Hagar, Sarai’s slave girl, where have you come from? Where are you going?“ Hagar answered, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.“ The angel of the LORD said to her, “Go home to your mistress and obey her.“ The angel also said, “I will give you so many descendants they cannot be counted.“ The angel added, “You are now pregnant, and you will have a son. You will name him Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your cries. Ishmael will be like a wild donkey. He will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. He will attack all his brothers.“ ...
Genesis 16:1-16 (NCV)

     In Isaiah 55:6-9 we read - So you should look for the LORD before it is too late; you should call to him while he is near. The wicked should stop doing wrong, and they should stop their evil thoughts. They should return to the LORD so he may have mercy on them. They should come to our God, because he will freely forgive them. The LORD says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (NCV) - God knows what He is doing but we don't always know. Sometimes we try to help Him along by “Playing god” ourselves. Trouble usually follows. In the above story we saw how trouble resulted when Abram and Sarai tried to help God along.
  • In verse 4 we saw hatred from pride
  • In verse 6 we saw harsh treatment from jealousy
  • In verse 12 we saw a curse of trouble that would go on always
     We also see how God stepped in after things had been messed up.
  • In verse 11 we see that God knows what He is doing.
  • In verse 9 we see that God asks for submission
  • In verse 10 we see God make a promise
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways have you tired to help God along as if you knew better?
  • In what ways had God had to fix things after you've messed them up?

Saturday, January 17, 2015


     Somethings are hard to believe and Robert Grey was having a hard time believing that January was over half gone already. Robert was also having a hard time believing what he was reading. As he sat in his rocker paging through the book he had received for Christmas he kept shouting out “No Way. That can't be true. I don't believe it.”

     “I don't think I can believe it either.” came a voice that sounded like it was ready to burst into crying.” It was Bill. “You don't even know what I'm reading?” Robert said “I'm not talking about what you are reading.” Bill said, “I'm talking about – what are you reading?” “Oh,” Robert said, “It some book I got for Christmas called 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not.' These stories are too hard too believe.”

     “So is.... So is.....” Bill started to say and then he did start crying. “This can't be good.” Robert said to himself and put down his book. “Bill, is something wrong.” After asking the question three more times, Robert finally got a broken reply. “It’s Harold and Stella and that funny virus they made.” Bill said through his crying.

     “But there better.” Robert said, “There's no reason to be crying now.” “But they're not better.” Bill said still crying. “They're back in the hospital and, and, and, and they are worse than ever.” When Robert heard that his heart sank. “Gulp, Tell me you're just telling me a story to see if I'll believe it or not?”

      “I wish I was.” Bill said, “But I'm not.” “How bad is it?” Robert asked feeling as if he might start crying too. “They don’t seem to know anything now.” Bill said. “And on top of all of that, they have been running high temps and shaking violently. They looked so bad I couldn't even stay and watch them.”

     “With tears starting to stream down his eyes, Robert finally asked, “What does the Doctor have to say?” “ He thinks that this is the end.” Bill said. “You mean they're about to die?” Robert asked with a very concerned look on his face. “No,” Bill said, “The end of the virus. The doctor thinks they will soon be better.”

     “I think that's good news.” Robert said, “But didn't they say that before.” “Yes.” Bill said, “But, I can’t see how it is possible. They look like they are dying. I just can’t believe it, even though I want too.” “We can always try.” Robert replied, “We can always try.”

     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 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." - Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV) – To be a great nation meant having many descendants but there was a problem, Abram had no children so we read again. 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. - Genesis 13:14-16 (ESV) – That is a lot of offspring but again, Abram had no children and while we are not told so in these verses, Abram and his wife are getting up there in years. Could Abram believe God, could he believe the promise?

      After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess." But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?" He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites."
Genesis 15:1-21 (ESV)

     Why was it hard for Abram to believe? Why is it hard for us to believe? Others in the Bible found it hard to believe.
  • Gideon - Then Gideon said to the LORD, “If you are pleased with me, give me proof that it is really you talking with me. Judges 6:17 (NCV)
  • John the Baptist - John the Baptist was in prison, but he heard about what Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to Jesus. They asked him, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?“ Matthew 11:2-3 (NCV)
  • Thomas - The other followers kept telling Thomas, “We saw the Lord.“ But Thomas said, “I will not believe it until I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side.“ John 20:25 (NCV)
     Proverbs 3:5 Trust the LORD with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. (NCV)

     Here's Something To Ponder
  • What keeps you from believing?
  • How willing are you to believe God?

Saturday, January 3, 2015


     It was New Years morning and kids were still zonked out around the McDonald's farm house form the New Years eve party the night before but since the animals didn't party, they were up and needed taken care of so John put on his warm clothes and headed out to the barn. “Hopefully someone will wake and come help me.” He thought to himself.

      As he sat next to one of the cows to milk her, he started singing “Old McDonald.” As he sang he started to notice the animals were joining in on cue. “I sure have some smart animals.” he said out loud. “Of course we are.” came a reply in a deep voice. As he continued singing, and animals kept sounding on cue, John suddenly stopped, “Wait a minute,” He said “Animals don't talk. Who's in here with me?”

      The next thing John knew, Harold Peterson fell out of the hay loft landing next to him. “Ouch” he said sitting up and shaking hay out of his hair. “What were you doing in the hay loft?” John asked
seeing Harold would be alright. “Oh, I was just following Tracy to see what she was up to?” “She should be up tp helping me with the chores.” John said.

      “I kind of figured that but she wasn't acting normal?” Harold said. “What do you mean?” John asked. “Well,” Harold said, “I've never known her to like to sew but all she kept talking about to night was sewing.” “Sewing?” John said “Tracy doesn't like to sew. Are you sure she was talking about sewing?”

      “Well, I'm not 100 percent sure.” Harold said, “But see kept muttering something about how she was suppose to get some flag sewn. And on top of that, I heard her tell one of the other kids that she was Betsy Ross.” “I take it you never payed attention in History class at school?” John said. “Betsy Ross was the person who sewed the first flag for the United States.” “Paying attention cost too much.” Harold said and then after a short pause added, “Oh, no. She must have the disease too.”

     “But how would she have got it?” Harold asked, “It was Mindy and Cindy who helped my sister escape from the hospital.” “To make a long story short,” John said, “After Mindy and Cindy helped Stella escape they brought her here to the farm and hid her in Tracy's fort.” “Didn't Tracy know she was sick?” Harold asked, “She should have known better.”

      “I think she did know better.” John said, “At least she claimed to know better. Tracy told me that she tried to talk them out of it.” “But she helped them anyways.” Harold added. “Bad company corrupts good morals. Or something like that. I think that's in the Bible.” “Yeah, I'm sure it is.” John said, “By the way, can you take over the milking for me? I need to go find Betsy, I mean Tracy, and get her to the hospital.”
      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. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 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. - Genesis 13:10-13 (ESV)

      Sometimes we see things we know are not right and yet we go along with them, like Tracy going along with Cindy and Mindy, Like Lot going along with Sodom.... After all, he needed to take care of his family and possessions.... Of course, there were consequences for his choice. The first of which is found in Genesis 14

      In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).... four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way. Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people. After his return the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.' I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. (ESV)

      Lot was living in the city of the wicked and while Abram rescued them because of Lot, he would have nothing to do with them and their stuff – he preferred to take God's side and gives a tithe to God's high priest Melchizedek.

      One can only wonder why Lot was in Sodom. The Bible says...
  • My child, if sinners try to lead you into sin, do not follow them. - Proverbs 1:10 (NCV)
  • Don’t follow the ways of the wicked; don’t do what evil people do. - Proverbs 4:14 (NCV)
  • But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. - 1 Timothy 6:9 (ESV)
  • Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." - 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
  • Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. - Romans 6:13 (ESV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Will you follow the crowd even if you know you shouldn't?
  • Would you lead others astray?