Sunday, October 31, 2004
"And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." -Matthew 17:20 NASB
"And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you." -Luke 17:6 KJV
How big is a mustard seed? Jesus is telling us in these two verses, how little faith we actually have to have to accomplish great things, yet even that much faith is unattained by most people. So it helps to get a visualization of exactly how big a mustard seed is. The seed that Jesus was referring to was probably the black mustard seed, which was the smallest seed ever sown by a first-century farmer in that part of the world. ("Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." -Matthew 13:31-32 KJV)
So think for a moment about the seeds that you know. Take for instance a sunflower seed. A sunflower seed is very tiny. And to think that a mustard seed is even smaller than that. Now put that in perspective with Jesus saying that is all the faith that we need to move a mountain!
Why am I explaining all this, you might ask? To show that we, as Christians, generally do not have the faith that we should. We trust God to take care of us and supply our needs, but then the first time a bill comes due and we don't have the money to pay it, we start moaning "Oh, whoa is me....what am I going to do????". It's like we trust God for the little things, but we don't have the faith to believe that He can take care of bigger things.
Now keep in mind, that this is the same God, who made the blind man to see. He is the same God who raised Lazarus from the dead. He is the same God that healed the woman with the issue of blood (who, by the way, doctors could do nothing for!). He is also the same God that made everything that we know come into existence. He made the dark night and the light day. He formed the earth and the stars. He created every living creature. He even formed man from the dust of the earth. So why can't we trust God to take care of the things in our lives?
Mostly, I think it is because God is so awesome, that His work is so far beyond our comprehension. We believe that He can do all these things, yet we can't fully understand HOW He can do all these things. After all, His ways are not our ways. And since our mind cannot totally comprehend the magnitude of God's ability, it is sometimes hard to allow ourselves to depend on Him for everything that we need in our lives.
That is why we need to push that unbelief from our minds, and trust with our hearts. The Bible defines faith as this: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1 NIV.
Our God can do all things. There is no problem too big or too small for Him. But we have to find the faith within ourselves to call God's plan into action. God is a loving God and will not force Himself on anyone. He wants us to believe in Him and what He can do. Otherwise, He cannot get glory from the result. Think about it like this: if you pray and pray for a new home, but you are not really sure that God will send you one, and then you get a new home, you may not be so willing to say it was God who gave it to you. But if you pray, believing, and having faith that God will send you a new home, then when He does, you are going to give God the credit for that new home. Because you are going to want to tell others "I KNEW HE WOULD DO IT!!"
Faith is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes. Just because of pure human nature, it is sometimes hard for us to have even faith the size of a mustard seed. But God loves to work through faith. To show the believer that He WILL do what He said He would do.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about GETTING faith. Faith is something that you have to acquire. You don't just wake up one morning and say, "I believe, and I have faith that God will do everything I need Him to." and live the rest of your days with that conviction. There are things that happen that test our faith. These are called trials. Sometimes you may be going through a hard time in your life and you don't know why. It could be that sickness has come upon you or you are having financial difficulties. Whatever the situation, you can be sure that God will get the glory from it. A lot of times it is also to increase your faith. Think about a body-builder. You see these men (and women) that lift large objects like buses and you wonder how in the world can they do that! Well you can be certain that they didn't just go out one day and lift up an 18-wheeler! They had to work up to it. They started by lifting small weights. Maybe as small as 10 or 15 pounds. Then gradually, they work up to lifting larger weights: 50 and 75 pounds. Then they move on to lift even larger weights: 100 and 200 pounds. And so on and so forth. As they build up their muscles, they are able to lift larger and larger amounts.
We need to build up our spiritual muscles. And sometimes trials are the "weights" we use for doing that. I can often go through a trial and start to think "how am I going to make it through this?", but then I can look back at another situation God has brought me out of and I think "well, if God brought me through that, then He can bring me through this." That is exercising my spiritual muscles, which is FAITH. Every time we go through something, it helps to better prepare us for the next time we have a problem. And as long as we can stay in tune and in step with God, we can build up our faith and become stronger Christians.
I hope that one day I can build up my faith to where it is the size of a mustard seed. I hope you strive for that too!
Until next time, be blessed.......
Thursday, October 28, 2004
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are trasient all;
O why lament its fall?
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!
"He thanked God, and took courage." (Acts 28:15)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
B. Franklin, Printer
Like the Cover of an old Book
Its Contents turn out
And Stript of its Lettering & Guilding
Lies here. Food for Worms
For, it will as he believed
appear once more
In a new and more elegant Edition
corrected and improved
By the Author
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Monday, October 18, 2004
Saturday, October 16, 2004
- Do you hate to go to work? Be thankful...there are many unemployed people who would love to have a job.
- Don't have anything in your kitchen that you really want to eat? Be thankful....there are people all over the world who go to bed hungry every night because they don't have ANYTHING to eat (they would be thankful to get any of those things that you "really just aren't in the mood for")
- Think your electric bill is way too expensive? Be thankful....there are a lot of people who don't even have the comforts of electricity and running water and such. Think about that the next time you grudgingly start to wash clothes in your electric washer.....some woman somewhere is having to walk to the village creek to wash what few clothes her family has!
- At the end of the day does your back/feet/head hurt? Be thankful.....the hospitals are full of people who would love to be in your situation. Some have terminal illnesses and would gladly trade that for your little headache!
- Do your children get on your nerves? Be thankful....there are lots of people who can't have children, and the waiting list for adoptions is so long they may never get to know the joy of being parents.
- Is your car a few (or several) years old? Be thankful.....you don't have to walk to work or school or the grocery store.
- You don't live in a mansion? Be thankful......there are so many people who sleep in alleys and under bridges at night....they don't have a roof over their head and would give anything to have a soft bed to sleep in!
- You can't afford expensive clothes? Be thankful.....at least you have something to cover you....there are still many third-world countries where they can't afford clothes at all....and even right here in America there are many poverty-stricken people who depend on clothes given to them (that are too big, too small, and/or very worn) or they wouldn't have anything to wear at all
- Are you tired of hearing all of the campaign talk? Be thankful.....we live in a country where we actually have the right and the power to CHOOSE our leaders.....many people all over the world do not even have the right to vote.
- Do you get tired of listening to your parents? Be thankful....when they are gone, you will miss them terribly.
- Feel like you just don't ever have enough TIME to do everything you need to do? Be thankful......you are alive!
- Have you had your heart broken? Be thankful......no one likes to get hurt, but you will learn things that will help you the next time around. Besides, I would rather have my heart broken a thousand times, than to never know love at all.
- Bored? Be thankful.....there are so many people afflicted with different mental diseases and conditions, that they don't even know where they are. If you are bored it means you are alert and mentally capable of doing and enjoying many things.
- Never have enough money? Be thankful....God always provides, doesn't He? Many times, if we had as much money as we want, it would only get us into trouble.
- The US Office of Applied Statistics shows that 19.5 million Americans over the age of 12 currently use at least one illegal drug
- The CDC states that, in 2001, there were 30,622 people in the United States who committed suicide. And another 509,000 people visited the emergency room for self-inflicted injuries (attempted suicide)
- In 2004, roughly 1,368,030 Americans were diagnosed with cancer. (This reflects NEW cancer cases, not including people who have already been living with cancer)
- The National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention states that there are approximately 877,275 people diagnosed with AIDS in the United States as of December, 2002. Of those, approximately 9,300 are children under the age of 13.
- Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.
- According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,400 children who died in 2002 due to child abuse or neglect.
- In a study conducted by B. Grant as published in Alcohol Health and Research World Magazine, nearly 14 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders. (this means that they are possibly alcoholics)
- In any given year, between 13 million and 14 million people will experience a depressive disorder as reported in statistics from the CDC.
Friday, October 15, 2004
I would love to include your testimony as well!!! If you feel led to share, please email it to me at email@example.com and I will post it to the new blog ASAP. Please include your name and where you are from. If you wish to use only your initials or a nickname, please let me know this in your email. But just remember.....we as Christians should not be ashamed! The Bible tells us in Mark 8:38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
So let your light shine!! Share with others just how good God has been to you. And enjoy reading the testimonies of others. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please email me.
Until next time, be blessed....
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Whenever you have some free time (or when you can MAKE some time) just sit down and write out your testimony. It doesn't have to be long. Just however much you feel led to tell. When you are through with it, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it on the testimony blog. Please include at least your first name and where you are from (city OR state), and if you wish, you can include your email address. Just be aware that whatever information you provide, I will post along with your testimony unless you request otherwise.
I would love to have several testimonies before I even start this up. So, please feel free to forward this email to others and let them know that I welcome their testimony as well.
I think this would be another way to reach people who are lost or backslidden. You never know who might be inspired or touched by your testimony. You could be the only one that someone out there can relate to. Just think of the possibilities!! Please prayerfully consider doing this, and if the Lord leads you to submit your testimony, just email it to me. Thanks in advance for your help. God bless!!
"I have learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so
that no one will believe it."
"What good does it do to pray? Things just seem to be getting worse, not better."
Read Billy Graham's answer:
If all I had to read were the daily headlines, then yes -- it would be very easy to become discouraged and wonder if there was any hope.
But I also read something else every day -- and that is the Bible. And because of that, I know there is hope for the future. Yes, we live in a world that is filled with evil and violence, and the Bible is realistic about that. Jesus even warned that evil will grow worse before He comes again, and "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world" (Luke 21:26).
Why is there hope? Why should we pray? First, because God is still on the throne. In spite of all the evil in the world, the forces of Satan cannot overcome God, and some day His kingdom will come. Although we may be unaware of it, God is at work behind the scenes, and He often works in response to our prayers. How much worse off would our world be if people weren't praying?
Second, we should pray because God is still at work in the hearts of men and women, calling them to Christ and changing them by His Spirit. Pray for God to guide the leaders of the world (even those who seem opposed to Him). And pray also that God will bring spiritual revival to His people -- beginning in your own heart and life.
A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he
accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he
grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down
and, to his horror, saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than
a thousand feet. He couldn't hang onto the branch forever, and there was
no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff.
So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would
hear him and lower a rope or something. "HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there?"
"HELP!" He yelled for a long time, but no one heard him. He was about
to give up when he heard a voice.
"Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?"
"Yes, yes! I can hear you. I'm down here!"
"I can see you, Jack. Are you all right?"
"Yes, but who are you, and where are you?
"I am the Lord, Jack. I'm everywhere."
"The Lord? You mean, GOD?"
"God, please help me! I promise if, you'll get me down from here, I'll
stop sinning. I'll be a really good person. I'll serve You for the
rest of my life."
"Easy on the promises, Jack. Let's get you off from there; then we can
talk." "Now, here's what I want you to do. Listen carefully."
"I'll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do."
"Okay. Let go of the branch."
"I said, let go of the branch." Just trust Me. Let go."
There was a long silence. Finally Jack yelled, "HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE
ELSE UP THERE?"
Have you ever felt like Jack? We say that we want to know the will of
God, but when we find out what it is, we can't handle it. Sounds too
scary--too difficult. We decide to look elsewhere. When He says, "Let go
of the things that stand between you and Me, and trust Me with your
life," it sounds pretty scary. But when we let go, we find freedom and
safety in His hands."
Monday, October 11, 2004
on death row had killed:
You are probably surprised that I, of all people, am writing a letter to you,
but I ask you to read it in its entirety and consider its request seriously.
As the Father of the man whom you took part in murdering, I have something
very important to say to you.
I forgive you. With all my heart, I forgive you. I realize it may be hard for
you to believe, but I really do. At your trial, when you confessed to your
part in the events that cost my Son his life and asked for my forgiveness, I
immediately granted you that forgiving love from my heart. I can only hope you
believe me and will accept my forgiveness.
But this is not all I have to say to you. I want to make you an offer -- I
want you to become my adopted child. You see, my Son who died was my only child,
and I now want to share my life with you and leave my riches to you. This may
not make sense to you or anyone else, but I believe you are worth the offer.
I have arranged matters so that if you will receive my offer of forgiveness,
not only will you be pardoned for your crime, but you also will be set free
from your imprisonment, and your sentence of death will be dismissed. At that
point, you will become my adopted child and heir to all my riches.
I realize this is a risky offer for me to make to you -- you might be tempted
to reject my offer completely -- but I make it to you without reservation.
Also, I realize it may seem foolish to make such an offer to one who cost my
Son his life, but I now have a great love and an unchangeable forgiveness in
my heart for you.
Finally, you may be concerned that once you accept my offer you may do
something to cause you to be denied your rights as an heir to my wealth. Nothing
could be further from the truth. If I can forgive you for your part in my Son's
death, I can forgive you for anything. I know you never will be perfect, but
you do not have to be perfect to receive my offer. Besides, I believe that once
you have accepted my offer and begin to experience the riches that will come
to you from me, that your primary (though not always) response will be
gratitude and loyalty.
Some would call me foolish for my offer to you, but I wish for you to call me
The Father of Jesus
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an
interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in
Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a
mountain to assess the inferno's damage.
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched
statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat
sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under
their dead mother's wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried
her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under
her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.
She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her
babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her
small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been
willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will
find refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
Being loved this much should make a difference in your life
Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.
My instructions were to send this to people that I wanted God to
bless and I picked you. Please pass this on to people you want to
To realize the value of a sister
Ask someone who doesn't have one.
To realize the value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one minute:
Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one-second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
To realize the value of a friend:
Thursday, October 07, 2004
in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened,
a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw
the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was kinda shabby
and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed,
each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew,
with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him
"What are you doing here?"
The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.
"I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kinda what I say:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY."
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine. He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime.
Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks."
He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim's prayer:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY."
Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim,
he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand
why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke
up and with a winsome smile;
"the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
that in here all the while
everyday at noon He's here,
a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,
HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS
CHECKING IN TODAY."
May God hold you in the palm of His hand
and Angels watch over you.
He not only holds us in the palm of His hand, but has engraved our names there,
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
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- ► 2007 (102)
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- Faith and the Mustard Seed
- In Memory of Helen
- Words to remember....
- Update on Helen
- URGENT PRAYER REQUEST
- Don't forget....
- We are blessed....
- God has been so good to me...
- A little help here.....
- Why Pray?
- THE CLIFFHANGER
- And one more definitely worth reading....
- Under His wings....
- "Checking In"
- My friend Terra's little miracle: Corey Shane Sou...
- When the world says we can't, God says we CAN!!
- A few things to shout about....
- The Vision and The Reality
- ▼ October (19)