Archive | April, 2010

You Are As Good As Your Words

April 28, 2010

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The words of a good person give life, like a fountain of water, but the words of the wicked contain nothing but violence.
–NCV Proverbs 10:11
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Suffer Not the Little Children

April 27, 2010

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Last week, I took my children to a restaurant.

My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace.

As we bowed our heads he said, ‘God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!’

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, ‘That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!’

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, ‘Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?’

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, ‘I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.’

‘Really?’ my son asked.

‘Cross my heart,’ the man replied.

Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), ‘Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.’

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.

He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, ‘Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.’

–Collected from my inbox

13 Some people brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them, but his followers told them to stop. 14 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. 15 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.” 16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.

–NCV Mark 10:13-16

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We Make Our Own Success

April 26, 2010

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Your business is never really good or bad “out there.” Your business is either good or badright between your own two ears.
-Zig Ziglar
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Presidential Quotes on the Bible

April 19, 2010

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 I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands…. The Bible makes the best people in the world.


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5 Things the New Testament Says About Gossip

April 16, 2010

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The Gossips - 1948 - Norman Rockwell

The Gossips – 1948 – Norman Rockwell

In Matthew 12:33-34 Jesus taught us:

  • that we will be known by our fruit
  • and the mouth bears the fruit of the heart.

Gossip is a particularly aggressive sin against the commandment to love thy neighbor. We can go out of our way to gossip, or we can do it without giving it a second thought.

How ever we do it, the result is never good.

Scripture leaves little doubt as to how God feels about gossip. Here are five things the New Testament has to say about the aspects gossip:

  1. The tongue is a small member that can cause big trouble – James 3:5
  2. Corrupt speech is sinful Ephesians 4:29-31
  3. Mind your own business 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12
  4. Babbling is ungodly 2 Timothy 2:16
  5. Lay aside the evil thoughts 1 Peter 2:1


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Wisdom Calls

April 14, 2010

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1 Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting;
understanding raises her voice.
2 On the hilltops along the road and at the crossroads,
she stands calling.
3 Beside the city gates, at the entrances into the city,
she calls out:
4 “Listen, everyone, I’m calling out to you;
I am shouting to all people.
5 You who are uneducated, seek wisdom.
You who are foolish, get understanding.

–NCV Proverbs 8:1-5

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The Value of Pleasing Men

April 13, 2010

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I ‘M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ‘s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They ‘d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

–Emily Dickinson

Contrast this bit of verse to Galatians 1:10.  It seems the Apostle Paul and Emily Dickinson had the same distaste for trying to please men.

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Quotes on the Bible

April 12, 2010

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My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising…. It seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day…. It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.

-John Quincy Adams

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A Time for Everything

April 7, 2010

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1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

KJV Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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Blackberry Jelly

April 6, 2010

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I have tested every blackberry jelly sold in stores and I have never found one that comes close to the jelly my grandmother used to make. It had the perfect combination of tartness that caused your jaw muscles to contract and intense sweetness that would rescue those muscles just before they became too uncomfortable. One year, the quest for that seasonal treat in my childhood led to a find much sweeter than any jelly.

The summer before I went into the sixth grade I noticed the berries were getting pretty ripe. I ran to grandma’s house to let her know the berries were coming in nicely and how I bet this was going to be a good year for jelly.

If she said anything, I didn’t hear it. She had bent under the sink and I heard her digging that pan out. That pan is the pan that comes out when someone is going to have to go to the garden – and it held at least 40 gallons. Any twelve year old that hears that sound would know to run the other direction, but I was trapped. She sent me down to the bushes to fill the pan with blackberries

I had been out there for what had to have been hours and the bottom of my pan was barely covered.

The briars that berries grow on seem to scratch me no matter what I tried to avoid it.

My hands were sticky from broken berries and burning from the scratches.

Then, a most joyous site! Grandma was coming out to rescue me! In a matter of minutes, the pan was full enough for her and she invited me back up to have something to drink. On the walk up I asked her how long I had been out there and she thought maybe a little more than a half an hour.

The answer to the next question became part of the fabric of my life. “Why does it have to be so hard to get the blackberries?” With a soft laugh she replied, “So you’ll remember to be thankful for them.”

I’m sure I didn’t have a lot of use for that answer as a sixth grader. The first time I read and understood James 1:2-4 and even Romans 5:3-5, I went back to that day, though. I’m sure Grandma would be proud to know she was first to introduce me to the idea that life’s challenges happen for our benefit just like these passages teach us.

I am sure too, that the jelly was the best ever that year.

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Abraham Lincoln on the Bible

April 5, 2010

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I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance by faith and you will live and die a better man.
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