just ordinary? Not so.

0-Joseph-Cover-Kindle-MediumThe scripture for today, March 29 (3/29), is Luke 3:29 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

.” ..the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi….”

Who in the world were these five men: Joshua, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, and Levi? Some were named after famous Jews, but no one in this list was famous himself. In fact, nothing else is said in the Bible about any of these men. They’re just a single name in a single but long list made in obscurity.

Who were they that they earned even one brief mention in the Bible?

They were ancestors of Joseph, the human “father” of Jesus. What else? They were born and survived long enough to have sons. Not important at the time? No, but eventually, it was.

We read obituaries and sometimes wonder about our own. Our whole life reduced to born, married, had a job, had children, died. That’s it. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just another one of billions in the world having come and gone.

Hold on! Maybe not!

Maybe your life, as ordinary as it seems now, will someday serve a greater purpose through your descendant or someone you become friends with. In a later generation ~ maybe ten or twenty generations from now ~ someone may do something extremely important for souls of the world. And it was made possible because of your “unordinary life” way back in the early twenty-first century when you survived one day at a time.

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0-Joseph-Cover-ThumbnailINTREPID MEN OF GOD.  JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER.  Imagine being told by God to guard His Son in a violent world until he is grown. How does Joseph choose a city in strange Egypt to hide 2-year-old Jesus from Herod’s spies? Does he dare take 4-year-old Jesus to the temple where now-dead Herod’s son slaughters thousands? How can Joseph protect Jesus with all the skirmishes and killing on roads everywhere with dozens vying to take over as king? How does Joseph handle the persecution in Nazareth by people who could count and knew Mary was pregnant before marrying Joseph? What does Joseph do with Jesus in Nazareth, just three miles from Sepphoris, hotbed of zealot protesters, when a Roman legate burns the city and crucifies 2000 more zealots in Jerusalem? In what ways does Joseph teach Jesus how to be a skilled carpenter in sometimes dangerous situations, and avoid being mauled in the mountains when they cut trees for lumber? How many times, when Jesus was in danger did Joseph cry out, “God, help me protect our Son!”?  To BUY NOW, click  book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/The-Other-Father

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I return my crown to you

COVER-Music-medI praise you but cannot praise you enough.  You have done everything necessary to save me from the terrible fate Satan has ready for me. You continue to struggle with me to help me win.  Win over Satan and Death. Win to live and love forever. I cling to you. I fall at your feet unworthy.  I sin but you save me anyway. Whatever blessing you have crowned me with, I return that crown to you. Only you, my Lord, deserve the crown.

Please forgive me when I feel sorry for myself.  If I were truly dead with Christ living in me, I would have nothing left of my ego. It would be dead and gone.  Give me that heroic conquest of self. The next time I start to feel sorry for myself, help me praise instead.

Thank you, Jehovah God, for your fascinating Word, the Bible filled with words to live by, act by, and love by. I learn something new and exciting nearly every day.  It titillates my imagination with new truths. How can that be?  I’ve been reading it so many years. I suppose ~ I know ~ that, if I could understand it all, I would be God. Each spiritual meal I have with the bread of your word gives me strength to keep living, victorious over Satan in this world he only thinks he controls. Ah, my Lord, my heart overflows and I worship you.

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COVER-Music-thumbINSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH is one of the three (so far) RESTORATION REPRINT LIBRARY.  It was written by a Presbyterian professor of theology 150 years ago.   It is the most powerful and comprehensive book I have ever read on the subject.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/Worship-Music

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The diamond rule

The Scripture for today, December 19 (12/19), is Romans 12:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleMedium“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Thank God, he took away the old Law of Moses and gave you the new Law of Jesus instead. Under the Law of Moses, you had to take revenge yourself. You had to stone adulterers and children who were disrespectful to you as their parent. If someone killed a relative, you were obligated to go out and kill the killer. If someone knocked out the eye or tooth of a relative, you were required to go out and take that person’s eye or tooth.

Now God says to forgive and do good to your enemy (verse 20-21). That’s what God did for you, who once was his enemy as a sinner. As you are merciful to others, he is merciful to you.

Forgiveness is not condoning evil, but wishing a better life for whoever did something bad to you. You may forever be afraid of that person, but you must forgive. Hard to do? Indeed! But, with God, anything is possible. So, let go of it. Let go of them. Let God take care of it. He has released you of that burden. Released you to “overcome evil with good.”

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04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleThumbnailA CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES:  ISAAC & JACOB.  Jacob lied to his father and cheated his brother.  He ran away and was estranged from his family for twenty years.  He had paid for his guilt over and over through those years. He returned home, begging for forgiveness. And family was reunited.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  http://bit.ly/IsaacJacob

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The world blinked in wonder

0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-MediumMy Maker and my God, I surrender my life to you.  You have prepared me from the womb to accomplish something for you, whether it be a day-by-day thing or an only-one-time thing. I accept it.  Whatever it is, I surrender all that I have and am to you. My hands to work for you, my feet to go for you, my eyes to seek for you, my lips to speak for you. Mostly, I surrender my will to you. May I be able to comprehend your will so I may follow your lead with all the spiritual vigor and physical energy I have. Why? Because I love you.

Before Jesus came, the world was wrapped in the darkness of sin. When you ~ the Light of the world ~ came, dawn came with you. The world blinked in wonder at the glare when you died, then returned to life.   Ten thousand tongues of the world rejoiced, welcoming the morn, and sang aloud “Praise the Lord!” The world still stands in awe of you, and I with them. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for revealing God to us.

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0000-BK 1-StarSong-Cover-new-MediumSTAR SONG is the stories of a dozen people and the part they played in the birth of Jesus — preparing for him, protecting him, adoring him, even as a baby.  Read the Christmas story as never told before.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  http://bit.ly/Star-Song

 

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Follow your heart

The scripture for today, December 3 (12/3), is Romans 12:3 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Titus-Cover-Medium“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

The context of this verse is members of a congregation getting along with each other. He explains that each person is given certain gifts such as serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing, and so on (12:6-8).

Within congregations, disagreements can come about because one person has an idea about a good work, and someone else has a different idea about it, and still, someone else says some other good work should be done. All sincerely believe their way is the best form of outreach, and each wants  a committee to be formed to carry it out. Then egos tend to get involved.

Perhaps the best way to judge whether you are thinking of yourself more highly than you ought, is to ask yourself this:  If I moved away or if I died, would this congregation survive without me? Of course, it would.  Keep praying, Lord, help me see myself as others do.

It does not matter if you can get a committee formed to help you.  If your heart is set on a certain good work, you can always do it alone. You do not need a committee.  If your heart is truly set, stop waiting for others whose hearts may be on something else. If your heart is truly set, get out and do it.

Perhaps others will see your results and want to join you later. Perhaps not. Just keep following your heart. Be true to your heart. Be true to the souls that will be helped because you got out there and just did it.

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0-Titus-Cover-Lg ThumbINTREPID MEN OF GOD:  TITUS THE ARISTOCRAT lived in Antioch in today’s Turkey, a city for the elite where all spoke Latin.  His arbitration skills were so good the Apostle Paul sent him on arbitration missions to Corinth in Greece, Crete, and Dalmatia. Read this historical novel as though you were there and watch him solve the unsolvable, even to getting the “false apostle” to leave the Corinthians alone.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. http://bit.ly/TitusAristocrat-8

 

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Confusion

The scripture for today, November 2 (11/2), is Proverbs 11:2 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with hPearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Mediumumility comes wisdom.”

The word “disgrace” comes from Hebrew qalon, meaning confusion. It is also translated dishonor and reproach. But confusion is its first definition.

Pride is so hard to control. With the church or clubs or other organizations, do you think your ideas, your points of view, your ways of doing things are the right ideas, views, and ways?  Do you accuse others of not cooperating if it is your ideas, views, and ways they don’t go along with? Is it hard to give up your ideas views and ways for the sake of peace?

Even in doing daily business, does your pride show up? Do you become impatient with clerks in stores who do not help you, with other drivers on the road who are too slow for you, with people delivering things to your home who do not deliver them right to your door, with kids throwing rocks at things that belong to you, people who try to cut in line ahead of you, fellow workers who take credit for your work, and on and on?

Is it hard to sit by and let others be praised when you do better work than they do, or you work harder than they do, or they get the promotion you deserve?

How do you control your pride? Perhaps by comparing yourself, not with others around you, but with Jesus? In the same circumstance, what did he do?

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Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS. Part of the Touching God trilogy.  Each day you are given one proverb and a passage from one of the other “wisdom literatures” — Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.  Beautiful gift set with original cover art.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  https://bit.ly/365PearlsOfWisdom

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Me forgive?

05-Joseph-KindleMediumThe scripture for today, October 30 (10/30), is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “

In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. The vengeance was to be carried out by the person who had been hurt. Some things were even punishable by death.  Remember the “eye for eye and tooth for tooth” command? If someone kills your child, you kill theirs.

But, under Jesus, the Prince of Peace who “turned the other cheek”,  who forgave people torturing him to death, you must forgive people so God, in turn, will forgive you (Matthew 6:14).

What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person. But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better someday. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.

Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on you. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for you.

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A CHILD’S BIBLE HEROES: JOSEPH. He was forced into slavery because of his brothers. He spent years in prison because of his brothers.  Did he become bitter? That would have been natural. But Joseph did not know how to be bitter.  His love for everyone drove him to always be forgiving. So, with a constant positive attitude, he became “prime minister” of all Egypt.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….https://bit.ly/ForgivingJoseph

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Seeing myself as others do

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-MediumThe scripture for today, October 24 (10/24), is 1st Corinthians 10:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

The context of this verse is that some of the members of the church in Corinth were expressing opinions or doing things that were offensive to some of the other members. They hurt the consciences of some of the weaker members.  

Everyone struggles with their ego sometimes.  Usually, we do not even realize our ego is involved.  It is so very hard to see ourselves as others do and to see ourselves as God does.

Do you ever do anything during the public worship that is offensive to some people? Do you do them as an example of how “holy” you are? Do you even try to get God on your side and say that any Christian could do those things if they had as much faith as you do?

What about committee meetings? Do you love saying no to every suggestion because it makes you feel powerful?  Do you ever suggest something that the others just aren’t excited about? Do you allow your ego to eventually, seep in and begin to feel slighted or challenged because your idea wasn’t accepted? Do you even try to get God on your side and say he will be more glorified if the other committee members accept your plan?

One way to look at things objectively is to ask yourself, “Would my congregation survive without me?” What if I were killed in an auto accident and suddenly taken from them tomorrow? Would they continue to worship? Would they continue to do good works? Would they continue to meet as a congregation? Ninety-nine percent of the time, your congregation would survive without you.

“Lord, I guess I never looked at myself that way. I love you so much, I want others to know you better. Maybe I should express my worship alone as much as I do in public. Maybe I should do more good works alone without a committee. Help me know what to do. Help me. Lord, see myself as they do, and as you do.”

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365 PEARLS OF WISDOM: GOD’S SOUL TO YOURS daily provides one proverb and one passage from Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes or Song of Solomon.  Since it is illegal to quote a modern Bible for an entire book, it provides close modern paraphrases of each verse.  This is part of the TOUCHING GOD SERIES of three books.  To BUY now, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/365PearlsOfWisdom

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This is my assignment?

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-Ah, my Lord God. I try to comprehend what you did for me, but I cannot. You saved me from hell! I was headed straight for it along with all of mankind. I could not pay the ransom. The ghastly trinity ~ Sin, Satan, and Death wanted the death of God. So, you gave them what they wanted. But it backfired on them.  It took you only three days to conquer them all  ~ Sin, Satan, and Death.  You are strong with the power of the ages. In your right hand is Truth, in your left is Life. You ride on the wind, you leap between stars. You do whatever is necessary to protect us. For me, God? For me?

Father, I have been complaining a lot lately. Complaining about food I got at the grocery store that I didn’t realize was spoiled until I got home. Complaining about the weather. Complaining about the way a relative spoke to me. Complaining about the traffic and gasoline prices. Lord, it was actually you I was complaining about. This is where you want me to be. Complaining is akin to accusing. Satan is THE accuser. Lord, make Satan get away from me so I’ll stop complaining. And can you forgive me?

My God, you have been my comfort through so many things and over so many years. Must I praise you for all the horrible things I’ve lived through? You say I must and so I do. I am reminded that you have given everyone their assignments, and these have been mine. At each stage of my life you have given me different assignments. I agonized under some of them. I cried and screamed, and yet you would not release me.  I thank you for them all, Lord.  Truly, I do.  They made me stronger, didn’t they? I made Satan a little weaker, didn’t I? Together we did it.  Together forever.

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00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE was just that. This historical novel follows him from his early years at the Temple school to enjoying Jesus’ crucifixion, to torturing Christians, then his own self-torture alone in a black room for three days comprehending the horrid things he had done.  After that, he can never do enough to make it up to his Lord. Go with him as he endures highway thieves, harrowing wrecks at sea, snow storms, starvation. Feel his beatings and whip lashings break through his skin.  Hear him as each time, he cries out, “Jesus!  This is for you!”  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  http://bit.ly/PaulUnstoppable   

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Give me my cross

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailYou bore a terrible cross for me, my Lord. It is I who should have taken my place on that cross instead of you. You were holy, pure, sinless. I deserved the cross, not you. But it is not too late, Lord. Send me my cross.  Make me not just brave; make me bold. Send my cross that I may suffer for you as you suffered for me on that day long ago. Send me my cross.  Do not withhold it from me. And, if I die clinging to my cross, at least I will know that my death was not without meaning and perhaps in some way my death will bring souls to you.  Just like you brought souls to yourself on your cross. 

Lord, thank you for music. Thank you that I can lift up my voice to you in rapturous joy or lamenting sadness. Thank you for making music possible. Centuries ago, Plato claimed the stars sang. I wonder if he got hold of a copy of Job in the Bible where it says the stars sang together.  Today, people talk about the angels singing when Jesus was born, but they shouted it, they didn’t sing. I guess people are influenced by Christmas carols that say they sang. Why is singing reserved for humans? Is it because we have been saved by the blood of the Lamb? I can only guess. But what I do know is how grateful I am that you have given music to humans. Thank you that I can praise and worship you in song

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0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailSHADOW OF DEATH begins with his trial, takes two chapters to go with him on the cross, then watches as his followers wallow in hopelessness.  It was all for nothing.  Jesus, why did you have to die?  Where are you, Jesus?  Why did you leave us?  He comes back to life in the next book and surprises the daylights out of everyone.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this……….  http://bit.ly/Death-Resurrection

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