Thursday, December 29, 2016

THE SACRIFICE



In Luke 2:22, we read: “Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

“But I thought Jesus is God.” Grandfather nodded. “Then why present Him to the Lord in Jerusalem?”

“Timmy, the law stated every male who opens the womb or firstborn, would belong to and be holy to the Lord. His parents fulfilled the law by presenting Him to the Lord.”


“So the sacrifice was for Him?” As Grandfather shook his head, Timmy sighed, “This is hard to understand.”

“The sacrifice was for the new mother. She would offer a pair of turtledoves and be declared ceremonially clean again.”

“Wait, Grandfather. I thought the Lord Jesus was the sacrifice for sin.”

“You’re right. But this was before He died on the cross as a sacrifice. Think about it. Mary had to offer a sacrifice for her sins. All she could afford were two turtledoves, while in her arms, she held the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.”

Silence.

“Mighty quiet, Timmy.”

“I’m thinking. It’s awesome when you think about it. A whole lot to understand.”

Grandfather nodded, put his arm around Timmy’s shoulders. “We don’t have to understand to offer Him the Gift of Praise and Thankfulness. He knows our hearts.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus has provided the way by offering Himself as our sacrifice. He loves us with an everlasting love and He has promised never to leave nor forsake us. He loves you.  Won’t you come to Him?








Thursday, December 22, 2016

WISE MEN WORSHIP HIM



In Matthew 2:1-2, we read: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’”


“How did the wise men know to come to Bethlehem?”

“They followed the star, Timmy. Astrologers, who studied the stars,  saw this unusual star, believed it was a sign from God. They called it ‘His star’ which had guided them to Israel. This scared Herod. He didn’t want anyone to take his kingdom.”

“Grandfather, why didn’t they go to Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem? Then Herod wouldn’t know about the King of the Jews.”

“The Lord God has His plan. He loves us sinners, even Herod. ’The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’” 1 Peter 3:9.

“He loves me that much? Even when He sees everything I do and say?” Grandfather nodded. “And He loves the wise men?” Another nod from Grandfather. “How can He love so much?”

Grandfather smiled. “Now that’s a wise question. But if we look back at history, we see He let Daniel be taken into captivity...”

“Daniel that was put in the den of lions?”

“The same. Remember he was a wise man in the courts of Babylon.”

“You think he started a wiseman school?” Grandfather chuckled.

“What I want you to see, Timmy, is that our Lord is in charge and He allows us to tell others about the Lord Jesus. We go and tell just as the wise men did.”

Kingdom Thinking. When we think of the wisemen, we often think of smart, wealthy men who came seeking the newborn King. But this is history--His Story. A story that brings hope and healing to anyone who believes. A shepherd or a wealthy person. All are wise who seek Him. How about you? Do you seek Him?
















Thursday, December 15, 2016

HEART-LOVE

In Luke 2:4-7, we read: “Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.



Timmy touched each animal. “Donkey, cow, lamb. I like the animals to look at the Baby Jesus, Grandfather.”

“And a boy with an orange in his hand?”

Timmy nodded. “It’s the only small boy I had. The Baby Jesus won’t like the orange?”

“He’ll love it if the gift is ‘heart-love.’ That’s what brought Him here, to be born in a stable, to live a perfect life. See the lamb in the stable?” Timmy nodded.

“The lamb, perfect and unblemished, would be used for the sacrifice of sins for whoever owned it. Now The Lord God sent His Son into the world to be the Lamb who would die for whoever believed in Him.”

“That’s hard to understand.”

“Indeed it is. For centuries people have refused to believe because they didn't understand. But that doesn’t change the promise of God. The Lord Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, the only one recognized by the Lord God.”

“So ‘heart-love’ is when our hearts love God and others?”

Grandfather swiped at the moisture in his eyes. He reached over, hugged Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. From the manger to Calvary, the Lord Jesus has prepared the way for whosoever  believes in Him. He loves us “who’s” with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake us. He offers you room in His Inn with His Heart-love. Won’t you come?












Thursday, December 8, 2016

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

In Luke 1:26, 27, 30, 31, we read: “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary...Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.’”


“How would you like to have an announcement from the angel Gabriel, Cing?” Grandfather placed his glasses on his Bible, waited for her answer. Her eyes grow large, her mouth shape an O.

“I wouldn’t believe him...but how does an angel look? Like the pictures with wings and stuff?”

“Not al all. Angels are God’s warriors. They’re big and strong and powerful.”

“Oh, then I’d probably faint.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Good answer.” He thought for a minute. “But The Lord God had a plan. And His plans are always for His glory and our good.” Cing tilted her head.

"The Lord sent the announcement. Mary heard the angel Gabriel call her by name, speak kindly to her. Later, when questioned and, no doubt, criticized, she could remember the voice of Gabriel who represented God. One of God’s gifts to her.”

“We want our family and friends to like us. But they didn’t believe Mary, did they?” Grandfather shook his head. Thinking lines formed on Cing's forehead. “Could she tell them about the angel?”

“Probably not. But Joseph and her cousin, Elizabeth, knew and understood.” In the quiet of the moment, Grandfather added, “But you know what?” Cing shook her head. “The Lord God trusted Mary with this Plan and she accepted it by saying, ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’”

Mary had a pure heart or she wouldn’t have been chosen for the Plan. Never would the world be the same after the birth of the Messiah. From this point in history, man would have to choose.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus was born in a stable, raised in an ordinary village, taught the trade of carpenter. He came to offer salvation to all--no matter the circumstances of birth. He announces to us through His Word that He loves us with an everlasting love and He will never leave nor forsake us. His announcement includes you. Won’t you come to Him?










Thursday, December 1, 2016

A GLIMPSE IN THE MIRROR

In Psalm 17:8-9, we read: “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me.”


“I’m the ugliest person in my class, Grandfather.” Cing stood before the hall mirror, tears filling her eyes.

“Who told you such nonsense?”

Cing looked at the reflection of Grandfather behind her. “I can see and everybody says so.”

“Did you hurt someone’s feelings?” She shook her head. “Talk out of turn?” Another head shake. “What is this really about?” Grandfather knelt by her, took her hand.

“Cause...cause I have freckles.” She stretched out her arm. “Everywhere.” She flung her arms around Grandfather.

“But I love your freckles. Your grandmother has freckles. That’s why I married her. Freckles show that you’re not perfect. Well, almost.” With fingers under her chin, he lifted Cing’s face.

“You’re supposed to say that. You’re my grandfather.”

“Hold on a sec.” Grandfather slipped on his overcoat, came back to Cing. “Okay. Step this way.” He tucked her inside. “If someone comes in, who do they see?”

“They see you. I’m hidden.”

“Exactly. But are you still alive? Able to think for yourself?”

“Course.  I’m still me. You’re funny, Grandfather.” She smiled.

Just as Cing hid under her grandfather’s overcoat, so we are hidden under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty. When Cing realized her position of protection, she felt safe.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus promises not only to provide for me but to never leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He sees my problems, no matter the size, as an opportunity to show He can handle them. He offers the same to you. When you look into the mirror, who do you see? He’ll hid you under His wings. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, November 24, 2016

THANKSGIVING

In Psalm 100:4-5, we read: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”

“Sara, will you help me with this cleaning?” Grandmother took the silver candlesticks to the cabinet by the sink.

“Yuck, those old candlesticks looks awful. Why don’t we use the wooden ones?”


“These are my Thanksgiving candlesticks. And I need your help.” Grandmother had the silver polish and soft cloths in her hands. "These were wedding presents. I treasure them.”

Grandmother showed Sara how to clean the candlesticks. Apply the polish, rub the polish off.

“They’re beginning to shine.” Sara held the candlestick for her Grandmother to see.


Finally, the silver free from the tarnish, the candlesticks helped to reflect the light from the candles. Perfect for their Thanksgiving meal.

“We’re like those candlesticks, Sara. We become tarnished from things we do or say. Did you know the candlesticks did nothing to become tarnished? Just stay in their places and the world around them did the rest. They contributed the tarnish, we did the cleaning.”

“Now they’re ready to grace the table for all to see and provide light. How great is that?”

I’ve never  been excited about being “rubbed” or “polished” by our Lord, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the Lord is good and merciful. Through circumstances in my life, He is in the process of preparing me to enter His Kingdom.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus invites us into His kingdom. He handles our tarnished lives so we  can enter with thanksgiving and praise. His truth endures to all generations. He invites you in, too. Won’t you come to Him?







Thursday, November 17, 2016

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT


In Matthew 22:36-40, we read: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

“Impossible!” Timmy sighed. “Rules are too hard to follow.”

“Would seem so but...hey, how about we take a walk? It’s a beautiful day.”

“Yessir,” Timmy loved the walks in the woods with Grandfather. Can we hike up to the point?”

“Good idea. Lets take a lunch with us.” Timmy ran ahead--had the peanut butter, jelly, and loaf of bread on the counter. “And a bottle of water to go with my sandwich,” Grandfather said.

Each carrying a backpack and using the special walking sticks Grandfather carved, they stepped onto the trail, headed to the point. Grandfather stopped to watch a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter, then Timmy spotted the fawn. Leaves of all colors cascaded as they waded through the ones on the ground.

They climbed up the trail, resting on a rocky outcropping. Grandfather grabbed Timmy’s jacket. “Too close to the edge, son. Long way to the bottom.” They ate their sandwiches in silence.
No hiking beyond this point

“You told me you didn’t like rules, Timmy. But you followed mine a few minutes ago.” Timmy cocked his head. “Should there be a sign saying, “No hiking beyond this point?”

“That’s funny. Timmy tilted his head. “You stopped me from getting hurt...” He smiled. “I get it. The commandments are for my good.” Grandfather winked at Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus gave us laws in the Old Testament and New Testament. Not to keep us from having a good life, but to protect us and keep us from harm. He loves us with an everlasting love and He has promised never to leave nor forsake us. That includes you. Won’t you come to Him?







Thursday, November 10, 2016

KINGDOM LIVING, A FEW RULES

In Luke 6:27-28, we read: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

“That’s our verse for tonight.” Grandfather put his glasses on his Bible.

‘But I’m not good like you, Grandfather.” Timmy dipped his chin.

“Humm. Not about being good but about choosing wisely. “Let me tell you a story about a friend.” Timmy nodded.

“Sam had many friends but, Jake, he loved like a brother. They hunted, fished, studied together. After graduation, they went to different universities.

"When Christmas came, Jake didn’t come home. He'd disappeared. His parents searched for him, had detectives hunt for him. He’d vanished.

“Years later, Sam happened past an inn, stopped for the night. Attacked, robbed and left for dead, the innkeeper found him, rushed him to the hospital. He survived but was handicapped.

“He returned to thank the innkeeper. He heard a gasp. Sitting by the fire, hate distorting his face, sat Jake. ‘You surprised me. You survived.’ Bitterness boiled up in Sam. Jake, sitting there, no remorse for his actions. Sam made a choice.  He could be bitter like Jake  or forgive...but he didn’t feel like forgiving. Then he remembered. The Lord Jesus forgave his sins and now He abided in him.

‘Lord, you’ll have to help me forgive Jake,’ he prayed, then said. ‘I forgive you, Jake.'

‘What happened to Jake, Grandfather?' He tilted his head. ‘Is that why you limp when you walk?'

“Someday I’ll tell you the rest of the story.” Grandfather hugged Timmy. ‘Choose love.’”

Kingdom Thinking. I admit I find it difficult, no, impossible, to forgive and love my enemies. But not so for the Lord Jesus--He prayed for them while on the cross. He abides in me, He loves and shows me how to love my enemies for I was once an enemy of the Lord. He is able to do the same for you. He loves you with an everlasting love and He will never leave nor forsake you. Won’t you choose Him?










Thursday, November 3, 2016

IF YOU ARE WILLING

In Matthew 8:2-3, we read: “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ’I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

“Come sit with me, Timmy. I’ll tell you about it. Then you decide.” Grandfather sat in his chair.

"Eli came from the field, holding his arm against his chest. His wife, asked about it. ‘I bruised it, Naomi. Nothing to worry about.' The next morning, in pain, he insisted he complete his work. Another night of sleeplessness. Something had to be done. 'I’ll go to the priest.’

“The priest looked at Eli’s hand, shook his head. ‘Leprosy. You must leave--live in the leper’s cave.'

“‘Please, let me tell my children goodbye.’ The priest shook his head. Eli walked away. To live a life of painful exile.

“Naomi and the children brought food, left it on the rock by the cave. The children married, left home. Still, Naomi came.

“‘Have you heard, Eli? The rabbi is coming. They say he heals the sick, even raises the dead. Let’s go hear him,’ his friend said.

“We can’t be near healthy people.” But he decided to go. How if? He didn’t dare answer the  question. In the company of the excited people, they didn’t notice Eli.

"Eli walked up to the rabbi, fell down and worshiped Him. ‘If you are willing, Lord, you can make me clean.' The Lord Jesus touched him. ‘I’m willing.’ The Lord told him not to tell anyone, but to go to the priest, and offer the sacrifice required by Moses.”

Infected with leprosy of sin, no matter what cure I tried, the festering sores of unforgiveness, jealousy, and (you fill the blank) reminded me it was incurable. Then the Lord Jesus came. He, my King, said to me, “I’m willing. I’ll take your place. Only the healing power of My blood can wash you clean, make you new. (Many believed  you would be healed if the King touched you.)

Kingdom Thinking. And you? The Lord Jesus stands before you and offers His everlasting love and forgiveness. He will cleanse you. He is willing. Are you? You decide.





Thursday, October 27, 2016

LOVE’S PRAYER

In John 17:20, we read: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.”

“Morning, Grandfather.” Timmy plopped on the stool by Grandfather’s chair.

“Have something on your mind?” Timmy nodded.

“Today John told me there’s no God. Somebody made all that up.”

Grandfather removed his glasses. “What do you think?”

“I’m not sure. Who’s right?”

Grandfather leaned back in his chair. “Want to hear a story?” Timmy nodded.

“The boy was about your age--had the same questions. He decided he would go to his secret place in the woods. His thinking place. First a rabbit ran across his path. Then he watched a squirrel run up a tree, a nut in his mouth. Before he knew it, the sun shone low in the trees and still no decision. He noticed a glowing light creating a pathway. He’d go that way home. As he neared the light everything appeared strange--different. Then he heard a voice.


“Are you lost?” He looked around, didn’t see anyone. “Come. I know you. You can trust me.” Then he saw the hands. The nail-pierced hands.

“You’re real.” The man in white nodded. The boy fell at his feet.

“Grandfather, were you that boy?” Grandfather smiled.

It’s difficult for me to fathom the depths of the love of the Lord Jesus. He prayed for me before He was arrested in the garden. Before He was crucified. Before He rose from the dead. He’s carried me in Him all that time. Amazing love!

Kingdom Thinking. Do you have any idea how much our Lord Jesus loves you? He loves you with an everlasting love and He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come to Him?



Thursday, October 20, 2016

THE NATURE OF THINGS


In 2 Peter 1:2a, we read: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature...”


“Ready for our hike, Timmy?”

“Yessir. Canteen, walking stick, binoculars. Where’re we going, Grandfather?”

“I know a trail that’ll be fun to hike.”

The crisp morning breeze added to the beauty of the fall colors, sending them twirling and dancing earthward.

“It’s sad, Grandfather. The leaves will fall and leave bare limbs.”

“Ah, but you know only part of the story. Yes, the leaves fall. Actually they are scissored from the branch.”

“Scissored? I don’t see any scissors.” Grandfather smiled.

“Let’s rest. Now look at this leaf. See here? This new growth from the tree pushed the old leaf from the branch. Then the branch is sealed--ready for the winter cold. When spring comes the new leaf will bud, grow into a leaf. That’s the nature of the tree--to protect and grow new leaves and fruit. That’s what trees do.”

When the Lord supplied His knowledge and peace to me, He created through His divine power a new life or nature. My old nature stayed but this new nature, the divine nature of the Lord Jesus, is in the process of pushing the old nature out of the way. My problem: To allow the new nature to rule. Therefore I choose to dwell on things above. Things that pertain to life and godliness, His great and precious promises, to be a partaker of the divine nature.

KIngdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus, the giver of grace and peace, has given to me His divine nature. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. He will create in you a new nature. One of joy and peace. Won’t you come to Him?



Monday, October 10, 2016

POWER SOURCE

In Matthew 28:18-20, we read: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”


“Grandfather, I’m scared. My room’s dark and the light won’t come on.”

Flashlight in hand, Grandfather came in. “Let me see. Ah, your lamp’s not plugged in.” He handed Timmy the end of the lamp cord. “Plug this into the socket for me." He spotlighted the outlet with his flashlight.

Timmy nodded, reached to the wall, plugged in the lamp. "Okay. Got it.” But  darkness ruled.

“Humph. Light bulb's probably burned out. Hand me a new one, please.”

The bulb replaced, Grandfather turned the switch. No light. “Something's wrong. Need to check the electrical box." Timmy followed Grandfather to the utility room. He opened the electrical box, looked at the panel.

 "Aha, here's the problem." He flipped the switch."Now. Let's try again." Timmy ran ahead of Grandfather to his room. He waited for Grandfather who reached over and turned the switch.

“Light. Sure is good to see, Grandfather. Thank you.” Grandfather hugged him.

Because the outlet looks like a power source doesn’t make it powerful. Fakes abound. The Lord Jesus said all power was given unto Him--in heaven and earth. Therefore He admonishes us to go and teach in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching then to observe all things that He has commanded. Then He adds that He, the Power Source, is with us always. Even to the end of the world. He promised and He keeps His promises.

Kingdom Thinking. Believing in the Lord Jesus is the bottom line. He is our never ending Power Source. He promises never to leave nor forsake us for He loves us with an everlasting love. Won't you believe in Him? He waits for you.












Thursday, October 6, 2016

A NEW SONG

In Psalm 40:3, we read: “He has put a new song in my mouth--praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”


Gulls soared, a blue heron flew up out of the marsh, harsh croaking announcing his disapproval. A beautiful day for boating--until the boat skidded to a stop, showers of  plough (pluff) mud pelting us.

What appeared a wide swarth of inviting water was pluff mud, a few inches of water disguising it.

Scrambling out of the boat, sinking to our arm pits in the odorous mud, we pushed and shoved. The boat wobbled but only in a circle bent on staying put. The only thing moving in the oozy stuff was the marine life that tickled our legs in an attempt to escape. Trapped--until the incoming tide could free us.

Desperate, we decided to pray. “Not much use,” someone commented. “Tide’s going out.” But we had bottomed out in our efforts. Literally. The mud had won. Or so it seemed. But as we prayed a gentle wind caressed our sweaty faces. Aided by this breeze of encouragement, we pushed. The boat slipped off the mud flat and into the channel.

Life with its many hidden surprises often uses shiny water to disguise objects below the surface--to me. Not to my God. He knows I need to see Him at work--to know that He keeps His promises. For He promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me. Therefore He gets the glory and puts a new song of praise in my mouth.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus has promised the same to you. He loves you with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave you. Won’t you come to Him? He waits for you.






Thursday, September 29, 2016

WATER OF LIFE

In John 4:13-14, we read: “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”

Eyes downcast, she walked to the well. Nearing it, she heard the shuffle of feet, looked up. A man sat there. He looks tired. Maybe he won’t notice me. I’ll draw water and leave. She pulled her shawl close.

“Give me a drink.” Her head snapped up. His eyes--intense and kind, caused her pause.

“You, a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? Jews don’t deal with Samaritans.”

“If you knew who was asking, you could ask Him and He would give you Living Water.”

“This well is deep. You have nothing to draw with. Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well?”

“Ah, but who drinks this water will thirst again. I Am offering water that will quench your thirst, a fountain of water that springs up into everlasting life.”

“Sir, please give me this water. Then I won’t thirst or have to come here to draw water.” He asked her to call her husband. “I have no husband.”

“You’re right. You've had five husbands, and the one you’re now with is not your husband.”

Perceiving Him a prophet, she sat at His feet listening as He explained to her that the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. For God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. “I know Messiah is coming. When He comes He will tell us all things.”

“I who speak to you am He.

Like the woman at the well, I have daily encounters with the Lord Jesus. At times I don’t recognize Him or choose to ignore Him. But when I stop, look up into His Face, see the love that He has for me, I fall at His feet. He loves me with an everlasting love.

Kingdom Thinking. He offers the same love and compassion to you. A fountain of living water that springs into everlasting life. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come to Him?







Thursday, September 22, 2016

THE VALUE OF A FRIEND

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, we read: “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”


“Come quick, Grandfather.” Timmy leaned over, put his hands on his knees to catch his breath. “I need your help.”

“What’s the trouble?”

“Bobby’s hurt. Fell out of the tree and he’s scared.”

“And he’s...?”

“In the apple orchard,” Timmy completed Grandfather's sentence.

“Hop in my truck.” At the orchard, Grandfather got out, ran over to Bobby. “Arm hurts bad, huh?” Bobby nodded. “Easy now.”  Grandfather lifted Bobby into the truck and headed for the Emergency Room.

“He climbed high in the apple tree--wouldn’t come down. Then a limb broke and he fell.” Timmy looked at Grandfather. “Is it my fault?” Grandfather shook his head but before he could explain, the doctor walked over.

 “He’s a lucky boy. Broke his ulna but it’s a clean brake. Are you the responsible party?”

Grandfather nodded. “I couldn’t reach his parents, left a message. I’ll care for  him and see he gets home.” He heard a voice, looked up. “There’s his mom now.”

The situation explained, an unhappy Bobby went home with his mom, Timmy with Grandfather.

I’ve climbed higher than I should. Too many times. Taken too many chances. Without the friend watching out for me. But truth be known, my Friend’s been there all along. But I ignored His warnings. He, the Lord Jesus, loves me with an everlasting love and He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He takes the worst things in my life, teaches me His love and uses them to His Glory.

Kingdom Thinking.  No one else can take my mistakes, put them in his Holy Recycling Bin and under heat and pressure, use them for His Glory and my good. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him? He waits for you.










Thursday, September 15, 2016

FERVENT LOVE

In 1 Peter 4: 8-10, we read: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

“But you don’t understand, Grandfather.  Robbie was mean to me. And I did’t do anything.”

“Hmm. You did nothing to him?” Timmy shook his head. “Interesting.” Grandfather paused. “Timmy, How would you like to be a good steward?”

“What’s a ‘good steward?’ Is it fun?

“Can be, Son.” Grandfather smiled. “Depends on you.

“I thought you and Robbie were best friends, Timmy.”

With a dipped head, Timmy mumbled. “Me, too, until now.” He raised his head. “Not any more.”

“Do you like the way you feel inside?”

“No, Grandfather. My heart’s not smiling.”

Grandfather smiled. “Tell you what. Pretend that you’re Robbie and Robbie is you.”He held up his hand. “Pretending, remember? What could you do to make him your friend again?”

“I’d tell him he’s my friend and that’s more important than fighting. He can have first place at bat.” He grinned at Grandfather.

I’ve had hurt feelings, been offended by friends, yet think nothing of it when I offend them. If I turn things around, I see the problem from their prospective. When I love someone, I must remember love covers  a multitude of offenses. Therefore I choose to be hospitable, to love, for the Lord Jesus promises to love me with an everlasting love. Even when I sin. And I tend to do that--a lot.

Kingdom Thinking. Intense love, God’s love, shows me He laid down his life for me. He wants me to  love with His intense love--God, others and myself. He has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same promises to you. Won’t you come to Him? He waits for you.








Thursday, September 8, 2016

WHO IS WISE?

In Hosea 14:9, we read: “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.”

“Hold your paddle like this,” Grandfather instructed. “One hand on the grip, the other on the shaft. Comfortable?” Timmy nodded. "You need a good fit or you’ll get tired pretty quick.”

Instruction time over, they headed for the dock. Grandfather held the canoe steady for Timmy to get in.

“Careful, son. Hold onto the gunwales and move down the center to the bow. That’ll keep the canoe from tipping.”

Timmy nodded, holding tight when Grandfather’s additional weight caused the canoe to rock. “Here we go.”Grandfather smiled, pushed off from the dock.

The canoe glided over the water. Until Timmy decided he needed to help. He paddled on the port (left side) of the canoe and leaned over too far.


“Hold on, Timmy. You’re going one way, I’m going  the other. We must work together to get a smooth ride or we’ll be going in circles--going nowhere.”

“But I’m using the paddle you gave me and trying hard.”

Grandfather chuckled.“I know you are. But there’s a right way to paddle or we’ll end up in the water. Allow me to paddle from the stern. You rest your arms and enjoy the ride.”

I thought for many years that to be wise, I had to follow certain guidelines. Guidelines set by the world, the “do what is right, especially if it benefits me,” which emblazons our society. No fulfillment came as a result of this philosophy. In fact, I became disillusioned and depressed.

Then the Lord Jesus knocked on the door of my life, waiting for me to see that He is the One who is Wise and Righteous. When I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, He took over at the stern of my canoe, allowing me to enjoy the ride. He loves me and will never leave nor forsake me--even when I rock the canoe. He teaches me His ways to keep me from stumbling.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus stands at the door of your heart. He loves you with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. He is waiting. Won’t you invite Him in?




Thursday, September 1, 2016

THOUGHTS. THE “T” FACTOR

In Isaiah 55:8-9, we read: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’”


“What a fun day this will be. I’ll have Grandfather all to myself.” Janie pushed her foot against the ground sending the swing high.

“Janie. Time to go,” Grandfather called. “You’ll miss your surprise.” Grandfather’s blue eyes twinkled as she slipped her hand into his. Down the path at his car stood four grinning kids--the Grays.

“Surprise!” Janie froze. “We’ve been invited to your birthday party!” Each handed her a gift.

Why did Grandfather invite them? He’d promised a special day.” She looked up, saw Grandfather watching her. He winked. She sighed.

She squeezed Grandfather’s hand, forced out, “Thank you.” He smiled his crooked smile.

On the way home, after dropping off the Gray kids, she said. “This is the best birthday ever. Thank you, Grandfather, truly.” She smiled. “The hiking trip was fun but I loved the time spent with Angie. Her brothers are nice but now, she’s my best friend. Will you teach me how to build a camp fire? And cook hot dogs and s’mores?

Grandfather nodded. “Indeed I will. Happy Birthday.”

Too many times I’ve made the best of plans according to me--self--and they’ve not worked out well. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” The Lord knows exactly what I need. He has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. Therefore I trust Him. Trust--the “T” factor.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus offers the same to you. He loves you and will never leave nor forsake you. You can trust Him with the plans He has for you. Won’t you come to Him?



Thursday, August 25, 2016

THE REQUIREMENT

In Micah 6:8, we read: “He has shown you O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”


“Want to go on a secret mission with me, Timmy?”

“Yes sir.”

“Come on. Let’s get started.” Timmy grinned.

“That’s a lot of sweet ’taters, Grandfather.” Timmy stood by the barn door, counted six baskets.

“Yes, and with your help, we’ll get them loaded and be on our way. Ready?”

“Where’re we going, Grandfather?”

“You’ll see.” He made a left hand turn onto a dusty lane filled with deep ruts and potholes. The lane paralleled a ditch bank dense with Chinaberry, Sassafras, scrub oak trees, and blackberry vines.

He stopped in front of a small unpainted house with crooked steps, boards missing on the porch.

“Do you know who lives here?” Grandfather nodded. “The house looks sad.”

“Give me a hand, Jimmy.” At the back of the truck, Jimmy grasping  one handle, Grandfather the other, they delivered the basket to the porch.

“Okay, back in the truck. We've a few more deliveries.”

“You’re didn’t leave a note to let them know you left the basket?”

“No need. The Lord knows and we’re following His requirements. That’s the fun of it.”

For so many years I missed the fun and joy that comes with meeting the Lord’s requirements. I used the keys of education, importance, dress codes, etc. to open doors but they left me empty--unfullfilled. They weren’t wrong, simply out of order. With the golden requirement key first--knowing that I belong to the Lord Jesus and He keeps His promises--the other keys fit into the locks perfectly.

Kingdom Thinking. He offers the same to you. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. He loves you with an everlasting love. He holds the keys He requires for you in His Hand. Won’t you come to him?











Thursday, August 18, 2016

JUST A LITTLE LEAVEN

In 1 Corinthians 5:8, we read: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump.”

“Cing? I’m going to make biscuits. Want to help?”

The scraping of a kitchen chair let Grandmother know that Cing was on her way. “I’m coming, wait for me.” She saw the doughbowl, along with the ingredients lined up on the counter.

Grandmother measured the ingredients, handed them to Cing who dumped them into the bowl.

“Grandmother, why do these biscuits get big when we put them in the oven?”

“See this cup?” Cing nodded. “It’s yeast with a little sugar and water added or an old name for it is leaven.”

“It’s bubbling.”

“Yes, that’s how it works. We mix it into our bread mixture, then the yeast eats the sugar, multiplies, gives off it’s byproducts of carbon dioxide and alcohol. As the bread cooks, the heat kills the yeast, leaving tiny holes in the bread while the alcohol evaporates.”

Cing looked at Grandmother. “All the biscuits get infected with that stuff? I don’t understand but I like your yummy biscuits.” Grandmother smiled.

I am instructed in the Bible to purge out the old leaven. So many times in my life I am unaware of the leaven I have allowed. Half-truths, bad attitudes, selfishness, anxiety, not loving my God and my neighbor. Instead of despairing, I must turn to the Lord, my Creator, who will fill me with His Holy Spirit and wash away the leaven--the infection of sin.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. He will remove the leaven from your life and restore you to wholeness. Won’t you come?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

THE MANNER OF LOVE

In 1 John 3: 1, we read: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”

“I hope they will let me play with them.” Jimmy tossed his baseball up, caught it, walked to the vacant lot where the boys gathered.


“Where do you think you’re going?” A grubby hand snatched his baseball.

“Hey. Give it back.”

"I’ll give it back all right.” The grubby boy hauled back and let go, then took off running.

Jimmy stared at the back window in Mr. Sam’s store that looked like a kaleidoscope as the shattering pieces reflected the sunlight. The back door opened. Mr. Sam stood, frowning, the baseball in his hand.

“This belong to you?” Jimmy nodded.

“Come with me.” Jimmy followed Mr. Sam into his store. “Sit.” He pointed to a stool. “We need to decide how you’re going to fix my window.”

“But I didn’t do it, --“

Mr Sam held up his hand. “I know, but your baseball did. You have to fix it.”

“I-I don’t have much money. I’ll give you what’s in my bank.”

“Tell you what. I need someone to deliver packages for me. I’ll let you work it off.”

“You’d do that? For me? After I caused your broken window?” Mr. Sam nodded, reached out, shook Jimmy’s hand. Deal.

I’ve broken windows in my life. Things I’ve done I can’t make right, words and actions that caused pain--to me and others. Then the Lord Jesus came. He showed me how I could share the message of His love instead of hate. His manner of love changed the way I look at life.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus offers the same to you.  He promises He will never leave nor forsake you. He loves you with an everlasting love. And He will call you His child. Won’t you come?

















Thursday, August 4, 2016

THE MERCY DISPOSAL

In Psalm 103:11-12, we read: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”


“Do you love me when I’m dirty, Grandfather?” The little fellow sat on the bottom porch step, a frown on his face.

“Want me to count the ways?” His grandson nodded. “One,” he pressed his right forefinger to his left ‘pinkie.’ “You’re a right handsome fellow. Two, you’re smart. Three, you have dirty face and hands.”

“Wait, Grandfather. You’re explaining how I look. Why do you love me?”

Grandfather scooped up his grandson in his arms. He grinned. “Son, I love you because you’re mine. You belong to me.”

“Forever?” Grandfather nodded. “Forever and ever. Don’t forget that.” His grandson nodded, hugged him.

“Now,” Grandfather said. “Let’s get your bath. Then you’ll have time before bedtime to go outside.

“But I’ll get dirty and have to take another bath.”

“After your bath all we need to wash will be your hands and feet.” Grandfather winked at his grandson. “All that dirt went down the drain--your dirt disposal, never to be seen again.” His grandson grinned.

When I turned to the Lord Jesus, battered and broken from the lies of the world, He scooped me up,  washed away my sins, and showed me His great mercy. He dumped my guilt and shame in His “mercy disposal,” to be seen nevermore.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus offers the same to you. He knows your hurts and pain. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. He loves you with an everlasting love. Won’t you come to Him?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

THE BAR OF SOAP

In 1 John 1:9-10, we read: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”


“Look at my hands, Grandfather.”

“Definitely need a scrubbing with soap.” He lifted his grandson to the sink. “We’ll wash our hands to be clean for supper.”  Grandfather handed him the bar of soap, watching him play as he washed his hands, allowing the dirty suds and water to go down the drain.

Grandfather checked his hands, then the towel, looked at his grandson. “If our hands are clean, the towel won’t be dirty. Uh-oh. You left evidence of hidden dirt.”

“I don’t see dirt,” the boy answered, inspecting his hands.

“It’s there.” Back to the sink, more washing with the soap, rinsing with water, then toweling. “Well,” Grandfather said. “Towel looks clean now. You did a good job.”

The boy looked at his Grandfather. “You did the work for me. You used your soap and you washed my hands. Thank you.” He wrapped his arms around grandfather’s neck in a hug.

All  my attempts with the world’s water did nothing to cleanse me of my sin. I was devastated. Hopeless. Lost. No amount of scrubbing or doing good deeds sufficed. Then the Lord Jesus came, offered me new life in Him because of His shed blood on the cross. He declared me clean because I chose to believe in His Power to make all things new.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus offers the same wonderful option to you. He loves you with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you accept Him? He waits for you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

THE REBEL

In 2 Samuel 21:7, we read: "But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son  of Saul.”

"I thought we finished the story and everyone lived happily ever after."

Grandfather smiled. "There's more.  Like Mephibosheth, I make bad choices.” Grandfather put down his Bible.

 “When Ziba brought David provisions, he told him Mephibosheth was staying in Jerusalem, and had said, “Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.”

“Wait, Grandfather. Isn’t Ziba the one who told the king Mephibosheth’s location so he could be restored and sit at the king’s table--like one of his own sons?”

Grandfather held up his hand. “David’s son, Absalom, rebelled and was killed. Mephibosheth came to meet the king when he returned. He didn’t prepare himself, but was dirty, unshaven. When the king saw Mephibosheth, he asked, “ Why didn’t you go with me?”

“But he knew the answer, right?” Grandfather nodded.

Mephibosheth said, “My servant, Ziba, deceived me. He knew I couldn’t saddle my donkey as I was lame.You set your servant among those at your own table so I have no right to ask for anything.” The king answered, “Then you and Ziba divide the land.”

“Grandfather, I don’t understand. Didn’t Mephibosheth have enough? David treated him like a son.”

Grandfather smiled. “Later, David discovered that Saul’s family had dealt deceitfully with some people. The penalty--death. But David spared Mephibosheth because of the covenant he made with Jonathan, his father.”

“But he didn’t deserve to be spared. He was a rebel.”

“No matter. David was bound by his covenant with Jonathan. Mephibosheth was in that covenant.”

Kingdom Thinking. Like Mephibosheth, I don’t deserve to be in the family of the Lord Jesus. Nothing I can do qualifies me. But my Jonathan, the Lord Jesus Christ, made a covenant with the Father. That covenant will never be broken. He has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?