Thursday, December 13, 2018

INTERRUPTED BY JOY

In Luke 2:10-11, we read: “Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ  the Lord.’”


“There. The bright star in the evening sky,” Grandfather said, pointing into the heavens. “See it?“

“Wow. It’s amazing.” Timmy said, gazing upward.

"As bright and beautiful as it is, it doesn’t compare to the light the shepherds saw that night."

“I’d have been terrified.” Grandfather chuckled.

“You could say the same for them. They were doing what they did best, watching over the sheep, when all of a sudden light flooded them and an angel of the Lord told them not to be afraid..."

“Why didn’t the angel come to them during the day? Think that would have helped?”

“Don’t think so, Timmy. This happened during a time in history when God had been silent for a long time. The Romans were in charge of the country. Times were bad. The future seemed bleak.”

“That’s when we need the light, right?”

“Right you are, son. Hopelessness cripples us, causes us to doubt. When we’re interrupted by joy, the light shines the brightest.”

“Wonder what it was like? To hear the angel of the Lord bring the good news?” Grandfather tilted his head, his left eyebrow cocked.

“Just a minute. You do realize this event filters down to us today?”

“I don’t understand, Grandfather.”

“This good news wasn’t only for the shepherds. The angel declared the message for all people. That’s you and me.” He put his arm around Timmy’s shoulders, smiling at the look of awe on his grandson’s face.

Kingdom Thinking. I was interrupted by joy the moment I realized the Lord Jesus included me in the tidings of great joy. Because of His great love, He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, December 6, 2018

A CHILD IS BORN

In Isaiah 9:6, we read: “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.”


“The service was long.” Timmy said as he followed Grandfather down the church steps to the truck.

“Didn’t get much out of it, huh? What’d you do? Count the light bulbs?” Grandfather chuckled. “Guess I thought the same when I was your age.”

Seatbelts fastened, he pulled into the street, headed south. “We’re not going home?”

“Nope. Thought we’d take a detour.” Out of town, he turned down a dirt road filled with pot holes and deep ruts. Timmy leaned forward.

“We’re going to the farm?” Grandfather nodded, brought the truck to a stop. “That old barn looks like it’s about to fall down.”

“Come on.” He reached behind his seat, pulled out a bag. “I brought lunch. Grab that blanket, will you?” He pushed open the barn door, motioned his grandson inside. Timmy sneezed.

“This place is a palace compared to the stable where our Lord was born,” Grandfather said. “Help me spread the blanket.” Timmy remained quiet as they ate their sandwiches.

The December wind whistled through the cracks, stirring bits of hay and debris. The sun’s rays highlighted dust motes dancing in the air.

“I never thought about where the Lord Jesus was born. Why wasn’t He born in a palace?”

“He chose to remove His royal robes in Heaven and came to earth as a little baby, helpless and dependent,” Grandfather said. "He did it to offer everyone His grace and love, no matter if they’re lowly born or born in a fancy home. He invites whosoever to come.”

“That includes me,” Timmy whispered, turned to Grandfather, tears in his eyes. “I am so sorry. I forgot what He has done for me.”

Grandfather put his arm around his shoulders. “I understand. We humans have a tendency to accept the gifts He gives us and forget we receive the gifts because He took our place on the cross.” Timmy dipped his head. “But the good news? He loves us and He understands us.” His head snapped up. He smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The Christmas season brings so much my calendar soon fills up. But I must remember this is a time of the year to remember the Lord Jesus came to Earth as a baby to prepare the way to Heaven. He loves me and has a plan for my life. You are included. Won’t you come?





Thursday, November 29, 2018

EYES WIDE OPEN

In Matthew 13:16-17, we read: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

“The flash of light in the sky. Did you see it?”

"Grandfather, I see you pointing up but don’t see the plane.” Timmy slouched against the car. They’d pulled over to the side of the highway to watch the airshow.

“It’s flying fast at a high altitude. Keep looking up. Let your eyes rest and look for movement or a flash as the sunlight reflects off the plane.” He patted Timmy’s shoulder. “Don’t give up. Once you see it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t see it sooner.” He stood straight, following Grandfather’s instructions.

“There.” Grandfather pointed. “See the contrails?”

“Wow.” Timmy shielded his eyes with his hand. “And they’re two of them.” Grandfather gave a knowing grin.

“Ready to go, son?”

Timmy glanced at Grandfather then back at the sky. “Amazing flying. You flew, Grandfather?”

“I did. Served my country in the USAF. It was quite an experience. I can tell you about it but until you experience it, you won’t fully understand.”

“Our Sunday School Teacher said the same thing. He urged us to see people around us who need our help even if it’s a smile.”

“Your teacher’s right. Many folks have eyes and ears but are blinded by the riches of this world and miss out on the blessings our Lord has for us.”

“Is it possible for them to ever see or hear, Grandfather?”

“Absolutely. Just as you didn’t see the plane at first, you...”

“I finally saw it because you told me how to rest my eyes and how to look for it. I wanted to see it because you were excited. Most of all you encouraged me not to give up.” Grandfather smiled.

“We are blessed to see and hear, son. Now we have a responsibility to share the excitement with others so they’ll want to see and hear, too.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus opened my eyes and ears. As I share the Good News of His love, He promises never to leave nor forsake me and to love me with an everlasting love. His promises are for you, too. Won’t you let Him open your eyes?



Thursday, November 22, 2018

FLAVORS OF THANKS

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

“In everything?” Timmy tilted his head, his eyebrows dipping.

“Even when bad things happen?” His shoulders drooped. “When I don’t feel like it?”

“Yes, son,” Grandfather said. “Now mind you, I didn’t say it was easy but it’s necessary.” Grandfather smiled.

“I have a Thanks Box on the kitchen table. Each time you follow the Thanks Rule, you’re allowed to open it. What do you say? Ready to try it?”

“I don’t know, Grandfather. Sounds kind of silly to have a Thanks Box. What will my friends say about it?”

Grandfather rubbed the back of his neck. “You don’t have to do it. You decide what’s more important--giving thanks in everything or pleasing your friends.”

“I’ll wait. Okay if I go over to Sam’s?” At Grandfather’s nod, he left.

Later that afternoon, when Timmy came into the kitchen, he jerked to a stop. “Grandfather, is this the Thanks Box on the table? The big one tied with the red ribbon?” He leaned close. “Sure is wrapped nice.”

“There’s one way to find out what’s inside,” Grandfather said as he leaned against the door frame. “Open it. But you must follow the rules.”

Timmy stared at the box. Instead of giving thanks, he turned on his heel but as he got to the kitchen door, he did an about face. “I’m sorry I was stubborn. Thank you for loving me, Grandfather.”

“Let’s check out the Thank Box. Open it.” Grandfather laughed as Timmy’s face flushed with pleasure.

“All kind of chocolates,” he said. “And I almost missed them.”

“Not all your favorite flavors but they’re chocolate.”

Kingdom Thinking. By giving thanks in everything doesn’t mean I manipulate the Lord. The wonderful result of rejoicing and giving thanks is the change in my flavor of thanks--my attitude. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, November 15, 2018

A NEW DAY

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we read: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”


“Grandfather. I don’t know what to do.”Timmy came into the kitchen as Grandfather poured himself a cup of coffee.

“The nightmare again? Sit and tell me about it, son. ”

Timmy put his head in his hands. “It’s always the same. The fire's burning my hands. I couldn’t put it out no matter what I tried.”

As Grandfather looked into his grandson's tortured eyes, he prayed. “Lord, tell me what to say. Please set him free.”

Timmy continued, “I prayed but I...”

“I think we’re going about this all wrong. You’ve asked forgiveness?” At Timmy’s nod, he said. “In 1 John 1:9, God’s Word tells us He forgives us and cleanses us. So you’re forgiven.”

“Then why do I have the dreams?” Timmy cocked his head.

“The enemy is torturing you. He remembers the things that scare us but The Lord Jesus chooses to forget them, to wash us clean.Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. His compassions are new every morning.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Bring your pad and pencil. First write down the dream, then we’re going to pray over it. Next I want you to write your prayer to the Lord Jesus across the written dream.”

“I don’t see how that will help...”

“Trust the Lord, Timmy. His promises are faithful and true. When our lives look dark and impossible, our Lord's mercies never leave us. Sit down, son. Write it down.”

Kingdom thinking. The nightmares that come from life’s journey often stalk me. But the Lord Jesus is much more powerful. His mercies never fail. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave nor forsake me. His compassion gives me a new day. He promises the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, November 8, 2018

THE COST OF FORGIVENESS

In 1 John1:9, we read: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“But you don’t understand what I’ve done. God can't forgive me.” Timmy’s head swiveled to Grandfather to hear his answer. They'd met up with one of Grandfather’s childhood friends at a campground.

“You’re right. I don’t know what you’ve done, James, but I know what God’s Word promises.” Timmy could see Grandfather’s thinking wheels turning.

“I think you’ve confused sonship with fellowship.” James’ head snapped up.

“What do you mean? Is there a difference?” He said, hope lacing his voice.

“You better believe it. Do you have a son?” James nodded. “How long will he be your son?”

James looked at him as if he were crazy. “He’ll always be my son.”

“Where is he now?” Grandfather said, his voice soft.

“I-I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in several years.” James dipped his head. “We had words and he left.”

“He’ll always be your son. That’s sonship. Our Heavenly Father promises if we confess our sins, He forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. But when we’re separated because of anger or deliberate sin, we break fellowship and don’t feel like God loves us.”

“It sounds so easy. What can I do?” James said, pain lines deep on his face.

“Want me to pray with you?” At his nod, Grandfather put his hand on James’ shoulder. He asked the Lord to restore James’ fellowship and to show him how to find his son.

At home that evening, Timmy asked. “Will Mr. James let us know when he finds his son?

I believe he will, son.” Grandfather said, smiling.

Kingdom Thinking. When I realize the Lord Jesus paid for my sins by dying on the cross for me, I’m overwhelmed. Then He forgave me and cleansed me and  promises to love me with an everlasting love and never forsake me. He offers this to you. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, November 1, 2018

THE RAT ROOM

In John 8:31-32, we read: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”

“Imagine the largest, meanest rats you can think of--long teeth and red eyes. They lived in the bedroom at the top of the stairs.”

“Grandfather, that sounds like a scary movie.” Timmy snickered.

“When John and I visited our grandparent's home,” Grandfather continued, “We’d reach the top of the stairs, then run to our room at the end of the hall.”

“How old were you guys?” Timmy said. Grandfather grinned.

“We were ten years old. We'd heard about the rat room all our lives.” Grandfather whispered, “The door stayed closed. No one went in that room.” He cocked his head. “One day we decided to find out if the story was true.

“Rain kept us inside and we were bored. We waited until the grownups were downstairs in the den. “On the count of three,” John said. “I opened the door and we sneaked into the room.

“The door slammed causing us to jump. Drawn shades kept the room in shadows except for the flashes of lightning followed by growls of thunder. Shelves held boxes and a trunk was tucked in the corner. On the trunk was a large cage.”

“A cage of rats?” Timmy leaned forward.

“Nope. Empty. Shoulders slumped, we thought we’d slip back out. Nobody would know we’d been there. As we opened the door, Uncle Joe leaned against the wall, his arms crossed.”

“Find anything interesting?" He said. “Know how the room got it’s name? My sister received a gift of white mice from her boyfriend. They kept escaping from their cage so she gave them back,” he said, lips twitching.

“But Grandfather, I thought...”

“I know. I wanted to show you how incorrect information affects us. John and I nearly broke our necks running by the rat room before we learned the truth. We need to know the truth. Only then can we be free. That’s what our Lord tells us in His word.”

Kingdom Thinking. As a follower of the Lord Jesus, He promises me truth for He is Truth. He loves me with an everlasting love and will never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, October 25, 2018

WAIT!!!

In Isaiah 41:31, we read: “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

“I need to rest, Grandfather. How far have we come?” Timmy dropped his back pack at his feet.

“Not far enough, but we can sit for a few minutes, catch our breath.” He looked out over the cliff. “A long way to the bottom, huh?”

“A long way,” Timmy echoed. “Will we sleep in a  cabin tonight?” Timmy voice was laced with hope.

“Absolutely. Okay, we’ve rested so let’s be on our way.” He picked up his pack, stood still. “See that eagle?” He pointed to the bald eagle riding the thermals. "He looks like he’s working but he’s not.”

“If he’s not working, why isn’t he falling out of the sky?”

“He’s learned the secret of waiting.” Timmy made a face.

“How can an eagle learn a secret? Who taught him?” He said, doubt in his voice.

“The Lord gave him the instinct to know how to glide. He uses the thermals to boost him up.”

“There’s no way I can do that.”

“But you rest in other ways. Take swimming for example. When you get tired of swimming, you flip on your back and float. You rest, let the water hold you up.”

“Never thought about it like that. Guess I take a lot for granted.” Grandfather agreed.

“God’s Word tells us when we are weary or feel faint, we need to wait on Him or to put it another way--rest in Him. He’ll give us His rest.”

“Sounds easy. Then why don’t we?” Timmy wanted to know.

“We think we have to trust in ourselves, our strength. But we get tired, sometimes quit.”

Timmy picked up his pack. “Let’s go. The rest was what I needed.” Grandfather grinned.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. His strength and love renews me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?





Thursday, October 18, 2018

THE CORRECT RECEIPT

In Titus 3:14, we read: “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”


Timmy climbed into the truck. “They couldn’t exchange it for the other kind of fish food, Grandfather. Said this receipt doesn’t match the numbers."

Grandfather rubbed the back of his neck as he looked at it. “I picked up the wrong one. The other is on my desk.”

“How could it make that much difference? Fish food is printed on the receipt. Fish food is fish food, right?Looks the same to me.”

“At first glance,” Grandfather said. "But look, Timmy.” He held it so Timmy could read it. “Fish flakes. I meant to give you the receipt for granules. To redeem it, you must have the correct one.”

“It's pretty much the same,” Timmy argued, folding his arms.

“That’s what a lot of people think. You hear folks say it doesn’t matter what you believe just so you have faith. As one receipt wouldn’t work for the other, our faith is based on the Lord Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

“I get it. No substitutes. It’s easy to forget, Grandfather.” He smiled at his grandson.

“That’s why we study God’s Word. So we won’t be tricked...”

“By someone using the wrong receipt,” Timmy whispered.

“Exactly.” Grandfather put the truck in gear. “Fasten your seat belt. Let’s go home and get the correct receipt.”

“Yessir,” Timmy said, grinning.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus went to the cross to redeem me from every lawless deed. He also purified me, made me His own. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. Some days, I don’t feel like I’m loved. But His Word says He redeemed me and I choose to believe Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?







Thursday, October 11, 2018

THE WHIPPING BOY

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

“Is that true, Grandfather? Someone took the crown prince’s punishment?”

“Actually, the Whipping Boy was an established position in the English court during the Tudor and Stuart monarchies of the 15th and 16th centuries. Usually he was a companion to the prince, high born and educated with him.”

“Then why would the prince want his friend punished? Makes no sense to me.” Timmy frowned.

“The tutor couldn't discipline the prince so the whipping boy took his place. Hopefully the prince would see the pain his friend received because of him and be sorry for his deeds.” Grandfather tilted his head. “How would you like to live back then?”

“I guess it would depend on whether I was the prince or the whipping boy.” Timmy said, turned serious. “Really, it doesn’t seem fair.”

“It doesn’t. But, Timmy, how if the crown prince took the punishment for the whipping boy? That would really be something, huh?”

“That would get everybody’s attention for sure,” he agreed with his grandfather, then said. “No prince would ever do that.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, son. A Prince took the whipping and the curses and every sin known to mankind upon Himself. He volunteered so we might become the righteous of God in Him.”

“The Lord Jesus,” Timmy whispered.

“He, the Son of God, took on the form of a whipping boy, so I could be set free from sin and become right with God.”

Kingdom Thinking. No way can I understand God’s love so I praise Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?











Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE MASTER’S PRESENT

In Lamentations 3:22-24, we read: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,' says my soul. 'Therefore I hope in Him!’"


A NEW DAY
“You refused a gift from Mrs. Smith? Why?” Grandfather said, his eyebrows raised in surprise.

“She doesn’t have much money.” Timmy dipped his head. “Did I do wrong?”

“Have a seat son.” Grandfather chewed on his bottom lip. “You remember how you felt when you made your first cake?” Timmy giggled.

“I thought you’d done a great job until you jerked the cake pan out of the oven and added the sugar.” Grandfather’s laugh started deep, rumbled and bubbled out.

“I forgot to add it to the batter. It didn’t look too good, did it? It ended up looking funny...soggy in the middle.” Timmy snickered.

Grandfather hooted, his face red. “Sad describes it better.”

Timmy’s face brightened. “But you ate a piece anyway.”

“Yep. I considered it a potion from my favorite grandson.”

“I’m your only grandson, Grandfather.”

“True and our Lord is faithful. He takes the mess of our lives and uses it to His glory. Just like the cake you baked or half-baked.” Grandfather chuckled. “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. A new day is a present. Waiting to be opened."

“Grandfather, I’ll be back.” He grabbed his baseball cap as he went out the door. “May I borrow your rake?”

“Sure but where’re you going?” Grandfather said.

“To deliver a present. Mrs. Smith’s yard’s covered with leaves.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. I’m here because of the Lord’s mercies. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. His compassions are new every morning--a present from Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, September 27, 2018

POINT OF VIEW

In Psalms 66:5, 7, we read: “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves.”

“Watch your step, son. That’s a deep drop off.” Grandfather put down his walking stick. “Let’s take a break, check out the scenery.”

Leaning against the steep rock wall, Grandfather pointed up. “See the eagle? Watch as he glides on the thermals. He has tremendous eyesight, too. Like your binoculars.”

Timmy lifted the binoculars, adjusted them to see the eagle. “He’s beautiful and flying free. I feel I can reach out and touch him.”

“Turn the glasses around. Look through the big end. Now what do you see?”

“Everything is tiny.” He looked at the rocks at his feet.

“Changes your point of view, doesn’t it? Same binoculars, same view. All changed because of the way you hold the glasses.”

Grandfather thought for a minute. “Just think, Timmy. The Lord showed us an amazing principle. He’s all seeing, all knowing. He sees the big picture, but still He sees the tiny details.”

“Awesome. Like my life?”

Grandfather nodded, said. “That’s a good way of putting it. The Lord is awesome in all that He does.” With his arm around Timmy’s shoulders, he said. “He cares about every detail of our life and lets us enjoy His mighty works.

“We must be careful when viewing life. If we look through God's eye piece, everything’s magnified and we see the large picture. He’s in control. But if we look through the big lens at life, we fret, have a tendency to become narrow, maybe bitter.”

“So I have to make a choice?”

“Indeed you do. Many times during the day.”

Kingdom Thinking. I chose to look through the correct eyepiece on life’s binoculars. Otherwise I focus wrongly on life. The Lord promises never to leave me nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. Let Him hold life’s binoculars for you so you can see His Works. He is awesome.








Thursday, September 20, 2018

WANDERING FLOCK


In Matthew 26:31-32, we read: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’”

“I still don’t get it, Grandfather.”

Grandfather thought for a minute. “You remember when you went on the hiking trip last summer?”

“No way could I forget. We were so scared we didn’t know which way to go.” Grandfather nodded.

“Because your leader got sick and couldn’t guide you.”

With his eyes large, Timmy continued. "He was unconscious part of the time. I’m glad that guy came along who knew what to do.”

“Then you understand how it is when the leader is unable to guide you.”

“What’s that got to do with the scattered sheep?” Grandfather smiled.

“The Lord refers to us as sheep. We wander off like sheep thinking all is well until something happens. Then we realize we’re not in control. We panic. Until our Shepherd who was raised from the dead, grabs us and reminds us we’re not just holding on to Him but He’s holding on to us--with the warrior hand clasp. Our Warrior Shepherd won’t let go.”

“The Lord told us we would stumble but He’s holding us by His hand and His power. He’s promises nothing can separate us from Him.”

“I’m glad the Lord Jesus is my Warrior Shepherd.”

“I’m glad, too, Timmy. So glad.”

Kingdom Thinking. I’m glad the Lord Jesus loves me. He gave His life for the flock, rose again to buy me back from the enemy, the wanderer. He’s promises to love me with an everlasting love and never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same promise to you. Won’t you chose Him?







Thursday, September 13, 2018

THE ILLUSION

 In Proverbs 21:1, we read: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”

“That’s one crooked river, Grandfather. Look how it twists and turns. Powerful, isn’t it?”

“It appears so. But things aren't always as they seem. One flood could change the river’s course.”

“You’re talking about the Bible verse we learned? But Grandfather, it seems impossible.”

“Surely does.” He tilted his head, eyebrow cocked. “That’s a hard lesson to learn, son.

“Remember when we drove through the mountains? You thought we were going down hill when we were actually going up? We can’t rely on our feelings. They’ll confuse us.”

“I remember. I was positive we were going down. Until I looked behind us.”

“Or the summer day when you thought water covered the road up ahead? When we got there...”

“Dry. So what’s this supposed to teach me?”

“To understand the Lord Jesus is in control. When the storms of life hit, it appears He’s forgotten me. Not true. He’s in charge when I’m not aware of it.

“Once you learn the secret that the King’s in control, you can rest in Him. He has your back.”

“Do you always remember the secret?”

“You have me there, Timmy.” Grandfather chuckled. “Have to confess I’ve forgotten a time or two."

“So, I’m in the Lord Jesus’ Secret Service?”

“Indeed, son. Good thinking.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have a problem. I find it difficult to remember the Lord Jesus is in control. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave nor forsake me. I have to remind myself He keeps His promises. How about you? Would you like to be in His Secret Service?












Thursday, September 6, 2018

SMARTING HEART

In 1 John 3:20, we read: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”


“I’m sorry, Grandfather. The more I try to be good, the more I mess up.”

“What happened?” Grandfather sat by Timmy.

“I was helping Mrs. Elliot carry her groceries to her house. She handed me a bag but before I could grab it, it slid from my hands.” His shoulders slumped. “Stuff went everywhere.”

“Anything break?”

“No sir. A few cans rolled under the car. I crawled under it to reach them."

“Okay. And then?”

"Well," he dipped his head. "I stood up, snagged my jeans pocket on a piece of metal. Ripped it off. Mrs. Elliott stood with her hands on her hips. 'Sure you can unload my groceries?'

“Sam and Johnny rode their bikes by at the same time. They yelled and laughed, made me mad.”

"So what'd you do?" Grandfather said through twitching lips.

"I'd decided to help her this morning. So I finished the job. Why'd I mess up? I was trying to help."

“You did help. Did she smile? Probably gave her something to chuckle about all day." Timmy grinned.

"Yep. And she gave me lemonade and cookies. But...?"

"Son. You disappointed yourself--your heart’s condemning you, not the Lord.”

“You asked Jesus to come in, to save you at camp, right?” He nodded.

“Your goodness can't save you. The Lord Jesus did. So your badness can’t lose you.” Timmy’s forehead creased. "The Lord Jesus knew all about you when He bought you, made you His own.”

Timmy's face brightened. “Thank you, Grandfather.”

Kingdom Thinking. God is greater than my heart. When He forgives me, it’s a done deal. He knows all about me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and loves me with an everlasting love. Do you realize God is greater than your heart? He loves you. Won't you come to Him?










Thursday, August 30, 2018

SO THIRSTY

In John 7:37-38, we read: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

“Grandfather, that boy's thirsty.” The little guy picked up another soft drink can, tipped it up, drained it. Tossed it in a burlap bag.

“Hey,” he called. “Thirsty? I have an extra bottle water.”

“My name’s Timmy. This is Grandfather.” He handed the bottle to the boy. He grabbed it, chugged it.

“Thanks, mine to keep?”

“Sure. We’re headed to get breakfast.  You’re welcome to join us.” The boy peeped at Grandfather through half-closed lids. “If you’re not hungry, it’s okay. Thought I’d offer.”

“Can I bring this?” He held his bag of cans. Seeing Grandfather’s nod, he slung it over his shoulder.

Seated, the waitress brought menus. “Mr. Sterling, Timmy...Jake? What’re you doing here?”

“He’s my guest. He needs a menu.” She hesitated, then handed one to him. “Thank you. What’ll you have this morning, boys?”

After a breakfast of blueberry pancakes, Jake put down his empty milk glass. “Y’all eat here often? She knew your names.”

“On Saturday mornings--special treat for Timmy and me. But I’ve not seen you before.”

“Just moved. She lives on my street.” He nodded to the waitress. “I’ve got to go. Thanks for breakfast.”

“Think he’ll come again? He enjoyed the pancakes.” Grandfather smiled.

“When he gets thirsty, he’ll be back.”

Kingdom Thinking. Like Jake, I drank water that couldn’t satisfy. Then Lord Jesus invited me to come to Him and drink living water. He promises never to leave me and to love me with an everlasting love. He promises the same to you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, August 23, 2018

SOLD OUT

In Exodus 21:2-6, we read: “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh year he shall go out free and pay nothing...But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”

“Grandfather, do you have an earache?”

“No. Just touching my right earlobe. Want to check the hole.” Timmy frowned.

“I don’t see a hole.” He leaned closer. “Nope. Nothing there.” Grandfather chuckled.

“It’s important to know about the bondservant, son. The Lord Jesus sets us free. Free to choose Him.”

“Isn’t it just a story? Why would anyone want to be a servant?” Grandfather leaned back in his chair.

“You don’t want to be just anyone’s servant. You want to choose someone who loves you and will provide for you. That’s what the Lord Jesus did for me, for you.”

“How?”

“I wanted to be honorable. To love my neighbor. The more I tried, the more I failed. I was one miserable somebody.” Timmy smiled.

“But you’re good, Grandfather. Why’d you think you were bad?”

“Why do you say I’m good?”

“You treat folks nice and you're kind...”

“All because Jesus loves me. He paid for my sins, set me free. Like the servant, I love my Master, told Him I wanted to be His. ‘You’re sure?' He asked. Then He brought me to the door because He is the Door. He pierced my ear with an awl, a permanent hole so I serve Him forever. Now I come and go where He sends me.”

“Why the ear?”

“Listening obedience--I hear and obey His voice.”

“I asked the Lord into my life.” Timmy touched his ear. "Do I have a hole?” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. When I understood the Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me, I sold out to Him. His forever. He offers the same to you. Won’t you choose Him?
















Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE WARRIOR

In Joshua 5:13b-15, we read: “A Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, ‘Are You for us or for our adversaries?’ So He said, ‘No, but as  Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’”

“What would you do if the Commander of the army of the Lord came to you?” Grandfather closed the Book.

“I don’t know. Guess I’d be scared.”

“And rightly so. He carried a sword.”

“I don’t get it. He didn’t say who He was for.”

“Timmy, who did He come to?”

“Joshua.”

“What was His answer?”

“He didn’t answer the question, but told Joshua who He was--the Commander of the army of God.” Timmy tilted his head. “That’s important, isn’t it?” Grandfather smiled.

“He got Joshua’s attention when He came to him. He wanted Joshua to know to whom he belonged. We’ll always have adversaries but the Commander of the Lord’s army, the Lord Jesus, has authority over them.

“So, what was Joshua’s response?”

“He fell down and worshiped.”

“You right, Timmy, but more than that, he made a declaration. He now counted himself as a servant to the Commander. In other words, Your word is my command.”

“Does that happen today?” He stared at the sky. “Does He want me to serve?”

“Indeed He does. He asks us to follow Him.”

“I’ll do it, Grandfather.”

Kingdom Thinking. I thought the world different from Joshua’s time, but is it? Adversaries abound, but our Commander, the Lord Jesus, is in control. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?




Thursday, August 9, 2018

EAGLE WINGS

In Isaiah 40:31, we read: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”


“Grandfather, look.” Gliding on the thermals, a bald eagle soared.

“An amazing bird, Timmy. How’d you like to fly like that?”

“I wish! Just think how far you could see.” They watched the eagle dive to the lake. He hovered, plucked a fish with its talons, ascended into the sky, the fish flapping.

“Probably taking a meal to his young in the nest. He watches over fledglings. Makes sure they’re provided for.”

“Do the young look like the parent?”

“They’re dark brown but mottled, don’t have the coloring of the parent for about five years.” He turned to his grandson. “You have characteristics of your parents and me now,” Grandfather chuckled. “But when you’re an adult, you’ll mature, have the traits of a grown man.”

“Sort of like the Bible verse, huh?”

“Like the eagle, the Lord watches over us. He feeds us His Word to nourish us. When we get tired, He swoops down, lifts us up.”

“When did He do that for me? I would have remembered.” Timmy tilted his head.

“Most times, we don’t acknowledge Him. He works through those around us. Sometimes in the most unexpected places, He provides for our needs. Want to know why?” Timmy nodded.

“Because He loves you and me more than we can imagine. He asks us to wait on Him so He can renew our strength.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus provides for me. He is my strength. He loves me with an everlasting love and He promises never to leave nor forsake me. Would you like to be lifted up today? Call on Him.




Thursday, August 2, 2018

THE WITNESS

In Acts 22:15, we read: "For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard."


“I can’t be a witness. I can’t talk to people like you, Grandfather.”

“What is a witness, son?” Timmy’s brow furrowed.

“Guess a witness is someone who tells what happened.”

“Right. Do you trust what anyone says?” Timmy chewed on his bottom lip.

“Not everyone. Sometimes they don’t tell the truth.”

“Right, again. You trust Mr Jim, down the street?” Seeing Timmy’s nod, he asked. "Why?”

“Because he’s nice to me. He stood up for me when those bullies chased me, remember? He was sweeping the sidewalk in front of his store and...”

“I remember. So he looks out for you?”

“More than that, Grandfather. He’s my friend.” Grandfather smiled.

“Now we’re getting somewhere. You see, son, being a witness is much more than talk. It’s the way we act, the way we live. When you have the Lord Jesus in your heart, He’s the one who witnesses as you allow Him to fill your life.”

“That’s not easy. I still do bad things.” Grandfather chuckled.

“We humans have a tendency to do that.” He put his arm around his grandson. “But we have hope and the Lord Jesus commands we let others know they can have hope, too.”

“Even the bullies?”

“Even the bullies.” He squeezed Timmy’s shoulder.

Kingdom Thinking. I was wrong. Witnessing includes much more than sticking a track in someone’s hand. It’s a way of life. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never leave nor forsake me. In my daily walk, He reaches out to others through me. He’ll do the same for you. Won’t you come?









Thursday, July 26, 2018

A LITTLE KINDNESS

In Ephesians 5:32, we read: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

“I’ve decided to be kind. Our Sunday School teacher told us to be kind always.”

“He’s right. Be sure you’re doing it for the right reason.”

First, Timmy saw a lady loaded with groceries. “Let me help you.” He  stowed them in her car. She tipped him. Grandfather smiled when told, continued to read his paper.

An older gentleman struggled to cross the street. “May I help you?” The gentleman insisted he take money for his trouble.  He opened the door for a lady, held it for her to enter. She, too, tipped him.

“I’ve done enough kind things for today.” Timmy kicked a rock from one side of the sidewalk to the other. Thought this would be exciting.

The honking of a horn grabbed his attention. A  puppy cowered in the middle of the street. Without thinking of a reward, Timmy watched the traffic, made his way into the street. He picked up the puppy, carried him to the sidewalk.

“You okay, fellow?” The dog licked his hand, held up his paw.

“Who do you have there?” Grandfather said. Timmy brought the puppy up on the porch.

“He was in the middle of the street and scared. Can we find his owner?”

“Good thinking, son.” He checked the dog’s collar. “Here’s his number.”

The owner arrived, causing the little tail to thump. “He knows you.”

“And I know you. You helped me cross the street this morning. I didn’t know Buddy was missing until I got home. He got out, followed me.” He offered Timmy a five dollar bill.

“Thank you, but I can’t take it. Did what anyone would do.”

Later, when Grandfather asked why he didn’t accept the money, Timmy shrugged. “Didn’t feel right.”

“You did kind deeds earlier, but when you saw the pup? You acted from your heart, not thinking  about yourself. Our Lord wants us to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. I’m proud of you, son.”

Kingdom Thinking.  The Lord Jesus is kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. He loves me with aneverlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, July 19, 2018

SHINE

In Matthew 5:14-16, we read: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

“Come on, Timmy. We’re going on a treasure hunt.” Timmy followed Grandfather to his truck.

“A treasure hunt?”

“I’m looking for silver candlesticks. A gift for Aunt Sybil for Christmas.”

“Christmas? This is July. Can’t we wait?”

“Nope. I’m starting early to find the perfect gift.”

At the second shop, Grandfather held up candlesticks. “This is the pair.” He carried the candlesticks to the checkout counter.

“She’s not going to like those. They’re dirty.” Grandfather smiled.

At home, he applied silver polish, buffed them, repeated the process until they gleamed.

“Wow. They look great. She'll love them. Want me to get a box for them?”

“Not yet. We have to try them out.” Timmy cocked his head.

That night, Grandfather put candles in the candle sticks, arranged them on the table. Before they sat to eat, he lit the candles.

“They’re beautiful, Grandfather. The light shines from the candles and reflects in the silver.”

“Like us, Timmy. When we receive the Lord Jesus, we’re beautiful. So clean. As we go through life, we get tarnished from the stuff we see and the way we respond to it. The Lord Jesus comes and polishes us. That can be painful but He’s got plenty of time and wants us to gleam.”

“Shine, Grandfather, shine. He lets us shine from His light. Wow!

“Couldn’t say it better myself.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus commands to let my light shine. His light as He lives through me. He promises to love me and never leave me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

HIDDEN

In Isaiah 45:3, we read: “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”

“What about this one?” Grandfather peeped over the rim of his glasses, shook his head.

“Doesn’t have to be the biggest. Sometimes the best quality can be small.” Timmy dropped the large rock on the ground.

This week they’d camp in Pisgah National Forest. Today they'd mine for precious stones. Tomorrow they’d hike up to Looking Glass, the next day, tubing.

“Look at this purple rock.” Timmy washed some of the sand and gravel from it. “I like it.”

“Looks like an amethyst. Nice find. Didn’t jump into your hands, huh?”

“No. I had to dig for it. It was hidden under the dirt.”

“You know, Timmy. The Lord promises us treasures. Treasures hidden in secret places.”

“What does that mean exactly?”

“Under heat and pressure, over time, gems are created. We have to dig for them.” He looked at Timmy. “The Lord loves us more than gems, right? We’re his jewels. He puts us in dark places...”

“Like when bad things happen?”

“It’s hard to trust in the dark place, when you can’t see your next step,” Grandfather confessed. "But the Lord knows what He’s doing. He’s in the process of making treasures.”

“But it’s scary.”

“Yes, but He wants me to know that He, the Lord, calls me by my name. And the hidden riches will come to light.”

“We’ll get hidden riches?” Timmy’s eyes sparkled.

“We’re the jewels.” Grandfather chuckled. “We must be cut and polished so the light can shine through.”

“Wow. That’s amazing.” Grandfather grinned.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord brought me from a hidden place. Now through his love and grace, He’s in the process of making me into one of His jewels. He loves me and promises never to leave me. Would you like to be one of His jewels? Come to Him.







Thursday, July 5, 2018

THE RACE

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, we read: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

“I’m ready, Grandfather. I’m going to win this race.”

“I’ll be right here in the stands. And son?” Timmy turned. “I’ll be praying for you.”

The big race day, July 4th, created a lot of excitement and always drew a large crowd. The runners toed the line, on their marks. At the sound of the shot, they took off.

Timmy kept abreast of the group. As he headed into the home stretch, one of the racers pushed past him, causing him to stumble, his foot twisting under him.

“Aww. I’ll never make it now.” He grabbed his ankle. "Must have sprained it.” As he struggled to stand, he felt strong arms come around him.

“Lean on me, son. We’ll get to the finish line.”

“Grandfather.” Tears filled Timmy’s eyes. “I lost the race.”

“Nope. You haven’t lost the race. That’s when you quit.  Let’s get to the finish line.”

The crowd cheered the runners as they crossed the finish line, even for Timmy and Grandfather.

“Thank you, Grandfather.” Timmy’s chin quivered, his eyes shone with love.

“We’re a family, Timmy. Always there for one another.” He tilted his head. “Sort of like the race of life. No matter which section of the race we’re in, the Lord Jesus watches over us. And when we fall? He’s there to pick us up. Sometimes He uses other members of the family.”

“Like you, Grandfather?”

“Exactly. The Lord loves you,  Timmy. He’s always there for you. That’s one prayer of mine I hope you’ll never forget.” He hugged Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. When I realized I was in the race of life, I froze, terrified. How could I do this? Then the Lord Jesus came to my rescue. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?


Thursday, June 28, 2018

BOOT CAMP

In Lamentations 3:22-25, we read: "Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! 24 I say, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.' 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him.”


“Grandfather, I’ll never be good at track.” Timmy slumped in his chair.

Grandfather put down his newspaper. “Remember when we went to Beaufort, S. C.? You saw Paris Island?”

“Where the marines train?”

“Yes. When you see them graduate in their uniforms, they stand tall. What you don’t see is the training they go through to get them to this point. They’re yelled at and made to do exercisers to increase their endurance--whether they want to or not. They have to learn to follow orders.”

“Sounds really hard.”

“You’re right. Remember the time we hiked in the mountains?”

“I was so tired, I could hardly move. And the next morning? I didn’t know I had so many muscles.” Grandfather chuckled. “But you made me get up and go. By the end of the week, I kept up with the others.”

“Well, multiply that by a gazillion times. That’s how the recruits feel. That’s Boot Camp.”

Timmy tilted his head. “What are you telling me?”

“I know you can excel at track. It won’t be easy. You have to train.” Grandfather smiled. "On this earth, we’re in boot camp. We’re in training so one day, we'll be able to rule with the Lord Jesus. Most important? We have to learn to obey His orders.”

“Whether we feel like it or not?”

“Absolutely. The Lord is faithful and His mercies are new every morning. Because of His great love, I put my hope in Him, not in circumstances or things happening around me.”

“Grandfather? I want to put my hope in Him, too.” He hugged his grandson.

Kingdom Thinking. No matter what phase of boot camp I'm going through, I know the Lord is faithful and true. He is good and loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers this assurance to you as you go through boot camp. Won’t you come to Him?


















Thursday, June 21, 2018

THE CLEANSING

In Matthew 23:25, we read: “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

“Everything goes wrong for me.” Timmy slammed his baseball glove on the kitchen table.

Grandfather looked him in the eye. “You were fine when you left. What's in your glass?”

“What do you mean?”

Grandfather filled a glass with clean water. “This is your glass this morning. A new day with a clean slate.” He spooned dirt from a flower pot, stirred it into the water, handed it to Timmy.

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

“Drink it. You’re riled up after the game. This’ll cool you down.”

“It’s dirty.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Yep, but doesn’t matter.”

“It does, too.”

“What've you added to your glass?” Grandfather cocked his head.

“Well.” Timmy looked at his feet. “We took a shortcut through Mrs. Nettles yard. Really her flowerbed. When she yelled, we laughed.”

“Seems to me, you’ve some cleaning to do. First, the inside of your glass. Then clean the outside. Go to Mrs. Nettles--“

“But she’s mean--“ Grandfather held up his hand, gave Timmy one of his looks. “Yessir.”

At supper, a tired, but happy, Timmy reported. “Mrs. Nettles's a nice lady. I surprised her when I rang her doorbell. I told her I was sorry and came to clean her flower bed. You know what?” Grandfather smiled. “She helped me. Told me I did a good job.”

“I’m proud of you, son. Takes a strong person to admit they’re wrong and to right the wrong.” He ruffled Timmy’s hair. Timmy grinned.

Kingdom Thinking. Before I can right my wrong, I have to go to the Lord Jesus, ask Him to forgive me, to clean the inside of my cup. Then I go to the one I’ve wronged. But not alone. The Lord Jesus promises to love me and never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?





Thursday, June 14, 2018

THE PROMISE

In Galatians 3:13-14, we read: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”



“What’s wrong?” Grandfather asked. Timmy plopped down at the kitchen table. “Here’s your sandwich.”

“I’m not hungry.” He pushed the plate towards the center of the table.

“Want to tell me about it?” Elbows on the table, Timmy fisted his hands.

“I’ll never amount to anything.” His forehead rested on his fists.

“Sam yelled it. When I struck out. With the bases loaded.”

“Hmm. Can’t help you there. But I can tell you one thing. We all fail. I guess you got caught in the curse of the law.”

“What’s that mean?” Timmy’s head snapped up.

“Have rules in baseball?” He nodded. “What happens when you break those rules?” Timmy’s lips thinned. “Do the rules apply to everyone or just you?” Timmy chewed on his bottom lip.

“Son, we have laws to follow. The laws are not bad. Problem is? We can’t follow them all the time.”

“What are we going to do?”

“Well, Timmy. When we fail, we’re separated. Sometimes deserve to die, or hang on a tree. But the Lord Jesus came. He died on the cross for me. For you. He took my curse on Himself so I might be blessed.”

“What’s that got to do with baseball, Grandfather?”

“Plan to play another game?” Timmy nodded. “But you said you’d never amount to anything.”

“If I”m not cursed, I’ll try again.” Timmy grinned. Grandfather chuckled, gave him a high five.

Kingdom Thinking. According to the law, I’m required to live a perfect life. I failed. Big time. But the Lord Jesus came, died on the cross, so I could receive the promise of the Spirit, be set free. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?



Thursday, June 7, 2018

THE GRAFTING

In Romans 11:23-24, we read: “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”

“Three kinds of apples on one tree, Grandfather?”

“Yep. We’ll have a mini-orchard in our back yard, Timmy.

“We’ll use your favorite apples. Bought this apple stock with Red Delicious grafted on.” He pointed to the leaf buds.

“Looks funny. They’ll grow?”

“Yep. Ready to get to work?” Timmy nodded.

“We’ll graft Gala, and Golden Delicious apples. Hold the Gala limb for me, will you?” He turned, his voice floating over his shoulder. “The new limb is called a scion.” Timmy leaned close, watched as Grandfather cut the limb on two sides, shaped like a tongue.

 He prepared a slit in the stock, pushed the scion in place. “Now hand me the parafilm.” Timmy tilted his head. “The tape--made from paraffin. It seals in the moisture. Keeps the graft from drying out.”

Timmy held the branch steady while Grandfather applied the tape. “Now. The label.” Timmy handed it to him. “Done.”

“When will we have apples to eat?” Grandfather chuckled.

“Not for a while. The graft has to take, grow and become part of the tree. When we see leaf buds, we’ll know it’s growing.” Grandfather put his hand on Timmy’s shoulder. “This is what happens when we give our lives to the Lord. The Lord Jesus is the root stock. We’re the scions. He grafts us in. Some of us take quicker than others as we rely on His strength.”

“Will they ripen at the same time?”

“No. The plan is to have apples from mid-summer to late fall--to have plenty of fruit.”

“Yum,” Timmy said. “I can hardly wait.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus took me, grafted me into Him, the tree of life. He supplies my nourishment, my life source. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. Would you like to be grafted into His family? Come to Him. He loves you.








Thursday, May 31, 2018

WORDS


In Psalm 19:14, we read: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”


“Words are powerful. With them we can build folks up or tear them down. Or just down right confuse them.”

“What do you mean, Grandfather?”

“Years ago, while in language school, my professor told us a story I’ve never forgotten. She came to the States to study. Her mother accompanied her. Problem was, her mother didn’t speak English.

“Her mother would practice her words with her daughter before going to the market. One day, she wanted to buy a chicken to make her special dish for supper. ‘One chicken. One chicken, one chicken,’ she repeated on the way to the market. When she got to the meat department, she held up one finger.  ‘One kitchen.’”

“What happened? Did she get the chicken?” Grandfather chuckled.

“Well, Timmy. This wasn’t the first time this’d happened so the gentlemen smiled, wrapped a chicken for her.”

“Chicken. Kitchen. I can understand how she got them mixed up.”

“We must be careful our words aren’t confused.” Timmy tilted his head. “Especially when we tell folks we love the Lord Jesus, then do something unloving.”

“That’s hard.”

“Yes. It is. That’s why our verse today is so important. I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable to my Lord.”

“I do, too, Grandfather.” Grandfather smiled, hugged Timmy.

Kingdom Thinking. I have a problem. I do what I don’t want, say things without thinking. But the Lord Jesus, my Redeemer, promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave me. He’s in the process of loving others through me. Do you need a Redeemer? He waits for you.




Thursday, May 24, 2018

THE INVITATION

In Matthew 11:28-30, we read: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Mail, Grandfather.” Timmy called. “Looks special, with fancy writing.”

“That fancy writing is called calligraphy, Timmy. Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Aren’t you going to open it?”

“Not now. I’ll leave it on the kitchen table so we can look at the beautiful writing from time to time.”

“Grandfather, we won’t know what it’s about if we don’t open it.”

“True. Let’s open it!” Breaking the seal, he took out the invitation. “We’re invited to your uncle’s wedding.”

“That’ll be fun. Will my cousins be there?”

“Hope so. Receiving an invitation doesn’t guarantee they’ll accept and be there.”

“Why not? They’d miss out.”

“By the way, Timmy. Did you open the invitation on your bedside table?” Timmy ran upstairs.

“There’s no invitation there, just my Bible.” He came downstairs, shoulders drooping.

“You’re wrong about that.” Timmy cocked his head. “You have an invitation from the King of Kings to come to Him. He invites you but doesn’t make you come.”

“Oh. I never thought about it like that. Is it too late to accept his invitation?”

“Not at all.”

“Just think, Grandfather. I have two invitations. One to my cousin’s wedding. One from the King. Know what?” Grandfather shook his head. “I’m accepting both of them.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have an open invitation from the Lord Jesus. He promises to give me rest. He’ll never leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same invitation to you. He’s gentle and promises you rest. Won’t you come?





Thursday, May 17, 2018

SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN

In Matthew 18:21-22, we read: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven time, but up to seventy times seven.’”

 “Am I supposed to feel better if I forgive Sam, Grandfather?” Timmy stood, back stiff, arms folded. “My Sunday School teacher said we have to forgive seventy times seven. That’s a lot of times.”

“Tell me what you think about this.” Timmy sat by Grandfather.

“A king wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One was brought to him who owed millions, impossible to repay.

“Sell him, his family and all that he owns, for payment,” the king said. The servant fell on his face, begged for patience, promised to pay it all.

“I forgive you and all your debt,” the king said.

“Wow, Grandfather. That’s amazing.”

“But the servant found a fellow servant who owed him a few hundred dollars. He grabbed him by the throat. “Pay me what you owe me.” The servant fell down begged for patience, promised to pay him. He threw him into prison until he could pay.”

“Wait, Grandfather. That’s not right.” He held up his hand, continued.

“His fellow servants, upset at what the servant did, told the king.

“You wicked servant. I forgave you all your debt and you couldn’t have compassion on your fellow servant?” The king was angry. “Take him to the torturers until his debt is paid.”

“I’m confused here, Grandfather. How could the first servant be so mean?”

“He took the gift of mercy as if he deserved it. No one deserves it. When I realize what the King has forgiven me, I can forgive others.”

“Thank you, Grandfather. I’m going to tell Sam about the king.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The first servant, the selfish servant? I confess. For me, it comes naturally. But the Lord Jesus loves me with a supernatural love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He gives forgiveness freely. Do you need forgiveness? Won’t you come to Him?










Thursday, May 10, 2018

MERCY

In Lamentations 3:22-23, we read: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”


“Every time I decide to believe James, he tricks me.”

Grandfather looked up. “What happened this time?”

“Mr. Jones said he’d pay us to help him clean out his garage. He showed us how to sort the stuff.”

“That sounds fair.”

“But, Grandfather, you don’t understand. I’d finished my part, looked for James. He’s sitting in an old rocking chair, reading a book. Happy as can be.”

Grandfather’s lips twitched. “Well, what does James usually do?”

“Goofs off. But I thought he would be different this time.”

Grandfather tilted his head. “Timmy, all of us goof off. It’s because of the Lord’s mercy I'm here. I’m not faithful but our loving Heavenly Father is always faithful.

“It’s sad when you think about it. We want to change folks for our good. You wanted James to help you, right?” Timmy nodded. “Why did you think he’d changed?”

“Don’t know. But, Grandfather? Wouldn’t it be easier for everyone to do his part?”

“It would. But we’re here to show the Lord’s mercies as we live day to day. Be kind, help your neighbor--because the Lord loves us, not to get something out of it.”

“Oh. That changes things, huh?”

“It does indeed.” He put his arm around his grandson. “Come. Let’s get a snack.”

Kingdom Thinking. His mercies are new every morning. He loves me and promises never to leave nor forsake me. His Compassion extends to you, too. Won’t you come to Him?







Thursday, May 3, 2018

THE BRIDGE

In Proverbs 3:5-6, we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” I peered at the chasm. A lazy river snaked its way to the Caribbean. Not quite as deep as the Grand Canyon, but might as well be.

“Like that jeep?” My husband nodded.

He had pulled over to the side of the highway. The bridge wasn’t completed. “Guess we’ll have to make the trip to the island another time.” 

But as we sat there, a jeep pulled up. The driver got out, pulled some boards from the side of the road, placed them across the unfinished part. He lined up his tires with the boards, drove across the bridge.

“If that guy can do it, so can we.”

“No way. This old Buick across those boards? The weight will cause the boards to...” In the backseat of the car, our four children, eyes wide, looked from their dad to me.

“You drive. I’ll walk across the boards to the finished part, direct you. Pay attention to my hands.” My husband turned to the children in the back seat. “Y’all need to sit on the floor and be quiet so your mama can concentrate.

Really? Seemed to me, the builders of the bridge took into consideration that some, ahem, people would try to cross the bridge before completion. At the edge of the highway, a gap, completed bridge, another gap, to the road on the other side. 

Danger signs? Pshaw. Who needed them?  I don’t remember much about the crossing. Much of our visit on the island blurred due to my fretting about our return trip--same bridge.


Kingdom Thinking. I know I’m supposed to trust in the Lord with all my heart. But, it’s hard. Many times impossible. So the Lord Jesus promises never to leave me and loves me with an everlasting love. No matter what bridge you’re crossing in your life, you can trust Him. He’ll direct your paths if you let Him.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

HACKED

In James 1:16-17, we read: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadows of turning.”

“You’re not going to be happy.” Timmy threw his test paper on the kitchen table. Grandfather picked it up, frowned.

“I thought you studied for the test. You needed an A to pull up your average.”

“It’s not my fault, Grandfather.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I studied the important stuff,” Timmy mumbled.

“The materials the teacher told you to study?”

“Um, no. I studied from the sheet Dan gave me--his notes.”

“Let me see the notes.”

“But, Grandfather. They’re private. Not supposed to show them to anyone.”

“‘Private’ became null and void when you failed the test. The notes, please.”

Grandfather looked over his glasses. “Son, you memorized the answers?” Timmy nodded.
“You’ve been hacked. Someone wanted you to fail with this wrong information. I hope you didn’t pay much for them.” Timmy’s chin rested on his chest.

“I’ll take my own notes. And I’ll study hard. I promise.” Timmy sniffed.

“That’s the spirit. With that attitude, you’ll get it done. And I’m here to help.”

“You’ll help? After what I did?”

“Of course. Now. Let’s get to work.”

Kingdom Thinking. I’ve been hacked. The enemy bombards me with wrong answers, half truths, then inserts fear and doubt. But the Lord Jesus is Truth. He promises never to leave me and He loves me with an everlasting love. Have you been hacked? The Lord Jesus offers you good gifts. Gifts to prosper, not to fail. Won’t you come to Him?









Thursday, April 19, 2018

THE POWER SOURCE

In Psalm 68:35, we read: “O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.”

“Wow. Look at that car, Grandfather!” The car rolled up to the curb where they stood. The driver got out, walked over to them.

“What do you think about this?” The driver patted the roof. “And take a look inside. Has every bell and whistle imaginable.”

“May I sit inside?” He checked Timmy’s shoes, nodded. Timmy slid in, put his hands on the steering wheel. “Wish Johnny could see me now.”

Mr. Lester, the local mechanic walked up. “I’d like to see under the hood.”

“In a minute,” the driver answered.  “Let me show you some of the new features. Check out the leather seats, the leg room...” He rattled the attributes of the car like an auctioneer.

Mr. Lester checked his watch. “Don’t have time for anymore of your talk. Just want to check out the engine.”

“Young man,” the driver said to Timmy. “Pull that latch for me. No. That’s the trunk. Yeah. That’s the one.” Timmy pulled it.

“This car doesn’t a battery,” growled Mr. Lester. "How’d you get here anyway?”

“Just coasted down the hill. Some folks up there wanted to see how long it’d take you to figure out the joke.” The men up the hill hooted. Mr. Lester grinned, waved to his friends.

“Grandfather,” Timmy asked on their way home. “Those guys went to a lot of trouble to tease Mr. Lester.”

“Guess so and he fell for it. But without the battery, the car wouldn’t take you anywhere, no matter how fancy the car.”  Timmy nodded. “But, you have to make sure you have the right power source. Remember our Bible verse this morning?”

“The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people,” Timmy said. Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus is my Power source. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and to never leave nor forsake me. He gives His power and strength to me because I chose Him. He offers the same to you. Won’t you choose Him?



















Thursday, April 12, 2018

UPSIDE DOWN

In Psalm 68:5 & Psalm 146:9, we read: “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”

“Pass the pepper, please.”

“Oh, you'd like the pepper?”

“Yes, please.” Six-year-old Annie reached for the pepper shaker.

“Allow me.” Bubba, sitting at her right, shook a generous amount on her grits.

“Here. Let me add some.” George, on her left, took the pepper shaker, gave it a hard shake. The top fell, pepper covering her food.

“Annie. Something wrong?” Head bowed, her bottom lip trembling, she sat still. Uncle looked at his sons, then Annie’s plate.

“Pass me Annie’s plate, Bubba.” He divided the grits. “Bubba, this half's for your supper, and James, the other is yours. Eat all of it.” Then he served Annie a fresh plate.

“Thank you, Uncle.” She swiped at the unbidden tears with her napkin.

“Wait, Grandfather, why were the boys so mean to Annie? Hadn’t she just come to live with them?”

“She had, due to the death of her mother, Timmy. But I assure you, the boys treated their new sister with kindness after that.”

“How do you know?” Timmy tilted his head.

“Because I learned the lesson well. Remember what the family called me?”

“Bubba. You’re that Bubba?” Grandfather nodded. “Uh, were you turned upside down?”

“Better believe it and I’ll never forget it. The Lord takes care of widows and orphans. Woe to them that take advantage of them. I’m proof of that!”

Kingdom Thinking. In this upside down world, the Lord, indeed, takes care of widows and orphans. My mother told this story many times. Her aunt and uncle adopted her after she lost her mother, welcomed her into their family. Our Lord does the same. He adopted me, promises 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?






Thursday, April 5, 2018

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD

In Matthew 23:27-28, we read: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

“Do we have to take out all this stuff, Grandfather?”

“I want this closet to be like new, Timmy. Hand me the crowbar.”

“But I like the shelves in back. I put my stuff on them.”

“We’ll put in new shelves. Good sturdy ones that don’t sag.”

“Something smells rotten, Timmy.” Grandfather cocked his head. “What’s on the bottom shelf?”

Timmy hesitated. “I kept the golden egg from the Easter egg hunt. It was so pretty. I put it on a nest I sprayed gold.”

“You may have put it in the back shelf but the smell is filling the room. Hand me that garbage bag.” He turned as Timmy went downstairs.

“I’ll wait on the steps for you.

"I can’t believe something that pretty can smell so bad, Grandfather.” He dipped his head.  "I’m sorry.”

“Like a lot of us, son, you were deceived. Just because something's beautiful, doesn’t make it good. I’ll join you downstairs when I get this contained.”

Later, sitting on the back steps, Timmy said. “Guess that was a dumb thing to do, huh?”

“I’ve done some dumb things myself.” Grandfather chuckled. “Just don’t talk about it. But it doesn’t hurt to share a few things with folks.”

“Really?”

“When we confess our faults, others find it easier to identify. Especially when it’s something they’ve done.” Timmy tilted his head. “You’re not the first to hide eggs.” Grandfather chuckled. “Your aunt hid her entire basket under her bed one Easter. She wanted to hatch colored chicks.”

“What happened?”

“Had to clean up the mess.” Timmy giggled. "Remember. Because something looks lovely on the outside, is no guarantee it’s good on the inside.”

Kingdom Thinking. Dumb things? Easy to do. The good news? I have a Savior, the Lord Jesus, who knows me and loves me and promises never to leave me. He is the One who indwells me, cleanses me--from the inside out. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?