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Thursday, December 29, 2005


At the risk of offending my English friends, I always said it was true, but nobody would believe me... Ach!

SCOTS accents can be a boost in a business career, a survey has revealed.

But a strong English regional accent can prejudice bosses against you.

A poll revealed 77 per cent rated those with Home Counties accents as generally successful.

Scots were seen as successful by 63 per cent and hardworking by 61 per cent - ahead of the Home Counties on 50 per cent.

But 64 per cent of business people regard those with a Liverpudlian twang as being generally unsuccessful, followed by those with a West Midlands accent (63), Cockney (52) and Geordie or West Country (48).

A spokesman for the communications company behind the survey said: "Accents can speak louder than words."Even if you think like Albert Einstein, it is a fact that if you sound like Vera Duckworth (Coronation Street,) you will face prejudices in the business world"

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year, including the English! "Fur we're no awa tae bide awa!"

Be encouraged!

Link Link

Sunday, December 25, 2005


And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:8-11.

Shepherds and the glory of the Lord in the same sentence? Shepherds enjoyed a great heritage in Israel with Abraham, Moses, and David as notable shepherds, and God being identified by David in Psalm 23 as a great shepherd.

But by this time in Israelite history, they were not highly regarded. They smelled like sheep, they spent their time with sheep, and they were not really clean and religious enough, to be considered spiritual.

So when God chose to announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds with his contingent of angels, He makes his point clear: Everyone is loved by God, everyone has access to God, and everyone is desired by God. Hallelujah! Praise the wonderful Name of Jesus!

Loving Father, I confess to you that sometimes the outward appearance, and reputation of a person, obscures the way I treat them. But today, I'm convicted of how much you want everyone to know about your grace in Jesus. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to have a heart to love all people, and a passion to share your grace with them. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Friday, December 23, 2005


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

This will be the last Daily encouragement until January 2006! I will still be posting most days, but the content will be different, mostly stories of interest, funny posts, uplifting articles etc;

And what a year it has been! I never thought when I started this blog that it would generate much interest, but it has gone beyond my wildest dreams, and to pick up a Warnie in the process, has absolutely staggered me. But more about that when I celebrate my first Blogversary at the end of January!

I have been blessed out of my socks with all the wonderful people I have met, and in the process, developed great friendships with them. So, in saying all of that, let’s get down to some serious laughing, which will encourage us to have a great weekend!

It was the week before Christmas. Parking spaces were hard to come by. There were long lines, crowded stores, rude people, and grossly inflated prices. In one long checkout line, one man was heard to say, "They should kill the guy who started Christmas." One wise and godly woman in the line said, "They did- they hung Him on a cross." Therein lies the REAL Christmas story. – Source Unknown.

If you haven't much education you must use your brain.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again; it was probably worth it.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
IRS: We've got what it takes to take what you've got.
It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

It's lonely at the top, but you eat better.
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
Multitasking means screwing up several things at once.
Remember half the people you know are below average.

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
Save your breath. You'll need it to blow up your date!
"Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled."
"Christmas is weird. What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?"
Bank Etiquette:
A crusty old man walks into a bank and says to the teller at the window, "I want to open a damn checking account."

The astonished woman replies, "I beg your pardon, sir; I must have misunderstood you. What did you say?"
"Listen up, damn it. I said I want to open a damn checking account right now!"
"I'm very sorry sir, but we do not tolerate that kind of language in this bank."
So saying, the teller leaves the window and goes over to the bank manager to tell him about her situation.
They both return and the manager asks the old geezer, "What seems to be the problem here?"
"There's no damn problem," the man says, "I just won 50 million bucks in the damn lottery and I want to open a damn checking account in this damn bank!"
"I see," says the manager, "and this bitch is giving you a hard time?"

One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are seated, waiting for the cockpit crew to show up so they can get under way. The pilot and co-pilot finally appear in the rear of the plane, and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle. Both appear to be blind.

The pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers right and left as he stumbles down the aisle, and the co-pilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with huge sunglasses.

At first the passengers don't react, thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. However, after a few minutes the engines start revving and the airplane starts moving. The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness, whispering among themselves and looking desperately to the stewardesses for reassurance.

Then the airplane starts accelerating rapidly down the runway and people begin panicking. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more hysterical.

Finally, when the airplane has less than 20 feet of runway left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone screams at once, and at the very last moment the airplane lifts off and is airborne.

Up in the cockpit, the co-pilot breathes a sigh of relief and turns to the pilot: "You know, one of these days the passengers aren't going to scream, and we're gonna get killed!"
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
Strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
But do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
Baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
Preparing gourmet meals
And arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
But do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen,
Carol in the nursing home
And give all that I have to charity,
But do not show love to my family,I
t profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
And crocheted snowflakes,
Attend a myriad of holiday parties
And sing in the choir's cantata,
But do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust...
But giving the gift of love will endure.
-Source Unknown.

PUNS OF THE WEEK FOR MY FRIEND - BLOGOTIONAL. Stealing someone's coffee is called 'mugging'.
Does a coffee shop have the grounds to operate in the black?
When he spilled coffee on her shirt she showed him dis-stain.
Drinking too much coffee can cause a latte problems.
Is coffee your daily grind?
Selling coffee has its perks for those who have bean so lucky.
Coffee has bean the grounds of many a heated and strong discussion.
The coffee around here is break fluid.
I just had some coffee that was good only for its sedimental value.
When they spilled coffee on his neck, he got hot under the collar.
Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you.
Some people's noses and feet are build backwards: their feet smell and their noses run.
A cardboard belt would be a waist of paper.
His girlfriend wanted him to slow down the car, but he put his foot down.
It's true I don't like soap, but you don't have to rub it in my face!
The headlines nobody likes are wrinkles.
I need to cut my fingernails before they get too out of hand.
Time wounds all heels.
Artificial knees and elbows were developed during a joint project.


Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a joyful heart, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!


Be encouraged!


Thursday, December 22, 2005


There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express. - Billy Sunday.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6.

In Christ We Have:
A love that can never be fathomed

A life that can never die
A righteousness that can never be tarnished
A peace that can never be understood
A rest that can never be disturbed
A joy that can never be diminished
A hope that can never be disappointed
A glory that can never be clouded
A light that can never be darkened
A purity that can never be defiled
A beauty that can never be marred
A wisdom that can never be baffled
Resources that can never be exhausted.
- Source Unknown.

It’s a pity that our beautiful Text is only used at Christmas, because it speaks volumes for our life in Christ and for who He was, is, and will be...

His name is Wonderful: This takes care of the dullness of life.
We no longer need to live on the cheap substitutes of the world, in order to have excitement and enjoyment. Jesus Christ makes everything wonderful.

His name is Counsellor: This takes care of the decisions of life.
We no longer will be baffled by the problems of life, wondering what step is next. With Jesus Christ as Counsellor, we will have the wisdom that we need to make right decisions.

His name is Mighty God: This takes care of the demands of life.
And life is demanding! Sometimes we feel like giving up; but through Jesus Christ we can have the strength that we need to continue, and to conquer.

His name is Everlasting Father: This takes care of the dimensions of life.
We can become a part of eternity!!! A whole new dimension of living can be ours through Jesus Christ, when the government of our lives is upon His shoulders. He will never let us down, but will provide for us forever!

His name is Prince of Peace: This takes care of the disturbances of life.
How we long for lasting peace within! What we wouldn't give for the secret of poise and confidence in a threatening world! The answer is none other than, Jesus! He is the Prince of Peace, and when He controls the government of your life, He gives you Peace, for He gives you Himself.

Meaning no disrespect to the religious convictions of others, I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion.

Where... is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time, possibly to your own home town.

A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted.

There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing, the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story?

No, this uneducated, propertyless young man who, left no written word has, for 2000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived, all of them put together. How do we explain that? Unless he really was who he said he was." - Ronald Reagan.

Remember, that there is a reason for the season; it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ! Let’s tell everyone we come into contact with, about His eternal life that He offers, to anyone who would believe in Him! Make someone’s Christmas the best one ever!

Loving Father, I thank you that you gave us a child, a Son, and Mighty God. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to remember this every time I mention His Name. Help me to tell someone about this magnificent act of love and sacrifice for us, and to let my world know of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. In His wonderful and majestic Name, I pray. Amen.

Be Encouraged!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since clothes came in fell a trifle short of the wearer's expectation. - Charles Dickens.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. - Galatians 3:25-27. (ESV)

I'm reminded of E.B. White's comment: "People have re-cut their clothes to follow the fashion... People have remodeled their ideas too, taken in their convictions a little at the waist, shortened the sleeves of their resolve, and fitted themselves out in a new intellectual ensemble copied from a smart design out of the very latest page of history."

When slavery to fashion invades the church, our latest ideas are yesterday's fads. We adopt the world's agenda , just a few years too late. Many churchmen sport theological bell-bottoms. - Charles Colson.

I know it’s Christmas time, and we are about to celebrate His Birth, so talking about his death doesn’t make much sense, but the baby Jesus has grown up now, and He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Saviour of mankind, and He has been for the past two thousand years. He has taken on His mantle of Mighty God...

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. - Isa 9:6-7.

Our text today, talks about putting on Christ. “Putting on” means to be clothed with Christ. So I am asking this question of you; what are you wearing today? I hope your answer is “Clothed with Christ.” Anything else is simply out of style by heaven's standards, no matter what designer fashions you may be wearing. The “Putting on” of Christ according to the gospel, consists not in outward replication, but in a new birth, a complete change.

London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.

As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.

"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."

Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17). He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build. - Ian L. Wilson.

If your answer is the opposite, then you can be clothed with Christ by surrendering your life to Jesus as your Saviour through faith; believe that He is God's Son who died for you, trust that He rose from the dead to give you life, confess Christ as your Lord and Saviour, trusting him for your salvation, and share with him in his death, burial, and resurrection through water baptism.

The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise. - D. L. Moody.

He promises to send his Spirit to live inside you, and to forgive you all of your sins. You will be God's child and have a home waiting for you in heaven. For those of us who are Christians, these thoughts are a reminder of what God has done for us and what he expects of us. If you are not a Christian, the world doesn't have to be a cold and lonely place at this time; the Lord Jesus can be with you everywhere you go, if you will respond to him.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. – Source Unknown.


Loving Father, thank you that you provided a way for making me your child, and for clothing me in your righteousness. Thank you for making it possible for me to call you Father, and to have Jesus as my older brother. Thank you, Father, for Jesus, in whose wonderful and mighty Name I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. - Henry David Thoreau.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. - Luke 12:23.

On November 25, 1895, a cornerstone of ice was laid in Leadville, Colorado -- the beginning of the largest ice palace ever built in America. In an effort to bolster the town's sagging economy, the citizens staged a winter carnival. On New Year's Day of 1896, the town turned out for the grand opening. The immense palace measured 450 x 320 feet. The towers that flanked the entrance were 90 feet high. Inside was a 16,000-square-foot skating rink.

But by the end of March the palace was melting away, along with the hopes of Leadville. The thousands of visitors had spent very little. - Today in the Word.

In the rush of the holiday season and the grab at getting and giving gifts, it is very important to remember that life is much more than even the most basic things we think we need. If we lose sight of God, his work and his will in our lives, then what do we have? Not much and it won't last long! My prayer for you, and for me, during this holiday season is that we are reminded of what is most important, most valuable, and most enduring.

There are three huge gates that lead into the Cathedral of Milan. Over one gate there is an inscription in marble under a beautiful flower bouquet that says, "The things that please are temporary."

Over the second gate, there is a cross with this inscription: "The things that disturb us are temporary."

However, over the central gate, there is a big inscription saying, "Eternal are the important ones." - Source Unknown.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and we need to remember this when we get a little disoriented at this time of the year. This is a great encouragement to us, because if we live for the moment, there is no peace. It is an act of Christian love, born out of the birth of Christ, to give each other gifts at this time, but if we get agitated and disturbed about what gifts we are giving, there will be no peace in our lives. If we commit our gift buying to the Lord, He will give us peace, and it only takes a few minutes, but it keeps the focus on Christ, where it should be, at Christmas.

Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide.

Finally the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered. The tensions grew.

Only two pictures remained veiled. As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd. A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.

The man with the vision uncovered the second painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?

A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power.

A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil. - Berit Kjos.

Remember, that our gift to someone is an extension of our love, as it was with the Father, when He gave us the gift of His only Son. It wasn’t a momentary gift, but a gift that would be for eternity,
praise His wonderful and mighty Name! And if we value Christ in our lives, we will not live for the moment, but forever, bathed in His magnificent love and peace.

Loving Father, almighty and awesome in glory, yet so near and so concerned about my heart, thank you for knowing and loving me with an everlasting love. Please give me the wisdom to see beyond the momentary things of life and find you and your sustaining peace. In Jesus' wonderful and mighty Name I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Monday, December 19, 2005


We come to know truth not only reason, but still more so through our hearts. - B. Pascal.

And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. - Luke 2:16-19. (ESV)

A little boy asked his mother where he came from, and also where she had come from as a baby. His mother gave him a tall tale about a beautiful white-feathered bird. The boy asked his grandmother the same question and received a variation on the bird story. Outside to his playmate he said, "You know, there hasn't been a normal birth in our family for three generations." - Howard Hendricks.

Another weekend has flown by and we face the start of another week! But, praise the Lord after that fantastic weekend of quality time with the family and friends, fabulous worship with our Christian families, we should be fired up and ready to go at another week! We don’t need six cups of coffee to get us going; we have plenty of ‘Heart Starters’ in the Word of God. Hallelujah! Praise the wonderful and blessed Name of Jesus! See, we are excited already!

On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln's birthplace near Hodgenville, Kentucky, is recorded this scrap of conversation: "Any news down 't the village, Ezry?" "Well, Squire McLain's gone t' Washington t' see Madison swore in, and ol' Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o' Spain. What's new out here, neighbor?" "Nuthin' nuthin' a'tall, 'cept fer a new baby born t' Tom Lincoln's. Nothin' ever happens out here."

Some events, whether birthdays in Hodgenville (or Bethlehem) or spiritual rebirth in a person's life, may not create much earthly splash, but those of lasting importance will eventually get the notice they deserve. - Source Unknown.

You have guessed right, this week’s ‘Heart Starter,’ takes us to the birth of Jesus Christ. What can get us more excited than the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? There are only a few days to go before we celebrate with family and friends, the most wondrous event ever to happen in the whole of the world’s history! Wow! It certainly gets the heart going! Think for one moment with me…

Our lord Jesus, came into the world as a vulnerable baby, born of a woman, and delivered in a stable! We are talking about God almighty in the flesh!
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). - Mat 1:23.

This event boggles my mind; it is so hard to understand. He loved us so much; He put Himself in this position, in order to bring to us salvation! We who are from a sinful world, and yet He brought us deliverance from sin, and the evil one! I don’t know about you but this makes my skin go all goose bumps, when I read this. Praise His wonderful Name!

These shepherds were the first preachers of the Gospel of Christ: and what was their text? Why, Glory to God in the highest heavens, and on earth peace and good will among men. This is the elegant and energetic saying which comprises the sum and substance of the Gospel of God.

This, and this only, is the message which all Christ’s true pastors or shepherds bring to men. He who, while he professes the religion of Christ, disturbs society by his preaching’s or writings, who excludes from the salvation of God all who hold not his religious or political creed, never knew the nature of the Gospel, and never felt its power or influence.

How can religious contentions, civil broils, or open wars, look that Gospel in the face which publishes nothing but glory to God, and peace and good will among men? Crusades for the recovery of a holy land so called, (by the way, latterly, the most unholy in the map of the world), and wars for the support of religion, are an insult to the Gospel, and blasphemy against God! – Adam Clarke’s Commentary.

Mary treasured all the things that she heard about Jesus, and pondered all these things in her heart. What a mighty woman of God, what a servant, what a Christian! How excited she must have been, to be brought from virtual anonymity, and thrust into the pinnacle of life! Wow! If this can’t get your heart started, nothing will! And we are all part of it! So, when we think of His birth, let us treasure everything we know about Jesus, and ponder them in our heart! Hallelujah! Praise His mighty Name, King of kings, and Lord of lords!

He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest.
Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.
- Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381.

Remember, that there is a reason for the season; it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ! Let’s tell everyone we come into contact with, about His eternal life that He offers, to anyone who would believe in Him! Make someone’s Christmas the best one ever!

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to rejoice in the birth of your only son, and to treasure, and ponder all these things in my heart.. Help me Lord, to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in this Christmas season. Use me Lord, to bring someone into your Kingdom, and make it their best Christmas ever!

Be encouraged!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


A big thank you to our Prime Minister, for his courage and honesty, in putting Christ back into Christmas, this is the quality that good leaders are made of, and our Churches should take notice...

Prime Minister John Howard has said he wants to put Christ back into Christmas.

Mr Howard says he has contempt for those who downplay Christianity during the festive season, in case it offends those who are non-religious or are of other faiths.

He said blanding out religious symbols of Christmas showed intolerance. "You don't demonstrate tolerance towards minorities by apologising for your own heritage," Mr Howards told The Sunday Herald Sun.

"I hope some department stores would have the courage to bring back nativity scenes and not just Christmas trees. "When I was a kid you'd go in and see the Christmas tree and Santa Claus, but there'd also be some nativity scenes in department stores. "They seem to have disappeared in recent years and you have this sort of - oh we don't want to offend anybody."

Mr Howard said he did not believe the majority of Muslim and Jewish community resented the emphasis on Christmas.

Good onya John, we salute you! Maybe this will encourage the Christian leaders to speak out!

Be encouraged!

Link Link


You, my son, will be called a prophet of God in heaven above. You will go ahead of the Lord to get everything ready for him. You will tell his people that they can be saved when their sins are forgiven. - Luke 1:76-78.

Where does salvation come from? Does it come from our sense that something is desperately wrong, and we need to change, and make it better? Does it come from casting things in a morepositive light, so we don't become discouraged and quit?

Does it come from a lucky break? Does it come because we are scrupulously righteous, and deserve it come our way? Does it come from rigorously obeying everything in the law?

No! Salvation and forgiveness come from one source, “The tender mercy of our God.”

Loving Father, I confess that at times I've tried to earn my salvation. At other times, I have taken it for granted and trampled on your mercy and grace. Today, Father, I want to live for you: not to be saved or gain salvation, but to please you and reflect your character and nature. Your mercy and grace have redeemed many people from the worthless way of living that I see so many others trapped in. Thank you for your salvation, but please help me to live in a way that shows the joy of that salvation in all I say, think, and do. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Friday, December 16, 2005


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Well folks, another week has flown by, and it’s time to begin to celebrate the Weekend!

Weekends, weekends, weekends, I love them! Why do I love them? Well, it’s great to be able to hold a conversation with someone without them saying... “Gosh! Is that the time already, I gotta fly, things to do!” Or, “I am sorry I can’t speak right now, you have caught me at a busy time!” Or,“Hey! Let me call you back when I get a minute, it’s hectic here!”

Weekends give us an opportunity to relax with family, and to make some time to visit an old friend or relative. To have a chat over the back fence with the neighbour, maybe even have a BBQ and invite them over. Whatever we are planning, it’s great to be able to do so without someone pushing deadlines at us, or stealing our precious time to massage their ego, about how important they are etc!

And then there is the icing on the cake, the highlight of the week, Church! A wonderful occasion, to give some of our time to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To praise Him, and to worship Him, with His own family, a time of sharing in His word, and hopefully gleaning a few principles to put into action, and make us more obedient to Him. Hallelujah! Here are a few laughs/thoughts to keep you going...

Holiday Inn, when looking for 500 people to fill positions for a new facility, interviewed 5,000 candidates. The hotel managers interviewing these people excluded all candidates who smiled fewer than four times during the interview. This applied to people competing for jobs in all categories. - Bits & Pieces.

Daddy, why doesn't this magnet pick up this floppy disk?

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
Did anyone see my lost carrier?
Diplomacy is the art of saying good doggie while looking for a bigger stick.
Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone.
Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs.
For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
I am not a vegetarian because I love animals. I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.

I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame you.
I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
Death is hereditary.
Ten rules for happier living:
1. Give something away (no strings attached)
2. Do a kindness (and forget it)
3. Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is a priceless guidance)
4. Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel)
5. Laugh often (it's life's lubricant)
6. Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not enough)
7. Pray (or you will lose the way)
8. Work (with vim and vigor)
9. Plan as though you'll live forever (because you will)
10.Live as though you'll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow)
- Source Unknown.
Did you hear about the dyslexic Satanist? He sold his soul to Santa.

Did you hear about the guy that lost his left arm and leg in a car crash? He's all right now.
Why do bagpipers walk when they play? They're trying to get away from the noise.
What do you call Santa's helpers? Subordinate Clauses.
What do the letters D.N.A. stand for? National Dyslexics Association.

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work? A stick.
To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.

We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that He could reconcile Himself to our present impurities--no more than the beggar maid could wish that King Cophetua should be content with her rags and dirt, or a dog, once having learned to love man, could wish that man were such as to tolerate in his house the snapping, verminous, polluting creature of the wild pack.

What we would here and now call our "happiness" is not the end God chiefly has in view: but when we are such as He can love without impediment, we shall in fact be happy. - C.S. Lewis.

While training to work at Coca Cola he was given a pop quiz.
He put so many blanks in his document that he started to feel spaced out.
An electric company is always looking for high energy employees.
Blind people often work on-site.
Never put all your begs in one ask-it.
He finally came clean, and found that he was all washed up.
Those who get up at sunrise have many ideas dawn on them.
People who like gold paint have a gilt complex.
Power corrupts, especially at the electric company.
Workmen with special hats have super-visors.


Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a joyful heart, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden.

Years later, John the Baptist started preaching in the desert of Judea. He said, "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here." - Matthew 3:1-2. (CEV)

Henry Wingblade used to say that Christian personality is hidden deep inside us. It is unseen, like the soup carried in a tureen high over a waiter's head. No one knows what's inside, unless the waiter is bumped and he trips! Just so, people don't know what's inside us until we've been bumped. But if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit. - Carl Lundquist.

John the Baptist was an absolutely strange character; he lived in the desert, wore a leather jacket, and ate bugs. Not exactly the person that we would want to tell us about God. But therein lies the problem, most Christians today, want to communicate the gospel in sanitized conditions, but we need to learn to be ourselves, exhibit the character that God gave us.

W. Michael Blumenthal, chairman of Unisys, talks about the mistakes he made in hiring: In choosing people for top positions, you have to try to make sure they have a clear sense of what is right and wrong, a willingness to be truthful, the courage to say what they think and to do what they think is right, even if the politics militate against that.

This is the quality that should really be at the top. I was too often impressed by the intelligence and substantive knowledge of an individual and did not always pay enough attention to the question of how honest, courageous and good a person the individual really was. - Jerry Flint.

John the Baptist, wasn’t influenced by dress code, or money, or political correctness, or by what people would say about him, he was simply obedient to his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, and told people the truth, not what they wanted to hear, but what God was saying to them. And we need to be the same as John, and be ourselves, use our own personalities, be what God made us, and be free to communicate the gospel, in the way God wants us to do...

Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. - Mat 28:19-20.

who cannot be bought;

whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it " because everybody else does it"; who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success; who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."
- Charles Swindoll.

Our Text sounds strange, in a world that is afraid to tell the truth about sin, wickedness, and evil. Yet every lost person desperately needs to repent, that is, to change his or her heart and life, seek after God, and live for Jesus as Lord.

Yes, salvation is given to us by God's incredible grace. On the other hand, grace that leaves us unchanged is not true grace. Grace not only forgives us through Jesus' sacrificial death on the Cross, but it also liberates us from the empty and destructive life without God and his guidance.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be myself, and not influenced by what people thin, that I may communicate your gospel in truth. Also, help me to take advantage of your incredible grace. I want to turn my heart to you, and live my life according to your will, your glory. In Jesus' wonderful Name I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver. - Thomas A` Kempis.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9.

During the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay, construction fell badly behind schedule because several workers had accidentally fallen from the scaffolding to their deaths. Engineers and administrators could find no solution to the costly delays.

Finally, someone suggested a gigantic net be hung under the bridge to catch any who fell. Finally in spite of the enormous cost, the engineers opted for the net. After it was installed, progress was hardly interrupted. A worker or two fell into the net but were saved. Ultimately, all the time lost to fear was regained by replacing fear with faith in the net.

As we paid nothing for God's eternal love and nothing for the Son of His love, and nothing for His Spirit and our grace and faith, and nothing for our eternal rest. What an astonishing thought it will be to think of the unmeasurable difference between our deservings and our receivings. O, how free was all this love, and how free is this enjoyed glory. So then let "Deserved" be written on the floor of hell but on the door of heaven and life. - Richard Baxter, The Free Gift.

Don't you just love gifts! When they're truly given, with no strings attached, all we have to do is receive them. The greatest gift we've ever received has nothing to do with our efforts; it is a gift from God. We didn't earn it, we didn’t deserve it, and we didn’t purchase it, because God gave it through his sacrificial gift, so our salvation would not be our boast, but his kindness.

One of the problems at Christmas time is unwanted gifts. Some people receive unwanted gifts from family, friends, workmates, and even strangers. It is presumed, that the gifts that the giver has given, has paid no particular thought to what the receiver would like, but it is simply a gift. And when the shops are open after Christmas Day, they rush to exchange the gift for something they like, or to cash it in.

An American Express survey about Christmas gifts found that the fruitcake was chosen most often (31%) from a list of "worst" holiday gifts. It even finished ahead of "no gift at all." When asked how to dispose of a bad gift, 30% would hide it in the closet, 21% would return it, and 19% would give it away. This suggests that the Christmas fruitcake might get recycled as a gift for the host of New Year's party. – Resource.

I find this very sad, and very selfish. We all have different tastes, and so when we purchase a gift for someone else, it is with the thought that they will like it. There may be people who buy a gift, who are not concerned what the person thinks or likes, but personally, I have never met anyone like that. A gift is a gift, and it should be treated as such.

That is why the Gift from God, our salvation, is so very important, and it should never be treated lightly. Our Heavenly Father in His wisdom, thought long and hard about the gift that He could give to a world, where some would despise it and reject it. He gave us the sacrificial gift of His only begotten Son...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. - John 3:16-18.

"Our method of proclaiming salvation is this: to point out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us, and although He was the Son of God, offered Himself for our sins ... by the preaching of His blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the cross, never, either in discourse or in argument, to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving Lamb: to name no virtue except in Him, and from Him and on His account,-to preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atoned for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him." - Count Zinzendorf.

My dear friends, I urge you to prayerfully consider, offering the Gift of God, to your family, friends, workmates, and even strangers. What a joy it will be when one sinner repents, for the whole of heaven rejoices. Why not cause a party in heaven this Christmas time?

Loving Father, I can never thank you enough for sending Jesus and paying the debt for my sin. May I never presume on your grace or take the cost of your gift lightly. At the same time, Father, I want to live confidently, knowing that my salvation is not dependent on my mistakes but upon your grace. Because of such a lavish gift, I pledge to live for you in a way that reflects the joy I have at receiving such an awesome gift, and I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to share this gift to an undeserving world. In the wonderful Name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


My concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right. A. Lincoln.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. - 1 John 3:1.

Rudyard Kipling once wrote about families, "all of us are we--and everyone else is they." A family shares things like dreams, hopes, possessions, memories, smiles, frowns, and gladness. A family is a clan held together with the glue of love and the cement of mutual respect. A family is shelter from the storm, a friendly port when the waves of life become too wild. No person is ever alone who is a member of a family. - Fingertip Facts.

Some gifts are too precious for words, and too wonderful to fully appreciate. The greatest of these gifts is that we are God's children! We have been adopted into the Father's family! Jesus claims us as his younger siblings! Even though the world may not acknowledge this, that doesn't make it any less true. After all, the world didn't recognize its Creator when he became flesh, and lived among the people he had made. God's Word, however, still proclaims the truth; we ARE the children of God!

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. - Rom 8:16-17.

The world hasn’t a clue about us, they do not know of the joy of following Jesus, they don’t know, and haven’t experienced the true happiness that we have. They think because we speak to God, and worship Him, that we are foolish fanatics. Little do they know that we, as followers of Christ, will one day share His presence in heaven. They despise us, they think we have a screw loose, and yet we can look upon them with the great love that the Father has given us, and accept them, warts and all.

S. I. McMillen, in his book None of These Diseases, tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower." - S. I. McMillen.

Our confidence to share this great love, comes from the love of God. We walk in a land that is full of strangers, which treated our Lord badly, and crucified Him. As the children of God we must walk by faith, and live in hope. This allows us to be able to witness to the lost, the great love Father has given us, and it is ours, and His desire, that they share in this great love. What a wonderful privilege it is, to be ambassador’s for Christ, in a dying and depraved world.

Paul considered himself Christ's ambassador. What is an ambassador? He is an authorized representative of a sovereign. He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the ruler whose deputy he is, and his whole duty and responsibility is to interpret that ruler's mind faithfully to those to whom he is sent.

Paul used this "ambassador" image twice -- both in connection with his evangelistic work. Pray for me, he wrote from prison, "that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph. 6:18-20). He wrote also that God "gave us the ministry of reconciliation...So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

Paul called himself an ambassador because he knew that when he proclaimed the gospel facts and promises and urged sinners to receive the reconciliation effected at Calvary, he was declaring Christ's message to the world. The figure of ambassadorship highlights the authority Paul had, as representing his Lord, as long as he remained faithful to the terms of his commission and said neither less nor more than he had been given to say. - James Packer.

Let’s take this great opportunity that Christmas presents to us, and tell of His wonderful love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Hallelujah, what a mighty God we serve!

Loving Father, I thank you, for the incredible blessing of being your child. I know that I haven't begun to understand all the glorious things this gift means. However, Father, I look forward to what I can learn now about what it means, and I joyously anticipate the day when I can see you face to face and fully know the meaning of this joy. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to communicate your great love, to those that are lost. In the wonderful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Monday, December 12, 2005


The heart has its reasons that reason does not know. - B. Pascal.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the LORD in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. - Prov 3:5-6.

A television program preceding the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, "Left!" and "Right!"

As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers' word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.

What a vivid picture of the Christian life! In this world, we are in reality blind about what course to take. We must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted--God Himself. His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course. - Robert W. Sutton.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! As we know by experience, Mondays can be very difficult, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week! Our text is taken this week from the book of Proverbs, from a man who had eight hundred wives, Solomon. Well, if someone needed wisdom it was him, so I am listening intently, when he gives advice.

"Duties are ours, events are God's; When our faith goes to meddle with events, and to hold account upon God's Providence, and beginneth to say, 'How wilt Thou do this or that?' we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left for us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we roll the weight of our weak souls upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall be neither our sin nor our cross." - Samuel Rutherford.

We who are mature in the Lord, should know by now, that the Lord is the never-ending supply of all that is good, and that He has made us with an intelligence, but dependent upon Him for everything, and He requires us to be mindful of that dependence. He commands us to believe His promises, and to look to Him for their fulfilment. We need to do this without doubt, fear or distrust, but to trust Him, and to trust Him with all of our hearts.

As followers of Christ, we can’t afford to rely on our own understanding, or else we will end up in trouble. We must trust in the Lord with all our hearts, believing that He is able and wise to do what is best. Those who know themselves, find their own understandings like rickety fences, which, if they lean upon, will fail.

The first section was studying the time-space relationship later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity. The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it, I committed the pages to memory. When I was called upon to recite, I solemnly reeled off almost word for word what the book said.

Our instructor, Colonel Fieberger, looked at me somewhat quizzically and asked, "Do you understand this theory?"
It was a bad moment for me, but I did not hesitate in replying, "No, sir." You could have heard a pin drop. I braced myself and waited.
And then the slow words of the professor: "Neither do I, Mr. MacArthur. Section dismissed." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

What a ‘heart starter’ for a Monday, straight into it! Remember, that there is a reason for the season; it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ! Let’s tell everyone we come into contact with, about His eternal life that He offers, to anyone who would believe in Him! Make someone’s Christmas the best one ever!

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to totally trust in you, and not my own understanding. Help me Lord, to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in this Christmas season. Use me Lord, to bring someone into your Kingdom, and make it their best Christmas ever!

Be encouraged!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


The commandment that God has given us is: "Love God and love each other!" - 1 John 4:21. (CEV)

We should love one another, and love our neighbor as ourselves. The love of God and the love of His people can never be separated; they who love God will also love their Christian family; they who love the family of God, give this proof that they love God, because they love with a measure of that love.

Some things are very simple, we can't love God and refuse to love each other, and this is not hard to understand. On the other hand, some of our family in the Lord are just down right hard to love,because they can be so difficult. But, we need to remember who we were when Christ died for us, powerless, ungodly, sinners, enemies (Romans 5:6-11). Yet God loved us and sent Jesus to save us.

So before we whine about our “hard-to-live-with” fellow Christians, we had better give thanks that God loved us when we were sinners. Then we need to thank God for his grace by, being more loving with each other.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, give me the strength, compassion, and courage to love my fellow Christians, even the difficult ones, as you have loved me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

Friday, December 09, 2005


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Well folks, it’s that time of the week to begin to celebrate the Weekend!

I love the weekend, and even though as a Pastor I have to work, but when push comes to shove, I wouldn’t want it any other way. To be able to serve God in the office of Pastor, is an unashamed blessing! I just love to see people enjoy what God intended them to enjoy, rest from their labour, spend time with their loved ones, catch up on all the things that they cannot do during working days.

Our awesome God knows we need this rest, and He factored it into our lives; so that we would be able to worship Him as His universal family, and spend time together doing so! Time to Praise and Worship the Lord, time to fellowship with the saints, time for a challenging Sermon, time to bask in the love and warmth of the brothers and sisters in the Lord! Hallelujah! Praise the wonderful Name of Jesus! So in saying all that, here are a few laughs/thoughts to keep you going...

One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.
"I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."
"But you didn't notice," Said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest." - Source Unknown.

A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
A day without sunshine is like, night.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
Artificial Intelligence usually beats real stupidity.
Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your nursing home.
For Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.

Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal.
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. Friends may come and go, but enemies tend to accumulate. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your mouth is moving.
Genius does what it must, talent does what it can, and you had best do what you're told.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
Good judgment comes from bad experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.
I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
If you haven't much education you must use your brain.
A doctor made it his regular habit to stop off at a bar for a hazelnut daiquiri on his way home. The bartender knew of his habit, and would always have the drink waiting at precisely 5:03 p.m. One afternoon, as the end of the work day approached, the bartender was dismayed to find that he was out of hazelnut extract.

Thinking quickly, he threw together a daiquiri made with hickory nuts and set it on the bar. The doctor came in at his regular time, took one sip of the drink and exclaimed, "This isn't a hazelnut daiquiri." "No, I'm sorry," replied the bartender, "it's a hickory daiquiri doc."
The friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought this was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him.

So the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that: Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.

Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."

People are also like that. That's why we all need to take time to rest. In today's Scripture, Jesus prescribed time off for His wearied disciples after they had returned from a prolonged period of ministry. And in the Old Testament, God set a pattern for us when He "rested from all His work" (Gen.2:3).

Shouldn't we take His example seriously? Start by setting aside a special time to relax physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. You will be at your best for the Lord if you have taken time to loosen the bow. - Our Daily Bread.

It's true that the earth rotates, but scientists are always putting their own spin on it.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A guy became so good with a chainsaw that he was promoted to branch manager.
He bent over to pick up a sieve and strained himself.
Working as an elevator operator has its ups and downs.
He installs ignitions in cars. He's a real self starter.
A guy who built fences had post work depression.
She owned three french-fry factories, but to her it was just small potatoes.
He who hesitates is bossed.
The two guys caught drinking battery acid will soon be charged.
They tried to keep a locksmith in prison, but the nut bolted.
Some burglars are always looking for windows of opportunity.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
A basketball player and a jockey just robbed the bank. Police are looking high and low.


Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a joyful heart, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!


Be encouraged!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


My father would not have been particularly interested in a book about fathering, although he did like to read. One day when he was reading in the living room, my brother and I decided we could play basketball without breaking anything. When I took a shot that redesigned the glass table, my mother came in with a stick and said, "So help me, I'll bust you in half." Without lifting his head from his book, my father said, "Why would you want twice as many?" - Bill Cosby.

Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children? "My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. - Hebrews 12:5. (GNB)

We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money, we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musician's instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not "disciplined"? - A.W. Tozer.

I love to encourage, and I love to be encouraged. Many times I hear people say, “But, you can’t be positive all the time!” Well, it’s not about positive and negative, it’s all about helping someone move on from where they are, and sometimes that will mean a rebuke, as in our text above.

God loves us so much, and as our Heavenly Father, He wants us to move on in our lives, not to become stuck in a rut. A lot of people feel sorry for themselves, and just want to stay at the “pity party” stage. But Father will rebuke us for this, and we must not be discouraged by it, in fact if we look at it in the Spirit, it’s the best thing for us, and if anyone knows best, it’s our heavenly Father…

My child, when the LORD corrects you, pay close attention and take it as a warning. The LORD corrects those he loves, as parents correct a child of whom they are proud. - Prov 3:11-12.

Father, doesn’t want to rebuke us, the same as we don’t want to rebuke our children, but if we are not disciplined enough to read His word, and apply the principles of it to our life, then He will discipline us in order for us to take the best advice, which is extremely encouraging, when everything falls into place! Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!

John Wesley and a preacher-friend of plain habits were once invited to dinner where the host's daughter, noted for her beauty, had been profoundly impressed by Wesley's preaching. during a pause in the meal, Wesley's friend took the young woman's hand and called attention to the sparkling rings she wore. "What do you think of this, sir, for a Methodist hand?"

The girl turned crimson. Wesley likewise was embarrassed, for his aversion to jewelry was only too well known. But with a benevolent smile, he simply said, "The hand is very beautiful."

Wesley's remark both cooled the too-hot water poured by his friend, and made the foot-washing gentle. The young woman appeared at the evening service without her jewels, and became a strong Christian. - Source Unknown.

When I was a young boy, I always acted as if I hated discipline; it was part of a game I used to play. Now that I am older, I am so thankful that my earthly Father loved me enough, (my Mother died when I was two years old) to discipline me strongly, to guide me lovingly, and encourage me repeatedly.

This "discipline and training of God" when accepted, and acted upon, will give us so many wonderful blessings. Now if we can just learn to recognise, and appreciate the Lord's discipline in our lives, our walk with Christ will be so much fuller! The lack of love is not hate, but indifference, and the opposite of concern, is an unwillingness to discipline.

Criticism is always difficult to accept, but if we receive it with humility and a desire to improve our character it can be very helpful. Only a fool does not profit when he is rebuked for his mistakes. Several years ago I read a helpful article on this subject. It stated that when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit.

The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God's grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.

When we are criticized, let's accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person. He who profits from rebuke is wise. - Source Unknown.

Thank God that He loves us, and knows us enough to be involved in our lives, and to discipline us in the direction of heaven. Praise His wonderful Name!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to recognise your discipline and correction in my life. I want to live for you with an undivided heart, pleasing you in word, thought, and deed. I confess, however, that sometimes my heart is rebellious or my resolve is weak. I thank you for your encouragement, and for helping me recognise my loss of spiritual direction, through your loving discipline. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!

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