Tag Archives: gratitude

A time to cast away stones….


A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬ KJV)

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A time to gather stones together. I have a friend who works in the trades. He is a licensed plumber. Some time ago, we prayed that his business would increase. Since that time, there were times when he had so much business, he could hardly keep up.
We would joke about all the business, “should I pray that business slow down?” He would say, when I remember you taking my phone off the hook and praying that God ring that phone with business to support my family, I cannot ask God to stop ringing the phone. There is a time to gather stones and a time to cast them away…
Last night, my friend was not home. I received a call, “do you know someone who can replace my water heater?” —It wasn’t enough to call my friend to feed God’s people, now I am getting calls too! …a time to gather stones together! God is good to me and my friends…whether I be casting stones forth or gathering them up. Praise be to God, my Heavenly Father!

Billy Graham on Reconciliation


ROMANS 5:10 NKJV – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

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Reconciliation

The word “reconcile” means literally “bring into a changed relationship.” It means to bring together two parties who should have been together all along. The Bible speaks of the human race as enemies of God. You may say that you are no “enemy” of God, but according to Scripture we are either passive or active enemies of God, apart from Christ. Reconciliation means “brought back into full relationship and fellowship with God.” This is what Christ accomplished on the cross.  What a thrilling thought.

Daily Prayer

Your cross, dear Savior, brings me to my knees in humble gratitude. Thank You, for forgiving all past and giving me strength to live each day in Your power.

A Plan of Thanksgiving XIV – finale


PSALM 118:1-29 ESV

Oh give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!   Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”   Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”   Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”   Out of my distress I called on the Lord ; the Lord answered me and set me free.   The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?   The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.   It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.   All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!  They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!   They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!  I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,  the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”   I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord .  The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.   Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord .  This is the gate of the Lord ; the righteous shall enter through it.  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.   The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  This is the Lord ’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Save us, we pray, O Lord ! O Lord , we pray, give us success!   Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord ! We bless you from the house of the Lord .  The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!  You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.   Oh give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

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Joy in Trial by Billy Graham


EPHESIANS 1:19-20 ESV – and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

The Secret of Contentment

Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them. They would be “as sheep in the midst of wolves.” They would be arrested, scourged, and brought before governors and kings. Even their loved ones would persecute them. As the world hated and persecuted Him, so it would treat His servants. Thousands of Christians have learned the secret of contentment and joy in trial. Some of the happiest Christians I have met have been life-long sufferers. They have had every reason to sigh and complain, being denied so many privileges and pleasures that they see others enjoy, yet they have found greater cause for gratitude and joy than many who are prosperous, vigorous, and strong.

In all ages, Christians have found it possible to maintain the spirit of joy in the hour of trial. In circumstances that would have felled most men, they have so completely risen above them that they actually have used the circumstances to serve and glorify Christ.

Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus, keep us ever mindful of the need to rejoice in You constantly; to go beyond the circumstance, no matter how desperate, and to see You as our hope and joy.

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A Merchant in Antwerp…by Billy Graham


GALATIONS 1:4 NIV – who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

The Unpayable Debt

Years ago King Charles V was loaned a large sum of money by a merchant in Antwerp. The note came due, but the king was bankrupt and unable to pay. The merchant gave a great banquet for the King. When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in, the merchant had a large platter placed on the table and a fire lighted on it. Then, taking the note out of his pocket, he held it in the flames until it was burned to ashes. The king threw his arms around his benefactor and wept. Just so, we have been mortgaged to God. The debt was due, but we were unable to pay. Two thousand years ago God invited the world to the Gospel feast, and in the agonies of the cross, God held your sins and mine until every last vestige of our guilt was consumed.

Daily Prayer

In gratitude I kneel before You, Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith of Elisha VIII


II Kings 5:1-27 NKJV

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.” Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy. And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “ Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.” So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you  shall be clean.” But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to  me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to  do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there  is  no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.” But he said, “ As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord . Yet in this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please pardon your servant in this thing.” Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance. But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “ Is all well?” And he said, “All is  well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’ ” So Naaman said, “Please, take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him. When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed. Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did  you  go, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.” Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with  you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is  it  time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as  white as snow.

In 2 Kings chapter 5 we read about a foreign military captain named Naaman who suffers from leprosy. He hears from a slave girl that Elisha might be able to heal him so he leaves for Israel with an entourage bringing gifts to the king. When Naaman finally encounters Elisha, he expects Elisha to simply wave his hands to take away the leprosy. Instead, Elisha asks him to do something that seems ridiculous to Naaman, which is to go and dunk himself seven times in the Jordan. Naaman at first refuses to do what Elisha asks but finally does so after the urging his men. When he does what Elisha asked, Naaman is finally healed. Naaman’s reaction is a very common one.

At some point in your life you’ve probably felt led to do something by God that seemed a little crazy or ridiculous at that very moment. Perhaps you asked God to do something in your life like Naaman, but His initial response was not what you expected and you were not willing to humble yourself enough to submit to God’s methods. When we ask God to do something in our lives we should never do it with an attitude or an expectation of exactly how and when He should do it. We are not greater than God and we must place our full faith in Him that He will do it at the right time and in the right way. We are not in charge. God is the one in charge and as Isaiah 55:8 tells us, God’s ways are not our ways. What steps can you take to fully humble yourself before God and realize that His ways are not your ways?

Five Things to be Grateful For…


5. Grandchildren.

Whether you spoil them or play it straight, they are a joy to have around.  You can see glimpses of the prior generation and that warms the heart.

4. Grown Children

These guys can break your heart, but more often than not, they bring a fullness to your life that would otherwise be missing.

3. Health

Whatever state you find yourself in, it could be worse.  Making the best of what ever your condition may be is an exercise in meaningful relations—you make the best of whatever you have, because complaining does no good.  It only prolongs your misery.

2. A Godly spouse to share all things Holy with.

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In this area, I am the most fortunate of men, for my wife and I believe pretty much the same and we discuss it often.  We recently went through the “Five Love Languages” book and were jointly blessed by that experience.

1. A Godly Church to fellowship at, to serve and worship at and to guide your steps.

No man is an island and we need the strength of each other to carry life’s burdens. 

 I am most fortunate here, also, for any of a number of them would come any time I need them, to minister to me, etc.  and many times they have done just that.  I have done the same 

for them and this type of reciprocal fellowship cannot be bought at any price.

So, you see, today and every day, whatever state I find myself in, 

I am among the most fortunate of all men.  I know it and I thank God for it, because He knows, I did not earn it!