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7/3/14 1:11 A

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Your Name on God’s Hand

by Max Lucado

When I see a flock of sheep I see exactly that, a flock. A rabble of wool. I don’t see a sheep. I see sheep. All alike. None different. But not so with the Shepherd. To him every sheep is different. Every face has a story. John 10:3 says, “The sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name.”

When we see a crowd, we see exactly that, a crowd. We see people, not persons. A herd of humans. But not so with the Shepherd. To him every face is different. Every face is a story. The Shepherd knows you. He knows your name. And he will never forget it.

God said in Isaiah 49:16, “I have written your name on my hand.” Quite a thought isn’t it? Your name on God’s lips. My… could it be?

From When God Whispers Your Name



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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7/2/14 1:28 A

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Bring Your Children to Jesus

by Max Lucado

Lamentations 2:19 says, “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.”

Dads– we can be loyal advocates, stubborn intercessors. We can take our parenting fears to Christ. In fact, if we don’t, we’ll take our fears out on our kids. Fear turns some parents into paranoid prison guards.

On the other hand, fear can also create permissive parents. High on hugs and low on discipline. Permissive parents. Paranoid parents. How can we avoid the extremes? We pray. Prayer is the saucer into which parental fears are poured to cool. When you send them off for the day, do so with a blessing. When you tell them good night, cover them in prayer. Pray that your children have a profound sense of place in this world and a heavenly place in the next.

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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7/1/14 1:19 A

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What’s Done is Done

by Max Lucado

What do you do with your failures? Could you do it all over again, you’d do it differently. You’d be more patient. You’d control your tongue. You’d finish what you started. You’d get married first. But as many times as you tell yourself, “What’s done is done,” what you did can’t be undone.

That’s part of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). He didn’t say, “The wages of sin is a bad mood.” Or “The wages of sin is a hard day.” Read it again. “The wages of sin is death.” Sin is fatal.

What do you do? Don’t we all long for a father who will love us? A father who cares for us in spite of our failures? We have that kind of a father. A father whose grace is strongest when our devotion is weakest. Your failures are not fatal, my friend!

from Six Hours One Friday



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/30/14 10:48 A

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Succeed at Home First

by Max Lucado

Quiet heroes dot the landscape of our society. They don’t make the headlines, but they do sew the hemlines and check the outlines and stand on the sidelines. You won’t find their names on the Nobel Prize short list, but you’ll find their names on the carpool, and Bible teacher lists. They are parents! Heroes! Their kids call them mom. Dad. And these moms and dads, more valuable than all the executives and lawmakers, quietly hold the world together.

Be numbered among them. Read books to your kids. Play ball while you can and they want you to. Make it your aim to watch every game they play, read every story they write, hear every recital in which they perform. Children spell love with four letters: T-I-M-E. Not just quality time, but hang time, downtime, anytime, all the time! Cherish the children who share your name. Succeed at home first!

From Dad Time





IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/28/14 11:29 P

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Planting Potatoes
When I was a boy growing up we had several gardens around our old house. The largest one of all was used just for growing potatoes. I can still remember those potato planting days. The whole family helped. After my Dad had tilled the soil, my Mom, brothers, and I went to work. It was my job to drop the little seed potatoes in the rows while my Mom dropped handfuls of fertilizer beside them. My brothers then covered them all with the freshly turned earth.

For months afterward I would glance over at the garden while I played outside and wonder what was going on underneath the ground. When the harvest time came I was amazed at the huge size of the potatoes my Dad pulled out of the soil. Those little seedlings had grown into bushels and bushels of sweet sustenance. They would be turned into meal after meal of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and my personal favorite: potatoes slowed cooked in spaghetti sauce. They would keep the entire family well fed throughout the whole year. It truly was a miracle to behold.

Thinking back on those special times makes me wonder how many other seeds I have planted in this life that have grown unseen in the hearts and minds of others. How many times has God used some little thing that I said or did to grow something beautiful? How many times has Heaven used these little seedlings to provide another's soul with sweet sustenance?

Every single day of our lives we step out into the garden of this world. Every single day we plant seeds that can grow into something wonderful. We may never see the growth that comes from the kind words or loving acts we share but God does. I hope then that you always tend the garden around you with care. I hope that you plant only goodness, peace, and compassion in the lives of everyone you meet. I hope that everyday you help miracles to grow.
~ Joseph J. Mazzella




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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/27/14 9:01 P

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Parents’ Number One Assignment

by Max Lucado

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Straight teeth, straight A’s, or straight posture cannot hold a candle compared to placing a child on the straight spiritual path. The highest privilege and purpose you have as a parent is to lead your child in the way of Christ. The towering questions for Christian parents are these:

Do my kids know Christ?
Have they tasted His grace and found comfort at His cross?
Do they know their death is defeated and their hearts are empowered?

Parents, assignment number one is discipleship. Help your child walk in the way of the Master. What a phenomenal privilege is yours! Imagine the joy you will feel when you stand before Christ, flanked by your wife and children—when your child says, “Thanks, Dad. Thanks for telling me about Christ.”

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/27/14 2:06 A

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She Called Me Daddy

by Max Lucado

When my daughter Sara was in the second grade, we took her desk hunting at a store that specializes in unpainted furniture. But when she learned we weren’t taking the desk home that day, she was upset. “But, Daddy, I wanted to take it home today.” Much to her credit, she didn’t stomp her feet and demand her way. She did, however, set out on an urgent course to change her father’s mind.

“Daddy, don’t you think we could paint it ourselves?” “Daddy, please, let’s take it home today.” After a bit she disappeared, only to return, arms open wide, bubbling with a discovery. “Guess what, Daddy. It’ll fit in the back of the car!” The fact that she’d measured the trunk with her arms softened my heart. The clincher, though, was the name she called me… Daddy. The Lucado family took a desk home that day.

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/26/14 1:08 A

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Our Ability to Hear

by Max Lucado

When our daughter Jenna was five years old, I took her to get a bike. And Andrea, age three, decided she wanted one as well. I explained to her she was too young for a two-wheeler. That when she was older she would get a bike too. No luck. She still wanted a bike. She turned her head and said nothing. Finally I sighed and said this time her daddy knew best.

Her response? She screamed it loud enough for everyone in the store to hear…“Then I want a new daddy!” Andrea, with three-year-old reasoning powers, couldn’t believe that a new bike would be anything less than ideal for her. And the one to grant that bliss was sitting on his hands.

If you’ve heard the silence of God, you may learn that the problem is not as much in God’s silence as it is in your ability to hear and your capacity to understand!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/25/14 8:56 A

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A Song for Dad

by Max Lucado

Psalm 127:3 says: “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? . . .His generous legacy?”

I remember many years ago when I was at a conference. I called home and talked with Denalyn and the girls. Jenna was about five years old at the time and said she had a special treat for me. She took the phone over to the piano and began to play an original composition.

From a musical standpoint, everything was wrong with the song. She pounded more than she played. There was more random than rhythm in the piece. The lyrics didn’t rhyme. The syntax was sinful. Technically the song was a failure. But to me, the song was a masterpiece. Why? Because she wrote it for me.

You are a great daddy. I miss you so much.
When you’re away I’m very sad and I cry.
Please come home very soon.

What dad wouldn’t like that? Your heavenly Father feels the same when he hears you talk to him.

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/24/14 1:51 A

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What Pleases a Father

by Max Lucado

When our daughters were young, Denalyn went away for a couple of days and left me alone with the girls. Though the time was not without the typical children’s quarrels and occasional misbehavior, it went fine.

“How were the girls?” Denalyn asked when she got home. “Good. No problem at all.” Jenna overheard me. “We weren’t good, Daddy,” she objected. “We fought once; we didn’t do what you said once. We weren’t good.”

Jenna and I had different perceptions of what pleases a father. She thought it depended on what she did. It didn’t. We think the same about God. We think His love rises and falls with our performance. It doesn’t. I didn’t love Jenna for what she did. I loved her—and love her still—for whose she is. She’s mine. God loves you for the same reason. He loves you for whose you are; and you are His child!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/23/14 1:11 A

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Beauty for Ashes
God gives us beauty for ashes
and His love washes away our tears.
He stills the storms around us
and gives hope to replace our fears.

God gives strength for our weakness
and comfort when we are in pain.
He gives peace to calm our anxieties
and sends sunshine after the rain.

God gives us joy for our sadness
and wisdom to direct our way.
He sends healing for our sicknesses
and His grace keeps us every day.

God gives sweet rest from our labor
and His mercy eases our sorrows.
He meets us when we are in the valley
and promise a bright tomorrow.

God's compassion never fails
His mercies are new every morning.
He gives living water to quench our thirst
and He satisfies our every longings.
~ Lenora McWhorter




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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/22/14 4:11 A

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Just for You

by Max Lucado


What is the fruit of sin? Step into the briar patch of humanity and feel a few thistles. Shame. Fear. Disgrace. Discouragement. Anxiety. Haven’t our hearts been caught in these brambles?

The heart of Jesus, however, had not. He had never been cut by the thorns of sin. What you and I face daily—he never knew. He never worried. He was never guilty. He never knew the fruit of sin until he became sin for us. And when he did—all the emotions of sin tumbled in on him like shadows in a forest. He felt anxious, guilty, and alone. Can you not hear the emotion in his prayer?

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” This prayer is one of the most remarkable parts of his coming. But there’s something even greater! He did it for you…just for you!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (I Peter 2:24).

from He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/21/14 12:21 A

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A Dad’s Commitment

by Max Lucado

When I was seven years old, I’d had enough of my father’s rules and decided I could make it on my own. With my clothes in a paper bag, I stormed out the back gate. I didn’t go far. I got to the end of the alley and remembered I was hungry. I remember rather sheepishly taking my seat at the supper table across from the very father I had, only moments before, disowned.

Did Dad know? I suspect he did. Fathers usually do. Was I still his son? Apparently so. No one was sitting in my place at the table. Suppose you’d asked, “Mr. Lucado, your son says he has no need of a father. Do you still consider him your son?” I don’t have to guess at his answer. He called himself my father even when I didn’t call myself his son. His commitment to me was greater than my commitment to him! Does that sound familiar?

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/19/14 1:11 A

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No Matter What

by Max Lucado

The 1989 Armenian earthquake killed thirty thousand people. Moments after the tremor stopped, a father raced to an elementary school. As he arrived to nothing but a mass of stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he’d made to his child: “No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.” Other parents arrived as he began pulling at the rocks. “It’s too late,” they told the man. But the father refused. For thirty six hours he dug—his hands raw, but he refused to quit.

After thirty-eight wrenching hours, he pulled back a boulder. “Arman! Arman!” and a voice answered him, “Dad, it’s me.” Then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the others not to worry. I told them if you were alive, you’d save me, and when you saved me, they’d be saved, too. Because you promised, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!”

From Dad Time


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/18/14 1:09 A

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The Greatest Gift

by Max Lucado

My dad repaired oil-field engines for a living and rebuilt car engines for fun. Dad loved machines. But God gave him a mechanical moron…a son who couldn’t differentiate between a differential and a brake disc. My dad tried to teach me. I tried to learn. Honestly, I did.

Machines anesthetized me. But books fascinated me. What does a mechanic do with a son who loves books? He gives him a library card. Buys him a few volumes for Christmas. Places a lamp by his bed so he can read at night. Pays tuition so his son can study college literature in high school. My dad did that.

You know what he didn’t do? Never once did he say, “Why can’t you be a mechanic like your dad and granddad?” The greatest gift you can give your children is not your riches, but revealing to them their own!

From Dad Time


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/17/14 2:30 A

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Loving the Child Who Drops the Ball

by Max Lucado

Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you’re thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it’s a big deal. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn’t say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, and opened the passenger door. We both knew the world had come to an end.

I went straight to my room. He went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. And somewhere in the dunking of the cookies, I began to realize that life and my father’s love would go on. If you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn’t improve, but my confidence in Dad’s love did. He never said a word. He showed up. He listened up.

From Dad Time


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/16/14 1:56 A

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You Are My Comfort
As I look out on to the ocean
My heart basks in your devotion
Your love and blessings are vast as the sea
Dear Lord you do hear the plea
Of the sorrowful, and the down trodden
A repenting heart's sins are long forgotten
The raging sea can not sink the ship
That's held in your grip
You are my anchor that holds
As the bad times unfold
My fountain of joy and peace
Where life's storms will cease.
You walk on water, calm the sea with your hand
Guide me as I go through this land.

~ Veronica Eudy



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/15/14 1:13 A

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Your Prayers Matter Because You Do

by Max Lucado • March 7

When I was a high schooler, my friends and I spent a Friday night in a part of the county where we did not belong. As far as my parents knew, I was at the local ice creamery enjoying a treat with my friends. Actually, we were twenty miles away from home, in the country, looking for fun on a country road. We didn’t have fun. Instead, we had a flat. The spare tire was flat, too. We had no other option except to call my dad. I rousted him out of bed at the midnight hour.

He drove his truck out into the back roads and found us. We fixed the tire and drove home. When we reached the house he sat me down in the living room and gave me a good talk. He took away my car keys. He took away my privileges. But then, surprisingly, he took away my fear by saying, “Max, I’m upset with you. But I understand the temptations. I remember what it is like to be a teenager.”

Dad, a teen? Shocking thought. But he remembered.

God, a human? Stunning truth. But he remembers. “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 MSG) There is never a time that he responds to your prayer with this thought: “I just don’t get it.”

He knows how you feel.

And, this is huge, “he knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt. 6:8) You don’t have to write your own prescription. God doesn’t need our counsel or advice. “Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Isa. 65:24)

People sometimes say, “Be careful what you pray for, God will give it to you.” Hogwash. If you don’t need it, he won’t give it. He loves you too much to give you the wrong answer. Is God no more than a computer, programmed to respond to the data you enter? By no means! He is your Father who says: “I know the thoughts I think towards you…thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope…call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you.” (Jer. 29:11)

Prayer is only as good as God is. Since he is good, so is prayer. Prayer works because he does. Prayer changes things because God changes things. Prayer makes a difference because God has determined to make a difference. Prayer matters because you matter to God.

© Max Lucado


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/14/14 1:18 A

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A Father’s Day Remembrance

by Max Lucado

I remember my first Father’s Day without a father. Perhaps you do too. For thirty-one years I had one of the best. But now he’s gone. He is buried under an oak tree in a west Texas cemetery. It seems strange he isn’t here. I guess that’s because he was never gone. He was always close by. Always available. Always present. His words were nothing novel. His achievements, though admirable, were nothing extraordinary. But his presence was. Like a warm fireplace in a large house, he was a constant source of comfort.

He comes to mind often. When I smell “Old Spice” aftershave, I think of him. When I see a bass boat I see his face. I hear him chuckle. He had a copyright chuckle that always came with a wide grin and arched eyebrows. And I knew if I ever needed him, he would be there….like a warm fireplace!

From Dad Time


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/13/14 1:08 A

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Dad Made the Difference

by Max Lucado

Other events of my sixth-grade year blur into fog. But that spring evening in 1967? Crystal clear. I passed on dessert. No appetite. I needed to focus on the phone—on the call I had expected before the meal. I’m staring at the phone like a dog at a bone hoping a Little League coach will tell me I’ve made his team. In the great scheme of things, not making a baseball team matters little. But twelve-year-olds can’t see the great scheme of things.

Long after my hopes were gone, the doorbell rang. It was the coach. He made it sound as if I were a top choice. Only later did I learn I was the last pick. And save a call from my dad, I might have been left off the team. But dad called, the coach came, and I was glad to play! Dad made the difference!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/12/14 6:12 A

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Time in His Workshop

by Max Lucado

The highlight of my Cub Scout career was the Soap Box Derby. My plan was to construct a genuine red roadster like the one in the Scout manual. Armed with a saw and hammer, lumber and high ambition, I set out to be the Henry Ford of Troop 169. My efforts weren’t a pretty sight. At some point dad mercifully intervened, and told me to follow him into his workshop.

I kept my bike in there but I never noticed the tools. But then again, I’d never tried to build anything before. Over the next couple of hours he introduced me to the magical world of sawhorses, squares, tape measures, and drills. I was amazed. Within an afternoon, we had constructed a pretty decent vehicle. I didn’t leave the race with a trophy, but I did leave with a greater admiration for my father. Why? Because I’d spent time in his workshop!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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6/11/14 2:37 A

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Chosen Children

by Max Lucado

Adoptive parents understand God’s passion to adopt us. They know what it means to feel an empty space inside. They know what it means to hunt, to set out on a mission, and to take responsibility for a child with a dubious future. If anybody understands God’s ardor for his children, it’s someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us. Adopted children are chosen children.

When the doctor handed Max Lucado to Jack Lucado, my dad had no exit option. He couldn’t give me back in exchange for a better-looking or smarter son. But if you are adopted, your parents chose you. Surprise pregnancies happen. But surprise adoptions? Never heard of one. Your parents could have picked a different gender, color, or ancestry. But they selected you. They wanted you in their family…Congratulations!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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No Price Too High

by Max Lucado

A father is the one person in your life who provides for and protects you. That is exactly what God has done! When our oldest daughter, Jenna, was two years old, I lost her in a department store. One minute she was at my side and the next she was gone. I panicked. All of a sudden only one thing mattered—I had to find my daughter. Shopping was forgotten. The list of things I came to get was unimportant. I yelled her name. What people thought did not matter. For a few minutes, every ounce of energy had one goal—to find my lost child. I did, by the way. She was hiding behind some jackets.

No price is too high for a parent to pay to redeem his child. No energy is too great. No effort is too demanding. A parent will go to any length to find his or her own. So will God!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Today's Story


A Conversation with God
Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise You won't get mad
God: I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Huummm
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...




IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Second Chance
God always wants the best for us,
But in Eden we sinned; we really blew it.
We disobeyed God's direct decree;
We separated from Him, and we knew it.

You'd think we'd learn to behave ourselves,
But through all time, we just kept doing it;
Piling wrong on top of wrong,
Our punishment—we kept accruing it.

Jesus came and changed all that;
He paid the price for all our sins;
When we repent and believe in Him,
We change, and a better life begins.

Easter stands for a second chance
For us to choose to put things right;
If we repent, and really believe,
Our record is polished clean and bright.

When Jesus rose from the dead back then,
He guaranteed our eternal life,
Reunited with God in heaven,
Free from tears and fears and strife.

Easter ensures paradise
For all of us, for you and me;
We're reconciled to our Lord and King
For now and all eternity.

By Joanna Fuchs



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Human being

By Max Lucado

One night I was on baby duty and Jenna’s breathing slowed. I leaned my ear onto her mouth to see if she was alive. And when she burbled and panted, so did I. That’s when a tsunami of sobriety washed over me. We are in charge of a human being!

I don’t care how tough you are. You may be a Navy SEAL who skydives behind enemy lines. It doesn’t matter. Every parent melts the moment he or she feels the full force of parenthood. How did I get myself into this? Moms have thirty-six weeks of reminders elbowing around inside them. Dads, our kick in the gut comes later… but it does come. And for me it came years ago in the midnight quiet of an apartment living room—as I held a human being in my arms!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Human being

By Max Lucado

One night I was on baby duty and Jenna’s breathing slowed. I leaned my ear onto her mouth to see if she was alive. And when she burbled and panted, so did I. That’s when a tsunami of sobriety washed over me. We are in charge of a human being!

I don’t care how tough you are. You may be a Navy SEAL who skydives behind enemy lines. It doesn’t matter. Every parent melts the moment he or she feels the full force of parenthood. How did I get myself into this? Moms have thirty-six weeks of reminders elbowing around inside them. Dads, our kick in the gut comes later… but it does come. And for me it came years ago in the midnight quiet of an apartment living room—as I held a human being in my arms!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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It’s the Father

by Max Lucado

One of my favorite childhood memories is greeting my father as he came home from work. My brother and I would take our positions on the couch and watch cartoons, always keeping one ear alert to the driveway. Even the best “Daffy Duck” would be abandoned when we heard his car. I’d run to meet Dad and get swept up in his big arms. He’d put his big-brimmed saw hat on my head, and for a moment I’d be a cowboy. When we went indoors and opened his lunch pail, any leftover snacks (which he always seemed to have) were for my brother and me to split. What more could a five-year-old want?

But suppose my dad, rather than coming home, just sent some things home. No deal. That wouldn’t work. Even a five-year-old knows it’s the person, not the presents. It’s not the frills, it’s the father!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Parent’s Prayer

by Max Lucado

Each year God gives millions of parents a gift, a brand new baby. Like no one else, parents can unlock the door to a child’s uncommonness. As dads, we accelerate or stifle…release or repress, our children’s giftedness. They will spend much of life benefitting or recovering from our influence. But remember, our kids were God’s kids first. We tend to forget this fact, regarding our children as our children, as though we have the final say in their health and future. We don’t. Wise are the parents who regularly give their children back to God.

God never dismisses a parent’s prayer. Keep giving your child to God, and in the right time and the right way, God will give your child back to you!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Desperate Dads Go to Jesus

by Max Lucado

In Mark 5:23 we meet Jairus—a leader of the synagogue—one of the most important men in the community. But the man in this story is a humble man, saying again and again, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” He doesn’t barter with Jesus. He doesn’t negotiate. He doesn’t make excuses. He just pleads!

There are times when everything you have to offer is nothing compared to what you’re asking to receive. What could a man offer in exchange for his child’s life? So there are no games, no haggling. Jairus asks for help. Jesus, who loves the honest heart, goes to give it. And God, who knows what it’s like to lose a child, empowers His Son!

From Dad Time



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Blessed Man

by Max Lucado

My daughters are too old for this now, but when they were young, crib-size and diaper-laden—I’d come home, shout their names, and watch them run to me with extended arms and squealing voices. For the next few moments we would speak the language of love. We’d roll on the floor, gobble bellies, and tickle tummies and laugh and play. We delighted in each other’s presence. They made no requests of me, with the exception of “Let’s play, Daddy.” And I made no demands of them, except, “Don’t hit Daddy with the hammer.” In this very special dad time—my kids let me love them!

Psalm 127:3-5 reminds us, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

I am a blessed man!

From Dad Time


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Saving Grace
Lord, you are so wonderful
And deserve our love and praise
I cannot express just how I feel
When I think of your saving grace

To think of what you went through
That day upon the cross
And in the moments leading up to it
When soldiers spat and scoffed

And beat you with no mercy
Making sport and having fun
You said not a word in your defence
Even though you were God's son

You bore it all out of your love
For the lost and dying souls
To give us a hope we can hold on to
For a future yet to unfold

It's such a beautiful description, Lord
Of what your grace can do
For no one's exempt from your saving grace
But it's a gift freely given from you


© By M.S.Lowndes


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Just for You

by Max Lucado

What is the fruit of sin? Step into the briar patch of humanity and feel a few thistles. Shame. Fear. Disgrace. Discouragement. Anxiety. Haven’t our hearts been caught in these brambles?

The heart of Jesus, however, had not. He had never been cut by the thorns of sin. What you and I face daily—he never knew. He never worried. He was never guilty. He never knew the fruit of sin until he became sin for us. And when he did—all the emotions of sin tumbled in on him like shadows in a forest. He felt anxious, guilty, and alone. Can you not hear the emotion in his prayer?

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” This prayer is one of the most remarkable parts of his coming. But there’s something even greater! He did it for you…just for you!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (I Peter 2:24).

from He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God Gives Hope

by Max Lucado

My grandmother canned her own peach preserves and stored them in an underground cellar. It was a deep hole with wooden steps and a musty smell. As a youngster, I’d climb in, close the door and see how long I could last in the darkness. Not even a slit of light entered that underground hole. I’d sit listening to my breath and heartbeats, until I couldn’t take it anymore. Then I would race up the stairs and throw open the door! Light would avalanche into the cellar. What a change! Moments before I couldn’t see anything—then, all of a sudden I could see everything!

Just as light poured into the cellar, God’s hope pours into your world. Upon the sick, He shines the ray of healing. To the confused, He offers the light of Scripture. God gives hope! Your cup overflows with joy—with grace. Shouldn’t your heart overflow with gratitude?

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Sitting Duck

by Max Lucado

If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re a sitting duck! You buy everything you don’t need. Doesn’t matter if it’s good for you, you just want to fill your tummy.

When you’re lonely—you do the same, pulling stuff off the shelf, not because you need it, but because you’re hungry for love. For fear of not fitting in, we take drugs. For fear of appearing small, we go into debt and buy the house. For fear of going unnoticed, we dress to impress. But all that changes when we discover God’s perfect love. The perfect love that 1 John 4:18 says “casts out fear.”

Loneliness. Could it be one of God’s finest gifts? If a season of solitude is His way to teach you to know His love, don’t you think it’s worth it? So do I.

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Looking Unto Jesus

by Max Lucado

The writer of Hebrews urges us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Heart disease runs in our family, so I run each morning. And as I’m running, my body is groaning. Things hurt. And as things hurt, I’ve learned I have options. Go home. Meditate on my hurts until I start imagining I’m having chest pains—or—I can keep running and watch the sun come up. I have a front-row seat to watch God’s world go from dark to golden. Guess what? The same happens to my attitude.

Wasn’t that the counsel of the Hebrew epistle…“Looking unto Jesus?” Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”

Now—what were you looking at?

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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He Knows What You Need

by Max Lucado

How did Jesus endure the terror of the crucifixion? He went first to the Father with his fears. He modeled the words of Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”

Do the same with yours! And be specific. Jesus was. “Take this cup,” He prayed. Give God the number of the flight. Tell Him the length of the speech. Share the details of the job transfer. He has plenty of time. He also has plenty of compassion. He won’t tell you to “buck up” or “get tough.” He has been where you are. He knows how you feel. And He knows what you need.

That’s why we punctuate our prayers as Jesus did. “If you are willing. . .” Was God willing? Yes and no. He didn’t take away the cross, but he took away the fear. Who’s to say He won’t do the same for you?

From Traveling Light


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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What’s Left?

by Max Lucado

Skeptics say, “Jesus–back from the dead? I don’t think so.” or ”The resurrection is a lie!”

There have always been skeptics. People who call Jesus’ resurrection a legend, even a hoax. But the early followers of Jesus literally proclaimed that he was raised from the dead! So, is the tomb empty?

There are those who say the disciples took Jesus’ body. Maybe they staged the whole thing! But there’s a problem. Many of those disciples died for their belief–for their proclamation that Jesus was risen. Would they be willing to die for a lie?

What’s left? The empty tomb is left. You don’t have to toss out common sense to believe the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, it’s just as challenging to disprove the resurrection as to prove it. He is risen!

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee…” (Luke 24:6).

from He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Just for You

by Max Lucado

Behold the sun! Every square yard of it is constantly emitting 130,000 horse power, the equivalent of 450 eight-cylinder car engines. Consider the earth! Our globe’s weight is estimated at six sextillion tons—that’s a six with 21 zeros! Yet it’s precisely tilted at twenty-three degrees or our seasons would be lost in a melted polar flood.

If God is able to place the stars in their sockets and suspend the sky like a curtain—do you think it remotely possible God is able to guide your life? Could it be He is mighty enough to light your path? Jesus said, “Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store into barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Why do you worry about clothes?” (Matthew 6:26).

Next time a sunrise steals your breath, say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you!”

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Anger Lives in Sorrow’s House

by Max Lucado

Why does grief linger? Because you’re dealing with more than memories—you’re dealing with unlived tomorrows. You’re battling disappointment. You’re also battling—anger!

It may be a flame. It may be a blowtorch. But anger lives in sorrow’s house. Anger at self. Anger at life. Anger at the military or the hospital or the highway system. But most of all, anger at God. Anger that takes the form of the three-letter question—why? Why him? Why her? Why now? Why us? You and I both know I cannot answer that question. Only God knows the reasons behind His actions.

But a key truth on which we can stand is this—our God is a good God! Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” God is a good God. We must begin here. Though we don’t understand His actions, we can trust His heart!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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He Will Give You Rest

by Max Lucado

When my daughters were young, I didn’t want them to be afraid of the deep end of the pool, so with each I played Shamu, the whale. My daughter would be the trainer. She would pinch her nose, and put her arm around my neck, then down we’d go. Deep, deep, deep until we could touch the bottom of the pool. Then up we’d explode, breaking the surface. After several plunges they realized they had nothing to fear. Why? Because I was with them.

And when God calls us into the deep valley of death, dare we think He’d abandon us in that moment? Would a father force his child to swim the deep alone? Would God require his child to journey to eternity alone? Absolutely not! He is with you! In Exodus 33:14 God said to Moses, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest!”

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God Loves Humility

by Max Lucado

God loves humility! The Jesus who said, “I am gentle and humble in heart,” loves those who are gentle and humble in heart. And Paul reminds us in Romans 12:3, “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of faith that God has given to you.”

Humility isn’t the same as low self-esteem. Being humble doesn’t mean you think you have nothing to offer; it means you know exactly what you have to offer and no more.

An elementary–age boy came home from the tryouts for the school play. “Mommy, Mommy,” he announced, “I got a part. I’ve been chosen to sit in the audience and clap and cheer.”

When you have a chance to clap and cheer, do you take it? If you do—then your head is starting to fit your hat size!

From Traveling Light


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Only Reason for Bragging

by Max Lucado

A philosopher once asked, “Do you wish people to speak well of you? Then never speak well of yourself.” In other words—get over yourself!

In Luke 14:10, Jesus said to His followers, “Go sit in a seat that’s not important. When the host comes to you, he may say, ‘Friend, move up here to a more important place.’ Then all the other guests will respect you.”

Paul said in Galatians 6:14, “The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging.”

Do you feel a need for affirmation? Does your self-esteem need attention? You don’t need to drop names or show off. You need only pause at the base of the cross and be reminded of this. The maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you. And that’s a fact. So if you need to brag—brag about that!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Who Did the Work?

by Max Lucado.

Humility is such an elusive virtue. Once you think you have it, you don’t, or you wouldn’t think you did. You’ve heard the story of the boy who received the “Most Humble Badge” and had it taken away because he wore it?

God hates arrogance–because we haven’t done anything to be arrogant about. Can you imagine a scalpel growing smug after a successful heart transplant? Of course not. It’s only a tool, it gets no credit for the accomplishment.

The message of the 23rd Psalm is that we have nothing to be proud about either. We have rest, salvation, blessings,, and a home in heaven—and we did nothing to earn any of it! Who did? Who did the work? The Psalmist says the Lord, our Shepherd, leads His sheep–not for our names’ sake but—for His name’s sake!

This is all done for God’s glory!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Meet the Savior

by Max Lucado

If you took a name at random out of the phone book and asked me,“Max, how does Chester Whomever feel about adultery?” I couldn’t answer. I don’t know Chester Whomever.

But if you were to ask me, “Max how does Denalyn Lucado feel about adultery?” I wouldn’t even have to call her. I know. She’s my wife. We have walked together long enough that I know what she thinks.

The same is true with God. Walk with Him long enough and you come to know His heart. When you spend time with Him in His study, you see His compassion. When you welcome Him to enter the gateway of your soul, you’ll perceive His will. To meet the Savior is to be set aflame. To discover the flame is to discover His will. And to discover His will is to access a world like none you have ever seen.

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God’s Workshop

by Max Lucado

I remember knowing kids whose fathers were quite successful. One was a judge. The other a prominent physician. I attended church with the son of the mayor. “My father has an office at the courthouse,” he could claim. Guess what you can claim? “My Father rules the universe!””

Scripture says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies announce what his hands have made.” (Pslam 19:1) Nature is God’s workshop. The sky is his resume. You want to know who God is? See what he has done. You want to know his power? Take a look at his creation.

How vital that we pray, armed with the knowledge that God is in heaven. Pray with any lesser conviction and your prayers are timid, shallow, and hollow. But spend some time walking in the workshop of the heavens. Seeing what God has done—seeing what your Father has done and watch how your prayers are energized!

from The Great House of God


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Jungle

by Max Lucado

It’s a jungle out there! And for many, hope is in short supply. What would it take to restore your hope?

Though the answers are abundant, three come quickly to mind. The first would be someone who knows the way out. And from that someone you need vision. Someone to look you in the face and say, “Don’t give up! There’s a better place than this.” Most importantly, you need direction. If you have a person with direction who can take you to the right place—ah, then you have one who can restore your hope.

To use David’s words in Psalm 23, “HE restores my soul!” God, our Shepherd, majors in restoring hope to the soul! Loneliness diminishes because you have fellowship. Despair decreases because you have vision. Confusion begins to lift because you have direction. Please note– you haven’t left the jungle. It hasn’t changed, but you have. You have hope!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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One Step Enough for Me

by Max Lucado

Arthur Hays Sulzberger was the publisher of the New York Times during the second World War. Because of the world conflict, he found it almost impossible to sleep. He was never able to get worries from his mind until he adopted as his motto these five words: “One step enough for me” . . .taken from the old hymn, “Lead Kindly Light.”

“Lead, kindly Light. . .
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.”

God isn’t going to let you see the distant scene either. So you might as well quit looking for it. He promises a lamp to our feet, not a crystal ball into the future. We don’t need to know what will happen tomorrow. We only need to know He leads us. As Hebrews 4:16 promises, “we will find grace to help us when we need it.”

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Everyday Miracles
Every ray of sunshine
every drop of rain
every starry night
every sheaf of grain

Balmy springtime breezes
bluebird on the sill
colorful leaves in autumn
winter's blustery chill.

Every tiny heartbeat
every breath you take
every time you close your eyes
every time you awake.

Blessings taken for granted
right before your eyes
miracles happen every day
What a nice surprise!

Even when it's cloudy
or when the cold winds blow
God is watching over you
Just thought you'd like to know!

Each new day is a present
His gift to you and to me
wrapped in precious miracles
for those who choose to see.

~ Linda Lee Gleason




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IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Rest in His Finished Work

by Max Lucado

In Psalm 23:2 when David says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures”—he’s saying, “My shepherd makes me lie down in His finished work.” With His own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of the shepherd when, with work completed, he sees his sheep rest in the tender grass? Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of God when we do the same?

His pasture is His gift to us. This is not a pasture you have made. Nor is it one you deserve. It is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Your Shepherd invites you to nestle deeply hidden, buried, in the tall shoots of His love—and there you will find rest.

From Traveling Light


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Only You and God

by Max Lucado

When I lived in Brazil I took my mom and her friend to see Iguacu Falls, the largest water falls in the world. I’d become an expert by reading an article in National Geographic magazine. Surely, I thought, my guests would appreciate their good fortune in having me as their guide.

To reach the lookout point, you must walk a winding trail that leads through a forest. I used the time to give a nature report to my mom and her friend. I caught myself speaking louder and louder. Finally I was shouting above the roar. Even my mother would rather see the splendor than hear my description. So, I shut my mouth.

There are times when to speak is to violate the moment. When silence represents the highest respect. The word for such times is reverence. The prayer for such times is “Hallowed be Thy name!” (Matthew 6:9).

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Every Reason to be Content

by Max Lucado

You have every reason to be content! A man once went to a minister for counseling. He was in the midst of financial collapse.

“I’ve lost everything,” he bemoaned.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your faith.”

“No,” the man corrected him, “I haven’t lost my faith.”

“Well then, I’m sad to hear you’ve lost your character.”

“I didn’t say that,” he corrected. “I still have my character.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your salvation.”

“That’s not what I said,” the man objected.

“I haven’t lost my salvation.”

“You have your faith, your character, your salvation. Seems to me,” the minister observed, “that you’ve lost none of the things that really matter.”

We haven’t either! You and I could pray like the Puritan. He sat down to a meal of bread and water. He bowed his head and declared, “All this and Jesus too?”

From Traveling Light






IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Heaven Knows Your Heart

by Max Lucado

All that stuff you have? It’s not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It’s not you! In Luke 12:15 Jesus said, “Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

Heaven doesn’t know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house. Heaven knows your heart. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Bible says the Lord looks at the heart. When God thinks of you, He may see your compassion, your devotion, your tenderness or quick mind, but He doesn’t think of your things.

Define yourself by your stuff, and you’ll feel good when you have a lot and bad when you don’t. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with Paul who said, “I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty” (Philippians 4:12).

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Meet the Savior

by Max Lucado

If you took a name at random out of the phone book and asked me,“Max, how does Chester Whomever feel about adultery?” I couldn’t answer. I don’t know Chester Whomever.

But if you were to ask me, “Max how does Denalyn Lucado feel about adultery?” I wouldn’t even have to call her. I know. She’s my wife. We have walked together long enough that I know what she thinks.

The same is true with God. Walk with Him long enough and you come to know His heart. When you spend time with Him in His study, you see His compassion. When you welcome Him to enter the gateway of your soul, you’ll perceive His will. To meet the Savior is to be set aflame. To discover the flame is to discover His will. And to discover His will is to access a world like none you have ever seen.

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Want

by Max Lucado

Come with me to the world’s most oppressive prison. The name of the prison? You’ll see it over the entrance. WANT! The prison of want. They want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want just one thing. One new job. One new car. One new spouse. They want just one. And when they have “one,” they’ll be happy. But then it happens. The new car smell passes. The new job gets old. The new spouse has bad habits.

Are you in prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. But there’s good news. You have a visitor—with a message that can get you parole. “I have a secret to tell you,” he whispers., “the secret of satisfaction.”

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!” What you have in God is greater than what you don’t have in life!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God—Our Shepherd

by Max Lucado

God, our Shepherd, doesn’t check the weather—He makes it! He doesn’t defy gravity—He created it. Jesus said, “God is Spirit.” He has no limitations. Unchanging. Uncaused. Ungoverned. Don’t we need this kind of shepherd?

You don’t need to carry the burden of a lesser god. A god on a shelf, a god in a box, or a god in a bottle. No, you need a God who can place 100-billion stars in our galaxy, and 100-billion galaxies in the universe. A God who can shape two fists of flesh into 75 to 100 billion nerve cells, each with as many as 10,000 connections to other nerve cells, place it in a skull, and call it a brain. And you have one. He is your shepherd!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Let God Be God

by Max Lucado

I’m more a landlubber than a sailor, but I’ve puttered around in a bass boat enough to know the secret for finding land in a storm. You don’t aim at another boat. You certainly don’t stare at the waves. You set your eyes on an object unaffected by the wind, a light on the shore, and go straight toward it. You see, the light is unaffected by the storm.

In seeking God, you do the same. You focus on “a cut above” any storm life may bring. Like Job, you find peace in the pain. Like Job, you cover your mouth and be still. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” A command with a promise. Be still. Cover your mouth. Bend your knees. And, as a result, you will know that I am God.

Be still. Be quiet. Be open and willing. Let God be God.

from The Great House of God


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God Wants Your List

by Max Lucado

God not only wants the mistakes we have made—He wants the ones we are making. Are you drinking too much? Are you cheating at work or cheating at marriage? Mismanaging your life? Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong. The first step after a stumble must be in the direction of the cross.

1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.”

Start with your bad moments. And while you’re there, give God your “mad” moments. There’s a story about a man bitten by a dog. When he learned the dog had rabies, he began a list. The doctor said, “there’s no need to make a will—you’ll be fine.” “Oh I’m not making a will,” he said, “I’m making a list of all the people I want to bite!” God wants your list! He wants you to leave it at the cross.

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Drop Some Stuff

by Max Lucado

God has a great race for you to run. Under His care you’ll go where you have never been and serve in ways you’ve never dreamed. But you have to drop some stuff.

How can you share grace if you’re full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you’re disheartened. How can you lift someone else’s load if your arms are full with your own? For the sake of those you love—travel light. For the sake of the God you serve, travel light. For the sake of your own joy, travel light.

There are weights in life you simply cannot carry. Set them down and trust Him. I can’t overstate God’s promise in 1 Peter 5:7: “Unload all your worries onto Him, since He is looking after you.”

What do you say we take God up on His offer? We might find ourselves traveling a little lighter.

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Travel Light

by Max Lucado

I’ve never been one to travel light. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’m prepared. I’m prepared for a baby dedication or costume party. Prepared to parachute behind enemy lines. And, if perchance, the Dalai Lama might be on my flight and invite me to dine in Tibet, I carry snowshoes. I need to learn to travel light!

Haven’t you been known to pick up a few bags? The suitcase of guilt. A sack of discontent. An overnight bag of loneliness and a trunk of fear. A hanging bag of grief. No wonder you’re so tired at the end of the day.

God’s saying to you, “Set that stuff down. You’re carrying burdens you don’t need to bear.” “Come to Me,” He invites, “all of you who’re weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

If we let Him—God will lighten our loads!

From Traveling Light



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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You Are Included

by Max Lucado

It’s nice to be included. You aren’t always. Universities exclude you if you aren’t smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren’t qualified enough, and sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren’t good enough. But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of His love, He stretched one hand to the right and the other hand to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know He died loving you.

Surely there has to be a limit to this love. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But David, the adulterer, never found it. Paul, the murderer, never found it. Peter, the liar, never found it. When it came to life they hit bottom. But when it came to God’s love they never did.

How wide is God’s love? Wide enough for the whole world. And you are included!

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Symbol of Christianity

by Max Lucado

The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don’t you think? Strange that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope. Its design couldn’t be simpler. One beam horizontal—the other vertical. One reaches out like God’s love. The other reaches up, as does God’s holiness. One represents the width of His love; the other the height of His holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards. God treated His Son as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God. Why would He do it?

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” Aren’t you glad the verse doesn’t read: For God so loved the rich?. . .the famous? Or the sober or successful? No, it simply reads: “For God so loved the world!”

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Nuts in a Cemetary
On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

'One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me,' said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me, one for you, One for me...'

He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!'

The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, One for me.'

The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord.

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all.. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done....

They say the old man had the lead for a good half-mile before the kid on the bike passed him.




IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Jesus Takes Away the Sin

by Max Lucado

Some people feel so saved they never serve. Some serve at the hope of being saved. Does one of these sentences describe you? Do you feel so saved that you never serve? So content in what God has done that you do nothing? The fact is, we’re here to glorify God in our service.

Or is your tendency the opposite? Perhaps you always serve for fear of not being saved. You’re worried there is a secret card that exists with your score written on it; and your score is not enough. Is that you? If so, know this: The blood of Jesus is enough to save you. John 1:29 announces that Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

The blood of Christ doesn’t cover your sins, conceal your sins, postpone or diminish your sins. It takes away your sins, once and for all! So…since you are saved, you can serve!

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Lu-KAH-doh or Lu-KAY-doh?

by Max Lucado

My last name has created some awkward moments. A woman said, “Max Lu-KAH-do—I’ve been wanting to meet you.” I let it go thinking that was the end of it. But then a man said to me, “My wife and I’ve been trying to figure out how you say your name. Is it Lu-KAY-doh or Lu-KAH-doh! I felt trapped…as I looked at my new friend who had been mispronouncing my name.

On an infinitely grander scale, God faces with humankind a similar issue I faced with the woman. How can He be both just and kind? How can He redeem the sinner without endorsing the sin? From our perspective there are only two equally unappealing solutions. From God’s perspective, however, there is a third. It’s called the Cross of Christ! And that’s one phrase you want to say correctly!

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Done Deal and a Daily Development

by Max Lucado

Are a bride and groom ever more married than they are the first day? The vows are made and the certificate signed—could they be any more married than that? Imagine fifty years later. They finish each other’s sentences, order each other’s food. They even start looking alike– a thought which troubles Denalyn deeply. Wouldn’t they be more married on their 50th anniversary than on their wedding day? Marriage is both a done deal and a daily development.

The same is true of our walk with God. Can you be more saved than you were the first day of your salvation? No. But can a person grow in salvation? Absolutely. Like marriage, it’s a done deal and a daily development. Do you feel so saved, you never serve? The fact is, you and I are here for a reason, and that reason is to grow and glorify God in our service.

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Why Did He Do It?

by Max Lucado

Why did Jesus live on the earth as long as He did? To take on our sins is one thing; to experience death, yes, but to put up with long roads and long days? Why did He do it? Because He wants you to trust Him. Even His final act on earth was intended to win your trust.

Mark 15:22.says, “They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha where they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified Him.” Why? Why did He endure all this suffering—all these feelings? Because He knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be grief-stricken, and hungry, that you’d face pain.

A pauper knows better than to beg from another pauper. He knows he needs someone who’s stronger than he is. Jesus’ message from the Cross is this: I am that Person. Trust Me.

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Fire That Consumes You

by Max Lucado

God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others. Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush doesn’t mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak. No, God reveals His heart personally to each person. We learn His will as we take up residence in His house and seek to listen to him every single day.

Want to know God’s will for your life? Then answer the question: What ignites your heart? Forgotten orphans? Untouched nations? The inner city? What is the fire that consumes you? Mark it down. Jesus comes to set you on fire and he will speak to you. The fire of your heart is the light of your path. Fan it at your own delight. Blow it. Stir it. Nourish it. Disregard it at your own expense! Your delight is God’s message to you!

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Ephesians 2:10

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Mirrors
Several years ago I noticed something strange: people seemed to be smiling at me more often. During my young adult years people had never smiled at me that much. Most of the people I saw seemed to have grim, tense faces. They would look at me for only a second or avert their eyes altogether. Sometimes they would nod or say "hi" but more often said nothing at all.

All that seemed to change, though, as I got older. For some surprising reason people were suddenly greeting me with a warm smile when I passed them. Their eyes seemed to sparkle when they said, "hello" and many times they would even stop to chat happily with me for a few minutes. At first I didn't know what to make of this. Had the whole world suddenly gotten kinder without telling me? Had the hearts and souls of everyone I met suddenly grown more loving and joyful for some reason?

Then one day when I was walking alone in a store the answer came to me. I was thinking to myself of how much God loved me and of all the blessings I had been given in this life. At that moment I walked by a display of mirrors and saw that I had the happiest expression on my face. I had been smiling without even knowing it. Then suddenly I realized that I was the one who had changed. I had grown so much in love, joy, and oneness with God. And it was the light shining from my own soul that others were reflecting back to me.

We are all mirrors in this life. We all reflect each other's love. We all share each other's light. We all help each other to become the image of God that we were meant to be. May you always mirror every bit of goodness, kindness, and joy that you see in this world. May your own soul always shine bright as well. And may you make your whole life here a reflection of the light of Heaven and the love of God.

More GodVine

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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On Saturday
by Max Lucado

John didn't know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn't know that Friday's tragedy would be Sunday's triumph. John would later confess that he "did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).

That's why what he did on Saturday is so important.

We don't know anything about this day; we have no passage to read, no knowledge to share. All we know is this: When Sunday came, John was still present. When Mary Magdalene came looking for him, she found him.

Jesus was dead. The Master's body was lifeless. John's friend and future were buried. But John had not left. Why? Was he waiting for the resurrection? No. As far as he knew, the lips were forever silent and the hands forever still. He wasn't expecting a Sunday surprise. Then why was he here?

You'd think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn't come after him? The crowds were pleased with one crucifixion; the religious leaders might have called for more. Why didn't John get out of town?

Perhaps the answer was pragmatic; perhaps he was taking care of Jesus' mother. Or perhaps he didn't have anywhere else to go. Could be he didn't have any money or energy or direction … or all of the above.

Or maybe he lingered because he loved Jesus.

To others, Jesus was a miracle worker. To others, Jesus was a master teacher. To others, Jesus was the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend.

You don't abandon a friend—not even when that friend is dead. John stayed close to Jesus.

He had a habit of doing this. He was close to Jesus in the upper room. He was close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and he was a quick walk from the tomb at the burial.

Did he understand Jesus? No.

Was he glad Jesus did what he did? No.

But did he leave Jesus? No.

What about you? When you're in John's position, what do you do? When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God—or do you linger near him?

John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle.

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Six Hours, One Friday

by Max Lucado

Six hours, one Friday. Mundane to the casual observer. A shepherd with his sheep, a housewife with her thoughts, a doctor with his patients. But to a handful of awestruck witnesses, the most maddening of miracles is occurring. God is on a cross. The creator of the universe is being executed.

It is no normal six hours. It is no normal Friday. Far worse than the breaking of his body is the shredding of his heart. And now his own father is beginning to turn his back on him, leaving him alone. What do you do with that day in history? What do you do with its claims? They were the most critical hours in history.

Nails didn’t hold God to a cross. Love did. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!

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

From Six Hours One Friday


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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What Do We Do to Him

by Max Lucado

The soldiers’ assignment was simple. Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they wanted to have some fun first. Strong, armed soldiers circled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The beating was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But the spitting?

Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body—it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does. Ever done that? Maybe you haven’t spit on anyone, but have you gossiped? Raised your hand in anger? Ever made someone feel bad so you would feel good?

Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 that the way we treat others is how we treat Jesus!

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Trust the Cross (So Good)

by Max Lucado

My dog Salty knows he isn’t supposed to get into the trash. But let the house be human free, and dark side of Salty takes over. If there’s food in a trash can, the temptation is to
great. That’s what happened the other day. I got mad, but I got over it. I cleaned up the mess and forgot about it. Salty didn’t! He kept his distance. When I finally saw him, his tail was between his legs, 
his ears drooping. He thinks I’m mad at him. He doesn’t know I’ve already dealt with his mistake.

Somewhere, sometime, you got tangled in garbage…and you’ve been avoiding God. You wonder if you could ever feel close to God again.The message of his torn flesh on the cross is — you can. The door is open. Don’t trust your conscience. Trust the cross. You’re welcome in God’s presence!

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

from He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/15/14 9:43 P

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Eternal Choices ( good got Good Friday or any day)

by Max Lucado

God gives eternal choices, and these choices have eternal consequences. Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio? Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten? Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice. The two criminals were convicted by the same system. Condemned to death. Equally close to the same Jesus. But one changed and one did not.

You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices.” You can. When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed him the choice. And he does the same for you and me.

Then (the thief) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

from He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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It is Finished

by Max Lucado

Picture if you will, a blank check. The amount of the check is “sufficient grace.” The signer of the check is Jesus. The only blank line is for the payee. That part is for you! May I urge you to spend a few moments with your Savior receiving this check? Reflect on the work of God’s grace. The nails that once held a Savior to the cross. His sacrifice was for you. Express your thanks for His grace. Whether for the first time or the thousandth, let Him hear you whisper, “Forgive us our debts.” And let Him answer your prayer as you imagine writing your name on the check.

No more deposits are necessary. So complete was the payment that Jesus used a banking term to proclaim your salvation. “It is finished” (John 19:30)! Perhaps I best slip out now and leave the two of you to talk.

from The Great House of God


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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God Listens

by Max Lucado

You and I live in a loud world. To get someone’s attention is no easy task. But when someone’s willing to silence everything else so he can hear us clearly, it’s a privilege. A rare privilege indeed! You can talk to God because God listens. Your voice matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. No need to fear that you’ll be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble, even if what you have to say impresses no one, it impresses God—and He listens. Intently. Carefully.

Your prayer on earth activates God’s power in heaven, and Scripture says, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Your prayers are honored as precious jewels. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don’t need to. But this much is clear: Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought!

from The Great House of God



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/12/14 9:41 P

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Put on Christ

by Max Lucado

Scripture often describes our behavior as the clothes we wear. In 1 Peter 5:5, Peter urges us to be “clothed with humility.” David speaks of evil people who clothe themselves “with cursing.” Garments can symbolize character, and like His garment, Jesus’ character was seamless. The character of Jesus was a seamless fabric woven from heaven to earth—from God’s thoughts to Jesus’ actions. From God’s tears to Jesus’ compassion. From God’s word to Jesus’ response. All one piece. A picture of the character of Jesus.

But when Christ was nailed to the cross, He took off His robe of seamless perfection and assumed a different wardrobe. He wore our sin so we could wear His righteousness.

From He Chose the Nail




IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Choice is Yours

by Max Lucado

It would’ve been nice if God had let us order life like we order a meal. I’ll take good health and a high IQ. I’ll pass on the music skills, but give me a fast metabolism! It would’ve been nice—but it didn’t happen. When it came to your life on earth, you weren’t given a voice or a vote.

But when it comes to life after death, you were. In my book that seems like a good deal. Wouldn’t you agree? Have we been given any greater privilege than that of choice? You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You’ve chosen the wrong friends, maybe the wrong career; even the wrong spouse.

You look back and say, “If only…if only I could make up for those bad choices. You can. One good choice for eternity offsets a thousand bad ones on earth. The choice is yours.

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/10/14 11:46 P

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He Canceled the Record

by Max Lucado

How would you feel if a list of your weaknesses were posted so that everyone, including Christ Himself, could see? Yes, Christ has chronicled your shortcomings. And, yes, that list has been made public. But you’ve never seen it. Neither have I.

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the Carpenter to the ground and stretch His arms against the beams. One presses a knee against a forearm and a spike against a hand. Jesus turns His face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. Couldn’t Jesus have stopped Him?

Through the eyes of Scripture we see what others missed but what Jesus saw. Colossians 2:14 says, “He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross!”

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Nail of God

by Max Lucado

God has penned a list of our faults. The list God has made, however, cannot be read. The words can’t be deciphered. The mistakes are covered. The sins are hidden. Those at the top are hidden by His hand; those down the list are covered by His blood. Your sins are blotted out by Jesus. The Bible says that He has forgiven you all your sins. He has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it to the cross.

He knew the source of those sins was you, and since He couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, Jesus Himself chose the nails. The hand is the hand of God. The nail is the nail of God. And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for you!

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Cry of a Sinner

by Max Lucado

What is the fruit of sin? Step into the briar patch of humanity and feel a few thistles. Shame. Fear. Disgrace. Discouragement. Anxiety! Haven’t our hearts been caught in these brambles?

The heart of Jesus, however, had not. He had never been cut by the thorns of sin. Anxiety? He never worried. Guilt? He was never guilty. Fear? He never left the presence God, He never knew the fruits of sin until He became sin for us.

Can’t you hear the emotion in His prayer? “My God, my God, why have you rejected me?” These are not the words of a saint. This is the cry of a sinner.

And these are words we should say, but these are words we don’t have to say because Jesus said them for us.

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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We Have a Problem

by Max Lucado

Can you live without sin for one day? No? How about one hour? Can you do it? No? Nor can I. And if we can’t live without sin, we have a problem.

Proverbs 10:16 says that we are evil and “evil people are paid with punishment.” What can we do? Observe what Jesus does with our filth. He carries it to the Cross.

God speaks through Isaiah 50:6 when he says, “I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” Mingled with His blood and sweat was the essence of our sin. Angels were a prayer away. Couldn’t they have taken the spittle away? They could have, but Jesus never commanded them to. The One whose chose the nails also chose the saliva. Why? The sinless One took on the face of a sinner, so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!

From He Chose the Nails


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Unwrapping the Gifts of the Cross

by Max Lucado

Much has been said about Jesus’ “gift of the Cross.” But what of the other gifts? What of the nails, the crown of thorns? The garments taken by the soldiers? Have you taken time to open these gifts?

He didn’t have to give us these gifts, you know. The only required act for our salvation was the shedding of blood, yet He did much more. So much more.

Search the scene of the Cross—and what do you find? A wine-soaked sponge. A sign. Two crosses beside Christ. Divine gifts intended to stir that moment, that split second when your face will brighten, your eyes will widen, and God will hear you whisper, “You did this for me?” Dare we think such thoughts?

Let’s unwrap these gifts of grace– as if for the first time. Pause and listen. Perhaps you will hear Him whisper, “I did it just for you!”

From He Chose the Nails



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Gifts of the Cross

by Max Lucado

Oh, the things we do to give gifts to those we love! Grownups in toy stores, dads in teen stores, wives in the tool department, and husbands in the purse department. We’re at our best in giving.

Have you ever wondered why God gives so much? We could exist on far less. He could have left the world flat and gray, we wouldn’t have known the difference. But He didn’t. He splashed orange in the sunrise and cast the sky in blue. If we give gifts to show our love, how much more would He?

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus asked, “If you sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him?”

God’s love came not wrapped in paper, but in passion. Not covered with ribbons, but sprinkled with blood. The gifts of the Cross!

From He Chose the Nails





IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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You Are His

by Max Lucado

God’s grace defines you! Society labels you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner. Fast talker. Quitter. But as grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know you aren’t who they say you are. You are who God says you are. Spiritually alive; heavenly positioned…“seated with him in the heavenly realms” and “one with Jesus Christ.”

Of course, not all labels are negative. Some people regard you as clever, successful. But it doesn’t compare with being “seated with him in the heavenly realms!” God creates the Christian’s resume! Grace defines who you are. The parent you can’t please is as mistaken as the doting uncle you can’t disappoint.

Listen, God wrote your story. He cast you in his drama. You hang as God’s work of art, a testimony in his gallery of grace. According to Him, you are His. Period.

From Cast of Characters


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Truly Special Story

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said,"This will make it better." All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together. Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know one thing. What matters most in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.




More GodVine


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Grace Soaked

by Max Lucado

Most people keep a pot of anger on low boil! But you aren’t most people. Look at your feet. They’re wet, grace-soaked. Jesus has washed your feet…he has washed the grimiest parts of your life.

To accept grace is the vow to give it. You don’t endorse the deeds of your offender when you forgive them. Jesus didn’t endorse your sins by forgiving you. The grace-defined person still sends thieves to jail and expects the ex to pay child support. Grace sees the hurt full well. But it refuses to let hurts poison the heart. Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows.

So, let the hands of God wipe away every dirty part of your life. Then look across the room and wash someone else’s feet. Let grace begin and continue in you!

From GRACE



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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3/28/14 11:35 P

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A Spiritual MRI

by Max Lucado

We can’t live with foreign objects buried in our bodies or our souls. What would an X-ray of your interior reveal? Remorse over a poor choice? Shame about the marriage that didn’t work, the temptation you couldn’t resist? Guilt lies hidden beneath the surface, festering, irritating. Sometimes so deeply embedded you don’t know the cause.

And you can be touchy, you know. Understandable, since you have a shank of shame lodged in your soul. Would you like an extraction? Here’s what you do. Confess! Ask God to help you. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Confession. You see, confessors find a freedom that deniers don’t. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins! He will cleanse us. Not might, could, would, or should. He WILL!

From Grace



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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3/27/14 10:23 P

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A Radical Reliance on Grace

by Max Lucado

One day it dawned on me. I had become the very thing I hate: a hypocrite. A pretender. Two-faced. I’d written sermons about people like me. Christians who care more about their appearance than integrity. I knew what I needed to do. I’d written sermons about that, too.

1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right.”

I needed to confess. What is confession? Confession is not complaining. If I merely recite my problems and rehash my woes, I’m whining. Confession is a radical reliance on grace.

Maybe you need to do what I’ve done the last few days and confess. You just need to confess. God will hear your confession and you will find a wonder of God’s grace. You see, grace creates an honest confession and His great grace receives it!

From GRACE


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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3/27/14 1:59 A

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Not Just Mercy, But Grace

by Max Lucado

We are poor, spiritually for sure; monetarily, perhaps. We’ve buried our dreams, desires, and aspirations. Like the mother with Lupus or the businessman in the unemployment line, we’re out of options.

Yet Christ approached us while we were yet sinners! “Will you cover us?” we asked him, and grace smiled.

He gave us grace. Not just mercy, mind you, but grace. Grace goes beyond mercy. Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance. Grace threw him a party. Mercy prompted the Samaritan to bandage the wounds of the victim. Grace prompted him to leave his credit card as payment for the victim’s care. Mercy forgave the thief on the cross. Grace escorted him into paradise. Mercy pardons us. Grace woos and weds us.

Grace does this! Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in his eye and an offer that’s hard to resist.

From GRACE


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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3/25/14 4:09 P

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DROP A PEBBLE IN THE WATER

DROP A PEBBLE in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half -a -hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow.

Drop and unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there's little waves-a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a might wave of tears you've stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy a-circling yet,
And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

-James W, Foley


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



 current weight: 152.0 
 
179
172.25
165.5
158.75
152
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