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September 20

Psalm 118:17

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

It had been touch and go for a while, but Frank came through the surgery amazingly well. After he recovered, he shared with his friends his conviction that God had been with him throughout his surgery. He felt a deep calling to share what God had done for him with others, and he traveled to different groups to share his witness.

We are given so many opportunities to share our faith with others. How sad it is that often we have to nearly lose that life before we are motivated to do so. We never value things properly until they are gone. It is foolish to wait until then. God calls us to declare his works as often as we can. Sing forth praises to the Lord. He has given us so much.

Prayer: As long a I live, Lord, I want to point people in Your direction. Help me to witness to others and share the stories of all You have done in my life. Amen.

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September 18

Psalms 117:2

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

Some people think that God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden as a punishment. I think not. There were two trees in the garden of special note. One was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which the duo ate from, and the other was the tree of eternal life. What could have been more cruel than to allow Adam and Eve access to the tree of eternal life after they had chosen to experience evil? God wanted our eternal existence to be sin free, and so He removed the temptation from the midst of men and women. In His great mercy, He made certain that there was an escape from evil for those who wanted it. God's merciful kindness is truly great toward us. Praise Him always.

Prayer: Thank You for making possible an eternity of peace and joy, free from sin and sorrow. Prepare my heart for my heavenly home. Amen.

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9/18/14 11:04 P

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September 18

Psalms 117:2

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

Some people think that God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden as a punishment. I think not. There were two trees in the garden of special note. One was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which the duo ate from, and the other was the tree of eternal life. What could have been more cruel than to allow Adam and Eve access to the tree of eternal life after they had chosen to experience evil? God wanted our eternal existence to be sin free, and so He removed the temptation from the midst of men and women. In His great mercy, He made certain that there was an escape from evil for those who wanted it. God's merciful kindness is truly great toward us. Praise Him always.

Prayer: Thank You for making possible an eternity of peace and joy, free from sin and sorrow. Prepare my heart for my heavenly home. Amen.

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9/17/14 3:33 P

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September 17

Psalm 116:14

I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.

The teacher asked the class if anyone went to church. At first, no one raised his hand. Greg went every week, but he wasn't sure he wanted the rest of his class to know. There were some people who might laugh. Then someone raised his hand. Others followed, and soon Greg was surprised to see that over half his class attended church regularly. He raised his hand, a little ashamed that he hadn't had the nerve to raise it earlier.

We need to be proud of our faith. What God has done for us is a miracle, and we should want the whole world to know. Take every opportunity to let others know what you believe. Pay your vows to the Lord in front of other people, and be amazed at how much good it does.

Prayer: Forgive me when I keep my faith to myself, Lord. You have given me so much, and I waste it when I refuse to share it with others. Teach me to proudly honor You. Amen.

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September 16


Psalm 116:11

I said in my haste, All men are liars.


Craig trusted no one. He had counted on friends to help him a number of times before, but they all disappointed him. The lesson: Never put your trust in others; trust only in yourself. Now Craig looked to no one for help, and he offered no help to others.


Many people in our world feel that way. They have been burned in their relationships, so they pull in and break off relations altogether. What a shame. If we cut ourselves off from others, then we deprive ourselves of a lot of wonderful experiences. This is why God places such emphasis on forgiveness. If we will learn to forgive others when they wrong us, then we can remain open to the possibility of relationships in which we won't be disappointed. If we have no forgiveness, then we will miss out on the blessings of good relationships. Ask God for the ability to forgive, and He will bless your life.

Prayer: Lord, I want to share my life with others. Prevent me from being too hasty in my judgment of others. Help me to be open to new relationships wherever they might occur. Amen.


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9/15/14 11:46 P

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September 15

Psalm 116:3

The sorrows of death encompassed me, and the pains of hell laid hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Julie didn't want to think about dying, but ever since her third heart attack, she could think of little else. She was so afraid of dying, and she simply hated the hospital. Worrying was the worst thing she could do. She needed a positive frame of mind, but try as she might, her thoughts always turned to gloom and despair.

It is unfortunate that so many people are ignorant of the everlasting life that can follow this one. Through God's promise of glory in eternity, we no longer have anything to fear from death. Whatever befalls us in this lifetime, it is nothing in relation to the eternal home that awaits us. We need to focus on the life to come in times of trial and sorrow. In the face of death we can feel secure that everything will be just fine.

Prayer: In times of fear, dread, and sorrow, shine Your light of love upon me, God. Help me to remember that I have life everlasting, and nothing that occurs now can keep me from it. Amen.

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9/15/14 12:49 A

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September 14

Psalms 115:15

The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Joey tossed his candy paper on the playground. Patty ran over from where she was playing with her friends, and said, "You pick that up!"

"I don't have too. Who made you boss?"

"It's not nice to throw trash on the ground."

"It's okay. I learned in Sunday school that God gave the earth to us, and we can do anything we want to with it."

Indeed, God had given the world into our hands, but His deepest hope is that we will care for it and protect it. Like careless children, we allow the earth to be mistreated. Like a fragile toy, the earth will be damaged beyond repair. What we will do then, God only knows, but for now we must learn to treat God's creation as God Himself would. Otherwise, how will He ever trust us to share eternity with Him in heaven?

Prayer: Do no let me be careless with Your creation, Lord. I love the beauty of this world, but I am not always quick to protect it. Help me to value our planet more dearly. Amen.

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9/14/14 1:31 A

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September 13

Psalms 115

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

Max had worked at the mission for over forty years. There had been weeks on end when he hadn't even gotten to go home. He lived to serve the poor and homeless in his area. When he finally decided to retire, the entire city pitched in to pay him tribute. Throughout the proceedings Max seemed uncomfortable, and finally he stood to speak.

"I don't want to seem ungrateful, but all this really isn't necessary, and besides, I don't really deserve it. God is the one who needs to be honored. I have just been fortunate enough that

He has used me all these years. I really haven't done anything special. I just did what God wanted me to."

It is difficult to set aside our own ego in order to serve God freely. When all is said and done, however, all that we are able to do is made possible by God's grace. Our triumphs are God's triumphs. Like Max, we should feel privileged that God has chosen to work with and through us.

Prayer: Use me, Lord. With the gifts and talents You bestowed upon me, enable me to spread Your Good News to everyone I meet. Amen.


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9/11/14 5:46 P

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September 11

Psalms 113:5

Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high.

The entire campus was caught up in the Supreme Light movement. Two men claimed to be privy to special insights, and they had developed an amazing following in a very short time.

Kevin couldn't believe so many of his friends had bought into it so completely. As far as he could see, neither one of the men had that much to give. All they preached was instant gratification and total forgiveness for all sin, whether repented or not. For Kevin's money, Jesus Christ would suffice. Long after these two jokers were gone, Christ would still be around. New ideologies pop up all the time, but none offer as much as Christ offers. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by settling for less than Jesus. Nothing to gain, but everything to lose.

Prayer: Lord, I hear of new answers to life's problems all the time, and some are quite tempting. Help me to remember that I have all the answer I need in You. Amen.

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9/10/14 4:55 P

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September 10

Psalms 113:2

Blessed by the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.

Jimmy had heard it all before, but this time there was something different. Though he couldn't quite put his finger on it, suddenly the idea of relationship with Jesus Christ made perfect sense. Before, he had missed the logic, somehow. The image of being born again was so appropriate. A part of Jimmy felt like it had never lived. From this day forward, his life was going to be different. He wasn't sure how it would change, he simply knew nothing would ever really be the same again.

At various times in our lives, the reality of Christ will come crashing through the ordinariness of our days. From those times we face life anew; changed at the very core of our being. We move forward in a new, deeper, strengthened relationship with the Lord.

Prayer: From this day forward, Lord, help me to praise You in new ways. Lead me to a deeper relationship with You through Christ Jesus. Shed Your light upon me, that I might know You better. Amen.

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9/10/14 1:35 A

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September 9

Psalms 112:5

A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Pops always had people coming to him for help. Whenever there was a real need, you could count on Pops to be there, ready to pitch in. Pops had worked construction for about thirty years, and there were few fix-up type jobs that anyone could do better than he could. He loved to help people in need, and he loved to feel needed.

Our God is much the same way. He loves to assist us when we need help, and He loves to be needed. No one possesses more knowledge or experience than God does, so He is the perfect source to turn to when we need help. His willingness to give knows no bounds, so there is never a time when He will be unavailable. Turn to God in time of need. He will always help those who love Him.

Prayer: Let me follow the giving example of Christ. Make me ready to serve; sharing time, talents, and gifts wherever and whenever possible. Amen.


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9/8/14 4:16 P

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September 8

Psalms 112:4

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

Jerry and Ed were different as night and day, though they were the best of friends. Jerry loved fun and games, and it was difficult for him to be serious about anything for very long. Ed was studious and hardworking, and nothing swayed him from his course once his mind was made up. The two boys decided they were going to enter a ten-mile run sponsored by their school. Ed practiced every day, exercising and running, and eating foods that would get him in shape. Jerry exercised occasionally, ran a few times, and paid little attention to his diet. When the race came and went, Ed led the pack and Jerry couldn't even finish.

Leading an upright life prepares us for the race that God has waiting for us. Our spiritual fitness puts us in shape to run that race of life. Without a healthy spirit, we cannot hope to finish. Life without God beats us down and defeats us. Life in the Spirit lifts us above any obstacle and empowers us to meet every challenge.

Prayer: Like Paul the Apostle, I want to run the good race and fight the good fight. Make me fit to be a member of Your team, Lord. Inspire me to prepare my spirit to meet all the challenges which might come my way. Amen.

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September 7

Psalms 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Brian had been told time after time to stay away from the neighbor's dog. Still, he didn't look too ferocious, and Brian wanted to pet him. While no one looked, Brian crept over to the fence and stuck his hand through to pet the dog. Cries of terror and pain brought the adults running, and Brian learned a lesson he would never forget.

God gives us His laws and commandments for our own good. He is not controlling or domineering. He simply knows what is best for His children, and He tries to instruct them in the ways that will make them happiest. If we decide to violate God's will, then we have to pay the consequences. Once we suffer the costs, we learn what is involved, and a deep wisdom begins to set in. Our lessons may often be difficult and painful, but in all ways, they will help us to be better than we have been before.

Prayer: Forgive me when I go my own way, O God. I do not mean to be disobedient, but there are times when I just need to experience things for myself. Be patient while I learn my lessons, and protect me from lasting harm, I pray. Amen.


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9/8/14 12:03 A

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Amen. To God be the glory.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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9/7/14 2:17 A

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September 6

Psalms 111

Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

In one church, we had things called "Say-sos." These were times for members of the church to stand up in front of the rest of the congregation to share their personal faith testimonies. The power of the stories of people's lives is immense. We are walking through this life together. Others share our experiences and pains and joys, but most of the time we are totally unaware of them. Proclaim your faith and the power of Jesus Christ in your life. Share your story. Praise the Lord with your whole heart in the assembly of the upright. You will find new unity through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Father, give me the courage to share my faith and proclaim Your transforming power in my life. Bring to me others who have been touched by Your great love. Help me praise You every day. Amen.


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9/6/14 12:16 A

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September 5

Psalms 110:3

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Sylvia often lamented the fact that she became a Christian so late in life. Her teenage years had been such a lonely time. College had not been much better. If only she had felt the need for God in her life then. She would have had so many opportunities to spend time with other people. Now her youth was gone and she had only regrets of what might have been.

When we feel we have all the time in the world, there is no urgency to make decisions right now. Yet, if we put off our decision for Christ, we hurt no one but ourselves. We should be willing to follow Christ today, not sometime in the future. We miss so much when we are not in fellowship with other believers. Praise the Lord that He has seen fit to offer us the blessed community of the church.

Prayer: Help me to make the most of each day, Father. When I feel the urge to put off my commitment to You, fill me with the urgency and the joy of being in fellowship with You immediately. Amen.


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9/4/14 1:09 P

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September 4

Psalms 110:1

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Ben was a diligent worker in his firm. He put forth his best effort in all he did, but unfortunately he lacked the assertive personality so many of his co-workers possessed. Promotions came and went, always passing Ben by, falling to the men and women whose personalities caused them to be noticed. After thirty years of service, Ben struck out on his own, forming a new company. Within months the new company rose to the top of the field, and many of Ben's former co-workers came to work for him.

It is easy to begrudge others their fortune when they are no more deserving to them than we are. Yet, God calls us to rejoice in the triumphs of others, and to await His justice rather than seeking our own. Often we must wait a long time, but the justice of the Lord will prevail, and those who once kept us down will be made a footstool for our feet. Have faith in the Lord, and He will set all things right.

Prayer: Fill me with Your patience, Lord. When I see others receive rewards, help me to rejoice in their benefit rather than be bitter that I did not receive it. Amen.

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September 3

Psalms 109:29

Let mine adversaries be clothe d with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

The executive was beginning to sweat. He thought he'd covered his tracks fairly well, but now the tangled web he had woven was collapsing around him as his double dealings were uncovered. The questions came at him fast and furious, and he had little time to make sure he wasn't contradicting himself. By the time the hearing ended, all his dealings were in ruin, and he had no one to blame but himself.

Let the conniving and deceitful people be warned: The time will come when you will be called to account before God. He is watching each of us, to see how we handle our lives. Those of us who entangle ourselves in less than honest practices will one day have to pay. The Lord wants us to deal with our earthly affairs with the purity and honesty we use in our relationship with Him. Anything less is not good enough. If we will deal with others as if they are our Lord Jesus Christ, then we will never suffer through the confusion of the deceitful.

Prayer: The only way to avoid the traps of subterfuge is to avoid evil dealings altogether. Make me to walk in the way of righteousness, always acting toward others as I try to act toward You. Amen.

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9/2/14 12:08 A

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Amen

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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9/1/14 3:46 P

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September 1

Psalms 109:17

As he loved cursing, so let it co me unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

The young tennis star was known both for his fiery play and his fiery language. Whereas he excelled in the mastery of the game, he had not yet matured in the art of sportsmanlike conduct. His wrath was vented each time he disagreed with the umpire's call. He cursed, stomped, screamed, and kicked. Never was he known to back down and admit his own fault. In time, he lost even his own following of fans, because they tired of his childish outbursts.

People who live by selfish emotions find themselves empty and alone most of the time. Their bitterness causes them to curse their life, their friends, their God. Finally, they find it nearly impossible to utter any kind words at all. Those people will not find blessing in their own lives, because they refuse to bring it to others' lives. It is a fact that the blessing we share is the blessing that comes back to us. Likewise, the curse we impart comes back on us, to make us unhappy and guilty.

Prayer: Though things don't always go the way I would like, Lord, help me to accept all that happens with grace and peace. Amen.

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August 31

Psalms 109:5

And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

The old man loved to sit in the park. He had come to the same bench each day for over fifteen years. In that time he had spent many hours talking with children, teaching them games, and telling them stories. In simpler times, they had adored the old man. Now it seemed they treated him with contempt and made fun of him. They no longer flocked to sit at his feet, and he was lonely for bygone times. Each time a young boy or girl hurled an insult, he closed his eyes and asked God to forgive them. No matter how they chose to treat him, he would always love the children.

There are many kind and loving people in our world who are treated terribly. They offer nothing but goodness, and they receive evil in return. Our elderly population has much to offer us, and we need to reach out to receive the treasures they hold. To ignore them is the worst kind of cruelty. To a group who has worked long and hard to provide what is good and lasting, we need to extend the hand of fellowship and love . God rejoices when we repay good for good and love with love.

Prayer: If I have hurt anyone this day, Lord, help me to make amends and to do better in the future. Let me repay no one evil for good, or evil for evil, either. Let my response always be one of love. Amen.

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August 30

Psalms 108:13

Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Dan could think of nothing he would want to do less than speak in front of an audience. And yet, here he was preparing to speak to a conference of young men and women on the importance of Christ in his life. If not for the transforming power of Christ in his life, Dan knew he would never be able to get up in front of that crowd to speak. Through Christ, all things really were possible. Miracles could still happen, and Dan could break his bonds of shyness to spread the Gospel word.

God allows us to do valiantly. Things we never thought possible become almost commonplace. God will enable us to do things we never even dreamed of. Rely upon the Lord, and He will help you conquer the enemies of your heart and mind that threaten to make you less than He wants you to be.

Prayer: I can be my own worst enemy, Lord. Help me to overcome the things in my life that make me less than I can be. Use me in whatever way You can. Amen.


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8/30/14 12:59 A

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August 29

Psalms 107:40

He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

"I don't need any help. I can do everything just fine on my own!"

Randy shouldered his pack and headed off down the path. Jerry and Tom shook their heads and followed along. Before long, Randy was out of sight, and his two friends gave up trying to follow. As evening set in, they made cam and waited for their friend to return. While they sat by a warm and inviting fire, Randy stumbled through dense forest, lost, alone, and afraid.

We were created for one another. There is not sense in trying to deny it. Those who attempt to stand on their own two feet find that they tire before long, and they wish they had someone to lean on. God created us equal, so that we can adequately fill one another's needs. He hopes we will share our lives with one anther and with Him. People who feel they are above needing others will be shown the error of their ways in due time. It is better to admit our need and wander this wilderness with companions who make the journey a lot more enjoyable.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that I never have to walk alone. You are by my side, and I have opportunities to share my life journey with so many others. Bless my path, O Lord. Amen.

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August 28

Psalms 107:26

They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths : their soul is melted because of trouble.

The waves were rolling and crashing, and the luxury liner was pitching with each and every one. It would ride high upon the crest of one wave, then plummet to the trough of the next. The passengers were despairing of life itself. Even the most stout-hearted grew uneasy in the roiling sea.

Our lives are like tempest-tossed boat rides sometimes. We climb to breathtaking heights and fall to desperate lows, and there are times when we feel as though we just can't go on. The Lord understands these feelings. He was exalted on Sunday and nailed to a cross just five days later. He has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and He, too, felt Himself melt in the face of distress. It is well to remember that the Lord is with us, and He can truly be of help to us because He has walked our path before us. When the storms of life toss us the hardest, that is when we can count on the Lord to be closest.

Prayer: In both good times and bad, Lord, be close by me to help me keep my head about me. Do not let me be swept up in temporary situations, losing sight of Your hand on my life, but let me always feel Your guiding presence. Amen.

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August 27

Psalms 107:21

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Jay was one of the most unpopular men in the office. He never had a good word to say to anyone. He was critical, snide, self-centered, and jealous. People simply got tired of hearing all the negative comments coming from his mouth. Just once they wanted to hear something good come from his lips.

Negative people get on our nerves quickly. They get on God's nerves, too. He calls us to praise Him and life our voices in positive ways. If only more people would praise the Lord for His goodness, what a wonderful place our world would become. We need to occupy our thoughts with what is good, and turn away from what is bad. Praise God throughout the day, and see what wonderful feelings you find along the way.

Prayer: Erase from my vocabulary all negative words and from my mind all negative thoughts, Lord. Create in me a fountain of positive feeling and goodwill. Share Your grace through my witness. Amen.


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8/26/14 6:52 P

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August 26

Psalms 107:14

He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.

Mabel made sure that children in her neighborhood got a better start than she had. Each day she would invite children into her home, and she would help them with their reading. She would labor long and hard with some, but she was determined that they would never have to face a life lived in darkness and ignorance. Illiteracy was a terrible kind of slavery that no one should suffer under. Mabel's special ministry of love helped children in her area break free from the bonds of ignorance and led them into a bright and exciting light.

God has given us minds to use and wonderful technologies. There is no excuse for living in fear and darkness in our world today. He has liberated us from ignorance and has granted us knowledge and wisdom beyond measure. Take hold of the great gift of the mind, and thank God daily for it.

Prayer: Shed Your light upon my heart and mind, fath er, that I might know all that I can about You, Your creation, and Your will. Be the source of my understanding and my liberation. Amen


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August 25

Psalms 107:2-3

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

The missionaries were prepared to share the Word of God with the natives of the small isle off the North Africa coast. They were well stocked with crosses and Bibles, and they had become well versed in the native tongue. Nothing, however, prepared them for the shock when they deplaned and were greeted by a band of natives singing out, "God bless you; Jesus loves you!"

The reality of God has spread to the four corners of our globe. Voices sing out His praises continually, and it is often true that our poorer brothers and sisters have the clearest and loudest voices. We can learn a great deal from those people who live day to day in the shadow of poverty, who truly understand how fortunate they are to be alive. Let every woman, man and child sing forth in praise to God. He has been good to us all.

Prayer: I have been transformed by a love far beyond my understanding. Thank You, Lord, for taking my life and making it something holy and special. Make my life a glory to Your name. Amen.


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August 24

Psalms 107:2-3

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name , and to triumph in thy praise.

Mary knew she was in trouble when the bus entered unfamiliar territory. When it finally pulled up to the last stop, she wasn't sure what to do. The driver hardly spoke English, and Mary began to panic. She rushed to the phone through a crowd of vagrants and drunks. In tears, she called her sister, pleading for her to come rescue her from her trial. When her sister's car pulled up outside the terminal, tears of joy and relief flowed freely down Mary's face.

Often we need to have a terrible trial in order to remember what it means to be truly thankful. Our praise is from the heart when we have been in danger or discomfort. Bad situations help us to appreciate how good our lives can be. Even in trial, God reaches through to help us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. Praise the Lord for all the good things He has given, and know that He will rescue you from all perils.

Prayer: In times of darkness, help me not to dwell on what is wrong, but turn my mind to all I have to be thankful for. Amen.

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8/24/14 1:44 A

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August 23

Psalms 106:43

Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

The agent folded his arms and shook his head. The offer was totally unacceptable. He wanted his ball player to receive top dollar. The team owners conferred and made another offer substantially higher than their previous one. Still the agent held out. To his dismay, the owners threw up their hands in disgust and closed the talks. The ball player would not play; the owners would look elsewhere.

Greed causes so many problems. We only want a little bit more, but each time we take a little, we leave less for others. God gives great things to His people, but when they continually look for ways to get more, then He is not so free to give. There are too many people who will appreciate what the Lord has to give. God will bring low those who try to take more than their share. His love is freely given, but it is given to be shared, not taken advantage of.

Prayer: Do I provoke you, Lord, through my many sins, both large and small? Help me to do what is pleasing in Your sight, and to use the gifts You have given me to spread Your Good News. Amen.


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8/22/14 6:59 A

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August 22

Psalms 106:7

Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.

"I want it!" Becky screamed.

Her father turned to where the little girl stood red-faced and defiant. He looked at her and said, "I don't want to hear another word. I bought you a toy last week, and I told you not to ask for anything else. You've had ice cream and I took you to see the pets, now you straighten up. Do you understand?"

Whether Becky understood or not may still be in question, but her behavior is all too familiar. Some of us want what we want when we want it, and we really don't care whether we're being ungrateful or not. God has showered us with blessings, and sometimes we stand defiantly demanding more. God is willing to give us many good things, but not when we refuse to value what we've got. Christian maturity requires that we learn to be satisfied with what we have. It is pleasing to God when His children say "Thank You," instead of "More."

Prayer: I forget how gracious and giving You have been, O Lord. Forgive my lack of gratitude and appreciation. I have no reason to desire more. I have more than I truly need already. Help me to use my abundance for the sake of others. Amen.


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8/21/14 9:02 P

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August 21

Psalms 105:5

Remember his marvelous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.

The old pastor was only a few months out of the church, and it seemed like everyone took glee in recalling his faults and shortcomings. The problems of the church were all attributed in some form to the inadequacies of the pastor just past. It was the rare individual who stopped to recall all the wonderful qualities the former pastor had possessed. In his time he had served with love and affection, and the glories of his love far exceeded any shortcomings he displayed.

Do we spend much time glorying in all that the Lord has done for us, or do we lament over what has yet to occur? So often we can find ourselves blaming God when things don't go right. The Hebrew people did it. The kings did it. Even early Christians did it. We should be careful to learn from their mistakes and fill our hearts and mouths with the praise that God surely deserves.

Prayer: Remove from my mouth any curse, Lord. Fill me with praise and thanksgiving for all that I have and all that I am. Amen



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8/20/14 7:52 A

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August 20

Psalms 104:32

He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

The volcano rumbled, then fell silent. Clouds of smoke billowed from its crown, and the people in the towns surrounding it made hasty plans to leave. Experts were assuring people that there was no immediate danger, but when the old mountain began to grumble, the people tended to listen to it rather than the experts. Wisdom being the better part of valor, the neighboring residents departed until the danger was clearly through.

In nature there is mighty destructive power. This world of God's contains forces beyond our wildest dreams. It is wise to respect the forces of nature, and it is wise to respect the forces of our Lord. No one can challenge the Lord as to truth and justice. God wields the true power, and He does so with perfect love and compassion. God has made His desires known to His children. To ignore the rumble is foolishness.

Prayer: Lord, make me an obedient child and a willing follower. Break my willful nature, and help me to see the wisdom of Your ways. Amen.


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8/19/14 3:57 A

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August 19

Psalms 104:24

Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Timmy did not want to go on the science field trip. Science was so boring. They were going to climb around on rocks and look for fossils of animals dead a half a million years. Big deal! Nothing could interest Timmy less.

Then, an amazing thing happened. Timmy was one of the first to find fossilized remains. He held the rock in his hands and traced the fragile trilobite fossil with his finger. He was enthralled by the sight, and a new love was born in Tim's heart. Timmy saw the earth as a treasure house of wonders too magnificent to understand.

We ought to take time to study this wonderful world of ours. There is so much to behold. God has done so many wonderful things, and He has given them over to us to enjoy. Search out the riches of God's world, and you will never be poor.

Prayer: Have I lost the capacity to believe in miracles, O Lord? Show me the wonders of Your creation. Let me take nothing for granted. Indeed, Lord, make all things new in my eyes. Amen.


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8/18/14 11:57 P

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Amen

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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August 18

Psalms 104:13

He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

Emily sat patiently explaining the way of the world to Jeffrey. "The sun shines when God is happy, and it rains when He is sad. Rain is God's tears."

"Why would God cry? Isn't He happy all the time?"

"Heavens, no. Would you be happy if you and I were your children?"

Children have a way of cutting through a lot of confusion to the heart of the matter. Though God doesn't cry because of us, He often cries with us when we suffer. Many people perceive God to be so detached and above us all that He never relates to what we go though. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason that God sent His only Son to be our Savior was so that He could reach out to us in our struggles and say, "I struggle with you." Perhaps the rain is not actually God's own tears, but let it be a reminder to us that God does indeed cry for His children in their times of need.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for sending Jesus into the world to relate to me on terms that I understand. I need to know that Your love for me is emotional and passionate. Teach me to love others as You love me. Amen.

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8/17/14 11:39 P

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So true. I am always in awe at the beauty of nature around us.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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August 17

Psalms 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with hounour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

As the car crested the hill, the entire family drew in its breath. The sky was painted with a hundred different colors and hues. Pinks, reds, oranges, blues, lavenders, and golds blended into a canvas of glory and light. God in His awesome beauty once again presented the proof of His existence. Only a blind fool would deny God in the face of such splendor.

Time and again God offers us signs of His power and wonder. If we will just keep our eyes open, the truth of God's existence will present itself over and over. God gives graciously to His children. Relax and enjoy the show that God puts on. It is nothing less than perfection.

Prayer: Do not let me turn blind eyes to the beauty of Your world, Lord. Throughout Your creation is Your signature. I cannot doubt Your existence in a world of such amazing splendor. Amen.


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August 16

Psalms 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.

Some people can't understand how the raging, harsh God of the Old Testament can be the same God of love in the New Testament. Has God really changed? Of course not. God is the same in all times and in all places. What has changed is men and women's views of God. It is difficult to make sense of all that God does, and we all must do our best to understand Him. From the beginning of time until this day, God is the same. The righteousness He held forth for the children of Israel is the same righteousness He holds forth for us today. In a world where all else changes so quickly, we can find great security in knowing that our Lord never changes.

Prayer: Be the anchor in my life, O Lord, so that I might not be tossed around by all the winds of change in my world. Make my faith constant; remaining true to You. Amen.


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8/14/14 11:07 P

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Thank you for this reminder, Judith. Sometimes I have difficulty with this.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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August 14

Psalms 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

A woman asked God for forgiveness for a sin she had committed. He granted her pardon, but she had a tough time forgetting what she had done. She just couldn't let go of her guilt. In desperation she returned to God to ask His forgiveness once more. When she asked Him to remember what she had done, He said, "I can't remember what you're talking about. It never happened. Once sin is forgiven, it is dropped into the sea of forgetfulness, and it is no more. Go your way. No one condemns you; not even I."

It is not that God has a bad memory, but that His love is so complete and boundless that He will not retain the memory of something we ask to be forgiven for. He erases the sins from our slate, and we start fresh. As far as the east is from the west, that is how far God removes our sin from us.

Prayer: Though I don't deserve Your loving care and forgiveness, Lord, I conti nually thank You that You give it to me so freely. Help me to accept it graciously, and to know that You hold nothing against me once I ask Your pardon. Amen.


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8/13/14 8:08 P

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August 13

Psalms 103:10

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

Karl sat outside the principal's office feeling the sweat begin to trickle down his back. Mr. Creed was notorious for dealing out harsh punishments. "Crusher" Creed was what the older kids called him. Karl had never been to him before, but he didn't like it, that was for sure.

Minutes dragged by, feeling like hours, and Karl began to tremble. It was all he could do to keep from crying. When the door finally opened, Karl sobbed, "I'll never do it again." The principal comforted the boy and told him why what he had done was unacceptable. Karl left the office still shaken, but not so much that he couldn't dream up a juicy story of the tortures he suffered at the hand of "Crusher" Creed.

God deals with His children with love and forgiveness. Often, we are much harder on ourselves than God will ever be. Many times we feel alone in our trials because we need to think of what is wrong with what we do. Our sins can be a great ground of learning, and though God waits willingly to forgive us, He wants us to benefit from our errors as much as we can. God will deal with us, not according to what we have done wrong, but according to our desire to make things right through repentance.

Prayer: My mind runs wild with worries and fears, Lord. I have done wrong, and I need Your forgiveness. Accept my apologies, God, and create in me a new heart. Amen.


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August 12

Psalms 103:8

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Mara welcomed her sister and did everything in her power to make her feel at home. In return, Dani complained about everything and tried to take over. She bossed Mara around, arranged the house to her own liking, and imposed her opinion on the way Mara raised her two boys. Mara took it all in stride, with a smile on her face. No matter how grave the insult, Mara never waivered in her hospitality. The bonds of sisterhood overcame even the hardest of times, and love gave her the strength of character she needed.

God puts up with an awful lot from His creation. We turn ungrateful hands toward the Lord, always expecting more. We often insult him by the way we regard His world and all the wonderful things in it. Thankfully, He is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, for we test Him constantly. We can learn from God's long-suffering patience with His children, and in turn we can share the same compassion and caring with those around us.

Prayer: Make me merciful and caring, Lord. Help me to improve my attitude toward others and You. Do not allow me to take for granted the great gifts You give. Amen.


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8/10/14 4:40 A

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August 10

Psalms 103:2

I said, O my God, take me not away in the mids t of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.

Everyone said it was such a tragedy. Doug was a funny, bright young man, and he had so much to look forward to. He wasn't even through college yet. The accident had been senseless, and so had his death. Why would God allow such a thing to happen?

We ask ourselves that question a lot. Why does God allow some things to happen? We always look at the question from our own, earthly, human perspective. We forget that death is a part of life and that it is a necessary passage in existence. To God, death is not a bad thing, but merely a part of the way things are. Death isn't a cruelty or a punishment. Our days on earth are a gift, and we should live them as fully as we can. If we die, we are in the Lord's hands, and everything will work out just fine. Faith is the key. We must learn to know that God has everything under control, and that He will turn all situations to good. Even death is a wonderful thing in the hands of God.

Prayer: Lord, I do not understand the way things work sometimes, and I do not like to experience pain and suffering. Help me to see Your hand in all things. Grant me understanding. Amen.

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8/9/14 1:04 A

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August 8

Psalms 101:8

I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

No one mourned when the old skinflint died. He had held the future of hundreds of people in his hand during the course of his life, and he had never missed an opportunity to hurt them whenever he could. He loved to wield his power mercilessly. His every thought had been of himself. Now, at the day of his death, it seemed like a black, noisome cloud had finally been lifted. New hope dawned in the lives of so many who had been oppressed for so long.

The dawn of a new day will one day come for all of God's people. Evil will have no place in the Kingdom of God. It will be wiped away; dissipated like a storm cloud after it is spent. When we live in the storm, we find it hard to see the future, which will be brighter. Trust God. His light conquers the blackest clouds, and once conquered they will never come again.

Prayer: The days are certainly dark, Lord. The clouds are closing in, and there are times when no light can be seen at all. Help me to remember that You are here, O God, and that the light which never fails will one day shine forth. Amen.



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August 7

Psalm 101:5

W hoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Bess was the blight of the bridge club. For some unknown reason, she had taken it upon herself to be judge and jury over the actions of her friends. Whenever the women got together for cards, they were treated to Bess's opinion of what everyone else was doing wrong. When anyone got tired of hearing what Bess had to say and tried to back away, she became Bess's next target of attack. People were afraid to be friends with her, and they were even more afraid to not be friends with her.

No one likes to hear gossip and criticism all the time. Gossips are usually avoided, and thus they become outcast from the rest of the world. God will outcast the gossip. There is not room in His Kingdom for those who delight in the shortcomings of others. Christ within us should build up, not tear down. If we give our hearts over to Christ, then we ill never say damaging things against our neighbors. Speak only with the tongue of Christ, and you will be a blessing to everyone you meet.

Prayer: Remove from me a malicious and gossiping nature, Lord. Fill me with praise and joy and spiritual thoughts. Let my words bless others with kindness and love. Amen.


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August 6

Psalms 101:2

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Gwen couldn't help remembering how her grandmother used to tell her to, "Act like a perfect little lady." She had hated to have her grandmother constantly nagging at her to sit properly, speak properly, walk, chew, and sneeze properly. However, the lessons she had been taught had stayed with her, and they had helped her many times. She had gotten the job at the gallery because they had been impressed by her manner and poise. Perhaps she wasn't a "perfect little lady," but she made a good showing, nonetheless.

Our behavior is important. People see us in many situations at many different times, and the way we act can be a powerful witness to the power of Christ in our lives. Christ calls us to a perfection that we cannot achieve on our own. Rely upon the Lord and He will give you the capacity to live an upright, holy, and pleasing life.

Prayer: Lord, You are the author of perfection. You have created me to be an example of Your image, a light of the world. Fill me with the brilliance of Your holy light, that I might shine forth in beauty and power. Amen.


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August 5

Psalms 100:3

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Jeff loved spending his days out on horseback, checking the livestock around the ranch. The animals were undisturbed by Jeff's approach, and he often thought that they must look forward to his arrival. Many of the animals rushed out to meet him whenever he appeared.

They sensed in him a friend and protector. Indeed, on those rare occasions when he found the animals threatened by wild creatures, Jeff had not hesitated to do what was necessary to protect the stock.

Our Lord watches over us carefully and lovingly. He wants us to look forward to the times we spend with Him. He also wants us to be assured that He will take care of us and protect us. As a shepherd gives everything possible to protect his flock, so God gives everything He can to guard His followers. Trust in Him, and He will watch over you.

Prayer: Lord, I need to know that You are watching me. You are the source of my confidence and security. Lead me to spend all of my time pursuing Your love and protection. Amen.


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August 4

Psalms 98:7

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Paul's nerves were shot. Everywhere he turned there were crowds of people. Cars sped by on all the streets, and the noise of the city was deafening. He was beginning to feel like there was nowhere to go to find peace and quiet. A little silence was all he was looking for. Nothing more.

If this world of noise and confusion, where can we find a place of peace and tranquillity? If Christ is the Lord of our hearts, then we can turn inward. Christ is the giver of peace. He transforms our hearts into refuges, where the clamor of the outside world cannot enter in. Call upon the Lord, and He will surely grant you peace.

Prayer: Father, I am tired of the furious pace of the world. Sometimes I just want to run and hide. Allow me to run to You. Be the source of my peace, Lord. Amen


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August 3

Psalms 99:9

Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.

Betty loved the old church. She had come to its sanctuary since she had been a young girl, and that was a long time gone, indeed. The place was special. Betty had always been filled with awe whenever she stood in the church. From the moment she entered the door, she felt God's presence. This church was a holy place. She felt closest to God when she felt the special magic of the old church. It was easy to worship God there.

We need reminders to help us understand God's holiness. Truly, only He is worthy to be praised, and yet we so often act as if there's nothing special about God at all. There is no life in our prayers, we decided to skip church, or we ignore opportunities to share Christ with those around us. Our actions say, "No big deal." It is a big deal. God is the biggest deal of our lives. Everything we do should exalt the Lord and show others just how important He is to us. Anytime we can experience the holiness and majesty of the Lord, we should jump at the chance. Nothing pleases God more.

Prayer: You are so important to me, Lord. Help me to prove, through the living of my life, how much You mean to me. Inspire me with Your holiness, and let me worship you always. Amen.


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August 2

Psalms 97:10

Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Sarah sat by herself, wondering if it was really worth it to try to live a clean, Christian life. Everyone thought she was so old-fashioned and prudish. She wouldn't drink, hated dirty jokes, refused to gossip, and had no desire to engage in sex before marriage. She didn't like going to parties with her friends, but she hated to be alone all the time. Every once in awhile, Sarah felt like just giving in and doing what all her peers were doing. Those feelings passed, though, and Sarah felt a special peace and comfort in refusing to give in.

Being different is difficult. To say no to wrong-doing and evil can be excruciatingly hard. Yet, out Lord calls us to be different; to stand apart from the crowd. If we will continue to say no to evil, while saying yes to God, He will preserve and strengthen us. We are never truly alone if we will only love the Lord.

Prayer: Father, I want to do what is right, but sometimes to wrong is very tempting and appealing. Please grant me strength to resist and hold onto what I know is right. Amen.

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I love the song Cornerstone, showing Jesus needs to be the main part of our lives. If we have Him we can do anything.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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August 1

Psalms 96:10

Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.

The concrete mixers rolled in and out of the lot throughout the day. Each deposited its load into the foundation of the new office building, then departed. Dozens of men worked to shape and structure the foundation. Finally, the huge concrete slab was in place. Tons of concrete provided the base for what would become a huge office complex. With a firm foundation in place, construction could begin.

We need to have a firm foundation before we structure our lives. If we set our hearts and minds upon God, He will give us His strength; a strength which cannot be moved. God is the only real foundation. Anything else is a poor substitute.

Prayer: Lord, be my anchor and support. When the day gets roughest, help me to remember that I am firmly established on Your Spirit and in Your love. Amen.

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July 31

Psalms 96:6

Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Take time to be quiet and think about the good things God has done for you. Look at both the good times and the bad in proper perspective. We are loved by a God of all creation, the Master of all eternity. He has made us important by His love for us. Think of how wonderful this love is. We have no way to comprehend this kind of love and attention. It is well that we take time to contemplate all these things. All honor and glory belongs to the Lord, who loves us so much. By entering into His presence, we come to know just how very lucky we are.

Prayer: Who am I, Lord, that You take notice of me? I cannot believe that You love me the way You do. Though I don't understand, I do accept Your gracious love, and I am thankful from the depths of my soul. Amen.

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7/30/14 6:17 P

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July 30

Psalms 95:8

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.

Edgar was being a brat. Whenever Edgar didn't get his way, he was a brat. As if a secret button had been pushed, the minute Edgar heard the word no, he began to whine, kick, scream, stomp, pout, throw things, and cry. After that, he would do nothing that was asked of him. He became stubborn and rebellious. At those times, everyone just backed off and left Edgar alone. Who wants to be too close to a brat?

Sometimes we're brats. We don't get things the way we want them, so we pout and harden our hearts toward God. God is patient with us, but sometimes He has to put some distance between us until we settle down. God doesn't want to deal with our bratiness any more than we want to deal with the bratiness of children. In time, we learn to deal with our disappointments, and like children, we finally learn that pouting gets us nowhere.

Prayer: Lord, help me to grow up, to be a mature Christian, one who has learned to accept disappointment and adversity. Strengthen my heart, and give me patience. Amen.

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7/29/14 5:42 P

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July 29

Psalms 95

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

The children lined up on the steps to the altar. Their fresh-scrubbed faces shone in the morning light. Nervously, they swayed, twitched, and squirmed. The music began, and each child in turn joined in at a point of his or her own choosing. Some sang out boldly, others mouthed the words, while a few ignored the songs altogether and just waved and smiled at Mommy and Daddy. To call the presentation music was stretching the point, but to call it a joyful noise was right on target. This spirit of the children was joy and love, and the hearts of all present was captured quickly. The sound rose to the rafters, and beyond. The Lord heard that special choir, smiled, and said, "It is good!"

Prayer: Let the words of my mouth produce a joyful noise, acceptable to the Lord and glorifying Him in all ways. Amen.


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July 28

Psalms 94:20

Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

What a minister does on his day off is his business Reverend Gray was fuming. Members of his church had seen him go into a casino and bar on his day off, and now the entire congregation was in an uproar. He liked to fraternize with some regulars at the casino; old friends from college days. There was nothing wrong with getting together with old friends, and if a couple of coins hit the slots, what was the harm? It was nobody's business but his own.

We need to be careful how we walk in our Christian lives. We are examples to others of how Christ wants His people to be. That is the big responsibility, and one that we must take very seriously. Our business becomes the business of other people when it could possibly affect their faith. Who we associate with matters very much to who we want to be. It is good to remember that not only God watches the faithful.

Prayer: If I am to be an example of what it means to follow Christ, then help me to be the best example I can be. Guide me by Your Spirit. Amen.

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July 27

Psalms 94:8-9

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planteth the ear, shall be not bear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?

There's no fooling God. There is no place we can go where He does not see our every move. Those people who think they have God fooled are only fooling themselves. God sees all things, He hears all things, and nothing escapes His attention. For those who live in sin, that is a very frightening thought. For those who walk in righteousness, there is no problem. Let the Lord watch. It is good to know that He is here.

Prayer: Lord, be with me this day. Search my life, and help me to correct the wrong things that I do. Keep me walking in the light, and prevent me from straying into darkness. Amen.


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July 26

Psalms 94:3

Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Ginelli hated to see the boys come. They tore up his store, threatened his customers, and called him dirty names. They'd never hurt anyone, yet. All he wanted was for the police to come, but they never bothered. It seemed the boys were just his cross to bear. No one would help him, so he just had to tolerate it.

Why do the evil people in this world get away with so much? Because it's their world. God gave this world over to Satan long ago, and it has been downhill ever since. Our realm is that of heaven. We are Kingdom people now, and so we have to put up with all kinds of bad and terrible things while we wait. Luckily, we don't have to fight alone. The Lord is with us, giving us His strength and encouragement. Take heart, the Lord is on our side.

Prayer: Be with me, Lord, as I stand alone in a world gone crazy. There are times when I can find no one who seems to care, no one willing to he lp. In those times, reach down to give me aid. Amen.


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7/26/14 12:32 A

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July 25

Psalms 93

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.

The commander stood a head above the rest of the soldiers. He was dressed in finest battle attire, head aloft and proud, sword drawn. To see the man was to be filled with the confidence that everything would work out. He exuded the sense of triumph and victory. Everything about him claimed victory before the battle was even begun.

Our Lord is like that. He is the source of all power and might. His wisdom is matched by none. As we fight our daily battles, it is good for us to keep in mind that the Lord is on our side and He leads the charge. There is no retreat for God. He is with us every step of the way. Trust in Him, for He is the commander who cannot fail.

Prayer: In Your power, and strength, and courage, and wisdom, and patience, I take my refuge. You are the fortress that protects me, and in Your love, I have no fear of anything. I will always praise You. Amen.


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July 24

Psalm 92:3

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

Dana's fingers lovingly flew across the strings. The guitar took on life beneath his fingertips. As his eyes closed and his head tilted back, the man and the guitar became one. The music that cam forth was not from the fingers or the instrument, but from the heart. The music was the rhythm of creation. The beauty and majesty of God's love flowed through the air. When the music played, God's presence was not to be denied.

Psalms is full of musical imagery. Throughout time, music has been used to express the divine. God loves harmony and purity of tone. Together, we can become a melody of beauty and praise. We can become the rhythm of creation by affirming who God created us to be. Let the music of the Lord fill your heart, and get carried away in its beauty and power.

Prayer: If there is any discordance in my life, Lord, remove it from me. I want my life to be harmonious and beautiful, reflecting the divine music which You alone compose. Play me, Lord, that I might be Your song. Amen


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7/23/14 3:27 P

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July 23

Psalms 91:16

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Chuck was in no big hurry to die. He was eighty-five, alive and kicking. He had no intention of cashing in his chips. He still had work to do. Every day, Chuck went down to the mission to pass out food and Bibles and sit with the men and women and tell them about Jesus. He wasn't pushy or anything, he just let them know he was there to talk. He'd been there almost every day for twenty-one years. The Lord willing, he would be there twenty-one more.

It's wonderful to see people so in love with life and with Christ that they make the two things one. A long life well lived is a powerful testimony to the goodness of God. Use your life to glorify God, and share the Good News of your salvation with everyone you meet.

Prayer: Make all my days productive ones, Lord. Show me what my ministry is. Open doors so that I might serve You in new ways. Look kindly on my efforts to glorify You, Lord. Amen.


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7/22/14 9:39 P

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July 22

Psalms 91:11

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Louise had an angel. She felt the presence of her guardian angel wherever she was. She didn't even tell most people about her angel, because they looked at her like she was crazy. She wasn't. God had sent her an angel to keep her company and to remind her that she was loved. There was nothing crazy about that. Sometimes, in the still of the night, she thought she could hear angel songs, and they comforted her. She loved her angel, and she thanked God for it daily.

Who's to say where God's angels are? Perhaps we each have an angel who watches us and guides us. God, in His love for us, has set the angels over us. They are His ambassadors of goodwill in this world. Though angels have been shoved aside to the category of myth by many, we know that there is another realm where everything doesn't always make sense to us. Rest secure. The angels are watching.

Prayer: Help me to believe in the angels that You send, Lord. I need watching over. I need You to be with me. I thank You for guiding me in all my ways. Amen.


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July 21

Psalms 91:3

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

Mr. Frederickson stormed into the dean's office with Carol in tow. He shoved her down into the seat, and said, "She's the one! I caught her this time. She's the one who keeps letting the animals go."

"I'm sorry," Carol began, "but I can't stand to see the animals treated the way they are. They shouldn't be used for experiments. They have a right to live, and I just couldn't watch them suffer."

The dean worked to settle Mr. Frederickson down and to explain why Carol couldn't do what she'd done, though deep down inside, he was on her side. It was nice to see a young person care so much about something other than herself. It was good that the animals had a champion.

We have a champion in Jesus Christ. Held captive to sin, trapped with no way out, we could only wait to see what would happen. What happened was the saving love of Christ, which set us free from the trap, and continues to protect us every day.

Prayer: Thank You for rescuing me from the snare of sin. On my own, I get so tangled in sin, but with You to guide me, I can avoid the traps and remain free for a life of joy and love. Amen.


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July 20

Psalms 90:17

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Cheryl loved her artwork. She could express so many things with canvas and paint that she couldn't express any other way. She showed the depths of her soul. All her work had a spiritual sense to it. It came from a deep and beautiful place inside her own soul. Cheryl felt that the image of God in her was best displayed through the works of her hands and heart.

Within each of us is a wellspring of beauty that comes from God above. How we express it varies from person to person, but it is there, nonetheless. Reach deep into your soul and share the wealth of beauty buried there. To do so is to share God.

Prayer: Enter into my life, O Lord, and make it something beautiful and special. Whatever talents I have are Yours. Bless them, that they might produce much, Father. Amen.

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July 19

Psalms 90:12

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Shelley had a dream. In it she was told she had only one week to live. The dream haunted her throughout the day. Everytime she did something, she asked herself, "Is this really important?" She found that there were so many things she did that wasted precious time. People became more important to her than things. She wanted to go for a walk, rather than sit in front of the television set. Time became more valuable, and it caused her to realign her priorities. Shelley found her life completely changed.

God wants us to value the time we have on earth. We take time for granted, acting as though our earthly life will go on forever. Time on earth is too short to waste. Number your days, and God will fill you with a special wisdom.

Prayer: Don't let me waste time, but let me use every moment to the fullest. Help me to appreciate my life, and teach me new ways to use my time. Thank You for al l my blessings. Amen.

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7/18/14 2:50 A

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July 17

Psalms 89:15

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

Magic! No matter where the children were, they heard it. It called them from their homework, their play, their naps, their chores. In an instant, heads came up, slightly cocked, in order to hear the delicate chimes. The ice cream man! No greater sound could be found. From every corner of the neighborhood, children with beaming faces were drawn magically to the little wine cart, with its row of silver bells.

When the voice of the Lord calls out to us, may we respond to it with the same childlike glee that our youngsters demonstrate at the approach of the ice cream man. May the name of the Lord bring joy to our hearts and smiles to our faces.

Prayer: Fill me with a joy that remains untouched by the trials of the day. When I hear Your name, Lord, let me respond in jubilation. Be the source of my comfort and peace. Amen.

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7/17/14 12:27 A

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Thanks, Judith. I love the Psalms. Our church has a reading plan for the summer to read all the Psalms by the end of August. We recently read the New Testament as part of a reading plan. It was great.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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7/16/14 2:13 P

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July 16

Psalms 89:14

Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

"What's He going to do to me? He loves everybody. He's got to take me to heaven, or He wouldn't be God."

Jeff's statement left Cathy stunned. Was it true? It certainly made sense. What kind of loving God could send someone to hell? Maybe Jeff knew what he was talking about. Maybe it didn't really matter what a person does on earth.

Don't kid yourself. God cares very deeply about how we choose to live our lives, and as far as hell goes, only people who choose to go there make it. God has given us free will. He will not force any of us to spend eternity with Him if we don't want to. If we decide, however, that we do want to spend our eternity in heaven, then it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves, body, mind, and spirit. Our earthly existence becomes boot camp for the Kingdom. We train for the world which is to come. God is just and merciful, but He will indeed judge. It is the innocent who will stand beside Him.

Prayer: Let me not tempt Your mercy, Lord, but do everything in my power to act as I thing You want me to act. Train me to be a Kingdom person, worthy to enter Your heaven when I am ready. Amen.


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7/15/14 11:37 P

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I love the beauty of nature. I love to take time and enjoy it, thanking God for His creation.

Darlene

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. From whence commeth my help? My help commeth from the Lord who made heaven and earth. flemidg


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7/15/14 4:39 A

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July 15

Psalms 89:5

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

The rainstorm had been terrific. Torrents of rain had fallen, drenching everything. Now, the clouds began to part. Shafts of bright sunlight stretched to the earth, causing all foliage to sparkle with droplets of water. On the horizon, a rainbow stretched from earth to earth. The clouds climbed high into the sky, turning rosy pink with the sunlight.

God's creation gives testimony to His truth all the time. All His wonders unfold through the course of one day. From the sunrise through the course of one day. From the sunrise through nighttime starshine, God's glories unfold. Take time to view God's handiwork. Search the daytime skies and see the majesty of the Almighty. His hand is ever upon His creation.

Prayer: All praise and hone belongs to You, Lord. For the magnificent works of Your hands. You have made such beauty, and You have loved us enough to share it. Thank You, Father, Amen.

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7/13/14 2:18 A

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July 12

Psalms 88:4-5

I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in thy grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from they hand.

Annette sat with red-rimmed eyes. She had been crying for quite some time. Everything in her life felt like it was going wrong. She called herself a Christian, but she kept doing things she knew were wrong. She asked forgiveness, but she felt like a liar and a hypocrite. She wanted God to love her, but she kept being so unlovable. One of her friends told her that she was going to hell, because God would judge her for all the lies she told and all the sins she committed. Now, she sat sobbing, not knowing what to do.

It is hard to be good when we are so weak. Even the great apostle, Paul, spoke of doing things he knew he should not do. No one ever rises completely above sin. God wants people who will try and who will strive to do better, even when they know they can't be perfect. God will judge us on the intentions of our hearts. We cannot separate ourselves from God's love as long as we desire in our hearts to be reconciled to Him. He loves us that much.

Prayer: Forgive my weakness, fill me with strength, and continually remind me of Your great mercy. Though I am not worthy, I am love, and therefore, I am saved. Hallelujah! Amen.

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7/11/14 5:11 P

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July 11

Psalm 86:17 Corrected to NKJV from Old KJV

Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

During high school, Chris had been a total loser. He had partied heavily and bullied other kids, forcing them to give up their lunch money in order to avoid a beating. Everyone walked in fear of Chris. Ten years was a long time, but no one expected such a great change from Chris. At the reunion, Chris came into a room that was still somewhat fearful of the old bully. What the people found was a man of grace and charm, who extended a warm hand to everyone he saw. In a few cases, Chris apologized for his behavior ten years gone by. When asked what had made the difference in his life, Chris replied simply, "I'm a Christian now."

Christ is the changer of lives. He will give us a token that will attract people's attention. When others see the miracle of God in our lives, then cannot help but be touched themselves. God works through us to touch others. Open yourself to His guidance, and He will use you greatly.

Prayer: Take my life and use it to Your will, Father. If I can be the instrument that leads someone to You, then don't hesitate to bring me into service. Let me give to others a portion of what You have given to me. Amen.


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Be back with an up-date

Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 7/11/2014 (17:03)
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7/10/14 5:21 A

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July 10

Psalms 86:15

But thou, O Lor d, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Erin thought the minister would be more understanding. She had gone to him with her problems because she thought he would be forgiving and loving. Instead, he made her feel dirty and sinful. There was no love in what he told her. He just said that what she had done was evil and she had to ask God's forgiveness and hope He would hear her. How could he call himself a Christian, let alone a minister? Erin left the church worse off than when she went in.

Pastors are people, too. They make mistakes, and just because they choose to serve God does not mean they will do everything the way God would do it. Too many people place pastors high up on pedestals, only to watch them come tumbling down. Only God is capable of total love and care. His forgiveness is what really matters. Often pastors can help us find God's will for our lives, but in those cases where they do not, God will still reach down to us, lifting us in love, sharing with us His mercy and truth.

Prayer: Lord, when people let me down, be with me to help me understand them. Shower Your love upon me, and deal with me with compassion. I need to feel Your love. Amen.



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7/9/14 6:37 A

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July 9

Psalms 85:11

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Marge had denied God's existence for years. She had grown up in a huge city, and she rarely got out of it. Her argument against God was that a loving being wouldn't allow people to live in such terrible conditions as existed in so much of the city. Argument did nothing to persuade her. Marge's mind was made up.

When she was twenty-six, she went with friends into the mountains of Vermont. Like a wide-eyed child, she soaked in the awesome beauty of the hills. One evening, at sunset, her heart was filled with an unbelievable joy, and she somehow knew that God did exist. Cities weren't God's fault, they were the creation of men and women. Nature was God's expression of reality, and that reality was too good to deny. The truth rose up out of God's green earth to convince here. Never again would she say God did not exist.

Prayer: What a wonderful world we live in, Lord. You give us happiness, and yet we create sorrow. Turn our tears into laughter, God, that we may enjoy this blessed gift of life we have been given. Amen.

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7/8/14 4:40 A

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July 8

Psalms 85:9

Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

Roger was the best cop in the precinct. His record was sparkling clean, and he was the model for most rookies to follow. His most frequent piece of advice was simple: Pay attention. Roger had watched a lot of his friends blow it, just because they got careless. Police work was not for careless people. Bad things happened to careless people; things that couldn't be undone. The best way to be was careful. The last thing Roger wanted to have happen was for his career, or his life, to come to an end over some stupid mistake.
One of the best ways we can honor our Lord is to pay attention and be careful. Other people see the way we live our lives, and if we are sloppy and sinful, we can hardly hope to make others see the benefits of being Christian. Once we have been touched by the saving grace of God, we need to pay attention and live as careful a life a possible.

Prayer: Make me a good example, Lord, of a life made new through Your love. Help others to see in me that Your way is the best way. Amen.


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7/7/14 1:49 A

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July 6

Psalms 84:10

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Mike had seen pictures of most of the places he visited before he went. Even so, he was not prepared for the beauty he found. Pictures lost the magnitude, somehow. Traveling across the country brought everything into sharp focus. Being in it was a thousand times better than just seeing pictures of it.

Nothing beats the real thing. Once we are touched by the grace of God, nothing else compares. What this world has to offer us is but a snapshot of what we can really have. The real thing is best. Embrace God, and all that He is, and all that He does. You'll never need anything else.

Prayer: Lord, nothing can compare with You. In my life I have experienced wonderful things, but none so wonderful as Your love. Thank You. Amen.


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7/5/14 6:59 A

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July 5

Psalms 84:3

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine alters, O Lord of hosts, my King, a nd my God.

Rosa had no place left to turn. She was in the country illegally, but for her children's sake, she had to try to stay. She found herself with her two boys on the steps of a New Mexico church. Inside, she hoped to find the sanctuary she needed. There was no hope if the church turned her away.

Many people in this country are in deep trouble for offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants. There men and women have taken seriously God's charge to care for all His children, even at the risk of personal safety and security. Some have gone to jail, so strongly do they believe.

The church should be a place where people find hope and safety. If it does not provide these things, it is not really the church. We need to reach out to those who reach to us. Only by doing so can we stand proud, calling Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Let the feelings of my heart be made real through my actions, Lord. Help me to live out the things that I believe. Amen.


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