Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6
Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for the work you are doing. We thank you for working through people of all kinds and of all vocations and through the many hearts that know your goodness. We thank you for the great work led by the Lord Jesus, who will overcome the world with patience and with gentleness. He will overcome the world, opening the door wide for all, including the poorest of the poor, to come to you, their Father in heaven. Grant that with the light we have been given we may remain firm and true. Do not let us come into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.
TODAY’S DAILY DIG
Source: Love Is Like Fire. Riedemann (1506-1556) wrote this while imprisoned for his faith.
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Wow, what an indictment. When we vote our pocketbook more than character and when we excuse the indiscretions, infidelities, and illegalities in the leaders of both political parties, we have reached a very sad state indeed! But before we rant and rave about the sad state of morality in our public officials, let’s make sure we’re honest in our own daily lives — that we don’t say cruel things about others, that we remain faithful to our marriages and our purity vows, and let’s make sure that we expect of ourselves higher standards than we do of others.
God, you are not only the Almighty, you are holy! Holy, Holy, Holy are you, the LORD God Almighty. May the whole earth be filled with your glory and may that glory be shown in what I do and say. Forgive me of my own sin and hypocrisy. Bless me with purity, righteousness, and holiness as I pledge my life to your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Saint Thomas the Apostle
Saint of the Day for July 3
(1st Century – December 21, 72)
Saint Thomas the Apostle’s Story
Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Thomas should be equally well-known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).
Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the “sons of thunder,” Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting, and loving one.
Saint Thomas the Apostle is the Patron Saint of:
What Jesus Did! ‘Parents Who Don’t Parent’
The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?” His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”
Holy God, please help your people as we seek to care for the abandoned and helpless. We are horrified at some of the terrible things done to children in our world. We pray for courage to step forward and help protect them and for compassion to care for them personally. In Jesus’ name, and to his glory. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
2 Timothy 2:12
We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ and with Christ if we are not in Christ. Beloved friend, are you trusting in Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn over on earth, you are not suffering with Christ and have no hope of reigning with Him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude that all a Christian’s sufferings are sufferings with Christ, for it is essential that he be called by God to suffer.
If we are rash and imprudent and run into positions for which neither providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus. If we let passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead of scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised. Again, in troubles that come upon us as the result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with Christ.
When Miriam spoke evil of Moses, and the leprosy polluted her, she was not suffering for God. Moreover, suffering that God accepts must have God’s glory as its end. If I suffer that I may earn a name or win applause, I shall get no other reward than that of the Pharisee. It is required also that love for Jesus and love for His people should always be the mainspring of all our patience. We must manifest the Spirit of Christ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness.
Let us search and see if we truly suffer with Jesus. And if we do suffer in this way, what is our “slight momentary affliction”1 compared withreigning with Him? Oh, it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ, and such an honor to stand in the jail with Him, that if there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in present honor; but when the recompense is so eternal, so infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not take up the cross with enthusiasm and go on our way rejoicing?
Reading the current Rolling Stone magazine exclusive interview with troubled superstar Johnny Depp pierced my heart deeply. I sensed an urgency to write this commentary to call Christians to engage in fervent prayer for this gifted and needy man who’s so in need of God’s love and recalibration of his life. His brokenness speaks to where we all were before repenting and trusting in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.
Johnny Depp is regarded as one of the world’s richest and biggest movie stars. As he turned 55, his personal and financial world started falling apart. Concerned individuals pray for him and hope he will look heavenward as his ongoing restless life spirals dangerously out of control.
The increase of suicides by high-profile celebrities in their extravagant lifestyles raises the alarm. The Bible warns of “people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. … They shall not enter into My rest” (Ps. 95:10-11).
Depp resembles very much the individual described in the book of Ecclesiastes. Throughout the book, the writer presents a multitude of examples showing mankind’s fruitless pursuit of pleasure and contentment apart from a right relationship with God. Recently I wrote a commentary on the tragic ending of Robin Williams’ life, a man who had everything, but in the end hung himself instead of looking to the living God.
As societal and personal pressures increase, people without an anchor in God are subject to desperate moves. My daughter is currently engaged in a 39-city evangelistic mission to reach just such people. Yesterday she shared a note with me that broke my heart and strengthened my resolve to share the transformative message of the gospel consistently while equipping others to do likewise. I encourage you to use this free resource on YouTube so you’re prepared and confident in sharing your faith.
“I am a broken person. I am lost… I need a hand to guide me. I need a kind heart to love me. Every day, I wake up and I wish I hadn’t. I honestly don’t want to be on this earth anymore. I want to die.”
Not long ago, Kentucky-born Johnny Depp, who grew up absent a father and said his mom was “the meanest human being I’ve ever met” was asked by interviewer Larry King if he had faith. He replied, “Yes, I have faith in my kids. And I have—I have faith, you know, that as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward, things will be all right. Faith in terms of religion, I don’t—religion is not my specialty, you know.”
Rare Rolling Stone Interview
I personally believe that Johnny Depp is reaching out for help but doesn’t know where to turn. In an extremely rare interview given to Rolling Stone magazine, he reveals the chilling and tragic details of a megastar on a fast track to destruction unless he repents and is born again.
Survey quickly who this man is and what he’s been “lucky” (his words) to achieve.
Unless you’ve been residing on another planet you probably know that Johnny Depp is arguably one of the most successful and most recognized celebrities in the world. He’s a global brand and a superstar heartthrob whose career was launched over 30 years ago as the star of the 21 Jump Street TV show.
He catapulted to worldwide fame starring as “Jack Sparrow” in the extremely successful Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean films. He’s received numerous awards for his other movies: Edward Scissorhands; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Alice in Wonderland; The Lone Ranger; Sleepy Hollow; Rango and beyond.
Our celluloid film star has made $650 million from his movies that have grossed $3.6 billion!
The article discloses that Depp spent $75 million on 14 residences, including a Saint Tropez estate. Stephen Rodrick conducted this RS interview at the 10,500 square-foot London mansion.
In a mega million lawsuit being brought against Depp it alleges that he bought 70 guitars; 45 luxury vehicles and a yacht; 200 pieces of art; spent $200,000 a month on private air travel; has 12 storage facilities for his memorabilia; pays $1.8 million a year for round-the-clock security; spent $108,000 on suits from a trip to Singapore; plus bought an island for himself, following in the footsteps of his idol, Marlon Brando.
Depp boastfully refutes a claim in the suit that he spent $30,000 a month on wine. “It’s insulting to say I spent $30,000 a month on wine. It was far more!”
Of his earnings, Johnny “tells the truth” that “almost all of it is gone.”
Unbelievable? There’s More
Johnny has been involved in numerous lawsuits over the years but in this one he says people took his money. In the countersuit, associates allege that Johnny has a “$2 million-a-month spending disorder,” plus owes millions in unpaid loans and IRS taxes. In addition, he’s being sued by his bodyguards and is accumulating millions in legal fees.
Johnny shared the rambling interview while indulging in wine and hashish, admitting he loved the drug Quaaludes. We discover he used to live in “Dracula’s Castle” estate above Sunset Boulevard and his attempted record company, UNISON RECORDS, failed.
His romantic relationships in marriages and with high-profile actresses and supermodels have crashed and burned. His last divorce brought a lawsuit where the actress claimed Depp was “an alcoholic and a drug addict” and that his “drug and alcohol abuse had increased dramatically in recent years as had his violent behavior.”
Photographs of Depp in recent days have alarmed observers. The article mentions his appearance as gaunt and sickly now with a “scared, hunted look.” He’s resembling, “Elvis Presley’s last days.”
Stephen Rodrick mentions eerily that Johnny had them watch his friend Marilyn Manson’s video “KILL4ME” which featured Depp in lewd poses with scantily clad women. He referred to “acute depression” and our tragic figure saying, “I was as low as I believe I could’ve gotten.”
Reacting to this avalanche of accumulating, catastrophic events, Adam Waldman, Depp’s personal lawyer, commented, “No one challenges the monster of Hollywood and survives!”
At the close of the interview laced with profanities that spewed from Johnny’s mouth, Mr. Rodrick related how Johnny fumbled for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to open the gates to his mansion fortress. It was futile so the interviewer finally just climbed over the fence. “He is a lost boy who won’t find his way home before dark.”
He observed, “Depp turned and walked back to his gilded prison.”
Here’s the Deal
Tracing Depp’s descent is heart wrenching and should motivate all compassionate Christians to intercede for him. His carefree, quirky “Jack Sparrow” image masks a man desperately in need of Jesus.
Will you join with me in praying for divine intervention to rescue this “lost boy … to find his way home before dark?” God loves him so much. May his story be like George Bailey in the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life where a turnaround experience enabled him to discover what eluded him for so many years.
Larry Tomczakis a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com).
(oops! We had these yesterday!)
NATIONAL EAT YOUR BEANS DAY
National Eat Your Beans Day is a “live healthy” holiday observed every year on July 3. This day celebrates the bean vegetable in all sizes, shapes and colors. Beans (legumes) are one of the longest-cultivated plants dating back to the early seventh millennium BCE.
Now, just as throughout the Old and New World history, beans are a major source of protein. A very healthy choice for any meal or snack, they are also an excellent source of fiber, low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, folate and iron.
- There are approximately 40,000 bean varieties in the world.
- Only a fraction of these varieties are mass-produced for regular consumption.
HOW TO OBSERVE
To celebrate, head over to our National Day Recipes page for many recipes to choose from or enjoy a fava bean dip with goat cheese and garlic dip or black bean chili recipe. Use #NationalEatYourBeansDay to share on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Eat Your Beans Day.
(Jenni has that “extra”)