Humpday Hijinks!

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Daily Prayer for July 18

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. John 4:23–24, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you for being among us as our Father, for letting us be your children on earth. We thank you that as your children we can find life in spirit and in truth. Grant that each of us may find how our lives on earth can be lifted up by your Spirit. Your Spirit can bring us what we do not possess, so that our daily work, all our striving and struggling for the outward things of life, may be pervaded by what is higher and greater. Your Spirit can keep us from falling into base and petty ways, from getting lost in earthly experiences which do not last, no matter how much they demand our attention. We thank you for all you have done for your children. Continue to help us, that we may serve you every day in gladness and gratitude. Amen.

 

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

beetleI have seen almost all the beautiful things that God has made; I have enjoyed almost every pleasure that he has planned for us; and yet as I look back I see standing out above all the life that has gone four or five short experiences when the love of God reflected itself in some poor imitations, some small act of love of mine. And these seem to be the things which alone of all one’s life abide. Everything else in all our lives is transitory. Every other good is visionary. But the acts of love which no one knows about, or can ever know about – they never fail.

Source: The Greatest Thing in the World

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 119:7

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Praise is integrally connected with our character. So for us to worship God, the intent of our hearts and the effort of our lives must show the determined desire to know and live his will. While we will never do this perfectly, grace covers us as we seek to live for his glory. But that grace must never be used as a pretense to excuse spiritual laziness or intentional weakness.

My Prayer…

Holy God, I want to be more like you in character even though I will never be like you in might or majesty. Open my eyes and through the Spirit enlighten me as I seek your will in your Scriptures and as I seek to be obedient in my daily life. Forgive me of my sin and create a clean and holy heart, wholly determined to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

christiancrier

I’m Saved, So Why Do I Still Keep Sinning?

Why do some believer’s struggle with overcoming sin more than others? Why do we keep sinning after salvation?

Our Nature

It is human nature for us to sin. If you took a fish out of the water, they’d be out of their environment because they’re not capable of surviving without being submerged in water. That’s the way fish were created, so it’s their nature, but it’s also our nature to sin, even when we know what it’s wrong. After a person is brought to repentance (2 Tim 2:25-26) and faith in Christ, they still have part of their old nature still living in them, as I do, but Christians are not alone. Some of the greatest figures in the Bible struggled with obedience, even after they knew God, so it’s a struggle that’s common to all of us, and not just believers. For many, that’s somehow comforting. The Bible tells us the truth about human nature and shows us the heroes of the faith, warts and all. The Bible doesn’t hide the fact that some of the greatest biblical figures we know have committed some of the worst sins there are. King David is a great example, but God granted forgiveness as we see in what may be the greatest prayer of repentance in the Bible (Psalm 51). His guilt was“ever before him,” so he couldn’t help but cry out to God for His forgiveness, and God was merciful. Just as Jesus said, “he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47), so those who are forgiven much are loved much. Even after David committed adultery with his wife and conspired to have Uriah murdered, David was later called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

The Struggle

I believe if someone is concerned that they’re still sinning, at least they care enough about to be concerned. That’s a good thing. For one, it’s an honest assessment of us all (Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:8, 10). We all sin, even after conversion, but if there’s a struggle to live an obedient life, at least the Holy Spirit is working in that person’s life. I would be more concerned if they were still sinning and not giving it a second thought. When someone is concerned that they are still sinning after being saved, it’s comforting to me, in a strange sort of way, because at least I know I’m not alone in this struggle. The Bible is full of people who struggled with sin. The Apostle Paul said, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Rom 7:18), and who among us doesn’t wrestle with this? Paul desired to do the right thing but didn’t always do it. Welcome to the club. For the body of Christ, which still has sinners and yet saints, that’s the paradox of it. It’s called sanctification…or growing in holiness. We are still very capable of sinning, but at least we strive to avoid it. We are saved from sin but still fall into sin. The difference might be we don’t dive in and swim around in it like we did before conversion. We fall and get back up, but God expects us to fall. He knows our nature as only our Creator would. Solomon acknowledged that “the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Prov 24:16), so even “though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:24). We will never be sinless this side of the veil, but we should be sinning less…over time, and it should be noticeable to others and ourselves after a set amount of time, however each of us grow in holiness at different rates. I’m not sure why, but some struggle more than others, but there’s strength in the struggle. At least you’re in the fight and resisting the Devil, otherwise you couldn’t care less about sin, and that’s not the heart of a believer (1 John 3).

Expect It

The Apostle Paul preaching in Athens. Raphael, 1515

If you are expecting to be sinless after salvation, you need to read the Bible. Sorry if that seems blunt, but we had one man come to our church and say he was bothered by people praying for forgiveness. He said, “I’m no longer a sinner.” I asked, “Do you still sin?” He said, “Yes, but I am not called a sinner anymore.” I said, “Yes, we’re now called saints, but we still sin…all of us” (1 Kings 8:46; 1 John 1:8, 10). He finally told our elder that he was leaving because he didn’t like asking for forgiveness all the time. I wonder how that works at home with his wife. By the same reasoning he’s using, I supposed he doesn’t need forgiveness anymore in his marriage…or among his friends…or anywhere since he doesn’t sin anymore. I can tell you from experience, that’s not going to turn out well in a marriage or in a relationship. Even the spiritual giant, the Apostle Paul, declared himself to be the foremost of sinners (1 Tim 1:15), writing, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor 15:9), but hey, we’re all unworthy. Paul knew that. It is only because of Christ that we can be declared righteousness in God’s sight (2 Cor 5:21), but everyone will still sin, even after conversion. If they say they don’t sin anymore (like one man told me), I ask, “Why you aren’t in heaven then?”

Conclusion

The Apostle John wrote, “Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister” (1 John 3:10b), and “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him” (1 John 3:15). He adds that, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6), because “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:8a). Notice he said, they “practice…sinning,” meaning it’s a regular custom or routine for them. He’s not referring to believers because John knows they (and I) will still sin (1 John 1:8, 10), but they don’t make a practice of it. If you play sports, you practice sport, and that means you intentionally practice over periods of time, practicing again and again, but Christians are not to sin intentionally, and even though they (and I) do, they repent of that and confess it to God and try to resist the same temptation next time. That’s not the case with the lost. We all fall short, and not one of us are good in and of ourselves (Rom 3:10-12), but the good news is, we are saved by a very good God.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

 

 

 Saint Camillus de Lellis in facade of church Santa Maria Maddalena | photo by Livioandronico2013

Saint Camillus de Lellis

Saint of the Day for July 18

(1550 – July 14, 1614)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODJul18.mp3

 

Saint Camillus de Lellis’ Story

Humanly speaking, Camillus was not a likely candidate for sainthood. His mother died when he was a child, his father neglected him, and he grew up with an excessive love for gambling. At 17, he was afflicted with a disease of his leg that remained with him for life. In Rome he entered the San Giacomo Hospital for Incurables as both patient and servant, but was dismissed for quarrelsomeness after nine months. He served in the Venetian army for three years.

Then in the winter of 1574, when he was 24, Camillus gambled away everything he had—savings, weapons, literally down to his shirt. He accepted work at the Capuchin friary at Manfredonia, and was one day so moved by a sermon of the superior that he began a conversion that changed his life. He entered the Capuchin novitiate, but was dismissed because of the apparently incurable sore on his leg. After another stint of service at San Giacomo, he came back to the Capuchins, only to be dismissed again, for the same reason.

Again, back at San Giacomo, his dedication was rewarded by his being made superintendent. Camillus devoted the rest of his life to the care of the sick. Along with Saint John of God he has been named patron of hospitals, nurses, and the sick. With the advice of his friend Saint Philip Neri, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained at the age of 34. Contrary to the advice of his friend, Camillus left San Giacomo and founded a congregation of his own. As superior, he devoted much of his own time to the care of the sick.

Charity was his first concern, but the physical aspects of the hospital also received his diligent attention. Camillus insisted on cleanliness and the technical competence of those who served the sick. The members of his community bound themselves to serve prisoners and persons infected by the plague as well as those dying in private homes. Some of his men were with troops fighting in Hungary and Croatia in 1595, forming the first recorded military field ambulance. In Naples, he and his men went onto the galleys that had plague and were not allowed to land. He discovered that there were people being buried alive, and ordered his brothers to continue the prayers for the dying 15 minutes after apparent death.

Camillus himself suffered the disease of his leg through his life. In his last illness, he left his own bed to see if other patients in the hospital needed help.


Reflection

Saints are created by God. Parents must indeed nurture the faith in their children; husbands and wives must cooperate to deepen their baptismal grace; friends must support each other. But all human effort is only the dispensing of divine power. We must all try as if everything depended on us. But only the power of God can fulfill the plan of God—to make us like himself.


Saint Camillus de Lellis is the Patron Saint of:

Hospitals
Nurses
Sick

 

 

What Jesus Did! ‘One Flock from Many Pastures’

Illustration of John 10:16 NLT — [Jesus said,] "I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd."

Key Thought

Jesus didn’t come to save only a few. He didn’t die just for one race or one people. He came for the entire world. His desire is for us to lay aside our differences and find our peace in him. When we listen to his voice, when he is our one true shepherd, then we can lie down in peace and trust one another.

Today’s Prayer

Father, I long for the day when all the barriers that divide the people of earth are gone, and we find joy and peace in your presence. I long for the time when all peoples can join with one voice to praise you for your grace, holiness, mercy, faithfulness, justice, righteousness, and might. Maranatha — come, O Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen

Related Scripture Readings

Morning & Evening: Morning Devo, Jul. 18th

Illustration of Joel 2:8 — "Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path."

Morning Thought

The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march. The Danites occupied the hindmost place, but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance. Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van. Some one must be hindmost in honour and esteem, some one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street, among degraded sinners, I will work on, and “go hindmost with my standard.”The Danites occupied a very useful place. Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field. Fiery spirits may dash forward over untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well engaged in reminding the church of her ancient faith, and restoring her fainting sons. Every position has its duties, and the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.

The rear guard is a place of danger. There are foes behind us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering, souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost. My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.

Evening Thought

Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the Lord has infused the spirit of order into his universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life. In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat out the vitals of the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties, one must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is ill to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise. It was to the Pharisee that Jesus said, “This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone.” The same rule applies to our personal position, we must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant’s domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among the brethren. Far from us be an envious, ambitious spirit, let us feel the force of the Master’s command, and do as he bids us, keeping rank with the rest of the host. To-night let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus, peace and order may prevail.
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Spirit of Order

They [locusts] do not jostle one another;
each marches in his path.
Joel 2:8

Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the angelic throng. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life.

In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another or feed off the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties. One must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is wrong to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise.

The same rule applies to our personal position. We must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant’s domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among our brothers and sisters. Let us say no to an envious, ambitious spirit; let us feel the force of the Master’s command and do as He bids us, keeping in step with the rest of the company. Tonight let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that in all the churches of the Lord Jesus peace and order may prevail.

 

 

 

Unlimited Potential
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
July 18, 2018

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”Philippians 4:13

What might God want to accomplish through you in your lifetime? As a workplace believer, you may yet have your greatest contribution to society. Such was the case of Cyrus McCormick, born in 1809. Raised on a farm by an inventor father, Cyrus McCormick sought to invent a mechanical reaper to harvest wheat. His father’s attempts at inventing a successful machine had failed until Cyrus, at 22, created one that worked. McCormick had to overcome many setbacks including the loss of his patent 14 years after his first invention. This opened up competition. Then, in 1837 he went bankrupt due to the bank panic of 1837. However, these setbacks did not prevent McCormick from achieving his goals.

He expanded his market by trying to sell his machine to European farmers in 1851. A long series of honors compensated for the lack of recognition and praise from his American compatriots. By 1856, he was not only a world figure but his factory produced more than 4,000 reapers a year.

McCormick was a committed believer. He lived during the time of D.L. Moody and gave $10,000 to Moody to start the Chicago YMCA in 1869. That building burned along with his Chicago factory in 1871. By this time, McCormick was over 60 and wealthy enough to retire. Before his death in 1884, he had given $100,000 to help open Moody Bible Institute. His son, Cyrus Jr., was to become the first chairman of the school’s board. Cyrus McCormick was a devoted Christian who passed his faith on to his son who later met up with J. Pierpoint Morgan to become the first president of a combined reaper firm, the famed International Harvester Corporation. [John Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1992), 328-331.]

What might God want to accomplish through your life? Surely you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

 

Obedience Tests
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
July 18, 2018

“They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which He had given their forefathers through Moses” (Judg. 3:4).

There is a spiritual truth God revealed in the conquest of the Promised Land recorded in Judges chapter 3: “These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan” (Judg 3:1-3).

They didn’t pass the test. “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs” ( Judg 3:7-8).

Martin Luther said there are three things necessary to create a successful minister of God: prayer, meditation, and temptation. You’ll really never know the strength and reality of your faith until you experience difficulty in life. You’ll never know for sure whether God can be trusted or if you’ll fall to temptation.

The apostle Peter thought his faith in Christ was solid until the temptation came to deny Him. Jesus knew Peter was not mature yet and that he would deny Jesus three times in one day. Peter didn’t believe it. Sure enough, Peter denied Jesus three times. Peter could not believe he could do such a terrible thing. In order to discover this about himself, he needed to be placed in a situation to reveal his true condition.

God allows circumstances to develop around your life to give your faith opportunity to be proven. It is only when we are tested in battle that we become skilled warriors. You can be confident God will allow trials to come your way through situations like an unreasonable boss, a client who refuses to pay, a false assault on your character, or a difficult relationship that requires unconditional love. These battles are sent your way to test what you know in the mind in order that they might become part of your heart.

If you fail the test, do not be overly concerned. Learn from it and grow through the experience just as Peter did.

 

 

 

National Hot Dog Day Changes Annually

NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has designated July as Hot Dog Month and for 2018 Wednesday, July 18 as National Hot Dog Day.

Over 25 million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year.

Whether they are grilled, boiled, broiled, pan-fried, rotisserie cooked, cooked on a stick over a campfire or any other way, hot dogs are a favorite summertime staple.  They are loved by children and adults alike plain or garnished with one or a combination of mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, bacon, chili, or sauerkraut.

On May 31, 2012, a world record was set for the most expensive hot dog. The “California Capitol City Dawg” sold for $145.49 at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California.  The “California Capitol City Dawg” features:

  • A grilled 18″ all-beef, in natural casing frank from Chicago
  • served on a fresh-baked herb and oil focaccia roll spread with white truffle butter, then grilled
  • topped with whole grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise
  • sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup
  • marinated/fruitwood smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire
  • chopped tomatoes, sweetened dried cranberries, chopped tomato
  • expensive moose cheese from Sweden
  • basil olive oil/pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette and ground peppercorn
  • Proceeds from the sale of each 3 lb. super dog were donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America – 100 million annually.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Have a hot dog and post on social media using #NationalHotDogDay to encourage others to join in.

HISTORY

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council created National Hot Dog Day.  The first National Hot Dog Day was established in 1991 to coincide with a hot dog lunch on Capitol Hill every year on the 3rd Wednesday in July.

 

 

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Happiness on a Hump-day!

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Daily Prayer for July 11

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. Hebrews 10:22, TEV

Lord our God, grant us true unity with your Son Jesus Christ, so that his power can be revealed in us and we may find new life in which we can truly serve you. Protect us from all error. Be among us with your Spirit to make us people who are genuine. Let your will be carried out more and more in this age. Let your will again intervene so that a new creation may come, a new heaven and a new earth, as we have been promised. May your name be great among us, may your kingdom come and everything in heaven and on earth be done according to your will. Amen.

 

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

feather19But if Christ is amongst us, then it is necessary that we sometimes yield up our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to have perfect knowledge of all things? Therefore trust not too much to thine own opinion, but be ready also to hear the opinions of others. Though thine own opinion be good, yet if for the love of God thou foregoest it, and followest that of another, thou shalt the more profit thereby.

Source: The Imitation of Christ

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Jeremiah 32:17

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

In the immense expanse of our universe, with its billions upon billions of stars, where our own tiny blue planet is but a small speck of sand on an inestimable seashore, God knows us each personally. Such knowledge it too wonderful to be true, and yet it is! God has shown us his love in Jesus to remind us that he not only knows us, but he cares for us and longs to bring us to himself.

My Prayer…

O Great God of the heavens, thank you for caring for me when I am such a small part of your great work in the universe. Your love is beyond my comprehension and yet it thrills me to know that in your grace one day I will see you face to face. In Jesus’ name I praise you. Amen.

 

 

 

<em>Patriarch of Western Monks</em> | Saint Benedict | photo by Lawrence, OP

Saint Benedict

Saint of the Day for July 11

(c. 480 – c. 547)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODJul11.mp3

 

Saint Benedict’s Story

It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognized in the later Dialogues of Saint Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.

Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome, and early in life was drawn to monasticism. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing world—pagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb.

He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose Benedict as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one “Grand Monastery” to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, and permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.

The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor, and living together in community under a common abbot. Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.

Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation encompassing the men and women of the Order of St. Benedict, and the Cistercians, men and women of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.


Reflection

The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.


Saint Benedict is the Patron Saint of:

Europe
Kidney Disease
Monks
Poisoning
Schoolchildren

 

 

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Our First Duty

Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation.
Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land: The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the Gospel and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty; we are to begin at the family hearth: He is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe to those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements.

To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers or other friendly helpers. These can assist us but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; substitutes and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High.

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is better fitted to look after the child’s well-being than those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our children is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots empty religion is secretly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is routinely neglected—namely, the instruction of our children in the faith. It is time for parents to awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive His smile.

 

 

By Love Transformed

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. —Luke 4:14

This is a very interesting verse because it shows us that it was the Spirit that enabled Jesus to do all that He did. Similarly Luke 5:17 says, “One day as he was teaching, the Pharisees and teachers of the law … were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal them.” It was the power of the Holy Spirit that enabled Him. This is a hint to all of us.

Our difficulty is that we want to hold on to our own gift. I have observed time and again some very talented people not being used because they wanted the praise of men. I have noticed ministers who had a marvelous gift but who were so afraid that it would not be recognized that their pride destroyed them. It could happen to any of us.

But with Jesus, He actually said, “The Son can do nothing by Himself.” That meant that the Holy Spirit vindicated Jesus. Do you want the Holy Spirit to use you? Then let the Spirit do it.

Jesus received His joy from the Holy Spirit. This is the reason He was able to handle rejection. This is why He could cope with the way people talked about Him. He did not take it personally; He knew it was their problem, because His joy was from the Spirit. Finally, on the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came down, Jesus was vindicated again.

This could happen because the essential function of the work of the Spirit is to point men to Christ. Therefore, after Peter said, “God has made this Jesus … both Lord and Christ,” great conviction swept over the crowd and they began to cry, “What shall we do?” Three thousand were converted, and all because of the Spirit’s power.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

 

 

What Jesus Did! ‘The Shepherd Uses the Gate’

Illustration of John 10:1-2 NLT — "I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!"

[Jesus said,] “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”

Key Thought

If you want to know the attributes of God’s shepherd, John 10 is the chapter for you. Of course, the ultimate Shepherd is God, and Jesus comes to us as God in human flesh. Jesus didn’t sneak into a leadership position or hide himself and run some subversive movement. Instead, he publicly ministered to God’s people in open sight. There were no secret meetings to determine policy and no clandestine rendezvous to plan the overthrow of the current leadership. Instead, Jesus did what he did openly before the people and in the presence of God. Any other way and any other shepherd are not to be trusted.

Today’s Prayer

Father, bless me as I follow Jesus as my Shepherd. Thank you for his public ministry before the people. Thank you for sharing that ministry through the Gospels in the Bible. In Jesus’ name, I thank you. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

 

 

 

All American Pet Photo Day July 11

ALL AMERICAN PET PHOTO DAY

All American Pet Photo Day is observed annually on July 11th.  Charge your camera and be prepared to take adorable pictures of your pets!  Whether they are four-legged furry kind or come from more serpentine of the animal species, click away.  Fishes and birds, pigs and equine, canine and feline should all get in line for their favorite pose.  If they are friends, take a few snapshots of them together!  On All American Pet Photo Day, every pet gets included.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Dress them up, take them to the park, set them in a chair, put them on a fancy pillow or whatever your imagination creates for a special photograph of your loved ones.  Post on social media using #AllAmericanPetPhotoDay.

HISTORY

Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of All American Pet Photo Day.

 

 

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Midway…

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Daily Prayer for June 20

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:8–9, NIV

Lord God Almighty, bring in the day, the day of Jesus Christ, through whom we shall be united. Then we shall recognize each other as fellow citizens, as brothers and sisters, and we shall have peace on earth. Give your Spirit anew, O Lord our God. Free and enlighten every heart so that each person can acknowledge the Word you have given and hold fast to all your promises, even in dark and troubled times. Be with us. Be with our people. Help us in our times, O Lord God. We wait for you. We await your peace, a new peace – not the old peace, not a return to comfort and selfish desires, but your peace – which shall bring us into the life of heaven, where we find Jesus Christ, the Living One, our Shepherd and Leader. Amen.

 

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

red and green leavesUnless we have community in the body, in things material, we will never have it in spiritual matters. We are not mere spirits. We are human beings of flesh and blood. Every day we need to eat. We need clothing for every season. We must share our tools; we must work together; we must work communally and not each for himself. Otherwise we can never become one in the love of Christ, can never become the flock, the community of Jesus, which stands up in the world and says, “Now things must become quite different. Now individuals must stop living for themselves. Now a society of brothers and sisters must arise.”

Source: Action in Waiting

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Mark 8:36

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

We chase after so many different things. Only one thing is needful. Having a fist full of dollars, a great estate, and lots of prestige doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’ve gone to your ultimate address without the Lord. Even worse is to find that in the middle of your busy-ness, you awake to find yourself in the barren land where Christ does not dwell and life is not found. Let’s not lose our life, our soul, our meaning, chasing after what is not lasting.

My Prayer…

Father, help me to keep my priorities right, my life holy, and my heart open to your will rather than being blinded with my own self-seeking. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

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4 Great Bible Verses To Read When You’re Doubting God

Have you or someone you know had time where God seems silent, and so much so that you begin to doubt Him? If so, here are four great Bible verses to read when you doubt God.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

If God had not encouraged Joshua after Moses’ death, then Joshua may not have had the courage to take over the leadership of Israel, especially following what is considered the greatest leader of the Jews (save, Jesus Christ of course). If you know someone who is experiencing a time of doubt in the goodness of God, please share some of these Bible quotes with them, because they’re not just the Word of God, they are the truth, and what is true never changes, just like the promises of God which included His never leaving us or forsaking us (Heb 13:5), even when we do for a season. It might give them some reassurance, and perhaps the peace of God which only He can give. It should give you some peace of mind.

John 16:22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Only later would the disciples see that this came true. On the day Jesus died, they had lost all hope for like the Jews, they had thought the Messiah would come to rule, not live and be crucified. That would be the last thing they expected, but if not for Jesus sinless life, death, and resurrection, we wouldn’t have the gospel (2 Cor 15:1-3) or the opportunity for eternal life (John 3:16), so we can’t always trust what we see, but we can always trust what God says. For example, Solomon wrote, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Prov 3:5-6).

Psalm 50:15 “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

In the economy of God, nothing goes to waste, and even Joseph understood that, tell his brothers “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen 50:20). The Apostle Paul would suggest that we can “know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28), and it’s nothing to compare with the glory that’s coming with Christ (Rom 8:18). Do you want to have God more clearly manifest Himself to you? I do. Jesus says that it is a cause and effect, saying, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). For Thomas, seeing was believing, but it should not be so with us. Jesus, in rebuking Thomas’s lack of faith told him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). This is all the more reason to “not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The promise of no more separation from God and no more separation being possible because of God, so we are to “be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me” (Heb 13:5b-6)? Why fear when we have God’s Word on it that someday, God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). The disciples were troubled by Jesus’ leaving and feeling a sense of loss, so Jesus reminded them that it was only temporary, saying, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19), so “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). And the peace of God “surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). It is as the Apostle Peter wrote: “For it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame” (1 Pet 2:6). The last time I checked, that cornerstone was still standing, and like the Word of God, He abides forever.

Conclusion

What Bible verse might you add to someone who is having a season of doubt? What verses help you in times where it seems God is silent? Are there some chapters you automatically turn to when you feel like you beginning to have doubts? Jude comes to my mind he wrote about those who may have been experiencing a time of doubt. He wrote, “And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 1:22-23).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 Stained glass window of Saint Paulinus | photo by Tiroler Glasmalerei

Saint Paulinus of Nola

Saint of the Day for June 20

(354 – June 22, 431)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODJun20.mp3

 

Saint Paulinus of Nola’s Story

Anyone who is praised in the letters of six or seven saints undoubtedly must be of extraordinary character. Such a person was Paulinus of Nola, correspondent and friend of Saints Augustine, Jerome, Melania, Martin, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose.

Born near Bordeaux, he was the son of the Roman prefect of Gaul, who had extensive property in both Gaul and Italy. Paulinus became a distinguished lawyer, holding several public offices in the Roman Empire. With his Spanish wife, Therasia, he retired at an early age to a life of cultured leisure.

The two were baptized by the saintly bishop of Bordeaux and moved to Therasia’s estate in Spain. After many childless years, they had a son who died a week after birth. This occasioned their beginning a life of great austerity and charity, giving away most of their Spanish property. Possibly as a result of this great example, Paulinus was rather unexpectedly ordained a priest at Christmas by the bishop of Barcelona.

He and his wife then moved to Nola, near Naples. He had a great love for Saint Felix of Nola, and spent much effort in promoting devotion to this saint. Paulinus gave away most of his remaining property—to the consternation of his relatives—and continued his work for the poor. Supporting a host of debtors, the homeless and other needy people, he lived a monastic life in another part of his home. By popular demand he was made bishop of Nola and guided that diocese for 21 years.

Paulinus’ last years were saddened by the invasion of the Huns. Among his few writings is the earliest extant Christian wedding song. His Liturgical Feast Day is June 22.


Reflection

Many of us are tempted to “retire” early in life, after an initial burst of energy. Devotion to Christ and his work is waiting to be done all around us. Paulinus’ life had scarcely begun when he thought it was over, as he took his ease on that estate in Spain. “Man proposes, but God disposes.”

 

 

 

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Immediately

And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:18

When they heard the call of Jesus, Simon and Andrew obeyed at once without hesitation. If we did likewise and punctually with resolute zeal put into practice what we hear immediately, then our attendance at the means of grace and our reading of good books could not fail to enrich us spiritually. He will not lose his loaf who has taken care to eat it immediately; neither can he be deprived of the benefit of the doctrine who has already acted upon it. Most readers and hearers become moved to decide to take action; but sadly, the proposal is a blossom that has not flowered, and as a result no fruit comes from it; they wait, they waver, and then they forget, until, like the ponds on frosty nights, when the sun shines by day, they are only thawed in time to be frozen again.

That fatal tomorrow is blood-red with the murder of good resolutions; it is the slaughterhouse of the innocents. We are very concerned that our little book of “Evening Readings” should not be fruitless, and therefore we pray that readers may not be readers only, but doers of the Word.The practice of truth is the fruit of profitable reading.

Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him be quick to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets and all that he has rather than be found rebellious to the Master’s call. Do not give place to the devil by delay! Act while opportunity and desire are working in happy partnership. Do not be caught in your own nets, but break the meshes of worldliness, and go where glory calls you. Happy is the writer who will meet with readers resolved to carry out his teachings: His harvest will be a hundredfold, and his Master will have great honor. We can only pray that this might be our reward from these brief meditations and hurried hints. Grant it, O Lord, to Your servant!

 

 

Being Fully Persuaded
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
June 20, 2018

“Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” – Romans 4:21

Why did God consider Abraham a righteous man? It was because Abraham looked beyond his own limitations of age and strength and considered God as the one who could accomplish His own goals. Abraham came to a place in his life where he realized it had little to do with him and all to do with God. His part was initiating the faith within himself.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God (Romans 4:18-20).

What are the things in your life that are mere impossibilities? What are the mountains in your life? Are these there in order to build your faith in the one who can enable you to ascend to the peak? Once you know that it is His will for you to pursue, do it with faith. Faith requires action when we know it is He who is leading. It may require risk. Faith is sometimes spelled R-I-S-K. Abraham did not limit God. It is this confidence in God that God honored and rewarded. He wants to do the same with you and me.

 

 

National American Eagle Day June 20

NATIONAL AMERICAN EAGLE DAY

Observed each year on June 20th is National American Eagle Day.  This day is set aside to honor our national symbol, raise awareness for protecting the Bald Eagle, assist in the recovery of their natural environments and take part in educational outreach.

The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States of America and appears on its Seal.

In the latter 20th century, the Bald Eagle was on the brink of extinction in the continental United States.  Eventually, populations recovered and on July 12, 1995, the species was removed from the U.S. Federal Government’s List of Endangered Species and transferred to the List of Threatened Species. On June 2007, it was withdrawn from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States.

The Bald Eagle’s range includes most of Canada, Alaska, all of the contiguous United States and northern Mexico.  They can be found near large bodies of open water where there is an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

Opportunistic feeders, Bald Eagles survive mainly on fish, swooping down and snatching them from the water.  Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species. The largest recorded eagle’s nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It measured 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.  It weighed in at nearly 3 tons.

The name “Bald Eagle” derives from an older meaning of “white headed” as the bird is actually not bald.  The adult eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail.

HOW TO OBSERVE

For more information on National American Eagle Day visit www.eagles.org.  Use #NationalAmericanEagleDay to share on social media.

HISTORY

National American Eagle Day is sponsored by The American Eagle Foundation.

 

 

 

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