Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sometimes You Just Help Them Cry

Sometimes we feel all alone. Even in a crowd we can feel so disconnected. As Christians we should look for opportunities to rejoice with others and sometimes to help them through difficult times.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who Rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

I read a story about a young boy who would go next door and visit with an older couple every day. They loved to see him coming and would play games, sit on the front porch and eat ice cream. The lady became ill and had to be hospitalized. The Young boy would go over to visit but each day there was no one home. After a long illness the lady passed away. The young boy saw the old man sitting on the porch alone and asked his mother if it would be OK to go over and visit. After a little while the mother looked over and saw her son just sitting on the old man's lap and rocking. When he came home she asked him what he said to the man. He looked up and said... nothing mom I just sat there and helped him cry. Sometimes that is all we can do and many times it is all we need to do.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Today....but not for long

The Sun is Rising and it is a Brand New Day, the first day of a Brand New Week. What will you do with it? What will you accomplish? I am not talking about things on a To DO list or a PDA or a Day Planner. I am not referring to appointments , schedules, and deadlines. I am talking about God's plan for your day and your week. That usually involves people not paper. There are people God wants you to interact with today. To call or visit. Someonne you know is sick and in the hospital. There is an old friend you have not talked to for a while. A new person is working in your office or area and you have not introduced yourself yet.

In Luke 19:5 Jesus was passing through Jericho and there was a man who had climbed a tree to get a look at him. When Jesus passed it would be His last time beacuse He was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified. I am sure He had a great deal on His mind but in verse 5 of that chapter Jesus looked up and saw the man in the tree and said " Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." He went and spent some time with Zaccheus and his friends and it changed their lives forever. How do you know who it is that you are to call, visit, write too? It's easy when you were reading this devotion TODAY someone came to your mind. Who was it? That is the person. Do it today because before you know it this day and this week...........will be gone forever.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Is There a Man in the Moon?

I see the moon
The moon sees me
The moon sees somebody
I want to see

God bless the moon
God bless me
And God bless the somebody
I want to see
(Author Unknown)

In July 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the first human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface. Some thought this historic event might dispel much of our fascination with the moon but that has proved not to be true. The moon still inspires love songs and moonlit walks by lovers. We still refer to full moons, new moons, blue moons, and harvest moons. Crops are planted by the waxing or waning of the moon. Ocean tides are affected by the moon's pull on Earth's gravity. Only God knows the full impact of the moon on our planet and our human psyches.

When we are separated from friends and family by distance or time (many moons), it can be comforting to know that the same moon we gaze upon is also visible to them, no matter where in the world they may be. It is even more comforting to know that the God who placed the moon in the sky has His eye on us and those who are dear to our hearts. Just as God gave us the moon to illuminate the darkness of night, He gives us the light of His presence to banish the darkness of sin from our lives. Neil Armstrong's footprints may be on the moon, but God's fingerprints were there first. The moon is only one reminder of His majesty and His care for mankind.

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him." (Psalm 82:3-4, NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that as the moon sheds its light over all the earth, so does your love shed itself abroad in our hearts. Help us to be mindful of your sovereignty and your deep, personal interest in all the affairs of man. Amen.

--Hazel King, Writer/Photographer (Copyright 2008)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Having a Bad Day?

Well then check these folks out. These pictures came from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Ike. Sometimes we wake up and gas is 4.00 a gallon, car won't start, can not find your favorite blouse or shoes or keys. Alarm did not go off. Missed an appointment. Had a disagreement with our spouse. All major problems until we see pictures like this. Then it sort of puts things in perspective, but not really. What would put it in perspective is if these pictures were our homes, our families, our neighborhoods. This might be a good time to stop and pray and thank God for the Blessings of life, to ask forgiveness for complaining about the minor inconveniences when others are struggling so hard. What should we do when we encounter problems large or small.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Paul wrote these words. Some may ask ; Well what does he know about difficult times and suffering? Good question. I am not sure but, I do know that he wrote these words from Rome in prison while he was waiting to be executed by Nero, and he was executed. So let's get busy praying, helping, listening, caring. As someone has said...Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gone Fishing

Mark 1:17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."
Jesus called twelve Disciples and at least half of them were Fisherman. Why? I think it might be because of the qualities fisherman have. They are hard working. I am not talking about casting a rod and reel on a lazy day hoping to get a bite. I am talking about the kind of toughness we see on the Reality Show
"Deadliest Catch" Also, it requires real commitment. If you don't catch anything after fishing all night you go back out the next night and try again. What about us? How committed are we to the task of fishing for men. Do we do it only if its convenient, won't cost us anything, don't have to risk failure or worse yet rejection. When Jesus called them notice their response in verse 18 And they immediately left the nets and followed Him.
Christ has also called us to be fishers of men. So let us commit ourselves to the task at hand. Open our eyes and look for the opportunities to tell people about Jesus. Open our ears and listen for people who desperately need the Savior. Open our hearts and let the love of Christ flow through us so that others will see what a difference Christ has made in us and, last but not least, open our Church Doors to include people who don't dress just like we dress, talk just like we talk, think quite like we think. They might not look attractive to us but just remember in the Kingdom of God they are all keepers there are no trash fish. Good Luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Noah and the Rainbow

This Devotion was written by Stanley Edwards. He is a Deacon at Anchor Baptist Church:

The ark was safely on dry ground again. A few minutes before, it was filled with growling, barking, honking, purring animals. Now the door was wide open and the giant boat sat on a mountain top, all empty and quiet (what a mess how would you like to clean up that boat). All the animals had rushed out the door to fill the earth again
God was pleased with Noah. But most of all, God was pleased that Noah was truly thankful. And so God made this promise to Noah,
Genesis 9:8-11 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."
God also knew that one day he would send his Son to save us. God saved Noah’s family and he can save your family to show us that he has the power to save us all, and one day bring us to a new life with him in heaven.And then God said to Noah, "Look up in the sky."Noah looked up. The storm clouds were drifting away, the bright sun was shining against Noah's back. And against the dark grey sky, God made a brilliant rainbow appear. God said to Noah
Genesis 9:13-16 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.
So, the next time you see a rainbow, think of Noah and the flood. Remember that God loves you, and that no matter how bad the storm, there will always come a bright new day. That is God's promise, and God always keeps his promises.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Someone is Watching Over You

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
As a new week begins it is good to know Christ is watching over us. You may have big decisions to make this week..He will help you. There may be unexpected things that happen and turn your world upside down...He will be there. This passage in Psalms tells us that Christ is watching and will give us counsel good advice from pure motives. It would be a good idea to stop right now and thank God for his protection, for watching over us, for being there when others are not. So, if your stuck in traffic, overwhelmed by e-mails and phone calls, wake up in the middle of the night with something on your mind, or just standing at the crossroads of your life looking down two paths wondering which one to choose remember...Someone is watching over you. The one that watches you, and loves you created the Universe. I think you will be OK. Have a great week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Up the Creek Without a Paddle

This devotion was written by a good friend of mine. She also took the photo. I invite you to submit your own devotion, with or without photo. In the meantime, enjoy Hazel's devotion. -- Jeff Nichols

During a recent family reunion, we visited an old wooden covered bridge near where my mother grew up in Georgia. While there, a sudden summer storm brought heavy rain. We waited it out in the bridge. This photo was taken through a window opening while the rain was pouring down, giving a misty, mystic quality to the scene. Our lives are sometimes like that. We may feel like we're "up the creek without a paddle" when circumstances of life overwhelm us. We may not be able to see clearly for the fog and rain of illness or emotional pain. Yet the unseen current of God's grace carries us along, around and over obstacles such as loss or failure. Just as the creek inevitably reaches its destination and merges with greater waters of the river, so will we reach our destiny of eternal life if we trust in God. If we cling to His promises, He will not allow the waters to overcome us or the storms destroy our boat. It is His care and provision that guide us safely to shore.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown." (Isaiah 43:2a)

Prayer: God, help us to keep our eyes on you when rivers of trouble overwhelm us. Let us not be overcome, but let us be overcomers through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

--Hazel King

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Big is Your Giant?

I believe most of us have heard the story of David and Goliath. A small boy who defeated a Giant in battle. Maybe he felt like the little guy in this picture. I doubt we will be called on to wrestle a guy like this today but we will face giants. Sometimes our problems seem to BIG to overcome. The Challenges we face seem overwhelming. These giants come in all shapes and sizes...bills, pink slips, sickness, relationships, addictions, co-workers, family, phone calls in the middle of the night, biopsy reports. There are some lessons we can learn from David when it comes to Giant problems. The Israelites saw how big Goliath was in comparison to them. David, on the other hand, saw how small Goliath was compared to God. We must focus on God and not on the problem. They thought Goliath was too big to hit. David thought he was too big to miss. I remember a story of a mouse riding across a bridge on top of an Elephant. After they crossed the mouse looked back and said " WE really did shake that bridge, didn't we?" Just remember, there is nothing you will face today that God has not seen before. Together you can overcome anything. Focus on God today and not the Giant. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength." NCV

Today's Question: If you would like to answer please click the comment link below and then click name or anonymous and write your answer. Include your name with your answer and I will give you credit for it.

How tall was Goliath?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

God Does Not Live Here......So Where Does He Live

This is a Magnificent Building. Actually it is a Church. Some make the mistake of calling a Church God's House implying that He lives there, resides there and we visit Him at His House on Sundays. However the Bible is clear that God does not reside in houses made by human hands. So where does He live? The scripture is also clear about that. I Corinthians Chapter 3:9 says that you are God's building. He lives in you. In Corinthians 3:16 it says that you are the temple of God, that the spirit of God dwells, resides, lives in you. He goes where you go, hears what you hear, sees what you see. He wants to live in you but will only move in by personal invitation. Revelation 3:20. There used to be a rhyme that we recited as kids that included hand motions. It goes like this:

Here's the Church
Here's the Steeple
Open the doors and
Here's all the people.

With the help of a good friend of mine who has since gone to heaven we changed it to be more Biblically correct.

Here's the Building
Here's the Steeple
Open the Doors
The Church is the People

If you are not sure how to invite Christ into your life so that He can live in you feel free to contact me nc_jeff@hotmail.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can You Relate?

Ever feel like this? May not look like it on the outside but sometimes we feel like it on the inside. Worn out, Overworked, Under appreciated. Where do you turn? What do you do?
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Looking at the news yesterday the DOW fell over 500 points. That is bad but what about the train wreck in L.A. this weekend over 20 people were killed. That is bad but what about Haiti trying to recover from two hurricanes. Thousands left without anything at all. No water to drink, no food, no medical help. We don't have to look very far to find people who are hurting. I will not put my trust in temporary worldly things. No matter what is going on we should turn to God. He is our Refuge and Strength. Remember....Joy is not the absence of trouble but the presence of God

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Do You Say?

When I was growing up and an adult would give me a cookie or a quarter my Mother would always say, "What Do You Say?" I learned that the answer was Thank You. It became a habit in my life. I have noticed today that people don't use that word as much as they used to, and children especially. It is good to thank you when someone gives you something or does something nice for you. There is a story in Luke Chapter 17 beginning in verse 12 about ten lepers who came to Jesus to be healed. He did heal them and they went away. Only one of them came back to say thank you. As you begin today and look at your family and friends and God's Blessings. The beauty of His creation, the wonder of nature and life itself.......What Do You Say? Take time to say Thank You to the one who loves you so much He would give His life for you , and He did.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not Just Another Face in the Crowd

Some times it feels as though God does not even know we are here. That He is not aware of what we are going through. There are over 5 Billion people on the planet can He possibly know about me? Luke 15 tells about a Shepherd that has 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. He still has 99 why would he be concerned about just one and yet he is. The story says that he leaves the 99 and looks for the one until he finds it. Luke 12:7 says God has even numbered the hairs on our head. He knows everything about us. Where we are , what we are going through, and most of all what is best for us. We, like the sheep, simply need to trust. As David tells us in Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. You are not just another face in the crowd. You are the person that Christ went to the Cross for. How could we think He does not care.

Question of the day.

What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
Click on comments , then anonymous or name and give me your answer.

Answer to yesterdays question.....52 days

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeling All Alone?.......September 11,2008

Sometimes we feel like we are all alone, even in a crowd. It is a though no one knows us or really cares about what is happening in our lives. God does care and He sent Christ to us so that we would know we were not alone. He said He would never leave us or forsake us.
John 16:32 Jesus said " I am not alone because the Father is with me.
It is a great comfort to know that I am never alone . Christ is closer to me that my next breath. If I wake up in the middle of the night He is there to hear my prayer. When no one else seems to be concerned we view the Cross and know Christ is concerned even enough to give His life for us.
Whenever I begin to feel alone I remember the words to a great Hymn:
He Lives He Lives Christ Jesus Lives today,
He Walks with me and talks with me
along life's narrow way,
He Lives He Lives Salvation to impart,
You ask how I know He lives,
He Lives within my Heart.
Today I am beginning something new. A question of the day. To answer click the comment tab below. Then check name or anonymous. Then enter your answer. I will give the correct answer tomorrow.
Question: How many days did it take Nehemiah to complete to complete the wall around Jerusalem?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wake Up.....9/10/2008

Luke 22:46 (Today's New International Version)
46 "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
It is important that we have daily prayer. Praying was the only thing the Disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them how to do. Luke 11:1
There are many times in the New Testament we find Jesus praying. When do you pray? Some try to pray at night when they go to bed and find themselves like the little guy in this picture. We wake up and wonder where were we in our prayer. Try praying in the morning, when you are driving, (don't close your eyes though) in the middle of the night when you wake up. Maybe God is trying to get your attention and tell you something. You choose the time but, it is important to develop a daily prayer life.
Remember there are two times to pray...when you feel like it, and when you don't.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If You Feel Froggy...Jump 9/9/2008

I used to have a friend that would say " There are Talkers and Doers which one are you?" I have found that to be true in my life. There are those people who talk a good game and then there are those who back up their words with action. In the Church there are many jobs that need doing and all to few who JUMP in and do them.

James 4:17 Therefore, to the one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

We all to often talk about about the sins of Commission but we neglect to mention the sins of Omission. Knowing the right thing to do and not doing it. Our Churches are full of gifted qualified people who sit instead of serve. Church is not a spectator sport we are to participate. So find out where you can help, what you can do, how you can contribute, and JUMP in.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Just click on the comment tab and then the anonymous or name tab and write your comments. Thank You

Monday, September 8, 2008

What is This Guy Thinking About?...9/8/2008

Looks like he is deep in thought but it is hard to know what he is thinking about. Maybe he is thinking " I need a haircut" or, " No more Monkey business for me." Who knows? It's also hard for people to know what we are thinking or what is going on in our lives just from looking at the exterior. Americans spend a great deal of time and money on the exterior or the image. Clothes, make-up, right car, house, personal trainer, etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these things as long as we understand the inside, our thoughts, our hearts, that is what's important.
I Samuel 16:7 says that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.
In other words looking good is not as near as important as being good. Maybe that's what the guy in the picture is thinking. You have to admit... He is looking good.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pray For Others....Friday September 5, 2008

As the sun sets tonight here in Wilmington it is sunny and calm but, tomorrow Tropical Storm Hanna will come though our area. It appears we will get some rain and wind but nothing too serious. However, behind this storm is Ike a Major Hurricane. Everyone is interested in the path of the storm. Why, because they want to know how it will affect them personally. When we hear that there will be layoffs at work and our first thought is ...will it be me? It's only natural but at the same time we should be praying and thinking about others. Today pray for the people in the Caribbean that may be in the path of Ike. Pray for people who are losing their jobs, going through hard times, in the hospital. Pray and think about others today. Remind yourself that it's not always about me. Jesus is our example. He died for us. He who had no sin died for us who were born in sin. We must think of, pray for, reach out to others.

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So Peaceful.......Thursday September 4, 2008

When I saw this picture it looked so peaceful. As I look out my window this morning in Wilmington North Carolina the sun is shinning and it is a beautiful day. But off the coast there are three storms brewing. Hanna, Ike, and Josephine. In our lives it may seem peaceful today but ahead are storms named Failure, Divorce, Depression, Sickness, etc. These storms may or may not make it to the shores of our lives but if they do it is go to know that we serve a God of Peace. The presence of Christ in our life can bring us peace when the storms of life are raging. An assurance that the Creator of the Universe resides in me. There is nothing in my life that will happen today that God can not handle. That is a comforting thought to me. "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it."

Philippians 4:7 And the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's Not If But When...September 2, 2008

Gustav is passing and Hanna is coming. That is the way it is with storms. They come and they go. It is not a matter of if but when another storm will come. In Matthew Chapter 8 we read the story of a fierce storm catching the Disciples at sea. Matthew 8:24 And behold there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was sleeping. Jesus was in the boat asleep. What terrifies us many times does not bother Christ at all. Why, because He is able to calm the storm. If you find yourself in the middle of a storm instead of panicking I suggest speaking to the one who is able to calm the storm. If we spent as much time praying as we do worrying our life would go much better. So check the weather channel and then read Matthew 8:23-27