A Cry for Help

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust." For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday...... Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them

Would I Do the Same?

Read Mark 5:1-20 The story of how Jesus heals the Gerasene Demonic. " Those who had seen what had happened to the demonic and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood." Mark 5:16-17 (NRSV) Cassius Rhue is from South Carolina. Each time he reads today's verse, he finds himself in stunned disbelief. Despite another wonderful and amazing miracle, the crowd still didn't want to accept Jesus and emphatically asked him to leave. [Why would they want Jesus to leave when he had healed a demon-possessed man and cast out a legion of evil spirits? Why would they reject the presence of Christ?] Recently as Cassius read those verses, he had a different question?

God's Call

But Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." Then the Lord said to him, "Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak." But he said, "O my Lord, please send someone else." Exodus 4: 10-13 (NRSV) Janice Hagood LeMaster comes from Alabama. Several years ago, at the request of their small church, their minister led them through a Bible study that offered insight into energizing and growing their congregation and helping members to t

The First Place

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34: 4-7 (NRSV) When Webb Smith, from Georgia, was eight years old, he remembers helping his father search for his lost keys. As his frustration mounted, his father asked, "Why is it that whenever you lose something, it's always in the last place you look?" With a sly grin, he added, "Because once you find it, you stop looking." Webb thought this was a hilarious observation. From that moment

Compassion

Soon afterwards he (Jesus) went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother's only son, and she was a widow, and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, rise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen among us!" and "God has looked favorably on his people!" L

Loved So Much

God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:15-19 (NRSV) Jenny Young's first grandson, Zachary, was born almost seven years ago on the other side of the world. He suffered brain damage at birt

Aging with Grace

"With what shall i came before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8 Recently Virginia Jelinek, from Pennsylvania, turned 73. During the previous year, she had begun to feel life shifting. Her body was aging - her strength, energy, and endurance lessening. She had to give up

Everyday Opportunities

Read Acts 26:12-18 The Conversion of Paul And he (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." Mark 16:15 (NRSV) Carolyn Strickland, from Florida, and her husband had placed their phone number on a "do not call" list, but, despite this, they still receive multiple telemarketing calls each day. One day, her husband said, "What if we turned these calls into a stage to reach out to those who don't know Jesus?" After praying about it, they decided to tell solicitors that they would listen to their spiel but that they wanted to say something to them first. They would ask the callers whether they had a relationship with Jesus, and we would discuss

See the Face of God

Esau said, What do you mean by all this company that I met?" Jacob answered, "To find favor with my lord." Esau said, "I have enough, my brother, keep what you have for yourself." Jacob said, "No, please; if i find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God - since you have received me with such favor. Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want." So he urged him, and he took it. Genesis 33:8-11 (NRSV) Growing up, Jack Stanley, from Florida, was no saint - any more than Esau. His younger brother was not a devil - any more than Jacob. Like all si

Whatever We Do

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do,; in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17 (NRSV) In January of 1959, Gordon B. Rose, from Indiana, was a relatively new Christian and was checking in at his new assignment at Osan Air Force Base in Korea. As an Airman Second Class he had two stripes on his sleeve. The Tech Sergeant who was also checking in had five, showing he outranke

Ourselves or Others?

Read Luke 10:29-37 - The story of the good Samaritan You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scriptures, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." James 2:8 (NRSV) Frances K. Griffin, from Oklahoma, was teaching English as a Second Language to college-age students who were preparing to enter a university in the U.S. One day the class was learning to use the reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, himself, etc.), and students were practicing by filling in the blanks in sentences in their workbook. The Sentence "God helps those who help _______________" confused one of Frances's students. When he came up after class to ask her for the answer, Frances told him that this

"I Am Still Here"

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145: 1-3 (NRSV) So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NRSV) Ann Vernon, from Missouri, and her husband needed some work done on their home, so they selected a repairman to do the job. When the man came to the house, he proved to be very professional. His bid was reasonable, and they like that he was soft-spoken and kind. As h

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