Good Example

2 Timothy 4: 9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

The apostle Paul knew the value of good friends: Silas partnered with him in establishing new churches; Barnabas encouraged him in his ministry; and Timothy became like a son to him. Paul also knew the heartache of co-laborers turning away from him when times got tough (2 Tim. 1:15). We may experience something similar in our life.

People will have a variety of reactions to our struggles. Some feel inadequate and hold back because they are uncertain about what to say or do. Others are so protective of their time that selfishness causes them to turn away. And sometimes our friends and co-workers do not want to be identified with us in our trials. In my early days as a pastor, this happened to me when the church was going through a period of turmoil. Only two pastors reached out to me and offered support; the others stood back. This experience taught me the importance of reaching out to people in crisis.

Helping others requires an investment of time and energy. We start by praying for them and asking the Lord how we can help. He may have us lend emotional support, provide spiritual guidance, offer assistance in a physical or financial way, or find others who can. Standing with people will encourage them.

When friends abandoned him, Paul asked God not to count their actions against them (4:16). He followed the example of Jesus, who prayed for the Father to forgive His persecutors. What’s your response when friends let you down? Forgiveness is the choice that pleases God every time.

True Friends

By Alyson Kieda

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

In high school, I had a “sometimes friend.” We were “buddies” at our church, and we occasionally hung out together outside of school. But at school, it was a different story. If she met me by herself, she might say hello; but only if no one else was around. Realizing this, I rarely tried to gain her attention within school walls. I knew the limits of our friendship.

We’ve probably all experienced the pain of disappointingly one-sided or narrow friendships. But there’s another kind of friendship—one that extends beyond all boundaries. It’s the kind of friendship we have with kindred spirits who are committed to sharing life’s journey with us.

David and Jonathan were such friends. Jonathan was “one in spirit” with David and loved him “as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1–3). Although Jonathan would have been next in line to rule after his father Saul’s death, he was loyal to David, God’s chosen replacement. Jonathan even helped David to evade two of Saul’s plots to kill him (19:1–6; 20:1–42).

Despite all odds, Jonathan and David remained friends—pointing to the truth of Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times.” Their faithful friendship also gives us a glimpse of the loving relationship God has with us (John 3:16; 15:15). Through friendships like theirs, our understanding of God’s love is deepened.

Praise God and thank him for the friends he has placed in our lives. Isn’t it comforting to know that He is our truest friend?

Heavenly Father, we long for friends. Please open up doors to true, lasting, and God-centered friendships.

Our Daily Bread 

Friday Funnies

NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

I had a near-death experience that has changed me forever. I went horseback riding. Everything was going fine until the horse started bucking out of control. I tried with all my might to hang on, but was thrown off.

Just when things could not possibly have gotten worse, my foot got caught in the stirrup. When this happened, I fell head-first to the ground. My head bounced along the ground as the horse did not stop or even slow down. I was about to give up hope, and I started losing consciousness.

Fortunately, someone saw what was happening, and they got the manager of the Wal-Mart, who unplugged the thing!

OOPS WE DIDN’T COORDINATE A preacher was winding up his temperance sermon with great fervor:

“If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

And the congregation cried, “Amen!”

“And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it in the river.”

And the congregation cried, “Amen!”

“And if I had all the whiskey and demon rum in the world, I’d take it all and throw it in the river.”

And the congregation cried, “Hallelujah!”

The preacher sat down.

The song leader stood up very tentatively and announced: “For our closing song, let us sing hymn #365, ‘Shall we gather at the river.'”

PARENT/ TEACHER CONFERENCE

Teacher: Well, there is one good thing I can say about your son.

Parent: What is that?

Teacher: With grades like these, he couldn’t be cheating.

Prayers of Gratitude

By Charles Stanley

Prayer is the amazing privilege of entering into God’s throne room. The Creator and Ruler of the universe actually invites us to communicate with Him. Typically, our prayers consist of petitions, intercession, confession, praise, and thanksgiving.

Which of these five aspects of prayer consumes most of the time you spend talking with the Father? If you’re like many believers, you’d have to admit that thanksgiving isn’t at the top of the list. And there are several reasons why this could be true.

Whatever fills our minds is also what dominates our prayers. If we feel overwhelmed with problems, petitions naturally become more urgent. When concerns for loved ones are foremost in our mind, then intercession will be our focus. A sense of conviction and regret over sin leads us to concentrate on confession. All these are important and necessary, but we can’t let the cares of this earthly life and our own needs prevent us from taking time to center our attention on the Lord.

Now, it’s true that after we’ve seen God work in our life or answer a prayer request, we’re filled with gratitude and thank Him repeatedly. But after a while we tend to forget and drift back into our regular thought patterns. Here’s the key to keeping gratitude and praise foremost in our prayers: learning to know the Lord more deeply. As we read the Scriptures and discover His glorious nature and mighty works, He’ll become our focus, and our prayers will be filled with praise and thanks, not just for what He’s done for us but in appreciation of who He is—our good, loving, faithful, and glorious God.

Wade’s Wednesday

Give Thanks

From Women’s Ministries

A Thanksgiving book titled “Give Thanks – Powerful Prayers for Everyday Blessings.”  Even though we may have things so much easier now than when people lived in days gone by, human nature remains the same ~ we complain!  So, when you get the urge to complain about your daily life full of mundane tasks, I hope these Prayer thoughts will help turn it into gratitude.  Consider the following:

The Bathroom Scale Prayer – “The bathroom scale doesn’t lie Lord, you have blessed me abundantly and it shows.  I am grateful for these few extra pounds – especially when I consider that there are so many less fortunate than me that go hungry every day.  Show me how to provide for others as you have so generously provided for me.”

Or how about this one, a prayer over the never ending piles of laundry ~

“Father, sometimes the laundry seems never ending, but I am glad this means plenty of clean clothes for me and my family.  Thank you for blessing us with a convenient way of washing away the stains of the day and for providing us with clean hearts too.

I am always in a perpetual state of cleaning out our garage.  This thoughtful prayer helps me toss what really doesn’t matter in this life.

“Thank you Lord for all the memories these boxes hold.  As I sift through everything here, help me hang on to my fond memories and let go of the meaningless objects.  I am grateful that you have blessed me with such a full life and rich legacy of loved ones.”

In The Salvation Army ministry, Thanksgiving time signals for many of us long working days as we seek to help meet the needs of the less fortunate.  Reflecting on this prayer gives new insight in our reflection..

“Father it’s hard to work late, but I am thankful I have a job and work to do.  Thank you for an opportunity to work without interruptions and for helping me meet this deadline.”

Sometimes at this time of year we may be tempted or feel pressured to only thank God for the “big things in life” – things that in the worlds eyes, people would consider important.  But God wants our prayers of thanks for the everyday stuff, especially when the daily routines affect our attitudes.  You see,  God wants us to be thankful in everything, even the small and insignificant stuff we do every day.  The “everyday” stuff that our closest and dearest loved ones watch us do.  What better legacy could we leave them than a grateful  heart and attitude in living out the daily routines of life.

I Timothy 6:6 reads: (KJV)

“Godliness with contentment is great gain”

So ladies…  do you want an instant, non surgical face lift???  Charles Dickens said this:

“Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks”

~ Don’t we all want that, so then, let’s whisper a prayer of thanks for whatever we are doing today and in so doing we give Glory to our God.

Tuesday With Karen

This is written for Thanksgiving. He deserves praise from the bottom of our heart! KI
It Pays To Praise
It pays to praise His name, in each day anew,
He’s worthy of glory, & He carries us through;
He watches over us with tender love & care,
When we call upon Him, He is always there!
It pays to praise God, in the great & the small,
He is awesome in power, & still Lord over all;
Mighty enough to speak the world into place,
Yet lives in our heart by His glorious grace!
It pays to praise the Lord, giving Him glory,
By Him, our heart knows salvation’s story;
He shed His holy blood on Calvary’s cross,
He doesn’t want one soul to be forever lost!
It pays to praise God, He has no measure,
His love lets us see bountiful treasures;
He blesses us far above what we deserve,
Praise Him, He guides our way by His Word!

We Gather Together Hymn

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;

He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

-Adrianus Valerius

Food For Thought

If you’re spiritually alive, you’re going to love this! If you’re spiritually dead, you won’t want to read it. If you’re spiritually curious, there is still hope!


A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. ‘I’ve gone for 30 years now,’ he wrote, ‘and in that  time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them so, I think I’m wasting my time and the priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.’

This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: ‘I’ve been married  for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this…  They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If  my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!’ When you are DOWN to nothing….God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the  incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

All right, now that you’re done reading, send it on!!! I think everyone  should read this!! When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say,  ‘Jesus, could you get that for me.

Interesting Perspective!

Author Unknown

Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war.

Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath.

On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

At age 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million people perish.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.

Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, and from your birth, until you were 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. And there was the constant threat of contracting other “childhood” diseases such as measles, etc.

On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.

When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? If you were a kid in 1985 you may have thought your 85-year-old grandparent did not understand how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing and valuable gift. Refined and enlightening as time goes on.

Let us try to keep things in perspective. Your grandparents were called upon to endure all of the above—today we are being called upon to stay home or wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Friday Funnies

Problem Solved

Anthony Miller was acting oddly, even for a robber, when he entered a bank in Ephrata, PA. He drew his BB gun, demanded money, and then asked the teller to call the police. Miller later explained that he wanted to be arrested so he could get away from his wife. It worked. He was sentenced to three to six years in prison.        —Associated Press

~ ~ ~

I was visiting my grandfather in the hospital, when a nurse came in to check his blood sugar. Before she started, she examined his red fingertips, which had been poked numerous times already and said, “Hmm, which finger should we use this time that won’t hurt too much?”

“Yours,” my grandfather replied. —Tata Vyn

~ ~ ~

I had signed up to be a school volunteer and was helping a first-grader with her homework. But it turned out I was the one in need of help. The assignment required coloring, and I’m color-blind—can’t tell blue from red. As we finished our lesson, I told the little girl, “Next week you can read to me.” Looking confused, she said, “Can’t you read, either?”       —Howard Seiplinga

From Reader’s Digest Treasury of Joy and Inspiration © 2013 The Reader’s Digest Association