Be ye angry and sin not Ephesians 4:26
It is an old story, but a good one. Former baseball manager Billy Martin told it in his autobiography titled NUMBER 1. He says he and Mickey Mantle were doing a little hunting down in Texas. Mickey had a friend who would let him hunt on his ranch. When they got there, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he went in and cleared things with his friend. Permission was quickly granted for them to hunt, but the owner asked Mickey to do him a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind and he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him. Mickey agreed. On the way back to the car a plan formed in Mantle’s mind.
Reaching the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the car door shut. Billy wanted to know what was wrong. Mickey replied that the owner wouldn’t let them hunt there after all. “I am so mad at that guy that I am going out to that barn and shoot one of his mules,” said Mantle. He drove like a mad man to the barn. Martin protested and said, “We can’t do that!” But Mickey was adamant, “Just watch me,” he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran to the barn and shot the mule and killed it.
When he got back to the car he saw that Martin had also taken his gun out and smoke was curling from its barrel, too. “What are you doing, Martin?” he yelled. Martin answered, “We’ll show that Son-of-a-gun. I killed two of his cows.”
One of the questions we all have to deal with from time to time is what to do with our anger. We are aware of the negative results of anger. People do stupid things when they are angry, pretend or not, like shooting someone’s cows. What are you doing about your anger?
Lord Jesus, please take away my anger. Amen.
by Max Lucado
Sheep aren’t smart. They tend to wander into running creeks for water, then their wool grows heavy and they drown. They have no sense of direction. They need a shepherd to lead them to calm water.
So do we! We, like sheep, tend to be swept away by waters we should have avoided. We have no defense against the evil lion who prowls about seeking whom he might devour.
Isaiah 53:6 reminds us, we all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. We need a shepherd to care for us and to guide us. And Jesus is that Good Shepherd. The Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. The Shepherd who protects, provides, and possesses his sheep. The Psalmist says: The Lord is my shepherd! The imagery is carried over to the New Testament as Jesus is called the good shepherd of the sheep! “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15
by Karen Icenhour
He Says “Peace Be Still”
He says “Peace be still” even when your storm is brewing,
He knows each step you take, & everything you are doing:
You may be fretting over things you don’t understand,
But it only needs to be placed in His strong hand!
He says “Peace be still’ when turmoil is in your heart,
And the stress within is making you fall apart;
All the worry you’ve done has been of no use,
For God’s hand is so able to take care of you!
He says “Peace be still” when situations take place,
All He needs to do is pour out His matchless grace;
He’ll lead you in righteous ways by His own Holy Spirit,
Seek His face, listen for His small voice, & hear it!
He says “Peace be still” & calms life’s raging storm,
There’s nothing God’s word can’t manage or perform;
There’s no reason at all to even be concerned,
When trusting in God is what our heart fully learns!
The Undeniable, Living Christ
“…we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” – John 6:69
Jesus Christ is a fact of history. All secular historians who have any merit admit that, regardless of what they believe about Him, Jesus lived! There’s no way to explain that the Christian Church exists apart from the fact that Jesus Christ was here.
What did the early church preach? Not only that Jesus was here, but that He walked out of the grave. How do you explain that? Somebody said, “Well, they must have made up the story. They said they touched Him, they said they ate with Him.” Oh? We’re talking about men who died for their faith. Do you think they would willingly, knowingly die for a lie? A man may live for a lie, but few would die for one.
Are you willing to die for the cause of Christ? This man who died for you…are you willing to live for Him?
Families don’t take Sunday drives anymore
But when I was a kid
We’d pile in the car, hit the road and explore.
It was something folks back then did .
The point was to go for a leisurely ride,
no hurry, and no real destination.
We might stop for ice cream or cokes from inside
some open screen-door filling station.
Way out in the sticks, with dad at the wheel, we’d take in all the scenery we passed.
These afternoon outings would make us all feel,
going nowhere is really a blast!
Thanks for work on float, everything when great in spite of the rain.
by Karen Icenhour
Pour Out Thy Grace, Lord
Pour out Thy grace, Lord, keep me in your strong hand,
Help me to always trust your loving command;
Lord, you know every event before it takes place,
I’m asking you to pour out your abundant grace!
Pour out Thy grace, Lord, so I can have divine peace,
Circumstances are coming, causing worry in me;
My heart should never be troubled or perplexed,
As long as I trust you in all that’s coming next!
Pour out Thy grace, Lord, in this fearful heart of mine,
Help me on you lean, knowing you make things fine;
Lead each step I take in each path I walk along,
When you do, Lord, I’ll be right where I belong!
Pour out Thy grace, Lord, my heart will see sweet rest,
It’s by your grace, my life is abundantly blessed;
Oh how I love you, as my matchless Lord & Savior,
Thank you for listening when my heart needs a favor!
You Can’t Do This
“You can’t do this. You’re not good enough. You’re not spiritual enough. You just can’t do this.”
These are the thoughts that flooded my mind all through our week of staff training. It was information overload. You had to know the schedule, the rules, and the basic camp procedures. You’re given books to help you counsel and books to tell you where to go. There was no way. And I was absolutely right. There is no way I could ever get through this summer on my own.
Every summer the wilds staff is given a specific study. This year the theme was pride. You never realize the depth of pride in your life until you really take the time to look at it. We as a staff were all required to read a book about pride and humility before we got to camp. That was convicting in and of itself, and then we heard Tom Farrell preach on it!
You see, before I came to camp. I didn’t think pride was an issue in my life, I was blinded by my own selfishness. And here the first week, I was relying on my abilities to get me through. Pride is self-anything. And I was being self-reliant until I realized that self just wasn’t going to cut it for this summer. I needed humility. Humility is recognizing that God is all, self is nothing, and others are more important. This had to be the foundation for my ministry at the wilds. It’s all for Gods glory, not my own, and my campers needs are what my focus should be.
Pride is a constant battle. It’s the root of all sin. And honestly, it’s something I will struggle with until the day I die. It isn’t until we come to the point that we realize we just can’t do this that God can begin to do great things in and through your life. Once we humble ourselves before Him, He uses us in ways we never can imagine. We serve a great God who can and will do great things.
Dr. Charles Stanley
Several years ago during a photographic trip, my group had been traveling up a trail for almost three hours, and I began to have a funny feeling that we were going in the wrong direction. I asked the guide about it, and he assured me that everything was fine. Not wanting to be presumptuous, I kept walking. After a few minutes, I noticed that my sense of uneasiness persisted; in fact, it was growing stronger. I pulled out my compass and looked at the map. Sure enough, we were headed away from our intended destination.
It took us close to an hour and a half to return to where we had taken the incorrect turn off the trail. Sadly, this meant that by the time we got to the site, our window for taking photographs was cut short.
The event helped me to realize two valuable lessons. First, when we sense an internal witness encouraging us to take a certain course of action, we should listen. Second, when you and I choose people to guide us, we must be certain they know the path ahead better than we do.
Have you ever felt something alerting you to pay attention or pulling you in a particular direction? Perhaps you were listening to a sermon and you sensed God telling you to follow Him in obedience. Or maybe you walked into a restaurant and were filled with dread, as if you should leave quickly.
If you are a believer, then most likely these feelings were the prompting of the Holy Spirit, who always guides you to understand and accept the Father’s will. He is the One speaking to your heart, warning you about danger and encouraging you to submit to God’s purposes.
Unlike the fellow who accompanied us on that photographic trip, the Holy Spirit is a trustworthy guide who will never lead us astray and knows the path ahead much better than we do.