Build Bridges

from Our Daily Bread

James Michener’s Centennial is a fictional account of the history and settlement of the American West. Through the eyes of a French-Canadian trader named Pasquinel, Michener converges the stories of the Arapaho of the Great Plains and the European-based community of St. Louis. As this rugged adventurer moves between the growing clutter of the city and the wide-open spaces of the plains, he becomes a bridge between two drastically different worlds.

Followers of Christ also have the opportunity to build bridges between two very different worlds—those who know and follow Jesus and those who do not know Him. Early Christians in Thessalonica had been building bridges to their idol-worshiping culture, so Paul said of them, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place” (1 Thess. 1:8). The bridge they were building had two components: the “word of the Lord” and the example of their faith. It was clear to everyone that they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (v.9).

As God declares Himself to those around us by His Word and through our lives, we can become a bridge to those who do not yet know the love of Christ.

 

In Vain

By Ricky Smith

Galatians 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Have you ever been frustrated in your work?  Have you ever wanted to give it all up?  Have you ever sat down at your desk and started writing your resignation letter, only to throw it in the trashcan?  Have you ever felt like all of the energy you’ve spent was a waste?  If so, then you may have some idea of how the Apostle Paul felt, in Galatians 4:11.

Paul had invested enormous energy and time into the people of Galatia.  His work and ministry has seen fruit produced, as they responded to Christ.  His frustration is evident as he watches this church begin to slip back into their old tendencies.  As the Jewish traditions begin to be adopted by the Gentile church, Paul expresses deep frustration and fear.

This verse gives us a glimpse into the heart and emotion of Paul.  His passion for God’s mission consumed his life.  As one, involved in ministering to students for nearly twenty years, I can relate.  In ministry, those moments will come when we feel frustrated and ineffective.  We must remember that our battle is spiritual.  We must trust the Holy Spirit to change lives.  We must be faithful to preach the Gospel!

 

Friday Funnies

Funny Lawn Mower Jokes
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
Why are husbands like lawn mowers?
They are difficult to get started, and then they don’t work half the time.
There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbour’s. Clyde Moore
Will – Why do you water your lawn with whisky?
Guy – So that it comes up half-cut.
My neighbour Bill asked if he could use my lawnmower. I told him of course he could, so long as he didn’t take it out of my garden.
What do you call someone who used to like tractors?
An extractor fan.
What do you call a cow who works for a gardener?
A lawn moo-er.

Blodwen’s Lawn Mower
Mrs Blodwen Roberts was looking out of her front window one Sunday when she saw her neighbour coming up the drive dressed in his gardening clothes.

‘He must be coming to borrow our lawn-mower,’ Blodwen remarked to Mr Roberts indignantly, ‘And on Sunday too. The very idea. Shameful. I won’t let him have it. I’ll tell him we haven’t got one.’

Rich Diet?
One afternoon a rich man was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, ‘Why are you eating grass?’
‘We don’t have any money for food,’ the poor man replied. ‘We have to eat grass.’

‘Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,’ the rich man said.
‘But, sir, I have a wife and two children.’Bring them along,’ the rich man replied. Turning to the other poor man he announced, ‘You come with us, also.’
The second man, in a pitiful voice then said, ‘But sir, I also have a wife and six children with me.’
‘Bring them all, as well,’ the rich fellow answered.
They all climb in the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the rich gent and said, ‘Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.’

The rich man replied, ‘Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.’

God Bless America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless america, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless america,
My home sweet home.

— irving berlin

Wade’s Wednesday

A Prayer for the
Frontliners

Heavenly Father, thank You for the frontliners caring for, protecting, and serving our communities, our families, and us. Thank You for these servant leaders, called to this work, trained for such a time as this, daily risking their own health and safety for others.

Please protect them from harm. Give them courage and strength. Draw close, Lord, and let them feel Your presence throughout the long hours they are working.

Father, please provide everything they need, both for the people they are serving and for their loved ones. Surround them with people who will help and support them and their families, even as they selflessly care for others.

You said we would face troubles in this world, but also that You had overcome it. Please work together with our frontliners, Lord, to ultimately bring about the best outcome possible.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday With Karen

images-1by Karen Icenhour

John 14:27..”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

When His Peace Is Ours

When His peace is ours, our heart is calm & serene,

It’s within His peace, we know on Him to lean;

Our focus is clear, as we seek the Lord’s face,

Then He shows His glory, majesty & grace.

When His peace is ours, it lets us not worry or fret,

It takes from our mind, all things we should forget;

He reminds us we are His, now & forever more,

What a blessing we know in just serving the Lord!

When His peace is ours, our feet walk the right way,

The Holy Spirit leads us, in all we do & say;

Our testimony will shine, & the Lord is glorified,

When the Prince of Peace is displayed in our life.

When His peace is ours, our life will be rich & sweet,

Living close to Him makes us whole & complete;

His bountiful blessings on us, He freely showers,

How wonderful it is when His peace is ours!

Remember

Psalms 105:4, 5 and 8
Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore.  Remember His marvelous works that He hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of His mouth . . . He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word  which He commanded to a thousand generations.

Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who have fallen in our nation’s wars.  Sadly , the day will pass and most of us will be so caught up in picnics, family gatherings, or outdoor projects that we won’t even give much thought to the real meaning of the day.  That’s too bad, because remembering does many things.  It brings me back to the reality of what actually happened.  It also encourages me to see the dedication of those who fought and died.  Remembering stirs within me a sense of gratitude and appreciation, and it strengthens my resolve to do my part in serving God, country and others.

Throughout the Bible, God’s people are instructed to stop and recall what He did for them.  Psalm 105 is a song of remembrance of God’s goodness to His beloved ones.  It traces His direction, provision and protection through their history and the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses.  As believers in the 21st century, we can look back over a much longer history and see how God’s plan has and is unfolding, and observe His incredible goodness to us.

Psalm 105:1-5 shows the natural progression of what happens when I pause to remember—I give thanks to Him and continue calling on Him.  I sing of Him, and talk with fellow believers of all He has done.  Then I must go tell others of His greatness.  When I stop to trace the work of God’s hand in my life and in the world around me, these things just come naturally.

But the key to being able to rejoice in the past is not found in counting the number of good things that have happened, but in remembering that God remembers!  I can rejoice because He never forgets His plan and He never forsakes His promises.  Even when life is tough and things don’t seem to make sense to me, I can rest assured that He is in control and He is working out His plan.  He has my best interest at heart.  Knowing this encourages and strengthens me, and pushes me to do my best to live for Him.

A song that was popular when I was younger went something like this:

“When I remember the cross that He bore,

When I remember the thorns that He wore,

My heart cries out, ‘Oh Christ divine, I’m thine forever!’

When I remember what He did for me.”

I encourage you, my friend, at this Memorial season, take time to remember.

A Blessed Memorial

What this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. —Matthew 26:13

Certain names from the past can elicit a variety of responses. The mention of Hitler, for example, brings feelings of contempt. On the other hand, a great historical figure like Churchill brings a positive response. Even within the circle of our own acquaintances, we remember some individuals with thankfulness, while we think negatively of others whose lives were spent in selfish pursuits.

On this Memorial Day we pause to honor those of past generations. While many stirring recollections flood our minds, we realize that the time will come when each of us will also be a memory. What will others recall of our words and deeds when they think of us?

Recently I read about James Lewis Pettigru. His life was so exemplary that after his death the community erected a tombstone in his honor inscribed with these words:

UNAWED BY OPINION,

UNSEDUCED BY FLATTERY,

UNDISMAYED BY DISASTER,

HE CONFRONTED LIFE WITH COURAGE,

AND DEATH WITH CHRISTIAN HOPE.

What a blessed memorial! Determine by the grace of God to live for the Lord and give yourself to the needs of others. Your testimony will then become a source of blessing and inspiration to all who follow in your steps. —RWD

What have you written on memory’s page?

Deeds that were done in the Master’s name?

Words that were spoken to spread His fame?

What have you written today?  —Anon.

James Louis Petigru (May 10, 1789 – March 9, 1863) was an American lawyer, politician, and jurist inSouth Carolina.  He is best known for his service as the Attorney General Of South Carolina,  his juridical work that played a key role in the recodification of the state’s law code. He was also known for opposing nullification  and, in 1860, state secession.

Memorial Day

A Day to Honor Life

To some Memorial Day is merely the beginning of summer and to others it’s a solemn day to remember those who have passed from this life.

However, to the war veteran and to the families of fallen soldiers, Memorial Day carries significance so deep that words cannot express their hearts.

When we look into the eyes of those who still mourn these once vibrant men and women, we often sense their loneliness and pain. We hear them choke back tears as they simply say the ranks and names of their military brothers and sisters at a Memorial Day service. White gloves, dress uniforms, rigid posture, and perfectly precisioned salutes represent the reverence and respect flowing from within. Those who have been personally affected by war understand and appreciate this day of remembrance.

What should we say to those who sincerely honor this day? “Happy Memorial Day” doesn’t seem fitting. “I’m sorry for your loss” may be closer to appropriate. What would the fallen soldier want from their comrades and the rest of the country on this day?

In an often quoted Memorial Day speech given in 1884 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the speaker ended his address with these words,

“Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death — of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”

The American soldier who gave his or her life for U.S. citizens to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness won’t be telling us how to observe the holiday. But I believe that Holmes’ proposition to “think of life, not death” would honor the fallen soldier. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down His life for our freedom. It’s selfless love for others — not so they can mourn forever, but live!

Notice that in scripture and in military service, the willingness to give up one’s life is not dependent on the worthiness of the people who benefit from the honorable act. In a perfect world, all who receive freedom and grace would be worthy of such a sacrifice and full of gratitude. But that’s not the way it is anywhere on earth.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us .” Romans 5:8

We are blessed to be living in a free society. May we honor our American soldiers for the liberty we have in this country. May we also give thanks to Almighty God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.