Classic Video: John Wayne’s Words to Daughter Marisa

I am continuing to enjoy my personal study of the book of Proverbs. As I continue to study, I am struck by how personal the book is. Much of it is written as a loving father giving words of instruction to his children, as in Proverbs 4:20: “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings,” and 4:10: “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings …”

I discovered this video of John Wayne, making an appearance on the Dean Martin television program. John Wayne’s youngest daughter, Marisa, was only 8 months old, which would have placed this in October of 1966. After a couple of jokes, Dean Martin asked John Wayne what he wanted for his baby daughter. Here was his answer:
“I’d like her to know some of the values we knew as kids … some of those values that too many people these days are thinking are old-fashioned … Most all, I want her to be grateful as I am, every day of my life, to live in these United States.
The first thing my daughter’s learning from me is the Lord’s Prayer, and some of the Psalms. And I really don’t care if she ever memorizes the Gettysburg Address (how about that!), just so long as she understands it. And, since little girls are seldom called upon (remember, this was 1966) to defend their country, she may never have to raise her hand for that oath … but, I certainly want her to respect all those who do.
I guess that’s about what I want for my daughter …”

Before You Get Success, You Must Get This-Part Two

Maybe it was the start of a new school year … or being in the middle of a major home improvement project which is testing not only my strength and endurance, but my ability to learn new “do it yourself” skills … I felt led to begin, next, a study of the book of Proverbs. However … there is never a time in my life … any day … in which I don’t need more wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding.

If you think about it, what better way to start your day (there’s that rhyme again!) than by consulting the book of Proverbs. But then, there’s not a day that goes by, when I don’t need more wisdom and understanding. When I need all the help I can get to “think right, do right.” I was watching the Thursday Night Football pregame show, and of course, much of the discussion was not about football, but players’ actions off of the field. I found it interesting that host James Brown, in addressing recent news events, challenged all men to take the lead in their “thoughts, words, and deeds.” Almost like he’d been reading our cards.

We’ve written much about how impossible it is to control our thoughts, words, and deeds without the Word of God, and prayer. Every day. And, how important it is to get your day started
right, with both.
Wisdom and understanding. God’s Word and prayer. To get both, you need both.
I have written much about the importance of wisdom and understanding, using not just the book of Proverbs, but all of Scripture.

God has really impressed upon me the importance of Proverbs 4:5-9, leading to the title, “Before You Get Success-You Must Get This-First.” These early verses in Proverbs explain what real success is … and how to get it. And … perhaps even more important: How to keep it. It all begins with wisdom and understanding. It really struck me how critical these two words are to success in every area, every part of your life, every day. Often, when we think of success on the job, we think of the word “promotion.” Even that is included within this passage.

Here are the words, directly from Proverbs 4:5-9:
“Get wisdom and understanding: forget it not … Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

To really get the picture, to really understand the words, I paraphrased this passage, and it really made the whole process so clear to me. It is amazing how clear the message is:
“Get wisdom and understanding:
Do not forget wisdom and understanding.
Do not forsake wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall preserve you: Love wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. Exalt wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall promote you:
Wisdom and understanding shall bring you to honor, when you embrace wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding shall place on your head an ornament of grace:
Wisdom and understanding shall deliver to you a crown of glory.”

When you study Scripture, to fully understand the particular passage you are studying, you must always read what comes before, and after, the passage.
Before this passage, there are these words:
“Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live” (Proverbs 4:4).
And, after the passage, “Hear … and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many” (Proverbs 4:10).

Blessings,
R.V.R.

Barnes and Noble

Before You Get Success, You Must Get This-Part One

God’s Word is so wonderful, so awesome … and, so necessary. 

Every day.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to make a point to spend time every day, reading God’s Word, and praying/speaking to Him. For me, the best time is first thing in the morning. There is just no better way to start you day (hey, that’s a great rhyme!) than to read God’s Word and pray.

Young Christians often ask me what the first book in the Bible I would recommend for them to read. Usually, I will say the book of John, and then move on to the other Gospels. The reason why is simple: First, you must know Jesus. He is the only One who can save you, and keep you. Period. So, get to know Him first and foremost. Learn what you are in Him, through Him, and because of Him. I try to pray every day that I would see other people the way He does. And, that I would see myself the way that He does. But, first, you must know Him, and the best way to do that is to read His Word. Read about Him first … and, then, He will lead you into the next phase of your study.

Every book of the Bible has its own great reasons for spending time to study. For example, I would have never imagined that the book of Haggai was so deep in meaning for all of us today. I would have also never thought that I would get so many lessons from just those 2 chapters, but that is how God’s Word is. I had read the book of Haggai many times (as part of reading through the Bible), but, it was only when God directed me to study the book, next, that I discovered how rich the book is. It is because God revealed so much to me, and He wanted to reveal all these things to me, to help me in my own walk with Him.

It is so hard, if not impossible, to have a relationship with someone you don’t know. And, how can you possibly have a relationship with someone you don’t talk with? And, if you do all of the talking, how will you, how can you, know what is on the other person’s mind? And, if you don’t listen, how can the other person really know that you are interested in them?

God will reveal Himself to you through His Word, and then in the time which you spend talking, and listening to Him. How hard is it to have a good, meaningful conversation with someone, in the middle of a loud, busy restaurant, or other loud place, full of distractions? This is why it is so important for you to get somewhere alone, away from the crowd, away from distractions, and spend quiet time, alone, with God. Reading His Word, and listening. How many times have we seen a couple, maybe just getting to know each other, and they are in a crowded restaurant, or train station, or shopping mall …. and, one will say to the other, “Let’s go somewhere quiet where we can talk.” Jesus, who wants a personal, intimate relationship with you-more than anyone else-also wants to “go to a quiet place with you so that we can talk.” He speaks though His Word, and He speaks to us, gently, yes quietly, as we spend time with Him in prayer.

As you read and study God’s Word, He will direct you to “where you should go next.”

There are times in our lives, when we are going through the toughest times, when we’ll be directed to certain passages in the Bible. We’ve all been there. When I was going through the toughest part of my life, for reasons I can’t explain, God led me to 1st and 2nd Peter. Then, He led me to the book of Isaiah. To this day, when I read something in the book of Isaiah, I get a certain “feeling” which I can’t explain. It’s just that that book, Isaiah, meant so much to me. A book which I didn’t understand at all … until God led me to it, and revealed things to me as I read. Things which I would not have known, or understood, unless I had read this book. Most of all, things I learned about Him by reading the book. And, that is always the idea.
Always.

There are so many books in the Bible I’ve read, during study or preparation, which I have gone back and read-after God directed me to them again … this time, to go back and read for His purpose. Often, and you know this is true: You can study, in preparation, a passage or entire book of Scripture, and yes, God will reveal much to you. But, when He leads you back to that very same book-for His purpose, His preparation of you, it’s like you are reading the book for the very first time. And, the more you read and study, the more God will lead you to something else. And, that’s when you get so much more out of your study.

I also love the Psalms, which was my Mom’s favorite book. Like so many, who have followed the Lord for years, the book of Psalms holds such a special place for us, as we return again and again to those pages and verses which have helped us all during our toughest, most trying times.

Anyway, there are so many books, and, so many in the Old Testament, which I love so dearly, and each time I return, it’s like I’ve never read them. For instance, how often we may forget just how great a book Deuteronomy is. Or, how about the story of Joseph? Of Median?
Are there any better first chapters in the Bible than the first chapters of Daniel? Please understand my meaning … I’m not putting one book over the other. The four Gospels, I believe, stand alone. Yet, in their own way … all of the books in the Bible stand alone. That is one of the great things about the Bible. Each time you read something you haven’t read in a long time, it’s like reading it all over again.

Would you believe that I began this writing to speak about the book of Proverbs, and something which God revealed to me this morning? Once again, God took over, wanting me to share this with you. So, I’ll make this Part 1, and try to get to Proverbs next time.
God is so good.

So, to have a successful day, first read God’s Word, and then you pray.
Still like that rhyme!

Blessings,
R.V.R.
Modern-Day Psalms available at Pastor Appreciation Gifts

Road Reflections-Part Three (How Sweet it Is!)

Recently, in this series, I wrote that “I would just make a list, as we went, of things which I was seeing, and heard, which I don’t see or hear much of, north of the Line.”
I also clearly stated that “this is not a “better than” or “worse than” type of recording.”

Well … here goes … as I read from the notes which Carol and I jotted down, as we just took it easy this summer, traveling through the Southland…

I wrote of the “significance” of that “Line.” It matters not to me, but, to others, the “Line” seems to be a big deal.
Still.
Sorry … but, the way that I was raised, the “North/South Thing” just doesn’t matter anymore. I’m glad about that.

See, when I think of a “Line,” one which is drawn, and people have to choose which side to stand on … I only think of the line which William Barrette Travis drew in the sand at the Alamo … the line which Jim Bowie, sick and on a stretcher, had his men pick him up, and move him “across the line.” That’s it.

However … it must still be an issue, this North and South thing … right?
No, you say, it can’t be.

I noticed that, yes, even the “National Geographic” Channel has a new program (maybe not new, I don’t watch a lot of television) which, I gather from the commercials I’ve seen, pits the North vs. the South. It is some kind of fishing reality program … hey, I’m not making this up … it is about tuna fishermen … yes, tuna fishermen, and it is called something like, “Tuna … North vs. South.” You may think I’m crazy, but, apparently, this is the premise of the show. No … really … (I feel like I should say something like, “‘No, don’t hang up!”) … This is National Geographic Television … I haven’t watched “network” television in years, but didn’t National Geographic used to be legitimate …??? I mean, I still see their magazines in the dentist’s office …

Sweet Tea: This would be close to first on the list. I love “Sweet Tea.” Here we go … Sweet tea is a staple of the South, I must admit. I can’t recall how many restaurants I’ve been to, in the “North,” at which I’ve attempted to order “Sweet Tea.” Yes, Sweet Tea. They will always say the same thing: “We only have unsweetened tea .. We can bring you the unsweetened tea, and we have sugar packets on the table.” Here goes … the formula for “Sweet Tea” can’t be a secret … can it??? The answer is always the same … they will bring you a glass of tea … you have sugar packets at your table … but, apparently … the formula for combining the two has not been discovered …

Sweet Tea: Prepare the tea, as unsweetened. Then, add sugar.
Have I just revealed a secret recipe?
Yes … that’s correct … to make Sweet Tea … combine the tea with sugar:
Fact: If you don’t add the sugar, it is not “Sweet” Tea.
Fact: (Critical): If you don’t add the sugar, it is “unsweetened tea.” This is a fact which you apparently already know.
Fact: If you don’t add the sugar, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Fact: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. (I just wanted to throw this in-When was the last time you heard this?)
Added Fact to Above Fact: McDonald’s is the only source I know of which has “Sweet Tea” in the “North,” and, frankly … it’s really good.
Fact: McDonald’s Sweet Tea is really good.
Fact: It is also on sale.
Fact: Love their milkshakes, but “Sweet Tea” is always on sale.
Fact (Additional-TMI): I’m a “Dollar Menu” kind of guy.
Fact: You can sit in your truck in a McDonald’s parking lot, go in, and “fill ‘err up” with real Sweet Tea …

Fact I Just Learned by Going to the Official McDonald’s Website:
You are not going to believe this … I mean … you are not going to believe this …
Remember, I just wrote that, up North, when it comes to Sweet Tea, which requires the physical pairing of both tea and sugar, “the formula for combining the two has not been discovered …”

I know … you think I am just making that up …
But, when I did a Google search for “McDonald’s sweet tea” (actual search term), here is what came up, first, after the official McDonald’s links:
“Top Secret Recipes | McDonald’s Sweet Tea Copycat Recipe.”

Yes, when you search for “McDonald’s Sweet Tea,” the first link that comes up is “Top Secret Recipes.”

I’m not making this up: The fact is that, yes, the fact that you can combine tea with sugar, making something called “Sweet Tea” (because of the tea being mixed with sugar), is, in fact, considered a “Secret Formula.” I am really not making this up.

Note: There is also a link, when you search for “McDonald’s sweet tea,” which has this for the headline: “Copy Cat McDonalds Sweet Tea.”
Additional Note: There is also a link which, is a “must see” on YouTube, which is this:
“How McDonald’s sweet tea is made! Must see – YouTube.”

Again, I may have just given away a secret, which, apparently is widely regarded as a mystery:
Please allow me to repeat:

Sweet Tea: Prepare the tea, as unsweetened. Then, add sugar.
Yes … that’s correct … to make Sweet Tea … combine the tea with sugar:
Hint: It is the sugar which makes it sweet.
Fact: If you don’t add the sugar, it is not “Sweet” Tea.
Fact: (Critical): If you don’t add the sugar, it is “unsweetened tea.” This is a fact which you apparently already know.
Fact: If you don’t add the sugar, you don’t know what you’re missing.

What a country!
Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Shared Email Classics: Advice To Daughter About Men

ADVICE TO DAUGHTER ABOUT MEN

1. Don’t imagine you can change a man – unless he’s in diapers.

2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door.

3. If they put a man on the moon – they should be able to put them all up there.

4. Never let your man’s mind wander – it’s too little to be out alone.

5. Go for the younger man. You might as well; they never mature anyway.

6. Men are all the same – they just have different faces, so that you can tell them apart.

7. Definition of a bachelor: a man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable.

8. Women don’t make fools of men – most of them are the do-it-yourself types.

9. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.

10. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

11. If you want a committed man, look in a mental hospital.

12. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in Biblical times, men wouldn’t ask for directions.

13. If he asks what sort of books you’re interested in, tell him
checkbooks.

14. Remember a sense of humor does not mean that you tell him jokes; it means that you laugh at his.

15. Sadly, all men are created equal.

Apollo 8: Onboard 45 Years Later For “Earthrise”

Of all the posts we’ve been blessed to show you over the past months, one of our favorites, and still one of our most read, was the one entitled, “Apollo 8 Astronauts Read Creation From Genesis: Christmas Eve, 1968.” Astronauts Jim Lovell, Bill Anders, and Frank Gorman had just become the first men to orbit the moon, and they were the men, in a group effort, who would take the most famous photograph in history, entitled “Earthrise.”
Earth From Space-Apollo 8I’ll share the link back to that story, in which I offer my own personal reflections of seeing and hearing these historic events unfold, including how much the world had changed in those 44 years, evidenced by the “In the beginning God …” postage stamp (still my favorite all-time U.S. stamp).
Apollo 8 StampIt was a tremendous thrill for me to share the transcript of the reading from Genesis, chapter 1, in which all 3 of the astronauts took turns reading from the Bible … and, then, we had a link to the actual broadcast of the reading from space … including the video, supplied by NASA.
For those of you who may have missed it, or would like to re-live those moments from Christmas Eve, 1968, here is the link to that post: Just click on the photograph to go directly there (it will open in a new window, in order for you to stay here, and enjoy the new video we have for you): Just click the photo to go to that story:

"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".

“For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you”.

And now, to celebrate the 45th anniversary (yes, 45 years) of the “Earthrise” photo, we will be able to go on board the Apollo 8 spacecraft, and experience how that famous photograph came to be … how the photograph was a group effort, requiring the astronauts to scramble to “grab that color film!” and how it took a tremendous series of events to “get the shot.”
Narrated by Andres Chalkin, the author of “A Man on the Moon,” enjoy this incredible video, and story, behind the most famous photograph ever taken:

 

 

Quote for Today and Always: “I am Blessed”

A dear friend sent me this quote back in July, and I felt led to share this with you now.
Over on Facebook, a friend just responded to a recent post by simply stating,
“I am blessed.”
After reading the quote this afternoon, I can relate.
Totally.

I earnestly remind you again to thank God every day for things we, so often, take for granted.
Things like electricity, running water, food, shelter, a vehicle (including also a bicycle in my case), and the freedom we still enjoy here in the United States.
Also pray-every day- for Missionaries and Pastors (and Christians) around the world, as they continue to face horrific persecution daily.

Here’s the quote:
I am blessed