Monthly Archives: May 2015

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 4

We continue the series meant to encourage you to hang in there, to keep the faith … during those times when “others” are getting blessed … and, it seems you are not …

I hope that a common thread, woven throughout, is that we should, first and foremost, be thankful for what we already have. To realize what we, right now, have, because of our relationship with God through Jesus. And, it goes much deeper than the fact that if we are living in the United States (or any country considered to be “prosperous”), we are already better off than a large percentage of people around the world.

We must say again, confirmed through the headlines we see every day, that money can’t buy happiness, it can’t buy joy, it can’t buy peace, it can’t buy contentment, it can’t buy trust, it can’t, on its own, give us a purpose for our lives, and the list goes on and on. We have been taught that money means success. That having money or wealth means we are “prosperous.” I think true success doesn’t have anything to do with money … we must possess the qualities which make us “successful” or “prosperous” before we ever realize the financial end of the picture. It is the qualities we possess beforehand which will ensure our “success” once the “money” begins to arrive. Otherwise … the old, old saying proves why it is an old saying: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Somewhere in here we should mention the Scriptural principle about God giving us a little … to see how we handle it … before He gives us a lot …

Allow me to share this true story:
A few years ago, I had applied for a particular job/position which would have meant a significant change in many areas … all of them “good” … It was an important position, and required additional college courses, specific state certification, “the works.” I had done all of the work, made all of the personal sacrifices to become qualified for the position … but, it was a job/position I had never held before … The position was such that there were many individuals who, on the surface, mainly relating to experience, were far more qualified than I. And, as a result, were certainly in a much better position to apply for such a job. Which, they had done.
What chance did I have?

The fact that I had applied for this position was “common knowledge,” so I would be asked about “how it was going” along the way. Please understand that it is how you handle your attitude/inner emotions during this “waiting period” (there’s that phrase again) that will feed your faith-or your discouragement … Remember that “It is what you do, while you are waiting, which will determine the results of your waiting.” Also please note this: Everyone you work with, everyone who knows you … and, yes, everyone who “knows about you” … even if it’s something they’ve only “heard” … will, at the least, at least feel confident that they know about your attitude … your attitude about yourself … and, most importantly, your attitude toward others … how you handle yourself, and others … day-by-day …

So, anyway, I was approached by someone I worked with, who had been with this particular company/entity for several years, and I had gotten to know her pretty well. So, she felt comfortable with asking me about “how it’s going” as far as the “new job” journey was going. By the way, any promotion is a journey … sometimes a long journey … there’s that “how I act while I’m waiting” again … It seemed clear to me that she was asking just to “feel me out,” and that she didn’t really think that I had a chance to get the job … I’m not being negative, but boy was she trying to get me to be negative right then! Let’s bring in again the fact of how important a personal relationship with Jesus is, that you know Him, and He knows you. That your whole day, from beginning to end, should be a constant “conversation of sorts” with Him, as you go along from event to event. That way, you’re always talking with Him, so it’s no big deal when you just mutter the word “Help!” in the middle of something. I know He’s always there … but .., it seems so much better when I don’t leave Him …

So, back to the story: This person was really asking me what I thought qualified me for the position, in light of so many other people who had applied. Here’s what God gave me to say:
“Abraham Lincoln is considered, by many, to be the greatest President who ever lived. But, when Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States, he had never been President before. It was the qualities he had, the qualities he already possessed before he became President, which enabled him to be a great President.”
It just came out … and, the fact that I was speaking to a history teacher never entered into my mind …

That’s the point: The qualities you already possess qualify you for the job, and ensure that you’ll be able to do the job. I hope this helps. I know so many people who are “out looking” right now, and I felt led to share this story. It is what you already have, as a child of God, which should pave the way for your future. Time? Of course, God will provide you with ample “training opportunities” for the job He wants you to have for the future. Remember, what you are going through right now is a training ground for where He wants you to “end up.” So, don’t get discouraged! Remember, yes, “It is what you do, while you are waiting, which will determine the results of your waiting.”

Read the story of Joseph, from Genesis.
Read the story of Joseph, from Genesis.
Read the story of Joseph, from Genesis.

Period.

Outside of the story of Jesus, and I love the story of Paul, my favorite story in all the Bible is the story of Joseph, and it is the one story that has meant the most, personally, to me. A constant theme of my writing is that “The thing I thought was the worst thing to ever happen to me turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.”

So much of that has to do with what you do “while you are waiting.”

Please read the story of Joseph from Genesis. Here’s just a couple of verses that go with this lesson. That people are always looking. Always noticing what you do. What you say. Whether they are a believer or not … they will know if you are … or, if you are not. If God is with you, they will know. This includes times of great gladness or great sorrow … they will know.
Here’s a glimpse from Genesis 39:2-3:
“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous (successful) man … And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:2-3).

By the way, “his master” means that Joseph’s boss, his employer, also knew that God was with Joseph. Oh No!!!! Oh No!!! Oh No!!! Does this mean that I have to tell my boss that I’m a Christian? Let me put it this way: If you are, or if you’re not … your boss will already know. And, so will those you come in contact with every day. Especially those people you work with. And, especially those people you work the most closely with.

By the way … Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, was in prison when this was written, after being wrongly accused of a crime by his bosses’ wife …

Please read the story of Joseph, from Genesis.
Please.

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.


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The Origin Of Memorial Day

THE ORIGIN OF MEMORIAL DAY
FROM THE HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.
If our eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us. Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time.
By order of JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief
John Logan Memorial
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Special Video: Kamal Saleem Meets Jesus: “He is Real”

Hi Friends:

A friend sent me this video, using the word “Powerful.”
This is from CBN.com.
2,000 years later … lives are still being completely changed … transformed …
after meeting the Risen Savior:

I’d like to share with you this link to Free Online Bible Courses, from CBN.com. This includes their “Operation Good Shepherd” study program:
Free Online Bible Courses from Christian Broadcasting Network

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 3

We’re writing to encourage you to hang in there, to have faith … during those times when “others” are getting blessed … and, it seems you are not …

When you see someone else succeed, be thankful that, yes, God is still in the “blessing” business. That your time will come. Be careful of how you react to someone else’s success: Don’t you want others to be happy for you, when you prosper? Think about that. In our relationship with other people (which the world is always watching), it is important how we respond to others during times of sadness, grief, or tough times (both ours and theirs). We would all agree with that. We are thankful when people come to us when they are going through trials and troubles. But … isn’t it also important how we respond to others after they win? After they’ve had a great victory or success?

When you see someone else succeed, be glad for them, and let them know it! Inside, see their present success as your future success.

Always remember that what we are going through right now is meant to shape us, prepare us, for what God has planned for our future. And, especially, if it seems like it is taking a long time to come to pass, God is using this time to build our faith … our patience … our perseverance. While you are waiting, try to find specific Scriptures which will build your faith and perseverance. I know from personal experience that holding on to these precious promises from God makes all the difference in getting through the toughest of times.

Allow me to share with you a couple of verses that I’ve clung to, in the past, while I was going through a tough, tough, time of waiting:
Perhaps my favorite is this one, from Hebrews. This verse has meant so much to me that it is this verse we have printed on our personal mailing labels. It is also, along with Genesis 12:3, the one we write on personal signings the most: “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15). In my personal study Bible, this verse begins on one page, and continues on the next page. I have written, underneath the beginning of the verse, “It’s time to turn the page!” It is true: Through faith and patience, we inherit the promises of God. We must not give up! Trust in the power which patience and perseverance brings.

While you’re waiting, don’t be lazy! Keep praying, keep reading, keep believing … and, keep thinking about those in Scripture-and, those around you now-which have seen God’s promises come to pass. Hebrews 6: 12 puts it this way: “That ye be not slothful (sluggish), but followers (imitators) of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Staying in Hebrews, how about this, from Hebrews 10:23: “Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).” Amen!

Later in the chapter, we read this: “For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36). The first question this verse raises is, “Am I, right now, following God’s will for my life?” When you can answer that question with a “Yes,” I promise that things will begin to change. God loves it when you show Him that you believe Him, that you believe His Word. And, He loves it when you “pray the Word.” He loves it when He hears the fact that you take Him at His Word. That you do have faith in Him. You must have faith! And, keep it! For, after all, “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

I encourage you to read Deuteronomy, chapter 28. In fact, I encourage you to read the entire book. I always say that I believe the book of Deuteronomy is the most “underrated” book in the Bible, if I may say that in proper context. It is just so full, so rich, so full of promises. Just read chapter 28. Remember that part about doing God’s will? And, diligently seeking Him? In Deuteronomy, we read much about the subject of chapter 28: The blessings of obedience, and the consequences of disobedience. We all want God to “do His part,” but we are unwilling to do “our part” to make it happen. The bottom line is, that “all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Here goes: It is what you do, while you are waiting, which will determine the results of your waiting.

While you are waiting, keep doing the things you know you should do. Maybe even more! Remember that part about being obedient to God’s Word? You can’t do this unless you know what God’s Word says! You must read your Bible every day, pray every day … This way … every day … you hear from God … and, God hears from you! Jesus said this in Matthew 7:24: “Therefore whosoever (that’s us!) heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them (faith is an action word!), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.” We know the story of what happens next. This wise man’s house, when the storms came, “fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:25). What about the man who “heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (verse 26)? Plain and simple: “it fell: and great was the fall of it” (verse 27). I can’t help but think that these two men, one considered wise, and one foolish: I imagine they were doing different things during the time of waiting (for the storm), weren’t they? So, while you are waiting … keep doing things you know to do, which will determine what happens when the waiting is over!

So, while you are waiting, be thankful for what you already have:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth … who healeth … who redeemeth thy life … who crowneth thee …” (Psalm 103:2-4). You have God’s Word, you have His promises, and you have His Spirit!

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
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Shared Email Classics: Tons of Puns for Funs

1.
The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was
Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.

2.
I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3.
She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.

4.
A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

6.
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8.
Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9.
A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.

10.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12.
Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other:
‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

13.
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14.
A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said:
‘Keep off the Grass.’

15.
The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

16.
The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

17.
A backward poet writes inverse.

18.
In a democracy it’s your vote that counts.
In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

19.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

20.
If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.

21.
A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says,
‘I’m sorry, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’

22.
Two fish swim into a concrete wall.
One turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’

23.
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

24.
Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’
The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

25.
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal?
His goal: transcend dental medication.

26.
There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
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From Modern-Day Psalms: “I Dreamed About Mama Last Night”

I Dreamed About Mama Last Night
Introduction

“I dreamed about Mama last night
Now I know what a saint looks like.”

This was written exactly as I remembered it.
It was less than two months after Mama had gone to be with Jesus, when I had the dream described here. It was so clear … so vivid …
The dream seemed so real. I woke up, ran to the office, and started to write down what I had seen. The dream started with all of us kids in church … and, then, a familiar voice echoed through the pews …

All she wanted for us kids was for us to serve the Lord … she was such an example …I have said it so many times, and I have heard so many people say it, and I’ll write it now:

“She was the closest thing to an angel ever placed on earth.”

I Dreamed About Mama Last Night

I dreamed about Mama last night
It’s been two months; No, wait! Not quite
It seems like so long ago
Then again, it seems just yesterday
When we saw her go

In my dream, I was in church
I was sitting in the front row
That should have been my first clue
That I was dreaming, you know

Oh, I was raised in church
Together, all six of us kids
Like stair steps in a single row
When the doors were open, we were all there
All of us listening intently
Some of us rocking to and fro

One day, we’ll all be back together in Heaven
I’m so glad about that right now
We can say thanks to Mama
She showed us the truth, the way, and how!

But, now, back to my dream
There I was, on the front row
Listening to our Pastor
Our Pastor from that time long ago

He looked as he had looked
When we were all together
There in that row
So real the pictures now seem
From a time so cherished
From a garden from which I would grow

I was listening to Pastor
Even making notes
When, behind me, from the center pew
Came a voice
A voice I loved
I voice I so well knew
I turned and I looked
And saw Mama sitting there
She was reading from Matthew
Her voice filled the church air

I know what you’re thinking
Was there something special that she wanted to share?
She was just doing what she always did
Being an example, hoping one day you’d be there

Is there a special message she wanted to impart?
Read your Bible
Stay in church
That is the start

And, I think that was the message
The message was her life
As a mother, a child of her Lord
The way she lived as a wife

Think about it
Don’t be sad
She lived the gospel
There’s just nothing to add

Stay in church
Read your Bible
Something to impart?
Begin reading about Jesus in Matthew
That’ll be a good start

I dreamed about Mama last night
Now I know what a saint looks like

I dreamed about Mama last night
Now I know how someone looks
After they’ve fought
The good fight

I dreamed about Mama last night
She wasn’t just alright
She was more than alright

Let me close by just adding
That Mama would want you to have what she had
So that, one day
You’ll get
What she has right now
And, she’s right, there’s nothing more to say
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

“I Dreamed About Mama Last Night”
One of THE “Praise Songs and Love Messages from “Modern-Day PSALMS” Available Now!
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From “Tulips” to “Roses in the Snow”

I must admit that the whole time I was writing the previous post, with the “Tulips in the Snow” title, I was thinking about the album I used to play so much, “Roses in the Snow,” recorded by Emmylou Harris, which featured many traditional songs with a bluegrass flavor. Roses in the Snow was the seventh album released by Emmylou Harris. The album was recorded in Nashville in July of 1979, and released in May of 1980.

One of the most played tracks on the album was Emmylou’s version of Ralph Stanley’s classic song, “The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn.” The album version featured Ricky Skaggs as featured vocalist.
I wanted to share this video of Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, performing in Budapest, Hungary. The song features guitarist/vocalist Barry Tashian, who grew up in Westport, Connecticut.
The words encourage our patience, perseverance, and faith. I am reminded that, during the darkest moment in human history … God was performing His greatest miracle.
Here are the words:

The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn
Ralph Stanley

The sun is slowly sinkin’
The day’s almost gone
Still darkness falls around us
And we must journey on

The darkest hour is just before dawn
The narrow way leads home
Lay down your soul at Jesus’ feet
The darkest hour is just before dawn

Like a shepherd out on the mountain
A-watchin’ the sheep down below
He’s coming back to claim us
Will you be ready to go

The darkest hour is just before dawn
The narrow way leads home
Lay down your soul
Let Jesus in
The darkest hour is just before dawn
The darkest hour is just before dawn


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