Monthly Archives: December 2015

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 14

It seems so easy to fall into the temptation of making some kind of a list at the end of the year, and usually this falls into the category of “Resolutions,” or “The Year That Was” type of listing. There also seems to be plenty of “Best of/Worst of” lists that so many put together.

About resolutions:
We don’t need a new Resolution, we need a new Revelation of Jesus.
Who He is, What He is. His Word and His Person.
Jesus spent most of His entire earthly ministry showing, revealing, and proving, Who He is, and What He is. To allow others to accept His Word and His Person. The same choice we have today is the same choice Jesus offered then: Do you accept His Word and His Person? You can’t separate Jesus from His Word, or His Person. He is, simply, the Word of God manifested in human form. If you accept His Word, you accept Him. He is still the only means of eternal salvation, and the only way to the Heavenly Father.

Yet, He is so much more. Our Healer. Our Provider. Our Helper.
Wow! If we would only just believe those 3 things about Jesus, and I mean really believe them, what a difference that would make in our lives. Every day. And, not just every day. But, every moment of every day. What is so important about just believing? Because … if we would just believe … if we really just believed … we would start acting like we believe. Do we act like we really believe it? I’m first in line about failing, miserably, at times, on that one fact. I say I believe, I know I believe … but, do I act like it? Does this belief affect my behavior? Change how I think, change how I act, and change how I speak?

It is true that we will act out how we really believe. I like to say that, “When I act on faith, I’m not acting.” I try to live up to that in every area of my life. Truth is, it’s not really me that is able to stand firm in faith while I am battling life’s storms, but it is Jesus dwelling inside of me that allows me to stand. And, I’m ok with that. Completely. I need to depend completely upon Jesus every moment of every day. If I’ll just do that, then Jesus is already “there” whenever something happens during the day. Yes, things happen which I can’t control, or have no control over. But … these things should only be what others do … not me! I can’t control what others say or do … but, I can control what I say or do. That’s the real difference between having Jesus dwelling inside of you … or not. There are so many people, which we come in contact with every day, which don’t have Jesus dwelling inside of them. But … we do. Shouldn’t we act differently from them? Shouldn’t we speak differently from them? Oh …. And, perhaps the most important thing of all, in dealing with others … Shouldn’t we react differently from them?

If we don’t act, or react, differently from them … then what is the difference between them and us? Most importantly … if we don’t act or react differently from those who don’t know Jesus … how will they know we know Jesus … how will they know we know … I mean … I know I know … but, do they know I know???

And … if I act “just like them,” then why would they want what I have … if “what I have” appears to be the same thing they have??? How can I witness to others about Jesus, and the difference He made, and makes, in my life … if I don’t act or speak any differently from them??? If there is no difference … then, and think about this one … If there is no difference in my life … I really don’t have anything to offer them … so why would someone ask me about something that it looks like I don’t already have? Careful! And, I’ve seen this happen: Before you know it, instead of being a witness for Christ … people will start coming up to you … and, witnessing to you!

Maybe what this new “Revelation” is all about is this:
When Jesus came to earth, He was the very image of God, manifested in human form. As Christians, we are chosen to be the same … exactly the same … the very image of God, manifested in human form. Which means we are the image of Jesus on earth. His Words. His Person. His mission. Are we? Am I?

The question of who Jesus is, is the most important question we will ever face, the most important decision we will every make.
How about this for a turn-around:
Jesus is “I am.”
Are we “Am I?”

Do people we know and come into contact with accept our word and our person?
Just like Jesus … and, that’s the bottom line … we are supposed to be “just like Jesus” …
Jesus spent His life manifesting the Truth of both His Word and His Person …
What truth are we displaying to those around us?
The old saying is true (that’s why it’s such an old saying):
If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Jesus has turned this entire message around.
“A new Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
He is wanting us, every day, in every way, to “reveal” Him to others in the only way we can:
Though our Word and our Person.
What we say. How we act. How we react.

The “New Revelation of Jesus” is not about Him revealing something new to us … but about us revealing something new to others!
To “reveal” Jesus to those we come in contact with, every day.

Jesus living inside of us! Dwelling inside of us!
What wealth! What a treasure!
That’s what people want to see!

I get an image of someone bringing out a “treasure map,” and showing it to a few, select friends.
What would be their reaction?
They would huddle around … anxious to see what the treasure is … and, most importantly … where it is … They would, perhaps, depend upon you to lead them to the treasure …
I think the point is clear.

The question which comes to mind is this:
If you really did possess a “treasure map,” and for this example, this was true, and the treasure was available to all who would find it, it would make sense that you would find it first, to make sure the treasure was real. For, only then, could you, with full faith, share this treasure with others. And, if you did truly possess such a treasure … wouldn’t that affect your attitude? Wouldn’t that affect the way you acted? The way you talked? And … wouldn’t that make people want to be around you … wouldn’t that make people “want to have what you have?”
Another clear point.

If the room was dark … and, you had the only light … would everyone in the room just naturally gravitate toward you?

What incredible treasure we have! What incredible wealth we have! What incredible riches we have! The best part? It is for now … and for eternity!
And, yes, I’ll say it: The more of this treasure you give to others … the more you receive!!!

Let the Word go forth throughout the world, through time and space … and social media:
It’s free, and always will be!

Blessings to you, and your family.
Now, and always,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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T’was the night before Christmas and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus was anywhere to be found.
The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores.
No one sang “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched television, Papa drank from a tap.
As hour upon hour the presents they’d wrap
When … what from the TV did they suddenly hear?
‘Cept an ad … which told of a big sale at Sears.
So away to the mall they all flew like a flash…
Buying things on credit … and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home from their trip to the mall
Did they think about Jesus? Oh, no … not at all.
Their lives were so busy with their Christmas time things
No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.
There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior … they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to “Shop ‘til they dropped!”

From the big stores downtown to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away, and visit them all!
And up on the roof, there arose such a clatter
As Grandpa hung icicle lights up-on his brand new step ladder.
He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus…
The Light of the World.

Christ’s eyes … how they twinkle!
Christ’s Spirit … how merry!
Christ’s love … how enormous!
All our burdens … He will carry!
So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight
Let’s put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy some good nights

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“We need to look back to our past … before we look ahead to our future.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here is a great story I’ve been saving for some time now, and wish to share now. We can learn so much from our Founding Fathers, and should take every opportunity to learn about, and from, them.
Here’s one you may not know about Benjamin Franklin. In reading through this story, I found it so amazing, in light of our present times, that I had to research further.

I’m sorry, but I must be honest:
I, myself, fall victim to looking at the world around us now … and, then, when I read about what our country stood for-and against-in years past … well, I forget where prayer was so readily allowed … where the mention of God was so welcomed … Anyway … I write about success, and how often do we write that if we want to be successful, we look at what other successful people did, and just “do what they did.” I know that works individually … but, doesn’t that also work nationally? I mean … if we put God first … wouldn’t that put us first? If we put God last … or, maybe just don’t mention Him at all … Sorry, I can’t write the rest … All I need to do is just pick up the newspaper, and that tells me where our priorities are … or maybe, the proper explanation would be, “where we have gone.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to hear more about “what they did” than about “what I would do”
Ben Franklin Plaque
Yes, I’ve read a lot about Ben Franklin. And, about our Founding Fathers. How they lived. How they believed. Haven’t you? Remember, the worse we can make them look … the better we can look … the more we can justify our actions …

Anyway, I am researching Ben Franklin and his involvement with this Hospital: He said what? He did what? He wrote what? They used an example from what? This is still standing in the United States today? We can still read this? This is in public? Maybe “they” just don’t know about this, right?

So, I went to the website of the Pennsylvania Hospital, and checked other sources … I’m sorry, but I had to … I mean, I am seeing Scripture examples being used as a mission statement for a public entity … I read the cornerstone, and it mentions Christ and it asks for God’s blessing … I mean, these are still on public display today … I’m sorry, but I had to check this story out, I had to make sure this is “really real,” that in a vision statement of an institution in which its very existence is to heal, they are asking for God’s favor … I had to make sure that this is real, that this is true … and, that this is being allowed in this country ….
My research proves that this story is, indeed, correct. True. A fact.
Historical Marker
Faithful origins found in our nation’s first hospital

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was responsible for many innovative and clever developments that improved the quality of life in early America. Among them was the founding of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia on May 11, 1751. Working with his close friend, Dr. Richard Bond, Franklin lent his support to the effort, thereby creating enough momentum for the idea of a hospital to be accepted by the skeptical public. The goal was to provide a place that would care for the sick, poor and insane who wandered the streets of Philadelphia.

Writing about the founding of the hospital, Ben Franklin recognized the manner in which God raised up physicians who were called to the task of medical care in this hospital and acknowledged their reliance on God’s help to bless the mission of the hospital:

“It would be a neglect of that justice which is due to the physicians and surgeons of this hospital, not to acknowledge that their care and skill, and their punctual and regular attendance, under the Divine Blessing, has been a principal means of advancing this charity to the flourishing state in which we have now the pleasure to view it. Relying on the continuance of the Favour of Heaven, upon the future endeavors of all who may be concerned in the management of the institution, for its further advancement, we close this account with the abstract of a sermon, preached before the Governors…”

A further reliance on God and His Word was evidenced in Franklin and Bond’s choice to model their mission after the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10. They placed these words from the Scriptures on the official seal of the hospital, “Take Care of Him and I Will Repay Thee.” The development of the hospital brought about a new attitude of Christian compassion and social responsibility to colonial life.
Hospital Seal
From “The History of Pennsylvania Hospital” website, including the first part of their Timeline:

The hospital has over 29,000 inpatient admissions and 115,000 outpatient visits each year, including over 5,200 births.
Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and is located at 8th and Spruce Streets in the historic Society Hill district of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Hospital
Since its founding in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital has been an innovator in patient care, treatment techniques and medical research. In the years since its founding, Pennsylvania Hospital has provided the setting for many “firsts” of our nation, as well as many other noteworthy medical, historical and cultural milestones.
On May 11, 1751, a charter is granted by the Pennsylvania legislature to establish a hospital to care for the sick-poor and insane who wander the streets of Philadelphia. The story of the Good Samaritan is chosen by Franklin and Bond as the official seal, and “Take Care of Him and I will repay Thee” ushers in a new attitude of social responsibility.

The original cornerstone, with its text drafted by Benjamin Franklin, can still be viewed. It is located at the southeast corner of the East wing of the Pine Building under a Plexiglas cover. The text reads:

In the year of Christ
George the second happily reigning
(for he sought the happiness of his people)
Philadelphia flourishing
(for its inhabitants were publick spirited)
this building
by the bounty of the government,
and of many private persons,
was piously founded
for the relief of the sick and miserable;
may the God of mercies
bless this undertaking.

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Shared E-Mail Classic: “BRUISED APPLES”

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales Convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. Well, as such things go, one thing led to another. The sales meeting lasted longer than anticipated. Their flights were scheduled to leave out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and they had to race to the airport.

With tickets in hand, they barged through the terminal to catch their flight back home. In their rush, with tickets and brief-cases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. All but one. He paused, took a deep breath and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him and told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight.

Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the floor.
He was glad he did. The 16 year old girl at the apple stand was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping or to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $20.00 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”
She nodded through her tears.
He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister ….”
He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes.
She continued, “Are you Jesus?”
He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered.

Then, slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul:
“Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life, and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk, and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

And always remember, that we are the only “Jesus” that some people will ever see.

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Marlana Vanhoose: Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone

Has it been that long since “The Greatest Performance of the NBA Finals?” Since we featured the incredible … so inspirational … so powerful … Marlana Vanhoose?

One of our favorite opportunities we’ve ever had to share, was our feature on Marlana Vanhoose, who was featured singing our National Anthem before Game Six in Cleveland. We had the opportunity to learn about her … her life … and her beliefs.
Here’s a direct link to that feature, on our blog, from July:

Greatest Performance of This Year’s NBA Finals: Marlana Vanhoose

I have been waiting, way too long, to share this performance with you. When I saw her, back in Cleveland to sing our National Anthem before a recent Monday Night Game, I couldn’t wait any longer.

This is Marlana Vanhoose singing the combination song “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone.”
Watching her at the piano, the emotion in her voice, the words she sings … I can still feel it.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to share the “My Chains are Gone” lyrics with you:

My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior
Has ransomed me
And like a flood
His mercy reigns
Unending love
Amazing grace

Be blessed … comforted … and inspired:
Marlana Vanhoose:

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NFL Testimony: Landry Jones

I know … I know … can we not go anywhere without hearing about football?

Even though I have written about being a fan of football, there have been times when I, too, wondered if the NFL stood for Need to Find a Lawyer …

However, I must agree with NFL commentators, like Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms, who have often lamented how we, so often, hear about the 1% of athletes who get in trouble … and hear nothing about the huge part of the 99% who are role models, active in their communities, etc.

We have written much, especially when speaking about our jobs, or maybe our residence, how that God has placed people all over, in every walk of life … to “walk” as an example to those around them.

Should football, or baseball, or any professional sport be different? Whether you watch, or care about the sport or not, you should know that, yes, there are a lot of Christian professional football players. Some of them, like Tim Tebow, seem to be as known for their Christian walk as for what they do on the field. I mean, when I think of “haters,” why does the image of Tim Tebow come to mind? Consider this, and I mean really consider this: Can we say that we are known more for what we believe in than for what we do? Are we “well known” for being a Christian? Russell Wilson comes to mind, as well. Have you ever heard Russell Wilson pray?

Television networks still do not know what to do when their cameras are scanning around the field after a football game … and you see “the circle,” a group of players-from both sides, kneeling in a circle, and praying … It’s like the cameras, and the networks are completely off-guard, and, frankly, don’t know what to say, or what to do next … During the playoffs last year, the cameras accidently caught a circle of players, after an emotional game, in this circle, and there was audio included … That was the first time I had heard Russell Wilson pray, and I’ll never forget it … I don’t think the NFL networks will, either, as they now seem to be “on guard” for this type of activity after each game …

They got caught off guard again in a recent game when 40 year old Matt Hasselbeck, battling serious illness all week and unable to practice, played an incredible game to lead his Colts to a win. His main concern, going into that game, was whether he would just be able to stand up at the end of the game. Naturally, the cameras followed him after the victory … showing him joining hands in a circle with players from both teams, as he knelt and prayed … I will never forget the look of peace on Matt’s face, after a tremendous battle, that “look” as he knelt … just before the cameras had to rush away …

Which leads me to Landry Jones: NFL quarterback. Pittsburgh Steelers. Backup QB to Big Ben and Michael Vick. Interesting. We spoke about God placing people where they are needed. Landry Jones. Backup to Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick. A short few weeks ago, Landry Jones “burst on the scene” when the 2 quarterbacks ahead of him were injured … and, Landry was thrust into the starting lineup … and the national spotlight …
I had the same question: Who is Landry Jones?
In the weeks following, I have discovered who Landry Jones is. And, most importantly, what he has discovered …

“In the end of times, it’s not really gonna matter if I was a Hall of Fame quarterback, or anything like that. It’s gonna matter what I did on this earth, and how I used my gifts for God.”
Landry Jones

Here is the video testimony from Landry Jones, from the “I am Second” series, and taken directly from The WorldNews (WN) Network.
He speaks about how God changed his identity …
You know … if this sort of thing keeps up … this may just change the identity of the NFL, with words like Naturally Found Leader instead of, as the Monday Night Football commentator stated just a couple of nights ago, about a featured team, that they Need to Find a Leader … I think about how many lives would be changed if more people realized what Landry realized … they Needed to Find the Lord …

Here’s Landry Jones:

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