Monthly Archives: March 2017

Email Classic: “Prospective Teacher”

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

“Let me see if I’ve got this right.
You want me to go into that room with all those kids,
correct their disruptive behavior,
observe them for signs of abuse,
monitor their dress habits,
censor their T-shirt messages,
and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons,
wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases,
and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship,sportsmanship and fair play,
and how to register to vote,
balance a checkbook,
and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice,
recognize signs of antisocial behavior,
and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps or race,
and communicate regularly with their parents in
English, Zulu, or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk,
a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books,
a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me …
I CAN’T PRAY?

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“Thank God for the Promise of Spring”

Thank God for the Promise of Spring.

Here we are, only 5 days away, and this song, and thought, has been on my mind a lot lately.
A lot.

“Thank God for the Promise of Spring.”

Let’s see: Last night, it was 6 days away from Spring, and we were in the middle of our latest big snow storm. I was snow-blowing the driveway at 8:00 PM. I caught a break in the storm, and got rid of about a foot of snow. If I had waited, the snow would have been over the top of the snow blower. This morning, only 5 days away from Spring, at 8:00 AM, I was snow blowing the driveway.

The sun was out … not a cloud in the sky … the driveway looked beautiful … what does this mean?
At Noon, it was snowing again.

Thank God for the Promise of Spring.

This is March. In the first days of March, we have had plenty of nights below zero. And, I mean, way below zero.

Thank God for the Promise of Spring.

Last Saturday, the high temperature was 3 degrees. That was the high temperature. In the middle of the day, sun beating down, I looked at the thermometer on the deck, and, just once, I thought I saw 5 degrees. Nope … just the angle I was looking …

Carol and I traveled on Sunday … got out of town … it was all the way up to 12 degrees.Felt like wearing a tee-shirt.

I just realized that I have featured this song before.
I’m not surprised.
This idea of thanking God for the promise of Spring … comes every year.

Every year.

Thank God for the Promise of Spring … every year.

It just seems like, every year … we look forward to it more.
Don’t you?

Since I have featured this song before, I looked at what I had written previously, about Winter, about Mama’s words, and about this song.
I’ll include a couple of links to stories I’ve written before about this song.

Maybe I’m getting older, but, it seems, each year, I look more and more forward to Spring.

God’s promises are true.
Including the one about Springtime.

I’ve written much about how God used the songs of Cynthia Clawson to “pull me through.”

Here is the ink to the original “Thank God for the Promise of Spring” Post on May 18, 2016:
Thank God for the Promise of Spring

Here is the link to “It Won’t Rain Always” from January 20, 2016:
It Won’t Rain Always

This is from one of the Bill and Gloria Gaither television programs, as Cynthia Clawson, surrounded by “Homecoming” cast, sings “Thank God for the Promise of Spring.”

This is exactly what Gospel Music should do … what writing should do … what singing should do … what our online ministry strives to do … to bless, inspire, and encourage … How better to do that, in the midst of our latest snow storm … to be blessed … to be inspired … to be encouraged … by God’s promises …

Thank God for the Promise of Spring …

Click Here for Cynthia Clawson Website

 Click here for the Gaither Website

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Five

Hi Friends:

Yes, I didn’t plan this to be a series; I only wanted to share with you what I had discovered on the back of a calendar, and, initially, planned that one “post” for the end of the year.

While I was researching for what became a short series, I ran into this quote, which I share with you today, during a morning Bible study. Once again, I just can’t over-emphasize the importance of beginning your day with prayer, and Bible study. First thing. Every day. If you’ll do this, faithfully, I promise you’ll “run into” all kinds of things, which just happen to fit into the “that’s just what I needed” category. See, God knows what you need. If you’ll spend time with Him … you will, then, give Him the time to show you … “just what you need.”

I was in the beginning of this series, when I discovered this quote from, and, yes, I will proudly say it … one of my heroes … It’s ok to have heroes, you know … people, from the past, and present, who inspire you … God will always put people in front of you, to inspire you. Jesus is my hero. Period. Period. I want to be like Him, I want to think like Him, I want to speak like Him, I want to “do” like Him. Period.

Jesus also places people around us, circumstances around us, which will help us fulfill that goal. He also allows us to read and learn about people, from history, who had that same goal. People we can, yes I’ll say it, people we can “look up to,” people who inspire us. How about Paul? Peter? John? Etc. Well, Jesus is still alive, His influence is still alive, and there are many “modern-day” people who can, through their example of following Christ, inspire us today.

One of these heroes, to me, is Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. And, his wife Sabrina. I notice that, today, according to my “Google Doodle,” is “International Women’s Day.” Well … to women around the globe … to men around the globe … I urge you to learn about Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand. If you want to learn about 2 heroes …

While I was doing the research for this series, I ran into a quote from Richard Wurmbrand. Mr. Wurmbrand was a Pastor in Romania. What he endured as a prisoner, inside a Communist prison, for 14 years, is incomprehensible. He was, eventually, released, and went on to found “The Voice of the Martyrs.”

I am now going to write this: When I was growing up in Georgia, the movie “Walking Tall” was released; a true story about Sheriff Buford Pusser, a former professional wrestler. A man I remember seeing. A man who suffered tremendous injury at the hands of criminals, whom he would spend the rest of his life fighting. Again … please allow me to use this as an example, in context. In the movie, Buford (played by Joe Don Baker) was on trial … in one of the most memorable scenes from his movie, and his life … from the witness stand … he ripped open his shirt … allowing the, perhaps, at first, unbelieving jury to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with … again, please remember the context … making a statement, to the now-horrified, stunned jury, that, if they allowed this to happen to him … “they” would allow the same thing to happen to “each of you”

Pastor Wurmbrand began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev. Stuart Harris. Later, Richard moved on to the United States. It was the year 1966 … Years after his release from a Communist prison … Richard Wurmbrand would stand in front of perhaps, at first, unbelieving members of the United States Congress … he appeared before a U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed 18 deep torture wounds on his body to perhaps, at first, an unbelieving group of U.S. Congressmen, to see the wounds his enemies had inflicted him with …

Yeah … I have heroes … Not many, but these are two …

Pastor Wurmbrand would write the classic “Tortured for Christ,” and “In God’s Underground.” It is a quote from the latter that I discovered as I was in the midst of this series. The day was February 29th, 1948, and Pastor Wurmbrand, in Romania, was walking to church. He was forced into a van, and taken prisoner. How scared would you be?

In his book “In God’s Underground,” here’s what Pastor Wurmbrand wrote about that day, the last day of February, 1948:
“I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times-once for every day of the year-‘Don’t be afraid.’ 366 times, not merely 365, to account for leap year. And this was February 29-a coincidence that told me I need not fear!”

Yeah … I have heroes …

I was going to sub-title this last installment of the series, “What’s on your wall?” as I share with you a deeply personal photo, which I have, here on the wall, in our office. It is right next to a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

Again, I encourage you to “post” sayings, verses of Scriptures, pictures, photos, etc., around your home, to encourage you … and … those who may just happen to visit. In my case, every time I enter the office, or as I leave the office and turn around to look, this is the photo I see … there on the wall … to encourage me, and “all those who enter.” This, by the way, and this is really personal, is the exact photo I have on the wall … I took it down, and scanned it … so this is the photo I see, both when I enter, and leave, the office.

The question is:
What’s on your wall?

I am also going to share a link to a story we did on Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand, over on our blog, which includes a video …
Featuring actual recordings of Pastor Wurmbrand, and the story of Richard and Sabrina … the only change I may make, as I really think about their story … is that I think I should put a photo of both Mr. and Mrs. Wurmbrand on the wall …

Here’s the actual photo from my office wall:

Here’s the link to the story and video:

Richard and Sabrina Wurmbrand Post

Blessings to you, and your family,
Today. And, every day.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Good News from Sudan: VOM Staff Member Released from Sudanese Prison

Under the heading of “SET FREE,” I received this email from The Voice of the Martyrs, this past Monday, February 27. This is a story we have been keeping up with, and read the announcement with great joy:
“Czech national and long-time VOM staff member Petr Jasek has been released from prison in Sudan, following a pardon issued by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.” 
Here is a recap of the story, from 2 emails we received:

HE’S FINALLY HOME

HE’S FINALLY HOME!

“After 445 days in prison in Sudan, Czech national Petr Jasek has been set free. He flew out of Sudan Sunday afternoon along with Czech Republic Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek. Jasek, arrested in December 2015, had served as VOM’s Africa Regional Director. He was reunited with his wife and two grown children last night in Prague.
We are so thankful for all those who prayed for Petr and his family. Many also wrote letters to the Sudanese government on behalf of Petr and two Sudanese men sentenced with him. THANK YOU!
From the earliest days of his imprisonment, Petr said many times, “God holds the key to my cell.” We are thankful that God used that key to open the door, and we pray that He will also open the cell doors to allow the two Sudanese men, one of whom is a pastor, also to go free.
Petr was arrested in December 2015, after visiting Sudanese Christians and helping one of them with a small gift to cover medical expenses. Last month a Sudanese court found him guilty of “waging war against the state,” “violating restrictions in military areas,” “spreading rumors to defame the state,” “espionage” and “inciting strife between communities.” He was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Since that sentence was announced, negotiations have been ongoing between the Czech government and the government of Sudan.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Hassan Abduraheem (second from left above) and Abdulmonem Abdumawla (far right above), who can be seen with Petr in the photo above, and were sentenced to 12 years in prison for allegedly aiding Petr’s espionage activities. Pray that they will be released soon, and pray for their families.

Also: Pray also for Petr Jasek and his family as they reunite and as Petr begins to recover from the physical toll that 14 months in prison has wrought.

“I was in five different prisons, each worse than the last,” Petr said. “I was placed in group cells with drug traffickers, violent criminals and radical Muslims – including ISIS members. I was deprived of sleep for days in a cell with no running water, where mice ran over my body every time I lay down.”

As a career field leader with VOM, Petr has devoted his life to serving our persecuted Christian family. For more than 15 years, he has traveled continually and served in the toughest mission fields in the world.
Inspired by years of serving Christians imprisoned for their faith, he felt honored to be able to serve God while himself the prisoner of a brutal Islamic regime. He embraced his imprisonment as an opportunity to share the gospel with Sudanese, Eritreans and radical Muslims who are normally inaccessible to missionaries.

“I found that I was peaceful and joyful in prison, and that is a miracle that only God can do,” Petr said. “I can say that I was experiencing an amazing time with the Lord. My prayer was that I wanted to have the right words to speak at any time so that everything I said would be for the glory of God and touching the hearts of the other prisoners.” During his almost 15 months in prison, Petr shared the gospel with many and saw several come to saving faith in Christ.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Each of us should be inspired by Petr’s example. We should seek to boldly witness for Christ wherever we are.

Pray also for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan. They have become bolder – not more cautious – in their witness for Christ since Petr and the others were imprisoned, even singing hymns outside the courthouse during our brothers’ trial.

Here is a direct link to The Voice of the Martyrs website, which will include information on how you can help those persecuted for their faith, and how you can help their families:

The Voice of the Martyrs

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Hebrews 13:3

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The Power of “Posts:” Part Four

Hi Friends:

I guess it’s about time to share the original idea behind what has turned into this short series.

The original idea, and original post, was scheduled to be written in time for the New Year’s holiday. It was to only be one “post,”
what I am sharing now … but, as you know … things change when confronted with the keyboard … and the words begin to flow …

Regardless of the time of year, I only hope to be an instrument used to share what I am given, for that particular time … even if I didn’t know I was to share it … which, so often, results in the expansion of one “post,” as now, into multiple “posts.” I hope to continue to be sensitive to what God wants me to share … even if … even if … that over-rides my own, original idea …

So, anyway, it was the end of last year, 2016. I found a great “verse” at the very end of the year … at the very back of the calendar … which, I thought would make a wonderful verse to share with you. A great message to share with you, as we approach the New Year.
Well … today is the 1st day of March … so, maybe, I’m not so far behind …

The verses and quotes on my own calendar, as I’ve written, have meant so much to me, as I go through each month. So often, the verse or quote has helped me, and encouraged me, many times, many days, over that particular month. I still encourage you to give these types of calendars as gifts … You just never know … who is reading them … and, who will read them …

As I’ve written, my new calendar has already blessed me this year. Which reminds me, as I look up at the calendar, it still says February. Guess it’s time to “turn the page.” But, not before one more glimpse of that beautiful Mountain Scene … big, snow-covered mountains in the background …
and, yes, of course … the lake in front … with the mountains perfectly reflected in the lake … (Don’t you love that!!!) …

It’s now on to March … and, guess what? There’s a beautiful mountain scene, with a lake in the forefront … but, no reflection … Why? Because the lake has ripples … knocking out the mirror … because … of the waterfall … on the right side of the picture … I agree … next to the ‘ol “mountains reflected in the lake” scene … I’d have to say a waterfall in the picture is right up there with the “mirror lake” in popularity on these scenes …
I’m glad, because I love them, too.
I now “steal” a glance at the Scripture verse, from Psalms 145:9:
“The Lord is good to all:
And His tender mercies are over all His works.”
That’s a good one!
Oh, man! Another dentist appointment on the 16th!

I’m so glad His works include mountains, lakes, and waterfalls!
He made ‘em all, you know.
By His Word.
That’s awesome. I’m glad I have all four (mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and His Word) on display in my home … every day.
For all to see.
Because … you never know … who may see …

Now, “Back to the Back.” The verse, on the back of the calendar, which my original intention was to share with you, is printed on the cardboard backing of the calendar. I wonder how many people have thrown out this calendar without reading what was written on the cardboard backing. You know I can’t be guilty of this … because … here it is … March 1 … and I still have the calendar in front of me.

The calendar was published/printed by the “DaySpring” Company, one of the leading Christian retail businesses. As a courtesy, I will share a link to their online store. Again, I hope that everyone who purchased this calendar, or, as I, received this calendar as a gift, read the verse/message, written there on the cardboard backing of the calendar.
Here is a direct link to DaySpring:
DaySpring

Quoting directly from the calendar backing:
“Here is a message written by DaySpring co-founder, Roy Lessin.
We hope it will encourage you today.”

When I read the verse/message, I knew I had to share it with you … “immediately” …
The great thing about “Good News” is that … it is Good … and, can be shared any time of the year. After all, I pray God’s blessings on
you, and your family, for every day of the year … not just at certain times …

Here’s the Message, quoted directly from the cardboard backing of this DaySpring 2016 Calendar, as written by Roy Lessin:

Just think,
You’re here not by chance,
But by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you
And made you
The person you are.
He compares you to no one else-
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
That His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here
At this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.”

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
ECCLESIASTES 3:1

Yes, the cardboard backing ends with the Scripture verse from Ecclesiastes.

I encourage you to read, and re-read, this message.
Now, and always.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Today. And, every day.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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