Category Archives: WEALTH STORED FOR THE RIGHTEOUS

Series featuring details of how we are already blessed, right now, right here.

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 16

Hi Friends:

It is good to be back to writing.

With job, business, and other writing responsibilities, it’s funny how “your first love” gets pushed “to the back.” Plus, the opportunity to travel has also figured into the time equation.

We’re back to our series, in which, yes, we are thankful for what our Heavenly future holds, but, let’s not forget all of the benefits … all of the blessings … we can enjoy right now. I note that I use the term “can enjoy” right now, and realize why: There are just so many blessings we have, in our life right now, which, often, we take for granted. And, just like Spiritual benefits and blessings, there are many that we are not taking advantage of … even though, they are “ours” to use and enjoy … freely …

There is one great advantage we have in the United States, which, sadly, is not enjoyed by many countries around the globe. A great advantage, a great privilege, a great blessing, which we, as we do with so many “privileges” we enjoy in this country, take for granted. And, since we take this privilege for granted, it often becomes “unused.” This is such a basic privilege and, yes, freedom, we enjoy here in the United States. Ready?

The freedom to travel.
Period.
The freedom and liberty to travel.
What a blessing, a great advantage, and a great privilege we enjoy here in the United States. I’m not so sure if this isn’t near the top of the list for most “under-rated” privileges and freedoms we have here. A freedom which so many, in so many countries, can’t enjoy … because they don’t have this freedom that we, sadly, take for granted.

Especially after writing the series regarding Christian persecution around the world, to begin to understand what is happening in other countries, I have really been struck by how awesome a freedom and privilege it is, to just “get in the car and go.” Just as significant to me is thinking about how many of us, here in the United States (and other places), which have this liberty and freedom, yet don’t take advantage of it.

I think of the United States, for this example, as a continent. Like, say, Africa. Or, a block of countries in the Middle East. Instead of individual, separate countries, here we have “states.” I know, we all know this. Yet, think about it: We can “move” between states, without any problem or trouble at all. No “check-points” or other heavily guarded “militia-points” to carefully get screened-with our lives depending upon it-every time we cross into a different state. Think about it: You enter into another “state,” and after an intensive search (think of the time this would take, travelers), you are informed, by military personnel, that you have to turn back … you can’t enter … based upon … well, a variety of things, like political affiliation or religious beliefs …
Can you imaging, in the middle of your vacation … having to turn around, and go back? Just because of the political party you belong to, or because of your faith?

Let’s put it this way: “?????!!!!!?????!!!!!”
Etc.

If this would happen to you, and your family, just once … think about it …

Did I mention that, often, at stations such as these … the potential to be arrested for either of these “violations” (politics or faith) could mean that, not only could you be prevented from entering the country, but … but … you could get arrested. This also means being separated from your family. Etc.

I’m sorry, but I can’t help thinking about 2 groups of people I know:
I love to hike, and, when I hike, I like to enjoy the whole experience. I’m the type that likes to stop and identity every tree. This is called “taking my time.” I have hiked with people whose goal, it seems, is to set a new land-speed record. They hike faster than I run.
The other group are those who go on “vacation,” but rush, rush, rush. I won’t mention the “always on cellphone” issue, or try to, you guessed it … set a new land-speed record for moving from place to place. Can you imagine either of these two groups traveling throughout most of the world, in these war-torn countries?

Recently, we traveled down to Connecticut, meaning going through Massachusetts, and then we spent time over in Rhode Island. It was during this trip that I began to think about how easy it is for us to go from “place to place.” No check-points. No military. Here is what strikes me now, still thinking about our nation being divided into states, and not countries. Again, please consider the context. What if Massachusetts was war-torn? Think about how that would affect our travel. Just to get to Connecticut, or Rhode Island, not wanting to take a chance on what could happen in Massachusetts, it could add days to our travel time.

We’ve spent a lot of time in Maine recently. What if Maine was war-torn? The other part of that scenario is this, and, please consider this: If our neighboring “states” were in the midst of war … how long would it be, before the war crept into our “state?’ Just think about how that would affect every area … every decision … every move … in your life.

I feel a sadness for those who are able, but don’t, travel. Our country is so beautiful. And … And … so accessible ….You can just “get in your car and go.”

Boy, do we take a lot for granted.
OK … OK … I complained about the toll in Maine … We were on 95 for maybe 50 miles, and we had to pay 3 tolls … something like 2.75 in total … Yes, I did think that, if you pay the toll … why can’t you drive as fast as you want???
I even thought about how much money …. As I do each time (I’ll admit it) I pay a toll … I thought about how much money they must make from the toll … How could we be in debt??? How could there be bad places on the road?

Sorry, but I always think the same thought, after thinking about gross mismanagement … I mean … after thinking about all the money collected … I thought about how having a lottery would provide so much money for … yes, our schools and such …. How could we be in debt???

It’s been years … and, I still haven’t figured out the New Jersey Turnpike …

Other subjects for another time, perhaps.

Anyway, what a great, beautiful country we have! And, it is there for the visiting!

I think about a speech which President John F. Kennedy made in the early ’60’s. How he promised that we would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. But, that was only part of the goal. Not just to land a man on the moon … but, bring them back safely … I think about how, in today’s world, the way it is right now … the possibility of just traveling to another “state” and returning safely … is an impossibility …

Yes, there are costs associated with travel. But, in the context of this writing, what a privilege and blessing it is, to be allowed to freely go “anywhere we want,” without having to worry about what so much of the world has to worry about, as a part of their daily lives.

So, OK, let’s talk about “costs” associated with travel. Our freedom, as a nation, was paid for … at a dear, dear cost. Our continued freedom … the privilege and liberty to travel from state to state, continues to be paid for, by the sacrifices of our men and women actively serving around the world …Our freedom, as Christians, the liberty we have, was paid for, at the highest cost imaginable, God’s only Son. What great benefits and blessing we enjoy as we travel along life’s highway … Sadly, I think of those who don’t take advantage …

Blessings to you, and you family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 15

Time after time, over and over, I try to help and encourage by writing about the importance of two things we can do, every day, to help us improve in our walk with God … our relationship with Him … and our relationships with others:

I just can’t empathize enough how important it is to begin the day with prayer and Bible study. How much? That’s a personal choice, but it is a choice which must be made, and followed through with, every day. As with most things in life, start “small” and you will find both time, and yourself, growing. I put it this way, in order to show that, as you begin to see the difference doing this makes in your life, you’ll begin to devote more time to prayer and Bible study, and you’ll see even greater benefits as you go along. I was sharing about this just this morning, as I ran into a dear Brother, while I was at a local gas station (Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be “Gas Stations” anymore, just convenience stores which sell gas … another point for another time …). I explained that setting aside this time does require a sacrifice, as does just about everything worthwhile which is meant to improve us (I think there’s another topic right there). I explained how much of a difference it is to have to get up at 5:30 in the morning. Last year, I could leave my house-on a bicycle-at five minutes until eight, and make it on time. This year, a different School, so I have to leave around seven. Which means I must get up at 5:30 in order to “do what I need to do” in order to leave on time. But, it is so much worth it. The hard part is that, while I must get up at least an hour earlier … I can’t seem to get to bed any earlier. That’s something that I am continuing to ask God’s help for.

The point I am making is that, in order to improve, it does take work. Hard work. Consistent hard work. And, this work requires more time than if we didn’t want to improve, and didn’t want to find the time to improve. That’s why the time to improve, often, with our busy lives, doesn’t exist. It does not exist. That’s why … that’s why … we have to “make the time.” Those who “don’t have the time” never will … because they are not willing to do what it takes in order to “make” the time, to manufacture the time. Trust me, the time really doesn’t exist … and won’t exist … until we make it. Then, and only then, will this “new time” come into existence.

What could possibly be more important than “making” time to “spend time” with God? Talking to Him, listening to Him, and reading His Word. How could anything be more important? What is more important than our own, personal relationship with God?
“Our … (fill in the blank) …”

I get this thought that if we spent more time speaking with God about our problems … there would be less problems to speak with Him about … So … So … So … that would give us more time to just praise Him, thank Him for … yes, for … what He has already done … for the prayers He has already answered … the needs He has already met …
I’m going to say this, because it is true: God loves it when we praise Him! How do you think He feels-about you-when you are willing to “make time,” manufacture time (which before didn’t even exist!) in order just to have more time to spend with Him? How would you feel if the situation was reversed? Remember that our “closeness” with God depends upon how close we move toward Him. And, movement of any kind takes effort. And, in order to move closer to an object (yes, even an “object” of our affection), it is going to take more effort.

I keep getting this picture, as I think about all of the gifts God has already bestowed upon us. After all, this is the whole point of this series, to help understand how rich we are right now, how much God has already done for us, and what He does for us every day. The picture I get is this:
We see a gift that we know would be great to give to a particular person. Something they want, something they will just love, but, maybe, something they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Something, maybe, you know that they want, something maybe that they’ve even hinted around for. Something they will never be able to get on their own, but they still want. You have the resources to give them this as a gift. What goes through your mind as you think about it?
“They are going to love this!”
“I can’t wait to see the look on their face …!”
“This is great! I can’t wait!”
You become just as exited to give the gift as they are to receive it.

I believe God feels the same way. I think of the look on Jesus’ face, as He looked upon the face of someone He had just healed. I don’t even know the way I would describe it. What joy He must feel when He gives a gift to someone. When He answers a prayer.
I think the greatest joy Jesus gets today is when someone praises Him, when someone realizes what He has done for them, and thanks Him.

I think about how we feel.
When we give a gift to someone … and, “the look on their face” as they receive it is something we’ll never forget. I remember, a few years ago, when Carol gave a daughter of friends of ours a necklace. It was not for “Christmas” or for a birthday, or anything like that. It was just something she wanted to give this child. I remember that the necklace had a sunflower design (we love sunflowers!). This is years later, and I still remember the look on this young child’s face, as she unfolded the chain, and realized what it was. The look on her face! But, it was what she said that I think I remember the most. This was one of those moments, which you experience so rarely in life, when you witness something so special, as it unfolds before your eyes, that it is like a scene from a movie being played out in front of you. Something that you have read in a book, or perhaps seen in a movie … What she said, as the necklace was clasped, and the sunflower came to rest, it was what she said:
“I am never going to take this off!”
I’ll just never forget the joy and wonder in her voice, and on her face. I remember it so clearly today, so many years later.

God loves when we talk to Him. He loves when we are thankful for what He has given us. I don’t know about you, but I think that when we give someone something, and they go out of their way to let us know how grateful they are … it makes me want to give them something else! I hope the underlying point settles in.

God can do anything. There is nothing He can’t do. Guess what? He knows this. But, I think He loves it when we tell Him that we know it, too. He so loves it when we go out of our way to thank Him, to praise Him, and to just let Him know that we realize that what we have, the blessings we have been given (already), we are thankful for.

I’ve helped people, and they were so grateful … I wanted to do something else for them!
Another point.

I think about this: What if, every day, there was someone, a particular person, who gave us a gift? We’d get a gift, every day. What are the chances that, when you awoke every morning, the first thought you had was in anticipation of what gifts today would bring? Would this change your attitude? And, as you went about your “day to day,” I’m thinking that this would change everything. The person who gave you these gifts: Would you take the time to thank them? Wouldn’t you go out of your way to find them, make sure you ran into them-even if you had to change your schedule in order to do it? Wouldn’t you, somehow, someway … “make” the time to thank them?

I think that was another point.

So, if we don’t make the time for prayer and Bible study, it won’t be there. Because it doesn’t exist. At least, not yet. And, it won’t exist … it can’t exist … until we make this time. Consider the benefits. Remember also that doing nothing is also a decision.

Have you ever gone out of your way to do something for somebody, and they did not even acknowledge what was clearly a sacrifice for you to do?
Have you ever given a gift to someone, anticipating eagerly their response to the gift … and, they acted like it was “no big deal?”
Did you ever do something for someone, or given someone something, and they didn’t even say thank you?

Ever done all you could for someone, and they act like you don’t exist?
Ever sent a note, or a letter to someone, and they didn’t even take the time to read it?
I feel I must insert something I heard recently. I can’t get this picture out of my mind:
It has to do with football, and a recent press conference.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was injured during a game.
After the game, head coach Bill Belichick was asked this question:
“How did you feel when Gronkowski went down with an injury?”
Here is Coach Belichick’s response:
“How would you feel?”

God loves it when we “make” the time to thank Him, to just talk to Him.
To thank Him for what He has already done.

To be like Him, we must know Him.
How can we do this unless we speak with Him, read about Him, and then ask Him questions?

God has blessed us so much.
In closing, note that He will always make sure the time is available for manufacture … if it is something which you truly want. Meaning … if you truly want Him …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.


New Year, New Resolve: Part One

Hi Friends:

If it is one thing which God has been trying to show me over the past few months, as He’s guided me through the series, “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” it is for me to both realize-and be thankful for-the things which He has already provided for me, the things He has already given me, the things I already have now. As if Salvation and His Spirit dwelling inside of me weren’t enough, I have been blessed beyond measure in so many other ways.

I have seen God’s hand involved in so many circumstances in my life over the past months, and seen direct results from so many prayers, and so many things which I have done … acting strictly on faith, my own personal belief, that He would bless us. It is so easy to say something like “I really, really, really believed that God would come through for us, and He did.” But, that’s a true statement, and I can’t put it any other better way. And, as things go along, progress, as God continues to be faithful to His Word and His promises, it helps to build my faith even more.

I am writing this to encourage you, and all of us: Just look at things in your life which have happened over the past few months. Just think about how blessed you and I have been, in so many ways. I know … I know … there have been tough times, times of trial and struggle … times we’ve had to work long … work hard … then work more … then work harder … But, God has given us the strength, and sometimes just plain courage, to keep on. To keep on working, and to keep on believing. I always say that the best students get the toughest tests. I just told that to a student in High School today.

I’ve written so often, and will continue to do so about this: Thank God every day for what you have … or, to be more specific, what He has allowed you to have. How blessed we are. Every day. To start your day with prayer and Bible study.
Start right.
End right.
Every day, I thank God for electricity, running water, running hot water, shelter and protection through the home he has provided for us. For our vehicles, to keep them running safely. Yes, I’ve had auto repairs. I prayed that God would give us favor. He did. We re-built our home over the Summer/Early Fall months, which took great leaps of faith, every step of the way. We asked for favor in many, many areas, involving a lot of different people … and, God tied it all together, and gave us favor in every single step.

After the re-build, we had a lot of painting and other work to do … which required warm weather, as paint, mortar, etc., has to have some degree of warmth to cure or dry properly. God gave us favor … every step of the way. We had the warmest December on record (for example), and November was especially kind to us. Last year, for example, we had between 1-2 feet of snow on the ground over the Thanksgiving break … this year, we had none. I had mortar and concrete work to do … I caulked windows on Thanksgiving Day, had concrete work to do the first week of December. The warmest weather ever. I just finished the last “outside” detail the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Was wearing short sleeves in the house, and our pellet stove over the past few weeks has been kept as low as I could get it, without turning it off. I see God’s hand in everything. As long as I keep doing that … He’ll keep putting His hands in.

These are just some of many real-life examples of how God has blessed us. There are so many more. I also pray, every day, that God would give both Carol and I favor on our jobs. He has. I pray every day that God will continue to bless us financially. Whether we like the concept or not, “financial” is a big part of life. We just have to remember that money doesn’t have a lot to do with “being successful.” Remember that Joseph, for example, was a “prosperous man” while he was still a slave. Because “God was with Joseph.” That’s the reason Joseph was a successful man, and that’s the only way we can be truly successful, truly prosperous. Only if “God is with us.”

And … as I’ve written so many times … if God is with us, just like in the case with Joseph, if God is with us … those around us-even at work-will know it. And, the same is also true if you don’t have God with you: Those around us-even those we work with-will know it.

I say all this to encourage us all to just be thankful for what we already have. Remember that it is a Biblical principle that God will give us a little … to see what we’ll do … and how we act-and react-will determine the future course.

I pray that God will allow me to see others the way He sees them. That way, my compassion for others will grow. This will lead to opportunities to “show Him” to others.
I pray that God will allow me to see myself the way He sees me. That way, I’ll be able to “see what I’m doing,” and ask for His help in specific areas I need to improve in.

I pray that God will help me be the man He called me to be, in order to do the things He’s called me to do.

I’ve always said that there are things I need to do more of, and there are things I need to do less of.
I should add one thing to that: There are things I need to do none of.

I’ve discovered the lasting, “every-day in every-way” benefits of prayer and Bible study every morning. I’m also beginning to realize the same benefits if I close my day with prayer, to re-cap the day … and ask for help for the next. This, literally, works miracles.

“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). Let’s thank Him more … so that He will do more … which really means, between-the-lines-I’ll do more.

I’ve also decided that I should be more grateful to those around me who bless me. Whether it’s at School, or on the job, or where ever it may be, it seems that we spend most of our time and concern over those few who cause us trouble. So many meetings, rules, etc., are done and made to counter-act, or due to, the very few who don’t follow the rules, or cause “all the trouble.” I, jokingly say, in the course of a day, “Welcome to America … where everyone must pay for the actions of a few.” I need to let those people who do follow the rules, who do make our jobs easier, that we appreciate them. That we are grateful to them, and for them. That I do notice them, that I do know who they are, and that I am so much thankful for the way they conduct themselves, etc. We just never know how much we would bless someone else just by doing this one thing.

We are all so blessed.
In closing, allow me to repeat a couple of the closing lines from “Wealth Stored for the Righteous”-Part 14:
“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!!!”

I pray that we, and we all, thank God every day for what He has already provided for us, what He has already given us, and to be thankful for what we already have.

I’ll continue the thought next time.

Blessings to you, and your Family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

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:
Forgiveness?
It’s free, and always will be!

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

 

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 13

At some point, and now seems to be the time appointed, it’s time to think about “today’s economy” in light of this series. Or, maybe, in light of this series, to think about today’s economy.
The first thing we have to realize is that our employer, or our business, or “the State,” isn’t our provider.
God is our provider. Period. This won’t change.

We must face the facts. God is capable of supplying our every need. Period. I didn’t say our “wants.” I look at this statement, and, I’ll be honest … I know what I mean … I don’t mean that God is not capable of supplying our “wants” … but, how often have I written that if God gave us everything we thought we “wanted,” it would ruin us … And, worst of all, if God gave us everything we thought we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with Him. And, frankly, if we got everything “handed to us” that we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with a lot of people … and, not just friends and family. There! I had to include that!
Often, and I must say this, our “wants” seem to grow as God meeting our needs grows. The danger is this: Sometimes, the more our needs are met … the more “we get” … the less we may feel that we need God. Let’s let that one sink in. Is it true that the more we have, the more we want? Maybe another topic for another time, but necessary to at least mention here.

There have always been “bad times,” and there always will be. There have always been “good times,” and there always will be. Please keep these statements in proper context. There will always be people “with money.” There will always be people “in need.” This won’t change. I have learned that, no matter how bad the economy is … there are always people who have money, and lots of it. Am I equating success with money? For the point of the “present economy” and “need” I am using the term “money” in context. Let’s think about “success.” Throughout history, regardless of the “present economy,” there have always been people who were successful, and, yes, regardless of the “economy,” very successful.

What do you mean, “What am I talking about?” I answer that question with this question from recent history: During the Great Depression, and every “bad time” since, weren’t there people who were able to obtain incredible wealth? No, please understand I am not trying to downplay the severity of the times, only that, regardless of the times, or “present economy,” there were people getting extremely wealthy.

“Hey! Wait! Stop!”
“During those times, there were so many people who made money by immoral activities … even by breaking the law! What are you doing? Honoring them?!!!???”
Well … I hate to be the first one, if necessary, to break this news, but I must:
People making money by immoral means, or by breaking the law … didn’t start in recent history. As long as there have been people … which means humans … which means sinful man … which means …
“We ain’t grown.”

There will always be, and again this in context to the time we are living now, and history past, there will always be people who “do wrong.” Make money wrong. And, this “wrong” thinking/action directs their every move. Guess what? Their reward is only temporary … and, only for this world … ours is eternal, and for the World yet to come. While this is true, the point we’re trying to make is that regardless of the condition the world is in, God will still provide for His people. Period. That is, really, the only point I am trying to make. God will provide. Because: His provision depends upon Him, and not the world.
Does your provision depend upon Him … or the world?

We need to spend more time thinking about the Good News instead of the 6: 00 O’clock News.
(I think I just wrote that.)
I haven’t read the local newspaper in months. Not that it’s not a “good newspaper” (Did that phrase begin with good news …?”) … In fact, it’s a great newspaper. They have certainly been kind and gracious to me. And, I am most grateful for that. But, to the point, in relation to this writing: I decided, many, many, months ago, that I wouldn’t read the paper anymore … I couldn’t read the paper anymore … because (and this was the part of the paper I would always first gravitate to) they print a “police log,” and there were so many former students I knew, appearing in this part of the paper, that I finally just said, “I can’t read this anymore.” While this may have been even more of a reason for many to cherish this part of the paper … I just didn’t want to bring myself to the place of disappointment on so regular a basis, so I decided to just not read the paper at all …

Anyway, a few months ago, this was during “Summer Break,” I made a point to get the paper every day. After all, it was free, and available. (I think, “Man … Oh man … how often has that phrase, ‘free and available’ gotten us in trouble in the past …”) Anyway … this was a few months ago, when our country was in the throes of another “really bad economic time” cycle … I mean, it seemed like it was a really, really, bad time in this country … at least, that’s what I kept reading about … One day, I was reading the paper, and it seemed that every ad … at least every other ad in the paper carried a phrase like “during these hard times” or “during this bad economy,” and I’m serious, it seemed like every ad had something about our “bad economic times,” and due to this, there was a “price break” they were extending to their customers … I’m not making this up … it seemed like every ad had a negative about the economy …

That’s when I folded up the paper, and threw it on the table, exclaiming, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!” I was serious, because I knew it is true: “If I keep reading this (after all it’s the newspaper), I’ll start believing it …”

“Hey! What are you saying? We shouldn’t stay informed? We shouldn’t read the news?”
“Hey! What are you saying?”
(Maybe they are saying that if we don’t read the paper, we won’t have anything to do as we sit at lunch, or at home … we’d be forced to actually speak or interact with someone???)

Maybe this is what I am saying: The newspaper has its place. No doubt. Television news? As an old time radio guy (with television experience-and, I starting writing published articles in the local paper in the 6th grade), I’ll pass on that. Because that’s not the point. I still pick up the paper (it’s free), and I have an obligation to do so in my job capacity. I do scan the paper for pictures of students, being portrayed in a positive way.

This is the point: God is our provider. Period.
He won’t let us down. He can’t.
And, won’t.
He wants you to depend on Him.
And, if I can take a phrase (boy, that word “phrase” has come up a lot) from our present-day teens (or maybe teens from years ago?):
“Totally.”

Now you know why I write so much about how important it is to spend time reading God’s Word.
As I read those newspaper ads to the point of memorizing them … I exclaimed, as I threw the paper across the room, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”
Here it is:
As you read the Bible, especially read God’s Word every day, my prayer is that you will make
the same declaration, with the same shout:
“Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”

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


Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 12

Well, here we are at Part Twelve of this series, and still, we can’t get away from how much God does for us every day. Every day. It begins with our eternal security of salvation, yet there is so much more. Every Day. Perhaps Psalms 68:19 says it best: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

This is why it is so important to pray every day, and read God’s Word, every day. I also believe the absolute best way to start your day is with prayer and Bible study. God knows what’s ahead … but, you don’t. So … be prepared, by starting your day with the One who holds the future-including today’s events, yet to come. I love how so many of the Psalms begin with praise to God … just like our day should begin. As Paul would write, we should, “In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Regardless of what you are facing, Paul encourages us to do the exact same thing the Psalmist would do: Yes, let God know your requests, pray to Him, but always add “thanksgiving” to include what He has already done for you. Why? God knows, what better way to build your faith, by recognizing what He has already done for you? And, by reading His Word, every day, then, “every day” you are reminded of what God has done for others throughout history, and be reminded, “every day,” what God’s promises are for you.

David (and let’s not forget this is King David) would begin the hymn of Psalm 103 with “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Verse 1). Can you imagine how different the world would be if the leaders of the nations would begin their day, on their knees, beginning with words like “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Do we dare to imagine what our nation, and for our friends around the globe, what your nation would be like … if the leader of your nation began their day with “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name?”

Hey! This is an “election year!”
How different would things be … if … well … you get the idea …

Remember, friends, that it is perfectly fine to say “God bless,” even “God bless America,” just as long as you, just as in the Apostles’ day … just as long as you don’t mention the name of Jesus … I guess that’s another topic for another time. Ever considered the fact that, in the time of local or nation calamity or disaster … it is perfectly ok to say, even on Government grounds … even on School grounds … in case of disaster … it is perfectly ok to say things like “our thoughts and prayers are with …” I still remember, clearly, the “graffiti” I once saw scribbled on the wall of a trailer I was unloading: “In case of nuclear attack, the ban on school prayer will be lifted.”
Can you imagine a government leader … in the middle of great times, when things are going well … can you imagine a government leader beginning their speech with a prayer of thanksgiving to God, something like, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation?”

Remember that the nation of Israel was first when they put God first.
When they didn’t, they fell …
I think I have a new quote:
“To be first, put God first.”

Back to King David, and Psalm 103:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits … Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Verses 2-5).
How much better would our day be, if we started with praise to God … to let Him know that we haven’t forgotten “all his benefits?” If begin our day by focusing on what God has already done for us, how do you think God would feel about that? How do you think our day would go?

I know … I know … What about when things go wrong? And, the worst of all: When someone treats us wrong, does us wrong, or talks about us wrong? The next verse of Psalm 103 addresses this: “The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (Verse 6).
If we can just learn to place all things in God’s hands … and, yes, I’ll say it … especially if we place other people in His hands. Often, this is the hardest thing of all to do.

I especially like that David praises God, not only for what He has done, but he praises and thanks God for Who He is, addressing the very character of God: “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Verses 8-10). Notice the first two characteristics mentioned are God’s mercy and grace, and reinforced in verses 11-12: “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Verses 11-12). Hard not to think that God removing our sins from us is at the top of the “benefits” list.

Then, as we wrote of last time, God is seen as the loving Father: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Verse 13).
Not only does God, as Creator, know us, but He knows our weaknesses: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust” (Verse 14).
Yes, we are beneficiary of God’s grace and mercy, but let’s not forget that with benefits come responsibility: “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them” (Verses 17-18). Let us never forget that God is sovereign, and He is in control of everything that happens in our lives: “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all … Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul” (Verses 19, 22).

So, in closing, allow me to write, and say, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

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

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 11

Hi Friends:

I sure loved that “God’s Love for Us” video! As we continue to think about how blessed we are right now, we have to start with the fact that God really, really does love us. So much, in fact, that He gave Himself for us. And, all He seeks for us is what is best for us. He really, really does want to bless us … right now!

And then … we can bless others!

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God has already “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” While, yes, this does point to our Heavenly reward … let’s also keep in mind that these blessings are, over time, given to us according to our need … and, our Christian growth. The key is always to be “in Christ,” having Him dwelling within us … and, allowing Him to manifest Himself in our daily lives. For others to see Him through, and in, us.
Remember, as the next verse says, “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

So … you didn’t choose Him … He chose you … And, He did it before He even created the world! How great and encouraging is that!

I think about how important “benefits” are in a job situation. How often have the “benefits” offered through a job made the difference in whether we took the job, or stayed on the job. I would venture to say that the “benefits package” offered through a job is one of the deciding factors in where we work. Or, don’t work. We all know that there are certain careers where these “benefits” offered make that particular career so highly sought after. On the other side of the coin, we also know there are companies which purposely limit their employees’ hours because if they gave more hours … they would have to pay or offer that employee “benefits.”

I think we don’t meditate on, or even consider all the benefits we have as a child of God, often enough. Yet, there are so many! Yes, salvation is enough! How about God’s very Spirit … Jesus Himself … living inside of us? However, a loving Father loves to lavish gifts on His children, right? A loving Father doesn’t need a “reason” to give a gift to his loved one. He doesn’t have to wait until a certain time of year. God owns everything! He doesn’t have to wait until “a month next week” to give us a gift. How much pleasure do we get from just being able to give a loved one a gift, something special … “just because …” God loves that!

God knows everything … especially our wants and our needs. Yet, it gives Him so much pleasure when we ask Him … when we go to Him personally … just us, alone … to let Him know what we need, and to hear us ask. He loves that!

Here’s something to think about: What is the one thing most children want (and need!) from their parents … and, for this writing, allow me to say, “from their Father.” It’s not the “newest this” or the “newest that” … the one thing, I understand, which most children desire the most from their father … is for their father to spend time with them … and, especially, for the father to want to spend time with them … A father who is always there, and willing to “drop everything” to come running to them …

I didn’t know this is the way this would go …

When I think about a Father like that, Who only wants to spend time with me, to do everything with me, and for me … How can I not think about our Heavenly Father? He loves us so much, and is willing to do anything, give anything, to have us to … just want to spend time with Him. I think of how God is so often the reverse of everything we have known … which makes sense, if you think about it. Anyway … we speak of children just wanting their father to want to spend time with them … And, here God is … just wanting us to spend time with Him … that’s it …

I think … if more children spent real quality time with their father … if more fathers just wanted to spend more quality time with their children … How different these children’s lives would be …

If we only spent more time with our Heavenly Father … how much different our lives would be … and, yes, I’ll say it … how much different the lives of those around us, and especially those whom we have influence over … would be.

I just don’t see how I can add to this.
I pray I can be as obedient in my life as I am in my writing …

I guess the writing about “benefits” will be for next time … I had it all planned out …

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