That’s Right…Be Thankful

Begin and end your day with a grateful heart.
Jesus tells His followers to always be thankful. Yup. He doesn’t say everything we face will be awesome. He does say that we have Someone awesome walking with us.
This is why knowing Jesus, not merely facts about Him, is so important. Knowing Him from experience is what puts a smile on your face even when its hard. He is the reason we give thanks.
Sometimes this thanks will be from past experiences. At other times, giving thanks will be by faith because you need to experience something new about Him.
Jesus is awesome. Get to know Him. You can’t help but be grateful when you do.

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The Great Exchange…Today

God didn’t dry up the Red Sea, He parted it.
There are coins on the ground almost everywhere I take my power walks. I pick them up and put them in a jar on my dresser. Every time I see the jar, it reminds me of God’s faithfulness and provision.
When the jar gets full, I take it to a coin machine to exchange for cash. Yet, some of these coins are so scuffed up that even the machine can’t recognize them!
I can either put those coins back in the jar, which makes them unusable; or, I can exchange them for new ones at the bank.
Life scratches all of us. You can either put yourself in the jar of life, never making the difference Jesus recreated you to do. Or, you can let the Spirit exchange your old worthless non-eternal character with Jesus’ powerful eternal character.
Your scratches, when exchanged with Jesus, are stories to tell of a God who not only is loving and faithful, but patient and full of grace.
Let your God change your life. That’s what a healthy Jesus follower does. Your life will get better; and, so will those hearing the Jesus story you have to tell.
You can become like and share Jesus. Make the Great Exchange…today.

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What Do You Say?

“Roddie’s Code: choose right, oppose wrong, dignify life, and esteem everyone.”
You’ve lived for Jesus all your life. You’ve chosen to “want to be near Him” more than anything else in life. You read and live out the scriptures as your faith grows.
Then WWII erupts. You enlist. You make your way up the chain to become a Master Sargent. When you finally enter combat, you become part of Nazi Germany’s last major offensive – the infamous Battle of the Bulge.
This is the first combat experience for both you and your men. You become surrounded. With no way out, you and what’s left of your men surrender.
As a POW, you’re fed sawdust filled black bread. You’re surviving on 500 calories a day. After 90 days, you’re truly a living skeleton.
Then the moment comes. You say you love Jesus. The One who said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
You are the highest ranking officer in the camp. You are told to only have Jews fall out, while the rest of your men are to remain in their barracks. By this time, stories of what Germans have done to Jews have begun to spread. What do you do?
Roddie Edmonds, age 24, had every single man of his almost 1,300 Americans fall out. The German commandant was outraged. He only wanted the Jews. So, what do you say to the man who points a loaded Luger at your forehead and says, “I only want the Jews.”
Roddie replied, “Sir, we are all Jews here.” The commandant walked away in disgust. Roddie saved 200 lives, who happened to be American soldiers of Jewish decent. He acted on a code that Jesus gave him.
You don’t have to be perfect to do something extraordinary. You just need to act on what you say you believe. Be hero. Love Jesus.

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What Throne are You Sittin’ on?

Where you sit determines your perspective.
The Scriptures tell of a throne in heaven that the LORD sits on forever, where He rules over the nations (Ps. 9:7; 11:4; 47:8).
In heaven means there is no throne or power above His, despite what you see, feel or think.
Forever means no angel or human can ever kick Him off that throne, despite what you see, feel or think.
The nations, peoples and politicians, are accountable to Him, despite what they think, say or do. Isaiah talks about this very thing. Nations judged for how they treated Israel.
This is the perspective from where God sits.
And, did you know that you’re sitting where He sits and should have that same perspective, which brings peace despite what you see, feel or think?
The moment you put your faith in Jesus and what He did for you, not you for Him, then the Father raised you up and seated you in Jesus’ lap on this throne in heaven (Eph. 2:6)!
Therefore, His perspective should be your perspective: the Father is working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes (know the end of the Book!), regardless of what the peoples and politicians of the nations think, say or do.
What throne are you sitting on? It will determine what you see and how you’ll react in world that might seem to be going a little crazy according to your perspective.

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Focused Forward

Yesterday is over. Today is now.
My mom took my brother and me to see the Dodgers play when we were little. We’d sit either in the outfield seats or the nosebleed section behind home plate. We didn’t care. We were at the game.
I still vividly remember one game in particular. It was the day I broke my front tooth. As we exited the stadium doors, I heard the crowd roar. I turned my head to see what was happening while still walking toward our car.
You can guess what happened. When I turned around, I walked into one of those concrete parking bollards and chipped my tooth. Oh, it sure felt good once it stopped hurting!
Looking backwards while traveling forwards is hazardous to one’s health physically and spiritually.
I recently wasted most of a morning looking backward. I was focusing on something I couldn’t change, let alone do anything about. What a waste of time!
Yesterday is gone. Done. Kaput. By looking backwards, you and I will miss opportunities to love, become like and share Jesus today to our own detriment.
Stay focused on who’s ahead – Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). Unwrap the package of the moment with Him. It will put an unbroken smile on both of your faces.

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