The Value of Each Day

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

I once read about a school teacher who had a unique way of stimulating her students to think. She would write different things on the chalk board each day that were unrelated to their studies. One morning she wrote the number 25,550 on the board. One student finally asked the teacher why that number was there. She explained that 25,550 represented the number of days in the life of a person who lived to be 70. The teacher was trying to emphasize the brevity of life and the value of each day.

It is very important that we make the most of our time each day. Plan wisely and use your time well. You need to know your areas of strength to benefit others. Don’t make each day a constant struggle by rushing through trying to do more and not enjoying the time. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to how we spend our time. Each day we are bombarded with busy schedules, deadlines to meet, and making too many plans for the future. Take a moment each morning to focus on the day at hand and not on all the many tasks that we try to fit in every day.

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He hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.                                                                Isaiah 53:2

There are three different beauties spoken of in the Bible. The first one we want to look at is, “Skin-Deep Beauty.” Society places great emphasis on outward appearance. We all sweat, diet, and exercise to remain trim and avoid wrinkles. Cosmetic make-up provides expensive ways to make us appear beautiful. We emphasize skin-deep beauty. Saul filled the bill as an attractive king. His beauty turned out to be only skin deep. He revealed his inner character by disobeying God on two occasions. In I Samuel 15:10, God said, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Are we guilty of devoting major attention to our outward appearance, that we cover up who we really are.

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The Best Is Yet To Come

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous architect designed many beautiful homes, buildings, and structures. A reporter once asked him, “Of all your many beautiful designs, which one is your favorite?” Without missing a beat, he answered, “My next one.” He understood the principle of constantly pressing forward.

Many people are living far below their potential. They have many gifts, and so much talent, but they’ve gotten comfortable and become too easily satisfied.No matter where you are in life, God has more in store for you.

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I’ll Quit When You Quit

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Proverbs 15:1

A couple of weeks ago, I had the task of watching my grandson and his friend for the afternoon. As I sit on the front porch listening to them while they  played on the trampoline, I heard my grandson make this statement, “I’ll quit when you quit.” They were having a dispute over which one could jump the highest. It had turned into a disagreement between them. Neither one wanted to give in to the other.  As I intervened, I shared with them a story I had read about being the first to give in. There was an older man who went out jogging. He was running around a track that circled the high school football field while the team was conducting their practice. When the football players began running their sprints up and down the field, the man said to himself, I’ll just keep running until they quit.” So they ran. And they ran. And they kept on running. So he kept on running. Finally, in total exhaustion the man had to stop. When he stopped, an exhausted football player walked over to him and said, “Boy, I’m glad you finally stopped, Mister. Our coach told us that we had to keep running wind sprints as long as the old guy was jogging!” We can sometimes find ourselves in a similar situation when it comes to anger and conflict. We have a disagreement and voices get raised. Neither one wants to be the first to give in. We get the attitude that, ” I’ll quit when you quit.” So each other gets mad and on we go, eventually finding ourselves emotionally and physically exhausted by the ongoing arguing. I said this to my grandson and his friend. Let me challenge you to be the first to give in and say I’m sorry. It’s the best way to stop the vicious cycle, and its God’s way of doing what the Bible says. I also want to challenge each of us to remember the next time we have a dispute with others, remember this story, and be the first to say, “I’m sorry.”

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Why Pray?

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.                                                                                        Jeremiah 29:12

As I was making my morning visits with the elders, stakeholders and families, I was asked this question by a family member, “Why bother to pray.” She was struggling with the fact that her mother’s medical condition continued to decline, in spite of many prayers that were being said for her mom. I explained to her why I pray. ” I pray because prayer opens up the blessings of God’s grace and power to flow to the person or the need.” God in his sovereignty allows us to be a part of his work thru prayer. I certainly believe in the power of prayer, and have seen God move mountains thru prayer in my own life. I think so many times we get discouraged in our prayer life because we don’t get instant results, and we fail to trust in God. This reminds me of something I once read about a worker in a cotton factory. There was a sign that read, “If your thread gets tangled, send for the foreman.” A new worker got her threads tangled. The more she tried to untangle them the worse tangled they got. Finally, she sent for the foreman. He asked, “Why didn’t you send for me earlier?” She said, “I thought I could take care of it myself, and I was doing my best.” He answered, “No, your best would have been to send for me.”  When we face tough times in our life, the first thing we need to do is pray and ask for God’s help. So, “Why bother to pray?” Because God wants to be our helper and be a part of our life each and every day thru prayer.

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And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.          Exodus 4:15

I once read a story about a man visiting a leper colony in India. At midday a gong sounded for lunch. People begin to come to the dining hall from all parts of the colony. All at once laughter filled the air. Two men, one riding on the other’s back, were pretending to be a horse and a rider. As the man looked he saw the one who carried his friend was blind, and the man on his back was lame. The one who could not see used his feet; the one that could not walk used his eyes. Together they helped each other, and found great joy in doing it. The “Sacred Six” character for September is “Teamwork.” What a great lesson we can learn from those that are handicapped and can not perform even simple task, but join up with others who can do those things. Each day at our facility I see elders who are handicapped help do for others what they are not able to do for themselves, and other elders do for them the things they are unable to do. This they do and enjoy helping each other. This is “Teamwork.”When God asked Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh, Moses told God that he was unable to speak properly. But together with his brother Aaron, they teamed up to accomplish God’s work.  Through teamwork we can divide the effort and multiply the effect.

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But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.                                            Psalm 86:15

I recently read a story about a bus driver in Winnipeg, Canada, that brought his passengers to tears when he stopped his bus to give a homeless barefoot man the shoes off his feet. One of the passengers commented, ” That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.” A real act of compassion. Signature’s Sacred Six character for August is “Compassion.” Are we fulfilling this by showing compassion to those in need. God sends people our way on purpose each day so that we can help them. After spending time with them, do they feel better or are we just another person passing their way. The Bible says that God is full of compassion, gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy. There is no greater reward in our lifetime than to pass this on to others. You have something to offer that no one else can give, “Your Compassion.” The definition for compassion is “Sorrow for the suffering of others.” But I think the best definition I have ever heard comes from one of my old pastors.  “Your hurt in my heart.” What a great description of compassion. If you look back over your own life, you’ll find others had compassion on you. Maybe your parents, or a good friend. Now, its your turn to pass it on. How long has it been since you showed compassion to someone else? Who are you sharing your compassion with today?

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Stand Back Up

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.                 II Corinthians 4:17

When a giraffe is born, he tumbles ten feet to the ground, landing on his back. In seconds, he rolls over and stands, struggling with those tall, untried legs. The mother positions herself directly over her newborn, swings her leg outward and kicks that baby, sending it tumbling. If it doesn’t get up, she kicks it again to stimulate its efforts to stand. Each time the baby giraffe manages to get up, the mother kicks it once again. This may seem cruel, but there is a reason for this. She is simply preparing the baby for survival, because it must learn to get up quickly and run with the herd when danger comes or it will not survive. We must learn the same lesson that the baby giraffe learns. When life kicks you down, you must stand back up. The Apostle Paul is stating this same principle in II Corinthians 4. No matter who we are, where we live, or how much that we might have, we are not immune from life’s kickbacks. When things go wrong we so often want to throw in the towel and give up. Don’t let life’s troubles keep you down – stand back up!

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What Would Be The Outcome?

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto thy path. Psalm 119:105

In World War II a group of soldiers was assigned a crucial mission. In a single night, each soldier had to memorize a map detailing all of Berlin’s military sites. Each soldier memorized all the sites in just a few hours. The mission was a success. A few years ago the Army conducted an experiment to see if the original feat could be duplicated. They offered each soldier an extra week’s furlough, and a very attractive incentive, if they could carry out the mission without a hitch. They could not match the success of the original mission. What made the difference? The men’s lives were not at stake. According to the Apostle Paul in Eph. chapter 6, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. What if your life depended on knowing the Bible. How long would you live? We think only preachers need to know the Bible, but we are all soldiers in this spiritual warfare. The psalmist says that the Bible is a lamp that lights the pathway. Without knowing the Bible, we have no light. The devil keeps us on such a busy path and convinces us that we don’t have time to study the Bible. God has shown me down thru the years the more time I spend studying the Bible, the more time I have for other things. As I sit in hospitals and waiting rooms over the past few days, I’ve heard people complaining about wasting their time, worrying about what they could be doing, and busy at using their thumbs on electronic devices. What a perfect opportunity God gave me to witness to others about taking that time to read the Bible. I think every waiting room I’ve ever been in, there were Bibles laying there, just waiting to be opened up and bring comfort and peace to the reader. If God were to give you a test today on your knowledge of the Bible, and your life depended on passing the test, what would be the outcome?

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He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.                                                                         Proverbs 10:9

A study was conducted of 1500 business managers to determine what workers value most in a boss. It revealed that employees respect leaders who are competent, have the ability to inspire, and are skillful in providing direction. But there was one quality that they admired even more – Integrity. Above all skills, they wanted team leaders who kept their word, who were honest, and who were trustworthy. While this study holds true for managers and leaders, it should be said of all of us.  Our “Sacred Six” value for the month of April is “Integrity.”  The writer of Proverbs says, ” He who walks in Integrity walks securely.” It’s not always easy to do the right thing, but it’s always rewarding. Integrity is a trait that applies to all people, no matter what their position. It should be at the heart of every person. As we go thru this month, and this year, let us walk in “Integrity.”  I will end with a great quote from a great man, “The supreme quality is unquestionably integrity. Without it no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower

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