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He Wishes for…

Had I the heavens’ embroidered clothes,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark clothes
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the clothes under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


He Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven
by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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Refreshing Sunday Quotes

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Lions may suffer lack and hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. The Bible, Psalm 34:10

God would have us come to Him by His own way, that is through the open door of grace. A way has been made. It is a beautiful way, and all of His saints can enter in by this way and find rest.  Smith Wigglesworth, ‘Faith that Prevails’

No extravagance of human thought can ever plumb the depths of My planning and provision for My children. Rejoice therefore, and face each day with joy; for I have planned ahead for you and have made all necessary arrangements and reservations. I am your Guide and Benefactor. Put your hand in mine.  Frances J. Roberts, ‘Come Away My Beloved’

He shielded you and cared for you…like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The Lord alone led you, no foreign god was with you. He made you ride on the heights of the land and fed you with fruit from the fields. He nourished you with honey from the rock and with oil from the flinty crag. The Bible, Deuteronomy 32: 11-13)

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A Life of Service

“Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you’.” — Ezekiel 12:11

Faith is sometimes characterized as an intellectual or emotional crutch for the weak-minded. But those of us who understand the rich heritage of Scripture know better. We know that faith entails a constant struggle to better serve our Creator – to give thanks to Him for sustaining us and for giving our lives meaning.  This is no easy task. After all, where should we possibly begin? Humanity being far from perfect, it seems that we have before us an endless “to-do list” if we want to truly serve the Almighty.

This is why I’ve always thought that Ezekiel’s simple message here in Chapter 12 is so powerful and comforting at the same time. Throughout his prophetic career, Ezekiel was assigned the task of instructing his countrymen on how to correct their errant behavior so as to better serve God. Not only was this often a thankless task, but if you really think about it, also an incredibly difficult one.

Think about our own lives: is it ever easy to point out to another person – whether a friend or family member – that he or she is behaving improperly and should endeavor to change? Aside from the awkward nature of such encounters, we also realize that it’s difficult to criticize someone else when we may be guilty of the very same flaw or some other flaw. Wouldn’t pointing out someone else’s problem sound hypocritical?

God acknowledges this basic problem; He tells Ezekiel that instead of just haranguing his audience, berating them into changing, he should actually go out and set a good example. Through his own actions, Ezekiel demonstrated for others how to live a life of service to God. He was “a sign.”

Let’s make this our goal. If we find ourselves in the company of those behaving poorly, or if we feel that another person could benefit from changing his or her ways, let’s not act as judge. Instead, let us work as hard as we can to ensure that we, ourselves, are behaving well and setting a good example. Imagine, if we set just one good example a day, how many lives we could alter forever!  With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President

From Holy Land Moments – July 25-2012 Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

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Fickle & Fearful?

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.  (John 6:16-21)

Prayer of the Day
Gracious and almighty Father, thank you that it is Jesus who comes to be our Savior and Lord. Deliver me and your church from fickleness that is frightened of you one moment and glad to welcome you the next. No matter where we are or what we’re doing Lord, walk right up to our boat and take over… that all our wrong fears may be hushed and our faith be set on the solid ground of Calvary. I ask this in your name, Amen.  

© WordAlone Ministries, from Daily Devotions with Pastor Paul Owens