Church IS Important!

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It’s crazy to think that at one time in my life, I hated the church and swore I would never go back. But now, I cannot stop talking about it!!! That’s why it bothers me when I hear someone say they don’t think church is really that important.

I believe with all my heart that the church IS important. The reason I believe it’s important is because the Bible says it’s important to God. And anything that is important to Him, should be important to us, too. So if you (or someone you know) is struggling with how you feel about the church, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Matthew 16:18 says Jesus built the church. Would the Son of God actually spend time building something that was worthless?

2. Acts 20:28 says Jesus shed His blood for the church. Would the Son of God have been willing to endure the suffering He went through for a meaningless organization?

3. Ephesians 1:22 and Colossians 1:18 say Jesus is the head of the church. Would Jesus really be the head of something insignificant and trivial?

4. If church isn’t necessary for a relationship with God, why does Ephesians 3:10 say that the wisdom of God should be made known through the church?

I know that every church is not perfect. It’s filled with sinners saved by grace, and that includes me and you. Jesus died for us (the church), and He loves us all (even us crazy imperfect people).

So if you are NOT currently a part of a local church, go check one out this weekend! And whenever you find the one for you (or if you’re a part of one already), get plugged in, serve and watch how the Lord will bless your life because you’re serving his bride, the church.

My wife is the most amazing woman I know.

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My wife is the most amazing woman I know.  The main reason that my wife is so special is that she possess’s all the amazing traits of both her mom and dad.  It is because of these incredible parents that she lives a constant life of love that she has displayed to not only our family, but to everyone that crosses her path.

This life of love is displayed in many ways, but one that stands out the most  is the way that she prays for our family. One of the greatest memories I have of my wife is her tucking our daughters into bed at night and praying over them. I am confident that it was those prayers that protected our daughters from danger, wrong paths, and even poor decisions.

The second attribute that really stands out about my wife is how she gives. For as long as I have known her, she was always giving, whether it be in acts of service, generosity, or compassion. She has always been the type of woman that pours out love in tangible ways to others. I have often heard people say that when my wife walks in the room, you just feel loved. She portrays this love with her warm embrace, sweet encouraging words, and selfless attitude. I can truly say with everything in me that our daughters carry on this amazing trait.  We need more women like them in this world that is in growing need of love, encouragement, and compassion.

The most beautiful thing about my wife is that I don’t even have to be around her every day to know how she spends her time. I know by the fruit that is growing in her life that she stays connected to the ‘vine’ and author of life, who is Jesus. Because of her rich and vibrant heart for the Lord, His life flows through her onto others in a beautiful and effortless way.

It has been said that being a mom is one of life’s most rewarding jobs, all while being the most difficult at the same time.  My dear wife, I want to encourage you that every prayer you have ever prayed for your family has not gone in vain. Even when it seemed like it wasn’t really doing much or that you weren’t seeing the fruit, I can promise you that every time you prayed a prayer of protection, that those prayers shaped our daughters destiny’s…and they are powerful!

I want to encourage you that your constant giving is making a lasting impact on your family and those around you.. You might feel some days like you have nothing left to give, but I can promise you that every ounce of love, encouragement, compassion, and comfort is never wasted. Whether you know it or not, every time that you give of yourself, you are shining Jesus in a tangible way…which I can guarantee stands out in this world today.

And last but not least, I want to encourage you that the Lord sees you. He sees your heart and He knows how hard you work for your family every single day. He doesn’t look at your imperfections or even your less than perfect actions, but He looks on your heart. He knows that your greatest desire is to be the best mother to your family. For this, He is so proud of you, and not a day goes by that He is not cheering you on!

To my wife and all mom’s every where, Happy Mothers Day!

Hosanna to Hallelujah

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They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” – John 12:13

From ancient times Christians have brought palm branches home from church on Palm Sunday.  Some place them on the wall behind a cross or sacred picture.  Farmers would bury palm branches in the corners of their fields.
As time went on, many people added a twist to this tradition by weaving the palms into a cross, a picture frame, or a flower. Some of these were very elaborate, requiring considerable craftsmanship which was passed on in families from generation to generation.

The holiest week of the year begins today.  But the world doesn’t stop.  Everything goes on, all the regular TV programs, the regular work schedule, income taxes, all of our daily chores.  So…if I want this to be a “holy week” what do I do?  I decide.

I decide to start my day with prayer.

I decide to spend quiet time with God’s Word.

I decide to submit, in all relationships.

I decide to go from shouting Hosanna (save me) to singing Hallelujah (Praise the Lord)!

Most of all I decide to acknowledge that Jesus came to meet my needs, not my expectations.

The “Tim Hug”, Guaranteed To Improve Your Lease On Life

I came across this video of Tim Harris and just had to share it.  I hope it brightens your day as it did mine.

Tim Harris, the second of four boys, was born with Down syndrome and when he was growing up his parents saw the challenges that his disability presented socially.  They started to think about his future and they made the choice to create a life as typical as possible.

Thanks to the faith and support of his parents, Tim has went beyond the typical and has made the world a little bit more extraordinary.  Today, Tim is the happy, energetic and proud owner of Tim’s Place, a successful and very unique restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M.

Although the restaurant serves regular New Mexican fare, Tim’s Place is famous for its trademark special called the “Tim Hug” -— a “calorie-free” and “guilt-free” treat that, according to the menu description, guarantees to “improve your lease on life.”

“I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends.” says Tim.

Tim’s Place, which calls itself the “world’s friendliest restaurant” opened its doors in 2010 and since then, Tim has given out more than 19,000 hugs. He keeps track using a Hug Counter.

According to CBS News, Tim Harris is probably the only restaurant owner with Down syndrome in the United States.

Tim — a college graduate — is also an accomplished Special Olympian, an excellent sailor and an experienced offshore fisherman. In high school, Tim was also elected homecoming king and Student Of The Year.

Harris and his family said they hope his example will serve to inspire others.

“I tell people with disabilities that they can follow their dreams,” Tim Harris

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24

Do You Think Your Rich?

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It’s been a quiet and productive Sunday morning for me so far. I still have much to do today but I want to take the time today to ask my WordPress family a very simple question, “Do you think you are rich?” Most probably answered NO immediately without giving the question much thought. Let me help you answer this question with a resounding YES!
If you have a job and work 5 days a week and can buy 7 days worth of food…your rich.
If you have a roof over your head 7 nights a week…your rich.
If you have heat and never fret about having it shut off this winter due to non-payment…your rich.
If you have family and friends that love you and will be there for you when your in need…..your rich.
If your days are filled with love and laughter….you are incredibly RICH!

My point, we are richer than we think because we take these things and many more for granted. We are sometimes blind to the fact that there are so many out there that do not have the things I have listed.

I learned today that 127 households, (this includes small children, the elderly and people with disabilities) are right now, today, homeless in my community. That’s a big problem. I’m sitting in a warm home with a hot cup of coffee enjoying surfing the net, they are not. I’m awaiting the return of my beautiful family from up north, they are not. I’m going out to buy Christmas gifts today, they are not. I’m rich, they are not.

I’ll share one other tidbit with you. I had the floors at my store waxed and buffed over night and I came in at about 6am to let the floor crew out. As they are loading their equipment into their trailer I notice in the dark, over in a corner by the dumpster, an elderly man wrapping up his blankets into a trash bag, picking up his walking cane and called to his dog, “It’s time to go Buddy”. It was 17 degrees out. I AM RICH!

I have always believed that when the day comes that I stand before God, he will not reward me for what I left behind, but what I gave away when I had the chance, the blessing I bestowed on others rather than blessing myself with more and more.

My eyes are open to the needs of other now more than ever before. I will step up and help those in my community that are sleeping without the warmth and shelter that they deserve. I look around to what I have, and it may not be much to some peoples standings, but it is more than enough to allow me to help someone without.

This Christmas season, the present I want most of all, and I truly mean this, is for you to really look at others, see a need, and fulfill it. If you don’t see a need, ask! Start with your own family. Do you really know what your spouse needs? Your children?  Do you know what they are really in need of right now? It could be time spent together, a shoulder to cry on, understanding in a difficult situation they are going through, a bill paid, a car repair, a hug, or the need to hear you say “I Love You”. It is that simple. Be the blessing God made you to be.

What a joyous Christmas this would be if we all could do this!

How Much Does A Prayer Weigh?

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Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

Visualizing the family needs, she said: “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.”

John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, “Do you have a grocery list?”

Louise replied, “Yes sir”

“O.K.” he said, “put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.”

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it.”

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said:

“Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.”

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, “It was worth every penny of it.”

It was some time later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.

Have a blessed day!

Today Was a Gift

Today was a gift of His amazing grace.
Acknowledge Him and pray your thanks.
Tomorrow share something precious with someone you like
and give 60 seconds to someone, be nice.
Rejoice in the miracles of your life, and be happy,
And identify what you’re happiest about.
Be glad, be glad and give thanks, for you have family and friends
from the source of Love, a precious gift from our Father above.

It was like God was telling me

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Stranger gives man a new car in a random act of kindness

The kindness of a stranger paid off in a big way for a Ringgold, GA man. The man was down on his luck and needed a new car. He says his prayers were answered when a new one was given to him Thursday.

Cody Abercrombie has been working at the same Ringgold restaurant for the past 4 years. Before that, he worked in Tiftonia and would make the four hour, one-way trip on his bike to get to work on time. He is a very dedicated worker and it is that dedication that a complete stranger recognized.

The sound if his new Explorer starting up is music to Cody Abercrombie’s ears. It beats the 30 minute bike ride or the one hour walk to his job in Ringgold.

“It’s good. It’s a blessing,” says Abercrombie.

Cody is a quiet guy and was down on his luck when his old car bit the dust. Enter Mark Sexton, a frequent customer of Cody’s.

“He was in a great mood. He was just sharing his story with me, didn’t ask for anything, didn’t complain about riding the bike. It just kind of hit me about how dedicated you’d have to be to work to ride a bicycle everyday,” says Sexton.

And that is when Mark decided to take action.

“It didn’t really hit me until I got out in the parking lot. I couldn’t leave. It was like God was telling me that I needed to try and help the kid out. I didn’t go back in. I just made a post on Facebook basically as a prayer request,” says Sexton.

And it snowballed from there. People started donating money to help buy Cody a new car.

“I really didn’t think anything about it and then he shows up and everything and helps me out and them I’m like, miracles do happen,” says Abercrombie.

“Me and my wife dropped it off around 3 o’clock and he came out and looked at it and he was beyond excited. He couldn’t believe it,” says Sexton.

For Cody, it is not only a new car, but also a better assurance for providing for his family.

When asked why he is so dedicated, Abercrombie says, “I guess you’ve got to be dedicated to work and everything to prove that you do want to keep your job.”

“Maybe the story will touch somebody and they’ll try to go out and do the same thing,” says Sexton.

“I just thank God for Him blessing Mark and Mark helping me out,” says Abercrombie.

About 15 people total helped raise the money to buy the car.

Mark can not emphasize enough that any employer would be lucky to have Cody’s work-ethic and positivity. He hopes that his act of kindness is contagious and others open their eyes to how they can help strangers in their communities.

Story via Suspended Coffee Facebook

“The One Lovely Blog” Award

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When I awoke this morning I asked God to bless this day as I always do and went about my Sunday morning ritual of showering, making a very aromatic cup of coffee and enjoying the sunrise off the balcony with my bible.  I then turned on my computer to write today’s post and found out that my good friend Coach Muller at Good Time Stories nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog” award.  This caught me by surprise as I never thought that my writings would ever garner an award.  This is truly a blessing, Thank You Coach!  I am truly honored and humbled to accept such an honor from someone that has inspired me through his writings.  If you have not visited his blog yet I urge you to do so.  You will be a better person for it, I guarantee it.

I would also like to pass this award on to 7 lovely bloggers. Here are my nominees:

Jon Lilley
Write here Joel
Morning Story and Dilbert
Brooklyn Bystander
Jonesbones5
Oz Images Photography
Tri Fatherhood

If you would like to post about this award and pass it on to others, here are the rules.
1. Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post
2. Share seven things about you
3. Pass the award on to seven nominees
4. Thank the person who nominated you
5. Inform the nominees by posting on their blogs

And now 7 completely random things about me.
1. I married my highschool sweetheart and have been dating her for 35 years.
3. My daughters taught me how to be a father.
4. I devour books, I read 6 books at a time with no bookmarks.
5. Jesus Christ saved my life when I gave it over to Him.
6. I was once homeless.
7. I strive everyday to be the type of man that when my feet hit the floor in the morning Satan says “Oh crap he’s up.”