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» devotional
Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:05 pm by s.t.mann

» A call beckoning the Hundredth Sheep...
Mon May 28, 2018 9:00 pm by s.t.mann

» Job 7:7-8
Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:06 am by clark thompson

» Job 7:5-6
Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:00 am by clark thompson

» Job 7:3-4
Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:03 am by clark thompson

» Job 7:1-2
Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:50 am by clark thompson

» Job 6:29-30
Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:50 am by clark thompson

» Job 6:27-28
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:51 am by clark thompson

» Job 6:24-26
Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:39 pm by clark thompson

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devotional

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devotional

Post by s.t.mann on Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:05 pm

[size=32]A call beckoning the Hundredth Sheep[/size]
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June 2018 – a season of long, long days…to honor our fathers!
…a brother and God's servant in the gospel of Christ
sent to establish you in your faith
and to encourage you..
I Thessalonians 3:2
Top Ten Attributes of our loving Heavenly FATHER
1.       Our Heavenly FATHER is not only loving beyond our comprehension, but He knows us intimately! He knows us better than we know ourselves (He knows the number of hair on our head, and even has them numbered! He knows our thoughts even before the thoughts become words. He captures and saves our tears, returning them later…)
2.       We humans are infinitely deficient in contrast to His perfection and majesty…
3.       Our Heavenly FATHER is a gentleman, hoping all humans come to know Him and embrace Him…that our lives might grow in abundant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control….and receive His protective hand.
4.       Our Heavenly FATHER is righteous; justice will prevail in the end (the perverse in heart are an abomination to Him. Proverbs 11:20); He is not ‘santa claus’.
5.       Our Heavenly FATHER reveals Himself to us…in His written Word, in the encouragement of other God fearing humans, and in His direct whispers to each of our hearts.
6.       Our Heavenly FATHER is wise! (the ‘fear’ of Him [respect, awe, reverence for Him] is the beginning our own wisdom, which He provides to us).
7.       Our Heavenly FATHER is the Creator of all…and He is omniscient!
8.       Our Heavenly FATHER is omnipresent…and His being includes His holy spirit.
9.       Our Heavenly FATHER is sovereign, and does not owe us any explanation.
10.   Our Heavenly FATHER desires to be our eternal Father…and friend!
All He asks of those choosing to be His people, are to follow His instructions to –
·         Love our neighbor
·         Continue in repentance
·         Remain humble
·         Guard our thoughts
+
But now, O LORD, You are our Father…   Isaiah 64:8
You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it completely. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me…                                       Psalms 139:1-5
Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, Lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past.  Isaiah 63:16

…is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?  Deuteronomy 32:6

Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise…         Ephesians 6:2

                                                                                                               [honor - prize, cherish, revere…pro-active]
My son, hear the instruction of your father…  Proverbs 1:8
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways… Proverbs 23:26
A fool despises his father's instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent…     Proverbs 15:20
Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, ‘it is no transgression,’ the same is companion to a destroyer.   Proverbs 28:24
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.  Psalm 103:13
 
 
Letter from Dad
My Child,
You may not know me, but I know everything about you…    Psalm 139:11
I know when you sit down and when you rise up…   Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways…   Psalm 139:3
Even the hairs on your head are numbered…   Matthew 10:29-30
For you were made in my image…   Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being…   Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring…   Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived…   Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation…   Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book…   Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live…   Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made…   Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb…   Psalm 139:13
And I brought you forth on the day you were born…   Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me…   John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love…   I John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you…   I John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father…   I John 3:7
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could…   Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect Father…   Matthew 6:31-33
Every good gift you receive comes from my hand…   James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet your needs…   Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for  your future has always been filled with hope…   Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love…   Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore…   Psalm 139:`17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing…   Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you…   Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession…   Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul…   Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things…   Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me…   Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart…   Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires…   Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine…   Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager…   II Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles…   II Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are broken hearted, I am close to you…   Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart…   Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes…   Revelations 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus…   John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed…   John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being…   Hebrews 1:3
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins…   II Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled…   II Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you…   I John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love…   Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me…   I John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again…   Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen…   Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father…   Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is – will you be my child?   John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you…   Luke 15:11-12
And I am never, ever, more than a whisper away!   Grace and peace, my dear child!
Love, your Father….Abba….God       [author not known to me]

Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise…Ephesians 6:2

 [honor - prize, cherish, revere…pro-active]
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways… Proverbs 23:26
My son, hear the instruction of your father…  Proverbs 1:8
A wise son makes a father glad…     Proverbs 15:20
A fool despises his father's instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent…     Proverbs 15:20
Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, ‘it is no transgression,’ the same is companion to a destroyer.   Proverbs 28:24
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath,
but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4
…the glory of children is their father.    Proverbs 17:6
There will be times in our lives as the Lord desires to teach us great lessons in faith that He will purposely shut the lights out of our lives for a moment and then says, "Let my word become your guide in the midst of your darkness!" One thing after the other may bombard you, hit you, hurt you; but even under such pressure and pain the Lord desires us to trust in His written word. We may feel old feelings arise and a desire to comfort ourselves according to the flesh , but if we do this now, it only shows that we didn't learn from the last time God corrected us for doing things "our" way. There must come a point where we really grow up spiritually, unless we will never be ready for the Master's use! In-spite of what we feel, the darkness we endure, the pain and the pressure, we MUST submit and humble ourselves to His Lordship and do things according to His will. We may not agree with His way, but we must trust his will. He knows perfectly what He is doing.        [Helena Moorer, Maryland]
Creation Moment - How Important Are Fathers?
He And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.   Luke 1:17
How important are fathers to their children? First of all, the role of father was given to us by God. But over the last several decades, some have tried to redefine or redesign the family in a way that makes fathers unimportant or unnecessary. Numerous studies have shown what happens when we do this.
    
Between 1960 and 1990 the percentage of children living apart from their fathers doubled to 36 percent. Studies show that it is much worse for a child to lose their father through divorce than through death. Fatherlessness has been shown to be a contributing factor to early sexual activity. Teen suicides, shown to increase in fatherless families, have tripled since 1960.

Scholastic Assessment test scores have dropped 75 points since 1960; the drop is linked to the lack of fathers at home. Teenage boys raised without a father are more likely to get in trouble with the law. Children without their fathers are much more likely to suffer child abuse, according to several studies. One 26 year-long study found that the most important childhood factor in developing empathy is a father's involvement in the family.
    
Yet another study has found that 90 percent of the children who go to church with mom and dad will remain active in church through their teens. If neither parent comes with them, only 40 percent remain faithful. If only dad comes with them, 80 percent remain faithful. We must admit that we cannot improve on God's design for the family.

Prayer: Father, thank You for fathers, and give us more faithful fathers. Amen.
Notes: David Popenoe, "Life Without Father," Reader's Digest, February 1997, p. 65; Lutheran Witness, June 1995, v. 147, p. 7. Photo: Father cuddling his newborn daughter. Courtesy of Kiefer Wolfowitz. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.                                           [credit – creationmoment.com]
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make your free.   John 8:31-32
Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God,
but faith puts God between us and our circumstances.
      [F.B. Meyer / Pastor Mike Crane]
Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up…changed…rearranged - to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be. Consider the notion that it may not be Satan attacking you... but rather it may be God shifting YOU!! Change is not easy. Just because you don't physically see the parts coming together to complete God's promise for you doesn't mean it's not happening right now!    - Helena Moorer, Maryland
Ironies of this age –
We humans often strive to gain the attention and time and true affection of our father...
while at the same time, our heavenly Father seeks to gain our attention and time and true affection.
God LOVES us more than we can imagine! He cannot love us more; He cannot love us less!
He will never leave us [those who follow Him], never hurt us, and will provide ALL our needs!
Father and Son on the Shuttle
Kenny was in his twenties.  I was…well, I was a lot older.  We had been best friends for a lot of years.  He had recently moved a couple states away with his new job, but we kept in touch.  One of us got the idea to spend some time together, so we did a little planning and booked adjacent seats on a flight to Colorado. 
The day came.  Met at Dulles, landed in Denver, jumped into our rental car, hopped on 70, and drove 180 miles west.  Up into the Rocky Mountains…Glenwood Springs, a remote but oh so sweet town of less than 9000 folks.  The confluence of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, elevation up around 6000 feet. 
Not exactly a secret, Glenwood Springs has been patronized over the years by silver barons and other mega-wealthy folks, movies stars, President William Howard Taft, President Theodore Roosevelt (on several occasions), and the notorious Al Capone.
Our daily routine included eating healthy, sleeping restfully and soaking thoroughly in the world’s largest hot mineral springs pool (930F, and for the not so faint of heart, the ‘therapy pool’, registering 1040F!).  The Native American Utes believed in the healing properties of Glenwood Springs; we wouldn’t argue.
We enjoyed a 16+ mile bike hike through the rugged and beautiful Glenwood Canyon, envying the kayakers sluicing and bobbing through Upper Superstition and Tombstone rapids of the Colorado River, and taking pictures of the abundant wildlife and mountain vistas along the way.
…the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow…
I know all the birds of the mountains…
…for every beast of the forest is Mine…
Everything under Heaven is Mine!
Come and see the works of God…He is awesome…
…the whole earth is full of His glory!
For good measure, we played on some water slides, white water rafted on the Colorado, and hiked the strenuous hour long trail up to the beautiful beyond words Hanging Lake (one of the most special places on the planet for sure!), Bridal Veil Falls and Spouting Rock,
When our time was up in four or five days, we drove a less direct route back to Denver - on some 2 lane roads through the White River National Forest, some of the most beautiful wilderness in North America.  We drove by Grizzly Peak, Lackawanna Gulch and Pikes Peak.  We stopped to watch some ‘cliff diving’ (25 feet or so off a rock ledge into a pool of ice-cold bubbling white water!) near the Devil’s Punchbowl,  and stopped for some more hiking and picture taking at the continental divide, up around 9250 feet of elevation, well above the tree line.
Considering the rest and peacefulness, the nearly continuous outdoor activities in the pristine environment, and especially my company, it was one of my best vacations ever!  I’m sounding like a chamber of commerce guy, I know.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,…her ways are ways of pleasantness…
Heading back to Dulles…this was mid summer and there were some lengthy weather related flight delays.  We finally arrived at a remote terminal in Dulles at 3 AM.  We hopped on one of their shuttles to get back to the luggage area and parking lots.  Their shuttles are somewhere between an oversized humvee with seats removed, and a railroad box car, way too high and way too wide to ride on a public street.  While not pretty, not comfortable, and not smooth, they mostly get the job done.
A young father stood right in front of Kenny and I in the crowded ‘people mover’, facing the same direction as us, waiting for the behemoth to get underway.  The young man lovingly and faithfully held both arms around his sleeping son, maybe 8 or 9. It made think of how my own dad held me the same way, years and years ago.  And how, similarly, I had held my own son.
The glory of children is their father…
Seeing the father holding his son also made me think that this young man had never ridden this shuttle before, as I had.  I knew the routine – this ‘thing’ was gonna suddenly and without warning lurch into motion.   You either held on or you fell down.  The young dad was not holding on, and to make it worse, he was ‘top heavy’ because he was holding his son.  An accident was in the making – the loving father would fall onto his beloved son.
The Lord watches over the strangers…
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart –
Be ready.  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’…help this man…you will know what to do when the time comes.  remember my word...it applies here…and it applies now…even on ‘vacation’…even at 3 AM -
Do not withhold good from whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand…
Do not keep back help from those who are slipping to destruction…
Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake…
…hold back those who are stumbling…
The deceiver, the father of lies, the enemy, butted in…arguing….rationalizing –
You’ve GOT to be kidding me! No way!! This is public transportation.  Don’t be stupid.  It’s every man for himself. Survival of the fittest! This dude - he’s not your neighbor…in fact he looks kinda ethnic – I don’t even think he’s from this country!  Don’t get involved.  Don’t embarrass yourself in front of all these folks, especially Kenny.  If you touch him, the man might turn around and punch you!  He might call the cops! You wanna talk to the cops at 3 AM?  He might be a lawyer!  Did you think of that?  Everything will be ok without you! The worst that could happen is he stumbles and bumps into the crowd standing in front of him. He wont hit the floor.  Besides, his kid is too old to be carried anyway…time for him to grow up!  Serves him right if he gets hurt! Mind your own business!
I’ve learned no matter how logical the rationalizing might sound, OBEY God!
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…
Strictly violating all protocols known to men and behemoths, the instant the clumsy people mover vehicle lurched forward, I held tight to a support post with one hand and grabbed the young father’s belt from behind with my free hand, steadying him for a second or two.  Preventing him from falling face forward onto his son.
 A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed… he had compassion…
…You made me bold with strength….
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved…
In a minute or two, we arrived at the main terminal.  The others filed off to retrieve luggage.  The young dad, still embracing his still sleeping son, curiously peeked around at me… understanding.  And appreciating.
As if nothing much unusual had happened, I introduced myself.  And I complimented the young dad how impressed I was with the loving care he provided for his son – caring for him while he was sleepy, protecting him…how much he obviously loved him!  
Edify one another…
I encouraged him to keep up the great job he was doing raising his son.  He wouldn’t be a little boy forever.  One day he would grow up to become a man.  And maybe dad’s life long best friend as well!  As had my own son.
Then I introduced him to Kenny.  My travel partner.  MY son! 
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old,
he will not depart from it…
© 2010 - S.T.Mann; this story is offered under Creative Commons License  – it is permissible to use the story as long as attribution is included





Choose TODAY! He will keep His Word!
+
You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it completely.
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me
Psalms 139:1-5
 
 
 
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows - this is God, whose dwelling is holy. Psalm 68:5
Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, Lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past.    Isaiah 63:16
…Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?  Deuteronomy 32:6
…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:20
But now, O LORD, You are our Father…   Isaiah 64:8

And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. - Malachi 4:6
 
My Barber
At the appointed time on the appointed day, my brothers and I went down to the barber.
Wise.  Handsome. Tall.  Athletic.  Strong, yet with the gentle touch and dexterous hands of a surgeon. 
To cut the hair on the far side of my head, he didn’t spin the stool, and he didn’t walk around the chair either.  Rather, he snuggled my head over against his chest so he could reach over to the far side,  Working from above. 
I could hear his breathing.  I could feel his breathing. 
I could feel his heart.
When the whim struck, he blew away the loose hairs from my neck or face with a burst of his own breath.
Once finished, my barber would stand back, gaze proudly at his work, and then proclaim ‘not bad for an amateur!’
How the years went rushing by!  Looking back past all those years, I wish my dad still cut my hair.
The glory of children is their father….
© 2010 - S.T.Mann, This tome is offered under Creative Commons license; it is permissible to use the story as long as an attribution bio is included.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son
into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Galatians 4:6-7

s.t.mann
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