Bill and Julie Mumley live in Kenya, East Africa, and work for Campus Crusade for Christ. They have five adorable children: JP, Geoff, Jared, Jordan, and Joelle. I met them in 1996 when Mary Graham and I went to their home in Nairobi. It was love at first sight with the whole family.
Because Mary had worked for Crusade, she knew the Mumleys and suggested we take them a "goodie-bag" of surprises. I wholeheartedly agreed. We loaded everything in there: clothes, videos, games, books, cassettes, candy, popcorn, school supplies. You name it, we packed it! Eighty-seven pounds of fun stuff.
Never in my life have I witnessed such gratitude for the simplest of gifts. As each item was taken from the bag, everybody went crazy with continuous yells of glee and copious "thank yous." I was so moved by the sincerity of their appreciation, I cried. From ballpoint pen to Tootsie Pops, everything was a hit.
Isn't it regrettable how we forget to be grateful for small things? We take so much for granted. What's the big deal about a pencil or a bar of soap or a little box of raisins? Maybe because the Mumleys live outside the USA, they appreciate things more. I don't know. But I do know the Lord loves a thankful heart. I also know that when I notice small things with gratitude, those around me do too. Everything becomes a gift, not an entitlement.
You be the one today to start the ball of appreciation rolling.
May I see your kindness around me, Lord, even in the smallest things. Amen
Taken from the Women of Faith Daily Devotional
Until Next Time
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Growing up I remember hearing the old adage "Beauty is as beauty does."
( I can remember my Momma saying that to me all the time! )
What I understood from that saying is that although a woman might be attractive physically, how she lives really determines whether or not she is beautiful.
Often a woman's actions and reactions can negate any outward beauty she might have and vice versa. Ruth Graham's Chinese nanny is a good example. Wang Nai Nai was depicted as "a homely old soul." Ruth describes this plain-featured woman this way: "Her nose was unusually broad and flat, and there was a mole on the side of it. Her eyes were little slits with short eyelashes, framed by laugh wrinkles. Her mouth was wide and kind. A peasant's face. A pleasant peasant's face."
She was a homely old soul. But what did that matter? She was loving. I would have sworn her beautiful.
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Just as a woman's lack of inner character can mar her good looks, a beautiful soul can render a plain face lovely.
When I am more concerned about having a loving spirit than being beautiful, not only do I become beautiful, but I bestow beauty.
This is a beautiful story and lesson for us, a lesson to be just like Jesus!
Excuse me, are you Jesus?
A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago . They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding...
ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did.
The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?"
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"
He stopped in mid-stride ... and he wondered. He gently went back and said, "No, I am nothing like Jesus - He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place."
The girl gently nodded: "I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him - only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister."
Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"
Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not?
To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.
If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day .
You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
There's something new for Monday's at my place!
It's a new Bible study from the American Bible Society, titled:
Angels and Miracles
Sometimes I will be copying directly from the page, other times I will be paraphrasing or commenting on that day's subject. I have scanned through the book and I know it's going to be a very interesting and educational study. I hope you will join me on Monday's and discover God's Angels and Miracles with me.
We'll start today with the introduction, hopefully this will poke your interest.
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An entire world spoken into existence, a sea parted, leaving a path of dry land in its wake, the dead brought back to life, the sick restored to health.....
These kinds of extraordinary events appear throughout the Bible. For those who witnessed them, these events, often referred to as miracles, were signs that pointed to a larger meaning. When Moses, for example, stumbled across something like a bush that burned but was not consumed, it not only got his attention - it gave credence to the message he received at the site.
Likewise, for Jews living in the first century, Jesus' miracles drew attention to his ministry and revealed an authority and power the likes of which they had never seen before. The miracles of Jesus demonstrated God's love for the people (Luke 4:18-21) and announced the presence of the Kingdom of God.
In the ancient world, the extraordinary acts we refer to as miracles today were often unexplainable by the expectations, common at the time, of how nature works. Because of their extraordinary nature, these miracles got people's attention, motivating them to consider their source. The events themselves did not create faith, but often were performed for those who already had faith, giving evidence of the hand of God at work on behalf of humanity.
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Have you ever witnessed a personal miracle? I have and it is the most awesome feeling in the world. It is God becoming visible to our inner self.
From Deuteronomy 4:35-36
.....The Lord wants you to know he is the only true God, and he wants you to obey him. That's why he let you see his might miracles and his fierce fire on earth, and why you heard his voice from that fire and from the sky....
We can say nothing about anything in the Bible without reference to God. But this phrase goes further. It declares that we can say nothing about anything, anywhere without reference to God.
"In the beginning God...."
These four words demonstrate to us the fact of God's existence and the futility of believing otherwise. Moreover, they state that God was there, "in the beginning," so He was there before the creation of the world.
This takes Him outside nature, and makes Him transcendent, as well as immortal. The four words tell us that everything else, other than God, had a beginning and that God was the creator of everything else. These was thus a beginning to time itself.
God wants us to understand the beginning easily. There was NO big bang, and no complex equations. What we need to know is,
"In the beginning, God....."
This is at once a simple and yet profound statement. It is the statement through which the rest of Scripture is to be interpreted.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
'Genesis' is a Greek word meaning 'beginnings.'
Today's post is taken from chapter one of:
The Six Days of Genesis
By: Paul F. Taylor
I would love for you to come again next SonDay when I'll be posting from chapter two.