Saturday, February 20, 2010


"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins."1

Here's a test. You've heard of tongue-twisters . . . well here's an eye-twister (which may be difficult for those whose primary language isn't English). See if you can read the following:

"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deosn't raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?"

Now I know why I am such a poor proof reader—especially of my own writing.

The mind does a similar thing in other areas of life. That is, we see things not they way they are, but the way we are. For instance, if I am a negative person, I will see negative things in what others do—things that may not even be there—and be critical about them. If I am a supersensitive person, I will read into what others say or do and overreact—not on the basis of what they have said or done, but on the basis of who and what I am. On the other hand, if I am a loving person, I will overlook the petty faults in others and be accepting and forgiving of them, for love does "cover a multitude of sins."

Indeed, what we see is who we are or who we are is what we will see.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be a loving person and, while not being blind to evil, help me not to be negative or supersensitive, but to overlook the petty faults of others. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 4:8 (NASB).


Acts International - Daily Inspiration

Monday, February 15, 2010


When we talk to one another, we often talk about what happened, what we are doing, or what we plan to do. Often we say, "What's up?" and we encourage one another to share the details of our daily lives. But often we want to hear something else. We want to hear, "I've been thinking of you today," or "I missed you," or "I wish you were here," or "I really love you." It is not always easy to say these words, but such words can deepen our bonds with one another.

Telling someone "I love you" in whatever way is always delivering good news. Nobody will respond by saying, "Well, I knew that already, you don't have to say it again"! Words of love and affirmation are like bread. We need them each day, over and over. They keep us alive inside.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." - John 1:14.

Whether they are traveling through a small farming town in Nebraska, a surfing village in California or an industrial community in Pennsylvania, politicians love to show how they can relate to the people in that area.

But the sad thing is that they can't really meet those people on the same level. They can't identify with them no matter how hard they try to make it appear like they can.

Jesus, though, never gives us that illusion of identity.

He doesn't throw up a facade to try and appear like He gets where we are coming from.

Jesus Christ connected with the people of two thousand years ago, and He connects with you and me today on a level that we can understand and appreciate.

At one point, we've all said, "No one understands my situation." But that statement could not be farther from the truth.

Jesus understands. He's been there.

He knows what we go through day in and day out. He had a job--for most of His life, He was a carpenter.

He had the same relationships that you and I have today--mother, father, brothers, sister, friends, and enemies.

He even faced the same temptations that you and I face.

Jesus knows what daily living is like. He knows because He's been there Himself.

So this week, when you feel like there is no one that can grasp what you are going through; when you feel like throwing up your hands and giving up; when you have that gut reaction of, "No one understands my situation...", remember that our Savior has been there.

Then add two words to your statement: "like Jesus."

"No one understands my situation like Jesus."

by Ed Young - AllWorship Email


Consolation is a beautiful word. It means "to be" (con-) "with the lonely one" (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive.

To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, "You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don't be afraid. I am here." That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as to receive it.


Care is something other than cure. Cure means "change." A doctor, a lawyer, a minister, a social worker-they all want to use their professional skills to bring about changes in people's lives. They get paid for whatever kind of cure they can bring about. But cure, desirable as it may be, can easily become violent, manipulative, and even destructive if it does not grow out of care. Care is being with, crying out with, suffering with, feeling with. Care is compassion. It is claiming the truth that the other person is my brother or sister, human, mortal, vulnerable, like I am.

When care is our first concern, cure can be received as a gift. Often we are not able to cure, but we are always able to care. To care is to be human.


"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil."1

The story or legend is told how two monks, when traveling back to their monastery in inclement weather, came to the fjord of a river. There they met a young woman who was afraid to cross the river. Seeing her dilemma one of the monks offered to carry her across the river on his back which offer she accepted.

Later that evening the monk who didn't help the young lady accused the monk who did of breaking the rules of their monastic order. "You know we are to have no dealings with the opposite sex," he said, "and you were wrong in doing what you did."

To which the other monk quietly replied, "I carried her only across the river. You are carrying her still."

When we fail to resolve our anger, and keep nursing our grudges, we not only give a "mighty foothold to the devil," but we also hurt ourselves, damage our physical well-being, and do serious harm to our close relationships. As another has said, when we nurse our grudges and fail to forgive those who have hurt us, "It's like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

So, is there anything you are still carrying? Any grudges, resentments, bitterness, hurts, unresolved grief? If so, I urge you to follow the advice of the Scriptures and resolve these issues right away. And, if necessary, see a qualified counselor to help you to do so. Your health and relationships depend on it.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the advice you give in your Word, the Bible, to help us live healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful lives—and maintain quality relationships. Help me to live by your instructions. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26-27 (TLB)(NLT).


Acts International - Daily Inspiaration

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


What can we say about God's love? We can say that God's love is unconditional. God does not say, "I love you, if ..." There are no ifs in God's heart. God's love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity. God's love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. God's love is from eternity to eternity and is not bound to any time-related events or circumstances. Does that mean that God does not care what we do or say? No, because God's love wouldn't be real if God didn't care. To love without condition does not mean to love without concern. God desires to enter into relationship with us and wants us to love God in return.

Let's dare to enter into an intimate relationship with God without fear, trusting that we will receive love and always more love.

Henri Nouwen - Daily Meditation

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This is a cheerful world as I see it from my garden under the shadows of my vines. But if I were to ascend some high mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see: brigands on the highways, pirates on the sea, armies fighting, cities burning; in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; selfishness and cruelty and misery and despair under all roofs. It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus ,are the Christians- and I am one of them.


This Day's Thought


"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."1

Recently I went into a small local museum and asked if I could go into the back yard to take some photos of the San Clemente pier. The people at the front desk gave me the OK but told me to make sure I was back at the entry by their closing time at 5 pm. I made sure I was back several minutes before closing time and to my horror, all the staff had gone home and locked up shop for the night, and I was locked inside. I sure got a fright. Fortunately I was able to find a back exit and set the door to lock behind me when I exited the building. Big relief!

Mike Benson tells about a woman in Brooklyn who was locked overnight in a dental clinic. She was given an anesthetic prior to getting her wisdom teeth extracted, but when she came to, she still had her wisdom teeth and discovered that all the staff had left the clinic and she was locked inside. She panicked. When she calmed down somewhat, she called 911 and was rescued.2

But can you imagine the absolute terror of being locked in down on Earth, with no way of escape when Jesus Christ takes all of his true followers to be with him in heaven forever? Tragically, this will be a reality for the millions who have never received God's gift of forgiveness for all their sins by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

If you have trouble believing this, take note that Jesus Christ's first coming to earth to die on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins is an indisputable fact of history. Note, too, that every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first coming was fulfilled in detail, so we can be just as certain that every prophecy in the Bible regarding Christ's second coming will also be fulfilled in detail. Furthermore, Jesus Christ himself promised that he would return for his followers.3

Whatever you do be absolutely certain that you are ready for when Jesus comes again so, as today's Scripture announces, you will be "caught up to meet the Lord in the air. . ." and not be left behind. To make absolute sure you are ready for Christ's return be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you not only for Jesus Christ's first coming to earth to die in my place on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins, but also that Jesus promised he would return for all who have accepted him as their Savior and have received your forgiveness. Please help me to be absolutely certain that I am ready for when Jesus comes again. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV).
2. Mike Benson in KneEmail,
3. See John 14:1-3. Read also, "Will Jesus Christ Return to Earth?" at: