Tuesday, December 20, 2011

THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE OF THE PRAYING HANDS




Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived
a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food
on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a
goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade
and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of the elder children,
Albrecht and Albert, had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their
talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be
financially able to send either of them
to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two
boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would
go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his
brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won
the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the
other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or,
if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer
won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four
years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an
immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils
were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he
graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his
commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held
a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant
homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and
laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the
table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice
that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words
were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn.
Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream,
and I will take care of you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where
Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head
from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over,
"No ...no....no ..no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced
down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands
close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to
Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the
mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed
at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly
in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast,
much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush.
 No, brother ....for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of
masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, water colors,
charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great
museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people,
are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely
being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in
your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed,
Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms
together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful
drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened
their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love
"The Praying Hands."
The next time you see a copy of that touching creation,
take a second look.
Let it be your reminder,
that no one - no one  - ever makes it alone!
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Climbing Jacob's Ladder


 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28: 12)


And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)\



Jacob must have thought a great deal about his sin and his life as he traveled to his mother’s family country.  His sin brought him separation from his family. He felt alone and discouraged, for even his relationship  with God was affected by his sin. I wonder how many people in the world today are the same way? Jacob wanted and his heart longed for peace and forgiveness.  He desired and wanted the fellowship of his God, who was in heaven, but he could not find a way to achieve it.  He did not know how to go about it. His sin was ever before him, separating him from the Lord.  As night approached, he laid down to sleep and a dream was given to him from God.  In the dream he saw a ladder that touched the earth on one end and reached to the gates of heaven on the other end. Then the LORD spoke to Jacob and promised to be with him and that the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. ( Genesis 28:11-15.) 
Jesus is the fulfillment of this dream and its promises.  Because Jesus is the only link between heaven and earth.  As we grab hold of the ladder to climb, we must remember that every step up that ladder is a truth on our way in our passage to heaven.  Truth is a belief, an very effective and valuable force. It is a working principle, a standard of belief, that molds and shapes our hearts and lives.  Every step, that we take and every truth, that we say amen to and abide by will have a transforming impact upon our life so that the life of Jesus is reflected in us as we continue to climb that ladder. Each step that we take as a Christian we are letting Jesus mold and make us into a vessel of his choosing. We must keep climbing that ladder.
 What we are talking about here is by no means salvation by works, because we are saved by our faith in Jesus.  He is our reason for wanting to climb that ladder.  As I write this article I recall what Paul said  in Philippians 3: 13-14.  “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  We are to continue in our spiritual growth every day.  We must picture it just like climbing Jacobs’s ladder.
The representation of the ladder should, by all means, bring hope to all, because, that ladder reaches all the way from Heaven to earth.  It reaches down and touches man when he lives in his fallen state.  Climbing a tall ladder requires painstaking and diligent effort.  Every step on that ladder is important and not one rung of that ladder is to be missed or meant to be skipped.  We must take hold of Jesus and never let go.  The journey may look like it is long and hard at different times but the reward, in the end, will be worth it all.
“The angels of God ascending and descending on it”  makes known all the resources of God which was at the disposal of Jacob and is now at the believers disposal.   It is the same for every modern day believer, if we put our trust in Him and properly understand Jesus Christ and look to Him solely and according to what He did on the cross in the Sacrifice of Himself on the cross.  Some of us may be tired and weary, but we got to keep on keeping on because Heaven is there not far from our view! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

God Is Always There




Hello God, I called tonight To talk a little while
I need a friend who’ll listen To my anxiety and trial.
You see, I can’t quite make it Through a day just on my own…
I need your love to guide me, So I’ll never feel alone.
I want to ask you please to keep, My family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence For whatever fate they’re bound.



Give me faith, dear God, to face Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things I can’t change in any way.
I thank you God, for being home And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice When I stumble and fall.
Your number, God, is the only one That answers every single time.
I never get a busy signal, Never have to pay a dime.
So thank you, God, for listening To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, God, I love You, too, And I’ll call again tomorrow!
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Best Gift


It will soon be Christmas and once again it is the season for the giving of gifts. There is an atmosphere of secrecy, love, kindness, thoughtfulness, and caring, all combined together  to plan surprises of delight, joy, and happiness to the ones we love. There is a feeling that we have at Christmas that is not like no other time of the year. The home is warm, radiant, and aglow with eager anticipation, waiting for something that is most wanted, something needed, that is carefully selected, wrapped  and hidden away until the day (Christmas) arrives. In all of this there is, with all Christians, a new and fresh reminder to us of God's eternal plan of love to meet the dire need of man's soul and provide the best gift to totally satisfy and bring happiness to our heart. This is the gift of unspeakable worth and it goes beyond words or description. This is God's gift of eternal life.

A gift offered to a person does not become theirs until they receive it. It is the same way with salvation. Faith is the empty hand that reaches out to receive God's gift of life. It is the personal appropriation of his offer. It is believing in our hearts that Christ's sufferings and death were for your sins and mine: that His resurrection among the dead was for our justification. That is making the best gift yours. So when we sit in our house during the Christmas holiday let us remember the “ BEST GIFT OF ALL”.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Sins Of The Modern Church


For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.                   ( 1 Corinthians 2:2) NKJV


A large majority of the mega churches profess to know Jesus Christ, but they still would deny the Cross and the precious blood that was spilled there. I say that because of the so many different doctrines they offer the people to promote their church and to increase church attendance and the church coffers.
Every since I can remember and it is still to the best of my knowledge the same way today if you did not belong to a certain denomination then you would never get to make heaven your home.  This is so untrue, but look at how some church denominations fight each other. The fact is all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should: “Fight The Good Fight” and not each other.
Today we have churches, with what I call schemes, like The Purpose Driven Life, The Government of Twelve, The Twelve Steps, and many others that point to everything but to Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It is not Jesus and the purpose driven life, It is not Jesus and the government of twelve, or any other combination. It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If a person believes any of them they believe in another Jesus. It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified that is the real answer for this old sinful world. It is by the precious blood of Jesus that the battle has been won and can be won in your life.
Many people, in today’s churches view God’s standards of holiness and truth as legalistic restrictions to their life, their personal freedom, their happiness, and their self fulfillment. The problem here is when people set their self's up that way, to be the authority over their own lives by such things as the purpose driven life, the government of twelve, and others, they are turning from the true teachings of the Bible and they have become slaves to their own corrupt nature and desires.
We now have some churches, today, where the people  sit side by side with Muslims in the church, with the Koran next to the Bible and the people worship Christ and Allah.  Anybody that reads the Word of God Knows this is wrong.  What is happening to the Churches of our Lord Jesus Christ Today?
I was always taught, and hold to a firm belief,  that all religions of this world are insufficient to meet the needs of the people in this world. It may be Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism,  and Confucianism.  These newer doctrines that I mentioned earlier are also the same. FALSE! They are all corrupt and do not measure up to Bible Doctrine.  It is by the precious Blood of our Savior (and no other way) that the battle is won!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Slaying Giants


Our victory over the giants that rule this country and the ones in our life, just like David’s victory over Goliath, must be because of our faith in our Creator. We must have a deep heartfelt passion for our Lord and a desire for the Lord’s presence and His power in our life and His presence in our government. We must recognize same as David did, that it was not the armies of Israel that Goliath was coming up against but it was the fact he was defying the Lord God. Our government and most of its leaders has, for some time, defied the Lord. You just do not do that and get away with it for very long. We reap what we have sown.  When a government and its leaders promote ungodly acts such as abortions (the act of killing unborn babies), Homosexuality (one of the deadly sins of the Bible), and allowing many other things that defy God they will be defeated.  

It was not the kings armour, his shield and sword that won the battle for David. It was his faith in God that gave him victory over the giant. It will not be what any candidate has to say in the upcoming election, how much one party has or what tactics they use. It is not by might or power, or anything else that we will win the victory over the giant that is in our government, but it is by HIS SPIRIT that the victory will come.  So let us all be in one accord like they were on the day in that upper room and we will see the Lord move on our behalf.

In this upcoming election we must not trust in the poles, votes, and what man has to say. It is God where all our trust has to be placed. That is where our faith must lie. Whenever we, as the Lord’s Children, face what appears to be a impossible problem, that seem like ‘Giants’, in our lives (and that also includes our personal lives also) we must remember this we can be over comers if we place our faith in God the same as David did. We must follow David’s godly example.