“Just a Little Bird”

Posted May 28, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?[a] And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31

I was blessed to be able to run the Special Olympics Torch Run today. Better still, I got to run it with friends.

As we ran along, I noticed along the side of the road a dead bird. It was indeed a sparrow, and I could not help but think of this verse. I saw another later on which appeared to be a small pterodactyl, but that was after quite a few miles in the heat – and I know of no verses dealing with those, so we will stick with the sparrow – so back to the verse.

According to God’s Word, when that little bird fell to the ground – God took note. Now, that may not mean much in and of itself, but the real message in the passage above is not to the sparrows, but to us.

God doesn’t just notice when we die, or are born, but EVERY aspect of our lives. Are you going through a difficult time? God knows. God cares. Are you experiencing a joyous time in life? God knows. God cares. Facing some huge life decision? God knows. God cares.

He loves you that much. We all just need to be reminded of that truth from time to time.

My prayer for us this week is that we will all be ever more aware of the fact God loves us and cares about us – and EVERY aspect of our lives.

 

Praying for Law Enforcement Officers

Posted May 8, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“… for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” –
Romans 13:4   

This is Law Enforcement Memorial Week. The Statewide Memorial Service was held Tuesday in New Bern where officers lost in the past year were honored and all were remembered. Last year we lost three in North Carolina. Jason Crisp of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and US Forestry Service, Alexander Thalmann of New Bern Police Department, and Jeff Greene of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Jeff was a former student and great friend.

This very week, a Wildlife Officer from Henderson County was brutally and severely beaten while checking fishing licenses. An officer in Cornelius was shot by a 16 year old who was wearing a bullet proof vest and sang “I shot the sheriff” after attempting to murder the officer. An officer in New York was shot and killed in an ambush, an Idaho officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop, and a Pennsylvania officer was killed in a head on collision by a driver going the wrong way on the highway.

Each of these guys have families and co-workers whose lives are forever changed.

In addition, the media is packed full of stories of allegations (most later proven false) of wrongdoing by officers. Those officers who are involved in criminal activity or abuse of their office should be, and most often are, prosecuted to the fullest allowed by law. (While some in the media would have us think that is a common occurrence, it is a tiny, tiny percentage.)

I’d like to take this time week to ask you to lift up ALL law enforcement officers in prayer.

Please pray for the families (blood family and “Blue” family) of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as “God’s servants.”
Please pray for those assaulted and wounded, that their bodies would heal, and their health be restored, quickly and completely.
Please pray for each officer, deputy, trooper, agent (whatever title they may have). You see, they have the same issues you do. (I know many of you reading this are NOT law enforcement officers). They have marital problems, sick children, aging parents, financial issues, health issues of their own, and the other myriad of problems this life brings.
Please pray that amidst all the abuse at the hands of uninformed politicians (most looking for someone to blame besides their own failed policies), ignorant media, deviant glory hounds (I had to think a while to clean that one up), and an often unappreciative community the good officers will remember why they are doing the job in the first place.

In addition to all the recent events, there are things law enforcement officers see every day no one should ever see.
These officers are the ones who respond to that call where the father kills his infant child.
They are the ones who tell the parents their child, just days from graduating high school, was killed in a traffic crash.
They are the ones who are first at the scene of the teenager who, fearing disappointing her parents, takes her own life.
They are the ones whose heart hurts every time a parent says to their child, “See that policeman? He will take you to jail if you don’t behave.” Yes, it may seem original and funny to some, but every officer knows that is another brick in the wall of mistrust and fear in the life of that little one.
They are, indeed, the “thin blue line” between unimaginable evil and you.

Pray for them. Pray for us.

Next time you see one, say “thank you” and say a prayer for that officer and the agency.

My prayer this week (and every day) is for my Brothers and Sisters in blue.

“The Leadership Handbook” by John C. Maxwell

Posted April 28, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“The Leadership Handbook” is classic John Maxwell. Written in his typical conversational style, it is a condensed version of many of his thoughts shared in other books by this author.  Each chapter is a nugget of leadership thought with illustrations and application included. There is a section for reflection and self-evaluation as well as a mentoring guide to help others apply these same principles in their own leadership style.

Chapter titles include “If It’s Lonely at the Top, You’re Not Doing Something Right,” “The Hardest Person to Lead is Yourself,” “Never Work a Day in Your Life,” “The Best Leaders are Listeners,” and “Don’t Send Your Ducks to Eagle School.”

There are twenty six chapters in all – each of them loaded with truths to learn, apply, and share.

I would recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role, as well as anyone who aspires to be.

I’ve read quite a few of John Maxwell’s books, tried to apply the principles in my own leadership responsibilities, and taught them to others. This book is a great guide and fairly to quick read as an introduction or refresher.

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booksneeze” Program www.booksneeze.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.

It Ain’t In There #1

Posted April 18, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2   

I’m going to start a series this week I’ll call “Things You Thought Were in the Bible – But Aren’t.” (I guess I shouldn’t expect to see bumper stickers popping up with that on there, huh?) However, these are things a lot of folks have always heard, been told, or assumed were in the Bible.

For example, today’s is – “God helps those who help themselves.”

Nope.

While God does not expect us to sit on our hands and wait to be spoon fed like a baby, the philosophy behind this one is flawed.

You see, God helps us when we realize we CANNOT help ourselves. When we realize we are finite, limited creatures with very little understanding of the deeper things of life, we come to the knowledge we can only call on Him in our time of need.

Most often, as long as we try to “fix” things or handle them ourselves, He will let us flounder on our own. When it finally dawns on us, we are making a bigger mess out of things and hand it over to Him, He will do what needs to be done.

This is deep and I’ve made it very simplistic, sometimes we are left to struggle to teach us a lesson, to strengthen our faith, and at times to discipline us – after all, He is the Heavenly Father.

The verse for today reminds us our help, even the strength we use to “help ourselves” comes from God.

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi

Posted February 9, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi is a challenging work for which to write a review. The content is good, the stories are compelling, and the characters are presented with compassion and care.

The difficulty I encountered was in the way it was written. The information is not chronologically presented in what, to me, would be a logical fashion.

This book is about the siege of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

There were activities taking place in several different areas and under the command of different generals (and these commands changed over the days leading up to the height of battle).

I say all that to say, it would be complicated to present this information regardless of what method he used – chronological, geographical, command,etc.

That aside, the premise of the book is that God, through His Providence, led, guided, and directed the actions leading up to and during the siege and during the fierce battle and fighting which followed.

The book is well researched and the resources are wide ranging. Diaries, news accounts, after action reports, verbal histories, etc. were consulted and information gleaned for this work.

I’m glad I read it and I would recommend this book to my friends who are into military history. While the information goes much deeper than just the military aspect, the military theme woven throughout is indeed the core of the book.

I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program. I receive a free copy of the book, but am not required to give a positive review.  Check it out at http://www.booklookbloggers.com

“In God We Trust?”

Posted February 5, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” – Genesis 50:20   

In a recent news story, a blind woman was talking about how important her seeing-eye dog was to her.

She has incredible trust in this dog. She trusts the dog will be attentive and watchful. She trusts the dog will not let her come to harm. She trusts her dog will see the things she cannot and keep her safe – no matter where she goes or what is happening around her.

God asks us to trust Him the same way.

In the verse above, we see Joseph forgiving his brothers after they had been horribly cruel to him. They had intended to kill him, but instead sold him into slavery which resulted in many years of one tragic event after another. He was falsely accused of trying to rape his master’s wife and thrown into prison where he was forgotten. Ultimately, however, he ascended to the second most powerful position in all of Egypt.

Years later, he was reunited with his brothers, they thought he would seek revenge. In a wonderful example of grace, he tells them in spite of their actions, God had a plan for him and God’s plan always wins in the end. It may take time, it may not always be clear, but God’s will always wins.

We are to trust Him to be attentive and watchful, trust He will not let us come to harm. He calls us to trust He sees the things we cannot and that He will keep us safe – no matter where we go or what is happening around us.

My prayer this week is that we will, by the faith He has given us, trust God and live in the freedom that trust brings.

“Not That Good”

Posted February 1, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“…as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10   

A headline caught my eye this week which read, “(Richard) Sherman says Tom Brady isn’t the Clean-cut Hero Everyone Thinks He Is.” The article goes on to say “while people seem to carry on with their compliments and talk of Brady as someone who does everything right, Sherman says he and his teammates ‘know him to be otherwise.’”

Now, let me clear on this, I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl. And, I’m not a fan of Sherman or Brady. But, this isn’t about them, it’s about us – you and me.

The headline is what got my attention. Because the truth of the matter is NONE of us is all that nice. None of us is as “clean-cut” as others may think. And, there is always someone who knows it.

We are all broken people who deal with some sort of sin in our life. Most often we try to hide it, but inevitably it will rear its ugly head and we (and others) must face the fact that we are not perfect people.

My prayer this week is that we will realize our brokenness and turn to God, who loves us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way.


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