In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
“You are complete in Him.” You can add nothing to who you are by your own effort; you have nothing to prove, either to God, others, or yourself. You are important, not because of your performance, but because the Creator God of the universe declares you to be important. Secure in the fact that you are an “heir of God and fellow heir with Christ,” you can live the life of a humble servant of Christ, freely spending yourself in meeting the needs of others. Our brother Walt wrote the above.
So what’s up with the photo above. A week ago Saturday, one of my Wyoming cousins sent me a text and asked if I would like to come down to their “snowbird” residence just outside Wickenburg, AZ. The reason: On some of the Sundays, a lay teacher from Mesa, AZ has a Bible study at one of the ranch houses down there and they wanted to know if I would like to join them and meet this Christian man. Some of you may recall that last July, my son John and I did a road trip and while we were in Wyoming, they spoke highly about this man. Interestingly, both these cousins are Catholics. To refresh your memory, feel free to read what I wrote last year: E²Vegas.org/Friday-Mens-Group-7-22-22
The Wickenburg area is ground zero for rodeo events in the USA during the winter. My cousin Bob still team ropes at age 75. So I arrived on Saturday and headed back to Vegas mid-morning on Monday. We had some wonderful conversations and I left them with a number of resources (MIM Books, Blue Books, Steps To Peace With God, etc). They were very grateful. The Bible study was amazing. I found out later the teacher, Mike, was an expert in Hebrew. The study in Colossians truly was wonderful. Here are a couple of photos of the teaching in the ranch house and lunch afterwards.
My cousins said I that I need to wake up before sunrise to capture the brilliant colors of the Sonoran Desert. They didn’t have to tell me twice. Not only did I grab the photo at the top, but this one (bottom left) is also a favorite. My cousins drove me in their Polaris side-by-side to one of the biggest Saguaro cactus I have ever seen. You can see Bob and me standing in front of this Granddaddy Saguaro…..
A Few Saguaro cactus facts:
- They only grow in the Sonoran Desert and no where else in the world
- Saguaro are slow growing: 1 to 1.5 inches in the first 8-10 years
- Life span is 150-200 years
- They have a radial design to capture as much rain as possible. An adult can weigh 6+ tons
- They provide homes for birds, hawks, owls, etc
- In late April they start to produce flowers and seeds. The Saguaro bloom is Arizona’s state flower
The morning I left, my cousin Bob was re-reading Steps to Peace With God.
I’m grateful the Lord opened this door to visit with my dear cousins.
Humbled by His Grace,
[Great prayer to Jesus from Hebrews 1]
Lord Jesus, You radiate God’s glory as the exact representation of His being. To see You is to see the Father, and to hear Your words is to listen to the voice of the Father. You who uphold all things by the word of Your power came down from heaven to cleanse us of our sins. You are seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and You are worshiped with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. Amen
Men: Most of you have seen the aftermath of the massive 7.8 & 7.5 earthquakes in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Last count, >21,000 have died and over 78,000 have been injured from the quake. This is the time to pray and if so led, give through reputable Christian agencies. We are also commanded to mourn with those who mourn. Turkey is only 0.2% Christian. Reality Check: Unless the Lord places His hand of mercy on Turkey, of the 85.3 million people in Turkey, more than 85.1 million will spend eternity in hell. That is terrifying! The earthquake is a very minor issue in light of eternity.
Hatay, Turkey – Destroyed Buildings
Most of you should know by now, that God is 100% in control and He is good. This is what He says in Isaiah 45.7
“The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these.”
Then we have Lamentations 3:38
“Does not the Most High send both calamity and good?”
You can find plenty of photos of the earthquake, here is just one of many links:
TheAtlantic.com/Photos: Rescue and Recovery in Turkey and Syria
And if you think that was bad, we haven’t seen anything yet: Revelation 16:18
God Brings Calamity – Red Book Day 40
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”
Men: This week I’m recommending another talk given at Zion Boot Camp 2022. The message by Bill McCurine, Ret Federal Magistrate Judge, is on FORGIVENESS. His opening verse was:
Matthew 6:14–15 (ESV)
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Bill touches on some amazing statistics. I thought these facts were eye-opening:
Dr. Karl Menninger, a well-known psychiatrist, wrote Reflections on Forgiveness and Spiritual Growth. It contains a chapter about the findings from a national survey on Americans’ thoughts about forgiveness:
- More than 83% reported that they would need God’s help in order to forgive someone.
- Only 15% indicated they could forgive someone on their own.
- People who tend to be forgiving report more satisfaction in life.
- Forgiveness can set people free from their troubles and hardship.
In addition, Menninger stated that if he “could convince the patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent of them could walk out the next day.”
Bill also said: Clinical psychologist Dr. Charlie Long’s statement to me on 2022-07-03:
- Many of his patients are trapped in anger and resentment against someone who has wronged them, usually (but not always) another family member.
Men, today unforgiveness is an epidemic. For a Christian to willfully not forgive is unthinkable since we have been forgiven by God Himself. Set aside some time and listen to this message by Bill.
To download Click Here.
Here are Bill’s notes on Forgiveness (PDF)
Here is a Great Verse on Forgiveness
If My Words Abide in You
Men: This message by John Piper was recently sent to me. Until now, I had never listened to it even though it has been around since 2009. Here is what my brother said in his email:
Here is a message by John Piper that I recommend if you have an interest in Scripture memory. And if you don’t have an interest in Scripture memory, then I cannot encourage you strongly enough to consider it. It is a dangerous message on two fronts, however. It is dangerous if you listen to it because you accrue accountability before the Father to apply it. And if you heed the words of the message, it is dangerous to the enemy because you are now wielding an effective weapon against his wiles.
John Piper / If My Words Abide in You / 47 Minutes
Do yourself a favor and set aside 47 minutes. A profound message……
What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
By Greg Laurie
Men: I used to HATE the term, “Born Again”………… until it happened to me!
Whether it’s a blog from Greg, a teaching from MacArthur (YouTube) or the scene with Nicodemus and Jesus from The Chosen (YouTube) we should continue to send these out in faith.
I have used this quote many times. So true and sobering!