Friday, March 25, 2011

Faith

This is 'Faith'
This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. She was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which had to be amputated.

She of course could not walk when she was born.. Even her mother did not want her.

Her first owner also did not think that she could survive and she was thinking of 'putting her to sleep'.

But then, her present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met her and wanted to take care of her.

She became determined to teach and train this little dog to walk by herself.

She named her 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let her feel the movement. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for her for standing up and jumping around. Even the other dog at home encouraged her to walk.

Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on her hind legs and to jump to move forward. After further training in the snow, she could now walk like a human being.

Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where she goes, she attracts people to him. She is fast becoming famous on the international scene and has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows.

There is now a book entitled 'With a Little Faith' being published about her. She was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

Her present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take her around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.

 

In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better you just need to look at life from another direction. I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone will appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day.

Faith is the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.

Source : DogNamedFaith

Friday, March 18, 2011

Always There

Always There (Psalm 55:16-23)

Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. —Psalm 55:17

The radio engineers who work at RBC Ministries were getting ready to broadcast a program via satellite. They had prepared everything, including the satellite link. But just as they were to begin uploading, the signal to the satellite was lost. Confused, the engineers labored to reconnect the link, but nothing worked. Then they got the word—the satellite was gone. Literally. The satellite had suddenly and surprisingly fallen from the sky. It was no longer there.

I suspect that sometimes when we pray, we think something similar has happened to God—that for some reason He isn’t there. But the Bible offers us comfort with the assurance that God hasn’t “fallen from the sky.” He is always available to us. He hears and He cares.

In a time of desperation, David wrote, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17). No matter when we call on God, He hears the cries of His children. That should encourage our hearts. What was David’s response to having a God who hears prayer? “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (v.22). Although God may not answer as we would like or when we would like, we know that at “evening and morning and at noon” He is always there. —Bill Crowder

God hears us when we call to Him—
His ears take in each voice;
The knowledge that He’s always there
Should cause us to rejoice. —Sper

God is always available to hear the prayer of His child.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Follow His Sayings

Follow The Instructions (Matthew 7:24-29)

Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. —Matthew 7:24

One of my boyhood hobbies was building model planes. Every time I opened a new box, the first thing I saw was the instructions, but I didn’t think I needed to follow them. In my mind I knew exactly how to put the model together. Not until I had glued a few pieces together did I realize I had skipped an important step, like putting the pilot in the cockpit.

It’s easy to think that we have no need for instructions for our lives, only to later realize that we’ve messed things up. Which is exactly why Jesus advised that following His instructions is the way for wise people to build a safe, solid, and significant life (Matt. 7:24-29). He had just told the listening crowd to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to forgive enemies, and to sell treasures so that they could give to the poor (5:39-44). But just getting the instructions isn’t enough. The key is to follow them. “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (7:24).

Those who don’t follow the instructions are, as Jesus put it, “foolish” (v.26). To the world, forgiving your enemies and giving to the poor may seem like a silly way to build a life, but, take it from Jesus, it’s the wise way. —Joe Stowell

Lord, help me heed Your every word,
Commands that I have read or heard;
As You reveal Your will each day,
Help me to follow and obey. —Fitzhugh

To build a rock-solid life, follow Jesus’ instructions.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tidak Malu

MALU, AH! (Roma 1:16-17)
Dikirim oleh : Fransisca Adella Kipuw

Sebab aku tidak malu terhadap Injil, karena Injil adalah kekuatan Allah yang menyelamatkan setiap orang yang percaya (Roma 1:16)

Kala berbincang dengan rekan nonkristiani, saya biasa memperkenalkan diri sebagai penulis, penerjemah, dan penyunting-tanpa menyinggung aktivitas pelayanan di gereja. Apabila ditanyai buku apa yang saya tulis, saya cenderung menjawab secara umum, "Macam-macam-ada humor, fiksi, artikel, ulasan film … dan juga renungan." Saya pun baru menyodorkan kartu pendeta untuk keperluan strategis: mendapatkan diskon biaya sekolah atau ongkos pengobatan. Singkatnya, saya tergolong lebih suka tidak menceritakan identitas iman saya.

Jelas, saya perlu belajar dari Paulus, yang "tidak malu terhadap Injil" (ayat 16 TBR). Terjemahan Baru LAI menyebutkan, ia mempunyai "keyakinan yang kokoh dalam Injil". Ia menyadari betul hakikat dan kekuatan Injil untuk menyelamatkan manusia berdosa. Meskipun menghadapi berbagai penganiayaan dan penindasan, dengan penuh keyakinan ia memberitakannya setiap kali ada kesempatan. Barangkali ia juga pernah merasa gentar, tetapi hal itu tidak menjadikannya undur. Kepada jemaat di Efesus ia meminta, "(Berdoalah) juga untuk aku, supaya kepadaku, jika aku membuka mulutku, dikaruniakan perkataan yang benar, agar dengan keberanian aku memberitakan rahasia Injil, yang kulayani sebagai utusan yang dipenjarakan.  Berdoalah supaya dengan keberanian aku menyatakannya, sebagaimana seharusnya aku berbicara" (Efesus 6:19, 20).

Apakah Anda, seperti saya, mengalami kesulitan dalam bersaksi tentang Injil? Bagaimana kalau kita mencari satu atau beberapa orang saudara seiman, dan saling mendoakan seperti permintaan doa Paulus di atas? --ARS

PENGERTIAN AKAN HAKIKAT BERITA INJIL DAPAT MENGUBAH RASA MALU MENJADI KEYAKINAN YANG KOKOH

Sumber : Renungan Harian

Small Things

Small Things (John 6:4-14)

There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many? —John 6:9

Skeptical about the usefulness of a small lunch, Andrew said to Jesus, “What are [these five loaves and two fish] among so many?” (John 6:9). Yet the little lunch in the hands of Jesus turned out to be a huge blessing. So, before you think that you don’t have much to offer Jesus, consider this:

Edward Kimball, a Sunday school teacher in Boston, decided to visit a young man in his class to be sure he was a Christian. That day he led that man, Dwight L. Moody, to the Lord.

Moody, the Billy Graham of the 19th century, had a major impact on Wilbur Chapman. Chapman, a prominent evangelist, recruited Billy Sunday to join in his evangelistic campaigns. In turn, Sunday launched a national ministry that had great results in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina. An organization that started as a result of Sunday’s revival invited evangelist Mordecai Ham to Charlotte. In one of those meetings, Billy Graham received Christ as his Savior and later became the most prominent evangelist of our time.

When you think you don’t have much to offer, remember Sunday school teacher Edward Kimball, who spent a Saturday afternoon reaching out to someone in his class. God has a special way of using routine faithfulness in the “small things” to accomplish great things! —Joe Stowell

What may seem insignificant,
Mundane, routine, or small
Is often used by God to show
His power over all. —Sper

God uses small things to accomplish great things for His glory.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Friday, March 04, 2011

Speed Reading

Eat Fast, Pay Less (Psalm 63:1-8)

My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You. —Psalm 63:1

A hotel in Singapore introduced an express buffet—eat all you can in 30 minutes and pay just half the price! After that experience, one diner reported: “I lost my decorum, stuffing my mouth with yet more food. I lost my civility, . . . and I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, so severe was my heartburn.”

Sometimes I think in our devotional reading we treat God’s Word like an express buffet. We wolf it down as fast as we can and wonder why we haven’t learned very much. Like physical food, spiritual food needs chewing! For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we may have a tendency to speed-read through the passages we’ve read many times before. But in doing so, we miss what God is meaning to show us. One sure sign of this is when we learn nothing new from that passage.

David’s desire was right when he wrote in Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” That’s the way to treat God’s Word—to take time to mull it over.

Let’s not come to the Bible as if we were going to an express buffet. Only by meditating on God’s Word will we get the most value for our spiritual well-being. —C. P. Hia

Spending time in meditation,
Hiding Scripture in our heart,
Works in us a transformation
So from sin we can depart. —Sper

Reading the Bible without reflecting is like eating without chewing.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Trouble

Trouble (1 Peter 4:12-19)

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you. —1 Peter 4:12

Does it surprise you that trouble is a part of life? Probably not. We all know trouble close-up and personal—bad health, empty bank account, blighted love, grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.

It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12). But trouble, whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral fiber of our soul.

I have never seen a golf course without hazards. They are part of the game. Golfers speak of the courses with the most hazards as the most challenging, and they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18 holes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”

Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the stamina of our souls. The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19). —Dennis De Haan

The troubles that we face each day
Reveal how much we need the Lord;
They test our faith and strength of will
And help us then to trust God’s Word. —D. De Haan

Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.

Source : Our Daily Bread.

God’s Presence

God’s Presence At Church (Colossians 1:9-14)

Walk worthy of the Lord. —Colossians 1:10

I love reading church slogans. You know, the ones you see on the marquee in front of churches. Recently I noticed a slogan that said, “Come in and experience the presence of God.” That one caught my attention, primarily because it’s an important promise to make and sometimes a hard promise to keep. Hard, because if we’re not careful our churches might reflect the presence of its people more than the presence of our God.

So what would a church have to do to display the presence of God? Its people would have to live like Him! Dynamics like hospitality, the loving acceptance of all kinds of people, a quickness to serve, a tangible love for one another that makes people feel safe and included regardless of color or class, and a patient tolerance of one another’s weaknesses would all be a great way to start. Paul said we should walk in a manner “worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10). And he also said that being worthy means that we will be humble, gentle, bearing with one another in love, eagerly maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:2-3).

Let’s live in such a way that others will experience the presence of the God who lives in us—wherever we are, but especially at church. —Joe Stowell

The world gets a glimpse of God
When those who claim to be
The followers of Jesus Christ
Are living righteously. —Sper

Those who walk with Christ bring the presence of God to everyone around them.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Six Words

Six Words From Solomon (1 Kings 10:23; 11:1-10)

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. —Ecclesiastes 12:13

SMITH magazine, an online community that “celebrates the joy of storytelling,” invited readers to submit six-word memoirs that describe their lives. Thousands responded with brief biographies ranging from the light-hearted “Sweet wife, good sons—I’m rich” to the painful “Sixty. Still haven’t forgiven my parents.”

Based on Scripture, I tried to imagine how King Solomon might have summed up his life in six words. As a young man, he could have written: God has given me great wisdom. But in his later years, he might have said: Should have practiced what I preached.

During a reign distinguished by peace and prosperity, Solomon developed spiritual heart problems. When he was old, “his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 11:4). The result was God’s displeasure and a sad end to a previously exemplary life (v.9).

The multiple times Solomon used the word vanity (or meaningless) in Ecclesiastes may indicate his disillusionment about life. This once-wise king who had it all, lost it all, and pondered it all, ended the book with this final conclusion: “Fear God and keep His commandments” (12:13).

Those are six words worth heeding. —David McCasland

The pleasures of this sinful world
Are meaningless and vain;
But if we love and follow God
True purpose we will gain. —Sper

Obedience to God is the key to a life of blessing.

Source : Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Burj Khalifa

BURJ KHALIFA (1 Raja-raja 6:1-13)
Dikirim oleh : Fransisca Adella Kipuw

Mengenai rumah yang sedang kaudirikan ini, jika engkau hidup menurut segala ketetapan-Ku ... maka Aku akan menepati janji-Ku kepadamu yang telah Kufirmankan kepada Daud, ayahmu ... (1 Raja-raja 6:12)

Burj Khalifa di kota Dubai, Uni Emirat Arab, adalah gedung tertinggi di dunia yang diresmikan pada 4 Januari 2010. Dibangun dengan dana mencapai kira-kira 13, 5 triliun rupiah, gedung ini memiliki tinggi 828 meter dan terdiri dari 160 lantai. Konon karena tingginya yang luar biasa, gedung ini terlihat dari jarak 100 kilometer. Dan, dari puncak gedungnya kita dapat melihat negara  Iran. Sungguh suatu pencapaian yang mengagumkan!

Namun, jauh sebelum Burj Khalifa berdiri, manusia sudah pernah berusaha membangun gedung yang terbesar dan termegah. Dua di antaranya adalah menara Babel dan Bait Allah. Menara Babel didirikan  tak lama setelah peristiwa air bah, sebagai usaha manusia untuk "mencari nama" bagi dirinya sendiri (Kejadian 11:1-9). Suatu lambang keangkuhan manusia yang ingin terlepas dari Allah. Di sisi  lain, Bait Allah dibangun di Yerusalem sebagai simbol kehadiran Allah di tengah bangsa Israel. Kemegahannya mengingatkan manusia akan kemuliaan Tuhan. Kehadirannya mengingatkan bahwa bangsa Israel dibawa keluar dari Mesir untuk menjadi umat-Nya, menyatakan kemuliaan-Nya kepada semua bangsa.

Dalam upaya kita mengejar keberhasilan dalam hidup, jangan sampai kita membangun Menara Babel, bukannya Bait Allah. Jangan sampai diri kita yang paling dipuji dan dimuliakan karena kejayaan pribadi. Namun, arahkan orang agar memuji Tuhan yang telah memberikannya. Ini dapat dilakukan dengan pertama-tama tidak malu mengakui iman kita. Lalu, menjadi saksi bahwa keberhasilan kita adalah anugerah-Nya semata, bukan kehebatan kita. Sehingga, yang layak dipuji bukanlah kita, melainkan Tuhan --ALS

KESUKSESAN KITA ADALAH KESEMPATAN UNTUK SEMAKIN MEMULIAKAN TUHAN

Sumber : Renungan Harian

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dibalik Berkat

TUNTUTAN (Lukas 12:47,48)

Setiap orang yang kepadanya banyak diberi, akan banyak dituntut dari dirinya, dan kepada siapa yang banyak dipercayakan, akan lebih banyak lagi dituntut dari dirinya (Lukas 12:48)

Saya memiliki seorang teman yang menjadi kepala sekolah. Ia adalah orang yang sangat memperhatikan kesejahteraan karyawannya. Gaji guru dan karyawan beberapa kali dinaikkan agar standar hidup mereka membaik. Namun, di sisi lain ia pun menuntut agar semua karyawan dapat memberikan yang terbaik untuk sekolah tersebut. Ia tidak segan-segan untuk marah dan menegur karyawan yang malas dan tidak  melakukan hal yang seharusnya.

Dalam bacaan hari ini, Tuhan Yesus berbicara tentang tuntutan; siapa  yang diberi banyak akan dituntut banyak pula. Itu sudah hukumnya. Tuhan tidak akan pernah memberikan sesuatu kepada manusia, apabila hal itu akan mereka sia-siakan. Dia akan menuntut pertanggungjawaban atas segala sesuatu yang diberikan kepada kita. Ini bukan berarti Tuhan tidak rela memberikannya kepada kita, melainkan Dia ingin agar semua yang ada pada kita dapat dipakai secara maksimal sesuai dengan tujuan yang Allah kehendaki. Dan, tentunya Allah tidak akan sembarangan memberikan sesuatu kepada manusia. Allah tidak akan memberi cangkul kepada pemain sepak bola, atau gergaji kepada tukang masak. Allah tetap akan memberikan bola kepada pemain sepak bola dan gergaji kepada tukang kayu. Selanjutnya, Allah akan menuntut agar bola dan gergaji itu digunakan secara maksimal oleh masing-masing pribadi tersebut.

Seberapa besar kita menyadari segala pemberian Tuhan dan seberapa besar kita memahami tuntutan-Nya? Bagaimana dengan waktu, kepintaran, talenta atau bakat, bahkan harta yang Tuhan berikan kepada kita? Apakah kita sudah menggunakannya sesuai tuntutan Allah? --RY

INGATLAH BAHWA KETIKA SUATU BERKAT DIBERIKAN BERARTI ADA MANDAT DI DALAMNYA YANG MESTI KITA KERJAKAN.

Sumber : Renungan Harian

Hati Yang Mengasihi

HATI YANG BERBELAS KASIH (Ester 4:7-16)
Dikirim oleh : Fransisca Adella Kipuw

Kemudian aku akan masuk menghadap raja, sungguh pun berlawanan dengan undang-undang; kalau terpaksa aku mati, biarlah aku mati (Ester 4:16)

Pada 26 Oktober 2010, Gunung Merapi di Yogyakarta kembali bergolak. Banyak orang di lereng Merapi berupaya menyelamatkan diri. Namun, satu keluarga tak dapat mengungsi karena terjebak di rumah mereka. Pada malam mencekam itu, seorang pemuda bernama Pandu Bani Nugraha mendengar berita itu. Ia segera mengupayakan evakuasi bersama dua rekannya. Sayang, debu vulkanik yang begitu tebal  menutup jalan menghentikan niat dua rekannya. Akhirnya, hanya Pandu yang tetap bertekad naik untuk melakukan evakuasi. Pandu hanya memiliki satu keinginan: agar semua anggota keluarga itu dapat diselamatkan, tanpa memperhatikan keselamatan dirinya.

Posisi Pandu saat itu serupa dengan yang dialami Ester. Haman, yang diberi kedudukan tinggi oleh Raja Ahasyweros, ingin membunuh semua orang Yahudi. Ester, yang juga seorang Yahudi dan telah diangkat sebagai ratu, menjadi satu-satunya harapan yang bisa menyelamatkan bangsa Yahudi. Namun, itu berarti ia harus berani menanggung risiko berat, sebab tak seorang pun diizinkan berbicara kepada raja apabila raja tidak memanggil. Risikonya adalah hukuman mati. Dan, Ester sungguh-sungguh mengambil risiko itu. Dengan dukungan dari seluruh bangsa Yahudi yang berpuasa dan berdoa baginya.

Pengalaman Pandu dan Ester ini mengajak kita untuk punya hati yang berbelas kasih kepada sesama. Tak banyak orang yang terpanggil untuk melayani sesama dengan sepenuh hati, dengan menyingkirkan egoisme diri. Adakah orang yang membutuhkan uluran tangan dan kepedulian Anda saat ini? Ambillah bagian untuk melakukan sesuatu --GP

IZINKAN TUHAN MENYENTUH HATI ANDA DENGAN KASIH BAGI SESAMA

Sumber : Renungan Harian

Makam Terbuka

MAKAM TERBUKA (Pengkhotbah 11:9-12:8)
Dikirim oleh : Fransisca Adella Kipuw

Ingatlah akan Penciptamu pada masa mudamu, sebelum ... roh kembali kepada Allah yang mengaruniakannya (Pengkhotbah 12:1, 7)

Eugene Peterson, pendeta dan penerjemah Alkitab, menceritakan pengalamannya berkunjung ke biara Benediktin Kristus di Gurun. Ketika hendak makan siang, mereka melewati kompleks pemakaman. Anehnya, di situ ada satu makam yang terbuka. Eugene menanyakan siapa anggota biara yang baru saja meninggal. "Tidak ada, " jawab orang yang mengantarnya. "Makam itu disiapkan untuk siapa saja yang meninggal berikutnya." Begitulah, tiga kali sehari, setiap kali mereka berjalan menuju ruang makan, anggota biara itu diingatkan akan perkara yang lebih sering kita tepiskan: kematian. Salah satu dari mereka mungkin akan menjadi yang berikutnya.

Budaya dunia cenderung menepiskan kematian. Banyak dongeng tentang batu bertuah yang dapat membuat orang awet muda atau hidup abadi. Di dunia modern, aneka produk anti penuaan juga menjamur. Kita diiming-imingi ilusi untuk menikmati kehidupan ini selama mungkin dan dalam kondisi tubuh sebugar mungkin. Firman Tuhan, sebaliknya, sangat realistis.

Pengkhotbah mendorong kaum muda untuk menikmati kemudaannya, tetapi sekaligus menyodorkan fakta akan kematian kepada mereka. Kematian bisa menjemput kapan saja. Tanpa memandang umur kita. Tanpa memandang kondisi tubuh kita. Tanpa kita duga-duga.

Pengkhotbah pun menawarkan resep hidup yang jitu: "Ingatlah akan Penciptamu." Ingatlah bahwa hidup ini hanya "barang pinjaman". Perlakukanlah secara bijaksana. Dan, karena kita tidak pernah tahu kapan masa pinjam itu habis, perlakukanlah setiap hari seolah-olah itu hari yang terakhir. Bagaimana kiranya kita akan menjalani hari terakhir kita? --ARS

BAYANG-BAYANG KEMATIAN JUSTRU DAPAT MENYADARKAN KITA AKAN BETAPA BERHARGANYA KEHIDUPAN INI

Sumber : Renungan Harian

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