Old Clothes

A husband reluctantly agreed to allow his wife to sell some of his old clothes in her yard sale. He thought they were fine, but she insisted that they were outdated.

One shopper came by, picked up one of the old outfits, and exclaimed, “This is perfect!”

The husband quickly gave his wife a smug look—until the woman continued, “These will look terrific on my scarecrow!”

Sometimes we think the filthy rags of our sinful lives look pretty good. But in reality, we need to exchange those dirty old clothes for the robes of righteousness that Jesus offers to everyone who will accept his grace and mercy.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”—Colossians 3:12.



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He Heard You

Winston Churchill

A story is told about a time when Winston Churchill was attending an official ceremony in London. Two men behind him recognized him and began to whisper behind his back.

“They say Churchill’s quite senile now,” said one.

“Yes, and they say he’s doing England more harm than good,” replied the other.

“They say he should step aside and leave the running of this government to younger, more dynamic people,” continued the first man.

Churchill turned and in a loud voice said, “They also say he’s quite deaf.”

Your gossip, grumbling and criticism might be heard by more people than you think!

“Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”—James 5:9.


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New Ways

I don’t put much stock in the predictions of Chinese fortune cookies, but I usually read mine to see what it says. At my most recent stop at a Chinese restaurant, my fortune cookie said, “You will be asked to step up to the plate in new ways.”

I hated to hear that. The ways that I am currently stepping up to the plate seem to be all I can handle most days! I am not sure that I am ready for any “new ways”, whatever that might entail.

Then I got to thinking about people in the Bible who embraced “new ways”. Moses traded shepherding sheep for shepherding people. Perfume-makers and goldsmiths became bricklayers for Nehemiah when the circumstances called for it. Some of the disciples switched from one type of fishing to another.

I suppose that if the Lord calls upon me to do some things differently, I had better step to the plate and take my best swing.

“…I am making everything new!…”—Revelation 21:5.


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Learning How to Pray

A busy mother and housewife had worked hard all day to prepare to have some guests over for an evening meal. When it came time to sit down and eat, the lady asked her young daughter if she would say a prayer. The little girl protested, “But Mommy, I don’t know how to pray!”

“Sure you do, honey. Just pray like you’ve heard me pray.”

“OK. Dear Lord, as busy as I am, why did I invite all those people over tonight!?”

It is important that we learn how to pray properly. When his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, he gave them, and us, a model to go by. (Luke 11:1-4).

Let us continue to learn from the Master by using the model prayer.


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Need Your Help

A small town had only one bank and three churches. One Monday morning, the bank called all three churches with the same request: “Could you bring in Sunday’s collection right away? We are out of $1 bills.”

It is a shame that Christians, who serve a radically generous God, can so often be quite miserly in their response to God’s goodness. God gave us everything, yet many want to give him so little.

Let’s do our best to be the generous givers that God wants us to be.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7.


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No Experience Necessary

The human resources director was interviewing a prospective employee when she noticed that the applicant had written down an enormous figure as a salary request. “You certainly expect to be compensated well for someone who has no previous experience in this line of work.”

The applicant replied, “I certainly do. Work is a lot harder when you don’t know what you’re doing!”

Sometimes when we serve the Lord it feels like we are in over our heads; like we don’t know what we are doing. But as we seek his wisdom and work in the strength he gives us, we find a way to get the job done.

“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”—Colossians 1:28-29.


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Hang In There!

Debra K. Johnson writes about the time her 7-year-old daughter wanted to take violin lessons. She took her daughter to a music store to rent an instrument. Hoping that the young girl would understand the importance of making a commitment to practice, Debra explained to her that the music lessons would be expensive. She was willing to make the financial sacrifices if her daughter promised to work hard. “There may be times you’ll feel like giving up,” Debra said, “but I want you to hang in there and keep on trying.”

She nodded in understanding and then in a serious voice said, “It will be just like marriage, right Mom?”

Or just like following Jesus.

“…Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown”—Revelation 2:10.


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Voice of Truth

Billy Graham

It has just been reported that evangelist Billy Graham has died at the age of 99. Graham preached to millions of people all over the world in his ministry that spanned about 70 years.

It will be interesting to see what people will say about Billy Graham as they review his life and ministry. He was bold in proclaiming the gospel truth, that there is no way to be saved except through Jesus. That is not a popular position in these times when truth is thought to be relative and political correctness is valued above all else.

Times may change, but Jesus never does. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”—Hebrews 13:8.

The followers of Jesus proclaimed him to be the only way to salvation—“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus himself made some rather spectacular claims about himself—“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6).

Billy Graham spoke consistently, lovingly, passionately and truthfully about the gospel message. Now that his voice has been stilled, we must use our voices to spread the truth that salvation comes through Jesus.


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Define Respect

Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman posed nude for the 2018 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Perhaps in an effort to explain her decision, Raisman said, “We have to get to a point where everyone understands women do not need to be modest to be respected.”

Many disagree with her view and hope that we do not get to that point.

For another opinion on that topic, we could turn to the Bible—“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety…” (1 Timothy 2:9).

There are a lot of different opinions out there about the importance of modesty and the real definition of respect. Choose wisely before you make up your mind about that issue.


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Like New

The car I drive now wasn’t very old when I hit an animal that darted out in front of me on the highway. The impact cracked the plastic bumper on the front of the car. The damage was so slight that my wife and I decided not to go to the expense of fixing it. So I drove it as it was.

Sometimes I would forget about the imperfection. At other times it would bother me. But on I drove, for about 15 years. That’s when I hit another critter that suddenly ran out in front of me. This time my car wasn’t so fortunate, because the animal I hit was a full-grown deer. Amazingly, the deer walked away from the accident, but the damage to the car was so significant that it could not be ignored. Off to the repair shop it went.

In just a few days the front of the old car was looking brand new. Even the bumper that was damaged years ago had been repaired.

I guess the moral of this story (You knew there was going to be one, right?) is that sometimes we let old sins linger for years before we give them over to Jesus. We don’t have to go through life spiritually banged up. We can allow him to fix us up just like new. But we have to choose to do so.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:8-9.


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