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Monday's Message: A Refreshing Word of Encouragement and Spiritual Direction from God Each Week!

Monday's Message: A Refreshing Word of Encouragement and Spiritual Direction from God Each Week!

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Monday's Message: A Refreshing Word of Encouragement and Spiritual Direction from God Each Week!

Longitud:
233 página
3 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 29, 2012
ISBN:
9781449737580
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Monday's Message is a weekly devotional consisting of fifty-two of the most popular messages sent out by author James Harrison through his weekly e-mail ministry. The unique and captivating style of Reverend Harrison's writing has challenged and encouraged his readers for over three years now.

The spiritual motivation for Monday's Message began with the birth of a special-needs little girl named Klaire Sampson. This engaging and heartwarming story can be found in the first weeks message.

The positive and uplifting stories of Monday's Message will bring you into the very presence of God.

In cheerful kindness, Monday's Message conveys the eternal truth of God's love for you!

Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 29, 2012
ISBN:
9781449737580
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

New author and bi-vocational minister James Harrison is fifty-eight years old and resides in the rural town of Philadelphia, in eastern Tennessee. He has been in the ministry for ten years, and prior to that, he was a member of the Gideon's International. James has a genuine heart for troubled and downtrodden individuals. He uses his practical and positive counseling experiences to offer hope and encouragement to his readers. He and his wife, Susan, have been married for twenty-nine years, and they have three children. Together they serve the Lord faithfully through the First Baptist Church in their community of Philadelphia. James also has a full-time job as a construction manager. He says this affords him many opportunities to share his love for Christ to a lost and hurting world. Some of those stories end up as material for Monday's Message.

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Monday's Message - Harrison James

Monday.

A Special Little Girl

In all of our lives, we meet folks of all types. Some will come in and out of our lives with little or no consequences. Some we will meet only once and soon forget, and others will pass in and out of our lives for a season or period of time. We may have never given it much thought, but for the most part, our lives are shaped and molded by the people of our lives, mainly by our parents, grandparents, and other relatives. One thing you will discover is some of those people will make a lasting impression on your life. Many you will call friend, but only a few (and usually you will be able to count them on one hand), will you label as special.

On January 14, 2007, Monday’s Message was born. Not as you and I read it today or as we may perceive it to be, but on that fateful day, Monday’s Message was born in the form of a little girl. She was born into a happy family that already had four children. That family did not know or suspect this little girl would be special. The mother and dad had no clue the birth of this child would be any different than their previous four children. The pregnancy went normally, all the prenatal tests seemed normal, and the delivery went well. However, shortly after birth, it became apparent that something was different. The doctors would soon diagnose a rare condition called trisomy 14 mosaicism.

I am speaking about Klaire Sampson, the youngest daughter of Randall and Royal Sampson of Kingston, Tennessee. A big part of little Klaire’s five-plus years has been spent in and out of Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has been put to sleep twenty-seven times for different procedures and had fourteen surgeries and many other physical ailments related to the disorder that has plagued her life. Not a lot is known about her rare condition. It is a lot of trial-and-error medicine, watch and wait, prayer and patience. To say this has been a very difficult time for the Sampson family is, at best, a huge understatement.

What is not in doubt is Klaire’s zest for life. She is a vibrant little lady, with stunning red hair and captivating blue eyes. She is very active, alert, and handles her handicap with the heart of a Trojan. Klaire does not know she is special. And she is not special because of her condition, but she is special in spite of her condition. Klaire has a tracheotomy, which prevents her from speaking. However, it does not keep her from communicating. If she could walk, she would probably be a marathon runner, because she can move those little feet a mile-a-minute. She can make noises and facial expressions, and she speaks volumes through her infectious smile and warm spirit.

Just after she was born, her grandmother, JuJu, contacted my wife to ask for our prayers. My wife informed me, and immediately when I heard this, God gripped my heart, and what He conveyed to me could not have been clearer than if He had dropped a brick out of heaven with a note attached. The message from God was to, Start praying, encouraging, and ministering to this family, and do not stop until I say so.

Since that day, I have not ceased to pray daily for this little girl and her family. Along with my prayers, I have visited and sent cards and e-mails, all of which were intended to be a source of encouragement to this dear family in the trial of their lives. I cannot tell you in so many words about the anguish and hardship this event has brought into the lives of the Sampsons. I see the weariness in their faces, I feel the hurt in their hearts, and I understand their question, Why? I do not have the answer.

What I do know is this: the story of Klaire Sampson has impacted hundreds and perhaps thousands of lives. Many people have been touched by her story through the Care Pages website. Many individuals have given of themselves to aid the Sampsons in their plight. Several close friends regularly send words of encouragement, and Dr. Buddy Guider has been a godsend for the Sampsons.

From an observer’s standpoint, I have seen many folks drawn closer to God and to each other because of Klaire’s story. Through the miracle of Internet and e-mail, many new friendships have been born, and prayer circles have been started. I have heard folks say, I don’t know how they [the Sampsons] make it. I can tell you; it is because some people have chosen to give of themselves and have committed to be a source of help. They have let the love of God rule in their hearts, and in turn, it has caused them to love the Sampsons as themselves.

Each and every time I have visited the Sampsons, my desire was to be a source of encouragement to them. What I experienced was an overwhelming humbleness that I was in the presence of something special. Each time I have left their long driveway, I have departed in tears. However, it would give me an inspiration to send out a new message of hope to them. Now, I don’t know how much help this has been to the Sampsons. I do know it has changed my life. In my communication with others who have been personally involved with this situation, they have told me how much Klaire has affected their lives. She has that effect on a person. If you are in her presence, you will feel there is a something unique going on with her. I call her the little missionary.

After countless e-mailed messages sent to the Sampsons, God impressed upon me one Monday morning (July 6, 2009) to send an encouraging message to a few other people on my e-mail list (six to be exact). The next Monday morning, I got the same impression from God to send out another message. The third Monday morning in a row, God woke me up around 3:30 a.m. and began to impress a message of encouragement on me and gave the impression to, expand it, send it to everyone on your e-mail list, and call it—conveniently enough—‘Monday’s Message.’ Since that day, I have tried to be faithful in preparing and sending out an encouraging message each Monday. God gives the inspiration and the Scriptures; I simply write it down.

The purpose of Monday’s Message is to be a source of spiritual encouragement to whoever may receive it. I have no way of knowing to whom all the messages go. I am aware that many of the recipients forward the messages on, themselves. I am aware it goes to many states, three foreign countries, including Canada. That is not the most important thing, however. The main point is that God’s Word is going out, and people are being encouraged because of a special little girl.

How kind and thoughtful it would be for you to drop this family a note of encouragement and pledge your prayers for them and Klaire.

Mail to: Klaire Sampson c/o Randall and Royal Sampson

4157 Kingston Highway.

Kingston, TN 37763

I thank God by faith for what you will do. To Him be glory and honor forever, amen.

Holding Hands with God

(In Memory of Dad)

Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When I was a young boy of about four or five years old, I had a season or two of experiencing bad dreams and nightmares. It was always the same dream, and it seemed as if I was always running away from some terrible creature. And just before it caught me, I would wake up in a state of panic. I never really understood the dream exactly, and it was never clear as to what was actually causing me such fright and terror.

This was always very unsettling for me, as you could imagine. My cries and sobs would wake my parents, and they would comfort and reassure me with their hugs and affection. At the time, we lived in a very small house, and my parents’ bed was next to mine. When they finally got me calmed down from my frightening ordeal, we would all go back to bed, and my dad would do something I shall never forget: he would reach across to my bed and hold my hand until I went off to sleep. It always worked. My dad’s loving kindness gave me the sense of safety I needed. With my hand in his, I was secure.

Now, that is a picture of a loving and kind father. It is also a reflection of our heavenly Father’s love for us. At the young and tender age of four or five, I had not yet come to know God as my heavenly Father. However, at age eleven, God knocked on my heart’s door, and I surrendered my life to Him. Since that time, God has been holding my hand, giving me encouragement, directing my path, and keeping me safe and secure.

As little children, most of us sang a song that said, He’s got the whole world in His hands! In Romans 8:35, the Bible asks us this question, which has a foregone conclusion: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? And the answer to that question is a confident, nobody and nothing. In other words, when we come to Christ and invite Him to become Lord of our life, He puts us in the palm of His hand and says: And no one shall be able to pluck you out of My hand (John 10:28).

Now I don’t know about you, but that gives me a sense of safety and security as a child of God. I am His and nothing and nobody can change that. That is the security of the believer. In essence, we can live out our lives without fear because we are holding the hand of God.

My late and dear sweet grandmother—I affectionately called her Grannie—lived by herself the last few years of her life. She had been preceded in death by her husband, my grandfather Pap. I would often go by to visit with her and find her in the house quietly sitting in her favorite chair. I didn’t understand then how she could cope with a life of solitude without something to entertain her. I would mention, Grannie, why don’t you turn the TV on? It could be some company to you. She would always smile and say, I know, James. Little did I know it then, but during those times, Grannie was holding hands with God.

I did not know or fully value that until a few years later after my dad had passed away.

Before he passed away, many times I would come home to find Dad sitting in front of my house in one of the swings I had put up next to a little creek. He would just be sitting there and meditating or praying in the quiet beauty of that place. I would ask him, Dad, why didn’t you call me and let me know you were coming? I would have been here. He would respond with, Well, son, I didn’t want to bother you; I just wanted to come and sit by the creek. I did not understand or appreciate it then, but during those times, he was holding hands with God.

Both my grandmother and my dad passed away from this life quietly and gently in their sleep. I firmly believe they were holding hands with God when He said, It’s time.

In closing, friends, can I ask you this question? Are you safely in the hands of God, or are there things in your life that prevent you from having peace and confidence in being in His presence?

Why not begin this new week with a clean heart and a right relationship with your creator God. He stands ready to give you peace. Call on Him. He is listening. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

Occasionally, our youngest son will come and find my wife and I sitting down by the creek holding hands. He will say: Don’t y’all have nothing better to do than just sit by the creek? Little does he know, we are holding hands with God!

Gracious Lord, I am grateful for my grandmother and my dad, who taught me by example the value of holding on to you. Lord, there are Monday’s Message readers out there right now who need peace in their lives. Their hearts and souls are in turmoil. Lord, please forgive them and love them by opening their eyes to Your truths. Bring them into a right relationship with You. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.

Two Plus Two

I was circling through the local Wal-Mart parking lot a few days ago when a little red-headed toddler bolted out from between two cars and into the driving lane. I was being observant and was able to stop in plenty of time to avoid hitting the young boy. However, I am sure it caused sheer terror in the eyes of his grandmother as she quickly raced after him and got a secure grasp on the young lad. I thought it was a bit humorous as I saw the toddler’s facial expressions: first, wide-eyed and with a big smile as he was racing toward what he thought was freedom to do as he pleased; and then last, a frown, as his grandmother put the clamp on his arm and sternly persuaded him back toward the car. It was one of those two-plus-two lessons of life that the toddler needed to learn. He will not yet understand the dangers of his freedom to choose as he pleases. He needs a watchful eye and loving guidance and instruction if he is ever to make it to maturity.

Such is mine and your need too. We need the watchful eye of our heavenly Father and His instruction and guidance if we are ever to make it to spiritual maturity. There are a lot of two-plus-two lessons of life that we simply do not know or understand. And like the toddler, we will make very costly mistakes unless we follow the advice of God. There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of destruction (Prov. 14:12).

Throughout the parenting of our three children, my wife and I have consistently used the two-plus-two scenario in teaching them about the lessons of life. The thought process here is that if you make certain choices, it will always lead to certain results. Here are some examples we used: If you run through a coal pile, you will get black coal dust on you. If you touch a hot stove, you will get burnt. If you hit your head against a tree, it’s gonna hurt. And two plus two is always four—today, tomorrow, and next week!

Have you noticed that in our highly educated society, folks have not learned that two plus two equals four? People keep making the same mistakes, and yet they somehow expect different results. Thousands of lives are adversely affected each year by the effects of alcoholism, yet you will never hear on TV or from our news media that folks should not drink. They will say to drink responsibly. Kind of foolishly ironic, isn’t it? How many of you would tell your teenage daughters or sons before they go out, Now, honey, you drink responsibly tonight? Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Prov. 20:1).

I find it more sadly pathetic that professing Christian and church members have voted to allow alcoholic beverages to be sold in our local cities, making it even more readily available for our unsuspecting young people. They use the excuse that it will bring more tax revenue in for our schools. That is the biggest line of hogwash ever stated. Look at the billions of dollars that are spent annually on alcoholic beverages, look at the expensive billboards that promote alcohol consumption, and look at the expensive ads on TV and during the Super Bowl that promote alcohol. Now go visit one of your local school systems and talk to the teachers, look at the condition of the buildings and classrooms, talk to the administrators about their budgets being cut every year, and then be honest. Is the tax revenue from alcohol worth the detrimental effects on our society?

God gives us many two-plus-two lessons in His Word. One of them is found in Galatians 6:7-8: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

I have visited jails and prisons and talked to inmates who are reaping the results of making bad choices. Some of them would like to go back and undo the wrong they had done; however, they cannot. We are all free to make choices, but choices bring consequences, and consequences bring hurt, pain, suffering, sadness, and sorrow. It is one of those two-plus-two facts of life.

Friends, in closing, can I talk with you very honestly and openly for a moment? I would like to tell you that I have always made good choices and done what was right, but that is just not true. I am just a wretched sinner who has been saved by God’s marvelous grace and mercy. And in the process, God has used my bad experiences to teach me many lessons of life. He has brought good out of the bad choices I have made to use me as a testimony and a spokesman to others to warn them of the dangers that lie around waiting to destroy their lives.

We live in very perilous times. The recent rash of tragedies and devastation around our world is not just coincidence. The earthquake and following tsunami in Japan, the recent tornadoes in the Southeast and across our country, and the current flooding along the Mississippi River are all warnings and signs from God that we need to focus on our spiritual condition.

I have a friend who is pregnant and expected to deliver soon. Over the last few days, she has experienced more severe and intense labor pains as delivery draws near. Our world is experiencing labor pains now waiting to be delivered from sinful corruption. That delivery is drawing near. We can know this because the labor pains are becoming more severe and intense and because the Bible predicts this very thing. Are you ready, or are there things in your life you need to change? Are you being deceived by Satan? Are you still foolishly trying to enjoy all of the sinful pleasures of this life? When the great tsunami of God’s wrath is unleashed on this world, it will be too late. Don’t be left behind because you did not know two plus two!

"Mighty

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