Jumat, 25 September 2009

Living In Resurrection Hope

Living In Resurrection Hope

By Terry Somerville www.totalchange.org

Dear friends

After my last newsletter a friend from England responded and said I should read Surprised By Hope, by N.T. Wright. WOW What a great book. It focuses mainly on the hope of bodily resurrection, which I'll get to shortly. For those of us who suffered through the bizzare education of liberal theology, you know they teach that the resurrection of Jesus, and ultimately ourselves is a myth, or an inner experience only. Wright delightfully answers their arguments with skill and humor.

Just as an aside for those of you who avoided liberal theology, I'll give an example. One of my professors in seminary taught "modern science tells us people can't rise from the dead, therefore we know Jesus didn't rise from the dead." I and my friends just sat there going, "Duhhhh.Thats why it's a miracle!" But don't put that on a term paper! Such is modern liberal theology. Anyway, it made me dig in to my faith and become stronger in Christ!
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.....
Romans 1:28

As I talk about resurrection I am not going to touch on things like the anti-Christ, the rapture and millennium. Let me focus on the life we will enjoy eternally with the Lord.
Our Hope Of Resurrection
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
I Peter 1:3
Until now, the only time I would articulate our hope of resurrection was when I conducted a funeral. But Jesus resurrection, and our own, has everything to do with the Kingdom of God. Here are twenty five important points.

1. Death is still an enemy, the last enemy to be defeated. 1 Cor. 15:26

2. Jesus' death and resurrection took "the sting of death" (sin) away, so we can enter eternal life. 1 Cor. 15:56

3. All who belong to Christ have entered into Kingdom life now, here on earth.

4. The fullness of the Kingdom will be realized when Jesus creates the new heaven and earth and rules here.

5. Never the less, Jesus is Lord of ALL THINGS NOW. He rules on earth now, though man lives in rebellion. He is served on earth now by those who are born again and have His Spirit. We still see wickedness because He extends grace not wanting any to perish.

6. Jesus will return and set up His Kingdom in the new heaven and earth. He will be seen. He will rule with justice and judgment.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation of John 1:7

7. Heaven is not in the sky. Up and down is part of this creation. To use a science fiction explanation, the Kingdom of Heaven is more like a co-existing parallel universe that is here with us now. We walk in the Spirit here with us.

8. Heavenly reality (the spirit realm) is MORE REAL than earthly reality. We don't see it because we are limited in our creation, and by sin. (we cannot see God and live) Jesus resurrection body is physical but MORE than our experience of physicality.

9. When Jesus returns, and creates the New Heaven and Earth, heaven and earth come together.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev. 21:3

10. The disembodied soul going to a disembodied spiritual heaven is a pagan idea. It mixed into Christianity over many centuries.

11. Eternal life in Heaven is when we will live eternally in bodies on a new earth having bodies like Jesus had at His resurrection.
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Philippians 3:21

12. The Holy Spirit has been given to us now as a down payment of our coming resurrection!
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

13. There is a time of waiting with the Lord after a Christian dies, and before the resurrection day. This the "many mansions" and "today you will be with me in paradise" spoken of in scripture. The words in Greek literally means a temporary place of abode, a garden. But Heaven is life after life after death.

14. The resurrection day will be a day of justice. All will be set right by our Lord ON THIS NEW EARTH. All things that cause offense will be removed, all wrongs will be righted.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; Matthew 13:41

15. The physics of the new creation will not be subject to decay. The cosmos itself will be resurrected like we will be.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its will, but_because of the One having subjected [it] in hope 21 because even the creation itself will be set free from the slavery of the corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that all the creation groans together and labors together in birth-pains until now.23 But not only [this], but_even ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we_also ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly awaiting the redemption of our body! Romans 8

16. We will enjoy physical life on earth in the resurrection. Look at what Jesus did after he rose from the dead.
• We will touch (Thomas touched the resurrected Jesus)
• We can build a fire ( Jesus built a fire and cooked fish)
• We will eat (Jesus ate fish, and other meals with the disciples)
• We will walk and talk together ( Jesus walked and talked on the road to Emmaus)
• We can meet and share with one another (Jesus explained the scriptures)
• We will reign with Him - have meaningful things to do!
I like this great hope. As I grow older there are many things I would like to do. I love the tropics and diving on reefs. I'll be able to enjoy that as much as I like in the resurrection. Creation will be perfect and wonderful. We can enjoy the rivers, and fish and trees spoken of in Rev. 22. There are many losses that will be recovered.

Finally, have you ever wondered at some of the visions people receive? My daughter Megan is handicapped. A number of times when people have prayed for her they have seen her running and playing in a vision. She has had many miracles, but so far is unable to walk without difficulty. I believe these visions are of the resurrection. She WILL run and play. The resurrection is the only hope and sense we can make of life and it's painful times.

Friends, we have entered this Kingdom life now. The Kingdom is forever. Enter in and enjoy the hope.

Kamis, 17 September 2009


-by Lee Grady.

From reading some old books I've discovered a missing spiritual
dimension. The Lord is inviting us to reclaim it.

A few months ago I went on a special diet. I put aside all newly
published books and limited my reading to a small collection of
Christian classics, mostly devotional works by Andrew Murray,
Watchman Nee, E.M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, A.B. Simpson
and Corrie Ten Boom. I knew God had a message for me in those
musty pages.

I had noticed a similar theme in all these books, but it took me a
while to crack the code. These writers from the 19th and 20th
centuries wrote from a spiritual depth that I rarely see in the
church today, and I wanted to know their secret. I slowly began
to figure things out while reading A.B. Simpson's book, A Larger
Christian Life, which he wrote in 1890 when the Holiness
Movement was at its zenith in the United States.

Simpson often preached about Abraham's offering of his son Isaac
on the altar at Mount Moriah, and he called Christians to the place
of self-sacrifice. Mount Moriah, Simpson wrote, "signifies the deeper
spiritual experience into which the fully consecrated person must
come. In this act of obedience, the sanctified self is laid on the
altar just as Isaac was."

I read similar comments about consecration, or full surrender, in
Watchman Nee's The Release of the Spirit, which was first
published in China in 1955. Nee taught us that the path to
spiritual fruitfulness—and to true, intimate knowledge of the
Lord —is the brokenness of the outward man. He explained that
God uses tests and trials in our lives to break our selfish nature
so that Christ's nature can flow through us.

Nee wrote: "No life manifests more beauty than the one who is
broken! Stubbornness and self-love have given way to beauty in
the one who is broken by God."

Perhaps the reason I find so much nourishment in these old words
is that I don't hear much today about the crucified life, suffering,
brokenness or surrender. We rarely talk of altars and we avoid
altar calls. We don't invite people to a deeper spiritual realm
because few even know about such a place; often even our leaders
are too busy using God to boost their egos or to amass personal

Today's shallow, "evangelical lite" culture focuses on self, self and
more self. Christian books today are mostly about self-improvement,
not self- sacrifice. We teach people to claim their "best life now"—
and to claim it on their terms. Our message is one of self-
empowerment: God wants to make you happy, so just add a
little bit of God to your life (on your terms of course) and He will
bless you, prosper you and make all your dreams come true.

How strange that message seems when contrasted with the old
hymns Christians used to sing back in the days of holiness
revivals. This song written by Adelaide Pollard in 1907 seems
eerily foreign today:

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

The woman who penned those words was an itinerant Bible teacher
who was discouraged because she didn't have the funds to make
a missionary journey to Africa. She found great comfort when she
put all her plans and desires on the altar and freshly surrendered
to God's will for her life. The song that sprung from her anguish
blessed millions, but today it has lost its popularity because we
simply don't relate.

I believe we must reclaim the forgotten message of consecration.
It is not enough to know Christian doctrines or to paint a nice
Christian veneer on the surface of our lives. God wants our hearts.
We must embrace the cross daily. It is not enough to simply avoid
the sins that our Christian culture says are the "worst"; we must
also allow God's knife to slay the pride, the self-will, the self-
confidence and the self-glorification that our backslidden Christian
culture encourages.

I invite you to reclaim this lost message by praying a "dangerous
prayer" of consecration. Let God assume the throne of your life
while you abdicate. You can pray something like this:

"Lord, You are the potter and I am the clay. Forgive me for my
selfishness. I consecrate my life to You afresh today. I give You
permission to break me, mold me, bend me and make me
according to Your perfect will. This is all the work of Your grace.
I choose to embrace whatever circumstances You must send into
my life in order to rid me of pride and self-will. I choose to live
on Your altar. As I empty myself, I ask You to fill me with Your
Holy Spirit. Amen"

-J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

SOURCE- http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/

Kamis, 10 September 2009

How Human Society Advanced

How Human Society Advanced
by Gerald Chester www.strategieswork.com

The first man on earth was a farmer. His name was Adam. Adam and his heirs were created to rule God's physical universe (Genesis 1:26–28). This work started in a garden.
Adam's specific assignment was to “work the ground” (Genesis 2:5 NIV). The Hebrew word used in this text is abad, which is also translated in other texts worship and serve. From the beginning, therefore, the idea of work was rooted in the mandate to rule God's creation and was a vehicle to serve and worship God. This is known by many as the "Creation Mandate" and gives work dignity, purpose, and significance.
For most of mankind's known history, as with Adam, farming has been the main work activity. Farming is the seminal work activity, that is, farming is the most basic of all work activities. People must have food. Other than air and water, everything else is optional.
Over the centuries, farming has mostly been performed manually with little help from mechanization. Widely accepted epistemology (the theory of knowledge) is one of the reasons.
Since the time of Aristotle in the fourth century BC, epistemology has been shaped by the assumption that knowledge is solely deduced from ideas. There was no value placed on empirical methodology.
For us living in the twenty-first century AD and who have seen the value of empiricism, it is hard to understand how Aristotle's presupposition could have been so widely accepted, but it was. Through most of human history, the basis for epistemology was limited to deductive reasoning—thought experiments. Starting with concepts, philosophers would deduce conclusions about reality but never submitted their conclusions to empirical testing. This view was widely accepted before and after Christ, and even the Christian community largely embraced it.
Sadly, the Christian community did not understand the implications of Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (NIV). This text suggests that we can gain knowledge about God by studying the physical universe inductively. Inductive means that we can learn empirically through observation and experimentation.
When the Christian community fails to recognize truth, others will. During the seventeenth century, a new approach to epistemology began to take root. Francis Bacon challenged the conventional theory of epistemology and introduced the idea that knowledge could be gained not only deductively but also inductively. This new approach became known as “the scientific method.”
The scientific method is a four-step methodology. First, there is a hypothesis or a theory about reality. Second, an empirical test is developed and applied to validate the theory. Third, the results of the test are compared to the theory. And fourth, the theory is validated or adjustments are made to the theory to better understand the results.
Since the eighteenth century, virtually all scientific training has been based on the scientific method, which led to the technology breakthroughs that fueled the industrial revolution. Metaphorically speaking, the industrial revolution enabled Adam to leave the farm.
Some of the first fruits of the industrial revolution were farm equipment. With the advent of mechanized farm equipment, one farmer could do the work of ten, enabling the other nine to perform other work activities. Hence, the scientific method facilitated the development of technology that greatly enhanced man's ability to fulfill the Creation Mandate.
But the scientific method found application beyond the physical sciences. It also reshaped the science of business and management.
In the early part of the twentieth century, the industrial revolution was expanding rapidly in the United States. Automobiles, railroads, telephones, electricity, and department stores were becoming ubiquitous. J. C. Penney and John Wanamaker pioneered the modern department store model. Asa Candler turned Coca Cola into a worldwide beverage. The Mayo Brothers built the most prestigious medical facility in the world. Anthony Rossi turned orange juice into a premium breakfast drink. Henry Parsons Crowell helped make oatmeal a human food, not just horse feed. All of these men were strong Christians committed to living their faith at work and they used the scientific method to help them master and grow their businesses.
The scientific method enabled these men and others to consistently produce quality products. To achieve consistency required controlled reproducible business and manufacturing processes that were developed empirically using the scientific method. The need to develop these controlled processes led to the development of a new field of study known as “statistical quality control” (SQC).
Dr. Walter Shewhart, a physicist who worked for Bell Labs, pioneered SQC. During the 1920s, the nascent nationwide telephone system was expanding rapidly and there was a tremendous need for quality telephone equipment. Dr. Shewhart realized that to produce consistent quality required controlled manufacturing processes. The empirical tools developed by Dr. Shewhart to facilitate the control of manufacturing processes were based on statistical methods.
During World War II, companies taught and utilized SQC, with great success, to produce high quality products to support the war effort. Altruism emboldened companies during the war to focus on quality before profit. After the war, however, the priorities changed.
The economy of post-war America boomed and companies turned their attention from altruism to greed. They saw opportunities to make big profits, so they disregarded SQC techniques. In other words, they chose quantity over quality, thinking that it would produce more profit.
After World War II, one of Dr. Shewhart’s disciples, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, also a physicist, founded his own management consulting practice based on SQC. Soon he became discouraged by the lack of interest in SQC. Companies driven by greed showed little interest.
Dr. Deming found a more interested audience in Japan. Struggling to recover from the war, the Japanese needed help to restart their industrial economy. Though they were skeptical of SQC, they listened and learned. The Japanese tried SQC and soon developed a competitive edge. By the late 1970s, the Japanese had taken a large share of the electronics and automobile markets away from US companies.
The fact that SQC was a key to the success of the Japanese companies went largely unnoticed until 1980. Finally NBC aired a special on Dr. Deming and SQC, which proved to be a turning point. From 1980 to the end of his life in 1993, he worked tirelessly helping American companies learn and apply SQC techniques.
Deming's approach was rooted in the scientific method and in a profound sense that there was a higher purpose to work than just to make money. No doubt he knew that mankind was under the Creation Mandate to rule God's universe though mastery of the physical world utilizing all means including work activities. And for work activities to be efficacious required well-managed organizations following excellent empirically based processes.
So mastery of the physical sciences and business was facilitated by a more accurate epistemology—an epistemology that valued not only deductive reasoning but also inductive reasoning. What a gift to mankind that knowledge of God’s universe can be gained through the scientific method. The heavens do, indeed, declare the glory of God (Psalms 19:1).
For man to fulfill the Creation Mandate, epistemology and motive are important. When a biblically sound epistemology that embraces both deductive and inductive methods is utilized by people working with the right motivation (obedience to the will of God not money), then amazing advancements can be made. Just look at the advances in technology in the past three hundred years.

Selasa, 08 September 2009

great quotes


“All I can say is I look for perpetual conflicts and struggles in this
life, and I hope for no other peace, only a cross, while on this side
of eternity.”
-George Whitefield

"God give me a deep humility, a well-guided zeal, a burning love
and a single eye, and then let men or devils do their worst."
-George Whitefield

"If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours
through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to
make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that
He may squeeze the sweetness out of us."
- Oswald Chambers

"Nothing is more contrary to a heavenly hope than an earthly heart."
-William Gurnall

"I wouldn't cross the street to hear Ingersoll preach on the mistakes
of Moses, but I'd love to hear Moses preach on the mistakes of
-Vance Havner

"Consecrate, then concentrate..."
- Dwight L. Moody

"At the day of judgment we shall all meet again."
-George Whitfield

"Dare, dare, my dear brethren in Christ, to follow the Captain of
your salvation, who was made perfect through sufferings."
-George Whitefield

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God
has forgiven the inexcusable in you."
-C.S. Lewis

Minggu, 06 September 2009

Tottaly Grace

Totally Grace

By Terry Somerville www.totalchange.org

What a contrast between law and grace!

The Old Testament ends with the book of Malachi. It is a prophetic statement of Israel’s inability to keep the law of God, the curses they experienced, and a call to faithfulness. Kingdom mindedness in the New Testament means we live as those under the grace of the cross and the wonders of God’s love.

Probably the best-known passage is Malachi 3:7-10. This is often preached concerning tithing. To contrast law and grace I’ve underlined and numbered the things that have significantly changed now that we are in Christ.

From the days of your fathers ye have turned aside from mine ordinances (1). and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. But ye say, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with the curse(2); for ye rob me, even this whole nation. Bring ye the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house (3), and prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven (4), and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:7-10

Jewish Religious Systems Replaced Grace
Between Malachi and Matthew amazing changes took place in Israel as the people became more religious, but not necessarily more faithful. By the time Jesus was born, Israel was transformed from a nation of chronic idol worshippers to being solidly monotheistic. New places of religious instruction called synagogues were now found throughout the land. The common people spoke Aramaic so Scribes and experts in the law appear on the scene, teaching from the original Hebrew language. Another new group, the Pharisees, developed a great body of religious tradition concerning application of the law to everyday life. We need to understand that even though these institutions of righteousness developed, the Lord gave no instruction to develop this religious system. It was a work of man designed to establish proper religious behavior in the nation.

Similar systems have found their way into the church as well adopting features such as the four I've highlighted in Malachi. Into this milieu of the religious establishment Jesus came preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. How different things are in Christ. Lets compare this new life of grace to the four points of law I've highlighted in Malachi 3.
"ye have turned aside from mine ordinances"

In the book of Malachi, the Israelites had turned aside from God’s laws and ordinances and they were being admonished to keep them once again. But the truth is that "no flesh can be justified by works of the law". For believers “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for everyone who believes.” Rom 10:4

We are not made righteous by any work. He is our righteousness.
• The law of God is written in our heart by the Holy Spirit. Heb 8:10
• We are called to the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8:2
• And we have one new law, the law of love. Rom. 13:8 Gal. 5:12


"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4

"Ye are cursed with the curse"

Here is a simple fact. Christians are redeemed from the curse, and blessed in Christ. The problem is that many continue to teach that Christians are cursed, usually for a failure to keep some law, such as the law of the tithe spoken of in this passage.

But we are strongly warned not to return to the law! “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?” Gal 3:3 Lets be clear about our redemption. It is complete! Let us not make void the cross of Christ! He took the entire curse from us.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree”); so that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Jesus Christ, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith"
Galatians 3:13-14

This means freedom from financial curses, generational curses, and witchcraft curses.
All curses. So how is it that these things seem to affect us? If we believe curses control our life, then we willingly submit again to a yoke of bondage. (Romans 6:16) rather than walking in newness of life.

Far beyond the removal of the curse, there is the great promise that we are blessed with all the fullness of Christ! We did not simply have our curses wiped out, On the contrary, all that Christ purchased is credited to my account! In Christ I am literally overloaded with blessings to pour out to others. These heavenly blessings are to be manifested through us on earth. “Thy Kingdom Come!” Healing and miracles, deliverance from devils, provisions, peace and life are ours to give to others. We are blessed to be a blessing even to the nations of the earth!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" Eph 1:3

"that there may be food in my house"

What a change from the days when a few select priests would minister in a physical building on our behalf. It is finished! Today, the Lord has determined that the house of God is not a building or organization. It is our physical bodies. Yet we still ask the Lord to fill a building the way He wants to fills us! What are we thinking? We are missing the greatest of blessings. Our own spirits are the Holy Place where the Lord dwells!

"Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body." 1 Co 6:19, 20

• We are the house of God, not a building or an organization. The Spirit of the Lord dwells in us, and is present all the time!
• We are a Royal Priesthood ministering to the Lord. We need no special training or permission
• We worship in the Spirit, led by the Spirit, not by regulations and ordinances.

We manifest the glory of the Lord in our bodies! The power of God is to be seen in us and ministered to a needy world by us.

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers”. John 4:23
Many today are teaching that the heavens are normally closed to Christians. They say the heavens open only in a special move of God or obedience to the law of tithing spoken of in Malachi. The simple truth is, Christ already opened the windows of heaven to every Christian. This was His mission at the cross! The veil separating man from God was torn in two by God Himself! We now have unhindered access to the Father!

"Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.... Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need". Heb. 14:14, 16

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written in Heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel." Heb 12:22-24

We have been raised together with Christ. Col. 3:1 The very same Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you! It doesn’t get more open than this! We have total access!

"...and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." Eph 2:6,7

Religion will always limit us to the level of our own performance and mans program. How great the plan of God is. It is TOTALLY GRACE. We are no longer limited by our religious ability. We no longer are confined to a geographical place and ancestral priesthood. We are the priesthood. We have been delivered from EVERY curse and now are blessed. Heaven is no longer closed by our sin and failures. We now have open heaven access to the Father, Jesus opened the way. How small our faith has been, but how great is His salvation!

Rabu, 02 September 2009

When the Chips are Down

When the Chips are Down

By James Ryle www.truthworks.org

"Did you teach hawks to fly south for the winter?" (Job 39:26).

There once was a bird that lived in Canada. One winter he announced to the other birds, “I’m not flying south for the winter. I’m staying right here!” All the other birds said he was crazy, but he answered, “You’re the ones that are crazy. You’ll get down south, turn around and fly right back up here again next year. What’s the point?!”

The other birds shook their heads, shrugged their shoulders, and took to flight; leavig him behind.

Wondering what winter in Canada would be like, the lone bird was pleasantly surprised at the stretch of Indian Summer that lingered long into the fall. “Aha!” he said to himself, “I was right to stay. This is wonderful!” But then, winter hit full force in the middle of December. Shuddering in the cold the silly bird finally realized, “I must hurry and leave before I freeze to death!”

He took to flight and made it as far as Montana. There, in mid-air, he froze up and tumbled to the ground; landing in a farmer’s barnyard. “Oh, what a stupid bird I am,” he moaned to himself. “I should’ve flown south with all the other birds, but now I am about to die.”

Just then a cow in the barnyard strolled past the fallen bird and without realizing it dropped a big cow-plop right on top of him! “Oh, this is just great,” mumbled the buried bird. “It’s not bad enough that I’m about to die; now I’m covered with cow manure!”

But then he noticed something he had not expected. The warmth of the plop actually began to thaw him out and restore him to life. “Why, what do you know about that?” said the bird. “This ain’t so bad after all!” Then he began chirping and singing under the pile of poop.

Meanwhile, the barnyard cat was passing by and heard the sound of singing coming from the pile. Curious as a cat can be, he pawed around in the pile and uncovered the thawed bird. Their eyes met, there was a silent moment of suspense, and then the cat ate the bird.

The moral of the story is three-fold. First, not everyone who dumps on you is your enemy. Second, not everyone who cleans it off is your friend. Third, when you do get dumped on, it is best to keep your mouth shut. The bottom line is this. When the chips are down, the Lord is up to something good. Take heart, and place your trust in Him. You’ll be blessed in every way.