Foundations – Mon – 22-05-16



Do you have special furniture in your house, maybe a family heirloom? Each of my children have one. It is a simple two-shelf bookcase. They are not antiques, but they are special. Why? Because of who made them and how they were made. The oak wood was sawn from trees on their Grandpa Cantril’s farm and aged in his barn. Their Grandpa Fuller planed and cut the wood for the shelves. And I, their father, assembled, stained and finished the shelves.

Did you know that you and I are also special? Like my children’s bookshelves, we’re special because of who made us and how we were made. Listen to Genesis 1:26-27, ‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ (NIV)

Human life was created by God. Unlike other creatures, people were made in God’s image as spiritual beings. This is true of men and women, boys and girls. As you deal with people today, remember that regardless of race, wealth, intelligence or ability, every person is just as special and valuable as you are. We have all been made in God’s image.


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Foundations – Sun – 22-05-15



The beginning is always important. Think about the way books and movies begin. They draw us into the story. The beginning sets the tone and direction for what comes after. The same is true of weddings. They are celebrations because two people from different families are beginning a new marriage and family.

Every country also had a beginning. The United States started when people left Europe for new lands and opportunities. Many came to find freedom of religion. The founding of the country resulted from the ideas of the day and the experiences of the British colonists. To understand the United States, you must know the circumstances of its beginning.

The same is true for you and me. To understand the meaning of our lives, we have to understand how it all began. That’s why Genesis 1:1 is so important. It says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV) If the beginning of life was just a random event – the accidental combination of chemicals followed by blind evolution –  then our lives have no meaning. We have no purpose. Our attempts to provide our own meaning are pathetic at best.

But we have been created by God. Therefore, our lives have meaning. This week, we are going to look at the foundational concepts taught by the book of Genesis. Genesis 1:1 is not simply the beginning of the bible’s story. It is the beginning of our story.


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Mothers – Sat – 22-05-14



 In the days before cell phones, I was driving the family down an icy road in northern Michigan. I lost control and the car spun into the ditch. We were miles from home, where we didn’t know anyone. I remember thinking, “Now what? Where do I go for help?” I walked to a nearby house to make a phone call. Help arrived and sometime later, we were on our way.

Have you ever had that feeling? Have you asked “where do I go now?” I think the apostle Peter had that feeling. He had been jailed following the execution of James. But an angel miraculously freed him from prison in the middle of the night. It must have taken a bit to sink in. Because Acts 12:12 says, “When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.” (NIV)

When Peter faced the question of where to go, he thought of John’s mother, Mary. She appears a few times in the bible. She must have been a hospitable woman. Peter probably knew to go to her house because that’s where people gathered for prayer. He’d probably been there before.

Good mothers are hospitable. Even though it is extra work, they open their home to others. Mary, the mother of John, serves as an example of hospitality and prayer. We can all be like her!


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Mothers – Fri – 22-05-13



My daughter possesses a treasure. She has an old quilt. It’s not a spectacular thing to look at. It has orange and blue squares and has come apart in some places. What makes it valuable? It was made by her great, great grandmother. When I say, “made by,” I don’t mean simply sewn together. Great, great grandma Purvis carded the wool, died the wool, spun the thread, weaved the cloth, sewed it together and finished the quilt. It is special not simply because it represents antique methods, but because it was handed down through family generations.

This reminds me of a couple of mothers in the bible. They handed down their faith. Listen to Paul talking to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (NIV) Paul must have known Lois and Eunice and witnessed their faith. What a tremendous compliment to them Paul gave by seeing that Timothy’s faith was a result of their influence! They remind us that good mothers pass on their faith.

Although we can’t all be mothers, we can all pass on our faith. We should certainly pass it on to each generation. But we can also pass it on to others as well. Stop for a moment and think of someone to whom you can pass on your faith in Jesus!


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Mothers – Thu – 22-05-12



Quick, think of a famous mother. Was it difficult to do?

Perhaps the most famous mother in the bible, after Eve, would be Mary, mother of Jesus. I love what Luke 2:19 says. At the birth of Jesus, after the visit of the shepherds, it says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (NIV) Isn’t that just what mothers do? Their hearts are filled with love and memories.

Then look at Mary when her son was a man. She still prompted him to take action! John 2:1-3 says, ‘On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”’ (NIV) Of course, we know how that story ends! Jesus performed a miracle.

We also see Mary at Jesus’ death. John 19:25 says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (NIV) I’m sure you know of mothers who did all they could and were as close as possible when their children tragically died.

Mary shows all the traits of good mothers. Filling her heart with love and memories, prompting her adult child to do good things and supporting her child in his suffering. Thank God for mothers!


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Mothers – Wed – 22-05-11



Have you ever had your car detailed? You know, cleaned and polished inside and out, down to the smallest detail? The carpets are cleaned. Bugs are removed from the bumpers and mirrors. Every little speck is removed. Some people love to do this on a sunny day. Others prefer to hire it done. Of course, my car is lucky to get washed before we go on vacation. I don’t polish it dry. I just let the wind dry it. I guess I don’t sweat the details.

You know who does sweat the details, at least where their families are concerned? Mothers. Day in and day out, most households run well because mom is on the job! They keep things going, often shopping, cleaning, cooking, helping with homework, and more. In fact, this attention is one of the noble characteristics the book of Proverbs discusses in chapter 31. See how many of these are true of the mothers you know.

  • Verse 15 says, “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” (NIV)
  • Verse 21 says, “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” (NIV)
  • Verse 27 says, “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (NIV)

This world would be an entirely different place without mothers of noble character! Find a mother today, maybe your own, or not, and express your appreciation for her.


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Mothers – Tue – 22-05-10



When was the last time someone in your city was murdered? In the past couple of years, crime has increased in many American cities. Well over 150 people were killed in our metro area last year. And the increase in the homicide rate isn’t just a small rise. It has spiked! Every death is a tragedy. At least our culture still sees murder as evil.

Have you noticed that many of the 10 commandments are not considered that serious anymore? Sure, theft is still a crime and is usually condemned. But coveting – you know, desiring your neighbor’s property – is hardly looked down on. Or take adultery. There is hardly any shame associated with it any more.

Our culture may not considered these serious sins, but God does. That’s why they are listed in the 10 commandments. And you know something else God considers serious? How we treat our fathers and mothers. Remember this commandment from Exodus 20:12? “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV) This is the first command with a promise. Keep it and life will go well! Doing this positive command is just as important as avoiding murder! God considers the work of mothers, raising and teaching their children, as extremely important – even if our culture does not! Take a moment to honor your mother today!


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Mothers – Mon – 22-05-09



While in college, I had a part-time job in a jewelry store. Christmas, by far, was the busiest season of the year. However, the second highest sales were generated in relation to Mother’s Day. People really appreciate their mothers, often purchasing gifts of gold chains or jewelry!

I also remember in those days that placing a phone call to our moms on the afternoon of Mother’s Day was difficult. Sometimes my brothers or sister were tying up mom’s phone line. At other times, the limited circuits in the old telephone system would be full, since everyone in the country seemed to call mom at the same time! But when the call got through, we wished Mom a happy Mother’s Day and expressed our love. Perhaps you did this yesterday.

But communication with mom is usually a two-way street. There are times, like yesterday, when we express our love and appreciation. At other times, we listen to what our mothers teach us.

This is how the book of Proverbs describes mothers. They teach us right from wrong. As Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” (NIV)

This passage flips the idea of giving a gift of jewelry on Mother’s Day on its head. The teachings of our mothers are like chains adorning our neck. They give us our understanding of right and wrong.


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Mother’s Day – Sun – 22-05-08



Have you ever wanted something so badly, you poured out prayers and tears asking God for it? I’ve had a few times like that. I received some of the answers I sought. For others, not yet. Today, we look at a woman who prayed with tears to overcome infertility. 1 Samuel 1:10-11 says, ‘In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty , if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”’ (NIV)

God answered Hannah’s prayer! She bore a son named Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord. That was no easy thing. When Samuel was a few years old, she left him miles from home to be raised by the priests at the tabernacle. Once a year she would journey there to worship and see her son. Each year, she brought him clothes she had made. Samuel eventually became a leader in Israel.

This week, the podcast will look at mothers from the bible. Hannah was a remarkable mother. She reminds us that dedicated mothers make sacrifices so their children will follow God. Take a moment to remember the sacrifices your mother made for you.


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Jesus On Prayer – Sat – 22-05-07



Do you remember high school? I bet you had someone in your school who thought they were better than everybody else. It seems that every school has at least one.  Then there’s the other side of the story as well, right? Remember the kids who were the worst? Practically everybody was better than they were. In fact, as adults we may still look at some people and say, “What a bunch of losers.” Of course, if we do, it damages our prayer life.

Hear what Jesus said in Luke 18:9-14, ‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

   “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

   “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”’ (NIV)

When we approach God in prayer, let’s be sure we do so with humility!


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