Fathers – Sun – 22-06-19



Today is Father’s Day, a day to honor the approximately 70 million fathers currently living in the United States.* I suppose that number includes both baby daddies and real fathers. Being a father is certainly more than being involved in a child’s conception. Fathers take the time to love us, provide for us and train us for adulthood. How will you honor your father or the men who were like fathers to you?

The first known observance to honor fathers occurred on July 5, 1908 when a Virginia church held an event to honor men killed in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines.* But the annual observance actually began in Washington state the following year. People have been honoring fathers on this day in different ways since that time.

One interesting event occurred in 1916, when President Wilson honored fathers in a snazzy new way. Thanks to the telegraph, he pushed a button in Washington D.C. and a flag unfurled in Spokane, Washington, thousands of miles away. One of the first instances of remote control.* Ahh, the remote control. Fathers still like those today!

Of course, we don’t need a national observance to know honoring fathers is good. We have the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV)

Take time today to honor your father.


*”Father’s Day 2022,” History, May 31, 2022, https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day.

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Daniel – Sat – 22-06-18



Nobody wants to break the law. Oh, ok, I take that back. There are many people who are quite willing to break the law. But I’m sure the listeners of this podcast are law abiding folks. So why am I talking about breaking the law? Because the Old Testament prophet Daniel was a law breaker. Did you know that? Oh, he didn’t break every law, just one. His political enemies hoodwinked the king into passing a law forbidding prayer for 30 days, except to the king. Those who broke the law, would be executed.

Daniel 6:10 tells what Daniel did, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (NIV)

Daniel broke the law against prayer. The king threw him into the lion’s den as the law demanded. But God’s angel saved Daniel. Then the king executed those who had tricked him into passing the law. And he issued a decree to honor God.

Daniel is an example of faith and commitment. Do we live our faith openly? If following Jesus were illegal, would we continue to follow him? Would people catch us breaking any laws against faith in Christ? We must follow what God says is right. We must dare to be faithful and committed, just like Daniel.


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Daniel – Fri – 22-06-17



Were you ever told as a child to grow up? This can be confusing to kids. Children think literally. They think growing up is growing taller. But adults use the term in a figurative way. We want them to have more mature attitudes.

As adults, we may also be confused by some phrases. If you are told to honor God, what do you do? Do you know? Well, one thing you’d bettered not do is insult him. That’s what king Belshazzar did. He had a banquet with 1,000 guests. He had the goblets from God’s temple brought to the banquet. He and his guests used them to drink wine. While doing so, they praised false gods. Then a hand appeared and wrote on the wall. No one could read the message. The king sent for Daniel who read the writing and explained the meaning. The king would die that very night and his kingdom would be handed to his enemies. Why? Daniel 5:23, contains the reason, “But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.” (NIV)

So, honoring God is important. Bu how do we do it? A good place to start is the Ten Commandments. The first one reminds us that only God should have the divine role in our lives. He alone defines what is right and wrong, not our culture or our whims and prejudices. He alone deserves worship. Honor God today.


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Daniel – Thu – 22-06-16



During part of my youth, we lived in the country. Sometimes my brother and I would pluck long stalks of grass. You know, the ones with a big seed head on the end? We’d clamp the stem end in our teeth and let the head hang out front. I don’t know why. I guess we thought it looked cool.

But we never really ate grass. But the king of Babylon did. Listen to Daniel 4:29-32, ‘Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

The king refused to acknowledge God’s blessing in his success. So he learned humility by grazing on grass. May we be humble and realize God blesses us with success. Chew on this thought today. It’s a lot better that eating grass!


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Daniel – Wed – 22-06-15



Do you like to build a camp fire and sit around it? Years ago, our church held a hay ride each Fall. After the ride we gathered around the fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. Those fires can get hot! Once, the side of our plastic cooler bubbled in the heat, even though it was three feet from the flames!

That reminds me of the fire king Nebuchadnezzar built in a furnace to punish Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He demanded that they bow before his idol. But they refused to violate their faith in God. Listen to their words to the king in Daniel 3:16-18, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV)

Of course, Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the furnace. But God delivered them. When they came out, they didn’t even smell of smoke! But did you notice the strength of their faith? It wasn’t that God would save them. The faith was so strong they refused to bow to the idol even if God did not save them.

Is our faith strong enough to follow God, even if he doesn’t deliver us from our trials and problems?


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Daniel – Tue – 22-06-14



Do you remember the fictional character, Jason Bourne? He is the main character in a few books by Robert Ludlum which were made into popular films. Jason had to fight off assassins while suffering from amnesia.

Gladly, most of us don’t know what it’s like to have someone out to kill us. But the Old Testament prophet Daniel did. The king had decreed every advisor in his kingdom would be killed unless one of them would tell him what he had dreamed and what it meant. As an advisor, Daniel heard he was slated for death. Daniel 2:14-16 tells us what he did, ‘When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.’ (NIV)

If you know the rest of the story, you know that Daniel is able to report what the king dreamed and the meaning, thus saving all the advisors. What I want you to notice is that he spoke to the commander with wisdom and tact. We sometimes find ourselves attacked by others, don’t we. Maybe at work or in our social groups. When this happens, take a lesson from Daniel. Respond with wisdom and tact.


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Daniel – Mon – 22-06-13



“Well, I tried.” Have you ever said those words? I know I have. Sometimes we make an effort to do something and then resign ourselves to failure or disappointment when it doesn’t work out. But that is not what leaders do. They persist and find a way forward.

Yesterday, we looked at Daniel’s effort not to defile himself with the food assigned to him by his captors. He asked the chief official for different food. But that official refused because he didn’t want to anger the king and risk being executed. But Daniel didn’t return to his friends, shrug and say, “Well, I tried.” No, Daniel 1:11-13 says, ‘Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”’ (NIV)

Daniel found a way to practice his faith by persuading the guard to run an experiment. The guard agreed. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his friends were healthier and continued to receive the food they requested.

When you face obstacles to your faith, don’t shrug and say, “Well, I tried.” Instead, be like Daniel. Be persistent and persuasive and find a way to follow God.


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Daniel – Sun – 22-06-12



Have you ever wanted to be the leader? We usually want to be the leader to have our own way. Like the childhood game of Simon Says, we want others to do what we want. But leadership is not the same as being in charge or having power. And, it can be lonely. Every leader must be willing to take the risk of standing alone.

In the Old Testament, we find an example of leadership in the story of Daniel. He and his three friends were forced to leave Jerusalem. They were taken captive to Babylon about 605 B.C. to be educated in the culture of Babylon. The king of Babylon planned use them serving his empire. But Daniel saw a problem. The food assigned to him and his friends violated their religious beliefs.

Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” (NIV)

Notice Daniel did this alone. His friends did go to the chief official with him. Daniel assumed all the risk to take a stand. When his friends saw his stand, they followed his lead.

We too must be willing to risk taking a stand for our faith. Like ancient Babylon, parts of our culture challenge us to ignore, or even violate, our faith. We must resolve ourselves to stand for God. Our leadership may inspire others to follow.


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Early Church – Sat – 22-06-11



Do you remember the old television show Home Improvement? One of the gags the show repeatedly used was when Tim “The Toolman” Taylor wanted more power in a tool or appliance. Whether it was juicing up the kitchen disposal to chip tree limps or powering the riding lawn mower with a jet engine, it always led to laughs – and disasters! But the gags tap into a truth. We often want more power, don’t we?

Unfortunately, we usually want power for our wishes. We pray for our desires. What we need is power to perform God’s will, to complete the mission Jesus gave us.

One of the fascinating things about the book of Acts is the source of power in the early church. It wasn’t from having a great band to draw a crowd. Nor having polished celebrities to deliver motivational messages. No, the first church was powered by the Holy Spirit. Of the 25 times the Spirit is mentioned in the book, half of them talk about specific actions the Spirit took. One example is Acts 9:31, “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.” (NIV)

Those who follow Jesus have God’s Spirit dwelling in them. He wants to power us on the mission Jesus left us. He can strengthen and encourage us. Seek God’s power to do his will.


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Early Church – Fri – 22-06-10



Have you ever admired boldness in another person? People who have the confidence to take on a challenge, start something new or take a stand for what’s right are admired. Many of us wish we had more boldness. We often feel uncertain, small or weak. We want boldness, but don’t find it in ourselves.

Today, I want to share with you the secret to boldness. It is the secret the first Christians knew. Peter and John healed a man and preached Jesus. The authorities arrested them, commanded them stop preaching Jesus and threatened them. So, Peter and John gathered with other Christians and prayed. Listen to part of their prayer and the answer in Acts 4:29-31, ‘”Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.’ (NIV)

Did you notice the secret? Boldness came from God. Peter, John and the other Christians were distressed by the harassment delivered by the authorities. So they prayed for boldness and God answered. The next time you need to speak out about your faith or take a stand for what is right, remember to pray for boldness.


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