God’s Cross – Day 24

One Wednesday night at Pulse, I was open for what God wanted to do through me, with no restrictions. I felt God tell me to kneel before a large wooden cross that was in the Pulse room at the time. So I did. God gave me a vision. This vision was of a cross in my back yard. This was a fairly large cross, maybe 7 feet tall. I knew that God wanted me to build this cross. I am fairly talented at wood working, but I normally don’t finish projects that I start. But I had God’s help with this project.

When I started on the project a day or two later, I didn’t know what to make it out of. But I knew that God would provide what I needed. We had old cedar logs lying beside our house. When I saw them, I knew that was what God wanted me to make the cross out of. So I went out to my driveway and plugged up an old radio and tuned it to 90.7, a Christian radio station. I went beside our house and picked the two logs that God told me too. I build the cross with a draw knife, a knife used to remove shaving from wood, a pocket knife, a sawzall and cheap thin rope. I started by removing branches and with the sawzall.

About half way though doing this God told me to stop and worship Him. So right in the middle of my driveway I worshipped Him with hands held high. During this time He told me to make it bigger, so the piece that was the vertical piece became the horizontal piece and a bigger log became the vertical piece. This was now a big cross. I continued to work and about an hour later I was wondering why I was doing this. Then I stood it up, all put together, and I understood. It was not my cross that I made; it was His cross that I got the privilege of making. I took the cross out back with my brother’s help. I dug a hole 6 to 8 inches deep and put the cross in the ground. Now 6 to 8 inches is not enough dirt to hold a 7 foot cross in the ground for the three years that it has (even through a wind storm that tore my neighbor’s patio roof off and threw it across the road.) There is one force that is keeping that cross there and that is the power of Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

I now put a light on the cross from about December 10 through May. If you are driving on route 116 going from Hanover to Spring Grove at night, you might see it lit up. If you would like to talk to me about this please do. Don’t forget to follow God without restrictions because when you do great things happen. 
 
-Murphy Altland

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The Carpenter – Day 23

During my college years, I worked construction jobs through the summer months. While on one particular job site, I became very frustrated with a project I was working on, left out a few angry words then flung my hammer across the room.

A fellow carpenter heard the racket, knowing what had taken place. He came into the room and calmly suggested that I use my energy more wisely by walking away from the frustration and moving on to another project for a short time. He explained that I could then come back to the project with a calm spirit and new insight.

His words became a turning point for me as his advice worked that day and every day since. It marked the beginning of my personal journey toward patience and self-control. The practice of stepping back from a frustrating situation soon became second nature. In Galatians, Paul talks about the fruits of the Spirit. As we put these virtues into practice, our daily walk becomes easier and is pleasing to God.

Galatians 5:22-25 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your wisdom. I commit to living by your Spirit and will endeavor daily to reflect your virtues.
 
– Barry Myers

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Scripture Reading – Day 22

Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


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Big Bucks Barb – Day 21

Psalm 26:7 – That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all your wondrous works.

I have a friend and her name is Barb. Barb is a streetwise , no holds barred, tell you like it is kind of woman. She was in and out of trouble  with the law for years. She struggled with addiction for a long time. Barb has since become a new creation!                            

She works so hard to provide for her family and takes lots of overtime to pay all her bills. Her husband died many years ago, so she is on her own. Barb volunteered to go in a recovery program to get her life straight. She called upon the Lord to get her through. His promise stands tall! She is now gotten a promotion after working in the same manufacturing plant for almost 3 years . Her new job is one of the highest paying jobs in the plant. That’s why I call her Big Bucks Barb.

She has told me on many occasions how thankful of all the wonderful  things that the Lord has done for her. Praise God! Barb has spoken twice to the judges and lawyers of York City of how well the recovery program is. It just does my soul good to see His wondrous works!    
 
– Laurie Kuhn         

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Beloved Identity – Day 20

Over the last several months, Yahweh has been showing me more and more what it looks like to be loved by Him. I’ve been reading through the Song of Songs and in doing so I can physically feel His love drenching me. The Song of Songs was written by King Solomon to a Shulamite woman, his beloved. But this book is more than just poetry written to Solomon’s beloved; it’s a beautiful depiction of the Father’s love and admiration for us.

My dearest one,
    let me tell you how I see you—
    you are so thrilling to me.
    To gaze upon you is like looking
    at one of Pharaoh’s finest horses—
    a strong, regal steed pulling his royal chariot.

– Song of Songs 1:9 (TPT)

When I first read, “you are so thrilling to me” it left me in complete awe and wonder. How is it that the Creator of the universe – the One who knows every one of my thoughts, each hair on my head – how can He find me thrilling? So thrilling in fact, that He compares me to Pharaoh’s horses. To fully understand this, we have to realize that He’s comparing us to the best of the best. Pharaoh’s horses would have been the most physically attractive and strongest horses. What Yahweh’s saying here is that He sees us for who we are, in the places we are. He sees us as the most beautiful child that He created. We may be a mess and our lives may be organized chaos, but He looks at us in a way that we may have a difficult time understanding. We are His favorites. He longs to spend time with us. He yearns for our affections toward Him. Yahweh lavishes His love, His goodness, His kindness, His gentleness on us every moment of everyday. I believe that if we begin to grasp the reality that we are His beloved, our lives would naturally begin to look more like the Father. We were created to have our identity rooted in Him – beloved identity.

I encourage you to read through this book with the Father’s love for you at the forefront. Spend some time meditating on the words that are from Yahweh. Let them soak into you.

You are beloved.
 
– Whitney Rohrbaugh

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Choose Joy – Day 19

I enjoy a good graphic t-shirt. Ones that have fun messages like, “This Mama runs on Coffee, Amazon Prime and Jesus,” “Quiddich is my favorite sport” (points if you know the reference!), or “Thankful,” etc. There is really nothing that you can’t put on a t-shirt it seems. How fun! I saw a line recently of ones that start with “Choose”- for example “Choose Hope,” “Choose Courage,” or “Choose Joy.”

It is a choice! He wants us to choose to live more like Him. In the Word, these are ways people will know we are Christ followers. Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Sometimes I’m quite frustrated with myself, if I’m honest, and as much as I want to “Choose Joy,” I’m not always feeling it. The dishes, laundry, reports that need to be written, emails returned – the list goes on and on – give me a feeling of much less than joy. Add in a whining child and the stress of undone tasks, and I’m on the train to feeling in the doldrums.

But I believe we as believers are not meant to be downtrodden people. For we know the hope and we know we have a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I think I may even limit my testimony when I do not show joy. I end up looking like the rest of the world…under the weight of life’s pressures instead of filled with the Lord and living in light of eternity.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t believe this means we can never have a bad day. But how do we approach each day? How do we greet those we encounter, even when we feel sad, weighed down, worried or stressed? Are we able to continue to look to the Holy Spirit to fill us and work through us even in those moments?

Because when in the midst of trials we can meet the need of someone who does not believe, how much more does that speak to them of the hope that lives within us? When we CHOOSE joy above choosing bitterness, anger, frustration or apathy even, we show the world His light, His power, His strength. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b).

Philemon 1:7 reminds us that as we share the joy He overflows in our heart with those around us, we can bring refreshment to this weary world. “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I would reflect you more in all I do. Today I come asking you to fill me with your spirit that you would overflow from me the fruits of the spirit. Work in me that joy may flow freely; that I may be able to show the world the hope that lives inside me, and that I may share in others joy freely, not looking to the left or right, but looking directly to you, the source of my strength each day. Thank you for loving me and giving me everlasting joy. I love you, Lord.
 
– Laura Enslen

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