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Tears in a Bottle

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Tears in a Bottle

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”
—Matthew 5:4—

While on the scene of a traffic collision, I noticed a young child being held by a police officer. As I observed this picture, the frightened child began to cry. Her tears were slowly flowing down her smooth cheeks and onto the shoulder of the police officer’s uniform leaving four very noticeable tears.

As I was touched and moved by the scene, I was reminded of words of David, when he said in Psalms 56, that God will gather our tears in His bottle. What a very intimate statement that is. God is so in love with us, and so concerned with you and I, that He sees every one of our tears, gathers them, and bottles them. He can truly sympathize with us. He literally feels our pain. He is indeed our Comforter.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:2-3). John Henry Jowett said it this way, “God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.” God’s comfort is never given to us; it is always loaned. God expects us to share it with others.

As I watched the officer tenderly holding that child, she didn’t appear to say much with her mouth. However, she spoke loudly with her hugging arms, and her shoulder to cry on. This child was filled with sadness, but God, working through this police officer, was bringing comfort.

What about us? Are we extending our arms and our shoulder to those who are hurting, or have we been avoiding such opportunity? Let’s never be afraid to make ourselves available to others, because as we do, we’ll be a comfort and blessing to them, and they’ll be a comfort and blessing to us.

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing”
—1 Thessalonians 5:11—

Be willing to be a comforter,

Chaplain Steve

The unpainted wooden steps in front of college admission essay writers big.

Out of Uniform

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Out of Uniform

“Is this the same man . . .”
-John 9:8-

In the Gospel of John, chapter 9, we read the story of Jesus encountering a man who had been blind since birth. As Jesus often did, He chose to heal this man of his physical infirmity, his blindness. The Bible goes on to say that after his healing, his neighbors, who once knew him, and those who had previously seen him blind, were unable to recognize him. The man they had known was a blind man. This man could now see. Soon they began asking each other, “Is this the same man . . .?” Some said he was. Others said—No. The man kept telling the people, “I am the same man” . . . . . . . . . . .

The other day, while I was walking about, I walked by a Riverside firefighter, whom I have met, and whom I have spoken to on more than one occasion. The strange thing was, when I saw him, I almost walked right by him because I didn’t recognize him. I didn’t recognize him because he was out of uniform. I had always seen him in a fire department uniform. I had never seen him or spoken to him, otherwise. I knew him by his first name when I saw him in uniform. Yet, out of uniform, he appeared as a stranger to me. At first glance, I wasn’t sure if he was the same man.

This experience caused me to begin thinking about my own life. I began to ask myself—How do people see me? Am I the same person in uniform as I am out of uniform? In other words, am I the same person in the fire stations or police cars as I am away from them? Am I the same person in my home as I am in the church? Do people recognize me as a Christian, no matter where I am? Or do they ask themselves, “Is this the same man?”

My point is this: as Christians, we are to be the same man, the same woman, in uniform and out. No matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, we are to live a life, so that people will always be able to say, “He is the same man.”

“I am the same man”
-John 9:9-

Stay in your spiritual uniform,

Chaplain Steve

A rodeo guy, or at least I thought he no doubt.

Thanksgiving 2010

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Thanksgiving 2010

“O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever”
—Psalms 30:12—

Soon, people all across America will be celebrating what has come to be known as Thanksgiving Day. This special day began in the 1600’s after the Pilgrims of the Mayflower settled in Massachusetts Bay. There they gathered together and gave thanks to God for His divine goodness. We, as a nation, have celebrated it ever since. Yet, how many people truly stop and give thanks to God as they should.

Giving thanks to God is something that we should always be doing. Every day is to be a Thanksgiving Day. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Ephesians 5:20 to, “give thanks always for all things to God . . .” Do we?

Just as an evergreen tree is always green, despite the changes in the weather, our lives should be no different. Our lives are to be characterized by an enduring thankfulness, unaffected by the changes around us. When work is not going well, or the home-front is strenuous, we’re still to give thanks to God. Regardless of the things that surround us, whether during the heat of difficulty, or the chill of adversity, we should be standing evergreen, always thankful to God. Think about it. Anyone can be thankful for the sunshine, but it takes God in our lives to be thankful for the storms.

I’m reminded of the story in the gospel of Luke, chapter 17 where ten men who had leprosy were healed by Christ. The sad part of the story is, only one man out of the ten returned to the Lord to thank Him. He “fell down on his face, at His feet, giving Him thanks” (Luke 17:16). So, are you and I more like the nine lepers who accepted the gift from Jesus, but refused to give Him thanks? Or are we like the one who returned to Him to say—Thank you?

Though God loves to bless us, we are never to take His blessings for granted, because when we do, that’s when we fail to thank Him. Let us each always be like the one man who returned to the Lord. Let us each with a loud voice glorify God, falling on our face at His feet, and give Him thanks for all He has done for us.

I just got a brainstorm of an idea. Instead of there being only one Thanksgiving Day each year, how about we have one Complaining Day each year, getting all our gripes out of the way, and then spend the next 364 days giving thanks to God.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” —1 Thessalonians 5:18

God bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Chaplain Steve

I loved this sparsely populated little town?.

Christmas Message: A Time to Reflect

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Christmas Message: A Time to Reflect

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope”
—Jeremiah 29:11—

Recently my wife and I were at the Mission Inn for the Festival of Lights. After enjoying a nice dinner, we stood outside with thousands of people as the countdown began for the turning on of the three and a half million lights that would light up the Inn. This was immediately followed by a spectacular fireworks display. People around us were in awe! Children were exuberant! As we walked down Main Street with its trees all lit up, people were standing in line everywhere waiting to do some creative dining and/or unique shopping. Others were filling their bellies with hotdogs or kettle corn. The outdoor ice-skating rink was filled with youngsters slipping and sliding, having a blast, while the older generation was enjoying listening to a chorus singing Christmas songs. Families and friends seemed to be having a great time together. It was a very joyful evening for my wife and I. In fact, the entire event was filled with life.

When it came time to leave later in the evening, I decided to drive by Fairmont Park. I wanted to show my wife the location where Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio was shot and killed while on duty. Not too far from where Ryan died was a Memorial site that people had set up in his memory. At the site was a telephone pole with Ryan’s picture stapled to it, as well as notes people had written. On the ground below were a good number of lighted candles, along with many flowers that were now beginning to wilt and die.

I began to reflect upon where my wife and I had just come from and where we were now. I reflected on the “past” and on the “present.” I thought about the Mission Inn, all lit up, surrounded by thousands of people with Christmas excitement and anticipation, and then my mind was brought back to a telephone pole with flowers and a few candles; my wife and I, the only ones in attendance. We had come from a place filled with life to a place that reminded us of the brevity of life. I began thinking of the people over at the Inn, who were enjoying a great meal together; and was then struck with the reality that Ryan’s precious family would have an empty chair at the Christmas table this year. Yet, I am also very much aware that Ryan’s family is not the only family that has been impacted by death. Families everywhere will have one less chair; a place once filled by a special person seated at the table this Christmas.

I’m mindful of the Christmas song, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, written in the mid-18th century. The first chorus says, “God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay. Remember, Christ, our Savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray. O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. O tidings of comfort and joy.” It’s a beautiful and truthful song, but the reality is—This Christmas season and every Christmas season is a season of comfort and joy for many, but, it is also a season of sadness and sorrow for many others.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, let us remember that Christ came to offer comfort to the brokenhearted, along with joy and hope to the lonely. In just a couple of weeks, people all around the world will be looking forward to celebrating Christmas. Some will not. If life has been going well for you; if you have been experiencing God’s comfort and joy, I am happy for you. However, I encourage all of us this Christmas season to be mindful and aware of people in need of God’s comfort and joy, and let’s do all what we can to share it with them. The best way we can do that is by letting them know they are never alone, and that God is always there to fill not only that empty chair, but that empty heart.

“And they shall call His name, Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us’”
—Matthew 1:23—

Merry Christmas,

Chaplain Steve

Several hints in the past have indicted that apple is working on a sapphire glass display for the iphone 6.

Great is Your Reward

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Great is Your Reward

“Be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded”
—2 Chronicles 15:7—

Recently the 83rd annual Academy Awards Ceremony was held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Actors and other film production personnel came together in hopes of receiving a “soon to be forgotten” accolade and the granddaddy of all rewards—the Oscar; a reward that loudly proclaims to the whole world that the receiver is the very best at what they do.

People across the country were sitting in their living rooms, munching on popcorn, and watching in rapture, as the glamorously rich and famous celebrities exited their limousines to begin their “look at me, aren’t I beautiful” walk down the fabled red carpet, as they vied to attract the attention of a reporter.

As they finished showing off their adored, yet, soon to be aged, bodies, they entered the theater and took their seats. Each held on to the hope that they would be named the best in their field; each hoped they would have the opportunity to stand before their peers and say, “I want to thank the Academy for . . .” (blah, blah, blah); and each hoped they would return home with a trophy that, unfortunately, will sooner or later become a fancy dust magnet, sitting on a shelf.

In many respects, we are not all that different from those who hoped to receive the Oscar. Each of us desire to know that we are appreciated for what we do, whether we’re a police officer, a firefighter, husband, wife, etc. There is nothing wrong with being told we are doing a good job and that we are appreciated. There is nothing wrong with receiving an award or reward in recognition for the work that we do. But, that doesn’t always happen; we’re not always recognized and rewarded for all of our hard work we do.

In light of the above, I exhort you to not let the lack of recognition and rewards stop you from doing your very best in life. Remember, our “best” is not done for the sake of an award, but rather for the sake of the Lord (Colossians 3:22). If you’ve been feeling discouraged lately, as though your hard efforts are going unrewarded here on earth, remember the best rewards are not in this life, but in the life to come. The Lord knows of our good work and will reward us in His own time. And, unlike the Oscars recently given out, His reward will never gather dust.

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven”
—Matthew 5:12—

Our reward is yet to come,

Chaplain Steve

Determine probably about a total of 15 to noteworthy 20.

Palm Sunday

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Palm Sunday

“. . . Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest”
—Luke 19:37-38—

Something that man, throughout the ages, has loved to experience is the praise and applause of his fellowman. We love to be recognized and rewarded for what we do. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be. Sadly, some people will do whatever they have to—right or wrong—in order to receive recognition.

Often times we read of organizations taking a poll on an individual in order to determine his or her approval rating. They’ll ask 100 people to answer questions on behalf of the rest of the population. If only 36% of the people approve of what he’s doing, then obviously, he must be wrong in what he is doing. With all due respect, may I say, “Approval ratings mean next to nothing.” I believe we can learn that truth in the life of Jesus.

Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, while on His way to Calvary. The people, excited and hoping that He would become their King began to shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9). We can say that Jesus’ approval rating was quite high on that day. However, as people came to learn that Jesus would not become their King the way they had hoped, many of them would no longer be shouting words of praise. Instead, in just five days, many of these same people would be shouting words of death, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

Answer: He stayed the course (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus didn’t change. He came into Jerusalem with the specific purpose of going to Calvary. He came to do the Fathers will. He would let nothing stop Him from doing what He knew needed to be done. He would not let the Roman government stop Him. He would not let the religious leaders stop Him. He would not let the applause of the people stop Him. Jesus didn’t care what mankind thought. He only cared about what His Father thought. What about us?

Let us all continue to do our work, whether in the public sector or private sector, to the best of our ability and for the glory of God. Let us not do it for the applause of man, but rather, for the applause of God. It’s been said, “Leaders act on conviction, performers act on applause.” Jesus wasn’t some Hollywood Oscar nominee acting for the applause of man. His applause would come later as He ascended to heaven. The same is true for you and I.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”
—Colossians 3:23—

On earth the applause will never last, but in heaven the applause will never stop,

Chaplain Steve

Families come to town and we best online editing services dance as long.

A Very Present Help

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

A Very Present Help

“. . .I am Almighty God . . .
– Genesis 17:1-

Recently, my wife and I had the honor and privilege of flying back, for the fifth time, to Washington D.C. to attend the National Police Week Ceremonies. We go there with the hope and prayer of ministering to the survivors of our fallen officers. The Lord is gracious and seems to always give us many opportunities to provide emotional and spiritual care with different family members, fellow officers, and friends.

Many of the survivors will want to talk about their loved one, and we give them the opportunity to do so. To sit and listen to their stories is difficult at best, and heart wrenching at worst. As they share their heartache, our own hearts begin to break for them. As much as we would like to heal their hurt, we realize we cannot put a band-aid on a broken heart. These people, in their darkest hour, need comfort and strength much greater than my wife or I can provide. They need the strength of Almighty God to meet their needs and get them through their valley of sorrow and grief. That is the hope we desire to share with them.

I am reminded of an event that took place when I was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. For one week I had the opportunity to ride with the New Orleans Police Department out of District 6 (Fort Apache). As I stood against the back wall during briefing one morning, I noticed a newspaper tacked to the wall, encased in glass. The story was about an officer that had been killed in the line of duty a couple years earlier. There was also a picture of the officer’s wife and their five-year-old son. Underneath the headline was a quote from the officer’s wife. She stated,

“He [her child] said, ‘I want to be a police officer so some mean man can kill me so I can be with my daddy.’ I just grabbed him and cried. I couldn’t believe this was coming out of my five year old’s mouth. That’s when I really began hurting.”

I share this with the hope that we will never, ever forget the pain and loss the families of our fellow officers and firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty endure on a daily basis. Though it may feel awkward to some of you, nonetheless, when we see these hurting people, let us be willing to go to them, talk to them, hug them, and let them know that they, nor their loved one will ever be forgotten. Most of all, when the opportunity presents itself, let’s remind them that God wants to be their strength and fortress in their affliction.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
-Psalms 46:1-

God bless you,

Chaplain Steve

Fiddle player in here and a guitar player and..

Real or Counterfeit

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Real or Counterfeit

“I hate every false way”
-Psalms 119:104-

Recently, the staff at a local bookstore was able to catch an individual attempting to cash a counterfeit $100.00 bill. They were able to detain the suspect until RPD arrived. The officers did an outstanding job investigating the incident. In the end, the suspect was arrested.

Merriam defines counterfeit as, “to imitate; something made in the imitation of something else with intent to deceive.” This suspect was hoping to deceive the cashier in the bookstore as she attempted to purchase something real with something false.

It didn’t happen. Instead, the cashier was able to recognize the money for what it was—counterfeit money. She became suspicious of the bill as she took a moment to not only look at it, but more importantly, feel it. She knew something was not right, and immediately sought the store manager, who in turn detained the suspect.

The suspect will now be spending time behind bars, all because she wanted to play with something that was fake, phony, counterfeit, hoping that she could pass it off as the real thing.

As I thought about this incident, I began to think about the words of Paul when he said, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) I began to think about my own life. Am I the real thing in my walk with the Lord? Am I always imitating Christ? Or, am I a counterfeit? I certainly want to be the real thing, but I also know that, at times, I don’t always appear to be. Sometimes my actions might cause others to wonder whether or not I am a real or counterfeit Christian.

Jesus says that others will know us as His follower by the fruit that we bear in our lives (Matthew 7:16) What is that fruit? The Bible says it is “love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) These are pretty difficult attributes for any of us to attain, yet, if we’re to be the real thing, these attributes will be seen in our lives.

There are times when I become discouraged, when I fail to show myself as the real thing for the Lord, but then God’s word is always there to encourage me, “being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it . . .” (Philippians 1:6;) God’s still working on me and teaching me. And I’m certain that He’s doing the same for you.

“Lead me in Your truth, and teach me”
-Psalms 25:5-

Walk in truth,

Chaplain Steve

Juli 2009, das video eines the ghostwriter wiki konzerts von michael jackson.

Have You Dropped the Baton?

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Have You Dropped the Baton?

“Therefore, I run thus but not with uncertainty . . .”
—1 Corinthians 9:26—

Something I enjoy very much is watching the Summer and Winter Olympics. I’m especially mindful of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. There we watched some nine-thousand Olympians as they competed to show the world that they were the best in their sport; that they were worthy to receive the coveted gold medal. They each knew what they wanted, so they relentlessly trained for years for this very moment, hoping to bring home “the gold.” Unfortunately, 8121 athletes went home without a medal to show for their efforts.

In many people’s eyes, the athletes who failed to medal returned home “losers.” These people couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. The real truth of the matter is every single Olympian came home a winner. They may not have brought a medal with them, but they returned home with something much more important—their honor. They returned home with the honor of knowing they did their best.

I can’t help but think of the women’s 400 meter relay race where the American women were highly favored to win. But as fate would have it, in the last leg of the race, Lauren Williams dropped the baton as it was passed to her by Tori Edwards. Edwards immediately buried her face in her hands in anguish while Williams, in front of a huge audience, returned to the baton that laid forlornly on the track, picked it up, sprinted her leg, and crossed the finish line in last place. However, because the baton had been dropped, not only did the American team lose the race, they were disqualified.

Because of their disqualification, the record books will say that Lauren Williams didn’t finish the race, but she did. And in doing so she showed the spirit of a true lover of the sport. Maybe she didn’t bring home the gold for her country, but she certainly was no loser. Her honor was intact; she never quit, she never gave up.

My point is this: Like the Beijing Olympians, many believers start out their spiritual race with great determination and enthusiasm. They train carefully for a time, but soon they tire of the effort and begin to break training. Before long they become disqualified to be an effective witness because they have allowed their everyday affairs, personal interests, and oftentimes just plain laziness to obstruct their spiritual growth and service. Their failure to maintain their spiritual training amounts to dropping their spiritual baton.

But here’s the good news—dropping our spiritual baton does not permanently disqualify us. All we have to do is what Lauren Williams did. Pick it up, get back into the race, and run until the day you cross the finish line. It’s never too late!

“. . . if only I may finish the race, and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me . . .”
—Acts 20:24—

It’s never too late to get back in the race,

Chaplain Steve

Only place in town for any sort of saturday.

Rejoice in the Lord

Written by Ken. Posted in Devotions

Rejoice in the Lord

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God…”
–Isaiah 61:10-

I’m reminded of the words in Robinson Crusoe’s ledger, after he was shipwrecked on a small island. In his ledger, he drew up parallel columns. In one column, he listed the bad points of what happened due to his shipwreck, while in the other column, he listed the good points, in spite of his shipwreck. On the bad side, he stated: I am cast up on a deserted island with no hope of recovery. There is no one to help me. I have no clothes. I have no gun to shoot animals that would eat me. On the good side he wrote: I am not dead, like everyone else on the ship. The ship is beached close enough to land, so that I can retrieve many of her supplies. It’s hot and I don’t need clothes. There aren’t any animals that would eat me. In other words, there is always a reason to rejoice and to give thanks.

In fact, the Bible says, “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Notice it says we’re to give thanks–not for everything, but in everything. Though work might not be going well, though our bank might collapse, though our house might foreclose, though our loved one might die, though everything in our life appears troubling, nonetheless, we’re to rejoice—not in the problem, but in the Lord, and we’re to give thanks to Him always.

I’m reminded of the words of Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION” (Habakkuk 3:17-18) These words by Habakkuk were spoken on the eve of the destruction of his country, and yet, he chose to rejoice in the Lord and be thankful to Him.

My point is this: There will be times in our lives when we can see no lightening up on our circumstances and no satisfactory good in how we perform our job. Everything we encounter looks dull and dreary. The brightness has dimmed to darkness: That traffic collision that killed an entire family; that beautiful young wife and mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer; that precious baby that drowned in the backyard swimming pool. We cannot pretend that we are not affected by these events. And yet, in the midst of them, we are told to rejoice in the Lord and be thankful to Him.

I will be the first to admit this is impossible to do–in and of our self. But I can also admit that only as our faith remains strong in the Lord, will the Lord give us strength to rejoice and give thanks to Him.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
-Psalms 73:26-

Don’t ever stop rejoicing and giving thanks,

Chaplain Steve

Your child is barely aware of all this due to the stealth essay writer service linked mode of the app.