“But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers‬ ‭32‬:‭23‬ NLT)

At just 19 years old, William Henry McCarty Jr., aka William Bonney, aka “Billy the Kid,” had already achieved national infamy as one of the most well-known outlaws of the day. But by 1878, tired of his life of crime, he allegedly wrote to the newly appointed governor of New Mexico, Lew Wallace, that he was tired of fighting.

Wallace responded with an immunity deal if Billy would testify against others in the infamous Lincoln County War, a personal mission of the governor. Billy’s testimony led to some 50 arrests! Yet, Wallace refused to pardon him, as was promised. Thus, Billy escaped from jail, resuming a rampage of crime and murders. It leaves one to think, what would’ve happened had Wallace kept his word?

When you don’t keep your word, everyone pays a price. So be a person of your word! Whether to God or another person, do what you obligate yourself to, even if it hurts. If not, it will hurt worse! You are loved! Do right! 

  

“Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.” (Deuteronomy‬ ‭7‬:‭6‬ NLT)

As I sat at the Burger King restaurant last night after church, I was privileged to be hanging out with some special friends, the ladies from Teen Challenge in Russellville, AR. I sat listening to their stories, where they came from, the addictions and past scars they are seeking to overcome, and the scriptures that they are standing on to accomplish it. To me, I was sitting amongst the bravest heroes I had ever met: Those that will truly fight their personal demons!

One of them shared this verse with me and it immediately struck my heart. How many of us sit in our regrets, stained by sin and failure, cultivating and perfecting the hatred we feel for ourselves to the point that we could NEVER see ourselves as treasurable? I would dare say that it would be all of us and probably occurs everyday. 

So here is a word of hope for today! You are truly a treasure to God! Don’t focus on the failed opinions of others or even yourself. Get to know God’s loving thoughts towards you and grow in that beautiful relationship! You are free to be loved today! 

  

In June, 1787, The Constitutional Convention was in full swing in Philadelphia. It had been called in an effort to seek solutions to problems the nation experienced under the Articles of Confederation. 

The gathering started with optimism, but after five weeks of frequent disagreements, they were almost at a full impasse. Addressing their frustration, on June 28, delegate Benjamin Franklin told the others:

  “In this situation of this assembly, groping, as it were, in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Britain when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine Protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. . . And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel . . . and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

The Convention then adjourned for three days. During that time, they gathered at the Calvinist Reformed Church in Philadelphia, where the Rev. William Rogers prayed a special prayer over the Constitutional Convention and, according to George Washington, they also “hear[d] an oration on the anniversary of independence.”

  Following those three days, the Convention reconvened and experienced unexpected success! Ten weeks later they had finished the U. S. Constitution (under which America has become the longest on-going constitutional republic in the world), and the Founders were quick to acknowledge God’s help in their endeavors.

Alexander Hamilton is reported to have declared:

  
“For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.”

James Madison agreed:

 
“It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it the finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.”

As far as these delegates were concerned, the finger of God – that is, His Divine power – had guided their writing of the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin also believed this to be the case, explaining:

“[I] beg I may not be understood to infer that our general Convention was Divinely inspired when it formed the new federal Constitution . . . [yet] I can hardly conceive a transaction of such momentous importance to the welfare of millions now existing (and to exist in the posterity of a great nation) should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent, omnipresent, and beneficent Ruler in Whom all inferior spirits ‘live and move and have their being’ (Acts 17:28).”

Others delegates declared the same, so as we remember the call to prayer that Franklin delivered on this day, let’s also follow George Washington’s advice “to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

As we head into the American Independence Day holiday time, take time to pray for America. In view of all the political wranglings and its expected backlash, join us in asking God to move on this nation and its people again! If He could do it then, He can do it again! Have a great and blessed week!

  
(Thanks to WallBuilders for the historical information. Check them out in the web!)

  

“Get wisdom; develop good judgment…for [it] will protect you…and guard you.” (Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭5-6‬ NLT)

Today marks the 139th anniversary of the Battle of Little Big Horn. The U.S. Army was trying to herd the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes back to their reservations during the Summer of 1876. To force the large Indian gathering back, the Army dispatched three columns in coordinated fashion, one of which contained Lt. Colonel George Custer and the Seventh Cavalry.

Spotting an Indian village about fifteen miles away along the Rosebud River on June 25, Custer also found a nearby group of about forty warriors, whom he assumed were stalking him. Ignoring orders to wait, not realizing that the number of warriors in the village numbered three times his strength, nor understanding the tricky terrain he was in, Custer attacked. The result would be called “Custer’s Last Stand”, a tragic defeat, especially in light of how it could have been easily prevented by employing greater wisdom. 

When we move through life without wisdom, preventable tragedies dot our own landscape. Ask God for wisdom. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your steps, trusting that God actually knows more than you do! Don’t create your own Last Stand! You are loved and led today! 

  

“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Robert Hanssen was deeply religious, being a devout part of the Opus Dei sect of the Catholic Church. He was also very dedicated, giving almost 25 years of service to the Intelligence Field of the FBI. But what he lacked among his good traits was the most important one – he lacked character. Working as a double-agent for the Soviet Union, he was the most notorious spy in American history, costing many lives and endangering our national security, all for ego and a little more money to live on. 

According to the Bible, there are some things of greater value than riches, and one is relationship. We are not reflectors of God’s goodness because of our income status, political affiliation, or esteemed popularity, but because we simply act like God’s Word says we should. A good reputation only comes from right action, which in turn stems from godly character. 

Abigail Van Buren of “Dear Abby” fame once said concerning Character: ‘The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.’ The Golden Rule still applies! What I will do stems from who I truly am. Let your goodness stem from your godliness! You are loved today! 

  

“Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you.” (Psalms‬ ‭107‬:‭2‬ NLT)

Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them. “It saved my life,” says Greidinger, speaking praise for the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”

We all have things in our lives that we praise enthusiastically. From makes of cars to types of foods to brands of toilet paper, some things have made a marked difference in our quality of life. But when Jesus changes a life, redeeming them from life’s losses and establishing an eternal prize, THAT should receive our highest praise!

As you go about your day, take time to simply tell God “Thank you!” for saving your life. Then make it an everyday practice to simply declare to others how great God is. He’s the best thing you’ve got! You are loved today! 

  

“Honor your father and…then you will live a long, full life…” (Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭12‬ NLT)

Mikhail Abrosimov and his family were fast asleep when a fire broke out in their apartment in the west side of Moscow in late January 2015. A Christmas tree, decorated with fairy lights fell, causing a short circuit, which led to the fire. He awoke to find the smoky blaze but couldn’t contain it.

After getting the rest of the family out, Abrosimov returned for his 4-year old son, only to find their escape route cut off. So, in heroic fashion, Dad used his body as an airbag for the child and leaped out the window – 7 floors above the ground! While both were in critical condition for quite some time afterwards and the family lost everything they owned in the fire, the Abrosimov’s had the most important thing: Each Other!

Your Dad may not be a freefalling superhero, but hopefully he’s your hero nonetheless! Take time on this Father’s Day to share your appreciation for all the Dads and Father figures in your life. And if you’re the Dad, rejoice in those that gave you that honored distinction! We are loved today! Happy Father’s Day!