Walking Through Life God's Way

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Funny - "This Place Means Business!"

A young boy was having trouble in school, especially math. His parents we besides themselves on what to do. So they decided to send the child to a Christian School. It was expensive, but a parent will sacrifice for a child. So, the next semester off the boy went to a private Christian Academy.

The next report card came around and sure enough, the young boy's grades were way up. Math was an "A+". His parents were very pleased and started to blame the public school system for lacking in discipline, funds, socially stability and moral guidance. At church on Sunday the boys parents were so proud and talking with their preacher about the new change in the young man. The preacher leaned down and was talking with the child and asked, "What is the change in you? They must be teaching you some new tricks at your new school?"
The boy said, "Not really. I just saw the man nailed to the plus sign and realized this place means business, especially in math."

Have a great Friday. Keep Laughing! - Don

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF OPENING NIGHT IS TONIGHT - RW Theater, 7:30 PM, Downtown Greenfield, IN.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Praying Hands

Robert Morgan sent this to me this morning...it touched my heart. I pray it will yours.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE OF THE PRAYING HANDS
Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg , lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer, the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg .
Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you." All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No ...no ...no ...no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg . It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one – no one - ever makes it alone!

Praying for you today and you know I love ya - Don

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crowd of Witnesses


"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" Hebrews 12:1

In this text, I can see Paul imagining a great Roman Stadium, maybe even the Colosseum. I can see the Holy Spirit guiding Paul's words, illustrating sportsmanship and endurance. Illustrating to us the discipline, dedication, and passion that is necessary to achieve Godliness, holiness, and righteousness. I can feel the heat and burn of the muscles as they work with sweat and tears. There is also the challenger that is pulling at me and flesh that is holding me back. This is such a hard race....

But then, there is a large crowd. Enormous crowd! Cheering! Shouting! Chanting my name! I take my eyes off the course for a split second and the reality sets in....in that crowd is My Dad, My Grandma, My Grandpa, all the friends and loved ones that have gone home to be with the Lord. They have finished the race and are in the stands cheering for me....for me. It is my turn to win. It is my turn to please the King. Then I see Him....it is Jesus....He is standing at the end of the race with His arms open wide!

It makes it worth getting out of bed and pressing forward....because He lives it will be worth it all! You know I love ya - a fellow racer!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Value!

Take this to heart:

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill.. In the room of 200, he asked,'Who would like this $20 bill? '

Hands started going up.

He said, ' I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the bill.

He then asked, 'Who still wants it?'

Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, 'What if I do this?' And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

'Now, who still wants it?'

Still the hands went into the air.

My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.

It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives,we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know. Our Value comes in WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE.

Great Story....I needed to hear it....now I am telling you...You know I love ya - Don

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let there be lights!

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

Light is a funny thing. You can never truly control light, only block its rays. It can be focused for intensity. It can be reflected for directional duplication. It can be used to great things.

Darkness is controlled by light. Dark is always dark...intensity, focused, direction...it is just dark. IN contrast, light explodes everywhere. Darkness is just any place light is not.

I am told that light rays can also be a cleaning agent. When you want to clean your cushions or pillows, you rinse them off and then hang them in the sun. The Sun light will do the rest. I also heard a dentist friend say they are using light rays to clean and whiten teeth. I want Jesus to purify me.

I want to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light. I want to have fellowship with Him and you with you. We are connected in Christ...much like two light bulbs in a lamp. No more darkness no more night...I saw the light!

You know I love ya - Don

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Funny - Health Care Reform

It is Friday again and with all the talk about health care....I thought you might like a laugh.

Three doctors are waiting in line to get into the pearly gates. St. Peter walks out and asks the first Dr., "What have you done to enter Heaven?" He responds, "I am a pediatrician and have brought thousands of the Lord's children through crisis." Peter replies, "Good enough to enter the gates. The same question is asked of the second Dr. He responds, "I am a general practitioner and go to 3rd world countries to assist the poor and outcast." Peter is impressed and allows him to go through the gates. The third Dr. steps up in line and knowing that questions, blurts out, "I am a director for the new Obama health care reform so that everyone could get health care."

St. Peter meditates on this for a while and then says, "Fine, you can enter heaven...but only for two days. You should be healthy enough that you shouldn't need it after that."

Gotta laugh or cry! Happy Friday and you know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Planted Word!

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” - James 1:21
We have a garden in the backyard. Karen, Matthew, Alice, and I have made it our project this summer. We have green beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, and egg plant growing. The children are loving how we watch it grow and mature. We have been able to pick beans already. The three of us pick the beans and Alice says, "Lets go and give these to Mama."

We have had to work hard at keeping the weeds out of the patch. The wind has blown in leaves and papers at times. Then there is the rabbits....we have chase them off too. It reminded me of this passage in James where we are reminded to keep the moral filth and evil out our lives. We have to ward off so much.

I am also reminded that the Word (Jesus) is planted in our hearts and He is growing in us. Jesus in our lives brings about a disciplined harvest of love, compassion, and humility. We are transformed from glory to glory. He is more prevalent and I am less visible. The old nature of Don Crane is sacrificed to a better and more productive life of service and action. As I feel this peace planted in my heart, I can hear Jesus say, "O.K. lets go and give these to the Father."

You know I love ya, - Don

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seeking God's Heart!

"These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me."
Jesus - Matthew 15:8
Today, many believers draw near and honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They have an outward show and profession of service to God, but fail to be motivated by an inward principle of love and faith. The Apostle Paul describes them as disobedient because "they profess that they know God; but in works they deny him" (Titus 1:16). Some go so far as to give mental assent to truth, but lack a willingness to receive God's provision by appropriating truth.

Jesus was often confronted by scribes and Pharisees who habitually put on an outward appearance of holiness, but lacked inward, divine substance from the Word of God. Their lives were characterized by false professions, hypocritical statements and lip service. In Proverbs 26:23, they have "burning lips, and a wicked heart."

God desires His people to render willing and obedient service based upon the love of Christ that constrains us, the work of the Spirit that draws us, and the promises of God that motivate us.
"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
Lord, help me to examine my hearts each time I offer my service, and letting my professions be from my hearts that are in total submission to YOU. My you be pleased in "how" I lay down my life for the sake of others. In Jesus Name, Amen.

You know I Love Ya, Don

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Funny - How to buy a church Sound System!

As a music/worship minister, we have worked this out many times. Now I find these twelve tips on "How to buy a Church Sound System," If I had only known....

1. Carefully calculate power requirements, based on room dimensions, etc. Multiply by a factor of 100.

2. The ideal system should have as many lights as possible, preferably blinking and flashing in time with the music.

3. The components should all have black metal finish, and generally look very cool.

4. The system should be broken up into as many components as possible. (e.g. pre-amp, pre-pre-amp, pre-menstrual-amp, post-amp, post-menopause-amp, etc.)

5. The most important part of a church sound system is the speakers, they should look very cool. Size and number of sub-speakers and varieties of components pointed at the listener is important. (e.g. tweeters, hooters, sub-woofers, super-sub-woofers, seismic noise generators, etc.)

6. The system should resemble the cockpit of an F16 or 757 aircraft; the more knobs and dials you can turn, the better. Not that you will ever use them, but it will make other churches break the 10th commandment.

7. The system should have full remote control capability, including over the mobile auto cellular phone so that the system can be manned when the Sound Tech is running late.

8. The complete set-up should put a major recording studio or large radio station to shame. After all, you may be trying to duplicate the exciting feeling of being at a heavy metal concert in a football stadium with 70,000 screaming fans.

9. Having state-of-the-art equipment is not enough. You should be a year or two ahead of everyone else. Equipment over the warranty period is obsolete and should be disposed of promptly.

10. The most important factor--out of every church sound system equipment, yours should be better. Our goal is to offer God no less than the best!

Gotta Laugh at these....Have a great Friday and you know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

"I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father,
There is no shadow of turning with thee:
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
As thou hast been thou for ever wilt be.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided—
"Great is thy faithfulness," Lord unto me!

—Thomas O. Chisholm

I have been singing this most of the day...God's is so faithful. Thank you, Father for being so faithful to us. To you alone goes all the glory!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My faith shall become sight

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is defined as the unshakable confidence in the reality of the yet unseen world and the certainty of God's yet unfulfilled promises. Faith is belief in what you cannot see - in this instance, the existence of God - and that he will keep his word and reward those who trust in him. Alexander Whyte explains these two statements this way:

"Faith in its most elementary sense, faith in its first and foundation sense, simply means the reliance place by one man on the truthfulness and power of another. You make a statement of fact to me or give me a promise and offer an assurance and faith is that state of mind in me to you, that state of mind in me which accepts your statement and relies on your promise." [Sermons of 1881-82, 68]

Now, of course, that it a great deal easier to say than it is to do. Sometimes people speak as if faith were the easiest thing in all the world. They make it seem as if God's kindness is shown in this: that instead of requiring us to keep his commandments for salvation, he lowered the bar and requires us now only to believe in him. But, of course, it is exactly the reverse. Faith, true faith, is the most difficult thing in the world, it runs directly counter to the entire tendency of our inner being. No one ever believes by himself or herself. No one can believe. Faith is and must be the gift of God otherwise no one would ever believe and be saved.

Think of what must be believed in order to become a Christian. That you are God's creature, that you have rebelled, that he is holy and you are guilty as a sinner before him, that he sent Jesus Christ into the world to atone for sin, that by believing in Jesus his righteousness and the virtue of his death are imputed to you so that your guilt is swept away and you are accounted righteous in God's sight, that, if you believe in Jesus, you have been made a new creature in Christ, have been given a summons to live a new life and the power to live it, that when you die and your body is laid in the ground, your soul will be immediately and gloriously in the presence of God in heaven, and Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead and to vindicate those who have trusted in him, and that endless bliss and perfect satisfaction of human life, body and soul, awaits, at the resurrection, those who have trusted Jesus Christ.

You can't see any of this. You can't prove it in a laboratory. No one ever comes back from the other world to tell us of how things are there. The evidence of our eyes is against all of this. We can't see sins forgiven, we have to believe it. We can't see the soul in heaven. We have to believe it. We have to believe it all on the strength of God's promise. Christ said he would return, but it has been 2000 years! We must believe that he will keep his promise.

Our Faith remains true for the Christian himself or herself through the course of the Christian life. I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I also have faith in the Word and that the Word was made flesh...I ALSO know that He is working in my life and the lives of Christ-followers all around me, because I have seen His work and can testify to the truth that He lives.

Praying for you and our Faith today - Don

Saturday, July 4, 2009

With Independencde comes Responsibility...where will we be in Four Years?

Happy Fourth of July....Independence Day! This is a link to a copy of the document that started the whole thing off. The Declaration of Independence

I was asked, Do you think Sarah Palin will be around in 8 years? I hope so, but the question was suggesting that President Obama will still be in office for two terms. I don't think he will be there for eight years. He is a one term president. The following was my answer:
As a parent with a Children with Down Syndrome, I love the idea of a special child with an extra chromosome of cuteness in the White House. There is my support for Sarah Palin...Her politics follow my desires as a Christian and a fellow citizen. As for Jimmy Carter Obama....we the people never have liked our government in our pockets. If the next two years are like the first six months. I predict one of three things....
1. Revival (my choice - Lord, heal our land, amen)
2. Civil War (it could happen easier than we think...revolution every once in a while is a good thing)
or
3. A new president (probably the reality).

There is a 4th choice, I am in denial about. North Korea could bomb us and we would be in World War Three. God help us all.

So there you have it. With Independence come responsibility. Collectively, we have squandered that responsibility, thus we are in the mess we are in. I am completely and totally thankful and grateful that even the authority of the United States of America...the greatest country in the world or in history...falls under the Authority, Power, and Wisdom of Almighty God!

Have a great Holiday and Be Safe! Don

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Funny - Happy Fourth of July!


1. Only in America......can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

2. Only in America......are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

3. Only in America......do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

4. Only in America......do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

5. Only in America......do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

6. Only in America......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

7. Only in America......do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.

8. Only in America......do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

9. Only in America.....do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

10. Only in America......do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

Happy Fourth of July!!!! You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Praying WITH an empty chair!

In a Question and Answer period, after a message delivered at Stanford University by Brother Brennan Manning on November 4, 1999, Brother Manning used the phrase, “I laid my head in an empty chair.” He then explained his use of the phrase.

Several years ago a woman approached him and asked him to visit her dying father and pray with him. He entered the man’s bedroom and found the man propped up on two pillows. The man was dying of cancer. Upon entering the room, Brother Manning noticed an empty chair next to the man’s bed. Assuming that it was placed there in anticipation of his visit, Brother Manning said, I see you are expecting me. The man answered him and said, “No, I wasn’t, who are you?”

Brother Manning identified himself and told him that he was there on the request of the man’s daughter. He also explained that upon seeing the empty chair next to his bed he assumed that it was for him. The man asked Brother Manning to please close the door and then he explained what the chair. The man explained that for years he had struggled with the concept of prayer. He never understood sermons concerning prayer and received no help when he turned to pastors for help. Therefore, out of frustration he abandoned prayer for many years.

Then just three years ago a friend explained that prayer was just talking to God. His friend suggested that he sit down in a chair and place an empty chair in front of him. His friend told him to imagine, by faith, Jesus sitting in the other chair and to just start talking to Him. The dying man confessed that he had been doing this two hours a day ever since. He admitted that he had to be careful that his daughter did not catch him talking to an empty chair.

Later that week the woman returned and told Brother Manning that her father had died. Brother Manning asked her if it appeared that he died peacefully. She related to him that he had told her one of his corny jokes and kissed her cheek and sent her off to the store on an errand. When she returned she discovered him dead. Then she admitted something strange, she found her father with his head resting in the empty chair beside his bed.

Praying for you today - Don