Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's How You Say It

You can control how people respond to you by the way you say it. An Army private was serving apricots in the lunch line to the other soldiers. As the first 100 soldiers passed through he asked, "You don't want any apricots, do you?" Only 10% replied they did.

When the next 100 soldiers came through, he changed the question and asked, "Would you like some apricots?" When asked this way, half the soldiers wanted them. He asked the next 100, "Would you like one bowl of apricots or two?"  This time 50% wanted one bowl and 40% wanted two bowls.

Asking negatively brought a 10% response but asking positively brought a 90% approval. By changing his wording he changed their perception of the apricots. It changed from something they didn't want…to something they wanted…to something so good they wanted more.

This shows that relationships can improve or be destroyed by our words. “From the same mouth proceed blessing (building up) and cursing (tearing down)….these things out not to be so.” (James 3:10). We can bless instead of curse by doing 3 things:

1. Check your motive. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Look inside your heart and make sure you’re “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).

2. Choose your words wisely. Think before you speak. “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov. 12:18). We can actually heal a wounded person’s soul by first thinking, then speaking.

3. Change your tone of voice. “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1). A gentle answer is a soft tone of voice and calms the other person. Harshness is loud and obnoxious, which evokes anger in the hearer. Can you see how lowering your tone can restore a strained relationship?

Remember, it IS what you say, but it’s also how you say it. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How Did the Worm Get in the Apple?

How does a worm get inside an apple? Most people think it burrows in from the outside, but it actually comes from the inside. How does it get there? When the apple blossom is on the tree, an insect comes along and lays an egg in it. As the apple starts growing, the egg hatches inside the heart of the apple and the worm tunnels its way out.

This shows how Satan can plant evil thoughts inside our hearts. The thought can be very tiny at first and even seem innocent. If we don't reject it but instead dwell upon it, the thought will grow inside our hearts. Sin begins in the heart and burrows its way out through our attitudes, words, and actions. Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders" (Matt. 15:19).

Thoughts, both good and bad, lead to actions. The thief thinks about stealing before he robs the store. The slanderer thinks about destroying someone before she spreads vicious gossip. On the other hand, kind people are always thinking about helping others before they bless someone.

Are there any worms living in your heart? Carefully guard it from evil thoughts (Prov. 4:23) and think healthy thoughts instead (Phil. 4:7-8). It will make a difference between a turbulent life and happy life. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Receive these devotionals (free) by email: You can subscribe in the box on the right at www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Your email will not be given out. You’ll receive an email when the new devotional is posted)

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Stop Comparing Yourself

Do you keep comparing yourself with others? Paul warned about using others as a measuring stick for self-worth. “When they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. (2 Cor. 10:12)

When the men went into Canaan to spy the land, they compared themselves with the giants living there. They said, "All the people whom we saw in it are men of great size…and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:32, 33). The way you see yourself determines how you believe others view you. The spies saw themselves as grasshoppers (“in our own sight”) and believed their enemies also saw them that way (“so we were in their sight”).

WHEN WE COMPARE WITH OTHERS:
1. We become either proud or discouraged—and neither attitude is from God. We compare our physical appearance, intelligence, and success hoping we’ll find ourselves better than average. Of course, it all depends on the people we’re comparing with. We’ll swell with pride if we view ourselves more important, or get depressed and feel like a failure if we don't measure up. Both are destructive attitudes.

2. We fail to recognize God created everyone unique. Although we all have equal value, God has given everyone different appearances, abilities, intelligences and personalities. He made “each according to his own ability” (Matt. 25:15). The Lord made everyone unique because we have different purposes to fulfill.

3. We tell God we aren’t happy with how He made us. “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this’ will it?” (Rom. 9:20). You must accept the fact that God made you and be thankful for it. David said, “I give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…and my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14). When you can also say that, you’ll stop comparing yourself.  www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Parable of the Apple Pie

Carol wanted to do something nice for her neighbor Mrs. Smith, so she baked an apple pie and carried it next door. When Mrs. Smith opened the door, she said, "For me? Thank you so much! You just don't know how much I appreciate it! You’re so thoughtful for doing this!"

The next week Carol baked another one. When she took it over Mrs. Smith said, "Thank you so much. You are so kind!"

She took another pie to her the following week and Mrs. Smith muttered, "Thanks."

Carol took another pie over the next week. Her neighbor said, "Try using a little more sugar and don't bake it quite as long. And next time, I’d like cherry filling. Didn’t ever occur to you that I might be getting tired of apple?"

The next week Carol didn’t have time to bake. When Carol passed by her house on the way to the store, Mrs. Smith stuck her head out the window and yelled, "WHERE’S MY PIE??"

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. The pie represents God’s blessings. Mrs. Smith is how many people respond to God. We usually thank God at first when He blesses us. But over time we tend to stop appreciating them. Psalm 138:1 says, “I will give thanks to You with ALL MY HEART.” Once we stop thanking God from our hearts, we’ll start complaining and telling God what He needs to do differently. We can’t thank God and complain at the same time.

I thank God from my heart every day for saving me, for my wife, family, house, cars, electricity, water, air-conditioning, etc. because I never want to stop appreciating what God has given me. Celebrating Thanksgiving isn’t once a year, but every day. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Your High IQ Won't Find God

Mensa is an organization whose members have an IQ of 140 or higher. A few years ago at a Mensa convention in San Francisco, several members lunched at a local cafe.  While dining, they discovered the salt shaker contained pepper and the pepper shaker had salt. How could they swap the contents of the bottles without spilling and using only the implements at hand? Clearly, this was a job for Mensa!

The group came up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw and an empty saucer. They called the waitress over to dazzle her with their solution. “Ma’am,” they said, “we couldn’t help but notice the pepper shaker contains salt and the salt shaker…’
“Oh,” interrupted the waitress. “Sorry about that.” She unscrewed the caps of both bottles and switched them.

Know-it-all people don’t have all the answers, especially when it comes to spiritual things. Jesus said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants” (Luke 10:21).

God hides things from the wise and intelligent? He’s not against those with high IQs. After all, God is the one who made them intelligent. He’s talking about those who think they’re so smart they don’t need God and won’t acknowledge Him as their creator.  
He reveals things to infants? God reveals truth to those who have humbled themselves and depend on Him, like an infant depends on its mother.

We discover God’s truth through His Spirit revealing it to our hearts, not through our intellect. “But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually (1 Cor. 2:14 HCSB).

God wants a relationship with everyone—whether your IQ is 80 or 180, but we must come to Him as a child. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). You don’t have to be a member of Mensa to find God. He made it so simple that even a child can find Him. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Click here for ANSWERS TO EVOLUTION 

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett

Sunday, November 5, 2017

He Found WHAT in the Sewer?

Roy Parrino works in a sewer where he helps clean out 650 miles under Los Angeles. Parrino says, "You really have to psych your mind up for it. You're going into the filthiest environment there is. It's like being inside a big toilet."
On his first day at the job, Roy climbed out of the sewer holding a 2-carat topaz ring he had found. But that's not all. Parrino has found gold necklaces, bracelets, and even diamond rings while working in the sewer. When Roy goes into the sewer, he looks past the filth and searches for treasure.

Maybe you’re in a “sewer” right now—a disturbing workplace, an awkward relationship, or a stressful situation. It’s easy to see the sewage, but God wants you to look past the filth and search for treasure. Every situation contains both good and bad, and you can choose what you'll focus on. It’s easy to see what’s wrong but it takes determination to search for and find what’s good.

No matter where you work and what you own, you won’t be happy unless you have a positive attitude. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” God wants us to be thankful in every situation, both good and bad, all day long.

So the next time you go down into the sewer, keep a positive attitude and start looking for the gold and diamonds buried there. God wants you to find them and be thankful in every situation. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Are Ghosts Real?

Ghost hunters try to video paranormal images from “haunted” houses in an attempt to prove ghosts really do exist. For example, they’ll claim to see a soldier wearing a Confederate uniform who was killed in the Civil War. They’ll ask questions to the deceased person and record EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) that seem to give an intelligent answer. According to ghost hunters, this is proof the spirits of dead people are still wandering in the place where they died.  

But think about it. How could a ghost wear clothes? A uniform is made of cloth, so how could the material appear as a ghost? What the hunters see and hear may actually be real, but they aren’t ghosts. They’re demons. These demons are called “deceitful spirits" (1 Tim. 4:1) because they try to convince people they are disembodied spirits of dead people.

Demons are fallen angels who were kicked out of heaven for rebelling against God and are now on earth, trying to lead people away from Jesus Christ. They’re also called “familiar spirits” (Lev. 20:6, Isa. 8:19) because they’re familiar with people who lived in the past and can easily impersonate them. They disguise themselves (2 Cor. 11:14) and can pretend to be a Confederate soldier wearing a uniform, or someone else who has died.

Why? They want us to believe that people don’t go to heaven or hell when they die. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Second Corinthians 5:8 says when a believer dies he or she is absent from the body and present with the Lord. There is no in-between state where a spirit is trapped.

Christians don’t need to be afraid of demons who appear as ghosts because "greater is He (Jesus) who is in you than he who is in the world (demons)" (1 John 4:4) and He has given us authority “over all the power of the enemy” (Satan). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com  www.makinglifecount.net
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Click here for “What Are Ghosts?”

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
www.makinglifecount.net  Twitter: @KentCrockett