Sunday, November 22, 2009

Taking Inventory

David McLennon got his first job at age 13 working at a small-town grocery store. One day the store owner said, "It's time to take inventory." David had never heard that word before, so he asked, "What does that mean?"
"It's a time when we make a list of everything in the store," the owner explained.
"Why do you do that?" David asked.
"Well, it's easy to forget what's in the store. Only by counting each item can we actually know everything that we have."

Since this week is Thanksgiving, it's time to take inventory of everything we have. Do you realize that you live better than most kings have lived throughout history? Don't believe me? Here is a list of things that most of us have, but kings never had at their disposal:

TAKING INVENTORY: Things you have that kings never owned
Air conditioning. Heating. Thermostats to regulate both. Ceiling fans. Natural gas. Electricity.
Hot and cold running water in your house. Indoor toilets. Toilet paper. Soap. Shampoo. Conditioner. Toothpaste. Toothbrush. Deodorant. Floss. Mouthwash. Hairspray.
Appliance stores. Refrigerators. Freezers. Ovens. Stoves. Microwave ovens. Crock-Pots. Electric lights (just flip a switch). Television. Internet. Radio. Telephones. Cell phones. Computers. DVD players. Movie theaters. Watches. Clocks. Closets full of clothes and shoes. Sunglasses. Suntan lotion.
Grocery stores. Fresh vegetables. Fruit from all over the world--pineapples, mangoes, bananas, grapes, apples, oranges. (Remember, kings didn't have all these foods). Canned foods--every thing imaginable. Frozen foods--dinners that are already prepared for you! Ice cream.
Medical doctors. Medical equipment. Hospitals. Ambulances. Pharmacies. Medicines to treat nearly every sickness, headache, heart problem, and pain relief. Vitamins. Eyeglasses. Hearing aids. Dentists to treat broken teeth. Orthodontists. Dermatologists.
Automobiles. Gasoline. Airplanes. Airports. Taxis. Buses. Mechanics. Paved roads. Rest stops.
Restaurants--fast food, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, American, pizzas.
Music--iPods, CDs, satellite radio. (I could go on, but the list would be too long!)

Do you now understand that the average person today is wealthier than the richest people who have lived throughout history? It's a shame that most people have never truly thanked God for each one of these incredible blessings. In fact, they complain that they don't have enough!
Thanksgiving shouldn't be once a year. It should be every day. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good" (1 Chron. 16:34).
Keep looking up,
Kent
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Strings Attached

Have you ever wondered why God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to "let My people go"? The Lord could have led the Hebrews out of Egypt without getting Pharaoh's permission, but God wanted to give Pharaoh a chance to "let go." He needed to "take his hands off" the Hebrews and release them from slavery. If he had listened to Moses and let go, he could have avoided the ten plagues. But, he didn't heed God's warning and so he had to suffer the consequences.

Lots of people today have "Pharaohitis." They're holding on to people in their minds that they need to let go. Maybe they've been hurt by someone and won't forgive. God says to let the person go. Or, they're involved in an unhealthy relationship and the Lord commands them to let the person go. Some people have lost a loved one either through death or a breakup, and even though years have passed, they still haven't let go. Others are "controllers" and will try to make everyone do what they want. God says to them, "Let My people go so that they might serve Me" (Ex. 8:1).
You can let go by cutting the string that connects you to that person. As long as the string is attached, you're in bondage to that individual. Imagine taking a pair of spiritual scissors and cutting the string in Jesus name. Tell the Lord that you are releasing the person into His care and that there are no more strings attached. Now when that person tries to pull strings, it doesn't affect you because the connection has been broken.
Keep looking up!
Kent
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Your Time is Running Out

Do you know the difference between a clock and an hourglass? A clock has revolving hands, which gives the illusion that time goes on forever. An hourglass, on the other hand, reminds us that time is running out.

In Psalm 90, Moses reminds us that our brief time on Earth is running out. He says "As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years . . . for soon it is gone and we fly away" (v.10). He then offers a bit of advice for all of us, in v. 12:

1. Count your days. Moses says, "So teach us to number our days . . . " We usually say, "I'm 25, or 45, or 65 years old" because we count our days from the time we're born. But I think Moses is telling us to count our days from the other end--from death. And that's assuming we make it to 70 or 80. No one is guaranteed the next breath. "Counting our days" means that we realize that life is short, and we have a ever-diminishing amount of time left.

2. Make your days count. Moses continues, "that we might present to Thee a heart of wisdom." Once we realize every day is a gift from God, we make our lives count for Him. You can only do this if you've given your life to Christ. Once you've done that, live to please Him in all that you do, which is presenting to God "a heart of wisdom." You'll not only make the most out of this life, but you'll also be rewarded in the next life too.
Keep looking up!
Kent
Feel free to forward this devotional to your friends.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you'd like to receive my devotionals by email, you can subscribe at http://www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com/ . You MUST click on the link in the email you'll received from Feedburner. (Many potential subscribers have forgotten to do this last step)

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Do the Opposite"

In an episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza was frustrated because every decision he had made and his every instinct had turned out to be wrong. Jerry says, "Here's your chance to do the opposite. If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." George realizes that Jerry is on to something. If he would act and react completely opposite of his normal actions and reactions, he might have better results. George made a decision to alter his behavior and said, "Yes! I will do the opposite!"

It turned out that Jerry was right. Whenever George did the opposite of his normal reactions, the situation always turned out in his favor.

It was Jesus, not Jerry, who first came up with the idea to "do the opposite." He said in Luke 6:27-28 when people hate you, do the opposite and do good to them. When people curse you, do the opposite and bless them. When people mistreat you, do the opposite and pray for them. I know that it's not the natural way to react, but if you'll do what Jesus says, He will give you the supernatural ability to do it. And you just might be pleasantly surprised at the results because of your change in behavior.

Keep looking up!
Kent
Feel free to email this devotional to your friends.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you'd like to receive my devotionals by email, you can subscribe at http://www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com/ . You MUST click on the link in the email you'll received from Feedburner. (Many potential subscribers have forgotten to do this last step)