Parachute

October 28, 2019By PK ManagerDevotional

The apostle Paul told the new Christians in Thessalonica to be supportive of one another. He especially wanted them to bless and mentor those who were sharing the Gospel in that area. His words still ring true today. We need to be encouraging one another, especially those in the household of faith (other believers). “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Praise God for those who see the need to offer a word of inspiration to others. I love this story and its implications to our faith.

Parachutes

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6
years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.

The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”

Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers.

“I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory — he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is important. We may fail to say “hello,” “please,” or “thank you,” congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.

I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing our parachute. And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours!

Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it! When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do — you forward jokes. And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke.

So, my friend, next time when you get a joke, don’t think that you’ve been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you’ve been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack your parachute.

Personal Application

Whose parachute have you packed today?

When you need some encouragement can you share that need with someone close? Can you be open and transparent enough to recognize that it is normal that all of us need a “that-a-boy” every now and then?

Pass this along to someone you care about with a note that you would like to weekly send them our devotional to be supportive of them and their spiritual journey.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers.

Fly Fishing and Faith

October 21, 2019By PK ManagerDevotional

Among my many outdoor pursuits is fly fishing. Northern Idaho has a number of Blue Ribbon streams that cover the area like a large spider web. Fly fishing is considered by most anglers as the ultimate experience in luring a fish to take your offering.

In my library are several books that talk about the art of angling. Interestingly enough, angling is not a new endeavor, but is spoken about in several places in the Bible. Remember Jesus asked Peter to cast his line into the water to catch a fish that had a silver coin in its mouth, the annual temple tax – a stater – that would pay the fee for Jesus and Peter (Matt. 17:24-27).

In the second-century AD, a Greek writer Aelian wrote about a way to catch a fish. “Between Boroca and Thessalonica runs a river called the Astraeus, and in it, there are fish with spotted skins (most likely trout).” He suggested to the fishermen of that day a lure “to help snare the fish, by which we get the better of them”. Aelian fastened a piece of crimson red wool around a hook and attach two feathers to it. Apparently, the fish were very attracted to the color and movement believing it was a mouthful. (On the Nature of Animals)

Today, some 2,000 years later, fishermen are still using this lure (fly). It is called the Red Hackle. Isn’t it interesting how often things of the past are still valuable today. In this fast-paced, instant everything, push a button society that many answers we seek to resolve problems and issues of life are things still found in God’s word. The same truths that transformed kings and kingdoms thousands of years ago are still relevant to our lives today.

In Mark 5 we read about how a man, a ruler of the synagogue, pleaded with Christ to heal his daughter who was at the point of death. He asked Jesus to “Come and lay hands on her, that she may be healed and she will live.” Friends of the man came and said she was already dead so he shouldn’t trouble the Teacher any further. Jesus said to the ruler, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

After Christ took the mother and father into the room of the dead child, he said, “Talitha, cumi”, which translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately the girl arose and walked. The same Jesus who healed that girl, restored health to so many others, gave sight to the blind, encouragement to the downtrodden, and conquered death on Calvary’s cross is still with us today.

According to Scripture (Acts 1), the Holy Spirit is present and available to those who believe. Whenever people or circumstances make us feel inadequate, fearful, or anxious, God offers His children the courage, strength, and boldness to walk without fear — to apply the name of Jesus without hesitation or fear. When we approach challenges and fear with faith in Him who is able, as with Peter and John, we may take note that “we have been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Personal Application:

  1. Take a few minutes to read Mark 5 and see how Jesus heals through the faith we develop in His power to heal.
  2. What are you anxious about today? Remember His word and explore some of these verses: 2 Cor. 1:3-4Ps. 23:4Matt. 5:4

How can we pray for you today? Send your confidential request to me at lgfjim@frontier.com

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers.

How Do We Experience True Joy?

October 14, 2019By PK ManagerDevotional

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” 

Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)

Many people are on a quest to find what the world defines as “success” and “personal happiness.” Our culture projects models of wealthy, famous, well-dressed people and says that if we can just become like them, we’ll be happy. What Hollywood and professional sports often parade as “winners” are really unhappy and unfulfilled people.

Look at the number of despondent people that you encounter every day. Road rage, violence, suicide, drug abuse, and divorce rates among the rich and famous are no different from those of modest means. The incidence of “bad behavior” among the social elite and politicians is an embarrassment to those of us who hold to a biblical worldview of what’s good and decent.

The Bible defines what joy and happiness really look like. It says we find happiness by following Christ into the life He has planned for us. The way to be happy is to live a joy-filled life in Christ. Happiness is merely an emotion that comes and goes with our circumstances. Joy is more intrinsic and prevails in spite of circumstances. Joy exudes from a life surrendered to Christ and led by His Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

The way to be a joy-filled person is found in numerous Bible passages. In the above-mentioned phrase, Jesus gets right to the point by saying to the believer, “If you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.” He wasn’t talking only about physical death, (although in some parts of the world, that is a reality for committed believers). He was saying that you must submit to God your will, your plans, and your future.

The all-knowing, all-powerful God has a plan especially designed for you. When you gratefully walk in the direction He has planned for you, you will find fulfillment and true happiness. That doesn’t mean that you can’t set goals and work towards attaining them. Instead, you make your plans and set your goals always seeking God’s guidance, then walk obediently as each step becomes clear.

Let’s seek a life that models joy by remembering what the Psalmist told us, “Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.” Psalm 97:11 (NLT) “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

Personal Application:

Parable of the Talents

In the Parable of the Talents, Christ describes the joy of a servant when he does what his master has asked him to do. (Matt. 25:21). What is God asking you to do?

When you read God’s Word remember what He told us: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

Be of good cheer my friend.

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers.

Coping with Struggles

October 7, 2019By PK ManagerDevotional

I can’t remember a time when so many friends were under such physical, mental, and/or spiritual attack. Maybe it’s a sign of my age. Maybe it’s the result of the chaos in the sin-filled world we live in. I don’t know. I do know that there are many people suffering and being challenged.

Job had a season in his life when everything went wrong. When Job asked God – Why? God’s “answer” to Job’s question was, “Hush, child. You wouldn’t understand if I told you.”

Scripture gives us some understanding as to why some suffer so much.

“The God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

“You speak always like someone who has suffered,” says Arctura, one of George MacDonald’s characters in his book Donal Grant. “Who has not that lives at all,” is the response.

Someone once said that, “Indeed, life is suffering: contradiction, misfortune, disappointment, and heartbreak surrounds us.” Why must we enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations?

I used to believe I knew the answers to those questions, but life – now that I’m much closer to its end than to its beginning – has knocked most of them right out of my head. God chided Job and his friends, as Jesus chided His disciples when they drew unwarranted conclusions from suffering.

In the face of affliction, I’m learning now to be more or less silent. When my friends tell me their lives are difficult, I answer, “Of course I understand and will pray for you.” When they ask me why they’re suffering, I tell them, “I really don’t know, but my God won’t let anything touch His children that first hasn’t touched His hands.”

Why life should be this way, I cannot say, but I do know this: It will not always be this way; there will be an end. Eternal glory lies ahead, as Peter promised, “After we have suffered for a little while.” There, in that “eternal school room,” our Lord will explain “each separate anguish,” but I doubt, then, that we will care. In the awesome flood of His wisdom and love, and in the beauty that will be ours for all eternity, we shall forget “our present, light, momentary afflictions and discouraging trials.”

My friends, it’s a matter of perspective.

I Shall know Why
By Emily Dickinson

I shall know why-when Time is over–
And I have ceased to wonder why–
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky–

He will tell me what “Peter” promised–
And I–for wonder at his woe–
I shall forget the drop of Anguish
That scalds me now–that scalds me now!

Personal Application

If you or someone you love is experiencing pain or struggling remember God’s promises:

He is the God of all comfort. 2 Cor.1:3-4

I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Ps. 23:4

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Ps. 56:3

This devotional is a guest post by Dr. Jim Grassi. He is the founder of Men’s Ministry Catalyst, a ministry partner of Promise Keepers.