Children of the heavenly Father

My sister wrote the following.  I’m so happy to fall into the Beloved Son category.  Where do you fit in?  RMF

Image from Unsplash

The Beloved Sons and Daughters and the Orphan Child
By Darla Givan

All people fall into one of two categories. Father God loves them all but their relationship with Him makes a huge difference. Those who recognize and who have accepted the gift of God’s love recognize Him as their heavenly Father. They are His beloved children. Those who have no relationship with Father God; those who have never heard of or who have rejected the gift of His Fatherhood are like orphan children. Here is how you can recognize them:

The sons and daughters have a loving father; the orphan has his own wits.

The sons and daughters feel blessed; the orphan abandoned.

The sons and daughters are victorious; the orphan feels victimized.

The sons and daughters feel free; the orphan trapped

The sons and daughters enjoy an abundant feast; the orphan competes for scraps.

The sons and daughters thrive; the orphan merely survives.

The sons and daughters are joyful and friendly; the orphan is sad and lonely.

The sons and daughters are peaceful and at rest; the orphan is guarded and stressed.

The sons and daughters know they are protected and cared for; the orphan lives in fear and dread.

The sons and daughters give freely of all they have; the orphan hoards away.

The sons and daughters thrill the Father’s heart; the orphan breaks the Father’s heart.

The sons and daughters search for the orphan to introduce him to the Father; the orphan hides and yet hopes someone will come.

Help me, Gracious Father, to seek and find Your lost children, and tell them they have a loving Father who is looking for them!

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Mr. Rogers Says

Here is a compilation of quotes from Mr. Rogers which appeared on Mental What do you think of them? Are there any which are particularly meaningful to you?  RMF

20 Gentle Quotations from Mister Rogers

Many of these quotations are collected in the posthumous volume The World According to Mister Rogers, though they come from various sources, including his many television appearances.

1. On Heroes Without Capes
“When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 501-503).

2. On Sharing Responsibility
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
Spoken in 1994, quoted in his obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

3. From a PSA Following September 11, 2001
“If you grew up with our Neighborhood, you may remember how we sometimes talked about difficult things. There were days … even beautiful days … that weren’t happy. In fact, there were some that were really sad.
Well, we’ve had a lot of days like that in our whole world. We’ve seen what some people do when they don’t know anything else to do with their anger.
I’m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings–ways that don’t hurt them or anyone else–we’re helping to make our world a safer, better place.
I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are.
And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods.”
Also, regarding the anniversary of the attacks:
“[Children] don’t understand what an anniversary is, and if they see the tragedy replayed on television, they might think it’s happening at that moment.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 596-606) and as quoted in his obituary.

4. On What We Do
“What matters isn’t how a person’s inner life finally puts together the alphabet and numbers of his outer life. What really matters is whether he uses the alphabet for the declaration of a war or the description of a sunrise–his numbers for the final count at Buchenwald or the specifics of a brand-new bridge.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 621-623).

5. On Looking for the Helpers
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 645-647).

6. On Helping
“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 390-391).

7. On Pain
“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 389).

8. On Accepting Our Feelings
“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 131-133).

9. On “Disabilities”
“Part of the problem with the word disabilities is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 142-146).

10. On Facing Sadness and Anger
“Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 111-114).

11. On Love
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 214).

12. On Humanity’s Intrinsic Value
“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 463-465).

13. On People We Love
“It always helps to have people we love beside us when we have to do difficult things in life.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (p. 45).

14. On American History
“A high school student wrote to ask, ‘What was the greatest event in American history?’ I can’t say. However, I suspect that like so many ‘great’ events, it was something very simple and very quiet with little or no fanfare (such as someone forgiving someone else for a deep hurt that eventually changed the course of history). The really important ‘great’ things are never center stage of life’s dramas; they’re always ‘in the wings.’ That’s why it’s so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep rather than the flashy and the superficial.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 496-500).

15. On Life Not Being Cheap
In February of 1999, Fred Rogers was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. This is an excerpt from his speech (emphasis added):
“Fame is a four-letter word; and like tape or zoom or face or pain or life or love, what ultimately matters is what we do with it.
I feel that those of us in television are chosen to be servants. It doesn’t matter what our particular job, we are chosen to help meet the deeper needs of those who watch and listen–day and night!
The conductor of the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl grew up in a family that had little interest in music, but he often tells people he found his early inspiration from the fine musicians on television.
Last month a thirteen-year-old boy abducted an eight-year-old girl; and when people asked him why, he said he learned about it on TV. ‘Something different to try,’ he said. ‘Life’s cheap; what does it matter?’
Well, life isn’t cheap. It’s the greatest mystery of any millennium, and television needs to do all it can to broadcast that … to show and tell what the good in life is all about.
But how do we make goodness attractive? By doing whatever we can do to bring courage to those whose lives move near our own–by treating our ‘neighbor’ at least as well as we treat ourselves and allowing that to inform everything that we produce.
Who in your life has been such a servant to you … who has helped you love the good that grows within you? Let’s just take ten seconds to think of some of those people who have loved us and wanted what was best for us in life–those who have encouraged us to become who we are tonight–just ten seconds of silence.
[Ten seconds elapse.]
No matter where they are–either here or in heaven–imagine how pleased those people must be to know that you thought of them right now.
We all have only one life to live on earth. And through television, we have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it in creative, imaginative ways.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 540-558).

16. On Peace
“Peace means far more than the opposite of war!”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 613).

17. On Solitude
“Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 158).

18. On Strength
“Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It’s something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength and other words–like aggression and even violence. Real strength is neither male nor female; but is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that any human being can possess.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 161).

19. On Generations
“One of the greatest dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 586-587).

20. On Forgiveness
“Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life’s important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Location 296).

More from Mister Rogers
There’s a lot of wisdom packed into the book The World According to Mister Rogers. You also should look at Mister Rogers Humbly Accepts a Lifetime Achievement Emmy (warning: it may very well make you cry) and 15 Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever. You can also watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood online.

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Jerusalem in Prophecy

Much has been speculated and written about regarding the role of Jerusalem in biblical prophecy. The following article by Pastor Bob Russell is as plausible a take on it as I have seen. Whatever the Lord , in His providence, has in store for Jerusalem it is sure that we should be praying for the people of Jerusalem and that they that do not know Him will seek after Him soon. Pastor Russell’s article appeared first at: as: Jerusalem in Prophecy. RMF

Jerusalem in Prophecy

by Bob Russell

Pastor Bob Russell

Occasionally people ask my opinion on various personal or church issues. I recently received the following question which I have reprinted below, followed by my response.

QUESTION:  Bob, Wow! I’m holding my breath today as we watch the formal opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the city being named the capital! Would you consider doing a blog about what is happening right now in Jerusalem and the world? It’s crazy, exciting, scary, and prophetic!


US Embassy in Jerusalem

Bible-believing Christians hold different views of the Nation of Israel in prophecy. For example, a recent Lifeway poll* found that 80 percent of evangelicals believed that the creation of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy that would bring about Christ’s return. Twenty percent believed it was an interesting historical event but had nothing to do with Biblical prophecy.

While not everything that happens in Jerusalem is a fulfillment of prophecy, it seems to me that current events are laying the groundwork for the final chapter of history to unfold. Consider what the Bible says about the city of Jerusalem.

God chose Jerusalem as a Holy City
The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the Holy land and will again choose Jerusalem” (Zech 2:12).

  Jerusalem is located on the mountain where Abraham intended to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. As a result of God’s intervention, Abraham became the father of many nations. (See Gen. 22:2.) Jerusalem was chosen as Israel’s headquarters by King David and is where Solomon built the first temple. (See 2 Samuel 5;7-9.) Jerusalem is where Jesus shed His precious blood for the sins of the world and where the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven. The Bible identifies Jerusalem as “the city of God” or “the city of the Great King” (Psalm 48).

God loves Jerusalem, and Psalm 132:13-14 promises: “The Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.’”  Continue reading

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Being strong and courageous in Kingdom service

When Joshua was preparing to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a list of promises and admonitions. God promised that He would give them the land He had sworn to Moses, victory over their enemies, success, and most importantly to me, His presence. He assured them that they should not be frightened, dismayed or distracted from obeying the law He had given them. Three times God urged Joshua to be strong and courageous. There was no reason for Joshua to be worried as God promised: “…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
I am convinced that just as God was with Joshua He will be with us also. Our job is to be alert, listen for God’s leading and guidance, and then act on that with confidence whether for small or large missions. Sometimes our part will be small but it may be a major part in what God is doing wherever He is accomplishing His purposes. We simply need to be alert and be available, ready to be used of God. We can be certain that He has supplied us with everything we need to accomplish what He is calling us to do. We operate with the gifts He has given us and in the strength of His mighty power. Because He is with us we can be strong and courageous. What a great promise.  RMF

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Get Ready — It May Get Worse

The following is an article which pretty much captures my understanding of what is happening in our culture, i.e., “We are moving into an era of troubled people and troubled times, a time when the devil will be active and angry, but also a time when the glory of God will be upon His people.”  The article is by Pastor Billy Long and appeared at: Out of the Box  as:  The Fierce Society.  RMF


By Billy Long

Pastor Billy Long

This article is meant to be a discussion of current times, not end times. I don’t want to get into theological debates around eschatology. Some emphasize the great falling away while others argue that the Gospel will conquer. There is often an element of paradox in spiritual truth. The Bible speaks of great evil and darkness while also speaking of the glory of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of a person’s perspective on end times, it is indisputable that we are currently in a time of world-wide intensity, as seen in nature, politics, economics and sociological dynamics. Nations are filled with conflict and distress. Those that seem to be at peace are better described as being in a malaise (that vague sense of ill-being and debility that accompanies the onset of an illness). Even people who lack spiritual perception can sense the urgency of the times.
We are moving into an era of troubled people and troubled times, a time when the devil will be active and angry, but also a time when the glory of God will be upon His people. In the days that are coming, Christians should be spiritually alert, in prayer, and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. –Billy Long

The Fierce Society
By laying aside God, the Bible, and Judeo-Christian values our society is deliberately or unwittingly destroying the under-girding foundation necessary for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous society, and in turn is laying the grounds for an intellectually inferior, undisciplined, morally depraved, lawless, and fierce society.

2 Timothy 3: 1-3, and Romans 1: 28-32 describe the ultimate characteristics of a culture that rejects God and which is “given over” to itself and its sin. Paul says that the times will be “perilous.” The Greek word is also translated “fierce” and is the same word used to describe the demoniac (Matthew 8:28) out of whom Jesus cast a legion of demons. This man was exceedingly “fierce,” living among the tombs, naked, cutting himself, breaking chains used to bind him, and producing fear in all who came near. It is quite disturbing that the word used to describe this man is also used to describe times and the people that “will come.”   Continue reading

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John Boyd and Strategic Thinking

I first learned of John Boyd through my friendship with his children Mary Ellen and Jeff Boyd, who I met at New Life Christian Church (  Later I met Col. Boyd’s widow, Mary, and in fact officiated at her funeral service.  I also know Rebah Boyd, Col. Boyd’s granddaughter and Mary Ellen’s daughter.  They are an interesting and delightful family and I am grateful for learning about the patriarch’s work years before he became as renowned as he has become in more recent times.  The following is an interesting and educational article by Brett McKay which describes Col. Boyd’s signature work, the OODA Loop, in a detailed way.  I believe you’ll enjoy the article which appeared first at: as: The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop.  RMF

The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop

by Brett McKay

Col. John Boyd








Brett McKay

John Boyd is described by some as the greatest military strategist in history that no one knows. He began his military career as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, but he slowly transformed himself into one of the greatest philosopher-warriors to ever live.

In 1961, at age 33, he wrote “Aerial Attack Study,” which codified the best dogfighting tactics for the first time, became the “bible of air combat,” and revolutionized the methods of every air force in the world.  Continue reading

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Running the Race God’s Way

Following is a neat article by one of my very favorite authors, Randy Alcorn.  It is about one of my favorite life heroes, Eric Liddell.  The article appeared at:  as: The Little Known Story of Olympian Eric Liddell’s Final Years .  I believe you will enjoy it and, if you have not already done so, want to check out Chariots of Fire, a truly thrilling movie.  RMF

The Little Known Story of Olympian Eric Liddell’s Final Years
By Randy Alcorn

The “Flying Scotsman” character in the Chariots of Fire movie

Eric Liddel at the Paris Olympics

One of my favorite movies of all time is the 1981 Chariots of Fire. It’s the only reason many people are familiar with Eric Liddell, the “Flying Scotsman” who shocked the world by refusing to run the one hundred meters in the 1924 Paris Olympics, a race he was favored to win. He withdrew because the qualifying heat was on a Sunday, and he believed God didn’t want him to run on the Lord’s Day. Liddell then went on to win a gold medal—and break a world record—in the four hundred meters, not his strongest event. (In the black and white photo, that’s the real Eric Liddell in his gold medal winning 400m final at the Olympics.)

Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministry

My favorite lines from the movie are when Eric’s character, played by actor Ian Charleson, says, “God…made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” Though those lines were actually penned by screenwriter Colin Welland, I think the real Eric would have agreed with the sentiment. Those who knew him testified that his personal and moral convictions weren’t born of a cold, rigid religious piety, but of a warm, happy devotion to his Lord and Savior. Here’s that clip from the movie, with Eric talking to his sister Jenny.

I still remember sitting with Nanci in a large Portland theatre in 1981, smiling and crying through various parts of that unforgettable movie. Chariots of Fire ends with these brief words about Eric’s life after the Olympics: “Eric Liddell, missionary, died in occupied China at the end of World War II. All of Scotland mourned.”  Continue reading

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