“Savior’s Arms” by Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill is included on the “Living Hope” CD available exclusively at Pizza Ranch for only $5 or you can purchase a download of the album at pizzaranch.com/livinghope. Listen to Kristian talk about how this song came together and how it’s based on Psalm 23. Then watch the lyric video for this song of worship.
One day while delivering a pizza in Willmar, Minnesota, Mark Small noticed a gentleman in an electric wheel chair who had gone off the ledge of the sidewalk. His chair was stuck and he couldn’t get unwedged and the lady who was trying to assist him wasn’t strong enough to lift and free the chair. As Mark observed what was happening and he put his delivery on hold for just a few moments to get this gentlemen and his chair back on the right track. The owner of Willmar Pizza Ranch, Randy Van Klompenburg, said that before Mark had ever returned to the Restaurant from his delivery he had received a phone call explaining what Mark had done. “It’s nice when you receive a phone call complimenting an employee for “Doing The Right Thing”.
Scripture says, “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; If you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”(NASV) Grace cannot penetrate the umbrella of un-forgiveness. Jesus Christ died so that His Grace can be poured out to every living soul and in fact His grace is even now pouring down like rain. Unfortunately, His Grace can be restrained from both offender and offended when we allow some deep hurt to keep His rain from touching our lives. By harboring un-forgiveness we actually envelope ourselves and others in a full body umbrella that the Grace of God cannot penetrate and His free gift of forgiveness cannot fully touch us or those we harbor hurts against. Today fully surrender that hurt and turn it over to God so that you and the one who has offended you can stand unfettered in the pouring rain of the grace of Jesus Christ.
As I sit this morning with my devotion I hear the birds chirping and nothing else! This was such a relaxing time and allowing me to focus on God! Now as soon as my quite time was done I suddenly noticed the cars driving by and airplane going over and all of today’s distractions of the world.
Yes summer has arrived and as most of us would agree, not a minute too soon. Our senses are heightened to the wonderful aroma of charcoal-striped hotdogs roasting on an open grill, the delightful splashing sounds of kids doing cannonballs in the neighbor’s pool, and the sight of little tikes poking holes in Mason jar lids, anticipating a large catch of fireflies as the shade of evening is upon us.
What are your favorite summer time memories? Gardening, riding bike, running, camping, fishing, going for ice cream, my favorite is spending time with my grandchildren! As we think of these memories I encourage you to remember God and thank Him for those special times in our lives. Thank you God for the garden you provided me, thank you God for my family that I love to spend time with, you get the picture!
With gardening we think of Proverbs 18:20 “words satisfy the mind as fruit does the stomach: good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest”
With running and walking we think of Hebrews 12:1 “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”
With fishing Luke 5:4 “launch out into the deep and cast your nets for a catch”
With family time Acts 10:2 “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly”
As we go about our time this summer let’s keep our focus on God and praise Him several times throughout the day for the many blessings He gives us.
Dear God thank you for this time of devotion together and all God’s Children said Amen…
“Hold Onto Hope” by Ellie Holcomb is included on the “Living Hope” CD available exclusively at Pizza Ranch restaurants for only $5 or you can purchase a download online at pizzaranch.com/livinghope. Watch Ellie’s video below explaining the story behind the song and then watch the lyric video. You never know when someone in your life needs to hear these exact words today, so we encourage you to use the social links to share this song of hope.
Sunday night the small town of Garretson, SD was hit with a bad storm and strong winds. There was significant damage to this SE South Dakota town. The team from the Pizza Ranch in Brandon immediately kicked into gear to support relief efforts. On Monday, they supported the Red Cross by providing 50 pizzas to feed those cleaning up. Yesterday, some of the team members from the Brandon Pizza Ranch traveled the 10 miles to Garretson to help out. Austin, one of the managers of the Pizza Ranch, commented that the storms and wind directly affected a couple of the team members, as they had damage done to their homes and cars.
Each day we are presented with opportunities to serve others. We tend to live in our “if it’s convenient for me” world. Today’s encouragement and mission is a 3-parter, but don’t worry, it’s still pretty simple:
Pray to see an opportunity to serve
Be conscious of what God is revealing to you
Act in obedience to your opportunity to serve.
It’s time to do something positive for someone else when it’s outside of our “convenient” world!
Today’s devotion is about Judging. Not about judging others, or being judged by others…but about judging ourselves. To be more specific, judging ourselves to harshly. Many Christians today struggle with receiving forgiveness. We look at our failures, our weakness, and the things we struggle with in life. We’re sure that God is disappointed in us, or not interested in us. We think, “God can’t possibly look past my sins and shortcomings.” Or sometimes we look around at others, and we think “we can’t measure up to those people. They’re so much better than me.” Well, this is wrong! He’s not disappointed. And he is interested in us. In every way.
According to Scripture, Jesus was always drawn to those who were hurting. He was always drawn to those in need. He always looked to help others, even in the face of those who were judging Him. Jesus is, absolutely interested in us. Even the messed up parts. He understands temptation. He understands that we’re in a sinful world. He never turned His back to the helpless sinners. Nor will He. I believe that he’s willing at all times to help us do the impossible. He is always beckoning to be close to us…no matter what we’ve done.
Mark 3: 1-5 tells the story of the man with a withered hand. Jesus simply says, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then he says, “stretch out your hand.” The impossible becomes reality for this man. The man could have come up with all kinds of excuses of why it wouldn’t work. Just like we do. But he chose to listen to Jesus. May we take those things that we think Jesus won’t accept, and simple give them to Him. He wants to forgive us and heal us from it all. At any time.