AF Daily Devotional | Through Treacherous Waters

Photo courtesy of texasmha

For Nov 16, 2014
AN AMAZING FACT:  Throughout history, sailors have told many remarkable stories of dolphins helping humans. One outstanding example is a dolphin that sailors called Pelorus Jack. For 24 years, from 1888 to 1912, this selfless animal volunteered to guide ships through the French Pass, a dangerous channel in Admiralty Bay off New Zealand. This treacherous channel, full of rocks and extremely strong currents, had been the site of hundreds of shipwrecks before the intervention of this dedicated dolphin.
Pelorus was very unique. He was a Risso’s dolphin, a species not commonly seen in New Zealand waters or anywhere near land. Yet his work was so reliable that ships reaching the entrance would wait for him to appear and guide them safely through the channel. He stayed with a ship up to 20 minutes, the time it took to cross the bay, playfully swimming alongside and surfing in the bow waves. There is no telling how many human lives Pelorus saved. Even well-known figures like Mark Twain saw and wrote of him.
Then one day a drunken passenger onboard the S.S. Penguin drew a gun and shot at Pelorus. When the furious crew saw the dolphin swimming away with blood pouring from his body, they came close to killing the witless man. After the shooting, Pelorus disappeared and ships had to negotiate through the deadly channel without help. But fortunately a few weeks later the dolphin returned, apparently recovered from his wound, and resumed his work of guiding ships
through the channel—every ship except the Penguin, which he stayed clear of, and which wrecked several years later.
When Pelorus Jack returned, people demanded that he be protected by law. So on September 26, 1904, a government order declared the helpful dolphin a protected animal until he vanished eight years later. It is believed this is the first sea creature in history protected by a country.
God has always guided His people. He guided the Israelites with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In this world, we face treacherous waters, but He has sent us a Guide to save us from wrecking. The Bible says that His Holy Spirit—the Spirit of truth—comes to us and will guide us “into all truth.”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
- John 16:13

 

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AF Daily Devotional | Sea Stingers

Photo courtesy of relaxingtube.info

For Nov 08, 2014
AN AMAZING FACT:  Few marine animals are as mysterious and intimidating as jellyfish. These incredible creatures can be found in all of the world’s oceans, and even a few varieties inhabit freshwater. They are 97 percent water and quite transparent, hence the name. Most live in shallow coastal waters, but a few can be found at depths of up to 12,000 feet! One of the largest jellyfish, the lion’s mane jellyfish, can be six feet across and have tentacles over 100 feet in length!
Jellyfish have no heart, no blood, no gills, bones, or cartilage, and no brain (talk about a real no-brainer!). Scientists have determined that some jellies have primitive eyes that can detect light—amazing for an animal with no brain. Jellyfish are most closely related to corals and sea anemones, but they can move about by using special muscles to draw water into the bell and then push it out again. It’s almost hypnotic to watch them swim. They’re also carried along by wind, waves, and currents.
Most jellies are silent predators that kill and eat other living creatures. Usually an unsuspecting fish swims into the almost invisible tentacles, which are loaded with millions of stinging cells. These complex cells, called nematocysts, shoot out like tiny poison darts into their prey, paralyzing the victim. Then the jelly can eat its catch at its leisure through its mouth on the underside.
The painful sting of jellyfish can be deadly in some species. The sea wasp, or marine stinger, is rated as the deadliest venomous creature in the world! In the last century, this feared box jellyfish is thought to have killed more than 70 people in Australia alone. In fact, one large box jelly has enough venom to kill 60 people. Despite the stinging cells,
animals such as ocean sunfish and leatherback turtles feed on jellyfish. Most jellyfish are actually harmless to man. In fact, it is hoped that some of the painful chemicals they produce may provide treatments for cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.
Did you know the Bible talks about something with a powerful sting? Drinking alcohol, it says, is a bad idea. “At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper” (Proverbs 23:32). That’s one sting we can do without!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. – Proverbs 23:32

 

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AF Daily Devotional | Harriet the Tortoise

AN AMAZING FACT:  In 1835, famous English naturalist Charles Darwin collected three young tortoises about five years old from Santa Cruz Island, in the Galápagos. Darwin noted they were only about as big as dinner plates when he brought the live tortoises on the HMS Beagle back to England with him. He named these three subjects of scientific research “Tom, Dick, and Harry.” But the young tortoises did not fare well in cold, damp England. So in 1842, one of Darwin’s colleagues, John Wickham, brought Tom, Dick, and Harry to Australia aboard a whaling ship and donated the youthful 12-year-old tortoises to Brisbane Botanical Gardens.

As time went by, Tom and Dick died from unknown causes. Wanting to preserve their tortoise attractions for the next 100 years, Harry’s Brisbane caretakers tried in vain to mate him with female Galápagos land tortoises. When he was in the gardens, he had to put up with people riding him. You could see the scars on his shell where people used to engrave their names on his back. Soldiers returning home from various wars even painted his shell a couple of times.

In 1952, Harry was moved to a fauna sanctuary on Australia’s Gold Coast, where it was finally discovered that Harry was in fact a Harriet! Darwin evidently was not able to determine Harry’s sex. Harriet made her final move in 1988 to the Australia Zoo. She loved to eat hibiscus flowers, along with zucchini, squash, beans, and parsley. At 330 pounds, Harriet spent much of her remaining days snoozing in her pond. Harriet died at 175 years of age in June of 2006. She was the third oldest tortoise in the world.

One reason Harriet survived so long is because God provides a tortoise with a natural armor in its shell. Did you know God has provided armor for Christians to preserve us for everlasting life? Paul writes, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10, 11). This armor is not meant to protect against bullets and bombs, but “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (verse 12). With this armor in place, we can be assured of protection from death. We can live forever.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
- Psalms 91:16

 

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AF Daily Devotional | Shot Like A Cork

For Oct 24, 2014
AN AMAZING FACT:  In 1692, the city of Port Royal on the island of Jamaica literally slid into the sea when it was struck by a massive earthquake. Many had predicted that Port Royal, a corrupt city of pirates and cutthroats, would one day suffer God’s judgment and be destroyed. The disaster, therefore, surprised no one, least of all the handful of religious men who were swept to their doom along with the wicked inhabitants. One such man was Lewis Galdy. He was born in France, but left in search of religious freedom and finally settled on the island of Jamaica.
On a hot and muggy morning in June, three earthquakes rocked the island, moving two mountains nearly a mile from their original positions. But Port Royal suffered the greatest damage. It was built onto an unstable jut of land. So the city actually slid into the ocean. In just a few minutes it lay 50 feet deep in water. About 2,000 people (one-third of the city) perished. Another 1,000 died from disease after the earthquake, and eventually the city was forever abandoned.

When the first violent shock came, Galdy was buried deep beneath the earth. Amazingly, he still remained conscious and understood what had happened. Like Jonah in the belly of the sea monster, he prayed for his soul and resigned himself to death. A few moments later, the ground shook a second time and exploded, throwing Galdy high through the air and out over the churning sea. Some say he shot like a cork out of a bottle. He landed unhurt in the water and swam until a boat picked him up. Galdy lived for 47 years after his miraculous escape. He died in 1739, and his tombstone tells the story of his amazing experience. No doubt he felt like he had been resurrected.

Did you know the Bible teaches there will be two resurrections? In speaking of the coming judgment, Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation”
(John 5:28, 29). Galdy believed judgment would come to the corrupt city of Port Royal. Jesus tells us judgment will come to the entire world.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

So they look up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
- Jonah 1:15

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AF Daily Devotional |Concert For A Dead Man

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AN AMAZING FACT:  One stormy night in 1910, a group of traveling musicians arrived at the city of Riga, on the Baltic Sea, to fulfill a concert engagement. The weather was so bad, however, that the conductor of the orchestra tried to persuade the manager of the hall to cancel the concert. He felt sure that no one would venture out on such a rainy night. The manager refused to cancel, but he did agree that if not even one listener turned up, the orchestra could leave early in order to catch the night boat bound for Helsinki, Finland.

When the musicians arrived at the concert hall they found only one person sitting in the audience—a stout old man who seemed to smile at everyone. Because of this one old man, the musicians were forced to play the entire concert and were unable to leave early to catch the boat. After the concert was over the old man continued sitting in his seat.
Thinking he was asleep, an usher nudged his shoulder. Only then was it discovered that the old man was dead. The musicians had played the entire concert for a dead man. But, ironically, in doing this they had actually saved their own lives, for the boat they would have taken to Finland sank that very night with a complete loss of life.

The Bible also speaks of how the death of one man saved the lives of many. In Paul’s great letter explaining salvation to the Romans, he writes, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18). And what was the “righteous act”? “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (verse 8).

Through Adam’s one act of disobedience, death came to us all. But because of Christ’s life of perfect obedience—which led Him to die on the cross for our sins—life may come to us all! Have you accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation?

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- John 3:16

 

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The Rebellious Prince | Storacles Lesson #4

The Rebellious Prince

Description
What is the origin of sin? Did God create a devil? Where did Satan come from? The story of Absalom lays a foundation for us to understand the story of Lucifer and his fall. Bible clearly teaches us that God did not create sin and Satan. Societies picture of the devil isn’t what the Bible reveals.

Downloadable PDF: The Rebellious Prince

The following video corresponds with the PDF Lesson:

http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/media/e/378/t/the-rebellious-prince.aspx

This lesson is a courtesy of http://www.amazingfacts.org.  We are not affiliated but love to share the word of God which they provide.

Thank you for reading and watching.  Please share with your family, friends, and loved ones.

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AF Daily Devotional | Odd Luck of Todd Lincoln

For Oct 11, 2014

Photo courtesy of hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu

AN AMAZING FACT:  Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, seemed to have a life of close calls. For starters, Robert was the only one of four brothers to survive beyond the teenage years. Then, when Robert was about 20, he fell between a moving train and the station platform. A fast-thinking stranger seized Robert by the coat collar and pulled him back to the platform, saving his life. Robert quickly recognized the good Samaritan as the famous actor Edwin T. Booth. If that name sounds familiar it’s because Edwin’s infamous brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated Robert Lincoln’s father one year later. He was not at the Ford Theater when his father was shot, but was present at his bedside when he died.

Later, Robert carved out his own political career and was rewarded with the Secretary of War post under President James Garfield. In 1881, only four months into his new position, Garfield invited Robert to join him on a trip to New Jersey. Before either man could step onto the train, Garfield was gunned down. A few years later Robert Lincoln was in
Buffalo, New York, by invitation of President William McKinley. While at a speaking engagement, McKinley was shot twice by an assassin. Robert did not see the shooting but was in the room and heard the gunshots. McKinley died eight days later from his wounds.

Knowing he seemed to be bad luck for his presidential pals, Robert turned down just about every presidential invitation that came his way, saying, “ … there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.” He made one exception, and he did attend the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. President Warren G. Harding and former President William Howard Taft survived the occasion.

Few people have witnessed so many history-making events. But the Bible speaks of one or two. Joshua, who was appointed to leadership after Moses, saw astonishing events unfold during his lifetime. He led the children of Israel into the Promised Land and witnessed, many times over, the amazing fulfillment of God’s promises. Let’s take time to review these events and have our own faith strengthened.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. – Joshua 23:14

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AF Daily Devotional | Compulsive Hoarding

 

Photo courtesy of choosehelp.com

AN AMAZING FACT:  Compulsive hoarding is a condition where a person habitually gathers or buys growing piles of useless possessions, and then seems powerless to discard anything. This expanding collection of junk can lead to unbearable living conditions that cause significant clutter and impairment to mobility within their home. Of course, this pathological collecting is a strain on relationships, but it can also interfere with basic living activities such as cooking, cleaning, showering, or sleeping.

For example, an eccentric loner in Britain hoarded so much junk and trash he had to burrow through it to get around his home. Then in January 2009 he evidently got lost in the maze of tunnels and died of thirst. This 74-year-old human mole, Gordon Stewart, had filled the rooms of his house clear up to the ceiling with years’ worth of old newspapers, garbage, and clutter, making it impossible to walk around. Neighbors said Mr. Stewart’s home had been accumulating rubbish for at least 10 years. Heaps of plastic bags could clearly be seen piled up against his front window, while broken furniture, computer parts, and even an old TV spilled over onto his front lawn. A car dating back to the 1950s stood in the garage, untouched for years as garbage accumulated around it.

Neighbors in Broughton, England, called authorities after failing to see him leave his house for several days. When police arrived, the stench from the garbage was so foul they brought in a police scuba diving team with breathing apparatus to search the dwelling. They crawled around through mountains of junk and garbage, searching the elaborate network of tunnels until they located Stewart’s body. The compulsive hoarder is believed to have become disorientated inside the walls of rotting trash and unable to find a way out until he collapsed from dehydration.

The Bible says there is “ … A time to keep, and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6). We might roll our eyes at people who struggle with hoarding, but there is probably a touch of greed in everyone’s heart. If insecurity drives us to find peace in collecting the things of this world, let us do a deep work of removing the clutter of such thinking and rest
in Jesus.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
- Mark 8:36

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The Coming King | Storacles Lesson #3

The Coming King

Description
The Coming King speaks about the Bible’s teaching about the soon coming of Christ. Though we cannot know the exact day or hour, we can know that it is near. There are many Scripture passages that explain the importance of Jesus’ 2nd coming. What does the Bible say about how Christ will return?

Downloadable PDF: The Coming King Lesson #3

The following video corresponds with the PDF Lesson:

http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/media/e/377/t/the-coming-king.aspx

This lesson is a courtesy of http://www.amazingfacts.org.  We are not affiliated but love to share the word of God which they provide.

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AF Daily Devotional | Elephants

Photo courtesy of theguardian.com

For Sep 26, 2014

AN AMAZING FACT:  The elephant is the largest land mammal left on Earth. Throughout history elephants have been revered, honored, and prized for their great size and strength. On the battlefield, soldiers with elephants have terrified and trampled enemies. Elephants also have been trained to carry heavy supplies through jungles and to haul huge logs from the forests where they once lived.

The most obvious characteristic of elephants, besides their massive size, is their trunk. An elephant’s trunk is nothing more than an elongation of their nose and upper lip, but it is the most versatile of all mammalian creations. The trunk is composed of an estimated 150,000 muscles and is employed as a nose, arm, hand, and multipurpose tool to pull branches off trees, uproot grass, pluck fruit, and to place food in their mouths. The trunk is also used for smelling, trumpeting, drinking, greeting, or throwing dust for dust baths.

Elephant tusks are elongated upper incisors and are the largest and heaviest teeth of any living animal. The tusks are used for digging for roots and water, stripping the bark off trees for food, defense from predators, and fighting each other during mating season. Elephant tusks grow continuously throughout the elephant’s life. They can grow as long as 10 feet and weigh as much as 150 pounds each. This ivory, also known as “white gold,” was used at one time in the manufacture of piano keys, billiard balls, and other objects. Over the years hunters have slaughtered thousands of these magnificent animals just for their tusks. At the turn of the 20th century, elephants numbered from 5 million to 10 million, but widespread hunting and habitat destruction reduced their numbers to an estimated 600,000. Ivory poaching has almost driven elephants into extinction.

Did you know the Bible predicts that in the last days real Christians will be hunted because they obey God’s commandments? “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12). There is only one thing more frightening than being charged by an angry elephant, and that is to have the devil come after you. But in Christ we can find refuge.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
- Daniel 7:19

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