Friday, June 30, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 30

“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise”
(Luke 10:30-37)

Today’s Morsel:  Years ago, one of the early morning shows on television for kids was “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”  I personally think that the show was more for parents and adults than it was for the kids, to teach us how to treat each other because kids will only do what they see the parents and adults do.  Listening to Pastor Frank Ritchie's devotion, Good Samaritan Church in Wisconsin, at Men’s Camp this year as he spoke of the story of “The Good Samaritan” was challenging to our ministry.  Some of the points he stressed were:
·        The Samaritan didn’t care who the man was
·        He didn’t care where the beating took place
·        He didn’t care about what road it happened on
·        He didn’t care who beat him
·        He didn’t care about what the Priest and the Levites did or did not do
·        He didn’t care that the man was left for half-dead
He just saw a man in need and the Samaritan was willing to set aside whatever plans he had to help him.  He was willing to forgo his own plans to help.  Isn’t this what a good neighbor does?  Are you a good neighbor?  Isn’t this Jesus' answer to the lawyer's question when he asked Him who was his neighbor?  Your neighbor is the person in need.  

Sing: Change my heart, O’ God, make it ever true; change my heart, O’ God, may I be like You.

Thought For Today: Who’s your neighbor? 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 29

“And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste. And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me” (1 Samuel 21:8-9).

Today’s Morsel:  No one would have expected David to ask the priest for a spear or sword while in the house of the Lord.  But I believe that David knew that God had delivered him from the hands of Goliath, and that his trophies would be in the house of the Lord.  And so he asked Ahimelech if he had a spear or sword when he saw his enemy, Doeg, in the house of the Lord.  David knew that he, being one of Saul’s loyal men, would report his sighting and whereabouts.  So David knew that he needed a weapon to prepare himself should he need to fight.  Thus he asked for a weapon figuring that if nothing else, the weapon of Goliath would be there in the house of the Lord.  Scripture says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5); “ And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”(Ephesians 6:17); “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Therefore, we also should take note that the weapons we need to defeat our enemies are found in the house of God.

Sing:  I command you, Satan, in the name of the Lord to pick up your weapons and flee, for God has given me authority to walk all over thee.

Thought For Today:  “You can’t defeat carnality with a carnal weapon” (Parker)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 28

"And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here."   (Acts 16:20-28)

Today’s Morsel: When I see people that I haven't seen in awhile, I sometimes ask them about others we knew that were in the church when I got saved.  I’m saddened when I hear of the many who have fallen away.  But, as the title of a message I heard at Men’s Camp a few weeks ago, let me say “I’m Still Here”.   Somewhat like Peter told Jesus when He asked them if they would go away, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).  The apostle Paul would even say that he was “still here” after five times receiving forty stripes save one from the Jews; thrice beaten with rods, once stoned, thrice shipwrecked, a night and a day in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:24-28).  After all this, he could say, “I’m still here”.  He told his fellow labors, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).  Paul said nothing shall be able to separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39).  And after they had beaten him and Silas and cast them into prison and an earthquake occurred, they could say to the jailer, “We are still here!” Aren’t you glad that you can say "I’m still here!”

Sing:  I am determined to hold out to the end, Jesus is with me, on Him I can depend, for I know I have salvation for I feel Him in my soul.  I am determined to hold out to the end.

Thought For Today:  “I’m still here!”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 Jun 27

 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
(2 Chronicles 20:1-6)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that King Jehoshaphat learned from David was that prayer and praise brings victory.  He was also present when Solomon dedicated the Temple unto the Lord and heard his prayer when he said, “And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers” (2 Chronicles 6:24-25).  So he went to the courts of the house of God which Solomon had dedicated for His help.  And when they began to praise God, He fulfilled His promise to Solomon and God delivered them from their enemies.  We have many exceeding precious promises that God has made to our forefathers.  So, keep praying and praising God when you are facing circumstances, situations, and enemies that are bigger than you, soon those praises will usher in victory.

 Sing: Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.  He sought me and He bought me, with His Redeeming Blood.  He loved e’r I knew Him, and all my love is due Him.  He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

Thought For Today: Praise and pray your way to each victory.  (Parker)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 26

And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom. 
(2 Chronicles 2:1)

Today’s Morsel:  Where there is a determination, there must also be a desire for completion of what we determine to do.  Anytime we set goals for ourselves, we must determine to see them to completion.  But sad to say, like the father who's son said that he would go to the field and work yet didn't go, many say one thing and do another (read Matthew 21:28-30).  They determine, yet have no desire to do what they say they will do.  Solomon said that he determined to build a great house unto the Lord because he knew that his God was great (2 Chronicles 2:5).  And he followed through to completion and God was well pleased. And when he dedicated it to the Lord, the Lord was willing to put His name there.  Was God pleased because he built it, or because he determined to do something and he did it? I think the latter.  What about your house?  You are the temple of God.  Have you determined to make it a great house for Him?  Will He be well pleased to put His name there when you complete it?   By following Peter's instructions (2 Peter 1:5-11), it will be and a great house unto the Lord.

Sing: Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary, for You.

Thought For Today:  Determination must be accompanied with desire.  (Parker)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 24

"A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength."  (Proverbs 24:5)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about the military, is that you learn so much within a six-week period that you think your brain is going to be overloaded.  It’s amazing the amount of information that is thrown at a recruit within that period and they are expected to grasp it, not forget it, or they can fail.  From knowing who to salute, how to report to seniors, their uniform, dress and appearance of the uniform, remembering weapon's serial numbers, proper conduct, and so much more, it can be taxing.  But they grasp it and become wise and strong.  The more they know, the stronger they are.  The same holds true in the church.  The more of God’s word we know, the stronger we are as Christians.  And the sooner we learn and grow in the Word, the better equipped we are for the battle.  Most people who give up on the church, have little knowledge of God and His word.  Strong people don’t quit church because they know that greater is He that is in them than he that is in the world.  Career soldiers are simply soldiers who increased in knowledge.  The same is true for ministers, leaders, and seasoned saints in the church.  They are the ones who learned and grasped the Word and became strong soldiers.

Sing:  Deeper! Deeper! In the love of Jesus, daily let me go, higher, wiser in the school of wisdom more of grace to know.

Thought For Today:  “Career soldiers are just soldiers who increased in knowledge.” (Parker)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 23

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things I have decided to do this year in my devotion time, is look up in the Hebrew and Greek what the names of people in the Bible mean.  Many of them were given names that we may not be able to pronounce, but they have godly meanings.  I asked the church one night during Bible study how many of them knew what their name meant?  Many of them did.  Why did our parents give us the name that they did?  I’m still trying to figure out why my mother named me Rufus, which means redhead!  There is not a red drop anywhere on my head; lots of gray but no red!  Maybe she knew I would be chosen of the Lord (Romans 16:13).   Solomon said that a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.  To be well spoken of is way better than riches.  We should be more careful to do that which is right and those things that will give us a good name than those things that will simply increase our estate.  Great riches often bring great cares with them, expose us to danger, and add no real value to a person's character.  A fool and a dishonest person may have great riches, but a good name makes a person safe, shows one as wise and honest, contributes to the glory of God, and gives them a greater opportunity of doing good to all men. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what you think of it, but the tree is the real thing.”

Sing:  No greater name than the name of Jesus, no greater name have I ever known, no greater name than the name of Jesus; You are the light to my heart and my soul, you are the light to the darkness around me, You are the only truth and the way!

Thought For Today:  Protect your name! (Parker)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 22

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Today’s Morsel:  My heart is often heavy when I see the massive rebellion of children these days.  About a year ago, many were up in arms about the mother who was seen on the media chasing her son for being out in a riot formation. It went viral because she was being somewhat heavy handed with him.  But to me, it showed a mother’s well-being and concern for her child's health and safety.  Solomon said that we should “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  What way do you want your child to go?  Whatever way you desire to point them in, you must be willing to spend quality time, love, and help to keep them on that path.  It does no good to aim a child in a direction and then you aren’t willing to follow-up and show them concern if they stray from the path you have placed them on.  If you point them in a way, then you must be willing to walk with them in that way.

Sing:  Show me Thy way, Lord teach me Thy path, show me Thy way, Lord teach me Thy path; O’ my God, I trust in Thee, let me not be ashamed, let not my enemy triumph over me.

Thought For Today:  The twig grows in the way it is bent!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 21

Today’s Morsel:  A lot of people think that they are doing right as Christians because they tithe, give offerings, make sacrificial pledges, and attend church.  And yet they don’t do what is right in other areas of their lives.  Solomon said, “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”  God doesn’t want us thinking that just because we are faithful in some areas that He is pleased with our wrong actions.  As Samuel told Saul, “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23).  His desire to sacrifice may have been right, but he was not in obedience to God.  No matter what a person may think, right and moral living is better than any sacrifice we may make to God.

Sing:  Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.  With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for You.

Thought For Today:  Morality is always pleasing to God (Parker). 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 20

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations…” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Today’s Morsel:  Many people do not understand that the things that God represents Satan is now attacking.  Things such as love, honesty, loyalty, truth, righteousness, holiness, and faithfulness, just to name a few, are under a major attack.  Solomon said, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6)   Where have all the good men gone?  Jesus asked that when He returns is He going to find faith on the earth (Luke 18:8).  If He came right now, would you be found faithful?  Would He count you as one of the ones that held true to His word and His way, or would you be found lacking?  God is faithful and He expects those of us who say that we are His to be such as He is.  We must all be followers of His word; in order to follow His word we must love Him and His word.  

Sing:  Hold to God's unchanging hand, hold to God’s unchanging hand, build your hopes on things eternal, hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Thought For Today:  The “i” in faithfulness represents you! (Parker)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 19

“Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor”   (Proverbs 19:4).

Today’s Morsel: I often hear young people say that they wish they were rich.  What is it about wealth that has so many people wanting it?  Is this one of Satan’s ploys to pull people to his side?  Is it because people think that if they have wealth they will have many friends?  We should never classify a person’s friendship based on what we have or do not have.  Friendship should be based on a person’s character.  Is this why they say that most people can count their true friends on one hand, because people don’t have or understand the value of character?   You may think that wealth will get you many friends, but when you really need them they will be like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint, it will be painful because they won't be there for you.  Base your values and friendship on character, not on temporal wealth and riches.

Sing: I, I have a friend, his name is Jesus, Jesus.  I, I have a friend, His name is Jesus, Jesus.  He’s a rock that I lean on, He’s my shelter from every storm.  I, I have a friend, His name is Jesus. 

Thought For Today:  A friend loveth at all times.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 17

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”
(Proverbs 17:17).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things adversity produces is showing us who our true friends are.  When you are going through your hardships and difficulties; your true friends will rally and be there for you.  As soon as your misfortune is made known, they will be there.  This is one of the reasons scripture tells us to make sure our friends (Proverbs 6:3).  Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  Plus, He calls us His friends if we do what He asks of us to do.  He won’t leave us nor forsake us in our adversity (Hebrews 13:5).  You can count on Him to be there.  Can He count on you to be there for Him?  Are you a true friend?  

Sing:  What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.

Thought For Today:  You can count on Jesus! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 16

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isaiah 35:8)

Today’s Morsel:  Why did the chicken cross the road?  To show the raccoon how to do it! (Humor).  When I was a kid, and we would be playing in the road and when a car was coming, our parents would yell at us to get out of the highway.  They called them the streets and roadways down south, but to us kids it was our playground.  Isaiah tells us that in heaven there shall be a thoroughfare and a way that is called holiness and not everyone will be able to pass over it, or enter it.  Solomon states, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul” (Proverbs 16:17).  Therefore, if we are planning to see Jesus, we must be asking now where is the old path and we must walk therein, for it is there that we will find rest for our souls in the end (Jeremiah 6:16).  Remember, without holiness no man will see the Lord.

Sing: Oh there’s a highway to heaven, none can walk up there, but the pure in heart; Oh there’s a highway to heaven, walking up the Kings’ highway!

Thought For Today: Holiness is right!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 15

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:28-31).

Today’s Morsel:  Many times, we may find ourselves worrying about things that we have no control over.  And in some cases, folks worry themselves into sickness or restlessness.  Yet Jesus tells us not to worry but to stay connected to Him because He knows what we are going through.   He tells us not to worry about who can kill our natural bodies, because it’s going to return to the dust anyway.  He tells us that the sparrows are even considered by Him as well as the hairs on our head.  In other words, nothing happens that He’s not aware of.  Solomon said, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).  So, don’t worry, Jesus has it all under control.

Sing: Why should I feel discouraged, and why should the shadow come?  Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home?  When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me.

Thought For Today: Fear not little flock.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 14

"These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. He was more honourable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard” (2 Samuel 23:8-23).

Today’s Morsel:  Today is not only “Flag Day”, but also the U.S. Army’s Birthday.  Two hundred and forty-two years ago, our nation's leaders established the Continental Army.  Today, the Army is the strategic land power of the joint force; called upon to prevent, shape, and win against our adversaries.  David also had an Army that could be called on to prevent, shape, and win against Israel’s adversaries.  Scripture only lists some of his leaders.  But if the leaders mentioned here had such ambition, gallantry, bravery, and Esprit-de-Corps (a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty shared by them), thinking of their followers, perhaps that is why they won such battles.  Like David’s Army, what could today’s Army (the church) do if we all possessed the same attitude.

Sing: Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey! The Army’s on its way. Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)  For where'er we go, You will always know That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Thought For Today:  Happy Birthday Army (Hooah)!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 13

"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:23-30).

Today’s Morsel: A lot of people think that the SOS distress signal is an abbreviation for “Save Our Souls” or “Save Our Ship.”  But “Save Our Souls” and“Save Our Ship.”   are back-ronyms; and the letters SOS don't really stand for anything.  It is International Morse distress signal.  Like 911, these distress call signs mean that you need help right now.  When Peter exited the boat to walk to Jesus on the water, scripture says, "....but when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."  Peter immediately sent out a SOS call that he needed help right then.  Jesus responded to his SOS call and reached out and saved him.  Do you feel as though you are sinking in the day-to-day circumstances of life?  Have you sent out a distress call to Jesus?  He will answer when you do.  

Sing: I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore.  Very deeply stained within sinking to rise no more; but the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry; from the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me. Love lifted me. When nothing else could help, love lifted me.  Love lifted me.  Love lifted me. When nothing else could help, love lifted me.

Thought For Today:  Always remember heaven's international Morse code… JESUS  (Parker)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 12

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die, Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14).

Today’s Morsel: One of the things that I always speak to parents about when doing a baby dedication is the importance of raising their children right and according to God’s word.  And one of the things I share with them are the words of wisdom spoken by King Solomon regarding rearing children. The book of Proverbs, which is a book of wisdom, speaks much to the area of raising children.  One of those areas is today's passage, “Withhold not correction from the child".  In other words, when a child commits a fault, and correction is necessary; and it is not done, it ruins the child, and there is no proof of true affection seen in the parent, but actually just the opposite.  As Solomon said, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24).  Solomon further states, “For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”  Again, if he be "beaten" moderately (spanked), there is no danger of him dying under the rod, or with the stripes given to him; such moderate and proper corrections may be a means of preserving him from other crimes, thus preventing him from a shameful and untimely death.  And it may even prevent him from suffering in the second death. “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”   We must always remember, you hit a child in anger, you spank him in love.

Sing:  Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in God’s sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Thought For Today: “Everything in America is run by switches…except the children.” Duke of Windsor 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 10

“And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 15:11-15).

Today’s Morsel:  The first time  David tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant back, they tried to do it their own way by placing it on a cart, and it cost Uzza his life.  The command from God was that the Levites were to bear the Ark on their shoulders.  It was not to be carried on a cart. Realizing his error and the error of the Levites and Priest, David summons them again, and gives them instructions to get it right this next time (as we read in our opening scripture).  I wonder how many people are dying because churches are doing it their way and not God’s way?  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  We must always seek Him to ensure that we are doing it right so others don’t lose their lives.

Sing: He said if I be lifted up, He said if I be lifted up, He said if I be lifted up; I will draw, I will draw, all men unto me.

Thought For Today:  Always inquire of the Lord (Parker).

Friday, June 9, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 9

“I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings” (Zephaniah 3:7).

Today’s Morsel:  Why is it that everyone seems to have such a hard time following instructions?  Israel couldn’t receive their promise from God because they failed to follow instructions.  Children are receiving failing grades in school because they fail to follow instructions.  Many are in debt because they fail to follow instructions.  And others are in a state of depression and misery because they, too, fail to follow instructions.  The Lord said through the prophet Zephaniah that the people would fear Him, would receive instruction; so, their dwelling should not be cut off, no matter how He punished them, but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.  They rejected what He said even though they knew they would be punished.  Is there a trend here with what we see today?  People know that there are consequence to disobedience, and yet they choose to roll the dice.  But God forbid that this should happen with a born-again believer!  Solomon said, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9).  If you plan to see Jesus, you had better follow the instructions (Acts 2:38-39).

Sing: No one ever cared for me, like Jesus.  There's no other friend so kind as He.  No one else could take this sin and darkness from me, Oh how He much cared for me.

Thought For Today: The Bible: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Parker).  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 8

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26).

Today’s Morsel:  Many have asked the question as to who was God is talking to when He said, “Let us make man in our image.”  There isn’t anything wrong with asking a question if one is truly looking for an answer.  But if a person is asking a question that he has already made up his mind about, then why ask?  Moses, who is said to be the author of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), writes from the standpoint as God had spoken before when God said, let there be light, etc.  Many are confounded by the word, “us”.  “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”   Who else would be in God’s likeness and image? He’s not speaking to Jesus, because Jesus is God (read 1 Timothy 3:16; John 10:30; John 14:9, John 1:1,14; Colossians 2:8-9).  He’s not talking to the Spirit, because God is the Spirit (read 1 John 5:7; John 4:24).  Therefore, if we look at Proverbs 8:22, we see that Solomon wrote the LORD possessed wisdom in the beginning of his way, before his works of old (emphasis mine).  Wisdom is that image and likeness and what is needed to make man in the image and likeness of God.  We are created in His image and likeness from the beginning.  

Sing:  To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, on earth I long to be like Him.  All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, I only ask to be like Him.

Thought For Today:  Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 7

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?  (1 Kings 3:9)
Today’s Morsel: I heard a comment recently that has had me a little perplexed.  The comment was, “If you take care of the ones that no one wants, God will give you the ones that everyone wants.”  When I heard this, I thought to myself, who are the ones that no one wants?  And who are the ones that everyone wants?  For me, I only want those that God desires me to train to send into the harvest field.  If a church doesn’t want everyone, and they are only taking care of those in need in hopes of getting a millionaire added to their church, their motive is wrong and it is not a true church.  They are not embracing everyone as Christ would have them do.   I’m not concerned with the status of who is there, my job is to preach the gospel.  God is not willing that any should perish.  So we should be taking care of those that others may not want.  Yet to do it for riches or gain is not according to God's will nor His plan.  Solomon didn’t ask for the rich nor for riches.  He asked for wisdom to judge the people.  It was then that God gave him the things he needed.  It is all about our motive.  Seek ye first the kingdom, and Jesus will take care of everything else.  

Sing:  It shall be light in the evening time, the path to glory you will surely find, through the water way; it is the light today, Baptized in Jesus’ name.  Young and old, repent of all your sins, then the Holy Ghost will enter in. The evening time has come; tis a fact that God and Christ are one.

Thought For Today: Preach the gospel!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 6

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Exodus 12:14).
Today’s Morsel:   Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II.  Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.   

Jesus told His disciples that there was going to be an operation.  The plan was already set in place to deliver mankind from the hands of the enemy.  “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44-49); “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me…” (Acts 1:4-8);  “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room...” (Acts 1:12-15).  Now that the forces were in place, the operation could begin.  And Luke said, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4); “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).  This was D-Day for the church.  Three thousand were liberated and the operation has not ceased (See Mark 16:15-18).

Sing: Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.  Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered! Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered! Let God, let God, arise!

Thought For Today: What day were you made free?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 5

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(Romans 10:9)

Today’s Morsel: Have you ever read a book that someone else recommended to you and you came away with a different take on the book than what the person who recommended it to you did?  You know, the same holds true for the Bible.  Many people read it, and they come away with a different opinion than you.  Are you wrong? No.  Revelation to and of truth only comes by Jesus Christ.  Even the religious leaders in Jesus day had a different take on the scriptures than He did.  In their eyes, Jesus and His disciples were wrong because they (the religious leaders) had held to the law of Moses and his teachings.  And Jesus and His disciples, according to them, were teaching false doctrine and should be dealt with.  In Romans 1o:9, Paul did not tell the church at Rome that if they confess Jesus with their mouth they would be saved, because they were already saved.  He was instructing the church that if Israel would confess Christ they could be saved (Romans 10:1-8). To confess Christ, means that you believe and will stand upon the word of God, that you have been baptized in His name, received His spirit, and that you are living a holy and separated life unto Him.   The truth shall make you free, not make you argue.

Sing: I know I'm saved, and I’m so glad about it, I found the joy my spirit craved; it is so real that I could never doubt it, O’ praise the Lord I know I’m saved.

Thought For Today: The truth shall make you free, not make you argue! (Parker)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 3

“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me” (Psalms 3:1).

Today’s Morsel:  In today’s world of political correctness, uncommitted saints, telemarketers, instantaneous gratification, maladies, indebtedness and worldly unrest, many people are fearful and troubled.  Some of them are so troubled that they can’t sleep.  Many of them have gone into a state of depression because their elected officials didn’t win.  If the world has you troubled, you have forgotten that this is not your home.  You must realize that in this world you shall have tribulations.  But we are not of this world.  Therefore, what is taking place in this world should not trouble you.  Solomon said, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  If this world is troubling you, you’re on the wrong path and you may have lost your focus.  

Sing:  This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue, the angels are beckoning me, from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Thought For Today:  Stay focused!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 2

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the worst kinds of destruction, is self-destruction.  Self- destruction is behavior that causes serious harm to oneself.  It’s when one destroys themselves because of their own wrong doing or lack of knowledge and understanding. I have heard of folks who get angry and smash their hand against a wall and break their hand; or run their car into a wall damaging not just their car but themselves.  These are folks without understanding.  The wall isn’t really hurt nor the car; only the person that does such things.  The Lord said through the Prophet Hosea that His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Even today, we see folks who are destroying themselves due to a lack of knowledge.  They are following every fad of the world that comes along and this, too, is an example of self-destruction. Solomon's mother told him that if "he criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If he seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then would he understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints” (Proverbs 2:3-8).  Whatever you do, get the knowledge of God and apply it to your life and you will not self-destruct.

Sing:  Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in blood of the Lamb?  Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?  Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Thought For Today: Don’t self-destruct! (Parker)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 June 1

 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalms 1:1-6)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the poems that my sixth grade teacher made us learn and memorize, was a poem by Samuel Walter Foss entitled, “The House by The Side of the Road.”  Little did I know back then that I would recite this poem at my military retirement some 35 years later.  I was told that as I was reciting it, that many in the crowd that day were crying.  The second stanza of the poem states, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road, where the race of men go by, the men who are good and the men who are bad, as good and as bad as I.  I would not sit in the scorner’s seat, or hurl the cynic’s ban; let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.”  The seat which the scornful usually occupy are the places where such men converse and sit together such as in a ballroom, or in a “night club,” or where wicked men hold their meetings, or are accustomed to assembling.  David said that the man who does not sit in such a seat but mediates in the law would be blessed.  What seat are you occupying?  If you sit by the side of the road and be a friend to man, you may save someone’s soul.

Sing: What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.

Thought For Today:  Be a friend to man and you may save someone’s soul.