Thursday, December 31, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 31 December 2020

 The Last Day

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
(John 7:37-39)


Today’s Morsel: Today is the last day of 2020.  It seems like yesterday, that 2019 was upon us, and everyone had great plans for 2020.  We had a theme about perfecting our vision.  Many sermons were prepared and preached about vision. Even optometry clinics use it as a time to usher in new glasses and contact lenses for people to see better.  Boy, did God perfect our vision or what!!  He opened our eyes to just how much hate, envy, prejudice, corruption, deception, lying, cheating, backbiting, gossip, and evil was in this world.  Believe me, God opened our eyes and brought into focus those things that He really wanted us to see.  Especially in the church.  He opened our eyes so that we could see who was committed and who was not. He opened our eyes so we could see people’s true colors.  And here it is again, the last day of the year.  The year 2020 is ending.  And as the Apostles Peter cautioned us, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2 Peter 3:10-14)  I believe that Jesus is coming soon.  This could very well be our last year, last month, last week, last day. Have you been filled with His spirit?  Have you been baptized in Jesus' name?  Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow we pass over.  Have you considered eternity lately?


Sing:  Here’s my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord.  Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.  Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.  Here’s my cup, fill it up, and make me whole.


Thought For Today:  Enjoy this day for tomorrow we pass over. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 30 December 2020


The Investment That Never Fails


Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.(Matthew 6:19-21)


Today’s Morsel:  I hear a lot about investing.  I do not think that there is a week that goes by that I do not receive either an email or letter in the mail about investing.  I often ask myself; I wonder how many people are investing in this world, and not in the kingdom of God?  Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Notice what Jesus says here, where your treasure is, there your heart will be.  If your treasure is in this world, that is where your heart is going to be.  What are you investing in God’s kingdom?  How much love are you investing there?  How much goodness and gentleness?  How about mercy? How about peace and contentment?  If you do not have an abundance of these things in your life, check your investment.  As a good investment in the right stock company always gives back a good dividend.  Make sure you are laying up your treasures in the right Kingdom.  


Sing: There’s a dream, that I dream, of my heavenly, heavenly home, and I know, that I am going there someday, O’ Lord.  Some morning, night, or noon, I don’t know just how soon, that’s why I’m sending up my timber, every, every day.


Thought For Today:  Invest in God’s kingdom and you’ll never go broke. (Parker)


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 29 December 2020


The Old Gospel Ship


“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.” (Luke 5:1-3)


Today’s Morsel:  Simon Peter, who would later become the apostle Peter and spokesperson for the New Testament Church, probably never thought that his boat would be used to teach the gospel from.   It probably never crossed his mind that someone would ask him to use his boat to teach people from.  Especially Jesus.   When I was a missionary to Asia, we had a preaching point on one of our military ships.  It was always exciting each time that ship pulled into port, and I received an email or a call that there were men who wanted to come to church and be baptized in Jesus' name because they had heard the gospel preached by our distinct faith group leader on that ship.  We called the USS Essex the Good Old Gospel Ship.  There is no telling the number of men and women who heard the truth of the gospel preached and taught on that ship.  As the songwriter, G.T. Speer, wrote, “I have good news to bring and that is why I sing, all my joys with you I’ll share; I’m going to take a trip on the Old Gospel Ship and go sailing through the air.  If you are ashamed of me you have no cause to be, For with Christ I am an heir; If too much fault you find you will surely be left behind while I go sail through the air.”   This ship not only sails on water but one day it’s going to take flight and move up a little higher.


Sing:  O’ I’m gonna take a trip, on the good Old Gospel Ship, I’m going far beyond the sky; O I’m gonna shout and sing until the heavens ring when I bid this world good-bye.


Thought For Today: Except you abide in the ship, you cannot be saved.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 28 December 2020


The Family of God


“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
(Romans 8:14-17)


Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about being in the family of God is that there is no race, creed, or color.  While the world runs around calling everybody who disagrees with them, because of the color of their skin, racist, the church should not have to worry about that problem.  Not unless it is not a true church of the Living God.   If it is not a true church, then they will act like the world and its ways.  When we are baptized in Jesus' name, we become a part of God’s family.  And within this family, we receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life, Jesus said. (Mark 10:30)  We are a part of the family that has been born again; part of the family whose love never ends; For Jesus has saved us, and made us His own, now we are a part of the family that is on its way home.  Aren’t you glad that you are a part of the family of God?


Sing:  Well, I'm so glad that I'm a part of the family of God, I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood.  Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod.  I'm so glad that I'm a part of the family of God.


 Thought For Today:  We don’t call each other brother and sister for nothing!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 26 December 2020


Because He Lives


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)



Today’s Morsel:  One of the purposes for Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was so that we could live.  Paul informed Timothy, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11).  Knowing that Christ lives gives us hope that we shall live also.  We can endure whatever we face because Christ is our example of one who has overcome death, hell, and the grave.  Death is swallowed up in victory.  You can live because He lives.  Paul said that death has no more dominion over us.  “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.(Romans 6:9-11)  So stop fearing death and live.  Jesus came to give us life and that more abundantly.


Sing: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future; my life is worth the living just because He lives.


Thought For Today:  Alive for evermore!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 25 December 2020


Happy Birthday Jesus


“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”   (Matthew 1:18-25).


Today’s Morsel:  Around the world, today is the date that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  It is a day that we should rejoice and be glad.  And so today, as you spend time with family and friends, may your day be truly blessed knowing that the Savior of the world  has come to be with us.


Sing: Happy Birthday Jesus, I’m so glad that it's Christmas.  All the tinsel and lights, and the presents are nice, but the real gift is You.  Happy Birthday, Jesus, I’m so glad it’s Christmas.  All the carols and bells make the holiday swell and it's all about You. Happy Birthday, Jesus,  Jesus I love You.


Thought For Today:  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 24 December 2020


The Night Before Christmas


“ And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:13-14)


Today’s Morsel:  Back in the days when I was a kid, there was nothing like preparing the day and night before Christmas.  You see, we were considered poor because we did not have all the things that people have today in preparation for Christmas.  We had to improvise for most things.  We did not have Christmas stockings to hang up on a mantle.  And so, we used one of my mother’s knee-high stockings (humor).  We could not afford Christmas cards, so we made our own for each other with notebook paper from school.  We went into the woods and cut down our own cedar tree and decorated it with ornaments that we made.  And on Christmas morning, those things that we had hoped to receive for Christmas, we did.  It was the preparation from the heart that we did those things and I think that was what made Christmas so special and so much more enjoyable when we awoke. Isaiah said that the Lord himself shall give you a sign; "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Knowing that God was with us made Christmas even more special.  What will you do special this night before Christmas?  Why not share a story about your childhood Christmas with your kids.  Why not take some cookies to your neighbor, or maybe put a special gift on someone else’s door?  Remember, Christmas is all about sharing God’s love with others.  Make this year special and unique, one that you will remember for years to come.  


Sing:  Immanuel, Immanuel, His name is called Immanuel.  God with us, revealed in us, His name is called Immanuel.


Thought For Today:  Immanuel, God with us!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 23 December 2020


The Decree that Changed History


“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”

(Luke 2:1-5)


Today’s Morsel:  One of the things we learn when we search through scripture is that everything that was spoken about Jesus had to be fulfilled.  Even the place that He was to be born.  I’m sure that with the arrogance and evilness of Herod towards the Jews, and the occupation of the Romans in the surrounding areas, Joseph would probably have been content to just stay in Galilee with Mary, being great with child, instead of having to go back to Bethlehem to be taxed just because he was of the lineage of David. But scripture stated that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Judah (Micah 5:2). And so, the decree by Caesar Augustus to tax the world was all a part of God’s plan to fulfill His own purpose. As David said, “Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.(Psalms 20:4)  This decree changed history.  Instead of Christ being born where Joseph and Mary may have desired, God knew where it must happen to fulfill scripture and purpose. So, the next time you may have to go from where you are to another place because of a new law, do not balk at it.  It just may be God fulfilling His plan and purpose through your life.


Sing:  Where He leads me, I will follow.  Where He leads me, I will follow.  Where He leads me, I will follow.  I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way.


Thought For Today: Allow God to fulfill His purpose in your life today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 22 December 2020


Behold He Cometh


“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)


Today’s Morsel:  Bethlehem means the city of bread.  It was here that Ruth and Boaz birthed Obed, who is the father of Jesse, who is the father of King David.  It was here that Jesus was born.  The prophet Micah states that out of Bethlehem would come forth the one that was to be the ruler of Israel.  The apostle Matthew wrote, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.(Matthew 2:1-2)  Would you know Him if He came forth to you right now?   “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:47-49)  Could you identify Him?


Sing:  He's coming soon, He's coming soon, it may be morning, evening, night, or noon.  He's coming soon, He's coming soon, to take us back to our new home.


Thought For Today:  Be ye ready, for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of man cometh.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 21 December 2020




“As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.” (Proverbs 25:13)


Today’s Morsel:  Here is America, we start the first day of winter today.  Cold, sleet, and snow, if you live in the Midwest, will be upon us if it has not already.   Some people hate the snow, but others live for it.  What is the difference?  It is the attitude.  Winter Olympians cannot wait for the snow.  The Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)  The rain and the snow both have a purpose the Lord said.  To give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Knowing this purpose, should we not all desire it?  Should we not pray for it?  As the Lord inquired of Job, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?(Job 38:22-23)  Notice what God says to Job, I have in reserve hail and snow for times of trouble, against the day of battle and war.  We see in scripture that hail is used by God many times to destroy His enemies.  And when we study history, there have been many reports of men and armies brought to their fate by snow.  Even one of David’s mighty warriors, Benaiah, who had done many acts also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.” (1 Chronicles 11:22)  Solomon states, “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.” (Proverbs 25:13)  Snow is refreshing.  Who hath despised the day of small things?  Enjoy your winter, I am looking forward to mine.  


Sing:  He is fairer than the lily of the valley; He is brighter than the morning star; He is purer than the snow; fresher than the breeze, lovelier than all of these.


Thought For Today:  Get ready for the refreshing.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 19 December 2020


Finding Good


He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.(Proverbs 19:8)


Today’s Morsel:  Over the past 35 years, I think that each year, I have read over 75 books each year.  And every year, I find wisdom and something good in each book that I read.  Some people ask me where do I find the time to read so many books?  Well, 66 of them are in the Bible.  I have read my Bible through every year since I have been saved.  The others are books that I read for personal development and part of my hobby.  Solomon said, “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.”  An indication of how much you love you is how much you seek for wisdom and understanding.  Let me encourage you, the Bible is filled with both wisdom and understanding for your life.  Jesus is the wisdom of God and the power of God. Believe me, there is nothing in life better than the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God.  Set your goal to read at least 66 books this coming year!


Sing:  Something beautiful, something good, all my confusion, Jesus understood.  All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something, beautiful out of my life.


Thought For Today:  The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 18 December 2020




The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? (Proverbs 18:14)


Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that I learned in the military, and now even in the church, is self-motivation.  In other words, there are times that I will need to motivate myself to keep going and to keep an optimistic outlook on life.  If we are not careful, we can let the world around us and others pull us down into the pit of gloom and doom.  Another thing that I have learned as a Christian is that some things did not come with the Holy Spirit and my salvation.  Some of those things are depression, pessimism, sadness, stress, despondency, and complaining.  If these things are continuously in your life, then there is a breach in your spirit and your spirit will not sustain you.  In other words, it will not help you.  A good health spirit will help you to stay motivated and uplifted.  Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Galatia:  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.(Galatians 5:22-25)  Now, if you say that you are born-again, but you are living in the pit of gloom and doom, check your spirit.  Listen to David, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.(Psalms 42:5)  Just to know that Jesus has saved you should cause you to always have a sense of Esprit-de-Corps and self-motivation where you keep up your praise.


Sing:  This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made; I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it.  This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made.


Thought For Today:  Don’t let the devil steal your joy!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 17 December 2020




Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.(John 15:13-15)


Today’s Morsel:  Since the start of Facebook, I hear people say that they have so-many friends.  I see posts that state on some page’s BFF, (Best Friends Forever).  But are they really best friends forever?  How do you define friendship?  Solomon states, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)  A true, hearty, faithful friend loves in times of adversity as well as in times of prosperity.  There are many that are friends to a person while they are in affluent circumstances, but when there is a change in their condition, and they are stripped of all riches, fame, and substance; then their friends forsake them, and stand at a distance from them.  Somewhat like Job’s friends.  Jesus told His disciples that they were His friends if they did what He commanded them.  The idea is that a true friend is not going to ask you to do anything that is not right and good for you.  So whatever Jesus asks of us to do will prove our friendship to Him.  They say that you can always tell a real friend when you've made a fool of yourself they do not feel you have done a permanent job.   Are you a real friend?


Sing:  A friend when sickness lays me low.  A friend when death draws near.  A friend as through the vale I go.  A friend to help and cheer.

Friendship with Jesus, fellowship divine; oh, what blessed sweet communion, Jesus is a friend of mine.


Thought For Today:  Is Jesus your best friend forever (BFF)?     

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 16 December 2020


The Way


The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.(Psalms 37:23-24)


Today’s Morsel:  Why do we all think that our way is right.  I have heard people say, if they would have listened to me, they would not have ended up in the mess that they are in.  But what if the mess that they are in is because that was the way that God desired for them to go to teach them lessons of life?   In 1 Kings 12, when King Rehoboam refused the council of the older men for the younger men, and was preparing to attack Israel and King Jeroboam, Scripture says, “But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD.(1 Kings 12:22-24)  We never know what God is doing behind the scene. Therefore, we should maybe step back and allow God to work and lead people the way that He desires to lead them so that they may learn the lessons that God has for them in their life and spiritual development.  Don't be too quick to take the credit for what you think you know is best for someone.  


Sing:  He leadeth me! He leadeth me!  By His own hand He leadeth me.  His faithful follower I will be, for by hand He leadeth me.


Thought For Today:   "Let God show you the way that He is leading you.” (Parker)

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 15 December 2020


The Mouth of the Righteous


“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)


Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that I have learned, and that I am trying my very best to do, is to not use words or to say things that cause hurt or tear down others.  I am learning that even in my humor, if not said correctly, my words can cause hurt or offense. Throughout the book of Proverbs, Solomon, who is credited with writing the book, speaks a lot to how we should speak by choosing our words carefully.  He tells us that death and life are in the power of our tongue; that a soft answer turns away wrath; and that the lips of a righteous man feed many.  Just to quote a few of the scriptures.  The Apostle James states that we should be quick to hear and slow to speak.  By doing this, it will help us decide if we need to reply to something or stay quiet.  In today’s passage, Solomon states, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”  Every born-again believer should have a wholesome tongue.  It should be a tongue that heals.  A tongue that encourages and edifies.  A tongue that builds up and not tears down.  But if there is a breach in our spirit, then our words will do the opposite every time.  Remember, Jesus Christ is sound wisdom!


Sing:  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing to Thee, be pleasing to Thee.  Let the words that I say, be pleasing every day, be pleasing every day, oh God.


Thought For Today: Set a guard at my lips.