Saturday, October 29, 2011

Welcome Home!

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return." (2 Timothy 4:7-8, NLT)

After serving for 40 years on the African mission field, Henry C. Morrison returned home by boat. On that same boat returning from one of his big game hunts in Africa was the American President, Theodore Roosevelt.

Upon docking in New York , President Roosevelt received a great fanfare. Bands were playing and crowds were excitedly trying to get a glimpse of the famous president and reporters were there to take down his every word.

However nobody was there to welcome Morrison and his wife. As he left the docks he felt somewhat dejected. After all, Morrison thought, surely I deserve some recognition after 40 years in the Lord’s service. It was then that his wife reminded him, “But Henry, you’re not home yet!”

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. available from

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Two Wolves

"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8, NLT)

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a debate that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.

"One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed the most.”

In the computer world they talk about GIGO – garbage in and garbage out. The same is true of our minds. So make sure you are feeding on good things today.

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8, NLT)

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the Arena

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
(2 Timothy 4:7, NLT)

Former US President, Theodore Roosevelt showed he understood truly leadership when he said, "It's not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of good deeds could have done better.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena: Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again...

"Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause...

"Who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement...

"And who, at worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Sunshine Shoeshine Boy

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NIV)

A downtown businessman encountered a young boy who shined his shoes every day. He did such a good job that one day the businessman asked him, "Son, how
come you are so conscientious about your work?" The young man felt complimented. He looked up to the man, and said, "Mister, I'm a Christian and I try to shine every pair of shoes as if Jesus Christ were wearing them."

The businessman saw something genuine in the shoeshine boy. Soon after that he began reading his Bible. When he decided to be a Christian himself, he credited his decision to the young man who shined every pair of shoes "as if Jesus Christ were wearing them."

Whatever the task you are tackling today – tackle it as though you are doing it for Jesus

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Power of Applause

Encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25, NLT)

A violin instructor explained how children as young as two, three and four years old are taught to play violin. The first thing the children learn, he said, is a proper stance. And the second thing the children learn--even before they pick up the violin--is how to take a bow. "If the children just play the violin and stop, people may forget to show their appreciation," the instructor said. "But when the children bow, the audience invariably applauds. And applause is the best motivator we've found to make children feel good about performing and want to do it well."

We all respond to applause and we all need encouragement.

“I have yet to find the man, however great or exalted his station, who did not work better and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism” Charles Schwab. Pres. Bethlehem Steel.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Thank You

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? (Luke 17:17, NKJV)

Bishop Gerland Kennedy of California tells the true story of a shipwreck off the coast of Lake Michigan many years ago. The students of Northwestern University came to the rescue. One student, Edward Spenser, personally saved the lives of 17 persons that day. Years later a reporter was writing a follow-up story on the event, and went to interview the now elderly Spenser. When asked what was the one thing that stood out about the incident in his mind; Spenser replied: "I remember that of the seventeen people I saved that day, not one of them ever thanked me."

Giving thanks is not only a Christian duty but it is a Christian characteristic. We ought always to maintain an attitude of gratitude. In everything give thanks. In every circumstance—in joy and in sorrow; for everything—for prosperity and for adversity; in every place—in the house of God and on the bed of sickness;

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Case for Marriage

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
(Mark 10:7, NIV)

Many couples think that living together is a good way to find out if they're really compatible. But the truth is that living together is more likely to destroy a couple's chances of a good marriage. Almost half of all couples who cohabit break up before the wedding. And even if they do marry, couples who cohabit beforehand are fifty percent more likely to divorce.

They're also more likely to become victims of violence. An American study found that women are three times more likely to be assaulted by a live-in boyfriend than by a husband. And a child living with a mother and her boyfriend is thirty-three times more likely to be abused than the child of married parents.

The best way to become compatible is to make the commitment to your partner in marriage and then ensure that Jesus Christ is the head of your home.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Stress Management

"Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." (Psalm 55:22, NLT)

A lecturer who, when teaching on stress management, raised a glass of water and asked the audience, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Numerous guesses were suggested.

"What it weighs doesn't matter," the lecturer replied. "What matters is how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's no problem. If I hold it for an hour, my arm will ache
terribly. And if I hold it for a day, I'll be in real trouble. The longer I hold it the 'heavier' it becomes."

That's true in life. If we keep working without a break, eventually we will break. And if we keep carrying a burden that is too heavy to bear without doing something
about it, sooner or later the burden will break us. Stress needs to be managed. And the best way to do it is to hand all your problems, all your challenges and all your despair over to God.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Outward Appearance

“Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”" (1 Samuel 16:7, NLT)

In his book, Modern Times, Paul Johnson notes that Stalin was short--just five feet, four inches tall. Furthermore, a childhood accident had left his left arm stiff and his hand slightly misshapen.

So when the dictator commissioned his portrait, he instructed the artist to paint him from his best angle--from below, a perspective that made Stalin seem to tower over the artist. To add to the image, Stalin folded his hands over his stomach, making them appear firm and powerful --more like the pseudonym he had chosen: Stalin, which means "man of steel."

It is natural to try to present ourselves in the best possible light. But God’s Word is a mirror that shows us our true light. We may be able to deceive others. But there is nothing hidden from God.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Slow Starters

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

Did you have a bad start in life?

Winston Churchill seemed so dull as a youth that his father thought he might be incapable of earning a living in England.

G.K. Chesterson, the English writer, could not read until he was eight. One of his teachers told him, "If we could open your head we should not find any brain
but only a lump of white fat."

Thomas Edison's first teacher described him as "addled," and his father almost convinced him he was a "dunce."

Albert Einstein's parents feared their child was dull, and he performed so badly in all high school courses except mathematics that a teacher asked him to drop out."

Don’t despair. God still has great plans for you and your life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who Cares?

For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.(Psalm 142:4, NKJV)

In the book The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis, a devil briefs his demon nephew, Wormwood, in a series of letters, on the subtleties and techniques of tempting people. In his writings, the devil says that the objective is not to make people wicked but to make them indifferent. This higher devil cautions Wormwood that he must keep the patient comfortable at all costs. If he should start thinking about anything of importance, encourage him to think about his luncheon plans and not to worry so much because it could cause indigestion. And then the devil gives this instruction to his nephew: 'I, the devil, will always see to it that there are bad people. Your job, my dear Wormwood, is to provide me with people who do not care”

Every minute of the day, people are suffering, starving, and dying without Christ in their lives. Do you care?

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Monday, October 17, 2011


Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.(1 Corinthians 12:20, NLT)

Sir Michael Costa, the celebrated conductor, was holding a rehearsal. As the mighty chorus rang out, accompanied by scores of instruments, the piccolo player--a little pint-sized flute--thinking perhaps that his contribution would not be missed amid so much music, stopped playing. Suddenly, the great leader stopped and cried out, "Where is the piccolo?"

The sound of that one small instrument was necessary to the harmony, and the conductor missed it when it dropped out. The point? To the conductor there are no insignificant instruments in an orchestra. Sometimes the smallest and seemingly least important one can make the greatest contribution and even if it doesn't seem to make that big a difference to the audience at large, the conductor knows it right away

You have a role to play. It may be small and insignificant. But when you stop your heavenly Father knows. So get out there and do your thing today and add to the music of the church and God’s orchestra.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

What is the Church?

Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. (2 Corinthians 3:2, NLT)

Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate, said something about the church that is pertinent : "In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise."

Before you say a hearty “Amen!”. What is your church like? Is it all about ministry or is it about money and programmes? And what is your own Christian life like? Does it reflect the spirit of Jesus or of the world.

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. available from

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Love Opens Doors

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.(1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT)

According to an article in Today in the Word, soon after Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert, the couple had a quarrel, whereupon Prince Albert locked himself
in his private apartment. Queen Victoria knocked furiously on his door.

"Who's there?" asked Albert.

"The Queen of England, and she demands to be admitted."

There was no response and the door remained locked. The queen knocked furiously again.

"Who's there?" asked Albert again. The queen's response was the same . as was Albert's. After more furious knocking and no response came a quiet pause--and then a gentle tap.

"Who's there?" asked Albert once more.

"Your wife, Albert," the queen replied. Immediately the door was opened.

We are all equal before God. Let us shed our masks and lay ourselves open to God’s blessing.

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. available from

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grace and Forgiveness

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.(Matthew 7:12, NLT)

Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker both had churches in London in the nineteenth century. On one occasion, Parker commented on the poor condition of children admitted to Spurgeon's orphanage. It was reported to Spurgeon however that Parker had criticized the orphanage itself. Spurgeon blasted Parker the next week from the pulpit. The attack was printed in the newspapers and became the talk of the town.

People flocked to Parker's church the next Sunday to hear his rebuttal. "I understand Dr. Spurgeon is not in his pulpit today, and this is the Sunday they use to take an offering for the orphanage. I suggest we take a love offering here instead." The crowd was delighted. The ushers had to empty the collection plates three times.

Later that week there was a knock at Parker's study. It was Spurgeon. "You know Parker, you have practiced grace on me. You have given me not what I deserved, you have given me what I needed."

Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then go ahead and do it for them.

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Monday, October 10, 2011


A man who has friends must himself be friendly. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)

The story is told of a new family who moved into town and asked the postmaster what kind of people lived there.

He answered, "What kind of people do you think you'll find?"

They replied, "Well, we had problems with the people in the town we just left. I suppose they will be the same here."

The postmaster replied, "You're probably right."

Soon another family moved into the town and asked the postmaster the same question.

Again he responded, "What kind of people do you expect to find here?"

They answered, "The folks in the town we left were great. We hated to leave. We hope we'll find some more just like them here."

The postmaster responded, "I'm sure you will. You'll love it here."

In some ways you are a reflection of your community. The best way get friends is to be a friend. The best way to get people interested in you is to be interested in them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Give Up

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9, NLT)

During World War II when Great Britain's back was against the wall defending herself against seemingly overwhelming odds with the unrelenting onslaught of
Hitler's military might and the unyielding bombing by the German Luftwaffe.

Winston Churchill was asked to address the students at Harrow School, the school that Churchill himself had attended as a student. The following is the speech that
he gave that day:

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

The story that he then sat down without saying any more is probably apocryphal but the truth and impact of what he said still stands. Churchill and Britain never gave up and neither should you.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Poor and Needy

"But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God." (Psalm 40:17, NKJV)

Susanna Wesley, when asked which of her children she loved the most replied, "Whoever is sick or furtherest from home." God has a special place for those who are the ailing and weak and poor in society.

When you go to bed tonight remember that over half of the world's population is hungry, poor and wretched. Most of these are illiterate people who are unable to read or write. Most of them are using farming methods of a thousand years old. Many of them are little better than slaves to the big landlords who own the land. They need food, education, clothes, homes, medical care, and most of all love. We have a responsibility to these downtrodden people of the world.

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. Available from

Thursday, October 6, 2011

God is in the Little Things

Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. (Exodus 23:30, NIV)

Napoleon Bonaparte was the greatest general of his day and one of the greatest of all time. He was also an astute politician with an unconquerable will to win. His goal was to rule the world and he seemed well on his way to achieving that goal.

History records how he boasted, "Russia next, then Britain, and Napoleon shall rule the world."

When leading his army enroute to conquer Russia, one tiny snowflake fell on Napoleon, "Then another, and another, and another, and they kept on falling until
Napoleon's proud army was reeling back, broken and defeated" not by an enemy's army nor even a single shot, but by a mass of tiny snowflakes. Napoleon's response? " God almighty was too much for me."

God doesn’t need to work via earthquakes and pyrotechnics. Sometimes it is a still small voice. Sometimes it is just a snowflake.

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. Available from

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seeing is Believing

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.(1 Corinthians 2:14, NLT)

When explorers from England first went to Australia they discovered some strange and wonderful animals not seen anywhere else in the world--animals such as the kangaroo, the koala, and the ornithorhynchus--a mammal that laid eggs; spent some time in water and some on land; had a broad, flat tail, webbed feet, and a bill similar to a duck (now known as the platypus).

When the explorers returned home, nobody would believe their story about the platypus. All felt it was a hoax. Even after they returned to Australia and brought back a pelt from this strange animal, people still felt it was a hoax and refused to believe it was real.

From DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas. Available from

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Making a Difference

I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. (Isaiah 63:3, NIV)

Wilberforce was a member of the British House of Commons in 1785. After trusting Christ as his Saviour, he became concerned about how he should serve the Lord as a political leader. He became burdened about seeing slavery abolished in England.

Wilberforce began to campaign for legislation to restrict and then outlaw slavery. His speeches and motions in Parliament met with a great deal of opposition. For 20 years, the battle continued in Parliament. Wilberforce had to take his case to the public. He had to endure criticism and repeated attempts to blacken his reputation. He was mocked as the leader of a hopeless cause, but, after 20 years of campaigning, the English Parliament finally outlawed slavery, setting an entirely new public moral tone in England. In the United States 600,000 people had to die in a bloody Civil War to accomplish the same purpose.

From DAY LIGHTEERS by Nico Bougas. Available from

Monday, October 3, 2011

Planet Shakers

These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. (Acts 17:6, NKJV)

The great English preacher John Wesley once said, "Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I do not care if they be clergymen or laymen. Such men alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”

If there was ever a time in history when a world needed to be turned upside down or, should I say, right side up, the time is now. But if it is going to happen, then it will need to be through committed believers like the ones John Wesley was looking for: people who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God. No casual followers need apply. God is looking for disciples.

Let's commit ourselves to being true disciples of Jesus Christ. Not mere slapdash followers, but disciples.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Being Faithful

Whatever He says to you, do it. (John 2:5, NKJV)

When David was called by God to be king, he was out watching sheep, just being faithful. The time that David killed Goliath, he didn't wake up in the morning and hear God say, "David, today you are going to the valley of Elah. There will be a giant Philistine named Goliath, and you will kill him with a stone." No, David was taking food to his brothers, just being faithful on an errand for his dad. It was a little thing, but he was faithful.

He was faithfully doing what God had set before him. He was simply doing the little things.

Sometimes, we have great ideas of what God will do. But we have to wait on Him. Maybe you want to do something for God, but you think it will never happen. Maybe it will. Maybe it even will surpass your wildest dreams. Just be faithful to do what God has set before you right now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Because God Says So

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13, NKJV).

We know that we have eternal life because God says so in His word. Many people make the mistake of basing the certainty of their relationship to God on their feelings. But feelings can be misleading, for there are times in our lives when we just don’t feel we are Christians. But our assurance is not to be based on our feelings because the Devil is constantly working on them.

We know that we have passed from death to life because God Himself has said so, and we simply need to take him at His word.

Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24, NKJV).

Available from - DAY LIGHTERS by Nico Bougas