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1/7/15 6:37 A

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A word from the Word

January 7 - - Mustard seed faith

Matthew 17:20 Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible”

How much faith does it require to bring about a miracle? Jesus said it take faith only the size of a mustard seed. You just have to direct your faith in the right direction. Not on the miracle but on the giver of the miracle. You can focus your faith on that mountain all day and nothing will happen. You must have faith that God is a God of miracles and that with God nothing is impossible. That is when we see the mountain move.

What do you think?

---------

Pray for our Churches. If revival is going to come it will come through the believer. Pray for the shut-ins in our church, as well as those who are widowed and living alone. Ask God to bless and encourage them, anointing their lives with power for ministry as well as help for the needs they face daily.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL ---- Follow me on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/herbert.augustine
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SNUZSUZ's Photo SNUZSUZ Posts: 18,831
3/11/13 9:44 P

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Sue (snoozy suzy)
PST. Carmichael, California
glassslipper.info

2015 is the year that I want to stop recovering and start living again!

Aug. 9th, I will start the Ideal Protocol diet. This is a high protein diet where you can lose weight in a healthy way. I hope to have more energy and feel good for a change, and lose weight too!



 current weight: 188.5 
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178.375
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JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 2:19 P

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For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

In this world today it is hard for most people to find any peace at all. Confusion abounds no matter where we go. Jesus warned us about that for He said, these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

After all it is written that; the Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

Therefore when you find yourself confused, always look to Jesus Christ for; for He Himself is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14) After all He said, peace I leave with you, My peace I give
to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. (John 14:27)

Now that is a loving caring peace that we become filled with on our spiritual journey, and peace is only one of the many blessings we receive on that journey, for it is also written, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

So, it is my prayer that you are well on your way down that spiritual path right now, and that; the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Amen! (Philippians 4:7)

Have a great week my friend, and may God Bless You!

(c) Copyright 2013 by Apostle Paul Ministries. All Rights Reserved

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 2:08 P

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Living as Children of Light

Ephesians 4:21-5:2

You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

[Ephesians 4:22-24]

Each year, I give up something for Lent. When I was a young girl, mom and I would give up chocolate, and every year, at midnight, the moment it became Easter, my mom and I would have a stash ready to devour. No matter how fun it was, I have learned that on some level, we were missing the point.

Lent is a season of preparation. The discipline of giving something up for Lent was intended for sacrifice, yes, but also to make more room for God in our lives. Therefore, it is a good practice to not just give something up, but replace it with something of the Lord.

For example, Paul warns against certain behaviors and follows each warning with an instruction on how we ought to act. He writes, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,” and then he instructs, “but only such as is good for building others up” (Eph. 4:29).

I fear however, that this could easily be turned into a list of do’s and don’ts, which is why it is important to remember what Paul said in the beginning of this passage. He began with the reminder “to put on your new self” in Christ. This is not about ridding ourselves of bad habits and sinful behaviors, although that will in fact happen. Paul is teaching about becoming a new creation, and he is painting a picture of how we, as a new creation, should look.

Later, in Ephesians 5, Paul says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (v.1). To imitate someone means to be like them. Lent is a great opportunity to set some extra time aside to let God work in me; to let him make me more like him. This is why I still give up something every year for Lent. These days, it’s not usually chocolate, and I don’t dive right in once Easter arrives. I use Lent as a time to prepare and to make space for Jesus.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What has been your experience with giving up something for Lent? Is it a new idea? Is it something you’ve always done? If it’s something you’ve always done, make a list of the things you’ve given up over the years. How do these items tell your personal story of faith? If giving up something for Lent is a new idea for you, what do you think of the idea?

PRAYER: God, I want to be more like you. Show me how to make room for you. Thank you for this season of preparation and for your sacrifice. I pray I don’t miss the point. Amen.

by Angela Aadahl on Sunday, March 10, 2013

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 2:06 P

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God's Plans Are Good

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

His plans are good.
His promises are faithful.
His purposes will be fulfilled in you.
Praying His best in your life.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 2:04 P

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Benediction

May the highest things -
those that lift your spirit and bring you joy;
The deepest things -
those that enrich your heart and strengthen your love;
The surest things -
those that really matter and fill your life with meaning;
May each of these things come to you in abundance
from Jesus Christ, the One who is the perfect fulfillment
of them all.
You are complete in Him. Colossians 2:10

-Devotional encouragement by Roy Lessin, from his blog Meet Me In The Meadow

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 1:01 P

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Thanks for the comment SNUZSUZ! :) Blessings!

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 12:22 P

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Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

Psalm 100:4

This psalm tells us to remember God's goodness and dependability, and then to worship with thanksgiving and praise!

God alone is worthy of being worshiped. What is your attitude toward worship? Do you willingly and joyfully come into God's presence, or are you just going through the motions, reluctantly going to church?

2013 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 11:29 A

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Birthright and Wrong

Genesis 25:27-34

Read

One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, "I'm starved! Give me some of that red stew!" (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means "red.")

"All right," Jacob replied, "but trade me your rights as the firstborn son."

"Look, I'm dying of starvation!" said Esau. "What good is my birthright to me now?"

But Jacob said, "First you must swear that your birthright is mine." So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. (Genesis 25:29-33)

Reflect

A birthright was a special honor given to the firstborn son. It included a double portion of the family inheritance along with the honor of one day becoming the family's leader. The oldest son could sell his birthright or give it away if he chose, but in so doing, he would lose both material goods and his leadership position. By trading his birthright, Esau showed complete disregard for the blessings that would have come his way if he had kept it.

Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of food. Esau exaggerated his hunger. "I'm dying of starvation!" he said. The pressure of the moment distorted his perspective and made his decision seem urgent. He acted on impulse, satisfying his immediate desires without considering the long-range consequences. We can fall into the same trap. When we see something we want, our first impulse is to get it and we can exaggerate its importance in the moment. We can avoid making Esau's mistake by comparing the short-term satisfaction with the long-range consequences.

We often experience pressures like Esau did. For example, when we feel sexual temptation, a marriage vow may seem unimportant. We might feel such great pressure in one area that nothing else seems to matter and we lose our perspective. Getting through that short, pressure-filled moment is often the most difficult part of overcoming temptation.

Respond

Ask God to help you see life from his perspective and to help you resist making an Esau-like choice.

2013 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 10:20 A

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Jesus Said, "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50)

Now it is written that; You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)

Further; because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the
Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

So; dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)

So, when ever you are feeling down and depressed, just think about who you are, an heir of your Heavenly Father! That fact should cheer you up indeed! Amen!

Now I hope you enjoyed this heaping helping of Daily Bread my friend! Now go out there and give 'um Heaven!

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545 (C) Copyright 2013 by Apostle Paul Ministries. All Rights Reserved A World-Wide Ministry for Jesus Christ

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 10:11 A

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You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

1 Peter 3:4

Perhaps the most obvious lasting result of the Thomas-Hill hearings and other high profile cases has been the discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically men sexually harassing women. I'm sure that most people already understood that unwanted touching, outright propositioning, and demands for sexual favors in exchange for promotions would be "harassment." What millions of Americans continue to learn, however, is that suggestive talk, dirty jokes, asking for dates, and even lustful looks also fall into that category.

When men act surprised at that, they are told in no uncertain terms, "You just don’t get it!" In other words, because they are men in a male-oriented society, they just don't understand how it feels to be victimized, used, and seen as an object or piece of meat.

I agree--certainly no man can truly understand what it means to be a woman, at the mercy of lustful and lecherous superiors, especially in this sex-saturated society.

But I would hasten to say to women, "You, also, just don't get it!"--that is, you don't understand what it means to be a man. I worked for many years with high school students, and as part of our program we would often have seminars on sex and dating. Time and time again I would explain to girls what goes through the head of a typical male when he sees a beautiful, well-built female in revealing clothes. Invariably these girls would look at me, listen, and nod knowingly . . . and then continue to dress in skimpy outfits and wear their bikinis. They just didn't get it.

The fact is that men are turned on by what they see or what they think they see. That's why the porn magazines do such a booming business. Add to this natural bent a society saturated with television shows and movies featuring bed-hopping bimbos and sexual conquests, lewd-talking disc jockeys, suggestive lyrics of popular songs, and loud proponents of sexual expression and you have a recipe for disaster.

I'm not saying that women are at fault because of the way they dress and act around men. The offending man is wrong and should be held responsible for his actions. If I leave my keys in my car and the car is stolen, that's still grand theft auto. If I leave a $50 bill unattended on my car seat with the window down, and the money is taken, that's still stealing. But everyone would agree that leaving keys in the car and cash on the seat is foolish or stupid.

That's the way I feel about the actions of many women today. Where's the womanly wisdom? By letting fashion designers dictate what they wear and disregarding human nature of the male variety, they open themselves up to all sorts of problems. They just don't get it.

Men do need to recognize and control their impulses. And women would be wise to say no to suggestive fashions. We can all say no to sexually explicit music and media. We can say yes to treating each other with understanding, concern, and respect.

2013 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 8:27 A

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He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12

East and west can never meet. This is a symbolic portrait of God's forgiveness--when He forgives our sin, He separates it from us and doesn't even remember it. We need never wallow in the past, for God forgives and forgets. We tend to dredge up the ugly past, but God has wiped our record clean.

If we are to follow God, we must model his forgiveness. When we forgive another, we must also forget the sin. Otherwise, we have not truly forgiven.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 8:19 A

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Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-23

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

[Matthew 13:1-23]

Lent is the season of dirt, a dusty and ashen interlude between Epiphany and Easter. So it’s appropriate to consider The Parable of the Sower… a story that, whatever else it may be, is about dirt. It’s no surprise that Jesus is once again dealing with dirt. God seems to have an agrarian bent evidenced from the time he “planted a garden in Eden, in the east.”

Jesus tells the story of seeds sown on four different types of dirt, leading to four different outcomes (three of which seem undesirable, to say the least). In each case, the ultimate outcome can be traced back to the condition of the soil onto which the seed fell. At Laity Lodge, and throughout the Texas Hill Country, the soil leaves something to be desired. At most it’s a couple of inches deep. Around the Lodge there are even places where there is no soil to speak of at all.

What type of soil do you have?

Or, what kind of heart do you have? Are gospel seeds able to take root? And if so, are they able to endure? When the sun scorches (and it certainly does around here), do they survive? And having survived, is grain produced? Lent is the season for questions such as these. And if our soil and our hearts are rocky or weedy or compacted with birds overhead, we are not to despair.

In John we read that Mary, upon arriving at the empty tomb, mistakes the risen Jesus for “the gardener.” Maybe it was no accident. Norman Wirzba, a recent Laity Lodge retreat speaker, has suggested that Jesus is “the gardener who came to clean up his garden and lead it into abundant and fruitful life.” And a good gardener such as this knows to start with the soil.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What kind of soil do you find where you live? Using the types from the parable, how would you describe the soil of your heart?

PRAYER: God, give us ears to hear. And nurture our hearts’ soil, that we might produce grain for you. Amen.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/11/13 8:18 A

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today's verse

from the New Living Translation

"David said, 'I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.' So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father's death.

But when David's ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, 'Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!'"

2 Samuel 10:2–3

encouragement for today

David's intentions were completely pure and aboveboard, yet he was met with suspicion. The result was disastrous both for David's men and for the Ammonites, as David took revenge and full-scale war broke out. We as Christians should not be so naïve as to think our good intentions will always be understood or received by the world. We may not like this truth, but wisdom dictates awareness of it.

—Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


SNUZSUZ's Photo SNUZSUZ Posts: 18,831
3/10/13 9:11 A

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I have read that passage but never saw it in that way. Thank you! I want to have an 'attitude of service' also:)

Sue (snoozy suzy)
PST. Carmichael, California
glassslipper.info

2015 is the year that I want to stop recovering and start living again!

Aug. 9th, I will start the Ideal Protocol diet. This is a high protein diet where you can lose weight in a healthy way. I hope to have more energy and feel good for a change, and lose weight too!



 current weight: 188.5 
188.5
185.125
181.75
178.375
175
JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/10/13 8:00 A

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Water for Camels

Genesis 24:1-67

Then he [Eliezer] loaded ten of Abraham's camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham's brother Nahor had settled. He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.

"O LORD, God of my master, Abraham," he prayed. "Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them, 'Please give me a drink from your jug.' If she says, 'Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!'—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac's wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master." (Genesis 24:10-14)

The well, the chief source of water for an entire village, was usually located outside town along the main road. Many people had to walk a mile or more for their water. They could use only what they could carry home. Farmers and shepherds would come from nearby fields to draw water for their animals. The well was a good place to meet new friends or to chat with old ones. Rebekah would have visited the well twice daily to draw water for her family.

Was it right for Abraham's servant to ask God for such a specific sign? The sign he requested was only slightly out of the ordinary. The hospitality of the day required women at the well to offer water to weary travelers but not to their animals. Eliezer was simply asking God to show him a woman with an attitude of service—someone who would go beyond the expected. An offer to water his camels would indicate that kind of character. Eliezer did not ask for a woman with good looks or wealth. He knew the importance of finding a woman with the right heart, and he asked God to help him with this task.

Obviously Eliezer (see Genesis 15:2) had learned much about faith and about God from his master, Abraham. What are your family members, friends, and associates learning about God from watching you? Be like Abraham, setting an example of dependent faith. And be like Eliezer, asking God for guidance before any venture.

2013 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


SNUZSUZ's Photo SNUZSUZ Posts: 18,831
3/8/13 1:53 P

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Love that poem! and the message for today, thank you!

Sue (snoozy suzy)
PST. Carmichael, California
glassslipper.info

2015 is the year that I want to stop recovering and start living again!

Aug. 9th, I will start the Ideal Protocol diet. This is a high protein diet where you can lose weight in a healthy way. I hope to have more energy and feel good for a change, and lose weight too!



 current weight: 188.5 
188.5
185.125
181.75
178.375
175
JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/8/13 7:58 A

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The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

We often fall into the trap of being so busy that we become caught up in this World of ours today. We even seem to forget that we are only on this Earth for a short time. Now it is written; what is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

Therefore our Savior Jesus Christ warned us about this when He said; What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:25)

So, always remember to keep God number one in your heart, for after all Eternity is a very, very, long time indeed.

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/8/13 7:57 A

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Thanks SNUZSUZ

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


SNUZSUZ's Photo SNUZSUZ Posts: 18,831
3/7/13 4:32 P

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Sue (snoozy suzy)
PST. Carmichael, California
glassslipper.info

2015 is the year that I want to stop recovering and start living again!

Aug. 9th, I will start the Ideal Protocol diet. This is a high protein diet where you can lose weight in a healthy way. I hope to have more energy and feel good for a change, and lose weight too!



 current weight: 188.5 
188.5
185.125
181.75
178.375
175
JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
3/7/13 5:25 A

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Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

Now our Savior Jesus Christ is the vine and we are the branches, so you may ask what is this fruit? The answer is found in the Book of Galatians, for it is written; the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The fruit of the Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, for it produces those character traits in us. It helps us to become more like Christ, which should be the goal of every Christian.

This happens to us because; if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So, why not take a few minutes tonight and read this wonderful 15th Chapter of John. For those words were spoken by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Now may; the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
2/2/13 8:36 P

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Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


SNUZSUZ's Photo SNUZSUZ Posts: 18,831
2/2/13 4:59 P

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I did not know this message board was here. Thank you! I will check here often now:)

Sue (snoozy suzy)
PST. Carmichael, California
glassslipper.info

2015 is the year that I want to stop recovering and start living again!

Aug. 9th, I will start the Ideal Protocol diet. This is a high protein diet where you can lose weight in a healthy way. I hope to have more energy and feel good for a change, and lose weight too!



 current weight: 188.5 
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JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/11/13 12:18 A

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Our Daily Bread -- Eyewitness Account

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: 1 John 1

Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. —1 John 1:3

When the Day of Discovery television crew interviews people for a biography, we especially enjoy talking with those who knew the person whose life-story we are telling. Over the years, we’ve talked with a man who roomed with Eric Liddell in an internment camp in China; a woman who as a teenager lived in the home of C. S. Lewis during World War II; and a man who chauffeured Dr. George Washington Carver on a speaking tour throughout the southern US. They all spoke freely and openly about the special person they knew.

When John, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, was an old man, he wrote a letter in which his opening words established him as an eyewitness and close companion of Jesus: “The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us” (1 John 1:2). His goals in writing were “that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (v.3) and “that your joy may be full” (v.4).

The eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ disciples help lead us to faith in Christ. Even though we have not seen Him as they did, we have believed.

—David McCasland

Thank You, Father, for the reliable eyewitness
accounts of Jesus’ life that we can read in Your
Word. And thank You for people in our lives
who know Him. They help us believe too.

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. —Jesus

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/11/13 12:02 A

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The Remarkable Power of Christmas Part II

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."1

Christmas is such an amazing story, as Harry Reasoner, well-know television commentator shared on 60 Minutes, that "it leaves you only three ways of accepting it:

"One is cynically—as a time to make money or endorse the making of it.

"Another is graciously—the appropriate attitude for non-Christians who wish their fellow citizens all the joys to which their beliefs entitle them.

"The third is reverently. If this is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the universe in the form of a helpless babe, it is a very important day. It's a startling idea of course. My guess is that the whole story—that a virgin was selected by God to bear his Son as a way of showing his love and concern for man—in spite of all the lip service given to it, is not an idea that has been popular with theologians.

"It's a somewhat illogical idea, and theologians like logic almost as much as they like God. It's so revolutionary a thought that it probably could only come from a God that is beyond logic and beyond theology.

"It has a magnificent appeal. Almost nobody has seen God, and almost nobody has any real idea of what he is like. The truth is that among men the idea of seeing God suddenly and standing in a very bright light is not necessarily a completely comforting and appealing idea. But everyone has seen babies and most people like them. If God wanted to be loved as well as feared, he moved correctly. If he wanted to know his people as well as rule them, he moved correctly, for a baby growing up learns all about people. And if God wanted to be intimately a part of man he moved correctly here, too, for the experience of birth and family-hood is our most intimate and precious experience.

"So it comes beyond logic. It is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It is the story of the great innocence of God, the baby. God in the person of man has such a dramatic shock toward the heart, that if it is not true, for Christians nothing is true."2

But how can we know if the Christmas story is true or not? The person of Christ is not in doubt. He was as much a fact of history as were Julius Caesar and William Shakespeare. But was his birth on that first Christmas that of the Son of God who came to earth as a babe born in Bethlehem?

That, of course, is a question each person needs to answer for him/herself. However, for those who sincerely want an answer there is great evidence to verify that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.

To be concluded…

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, once again I thank you for the remarkable story of Christmas and how you gave your Son, Jesus, to come to earth as a babe so he could identify with all mankind, and then give his life on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins so I could be freely forgiven and receive your gift of eternal life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV).
2. Harry Reasoner's Christmas Address, cited on: http://www.examiner.com/article/harry-reas
oner-s-christmas-address.

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 11:52 P

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The Remarkable Power of Christmas Part III

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I [Jesus] would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."1

How can we know if the Christmas story is true or not? The person of Christ is not in doubt. He was as much a fact of history as were Julius Caesar and William Shakespeare. But was his birth on that first Christmas that of God on earth?

That, of course, is a question each person needs to answer for him or herself. However, for those who sincerely want an answer there is great evidence to verify that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.

Among the best evidence is the fulfillment of more than 300 biblical prophecies concerning his birth, life, and death that accurately predicted his birth in Bethlehem, his being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, and his death by crucifixion.

In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the science of probability to just eight of these many prophecies. He states that the chance that any one man might have fulfilled just these eight prophecies would be one in 1016; that is one in 10,000,000,000,000,000, not to mention the chances of fulfilling all 300 prophecies.

Stoner says that if we took this many silver dollars (10 to the 16) and laid them on the face of the state of Texas, they would cover the entire state two feet thick. If one of the coins had a special marking on it and a blindfolded man had to find it, what would his chances be?
Stoner claims that he would have as much chance as the biblical prophets, without God, "would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."

Christ also confirmed his deity through his many miracles and especially through his resurrection from death. He came to earth specifically to pay the penalty and die for the sins of mankind. In rising from the dead, he not only showed that he was the Son of God, but also conquered sin and death so that all who believe in him would receive the gift of eternal life.

The exciting news about Christmas is that it is not only a reminder of Christ's first coming and all he did for us, but also a reminder that he is coming again to take to heaven all who put their trust in him and to do away with all wars, sorrow, and tears forever. Only then will his promise of "peace on earth" be fulfilled. Based on his other promises and biblical prophecies already fulfilled, we can be just as certain of Christ's second coming as we are of his first.

Exactly when that will be nobody knows for sure. However, the signs of the time indicate that Christ's return could be very near—perhaps just around the corner.

The critical issue is to be ready for his coming. You can be by believing that Christ died on the cross for your sins and by responding to his invitation to receive him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. To see how to do this see the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the promise that Jesus will return to earth again for all those who have put their faith and trust in him. Please help me to know for sure that I will be ready when that time comes. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 14:1-3 (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 11:51 P

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The Greatest Christmas Gift

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."1

"Suppose you are in a hospital dying of cancer. I come to you and say, 'Let's take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body.' If that were possible, what would happen to me? And what would happen to you? I would die in your place. I would die instead of you."2

That's exactly what Jesus Christ did for you and me when he came to earth at Christmas 2000 years ago. He took our "cancer/disease" of sin upon himself and died in our place.

Admittedly, from a strictly human standpoint, the story of Christmas can be difficult to fully grasp and understand. Why would God in the form of his Son, Jesus, come to earth as a babe to take on himself the disease of mankind's sin?

What we need to understand is that God is a God of absolute holiness, which means that no sin or sinner could ever survive in his presence anymore than a moth could survive in a flame. Because we are all sinners, God's holiness would devour us before we could ever stand in his presence.

Furthermore, God is also a God of perfect justice and his judgment against all sin is death; that is, spiritual death which results in eternal separation from God in the place God calls "hell." Consequently, because we are all sinners, God's judgment of eternal death is upon the head of every single one of us.

The good news is, however, that God is also a God of infinite love and, because of his infinite love for you and me, he gave his only Son, Jesus, on that first Christmas to come to earth as a babe to take on himself the disease of mankind's sin and to die in our place on the cruel Roman cross to pay for us the penalty that God's justice demanded. In other words, he took the penalty of your sins and mine and bore that judgment in his own body on the cross of Calvary so long ago. In other words, he took your sins and mine on himself and died in our place.

That's what the Christmas story is all about. It is the greatest Christmas gift of all time. It is God's Christmas gift to you and to me. The important question is: have you accepted God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life? If not, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough for your great Christmas gift of love to me in the giving of your Son, Jesus, to take my sin upon himself and die in my place. Because you gave your life and died for me, please help me to give my life to live for you for all time and eternity. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
2. From a tract published by Evantell.

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 11:50 P

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Will Jesus Christ Come Again?

"In my Father's home [heaven] there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I [Jesus] am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me."1

Do you ever stop to think about the meaning of words? Think of "Christmas" for example which comes from Christ–mass which refers to the time of Christ's birth at Bethlehem 2000 years ago.

Year after year with "tireless regularity and eternal patience" God reminds the world every Christ-mass that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save lost mankind. Christ-mass is also God's continual reminder that Jesus is coming back to earth for all who have accepted him as their personal Lord and Savior.

As Jesus himself promised when here on earth, "I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me."1

Jesus' first coming is an indisputable fact of history. His second coming to end this world age will be just as certain.

According to Bible scholars there are some 1,845 references in the Old Testament about Christ's coming back to earth and 318 in the New Testament. This means for every prophecy in the Bible about Christ's first coming—every one of which was fulfilled in minute detail—there are eight in relation to his second coming!

Jesus Christ is coming again. God has promised this in his Word, the Bible. Jesus himself promised it as well. The angels at the time of Christ's return to heaven also promised: "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."2

And all the signs that Jesus and the Bible said would immediately precede his return are evident today, also reminding us that Christ's return could be soon. If it were today, would you be ready? For help to be sure you are ready, read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

Christmas is also a reminder to all Christians that Jesus has commissioned all of us to help spread his message of Christ's salvation to everyone everywhere.3 Jesus said that, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."4 Never has this been more possible than it is today because our generation has the greatest means of worldwide communications the world has ever seen.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I thank you with all my heart for your great CHRISTmas love gift to me and to the world. In appreciation for all you have done for me, I surrender my heart and life afresh to you. Please make me usable and use me, in whatever way you will, to be a part of your plan to spread the gospel to the world in which I live and in some way to people around the world. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 14:2-3 (NIV).
2. Acts 1:11 (NIV).
3. Mark 16:15.
4. Matthew 24:14 (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 10:59 P

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not fooled

Proverbs 26:1-12

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

—Mark Twain

A well-known humorist of the 19th century, Twain wielded his biting wit to expose the ills in humanity. Oftentimes, though, his ideas simply echoed the truth already revealed in Scripture. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Headstrong and rebellious, foolish people don’t care about the holiness of God or the hearts of other people. Willfully disobedient, they live for themselves and believe they can get away with their sin.

As believers, we’re called to walk in obedience (and thus avoid the path of the fool), but we are also called to take a stand for truth. To not act as a fool includes understanding the power and holiness of God and making decisions that line up with His righteousness.
Because a fool lives as if there is no God (Psalms 14:1, Psalm 53:1), our response has to be lovingly wise. When it comes to dealing with a fool, we are not to . . .

• engage in foolish arguments (Proverbs 23:9, 26:4).
• appoint a fool to a place of honor (Proverbs 26:1,8).
• trust a fool with important tasks (Proverbs 26:6,10).

No matter how impressive the individual, we diminish the awesomeness of God when we applaud those who live in open disobedience to His Word. No amount of talent or gifting can cover up sin. Refusing to honor a fool doesn’t mean being dismissive or unkind, but it does mean calling things for what they are because we understand the glory of who God is.

— Regina Franklin

Read Proverbs 14:7-9 to see other characteristics of fools and to understand how we should respond to them.

What aspects of our society’s adulation of pop-culture figures could be compared to the honoring of fools? How is the honoring of a fool the displacement of truth?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 19:15-29

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 9:26 P

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Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33

In a column, reporter Bob Greene once opined on "How to Become a Hero." He described a Texas gem dealer who went to a mineral show in Arizona. There he met a man who wandered creek beds, looking for interesting stones. This man was displaying some of his finds in plastic containers.

Among the smaller stones the dealer saw a large rock, and that's all the displayer thought it was--a big rock. But this gem dealer knew otherwise. He recognized it as the biggest star sapphire he had ever seen.

Knowing that the owner had no idea of the true worth of the stone, the gem dealer bargained with him and paid $10 for the rock. Later he reported that it was worth $2.5 million.

And, noted Greene, this gem dealer has become a sort of folk hero because he found something of value and purchased it at the lowest possible price, without hinting to the original owner what was going on. Greene went on to say, "This is just a particularly dramatic example of the way so many people are getting rich these days. They don't do anything of importance or value; they just manipulate and sidestep and feint and parry. They make people think they are going to do one thing, and then they do another. The lesson seems to be that only suckers believe in putting in a day's work for a day's pay. The smart boys are the tricksters."

Unfortunately, Bob Greene is right. People's lives today seem consumed with lotteries, long shots, and insider trading . . . and a continuing saga of greed, bribery, extortion, and embezzlement.

As Christians, however, we shouldn't be too surprised. Jesus said that his values are the opposite of the world's and that people who follow him will be misunderstood. True followers of Christ won't fit into society.

The Bible says that who we are on the inside is infinitely more important than our outward appearance, the way we achieve our goals is as important as the goals themselves, and that seeking Christ and his kingdom is more important than being the richest person on earth.

Greene concludes his column with these thoughts: "Let's imagine that the gem dealer sees the star sapphire and instead of purchasing it for $10, he tells the man of its real worth and urges him to get some advice about what a fair asking price is before selling it. I know, I know; that's not the way the world works. Maybe, though, he could have at least cut the poor rock-hunter in on his profits. But then he wouldn't have been a hero for these days, would he?"

"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" (Matt 16:26).

Don't worry about making it in today's world. Focus your attention on being a "hero" where it counts . . . in God's eyes.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 7:55 P

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So once more the people complained against Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded. "Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the Lord?"

Exodus 17:2

The people complained about their problems instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or rearranging our priorities. Some can be solved by discussion and good counsel. But some problems can be solved only by prayer.

We should make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining because complaining only raises our level of stress. Prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/10/2013 (19:57)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 7:51 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Spiritual Sight

January 10, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Ephesians 1:15-21

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

—Ephesians 1:7

A prisoner who survived 14 years in a Cuban jail told how he kept his spirits up and his hope alive: “I had no window in my cell, and so I mentally constructed one on the door. I ‘saw’ in my mind a beautiful scene from the mountains, with water tumbling down a ravine over rocks. It became so real to me that I would visualize it without effort every time I looked at the cell door.”

Ironically, some of the most hopeful books of the Bible—Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians—come out of Paul’s house arrest in Rome. The letter to the Ephesians gives a hint as to what the apostle Paul saw when he thought about life beyond his place of confinement.

First he saw the spiritual growth in the churches he left behind. This book opens with a burst of thanksgiving for the vitality of the Ephesian church (Eph. 1:15-16). Then he sought to open the eyes of their hearts to even more exalted sights: the “exceeding riches” of God’s grace (2:7). When Paul cranks up the volume to express God’s plan of love, not one low, mournful note sneaks in.

If you feel discouraged or question whether the Christian life is worth it, Ephesians proves to be a great tonic. It prescribes the riches in Christ available to all.

—Philip Yancey

Heavenly Father, thank You for the staggering
good news of the riches of Your infinite grace.
Thank You for the encouragement and hope
we find in Ephesians. Amen.

No one is hopeless whose hope is in God and His Word.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/10/13 7:50 P

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Forgiving Yourself

"If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."1

In response to an article on abortion some time back in Weekend Encounter a reader wrote, "What I am concerned about is that those who read your article who have had an abortion might be put into a deeper depression because of what that article said. I agree with it, but you didn't mention that there is forgiveness of this sin. I agree with what you said, but I am concerned that some might read it and not know that they can be forgiven. I know women that have had abortions who live in a great depression over their sin. I just want them to know that they can find forgiveness."

Dear W.E. reader, you have raised an excellent point. I recall being in a weekend secular growth group where a very non-religious lady was sobbing her heart out because of her guilt over having had two abortions. As far as I know she never sought God's forgiveness. This is sad because any woman who has had an abortion can be forgiven if she confesses her sin and asks God for his forgiveness—just as he forgives any and all other sins which have been confessed.

However, after asking for God's forgiveness, every one of us needs to accept his forgiveness by faith, and then it is essential that we forgive ourselves just as God has forgiven us. Unfortunately, people who have perfectionistic tendencies can find this very difficult to do. If this is so, their problem has more to do with being a perfectionist rather than finding forgiveness—and this is another issue totally. For help, see the link below to a Daily Encounter article on "Perfectionism."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your promise that if I confess my sins to you, you will forgive me fully and freely. And please help me to forgive myself for all the wrongs I have done and wherever possible, make restitution to anyone I may have hurt. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:06 P

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don’t stop

Jan 9, 2013

Jeremiah 20:7-18

He was alone for most of his ministry. It seemed that no one cared to hear his words. He was dragged off against his will to live his final days in exile. He was a failure as far as how the world judges human achievement. Jeremiah (alias “the weeping prophet”) was his name.

Reading about the course of Jeremiah’s difficult ministry, I’ve wondered if he ever looked back at the day God called him into service; and did he question God for seemingly not keeping His end of the bargain (Jeremiah 1:19). I know I would have.

And I’m glad to discover that Jeremiah did. His complaint was recorded in Jeremiah 20:7-18. His candid words are helpful. For, like us, he vacillated.

Like him, when we see no fruit from our labor and receive mockery as a reward, we too may feel cheated by God. We may be tempted to throw in the towel and call it quits.
Jeremiah, however, moved beyond his moods and did the will of God—regardless of how he felt. He was compelled to proclaim God’s Word. Remembering God’s promises, Jeremiah’s prayer led to his breaking out in worship (Jeremiah 1:11-13). But this euphoria didn’t last long, With his next breath he was cursing the day he was born (Jeremiah 1:18).

Fortunately, he picked himself up after his depressing words. Jeremiah 20 is the last of Jeremiah’s recorded laments. In the remaining 32 chapters, we find that the prophet remained faithful to his call.

Francis Schaeffer wrote: “What does God expect of Jeremiah? What does God expect of every man who preaches into a lost age like ours? I’ll tell you what God expects. He simply expects a man to go right on. He doesn’t scold a man for being tired, but neither does He expect him to stop his message because people are against him.”

— Poh Fang Chia

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 for Paul’s reasons for not giving up even though his ministry was challenging.

How have you questioned God’s calling in your life? What keeps you going when you face hardship?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 12:1-9; 17:1-8

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:05 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Making It Right

January 9, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Luke 19:1-10

If I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold. —Luke 19:8

It was a perfect day for our garage sale—bright and warm. People rummaged through clothing, paperbacks, and mismatched dishes. I noticed a young woman looking at a string of white beads. A few minutes later, the necklace vanished along with its admirer. I spotted her in the street, jogged the length of my driveway, and discovered the missing jewelry nestled in her palm. As we faced each other with the knowledge of what had happened, she volunteered to pay for the stolen item.

Zacchaeus, the tree-climbing tax collector, met Jesus and was changed. He vowed to repay four times the amount of money he had dishonestly taken from others (Luke 19:8). In those days, tax collectors frequently overcharged citizens and then pocketed the extra funds. Zacchaeus’ eagerness to pay back the money and to donate half of what he owned to the poor showed a significant change of heart. He had once been a taker, but after meeting Jesus he was determined to make restoration and be a giver.

Zacchaeus’ example can inspire us to make the same kind of change. When God reminds us about items we have taken, taxes left unpaid, or ways we have wronged others, we can honor Him by making it right.

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Help me, dear Lord, to be honest and true
In all that I say and all that I do;
Give me the courage to do what is right
To bring to the world a glimpse of Your light. —Fasick

A debt is never too old for an honest person to pay.

RBC Ministries | 3000 Kraft Ave | Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:04 P

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God of the Minority

"Come, follow me," Jesus said [to fishermen Peter and Andrew] and I will make you fishers of men."1

Some of us have the idea that our life can't make much of a difference. Sometimes we think, "What can one person do?" This reminds me of the man who, when walking along the beach, kept picking up starfish that had been washed ashore. There must have been hundreds of them. One by one he picked them up and threw each back into the ocean.

A stranger watching said to the man, "Why are you doing that? There are so many starfish on the beach. What you are doing makes no difference."

"Makes a difference to that one," the man replied as he threw another starfish back into the ocean.

Robert Kennedy once said, "Many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single person. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation … It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and it was the 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal."

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she triggered the civil rights movement in the U.S.A. In so doing she played a key role that changed a nation.

And it was a motley band of twelve very ordinary men—unsophisticated and uneducated—whom Jesus chose for his disciples to introduce the Christian message to pretty much a hostile world.

You and I may not achieve such greatness but we can make a difference. We do so every time we stand up for what is right, lend a helping hand to a friend or stranger in need, and help communicate the love of God and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Added up, our small ripples blend together to reach ever-widening circles. In so doing, one life does make a difference and can make an impact for Christ in our corner of the world.

As Edward Everett Hale said, "I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available. Please help and use me to make a difference in somebody's life today. Help me to be as Jesus in some way to every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: For a simple and attractive way to help reach friends, family and contacts with the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, please consider joining with us as a "People Power for Jesus Partner." For more information go to: www.actsweb.org/people_power02.php.

1. Matthew 4:19 (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:03 P

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But Moses pleaded with the Lord, "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled." Then the Lord asked Moses, "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say." But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send anyone else."

Exodus 4:10-13

Moses pleaded with God to let him out of his mission. After all, he was not a good speaker and would probably embarrass both himself and God. But God looked at Moses' problem quite differently. All Moses needed was some help, and who better than God could help him say and do the right things? God made his mouth and would give him the words to say.

It is easy for us to focus on our weaknesses, but if God asks us to do something, then he will help us get the job done. If the job involves some of our weak areas, then we can trust that he will provide words, strength, courage, and ability where needed.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/9/2013 (19:03)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:02 P

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Good News

Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits.

Luke 8:1-2

What an honor, privilege, and opportunity these women had to walk with Jesus, in the flesh, from town to town--serving him, experiencing miracles, witnessing to others, and continuing to learn from him along the way. But what a scandal! It was unheard of in first century Jewish culture for women to be taught by a rabbi. These women were not necessarily among the elite or influential of their time, either (see Luke 7:36-50).

But infirmity and transgression know no social boundaries. Neither did Jesus. He crossed those barriers. He treated all people equally. By doing so, he demonstrated their significance to the Kingdom.

These females may have come from diverse upbringings, but there was still a common thread that bound them: God valued them. Mary Magdalene is depicted in Luke 8:2 as having seven demons cast from her. Yet Jesus took her into his closest circle. She is reported in Matthew 27 and 28 to have witnessed his crucifixion and was first to discover his resurrection. Joanna, who was the wife of one of Herod's officials, would have lived in extravagant surroundings, but nevertheless required some type of healing. Susanna is listed, and we know nothing about her, yet God redeemed and treasured her as well. These women didn'’t wallow in inadequacies and limitations. They realized they were forgiven much, and they acknowledged their need and love for a Savior. Jesus accepted these women just as they were, but he didn't leave them in that condition. He restored them to health.

Not unlike women’s involvement in modern day mission trips and various spiritual activities, these women arranged their daily routines and family duties to do whatever was required to aid in spreading the Good News. They may not have been in the forefront of Jesus' ministry, but their tireless work for little recognition is an example we all can follow. These women remind us that effective service for Christ will eventually mean more than recognition by others.

Your faithful acts of service may not seem to be noticed. Or they may be noticed and devalued by others. But remember what Jesus told the woman whose actions precede this summary of women's roles: "Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (Luke 7:50).

Tyndale House Publishers © 2011 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 7:01 P

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Her children stand and bless her.

Proverbs 31:28

Many years ago, a barbershop quartet song extolled the virtues of mothers by spelling out the word and assigning a descriptive adjective or two to each letter. The final refrain said something like: "Put them all together, they spell MOTHER." Although the song was syrupy, its sentiments were right on target. Mothers, good mothers, play an invaluable role in our lives and are very close to our hearts.

In thinking of words to describe my mom, I would have to start with commitment. Helen Veerman was totally committed to Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. She modeled that value and worked hard at instilling it in her five children, through family devotions and Scripture memory and through her involvement in Child Evangelism, Daily Vacation Bible School, Sunday school classes, worship services, and church dinners and missions programs.

She was also committed to Dad and to our family. By watching Mom I learned that marriage is for life and that raising a family must be a top priority.

The second descriptive word for my mother is availability. Mom was always there--when I came home from school, at every meal, whenever I needed her. I could talk to Mom about anything, share my dreams and desires, and cry with her. Although she had advice that I often ignored when I was young, Mom was first of all a good listener. And years after moving out and living on my own, I always loved going home and talking things over with her.

Another word for my mother is service. I've never known anyone who gave more of herself to her family, church, and community. Mom was a homemaker by calling, gifts, and profession. And besides fixing our meals, cleaning our house, and mending our clothes, she regularly prepared meals for missionaries, out-of-town guests, friends and neighbors, relatives, and the needy. A typical Thanksgiving would find over 30 relatives and friends gathered at our house.

I could continue for much longer describing this amazing woman. All these characteristics can be summed up with one word--love. My mother was a woman who loved God, her family, and just about everyone else.

Mom died about two years ago, and before that she suffered with Alzheimer's disease for quite a while, so I haven't been able to express my feelings to her for a number of years. And I miss her a lot.

If your mother is living, express your love and appreciation to her. Visit her, call her, write her, honor her--and not just on Mother's Day.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 4:41 A

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Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

Hebrews 11:4

Odd that a person can "speak" so effectively through centuries and millennia, though the Bible does not record a single word from his mouth. Cain, the perpetrator, gets to talk rather at length in Abel's story (Gen 4:1-14). Eve speaks, too. Adam had his say earlier. From Abel--nothing.

Nothing except obedience. He brings the offering God desires. Exactly why God favored Abel's offering is unknown to us but not to them. They knew. Their pristine world was not yet cluttered with noise or distraction; God's will must have been crystal clear. Abel obeyed.

Nothing except eagerness. We cannot read of Abel without the sense that he enjoyed pleasing God. He was eager to spend time with God, eager to spend time with his brother. We are not given any hint of competition or suspicion in Abel.

Nothing except innocent suffering. Abel follows brother Cain to the field and dies with a look of amazement and innocence in his eyes, as millions have since. Why? Why the cancer, the accident, the betrayal, the abuse, the war? Why me?

Abel's story reminds us of the evil that darkens the world, of lives lost to envy, hatred, and treachery. His death begs for moral judgment, for God to make things right again.

And that is exactly what God promises to do through the victory of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Abel's death (and that of so many others) is not the end of the story. On Easter morning, Abel's life--and yours--was brought back, eternally, forever, by God's mighty power. Jesus said, "I am . . . the life" (John 14:6). Today, and each day of your life, trust Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior, for life eternal. And like Abel, let your life speak out that eager, obedient faith.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 4:09 A

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God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

As you already know God loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for us. Not because we were perfect, but because He loved us that much! There couldn't be a greater demonstration of His love than that! He even loved us when we were living in sin, that is before we became Christians.

Now that we are Christians we realize the tremendous price that our Savior Jesus Christ paid for our sins; and we have known and believed the love that God has for us, as well. (1 John 4:16)

After all, God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17)

So, never doubt God's great love for you, after all you are His child. Further, He is not a God waiting to punish anyone, but a Heavenly Father who has tremendous love for His children! So if you ever feel unloved, and all alone, reach out to Him for He is always there with open arms waiting for you!

Therefore I pray; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/9/2013 (04:10)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 1:13 A

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The Power of Applause

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."1

Besides wishing each other a very Happy New Year, may we all make a New Year resolution to be more effective encouragers of each other—and especially so of our loved ones.

Dr. Ernest Mellor wrote how he and his wife, "Sat charmed at an outdoor performance by young Suzuki violin students. After the concert, an instructor spoke briefly on 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.'

"Adults love applause too. Being affirmed makes us feel wonderful. If you want to rekindle or keep the flame of love glowing in your marriage through the years, try showing and expressing your appreciation for your mate. Put some applause in your marriage and watch love grow."2

Meaningful applause—whether by hand clapping or with our words—is one the most effective and easiest ways to encourage one another. The word "encourage" comes from "en" meaning in, and "courage." It means to put courage into another—and that's something every one of us can do—so let's do it often from a sincere heart.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to applaud and encourage my loved ones and friends when such is well earned, not just as a means of 'being outwardly nice' or to flatter, but out of a genuine heart of appreciation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).
2. Dr. Ernest Mellor, in Homemade, November, 1984.

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 1:01 A

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Jesus said; behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)

Whenever you feel tempted by satan, remember those words spoken by Jesus Christ to His followers, then and now. This means that you have the power to order satan out of your life when you feel tempted. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. However always; be sober, be vigilant; because* your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (James 4:7 & 1 Peter 5:8)

So always; put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

Now, please do not take the first verse to literally. After all, if you come across a rattlesnake don't try to trample it. I can promise you that rattlesnake hasn't read the Bible, so it will bite you. The above Words "SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS" is an ancient Hebrew idiom meaning, to overcome enemies and opposition.

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/9/2013 (01:02)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/9/13 12:59 A

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The Daily Reflections: Their Purpose and How You Can Help

Psalm 19:1-14

The instructions of the LORD are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the LORD are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear,
giving insight for living.

[Psalm 19:7-8]

I have just begun my sixth year as the main author of the Daily Reflections. I consider the opportunity to write these reflections as one of the great blessings of my life. How grateful I am to be able to study God's Word carefully, to consider how it speaks to our lives today, and then to share with you what I have discovered.

At the beginning of each calendar year, I like to devote one day's reflection to a discussion of the purpose of the Daily Reflections. I want to help you use the reflections well in your life. Also, I want to give you a vision for helping us fulfill the mission of the Daily Reflections.
The Purpose of the Daily Reflections

Psalm 19:7-8 epitomizes the purpose of the Daily Reflections. These devotional writings are meant to revive souls, make wise the simple, bring joy to the heart, and give insight for daily living. Regular reading of, reflection upon, and praying in response to Scripture will help us know God more truly and intimately, thus renewing us and giving us new vision for life. God's Word also reveals basic values and guidance for living, thus enabling us to live purposefully and fruitfully.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How has regular reflection upon God's Word enriched and deepened your faith? Are there some specific ways you would like to grow in 2013? Can you think of anyone in your life who might benefit from knowing about the Daily Reflections?

PRAYER: Thank you, gracious God, for your truth revealed in Scripture. Thank you for how it revives our souls and makes us wise. Thank you for how your Word delights us and helps us to live well each day.

Help me, dear Lord, to be immersed in your Word each day. May it shape my thinking and my feeling, my dreams and my actions. May it draw me into a deeper relationship with you and help me to live as your disciple in every facet of my life.

With the friends who receive these reflections, I ask, dear Lord, that you guide me by your Spirit. Help me to discern and speak the truth. May I be faithful to your Word in all that I write. And may I be led by you to address the issues and concerns of my fellow "reflectors." May the Daily Reflections glorify you and contribute to your kingdom work in this world.

I pray in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

Daily Reflection by Mark D. Roberts on Monday, January 07, 2013

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/8/13 8:15 P

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Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits.

Luke 8:1-2

What an honor, privilege, and opportunity these women had to walk with Jesus, in the flesh, from town to town--serving him, experiencing miracles, witnessing to others, and continuing to learn from him along the way. But what a scandal! It was unheard of in first century Jewish culture for women to be taught by a rabbi. These women were not necessarily among the elite or influential of their time, either (see Luke 7:36-50).

But infirmity and transgression know no social boundaries. Neither did Jesus. He crossed those barriers. He treated all people equally. By doing so, he demonstrated their significance to the Kingdom.

These females may have come from diverse upbringings, but there was still a common thread that bound them: God valued them. Mary Magdalene is depicted in Luke 8:2 as having seven demons cast from her. Yet Jesus took her into his closest circle. She is reported in Matthew 27 and 28 to have witnessed his crucifixion and was first to discover his resurrection. Joanna, who was the wife of one of Herod's officials, would have lived in extravagant surroundings, but nevertheless required some type of healing. Susanna is listed, and we know nothing about her, yet God redeemed and treasured her as well. These women didn’t wallow in inadequacies and limitations. They realized they were forgiven much, and they acknowledged their need and love for a Savior. Jesus accepted these women just as they were, but he didn't leave them in that condition. He restored them to health.

Not unlike women’s involvement in modern day mission trips and various spiritual activities, these women arranged their daily routines and family duties to do whatever was required to aid in spreading the Good News. They may not have been in the forefront of Jesus' ministry, but their tireless work for little recognition is an example we all can follow. These women remind us that effective service for Christ will eventually mean more than recognition by others.

Your faithful acts of service may not seem to be noticed. Or they may be noticed and devalued by others. But remember what Jesus told the woman whose actions precede this summary of women's roles: "Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (Luke 7:50).

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/8/13 8:12 P

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clean conscience

Jan 8, 2013

Titus 1:10-16

According to a 2008 character survey of nearly 30,000 high school students, 64 percent of them said they had cheated on a test in the past year, 30 percent had stolen from a store, 42 percent said they would lie to save money, and 83 percent said they had lied to their parents about something significant. One of the more interesting findings of the survey was that 93 percent of the students surveyed said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character. These students seem to have a clear case of what the Bible calls a “corrupted” conscience (Titus 1:15).

What does the Bible say are indicators of a corrupted conscience? When people continually entertain thoughts of evil or practice deeds of evil, they have defiled their conscience (Genesis 6:5; Titus 1:15-16).

Second, when they to listen to moral and wise advice, but are bent on listening to and following the delusional counselor of their wicked hearts, they sear their conscience (Exodus 7:14, 8:15; Jeremiah 17:9).

Third, wherever there is little or no shame over sin and moral failure, that person has corrupted his or her conscience (Jeremiah 6:15). Willful pretense, lies, and an impenitent heart are the poisons that wither the beauty of a conscience that has been cleansed by Christ (Acts 5:2; Romans 2:5; 1 Timothy 4:2). Never wholly reliable, our conscience can only be purified by God (Psalm 51:10). He does so through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:14).

As followers of Jesus, our individual consciences can become more sensitive to right and wrong as we grow in spiritual knowledge and obedience. This includes allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when we’re wrong and approve us when we’re right. It also means confessing and repenting of sin immediately (1 John 1:9)

— Marvin Williams

According to 1 Peter 3:13-17, how do we maintain a clean and clear conscience in a hostile society?

Why are spiritual knowledge and godly obedience so important in maintaining a clean conscience? Spend time confessing sins that the Holy Spirit has convicted you of recently.

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 11:1-9

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/8/13 8:11 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Where Sinners Go

January 8, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Romans 5:6-15

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

—Romans 5:8

My friend was having a conversation with a man who didn’t have much good to say about the Christian faith. My friend knew that if he were to sound too “religious,” he would jeopardize any chance to witness. So, in the middle of their discussion, he said, “Hey, Bob, do you know where sinners go?”

“That’s easy,” he replied. “You’re going to tell me they go to hell.”

“No,” my friend responded. “They go to church.”

Bob was speechless. That wasn’t what he expected. He wasn’t ready to hear from a Christian who realized he wasn’t perfect. My friend had a chance to share that Christians understand their sinfulness and their need for continual spiritual restoration. He was able to explain grace—the unmerited favor we have with God despite our sinfulness (Rom. 5:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9).

Perhaps we don’t give those outside the church a clear picture of what’s happening inside. They may not understand that we’re there to praise our Savior for providing “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).

Yes, sinners go to church. And sinners—forgiven ones—go to heaven because of God’s grace.

—Dave Branon

We’re far from perfection, yet perfect forever,
For Christ is our righteousness, Lord, and our Savior;
No justification for sin can we offer,
Yet sanctified fully, we’re now His forever. —Lee

A church is a hospital for sinners, not a club for saints.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/8/13 8:09 P

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Belief Versus Profession

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."1

It is a truism that we don't always act consistently with what we profess, but we always act consistently with what we believe.

If, for example, deep down I believe (feel) that I am unlovable, I will act in such a way that I will drive love away from me—regardless of what I profess. Also, if I believe (feel) I am a bad person, I will act badly. If, on the other hand, I believe I am lovable, I will act in a loving manner, and if I believe I am fully responsible for every area of my life, I will act responsibly. In almost every way our beliefs shape our destiny—for this life and the life to come.

Also, if I say I believe that people without Christ are lost eternally and don't do anything to help communicate the gospel to them, chances are I may not really believe this in my heart at all. I just profess it. I believe it was Dallas Willard who said, "Believers are those who act as if the gospel is true."

One way to "program" beliefs into our heart (the subconscious mind) is through repetition and memorizing them, meditating on them, and then acting on them to reinforce them. As we have emphasized before, "What the mind dwells on the body acts on." If you don't believe this, think how temptation works. David certainly confirmed this principle when he said, "I have hidden your word [God's Word] in my heart that I might not sin against you."

In a similar vein, the Apostle Paul wrote, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved"2 In other words, beliefs need to be in the heart—not just in the head!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to hide your Word in my heart and choose my beliefs carefully—so that I will not sin against you—and so I will live in harmony with your will always in all ways. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 119:11 (NIV).
2. Romans 10:9 (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/8/13 8:08 P

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But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.

Exodus 1:12

The Egyptians tried to wear down the Hebrew people by forcing them into slavery and mistreating them. Instead, the Hebrews multiplied and grew stronger.

When we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel defeated. But our burdens can make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/7/13 7:41 P

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"Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."

Genesis 18:14

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" The obvious answer is, "Of course not!" This question reveals much about God.

Make it a habit to insert your specific needs into the question. Asking the question this way reminds you that God is personally involved in your life and nudges you to ask for His power to help you.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/7/13 7:37 P

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victorious faith

Jan 7, 2013

1 Peter 1:5-7

Tukutana, the nonprofit organization I direct in East Africa, is funding the education of a young lady named Acayo Sarah. She survived one of Africa’s longest-running wars in history, but not without wounds. When Sarah was just 13 years old, the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) rebels attacked her village in northern Uganda. After killing her mother and father in front of her, the ruthless men abducted, raped, and impregnated Sarah. Just before her baby was born, Sarah managed to escape from her captors and fled to her uncle’s village.

As I’ve gotten to know Sarah in the aftermath of the horrors that stripped her of family and innocence, I have developed the deepest respect for the teenage girl. Sarah’s joy and determination to complete school—so she can devote her future to helping others—shouts the essence of 1 Peter 1:5-7:

• Your faith will be visible to all (1 Peter 1:5).
• Wonderful joy lies ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while (1 Peter 1:6).
• Your trials will lead to genuine faith (1 Peter 1:7).
• Your strong faith, through trials, will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world (1 Peter 1:7).

I marvel at Sarah’s faith and strength in Jesus Christ—faith that has been proven victorious over the darkest of crimes committed against her (Romans 8:37). Indeed, Sarah confidently trusts the Lord to take care of her (Psalm 27:1-3).

When trials come our way, let’s be careful not to throw away our confident trust in the Lord. Instead, let’s ask God for the patient endurance that we need to face the tough times.

— Roxanne Robbins

What would your faith look like, in the midst of a trial, if you held “tightly without wavering to the hope [you] affirm”? (Hebrews 10:23).

Pray for Sarah and other brothers and sisters in Christ who have faced extreme hardships and yet are moving forward, faithfully trusting the Lord. What will help you experience victorious faith?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 9:1-17

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/7/13 7:37 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Fully Equipped

January 7, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17

Karl Elsener, a Swiss designer of surgical equipment in the 19th century, worked for years on perfecting a military knife. Today his Swiss Army Knife is associated with excellence in blades and a variety of utilities. One model includes knife blades, a saw, scissors, a magnifying glass, a can opener, a screwdriver, a ruler, a toothpick, a writing pen, and more—all in one knife! If you are out camping in the wild, this one item can certainly make you feel equipped for survival.

We need something to equip us to survive spiritually in this sinful world. God has given us His Word, a kind of spiritual knife for the soul. Paul writes: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

The word translated equipped means to “furnish or fit completely.” How does the Bible equip us for life’s journey? It provides spiritual truth in doctrine; reproof in showing our imperfections; correction by revealing our sinful failures; and instruction in living a righteous life. There’s not a more valuable tool than God’s Word to make us fully equipped for spiritual survival and personal growth.

—Dennis Fisher

Lord, thank You for equipping us with Your
inspired Word. You’ve given us the tools we
need to live for You. Help us to take time to read
it and to follow what You tell us. Amen.

The Bible contains the nutrients we need for a healthy soul.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/6/13 6:56 P

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Epiphany: Celebrating the Appearing of God in Christ

2 Timothy 1:8-11

And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.

[2 Timothy 1:10]

Today is Epiphany, the day after the twelve-day celebration of Christmas (or in some liturgical calendars, the twelfth day of the Christmas season). The English word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means “appearing” or “revealing.”

Epiphany focuses on God’s self-revelation in Christ. On this day, some Christian traditions pay special attention to the visit of the Magi. Other traditions focus on the baptism of Jesus, especially the voice from heaven that identifies Jesus as God’s Son. In either case, the emphasis is upon God making himself known to the world through Jesus, the divine Son.

The theological essence of Epiphany is found in 2 Timothy 1:10: “And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.” If you were reading this verse in Greek, you’d find the word epiphaneia where we have “appearing.” God has made “all of this” plain to us through the epiphany of Christ.

But what is “all of this”? We find an answer in the previous verse: “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” The original language makes it clear that “all of this” is God’s plan (or purpose) and grace. In other words, through Jesus, God not only reveals himself to us, but also reveals his plan to save us, a plan that centers in his grace. The gracious plan of God reflects and confirms his gracious character.

If we want to know God, we must turn our eyes to Jesus. In his words and deeds, and most of all in his sacrificial death, he reveals God to us. On this day of Epiphany, let us thank God for making himself known to us in such a marvelous way. And let us renew our commitment to sharing this good news with the world.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Can you think of some specific attributes of God’s character that you have come to know through Jesus? Are there people in your life with whom you might share the good news of God’s love in Christ? Are you willing to ask the Lord to use you to communicate his good news to them?

PRAYER: Gracious God, today we thank you for making yourself known to us in Jesus Christ. Thank you for helping us to know your character, your glory, and your grace.
All praise be to you, O God, because you have revealed yourself to us.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you have shown us the Father and because you have embodied divine grace so that we might receive it.
All praise be to you, Holy Spirit, for helping us to live in that grace each day.
Fill us afresh with your power, Spirit of God, so that we might share the good news of Christ with the world...beginning with our friends and neighbors. Amen.

Daily Reflection by Mark D. Roberts on Sunday, January 06, 2013


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/6/13 6:55 P

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For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13)

We often face troubling times in our lives that cause us to worry, and lose sleep. As a child of God you have Him at your side, holding your hand, and guiding your pathway through those times. For, the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

He will never abandon His children, throughout their entire lives. For He is always with us no matter what we may face, as He further promised; when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. [*Rivers and *Fire in the verse represent difficulties in our lives] (Isaiah 43:2)

Therefore, fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' (Isaiah 41:10)

So the next time you face troubling times, do as Jesus said; "Let Not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1) Then when you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. (Proverbs 3:24)

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/6/13 6:53 P

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And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord, counted him as righteous because of his faith.

Genesis 15:6

Although Abram had been demonstrating his faith through his actions, it was his belief in the Lord, not his actions, that made Abram right with God.

We, too, can have a right relationship with God by trusting Him. Our outward actions--church attendance, prayer, good deeds--will not by themselves make us right with God. A right relationship is bases on faith--the heartfelt inner confidence that God is who He says He is and does what He says he will do. Right actions will follow naturally as byproducts.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/6/13 6:52 P

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Our Daily Bread -- What Is That To You?

January 6, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: John 21:15-22

What is that to you? You follow Me. —John 21:22

When you attend a children’s choir concert, you’re not surprised when the children look everywhere but at the director. They wiggle, squirm, and poke each other. They stand on tiptoes to search for parents in the audience. They raise their hands to wave when they see them. Oh, yes, and they occasionally sing. We smile at their antics. The behavior is cute in children. It’s not so cute when adult choir members don’t watch the conductor. Good music depends on singers who pay attention to the director so they can stay together as they sing.

Christians sometimes are like singers in a children’s choir. Instead of looking at Jesus, the great Conductor of the symphony of life, we are busy squirming or looking at each other or watching the audience.

Jesus admonished Peter for such behavior. After He told him what would be required of him, Peter pointed to John and asked, “What about him?” Jesus answered with a question: “What is that to you? You follow Me” (John 21:22).

Sometimes we are distracted by what others are doing. We think God’s plan for their life is better than His plan for ours. But God’s plan for each of us is the same: Follow Jesus. When we watch Him intently, we’ll not be distracted by God’s plan for anyone else.

—Julie Ackerman Link

My times are in my Father’s hand;
How could I wish or ask for more?
For He who has my pathway planned,
Will guide me till my journey’s o’er. —Fraser

Every child of God has a special place in His plan.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/6/13 6:51 P

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the shrinking self

Jan 6, 2013

Jonah 1:1-17

My boys like to play tag. For the moment I can still outrun them. One of our favorite spots to play is a green space in our neighborhood. It’s an odd-shaped, grassy lot that narrows on both ends. My boys have the habit of running to one of the corners at the field’s edge. They think they’re creating distance from me, but they’re really only painting themselves into a corner. I give them room to roam; and then when they think they’re safe and far away, I close in. Rather than escaping, they realize that their world has shrunk.

Jonah was a prophet, which means that he was one who spoke for God. When God told Jonah to travel to Nineveh, however, and “announce [God’s] judgment,” Jonah ran (Jonah 1:2-3). He headed for Joppa, a city in the opposite direction.

When he ran, Jonah’s world steadily shrank. The disobedient prophet snagged a ship sailing for Tarshish and jumped aboard. He “was sound asleep down in the hold,” literally “down in the far reaches of the vessel” (Jonah 1:5). Jonah thought he was escaping; but if he had noticed, he would have clearly seen that his world was closing in around him. Soon enough, Jonah would be trapped in the belly of a large fish. At that point, his world consisted of merely a tight circle.

Jonah was running from God, but he was also running from himself. Jonah’s identity was as a prophet, but Jonah didn’t want to do what God commanded. He didn’t want to speak God’s message to a people he hated. As a result, it was not only Jonah’s world that was shrinking—but himself. Jonah was becoming less his true self, less the person God had created him to be. When we run from God, we aren’t merely running—we’re shrinking.

— Winn Collier

Read 1 John 4:1-21. Note the various facts we’re told about our identity—who and what we are through God. How would running away from these truths diminish us?

In what area are you most tempted to run from God? How does this running make you less your true self?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 8:1-22

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 3:47 P

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Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. For; the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:13; 14 & 16)

One of the most powerful things on this Earth is "The Power Of Prayer!" For, the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry; the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. (Psalms 34:15 & 17)

So let us not forget to speak to God in prayer today, and thank Him for all He has done for each of us! Let us also pray for those who are suffering, or are going through trials and tribulations in their lives! Let us pray for each other as well, and ask God to fill us with His Love, Hope, and Faith!

Therefore; I kneel before the Father, I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14; 16; 18-19)

Have a great day my friend, and remember that God smiles every time He thinks about you!

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/5/2013 (15:50)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 3:42 P

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And Jesus Christ said; whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the World. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mom asked.

"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain,"

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"

Now the entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life.A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. For to; everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven! (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Now they say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. So, take the time to keep in touch with your friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't ever forget "to run in the rain!"

Author --Bob Perks

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/5/2013 (15:43)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 2:09 P

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Divine Healing, Part II. Are Faith Healers for Real?

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV).
The Daily Encounter reader who asked yesterday's question also asked, "Are the faith/spiritual healers, who go around nowadays holding healing crusades, really healing the sick? Is there true healing taking place or is it some magical act or illusion?

First, one thing is certain, some of these preachers, whether in crusades or on TV, certainly don't have any problems drawing great crowds and gaining great numbers of followers—and raising enormous amounts of money—which shows that vast numbers of people are seeking healing. But how many of these preachers are faith healers and how many are fake-healers?

Second, is it God's will to pray for the sick? Yes, besides praying privately for those who are sick, keep in mind when it comes to public praying that James wrote, "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well."1
Third, in my own limited experience I've listened to and witnessed a few of these "public" faith healers but have seen very little healing happen. Most important, however, in all my years I have never heard one "faith healer" ever quote an essential requirement for healing included with James' instructions for healing. That is, if we desire to be healed, we need to confess our sins and faults—not only to God—but also to at least one or two others whom we can trust.

Not all physical ills, by any means, are caused by unconfessed sins, but many sicknesses and problems are, or are greatly aggravated by them. Things such as guilt, resentment, envy, jealousy, hatred, and especially super-charged repressed negative emotions create havoc within us—physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. These need to be resolved to clear the way for healing.

If we applied these principles as stated by James, I am convinced that we would witness a whole lot more physical, emotional, relational and spiritual healing. Speaking personally, to the best of my ability I have applied these principles to my life, and am a whole lot healthier today than when I was half my present age.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a spirit of discernment to help me recognize those healers who are real and those who are false. And if there are any unresolved issues in my life that are blocking any healing I need, please help me to see what these are and get the help I need to resolve them. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 5:14-15, (NIV).

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:34 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Help Yourself

January 4, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Psalm 146

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.

—Psalm 146:5

Recently, I saw a television ad for a restaurant chain that made a dramatic claim. At those restaurants, the ad said you could “Help Yourself to Happiness.” Wouldn’t it be nice if a helping of potatoes or meat or pasta or dessert would be all that was needed to provide happiness? Unfortunately, no restaurant can fulfill that promise.

Happiness is an elusive thing—as we can see in almost every area of life. Our pursuit of happiness may involve food or a host of other things, but, in the end, happiness continues to escape our grasp.

Why? In large measure it’s because the things we tend to pursue do not touch the deepest needs of our hearts. Our pursuits may provide moments of enjoyment, distraction, or pleasure, but the cry of our hearts goes unheard—the cry for help and hope. That is why the psalmist points us to a better way when he says, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Ps. 146:5).

Help yourself? Yes—if we are seeking the happiness found in the Lord. It is only when we entrust ourselves to God and His care that we can find the happiness we seek. Our hope and help are found only in trusting Him.

—Bill Crowder

Father, draw me to Yourself. Remind me that only
in You will I know the real joy and satisfaction that
my heart longs for. Help me to look beyond the
surface things of life to what really matters.

The one who puts God first will have happiness that lasts.


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:33 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Time Out

January 5, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Acts 11:19-26; 13:1-3

Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

—Acts 13:3

El Bulli restaurant, 2 hours north of Barcelona, is so popular that customers must reserve a table 6 months in advance. But noted Spanish chef Ferran Adrià decided to close the doors of his award-winning restaurant for 2 years so he and his staff could have time to think, plan, and innovate. Adrià told Hemispheres Magazine, “If we are winning all the prizes, why change? Working 15 hours a day leaves us very little time to create.” In the midst of great success, they took time out for what is most important to them.

The first-century church in Antioch experienced a time of exciting growth when “a great number believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21). As a result, Barnabas and Saul came to teach the new believers (vv.25-26). But along with the hard work, they took time to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting (13:2-3). Through this, God revealed His plan for taking the gospel into Asia.

Few people can take 2 years off to think and plan. But all of us can build time into our schedule to seek the Lord earnestly through prayer. As we open our hearts and minds to God, He will be faithful to reveal the steps of life and service that honor Him.

—David McCasland

There is a blessed calm at eventide
That calls me from a world of toil and care;
How restful, then, to seek some quiet nook
Where I can spend a little time in prayer. —Bullock

Prayer is as important as breathing.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:30 P

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second glance

Jan 4, 2013

Proverbs 31:10-31

Alex Eklund likes beautiful women. He believes, however, that true beauty comes from the heart and character of a woman. In fact, he says he would “rather have a Proverbs 31 wife than a Victoria’s Secret model.” He posted this comment after noticing the fallout from the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Watching this event prompted some of his female friends to air feelings like these on Facebook: “I’m going to have to hit the gym after this” and “I’m going to starve myself for a week.”

The Proverbs 31 woman doesn't get a second glance for her slim figure or perfect muscle tone. And yet, she surpasses every other virtuous and capable woman in the world (Proverbs 31:29). Her brand of beauty is based on her conduct and character, rather than her clothing, hair, and make-up. The Proverbs 31 woman excels in three main areas:
She manages her money well (Proverbs 31:16,24). She earns an income, and invests it carefully. She’s generous with “the poor and opens her arms to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20).

She works diligently (Proverbs 31:17). She keeps long hours (Proverbs 31:15,18). Her work benefits those in her household and beyond (Proverbs 31:20,24). She plans ahead (Proverbs 31:21) and is resourceful (Proverbs 31:13-14).

She speaks with understanding (Proverbs 31:25-26). Kindness and wisdom characterize her words. She models “good and helpful” speech that can encourage people (Ephesians 4:29).

Aspiring to be this kind of a person is far better than trying to morph ourselves into runway models. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last” (Proverbs 31:30). Fortunately, we can clothe ourselves with “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4), which endears us to God and gives the world a glimpse of beauty at its best.

— Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read Proverbs 7:10-14 to see the contrast between the Proverbs 31 woman and a very different kind of woman. Read 1 Timothy 2:9-10 to learn how Christian women might boost their attractiveness.

How might a preoccupation with physical beauty affect our spiritual lives? How does the Bible support the idea that it’s possible to be beautiful at any age?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 6:9-22


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:29 P

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turning away

Jan 5, 2013

2 Corinthians 7:1-11

His tears revealed the sincerity of his sorrow. My young friend, a member of the youth group I work with, was torn up inside. For years, he had used drugs. Then he began selling them to others. Now, no longer dealing, his heart was broken as he considered the many kids and youth that he turned on to drugs. He saw them sinking into self-destruction and he felt terrible.

We talked about the forgiveness that only God could provide. Some key Scriptures we discussed included 2 Corinthians 7:10, which reads, “The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation”; also, 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

The young man, a believer in Jesus, repented of his sin done to others and to himself. He then acknowledged that he wanted to forever turn away from using drugs (something he had continued to do). The repentance he displayed is the type that the apostle Paul wrote about to the church at Corinth—a true, spiritual repentance. Paul wrote, “There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

By God’s grace, we don’t have to live in worldly sorrow. It can be devastating (see what Judas did in Matthew 27:3-6). It’s a sorrow that doesn’t lead us to repent but to attempt to deal with issues in our own power—something futile and harmful.

God calls us to repent and turn away from our sin. Doing so will be revealed in our “earnestness,” “concern,” “indignation,” “alarm,” “zeal,” and “readiness” before Him. This turning away is all about doing “everything necessary to make things right” (2 Corinthians 7:11).

— Tom Felten

Note what Peter said to a person in need of repentance (Acts 8:22-23). Why is it important for us to turn away from sin in genuine repentance?

What do you need to bring to God in repentance? What does it mean for you to “turn away” from your sin once you’ve confessed it to Him?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 7:1-24

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:10 P

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On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

Psalm 150:1-6

[P]raise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe.

[Psalm 150:4]

Today is the twelfth and last day of Christmas. For many of us, the notion of Christmas as a twelve-day season is quite foreign…except for the song. Almost all of us are familiar with "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and its collection of unusual gifts, including maids-a-milking, swans-a-swimming, gold rings, French Hens, Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a pear tree. According to the song, on the twelfth and final day of Christmas, the singers "true love" gave "twelve drummers drumming."

You won't find any drummers in Scripture, at least not in most English translations. But you will find people dancing while playing timbrels (for example, Exodus 15:20). In fact, Psalm 150:4 calls God's people to praise him "with timbrel and dancing," or, as some translations prefer, "with tambourine and dance" (ESV). The Hebrew term behind "timbrel, tambourine" is tof, which was a small percussion instrument held and struck by one's hand. It was, in effect, a small drum.

Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise the Lord with all sorts of musical instruments: trumpet, harp, lyre, timbrel (tof), strings, pipe, and loud cymbals. The sense of the text is that we are to praise God with everything we have at our disposal. Thus, this is a fitting conclusion for our celebration of Christmas, which began with a great company of angels praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:13-14).

Praise is something we do, not only with our lips and our instruments, but also with our whole lives. You may recall that a few months ago we examined Ephesians 1:12, which says that we exist "for the praise of God's glory" (see 9/28/2012 and following). We are alive for the purpose of praising God. But this does not mean we ought to put down our work and hurry to a worship service. On the contrary, we can and should praise God in all we do, including our work. So, if you happen to be a drummer, then by all means drum for God's glory. And if you happen to be a lawyer, then practice law for God's glory. And if you're a teacher, then teach for God's glory. And if you're a contractor, or a mother, or a banker, or a window washer, or…do it all for God's glory.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways do you live for God's praise? How might you praise God in your work? Your community? Your family? Your friendships? Your political activity? Your volunteer work?

PRAYER: Lord, as we come to the end of the Christmas season, we end where we started…with praise. Today, we join the twelve drummers by praising you with all that you have given us. We offer our lives to you, so that we might exist for the praise of your glory. Amen.

Daily Reflection by Mark D. Roberts on Saturday, January 05, 2013


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:09 P

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All We Need in Failure or Success

Philippians 4:14-23

“At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.”

[Philippians 4:18-20]

In 2010, my husband, Carey, and I left a company with which we had labored for over a decade. We didn’t know exactly where God was leading, but we knew it was time to say goodbye. So after much prayer and hand-wringing, we sold our home, put things in storage, and asked God to show us the next step. When people asked us for details, we honestly replied, “God said go, and we’re moving out, in faith, without knowing exactly where we’re going.”

That statement was easy to say and much, much harder to live out. The following two years were a roller-coaster of doubt, fear, elation, and provision. Many days, it felt as if we were wandering in the wilderness, like the Israelites, and living on manna. As only he can, God provided for our needs. But the stress of waiting for him to reveal his plan took its toll on our emotions, bodies, and relationships.

Today, we’re in a much more stable place. Just a few months ago, God led us back to a church where we feel completely at home, and Carey is using his variety of gifts as one of the congregations’ pastors. He leads the communications, music, and worship ministries, while I’m writing, editing, and homeschooling our boys two days a week (they attend a co-op school the other three days). I love being back in a comfort zone, working within my passions. And I am immensely grateful for more time with our kids.

However, to be honest, I’ve had a hard time finding a spiritual “groove” here. The semi-stability of our current situation threatens to lull me into complacency. It was vital to my sanity to stay closely connected to God when things were chaotic and unsure. Now, I can almost justify doing things on my own strength. Write? I can do that. Manage our home? No problem. Edit and email and encourage? Not a big deal.

But God longs to be my—and your—sufficiency at all times, not just when things are stressful. The truth is, I need him every single minute of every day. And so do you.
I need him to be my patience when our eight-year-old (or our teenager) throws a tantrum. I need him to help me set my priorities for the day, so I don’t crowd him out with too many to-do’s. Oh, how I need him—to help me gracefully and passionately pursue marriage, ministry, and much, much more.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you lean on God more during lean times or times of plenty? How has God proven himself faithful during times of need? Do you identify with Dena’s difficulty in finding a new way of relating to God after a season of crisis?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, you promise to be all I need, in every situation. Thank you for your sufficiency. Continue to remind me that in my humanness, I will never be “enough” for what each day brings. May I turn to you in both hard and joyful times. In Jesus’ precious and holy name, Amen.

Daily Reflection by Dena Dyer on Friday, January 04, 2013


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:02 P

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This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

Genesis 6:9

Saying that Noah was "righteous" and "blameless" does not mean that he never sinned. Rather, it means that Noah wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. For a lifetime he walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation.

Like Noah, we live in a world filled with evil. Are we influencing others or being influenced by them?

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 1:01 P

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Why do we have to keep taking Communion? What’s the point?

Have you ever saved something from a special event because you wanted to remember how great that moment was? Certain items help us remember special moments in our lives.

Before Jesus was arrested and placed on trial, he established a tradition by which his followers could remember him.

Communion (AKA the Lord's Supper or Eucharist) is that act. Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. (See also Matt 26:26-28.) By taking Communion, we remember how Jesus' body was broken and his blood shed for all people.

Because Communion is celebrated by believers throughout the world, it is a unifying act. And because we retell the message of Christ's death, we're reminded that he plans to return someday for his church.

There are many distractions that can cause us to lose our focus on what really matters in this life. Communion briefly reminds us that real life revolves not around us (surprise!), but around one incredible act of love at a certain time in history.

Tyndale House Publishers © 2012 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/5/13 12:59 P

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"Why are you so angry?" the Lord asked Cain. "Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master."

Genesis 4:6-7

How do you react when someone suggests you have done something wrong? Do you move to correct the mistake or deny that you need to correct it? After Cain's gift was rejected, God have him the chance to right his wrong and try again. But Cain refused.

The next time someone suggests you are wrong, take an honest look at yourself and choose God's way instead of Cain's.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:52 P

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So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.

2 Kings 18:7

What does it mean to be successful?

Success usually brings to mind financial achievement or being number one. Others would define success by the bumper sticker: "He who dies with the most toys wins." Some like to think that success is being busy--on the go, racing from one appointment to another, and having too much to do with too little time to do it.

The problem with these definitions of success is they exact a high cost. The Executive Digest has noted, "The trouble with success is that the formula is the same as the one for a nervous breakdown." That's sobering, uncomfortable, and too often true.

Maybe the definition of success that you are familiar with is not the correct one. I would encourage you to reassess your definition of success before it is too late. May I propose a new look at the word S.U.C.C.E.S.S.?

Service. There is no such thing as success without service. The secret of success lies in meeting the needs of others. And when we are meeting people's needs, we will discover fulfillment.

Understanding contentment. Let's not measure success by how much we own or how much money we have but by a sense of inner contentment. Real success is always internal, never external.

Character. Character is of greater value than how much money or status we have. A man's best test of character is revealed in how he treats people around him. So measure your success not by your possessions and achievements. Measure success by the quality of your character and conduct.

Compassion. What really matters is not money, power, and ego but issues of the heart--such as compassion, kindness, bravery, generosity, and love. Do you love people more than things?

Excellence. Excellence is not being the best but being your best.

Significance. The popular notion of success has not cut it. A growing number of people yearn for significance more than success. Significance comes by giving ourselves to something that is greater than us and that will outlast us.

Sacrifice. A problem in our society is that we are spending our entire lives looking for something worth living for. It would be better if we found something worth dying for.

Success under these guidelines will bring you into harmony with God's guidance.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:48 P

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The Secret to Contentment

Philippians 4:1-13

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

[Philippians 4:11-13]

When my husband, Carey, and I were first married, we lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment near the seminary we both attended. We owned one car, just enough furniture to fit into our 350-square-foot space, and not much else.

We were also blissfully happy. You see, Carey and I had just finished a two-year commitment to a creative arts missions group, in which we traveled the country in an RV, singing and doing drama for churches, conferences, and college groups. Although we did sleep in hotels and host homes, the eight of us in the group had literally lived out of our suitcases for twenty-four months. As newlyweds, having our own space, time, and privacy felt positively decadent. I didn’t care that the oven was the size of a large space heater; in fact, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for my grandmother and another guest that year—substituting Cornish game hens for turkey.

Today, Carey and I live in a much larger house; we own two vehicles and too many clothes; and our master bedroom is almost half the size of that first apartment. However, I still find myself wishing for more. If only we had more closet space, I think. Before I realize it, I’m looking at friends’ houses or perusing real estate ads, longing for bigger, better, or fancier digs.

How am I ever to find contentment in a world that’s screaming “more, more, more”? In Philippians, which was written during one of Paul’s prison stays, the apostle says that he has learned the key to being content in every situation: Jesus Christ.

I’ve often heard Philippians 4:13 quoted at the beginning of a church building program or an athletic event. I’ve said it to myself when I’m trying to lose weight or finish a book deadline.

Yes, God desires to help us when we do things in his name and for his glory. However, in context, the verse takes on a new light. Paul notes that he has learned to be content in every circumstance—not through mastering his emotions on his own, but through Jesus Christ, who gives him strength.

Just as we can’t be good enough for God to save us, we can’t muster up contentment on our own. Someone will always have more than we have, and we’ll always be better off than someone else. Also, the desire God planted in us for his glory will leave us unsatisfied with anything else.

But here’s the good news: we don’t have to live frustrated, empty lives of longing and regret. Instead, we must consciously, daily connect with Christ and allow him to work contentment into our lives, like a baker works yeast into dough. Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, gratitude, and scripture reading help us submit our “wants” to Jesus and allow him to refine them.

Gradually, thankfulness for what he’s already given us will overtake us, and we’ll find that the size of our bank account, house, or job title doesn’t matter as much as it once did. Instead, we’ll rejoice in Jesus, who has become our everything.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what areas do you struggle with being content: possessions, career, family? How could you consciously connect with Christ today? List ten things for which you’re grateful.

PRAYER: Lord, I praise you for your mercy, which follows me everywhere. Thank you for your patience with me, and your unending gifts of grace.

I struggle with being content. Sometimes, I want more things. At other times, I long for better relationships or a more enjoyable career. Being content is difficult—and I’ve tried to do it on my own for too long. Forgive me.

Today, Heavenly Father, I ask you to center me. Give me eyes to see how blessed I am. Help me become someone who is joyful, even in the midst of terrible circumstances. I long for the world to know—by the peace in my heart—that I have everything I need, in you. Amen.

Daily Reflection by Dena Dyer on Thursday, January 03, 2013

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:42 P

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Our Daily Bread -- Getting Along

January 3, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Philippians 2:1-11

Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love. —Philippians 2:2

I love being with people . . . most of the time. There is a special joy that resonates in our hearts when we are with people we enjoy. But unfortunately we are not always with those we like to be around. Sometimes people can be prickly, which may be why someone has said, “The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog!” When we don’t find joy in a relationship, we tend to blame the other person; then we excuse ourselves as we exit to be with people we like.

The apostle Paul asks us to lovingly engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, he calls all of us to be “of one accord,” to look out “for the interests of others,” and to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:2-5). Think about it. Jesus gave up His own prerogatives and privileges for us; He chose to live as a servant and paid the ultimate sacrifice that He might bring us into a joy-filled relationship with Him (see Heb. 12:2). And He did all that in spite of our prickliness (see Rom. 5:8).

So next time you are with someone who is not easy to get along with, ask Jesus to help you find a way to extend His love. In time, you might be surprised by how God can change your attitude about people.

—Joe Stowell

Lord, thank You that while I was still offensive to You,
You saved me with Your sacrificial love. Give me the
same courage and grace to extend to others the love
that You have so graciously extended to me.

The key to getting along with others is having the mind of Christ.

RBC Ministries | 3000 Kraft Ave | Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:39 P

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stand up

Jan 3, 2013

1 Kings 21:1-29

Evil doesn’t need numbers. History’s most horrific acts were committed by only a handful of perpetrators. These agents of evil didn’t persuade others to join in their sin; they only convinced them to go along. Most Germans didn’t hunt down and kill Jews, but they allowed their government to do it. Most Americans didn’t own slaves, but they permitted their neighbors to do so. Evil simply needs a silent majority who see what is happening and do nothing.

Passivity was one of Ahab’s many problems. He cowered before his wife, Jezebel, a foreign queen who pushed him to worship Baal (1 Kings 16:31). When Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Ahab ran home to Jezebel and told her about him. It was Jezebel, not Ahab, who promised Elijah that she would get her revenge (1 Kings 19:1-2). Ahab went along.

When Naboth refused to sell his vineyard, “Ahab went home angry and sullen” and told about him (1 Kings 21:4-6). Jezebel replied, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!” (1 Kings 21:7). And she did. Ahab merely went along with the idea.

Ahab was passive, but he wasn’t innocent. God declared that he was the most wicked of the evil kings of Israel. He may not have pulled the trigger, but he allowed Naboth’s murder and Israel’s idolatry to occur, among other evil choices.

This should give us pause: What evil might we be silently tolerating? Do we sit on our hands when others are bullied or abused? Do we say nothing when professing Christians dismiss the foundational truths of our faith? We may feel bad for challenging them; but given that Ahab’s greatest sin was idolatry, how can we not speak up for God and His true Word?

Evil doesn’t need you to stand with it. It wins whenever you don’t take a stand.

— Mike Wittmer

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18 to discover how you can stand against evil.

Who needs you to stand up for him or her? How can you be an advocate for that person today?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 4:1-16

RBC Ministries | 3000 Kraft Ave | Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:36 P

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Then God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground."

Genesis 1:28

To "reign over" something is to have absolute authority and control over it. God has ultimate rule over the earth, and he exercises his authority with loving care. When God delegated some of his authority to the human race, he expected us to take responsibility for the environment and the other creatures that share our planet.

We must not be careless and wasteful as we fulfill his charge. God was careful how he made this earth. We must not be careless about how we take care of it.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:16 P

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Who Will Answer?

"And I [God] sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none."1

Today's Scripture was written by the prophet Ezekiel at a time when ancient Israel was in captivity because they had turned from God to worship idols. God was looking for someone who would stand in the gap to lead the people back to him—but he found no one to do this. How tragically sad this was.

This Scripture reminds me of the lyrics of "Who Will Answer?" by Ed Ames written in 1968 during the Vietnam War. This chanting song had a tremendous impact on me the first time I heard it. I can still remember exactly where I was when I heard it and who sang it!

Back then it was a time of turmoil with many unanswered questions. Ed's lyrics were a cry from the human heart wanting answers. They spoke about people searching from the canyons of their mind, stumbling blindly while searching for the truth. They spoke about the emptiness of faded dreams from a failed marriage; of a youthful soldier whose arms would never hold his child because he was dying on a distant battlefield; of desperate souls committing suicide; and the ongoing threat of nuclear war with a desperate plea: "Dear God, Oh, why, oh, why? The final question being, "Who will answer?"2

World conditions have not improved since Ed Ames wrote these lyrics. In fact they have deteriorated considerably—especially so since the suicide attacks by al-Qaeda on the World Trade Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. And they continue to deteriorate incrementally with the never ending threat of terrorism—not knowing where radical Muslim fanatics will strike next as they hate and want to kill Jews, Christians, and Americans. And according to ACT for America,3 "British intelligence has uncovered the newest threat from Islamic terrorism—bombs surgically implanted inside the bodies of jihadists."

Tragically, more and more, at least here in the U.S.A., like ancient Israel, we too are increasingly turning away from God which can readily lead to the path of self-destruction. Consequently, God is looking for committed people "who will answer" life's questions, and who will stand in the gap to point the way back to God. There are also millions of people worldwide for whom God is also looking for people to stand in the gap to point them to God.

The person/s God is looking for are simply those who make themselves available for him to use. So, will you, today, be one for whom God is looking and pray from the heart: "I am available God, please use me?"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I hear your call for people to stand in the gap to bring lost souls to you. I am available. Please make me usable and use me to help bring others to you. I am willing to be made willing to go where you want me to go and to do what you want me to do. So help me God. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Please Note: If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, will you please join with us as a People Power for Jesus Partner and we will share with you many simple tips on how you can stand in the gap to help introduce others to God. To do so go to www.actsweb.org/people_power/subscribe.php and fill in the simple form. And may God greatly bless and use you to help bring others to God. Please be sure to tell friends, too, of your decision to stand in the gap for God and encourage them to do likewise. "When many people each do a little, great feats for God can be achieved."

1. Ezekiel 22:30(ASV).
2. The lyrics of Ed Ames, "Who Will Answer?" can be seen at:
www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/e/ed_ames/who_
will_answer.html.
3. ACT for America, http://www.actforamerica.org/.

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673 U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:12 P

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Divine Healing Part I. Should Christians Seek Medical Help?

"Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses."1

A Daily Encounter reader writes, "Is it biblically correct for some 'religious' groups to refuse their 'followers' to be taken for medical attention at clinics/hospitals for help when they are sick? And is it right not to allow immunization of children against diseases like polio, measles, etc.? They claim that God's Word in the Bible is against such? I think God's word is being misused here."

Dear Cheryl (name changed), you are correct in saying that God's Word is being misused here. Unfortunately, there will always be some people who mean well but are sadly misguided. And there will always be religious fanatics who misinterpret God's Word to twist it to say what they want it to say … and do so to control their followers. The Bible calls this legalism and being bewitched.2

Personally speaking, I believe it is very misleading and even cruel to deny anyone the medical attention they need. Even Paul said to Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach sake. And Paul himself had some affliction from which God never delivered him or never healed him; rather, God said, "My grace is sufficient for you."3

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but my father went through a stage of religious fanaticism and refused to have my younger sister immunized. She died of diphtheria when she was only two-and-a-half years old.

In much younger days I taught a Sunday school class of ten-year-old boys. I loved these kids. We had some great times together. However, one of these boys was slowly going blind, but his parents believed God would heal him so never sought any kind of medical help. It was very sad to see this cruelty.

In later years a close friend of mine, when in his mid-40s, had cancer and went to a healing group who prayed for him after which they told him he was healed … so he never got the medical attention he desperately needed. Some months later he excitedly told me about his healing experience. In no time he was back in hospital. His body was riddled with cancer and it was too late then for medical help. He died within a few months.

True, sometimes God does heal people and sometimes he doesn't. But thank God for medical help, for without it, many more of us would not be healed.

And by the way, Luke, an early follower of Jesus, writer of one of the four Gospels, and a missionary companion of Paul, was a physician.

To be continued ….

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from religious legalism and fanaticism, help me to be realistic, and give me the wisdom needed to have a balanced view and understanding of your Word—and the good sense to apply it to my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Timothy 5:23 (NIV).
2. See Galatians 3:1-5.
3. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.

© Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International P.O. Box 73545 San Clemente, California 92673

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 11:57 A

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Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and all that move in them. (Psalms 69:34)

There are times when we may feel that there is nothing to praise God for. After all life can become very difficult at times. So when you are feeling that way why not read the 103rd Psalm, for David lists several reasons to praise God in that Psalm.

For example, David wrote:

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits

Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases

Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion

Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's

Now those are just the first five verses, there are seventeen more verses to be found. (Psalms 103:1-5)

When you think about it, the list is really endless! So come let us praise the Lord and; come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. (Psalms 95:6-7)

Have a great day, and may the love of Christ fill your heart and mind, now and always!

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/3/2013 (11:57)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:17 A

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God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25

God saw that his work was good. People sometimes feel guilty for having a good time or for feeling good about an accomplishment. This need no be so. Just as God felt good about his work, we can be pleased with ours. However, we should not feel good about our work if God would not be pleased with it.

What are you going that pleases both you and God?


Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:17 A

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A Mother’s Faith

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.

2 Timothy 1:5

In both good and bad ways people are affected by their environments. Some of us have a background that we must simply put into practice. We've been raised into a life worth living out. Others of us have to unlearn many lessons from family life. But most of us live with a mixture: habits to keep and habits to change. One of Paul's disciples, Timothy, received a gift of life twice from his mother. She gave him birth and then showed him what a life of faith could be.

Timothy's mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, were early Christian converts, possibly through Paul's ministry in their home city, Lystra (Acts 16:1). When Paul wrote to Timothy many years later, he had vivid memories of the faith that "filled" his mother and grandmother.

Eunice and Lois had communicated their strong Christian faith to Timothy, even though his father was probably not a believer. That division of commitment within his home probably hurt Timothy, but his mother built into him a character of faithfulness that carried him a long way. By the time Paul passed through Lystra on his second missionary journey, Timothy already had a good reputation among the believers in the area. Paul not only invited Timothy to join his traveling team, but also had him circumcised as part of the preparation. These events must have been a challenge for Timothy's family. Eunice was one of those behind-the-scenes saints who will eventually be recognized in heaven as one of the true heroes of the faith. She gave a child to God’s work.

Don't hide your light at home: Our families are fertile fields for planting gospel seeds. It is the most difficult land to work but yields the greatest harvests. Let your parents, children, spouse, brothers, and sisters know of your faith in Jesus, and be sure they see Christ's love, helpfulness, and joy in you. If our children can't see our faith, is it real?

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:15 A

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"Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise.

Ephesians 6:2

The camera zooms in on the celebrating athlete . . . "Hi Mom!" he mouths with a grin and a wave . . . and it's not even Mother's Day.

Of all the annual celebrations, perhaps none is more sentimentalized or commercialized than Mother's Day. Card shops, restaurants, florists, and others do a booming business, and pastors recognize the oldest, youngest, and everything-in-between mothers in the congregation. The telephone company reports its highest usage during this day. Interestingly, Father's Day also ranks among the highest number of calls made--collect calls, that is!

It would be easy to take a cynical view and shoot down our holiday rituals. After all, we do seem to idealize mothers . . . and what about the feelings of those who aren't mothers or who can't be?

But I won't take that route. Despite the excesses of the day, I believe that Mother's Day is needed now more than ever.

First of all, consider how important these women are. For nine months they carried us as we grew, bending them out of shape, living off their food, and constantly kicking and moving. And they endured the terrible pain of birth to bring us safely into the world. Then the real work began as they diapered, fed, comforted, disciplined, and taught us. As is usually the case, I never really began to appreciate my mother until Gail and I had our first child. The demands of parenting seem endless.

But it is also important to celebrate Mother's Day because of the current attitude of society. With misguided feminists continually denigrating motherhood, mothers and housewives can feel like second-class citizens who somehow have been cheated out of a meaningful career. And with abortion-on-demand in vogue, many women are choosing to kill rather than to accept the responsibilities of rearing a child. We need to tell mothers that they are important and to celebrate their presence.

The truth is that there is no higher calling than to be a parent--to bear, teach, and guide children; to make a home, a place of acceptance and love.

Toward the end of her life my mother had Alzheimer's disease. She knew she had five children, but she didn't remember giving birth or the details of bringing them up and of bringing them to faith in Christ. But I remembered. And I thank God for this godly woman who, with my dad, made parenting special.

So thanks, Mom--and thank you, Christian mothers everywhere--for choosing life, for guiding lives, for taking your call seriously. Happy Mother's Day!

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/3/2013 (00:16)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:14 A

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Are You Trying to Earn God's Love?

Philippians 3:7-17

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”

[Philippians 3:8-9]

I am a very goal-oriented person. When there is something I need to accomplish, I often set a timetable and backwards-plan so that each week I complete a task which contributes to the overall goal. (Disgusting, right?)

Sadly, even though I accepted Christ when I was seven years old, I spent over two decades trying to win God’s approval, as if it were a goal I could cross off my list. Evidently, I had heard this message from the conservative church which my family attended during my youth: be as perfect as you can, and God will like—and reward—you more.

As a good Christian girl, I also tried to witness to unbelievers, sometimes with tragi-comic results (i.e., the one teenager who literally ran away from me after I handed him a religious tract, yet again). I went on mission trips, attended church often, helped with children’s choir, and had a daily “quiet time.” I did all of that out of love for Jesus, but also because I feared God and didn’t want him to be disappointed in me. But even though I knew God had forgiven me my sins, I felt as if a grey cloud of guilt constantly hung over my head.

The harder I tried to be perfect, the more miserable I became. It took me almost having a nervous breakdown before I internalized the gospel truth that Jesus saves me by his grace—period. How emancipating to realize that I couldn’t be good enough for him to love me more, or bad enough for him to love me less!

Gradually, I learned to love Jesus freely and accept his ludicrously lavish love. Instead of being bound to a list of do’s and don’ts, I began to serve God out of gratitude for all he accomplished on the cross.

As author and teacher Robert Mulholland said recently at Laity Lodge, “The cross isn’t just something God did. The cross is the very essence of who God is.” When you and I understand how much God loves us, and the depths to which he went to rescue us, we will desire to make him the priority. We will count everything else as “loss,” like Paul did, in order to get closer to the Lover of our Souls.

As He fills us with His gifts, the humility, joy, and peace which crown our lives will attract people to us…and to Him.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you tried to earn God’s approval? How? What do you think Paul meant by counting things as “garbage”? Is it hard to accept that Jesus’ love for you is infinite and not based on your actions? Why or why not?

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for giving of yourself so that I could be freed from the bonds of sin and death. I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for your sacrifice on the cross. Forgive me for trying to win your approval by my works. I know now that I can do nothing to earn my own righteousness.

Give me daily doses of grace, Lord. Help me recognize temptations as garbage, and grant me the strength to leave them behind—so I can make more room for you. I long to know you more intimately, worship you more consistently, and share you more freely. Show me how to depend on you, instead of myself, in all things. In your holy, righteous name, Amen.

Daily Reflection by Dena Dyer on Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:07 A

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Our Daily Bread -- T-Ball Faith

January 2, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Luke 15:1-7

The joy of the LORD is your strength. —Nehemiah 8:10

Whoever dreamed up T-ball is a genius: Every kid on the field gets a taste of the fun and joy of the game before they taste the disappointment of striking out.

In T-ball, a baseball is placed on a rubber tee about waist-high to the 5- and 6-year-old batters. Players swing until they hit the ball and then run. On my first night as a coach, the very first batter hit the ball far into the outfield. Suddenly every player from every position ran to get the ball instead of staying where they were supposed to. When one of them reached it, there was nobody left in the infield for him to throw it to! All the players were standing together—cheering with unrestrained exuberance!

Those who have recently come to know Jesus as Savior have an unrestrained joy that is a delight to be around as well. We rejoice with them, and so do the angels in heaven! (Luke 15:7). New Christians are in love with God and excited about knowing Him and learning from His Word.

Those who’ve been Christians for a long time may get discouraged with the struggles of the Christian life and forget the joy of new-found faith. So take the opportunity to rejoice with those who’ve come to faith. God can use them to inspire you to renew your own commitment to Jesus.

—Randy Kilgore

Rejoice, O soul, your debt is paid,
For all your sins on Christ were laid;
We’ve been redeemed, we’re justified—
And all because the Savior died. —D. DeHaan

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. —Psalm 51:12

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/3/13 12:07 A

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my word is my promise

Jan 2, 2013

Matthew 5:33-37

As an author, I’ve signed a few contracts. I’ve asked others to sign them too. What I dislike most about contracts is their endless clauses, spelled out in detailed legal jargon. It’s a litigious age. We’ve all heard of opportunistic folks, with well-paid lawyers, who find legal loopholes in such documents and cash in. So our contracts get longer and longer.

I was working on a book of interviews once. The legal advice had been to have each interviewee sign a contract confirming their participation in the book. All of them did—except one. “My word is my promise,” he emailed back, causing great consternation to my management. But we took him at his word.

A vow in Old Testament times was a promise made before God that had to be fulfilled (Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21). The Pharisees, however, came up with ingenious ways of slipping through the loopholes of such promises. For them, it all came down to the formula you used when you made your vow. A vow sworn by “the temple” could be broken, but not one sworn by the temple’s gold (Matthew 23:16-17). A vow sworn by “the altar” wasn’t binding, but one sworn by the gift on the altar was (Matthew 23:18-22). A simple vow could be forgotten, but a vow made to “the Lord” had to be kept (Matthew 5:33).

Jesus would have none of it.

Whether you swore by the temple, the altar, heaven, or earth, it didn’t matter. Since all of these were God’s, all vows were made to God (Matthew 5:34-35). In fact, to Jesus any vow was problematic. “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t,’” he taught. Anything else was formula-making, which allowed promise-breaking.

“My word is my promise,” said my interviewee. So far, he’s stayed true to his word. Jesus would be pleased.

— Sheridan Voysey

Read Matthew 26:63-64 to see how Jesus responded in court. How should you live out your faith in a litigious society?

When are you most tempted to forget your vows or promises? What have you promised to do that you haven’t done? Why?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 2:15–3:24


Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/3/2013 (00:08)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/2/13 11:37 P

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You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. (Psalms 3:3)

When your life becomes filled with anxiety and confusion, and you become concerned about the events in your life today, turn to our Savior Jesus Christ! For He said, these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

After all Jesus' never abandons us, or leaves us to struggle alone! For He has promised us; "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say:"The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5) Therefore we can always call on Him in even the most troublesome times, for He is always with us!

After all; the Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (Isaiah 58:11)

Also remember that when confusion, worry and fear enter your life, it is not from God but from satan. For it is written that; God is not the author of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

So, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) and let Him comfort, guide and direct you through the troubling times in your life!

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/2/2013 (23:38)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 10:00 P

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Shine Like the Stars

Philippians 2:1-18

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

[Philippians 2:12-15]

Joann worked in the human resources department, and she often wondered if someone had put a sign on her door that read “Complain Here.” The folks in administration complained to her about their assistants taking advantage of benefits, and hourly employees argued with her when she read them company policy about sick days. Even after she left the office, Joann fielded arguments from her children about homework and chores.

I wonder if God sometimes feels as if he runs a heavenly complaint department. I, for one, am too quick to question God’s intentions when things go wrong; and too slow to thank him for a daily multitude of gifts. I complain about weather, my weight, traffic, my spouse, or my kids—instead of praising him for the rain, food in the pantry, gas in my car, and a loving family. It’s all a matter of perspective, really.

Perhaps the world would be more drawn to believers and the message of Jesus’ love if we complained less. What if nonbelievers heard us making the best of bad situations, instead of squabbling about differences in opinion? Perhaps if we daily cultivated gratitude for small gifts and made our thankfulness known, we would draw others to our positivity. In a world of badly behaving celebrities, news organizations that feed on tragedy and controversy, and political mud-slinging, we can be different. We should be different.

My dear friend Micky exemplifies this kind of Christianity. He posts positive quotes on Facebook instead of ranting about the wrongs of the world and often sends encouraging cards to people who have influenced him. He sits on several boards of local charities and never hesitates to help folks in need. Micky even spearheaded an annual community outreach in which members of many different churches perform service projects together all over the city. He exemplifies the servant spirit which Jesus modeled.

Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” I pray that you and I will do just that.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what areas of life do you tend to complain or argue? List two or three people you know who “shine like stars.” What is it about their lives that causes you to see them that way? How could you begin to shine? Ask God to give you specific ideas.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, the world is such a dark place. I am often frightened and unsure when I look at world events. And my daily life, with all its demands and responsibilities, can be overwhelming. I tend to argue with you about your plan and complain too much about my problems. Please forgive me of those tendencies, and help me to cultivate a more grateful spirit. I thank you that Jesus, who lives in my heart, is my peace, and that you have given me the light of Christ in my heart. Thank you for placing us, your children, on this planet as lights in the darkness. I pray you will give us the courage to shine for you. Amen.

Daily Reflection

by Dena Dyer on Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 8:52 P

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When I Am a Rich Man

Wishing all Daily Encounter readers a very Happy and God-blessed New Year!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."1

"A legend tells the story of a fisherman called Aaron. Aaron lived on the banks of a river. Walking home with his eyes half-closed one evening after a hard day's work, he was dreaming of what he could do if he were rich. As he walked his foot struck against a leather pouch filled with what seemed to him to be small stones.

"Absentmindedly he picked up the pouch and began throwing the pebbles into the water.'When I am a rich man,' he said to himself, 'I'll have a large house.' And he threw another pebble into the river. He threw another one and thought, 'My wife and I will have servants and rich food, and many fine things.' And this went on until just one stone was left. As Aaron held it in his hand, a ray of light caught it and made it sparkle. He then realized that it was a valuable gem. He had been throwing away the real riches in his hand, while he dreamed of unreal riches in the future."2

As we start a fresh New Year, let us remember all the riches we have in Christ Jesus, and all the blessings from God that we do have, and not overlook these because of all the things we don't have—many of which for many of us we don't even need in order to live a contented and happy life.

As Charles Dickens once said, "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

Contentment and happiness come from within and not from circumstances without. They come from changing the things we can and need to change, from accepting and learning to live with the things we cannot change—and having the wisdom to know the difference. They come from the attitude of one's heart and mind, and learning to trust God in every situation.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for all the blessings that I have in Christ Jesus, and for all the blessings I receive from you every day. Open the eyes of my understanding so that I can see these, thank you for them, and rejoice always in them. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Special NOTE: If you receive this and reply before midnight of Dec 31 … this is a last chance for a tax deductible receipt for 2012 for US donors. Click on the DONATE link in the right hand sidebar to donate on the ACTS secure donor site. Know that your support will be greatly appreciated.

1. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV).
2. Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, "The Man Without Wedding Clothes." http://www.spirit-net.ca/sermon.html.

Copyright 1990-2012 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673
U.S.A.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 8:15 P

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Welcome to the year 2013 and; this is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

What do you think this day, or any day means to our Heavenly Father? For the answer to that let us turn to the Bible where it is written; but, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8) It is also written; for a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. (Psalms 90:4) You see even though a thousand years is a very long, long time to us, it isn't when compared to God's eternal existence.

Now when we think about it, we actually live one moment at a time, not a day at a time, do we not? For none of us carry a guarantee of the future, even if that future is only an hour or two away. So try to do your best in the moments that you have each day, remembering that a lot can be accomplished in only a moment. Therefore cherish each day that God has given to you, and try to be the best person that you can be each hour of every day.

I wish you a wonderful New Year filled with God's love, hope and faith. May God richly bless you indeed in 2013.

Each Day

A new year just beginning,
Each day a fresh, new start,
To fulfill your hopes
And pursue the dreams
Sustained within your heart.

Put God in charge;
He'll plant the seeds
Of affection, love and care.
Like a garden, your life will grow
With kindness flowering there.

And as you face the wonder
Of each day's mysteries,
You'll see God's hand
Unfolding, daily, possibilities!

And as each day comes to a close,
Dream a dream or two,
Then with a prayer thank dear God
For each day given to you.

Poet, Gael Danielle Phaneuf

Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545

Edited by: JENJENS75 at: 1/1/2013 (20:15)
Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 7:55 P

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simply love

Jan 1, 2013

Ephesians 3:14-19

The hope of change is in the air as we enter the New Year. It’s the anticipation of a new outlook or a new direction or the chance to do things differently.

At the turn of the first century, the Jewish people were anticipating a change. In many ways, they were still reeling from being captured by the Babylonians—something that had taken place more than 600 years earlier. Their aggressors had destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple, carting off most of the people to Babylon. It had been devastating—shades of Egypt all over again, as they were once more enslaved in a foreign land (Psalm 137:1).

Babylon eventually fell to other empires, and many Jews made their way back home to rebuild, but they were not yet free. In Jesus’ day, it was the ruthless Romans who were running the show (Luke 2:1), and the Jewish people again felt the crushing weight of oppression. Still, they lived with an ever-growing expectation that God would overthrow the Romans, just as He had done with Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Again, they were waiting for God to rescue them from their oppressors and reestablish His kingdom.

It was into this increasing anticipation of another exodus that Jesus burst on the scene. His countrymen were more than ready for God to oust the Romans. They wanted an uprising—which is partly why they called for the release of Barabbas (a revolutionary) rather than the release of Jesus (John 18:40). They couldn’t see that Jesus came to rescue them (and the whole world) and reestablish His kingdom through love, not force (John 3:16; Galatians 1:4).

Simply love. It’s what Jesus embodied and modeled throughout His life. This is the power He unleashed to change the world, culminating in His death and resurrection.
Jesus’ sacrificial love seeks the best for us and from us.

— Jeff Olson

Read Matthew 11:12 and note what Jesus said about His kingdom and those who are against it.

How does Jesus’ example of love instead of force inspire you in your relationships? What sacrifices do you need to make to seek the best for others?

To comment on today's Our Daily Journey devotional visit our website.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 1:1–2:3

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 7:54 P

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Our Daily Bread -- The Good Life

January 1, 2013

Our Daily Bread is hosted by Les Lamborn

READ: Psalm 73:21-28

It is good for me to draw near to God. —Psalm 73:28

Beauty, wealth, power, love, marriage, and pleasure are good things, but they’re not the best. The best is loving God and taking in His love—bringing Him glory and making Him our friend for life. That leads to the best possible life because it gives us satisfaction and joy now (John 10:10), and it’s what Christians are going to be doing forever.

That’s why we should make time for God and rest in His love—the love that made you and me. It is the reason for our existence and the means by which we will make the most of our lives.

I like the way the psalmist put it: “It is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works” (Ps. 73:28). In other words, the good life is drawing close to the One who loves us like no other.

And how can we “draw close” to Him? Here’s a practice I began many years ago: Take a few minutes every morning to read some verses from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and note what Jesus said or did. After all, He came to show us what God is like (Heb. 1:1-3). Put yourself in the story—in the place of the leper He healed with His loving touch, for example (Mark 1:40-45). Think about how much He loves you and then thank Him!

—David Roper

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. —Crosby

The wonder of it all— just to think that Jesus loves me!

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 7:49 P

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"I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears."

Psalm 6:6

Pouring out his heart with tears, David was completely honest with God. We can be honest with God even when we are filled with anger or despair because God knows us thoroughly and wants the very best for us. Anger may result in rash outward acts or turning inward toward depression. But because we trust in our all-powerful God, we don't have to be victims of circumstance or be weighted down by the guilt of sin.

Be honest with God, and He will help you turn your attention from yourself to Him and His mercy.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
1/1/13 7:48 P

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Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country.

Exodus 7:2

Moses had a brother. He also had a spokesperson. Eventually, God instructed Moses to identify and commission a high priest for the people of Israel. All of these were the same person--Aaron. These two brothers had the good fortune and incredible challenge of liberating and leading a nation out of slavery and into the Promised Land.

For Aaron, part of the struggle involved his role as a subordinate to his younger brother. This did not always sit well. As Moses' spokesperson, Aaron at times felt he had as much right as his little brother to be called God's chosen leader. But when he tried to take matters into his own hands, his lack of judgment and fortitude always got him in trouble. One example of this can be seen in the shameful episode of the golden calf that occurred while Israel was camped at God's mountain and Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments. Ironically, the people were busy breaking the second commandment even before they were officially delivered!

But when Aaron was fulfilling his role and purpose, he was a capable and helpful teammate. Moses treasured his companionship. And Aaron was always the representative of a greater authority. This was true when he was Moses' spokesperson as well as when he was designated the first high priest of Israel. These were certainly honorable roles.

As we think about Aaron's qualities as a role model, we begin with God's command: "Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us" (Rom 12:3). When we get distracted by what others are doing, or by thinking that they have been given more importance or value than us, we become less effective in fulfilling God's purposes.

Comparisons almost always lead to false elevation or false demotion. Could there ever be something more fulfilling than doing and being what God intended us to do and be? As with Aaron, life provides us with a continual series of chances to confirm this point. We are at our best when we are doing what God desires and designed us to do.

2012 © Tyndale House Publishers 351 Executive Drive Carol Stream Illinois 60188

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
12/30/12 1:40 P

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This field will start being used on 01/01/2013.

Blessings,

Jen

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


JENJENS75 Posts: 6,897
12/30/12 1:37 P

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This will be the space that will be a "sticky topic" thus rising to the top, and devotions will be posted daily here, barring vacations, illness, and rare absences.

I hope you are all blessed and enjoy.

Location: Malibu, California

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.


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