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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Oct 2012, 9:46 pm

October 23, 2012
Accept and Affirm Each Other
by Charles R. Swindoll

The wise in heart will be
called understanding, and sweetness
of speech increases persuasiveness.
Proverbs 16:21

God commands that we reach out, accept, and affirm one another. This means that we consciously resist the strong current of the stream we are in . . . the one that dictates all those excuses:

•"I'm just too busy."
•"It's not worth the risk."
•"I don't really need anyone."
•"If I reach out, I'll look foolish."

The devil's strategy for our times is working. He has deluded us into believing that we really shouldn't concern ourselves with being our brother's keeper. After all, we have time pressures and work demands (that relentless, fierce determination to be number one), not to mention, anxieties prompted by economic uncertainty. And who really needs our help anyway?

I'll tell you who---just about every person we meet, that's who.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Oct 2012, 6:31 pm

October 22, 2012
Everybody “Act Medium”
by Charles R. Swindoll

We love, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

The children worked long and hard on their little cardboard shack. It was to be a special spot---a clubhouse, where they could meet together, play, and have fun. Since a clubhouse has to have rules, they came up with three:

1. Nobody act big.

2. Nobody act small.

3. Everybody act medium.

Not bad theology!

In different words, God says the very same thing: "regard one another as more important than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

Just "act medium." Believable. Honest, human, thoughtful, and down-to-earth.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 20 Oct 2012, 11:16 pm

For the earth is the LORD's, and all it contains.
1 Corinthians 10:26

God has the whole world in His hands.

Remember the old gospel song? He's got the wind, the rain, the tiny little baby, yes, even you and me in His hands. How easy it is to forget that!

And it isn't limited to our geography or our culture, you know. He's got the Middle East in His hands (that's a relief, isn't it?), not to mention Central America and China, Ethiopia and India, Indonesia and Russia---all right there in the palms of His sovereign hands.

And while we're at it, He's got our future, our children, our circumstances, our friends, and our foes in His hands . . . within His grasp . . . under His control. Even when imaginary fears slip in like the morning frost to blight our faith, He's there---in charge. . . .

He has yesterday's failures. He has today's challenges. He has tomorrow's surprises right there in His hands. And not one of them causes Him to gasp.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Inspirational Readings by A.B. Simpson
Days of Heaven on Earth
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Post  Admin on Fri 19 Oct 2012, 8:13 pm

October 19, 2012
God Shows Himself Strong
by Charles R. Swindoll

Let your heart keep my commandments;
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:1-2

If you focus on the past, it won't be long before complaints start oozing from your lips.

You will remember a long-ago time, bathed in a hazy, rosy glow of memory, when something was easier and more comfortable than it is today. And as you compare then and now, I guarantee it---you will grumble.

I do this; so do you. But it's so foolish! We look back nostalgically on what was once a pleasant situation, at which time (even then!) we were looking back longingly on a more pleasant earlier time. That's dumb, isn't it?

You may be grumbling right now about your current situation. But chances are good that two years from now, you'll be looking back on this moment and saying, "Oh for the good old days! Boy, it was great back then, wasn't it?" . . .

Stop!

We live in the light of some dreamy past leisure or pleasure, when in actuality God continues to show Himself strong all along the way.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 10:51 pm

Let Go, Relax
by Charles R. Swindoll

By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established.
Proverbs 24:3

The older I get, the more I appreciate the benefits of taking time.

Woodwork done slowly and meticulously by a craftsman is beautiful and able to endure the test of the elements. Art---whether musical compositions, needlework, sculpture, or painting---requires time and attention to detail. Even the cultivation of our walk with God . . . requires a great deal of time to develop.

The psalmist realized this when he wrote, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10, NKJV). The Hebrew does not suggest standing around and letting your mind wander---not that kind of being still. Rather, it means "Let go, relax." . . .

If all this is true of other realms and responsibilities, it is certainly applicable to the home and family. Children were not created to be "jerked up" (as my mother used to put it), but to be cared for with gentleness and attention to detail. They require time . . . lots of it.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Oct 2012, 5:48 pm

October 17, 2012
A Rare Commodity
by Charles R. Swindoll

A man's pride will bring him low,
but a humble spirit will obtain honor.
Proverbs 29:23

Humility isn't a show we put on; in fact, if we think we're humble, we're probably not.

In our day of self-promotion, self-assertion, spotlighting "celebrities of the faith," and magnifying the flesh, this quality---so greatly valued by the Lord Jesus---is a rare commodity indeed. . . .

A truly humble person looks for opportunities to give himself freely to others rather than holding back, to release rather than hoarding, to build up rather than tearing down, to serve rather than being served, to learn from others rather than clamoring for the teaching stand.

How blessed are those who learn this early in life.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 4:48 pm

October 16, 2012
God’s Gracious Liberty
by Charles R. Swindoll

Our old self was crucified
with Him, in order that our body
of sin might be done away with.
Romans 6:6

I remember one hot and humid Houston afternoon back in grade school when our teacher gave everyone permission to go barefoot after lunch. We got to pull off our socks, stick 'em in our sneakers, and wiggle our toes all we wanted to. During the afternoon recess that extra freedom added great speed to our softball game on the playground. . . .

Isn't it strange then, now that you and I are grown and have become Christians, how reluctant we are to give ourselves permission to do . . . to think . . . to say . . . to buy and enjoy . . . or to be different and not worry about who may say what?

Even though our God has graciously granted us permission to be free, to have liberty . . . and to enjoy so much of this life, many in His family seldom give themselves permission.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 9:20 pm

October 15, 2012
A Radical Decision
by Charles R. Swindoll

Keep sound wisdom and discretion. . . .
Then you will walk in your way
securely and your foot will not stumble.
Proverbs 3:21, 23

We are like tiny islands of truth surrounded by a sea of paganism, but we launch our ship every day.

We can't live or do business in this world without rubbing shoulders with those driven by the world's desires. God calls very few to be monks in a monastery. So we must make a practical decision not to be conformed while we are in the system, and at the same time, we must make a radical decision to give God the green light to transform our minds.

At the deepest level, even though the majority may not want to admit it, most people are conformists. That is why it is correctly termed a radical decision. Only a radically different mindset can equip folks like us to stand alone when we're outnumbered.

It takes courage to think alone, to resist alone, to stand alone---especially when the crowd seems so safe, so right.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 13 Oct 2012, 8:00 pm

October 13, 2012
Perfect in Him
by Charles R. Swindoll

He has now reconciled you . . .
in order to present you before [God]
holy and blameless and beyond reproach.
Colossians 1:22

Living as we do in a product-oriented culture, we like to package our faith, too. We prefer to sell a slick, shrink-wrapped version of salvation that includes happiness and peace, and happiness here and now, and heaven by and by.

While there is nothing wrong with good marketing techniques or teaching principles of authentic success, there is something wrong if we neglect to mention the process, which must inevitably include times of defeat and failure. . . .

What I'd like to know is who erected such a happily-ever-after standard of perfection in the first place?

God knows very well we aren't able to produce perfection; that's why Jesus, the perfect Son of God, placed us in His family. That's why He gave us a position of perfect righteousness in Him, reminding us by contrast that our own daily experience will constantly fall short.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
October 12, 2012
A Cluttered, Complicated World
by Charles R. Swindoll

God made us plain and simple,
but we have made ourselves
very complicated.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 (GNT)

Everything around us works against reordering and simplifying our lives. Everything!

Ours is a cluttered, complicated world. God did not create it that way. Depraved, restless humanity has made it that way!

Advertisements have one major goal: to make us discontented, woefully dissatisfied with who we are and what we have. Why? So we will acquire what they offer. And acquire we do! The watchword of our consumptive society is very loud and assertive---more!

Enough is never enough. . . .

Not only do we acquire . . . we keep, we accumulate. Furthermore, we don't simply compete . . . we are driven to win, always win. And not only do we want more, we must spend more time maintaining those things. Staying ahead of that maddening pace leaves us so strained, fretful, breathless.

Surely, God is not the author of such confusion.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 12 Oct 2012, 9:11 am

October 11, 2012
Great-Hearted Souls
by Charles R. Swindoll

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

Peacemakers release tension, they don't intensify it. Peacemakers seek solutions and find no delight in arguments. Peacemakers calm the waters, they don't trouble them. Peacemakers work hard to keep an offense from occurring. And if it has occurred, they strive for resolution. Peacemakers lower their voices rather than raise them. Peacemakers generate more light than heat.

Blessed are such great-hearted souls! . . .

Make no mistake, however; peacemaker is not a synonym for appeaser. This is not peace at any price. There are limits. . . . Smiling at wrongdoing or erroneous teaching doesn't simplify life; it complicates it.

When Christ blessed the peacemakers, He was extolling the value of doing all we can to maintain harmony and support unity. His interest was in making peace where peace is an appropriate objective.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Oct 2012, 4:48 pm

October 10, 2012
A Dead-End Road
by Charles R. Swindoll

Pride goes before destruction, and
a haughty spirit before stumbling.
Proverbs 16:18

What is it that drives us on so relentlessly? Are you ready? Take a deep breath and allow yourself to tolerate the one-word answer:

PRIDE.

We work and push and strive so we can prove we are worthy . . . we are the best . . . we deserve top honors. And the hidden message: I can gain righteousness all on my own, by my own effort, ingenuity, and energy. And because I can, I must!

And why is this heretical? Because ultimately this philosophy says:

1.I really don't need divine righteousness (after all, God helps those who help themselves, right?)
2.I will find lasting joy in my own achievement. This will bring me ultimate satisfaction.

Both are dead-end roads found on Fantasy Island.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Oct 2012, 9:26 pm

October 9, 2012
Take It by Faith
by Charles R. Swindoll

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

Despite all of our searching and all of our study of the Scriptures, we'll never be able to see everything clearly, to fully grasp and understand and answer all the questions. They are beyond our comprehension---a puzzle, a mystery.

In Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliott says, "Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now."

Much of what happens in life we simply have to take by faith. Answers will not be forthcoming.

These are the tensions of reality, and if we get marooned on the tensions, we will not be able to travel further. That is as our heavenly Father planned it.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Oct 2012, 10:49 pm

October 8, 2012
Heed God’s Promptings
by Charles R. Swindoll

The mind of man plans his way,
but the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Nothing wrong with planning. Nothing wrong with thinking it through. Nothing wrong with doing your charts, listing all the pros and cons, talking it over . . .

But as you are moving along, stay sensitive to the quiet, yet all-important prompting of God through His Holy Spirit. It's easier to steer a moving car. Just get the car rolling and you can push it into the filling station to get the gas. But it's hard to get it moving from a dead stop.

So you're on your way, you're making your plans, you're thinking it through. Just stay open. . . .

As author Henry Blackaby says, "Watch to see where God is at work and join Him!" Just go there. Why do you want to be anywhere God isn't at work?

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Oct 2012, 10:02 pm

October 6, 2012
Outrageous Joy
by Charles R. Swindoll

In Your presence is fullness of joy;
in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalm 16:11

I know of no greater need today than the need for joy. Unexplainable, contagious joy. Outrageous joy.

When that kind of joy comes aboard our ship of life, it brings things with it---like enthusiasm for life, determination to hang in there, and a strong desire to be of encouragement to others. Such qualities make our voyage bearable when we hit the open seas and encounter high waves of hardship that tend to demoralize and paralyze.

There is nothing better than a joyful attitude when we face the challenges life throws at us.

Someone once asked Mother Teresa what the job description was for anyone who might wish to work alongside her in the grimy streets and narrow alleys of Calcutta. Without hesitation she mentioned only two things: the desire to work hard and a joyful attitude.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 05 Oct 2012, 10:54 pm

October 5, 2012
Grace for Every Shade of Sorrow
by Charles R. Swindoll

You have been distressed by various trials,
so that the proof of your faith, . . . may be found
to result in praise and glory and honor.
1 Peter 1:6-7

Trials come in various forms.

The word various comes from an interesting Greek term, poikolos, which means "variegated" or "many colored." We also get the term "polka dot" from it.

Trials come in a variety of forms and colors. They are different, just as we are different. Something that would hardly affect you might knock the slats out from under me---and vice versa. But God offers special grace to match every shade of sorrow. . . .

This variety of trials is like different temperature settings on God's furnace. The settings are adjusted to burn off our dross, to temper us or soften us according to what meets our highest need.

It is in God's refining fire that the authenticity of our faith is revealed. And the purpose of these fiery ordeals is that we may come forth as purified gold, a shining likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Oct 2012, 12:37 pm

October 4, 2012
Our Will or God’s Will?
by Charles R. Swindoll

I will instruct you and teach you
in the way which you should go.
Psalm 32:8

Following the will of God requires faith and action, which in turn call for risk and release. This is where things get very personal.

This is where we persevere and flesh out the will of God.

I have come to this conclusion: Doing the will of God is rarely easy and uncomplicated. Instead, it is often difficult and convoluted. Or . . . mysterious.

Because we don't know where He is taking us, we must bend our wills to His---and most of us are not all that excited about bending. We'd much prefer resisting. That's why Christian life is often such a struggle. I don't mean that it's a constant marathon of misery. It's just a struggle between our will and His will.

Someday, when we are caught up with the Lord in glory, we will finally be all the things we have longed to be. Until then, we live in this never-ending tension of give and take, push and pull.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
October 3, 2012
Leave It to God
by Charles R. Swindoll

The work of righteousness will be peace,
and the service of righteousness,
quietness and confidence forever.
Isaiah 32:17

Can't seem to get where you want to go fast enough? Leave it to God.

Worried about your kids? Leave it to God.

Living in a place you'd rather not be? Leave it to God.

Looks like you won't graduate with honors? Leave it to God.

Found a lump and you see the doctor tomorrow? Leave it to God.

A mid-career change seems scary? Leave it to God.

You did the job but someone else got the credit? Leave it to God.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Oct 2012, 2:14 pm

October 2, 2012

God Made Me
by Charles R. Swindoll

You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am
fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:13-14

The word formed literally means "originated or created."

God reached into my life when I was merely a tiny embryo and began to shape me within. He originated me. He began to put me together while I was still in the soft silence of my mother's womb. It was there my "inward parts" were originated by God. . . .

The nine-month interweaving work of God included my likes and dislikes, my personality as well as my perspective on life. . . . As I analyze my body and see the way I have been put together, I join the psalmist in praise and gratitude to God, my Creator. . . .

Mother Nature didn't make me. Fate did not shape me, neither was I just a biological combination of mother and dad in a moment of sexual passion. Nor was I conceived through blind chance.

You, God (and no other), made me!
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
October 1, 2012
The Sovereign Potter
by Charles R. Swindoll

But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
we are the clay, and You our potter; and
all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

By now in our Christian walk we hardly need the reminder that life is not a cloud-nine utopia. It is a terribly unrealistic view to think that Christ helps you live happily ever after; it's downright unbiblical! Most of life is learning and growing, falling and getting back up, forgiving and forgetting, accepting and going on.

We know the sovereign Potter is working with our clay as He pleases.

I've watched a few potters at work. And it's a funny thing. I have seen them suddenly mash the clay down and start over again. Each time they do this, the clay comes out looking entirely different. And with gifted potters, they can start over and over---and each time it's better and better.

He is the Potter, we are the clay. He is the one who gives the commands; we are the ones who obey.

He is shaping us over into the image of His Son.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 29 Sep 2012, 9:37 pm

September 29, 2012
Beautiful in God’s Time
by Charles R. Swindoll

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NKJV)

Among Christians, a favorite verse of Scripture is Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.


The key part of the verse is "work together." That verse does not say "all things are good"---just as Solomon's comment does not say "everything is beautiful." It says, "All things are good as they work together for His purpose." This says, "He makes everything beautiful in its time."

And I've got news for those who struggle with God's timing. You may not live to see God's time completely fulfilled. You may live to a ripe old age, carry out your reason for existence, and die before the full program of God has reached its ultimate and completed purpose. But His promise stands.

He will make everything beautiful in its time.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 28 Sep 2012, 8:09 pm

September 28, 2012
God’s Truth Incarnated
by Charles R. Swindoll

The commandment is a lamp
and the teaching is light; and reproofs
for discipline are the way of life.
Proverbs 6:23

The tyranny of the urgent will always out-shout the essential nature of the important . . . if we let it.

We have to determine not to let that happen. The secret is establishing personal priorities. I have suggested four:

•Set a firm foundation---be biblical.
•Apply the truth of the Scriptures---be authentic.
•Develop a compassionate attitude---be gracious.
•Stay current, always up to date---be relevant.

As we begin to do this, Christianity becomes something that is absorbed, not just worn. It is more than believed; it is incarnated.

And if there is anything that will catch the attention of preoccupied people fighting the fires of the urgent, it is God's truth incarnated. It happened in the first century and it can happen in the twenty-first. Even in an aimless world like ours.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Sep 2012, 1:20 pm

September 27, 2012
A Worry or Two or Three . . .
by Charles R. Swindoll

And which of you by worrying
can add a single hour to his life's span?
Luke 12:25

In the depths of every person's soul, in the secret chambers where no one else knows the thoughts, we are usually able to find a worry or two or three. Even in the hearts of those who are laughing and smiling.

We worry about death---our own or that of a loved one. We worry about disobedience and sin, about feelings of guilt. We worry about daily problems---people problems, decision problems, problems related to work, home, relationships, finances, school . . .

You name it, we worry about it. . . .

One of the problems with worry is that it keeps you from enjoying what you have. When you worry about what you don't have, you won't be able to enjoy what you do have. That's what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6:25: "I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink."

Worry is assuming responsibilities that you cannot handle. The truth is, they are responsibilities that God never intended for you to handle, because they are His.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
September 26, 2012

Wisdom in the Wilderness
by Charles R. Swindoll

I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
Proverbs 4:11

The Hebrew word for "desert" is midbaar. It's from the word dahbaar, meaning "to speak." Let me draw from that root term and suggest that the desert is the place where God speaks, where He communicates some of His most important messages to us. . . .

Your desert experience might involve caring for an ailing family member or an elderly parent over an extended time, with no help at hand and no relief in sight. Your sojourn in the dry lands might be a stubborn physical condition that keeps you confined. It could be that deep soul-ache that comes with an unfaithful spouse, or a rebellious teenager. . . .

Does God know? Does He understand?

He understands very well, my friend. After all, He's the One who put you there. His schooling includes time in the wilderness. That's where He gets our attention.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission
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Post  Admin on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 5:26 pm

September 25, 2012
A Beautiful Balance
by Charles R. Swindoll

He who pursues
righteousness and loyalty finds life,
righteousness and honor.
Proverbs 21:21

We've been programmed to think that fatigue is next to godliness. That the more exhausted we are (and look!), the more committed we are to spiritual things and the more we earn God''s smile of approval. . . . As a result, we have become a generation of people who worship our work . . . who work at our play . . . and who play at our worship.

Hold it! Who wrote that rule? Why have we bought that philosophy? Whatever possessed someone to make such a statement? How did we ever get caught in that maddening undertow?

I challenge you to support it from the Scriptures.

Start with the life (and lifestyle) of Jesus Christ. . . . His was a life of beautiful balance. He accomplished everything the Father sent Him to do. Everything. And He did it without ignoring those essential times of restful leisure.

If that is the way Jesus lived, then it makes good sense that that is the way we, too, must learn to live.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
September 24, 2012

The Impossible Is God’s Ideal
by Charles R. Swindoll

Do not be afraid. Stand still, and
see the salvation of the LORD, which
He will accomplish for you today.
Exodus 14:13 (NKJV)

I'd like to underline a major truth in this world of ours that I don't pretend to understand. Here it is: The best framework for the Lord God to do His most ideal work is when things are absolutely impossible and we feel totally unqualified to handle it.

That's His favorite circumstance. Those are His ideal working conditions.

God does His most magnificent work when the situation seems totally impossible from a human point of view, and we feel absolutely unprepared and unable to do anything about it, yet our eyes are on Him. . . . That's when God rolls up His big sleeves and says, "Step back out of the way a moment, and watch Me work." Time after time, He brings us to our absolute end and then proves Himself faithful.

That, my friend, is the story of the Bible in a nutshell.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Sep 2012, 7:53 pm

September 22, 2012
Forever Discontented
by Charles R. Swindoll

Beware, and be on your guard against
every form of greed; for not even when one has an
abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
Luke 12:15

Let's take a brief look at greed.

Practically speaking, greed is an inordinate desire for more, an excessive, unsatisfied hunger to possess. Like an untamed beast, greed grasps, claws, reaches, clutches, and clings---stubbornly refusing to surrender. The word enough is not in this beast's vocabulary.

Akin to envy and jealousy, greed is nevertheless distinct. Envy wants to have what someone else possesses. Jealousy wants to possess what it already has. But greed is different. Greed is forever discontented and, therefore, insatiably craving, longing, wanting, striving for more, more, more. . . .

That's the whole point of greed. You'll want more and more of something that really isn't good for you. And in the getting of it, you'll suffer the painful consequences. That's why Jesus warns, "Beware. Be on your guard. This thing is like a cancer---an insatiable leech that will suck the life right out of you."

Enough will never be enough.

Beware.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 8:32 pm

September 21, 2012
Sacred Serendipity
by Charles R. Swindoll

I will once again deal marvelously
with this people, wondrously marvelous.
Isaiah 29:14

Seren-dip-ity--the dip of the serene into the common responsibilities of life.

Serendipity occurs when something beautiful breaks into the monotonous and the mundane. A serendipitous life is marked by "surprisability" and spontaneity. When we lose our capacity for either, we settle into life's ruts. We expect little, and we're seldom disappointed.

Though I have walked with God for several decades, I must confess I still find much about Him incomprehensible and mysterious. But this much I know: He delights in surprising us. He dots our pilgrimage from earth to heaven with amazing serendipities. . . .

Your situation may be as hot and barren as a desert or as forlorn and meaningless as a wasteland. . . . But all I ask is that you . . . be on the lookout. God may very well be planning a serendipity in your life.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Sep 2012, 5:20 pm

September 20, 2012
Meaningful Memorials
by Charles R. Swindoll

So these days were to be remembered
and celebrated throughout every generation,
every family, every province, and every city.
Esther 9:28

The Lincoln Memorial. The Vietnam Memorial. . . .

Memorials are places provided for us to stand and be quiet, to reflect, and to pass on to the next generation the roots of a nation's heritage. They give the present significance because they give the past perspective.

My fear for our present rapid-paced lifestyle is that we have so few memorials, so few monuments, even mental monuments. Life is lived in the fast lane. Superficial decisions. Hurry-up childhoods. . . . So little time spent stopping and recording segments of our lives in a journal. So little emphasis on listening and learning and honoring. . . .

In order to have perspective, we must have monuments and memorials, places to return to and learn from and talk about and pass on. If we don't, we are destined to live rootless, fast-lane lives without much significance.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
September 19, 2012

What to Do with Worry
by Charles R. Swindoll

Do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day
has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Here's a question worth your time: What are we to do when worry comes knocking on the door of our mind?

First, we must set our minds on Christ. "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [that would worry you] will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). When the temptation to worry first arrives, that's the critical moment. The tendency is to entertain it. To let it onto the front porch and allow it to sit there. But before you know it, worry has crawled in through the window and made itself at home!

No, worry must be stopped. We have to decide that we are going to commit this worry to God right now and refuse to entertain it, even on the front porch of our thinking.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 10:38 am

September 18, 2012
Magnificent Relief
by Charles R. Swindoll

I acknowledged my sin to You . . .
and You forgave the guilt of my sin.
Psalm 32:5

Like a cool, cleansing shower on a hot, sweaty day, God's forgiveness washes away not only sins but their tormenting guilt.

God goes into the depths of our inner being and provides that magnificent relief that only He can bring: PEACE. . . .

If you are harboring some sin---if you are keeping hidden a few secret regions of wrong---don't expect to enjoy freedom from guilt, child of God.

There is an unspoken axiom threaded through Scripture: secret sin cannot coexist with inner peace.

Peace returns only when our sins are fully confessed and forsaken.

Few grinds are more galling than the grind of an unforgiven conscience. It's awful!

And few joys are more relieving than having our sins forgiven. It's wonderful!

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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