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THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters - Page 7 Empty Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Nov 2016, 5:57 pm

Make a Joyful Noise

Psalm 100 (ASV)
1 Make a joyful noise unto Jehovah, all ye lands.
2 Serve Jehovah with gladness: Come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that Jehovah, he is God: It is he that hath made us, and we are 
his; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

It would be great if we could go back in time to be in one of the worship 
services during the time the Psalms were
written. How glorious it would be. The psalmists mention the different ways 
people praise the Lord back then. I wonder if all of them did this? I wonder 
if there were people back then like there are today that just sit there and 
don’t join in with the praise and singing? They just sit there with their 
mouths shut the whole time.

According to the first part of this Psalm there might have been some people 
like this. The psalmist here is telling them all to make a joyful noise with 
gladness and singing. This doesn’t mean you have to have a great voice to 
sing in the
congregation. You don’t even have to be able to carry a tune. Just make a 
joyful noise!

You might wonder why these people don’t get involved in the praise and 
worship. Each person has their own problems or circumstances. The devil can 
bring things into a person’s life that can get their eyes off God and onto 
their own problems. So how do we worship in spite of them?

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, And into his courts with praise: 
Give thanks unto him, and bless his name.

WE must come into the gates of the temple or church house with thanksgiving. 
That will get our minds off our problems and then we can go deeper to praise 
and worship God Almighty. You might ask, “What do I have to be thankful for? 
I have all these problems, the children were acting up this morning and made 
me mad, etc.” The psalmist gives us one reason for why we can thank and 
praise the Lord:

5 For Jehovah is good; His lovingkindness endureth for ever, And his 
faithfulness unto all generations.

WE know that God is loving and loves us no matter what we have done and no 
matter how we feel. WE do need to belong to Jesus Christ then we know that 
God will be
faithful to us. He will help us in all our struggles and problems. Just lay 
them on Him during that time of worship. Thank Him that you can do this and 
praise His holy name. Once you have laid your burdens on Him then you will 
probably feel like singing with joy to the Lord and making a joyful noise.

by Dean W. Masters

What Good Can Come from Suffering?
Vaneetha Rendall Risner / October 26, 2016
What Good Can Come from Suffering?

“It’s never God’s will for his children to suffer.”

I hear that statement frequently from both Christians and non-Christians as 
they interpret the character of God. Why would a loving God
not want his children to be happy?

I understand that reasoning. I too want to be happy. I don’t want my close 
relationships destroyed. Or my health ruined. Or my livelihood taken away.

Yet in the manifold wisdom of God, as I look at Scripture, I see clearly how 
God uses suffering for our good. And for our eternal joy. Which is far 
deeper
than any fleeting happiness.

Isaiah 30 speaks beautifully to how God uses suffering, regardless of how it 
comes. Speaking to the Israelites, who have been disciplined for their 
disobedience,
Isaiah says,

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he 
hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of 
adversity
and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, 
but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind
you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or 
when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid 
with
silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean 
things. You will say to them, “Be gone!” (Isaiah 30:19–22)

God may give us the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, but with 
them come extraordinary promises. Assurance that he hears and answers our
prayers, the ability to see him and sense his presence, clear direction for 
our decisions, power to destroy sin and strongholds — these are staggering
gifts.

God Hears and Answers

When we are suffering, we can be confident that God hears our desperate 
pleas. The Maker of heaven and earth is listening attentively, waiting for 
us to
call out to him. It doesn’t need to be an eloquent prayer. Just a sincere 
cry for help.

And as soon as the Lord hears our cry, he answers us. Immediately. He 
responds as soon as our plea for mercy goes out.

But honestly, in the midst of suffering, I have often felt the opposite. I 
have felt that God was ignoring my cries because my situation wasn’t 
changing.
As I was begging God for deliverance, things were getting worse. But God has 
gently reminded me that his answers can be “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” And 
though
I may not understand it, I know that God will always give me what is best 
for me, when it is best for me.

He Gives Us Himself

God uniquely gives us his presence in suffering. The Lord, our Teacher, 
doesn’t hide himself anymore. Even though God never leaves us, we are often 
unaware
of his presence. We may go about our day-to-day life, oblivious to the fact 
that God goes with us. But in suffering, God’s presence is unmistakable. It
is as though he removes the veil that hides his face from us, and we find 
ourselves in the very throne room of God.

For me, this is an uncommon feeling. While I know that God is always with 
me, I rarely experience God’s presence in an unmistakable, spectacular way. 
I
have felt close to him while reading Scripture, praying, sitting in silence, 
and praising God in community, yet there is something special about his 
unveiled
presence in suffering.

I will never forget those supernatural encounters with God. The joy I felt 
in those moments, moments that were surrounded by excruciating 
circumstances,
is still vivid. Those times are anchors for me, for whenever God seems vague 
and distant, I remember how he revived my soul in my deepest suffering.

God Gives Us Clear Direction

Years ago I was walking through another dark valley. Physical and emotional 
pain overwhelmed me, making it hard to even think or process. But at the 
same
time, pain strangely made me more attentive to God’s voice. I could ignore 
the noise around me and focus on what God was saying.

God was gracious as I leaned on him in ways I never had before. I asked for 
advice, and God gave it. He directed my steps as I walked. Through fellow 
believers,
through circumstances, through prayer, but mostly through reading his word, 
I learned to recognize his ways. And his voice. I just had to listen.

Listening for me requires reading the Bible, since that is where I hear God 
most often. It is through Scripture that God spoke most clearly as he 
comforted
me, convicted me, and guided me. He used passages that felt loved and 
familiar, as well as those that had once seemed dry and boring. As I read 
them, he
breathed life into the words, bringing fresh insight, wisdom, and direction.

God Helps Us Destroy Our Idols

Lastly, Isaiah 30 shows us that suffering helps us destroy our idols. While 
I don’t worship carved idols, I have taken idols into my heart (Ezekiel 
14:3),
which can be even more dangerous. I have worshiped approval, respect, 
success, and having a perfect family. I thought they would make me happy. 
But when
they were taken away, the power of those idols diminished.

All of my suffering has involved loss. Loss of things I valued. Loss of what 
I loved. Often they were good things, sometimes wonderful things, but none
of them were as good as God himself. And so even though I grieved their 
loss, I saw how God could give me joy without them. Because my joy became 
rooted
in him.

While I wouldn’t choose adversity, it has been an unparalleled gift in my 
life. Has it been hard? Yes. But has it been worth it? Absolutely.

I can honestly echo Joni Eareckson Tada’s words, “I wouldn’t trade places 
with anybody in this world to be this close to Jesus.”

The Scares That Have Shaped Me Book Cover

Twenty-one surgeries by age thirteen. Multiple miscarriages as a young wife. 
The death of a child. A debilitating progressive disease. Riveting pain. 
Abandonment.
Unwanted divorce.

In her book, Vaneetha invites other sufferers to taste with her the goodness 
of a sovereign God who will carry us in our darkest of days.

Christians, This Is Our Night
David Mathis / October 26, 2016
Christians, This Is Our Night

Halloween is not too haunted for true saints. This is no night for God’s 
“holy ones” to run and hide, but rise up and revel in the power of our 
sovereign
Christ. This is not the devil’s day, but ours. No concessions, no treaties, 
no retreat. No call to fear, but an invitation to feast.

Originally “All Hallows’ Eve” may have been an annual commemoration of the 
seemingly super-holy, the Roman “saints” (Latin
hallows, “holy ones”). But under God’s kind providence, a monk named Martin 
came to our rescue when he went trick-or-treating on October 31, 1517, at 
the
church door in Wittenberg. Eventually Luther labored with a horde of others 
to liberate God’s people from a host of medieval misconceptions — including
the assumption that only some, not all, of Christ’s people are “saints” 
(Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; and 2 Corinthians 1:1).

Claiming All Hallows’ Eve truly belongs to believers does not mean we 
celebrate death or darkness. Far from it. We celebrate our Savior’s victory
over death and over everything demonic. We mark Christ’s triumph, through 
death, over sin and Satan. “Through death he . . . destroy[ed] the one who 
has
the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).

As Christians, with open Bibles, we have a theology tall enough and thick 
enough for every ounce of Halloween, and every other day of the year. This 
is
not a night to moan and fret, but to rejoice with confident smiles and 
treats in hand. And with
open ears because the harvest festival is a ripe opportunity to rehearse 
precious truths — or teach them for the first time — about the undaunted 
dominion
of Christ and what it means for us as his people.

So, Christian neighbors, join me in leading our homes and churches out of 
fear and into joy. The harvest is great, and Halloween is a striking foil — 
for
teaching our kids, and reminding ourselves — of who we are in Christ.

1. We Are a Victorious People

Start with Jesus and his victory. All things were created in him, through 
him, and for him — “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether 
thrones
or dominions or rulers or authorities” (Colossians 1:16). And at the cross, 
God “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by 
triumphing
over them in him” (Colossians 2:15). Jesus reigns supreme over Satan and 
every demon, both by creation and by the cross. He commands unclean spirits 
and
they obey him (Mark 1:27). He is Lord even over the mental movements of 
Satan’s minions (Revelation 17:17).

First we marvel at our Champion, and then that he would have us join him in 
his great victory. Not only did he crush Satan’s skull at Golgotha, but he
makes us a victorious people, to stomp with him. We put our own feet on the 
skull. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under
your feet” (Romans 16:20).

To be a Christian emphatically does not mean that we don’t suffer, face 
persecution, or even find ourselves to be the objects of demonic attack in 
this
life. But it does mean we will win (Revelation 3:21), not in our own 
strength, but in the power of God’s Spirit. The decisive battle has been 
won. The
final match is just a matter of time.

We are a victorious people in the world’s single most important war and 
party with the apostle Paul,

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O 
death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin 
is
the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord 
Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54–57)

2. We Are a Courageous People

Because we know victory is assuredly ours in Christ, we can be of good 
courage. Not only has our Sovereign dealt Satan the deathblow, but he does 
not leave
us to fight alone. He promises to be with us (Matthew 18:20), and says to 
his covenant people, “Take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Because Jesus has won, and is with us, we don’t flee from the devil, but 
take Christ up on his promise. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” 
(James
4:7). We know that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” 
(1 John 4:4), and so we boldly defy our adversary on precisely the night 
when
he would most like for us to cower and take cover.

The devil may rage, his lackeys may plot, but “he who sits in the heavens 
laughs” (Psalm 2:1, 4), and invites us to smile confidently with him.

3. We Are a People on Mission

In Christ, we are not a cloistered, cowering people, perpetually on the 
defensive. Jesus gives us a mission: “Make disciples of all nations” 
(Matthew 28:19).
We are no longer of this world, but
sent into this world
, with the backing of the King’s boundless authority (Matthew 28:18), on 
history’s great offensive, thrashing joyfully against the darkness. As Jesus 
prayed
to his Father about his saints,

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them 
from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the 
world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:15–18)

Our great high priest doesn’t pray for our removal from the world, but for 
our reaching of it — rescuing fellow sinners from “the god of this world 
[who]
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light 
of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Our mission is
to free our captive neighbors and coworkers, family and friends, who are 
“following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of 
the
air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 
2:2).

We pray with Paul “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly 
to proclaim the mystery of the gospel . . . that I may declare it boldly, as
I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19–20).

4. We Are an Intentional People

But being on mission doesn’t mean being naïve. Precisely the opposite. The 
commission calls us to intentionality and vigilance for the sake of the 
cause.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a 
roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). God has given us a
manual for war, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not 
ignorant of his designs” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

And in all our care and consciousness, we lean against the backstop of 
Christ’s pledge: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail
against it” (Matthew 16:18). We buy candy, turn on porch lights, make apple 
cider, and bring the warmth of a happy face into an otherwise cold night 
because
we know he has promised “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed 
throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end 
will
come” (Matthew 24:14).

5. We Are a Generous People

Finally, by being Jesus’s people, we are becoming increasingly generous 
people. He fills our hearts and opens our hands. Even on this night, we 
“remember
the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to 
give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). We have resolved to make the sacrifice 
to
give “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 
(2 Corinthians 9:7).

Mark this: unbelieving humans are not our enemies. The devil and his demons 
are the foe. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the 
rulers,
against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present 
darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” 
(Ephesians
6:12).

We look upon the nastiest costumes and vilest of revelers with the mind and 
heart of Christ. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, 
because
they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 
9:36). And we chase away the darkness by turning on our porch lights and 
giving
out the best of treats, not the stingiest.

Jesus came to destroy Satan, all his works, and all his ways (1 John 3:8). 
He has delivered “all those who through fear of death were subject to 
lifelong
slavery” (Hebrews 2:15). Be strong in him and in the strength of his might 
(Ephesians 6:10), and on this All Hallows’ Eve, take your stand against the
schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

After all, this is our night.

Hope Breaks Through Heartache
Leslie Schmucker / October 26, 2016
Hope Breaks Through Heartache

My husband and I have a prodigal.

She came to us when she was nine, and left us just before her eighteenth 
birthday. We were certain (and still are) that God brought her to us. She 
was
alone in the world. A literal orphan. Her mother died when she was six. Her 
father was incarcerated. Her extended family couldn’t care for her. I 
noticed
her because of her beauty — impossibly huge brown eyes, a wavy chestnut 
pixie cut that framed her innocent face, and a confident countenance that 
defied
her inner turmoil, a turbulence birthed through years of trauma and 
abandonment. It didn’t take long for God to show us that she belonged in our 
family.

In the months before bringing her into our home, we progressed through a 
gauntlet of meetings, trainings, and cumbersome processes meant to sift the 
parenting
chaff. After passing muster, we brought our daughter home and adopted her.

New and Crushing Chaos

To say it was a challenge would not begin to describe the nine years that 
followed. Countless nights of tantrums and aggression, pervasive deceit, 
manipulation,
stealing, running away, and destructive behavior. Mayhem was the norm. 
Police and social service investigations became part of our regular 
existence. Marriage-crushing
stress overran our home. By the end of the nine years, divorce was an 
impending cloud ready to sweep away what was left of our former life.

Still, along the way, our chaotic existence was peppered with hope, as we 
were given glimpses into the girl we knew that our daughter could become. 
The
best of these came on the last night of Christmas vacation, when she was 
twelve years old. After a particularly aggressive episode that lasted long 
into
the evening, our daughter suddenly became repentant. Sobbing into my husband’s 
chest, she allowed him and our older daughter to pray with her, and she
voiced her desire to follow Christ. We were elated.

Our daughter was happy and cooperative for several weeks following that 
exhausting and joy-filled night, but she eventually fell back into the 
pattern
which is so typical of trauma-ravaged children.

Searching for Fruit in the Wrong Trees

We are certain that God brought our daughter to us. We adopted her and loved 
her as our own. She had full access to all that our biological children 
have.
She is ours. We gave her our name and a place in our family. We poured nine 
long and difficult years into her life, often sacrificing the needs of our
other children. Time, resources, and stamina were nearly exhausted by the 
time she had left. But the fruit we were sure we would see never 
materialized.

We had failed.

What — we wondered — was God thinking?

In the months since our daughter left, my husband and I have questioned 
whether or not we had heard God correctly all those years ago. Our recent 
conclusion
is that we may have been looking for fruit on the wrong tree. The obvious 
reason for adopting a child is their salvation, both physically and, for the
Christian family, spiritually. But God doesn’t often deal in the obvious. I 
could list a myriad of reasons that God put our daughter in our life.

The fruit we had so hoped for could very possibly still be a tiny seed, or a 
shoot that is planted in some distant forest waiting to give shade to 
someone
who has been touched by our story. Maybe it was on the tree of our marriage, 
or our sanctification, or our daughter’s journey toward Christ. What was God
thinking? I have no idea. We thought we were so sure, but “who has known the 
mind of the Lord?” (Romans 11:34). So our question was all wrong. Not “what
was God
thinking,” but rather, “what does God say?”

God Is Still Good

We know without a doubt that God is good. We know that he loves us, and that 
he has a perfect and trustworthy reason for having brought our prodigal into
our lives and turning our existence on its head.

How do we know this? Because of what he has said in his word. And we believe 
him. We have no choice. We have been laid bare. So in looking for answers,
we breathlessly declare with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the 
words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you
are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68–69).

God’s word is the only answer to our questions about God’s intentions for 
our lives, and the only source for searching for his light when darkness 
encroaches.
God’s narrow road is not easy. Christ’s telling us his burden is easy and 
his yoke is light is not a promise of a stress-free existence here on earth.
It is a promise that he will lift a burden we don’t need to bear anymore, 
our sin. It is a promise of a future glory and of provision in the midst of 
trials
today.

When you carefully study God’s promises and take him at his word, a 
beautiful narrative begins to form. After listening to God’s voice in the 
Scriptures,
my husband and I have concluded that though we have spent nine of our 
thirty-four years together in utter stress and chaos, and though our 
marriage nearly
ended, and though our child is lost to us today, God is still good. He still 
loves us, and Christ’s burdens, indeed, are lighter than anything we can 
experience
in our temporal lives.

The burdens of life overwhelm us with the weight of the world. The suffering 
of Jesus Christ offers us the far greater “eternal weight of glory” (2 
Corinthians
4:17).

The Bigger Story of Adoption

A beautiful narrative has formed since our daughter has come into and gone 
out of our life.

God created us (Genesis 1:27). He is with us, his love quiets us, and he 
sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He hasn’t guaranteed us an easy life, but 
promises
that he has overcome the world (John 16:33). He loves us to death (John 
3:16). He wants us to rejoice in him, he will provide us abundant peace, and 
he
will supply our every need (Philippians 4:19). He wants what is best for us, 
and works for our good (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28). He will comfort us in
our need (Psalm 23:1–6; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). He is completely trustworthy 
(2 Samuel 7:29; Psalm 9:10). He hears us when we speak to him (Psalm 31:22).
He has accepted us as his own children (Galatians 4:6–7; John 1:12). And he 
will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

For some reading this, that last statement might provoke protest. Our 
daughter left in a flurry of hostility. We are grieving that loss, reeling 
from the
failure. It seems we did not get what our hearts desired. But through this 
trial, we have discovered that God’s promise to give us the desire of our 
heart
if we delight in him often yields something unexpected. When we delight in 
God, he leads our hearts to desire
him. Jesus Christ becomes the first and greatest desire of our heart.

Suddenly, no matter the hardship or trial or disappointment, God’s grace in 
the giving of Christ is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). He lavishes
on us his love, his comfort, his protection, his provision, and his peace. 
They are all unfathomable gifts, but our heart’s desire is to have him and 
him
alone.

God holds our future. That is a trustworthy saying. We have been assured in 
his word. We know that whether or not we ever see our daughter again, 
whether
or not she ever truly believes in God, whether or not she continues to 
reject us and him, God is good. And he is enough.

Desiring God
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THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters - Page 7 Empty Re: THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Nov 2016, 9:25 pm

Good morning,
As you got up I watched and hoped you would talk
to me. Just a few words, such as thanking me for
something good in your life yesterday or last
week, would do.
But I noticed you were busy selecting the right
clothes for work. I waited again to hear from you.
When you ran around the house collecting papers,
I knew there would be a few minutes to stop and
say hello, but you never slowed down.
I wanted to tell you that I could help you
accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible
if you would just spend some of each day with me.
At one point you waited fifteen minutes in a chair
with nothing to do. I waited to hear from you.
Then I saw you spring to your feet; I thought
you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the
phone and called a friend. I watched as off
to work you went and waited patiently all day
long to hear from you. With all your activities
you were too busy to talk with me.
I noticed at lunch you looked around; maybe you
just felt embarrassed to talk to me. You glanced
three tables over and noticed some of your friends
talking to me before they ate, but you wouldn't.
There was still more time left, and I hoped that we
would talk. You went home and had many things to do.
After they were done, you turned on the TV; just
about anything goes there and you spend many hours
watching. I waited as you continued watching TV and
ate your meal but again you wouldn't talk to me.
At bedtime you were totally tired. After you said
good night to your family you plopped into bed and
fell asleep. I had so much wanted to be part of your
day. We could have had so much fun and accomplished
so much together.
I love you so much that I wait everyday for a thought,
prayer or thanks. Well, maybe tomorrow!

I'll be waiting.

Your Friend,
God

-Author Unknown


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November 3, 2016

I Choose to Sing
By Answers2Prayer
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"We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, 
because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how 
that
patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for 
whatever God will do next."
(Romans 5:3-4)

God loves us all so much and He speaks to us in more ways than we can 
imagine. Just the other day I was driving my son to the part-time job he has 
at a
sheltered workshop for the disabled. The sky was a dark grey. A cold rain 
was pouring down. The world seemed silent and sad with both people and 
animals
taking shelter from the storm. I turned on the car radio for a little music 
to lift my spirits. When I did, however, Karen Carpenter's sweet, haunting
voice came out singing "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." I turned 
the radio back off.

That was not the song I wanted to hear on such a gloomy day. Still, the song 
kept playing in my head as the showers continued throughout the day.

Later that afternoon I was walking out of the bathroom when I saw my son 
turn the television on. A classic movie was playing and suddenly I heard 
these
musical tones coming from Gene Kelly's voice: "I'm singing in the rain, just 
singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I'm happy again. I'm laughing
at the clouds so dark up above. The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for 
love."

In that moment I saw that God in His loving-kindness had reminded me once 
again that all of life is a choice, a choice to love. Rains and problems 
will
always come. We can let them get us down or we can choose to sing. We can 
let the showers soak our souls or we can use them to help our souls to grow.
We can allow the darkness to depress us or we can use it to awaken the 
sunshine and love in our hearts.

What are you going to do when the rains of life fall down upon you? I for 
one choose to sing. I choose to sing with all the love God has put in my 
heart.
I choose to share my sunshine even on the darkest days and never let my 
music die within me. May you do the same.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed 
for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a 
righteous
man is powerful and effective."
(NIV) Send your prayer request here
and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three 
come together in my name, there am I with them."
(NIV) Hallelujah!

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."


7 Ways to Discover More “Awe” in Your Life

“Who is like you among the gods, O LORD? Who is like you, majestic in 
holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?”—Exodus 15:11 (NASB).

Twinkling lights filled the dusky evening skies. Filled with excitement, I 
exclaimed, “Fireflies,” to the friend on the other end of the phone line. 
While
many might take the sight for granted, I’d not seen fireflies in such large 
numbers in many years—at least more than a decade.

I was awestruck by their beauty as they flitted around my backyard. As the 
daylight continued to wane, the intensity of their flashes increased.

After my exclamation of excitement, my friend replied, “Yes, they seem to be 
more plentiful here at the lake.”

Growing up in Louisiana, my sister and I would capture the insects, also 
known as lightning bugs, and place them in jars. After punching holes in the 
lids
of the Mason jars, we’d set them on our bedroom windowsill and watch their 
tail lights flash on and off as we drifted off to sleep.

Almost 50 years later, I find myself, once again, in awe of these florescent 
insects. I wanted to grab a jar and recapture my childhood memories. I 
thought,
“When was the last time I’d been impressed by such simple, but elegant 
beauty.”

Recently, I read a magazine article titled, “Feeling awe may be the secret 
to health and happiness.”

According to psychologist Dacher Keltner, “Awe is the feeling of being in 
the presence of something vast or beyond human scale, that transcends our 
current
understanding of things.

“People often talk about awe as seeing the Grand Canyon or meeting Nelson 
Mandela,” Keltner says. “But our studies show it can be much more 
accessible—a
friend is so generous you’re astounded, or you see a cool pattern of shadows 
and leaves.”

In today’s fast-paced society, we often miss the “awe.” We’re too busy, too 
wrapped up in making a living or trying to climb the social and financial 
ladder
that we don’t take time to experience God’s creation or appreciate the 
kindness of friends.

According to Keltner, 75 percent of awe is inspired by the natural world. 
Instead of getting outdoors, we hide in our cubicles at work or zone out in 
front
of the TV at home.

So, how can we find more awe in everyday life? Here are seven suggestions by 
author Paula Scott.

1. Drop the devices and gaze at the clouds and stars.
1. Visit a local, state or national park.
1. Take an Awe Walk in your neighborhood, noticing things as if for the 
first time.
1. Describe to a friend or write about a time you once felt awe.
1. Visit a museum or planetarium.
1. Get up early to watch the sunrise.
1. Play amazing music. (Beethoven’s Fifth comes up often. Another is Alison 
Krauss’ “Down to the River to Pray.”

Without doing a scientific study of fireflies, I wouldn’t understand the 
complexities of their bodies. However, I do understand God’s marvelous 
creation
has a plan and a purpose. And that fills me with awe.

I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me with 
your thoughts about this post and please feel free to share this post with 
others.
Thank you for subscribing!

For more inspiration, visit my blog at carolaround.com

Copyright © 2015 Carol Round, All rights reserved.
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PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Today's Devotional

What Good Is It?

Genesis 1:24,25b – And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures 
according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, 
and
wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. And God saw that 
it was good. (NIV)

I was sitting beneath a tree one hot day, when a big, old porcupine plodded 
past. He carried an extra burden: a load of old leaves impaled on his spiky
back. For a moment, I felt sorry for him. But here was the culprit that had 
chewed on our dock and left some sharp quills on the chairs stored under our
cabin. He had also become entangled in the dining tent one night, leaving 
the netting ripped to shreds. He was the same fellow that lived in a nearby 
tree,
sharing a cavity with a bat and dropping his pellets in a large, soft pile 
on our path below. I silently lifted my hand towards him in a gun motion and
whispered, "Bang!" He was a nuisance, as far as I was concerned.

The animal trudged on, ignoring me. I wondered, What good is it? Where is it 
on the food chain? In the past, I've helped to remove painful quills from
a dog and a cow. What wild animal would hunt a porcupine? If someone were 
lost and hungry, they could simply bash it over the head. It's hardly sport 
to
hunt them; they move so slowly. But how would one eat it? How does one pick 
it up?

I discovered that having very few natural enemies apart from man, a 
porcupine can live up to thirty years. It has a soft belly when lifted — 
carefully
— by the underside of its tail, and the meat is used in meatball recipes. 
Its quills are used for decoration on traditional clothing. Being hollow, 
they
were once even used to carry gold dust! What really surprised me was finding 
out that although God created this creature ages ago, only recently did its
quill inspire a new type of hypodermic needle. The backwards-facing barbs 
can penetrate the skin and remain in place. One needle, instead of several, 
reduces
stress and skin breakdown in a patient.

Next time that we ask of something, "What good is it?" I challenge you to 
find out. God doesn't make mistakes; He made everything for a reason.

Prayer: Father in heaven, all of Your creation is a miracle! And You are 
always surprising us! Open our eyes to see Your glory around us. We pray 
this
in the name of Jesus Christ, Who was here even before the world began. Amen.

JJ Ollerenshaw < sandjollie@yahoo.com >
Belleville, Ontario, Canada


Anne Graham Lotz - Dying to Self
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Dying to Self
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross 
and follow me."

Matthew 16:24, NIV

The power in your life and mine that results in blessing is in direct 
proportion to the extent that you are willing to die to . . .

your own will,

your own goals,

your own dreams,

your own rights.

It’s what Jesus meant when He challenged His disciples, “If anyone would 
come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” 
However,
before you get too hung up on the cross, don’t forget — after the cross 
comes the resurrection and the power and the glory and the crown! Jesus kept 
His
focus on the joy of abundant blessing as He “endured the cross, scorning its 
shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2, 
NIV).
Because Jesus was willing to die, He was blessed by God with a position of 
power and authority at His right hand.

If blessing is in direct proportion to a willingness to die to self, how 
blessed are you?

Blessings,

Copyright © 2016 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.


Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

Those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isa 49:23 NIV)

By Answers2Prayer
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The Day After

I became quite the expert in hurting my right ankle during our summer 
vacation. First of all, I burned it in the Bahamas until it developed an 
XXXX-sized
blister. It's amazing what forgetting to cover a foot with sunscreen will 
do, especially when snorkelling in tropical weather! My reward was the 
privilege
of limping around Nassau with my prized blister. Two weeks later I slipped 
while climbing a mountain in North Carolina and twisted the same ankle. Pain
is a mild word to describe that experience, but thanks to the strength God 
gave me, I was able to finish my hike up the mountain as well the trek back
to the car, a trip more than two miles in distance!

Once in the car however, my foot doubled in size. I thought I would end 
looking like a Japanese wrestler! The pain intensified as well, and I found 
myself
lying around the hotel room that evening. No way would I ever be able to 
walk again. Or at least not for the next few days!

But this was just the problem. We had planned on doing more hiking the next 
couple of days. In fact, we were going to climb Chimney Rock and Grandfather
Mountain the very next day. I knew my family, who must all be part mountain 
goat, would be very disappointed if we skipped these two activities. I 
didn't
want to ruin their day with my out-of-whack, burned-to-a-crisp right ankle! 
Although it seemed highly unlikely, I prayed that somehow I would be able to
walk.

The next day when I woke up, I anticipated pain. How little faith I have! 
There WAS no pain!

Wait a minute! Hadn't I tortured my right foot to the extreme? And wasn't it 
still swollen? Shouldn't I be entitled to some misery? Maybe if I started
walking on my foot. Yeah! That would do it! But to my astonishment, when I 
put my weight on my foot there was no pain! I was limping a bit, but it was
hardly noticeable.

How could it be?

And this wasn't the end of the story. In order to not further injure my 
foot, God provided elevators and walking sticks so that I, along with my 
herd of
mountain goats, was able to thoroughly enjoy both Grandfather Mountain and 
Chimney Rock. Praise be to God!

Then I remembered God's promise: "Those who hope in me will not be 
disappointed." (Isa 49:23 NIV)

Does this mean our suffering will be limited on earth? No. However what it 
means is that we, as followers of Christ, can revel in our pain!

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also 
rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces 
perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint 
us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us." (Rom 5:2-5 NIV)

We know that no matter what, our pain will be temporary, and that eventually 
we will be rewarded with a pain-free existence in the Lord!

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or 
mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 
(Rev
21:4 NIV)

We have a lot to anticipate and to celebrate! Let's have a party! Everybody 
is invited! "Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you
find." (Matt 22:9 NIV)

Rob Chaffart

Written in 2008

Announcement:

As promised, on the first Monday of every month, we be publish one oldie 
from our devotional files. Enjoy!

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."
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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Looking Backward, Missing What's Ahead - #7781

Two roller coasters. Only one seemed like a real option to me. I should 
point out that I really don't do roller coasters much. "Because you're 
chicken,"
you say. No, because I'm too short. I just don't measure up to that little 
height chart that they have at the entrance to the coaster. Actually, I have
a friend who declines roller coaster invitations by saying, "I can't. I have 
an inner ear problem." I like that. I may have to remember that one. For 
whatever
reason, my rides on roller coasters are few and far between. But at this 
particular amusement park that I visited a few years ago, they had two 
roller
coasters side by side and two lines to get to them. Over one line was a sign 
that said, "Forward." Over the other line, a sign that said - yeah, you 
guessed
it - "Backward." You can ride looking forward or looking backward. Like this 
is a choice?

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Looking 
Backward, Missing What's Ahead."

There are two lines in life, and two cars you can ride in. One says, 
"Forward" and the other says, "Backward." You choose. Frankly, I don't want 
to ride
looking back at where I've already been. I want to ride looking ahead to 
where I'm going. I hope you do, too.

And that's what God wants for you. In our word for today from the Word of 
God in Isaiah 43:18-19 - some of my anchor verses. Here's what He says, 
"Forget
the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! 
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert 
and
streams in the wasteland." God wants today to be the first day of the rest 
of your life, not just another day of what your life has been up until now.
This can be page one of a whole new volume or just another page of the same 
old story.

Maybe you've been riding too long looking backward. You keep rehearsing and 
reliving the hurt of your past, your failures, the painful losses you've 
experienced,
and the regrets over what you've done or what you should have done. But 
that's the past, and none of it can be changed. But if you don't move beyond 
the
pain, the anger, the bitterness, the self-pity, the grief, and the 
self-condemnation - if you keep dwelling on that, you'll miss the part of 
your life
that can be changed - the future.

One of God's great representatives, Paul, said, "Forgetting what is behind 
and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the 
prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 
3:13-14). Jesus is the Lord of new beginnings, of fresh starts, of clean 
slates. You
need to come to Him and let Him release you from being tied to the people 
who've hurt you, by getting His grace to forgive them. You need to ask His 
help
to begin to define your life, not by what has happened, but by what's going 
to happen; what can happen because of Jesus in your life.

Just a few verses after God's call to forget the past and go for His new 
thing, He tells us how that's possible. He says, "I, even I, am He who blots 
out
your transgressions...and remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25). 
That's what Jesus wants to do for you. It's why He died on that cross and 
why He
rose again from His grave. He paid the death penalty for every wrong thing 
you've ever done so He could erase your sin from God's book forever, because
otherwise, your sin will cost you heaven.

A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate. If you're at the point in 
your life where that's what you want, then it's time to open up your life to 
Jesus
Christ. He's the Lord of new beginnings. You can reach out to Him right 
where you are and tell Him something like this, "Jesus, I've run my own life 
long
enough and, as a result, there's a lot in my past I want to be rid of. So 
right now I'm grabbing you with both hands, and I'm pinning all my hopes on 
you
because you died for me. I want today to be the first day of a new life; of 
a new me."

There's a lot more great information about how to begin this relationship 
and be sure you belong to Jesus if you go to our website, appropriately 
named
ANewStory.com. Your new story could begin today.

You've been looking back long enough. There's no reason your life has to be 
just more of what it's been before, because Jesus has come to you today. And
with Jesus, your life will never be the same again.'
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 · 
USA

The Alpha and Omega—the Beginning and the End
October 31, 2016

Read: Revelation 21:6 7, 22:12 14

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the 
end. (22:13)

Believers can celebrate that there is no beginning or ending without God. He 
is never absent from our pain or rejoicing. In fact, he promises in Hebrews
13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What a comfort to know that 
the loving hand of God is holding, supporting, and carrying us through the
beginnings and endings and each moment in between. From a child’s first cry 
to a parent’s final breath. From the moment we say “I do” to the point a 
marriage
ends. From the first day of school, the start of a new job, and the blooming 
flowers of spring to the day we graduate, retire, or feel the cold winter
wind. If we have repented of our sin and trusted in Jesus Christ for 
salvation, our Savior’s words hold true: “I am with you always, to the end 
of the
age” (Matt. 28:20).

The end of a relationship, season, dream, or life brings sorrow. The end of 
guilt and shame brings peace. As hard as the endings are, we serve a God who
restores and makes all things new (Rev. 21:5). In times of change, remember 
new life and fresh starts. Until that glorious day when we come to the new
heaven and new earth, may you follow the Alpha and Omega and devote yourself 
to serving him in every season of life.

PRAYER:
Thank you, Lord, for loving and upholding me through the beginnings and 
endings I face in life. Amen.

The Nots

Dear God,
Please untie the knots in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my 
life.

And most of all, Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life
all of the “am nots” that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that I am not good enough.

In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tim's Inspiration List
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Anne Graham Lotz - Faith in the God of Creation!
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Faith in the God of Creation!
Sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who 
prepares rain for the earth.

Psalm 147:7-8, NKJV

Although God was actively involved throughout the Creation process, in the 
beginning the “earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface 
of
the deep” (Gen. 1:2,NIV). If you and I had been present at that time to view 
the earth, we might have had the impression that because we could not see
any evidence of God’s activity, He was not doing anything. Yet at that very 
time, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2, NIV). He
was actively preparing Planet Earth to receive His Word and be transformed 
into a place of beauty and purpose.

Are you concerned for a friend whose life is like “the surface of the deep”– 
undulating, unstable, always changing, and moody? Even though you have 
prayed
without ceasing, have you seen no evidence of God’s activity in that person’s 
life? Have you therefore concluded that God is not active? Place your faith
in the God of Creation and be encouraged! He is active whether or not you 
and I can see evidence of His activity.

Blessings,

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Copyright © 2016 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.

How your kindness can change everything

November 2

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in 
Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

Several years ago, I was preaching one morning on today’s Scripture, and we 
had a big hiccup in our sound system. The microphone was popping, squealing,
and screeching. Needless to say, I was very frustrated with the whole 
situation.

I stepped off the stage after the sermon intending to go share my 
frustration with the people in the sound room. But just as I was about to 
open the door,
I remembered the verse I preached that morning. I probably would’ve handled 
it okay regardless, but I do know I had an extra measure of grace in light
of the verse that was fresh in my mind.

Walking away from that day, I really spent some time thinking about what our 
lives would look like if before every decision we made, we remembered what
God’s Word said first. And I believe one of the biggest areas of our lives 
that would change is how we treat others.

It’s my prayer that the people of God would love one another so well that 
the world would see us and say, “Something is different about them.” Love 
one
another with kindness and compassion. Not only will you be obedient to God, 
but you’ll also give the world a glimpse of the hope that’s in you.

BE KIND AND FORGIVING, AND LET YOUR LOVE FOR OTHERS BE A BEACON TO A LOST 
WORLD
----------------------------------------------------------
For more from PowerPoint Ministries and Dr. Jack Graham, please visit
www.jackgraham.org

Flying Lessons
by Meghan Kleppinger, Crosswalk.com Contributor

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for 
welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 , NAS

While traveling to Chattanooga, TN a few years ago, I read the 
autobiography,
Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved, by Dorie Van Stone. The book retraces the past 
of a deeply wounded child transformed into a woman with heart on fire for 
the
God who loves her.

As a child, Dorie was rejected and abandoned by her mother, and abused by 
orphanage workers, foster parents, and relatives. In the midst of a 
horrendous
childhood filled with daily mistreatment, Dorie was introduced to the One 
who did love her and would never abandon her. Her life is now one that 
reflects
not her past, but her Savior.

As I finished reading the final chapter on the plane, I shared with the Lord 
that I wanted to meet Dorie, give her a huge hug, and thank her for writing
the book.

During my layover in Atlanta, I saw a woman resembling Dorie in one of the 
airport stores. I pulled the book out of my bag to compare the woman in the
store with the photo on the back cover. I shook off the possibility and 
thought the same thing you are thinking now, “There is no way!” I proceeded 
to
my gate promising myself if I saw her again I would I ask if she was, in 
fact, “Dorie.”

I’m not proud to admit that when she appeared at my departure gate, I was a 
complete wimp and did not approach her. She sat two seats behind me on the
plane, and still I said nothing. In Chattanooga’s airport she kept popping 
up, but I continued to come up with excuses for not asking a simple 
question.
Finally, while waiting for my baggage, I heard someone say, "Mrs. Van 
Stone."

I turned to her and finally asked, "Are you Dorie Van Stone?" She answered 
“yes” (of course). "Oh my!" was my intelligent response. I continued with, 
"I
just finished your book on the plane."

"What did you think?" She asked, smiling.

“It was wonderful!” I managed to gurgle out. “I promised myself that if I 
ever met you I would give you a big hug!”

Without hesitation, she dropped her bags and gave me the biggest bear hug 
imaginable. I thanked her for writing the book and we quickly embraced again
before going our separate ways.

I was amazed by the marvelous gift God gave me in meeting Dorie Van Stone. 
My adrenaline high was cut short with the reality that I could have spent a
lot more time talking with her, but was too afraid. God was prompting me, 
but I ignored Him. Instead of listening, I waited until it was safe to ask. 
To
this day, I regret the lost time I could have spent with Dorie.

I committed to never again allow fear to guide my decisions.

Every day, in little ways, God asks us to step out and trust Him. Sometimes 
He is asking us to share the gospel or help someone in need ... and 
sometimes
He is answering a
prayer
or simply asking us to receive a gift. Isn’t it easy to make excuses or 
justify saying “no?” We cheat ourselves when we respond this way. He offers 
us
His goodness, shows us His glory, invites to be part of His work, and all we 
have to do is sensitive to His prompting and say “yes.”

Intersecting Faith & Life: Remember what I learned that day: when God asks 
you to do something that is a little challenging or out of your comfort 
zone,
He’s not asking you to blindly jump off a bridge to your death, He’s 
offering you a chance to fly! So, prepare for flight, find comfort in the 
shadow
of His wings
(Psalms 36:7
), and experience His goodness and love.

Further Reading

2 Timothy: 1:7
Your Ordinary Life Can be Extraordinary
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You may think that I am unloving, narrow-minded, bigoted!

( J.C. Ryle )

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven 
given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Man is a sinful creature. All children born into the world, whatever their 
name or nation is--are corrupt, wicked, and defiled in the sight of God.

Human nature is so tainted and corrupt that, left to himself, no man could 
be save.

There is only one way in which a man or woman must be saved. It is only by 
our Lord Jesus Christ, through faith; never by our own works and 
righteousness.

One golden thread runs through the whole Bible--no salvation except by faith 
in Jesus Christ.

You may think that I am unloving, narrow-minded, bigoted, and so forth; so 
be it. But you cannot tell me that my doctrine is not that of the Word of 
God.
That doctrine is, "Salvation in Christ to the very uttermost!" But without 
Christ, there is no salvation at all.

Let it be called intolerant and unloving. No salvation, no way to 
Heaven--except through Jesus Christ!

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except 
through Me."
John 14:6

~ ~ ~ ~

We have published Robert Dale's helpful and insightful short article, "
Anxiety about the Future


1 True Way to Find Rest in God
Kelly Balarie

The girl was acting bad in church. I couldn't help but notice her. She 
jumped around, like a pent up puppy, giving no attention to the pastor. I 
apparently
was acting bad too because I kept on watching her. She was cute. She didn't 
much care for brother though, and with this, Mother shoved her over towards
daddy...

To give you some background, I've felt unsettled lately. Unsettled in my 
mothering that seems a bit too intense. Unsettled in this adventure called 
book
and how God will use it. Unsettled by people who have let me down. It feels 
like a bad cough. These feelings of insecurity rise up as a hinderance to
faith
. I feel it coming, I hate it too. Yet, I know there's a cure.

Daddy picked her up and held her. Immediately her head rested on daddy's 
shoulder. She looked to the side in a daze. Instantly, her arms that wrapped 
around
him fell. Daughter relaxed. She became a wet noodle fresh out of a massage - 
all aggression, agitation and irritation vanished in the arms of her Father.

I watched closely. It was interesting. Nothing had really changed. She was 
still in the same place. She was still just as bored. She was still the 
sister
of the brother that drove her nuts. She was still very much in the same 
problem she was 2 minutes ago, but actually, everything did change.

She was in daddy's arms.
Her eyes closed.
She was nearly falling asleep.
Simply because she knew she was safe.

Loved.
Cared for.
Adored.

Do you know this?

You can relax. What is bothersome, burdensome and back-breaking is soothed 
by the power of love. It is love that pulls you close. It is love that holds
you with arms of protection and dedication. It is love that will never break 
or fall or grow weary of your bad antics.

Perhaps you need to know today you can fall into the arms of a daddy that 
will not hurt you. You don't have to resign yourself, any longer, outside of
his arms because you are on the blacklist or because you are a bad 
church-goer. You don't have to keep him at an arms-length because you are 
the the ugly
step-child or because you are a failure.

Daddy's pick up daughters. It is as simple as that.

great daddy

In this place, there is no worry of what annoyances are around.
There is no focus on things that are about to ruin you.
There is no attention to the ways you're life is breaking apart.

There is just - Him.
You.
Covered in affection.
Filled with security.
Embraced without requirements.

I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

Have you trusted daddy to uphold you in his arms?

The cure to worry, insecurity and the silent jury in your mind, is getting 
unhurried as you lay in the arms of God.

I know this to be true. Me - the most unsettled of all unsettled people, 
finds refreshment in the deep-reaching arms of the father.

Daily, I fall there and fail there and it is okay. He accepts me. He accepts 
you to - in such a powerful way, you can let go of everything and just rest,
body fully relaxed, in the arms of his love.



Who is leading your steps these days?
Ciloa logo
October 24, 2016
Volume XVI, Issue 43
A Note of Encouragement

Send this Note to a friend.
A white cane stretches past feet preparing to cross a road

Avoiding Disappointment
...by Janet Perez Eckles

"What do you miss the most?" a friend asked recently.

I thought for a while. "What I miss the most from my sighted days is seeing 
my little ones' faces. And I also miss driving."

Now decades after I lost my sight, being unable to drive is really not that 
big of an issue. Instead, I make sure my blindness is never in the way of 
having
a good time, making memories and relishing in the company of friends.

A woman helping a blind woman turn to cross the road
When out with a girlfriend, we often share a meal, chat and laugh. Even 
without sight, I enjoy every minute because I discovered these three 
important
steps:

• Remain close enough to hold onto her arm,
• Trust she will guide me correctly, and
• Obey when she indicates a change of direction to avoid smashing into 
obstacles.

But in many ways, you are just like me. Although I'm physically blind, we're 
all blind to what tomorrow brings and we cannot see what waits for us at the
next turn.

Yet sadly, when we walk boldly on our own, trusting in our decisions...slam! 
We hit the wall of disappointment and heartache. Stunned, we wonder what 
happened.

The answer is simple: When looking for the right direction in life, we fail 
to follow these same three steps:

Legs walking along a cobbled path
Remain close to God. Stay near enough to be under His shadow and know His 
Word, to hear His guidance and listen to His warnings.
Show me favor, God, show me favor; for in you I have taken refuge. Yes, I 
will find refuge in the shadow of your wings until the storms have passed.

Trust that He will guide us in the correct path. Rather than relying on 
personal wisdom or insight, have faith that He knows the best way, the 
safest route
and the destination that will bring rewards rather than regrets.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own 
understanding.

Obey His every instruction. Be courageous when afraid. Be bold when feeling 
doubtful. Be certain when unsure.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land...

It isn't just the blind who need someone to lead them. Who is leading your 
steps these days?

Seeing the best of Life,
Janet

Janet Perez Eckles dedicates her life to helping thousands conquer fear, 
erase worry and discover the path to a joy-filled life. She does this 
through
her four inspirational books, through her presentations as an international 
keynote speaker, and as founder of JC Empowerment Ministries and host of the
"Cooking in the Dark" video series.
Discover her ministry at www.janetperezeckles.com
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A New Beginning
October 25, 2016

READ: Genesis 3:14-24

Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the 
ground from which he was taken. (v. 23)

Life in a fallen world contains endings. Sometimes we know the end is 
coming. We know we are reading the final pages of a book, we see the clock 
wind down
on an athletic event, or we watch the grand finale of fireworks that signal 
the conclusion of the show. Sometimes endings are unexpected and potentially
painful. A relationship is ended, employment is terminated, or 
confidentiality is broken.

Adam and Eve’s life outside of the garden was drastically different than it 
had been in the garden. Now there was sin, work, suffering, and guilt. The
end of life as they knew it led to a necessary new beginning. Whether we 
want them or not, new beginnings follow endings. These can include the start 
of
a new job, the beginning of a new relationship, or entering into the stages 
of grief.

Thankfully God is with us in new beginnings. In Genesis 4, we find Adam and 
Eve crediting God for the conception and life of Cain (v. 1), their sons 
bring
offerings to God and converse with him (vv. 3-7), and God graciously puts a 
mark of protection on Cain after he murders his brother (v. 15).

What ending has led to a new beginning in your life? How can you sense God’s 
presence with you? How can you prayerfully ask for his help and depend on
him as you start anew?

Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the 
ground from which he was taken. (v. 23)

PRAYER
Lord, however painful the ending, help me to see hope in a new beginning 
because you are in control. Amen.

How to be Thankful When You Just Aren't Feeling It
Rachel Dawson

This month is one of my absolute favorites. I love the entire season of 
Fall, but I especially love the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving when it 
feels
like more people are thinking about and expressing their gratitude. Every 
year, when I turn the calendar over to November, it feels like I’m pushing a
reset button on my attitude and entering into a time where thankfulness is 
more present and acknowledged in my life.

We all have things to be thankful for all the time, but in some seasons of 
life, it can be hard to remember that. I entered November this year with 
some
heavy things weighing on my heart, and I know many friends who feel the same 
way. It can be hard in times of transition, in times of grief and loss, in
times of battling diseases, or in times of confusion to find things to be 
grateful for, but I’m reminded that Scripture tells us to be thankful in all
things.

Heather Enright recently wrote a piece on “ When Gratitude Feels Unnatural
” for (in)courage where she shared her own story of finding gratitude in the 
midst of a hard season.

She shares how after the loss of their newly-born nephew, her husband told 
her “The Bible
doesn’t say we have to be thankful for all things. But God asks us to be 
thankful in all things.”

Even if you don’t feel thankful for the season of life you’re in or for the 
circumstances you’re currently experiencing, we can still posture our hearts
to be thankful to God during those times.

“In the waiting times, or in the heartbreaking seasons of grief,” she 
writes, “we have a choice to make. When we turn our despair into a 
deliberate confession
that God is good even when our circumstances are not, that is offering one 
of the sweetest sacrifices we can to the One who sacrificed it all for us.”

The Bible shares many verses about giving thanks and expressing our 
gratitude to God (
you can find 27 of them here !) and each one is a great reminder that we can 
truly find things to be grateful for in every circumstance.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “ Do not be anxious about anything
, but in every situation, 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.”

In every situation, no matter how painful or confusing or miserable, we can 
cry out to God with hearts that are still thankful for his goodness, his 
faithfulness,
his provision, and his plan.

“The sacrifice of thanksgiving says that even here, in this pit, I will 
choose to believe God’s goodness,” says Enright. “These offerings preach to 
our
souls that God is working for our good even when we cannot imagine it. Such 
gratitude expresses that all God’s ways are for us although we cannot yet 
see.”

Several years ago, after reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts
, I started a gratitude journal of my own. I, too, wanted to list out 1,000 
gifts I was grateful for, and this little pocket-sized journal was the 
perfect
place to do it. I listed all the big ones first (God, my family, my home, my 
job and a steady paycheck, etc) and then started to dig a little deeper.

My list kept growing as I searched my heart and looked around at my life and 
realized there were so many gifts surrounding me. I wrote things like “the
smell outside just after today’s thunderstorm” and “getting to watch the 
sunset overlooking the city tonight” and “the text from a friend that came 
just
when I needed it.” These things weren’t huge or necessarily life-changing, 
but they were little gifts, and I was grateful for each of them. When I 
started
shifting my perspective to look for the blessings around me, I began to 
truly have eyes to see them and a heart to acknowledge and appreciate them.

In the harder seasons of life, it’s often the little things that help us to 
keep going. It’s the smile from a stranger on the street, or the person in
front of us at Starbucks unexpectedly paying for our drink, or the perfect 
song coming on the radio.

We might not be able to feel God moving in big ways all the time, but we can 
certainly seek him in the little things. These little gifts are reminders
of our God’s great love for us, and we can always be thankful for that.

“Whether we feel like it or not,” Enright says, “we can publicly confess 
that God acts on our behalf behind the hidden doors of heaven for our 
eternal
benefit even as we wait for this to be made evident.”

I encourage you to start a gratitude journal of your own. Having a goal of 
1,000 gifts (or whatever number you choose) is a great motivation to be 
looking
for those blessings throughout our daily lives, especially when we are in 
challenging circumstances.

Let us give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful 
deeds ( Psalm 107:8
). Let us give thanks to the Lord for he is good
(1 Chronicles 16:34
) and because of his righteousness (
Psalm 7:17
). As we move toward Thanksgiving this month, let’s do so with hearts that 
find thankfulness in all things.

Publication date: November 3, 2016
Rachel Dawson is the editor of BibleStudyTools.com

God will never put you in a situation that you can't handle. --Unknown

I hear that saying all the time. Sometimes I automatically nod my head 
because it just sounds right, like a plaque on your mom's fridge. It is 
usually
presented as a concise summary of God's care for us. The problem is, it 
isn't true...

We've all hit obstacles in our walks that aren't possible for us to pass. In 
fact, I'd even say that God puts things in our lives that we can't take care
of on purpose. If we could handle everything on our own, there would be no 
need for us to rely on God. And that's how we were designed to live!

“If we could handle everything on our own, there would be no need for us to 
rely on God.”

TWEET THIS

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, 
having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
--2 Corinthians 9:8 .

He is able to empower us.

Because of God's grace, we are able to do things that we would be unable to 
do on our own. How does that work? I have no idea! I don't know how it is 
that
He energizes our thoughts or the molecules in our bodies to allow us to 
accomplish things and choose things that we couldn't without His strength. 
But
we know that He does. And when we obey Him and allow Him to work through us, 
we also experience it.

Father, it's tough to take on the challenges that I sometimes have to face. 
I don't want to try it on my own. I'm weak. You are strong. Be my strength.
May others see what You're doing through me and be amazed by it. Let the 
world know through Your works in me that You are the source of this power! 
Amen.

Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at 
OnePlace.com
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Post  Admin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:52 pm

Tavern Owner or Church Goer?

1 John 5:14-15 (GNB)
14 We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that he hears us 
if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15 He hears us 
whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he 
gives us what we ask from him.

Do you believe these verses? If you believe that the bible is the true Word 
of god then these have to be true. God wants to give good gifts to god's 
children. The
psalmist did give us one warning, though:

Psalm 66:18 (GNB)
18 If I had ignored my sins, the Lord would not have listened to me.

If you are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ and are trying to live 
in His will then God will answer your prayers. They may not be answered in 
the way you think they should but they will be answered the way God knows 
they should. God knows everything and everybody. God knows what is best. It 
is up to you to pray and release it. Then God can work things out.

A tale is told about a small town that had historically been 'dry,' but then 
a local
businessman decided to build a tavern. The congregation from a local church 
was
concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene.

It just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it 
burned to the ground.

The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming the prayers of the 
congregation were
responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were 
certainly not responsible.

The presiding judge, a man wiser than most, after his initial review of the 
case, stated that "No matter how this case comes out, one thing is obvious."

When asked what that was, the judge said that "It is evident that the tavern 
owner
believes in prayer and the church-goers do not
Source Unknown

Are you like the tavern owner or one of the church goers?

by Dean W. Masters

"Lord, Give Me What I Need - Give Me Faith!" #84-06
Sermon Text for October 9, 2016
Presented on The Lutheran Hour on October 9, 2016
By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Lutheran Hour Speaker
(What Is Faith?)
Copyright 2016 Lutheran Hour Ministries
Listen to The Lutheran Hour podcast online
Text: Luke 17:11-19

Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was 
no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And 
Jesus
said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia.

Have you heard of Elon Musk? He is a business entrepreneur, visionary, and 
inventor. He is behind the development of Tesla Motors electric cars, the 
SpaceX
company's efforts to privatize space travel, and the development of 
PayPal-the online payment system you use when you buy stuff.

Elon Musk is no shrinking violet. He is a relentless innovator who is very 
clear about his personal vision to change the world and humanity. At 
forty-five
years of age, Musk is shaking up the status quo in the twenty-first century.

Musk isn't perfect. He has plenty of flaws. But, whether you agree with what 
he's up to or not, you've got to give him this; he is a bold human being.

But, when I was reading the text for today, I wondered if the boldness of 
these lepers crying out to Jesus for help was a bit like the boldness of 
Elon
Musk, to do what was unexpected, to challenge the norms because it was 
really, really important.

The episode unfolded this way. On the way to Jerusalem [Jesus] was passing 
along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met 
by
ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, 
"Jesus, Master, have mercy on us"
(Luke 17:11-13).
Those men who suffered from the dreadful disease of leprosy were supposed to 
shout, "Unclean! Unclean!" before anyone got close to them. Who do you think
started the hubbub to shout something else? What did these men know about 
Jesus?

They knew something. Not far from where they were wandering, Jesus had 
raised a widow's son back to life in the village of Nain (Luke 7). Jesus 
sent out
the Twelve Disciples to go from village to village, preaching the Gospel and 
healing people (Luke 9). These men with no hope of healing, they knew about
Jesus. They understood that nothing was impossible for Him. So, they were 
suddenly filled with a reason to shout out something they never shouted 
before.
They called for Jesus and they asked for His mercy.

God's miracles bring audacious hope. That's what it means to live by faith. 
As the writer of Hebrews said,
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things 
not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith receives the certain promises of God. It is 
the
boldness to trust that God can do anything.

It's why you don't have to settle for what the world hands you. Instead, you 
can joyfully expect God's miraculous grace in your life. The men with 
leprosy
realized they didn't have to settle. God would open a door.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Paul Brand? He was a leprosy expert for all of 
his adult life until he died just over ten years ago. Leprosy still affects 
millions
of people every year. Today it is called Hansen's Disease.

Dr. Brand saw the devastation of leprosy while he worked as a surgeon in 
Vellore, India. Even though the disease is not as contagious as people think 
and
is very treatable, many who suffer with leprosy are still shown terrible 
cruelty-just as they have been throughout history, including the time when 
Jesus
walked the earth. Brand embraced victims of leprosy. He studied how to help 
and to heal. He pioneered surgery that restored the use of hands and 
feet-allowing
victims to re-enter society, get jobs, and live life again.

Dr. Paul Brand didn't settle for what the world handed out. He didn't accept 
the fear, alienation, discouragement, and hopelessness of leprosy. Neither
did Jesus. When the ten men cried out for help, Jesus didn't see a disease; 
He saw people who needed hope that He could give. He saw people who felt 
forgotten,
helpless, and unwanted. So Jesus did something about it. Luke reports: "When 
he saw them he said to them, 'Go and show yourselves to the priests.' As 
they
went they were cleansed"
(Luke 17:14).

Jesus doesn't settle for what the world hands out. What is the world handing 
out to you? What has life dished up for you? Do you struggle with worry? Are
you paralyzed by fear? Does your loneliness seem insurmountable, your 
relationship irreconcilable, and your problems unsolvable?

How long have you been trying to do this by yourself? What if you did what 
the ten men did in Luke 17? What if you stopped trying to figure it all out
and fix it on your own and, instead, called out to Jesus for help? What if 
you lived by faith in Him? Instead of relying on what you can do, what if 
you
placed your hope in the One Who healed the leprous men and Who came to seek 
and to save your lost and weary soul?

There's hope out there. There's hope for you. It's in the person of Jesus 
Christ Who came to a world that could only settle for chaos and inevitable 
death.
But instead of settling for that broken and sinful condition, Jesus 
sacrificed Himself on a cross to put an end to sin's dominance. He crushed 
the dead-end
of hopelessness and He rose from the dead with a brand new scenario for us 
all.

You may feel like you have to settle for the guilt you carry. You may feel 
like you have to settle for the baggage from your past or the problems 
today;
but Jesus doesn't settle for that. God sent His Son Jesus into the world 
because He loves and cares about you. Jesus walked this earth to heal, to 
restore,
and to save. You heard what He did for ten hopeless and broken men. It's no 
different for you! With Jesus in the picture, you can be healed. With the 
risen
Savior at hand, you can be filled with hope. With the Son of God 
overpowering the grave, you can receive a new beginning today that leads to 
everlasting
life. Cry out to Jesus. Say, "Jesus, have mercy on me!" And watch what He 
does.

A man from India named Sadan suffered with leprosy near the beginning of Dr. 
Brand's research. Sadan was shocked when Paul and Margaret Brand took him
into their home. This man with disfigured hands and feet was utterly amazed 
when Paul Brand took his wounded limbs into his hands to examine them. Sadan
said, "I had nearly forgotten what human touch felt like." Paul Brand did 
pioneering surgery to correct Sadan's hands and feet. He made sure Sadan 
went
through physical therapy to regain the ability to walk and to function in 
life. Sadan experienced the miracle of being whole again-physically and 
emotionally.

And then Sadan said something amazing. He commented, "I must say that I am 
happy that I had this disease. Apart from leprosy I would have been a normal
man with a normal family, chasing wealth and a higher position in society. I 
would have never known such wonderful people as Dr. Paul and Dr. Margaret,
and I would have never known the God Who lives in them."

Living by faith means receiving the precious gift of knowing the God Who can 
do all things through His power and love, and rejoicing in Him no matter 
what
the circumstance. Why, because with faith in Him. You're not on your own. He 
lives in you by faith, for you, with you through it all until you see Him
in eternity!

That's what happened to one of the men who was healed from leprosy in Luke 
17. You see, one of the ten returned to Jesus. Luke tells it this way: Then
one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with 
a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now
he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are 
the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except 
this
foreigner?" And he said to him then, "Rise and go your way; your faith has 
made you well."

The man was no longer an outcast with leprosy. He was no longer an 
unacceptable Samaritan. He was even more now. He was a grateful man of 
faith. He was
a bold follower of Jesus. He recognized that there was much more to life 
than the labels given to him by the world. He realized that the situation 
into
which he was born didn't determine his future. He understood that an illness 
didn't define him. By God's grace and the work of Jesus, he finally grasped
that he didn't have to settle for second best. He didn't have to passively 
accept the broken life the world handed to him. No, by God's grace in Jesus
Christ, he now lived by faith. And that changed everything!

So let me ask you today; what about you? I want to let you know that, for 
your life, there is hope out there. It is hope in Jesus, the living Savior. 
You
don't have to settle for a broken or hopeless life. You can live by faith in 
the Son of God Who heals, forgives, and Who restores. You can be bold and
expect God to bring His gracious help, His amazing comfort, His deep 
insight, His remarkable transformation, His constant care, and His daily 
leadership
to you. You can be bold as you hear the Word of God and receive His 
sacraments for the forgiveness of your sins. You don't have to settle. You 
too can
live by faith. You can be His person of hope and faith right now.

I love the passion of people like Dr. Brand, don't you? But, did you know 
that early in his life, he actually didn't want to be a doctor. His father 
was
a missionary and a builder and he wanted to follow in his father's 
footsteps. Brand was raised in India by caring and self-sacrificial parents 
who built
buildings and helped under-resourced communities there. So for years, Paul 
Brand was a builder. But when Paul was a young man of twenty-one, he went to
a training program outside of London. Part of the training included some 
first aid and basic medical instruction for life in the mission field. The 
sessions
were held at a local hospital. That's when a dramatic change happened in his 
life.

One morning Paul was stationed in the emergency room when a woman with an 
internal hemorrhage was rushed in. Her face was white, her body lifeless. As
doctors checked her pulse and started a blood transfusion, Paul looked on, 
convinced the woman was gone. 'What a waste,' he thought, 'to pump blood 
into
a dead person's body.' Within moments, however, everything changed. As the 
doctors worked, Paul saw some color come back into her cheeks. A few moments
later she opened her eyes. From that day on, he knew he had to become a 
doctor.
Paul Brand saw someone who appeared to be dead come back to life. He saw 
that the doctors didn't settle for death. They brought a new scenario of 
healing
and restoration.

That is God's passion for this world and for your life, too. Through Jesus 
Christ, He brings a new scenario of healing and restoration. Through the 
miracle
of the cross, God showed His boldness as He dared to love you and do 
something about your condition. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 
you do
not have to settle for death and defeat. Today, I wonder if you have a 
better sense of the amazing words of the Apostle Paul when he declared: 
"From now
on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once 
regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 
Therefore,
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; 
behold, the new has come"
(2 Corinthians 5:16-17).

This is the faith you live by-faith in the One Who has made you a new 
creation! That's how you can approach your life today. Jesus told the man 
who returned,
"Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well." He was instructed to 
go back to his life as a person who lived by faith. That's how God sends you
back into your life today too. You're a person who brings faith and hope to 
everyone you meet because your faith is in Jesus.

Have you seen the restoring work of Jesus in your life? Have you received 
His forgiveness and grace? Then rise and go your way! Head into life today 
with
gratitude and hope. Be bold about not settling for one-dimensional defaults 
of this world. Follow in the steps of Jesus Who refused to conform to life's
frenzied pace, but instead, stopped to connect with people in need. Break 
the mold of pessimism and self-centeredness by living in gratitude and 
growing
in faith. Show the world that criticism, anger, and division, they do not 
have to prevail. Patience, love, and kindness can take their place. Don't 
settle!
Live by faith in Christ! Walk through each moment with the bold expectation 
of God's grace and new life in Him. As God's servant, you will make His 
difference.

You know, Paul and Margaret Brand moved to the United States to continue 
their research and the development of pioneering surgical techniques for 
leprosy
patients, but years later, they decided to return to India to visit the 
village where Paul was raised. He was much older now, so on this visit, he 
expected
to walk through the small and remote village unnoticed, reminiscing about 
days long ago. But as he and his wife drove into the wilderness and 
approached
his former home, he was absolutely astounded. Hundreds of people, hundreds 
of people lined the road to greet them. With gratitude and joy people 
traveled
for hours to see Paul and to tell stories about his mother and father. One 
woman recalled how Paul's mother saved her from being abandoned on a 
roadside.
Now she was a nurse, serving people in need, expressing gratitude for a 
saved and transformed life every day. A man named Namo had a twenty-year-old 
picture
of Paul's father on his wall with the caption below, "May the Spirit that is 
in him live in me."

The Brands brought hope to people who thought there could be no hope. They 
didn't settle for what the world handed out. They lived by faith and brought
more than physical healing, they brought what people really needed, the gift 
of hope and faith in Jesus Christ!

That's what Jesus did for ten men with leprosy in Luke 17. It's what Jesus 
did for you through the cross and the empty tomb. It's what you receive 
today
through God's Word. You don't have to settle! You can live by faith and 
bring bold hope to everyone in your life. That's what we all need and that's 
God's
gift for you today as well! Amen.

Print this Sermon
Action in Ministry for October 9, 2016
Guest: Pat Burke

ANNOUNCER: You're listening to The Lutheran Hour. This is Action In Ministry 
and Pastor Seltz thank you for today's message.

SELTZ: Oh, thanks. You're welcome.

ANNOUNCER: You know; there's always so much more we can learn about this 
journey of faith.

SELTZ: Mark, that journey begins with our faith in Christ; from there though 
God can do more than we can ever imagine or ever think.

ANNOUNCER: And that's certainly true for our guest today, Pat Burke, she 
grew up as the child of an alcoholic, abusive father. She vaguely knew of 
God
but nothing more about God until she was in her early 30s. Her story is 
featured in our video resource titled
The Journey From Unbelief to Faith.

SELTZ: Pat, thanks for joining us.

BURKE: Thanks for having me.

SELTZ: It's great to have you. In a previous segment you told us about your 
journey to faith but give us just a brief look back at your life before you
met Christ.

BURKE: Before I met Christ, as a child, I always felt I was never safe. My 
dad was violent. You never knew what he was going to do and I was scared all
the time. I hated summer vacations because I was safe at school. Family 
members didn't have anything to do with us because of my dad and so we were 
just
left to flounder.
ANNOUNCER: And the video tells the story of how you came to faith in Christ. 
That happened when you were in your early 30s. But, that didn't mean that
everything from that point on has been joy and sunshine, right?

BURKE: No. No. It hasn't.

ANNOUNCER: Tell us a little bit about your life after that.

BURKE: It was a big change in me personally; but the pain comes whether 
you're a Christian or not.

ANNOUNCER: Okay.

BURKE: Different things that I experienced: my husband fell back into 
addiction; my seventeen-year old daughter ran off, got involved in drugs, 
became
pregnant, ended up having four children-one after the other-with different 
dads. I took the first two oldest boys and raised them. The Lord just took 
my
hand and walked me through all that, guided me through it. When my husband 
just took off after twenty years, I had to get a divorce, He guided me to 
get...what
job to get, how to do my finances. It wasn't that I didn't shed any tears; 
it was that I was no longer alone. Christ was with me.

SELTZ: That's the thing. You're not by yourself in the middle of this. It's 
real life though.

BURKE: Oh, yeah.

SELTZ: It's the real life that a lot of folks are dealing with out there 
today.

BURKE: That's the thing is that even when you feel hopeless, you can't give 
up hope. I just knew that. I think it was God's grace that just...when I'd
get so down, and you do going through terrible things like that. My daughter 
ended up passing away 4 ½ years ago from a drug overdose. That was horrible.
I don't know how in the world you can get through anything like that if you 
don't have Christ right there with you. I was so grateful for Christian 
friends.
He calmed me through the whole thing; the whole funeral, everything. It was 
just amazing and I'm forever grateful.

SELTZ: You were just talking about that. How do you cope with things from 
the past? You were talking about this Jesus. It's not religious. It's 
actually
knowing that there is a God Who's there Who really loves you and will never 
leave you, right?

BURKE: Absolutely. He is...He's the father that I always wanted, that I 
needed, and even better. I can go to Him with anything. I know that He loves 
me.
One of the things that I heard was never forget in the darkness what God has 
told you in the light. That's what got me through.

ANNOUNCER: Speaking there of what God has told you in His Word, the promises 
that He has made to you.

BURKE: Right. That's it. I mean, you have to read the Bible. It's the 
instruction book. To me, I didn't know anything so I was reading everything 
and going
to Bible classes and still do because there is always something new.

SELTZ: It's the power of God.

BURKE: That's right.

SELTZ: Get you through these times.

BURKE: There you go.

ANNOUNCER: Pat shares more of her story in this video resource, The Journey 
From Unbelief to Faith, and you'll also hear the stories of three others who
followed very different paths to faith.

SELTZ: Mark, we read in the Bible how God changed people but as we've been 
talking with you today, Pat, your story reminds us that He's still at work 
with
you. He's with you and that changes everything but it allows you to face 
problems that maybe you're going to deal with day by day just like a lot of 
other
folks do too, right?

BURKE: Right.

SELTZ: Well, thank you so much for being here and thank you for sharing your 
story with us.

BURKE: You're welcome. Thanks for having me.

SELTZ: God bless you. That's our Action In Ministry segment today; to bless, 
to empower, and to strengthen your life in Christ for others.

ANNOUNCER: And the name of this resource is The Journey From Unbelief to 
Faith
. To view or download this content for free go to lutheranhour.org and click 
on Action In Ministry. Or call 1-855-john316. That's 1-855-564-6316. Our 
email
address is info@lhm.org.

LUTHERAN HOUR MAILBOX (Questions & Answers) for October 9, 2016
Topic: What Is Faith?

ANNOUNCER: We are back once again with Pastor Gregory Seltz. I'm Mark 
Eischer. We talk on this program a lot about faith. Sometimes people get the 
wrong
idea that faith is kind of wishful thinking. What exactly do we mean by 
faith and what does it mean to have faith?

SELTZ: Mark, I'm glad that our listener asked this question because 
sometimes we develop a vocabulary as followers of Jesus and we never really 
explain
what it means.

ANNOUNCER: Faith is a good example of that. We're not talking about some 
sort of belief in ourselves or some wishful thinking that our dreams might 
come
true. Here at The Lutheran Hour we're talking about faith in God who has 
revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ.

SELTZ: That's right. To be perfectly clear for our listener, we're talking 
about faith in God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

ANNOUNCER: So, what is faith? What does it mean to have faith?

SELTZ: The best place to start is not in our imaginations or with our 
humanly constructed definitions. Let's go to the source. Let's get at it 
from God's
Word. In fact, let me ask you, any verses come to mind?

ANNOUNCER: Let's go to Hebrews, chapter 11. The very first verse says, "Now 
faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not 
seen"
(Hebrews 11:1).

SELTZ: That is a great start. In fact, Hebrews, chapter 11 is called "the 
faith chapter" of the Bible. After that first verse that you just read, it 
goes
on to give examples of faith in action. Let's run with that chapter. So far, 
the Bible is telling us that "faith is the assurance and confidence of the
heart in those invisible and spiritual things promised to us by God in His 
Word, in His Gospel" (Koehler, 139).

ANNOUNCER: But doesn't that make faith kind of a flimsy thing, like we're 
trusting in something that's invisible?

SELTZ: It would be if the invisible things were based on stories or 
fantasies. But faith is not based on fantasies. It is founded on facts. 
That's where
the faith chapter comes in. We hear in Hebrews, chapter 11 that "by faith 
the universe was created by the word of God." We see the creation. We see 
its
glory. It is evidence of God's amazing work. The chapter says that by faith 
Abraham and Sarah had a baby in their old age. It's a fact. Isaac was born.

ANNOUNCER: In this case, God did something remarkable in order to start the 
family tree of Jesus.

SELTZ: Yes, faith is trust in God Who acts in history to redeem and restore 
His people. So I ask, do you see a trend? His promises are trustworthy. 
Faith
is founded on God's real, documented, miraculous actions in history. He is 
Someone we can trust. That's why we can have the assurance of what we hope 
for
and the conviction of things not seen.

ANNOUNCER: Like the promise that God is with us or the conviction that we 
are truly forgiven by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the 
assurance
of eternal life promised by Jesus Who rose from the dead.

SELTZ: Yes. God is trustworthy. Jesus Himself was the fulfillment of 
promises made long ago; so in Him there is hope for the future too.

ANNOUNCER: But faith is not mere knowledge or an understanding of facts.
SELTZ: It's much more. As our confessional documents states-the defense of 
the Augsburg Confession says, "To have faith means to want and to accept the
promised offer of forgiveness of sins and justification." Faith desires the 
blessings that God gives and faith allows us to receive those blessings by
God's grace.

ANNOUNCER: Here we are reminded of those words of the Apostle Paul in 
Ephesians, chapter 2 where he writes: "For it is by grace you have been 
saved, through
faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, 
so that no one can boast"
(Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

SELTZ: Exactly. What a precious gift faith is!

ANNOUNCER: Main question, how can a listener have faith?

SELTZ: That is the most important question of all. The Apostle Paul says in 
Romans 10:17, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of 
Christ."
A listener is hear the Good News of Jesus -the Savior who lived a perfect 
life in your stead, gave His life to forgive you your sins, and rose from 
the
dead so that you, too, can live with eternal hope in Him.

ANNOUNCER: So, you hear the Good News of God, you receive it through His 
gifts of Word and Sacrament and then trust in God's promises for your life.

SELTZ: Yes, there are facts to face. Be assured of His love. Trust and 
believe in God's promises. You have faith. And the power of that faith is 
that you
are saved in Him.

ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Pastor Seltz, and we thank our listener for that 
question. We hope you'll join us again next week. This has been a 
presentation of
Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Visit lutheranhour.org
"A Mighty Fortress" arranged by Chris Bergmann. Used by permission.
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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Holding On"
October 22, 2016
For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original 
confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:14
On Thursday, September 3, 1987, Henry Dempsey was captain of the Eastern 
Express commuter flight from Lewiston, Maine, to Boston.

Flying at 4,000 feet, Captain Dempsey heard an unusual noise coming from the 
rear of the 15-passenger turboprop plane. Dempsey turned the controls over
to his second-in-command and went back to check things out. Dempsey made it 
to the aircraft's tail section when the plane hit one of those air pockets,
which makes your stomach think you're on a roller coaster.

The jolt of the plane threw Pilot Dempsey against the rear door of the 
aircraft.

That's when the aviator discovered the rear door hadn't been secured. 
Dempsey discovered this when he stumbled against the door and it opened. The 
stairs
of the plane deployed and Dempsey was sucked out. On the instrument panel an 
emergency light, indicating an open door, started to flash.

The co-pilot radioed the nearest airport and received permission to make an 
emergency landing. He also asked helicopters be scrambled to make a search
-- or a recovery -- of his friend.

The request was unnecessary.

You see, when the door opened, the ladder flipped down and Captain Dempsey 
caught that rail and held on. Dempsey held on as the plane flew at 200 miles
an hour. Dempsey held on when the plane started its descent. Dempsey, with 
his face less than 12 inches away from the concrete, held on when the 
plane's
wheels made contact with the runway.

Dempsey held on after the rescue workers told him he was safe and could let 
go. Dempsey found he couldn't. It took 15 minutes for rescuers to pry his 
hands
from that rail.

I guess most of us, put in such a situation, would hold on just as tightly 
as Dempsey did. In such a situation holding on is the only reasonable, 
rational,
thing to do. Not just when you're being sucked out of an airplane, but 
anytime your life is in danger, you should hold on.

Now I would imagine, since you are reading a Daily Devo, you know that the 
smartest thing anyone can do in this world is hold on to the Savior. Yes, 
you
know that, but there are many around us who do not.

Some think they can hold on to their own smarts, their own skills, their own 
strength in times of trouble. There are others who think there is no point
in trying to hold on to anyone or anything. For them, life is lived and then 
it's over.

How sad.

As for me and my house, we will hold on to the Lord. Scripture teaches, and 
we have seen, that the Lord who lived and died to save us, who rose to 
assure
us of our own place in heaven, is the One Person who will not let us down.

We hold on to Him because it's the only thing to do.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit so the world may see the love 
and power of the Redeemer. Grant it may hold on to Him today and every day.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible in a Year Reading: Jeremiah 9-10; Colossians 1


"The End of an Earthly Relationship" || 10/20/2016
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The End of an Earthly Relationship
October 20, 2016

READ: John 11:32-37

Jesus wept. (v. 35)

We were designed by God to live in community with others. This community 
reflects the nature of a triune God. God said, “It is not good that the man 
should
be alone” (Gen. 2:18). When God’s Son, the second person of the Trinity, 
came to earth as a man, Luke 2:52 reveals that “Jesus increased in wisdom 
and
in stature and in favor with God and man.” Earthly relationships can bring 
us love, companionship, support, and friendship. Healthy and God-honoring 
relationships
are blessings from our Creator.

The end of an earthly relationship brings grief and pain. The death of a 
spouse, parent, or child separates us from someone we dearly love. The end 
of
a dating relationship or a divorce brings a variety of emotions and loss. 
Sometimes an earthly relationship doesn’t end, but it changes. A move, job 
termination,
change of church family, or the relocation of a kind neighbor can cause us 
to feel empty and alone.

When he encountered the sting of death, Jesus wept (John 11:35). At the 
death of his father, Jacob, Joseph wept (Gen. 50:1). When his life was in 
jeopardy
from Saul and required his separation from Jonathan, David wept (1 Sam. 
20:41). Likewise, most of us have or will grieve the end of an earthly 
relationship.
In the midst of the grief, we hold on to the words of Jesus to Martha in 
John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me 
will
live, even though they die” (NIV).

PRAYER
Wonderful Counselor, comfort us when we grieve. Amen.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
The 'As Soon As' Syndrome - #7771

Sylvester Stallone's been in the ring for a lot of rounds. Even though he, a 
few years ago, hit the big 6-0 birthday, he was still doing Rocky-Rocky 6.
It was called, "Rocky's final round." Sylvester Stallone is one of the 
millions of Baby Boomers who have hit a challenge for which some have not 
been prepared
- aging. I was intrigued with what Stallone had to say about people he 
knows. He said, "You see billionaires who have everything, yet inside 
they're still
the same lonely, insecure people." You think you've got it all figured out, 
but when you turn 60 or, you know, whatever age seems to make you feel like
you're getting older, there's this little hole inside you. You realize 
you're always going to be somewhat half full...or are we.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'As 
Soon As' Syndrome."

That's what I call the cycle so many of us go through in our life journey. 
I'll be happy, I'll be fulfilled as soon as I graduate, as soon as I get a 
good
job, as soon as I get a better job, as soon as I'm going with someone, as 
soon as I'm married, as soon as I have kids, as soon as I'm not married, as 
soon
as I can get a home, as soon as I can get a bigger home, as soon as I make 
good money, as soon as I make more money, as soon as I retire; it just never
ends. And 'as soon as' never comes. It's one disappointing answer after 
another. Until, like Rocky's creator says, we just give up and accept 'this 
little
hole inside' us as being 'unfillable."

The ancient Jewish king Solomon knew that feeling. He was so wealthy and so 
powerful he was able to own or experience every "as soon as" that his heart
could conceive: every purchase, every woman, every achievement, every 
pleasure. Here's his conclusion, recorded in his personal diary, the Book of 
Ecclesiastes
in the Bible.

I'm reading from chapter 1, beginning with verse 8, our word for today from 
the Word of God. He says: "The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear
its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, and what has been done 
will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. I have seen all the 
things
that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after 
the wind." Pretty sad, huh? And pretty much the human experience.

But Solomon went on to diagnose why nothing and no one on earth can ever 
fill the hole in our heart. He said, "God has set eternity in the hearts of 
men.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. Fear God and keep His 
commandments" (Ecclesiastes 3:11; 12:1, 13). What we've been looking for all 
our
life is something that will last forever, because we've got this eternity 
thing in our heart. The hole in your heart can only be filled by something 
as
big as all eternity. And that means only the God who made you can fill it. 
Not a religion about God, but God Himself, living in your heart.

And that's impossible because of the choice we've made over and over again 
to do our life our way instead of God's way. God calls it sin and He says 
that
our sins "have separated us" from our God. But He's also acted with 
unspeakable love to demolish this wall that keeps us from the God we were 
made for.
In God's own words, "He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice 
for our sins" (1 John 4:10). Translation: I did the sinning; Jesus did the 
dying.
Then three days later, He came back from His grave to prove that He and He 
alone can give us life that's eternal.

For millions, the search for what goes in that hole in our heart has ended 
at the cross of Jesus Christ. In a transforming moment when you say to Him,
"Jesus, the wrong person's been running my life. I resign. I'm holding onto 
You as my only hope because only You can remove the wall between me and my
God. So, Jesus, I'm Yours."

If you've never had that liberating, load-lifting experience, 
purpose-filling, hole-in-your-heart-filling experience with Jesus, let this 
be the day. In
fact, I want to invite you to go to our website. There's a lot of wonderful 
information I'd love to give you. You've just got to go there to get it. 
It's
ANewStory.com
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 · 
USA
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Lay Aside Every Suitcase

On August 3, 2016, Emirates airlines flight 521 crashed at Dubai 
International Airport. The pilots had just set down the plane when they 
received a warning
that they had landed too late—they would run out of runway before the plane 
could come to a safe stop. They initiated the go-around procedure which 
would
allow them to lift off, circle the airport, and try again. The plane rose 
off the runway and began to climb, but then suddenly sank back down and 
crashed
into the ground. It skidded for 800 meters before coming to rest. The crew 
took immediate action and, remarkably, all 300 people safely evacuated the 
plane
before it was consumed by flames.

Had you been an onlooker watching the evacuation, you would have noticed a 
troubling phenomenon. Many of the people pouring out of that plane and 
sliding
down the emergency chutes were clutching bags and suitcases. A video taken 
aboard the plane shows the immediate aftermath of the crash and in the chaos
passengers are seen opening the overhead luggage compartments and hauling 
down their luggage. Seconds later, as they exit the plane, flight attendants
are yelling, “Leave your bags behind!” Yet photographs show dazed passengers 
wandering the tarmac with their bags in tow.

Flight 521 is not the only time this phenomenon has been observed. 
Photographs of the evacuation of a Cathay Pacific plane show passengers 
sliding down
the chute with bags over their arms and shoulders. When Asiana flight 214 
crashed in San Francisco, a number of passengers were photographed walking 
away
from the burning wreckage clutching their suitcases. A police officer who 
arrived at the scene had to stop others from climbing back into the plane to
retrieve their belongings. British Airways 2276 in Las Vegas and
U.S. Airways 1702 continue to prove the pattern.

It hardly needs to be said that grabbing your suitcase during an evacuation 
is a bad idea. It may even be a deadly idea. To take your suitcase is bad 
for
you and everyone around you. It blocks the aisle as you reach overhead to 
retrieve it, it slows you down as you make your way to and through the exit,
it becomes a dangerous object hurtling down the evacuation slide. In a 
situation in which every second counts, a suitcase is a dangerous impediment 
that
can kill you and the people around you. And still people can’t bear to be 
without them. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board found that
almost half of passengers attempt to retrieve their bags during an emergency 
evacuation and that they do so primarily to secure their cash and credit 
cards.
It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

As I see those photographs and watch those videos, I can’t help but be 
reminded of a Bible verse: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a 
cloud
of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so 
closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” 
(Hebrews
12:1). The author of this letter compares the Christian life to a race and 
warns us that if we are going to run that race well, if we are to run it 
with
endurance and make it to the end, we will need to get rid of every possible 
hindrance. We must get rid of everything that will slow us down, drag us 
down,
keep us down. Kent Hughes says, “A hindrance is something, otherwise good, 
that weighs you down spiritually. It could be a friendship, an association,
an event, a place, a habit, a pleasure, an entertainment, an honor. But if 
this otherwise good thing drags you down, you must strip it away.”

A suitcase is a perfectly good thing that may just kill you in an emergency 
evacuation. It is a perfectly good thing, but it isn’t good enough to risk
your life for. And our lives are full of good things that may just slow us 
down, that may just hinder us from matters that are far more 
important—matters
of eternal consequence. If you’re on a plane that is broken and burning, the 
best thing you can do is lay aside every weight and every hindrance so you
can focus on just getting to safety. This is what’s best for you and what’s 
best for the people around you. And in a world that is broken and burning,
it is even more important to lay aside every possible hindrance, to do it 
for the good of your own soul and the good of those around you.

Suitcase

Dean Masters, owner of the Masters List

KenBible.com

New Post on KenBible.com - Earthen Vessels
----------------------------------------------------------

Earthen Vessels

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 09:55 PM PDT

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness 
of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in 
every
way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not 
forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NASB)

There was given me a thorn in the flesh…I implored the Lord three times that 
it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather 
boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 
Therefore
I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with 
persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then 
I am
strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NASB)

Servant of God,
do you want your Lord to use you
heart, soul, mind, and body in His service?
Do you long for Him to glorify Himself through you?

Realize that He will use all of you –
not just your strengths, but your weaknesses,
not just your successes, but your failures,
not just your talents, but your glaring inadequacies,
not just your gains, but your losses,
not just your joys, but your griefs,
not just your health, but your sickness and suffering,
not just your wholeness, but your brokenness,
not just your blessings, but all the injustice and abuse you suffer.

He will show everyone that you are only an earthen vessel
so that the needy glorify,
not you,
but Him.
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United 
States

A Prayer For My Words

In Psalm 141:3 the Psalmist writes,
"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." 
(NIV)
"Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips." (NLT)
"Help me to guard my words whenever I say something." (CEV)

Father, put a guard over my mouth when I am about to say something I should 
not say. Whether it is a word that is untrue, a word that is negative, a 
word
that is critical, or a word that discourages, Lord, stop the words before 
they come out of my mouth. Close the door of my lips and prevent the words 
from
leaving my mouth.

Father, take control of what I say. Help me think before I speak. Help me 
pause before I speak. Help me consider my audience before I speak. Some 
things
are inappropriate for some to hear. Some things are inappropriate for all to 
hear. Some things do not need to leave my mouth. Father, guard my lips and
control what I say.

Father, help me guard my words when I say something. Help me make sure that 
the words I speak are worth hearing. If they are not, let me be silent. 
Being
quiet may be better than being foolish. Being silent may be better than 
being critical, judgmental, or destructive.

Father, sometimes there are words of encouragement that need to pass through 
my lips, let them through. Sometimes there are words of hope that need to
be spoken, let me speak them. Sometimes there are words of exhortation that 
need to be shared, please don't let me remain quiet during those moments.

Father, there are times when someone needs to hear that I love them, let me 
say those words. There are times when someone needs to hear that I 
appreciate
them, let me say those words. There are times when someone needs to hear 
something hopeful, let me say those words.

Father, there are times when I am afraid to speak. Please remove the fear 
that prevents me from speaking on behalf of the weak, the oppressed and the 
helpless.
Please remove the fear that keeps me quiet when a child is neglected, 
abused, or ignored. Please remove the fear that prevents me from speaking 
when someone
needs to hear of Your love for them. Help me never to miss an opportunity to 
speak for You.

Father, there are times when I need to speak, and times when I need to be 
quiet. Give me the wisdom to know the difference and the courage to respond 
accordingly.

Father, guard my lips. Open them when they need to be opened and allow the 
words that need to pass through them to pass. Close them when they need to 
be
closed and prevent any word that might do damage to another soul from 
passing through.

Help me to guard my words whenever I say something.

Tom Norvelle
A Norvell Note (c) Copyright 2008. .
www.anorvellnote.com/
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The End of a Dream October 19, 2016
Read: Job 1:1-22

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 
(v.21)

The opening lines of Job 1 portray a righteous man blessed by God. Job's 
reverence for God led him to occasionally sacrifice an offering to God on 
behalf
of his children in case they had sinner against God in their hearts. By the 
close of the chapter, Job sits with torn robe and shaved head, having 
experienced
multiple losses. The abundance of oxen, donkeys, and sheep, and the lives of 
servants sons, and daughters were tragically gone. Imagine the future dreams
and aspirations of Job that suddenly came to an end.

We experience the end of dreams, too. Our hopes and plans can be changed in 
an instant. Unfilled hopes can quickly lead to sorrow, depression, and pain.
Hopes and dreams often motivate us to keep pressing on. When times are 
tough, we set goals and establish future hopes to pursue. In a fallen world, 
goals
and future hopes are not always realized.

What then? Do you give up, curse God, fault yourself or others, live with 
bitterness? Somehow Job refrained from sin, refused to blame God, and fell 
to
the ground in worship. HIs faith had the capacity to trust God even with 
endings that did not make sense. Many of his questions remained unanswered. 
Yet
even as he grieved, he kept hoping and trusting in his Creator, Sustainer, 
and Redeemer (Job 19:25).

Prayer:
Loving Lord, when my earthly dreams and hopes fall short, help me to trust 
in your divine and eternal plan for my life. Amen.
Author: Steve Petroelje


Thanksgiving: For Richer or Poorer
by Shawn McEvoy, Managing Editor, Crosswalk.com

"Christians who are poor should be glad, for God has honored them."
James 1:9

The rich eat ham,
The poor eat tuna.
Doesn't take as long to cook,
So we eat soona.
--Jay Henze

The words of that heretofore unknown poem were uttered by my lifelong best 
friend sometime around our senior year of high school. He conjured it out of
thin air while I was spending the night at his house. It was the result of 
one of those "I'm so tired I'm laughing at anything" sessions you'd often 
experience
with close friends around midnight.

It was also the result of Jay's enduring awareness of the socio-economic 
differences between himself and many of his friends, like me, from the 
affluent
north side of town. So whenever I think of ham, tuna, or Jay, I often think 
of richness and poorness as well.

Recently, thanks to a fantastic tour around the Missionary Learning Center, 
I was thinking about missions and outreach. It struck me as interesting that
whenever a mission of mercy or evangelism is commissioned, it tends to be to 
an area where there is a high concentration of poverty, whether it's to 
India,
Mexico, or inner-city Philadelphia. Well, yes, as it should be.

After all, Christ commanded us, if we loved Him, to tend to His lambs (
John 21:15-17 ). James 2:15-16
admonishes us not to ignore those in need of food or clothing. Paul and the 
Apostles started churches among those who were poor (
Acts 9:36 ; 10:4
). Poverty was crippling in the time of Christ and so it continues to be 
now. The very fact that Jay had a roof over his head and the fish he 
despised
came in a can rather than him having to catch it made him one of the 
wealthiest persons on the planet. So the holidays are certainly a time to 
think about
- nay, physically assist - those less fortunate than ourselves (
2 Corinthians 9:9 ).

Then again, are we missing something?

Consider James 1:9
- "Christians who are poor should be glad, for God has honored them." There 
are lots of ways to be poor, and Jesus told us they brought about blessing
in the long run (
Matthew 5:3-12
). Those poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Those mourning 
loved ones will be comforted. Those who make peace rather than seeking their
own profit will be called sons of God, Who chose the poor of this world to 
be rich in
faith ( James 2:5 ). 2 Corinthians 6:10
states: "Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give 
spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything."

And what about the rich?

That's the hard part, literally. Jesus said it's very difficult for the 
wealthy to enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who love their life too much 
find
it hard to lose it. James reminds us it's the rich who "oppress us and drag 
us into court, blaspheming the fair name by which we've been called
(James 2:6-7
)." The word "miserable" has at its root the word "miser." The love of money 
isn't just the source of evil, but also of depression and dissatisfaction.

So... doesn't that mean that the rich have just as many spiritual needs, if 
not more, than the poor? Who will go to them? Who will train them in the joy
of giving their money away and not living by comparison to others? What 
mission trips are planned?

I contend that untold legions of us are making such a trip this very month, 
back home to our families and friends, where a big ham might fill the center
of the table, people will put on their fineries, and a lot of the talk will 
focus on the daily drudgeries of keeping our precious lives in working order
to cover up the hole that's getting bigger in the soul.

We might spend a few minutes at the table saying how we're thankful we're 
not like others, or that we have our health, or that our family is with us -
before we stuff ourselves, stare blankly at the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit 
Lions to avoid looking at each other, or fall asleep. Of course, you 
probably
know someone for whom Thanksgiving is an unwelcome chore, a painful 
experience of dodging rejection, annoyance, questions of future or romance, 
and Uncle
Jimbo.

Or, if you're truly rich, as I am for marrying into a godly family, there 
will be genuine thanks, true giving, heartfelt prayers, and corporate 
worship.

Whatever the case in your gathering, let me encourage you to take the love 
of Christ with you and accept the difficult challenge of bringing it to the
wealthy this Thanksgiving. Jesus said a camel fitting through a needle's-eye 
was difficult, not impossible (thank goodness for most of us).

Intersecting Faith & Life: While you're together, try to figure out a way 
your clan can come together to do something for the impoverished among us. 
Without
that outpouring, the warm comfort of wealth can grow stale and dry. 
Meanwhile, the next time you think on the cloud of poverty and those who 
suffer at
its chill, remember that, at least in the biblical view, it carries a silver 
lining of comfort, inheritance, peace, and, I suppose, eating soona. And if
those elements are present at your table, then you have a cornucopia indeed.

Further Reading

1 Timothy 6:6-11
Matthew 5
Make Your Life Rich without Money

Check out fantastic resources on Faith , Family , and Fun at
Crosswalk.com 

Songs from God

God, my maker, who gives songs in the night. - Job 35:10

Any man can sing during the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration 
from it. When money is in plentiful supply, any man can praise the God who
provides an abundant harvest or sends home a loaded ship. It is easy enough 
for a tuneful harp to whisper music when the winds blow; the difficulty is
for music to carry when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can 
read the notes by daylight; but it takes a skillful singer whose song 
springs
forth when there is not a ray of light to read by. No man can make a song in 
the night by himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the
night must be divinely inspired.

Let everything go well, then I can weave songs, fashioning them from the 
flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing 
grows,
and with what shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man 
make a crown for the Lord without jewels? Let this voice be clear and this
body full of health, and I can sing God's praise: Silence my tongue, put me 
on a bed of suffering, and how will I then chant God's high praises, unless
He Himself provides the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when 
everything is against him, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip.

It was a divine song from Habakkuk that filled the night when he sang, 
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the 
produce
of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from 
the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my
salvation
."1 So, since our Maker gives "
songs in the night," let us wait upon Him for the music. Chief musician, let 
us not remain songless because we face affliction, but tune our lips to the
melody of thanksgiving.

1 Habakkuk 3:17-18

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Daniel 4

verse 2 Psalms 108 , 109

Things Not Seen: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Trusting God’s Promises by 
John Bloom

True faith is hard. More than mere sentimentalism, faith often calls for a 
deep and resilient trust in God--especially when the going gets tough and 
the
road is dark. In Things Not Seen
,
author Jon Bloom encourages readers with 35 imaginative retellings of 
stories from the Bible that illustrate the importance of living by faith. A 
follow-up
to the author’s previous book, Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of 
Walking by Faith, this inspiring volume explores the lives of Abraham, 
Moses,
Saul, John the Baptist, and more--helping readers remember God’s promises, 
rely on his grace, and follow his leading, regardless of the circumstances.
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When You See Jesus

Have you got more than you can handle? Does it seem as though the challenges 
of life outpace the joys of life? If you're feeling used up, stressed-out,
or burned out, then take a moment to consider how your perspective will 
change when life's struggles are over and heaven begins.

The day you see your Savior you will experience a million times over what 
Joni Eareckson Tada experienced on her wedding day. A diving accident left 
her
paralyzed at the age of 17. Nearly all of her 50-plus years have been spent 
in a wheelchair. Her handicap doesn't keep her from writing or painting or
speaking about her Savior. Nor did her handicap keep her from marrying Ken. 
But it almost kept her from the joy of the wedding.

She'd done her best. Her gown was draped over a thin wire mesh covering the 
wheels of her wheelchair. With flowers in her lap and sparkle in her eye she
felt a "little like a float in the Rose Parade." A ramp had been 
constructed, connecting the foyer to the altar. While waiting her turn to 
motorize over
it, Joni made a discovery. Across her dress was a big, black grease mark 
courtesy of the chair. And the chair, though "spiffed up, was still the big 
clunky
thing it always was."

Then the bouquet of daisies on her lap slid off-center; her paralyzed hands 
were unable to rearrange them. She felt far from the picture-perfect bride
of Brides magazine. She inched her chair forward and looked down the aisle. 
That's when she saw her groom. "I spotted him way down front, standing at 
attention
and looking tall and elegant in his formal attire. My face grew hot. My 
heart began to pound. Our eyes met and, amazingly, from that point 
everything changed.

How I looked no longer mattered. I forgot all about my wheelchair. Grease 
stains? Flowers out of place? Who cares? No longer did I feel ugly or 
unworthy;
the love in Ken's eyes washed it all away. I was the pure and perfect bride. 
That's what he saw, and that's what changed me. It took great restraint not
to jam my 'power stick' into high gear and race down the aisle to be with my 
groom."

When she saw him, she forgot about herself. When you see him, you will too. 
I'm sorry about your greasy gown. And your flowers, they tend to slide, 
don't
they? Who has an answer for the diseases and darkness of this life? I don't. 
But we do know this. Everything changes when you look at your groom. And 
when
you see Jesus, you will bow in worship.

Max Lucado
www.maxlucado.com

“RE”: The Most Beautiful Prefix in History
BETH MOORE

“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like 
mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
Isaiah 44:22 (ESV)

I have no memory of life before hearing the name Jesus.

I was in a crib in the church nursery by the third Sunday after I was born, 
just like my three older siblings. While our home rocked and quaked with 
systemic
problems that could never get resolved, my parents refused to pull the rug 
of church out from under our feet.

Some might have called it hypocrisy to keep showing up while all
that was going on at home. We would have called it survival.

My adolescence was a knot of inconsistencies. I had a heart for God and a 
bent for destruction that would tangle within me miserably for years. 
Because
the Holy Spirit does His job, I could never stay in sin. But then I could 
never stay out of it.

Let’s just say sometimes both limbs have to be broken for the lame to learn 
to walk. By my early thirties -- as blessed as I was, as much as I had, as
many as I loved -- I would’ve either destroyed my own life or taken it 
except for one thing: Jesus just kept picking me back up.

It was right there, curled up in a fetal position, bloody from the ugly 
birth of freedom, I finally gave in to the One who wouldn’t give up.

I could list you a thousand things I love about Jesus. A hundred things that 
still stir me with wonder but nothing pools tears in my eyes more often than
His penchant for doing a thing again and again.

And again.

I don’t think any prefix in the English Bible
could be more beautiful than “re.” Two little letters that simply mean:
“again.” God appears to have a particular affinity for “re” verbs. For 
instance, “return to me, for I have redeemed you”
(Isaiah 44:22
, ESV). It looks like He’d just turn His back on us when we turn our backs 
on Him, but He doesn’t. Instead He echoes throughout Scripture, “
Return to me!”

“Again, Lord? For the fiftieth time? Aren’t You sick of my coming and going 
yet?”

“Again!” He says.

Return. You’ll find that one “re” verb over 400 times in the Bible.

But that’s not the only fabulous “re” verb in the Bible. Here’s a list of 
some of my favorites (with emphasis added in bold).

There’s renew: “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength”
(Isaiah 40:31 a, ESV).

And revive: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of 
a contrite and lowly spirit, to
revive the spirit of the lowly, and to
revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15 b, ESV).

And restore: “He restores my soul” ( Psalm 23 :3a, ESV).

And repair. Oh, and rebuild and sometimes in the same verse: “In that day ‘I 
will restore David’s fallen shelter -- I will
repair its broken walls and restore its ruins -- and will
rebuild it as it used to be’”
(Amos 9:11 , NIV).

And replant: “I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was 
desolate. I am the L
ORD; I have spoken, and I will do it”
(Ezekiel 36:36 b, ESV).

Astonishingly, there appears to be no limit to what God will lovingly and 
lavishly
redo and refresh for those simply willing to
return and repent.

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that 
times of
refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the 
restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy 
prophets
long ago”
(Acts 3:19-21 , ESV).

Simon Peter is Exhibit A for those of us in Christ who could use a redo.

“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he 
may sift
you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; 
and
when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’”
(Luke 22:31-32 , NKJV).

You might call that Pete and Re-Pete.

So, you blew it again? Been rejected again? Been broken again? Fallen in 
that trap again? Been foolish again? Faithless again? I know a Savior 
willing
to put you back together again.

Go back to Jesus. Yes, you get to return, because “re” is the most beautiful 
prefix in history.

Our all-glorious God and Father, we are awed by Your grace, patience and 
love. Thank You for the endless power of resurrection because of the cross 
of
Christ. Apply it to us lavishly this day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Zechariah 1:3
“Therefore tell the people: This is what the L
ORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will 
return to you,’ says the L
ORD Almighty.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Learn more about Beth Moore’s debut fiction novel, The Undoing of Saint 
Silvanus
, where only God Himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going 
on. Set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, watch Jillian step into a web
of spiritual and personal danger, borne out of her family’s broken history.

Enter to WIN a copy of The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore. In 
celebration of this book, Beth's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to 
win
by
leaving a comment here
. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by 
Monday, October 24.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which “re” verb could you use most right now and why?

(c) 2016 by Beth Moore. All rights reserved.

>Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers
for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

“RE”: The Most Beautiful Prefix in History
BETH MOORE

“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like 
mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
Isaiah 44:22 (ESV)

I have no memory of life before hearing the name Jesus.

I was in a crib in the church nursery by the third Sunday after I was born, 
just like my three older siblings. While our home rocked and quaked with 
systemic
problems that could never get resolved, my parents refused to pull the rug 
of church out from under our feet.

Some might have called it hypocrisy to keep showing up while all
that was going on at home. We would have called it survival.

My adolescence was a knot of inconsistencies. I had a heart for God and a 
bent for destruction that would tangle within me miserably for years. 
Because
the Holy Spirit does His job, I could never stay in sin. But then I could 
never stay out of it.

Let’s just say sometimes both limbs have to be broken for the lame to learn 
to walk. By my early thirties -- as blessed as I was, as much as I had, as
many as I loved -- I would’ve either destroyed my own life or taken it 
except for one thing: Jesus just kept picking me back up.

It was right there, curled up in a fetal position, bloody from the ugly 
birth of freedom, I finally gave in to the One who wouldn’t give up.

I could list you a thousand things I love about Jesus. A hundred things that 
still stir me with wonder but nothing pools tears in my eyes more often than
His penchant for doing a thing again and again.

And again.

I don’t think any prefix in the English Bible
could be more beautiful than “re.” Two little letters that simply mean:
“again.” God appears to have a particular affinity for “re” verbs. For 
instance, “return to me, for I have redeemed you”
(Isaiah 44:22
, ESV). It looks like He’d just turn His back on us when we turn our backs 
on Him, but He doesn’t. Instead He echoes throughout Scripture, “
Return to me!”

“Again, Lord? For the fiftieth time? Aren’t You sick of my coming and going 
yet?”

“Again!” He says.

Return. You’ll find that one “re” verb over 400 times in the Bible.

But that’s not the only fabulous “re” verb in the Bible. Here’s a list of 
some of my favorites (with emphasis added in bold).

There’s renew: “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength”
(Isaiah 40:31 a, ESV).

And revive: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of 
a contrite and lowly spirit, to
revive the spirit of the lowly, and to
revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15 b, ESV).

And restore: “He restores my soul” ( Psalm 23 :3a, ESV).

And repair. Oh, and rebuild and sometimes in the same verse: “In that day ‘I 
will restore David’s fallen shelter -- I will
repair its broken walls and restore its ruins -- and will
rebuild it as it used to be’”
(Amos 9:11 , NIV).

And replant: “I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was 
desolate. I am the L
ORD; I have spoken, and I will do it”
(Ezekiel 36:36 b, ESV).

Astonishingly, there appears to be no limit to what God will lovingly and 
lavishly
redo and refresh for those simply willing to
return and repent.

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that 
times of
refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the 
restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy 
prophets
long ago”
(Acts 3:19-21 , ESV).

Simon Peter is Exhibit A for those of us in Christ who could use a redo.

“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he 
may sift
you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; 
and
when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’”
(Luke 22:31-32 , NKJV).

You might call that Pete and Re-Pete.

So, you blew it again? Been rejected again? Been broken again? Fallen in 
that trap again? Been foolish again? Faithless again? I know a Savior 
willing
to put you back together again.

Go back to Jesus. Yes, you get to return, because “re” is the most beautiful 
prefix in history.

Our all-glorious God and Father, we are awed by Your grace, patience and 
love. Thank You for the endless power of resurrection because of the cross 
of
Christ. Apply it to us lavishly this day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Zechariah 1:3
“Therefore tell the people: This is what the L
ORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will 
return to you,’ says the L
ORD Almighty.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Learn more about Beth Moore’s debut fiction novel, The Undoing of Saint 
Silvanus
, where only God Himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going 
on. Set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, watch Jillian step into a web
of spiritual and personal danger, borne out of her family’s broken history.

Enter to WIN a copy of The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore. In 
celebration of this book, Beth's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to 
win
by
leaving a comment here
. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by 
Monday, October 24.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which “re” verb could you use most right now and why?

(c) 2016 by Beth Moore. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers
for their sponsorship of today's devotion.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 60994
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 9:01 pm

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard 
my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground." (Psalm 40:1-2)

By Answers2Prayer
Subscribe Unsubscribe
More Illustrations
Contact us

Fall Back...Not Under

Germany and its World War I Allies began the practice on April 30, 1916, as 
a way to conserve coal. America soon followed suit.

When I was a child, I relished the extra daylight hours Daylight Savings 
Time provided. There was more time to play outside with my friends. But in 
the
fall, I loathed the long hours of darkness.

As an adult, the "falling back one hour" -- along with the decreased amount 
of light, often leads me and hundreds of others into a gloomy and sometimes
depressed mood physicians have labeled the "winter blues" -- and in its more 
severe form SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I find myself out of energy
and struggling to make it through the day. My body craves more light...more 
vigor.

David knew nothing about DST or SAD, but he did know a little about being 
down in the dumps. "I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he 
turned
to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the 
mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground." (Psalm 40:1-2 NLT)

Practical advice for fighting SAD includes having a well lit home during the 
winter months and going outside on warm days to soak up sunshine. A light
box or fluorescent lights are also good investments. In more serious cases, 
physicians can prescribe anti-depressants.

But any or all of the above should be combined with letting more of the Son 
in. I can flood my soul with spiritual exercises just as I flood my home 
with
artificial light. As I sit by the bright lights I can read and meditate on 
God's Word, journal my thoughts, reflect on how God has met my needs in the
past and in the present, and praise him for all the good things in life.

Don't let Satan tempt you to fall under when all you've really done is fall 
back.

Prayer: Merciful Father, when the blues set in, encourage us to trust You to 
drive them away.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA
Announcement:

Would you like to make a difference in the world? Why not join the 
Answers2Prayer team?
We have many volunteer positions available. By joining in, you can help in 
carrying out the Great Commission: Matt 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them 
and
said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore 
go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the 
Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything 
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of 
the
age.'"

The time is right and we are in need of many laborers. Matt 9:37-38 "The 
harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, 
therefore,
to send out workers into his harvest field."

If compelled by God, let us know .
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."


Inspiration Ministries Daily Devotion

Testing
Monday, October 17, 2016

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests 
hearts."
Proverbs 17:3 NASB

The Bible does not present any alternatives. There is no way to escape God's 
refining process. It is inevitable. The simple fact is the "the LORD tests
hearts." Every heart. Every life. Every person.

The comparison is with metals, and the Bible reminds us that even the finest 
gold and silver need to be refined. Their true value only emerges after they
have gone through fire and are purged of impurities. Without this refining, 
they never fulfill their potential. They never will be as valuable as they
could be.

In the same way, it is guaranteed that the Lord will test us. The Hebrew 
word for "tests" suggests that He conducts an investigation into our lives.
How will He test us? He will test us to learn our true character, our 
thought process, and how we make decisions. He will test us to identify 
weaknesses
and problem areas that need to be addressed. He will test us to identify 
habits and priorities. He will test us to learn how much we really know 
about
His Word, and the true state of our spiritual lives.

And He will test us to learn how we react to problems. To see where we turn 
for help. To evaluate how much we have learned, and what more He needs to 
teach
us.

Sometimes it may be obvious that we are being tested, but there may be times 
when we are tested without realizing it. It is possible that this testing
may bring us through situations that surprise and frustrate us. We may feel 
as though He doesn't trust us. We may sense that we are being punished or 
that
He has forgotten about us. But these simply are part of the testing process.

In your life, don't be surprised if you are tested. God wants the best for 
you. For you to be refined and purified of flaws. To be strong and 
beautiful.

Today's Inspiring Prayer

Father, thank You for caring for me. Purify me. Refine me. Help me to be 
pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Further Reading: Proverbs 17

5 Ways to be More Than a Sunday Christian
Anne Dahlhauser

About five years ago, my husband and I moved into a neighborhood with a 
whole lot of kids and not a lot of privilege. We meant to flip the house, 
but the
market flopped and we moved into the house out of necessity.

That temporary little change of plans changed everything, ourselves 
included. The mission field had
slipped in under our feet.
No longer could we talk about mission projects and ministry opportunities as 
a distant concept. No longer could we just go about our daily life unware.
Christian living started to look less and less like Sunday morning 
attendance with a topping of
Bible studies on plush couches.

Our home became a neighborhood center that year, one that now has kids 
sprawled across our front porch with hot Cheetos and sticky juice boxes. 
Bikes and
candy wrappers and missing flip-flops tend to litter that front yard, the 
place where no grass dare grow for fear of being trampled.

And here, with a front yard for a sanctuary and a muddied porch for a 
pulpit, God began teaching us to live out our
faith in the everyday.

Here, He’s been showing us how Christian living means integrating our daily 
life with divine purposes. It calls us to no longer compartmentalize the 
sacred
and the secular, but to usher in God’s authority to the mundane and mess of 
our everydays. It prompts us to believe that “being used by God” isn’t so 
much
about what we do. No, thankfully, it’s about our identity in Jesus Christ 
and the degree to which we surrender our everything to His purposes – the 
car
pool, the play dates, the front porches, our homes, our families, our 
schedules and everything in between.

Certainly, it’s common, even easy, to talk about God among pews and worship 
music. It’s acceptable to pray quietly. It’s natural to share our faith and
quote Scripture with Bibles in our hands and stained glass at our backs. 
Then Monday morning buzzes in with the 6:00am alarm, and the music and the 
prayers
and the sermon notes start to fade slightly. How can a sacred mission be 
part of the mundane of Monday mornings? Where is a holy purpose in the dirt 
and
the daily routine? Here are 5 suggestions for finding and embracing the 
everyday divine, every single day:

1. Embrace your identity – Living with a divine mission isn’t just for the 
pastors or the missionaries. Instead, begin to accept your day job and your
career as a means by which God can engage your world. Maybe you are a child 
of God who teaches or a Christian who does taxes for people or a 
Jesus-follower
who is raising kids. Your job description is a gateway to loving and 
blessing a unique blend of people, all close to God’s heart. Lay those work 
hours
out before Him and see how He moves in your day.

2. Pray for people – It sounds simple but it requires your heart. When you 
are sitting at the park or wandering through the produce section or prepping
for a meeting at work, spend time intentionally praying for the people in 
your path. After all, of all the people in the world, those individuals are 
crossing
paths with you today. Talk to God about that. What may be going on in their 
lives? How can you open your life to them? Pray for God to give you eyes to
see them as He does.

3. Change your perspective on home – Our homes are the most natural 
extension of ourselves. May you see your home as a place of gathering and 
blessing,
a resource that God can use to minister to others in the everyday of living. 
Often in Western mindsets, our homes are seen only as our own and our 
private
sanctuaries. While a place to rest is necessary at times, this mentality 
keeps ministry and living out our faith at arm’s length, rather than in the 
casual,
common places of our daily life. Open your door. Don’t apologize for the 
mess – just welcome people and share the life God’s given you.

4. Practice empathy everyday – Life can be complex with daily headlines and 
news stories that make us want to scroll and stroll by rather than choosing
to enter into someone’s pain. But integrating our faith with our everyday 
means caring deeply about our present world and the people in it, letting 
reality
settle in a bit and affect our prayers, our routine, our priorities. Be 
aware and care. May your prayers be fueled with God’s perspective and your 
heart
be willing to weep over your Lazaruses.

5. Love people – I’ve come to understand in greater depths the cost of 
really loving someone while living here in this neighborhood. Relationships 
do not
come with manuals or easy exits. They get unbelievably messy. But God loves 
relationships, and He created a beautifully mind-blowing relationship within
His own person – the Trinity. He routinely uses people to speak into my 
life, and He especially uses
the black-eyed, band-aid-begging kids on this street
to shape my heart. That’s divine, and it can happen everyday. So, share life 
with others in meaningful ways in the mundane as well as the special 
moments.
Take risks and be vulnerable with those closest to you. Make new friends. 
Choose to make your richest investments of time, energy, attention, and 
resources
into the eternal souls around you.

May your days be divine, filled with glimpse of His purpose and plans for 
your life. May He be near on this day and everyday.

Anne Dahlhauser blogs at
Front Porch, Inspired about surrendering everyday living for sacred 
purposes. She and her husband, Jay, are founders of a ministry called
The Bridge,
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Post  Admin on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:23 pm

Job's Longing
by Chuck Swindoll

Job 19:1-29

Job longed for his words of woe to be etched into granite so that people 
through time could enter into all the things he was enduring. He thought his 
words
would be forgotten. He had no idea that his words would survive him. Yet, 
think of it, God chose to include them in His eternal Word! Along with 
Scriptures
like Genesis 1, Psalm 23, Romans 8, 1 Corinthians 13, and Revelation 22, we 
call to mind Job 19:25–27 to this day!

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His 
stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I 
shall
see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not 
another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25–27)

Thanks to Handel's Magnum Opus, every Christmas season we hear that message 
over and over again. Little did Job realize in his dreadful anguish that his
Lord would honor his name by preserving his words for all the world to hear
and sing!

I need to pause right here and speak to you whose God is distant and silent. 
And, perhaps (like Job), your friends have begun to turn against you. There
is a future that is brighter than your wildest dreams! As Job will one day 
experience, justice will win out, God will replace evil, and right will 
eclipse
wrong. In the end, God wins. And so will we. Job will be vindicated and 
remembered and respected. And all the Zophars, Bildads, and Eliphazes will 
be judged,
silenced, and forgotten. "Then be afraid of the sword for yourselves, for 
wrath brings the punishment of the sword, so that you may know there is 
judgment"
(Job 19:29).

In all his misery, Job had not lost sight of who was right and who was 
wrong. He reminded all three men that "judgment and punishment are not 
coming my
way; they're coming
yours."

Focus on the future!

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives 
(Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. 
Swindoll, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Doubt Storms by Max Lucado

Sometimes I wonder...how can our world get so chaotic? And I sometimes 
wonder why so many hearts have to hurt? Do you ever get doubt storms? Do you 
have
turbulent days when the enemy is too big, and the answers too few? Every so 
often a storm will come, and I’ll look up into the blackening sky and say,
“God, a little light, please?”

The light came for Jesus’ disciples. A figure came to them walking on the 
water. It wasn’t what they expected. Maybe they were listening for a divine 
proclamation
to still the storm. One thing is for sure, they were not looking for Jesus 
to come walking on the water. “It’s a ghost,’ they said and cried out in 
fear.”
And since Jesus came in a way they didn’t expect, they almost missed seeing 
the answer to their prayers. And unless we look and listen closely, we risk
making the same mistake!

From In the Eye of the Storm

Listen to UpWords with Max Lucado at OnePlace.com

PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today's Devotional

The Process

Feeding eight dogs all at the same time is quite the process. In my house, 
each of the dogs has its own place for eating. As soon as it's mealtime, 
they
are quick to take up their individual spots. Not all of them eat at the same 
pace, however. The older dogs, with fewer teeth, eat more slowly, while the
young ones gobble it almost as quickly as the bowl is set in front of them. 
The very old dog eats by herself in a separate room as she chews a few 
bites,
walks around in circles for awhile, and then goes back to nibble a bit more. 
Sometimes, she decides not to eat at all, so in due time, I have to pick up
the bowl and remember to offer it to her again a few hours later.

Most days, the feeding process goes smoothly. Some days, however, especially 
if I am in a hurry or feeling frazzled or tired, I feel my patience wearing
thin — very thin indeed. At such times, I remind myself to be patient, as 
each dog eats at its own pace according to its age and wellness.

The other morning at 4:45, while I was waiting for Skye to finish her 
breakfast so that I could go back to bed before I was
really awake, I was talking to myself about patience, and the Lord reminded 
me of this verse:

Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with 
one another in love. (NIV)

As I was contemplating its commands, I found myself comparing the dogs' 
eating pace to the pace at which different people learn and grow. We are all 
different,
and the Lord speaks to each one of us in His own way according to our nature 
and abilities. He is also always completely humble and gentle with us, being
patient and bearing with us in love.

What a wonderful thought and reminder this was for me at that early morning 
hour. So often, I can become impatient and cross with myself as I am 
struggling
to learn and grow in a new situation.

Perhaps you, too, become impatient with yourself when you are faced with new 
areas of growth or old habits that just won't seem to let go. Or maybe your
patience is tested to the limit when others continue to disappoint you when 
you feel that they are not
shaping up the way that they should in certain areas. If so, take a moment 
to reconsider today's Scripture, and ask the Lord to help you to live it 
out,
not only with regard to others that you are feeling impatient towards, but 
also in regard to yourself.

After all, we all learn and grow better in an atmosphere of gentleness, 
patience, and love, rather than one of impatience, criticism, and harshness!

Prayer: Father God, bless us this day with the grace to be a people worthy 
of the calling that we have received in Christ Jesus. Enable us through the
power of Your Spirit to be completely humble, gentle, patient, and bearing 
with one another in love, that each of us may learn and grow according to 
the
pace and process which suits us best. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Lynne Phipps 
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
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Where Are You?

Mark 5:25-34 (NLT)
And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve 
years. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years 
and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. 
In fact, she was worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind 
him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. 28 For she thought 
to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.” 29 
Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been 
healed!
30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he 
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 His disciples said to him, “All this crowd is pressing around you. How 
can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the 
frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, 
came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to 
her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been 
healed.”

If we could have gone back in time and taken a video of this scene we would 
find a
variety of people in the video.

There were people who were along the side of the road or passing by. These 
people had no interest in Jesus. These could have been religious people like 
the Pharisees or
Sadducees and common folk.

Another group of people were those crowding around Jesus. Some of them, like 
his
disciples, were there wanting to hear every word He had to say. Some may 
have been
curious about Jesus. Some might have been there to see what kind of 
excitement might happen with Jesus and His disciples. Some might have been 
there just to make other
people think they were part of the group. All of these may not have really 
believed Jesus was the Messiah but at least they were interested and not 
like those on the side of the road or passing by.

That leaves us with the woman at the center of this account. She has been 
bleeding for twelve years. She had been going to doctors until she had no 
money but still was no
better. In her desperation she reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus’ 
garment. She knew that if she did this she would be healed. She did reach 
out and was healed because of her faith.

You are in this video somewhere.

If you don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God or that maybe Jesus didn’t 
even exist then you are one of those passing by or standing on the side of 
the road. Jesus Christ is who He said He is. Give your life to Him. Stop 
passing Him by.

You might be one of those in the crowd around Jesus. If you are a true 
follower of Jesus Christ, praise the Lord! If you are curious about Him, ask 
Him to make Himself known to you. Put your trust in Him and start a 
personal, intimate relationship with Him. If you are someone who goes around 
to special services just for the excitement or just to be seen in the right 
place but don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, stop being a 
hypocrite and give your life to Him.

If you are desperate for a touch from Jesus for healing of body, mind or 
spirit then you are the woman. If you are in this condition reach out with 
just enough faith to touch the hem of His garment. That may be all the faith 
or strength you have but reach out to the Healer, Redeemer, Friend and 
Counselor. He won’t turn you away. This woman was to stay away from people 
since she had this disease. Jesus wants you to come to Him just as you are. 
Reach out to the only one who can truly save, heal and restore.

by Dean W. Masters

4175 cdd Timbuktu

Volume 17 Number 208

Today's Author: Stephen Saint

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:4
"We who are on missionary assignments for God have a right to decent 
accommodations" MSG (Bible Paraphrase)

For years, I'd thought Timbuktu was just a made up name for "the ends of the 
earth." When I found out it was a real place in Africa, I developed an 
inexplicable
fascination for it. It was in 1986 on a fact-finding trip to West Africa for 
Missionary Aviation Fellowship that this fascination became an irresistible
urge.

Timbuktu wasn't on my itinerary, but I knew I had to go there. Once I 
arrived, I discovered I was in trouble. I'd hitched a ride from Bamako, 
Mali, 500
miles away on the only seat left on a Navajo six-seater air-plane chartered 
by UNICEF.

Two of their doctors were in Timbuktu and might fly back on the return 
flight, which meant I'd be bumped, but I decided to take the chance. Now 
here I
was, standing by the plane on the windswept outskirts of the famous Berber 
outpost.

There was not a spot of true green any where in the desolate brown Saharan 
landscape. Dust blew across the sky, blotting out the sun as I squinted in 
the
110 degree heat, trying to make out the mud-walled buildings of the village 
of 20,000. The pilot approached me as I started for town. He reported that
the doctors were on their way and I'd have to find another ride to Bamako.

"Try the marketplace. Someone there might have a truck. But be careful," he 
said. "Westerners don't last long in the desert if the truck breaks down, 
which
often happens."

I didn't relish the thought of being stranded, but perhaps it was fitting 
that I should wind up like this, surrounded by the Sahara.

Since I arrived in Africa the strain of the harsh environment and severe 
suffering of the starving peoples had left me feeling lost in a spiritual 
and
emotional desert.

The open-air marketplace in the center of town was crowded. Men and women 
wore flowing robes and turbans as protection against the sun. Most of the 
Berbers'
robes were dark blue, with 30 feet of material in their turbans alone.

The men were well armed with scimitars and knives. I felt eyes were watching 
me suspiciously. Suspicion was understandable in Timbuktu. Nothing could be
trusted here.

These people had once been prosperous and self-sufficient. Now even their 
land had turned against them. Drought had turned rich grasslands to desert. 
Unrelenting
sun and windstorms had nearly annihilated all animal life. People were dying 
by the thousands.

I went from person to person trying to find someone who spoke English, until 
I finally came across a local gendarme who understood my broken French. "I
need a truck," I said. "I need to go to Bamako." Eyes widened in his shaded 
face. "No truck," he shrugged. Then he added, "No road. Only sand."

By now, my presence was causing a sensation in the marketplace. I was 
surrounded by at least a dozen small children, jumping and dancing, begging 
for coins
and souvenirs. The situation was extreme, I knew. I tried to think calmly. 
What am I to do?

Suddenly I had a powerful desire to talk to my father. Certainly he had 
known what it was like to be a foreigner in a strange land.

But my father, Nate Saint, was dead. He was one of five missionary men 
killed by Auca Indians in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. I was a month shy 
of my
fifth birthday at the time, and my memories of him were almost like movie 
clips: a lanky, intense man with a serious goal and a quick wit. He was a 
dedicated
jungle pilot, flying missionaries and medical personnel in his Piper Family 
Cruiser.

Even after his death he was a presence in my life. I'd felt the need to talk 
with my father before, especially since I'd married and become a father 
myself.
But in recent weeks this need had become urgent. For one thing, I was new to 
relief work. But it was more than that. I needed dad to help answer my new
questions of faith.

In Mali, for the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people who 
didn't share my faith, who were, in fact, hostile to the Christian faith, 
locals
and Western relief workers alike. In a way it was a parallel to the 
situation Dad had faced in Ecuador. How often I'd said the same thing dad 
would have
said among the Indians who killed him: "My God is real. He's a personal God 
who lives inside me, with whom I have a very special, one-on-one 
relationship."

And yet the question lingered in my mind: Did my father have to die? All my 
life, people had spoken of dad with respect; he was a man willing to die for
his faith. But at the same time I couldn't help but think the murders were 
capricious, an accident of bad timing.

Dad and his colleagues landed just as a small band of Auca men were in a bad 
mood for reasons that had nothing to do with faith or Americans. If Dad's
plane had landed one day later, the massacre may not have happened. Couldn't 
there have been another way? It made little impact on the Aucas that I could
see. To them it was just one more killing in a history of killings.

Thirty years later it still had an impact on me. And now, for the first 
time, I felt threatened because of who I was and what I believed. "God," I 
found
myself praying as I looked around the marketplace, "I'm in trouble here. 
Please keep me safe and show me a way to get back. Please reveal Yourself 
and
Your love to me the way you did to my father."

No bolt of lightning came from the blue. But a new thought did come to mind. 
Surely there was a telecommunications office here somewhere; I could wire
Bamako to send another plane. It would be costly, but I could see no other 
way of getting out.

"Where's the telecommunications office?" I asked another gendarme. He gave 
me instructions, then said, "Telegraph transmits only if station in Bamako 
has
machine on, message goes through. If not," he shrugged, "no answer ever 
comes. You only hope message received."

Now what? The sun was crossing toward the horizon. If I didn't have 
arrangements made by nightfall, what would happen to me? This was truly the 
last outpost
of the world. More than a few Westerners had disappeared in the desert 
without a trace.

Then I remembered that just before I'd started for Timbuktu, a fellow worker 
had said, there's a tiny Christian church, which virtually no one visits.
Look it up if you get the chance."

I asked the children, "Where is Eglise Evangelique Chretienne?"

The youngsters were willing to help, though they were obviously confused 
about what I was looking for. Several times elderly men and women scolded 
them
harshly as we passed, but they persisted. Finally we arrived, not at the 
church, but at the open doorway of a tiny mud-brick house.

No one was home, but on the wall opposite the door was a poster showing a 
cross covered by wounded hands. The French subscript said, "And by His 
stripes
we are healed."

Within minutes, my army of waifs pointed out a young man approaching us in 
the dirt alleyway. Then the children melted back into the labyrinth of the 
walled
alleys and compounds of Timbuktu. The young man was handsome, with dark skin 
and flowing robes. But there was something inexplicably different about him.
His name was Nouh Af Infa Yatara; that much I understood.

Nouh signaled he knew someone who could translate for us. He led me to a 
compound on the edge of town where an American missionary lived. I was glad 
to
meet the missionary, but from the moment I'd seen Nouh, I'd had the feeling 
that we shared something in common.

"How did you come to have faith?" I asked him. The missionary translated as 
Nouh answered: "This compound has always had a beautiful garden. One day 
when
I was a small boy, a friend and I decided to steal some carrots. It was a 
dangerous task. We'd been told that Toubabs (white men) eat nomadic 
children.

Despite our agility and considerable experience, I was caught by the former 
missionary here. Mr. Marshall didn't eat me; instead, he gave me the carrots
and some cards that had God's promises from the Bible written on them. He 
told me if I learned them, he'd give me an ink pen!"

"You learned them?" I asked.

"Oh, yes!" he exclaimed. "Only government men and the headmaster of the 
school had a Bic pen! But when I showed off my pen at school, the teacher 
knew
I must have spoken with a Toubab, which is strictly forbidden. He severely 
beat me."

When Nouh's parents found out he had portions of such a despised book 
defiling their house, they threw him out and forbade anyone to take him in; 
nor was
he allowed in school.

But something had happened: Nouh had come to believe that what the Bible 
said
was true. Nouh's mother became desperate. Her own standing, as well as her 
family's, was in jeopardy.

Finally she decided to kill her son. She obtained poison from a sorcerer and 
poisoned Nouh's food at a family feast. Nouh ate the food and wasn't 
affected.

His brother, who unwittingly stole a morsel of meat from the deadly dish, 
became violently ill and remains partially paralyzed. Seeing God's 
intervention,
the family and the town's people were afraid to make further attempts on his 
life, but condemned him as an outcast.

After sitting a moment, I asked Nouh the question that only hours earlier 
I'd wanted to ask my father: "Why is your faith so important to you that 
you're
willing to give up everything, perhaps even your life?"

"I know God loves me and I'll live with Him forever," he replied. "I know 
it! Now I have peace where I used to be full of fear and uncertainty. Who 
wouldn't
want to give up everything for this peace and security?"

"It couldn't have been easy for you as a teenager to take a stand that made 
you despised by the whole community," I said. "Where did your courage come
from?"

"Mr. Marshall couldn't take me in without putting my life in jeopardy. So he 
gave me some books about other Christians who'd suffered for their faith.
My favorite was about five young men who willingly risked their lives to 
take God's good news to stone-age Indians in the jungles of South America."

His eyes widened as he continued. "I've lived all my life in the desert. How 
frightening the jungle must be! The book said these men let themselves be
speared to death, even though they had guns and could have killed their 
attackers!"

The missionary translator said, "I remember the story. As a matter of fact, 
one of those men had your last name."

"Yes," I said quietly, "the pilot was my father."

"Your father?" Nouh cried. "The story is true?"

"Yes," I said, "it's true."

The missionary, Nouh and I talked through the afternoon. When they 
accompanied me back to the airfield that night, we found that the doctors 
weren't able
to leave Timbuktu after all, and there was room for me on the UNICEF plane.

As Nouh and I hugged each other, it seemed incredible that God loved us so 
much that He'd arranged for us to meet "at the ends of the earth."

Nouh and I had gifts for each other that no one else could give. I gave him 
the assurance that the story that had given him courage was true. He, in 
turn,
gave me the assurance that God had used Dad's death for good.

Dad, by dying, had helped give Nouh a faith worth dying for. And Nouh, in 
return, had helped give Dad's faith back to me.

Author's Update: Nouh, along with his lovely wife Fati, have three sons. 
They finished more than two years of study in the U.S. and faced many 
hurdles
when they returned in January 1999 to the fourth-poorest area of the world.

Please pray that they will continue to be faithful and that God will bless 
their commitment to spread His light in a dark and dangerous land.

(The 2006 DVD, End of the Spear tells the story of Nate Saint, the father of 
Stephen Saint).

Prayer: Father thank you for Nouh and his family and watch over and bless 
them for Your Kingdom purposes. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Pastor Bill Team Prayer
Father please bring 1............. 2............. 3.............. into your 
kingdom.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Copyright (c) 2016
Pastor Bill Christian Cyber Ministries
All Rights Reserved
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:52 pm

The Prodigal

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled 
with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and 
kissed
him." Luke 15:20

While he was still a long way off...
The father knew the son's heart!
He didn't say, "Here comes that scoundrel. What does he expect from me? A 
loan? Does he think he's coming back to this house after he's spent all my 
money?"

Perhaps, we are a long way off... from being what God expects of us. We are 
so far down the road that anyone else might suspect our motives for calling
on The Father.

Perhaps, we've been Christian for what we can get out of it. But God can 
see - even though the distance is great - the direction of our steps and the 
purpose
of our heart

And if that purpose...
is a longing for a renewed relationship,
a closer tie,
to be home with The Father

God's heart will go out to us...
Even though we are "still a long way off"!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you sense that you are falling out of love with God, remember that He is 
still faithful. He has always longed for your love and is waiting with open
arms to receive you once again. If you are a prodigal child and need to 
return home, He will be there to greet you. Don't let your feelings of love 
lost
for God hinder your return to Him today.

Stephen A. Macchia


KenBible.com

New Post on KenBible.com - Our Confidence
----------------------------------------------------------

Our Confidence

Posted: 13 Oct 2016 09:55 PM PDT

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER

John 5:19, 30; 13:20

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is 
something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these 
things
the Son also does in like manner.

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment 
is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent 
Me.”

(John 5:19, 30, NASB)

“He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

“He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (John 5:23; 13:20, NASB)

When Jesus faced hostility during His earthly ministry,
His confidence was always this:
He was simply representing the Father who sent Him.
He only said what the Father told Him to say, and
only did what the Father showed Him to do.
He was careful to speak and act
only in the Father’s authority.
Thus as people either
received Jesus or
rejected Him,
they were receiving or rejecting the Father.

As His disciples were about to face a hostile world
without Jesus’ physical presence,
He passed along this same truth to them.
Just as Jesus’ confidence in every situation had been
His trusting, obedient relationship with His Father,
so His disciples’ confidence would be
their relationship with Jesus.
That relationship would be their
adequacy for their mission.
As they said what Jesus gave them to say and
did what Jesus showed them to do,
they could face any opposition and any challenge
with bold confidence.
Their preparation for ministry was this:
their intimate binding to Jesus Christ and
their complete dependence on Him.

The same is true for each of us.
Our preparation for life and for service is
our trust in Jesus,
our obedience to Him,
our dependence on Him, and
our moment-by-moment relationship with Him.

As we go to make disciples of Jesus Christ, we go
in His sovereign authority and
in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
We go in the Spirit of Christ Himself,
with His Word and
for His glory.
 
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
The Problem With Pushing - #7767

What do you call it when your dog has eight puppies? Octuplets? Ocpuplets? I 
don't know. Years ago, our Radio Production Manager, well, he probably would
have just said you call it a handful. His dog was Sister. No, not a 
relative; that was her name-had eight puppies. He got to look after them 
until he could
find homes for them. Apparently eight can be a challenge. He told me about 
one day when he was just trying to get them back into their pen. He said, "I
was doing all I could to push those puppies back in. I'd get two or three 
in. Then while I was reaching for another one, one or two would kind of 
wiggle
back out." (You can probably almost picture this can't you?) After a lot of 
pushing and shoving, he finally gave up for a while. He said, "You know, 
here's
the funny part"-actually, I thought the picture of him losing to those 
puppies was the funny part-but he said, "within 10 minutes, guess where 
those rambunctious
puppies were?" All of them were inside by the pen, without any pushing from 
him! They chose to do what he couldn't force them to do!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 
Problem With Pushing."

Actually, pushing people doesn't work that well either. They would rather 
choose something than be pushed into it. In fact, our instinct isn't all 
that
different from those puppies-if someone's trying to make us do something, we 
try to wiggle out.

Which leads us to one of the world's greatest motivators. It's a little word 
called trust. Jesus taught us a principle that can be the foundation for 
getting
people to choose what they ought to choose. Our word for today from the Word 
of God, Luke 16:19, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be 
trusted
with much." Then He gave a negative example, "If you have not been 
trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your 
own?"

It's as if Jesus said, "I'm going to trust you with some things and see how 
you handle that trust. If you show you can be trusted, I'll trust you with
some more." Even God in His dealings with us doesn't push us to choose Him. 
He leads us, He encourages us, but He leaves it to us to choose.

We can learn a lot from Jesus in how to get people to do things. As parents, 
for example, we want so much for our kids to make the right choices, so much
that we tend to just push harder and harder when they don't seem to be doing 
it, or when we're afraid they won't. But like those rebellious puppies, 
sometimes
our pushing only pushes them to go the other way. And it pushes a child away 
from us. It can work that same way with people you supervise, or someone 
you're
trying to move toward Christ, or a loved one you want to change. Strangely, 
pushing may actually delay the very change you're pushing for, because it 
doesn't
allow them the space to choose the right thing.

Jesus would recommend trust as a better motivator than pushing. When you 
give someone the reasons for choosing the right thing and then you say, "I'm 
trusting
you," well, there's just something about trust that makes you want to live 
up to it! There's something about being pushed that makes you want to go the
other direction!

A while back, my son was in his 20's and he said, "Dad, you know one of the 
most important things you guys did for us as parents? You trusted us." I can
tell you that many times we were praying our knees off because trust is a 
scary risk. And they didn't always make the right choice in the short run, 
but
they almost always did in the long run.

If there's someone you're trying to move in the right direction, would you 
try a little more trust? Give them bite-size chunks of trust. That's a way 
to
show them they can be trusted. And, if they handle that trust well, reward 
them with more trust. Gaining trust is a strong motivation to do the right 
thing
and losing trust is a strong motivation not to blow it.

Given a little space to choose, people-like those puppies-may very well end 
up choosing to be where your pushing could never get them to go.
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 · 
USA
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Inspiration Ministries Daily Devotion

What Seems Impossible
Saturday, October 8, 2016

"What is impossible for people is possible with God."
Luke 18:27 NLT

Louis Vierne was born almost completely blind. By the time he was six, his 
sight improved enough that he vaguely could recognize people and see some 
objects.
But he remained functionally blind, seemingly doomed to an unproductive 
life.

But a relative sensed that Vierne had musical talent. Studying the piano, he 
demonstrated that his blindness did not impede his abilities. As he matured
as a musician, he attended the Paris Conservatoire, becoming pupil of 
legendary organist Charles-Marie Widor. Continuing to demonstrate remarkable 
ability,
in 1900 Vierne was appointed organist of one of the most important churches 
in Paris, where he served for thirty-seven years.

Blindness was not the only adversity faced by Vierne, who was born on this 
day in 1870. He also endured many personal hardships. Yet he did not let his
blindness or other tragedies prevent him from being fruitful. He became a 
respected teacher, and several of his pupils became world famous organists. 
His
legacy lives on through his compositions, which still rank among the most 
revered and played among organists.

Amazing for a blind musician, he became among the first to give organ 
recitals, playing complex compositions entirely from memory. He died in 
1937, right
in the midst of a performance.

Faced with severe adversities like these, many might have given up. But 
Vierne became a master, through perseverance and strong faith. Doing things 
that
others might have thought impossible.

How do you react when you encounter obstacles? When the situation may seem 
impossible? Many give up or lose hope. But Jesus taught that no situation is
impossible. In fact, "What is impossible for people is possible with God."

What problems do you face? What obstacles stand in your way? Commit every 
need and problem to God. Banish doubt and fear. Believe His Word that all 
things
are possible. That nothing is impossible if you have faith.

Today's Inspiring Prayer

Father, I commit these situations to You: _________. I believe You for 
answers. Help me to use the resources You have given me for Your Kingdom. In 
Jesus'
name. Amen.

Further Reading: Luke 18
© 2016 Inspiration Ministries, All rights reserved

Taming the Tongue
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BIBLE MEDITATION:
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his 
lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Your tongue can get you into a lot of trouble. There is nothing that can do 
more damage to your relationships than your words.

Proverbs 17:27 says,He that hath knowledge spareth his words. That is, if 
youâre smart, you wont talk so much. When you do talk, keep your words warm
and sweet because you may have to eat them later.

Theres an old saying I heard a Rabbi use once that reminds us:
The ears are open and out. Theyre unguarded, but the tongue is behind 
ivory bars.

 When youre talking, youre not learning.
When youre not learning, youre not communicating.
When youre not communicating, there will be no intimacy in your 
relationships.

ACTION POINT:
In what ways has your mouth gotten you into trouble this week? Confess those 
times before the Lord and ask for strength and wisdom to be a better 
communicator.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; 
all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

"The Bible - God's CPR for Your Eternal Life"
October 17, 2016
... (God's Word) is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in 
Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for 
teaching,
for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man 
of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15b-17
I was recently blessed to spend some time with my wife Yvette on the beach 
in Southern California, very close to where we used to live before coming to
St. Louis. We were enjoying the late afternoon sun together. I don't think 
there's anything like feeling the warmth of those rays while hearing the 
crashing
of the waves on the beach. Well, maybe it's also pretty great to jump into 
that water, to feel its refreshing relief and energizing power. Yeah, that's
pretty good too. Well, suddenly, while we were sitting there enjoying the 
moment, someone seemed to be carried away by the strong current and seemed 
to
be in trouble. And just at that very time, this young lifeguard jumped from 
his perch on the beach, ran into the surf, dove into the water, and swam out
to rescue this frightened swimmer. It was cool to see the lifeguard in 
action. Now this rescue wasn't all that dramatic, but there are some where 
the lifeguard
has to drag the person to shore and then literally breathe life back into a 
person; they call that CPR.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: it is an emergency procedure that combines 
chest compression often with artificial ventilation in an effort to get 
someone's
heart going again, to get someone breathing again. If you've ever seen that 
happen or have been privileged to do that for someone, it's pretty amazing.
Someone literally comes back to life because a person breathed life back 
into them.

Well, if you think that is amazing, wait until you hear what the Bible does 
to you when you open its pages and receive its words. The apostle Paul says
the Bible is God-breathed: that means it is already full of the power and 
presence of God, and when it enters your mind and heart through your eyes, 
through
your ears, it's like God is performing spiritual CPR on your life. That's 
the picture Paul wants you to have for the Bible. The Bible is not so much a
rule book or a book of principles and truths -- though there are truths 
contained in it, for sure. The Bible ultimately is a book that is alive with 
the
love, the grace, and the mercy of God for you. It is God-breathed so you can 
spiritually breathe again
in Him. It is full of God's Spirit and life so that you can truly be alive 
by His Spirit.

You know, it was pretty amazing to see that lifeguard in action that day. 
When he saw that a person was in trouble, overwhelmed by the power of the 
water,
he jumped right in -- without hesitation. Well, that's what Jesus did for 
you and me, and more. The Bible says we are
drowning in our sins (see Psalm 38:4), unable to overcome our guilt and 
shame, but Jesus dove right in, overcame our trouble by living, dying and 
rising
again so that we might live again in Him. Today, He wants to breathe that 
life right into your hearts and minds and make you "wise for salvation," to 
make
you sure you are truly ready to face the challenges that await you and make 
the most of the opportunities that are set before you. Open up the Bible, 
take
a look. Who knows? It might be the breath of fresh air that you really need.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to see Your Word not as a rule book of "dos 
and don'ts," but a
love letter from You to me, a life letter that doesn't just talk about life, 
it grants it. And with that perspective, give me courage to open it and see
for myself who You are, and who I am in You! Amen!

In Christ,
Seltz signature
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible in a Year Readings: 2 Chronicles 35; Habakkuk 1-3; Acts 25
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KenBible.com

New Post on KenBible.com - Daily Forgiveness
----------------------------------------------------------

Daily Forgiveness

Posted: 09 Oct 2016 09:55 PM PDT

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9, NASB)

Our Father in heaven,…forgive us our debts. (Matthew 6:9, 12, NASB)

Father, You know my heart.
You know that I want to live and breathe as Your child.
I want to be one with You every moment and in every way.
I long to walk in total obedience to Your perfect and loving will.

But You also know how I live day by day.
My responses to You are so sporadic and cool.
I want to live a loving life constantly and completely,
but I shrink back into myself so often and so easily.
As I trust You, You always enable me to live a holy life in Your presence.
You are so faithful!
But how often I fail to trust You as You deserve!
Faith is still a response that is only partially formed in me.

The closer I grow to You, the more I am aware of the
magnitude and constancy of my failures before You.
You deserve so much better than me!

But Your grace is perfect, even though my behavior is not.
Your forgiveness is free for the asking!
Though my shortcomings are a never ending stream,
Your mercies are new every morning.

I count on Your forgiveness, Father,
but help me never take it for granted.
Give me a growing openness with You.
Give me a constant awareness of
who You are and
who I am.
May confession be an ongoing process between us,
a daily healing,
a regular realigning,
a natural part of our unbroken communion.


The World's Most Important Word
By Skip Heitzig
The average person spends about a fifth of their life talking--that's about 
a fifty-page book every day. At the end of an average lifetime, you could 
fill
1,500,000 pages with the words you speak.

But the most important Word in the world is Jesus, as John revealed in the 
first chapter of his gospel. Why is that? Because Jesus is the only hope for
all humanity. As Peter said in
Acts 4:12 , "Nor is there salvation
in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by 
which we must be saved." Let's meet Jesus anew in the opening verses of John
and look at Him--the Word--in relation to God, the universe, and mankind.

The first two verses of John 1
plainly tell us about the Word in relation to God: "In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the 
beginning
with God." This transports us all the way back to
Genesis 1 --and even further: "In the beginning
was the Word" (emphasis mine). In other words, before there was ever a 
beginning, Christ existed.

Now, when we hear the term "the Word," we think of a unit of language. But 
2,000 years ago, in both the Jewish and secular world,
Word was pregnant with significance. The Greeks used this term,
logos, to explain the nondescript, impersonal force or ordering principle 
behind the universe. The Jews, on the other hand, explained everything God 
did
by His Word--to them, "the Word" stood not only for the expression of God, 
but God Himself.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 
God" (v. 1). Such a simple statement; such a profound, deep truth. Now, this
doesn't mean Jesus and the Father are the same person; it means they're both 
God, or in the Godhead, but they are individual and they are separate. 
Jesus,
the living Word, is God in a body, and all that God is, is in the Word, 
Jesus.

Then there's the Word in relation to the universe: "All things were made 
through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (v. 3). Paul 
the
apostle echoed this in
Colossians 1
: "[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all 
creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are 
on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or 
powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" (vv. 15-16). So 
Jesus
isn't just the source of creation; Jesus is the goal of creation. Like 
Revelation 4:11 says, "For thy pleasure they are and were created" (KJV). If 
Jesus
created me and my purpose in life is to glorify Him, then am I glorifying 
Him? Am I living my life for Him?

Third and finally, in relation to mankind, Jesus illuminates everyone: "In 
Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (vv. 4-5). It makes sense 
that if Jesus is the Creator of everything, He has the life in Himself to 
create.
But in these verses, the word for
life is zóé, meaning everlasting life, not biological or psychological life. 
Jesus came into the world to give true life, to fix the fact that we're born
spiritually dead (see Ephesians 2:1 ). And in coming into the world with His 
light-like life, He affected everyone: "That was the true Light which gives
light to every man coming into the world" (v. 9).

Every person has some kind of light that they must act on--at least enough 
to be responsible before God. As believers, the more we grow and are exposed
to Jesus Christ for who He really is, the bigger and grander and more 
trustworthy He gets. What will you do with Jesus? If you're living in 
darkness, Christ--the
Word--can give you His life-giving light. All you have to do is ask.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.

Fill 'er Up
by John UpChurch, Crosswalk.com Contributor

“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what 
is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his 
body,
which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me 
to present to you the word of God in its fullness--the mystery that has been
kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.”
Colossians 1:24-26

Right after I got married, I gave up computer software updates and PC 
troubleshooting for something a bit more... down to earth, you could say. I 
needed
work in my new hometown, and since employers weren’t tracking me down and 
forcing jobs on me, I gravitated toward the only available option: 
construction.
With a booming housing market at the time, finding enough to do wasn’t a 
problem.

But finding motivation was a problem. Going from a specialized, higher 
paying job in computers, where I mostly sat at my desk all day, to cleaning 
up cinder
blocks, wrestling with insulation, and scrubbing windows--that was quite the 
humbling thing. Honestly, I’d never had to do any real manual labor in my
life before that (yes, I was coddled). The heat and pain and bloodied hands 
were all new to me.

The first few weeks, after a particularly arduous day of gophering around 
the jobsites, I’d come home and crash on the living room floor. My muscles 
weren’t
used to the beating they took, and they made sure I knew about it.

Slowly, however, with all the wood slinging and nail pounding and putty 
slapping, things changed. The nights of carpet collapses became less 
frequent,
and my hands didn’t split open nearly as often (unless you count the 
numerous times I stabbed myself with a chisel). In fact, I came to enjoy the 
process
of seeing something come together, seeing a house take shape.

My spiritual growth has come in a similar fashion--just without the 
splinters. At first, the failures dragged me down and beat me up. The 
rejections when
I tried to share my newfound
faith
stung. The transformation cut deep. But as I grew and as God worked in me, 
something changed. The pain still stings and the transformation still cuts
(that never stops), yet I began to see the pain as an important part of the 
overall process. Christ is building something in me--and in His Church.

As humans, we all suffer. But as Christians, we fill up on suffering. Sounds 
bad, but the point is that instead of us letting the suffering go to waste,
God uses it for the good of other believers (and our own). He takes the pain 
and makes it passion, passion that spills out as love for our brothers and
sisters.

Intersecting Faith & Life: We each serve as a breathing example of the 
gospel played out in real life. Our pain and restoration make us a family 
like nothing
else can.

Further Reading

1 Corinthians 12

Ephesians 3
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True Beauty

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“. . . even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight 
of God of great price.”
1 Peter 3:4b

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Are you a woman struggling with the way you look? We all know that women 
want to be beautiful, especially to their husbands and boyfriends, but so 
often
women think that beauty is found at a cosmetics counter, on a dress rack, or 
in a jewelry box. Those things are corruptible, and what’s in vogue today
is out of fashion when next year’s supermodels hit the runway.

The only thing that will make you more beautiful, day after day, is what you 
nurture within yourself - serenity.

The ornament of a meek and a quiet spirit is worth far more than even the 
most expensive jewel you can wear around your neck.

ACTION POINT:
Stand in front of the mirror today. Imagine Jesus by your side, and ask Him 
to create in you a gentle and quiet spirit of love.
Copyright © 2016 Love Worth Finding Ministries, All rights reserved.


==== Friday's Thought For The Day (Oct. 7, 2016) =====

PRACTICING THE GOLDEN RULE

Allow me to share with you one of the most touching moments in sports I've 
ever heard about. It took place at a women's softball game on April 26, 
2008.
Central Washington and Western Oregon faced off against each other, with the 
winner to receive a bid to the NCAA's Division II playoffs.

Sara Tucholsky, a Western Oregon player, came to the plate in the second 
inning with the score tied 0-0 and two runners on base . Sara had never hit
a home run in her lifetime. However, things were about to change. She 
connected on a pitch and hit the ball over the center field fence. Due to 
her
excitement, she missed first base. So she stopped and turned to go back to 
the base. But when she made the sudden stop and turn, she collapsed to the
ground, having torn her ACL.

Her first base coach wanted to run out and help her, but if she touched 
Sara, she would have been counted out. As Sara lay on the ground, umpires 
conferred
and determined that the best thing to do was to allow Western Oregon to 
substitute a pinch runner at first base (which would have canceled the home 
run).

The coach prepared to make the substitution when she heard a voice: "Excuse 
me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?'"
You see, in softball, a teammate can't touch a player while running the 
bases, but there's no rule that says the opponents can't touch her. So 
Mallory
Holtman and Liz Wallace, two players on the opposing team offered to carry 
Sara around the bases so that her home run would not be counted as a single.
These two players gently picked up Sara, and carried her around the bases, 
allowing her to tap each base along the way. After reaching home plate, 
these
two girls handed Sara off to her own teammates.

When asked later why she did it, Mallory Holtman said, "Honestly, it's one 
of those things that I hope anyone would do it for me..." In other words,
she was practicing the "Golden Rule" – "Do unto others as you would have 
them do unto you."

There's not much I can add to a touching story like that. May it serve as 
an inspiration to find ways in your own life to look for people who could 
use
a hand. When we are less concerned about "winning" than we are about 
helping others, we can truly begin to reflect Jesus Christ in our lives.

"Therefore, whatever you want men to do for you, do also to them, for this 
is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Cruciform Church of Christ
Spring Lake, North Carolina
www.cruciformcoc.com


Ron Hutchcraft Ministries - A Word With You
A Word With You
Feeling Dirty, Getting Clean - #7765

Our son had just moved to an Indian reservation to work among the young 
people there, and for a short time he stayed rent-free at the home of a 
Native
American family. Well, sort of rent-free. One day the man of the house asked 
our son to help him with a little plumbing problem. Our suburban boy said,
"Plumbing? Sure. Where can I find the plunger?" He was informed that no 
plunger would be needed, so apparently it's going to be easier than he 
thought.
Right? Wrong. His host took him out in the backyard and introduced him to a 
septic pond where his job was to try to clean out a stopped-up pipe. In 
order
to find it, our son had to reach into the gross stuff up to his shoulder. 
Then he got to experience the contents of that septic pond splashing all 
over
him as he hung over the water, pushing a rod up and down through the blocked 
pipe. Yuk! He said when he was finished, he had one thing and only one thing
on his mind-a shower. He called and he pretty much summarized his 
experience, "I have never felt so dirty in my life, and it's never felt so 
good to be
clean."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Feeling 
Dirty, Getting Clean."

Feeling clean; that's a feeling someone who's listening right now could use 
because you've felt dirty long enough. We all know those feelings because 
we've
all done things we're ashamed of; we've done some things that we thought 
we'd never do, we've failed to do some things we should have done. Too many 
times,
the people we've hurt the most are the people we care about the most. There 
are these dark secrets that haunt us and even some things that we're hooked
on that we cannot stop doing. We feel dirty inside, and we don't know how to 
get clean.

That is why our word for today from the Word of God is such awesome good 
news. It's written to people who know what dirty feels like. In 1 
Corinthians
6, beginning with verse 9, the writer describes people who have messed with 
sex, both heterosexual and homosexual, people who have ripped off others, 
who've
been selfish and greedy, who've had drinking problems, along with 
backstabbers and cheaters. Then comes this startling statement: "That is 
what some of
you were." Were? How does that happen? How do dirty people get clean?

Here's how. It says, "You were washed...you were justified (that means made 
right with God) in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
God gave them a spiritual shower because of Jesus. How can a God whose 
perfect just erase all my sins from His book? It says, "In the name of the 
Lord
Jesus."

That's because Jesus had all the dirt of my life dumped on Him when He died 
on the cross. In the Bible's words, "He carried our sins in His body on the
tree." (1 Peter 2:24) Just think of Jesus absorbing all the guilt, all the 
shame, and all the hell of every angry thing you've ever done; every dirty 
thing,
every selfish thing, every deceitful thing, every hurting thing. That's how 
much He loves you. That's how much He wants to forgive you so you can have
the unspeakable joy of being clean and the guarantee of being with Him in 
heaven forever.

As Jesus was dying on that cross, He said of those who nailed Him there, 
"Father, forgive them." That's what He wants to say to God about you today, 
"Father,
forgive him. Forgive her." If you will take what He died to give you. No 
religion can erase your sin from God's book. Only Jesus can do that, because 
only
Jesus paid the death penalty that we deserve. The sinless One became dirty 
so you could become clean. He took your hell so you could live in His 
heaven.

The man on the cross next to Jesus, hearing His offer of forgiveness, said 
to Him, "Remember me when You come into Your kingdom." (Luke 23:42) That's 
what
you need to do-to reach out to the Great Forgiver and ask Him to forgive all 
the sinning you've ever done. If you do, He will say, "I will remember your
sin no more." (Hebrews 8:12) You grab Him in total faith as the only One who 
can rescue you from your sin.

If you're tired of dirty, if you're ready to finally be clean inside, tell 
Jesus that. You know, the day I opened my heart to Jesus, someone took time
to explain to me exactly how to get started in that relationship with Him. I 
would love to do that for you through our website. It's ANewStory.com.

There's nothing like a shower when you feel dirty. And right now Jesus 
stands ready to wash away the dirt of your lifetime. It feels so good to be 
clean!
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc. · P.O. Box 400 · Harrison, Arkansas 72602 · 
USA
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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Pointing to the Savior"
October 28, 2016
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the 
grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- not that there is
another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the 
Gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7

The pastor at Toronto, Canada's, West Hill Congregation says she is on the 
receiving end of an inquisition. Even so, the pastor wants to keep the 
position,
which has been held since 1997.

The pastor is 58-year-old Gretta Vosper, and she was ordained in the United 
Church.

Recently, in a split decision, a church review panel has recommended that 
Vosper be removed. The majority position said, "Although the United Church 
of
Canada is a big tent, welcoming a diversity of theological beliefs, Ms. 
Vosper is so far from centre of what holds us together as a United Church 
that
we have concluded she is not suitable to continue as an ordained minister."

The minority side said, "The church has evolved since its founding and must 
continue doing so to meet the spiritual needs of Canadians."

Now you may be wondering what is the difficulty. What does Pastor Vosper 
believe that has caused such controversy? Well, it might be easier to tell 
you
what she doesn't believe. For example, she doesn't believe in

* the Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit;

* the primacy of Scripture;

* conducting the Sacraments;

* praying to the Lord.

Pastor Vosper does believe that in helping and caring for each other, people 
"create this positive power within ourselves and that's God, but that it's
entirely dependent upon us. It doesn't come from the supernatural realm; we 
can't make things better by praying to another realm."

Now here's the thing. I'm not surprised that someone holds such beliefs. We 
know that false prophets arise in every generation. What shocks me is the 
committee
to evaluate these teachings was not unified in its condemnation of such 
obviously false doctrine.

All of this leads me to encourage our pastors and parishes to hold fast to 
the truth of Scripture.

Even more, if you are blessed to have a preacher whose messages clearly 
point to the Savior and the blood-bought salvation that was won for us 
through
Jesus' life, His suffering, death, and wonderful resurrection from the dead, 
then give thanks to God.

In public, speak well of the work the Holy Spirit is doing in your church, 
and occasionally let your pastor know you appreciate his messages, which 
show
to all "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (see John 
1:29).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit upon the church so that both 
pastors and people may tell a sinful world that there is salvation through 
faith
in Your Son, who gave His life so we might be forgiven and be granted life 
eternal. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible in a Year Reading: Jeremiah 49; Hebrews 3
Print this Devotion
Subscribe to this Podcast
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; 
all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).


Welcome to the Nugget
October 8, 2016

Lessons From Camping, Part 3: The Burl
bible
By Answers2Prayer
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The second day of our camping trip dawned bright and clear. We could foresee 
a beautiful day of hiking in front of us, and it was with enthusiasm that
we started out. The trails were well-groomed, and due to the plentiful 
spring rains, the greenery was lush and abundant. The birds were singing, 
the crickets
were chirping, and if we listened carefully, we could even hear the croak of 
a bull frog.

As I was taking in these beautiful signs of God's Creation, a particular 
tree caught my attention. A park sign had been nailed to its trunk years 
ago,
but the tree had actually grown around the sign so much so that the sign was 
now embedded into the tree trunk. Interesting!

A few kilometers further, we came upon another tree. This one had a huge 
burl, one so large that it actually encircled the entire trunk; but the tree 
continued
to grow out the top of it.

For those who may not be tree enthusiasts, a burl is woody growth that 
appears on trees where the wood grain has grown in a deformed manner. Burls 
can
grow to great size, and in the case of the tree we saw on our hike, these 
burls can nourish and grow new trees. Burl actually yields a peculiar, 
decidedly
decorated wood that is highly valued for its beauty and rarity and is sought 
after by furniture makers, artists and wood sculptures.

Just what causes a tree to form a burl?

I don't know specifically what caused the burl I saw, but interestingly, 
burls usually results from an injury to the tree, or from a virus or fungus, 
with
insect or mold infestation being the most common causes.*

Wait. Did you catch that? Something considered of high value, sought after 
by woodworkers in general, something that can actually nourish the growth of
a new tree, is caused by injury or illness. The tree uses these bad 
circumstances to grow and produce something of beauty and usefulness for the 
world!

It makes you wonder: What do we, humans, do in the face of adverse 
conditions? What do we do when we are faced with illness, financial 
difficulties or
relationship issues? What do we do when someone uses us as a signpost or for 
some other dehumanizing object? Do we fuss and complain, beg God to remove
the circumstances, even going as far as to becoming angry at Him for 
allowing it to happen in the first place? Or do we allow God to work through 
our bad
circumstances to produce in us something beautiful?

Think about it, my friends, and always remember:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love 
him, who have been called according to his purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:11)

With these truths in mind, we can face adversity with triumph: "Consider it 
all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the 
testing
of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, 
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
(James 1:2-4)

Injured by life? Harassed by troubles? Used by society? Don't give up. 
Instead, grow a burl!

In His love,
Lyn

*All information provided on Burls taken from Wikipedia: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burl

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed 
for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a 
righteous
man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request to 
prayerrequest@answers2prayer.org and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 
18:20:
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." 
(NIV) Hallelujah!

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."

Anne Graham Lotz - There’s No Excuse!
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There’s No Excuse!
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, 
Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9, NKJV

“I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred” (John 
5:7, NIV). The man beside the pool of Bethesda was focused on what he 
lacked.
He lacked a friend to help him. He lacked the strength to do it on his own. 
But while he was preoccupied with what he didn’t have, he totally missed 
what
he did have-he had Jesus! Standing right there!

What’s your excuse for continuing to lie down on your responsibilities? What’s 
your excuse for remaining a spiritual child when you should be mature in
your faith? What’s your excuse for sleeping when you should be kneeling in 
prayer? What’s your excuse?

Is it lack of faith? Lack of willpower? Lack of knowledge? Lack of 
discipline? Lack of energy? There is no excuse you or I can come up with 
that is valid
because we have Jesus!

Blessings,
Copyright © 2016 AnGeL Ministries, All rights reserved.
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Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in 
love." (Eph 4:2)

By Answers2Prayer
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Learning to Walk

I was 22 years old, sitting on my Mom's couch, waiting for the kinks in my 
back to ease up.

A lack of work and money had forced me, my wife, and our baby boy to move 
back in with my parents. We were all cramped together in my old bedroom and 
I
was feeling down. Thankfully, I had found one new job: helping my son learn 
how to walk. He had already gone from creeping to crawling, and had started
to pull himself up too. Anytime he took a few steps, however, he would 
stumble, fall on his tush, and cry. I had taken then to bending over and 
holding
his hand while he walked along and my back wasn't handling it too well.

As I sat there with my eyes closed rubbing my sore muscles I suddenly heard 
my Mom whisper: "Joe look!" I opened my eyes and watched my son grab the 
edge
of the coffee table, pull himself up, and smile. Next with a giggle he 
started walking around it, keeping his hands on it for balance. Finally, 
when he
reached the end of it he took two big steps and made it to the wall. He 
smiled at us again and then started walking down the hall with his hands 
balancing
on the wall the whole way. I laughed, clapped, and cheered. Suddenly, being 
unemployed wasn't so bad, because my boy had learned to walk. It wasn't long
either before I was losing weight chasing after him in the front yard while 
his little legs ran as fast as they could.

Learning to love in this world is a lot like first learning to walk. We far 
too often fall on our butts and cry. Yet, our Heavenly Father is always 
ready
to take our hand and walk with us while we try again. His love, guidance, 
and protection are always with us too even after we find our own feet, even 
when
we start to walk on our own, and even if we run away from Him. Don't be 
afraid to step out boldly and love then. Don't be afraid to fall. God loves 
you
and will always be there to help you to love and to walk with you into 
eternity.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

Do you need to be prayed for or do you know someone in need? Don't hesitate 
to
contact us
. We are here to pray for you and to offer you encouragements.

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."

The Lord is with You
by Ron Edmondson

The Lord you God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great 
delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you 
with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Take a moment and savor that verse. Read it. Read it again. Read it one more 
time!

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

God takes delight in you! He rejoices over you with singing!

When my boys were little I loved the smile on their faces when I told them 
how special they are to me. It still seems to bring such peace to them to 
hear
me brag on them. They seem to want to know my pleasure in them.

I find the same joy in my heart when I read this scripture !

The idea that God delights in me! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I 
don’t feel very delightful! Sometimes I wonder how I can even stand myself! 
Yet,
God, the Creator, Sustainer, Lord Almighty, the Great I AM, takes personal 
delight in me! Me!

Picture this! God rejoices over you and me… enough that He does it with 
singing! What a wonderful testimony of the depth of our Father’s love!

As you lie down to sleep tonight, listen carefully for your Father’s tender 
voice, as He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you in song! 
Somehow
I picture Him having a special tune… a unique lyric… words that are designed 
just for you.

The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save!

Love's Strength

Love is strong as death. - Song of Songs 8:6

Whose love can this be that is as mighty as the conqueror of monarchs? Does 
it belong to the destroyer of the human race? Would it not sound like satire
if it were applied to my poor, weak, and scarcely living love to Jesus my 
Lord? I do love Him, and perhaps by His grace I could even die for Him, but 
as
for my love in itself, it can scarcely endure the scoffer's jest, much less 
a cruel death. Surely this is my Beloved's love that is spoken of here--the
love of Jesus, the matchless lover of souls. His love was indeed stronger 
than the most terrible death, for it endured the trial of the cross 
triumphantly.

It was a lingering death, but love survived the torment; a shameful death, 
but love despised the shame; a penal death, but love bore our iniquities; a
forsaken, lonely death, from which the eternal Father hid His face, but love 
endured the curse and triumphed over all. There never was such love, never
such a death. It was a desperate duel, but love bore the pain. What then, my 
heart? Have you no emotions stirred within you at the thought of such 
heavenly
affection? Yes, my Lord, I long, I want to feel Your love flaming like a 
furnace within me. Come Yourself and excite the love of my spirit.

For every drop of crimson blood
Thus shed to make me live,
O wherefore, wherefore have not I
A thousand lives to give?

Why should I despair of loving Jesus with a love as strong as death? He 
deserves it: I desire it. The martyrs felt such love, and they were mere men 
and
women, so why not I? They mourned their weakness, and yet out of weakness 
were made strong. Grace gave them their unflinching constancy--there is the 
same
grace for me. Jesus, lover of my soul, shed abroad this love, even Your 
love, in my heart tonight.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Ezekiel 46

verse 2 Psalms 102

Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable 
Sacrifice
by Christopher Ash

Thousands of people leave Christian ministry every month. They have not lost 
their love for Christ, or their desire to serve him. But for one reason or
another, they are exhausted and simply cannot carry on. Christopher Ash 
knows this experience all too well. As a pastor of a growing church, and 
then in
his role of training people for ministry, he has found himself on the edge 
of burnout a number of times and has pastored many young ministers who have
reached the end of their tether.

His wisdom has been distilled into this short, accessible book
, in which he reveals a neglected biblical truth and seven keys that flow 
from it. Understood properly, and built into our lives as
Christians
who are zealous to serve the Lord, they will serve to protect us from 
burnout, and keep us working for God's kingdom and glory.

From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c) 
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good 
News
Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,
www.crossway.org .
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Going First Class

Dwight L. Moody’s favorite verse was Isaiah 12:2: “I will trust, and not be 
afraid.” He used to say: “You can travel first-class or second-class to 
heaven. Second class is, “What time I am afraid, I will trust.” First class 
is, “I will trust, and not be afraid.”” That is the better way. Why not buy 
a first-class ticket? (Ps 56:3).

The Psalmist David had gone first class as we read in the most familiar 
psalm:

Psalm 23:4 (NASB95)
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no 
evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

He knew that we would all have to go through valleys in this life, the last 
one being the valley of the shadow of death. WE can find many in the bible 
that had to go through their valleys. Elijah had one of the greatest 
miracles then suffered depression. The apostle Paul suffered many things. He 
went hungry and suffered beatings and imprisonment but went through it all 
to bring others to Jesus Christ.

WE are not all promised riches. Some of the people in the bible were rich 
but not many. Kings David and Solomon had their riches but they had their 
valleys also. Jesus did not have a home to call his own. Peter and John did 
not have any money to give the beggar but they were richer than most people 
there in other ways. They healed the lame man.

Job lost all that he had but still trusted God with his life. Habakkuk says 
something similar to what Job said:

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT)
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on 
the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and 
barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are 
empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my 
salvation. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as 
surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

Put all your trust in the Lord God Almighty and do not fear. YOU may be 
going through a valley but there is a mountaintop waiting for you. Go first 
class!

by Dean W. Masters


"The Only Way To Live: By Faith!" #84-05
Sermon Text for October 2, 2016
Presented on The Lutheran Hour on October 2, 2016
By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Lutheran Hour Speaker
Copyright 2016 Lutheran Hour Ministries
Listen to The Lutheran Hour podcast online
Text: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

1:1.....O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry 
to you "Violence!" and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?

2:2....And the Lord answered me:"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, 
so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it 
will surely come; it will not delay. And the Lord said, "Behold, his soul is 
puffed
up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his 
faith."

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. When I look around 
today, that seems truer than ever. And, unfortunately, what's also true is 
that
the hard questions of life seem just as pressing today too. And that's why 
it is important to listen carefully to the words spoken by a man named 
Habakkuk.
He was an observer of the times, a student of the culture, a thinker. He was 
someone who asked the big questions, the difficult questions. Questions 
like,
"O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you 
'Violence!' and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity? Why do
you idly look at wrong?"

Have you asked questions like that? Do you find yourself needing help, 
guidance, and comfort-answers to the cries of your confusion and pain-but 
all you
hear is silence, so you wonder, "Does God care?" Does the world seem like it 
is falling apart as anxiety and discord seem to be on the increase? Do you
ever wonder, "God, are you going to do anything about it?"

Those are some challenging questions. And they just the kind of questions 
that the God of the Bible faces head on and answers.

You may be under the impression that it's out of bounds for people to 
challenge God about the harsh realities of life in this world. You may have 
been
told that wrestling with God is not what we human beings are supposed to do. 
But I want to clear something up with you right now. You can ask. You can
challenge. You can wrestle with God as long as you let Him wrestle back with 
you. In fact, you're supposed to do that. God wants to hear from you and He
can take anything you give Him.

God said in His Word, "Call upon me in the day of trouble!" (Psalm 50:15) 
God cares about your questions and struggles. He wants to hear from you. He 
cares
about you. You may not get every answer you hope for or every result you 
desire, but hear this and hear it clearly, God cares about you, listens to 
you,
receives every difficult question you have with answers full of grace, care, 
and compassion because He is the source of strength and life of everything
that is and will ever be!

Consider a man named Jacob. His story is found in the first book of the 
Bible, Genesis. Jacob was a scoundrel and a liar. He swindled his brother 
out of
the family inheritance. Afraid for his life, he fled and was gone for many 
years. Finally, he needed to come home. But he was terrified. He thought 
that
his brother would harm him and his whole family. Trembling in fear, he asked 
God for help as he lay down to sleep. God appeared to him that night and 
Jacob
wrestled with God. Jacob was so desperate, he said to God, "I won't let go 
until I receive your blessing!" So after a night of wrestling, God blessed 
him
and gave him and his family safety. In fact, God renamed him. Instead of 
Jacob, he was called "Israel," which means, "He wrestles with God."

Israel was the name given to all of God's people. Isn't that a remarkable 
identity? God said that the characteristic defining of His people is that 
they
wrestle with Him. They refuse to let go until they receive God's blessing.

By faith in the God of Israel, the One Who sent His Son Jesus; you are part 
of His people. That's the identity you have. God wants you to ask the 
difficult
questions. He wants you to be bold in challenging Him because He wants to be 
bolder still in bringing you to confident faith in Him. So, He doesn't ever
want you to give up because He never gives up on you. Don't walk away. Don't 
lose heart. Hold on. Don't let go until you receive His blessing-some kind
of answer in Him. That's what it means to live by faith. You depend on God 
to act. You trust He will. And dear listener, God will respond. He cares 
about
you and He loves to answer His people, to strengthen them in their struggles 
and grant them victory in their service.

So, Habakkuk was asking the tough questions, questions that resonate with 
all of us. And his book reminds us that the Bible isn't a book of feel-good 
stories
for blind optimists. In fact, the Bible isn't a collection of made-up fairy 
tales and mythical sayings like so many say it is today. It is a book that
addresses real life, it's real and raw, rigorous in thought, testing the 
realities around us and inside us but ultimately calling us to faith in God 
above
all things, a life of faith for life now and forever.

That's important for you to know. If you have questions like Habakkuk, God 
provides real and meaningful answers in His Word. He doesn't remain silent.
So, do you need some answers today? I do, you do, we all do. In fact; people 
have always sought answers to the tough questions in life.

In ancient Greece, petitioners would pay substantial sums to consult the 
Oracle of Delphi, a woman in the temple of Apollo who would give answers in 
ecstatic
gibberish which temple priests would interpret as predictions about the 
future. People wanted answers, but they walked away confused.

Even today, horoscopes, fortune tellers, and the Magic Eight Ball offer 
flimsy answers to people who have genuine questions; questions even amidst 
all
of our technology and wealth. Questions abound. But, answers; they seem 
harder to come by more than ever.

So let me be bold today and say the prophet Habakkuk shows us the way to 
real answers. He said: "And the Lord answered me: 'Write the vision; make it 
plain
on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its 
appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it seems slow, 
wait for
it; it will surely come; it will not delay'"
(Habakkuk 2:1-3).

God spoke to Habakkuk and He promised real answers. What direction did the 
prophet receive? He was told to watch and wait for God. That's the direction
you receive today too. Don't give up. Wait for God. You don't need to rely 
on your own insight or strength. You don't have to climb mountains. Wait for
God and not just some generic god, but Yahweh, the God of Israel, the God 
Who came in the flesh Whose Name was Jesus! He is God Who creates, redeems, 
restores,
and grants life and salvation to all Who put their faith in Him.

There are so many powerful verses in the Bible that attest to God's 
faithfulness to all who trust Him, to those who wait on Him.

I love the one in the prophet Isaiah where it says: Have you not known? Have 
you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of
the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is 
unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he 
increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, the young men shall fall exhausted; 
but they who wait for the Lord they shall renew their strength; they shall 
mount
up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk 
and not be faint
(Isaiah 40:28-31).

The Apostle Paul reminds us that no matter our present struggles, we can 
wait upon the Lord, that His power is made perfect even in our weakness
(2 Corinthians 12:9).

Wait for the Lord. You don't need to figure it out. You don't need to live a 
life of worry. You don't need to jump to conclusions when you're stumped for
answers. Wait for the Lord.

A twelve-year-old girl and her mom found out what jumping to conclusions 
does. The girl registered to run a 5 kilometer road race. She was a good 
athlete,
but she was a bit late getting to the race. Her mother helped her hustle to 
the starting line just as the start signal sounded. She joined in with the
other runners. But as the race went on, she realized this may have been a 
mistake. The girl discovered that what she had assumed was the start was for
the 5 kilometer race was actually the start for the half-marathon! Instead 
of running 3.1 miles, the twelve-year-old ran 13.1 miles! She finished, but
it was a bit tougher than she thought; so, she decided after that race-her 
first ever half-marathon, from now on, she would wait to see what race is 
actually
being run before she started.

We get ahead of ourselves when we jump to conclusions, when we fail to wait 
on the Lord, His guidance, His direction. And waiting upon God is trusting
in His track record of grace and salvation, being certain about His presence 
in all things. And a life hanging on His every word means that you will 
receive
answers-real answers. It's just like we heard Habakkuk say:
"Wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." Then he added,
"The righteous will live by faith" (2:4).

And we see that clearly when the God with whom Habakkuk was struggling 
clearly answered the hopes and dreams of all those who wrestled with Him. 
When He
sent His Son Jesus to redeem and rescue the world through His death and 
resurrection.

God took upon Himself, the tough questions so that there could be real 
answers for all who put their faith in Him. Living by faith in Jesus Christ 
means
living with a certain hope! It means living with answers as sure as the nail 
marks in Jesus' hands and feet, as rock-solid as the risen Savior walking,
talking, and eating with His disciples. Living by faith means staking all 
your uncertainty on the promises of God Who always comes through.

The writer of the book of Hebrews said it this way, "Now faith is being sure 
of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).
Living by faith means living with answers-even if that answer is: "I don't 
know the details, but I know I can wait on the living and trustworthy Lord 
Jesus
Christ."

That's the conclusion Habakkuk came to. Even if everything looked like it 
was falling apart at the moment, he had the ultimate answer. He could live 
by
faith and trust in the living God. No matter what the present circumstance, 
he, trusting in God, could say: Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor
fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no 
food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my 
salvation(Habakkuk 3:17-18).

You have the answer-a real answer to your most challenging struggle and most 
perplexing situation in life. It is in Jesus Who lives for you, Who cares
about you, Who walks with you all the way to everlasting life. By faith, you 
can take joy in the God of your salvation.

Terry Fox did. Have you heard of Terry Fox? He was just 19 years old when 
aggressive cancer caused the amputation of his right leg. Terry had big 
questions,
but, undaunted and carried by faith, Terry continued to do what he loved: he 
ran. At 22 years old, he started what he called his Marathon of Hope. Terry
was a Canadian and he decided to run across Canada for cancer research. He 
hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada's 24 million residents at the
time. His run started with very little fanfare, but by the time he crossed 
one-third of the country, the nation rallied behind him.

Along the way, Terry Fox didn't get caught up in his growing celebrity 
status. He didn't get sidetracked by any other issues or difficulties. He 
stayed
focused on his purpose. Terry said: "The people in cancer clinics all over 
the world need people who believe in miracles. I believe in miracles. I have
to."

He kept his eyes on the answer, the miracle of God with Whom all things are 
possible, the truth of the Savior Who is risen from the dead, the One Who 
hears
our prayers and responds as we wait for Him.

So, why does evil seem to still go unchecked? Wait for the Lord. Even if it 
means waiting until Jesus comes again, God will make things right. The devil
prowls around like a roaring lion, but even he is not strong enough to 
overcome the One who conquered death, Jesus, the risen Savior.

How can you get through your sadness and pain? Wait for the Lord. Jesus, Who 
loves you, Who died for you, and Who lives even now He lets you know that
He is with you always. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Matthew 
28:20). He says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give
you rest"
(Matthew 11:28).

Do you feel like all you are doing today is enduring the onslaught of chaos 
in the culture, illness or difficulty in your life, with struggles at every
turn? Wait for the Lord. Jesus calls you
"the light of the world"(Matthew 5:14). It is Jesus Christ Who lives in you 
and He is the One Who shines His light through you-even when you don't 
realize
it.

Does good really win in the end? Wait for the Lord. Jesus Himself promised: 
"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die,
yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never 
die"
(John 11:25-26). Yes, when Jesus returns, there will be no more death or 
mourning or crying or pain. God will make all things new
(Revelation 21:4-5).

That's a life, a faith that God wants for you today. Put your faith in Him, 
hold fast to His Word, His promises because they, yes He, will always hold
on to you. Count on it.
Amen.
Print this Sermon
Action in Ministry for October 2, 2016
Guest: Dr. Bisi Ademuyiwa

ANNOUNCER: You're listening to The Lutheran Hour. This is the part of our 
program called Action In Ministry. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
We are joined today by Dr. Bisi Ademuyiwa. She is board certified in 
internal medicine, medical oncology, and pediatrics in 2015 and 2016. Dr. 
Bisi was
recognized as one of the best doctors in St. Louis. She's authored a 
resource for us titled Hope and Healing: Surviving Breast Cancer. It 
combines her
experience and knowledge with the promises we find in God's Word. Dr. Bisi, 
thank you for joining us today.

BISI: Glad to be here. Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: Let's talk a little bit now about the cancer journey. In your 
booklet you described the various stages of cancer and some of the typical 
treatment
options. How do you offer encouragement and hope when the patient feels 
alone or is perhaps even tired and sick from the various treatments?

BISI: Well, when I meet a woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer, I 
usually, sort of, lay out the landscape of the treatment. It usually takes 
several
months to about a year. I tell them it's sort of like a short or moderately 
short tunnel, which is dark but doable, and there's a very, very bright 
light
at the end of the tunnel. So, once the treatments are done, there's light. 
You heal up and then go back to your regular life and I make people 
understand
that they're not alone in this journey. There are many, many women that have 
been diagnosed with breast cancer. There are lots of support groups in the
community and churches. They can be part of these support groups which 
really do help women.

ANNOUNCER: And after the diagnosis, what happens next and what advice do you 
give your patients?

BISI: So, I usually tell my patients to seek out a second opinion, if 
necessary, particularly if they're not comfortable with their primary 
oncologist.
So they can really seek out the best treatment options and clinical trials 
if any are available to them. Most of the time, treating breast cancer is 
not
an emergency. There's usually the opportunity to wait a couple of weeks to 
really get the best options for you as an individual. I also tell them to 
take
things step by step, day by day, surround themselves with a very strong 
social support system, call upon friends, family, acquaintances. There are 
lots
of people that will say, "I've heard about your diagnosis, what can I do for 
you?" Ask them to actually do things; make food, bring meals home, pick kids
up, just do little things because people do need help during the treatment 
process.

ANNOUNCER: And from a spiritual standpoint, people might have questions 
like: "God, why did this happen to me?" What sort of encouragement would you 
offer,
perhaps not so much as a doctor but as a friend, to those sorts of 
questions?

BISI: That's definitely one of the most common questions and I tell people 
that they didn't do anything wrong. It's just something that happened. But 
God
really does know the beginning from the end no matter what happens to us in 
life, good or bad. God has a plan and He brings things to an expected and 
beautiful
end. So even though this is a dark time in a woman's life, there can be good 
come out of it.

ANNOUNCER: As we mentioned earlier, breast cancer could affect one out of 
every eight women. Let's talk about the importance of early detection and 
prevention.

BISI: So early detection is critical. There's no real way to prevent breast 
cancer for the general population. We do have ways to prevent breast cancer
for those who are particularly high risk. But for the general population, 
early detection with getting screening mammograms is really critical because
the cure rates are much higher when the stages are lower. For instance, 
stage 0, 1, 2, and 3 are curable and those are the ones I usually detected 
on mammogram.
Whereas if breast cancer has spread and it's now stage 4, in general, it's 
not curable.

ANNOUNCER: Now your booklet concludes by saying that even in those cases 
when medicine can go no further, God still can and He has a word of hope for 
all
those who place their trust in Christ.

BISI: Yes, through Christ's cross and resurrection, God offers something 
that is greater than cancer; redemption, the promise of eternal life with 
Him.

ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Dr. Bisi. This resource is helpful in so many ways, 
both physically and spiritually, and it offers hope in the promises of 
Christ.
We thank you for joining us today.

BISI: Thank you for having me.

ANNOUNCER: That's our Action In Ministry segment for today; to bless, to 
empower, and to strengthen your life in Christ for others. Once again, the 
name
of this resource is
Hope and Healing: Surviving Breast Cancer
. To view or download this content for free, go to lutheranhour.org and 
click on Action In Ministry. That's lutheranhour.org. Or call 1-855-john316. 
That's
1-855-564-6316.

LUTHERAN HOUR MAILBOX (Questions & Answers) for October 2, 2016
Topic: Is Faith in Jesus an Escape From Reality?

ANNOUNCER: Is faith in Jesus an escape from reality? That'll be our question 
today for Pastor Gregory Seltz. I'm Mark Eischer. This brings to mind that
famous quote, "Religion is the opium of the people." So, the question is: is 
faith an escape from reality?

SELTZ: Wow. Our listener asks that challenging question very well, Mark. I 
like the alternatives offered by inquiry. Think about it: either faith is an
escape from reality or it addresses the full reality we face.

ANNOUNCER: Let's test each of those alternatives out.

SELTZ: Let's do it. Let's do a little thought experiment. Sometimes faith in 
the Savior God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-is characterized, as our 
listener
asked, as a way to avoid real issues. It's called fantasy, anesthesia for 
life's real issues. Karl Marx is the one who called it the "opiate of the 
people."

ANNOUNCER: He felt it was a drug that robbed people of sound thinking and 
thoughtful action.

SELTZ: Right, but let me ask you, Mark, what are some of the foundational 
principles of faith in our Savior? Tell me some leading tenets of the faith.

ANNOUNCER: Two of the main ones are the doctrines of sin and grace. God's 
law shows us our sin and the book of Ephesians tells us that we are dead in 
those
sins.

SELTZ: Very good. But, let me just stop you right there. Let's use sin as an 
escape from reality test. From cover to cover the Word of God is bold about
this teaching. Jesus quoted the Scriptures when He said we are required to 
be holy-perfect and flawless in the eyes of God. The Word of God goes on to
say that nobody is righteous-none of us. In fact, the Bible is absolutely 
brutal about assessing our broken human situation apart from God. Tell me, 
does
this sound like an opiate of the people or an escape from reality?

ANNOUNCER: No, it's exactly the opposite. Instead of soothing us with the 
sweet assurances that we're all okay, we're basically nice people; God's 
Word
confronts us with the reality of the headlines we read every day; the 
reality of the fallen, human, sinful condition.

SELTZ: Exactly. And that challenging teaching about sin is a foundation for 
faith in God. Faith is not an escape from reality. It is a clear and it's a
true confrontation with reality.

ANNOUNCER: And when you get right down to it, the world seems to offer more 
in the way of escapes and opiates than faith does. It's not uncommon to hear
someone say, "You can do anything you set your mind to do," "Human potential 
is limitless." When you think about those kinds of phrases, they are well
meaning, but they're not true. They deny the struggle that we face and the 
real limits that we all face.

SELTZ: And the most common limit of all that we face is death. That's 
another teaching of the faith. We will all die.

ANNOUNCER: But then what about the grace part, the Gospel part?

SELTZ: The grace part has everything to do with reality, too. God's grace is 
not a pie-in-the sky, feel-good teaching to help everyone forget about the
reality of sin. The teachings of grace confront sin with the painful and 
eternal devastating suffering and death of Jesus on the cross in our place.

ANNOUNCER: God's great love for us is not a lightweight or escapist 
teaching.

SELTZ: No way. God's love meant the destruction of His Beloved Son instead 
of us so we could be rescued from the devastation of our unholiness and 
imperfection.
There is an enormity to God's grace that is unmatched in this world.

ANNOUNCER: And even though we've barely scratched the surface, we've already 
seen that this argument that faith is an escape, it's already falling apart.

SELTZ: Absolutely. In fact, faith is about complete reality. The culture 
presents us with passing charms and temporary ideologies. Philosophy has 
limits.
Politics, as we've seen, can't solve the deeper problems of human existence. 
Humanly contrived religions promote errant thinking of our egotistical 
aspirations.
Here it comes, faith in the true God, the One Who entered our world, Who 
walks with us, Who lived and died and rose again for us, that's as real as 
it
gets.

ANNOUNCER: God pulls no punches as He brings us the truth of His Word. We 
find that our very lives depend on it.

SELTZ: Yes, He loves us too much to spin it, right? Look at every teaching 
of faith, you will find the most meaningful, substantive realities ever 
known.

ANNOUNCER: And with that we come to the end of our program for another week. 
We thank you, the listener, for making this program part of your day. We 
hope
you'll join us again next time. This has been a presentation of Lutheran 
Hour Ministries.

Visit lutheranhour.org
Read Today's Devotion
Music Selections for this program:

"A Mighty Fortress" arranged by Chris Bergmann. Used by permission.

"I Know My Faith is Founded" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia 
Publishing House)

"Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 
Concordia Publishing House)

Change Their World. Change Yours.
This Changes Everything.
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Today's Turning Point with David Jeremiah

Today's Turning Point
Wednesday, October 5
Hope Givers
She has done what she could.
Mark 14:8a

Recommended Reading
Colossians 3:12-17
Wess Stafford wrote about a teacher assigned to work with a hospitalized 
schoolchild on nouns and adverbs. Arriving at the hospital, she was taken to 
the
burn unit. She had to scrub and put on sterile attire, and she found the 
schoolboy in pain. The teacher felt apprehensive, but she told the boy, “I’m 
the
special visiting hospital teacher, and your teacher sent me to help you with 
your nouns and adverbs.” She went through the material with him and then 
left,
feeling little had been accomplished.

The next morning when she returned, the nurses met her and said, “Since you 
were here yesterday his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, 
responding
to treatment…it’s as though he’s decided to live.”

What had happened? The boy himself later explained: “They wouldn’t send a 
special teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, now, would 
they?”
1

Sometimes we impart hope to others by just showing up with compassion and 
doing what we can in the name of Christ. When we do what we can, He will 
bless
what we do and all we do.
There is something fundamentally wrong with claiming to love God without a 
passion to love people.
Wess Stafford

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Matthew 10 – 11
David Jeremiah's

TURNING POINT WITH DR. DAVID JEREMIAH
David Jeremiah's Website
Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah
Copyright © 2016 Turning Point for God. All rights reserved.


Inspiration Ministries Daily Devotion
A Simple and Pure Faith
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
"I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds 
will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."

2 Corinthians 11:3 NASB

It has been a pattern throughout history. Motivated by their own ideas and 
interests, how God's Word has been reinterpreted. How His truths have been 
explained
away and watered down. How people have developed their own hybrid set of 
beliefs, rejecting His sovereignty and becoming like "gods."

We see this pattern when the serpent encouraged Eve to question God (Genesis 
3:1) and when Saul declared that he had "carried out the command of the 
LORD,"
even though he actually had been disobedient (1 Samuel 15:13).

We see the same pattern in our time. As a recent study confirmed, most 
Americans acknowledge that "religion" is important, but it is more important 
to
satisfy their personal interests, "no matter where that takes them." 
Thirty-six percent said that "they have combined the teachings or 
philosophies from
more than one religion into their own observances."

Many simply reject the idea that any one "faith" could possibly be right.

Today, the world is filled with counterfeit philosophies. With ideas that 
sound spiritual and make sense to the minds of frail human beings. As a 
byproduct,
many simply reject the authority of Scripture and deny the lordship of Jesus 
Christ, creating their own set of beliefs. As a result, millions are being
"led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."

Make sure you are on guard against these influences. Remember that Jesus 
said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father 
but
through Me" (John 14:6). There is no other Gospel. There is no other God. 
There's no other Way but Jesus!

Commit your life to Him without reservation, and do not allow anything to 
draw you away from the simplicity of your faith in Christ.

Today's Inspiring Prayer

Father, I declare that Jesus is my Lord. I worship You. Keep me free from 
the influence of false religions and deceptive beliefs. Protect me and my 
family.
Thank You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Further Reading: 2 Chronicles 11

Inspiration Ministries - PO Box 7750 Charlotte, NC 28241 - Inspiration 
Ministries UK - Admail 3905 London - W1A 1ZT - UK Charity No 1119076 -
© 2016 Inspiration Ministries, All rights reserved

You Can Accomplish More By Doing Less
By Rick Warren
“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say -- but not everything is 
beneficial”
(1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV).

If you want margin in your life, you must periodically prune your 
activities.

One of the things I do to relax is grow roses. I’ve learned that if I want 
to have any roses in the new season, I have to prune them back, usually 
around
the third week of January. One year when I got ready to prune, there were 
still lots of branches with buds waiting to blossom. Do you know how 
difficult
it is to cut off a rose that hasn’t bloomed yet? It kills me to do that.

Why do gardeners prune trees and plants? For the health of the plant and for 
fruitfulness in the next season. If there’s no pruning, there will be no 
fruitfulness
in the next season.

Every year of our lives, we sprout new activity branches. You’re doing some 
things now that you didn’t do a year ago. You’ve added them on. But what 
have
you cut out? What have you pruned back? You can’t just keep adding and 
adding to your schedule without cutting back, without pruning your 
activities.

Here’s the secret: When you prune, you don’t just cut off deadwood. You cut 
off living branches that are still productive. You cut out some activities
that are still good, that are still bearing fruit. You have to cut them off 
because you’re in a new season.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12 , “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you 
say -- but not everything is beneficial”
(NIV).

God’s given you a free will. You’re permitted to do anything. You can go out 
and overload your schedule 10 times over, and God’s not going to stop you.
But it doesn’t mean it’s the beneficial thing to do.

In your life you will have to learn to say “no” far more than you’ll have to 
learn to say “yes.” There are more things you can’t do than you have the 
time,
energy, effort, and God’s desire for you to do. You cannot even do all the 
good things in life. Have you figured that out? You can’t do everything, so
you have to determine the
right things to do. What does God want you to do with your time and energy?

Selection is the key to an effective life. You’ll be more effective if you 
figure out what you’re
not going to do as well as what you’re going to do. You’ll actually 
accomplish more in life by doing less!

If you don’t periodically prune the activities in your life, God will do the 
pruning for you. It will happen through an illness or crisis or something,
because you cannot live beyond your limits month after month.

Proverbs 20:30 says, “Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us 
change our ways” (GNT). But no matter how bad things may seem, we can KNOW 
FOR
SURE that God always has our best in mind.

• What are the good and even fruitful activities in your life that you know 
you need to cut out to make room for new ones?
• How has God used a painful experience to show you that you need to cut 
something out of your schedule?
• Why is it so difficult for us to admit that we have limitations? Why can’t 
we say “no” more often than we say “yes” to opportunities?
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Welcome to the Nugget

October 22, 2016

LESSONS FROM A BENEVOLENT SQUIRREL, Part 2: How to Stop a Diesel Engine
By Answers2Prayer
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Last Thursday, I told the story of how a very selfless little squirrel gave 
us his entire winter stash of 27 pinecones, all neatly tucked away for 
safekeeping--in
the transmission of our new car.

It was cute. It was funny. But it was also thought-provoking. Imagine that 
simple pinecones would be able to stop something as big and powerful as a 
diesel-powered
vehicle!

It made me think: Are there any "pinecones" that can stop our spiritual 
growth? Are there tiny things that get in the way of us hearing God's voice?

The Bible says there are: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to 
save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you 
from
your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not 
hear."
(Isaiah 59:1-2)

Did you catch that? The "pinecones" that can stop up the vehicle God wishes 
to use to save the world are our sins!

Has Jesus forgiven our sins?

Of course He has: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will 
forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).
But just because our sins are forgiven and no longer have power to keep us 
from going to Heaven does not mean they don't affect us. In fact, just like
those pinecones "plugged up" my transmission, making it impossible for the 
transmission to "hear" the "voice" of the stick shift telling it to get out
of reverse, our sins "stop us up", making it impossible for us to hear God's 
voice and to illicit His help!

What kind of sin am I talking about here?

The Bible teaches that all sin, no matter how great or small, be it as 
inconspicuous as hiding the truth or as horrid as murder and rape, drug 
addictions
and violent tempers, all will serve to keep you for God's kingdom (See
James 2:8-11
). It's true that Jesus sometimes made reference to some sins being 
"greater" than others (See John 19:11 ,
Matt 3:18-30
); however this gradation of sin is not mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2. It 
simply says that "...your iniquities have separated you from your God; your 
sins
have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
What this means, then, is that any sin, no matter how big or small, will 
work to separate us from God, will make it hard for us to hear His voice, 
and
will keep Him from hearing us and being able to reach out and come to our 
aid.

It isn't that God is "punishing" us for our sin when He appears to not come 
to our aid, it is simply that our sin has become like those pinecones in my
transmission, essentially "blocking" His ability to help us, to make us hear 
His voice, to bless us to the extent that He wishes to bless us.

So what do we do?

We get rid of the pinecones! In our case, we needed a mechanic. In the case 
of sin, we need the same thing. The good news is that God will never leave
us in the place where we cannot break free. He has promised: "No temptation 
has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he
will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are 
tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 
10:13).
He has given us a "mechanic", Jesus Christ, who gives us His resurrection 
power to overcome sin. We also have God's Spirit, who convicts us of our 
sin.

Naturally, the removal of those pine cones cost us something: 140$--ouch! 
Sometimes the removal of our sin also results in cost to us. After all, 
giving
up a sinful lifestyle, no matter how small or large, is difficult to do. 
Telling someone they have been a victim of your white lies or returning 
things
that you have stolen is very difficult and costly to your reputation, and 
could very well put you in the way of the law. Nonetheless, if you want your
spiritual "engine" to run again as it is supposed to run, so that you can 
hear God's voice and He can hear yours, those "pinecones"
must be removed, no matter the cost.

Let's let God remove the "pinecones" from our spiritual lives. Let's let Him 
help us break free from the bondage of sin so that our spiritual engines 
will
be able to run freely.

Oh, and if you would like to have some 140$ pinecones, I know exactly where 
to find them!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, 
Author -- "
Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", 
Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and
Scriptural Nuggets
, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with 
Answers2Prayer Ministries
. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed 
for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a 
righteous
man is powerful and effective."
(NIV) Send your prayer request here
and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three 
come together in my name, there am I with them."
(NIV) Hallelujah!

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."

He will wipe every tear from their eyes!

(" Every Day! " Author unknown, 1872)

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes--and there will be no more death or 
sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever!" Revelation 
21:4

This is but a glimpse of the glorious state upon which all the people of God 
will hereafter enter! There will not only be the absence of all evil--there
will be the eternal enjoyment of all good. There will be perpetual vigor, 
perfect purity, happy service, joyous praise, eternal friendship, holy 
communion,
and unmingled and everlasting bliss!

Suffering Christian, a few more pangs--and your last moment of anguish will 
be past!

Bereaved one, in Heaven you will never wear the garments of sadness--you 
will never lose a friend!

Sorrowing one, you will soon heave your last sigh, and have all tears wiped 
from your eyes!

Weary one, your journey is almost ended. Soon you will cross the threshold 
of your Father's house, find yourself at home, and enter upon the enjoyment
of your everlasting rest!

"A few more storms shall beat
On this wild rocky shore,
Then we shall be where tempests cease,
And surges swell no more.

"A few more struggles here,
A few more partings o'er,
A few more toils, a few more tears,
And we shall weep no more!"

~ ~ ~ ~

We have published " Every Day! "--some 150 pages of choice devotional 
quotes!

We have published Grace Gems for SEPTEMBER in one file!

~ ~ ~ ~

Feel free to forward these gems to others who may be encouraged or profited 
by them!

Grace Gems (choice ELECTRONIC books, sermons & quotes)

Words of Comfort
by Chuck Swindoll

Job 3:1-26

In the early 1960s when a Christian suffered from a depression that resulted 
in Job's kind of thinking and candid admission, you never said so publicly.
You swallowed your sorrow. The first book I read on this subject, covering 
emotional turmoil and mental illness among Christians, was considered heresy
by most of my evangelical friends.

The pervasive opinion then was simple: Christians didn't have breakdowns. 
Furthermore, you certainly didn't stay depressed! You know what term was 
used
to describe those who struggled with deep depression in the early and 
mid-sixties? "Nervous." "He's got a nervous problem." Or simply, "She's 
nervous."
And if you ever, God help you, had to be hospitalized due to your "nervous" 
disorder, there just wasn't a Christian word for it. I repeat, you didn't 
tell
a soul. Shame upon shame that you didn't trust the Lord through your 
struggle and find Him faithful to help you "get over" your depression.

I remember being told by a seminary prof, who talked to us about assisting 
families with funerals, that if you did funerals for those who had committed
suicide and the deceased was a Christian, we were never to mention that 
fact. Frankly, it didn't sound right then, and it doesn't sound right today. 
Shame-based
counsel never sounds right because it
isn't right! And I didn't know enough to know that Job 3 was in the book 
back then. Had I known, I would have said, "Hey, what about Job?"

I want to write to you who are reading these lines who may be in the pit, 
struggling to find your way back. It's possible that things have gotten so 
dark
that you need a competent Christian psychologist (or psychiatrist) to help 
you find your way. The most intelligent thing you can do is locate one and 
go.
In fact, go as long as you need to go. Make sure that the counselor really 
does know the Lord Jesus and is truly competent, able to provide the 
direction
you need so you can work your way through your maze of misery. And, I would 
add, "God bless you for every hour you spend finding your way out of the 
hole
that you have been in. There is hope. Our faithful God will see you 
through."

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives 
(Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. 
Swindoll, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2016 Insight for Living Ministries. All rights reserved 
worldwide.
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Humbly Grateful, Not Grumbly Hateful
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” James 
1:2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Sometimes we have to admit that it’s hard to “count it all joy.” Sometimes 
we complain and rather than being humbly grateful, we become grumbly 
hateful.

Oh, how I wish that, beginning today, we would emulate the faith of the 
saints that have gone before us—saints like Fannie Crosby, the great hymn 
writer.

For most of her life Fannie Crosby was blind, and yet, at the tender age of 
eight, Fannie wrote:

“Oh! What a happy soul am I, although I cannot see,
I am resolved that, in this world, contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.”

And do you know what? .... She didn’t.

ACTION POINT:
• How can you apply this truth to your life today?
• How can you share this truth with someone else?

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
Copyright © 2016 Love Worth Finding Ministries, All rights reserved.

Welcome to the Nugget

October 20, 2016

LESSONS FROM A BENEVOLENT SQUIRREL, Part 1: 27 Pinecones
By Answers2Prayer
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"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in 
their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done
from the beginning even to the end."
(Eccl 3:11)

Last week, a very selfless little squirrel gave us his entire winter stash 
of pinecones. Twenty-seven of them, all neatly tucked away for 
safekeeping--in
the transmission of our new car!

Needless to say, it was a couple of days before we fully came to appreciate 
the unselfish nature of this little beast, who certainly had no way of 
knowing
that his gift would turn into a nightmare for the "lucky" recipient...

Due to his "love gift", the stick shift stuck in reverse, and since you 
really can't make a 20 kilometer drive in the backwards' direction, my poor 
husband
was stranded, resigned to wait the required 45 minutes for the tow truck to 
arrive and transport him home and the car to the mechanic. No, we didn't 
immediately
thank the tiny rodent. Rather for the next couple of days, every time we saw 
one of this rascal's relatives, let's just say our thoughts were far from
grateful; especially when we were without our car for an entire day, having 
to rely on others to get us to work, and when his actions necessitated an 
unplanned
trip to a far-away town to pick up our "repaired" (or should I say, 
"unstuck???") vehicle. And our thoughts strayed even farther from the 
appreciative
side when we were presented with a 140$ bill and a bag of 27 pinecones...

No, I don't suppose anyone could say that we fully appreciate that 
squirrel's noble gift...

I wasn't about to throw out those pinecones, however. After all, they were 
the most expensive pinecones I had ever owned. Instead, I put them in the 
oven
on a low temperature to "dry" them out. Imagine my delight to open the oven 
door to see that the closed little pinecone knots had burst forth into 
beautiful,
perfectly formed, large pinecones!

After letting them dry for a few days, I was amazed to see that the 
pinecones were now giving up their pine nuts! Thousands of them! Too bad I 
don't know
what to do with this particular variety of pine nuts, but I'm sure that my 
generous squirrel would be happy to show me...

I had heard in the past that there are varieties of pine trees that will 
only release their nuts, which incidentally, are pine tree seeds, in the 
face
of intense heat, such as that found in a forest fire. It makes me think of 
the trials we are required to go through in life. We don't like them. They 
are
burn. Yet sometimes it is only in the face of the heat of our trials that we 
can truly "blossom", "open up", that we can truly "release" that which God
has designed us to release; and in the process, we turn from something 
ordinary into something beautiful.

What am I going to do with my pine cones? Once they've stopped shedding 
their nuts, I'm going to make them into a fall centre piece for my table, 
and if
there are any left over (after all, the "giving squirrel" left me 27 of 
them!), I will make a Christmas pinecone wreath.

This is what God does with the troubles we go through: He takes them, He 
uses them to "open us up" and to make us release our "seed", and then He 
uses
them to make something beautiful in our lives.

The next time you are faced with troubles of any kind, remember my generous 
squirrel and his little "gift" of pinecones: Enough to stop my car from 
going
in the forward direction; enough to cost 140$ in repairs; and enough to 
teach me a valuable lesson about trials: God will
always make everything beautiful, in His time ( Eccl 3:11
); and His promise, that ALL things work together for
good for those who love God ( Rom 8:28 ) is
true!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love 
him, who have been called according to his purpose."
(Rom 8:28)

I plan to remember this every time I look at my beautiful fall 
centrepiece...

Oh, and I'm happy to "lend out" my benevolent squirrel to anyone who would 
like to pay 140$ for 27 pinecones...

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, 
Author -- "
Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", 
Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and
Scriptural Nuggets
, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with 
Answers2Prayer Ministries
. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed 
for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a 
righteous
man is powerful and effective."
(NIV) Send your prayer request here
and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three 
come together in my name, there am I with them."
(NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."

Come to Your Tempted Savior

He himself has suffered when tempted. - Hebrews 2:18

It is a common thought, and yet it tastes like honey to the weary 
heart--Jesus was tempted as I am. You have heard that truth many times, but 
have you
grasped it? He was tempted by the very same sins into which we fall. Do not 
separate Jesus from our common humanity. If you are going through a dark 
room,
remember Jesus went through it before you. If you are engaged in a sore 
fight, remember that Jesus has stood foot to foot with the same enemy. Let 
us be
encouraged--Christ has borne the load before us, and the blood-stained 
footsteps of the King of glory can be seen along the road that we travel at 
this
hour.

There is something sweeter yet--Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never sinned. 
My soul, it is not necessary for you to sin, for Jesus was a man, and if one
man endured these temptations without sin, then in His power His followers 
may also flee from sin. Some new believers think that they cannot be tempted
without sinning, but they are mistaken; there is no sin in
being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation. Here is comfort 
for those who are greatly tempted. There is still more to encourage them if
they recall that the Lord Jesus, though tempted, gloriously triumphed; and 
as He overcame, so may His followers also, for Jesus is the representative 
man
for His people.

The Head has triumphed, and the members share in the victory. Fears are 
unnecessary, for Christ is with us, armed for our defense. Our place of 
safety
is the embrace of the Savior. Perhaps we are tempted just now in order to 
drive us nearer to Him. Blessed be any wind that blows us into the harbor of
our Savior's love! Happy the wounds that make us seek the beloved Physician. 
Tempted ones, come to your tempted Savior, for He can sympathize with your
weaknesses and will comfort every tried and tempted one.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Ezekiel 36

verse 2 Psalms 86

Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable 
Sacrifice
by Christopher Ash

Thousands of people leave Christian ministry every month. They have not lost 
their love for Christ, or their desire to serve him. But for one reason or
another, they are exhausted and simply cannot carry on. Christopher Ash 
knows this experience all too well. As a pastor of a growing church, and 
then in
his role of training people for ministry, he has found himself on the edge 
of burnout a number of times and has pastored many young ministers who have
reached the end of their tether.

His wisdom has been distilled into this short, accessible book
, in which he reveals a neglected biblical truth and seven keys that flow 
from it. Understood properly, and built into our lives as
Christians
who are zealous to serve the Lord, they will serve to protect us from 
burnout, and keep us working for God's kingdom and glory.
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright (c) 
2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good 
News
Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,
www.crossway.org .
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