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Post  Admin on Mon 30 Jun 2014, 11:54 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Another Serenity Prayer  

Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will
set you free."1

Truth: Perhaps the most powerful principle in the
world. Without access to the truth there is no freedom,
no recovery, no intimacy in relationships, often no
healing, and no eternal life.

On the other hand, denial is perhaps the most
destructive sins we can commit. For instance, to the
degree that I have not found freedom in any area of my
life I am still in denial. There is some truth I am
avoiding facing. Furthermore, to be dishonest with
myself is just as deceptive and sinful as being
dishonest to anyone else.

M. Scott Peck said, "Emotional sickness is avoiding
reality [truth] at any cost. Emotional health is facing
reality at any cost."

That's just a reframing or rephrasing of what Jesus
said: "You will know the truth and the truth will set
you free." The following prayer by Billy Joe Vaughn
sums it up very well:

    "God grant me the ability
    to reject the things about me
    that are not true,
    the humility to accept
    the things that are,
    and the discernment
    to know the difference."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the
sin of denial and help me always to be genuine, honest,
authentic and real. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. John 8:32.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * 
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Jun 2014, 11:40 am

Today's Daily Encounter
The Answer Is In Your Hands  

"Don't store up treasures here on earth ... Store them
in heaven where they will never lose their value."1

Zig Ziglar wrote that according to legend, it was
reputed that a very wise old man who lived on a hilltop
overlooking the beautiful city of Venice, Italy, could
answer any question anyone might ask him. Two local
boys figured they could trick him, so they caught a
bird and took it to the wise sage.

"Tell us," they asked, "is the bird in our hand dead or
alive?"

The wise man replied, "Son, if I say the bird is alive,
you will close your hands and crush it to death. Or, if
I say the bird is dead, you will open your hands and it
will fly away. The answer is in your hands."

And so it is with life. Whether we succeed or fail,
live a meaningful or empty life, lay up treasures in
heaven or go empty handed to meet our Lord and Savior,
it's all in our hands! For whatever we sow we reap.
It's the law of the harvest.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to invest my life
in eternity and lay up treasures in heaven so I will
reap abundantly in this life and the next--all for Your
praise and glory. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Matthew 6:19-20 (TLB).
2. Galatians 6:7.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * 
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
  
Today's Daily Encounter

An Antidote for Worry  

"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you."1

Dale Carnegie writes, "If only the people who worry
about their liabilities would think about the riches
they do possess, they would stop worrying. Would you
sell both your eyes for a million dollars ... or your
two legs ... or your hands ... or your hearing? Add up
what you do have, and you'll find that you won't sell
them for all the gold in the world. The best things in
life are yours if you can appreciate yourself."

Years ago when I was a student in Chicago driving a
city passenger bus in the summer, I was greeted by a
very refined elderly woman passenger who tapped me on
the shoulder and said, "Young man, you're a
millionaire!" That was news to me. However, after a
pause, the lady continued, "You have your health!"

She was right. Counting our blessings, as Carnegie
suggests, is not going to take away our problems but it
certainly can help us handle them much
better--especially if we daily give God thanks in every
circumstance--good or bad.

It also helps me when I am worried or stressed to write
down all the things I have to take care of and list
them in order of priority and try to tackle just one
thing at a time. But the best antidote of all is to
pray and tell God that I am scared and am worried, but
I choose to trust him to help me work through the
things that have me worried. In time my feelings catch
up with my choice to trust God.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I commit and trust my life
and way to You afresh this day. Here are my concerns
[spell them out to God one by one]. Help me to see
things as they really are. I surrender them all to You
and choose to trust You to help me work through each
one. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  ******
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Sweet Temptation  

Jesus said, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall
into temptation."1

I read recently about certain ants that have a passion
for the sweet glandular substance given off by the
caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. According to the
article, the ants can become so enthralled by the
substance they carry the supplier into their nest with
great delight. What they don't realize is that the
caterpillar gorges himself on the ant larva.

Usually such a threat would be attacked by an army of
ants and destroyed or repelled. However, because they
enjoy the caterpillar's tasty secretions so much, they
become "addicted" to it. In so doing they are oblivious
to the fact that their young are being destroyed!

In reality many of us are addicted to something. It may
not be drugs or alcohol, but anything we habitually or
compulsively use or do to avoid facing our inner
unresolved problems (such as fears, hurts, losses,
anger, guilt, inadequacies, etc.), is an addiction. It
may be work, religion, gambling, spending, eating,
smoking, relationships, sex or any of a score of other
things--some of which may be very enjoyable.

Of one thing we can be sure, when our life is being
controlled by addictions, we don't grow and we can
damage and even destroy our children, our closest
relationships, and our physical, emotional or spiritual
health. Besides, an addiction is often a counterfeit of
the real thing and when we settle for the counterfeit
we can stop ourselves finding the genuine.

Only when we are ruthlessly honest with ourselves, and
admit to God and at least one other safe person that we
are addicted, can we get God's help to face the causes
behind our addictions and seek the help we need to
overcome them.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if there is anything I am
doing or using to medicate or deaden any unresolved
problems in my life, please deliver me from the sin of
denial, and give me the courage to admit my problems
and find the help I need to face and resolve them.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Matthew 26:41 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * 
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Jun 2014, 8:15 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Are Christians Absolutists?  

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"1

"Believing in absolutes doesn't make one an
absolutist," writes Chuck Colson in his news report
Jubilee about a TV interview where the host accused him
of being an absolutist.

Colson said, "When that TV host asked me why Christians
always try to cram our views down people's throats, I
was getting nowhere. Then I remembered he loved to
sail.

"Have you ever sailed at night, navigating by the
stars?" I asked. "Yes," he replied.

"Could you use those stars to navigate if they appeared
in different, random positions every night?"

"Of course not," he said slowly.

"I think he got it. Christians are not intolerant
absolutists. We just don't want our culture to be lost
at sea, unaware of the stars above that could so
quickly right our course."

Jesus not only stated emphatically that he was the only
way to God the Father but also that, "Heaven can be
entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to
hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the
multitudes that choose its easy way. But the Gateway to
Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few
ever find it."2

Had there been any other way Jesus would not have had
to die on the cross for our sins. Let us thank God that
he provided the way to God (through Jesus)--the only
way to God--heaven, and eternal life.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You with all my
heart that You provided the only way to make my peace
with You through giving your Son, Jesus, to die on the
cross to pay the just penalty for all my sins, and
therein pay the price for my forgiveness, and to give
me gift of eternal life. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

To receive God's forgiveness click on:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. John 14:6 (NIV).
2. Matthew 7:13-14 (TLB).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * *
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Jun 2014, 10:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Goodness and Greatness  

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."1

Georgie Anne Geyer, a syndicated columnist and author
wisely observed: "I have come to the conclusion that it
is impossible to have a moral community or nation
without faith in God, because without it everything
rapidly comes down to 'me' and 'me' alone is
meaningless....

"If anyone thinks there is not a direct and inviolable
relationship between personal integrity ... and that
society's prosperity, that person has simply not
studied history. And this should not surprise us. Great
moral societies, built upon faith in God, honor, trust
and the law blossom because they are harmonious;
because, finally, they have a common belief in
something beyond themselves.

"Alexis de Toqueville said it best when he realized
even at the very beginning of our national life:
'America is great because America is good. If America
ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.'"2

The same is true of Australia, Canada, Great Britain,
Mexico, New  Zealand, South America, and the rest of
the world. Nations only become truly great and remain
great to the degree that they are moral and upright,
that they retain integrity at every level of society,
and that they put and keep their trust in God and abide
by his rules as found in his Word which says, "Blessed
is the nation whose God is the Lord."1 and
"Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach
to any people."3

Righteousness with moral and upright living begins with
you and me.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, today I pray that You will
send a great moral and spiritual awakening to my
country and let that awakening begin in me. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Psalm 33:12.
2. Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992, pp-23-24.
3. Proverbs 14:34.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * *
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Jun 2014, 4:35 pm

How to Grow in Love  

"Therefore her sins--and they are many--are forgiven,
for she loved me much; but one who is forgiven little,
shows little love."1

You may recall the story where Jesus was invited to
have lunch with one of the Pharisees. While he was
there a woman of the streets--a prostitute--heard that
Jesus was there and came, fell at his feet, weeping,
and wiped her tears from his feet with her hair, and
then anointed his feet with expensive perfume.

In our jargon, the religious Pharisee was horrified and
in his heart judged Jesus for accepting this sinful
woman's loving attention and humble attitude.

Jesus, knowing what was in the Pharisee's heart went on
to explain that because this woman came to him pouring
out her heart, her many sins were forgiven. Then he
made a very simple but profound statement: "He who has
been forgiven little loves little."

Or to put it another way: "He who has been forgiven
much loves much."

This is so true, when in genuine humility we confess
our sins, not only to God but to a trusted friend or
two, and experience their love and acceptance, little
by little we learn to forgive and love ourselves. So
the more honest and open we are, the more we can be
forgiven and loved. And the more we are forgiven and
loved the more loving and forgiving we become.

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, please give me the honesty
and courage to bring to the light and confess every
secret sin, mixed motive, jealousies, pride, acts of
sin, sins of the spirit, sins of failure--every
sin--confess these not only to You, but also to a
trusted friend or two and experience Your love and
forgiveness, their loving acceptance, and become a much
more loving, accepting and forgiving child of yours.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus’s name. Amen."

1. Luke 7:47 (TLB).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * 
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Jun 2014, 1:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Problem-Solving Formula  

"If anyone lacks wisdom, ask God who gives to all
generously ... and it will be given to you."1

The following formula for resolving problems came from
Norman Vincent Peale. He said to prayerize, visualize
and actualize; that is, PVA.2

First, prayerize. Ask God to give you the wisdom and
courage to see and face the real cause/s behind your
problems. Then you can pray realistically by committing
your problem to God and asking for his guidance to help
you find a solution and also for the courage to do your
part.

Second, visualize. We need to see a problem for what it
is. Often what we see isn't the problem at all--it's
the symptom of a deeper, hidden problem, the fruit of a
hidden root! As somebody else said, "God is merciful.
When we have problems, he gives us symptoms." Only as
we see the true causes of our problems and face reality
can we ever resolve the difficulties we have. Once we
see and acknowledge the truth, we then need to
visualize what we need to do to overcome our problem as
well as visualizing what we are asking God to do for
us.

Third, actualize. In every situation we need to realize
that we are responsible for resolving our problems. No
matter what happens to us, we are always responsible
for our reactions, feelings, and what we do about
resolving our difficulties. God will give us wisdom if
we ask for it, insight if we desire it, and courage if
we need it, but he won't do for us what we can and need
to do for ourselves. If he did, it would keep us
overdependent and immature. Accepting responsibility
for our problems, emotions, behavior, and our life is
the heart of maturity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom
and courage to see and face every symptom in my life
and help me to trace these to their root cause/s, and
lead me to the help I need to overcome these problems
so I can be healed and made whole. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name. Amen."

1. James 1:5.
2. Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Imaging.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * *
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
  
  
Today's Daily Encounter

Words of Wisdom  

"A wise man [person] will hear and increase learning."1

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a young
man was from a minister who said to me, "Every young
man should read a chapter of Proverbs in the Bible
every day." I did this for many years and learned many
truths as a result. I still appreciate proverbs both in
and outside of the Bible. A proverb is a proverbial
saying, or as Webster defines it, "A short popular
saying that expresses an obvious truth." We call them
one-liners today.

One of my hobbies is to collect proverbial one-liners.
The following are some which convey valuable nuggets of
truth.

Winston Churchill: "The farther backwards you can look
the farther forward you are likely to see."

Arnold Toynbee: "An autopsy of history is that all
great nations commit suicide."

Henry David Thoreau: "If a man does not keep pace with
his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
different drummer. Let him step to the music which he
hears, however measured or far away."

Larry McMurty: "It is impossible to impress a people
with truths that they aren't ready to hear, much less
accept."

Isaac Newton: "What we know is a drop. What we don't
know is an ocean."

Richard Lamm: "Our moral compass gyrates wildly."

Rabbi Mervin Romsky: "He is a failure as a human being,
no matter what his other achievements, whose heart does
not hurt for his fellow man. And he is a successful
human being, no matter where else he may be lacking,
who is rich in compassion."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a heart for
wisdom, a love for truth, a desire for learning Your
Word, and a passion for living and walking in truth.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * *
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 61024
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 9:41 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Protesting too Much  

"He who hides his hatred has lying lips."1

As Robert Edwards said, "Don't place too much
confidence in the man who boasts of being honest as the
day is long. Wait until you meet him at night."

I recently heard a man trying to convince his
acquaintances how honest he was, which reminded me of
the time I heard another man arguing about how humble
he was.

When I hear statements like this I can't help but
think, "If I have to convince you I'm a gentleman, you
can be pretty sure that I'm not. If I have to tell you
how humble I am, already I've lost it. And if I have to
repeatedly tell you I'm being honest, it's probably a
good sign that I'm not. As William Shakespeare so
eloquently put it: "The lady doth protest too much,
methinks."

I don't have to talk to lie. I can do it through my
body language and facial expressions. I can lie by
smiling or being saccharine sweet when I'm angry, by
laughing when I'm hurting or sad, by being aggressive
when I'm afraid, and so on. I can lie just through my
tone of voice, or by pretending that I'm feeling or
thinking something that I'm not.

Friends who don't speak the truth cannot be trusted.
You can't feel safe or comfortable in their company.
You'll never know where they stand or where you stand
with them.

As the Apostle Paul encouraged us: "We will lovingly
follow the truth at all times-speaking truly, dealing
truly, living truly--and so become more and more in
every way like Christ who is the head of the body."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
open-faced, genuine, authentic, and real--always--and
be like Jesus in all my relationships. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name. Amen."

1. Proverbs 10:18.
2. Ephesians 4:15 (TLB).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * 
  
  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 61024
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Jun 2014, 10:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Does God Send Earthquakes?  

Jesus said, "But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice is like a foolish
man who built his house on sand. The rain came down,
the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
that house, and it fell with a great crash."1

While visiting a church one Sunday in the town where
there was an earthquake the night before, the pastor
and people testified to the "fact" that God sent the
earthquake as a wake-up call to the people of this
city.

But was this true? Does God also send floods,
tornadoes, forest fires, hurricanes and cyclones as
wake-up calls for people to turn to God? He may, but I
doubt it. We just happen to live in a world where
natural disasters happen. For me, if I don't want to
experience earthquakes, one thing is certain, I need to
move out of Southern California. But if I choose to
stay here and an earthquake destroys my home, will it
be God who does it?

Or will it be because I have knowingly chosen to live
in a place that is prone to earthquakes?

Also, if I choose to live in a low lying area close to
a river that is prone to flooding and my home is washed
away, will it be God who causes me to lose my home?
Hardly.

As Jesus said, if we build our house on the sand and
the rain pours down, and the streams rise, and the
winds blow, we can expect our home to be destroyed.

And if I don't build my life on a solid, godly
foundation and live an upright, moral life, I can't
blame God if I crash. God may use my crash as a wake-up
call to bring me to my senses, but it won't be God who
causes me to crash. I will do it to myself.

And if I fail to accept God's free pardon for all my
sins and his gift of eternal life, it won't be God who
will keep me out of heaven and send me to hell, it will
be me. I will do it myself.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be wise, not
only regarding the important matters of this life, but
especially so regarding the life to come. Help me to
build my life on the Solid Rock--the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Matthew 7:26-27 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jun 2014, 7:53 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Redeeming the Time  

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men
but as wise, making the most of the time, because the
days are evil."1

Chuck Colson tells about one prisoner he met who had
been on death row for fifteen years. His name was John
Irving.

John was allowed out of his cell for only one hour a
day. The rest of the time he was studying to become a
minister--preparing to serve God.

Noticing that John had nothing in his cell but a few
books, Colson offered to give him a TV.

"Thanks," John said, "but no thanks. You can waste an
awful lot of time with those things."

Can you imagine wasting time on death row?

Colson goes on to say, "The real evils of the
entertainment industry are not the violence and
profanity--offensive though they are. No, it's the
banality: the sheer waste of time. When we turn the TV
on, we turn our minds off; studies have shown that the
analytical areas of the brain nearly shut down during
extended TV viewing."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, without going to extremes
and ignoring TV altogether and/or becoming a
workaholic, may I learn to use my time wisely,
including quality time with my loved ones and making
time to take proper care of myself with adequate rest
and relaxation ... and making time to spend with You.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Ephesians 5:15-16 (RSV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * 
  
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jun 2014, 10:12 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Being V's Doing  

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may
prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will
of God."1

As a kid growing up in Australia I never ever felt
loved and approved of because of who I was and learned
early how to get approval through the things that I
did. As a teen I was fairly gifted in making things,
fixing things, and doing things around our home that
got me lots of approval. However, eventually I learned
that all the approval in the world never made me feel
loved. I'm not saying that approval is wrong. What I am
saying is that if we mistake approval for love, we will
never feel loved. We need to feel loved for being who
we are and not for what we do.

As an adult I considered myself as a Mr. Fixit. If
something went wrong, my question was always, "Okay
what can I do to fix this problem?" Even in my prayers
I have repeatedly prayed, "Dear God, what can I do
about this problem? What can I do to help fix
'So-and-so's' problem?"

At this time we have a friend in need and I said to Joy
last night, "What can we do to help our friend resolve
her problem?" We couldn't think of anything that we
could do that would be effective. And then it dawned on
me so I said to Joy, "We're praying the wrong prayer.
What we need to pray is, not what can we do, but what
can we be to our friend?"

As today's Scripture teaches us, If we present our
bodies [ourselves] as a living sacrifice to God ... and
be transformed by the renewing of our mind, we will
automatically do the will of God! The point I am trying
to make is this: Being is more important than doing;
that is, being needs to be the foundation for
discerning what can be done. To put it another way, if
we be the persons God wants us to be, we will do the
things God wants us to do. In other words being needs
to precede doing.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to present
my body/myself to You as a living sacrifice and therein
become the person You want me to be and then do the
things You would have me to do. And be and do all for
Your glory and not mine. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * *
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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Jun 2014, 8:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Shoot the Flare!  

"For the wages of sin is death [eternal death in the
place God's Word calls Hell], but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."1

On "May 26, 2002, Memorial Day weekend, a barge pilot
passed out and hit a bridge span of I-40 over the
Arkansas river. This accident dropped a 600 foot span
of the bridge 62 feet into the swift flowing river
below. Eleven people (and a trailer full of show
horses) died as their cars and 18-wheelers drove over
the edge of the missing span, one piling on top of
another. There were several fishermen on the river in a
bass competition, who saw the bridge collapse.
Realizing that the cars and trucks were still coming,
one of the fishermen below the bridge reached into his
boats' emergency kit for the emergency flare. Whipping
the flare up into firing position, the fisherman let
the missile fly....

"That one flare providentially hit the windshield of
the next 18-wheeler speeding down I-40 at 70 miles an
hour. The shocked driver hit his brakes, and his front
tires slid over the drop-off. Putting his truck into
reverse, he pulled his wheels back up onto the bridge,
warning the other drivers.

"Another boat of fishermen saw a man under the damaged
barge, who was holding on for dear life, and got a
floatation device to him and pulled him into their
boat, effecting the rescue...."2

Could we even begin to imagine the further devastation
and loss of lives had these fishermen sat by and did
nothing to help save so many who were heading for
certain death? Such a thought is unthinkable.

But what about the millions of lost souls--without
Christ and without hope for life beyond the grave--in
today’s world? I was teaching about effective
evangelism in one church and sharing how, at that time,
the church I was attending had a fairly extensive
budget for numerous projects and activities, but such a
tiny amount in their budget for evangelism. One man
spoke out immediately saying that in his church (the
one where I was teaching) they didn't even have
evangelism in their budget!

I recently shared with two pastors offering to donate
30,000 printed copies of the ACTS brochure, "How to Be
Sure You’re a Real Christian," if we could work
together to place a copy of this gospel message in
every one of the 30,000 family homes in their town.
Neither pastor showed the slightest interest.

So what is the purpose of the Church? It is to glorify
God in everything that it does; it is to build up and
strengthen its members and give them all the
opportunity to serve by using their God-given spiritual
gifts; it is to serve one another and help meet the
needs of those who are unable to meet their own needs;
and it is to be involved in the Great Commission given
by Jesus Himself to His disciples when He said to them:
"You are to go into all the world and preach the Good
News [the gospel] to everyone, everywhere."3

And, as the late great missionary statesman, Oswald J.
Chambers of Canada said, "The supreme task of the
Church is the evangelization of the world."

Jesus also said to Peter and his fishermen partners,
"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."4 If
you and I are going to be true followers of Jesus, we
too, will be involved in "fishing" for those who are
without Christ and on their way to a lost eternity.

In this day and age never before has it been so simple
and so easy to help reach people who are without hope
and without Jesus Christ as it is today via the
electronic media. To see how you can be involved in
evangelism and learn how to be a missionary right from
your own home, and therein have a vital part in
worldwide gospel outreach by becoming an ACTS People
Power for Jesus Partner, click on
http://www.actsweb.org/people_power_invite.php. It is
extremely simple, very effective and there is no cost.

Please, if you are concerned about family, friends, and
people in your circle of contacts who need God's
forgiveness and His gift of eternal life, please
prayerfully consider becoming a People Power for Jesus
Partner today.

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, I thank You with all of my
heart for forgiving my sins and for giving me the gift
of eternal life. I am available; please use me to help
spread the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to
family, friends, and contacts and thereby help win
others to Jesus. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1. Romans 6:23 (NKJV).
2. Source: https://bible.org/illustration/shoot-flare
3. Mark 16:15 (TLB).
4. Matthew 4:18-19
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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * 
  
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jun 2014, 7:35 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

A Cry for Help  

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face
trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must
finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything."1

"I am a highly educated and capable man, but have been
through the wringer for the past decade. I am
completely overwhelmed with emotional burnout. I have
come to the end of my rope and can understand why
people drink themselves to death. I’m crying out for
help."

Dear James (name changed), I'm sorry to hear that you
are feeling so down. Sometimes life can feel totally
overwhelming. I've been there. About 25 years ago I sat
where you sat and at 2 A.M. one morning when I was
pacing the floor in desperation I prayed to God, "OK,
God. You win. I don't know what you are trying to say
to me through my circumstances but I can't go on. You
can have our new office and home [a home that I had
built with my own hands that overlooked the city of
Adelaide, Australia, and the ocean beyond]. You can
have everything I own. I will go anywhere in the world
if you will just give me peace." Then I added, "P.S.
But God please don't send me to Alaska because I hate
the cold!"

I think God must have a sense of humor as today I am
living in Southern California with a wonderful climate
and have an even better view of the ocean. However, my
recovery didn't come overnight. I needed lots of
counseling to work through and resolve my inner
conflicts and failures, but today my life has never
been more productive or more fulfilling.

The major turning point for me was when I literally
begged God to confront me with the reality and the
truth of what I was contributing to the conflict
situation I was in. Once I saw this (my super
codependency), I knew exactly what I needed to do. This
is one of the most powerful prayers I have ever
prayed. 

I suggest that you pray the same prayer. Ask God to
confront you with your reality no matter how much it
hurts. This can be very painful but it's only as we see
what we are contributing (and we all contribute
something) can we see what we can and need to do. While
we can't always change our circumstances, and never
change other people, we can always change ourselves and
our attitudes.

I also urge you to seek capable professional
counseling. At times like these most of us need someone
outside of ourselves to help us see what we are
contributing to the situations in which we find
ourselves and to help guide us on the sometimes rocky
path to healing and recovery.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all of life’s adverse
circumstances please help me to hear what You are
'saying' to me so that I can grow and become a
healthier, happier and more mature person. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * 
  
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Fri 30 May 2014, 10:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Who Created Sin?  

"God is a consuming fire."1

Another asked, "So what is sin? Everything God has made
is perfect. And only God can create. So how can sin
exist? Let's illustrate: A hand can be perfectly made,
and that perfect hand can be rolled up into a perfect
fist and pushed at a perfect speed into someone's
perfect nose. And somehow now it doesn't seem quite so
perfect. Sin is: the improper application or use of
things that God has perfectly made. So sin is not a
created thing; it is the word used to identify when
things are used improperly."2

One of the reasons God is so opposed to mankind's sin
is because it is so totally destructive of those whom
he loves--us!

Sin is totally destructive of sinful man because sin is
an offence to God who is a God of absolute holiness. In
His Word God has been described as a "consuming fire."
Spiritually speaking, that means unforgiven sinners can
no more survive in God's presence any more than a moth
can survive in a flame.

To put it another way, sin is a deadly spiritual cancer
and either we get the cancer or the cancer gets us.
That is, the cancer of sin causes spiritual death.
Realize that spiritual death is not the cessation of
life--for beyond the grave the soul lives forever.
While forgiven sinners will live in the presence of God
forever, unforgiven sinners will live forever in the
place the Bible calls hell (whatever and wherever that
may be). Of one thing we can be sure, spiritual death
means eternal separation from God--the author of all
love and life.

Fortunately, God is not only a God of absolute
holiness; he is also a God of absolute love. Because
God loved us so much, he gave his only Son, the Lord
Jesus Christ, to die an excruciating painful death in
your place and mine on a Roman Cross at Calvary some
2000 years ago. Jesus died to pay the penalty (death)
for all our sins so that all who believe in him "should
not perish but have eternal life."3

Do you believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for
all your sins? And have you asked for and accepted
God's forgiveness and his gift of eternal life? If not,
I urge you to do that today. For further help read and
accept God's Invitation at http://tinyurl.com/6k49w or
at http://tinyurl.com/8glq9 read the article, "How to
Be Sure You're a Real Christian--without having to be
religious."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grasp
the severity of sin's consequences and to understand
that the only way to be forgiven is by believing that
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for all my
sins, accepting Him into my life as my personal Lord
and Savior, and therein receive your gift of
forgiveness and eternal life to be with you forever in
Heaven. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Hebrews 12:29 (NIV).
2. www.musingsaboutgod.com/Words.htm
3. John 3:16.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
 
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Thu 29 May 2014, 4:29 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Beautiful Music  

Jesus said, "You are to go into all the world and
preach [communicate] the good news [the gospel] to
everyone, everywhere."1

According to an article in Turning Point Daily
Devotional, "Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the
world-famous violinist, eararned a fortune with his
concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most
of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin
on one of his trips, he wasn't able to buy it. Later,
having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he
returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that
beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay, it had
been sold to a collector.

"Kreisler made his way to the new owner's home and
offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had
become his prized possession, and he would not sell it.
Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when
he had an idea. 'Could I play the instrument once more
before it is consigned to silence?' he asked.

"Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled
the room with such heart-moving music that the
collector's emotions were deeply stirred. 'I have no
right to keep that to myself,' he exclaimed. 'It's
yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let
people hear it.'"2

God has given you and me the greatest news and most
powerful "music" in the world--the message that Jesus
died on the cross to save mankind from the dreadful
consequences of sin, so that all who come to him can
receive God's forgiveness and His gift of eternal life.
This is the message Jesus commissioned us to take to
the world so everyone, everywhere will hear it and have
the opportunity to have their sins forgiven and receive
God's gift of eternal life.*

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please make and use me 'as
an instrument' of Your love and peace to communicate
Your great salvation in some way to every life I
touch--through being 'as Jesus' to all, and as
opportunity arises to share Your gospel message of
eternal salvation. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Mark 16:15 (TLB).
2. Turning Point Daily Devotional (7-26-06). Cited on 
    PreachingNow http://www.preaching.com
*For an effective way to share the gospel with a friend
or contact go to: http://tinyurl.com/agt89

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * *
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Wed 28 May 2014, 11:49 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Forgiving a Person Who Is No Longer Alive Part II  

"Don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the
sun go down while you are still angry, for [unresolved]
anger gives a foothold to the devil."1

Yesterday in answering Jamie's question on how to
forgive her mother who had died, we discussed her need
to express her pent-up negative emotions of hurt and
anger to make forgiveness possible. One way to resolve
her anger was to write to her mother as if she were
still alive and express these feelings to her.

Another way to resolve anger is to go for a drive in
your car, park in a safe place, turn your radio on
fairly high, and talk to your mother as if she were
right there in the car with you, and express all your
hurt and angry feelings to her. You may also need to do
this a number of times.

Another way to get your anger off your chest is (when
you are home alone) to sit down and place an empty
chair in front of you and pretend your mother is
sitting in that chair and express all your hurt and
angry feelings to her--or read your letter to her.

If you feel you can't do this or that you might go out
of control, I suggest that you see a qualified,
professional counselor* who can help you to get all of
your painful feelings off your chest. Once you are
confident that you have done this, forgiveness becomes
much easier and is a choice ... so tell your mother you
forgive her.

Remember too, as William Walton put it, "To carry a
grudge [unforgiveness] is like being stung to death by
one bee."

One more suggestion. It may help to do what I once did.
After resolving most of my negative feelings towards my
father whom I felt had rejected me, I went alone to his
graveside and sat there for a couple of hours "talking
to him" as if he were alive. This, too, I found to be
very freeing.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have
created me with emotions that put sparkle into life.
Please help me to find a safe way to express all my
negative feelings and to freely forgive any and all who
have ever hurt me as You have freely forgiven me for
all my sins and failures--so I can move on to live a
full and productive life for Your glory. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT).

*NOTE: If you live in North America you could telephone
the Narramore Christian Foundation for the name of a
Christian counselor in your area. Call 1-800-477-5893
and press "1" for Dianne and she should be able to help
you. Or go to www.actsweb.org/counseling_resources.php
for counseling resources.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * *
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
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Post  Admin on Tue 27 May 2014, 12:19 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Forgiving a Person Who Is No Longer Alive Part I  

"So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don't just
pretend to be good!"1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "All my life I felt
rejected by my mother who blamed me for her having a
stroke when she was pregnant with me. Now she has
passed on so how can I forgive her?"

Dear Jamie (name changed), forgiving someone who has
passed away is not as difficult as it may seem. First,
you need to get in touch with the emotions that
unwarranted blame and rejection causes. You can be
certain that you will have a lot of hurt and anger that
needs to be expressed to make forgiveness possible.
Unresolved resentment makes forgiveness impossible.

Your hurt needs to be wept or sobbed out in all of its
intensity from the pit of your stomach. With such
intense pain it is usually advisable to do this in the
presence of a capable counselor or counselor-led
support group. You need to imagine in your mind that
your mother is present and you are expressing these
feelings to her. Remember that tears are God's gift to
drain the pain of intensely painful memories.

There are several healthy ways to express your anger.
You can write out your feelings. Pretend that your
mother is alive and write a very personal letter to
her. Don't worry about correct spelling or grammar,
just write ... write ... write out all your angry
feelings in all their intensity. Tell your mother
exactly how you feel and why you feel this way. You may
need to do this several times until you no longer feel
angry at her. Also, read each letter to God and ask him
to help you release your anger so you can forgive your
mother.

You are not doing this to hurt her (which you can't) or
to hurt anyone else but to get these self-destructive
emotions off your chest so you can be freed to forgive
her and in so doing be free to fully live and fully
love.

To be continued …

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to get in
touch with all of my unresolved negative emotions and
find a safe way to get them off my chest so I can
genuinely forgive all who have ever hurt me. And then
help me to let go of the past so I can move ahead to
live a fully productive live. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:1 (TLB).

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Today's Daily Encounter

Lest We Forget  

"And He [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it,
and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is
given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."1

Today in the United States is Memorial Day--a national
holiday "originally held in commemoration of soldiers
killed in the American Civil War (1868). Its observance
later extended to all U.S. war dead. National
observance is marked by the placing of a wreath on the
Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery."2

It is good to remember every day, and to celebrate this
day with special thanksgiving for all who gave their
lives to give us freedom. May we also remember in
prayer today all of our Christian brothers and sisters
who live in countries where they don't know the
freedoms that we have.

As a kid growing up in Australia during World War II,
how well I remember what the Americans did for my
homeland. Had it not been for the American soldiers
with the backing of the American Congress and people,
Australia would not know the freedom it knows
today--neither would the rest of the Western World. And
if it weren't for the strength and determination of
America today, we would all be living in a much
different world. What if a Saddam Hussein or an Osama
Bin Laden had the military might of the U.S.? The
consequences would be unthinkable!

Someone asked Albert Einstein what kind of weapons
would be used in the third World War. "Well," he
answered, "I don't know ... but I can tell you what
they'll use in the fourth world war. They'll use
rocks."In spite of its weaknesses Americans still enjoy
many freedoms for which its citizens need to be
extremely grateful. However, unless America turns back
the tide that is rapidly taking it away from its
Christian moral heritage and roots, it is highly
improbable that our children or our children's children
will continue to be blessed by the great freedoms that
America still enjoys today. And for all who live in
this great land of opportunity and despise, misuse,
and/or abuse it, unlike many countries, America gives
them the freedom to leave! Very few do though!

May we in the West never take our freedoms for granted
for, "Eternal vigilance is still the price of freedom."
And above all, that includes moral vigilance. For as
God's Word says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but
sin is a disgrace to any people."3 And as Jesus told us
to remember his death for us, let us also remember all
who have given their lives to give us the wonderful
freedoms we know today, for there is always a great
price to purchase and maintain freedom.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You especially today
for all who have given their lives to keep us living in
a land that knows unprecedented freedom. Help all of us
in the free world awaken to our need to be eternally
vigilant in moral integrity, righteous living, and
trusting in You. And we pray for all those living in
lands where they are under great bondage, and where the
gospel is forbidden to be preached, proclaimed or
followed. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Luke 22:19 (NKJV).
2. Encyclopedia Britannica 
3. Proverbs 14:34 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Fri 23 May 2014, 9:51 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Law of the Harvest  

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps
what he sows."1 

It is a fact of life that our lifestyle affects the
quality of our life and that of our families.

Alcoholism for example affects millions of families and
individuals. It tears families apart and is terribly
damaging to children in their developmental years when
they have a parent or parents who are alcoholics. It
causes innumerable crimes including rape, physical and
sexual abuse, murder, robbery and maimed lives--and
slaughter on our highways.

Smokers also adversely affect their loved ones and
others. Pulpit Helps reported that thirty percent of
all cancer deaths are related to smoking. There is also
a 70 percent greater risk of heart disease among
smokers than among nonsmokers. Furthermore, second-hand
smoke inhaled by non-smoking family members (and
others) can also be deadly.

And while it is far from being politically correct to
say so, according to an article in the former Moody
Monthly magazine, homosexuals account for half the
nation's cases of syphilis, even though they represent
only a small percent of the population. The reason?
Promiscuity. Homosexuals are also the principal victims
of AIDS and other infectious diseases, and are fifteen
times more likely to commit a murder. And according to
the EP News Service, the U.S. government spends more on
AIDS research than it does on heart diseases. This is
in spite of the fact that cardiac disorders claim forty
times more deaths than AIDS.

God has a sound reason for all of his laws--including
the ones that cover the sins of the spirit such as
emotional dishonesty, jealousy, envy, malice, hatred,
resentment, greed, lust, an unforgiving spirit, and so
on. All of these are damaging to the body as well as to
the emotions and spirit just as much as cigarette
smoking is to the body--and perhaps even more damaging.
It’s a fact of life that whatever we sow, we reap.
That's the law of the harvest.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word,
the Bible, that gives clear instructions for healthy
physical, emotional, relational and spiritual living.
Please give me a love and deep appreciation for Your
Word, the desire to study and understand it, and the
good sense to follow the instructions found therein.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Galatians 6:7 (NIV).
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Post  Admin on Thu 22 May 2014, 7:04 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Race  

"The race is not to the swift."1

Some time ago Our Daily Bread asked the question, "Do
you remember the tortoise and the hare in Aesop's
Fables? The hare boasted that he was the swiftest
animal in the forest. When he challenged the others to
a race, only the tortoise dared to try. To the hare, it
seemed an unfair contest, since he would win easily.

"But off they started, with the tortoise soon trailing
far behind. On the way, the hare decided there was time
for a nap, but the tortoise kept plodding along. When
the hare awoke, he couldn't see the tortoise anywhere,
so he laughed and said, 'He still hasn't caught up with
me!' But as he ran toward the finish line, he saw the
tortoise crossing it. Slowly and steadily, the tortoise
had won!"

In the Christian life it can be easy to start well or
to "keep the faith" when all is going well. But to keep
hanging in through the bad times as well as the good,
and be there for the long haul takes a genuine
commitment that is based on a deep belief that, no
matter what happens, Jesus Christ is King of kings and
Lord of lords, and that my life is in his hands. As Job
so aptly expressed his feelings in the midst of his
despair, "Though He [God] slay me, yet will I trust
Him."2

"The race is not to the swift but to those who keep on
running!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be like
the persistent 'tortoise' in my faith and give me the
courage, like Paul, to 'strain to reach the end of the
race and receive the prize for which God is calling us
up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.'3
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Ecclesiastes 9:11.
2. Job 13:15.
3. Philippians 3:14 (TLB).

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Post  Admin on Wed 21 May 2014, 7:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Responsibility  

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind
your own business and to work with your hands ... so
that you will not be dependent on anybody."1

One of the great principles we need to emphasize to
keep our society healthy and productive is the
principle of personal responsibility. It's a principle
that needs to be programmed and engrained into our
belief system. It needs to be taught and demonstrated
in the home and at every level of society.

If people don't believe they are responsible, they will
not behave responsibly. If they believe they are
responsible, most will consistently act and behave
responsibly.

Obviously, we weren't responsible for our upbringing
but we are fully responsible for what we become. The
world doesn't owe us a living. As the Bible teaches, if
we refuse to work we shouldn't eat.

Furthermore, when we repeatedly do anything for others
that they can and need to do for themselves, we can
make and keep them over-dependent, immature and
irresponsible. It is not the loving thing to do. It is
being irresponsible.

I remember reading about some sea gulls in a fishing
village that, for many years, fed on the scraps the
fishermen left. When the fishing industry in this place
closed, the sea gulls had forgotten how to gather food
for themselves. They died of starvation.vThe same
principle applies to people. When we do things to keep
them over-dependent, we destroy their growth and
maturity. It's the same with God, he will bend the
heavens to touch the earth to do for us what we cannot
do for ourselves--such as paying the penalty for all
our sins by dying on the cross at Calvary in our place
to pay the penalty for all our sins--but, while he has
promised to give us wisdom and guidance, he won't do
for us what we can and need to do for ourselves.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to
be responsible for my actions and not expect others to
do for me what I can and need to do for myself. Also,
please help me not to take on anyone else's
responsibilities and thereby keep them over-dependent
on me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Tue 20 May 2014, 9:02 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

A 'Yes' Face  

'Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him,
'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!'"1
That is, Nathanael was an open-faced, honest, genuine
man. 

Charles Swindoll wrote how "During Thomas Jefferson's
presidency he and a group of travelers were crossing a
river that had overflowed its banks. Each man crossed
on horseback fighting for his life. A lone traveler
watched the group traverse the treacherous river and
then asked President Jefferson to take him across. 

"The president agreed without hesitation, the man
climbed on, and the two made it safely to the other
side of the river where somebody asked him: "Why did
you select the President to ask this favor?

"The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was
the President of the United States who had carried him
safely across. 'All I know,' he said, 'is that on some
of your faces was written the answer, 'No,' and on some
of them was the answer, 'Yes.' His was a 'Yes' face."2

Some years ago now when I was involved in counselor
training a fellow student, Sue L., wept with me when I
was sharing the buried grief I had over the death of my
little sister when I was only five years of age. I
vividly recall how, when Sue wept with me, I looked
into her face and as clear as crystal I saw the face of
Jesus. Sue certainly had a 'Yes' face. And we could
undoubtedly say that Nathanael had a 'Yes' face.

When people see me coming or when they meet me, what is
their reaction? I trust and pray by the grace of God
that I too, will always have a 'Yes' face. 

Suggested Prayer: Dear God, I pray that by Your grace,
like Nathaniel that I will be a man in whom there is no
guile, that I will always be open-faced, honest, and
authentic. Please help me to have a 'Yes' face always
in all ways for your glory. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 1:47 (KJV).
2. Inspiration Peak,
http://www.inspirationpeak.com/cgi-bin/stories.cgi?record=141

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Post  Admin on Mon 19 May 2014, 6:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Feelings  
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control."1

Imagine living in a world without emotions. It would be
like living in a world without color--a world without
blue skies, white fluffy clouds, red roses, or
beautiful rainbows and sunsets. Everything would be a
dull monotonous gray. Life would be deadly dull and
boring--as it is when emotions are repressed.

Like many others, especially men, I grew up being
taught that feelings weren't important and that you
couldn't trust them."

Thank God it isn't so. Feelings are God-given. They are
an inner monitor letting us know what is going on
inside of us. The more we are in touch with our true
emotions, the more they can inform us when our life is
out of harmony and we need an emotional tune up,
caution us of impending danger, warn us when we are
around unsafe people, affirm us when we are with safe
people, guide us when we have major decisions to make,
keep us in tune with God's leading, and assure us when
our life is in harmony with others and God. Admittedly,
if we don't understand them, they can confuse us and
get us tied in knots!

Feelings are a gift from God. To deny and repress them
we now know can be disastrous, physically, emotionally
and spiritually. The first three fruits of God's
Spirit--love, joy, and peace--are emotions. Thus, if
our emotion of love is repressed, how can God’s love
flow through us? It can't.

Yes, it may take a while but we can learn to trust our
feelings. What we can't always trust is how to
interpret them correctly. It can be like learning a new
language, but a language well worth learning, without
which there can be no true intimacy either with my
loved ones or with God.

Another way of describing emotions could be E-Motions
or Energy in Motion! One thing is sure. Without
emotions we are characteristically bored with life and
lose our energy and our drive. Thank God for emotions.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as you desire truth in the
innermost being,2 please deliver me from the 'sin of
denying my true emotions,' help me to get in touch with
my true feelings and inner self, and learn how to
understand them and express them creatively when such
is needed. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Galatians 5:22 (NIV).
2. Psalm 51:6.

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Today's Daily Encounter
The Bottom Line  

"Love your neighbor as yourself."1

Dr. Alfred Adler, international psychiatrist, based the
following conclusions on a careful analysis of
thousands of patients: "The most important task imposed
by religion has always been, 'Love your neighbor….' It
is the individual who is not interested in his fellow
man that has the greatest difficulties in life and
provides the greatest injury to others. It is from
among such individuals that all human failures spring."

Almost every day I pray, "Dear God, I'm available again
today. Please make me usable and use me to be 'as
Christ' today to my family, to someone in need, and in
some way to every life I touch."

What a difference we Christians would make in our
homes, places of business, schools, cities, and nation
if every one of us would make this commitment every
day, mean it, and practice it.

Will you make that commitment to God today?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available. Please make
me usable and use me today to be 'as Jesus' to my
family, to someone in need, and in some way to every
life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Mark 12:31.

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Post  Admin on Fri 16 May 2014, 5:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

God of the Ordinary  

"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.
Could this be the Christ?"1

The culture of Jesus' day was vastly different from
ours except, perhaps, for cultural prejudice. On one
occasion when Jesus wanted to reach a Samaritan village
with his message of salvation, he stopped by a well and
made friends with a Samaritan woman. This definitely
was not kosher for a Jew because the Jews looked down
their noses at Samaritans and had no dealings with
them.

Not so Jesus. After asking this woman for a drink of
water and some small talk he directed the conversation
to spiritual matters. Not only was this woman a
Samaritan but one who had led a very colorful life and
Jesus knew exactly what type of person she was. She was
a social outcast, which was obvious by the fact that
she was drawing water from the well in the middle of
the day. All the other women from the village did so in
the cool of the evening.

Jesus said to the lady, "Go and get your husband and
come back with him."

"I don't have a husband," she replied.

"I know," Jesus said, "you've already had five and the
man you are now with is not your husband!" That would
be quite a reputation even today, let alone in that
society. And yet, this was the woman that Jesus chose
to be the messenger to carry the gospel to her
village--which she did--and the people there came to
see and hear Jesus for themselves. How many of us would
treat such a woman this way?

Jesus, who upheld impeccable moral standards and high
ideals regarding marriage, wasn't shocked by this
woman's lifestyle. He saw beyond the externals and
looked at her heart. Here was a woman who needed
salvation and was willing to admit it.

Neither is God shocked with you or me when we are
willing to admit our needs, sins and faults and bring
them to him for his forgiveness--and when we
acknowledge our brokenness and come to him for his
healing and deliverance.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You love
and accept me as I am. Please heal all my brokenness
and help me to love and accept others as You love and
accept me. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 4:29 (NIV).

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Today's Daily Encounter

Flying High  

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before
a fall."1

In the devotional book, Today in the Word, the writer
tells the fable about a frog and a duck who shared a
pond. They developed a close friendship as they talked
and played together. But when the hot summer sun began
to evaporate the water in the pond, the duck decided to
fly to a larger body of water. Not wanting to be left
alone, the frog suggested that his friend and another
duck hold a stick in their bills so he could hang onto
it with his mouth. In that way they could all fly to
another pond.

As the three were flying high overhead a farmer looked
up, saw the frog clinging to the stick by his mouth,
and exclaimed, "What a brilliant idea! I wonder who
thought of that?" Without hesitation the frog said, "I
did!" And he was done!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me not to be carried
away with pride, but to be truly grateful to and for
all the people who have contributed to my life and
helped get me to where I am today. For without Your
help and their help I would not be where I now. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Proverbs 16:18 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 May 2014, 8:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Feelings  

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control."1

Imagine living in a world without emotions. It would be
like living in a world without color--a world without
blue skies, white fluffy clouds, red roses, or
beautiful rainbows and sunsets. Everything would be a
dull monotonous gray. Life would be deadly dull and
boring--as it is when emotions are repressed.

Like many others, especially men, I grew up being
taught that feelings weren't important and that you
couldn't trust them."

Thank God it isn't so. Feelings are God-given. They are
an inner monitor letting us know what is going on
inside of us. The more we are in touch with our true
emotions, the more they can inform us when our life is
out of harmony and we need an emotional tune up,
caution us of impending danger, warn us when we are
around unsafe people, affirm us when we are with safe
people, guide us when we have major decisions to make,
keep us in tune with God's leading, and assure us when
our life is in harmony with others and God. Admittedly,
if we don't understand them, they can confuse us and
get us tied in knots!

Feelings are a gift from God. To deny and repress them
we now know can be disastrous, physically, emotionally
and spiritually. The first three fruits of God's
Spirit--love, joy, and peace--are emotions. Thus, if
our emotion of love is repressed, how can God’s love
flow through us? It can't.

Yes, it may take a while but we can learn to trust our
feelings. What we can't always trust is how to
interpret them correctly. It can be like learning a new
language, but a language well worth learning, without
which there can be no true intimacy either with my
loved ones or with God.

Another way of describing emotions could be E-Motions
or Energy in Motion! One thing is sure. Without
emotions we are characteristically bored with life and
lose our energy and our drive. Thank God for emotions.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as you desire truth in the
innermost being,2 please deliver me from the 'sin of
denying my true emotions,' help me to get in touch with
my true feelings and inner self, and learn how to
understand them and express them creatively when such
is needed. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Galatians 5:22 (NIV).
2. Psalm 51:6.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Tue 13 May 2014, 6:27 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Being Available  

"And he [Abraham's servant] said, 'Blessed be the LORD
God of my master Abraham, who has not left destitute my
master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way,
the LORD led me to the house of my master's
brethren.'"1

According to Joe Sandven in Church Worship, "At the
time the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic,
a ship by the name of the Californian was only ten
miles away. Unfortunately, the Californian had tuned
out and had turned off its ship's radio.

"The Carpathia was a greater distance away, but its
radio was on. This ship heard the distress signal of
the Titanic and came to the rescue as quickly as
possible, but many lives were lost by the time she
arrived. Once she arrived she was able to save hundreds
of lives. But it was the Californian that could have
been instrumental in saving many, many more lives had
she only been listening."

When it comes to serving God, personal experience has
taught me that if I am always "tuned in and on the
ready" and available, God always opens doors of
opportunity for service.  

The key is to keep our "spiritual listening" turned on
at all times and be available for God to use us. As
another has said, "The greatest ability is
availability."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to live in
tune with You and in obedience to Your Word and always
be available to do Your bidding. Give me a loving
heart, a listening ear, and a willing attitude so that
I will always be obedient to Your leading. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Genesis 24:27 (KJV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 


  Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 12 May 2014, 2:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Music of Your Life  

"Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a
bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives
light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let
your light shine before men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."1 

According to an article in Turning Point Daily
Devotional, "Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the
world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his
concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most
of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin
on one of his trips, he wasn't able to buy it. Later,
having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he
returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that
beautiful instrument.

"But to his great dismay, it had been sold to a
collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner's
home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said
it had become his prized possession, and he would not
sell it. "Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to
leave when he had an idea. 'Could I play the instrument
once more before it is consigned to silence?' he asked.
Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled
the room with such heart-moving music that the
collector's emotions were deeply stirred. 'I have no
right to keep that to myself,' he exclaimed. 'It's
yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let
people hear it.'

"We have a message to share. Our heavenly Father
created us as exquisite instruments, and the beautiful
music we are to make is the Good News of salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ. We were made to be
played."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to let my
light so shine that it will be as 'music to another's
ears,' and draw them to You, the 'Master Musician par
excellence.' Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV).
2. Turning Point Daily Devotional (7-26-06). Cited on
Preaching Now http://www.preaching.com.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com

    Copyright (c) 2014 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2014
  ACTS International.
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Admin
Admin

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