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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 8:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Search for Significance  

"Then he [Jesus] said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your
guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not
consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"1

Not all by any means, but most of the motivational
books and lectures that I have read and heard pretty
much measure success in terms of wealth and material
gain. For example, businessmen and women who are
considered successful are those who have built an
effective business that has become very profitable
financially. Most of these "successful" people have
been totally committed to and have invested their life
in achieving their goal of success.

However, many or at least some of these people after
they have reached the pinnacle of success in terms of
the world's measure of success ask themselves, "Is this
all there is to life?" and wonder, "What have I
achieved with my life that will leave anything of
lasting value after I have gone? What, if anything,
have I contributed to the betterment of mankind?" In
other words, "What have I done of lasting
significance?"

The reality is that one can achieve success and receive
many accolades and obtain wide recognition, and yet not
have achieved anything of lasting significance. On the
other hand, if one has invested his or her life in
things of lasting value, he or she is the one who has
achieved real success and whose life is truly
significant--with or without any accolades,
recognition, or monetary gain. 

In other words I can be "outwardly successful" but not
have any significance, but if I have achieved
significance I will be truly successful. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to become
significant by my life's priorities, in the way I
invest my life, and in the worthwhile goals I
achieve--and be genuinely successful by Your standards.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Luke 12:15 (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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 11:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Strength out of Weakness  

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is
made perfect in weakness."1

In his book, Confidence, Alan Loy McGinnis talks about
a famous study entitled "Cradles of Eminence" by Victor
and Mildred Goertzel, in which the family backgrounds
of 300 highly successful people were studied.

Many of the names of those in the study were well-known
to most of us--including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Helen
Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi,
and Einstein--all of whom were brilliant in their field
of expertise.

The results of this study are both surprising and
encouraging for many of us who came from a less than
desirable home life. For example: "Three-quarters of
the children were troubled either by poverty, by a
broken home, or by rejecting, over-possessive or
dominating parents.

"Seventy-four of 85 writers of fiction or drama and 16
of the 20 poets came from homes where, as children,
they saw tense psychological drama played out by their
parents.

"Physical handicaps such as blindness, deafness, or
crippled limbs characterized over one-quarter of the
sample."

These people who had confidence in their abilities and
put them to creative use had more weaknesses and
handicaps than many who have all of their faculties
intact and who had a reasonably good home life
background. So, what made the difference? Probably by
compensating for their weaknesses they excelled in
other areas.

One man reported, "What has influenced my life more
than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I
not stammered I would probably have gone to Cambridge
as my brothers did, perhaps have become a don and every
now and then published a dreary book about French
literature." The speaker who stammered until his death
was W. Somerset Maugham, as he looked back on his life
at age 86.

"By then he had become a world-renowned author of more
than 20 books, 30 plays, and scores of essays and short
stories."

It's not what we have or don't have that matters in
life but what we do with what we have. All God expects
of us is that we don't allow our past to determine our
future, and that with his help we use what we have to
the best of our ability.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the gifts
You have given to me, no matter how small or large,
help me to develop and use them to my total God-given
potential, and to use them for Your glory. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen." 

1. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

<Smile)))><    
 
  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 1:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

On Being a Positive Realist  

"Then he [Jesus] touched their eyes and said,
'According to your faith will it be done to you,' and
their sight was restored."1

I like to think I am a positive realist. For example,
if I've been hit by a Mac truck all the positive
thinking in the world won't take away the pain. But if
I am a positive realist, I will acknowledge the fact
that I've been hurt real bad, but with God's help and
the best medical help I can find I will do all in my
power to overcome what has happened to me.

One's thinking does make a big difference. If you keep
telling yourself and believing you will overcome,
chances are you will make great gains much faster than
if you keep telling yourself all is lost.

As Baudjuin said, "To be ambitious for wealth, and yet
always expecting to be poor; to be always doubting your
ability to get what you long for, is like trying to
reach east by traveling west. There is no philosophy
which will help man to succeed when he is always
doubting his ability to do so, and thus attracting
failure. No matter how hard you work for success, if
your thoughts are saturated with the fear of failure,
it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors,
and make success impossible."

It is still true, "According to your faith it will be
done to you."

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, please give me the faith
to overcome every setback, problem, and challenge that
I am facing in my life. With Your help, grant that I
will become a better man/woman as a result of having
faced and overcome these trials. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen." 

1. Matthew 9:29-30.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter
Faithfulness  

The Apostle Paul, at life's end, said, "I have fought a
good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the
faith."1

One of my favorite quotes, which I like to repeat from
time to time, is from Theodore Roosevelt who said: "It
is not the critic who counts; not the man who points
out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of
deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs
to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best,
if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so
that his place shall never be with those timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat."2

Not long before a close friend of mine died of cancer,
I asked him what it felt like to be forty-four and in
his predicament. Among a number of things he said, "I
feel angry because there was so much more I wanted to
do with life. I feel bad about being so busy and not
spending more time with my family." And then, after a
thoughtful pause he said, "I can't help but wonder what
I have done with my life that has been truly
worthwhile."

His words were sobering and I know that when I get to
the end of my journey and stand before the Savior, I
want to know that I have invested my life wisely for
eternity and have earned the Savior's welcome words,
"Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the
joy of your Lord."

Whether we live for forty, eighty, or a hundred years,
our time here on earth is but a drop in the ocean
compared to eternity. And as Amy Carmichael said, "We
have all eternity to celebrate the victories, but only
a few short hours to fight and win the battles." So,
let's keep daring greatly for God!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in glad surrender I yield
my life totally to You. Help me to live always for You
and invest my life wisely in eternity by being a part
of what You are doing in the world today. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen." 

1. 2 Timothy 4:7.
2. Theodore Roosevelt.

<Smile)))><    
 
  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 14 Jan 2014, 8:03 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Life is Short ... We only Have One Shot at It  

"So teach us [God] to number our days that we may gain
a heart of wisdom."1

Last year Joy and I had the opportunity to attend a
reunion in Sydney, Australia, of the Open Air
Campaigners, an evangelistic organization that I was
very much involved in back in the 1950s. At the reunion
I met many friends I hadn't seen in over
half-a-century. It was amazing how time had flown, and
now that we were all in our senior years of life, one
couldn't help but realize how brief life on earth is. 

In realizing that our days are numbered, it is good to
remind ourselves that the day is coming when we will
all come face to face with God and appear at his
judgment seat to give an account of our life. According
to God's Word, the Bible, there are two distinct
judgment seats after life on earth is ended. 

First, is the Judgment Seat of Christ2 where all who
have confessed their sins, received God's forgiveness
and Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will NOT be
judged for their sins because Jesus has already paid
for their penalty, but will be judged and rewarded on
the basis of how they have lived for and served God
since the day they accepted Jesus Christ as their
Savior. 

The second judgment seat is the Great White Throne
Judgment3 seat of God where those who have never
confessed their sins to God, nor asked for His
forgiveness, nor accepted Jesus Christ as their
Savior--God's Son who died on the cross to pay the
penalty for their sins--will stand before God and
accept His just judgment for all their sins. Tragically
these people will be damned to a lost eternity forever
in the place the Bible calls Hell, an unthinkable
thought.

So, dear reader, if you have never received God's
forgiveness and Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you
to do that today. Please don't put this off for even a
moment more. For help read the article, "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian,
and receive God's full and free pardon for all your
sins--today. 

And if you have accepted God's forgiveness and Jesus as
your Savior, make absolutely certain, through your
service to God, that you are laying up treasures in
heaven. How tragically sad it would be to stand before
Jesus to give an account of your service for God while
here on earth, and you have little or nothing to offer.


As Jesus says to all his followers: "Do not lay up for
yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay
up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also."4

Remember: life is short--we only have one shot at it!
"Only one life 'twill soon be past; only what's done
for Christ will last."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word
that gives explicit instructions both for this life and
life beyond the grave. Please open the eyes of my
understanding so that I will fully understand Your
instructions, and adhere to them so that I will know
with absolute certainty that when my life on earth is
ended, I will go to be with You in heaven forever, and
that when I stand before Jesus to give an account of my
life in how I have lived for and served Him, that I
won't be empty handed. So help me God. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. Psalm 90:12 (NKJV).
2. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV).
3. Revelation 20:11-15 (NKJV). 
4. Matthew 6:19-21 (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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

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Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jan 2014, 11:20 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

When Temptation Knocks on the Door  

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by
God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He
Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he
is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then,
when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and
sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."1

We live in and are all a part of this world that has
been broken by sin. Consequently, having a sin nature
from birth, nobody escapes temptation. It always starts
in the mind, and can be triggered by something we see
on TV, hear on the radio, listening to a degrading pop
song, seeing a photo, by an unmet need, by idle
thinking, or any one of numerous possibilities. Because
of our sinful nature, temptation is always lurking
around the corner and ready to knock on the door of our
mind.

However, as today's Scripture reminds us, "each one is
tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and
enticed." Once we are enticed, we have already taken
the bait, and then we start thinking about what we want
or would like to do. The more we think about it, the
stronger the temptation grows, and if we don't "nip it
in the bud" right away, we are setting ourselves up for
a fall. 

However, realize that God's Word also points out that
there is always a way of escape. "So, if you think you
are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 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."2 

So what's the way of escape? As temptation starts in
the mind that's where the battle rages, and that's
where it is won or lost. Speaking personally, the
greatest help I have found when temptation is knocking
on the door of my mind, is to say and pray over and
over in my mind the following: "Jesus Christ is Lord.
Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. Jesus Christ
is the Messiah who died to pay the penalty for all my
sins. Jesus Christ is my Lord, my God, and My Savior."
Satan, the author of all temptation, absolutely hates
these proclamations and in no time will leave tempting
us as long as we keep repeating these words. He will,
however, keep returning in his attempt to cause us to
fall, but as long as we keep concentrating on and
repeating these eternal truths, the temptation will be
dissipated and, thanks to God, we will remain
victorious.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for making a way
of escape for when I am tempted. Please give me the
desire to never give in to temptation remembering that
You have provided a way of escape. Help me always to
focus my thoughts on the fact that Jesus Christ is
Lord, and that He is Lord of my life, until the
temptation is dissipated and has left me. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. James 1:13-15 (NKJV).
2. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV).

P.S. It also always helps to get legitimate needs met
in legitimate ways. 

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

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Post  Admin on Thu 09 Jan 2014, 10:36 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Hot Buttons  

"So get rid of your feelings of hatred. Don't just
pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty and
jealousy and talking about others behind their backs.
Now that you realize how kind the Lord has been to you,
put away all evil, deception, envy, and fraud. Long to
grow up into the fullness of your salvation; cry for
this as a baby cries for his milk."1

One of the major problems Daily Encounter readers write
to me about is relationship conflicts. When any close
relationship is out of order, mental and emotional
stress results. If continuing over a long period of
time, this can cause major illnesses. No wonder that
God's Word, the Bible, instructs us to get rid of our
feelings of hatred, jealousy, dishonesty and the like.
In other words we need to resolve all negative
emotions, stop repressing and denying feelings, and
grow up in emotional as well as spiritual maturity.
When we fail to do this, we pay the high price of
relational conflict and run the risk of many physical
and emotional illnesses.

Furthermore, when we fail to resolve super-charged,
repressed negative emotions from the past, we have
various "hot buttons" that get easily triggered and
cause us to over-react. If for example, when growing up
I had an angry father and was often in conflict with
him, I am bound to have a "hot father-button." And
then, in my adult life whenever someone's behavior
towards me reminds me in any way of my father, my "hot
father-button" will get triggered. I will then relate
to this person in exactly the same way that I related
to my father and overreact in my response towards that
person. In my thinking I will automatically blame that
person for my response. What this person did to me may
or may not be a problem; however, my response to
him/her is always my responsibility and to the degree
that I overreact, that is always my problem! As long as
I play the blame-game, I will "be lame"; that is, I
will never resolve my relationship conflicts.

It is only as I become authentic (get real) and face
the truth about why I overreact to people, will I ever
be set free from and/or resolve my impaired
relationships. As long as we are in denial, as John
Powell so insightfully said, "We defend our dishonesty
on the grounds that it may hurt another person; and
then, having rationalized our phoniness into nobility,
we settle for superficial relationships."2

To resolve super-charged negative emotions from the
past--even all the way back to childhood--often needs
the help of a skilled professional counselor. If this
is your situation, recovery begins with acknowledging
your problem and admitting that you need help. Ask your
minister or your family doctor if they can recommend a
counselor who specializes in helping to resolve damaged
emotions.* Above all, admit and confess your problem to
God. One of the most powerful prayers anyone can ever
pray is, "God I have a problem. I need help. Please be
merciful to me a sinner and lead me to the help I need
to overcome my problem." (Be sure to name the problem.
Call it what it is).

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in every conflict
situation in which I find myself, please confront me
with the truth of what I am contributing to the
conflict. Help me to recognize my 'hot buttons' and see
when I am overreacting. Direct me to find the help I
need to resolve my problem and overcome my 'hot
buttons.' Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:1-3 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John Powell, Why I Am Afraid to Tell You Who I Am,
Argus Communications.

*For counseling help, if you live in the U.S. or
Canada, call the Narramore Christian Foundation at
1-800-477-5893 and press "1" for Dianne and she should
be able to give you the name of a fine Christian
counselor or two in your area. 

NOTE: For further help see the article, "Resolving
Conflict Creatively" at:
http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=126&d=1&c=3&p=1.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66613
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Wed 08 Jan 2014, 8:16 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Secret of Success  

"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all
the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from
them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then
you will be successful in everything you do."1

Many years ago God gave his people, the ancient
Israelites, a specific goal and with it an unbeatable
formula for success. The goal was to claim and possess
the Promised Land which, in time, became the country we
know today as Israel. 

If we want to be successful--that is, in the eyes of
God, we also need to discover our God-given life
purpose and, with God's help, be totally committed to
fulfilling it, and in the process be sure to live in
harmony with God's instructions for wholesome living.

It seems to me that far too many people drift through
life mostly allowing "life as it happens" to direct and
determine their future, rather than specifically
choosing the direction and future of their life. To
avoid the former, it is imperative to have a clearly
defined life purpose with specific goals to fulfill
that purpose.

Psychologists have been telling us for years that if we
are to be successful, we need to have well defined
goals. Furthermore, Victor Frankl, the Viennese
psychiatrist, says that "not having a goal is more to
be feared than not reaching a goal."

If you want to be truly successful, make sure that you
have a clearly defined life purpose and goal that is
both realistic and worthwhile. Be sure to get the
training you need to be able to fulfill your goal, and
determine a plan for fulfilling it. The beginning point
is to discover your life purpose-goal, put it into
writing--with a specific plan to fulfill it--and commit
this to memory and review it constantly. Doing this
will program it into your subconscious mind that will
help your mind to automatically work on your plans even
when you are asleep. 

As another has wisely said, "Success is the ability for
formulate a worthwhile goal and then employ all of your
powers for the achievement of that goal."

Furthermore, and above all, make sure that your life
purpose and goal includes planning for your life beyond
this life because, as God's Word reminds us: "It is
appointed for men to die once, but after this the
judgment."2 For help, read the article, "Life After
Death," online at: http://tinyurl.com/after-death-life.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to
discover my God-given life purpose and goal, and
establish a workable plan to fulfill this goal. Help me
to get the training needed to be able to achieve this
goal, and the determination--with Your help to fulfill
it--and do all for Your glory. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Joshua 1:7 (NLT).
2. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV).

Footnote: As Jack Canfield suggested, "If you are clear
where you are going and you take several steps in that
direction every day, you eventually have to get there.
If I head north out of Santa Barbara and take five
steps a day, eventually I have to end up in San
Francisco. So decide what you want, write it down,
review it constantly, and each day do something that
moves you toward those goals." 

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Same-Sex Marriage: Where Will It lead?  

As God’s Word says, “Do not practice homosexuality,
having sex with another man aswith a woman. It is a
detestable sin."1

On December 19 "... the New Mexico Supreme Court voted
unanimously to redefine marriage to include two menor
two women. New Mexico joins 16 other states and the
District of Columbia inallowing same-sex marriage,
after Hawaii and Illinois passed similar laws last
month.

“There are certain laws whichjudges, legislators, and
even the people cannot change. They are called
naturallaws. The Declaration of Independence refers to
these laws as the “laws ofnature and of nature’s God."
These natural laws transcend time, cultures,
andpolitical institutions.

“Sir William Blackstone said any earthly law which is
contrary to the natural law is no law at all. This view
oflaw has shaped Western law and government for over
2,000 years. St. Augustineand Martin Luther King, Jr.
shared this view of law. If there is a Creator God,then
there must be a higher law which cannot be
transgressed. We easily acceptthis view when it comes
to the laws of physics such as the law of gravity.
Butthe same is true of certain moral laws, among which
include the sanctity ofhuman life, marriage between a
man and a woman, and religious freedom.

“When judges, legislators, or the people have the
hubris to deceive themselves into thinkingthey can
violate these laws without consequences, they are blind
to history andthe Scriptures. Deconstructing marriage
will be the end of freedom or thebeginning of a new
revolution."2

The fact is that ALL of God’s laws are for the health,
well-being and protection of thosewhom God loves--us!
When we disregard God’s laws, we do so to the detriment
ofourselves, our families, and our society. If we defy
God’s physical law, suchas the law of gravity, we harm
or even destroy ourselves. If we defy God’smoral laws,
we do the same thing.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, as our society more and
moredisregards your Word and your laws, the more we are
on a pathway toself-destruction. Please send a great
spiritual awakening which is a desperateneed … and
please start your work in me. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer.Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Leviticus 18:22.
2. “Liberty Alert," Liberty Council,
http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14102&AlertID=1687.To
subscribe to “Liberty Alert," an e-Mail service without
charge, go to: http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14103.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 6:58 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Miracles  

"According to your faith let it be to you."1 -- Jesus. 

George Washington Carver, whose research won him
international fame, was an African American born to
slave parents. "A week after his birth, George was
kidnapped along with his sister and mother from the
Carver farm by raiders from the neighboring state of
Arkansas. The three were sold in Kentucky, and among
them only the infant George was located by an agent of
Moses Carver and returned to Missouri."2

Someone claimed that when growing up, George had a lot
of faith, and when he was still young, prayed: "Lord,
tell me all about the universe."

But God said, "George, that's a tall order. Why don't
you pray for something more your size?"

So George said, "All right, Lord, tell me all about the
peanut." 

God answered him and George discovered more than three
hundred uses for the peanut--ranging from salad oil to
soap."

Greater still, George overcame his humble beginnings to
discover the miracles in his life. 

Whether this story about George's prayer is real or
just an allegory, it is an excellent parable for each
of us to stop and evaluate our life, and ask ourselves
if we have discovered the "miracle" in our life that
God has planned for each of us, and to become the
person he envisioned us to be.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have a
wonderful miracle-purpose for my life, and will or have
already given me all that I need to achieve this
miracle. Please help me to see what that 'miracle' is,
and give me the courage and help to do all that I need
to do to fulfill this God-given life purpose miracle.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 9:29 (NKJV).
2. See also:
http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-carver-9240299.

<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 Sat 04 Jan 2014, 1:15 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Ask Not What God Can Do for You  

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father
is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,
and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."1

Many of our readers will remember the simple yet
profound words of the late President John F. Kennedy
who, in 1961, stated: "Ask not what your country can do
for you--ask what you can do for your country." He was
calling people to a noble life of service.

Other great leaders have confirmed the rewards of
service. Albert Schweitzer said, "I don't know what
your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only
ones among you who will be really happy are those who
have sought and found how to serve."

As followers of Jesus Christ we are all called to
serve, and we serve God by serving our fellow man.
Doing this is what God calls "pure and undefiled
religion before God." It is also laying up treasure in
heaven which is what Jesus encourages each of his
followers to do, saying, "Do not lay up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and
steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also."2

I recall many years ago in much younger days, how I had
an accident on a construction site that put me in the
hospital for a few days. When in recovery, I switched
on my bed-side radio and, the moment it came on, I
happened by chance to tune into the only religious
program for the day. The very first words I heard were
these: "If you should stand before the Master [Jesus
Christ] tonight, would you empty handed go?" If ever I
felt that God had a message directly for me, it was
that day. On that hospital bed I said "Yes" to God and
committed myself to a life of service to God. Making
and following through on that decision changed my life
forever--and it is why you are receiving this message
to read today. 

If perchance you were called to stand before the Master
today to give an account of your life, would you empty
handed go? May I encourage you to make a commitment to
God now to live a life of service to him? This can be a
part of your everyday life in being "as Jesus" in some
way to every life you touch; by becoming a part-time
volunteer in a community service program through your
local church or another organization, by being an
effective parent, by teaching a Sunday School class, by
leading a recovery group, or in any one of a score of
different ways. And for someone reading this message,
perhaps God is calling you to become a nurse, a pastor,
a youth worker, or a missionary.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, today I am asking not what
You can do for me, but what can I do for You. How can I
best serve You by using the talents You have given me
to serve others? I am available, please make me usable
and use me today and every day to be an effective
witness for Jesus by faithfully serving You. Please
help me to see my God-given life purpose, and help me
to do my utmost to fulfill this purpose in a life of
service to You. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."   

Note: If you prayed this prayer and would like to
re-commit your life to Jesus Christ today, please let
us know by filling in the response form at:
www.actsweb.org/decision.php. Any information you give
about yourself will be held in strictest confidence.

1. James 1:27 (NKJV).
2. Matthew 6:19-21 (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 Thu 02 Jan 2014, 11:50 pm

January 2

Today's Daily Encounter

Follow Me  

In the Book of Matthew in the Bible we are told of
Jesus calling his first disciples. "Follow me," he
said, "and I will make you fishers of men."1 Only once
in the Gospels does it say that you must be born again
(as important as this is), but it has been reported
that Jesus said, "Follow me," 21 times. Almost 2,000
years later how are we measuring up? 

I recently heard a pastor say that the reason he
doesn't give an invitation in his sermons for people to
accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and to follow him,
is because Jesus didn't give invitations! Yet 21 times
that we know about Jesus said to people, "Follow me." I
don't think you can get a clearer invitation than that.


Note, too, that Jesus not only said in his invitation
for people to follow him, but that when they did, he
would make them fishers of men. If you and I are true
followers of Jesus, we, too, have been commissioned to
be fishers of men; that is, to invite and seek to win
people to Jesus and to follow him. However, how many
who claim to be followers of Jesus today are "fishers
of men for Jesus," and share some of the gospel, but
never draw in the net by inviting people to accept
Jesus as Savior and to follow him? As followers of
Jesus it is our responsibility to inform people that,
according to the words of Jesus, to enter God's heaven,
they, like Nicodemus, must be born
again--spiritually--otherwise they will never even see
the Kingdom of Heaven, let alone enter it.2 It is also
our responsibility to invite them to accept Jesus as
their personal Savior, and in so doing receive God's
forgiveness and his gift of eternal life.

Jesus also said, "I have come to seek and to save that
which was lost."3 In all of our teaching, preaching,
and witnessing for Jesus Christ, if we make people feel
comfortable with God just because they go to church,
but never invite them to follow Jesus and to receive
his forgiveness for their sins, we are not only
teaching a false, incomplete gospel, but are
inadvertently damning people to a lost eternity. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a
true follower of Jesus and a good 'fisher of men'
[people], by introducing people to Jesus and inviting
them to accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

SPECIAL INVITATION: If you have never accepted Jesus'
invitation to follow Him and accept Him to be your Lord
and Savior and thereby receive God's gift of
forgiveness and eternal life, I would like to invite
you to do that today. For help please go to this
website today at:
http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. 

NOTE TO: To help you to be a "fisher of men/people" in
an attractive, non-offensive way, may I suggest that
you obtain and use some of the ACTS business witness
cards. These are attractively produced and encourage
the receiver to go to a Good News website to receive
articles that apply the Christian message to the needs
everyday people feel. See:
https://actscom.com/donate_wcards.php. These cards are
available for a donation to cover our printing and
postage costs.

1. Matthew 4:18-22. 
2. John 3:3, 5. 
3. Luke 19:10.

<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 01 Jan 2014, 6:01 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
I-A-D-O-M  

"Forgetting what is past ... I press on toward the
goal."1

It's an old saying but still appropriate as we commence
another New Year: "Today is the first day of the rest
of your life."

For better or worse, last year is gone forever--even
though many of its effects will live on forever.
However, we can't go back and do what we should or
could have done. And we can't undo those things we
regret having done any more than we can un-ring a bell.

But the good news is that, if we are so inclined or
determined, we can put the past behind us and accept
the New Year as a new opportunity to grow emotionally
and spiritually, to serve God and our fellow man, and
to achieve something worthwhile that will last for time
and eternity.I am encouraged because I know God has a
purpose for your life and mine this year--something to
live for that is bigger than we are that makes life
worth living.

We serve God by serving people and sometimes this task,
because of the great needs people have, can seem
overwhelming. However, God has a part for every one of
us and if we each play our part and work together, we
can get God's work done and we can each make a
difference in somebody's life and therein help make our
world a better place in which to live.

Frank McInnes wrote, "During World War II, the
munitions factory at Lithgow in Australia had as its
motto five letters: I-A-D-O-M! Large posters with these
letters printed on them were placed throughout the
factory in strategic places.

And what did I-A-D-O-M stand for? "It All Depends On
Me!"

Let's work together this year to do God's work and
share his love and good news with more of our fellow
countrymen than ever before. With God's help and a
willing spirit we can each have a very fruitful and
productive year. And remember, as Henry Van Dyke put
it: "What you possess in the world will be found at the
day of your death to belong to someone else. But what
you are will be yours forever."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I am available. Please
make me usable and use me this year to be a part of
what you are doing in the world today--the privilege
for which I am truly thankful. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Philippians 3:13.

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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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  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
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Post  Admin on Tue 31 Dec 2013, 4:29 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Priorities  

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in
and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your
treasure is, there you heart will be also."1

According to Sir Winston Churchill, "An optimist sees
an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a
calamity in every opportunity." In other words, we all
see pretty much what we want to see--often times what
is based on our priorities. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Every great and commanding
moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of
some enthusiasm." 

A Chinese proverb states, "Great souls have wills;
feeble ones have only wishes." Whether we have wills or
wishes is also based much on our priorities or lack
thereof. And Toby Montgomery reminds us that "what we
give our time, energy and resources to are what we
value most. They are our priorities." 

Or as Jesus put it, "Where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also." 

At the close of yet another year may we each examine
our priorities and make sure they are in harmony with
God’s will for the coming New Year--all year long! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know
what my God-given life purpose is and make that my
priority for the New Year. And, with your help, fulfill
this purpose for the glory of your name and for the
extension of your Kingdom. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 6:19-21 (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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter
Shooting the Saints  

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another;
be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and
humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with
insult, but with blessing, because to this you were
called so that you may inherit a blessing."1

Dr. Leslie Flynn writes about the time when the English
and French were at war in colonial Canada. "Admiral
Phipps, in charge of the British Fleet, was ordered to
anchor outside Quebec, a city on the St. Lawrence
River. He was to await the coming of the British
infantry and then join the land forces in attack.

"Arriving early, Admiral Phipps, an ardent
nonconformist, was annoyed by the statues of the saints
that adorned the roof and towers of the Catholic
cathedral. So he spent his time shooting at them with
the ships' guns. How many he hit we don't know, but
history recorded that when the infantry arrived and the
signal was given for attack, the admiral found himself
out of ammunition. He had used it for shooting out the
saints."

I often wonder in the church how much of our efforts
are poured into fighting among ourselves over
insignificant trivialities instead of uniting our
efforts to attack the real enemy, and do everything
possible to reach the lost with the saving gospel of
the Lord Jesus Christ--the only hope of our sin-sick
world.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not to
waste my time and energy and resources on trivialities
nor majoring on minors, but always to major on the
majors that are important to you. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen." 

1. 1 Peter 3:8-9, (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 Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of Prayer  

"And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have
made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you
promised, so that your name will be great forever."1

King David believed in prayer as did every man and
woman of God in the Bible. Jesus himself practiced
prayer and reminded us of its importance. Paul also
emphasized the importance of prayer as does every true
follower of Jesus.

God wants us to pray without ceasing. Why? Because he
wants us to stay connected to him and, in so doing,
have ongoing fellowship with him. He encourages us to
seek the wisdom and direction he has promised to those
who commit their way to, and put their trust in him. 

To get prayer answered we need to pray with right
motives, a thankful heart, in faith believing God
answers prayer, and with persistence.

We also need to pray with the knowledge of God's
promises--what he will and won't do. He always wants
what is best for us so it is very important to pray in
harmony with his will as found in his Word, the Bible. 

One of the many promises of God that I particularly
appreciate is also from David: "The Lord is near to all
who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He
fulfills the desires of those who revere him; he hears
their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who
love him."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, may the manner of my life,
the desires of my heart, and my prayers always be in
harmony with your will so you will do as you have
promised and grant the desires of my heart. Gratefully
in Jesus' name."

1. 2 Samuel 7:25, (NIV). 
2. Psalm 145:18-20.

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  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 5:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part II  

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."3

In yesterday's Daily Encounter we told the story about
a man named Angus McGillivray, whose example
transformed a hellhole of a World War II Japanese
prison camp into a place of caring and concern. This
transformation meant survival for many of the other
prisoners and happened because one man, Angus
McGillivray, gave his own life to save his mucker
(prison buddy/mate).

What a powerful illustration of the fact that one
person can make a difference and what can happen when
one gives his life for another. As the Bible teaches
us, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."4 And what a powerful
reminder of the One who laid down his life for you and
me--the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God--who stepped
out of the ivory palaces of heaven, laid aside his
external robes of deity, clothed himself in a garment
of human flesh, and became a man to identify himself
with us when he came to earth at that first Christmas
2,000 years ago, so he could become our Savior to die
for our sins, and as a result save us from the curse of
hell and a lost eternity.

Some people argue, if God is a God of love how could he
ever send anyone to hell? The reality is that God
doesn't send anyone to hell except Satan and his horde
of evil demons for whom hell was created. If we go to
hell it is because it is the natural consequences of
our sinfulness. We send ourselves there.

Let me illustrate. If I jump from a very high tower the
natural consequence will be that I will kill myself. It
will be the result of my trying to defy the law of
gravity, the law that holds the universe together. I
cannot break this law. If I try to, it breaks
me--physically. 

There is also a moral and spiritual law that governs
the universe just as real as the law of gravity.
Neither can this law be broken without natural
consequences. If I try to break it, it breaks
me--spiritually. According to God's Word, the Bible,
the consequences of breaking the moral/spiritual law is
death; that is, spiritual death which, following
physical death, will be eternal separation from God,
the author of all love and life--and that will be hell
in hell.5

Because we have all sinned, we are spiritually dead
and, consequently, separated from God who is a God of
holiness in whose presence no sin can ever exist or
sinner survive. However, because God is also a God of
love, he has made a way of escape for all who put their
trust in him. The answer is in tomorrow's Daily
Encounter. 

To be concluded... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are God
and not a god made with human hands or the figment of
man's imagination. Thank you, too, that you are God of
infinite holiness and perfect justice; otherwise you
would never be God. And thank you that you are also God
of infinite love in that you have made a way of escape
from the eternal punishment that your holiness and
justice demands. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part III  

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life."6

In telling the story about a man named Angus
McGillivray, whose example transformed a hellhole of a
World War II Japanese prison camp into a place of
caring and concern, we stated that because we have all
sinned, we are spiritually dead and, consequently,
separated from God who is also a God of holiness in
whose presence no sin can ever exist or sinner survive.

That was the bad news.

The good news is that, as there is a higher law than
the law of gravity--the law of aerodynamics, there is
also a higher law than the law of sin and death (which
is the result of breaking the moral law). It is the law
of the Spirit of life that God provided through his
love by giving his own Son, Jesus Christ, to come to
earth as a baby born in Bethlehem at Christmas some
2000 years ago and then, as a grown man, to die in our
place to pay the consequences of our sin and our
breaking God's moral/spiritual law.

As God's Word says, "But God demonstrates his own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ
died for us."7 Also, "For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in
him shall not perish but have eternal life."8 

Because Jesus Christ gave his life and died to pay the
just penalty for all our sins, God now offers each of
us a free pardon for all our sin and, in accepting this
pardon, we are freed from the law of sin and death. As
the Bible says, "Therefore, there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because
through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life sets
me free from the law of sin and death."9

And that's the glory of Christmas. It provides the
greatest Christmas gift anyone could ever give or ever
receive. All you need to do is to believe that Jesus is
the Son of God and that he died on the cross in your
place to pay the penalty for all your sins ... and pray
and confess your sinfulness to God, thank him for
giving his Son to die in your place, ask for his
forgiveness, and invite Jesus Christ to come into your
heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. Doing this
is your "passport into heaven," without which you can
never enter God’s Heaven of untold beauty, joy, and
love. Whatever you do, don't leave earth without it! 

For a prayer to help you, click on "God's Invitation"
at http://tinyurl.com/6k49w.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the glory of
Christmas in that you gave your Son, Jesus Christ, to
come to earth to die on the cross in my place to save
me from eternal destruction in hell so that, as long as
my trust is in you, I am freely forgiven of all my
sins, and given your gift of eternal life so that I can
live in Heaven forever with you. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen." 

1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. Taken from Holy Sweat by Tim Hansel, Word
Publication, 1987, p. 146-147.
3. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
4. John 15:13 (NIV).
5. See Romans 6:23.
6. John 3:16 (NIV).
7. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
8. John 3:16 (NIV).
9. Romans 8:1-2 (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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:17 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part I  

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends."1

In his book, Through the Valley of the Kwai, Ernest
Gordon gives a true account of life in a World War II
Japanese prison camp. The story is about a man named
Angus McGillivray, whose example transformed a hellhole
of a prison camp into a place of caring and concern.

In one camp filled with Americans, Australians, and
Britons, men who had helped build the infamous bridge
over the River Kwai, McGillivray was a Scottish
prisoner. The attitude in this camp had apparently
turned into an ugly, selfish, dog-eat-dog situation.
Fellow prisoners cheated on each other. Men had their
packs stolen right from under their heads while they
were sleeping on them. It was every man for himself.
Survival was the name of the game. As Gordon put it,
"The law of the jungle prevailed." All this took place
until the news of Angus McGillivray's death was heard
throughout the camp.

The men were astounded. McGillivray was a big, strong
man and everyone presumed he would be the last one to
die. But it wasn't his death that shocked the
prisoners, but the reason for it.

The Scottish soldiers were called Argylls and had a
buddy system that they took very seriously. Their buddy
or mate was called their "mucker" and each was
committed to the other to ensure the other's survival.
Angus's mucker became very ill and wasn't expected to
live. However, when someone stole his mucker's blanket,
Angus gave him his, saying he had found an extra one.
At mealtime Angus would take his rations and force his
mucker to eat, again saying that he had found extra.
Angus did everything he could to keep his mucker alive.


In time the mucker fully recovered. And then to
everyone's surprise Angus suddenly collapsed and died.
The doctors found that he had died from exhaustion and
starvation. 

The cause of McGillivray's death is what brought about
the transformation of the prison camp. They all knew
the reason behind his death. Because of Angus's
example, the men began to be concerned for their mates
and became less self-centered and more caring and
sharing. They decided to get together and use their
talents to help each other. "One was a violin maker,
another an orchestra leader, another a cabinet maker,
another a professor. Soon the camp had an orchestra
full of homemade instruments and a church called the
'Church Without Walls' that was so powerful, so
compelling, that even the Japanese guards attended. The
men began a university, a hospital and a library
system."2

To be continued... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the power of
love in that it can change lives like nothing else ever
can, and thank you that love is a gift from you. Please
use my life as a channel of your love so that my life
and the life of others will be changed. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III. 

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.


  Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part II  

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."3

In yesterday's Daily Encounter we told the story about
a man named Angus McGillivray, whose example
transformed a hellhole of a World War II Japanese
prison camp into a place of caring and concern. This
transformation meant survival for many of the other
prisoners and happened because one man, Angus
McGillivray, gave his own life to save his mucker
(prison buddy/mate).

What a powerful illustration of the fact that one
person can make a difference and what can happen when
one gives his life for another. As the Bible teaches
us, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."4 And what a powerful
reminder of the One who laid down his life for you and
me--the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God--who stepped
out of the ivory palaces of heaven, laid aside his
external robes of deity, clothed himself in a garment
of human flesh, and became a man to identify himself
with us when he came to earth at that first Christmas
2,000 years ago, so he could become our Savior to die
for our sins, and as a result save us from the curse of
hell and a lost eternity.

Some people argue, if God is a God of love how could he
ever send anyone to hell? The reality is that God
doesn't send anyone to hell except Satan and his horde
of evil demons for whom hell was created. If we go to
hell it is because it is the natural consequences of
our sinfulness. We send ourselves there.

Let me illustrate. If I jump from a very high tower the
natural consequence will be that I will kill myself. It
will be the result of my trying to defy the law of
gravity, the law that holds the universe together. I
cannot break this law. If I try to, it breaks
me--physically. 

There is also a moral and spiritual law that governs
the universe just as real as the law of gravity.
Neither can this law be broken without natural
consequences. If I try to break it, it breaks
me--spiritually. According to God's Word, the Bible,
the consequences of breaking the moral/spiritual law is
death; that is, spiritual death which, following
physical death, will be eternal separation from God,
the author of all love and life--and that will be hell
in hell.5

Because we have all sinned, we are spiritually dead
and, consequently, separated from God who is a God of
holiness in whose presence no sin can ever exist or
sinner survive. However, because God is also a God of
love, he has made a way of escape for all who put their
trust in him. The answer is in tomorrow's Daily
Encounter. 

To be concluded... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are God
and not a god made with human hands or the figment of
man's imagination. Thank you, too, that you are God of
infinite holiness and perfect justice; otherwise you
would never be God. And thank you that you are also God
of infinite love in that you have made a way of escape
from the eternal punishment that your holiness and
justice demands. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Dec 2013, 10:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Heartprints

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's
glory, are being transformed into his likeness with
ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who
is the Spirit."1

"Whatever our hands touch... we leave fingerprints. On
walls, on furniture, on door knobs, dishes and books.
As we touch we leave our identity.

"Oh [God] please wherever I go today... help me leave
heartprints--heartprints of compassion, understanding
and love. Heartprints of kindness and genuine concern.

"May my heart touch a lonely neighbor, or a runaway
daughter, or an anxious mother, or perhaps a dear
friend!

"I shall go out today to leave heartprints, and if some
one should say, 'I felt your touch,' may that sense be
your loving touch through me!"2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me today and
every day so that my life will reflect your likeness so
that the people I rub shoulders with will see your love
shining through me so that I will leave heartprints
from you on them. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
2. Author Unknown.

<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 19 Dec 2013, 9:28 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Resolving Relational Conflict

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who
call on him in truth."1

According to twenty years of research from the
University of Colorado, the number one cause of
marriage breakdown is the inability to manage conflict
creatively.

For example, Jim's first marriage failed and he is now
on his second marriage. Almost immediately after the
honeymoon was over, problems began to surface. By the
end of the second year Jim and Sharon were in major
conflict.

Their problem isn't their fighting. That's just a
symptom of their unresolved personal issues.
Unfortunately, while Sharon knows she has a problem,
Jim doesn't think he has any. In his mind the conflict
is all Sharon's fault.

True, Sharon had an abandoning father and feels very
threatened whenever Jim even goes to lunch with a male
friend. Her fear of abandonment gets triggered, which
causes her to cling to Jim. However, she admits she is
overreacting and is going to counseling to help resolve
her problem.

On the other hand, Jim had a smother-mother and,
whenever he feels Sharon is clinging to him, he
overreacts too, gets angry and blames Sharon for his
overreaction. The impasse or deadlock is that Jim won't
admit that he, too, has a problem. Consequently, he
won’t go for help.

So what hope do they have? Almost none unless both are
willing to take ownership of what they are contributing
to their conflict.

However, if both are willing to be honest with
themselves before God, get down on their knees together
and ask God to show them what they are each
contributing to the conflict they are in, take full
responsibility for their part, and ask God to help them
find the help they need, then there is great hope for
both personal growth and resolution.

As God's Word says, "The Lord is near to all who call
on him, to all who call on him in truth."

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, whenever I am in a
conflict situation, please help me to see my character
weaknesses so that I can bring these to you for your
healing, and lead me to the help I need to overcome
these issues. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 145:18 (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) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Dec 2013, 5:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Counterfeit Love of Codependency

"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue
him, you will have to do it again."1

Codependency comes in many forms. One aspect is doing
for others what they should and need to do for
themselves. It may make the other person feel good for
the moment, and us important, but it keeps them
over-dependent on us. This kind of a relationship is
extremely unhealthy.

Another aspect of codependency is rescuing people from
the logical consequences of their negative behavior.
This, too, keeps them immature and over-dependent on
us. Furthermore, as long as we're covering for them,
why do they need to take care of themselves, resolve
their problems and recover? They don't. As Solomon
indicated, if we keep rescuing someone from their
problems, we'll have to keep doing it.

For every alcoholic (or other addict), who is already
over-dependent on his alcohol, they say there are four
codependent enablers supporting him and his addiction.
As long as they keep doing this, he never sees his need
to get better.

If he refuses to acknowledge his problem, get into a
recovery program, and resolve his problem, there comes
a time when those who are enabling him need to say
enough is enough! They need to exercise tough love,
quit protecting him or her, get out of the way and let
him crash! This is the most loving thing they can do
after they have tried every other avenue of tough love
and found that none of it has worked.

The bottom line of codependency is that need is
mistaken for love. The codependent needs to feel needed
in order to feel loved. But it's not love. It's need.
It may look like love and it may look very Christian,
but it's neither. Furthermore, the codependent person
wants to fix others to avoid facing his own issues. He
is addicted to the addict and is doing what he is doing
for himself. Always! His motive is awry.

Besides, when we allow people to stay over-dependent on
us, they never learn to become self-reliant, mature, or
dependent on God.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know what my
motives are when I am helping others and not be a
people-fixer in order to avoid facing my own unresolved
issues, nor to confuse need with love. Help me to
accept full responsibility for my issues and quit
trying to rescue others who need to face their issues.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 19:19 (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:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

When You're Feeling Down

"My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according
to Your word."1 -- King David

It can be hard to believe that King David, the greatest
king in Israel's long history, with all his power,
riches and fame, at times felt downcast and depressed.
Many, if not most of us, at one time or another go
through times of depression. The causes can be varied
and many, all the way from the loss of one's job, the
loss of a loved one, the loss of one's home, the loss
of health, by a debilitating accident, or any of a
number of losses or negative circumstances. For most of
these situations the depression will give way to
sunshine as long as one learns how to deal creatively
with his or her emotions at these times, and not bury
or deny them. Repressed negative emotions can and do
cause havoc with one's life, feelings, physical health
and relationships. As John Powell reminds, when we
repress our emotions, our stomach keeps score.

However if the depression is long-term, it can be
caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Such
depression is nature's way of telling us that something
is wrong and needs help to overcome and resolve. For
instance, if we have stomach pains we need to see a
good doctor; if toothache, we need to see a dentist.
It's the same with long-term depression, we need to see
a highly qualified counselor. We don't feel it's wrong
or unchristian to see a medical doctor or a dentist
when such is called for, so it's important that we
learn to realize that it is also acceptable when there
is a need to see a counselor. It can be very unkind of
an insensitive Christian to tell a depressed person
that all he or she needs is to trust God more, or have
more faith, or even worse, to blame it on a demon (and
I've seen all of these done).

If you, or a loved one, is struggling with depression,
pray first that God will help you find the help you
need--preferable from a professional Christian
counselor, if any are available in your local area
(talk to your family doctor or to your pastor or priest
for the name of a qualified Christian counselor in your
area). Or if you live in North America, you could call
the Narramore Christian Foundation at 1-800-477-5893
and press "1" for Dianne and she can quite possibly
give you the name of a skilled Christian counselor or
two in your area. The important thing is to do
something about your need today. Putting it off rarely,
if ever, resolves such depression.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I have a problem,
be it physical, relational, emotional, or spiritual,
please give me the courage to share my problem with a
safe and trusted friend who will pray for and with me
for the help I need to overcome my problem. And if it
is a loved one or friend who suffers from depression,
please help me to be 'as Jesus' to him or her and
lovingly share with them their need to seek
professional and qualified help. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Psalm 119:28 (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) 2013 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Dec 2013, 9:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Life Can Be Beautiful

"And we know that all things work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose."1

A friend wrote about holding her breath when she saw a
lady come sailing out of a local shopping center in a
wheelchair. "She was as happy and joyful as any mother
I had ever seen," my friend said.

In this handicapped mother's lap sat her little boy. He
laughed out loud as his mother did a fancy spin in her
wheelchair. Round and round they went, laughing with
delight as they disappeared into the crowd.

I realize that there are many tragic situations in this
life, as we live in a world that has been broken by
mankind's fall into sin, and all of life's "curses"
will not be put away until Jesus Christ returns for all
those who have put their faith and trust in him, and
accepted him as their Savior and Lord.

In the meantime, however, in thinking about the
handicapped women in the wheelchair, in so many of
life's situations, life can become beautiful for many
who have major setbacks in their life when they daily
commit and trust their life to Jesus Christ, and in
their mind and thinking choose to make the very best
with what they have, in spite of what they don't have.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the promise
in your Word that assures me that 'all things' do work
together for good for those who love you and who are
called according to your purpose. Please take my life
and make something beautiful out of it all for the
glory of your name, and please help me to love you with
all my heart, mind and strength. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Romans 8:28 (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.

* * * * * * *

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When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Sat 14 Dec 2013, 12:53 am

Today's Daily Encounter

More on Anger

"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge.
Don't let the sun go down with you still angry--get
over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a
mighty foothold to the devil."1

What do you do when you get mad? Do you explode and
"blow your top"--or try to hide how you are truly
feeling? Do you deny being angry altogether, or just
say you are upset, or do you go quiet and withdraw, or
act in a phony saccharine sweet manner? Or do you
handle your anger in a healthy and creative way?

Anger, for many of us, isn't easy to handle, but when
we deny it, try to hide it, or repress it, it comes out
in many self-destructive ways such as a negative and
critical attitude, nagging, sarcasm, personal or
marriage conflicts, or many physical symptoms such as
ulcers, asthma, arthritis, heart ailments or any of a
score of others.

There is nothing of itself wrong with anger. It is a
God-given legitimate and needed emotion. For instance,
we ought to get angry at evil and at actions that
destroy people. Recall how Jesus dealt with the money
changers who misused God's temple. He drove them out
with a whip.2 It's what we do with our anger and how we
handle it that counts. It isn't helpful or right to
lash out and hurt others. Neither is it helpful or
right to nurse our anger (grudges). As today's
Scripture reminds us, it is important that we resolve
anger (and all negative emotions) as quickly as
possible.

To handle anger creatively--that's the key. For help be
sure to read the article, "Taming Your Anger" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=61&d=1&c=5&p=1.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
created me with many emotions all of which are needed
for healthy and creative living. Whenever I am hurt or
angry, deliver me from the sin of denial, and please
help me to be honest about my feelings, admit what I am
truly feeling, and learn how to handle them in a
creative, loving and healthy manner all for your glory.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB) (NIV).
2. John 2:15.

<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 12 Dec 2013, 9:05 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
How's Your Self-Concept?

"From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is
with those who fear [reverence] him, and his
righteousness with their children's children."1

If I were to give you nine compliments and one
criticism, chances are that that one criticism would
affect you much more than the nine compliments I gave
you. This is because most of us don't have a perfect
self-image. If we did, criticisms would rarely bother
or upset us.

Psychologist Dorothy Briggs wisely pointed out that the
way we feel about ourselves affects our entire life:
our happiness, marriage, work, personal relationships,
creativity and stability.

In other words one's self-concept is the mainspring
that steers every child and every person to success or
failure as a human being. A healthy self-concept and
self-image is therefore one of the greatest gifts we
can find for ourselves and pass on to our children.

The self-concept is basically comprised of three parts:
(1) The self-image; that is, how we picture or see
ourselves; (2) Self-esteem which is how we feel about
ourselves; and (3) Self-worth, that is, how much we
value ourselves. All of these add up to one's level of
self-acceptance, which is how well we love and accept
ourselves in a healthy way. Unfortunately, as long as
we don't love and accept ourselves, it is very
difficult to believe and feel that anyone else loves
and accepts us.

God's design for each of us was to learn self-love and
acceptance when growing up through unconditional love
from our parents. However, if we didn't receive this
then, it is essential that we receive it now. And how
do we do this? First, realize that we can only ever
feel fully loved and accepted to the degree that we are
known. Second, we thus need a loving, safe, and trusted
person, group, or counselor with whom we can be totally
open and honest confessing all of our weaknesses,
failures and sins--as well as our strengths--and be
known, loved and accepted for whom we truly are. Third,
through such supportive friends and their unconditional
love and acceptance, little by little, we learn to love
and accept ourselves in a healthy and non-conceited
way.

Finally, we also need to learn to love and accept
ourselves in the same way that God loves us. He knows
us fully and, no matter what we have ever done or
failed to do, He loves us unconditionally as we are. At
the same time, however, he loves us too much to leave
us as we are, because His plan for each of us is that
we grow to become whole and mature in every area of
life.

To know and experience God's love, we first need to
accept His forgiveness and be sure that we are a true
Christian. For help to do this, see the article, "How
to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know and
experience your unconditional love, and through your
love and that of supportive and trusted friends, learn
to love and accept myself in a healthy way. And please
use me to be a safe and trusted supportive friend to
others who also need to experience your love and
develop a healthy self-concept … all for your glory.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 103:17 (NIV).

Note: For further help see the article, "Developing a
Healthy Self-Image" at:
http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=123&d=1&c=5&p=1.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 8:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for
all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace
will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ
Jesus."1

Imagine yourself in a wide-open field being chased by a
tiger. Your brain gets the message and your adrenal
gland starts pumping furiously, preparing you for
instant flight. You run for your life. While you are
breaking the world record for five hundred meters, you
burn up all that excess adrenalin.

But what happens if you're living all the time in a
state of fear, worry, or anxiety? You become stressed
out. This upsets the chemical balance in your body
which, in turn, eventually causes you to pay for it
through some kind of sickness or a physical breakdown.
Stress is a killer. We need to learn how to keep it
under control. To do this the following five "positive
don'ts" will help:

1. Don't ignore your well-being. Discipline yourself to
live a well-balanced life. Be sure to see the "Balanced
Life" wheel and article at:
http://www.actsweb.org/balanced.php.

2. Don't bottle up (repress) your feelings. Learn how
to share them with a trusted friend. And remember when
it comes to negative emotions, what we fail to talk out
creatively, we end up acting out destructively in one
way or another.

3. Don't ignore your physical health. Follow a healthy
and well-balanced diet, and be sure to get plenty of
vigorous physical exercise which, among many other
benefits, helps burn up excess adrenalin.

4. Don't ignore your social needs. We were created to
be in relationships with others. Remember, too, when
Jesus was on earth, almost all of his ministry was in
relationship with the twelve disciples. And with three
of these, Peter, James and John, he had a close
relationship, as he did with his friends, Mary and
Martha.

5. Don't ignore your spiritual life. Learn to trust God
with every area of your life, and live in harmony with
God's will and follow Christ's example: "And Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
and man."2 That is, when on earth Jesus developed
intellectually, physically, spiritually, and
emotionally. A very healthy example and model to
follow.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to trust my
life and way to you every day, and be sure to get all
of my legitimate needs met in healthy ways, so that I
will always resolve every problem in my life, and
experience your peace no matter in what circumstances I
find myself. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. Luke 2:52 (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) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.


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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Dec 2013, 11:47 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Family Communications

"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in
every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of
his body, the church."1

A friend shared with me saying, "My husband is a good
man in many ways. He's given me everything a woman
would want: a lovely home, a good car, everything to
make my life comfortable, plus freedom to do my own
thing."

"You must be really happy then," I said.

"You'd think so," she replied, "but I'm not. I feel
that Bill has given me everything but himself. I know
that he loves me, but when I try to share my feelings
with him, he clams up or changes the subject. So how
can I tell him how I feel without making him feel
threatened? I just wish that we could really talk."

We men need to realize that closeness and intimacy come
from being open and honest, not just with our thoughts,
but primarily with our inner self; that is, our
emotions/feelings, and open in communicating at this
level. So how do we learn to do this?

First, we need to learn how to get in touch with and be
connected to our feelings--our inner self--and stop
hiding our real self behind defenses such as being a
workaholic, a talk-aholic, an intellectual-aholic, or
even a religious-aholic, or a perfectionist, and so on.
To be close, not only to people, but also to God, it is
imperative that we are connected to our inner self. As
God's Word states, "Behold, You [God] desire truth in
the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make
me to know wisdom."2

Second, we need to bring back the wonder that we had as
a small child--one of life's richest emotions. To do
this, take time to smell the roses. Plant a tree. Pick
a flower. Take it to your loved one. Write a poem.
Listen to music that touches your heart. Draw or paint
a picture with your non-dominant hand (it doesn't even
have to be good). Climb a mountain. Let your hair down.
Do something a little crazy. Get out of your comfort
zone. Have fun. Go see a funny movie. Laugh. Go see a
sad movie. Cry. The tragedy is that if we are out of
touch with our wonder, we are most likely, instead of
loving people and using things, to end up unhappily
loving things and using people.

Third, take time to be with your spouse and children or
close friends. Hug them often. Tell them that you love
them. Take time to talk and even more time to listen to
them. Encourage them to tell you what they are feeling.
Listen with your heart. Give them your presence; that
is, your full attention. And please, as another has
said, don't be cursed with the affliction to give
advice when your spouse (or anyone else) is sharing
her/his feelings with you! Giving advice where it is
neither asked for nor wanted is being what Webster's
Dictionary calls "officious." It's also being
obnoxious!

Fourth, join a good therapy, support, or twelve-step
recovery group where it is safe to share your struggles
and express your feelings without being criticized or
put down, or given unsolicited advice. This is an
excellent way to learn by others' example and by
practicing it yourself.

Fifth, if you feel closed down, you may need to get
into counseling. Sharing feelings is something that is
learned. If it weren't learned in childhood, it needs
to be learned now. We all need teachers for this.

Finally, pray a prayer such as the following: "Dear
God, please help me to see and accept the inner-truth
about--and be connected to--my true inner self. And
please help me to learn how to communicate openly and
honestly with my loved ones and to close friends, and
always 'speak the truth in love' so that I will become
more and more like Christ in every way. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT).
2. Psalm 51:6 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

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When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 8:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Healing of Damaged Emotions  

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for
each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a
righteous person is powerful and effective."1

Dr. S. McMillen told of a patient of his who had an
asthma attack whenever he heard a church bell ring. Why
was this?

"Several years before, while waiting for his bride to
arrive at the church, just as the church bell was
ringing, he heard that his fiancée had changed her
mind. The emotional shock brought on a severe attack of
asthma.

"In the years that followed, every time he heard a
church bell, he was seized with an asthma attack."

This is just one of endless ways in which painful
memories can cause sickness, emotional problems,
negative reactions, or broken relationships for which
inner healing of damaged emotions is needed.

Speaking personally, when I was only five years old, my
little sister took sick suddenly and died. I'm sure
people meant well and tried to comfort me in my loss by
telling me that Jesus took her to be with him in
Heaven. Unfortunately that didn't comfort me because
for many, many years every time I said the name of
Jesus my stomach would cringe. I could say Jesus
Christ, or just Christ, but I couldn't say Jesus
without over-reacting. And, as a small child, this also
left me with a deep fear of getting into close
relationships because I feared if I loved someone, they
would leave me.

So how did I overcome? I wish I could give you a
quick-fix-simple answer, but I can't. 

First, I needed to acknowledge my problem and learn why
I couldn't say the name of Jesus without cringing, and
also why I was so afraid to love. The biggest challenge
was breaking through my defenses, because my fear and
damaged emotions were deeply buried. Second, I prayed
earnestly that God would face me with the truth of what
was the root cause/s of my fear. Third, I also prayed
that God would lead me to the therapy help I needed
because I knew that if I didn't resolve my fear, I
would keep running from love for the rest of my life.
Consequently, I did need a considerable amount of
in-depth therapy to resolve and overcome my damaged
emotions. However, while breaking through my defenses
was very painful, it was well worth it and very
freeing. 

Finally, and most important of all, I had to genuinely
want to be healed and be willing to do everything I
needed to do in order to be healed. As Jesus said to
the sick man, "Do you want to be made well?"2 The fact
is, the half-hearted are never willing to pay the price
for healing and never make it. We have to want healing
with all of our heart. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all of life's struggles
please confront me with the truth of what I am in any
way contributing to the situations I am in, knowing
that facing the truth is the beginning point of being
healed and set free.3 Thank you, too, for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 5:16  (NIV).
2. John 5:6 (NIV).
3. John 8:32.

For additional help, read the article, "Overcoming
Damaged Emotions" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=72&d=1&c=4&p=1,
also "Forgiveness, the Power That Heals," online at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=1&d=1&c=4&p=1. 

I also encourage you to listen to the CD message,
"Healing, Wholeness and Happiness," by yours truly.
This can be purchased online at:
http://actscom.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16.
Also read the book, "You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing"
at:
http://actscom.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=14.

For counseling resources see:
www.actsweb.org/counseling_resources.php.

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:25 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Godspell: God’s Good News, Part 2  

Yesterday we noted that the gospel, God’s good news, is
not a message about religion but, first of all, it is a
message about God. Second, it is a message about
mankind’s weakness; that is, his sin. 

Third, the gospel is a message about Jesus Christ. God
is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God
of perfect justice. Because of this, all sin has to be
judged, and as God’s Word says, “The wages [penalty] of
sin is death,"5 which, as already noted, is not the
cessation of one's existence, but eternal separation
from a holy God, the creator and author of all love and
life, in the place the Bible calls “hell." The reality
is that if God didn’t judge sin--all sin--he wouldn’t
be just, and he wouldn’t be a holy God.

Mercifully for us, the gospel is not only about God
being a God of absolute holiness and perfect justice,
but also about God being a God of infinite love.
Because of God's infinite love for us, he gave his own
Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty (wages of sin),
which is death, and he did this for every one of us. 

To do this, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
temporarily laid aside his “external garments" as it
were, and came to earth in the form of a man, and
willingly died in our place on the cross of Calvary to
pay the penalty for all our sins. Furthermore, because
Jesus was without sin, he was the only one qualified to
die to pay the penalty for mankind’s sins. Had there
been any other way to save mankind, Jesus would not
have had to die for us. 

Fourth (and finally), the gospel is a summons to faith
and repentance. The really good news is that God's gift
of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who
will accept it. Here's how to do this:We need to
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he
died in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"6
declares the Word of God. 

We need to confess our sins to God and ask for his
forgiveness. God's Word also says, "If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."7

We need to repent. That is, we need to turn from sinful
and selfish ways to follow God and his ways. Jesus
said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe
the good news."8 That is, we need to turn from sinful
and selfish ways and make a commitment of the will,
with God's help, to follow God and his ways.

We need to receive Jesus as our Savior. God's Word
says, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become
children of God."9 God's Word also said, "That if you
confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you
will be saved. For it is with your heart that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth
that you confess and are saved."1

Admitting and confessing your sins, believing that
Jesus died to pay the just penalty for all your sins,
inviting Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord
and Savior, accepting God's forgiveness, and turning
from sinful ways to live God's way is what makes you a
real Christian. This is what Godspell--God's good news
is all about! 

Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door [of your
heart and life] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and
opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he
with me."11

If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and
life, asked for God's forgiveness, and made a
commitment of your life to him, I would like to give
you that opportunity today. The following prayer will
help you to do this: 

"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry
for all the sins and wrongs that I have done. I believe
that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay
the penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for all my
sins. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and
life to be my Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my
life and will to you. Please give me the desire to be
what you want me to be, and to do what you want me to
do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free
pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name,
Amen."

If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, please
let us know by filling in the form at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php. (Be assured that
we have a strict privacy policy and will never give any
of your information to anyone.) Or for further help
read "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Romans 1:16 (NIV).  2. John 3:16 (NIV).  3. John
10:10 (TLB).  4. Romans 3:23.  5. Romans 6:23.  6. Acts
16:31 (NIV).  7. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).  8. Mark 1:15 (NIV).
 9. John 1:12 (NIV).   10. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV). 11.
Revelation 3:20 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
  
Today's Daily Encounter
Winning over Temptation  

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is
weak."1

Temptation! A very common problem for all mankind and
is something we all struggle with at one time or
another--and perhaps will always struggle with it in
this life. As God's Word reminds us, "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."2
Furthermore, "But each person is tempted when they are
dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to
sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to
death."3

So the question we ask today is, "How can we win over
temptation?"

First, at the beginning of every day pray this prayer
with sincerity: "Dear God, again today I commit and
trust my life and way to you, please help me to become
the person you want me to be, and help me live today to
glorify you in everything I do." 

Second, avoid going to places where you know very well
you will most likely face temptation.

Third, temptation gets ahold of us in our thoughts.
Realize that what the mind dwells on the body acts on,
so guard your thinking. My number one defense for
changing my thinking, when facing temptation, is to
keep repeating the following statement: "Jesus Christ
is Lord. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and
is Lord of my life." As long as I concentrate my
thoughts on Jesus Christ as being Lord of my life,
shortly my thinking changes and the temptation
dissipates.

Furthermore, Satan and his demons hate hearing the
statement that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he is the
Son of the Living God. 
As God's Word advises, "Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable--if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy--think about such things."4

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I confess that my flesh is
weak so please help me to remember when I face
temptation, that no matter what the temptation is, you
always provide a way of escape so that I won't be
overcome. Help me to remember at such times to confirm
in my thoughts and words that 'Jesus Christ is Lord and
is Lord of my life," and in so doing, with your help,
overcome any and all temptations. Thank you for
providing this way of escape and for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 26:41 (NIV).
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV).
3. James 1:13-15 (NIV).
4. Philippians 4:8 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
 
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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