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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Mar 2013, 5:45 pm


Today's Daily Encounter
Affluenza
"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

On one occasion we had a speaker at our church who
conducted a class for parents to help protect them from
becoming infected with "affluenza." The idea being that
we and our kids can get so caught up in the world of
materialistic affluence that we miss the real meaning
of life.

I believe that one of the main reasons we are so
materialistic here in the West is because we are so
emotionally repressed. Emotions are God-given. They add
beauty and interest to life. When they are repressed
and denied, life can be deadly dull and empty.

Furthermore, when we bury emotions, we tend to settle
for counterfeit experiences and the feelings they
produce. For instance, when the emotion of love is
repressed, there is a tendency to substitute lust which
can look like love and feel like love--but it isn't
love and a damaging substitute at that--and leaves one
more empty, lonely, and unsatisfied.

Also, consider the emotion of wonder--the emotion that
puts sparkle into life and moves us deeply when a baby
wraps its tiny hand around just one of our fingers and
in so doing touches our very heart. When wonder is
repressed, we become "characteristically bored with
life," and tend to turn to materialism in a vain
attempt to fill the empty void in our heart. And
instead of loving people and using things, we end up
unhappily loving things and using people.

So if we want to avoid the problem of "affluenza" and
the blight of empty materialism and learn to fully live
and fully love, it is essential that we get in touch
with and connected to all of our God-given emotions.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the
blight of materialism which can easily become the
driving force in my life. Help me to get in touch with
all of my God-given emotions and use them in the manner
and ways you designed them to be used so that I will
learn to fully live and fully love. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Mar 2013, 5:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Satan: Alive and Well

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your
great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion,
looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand
against him, and be strong in your faith."1

"In a National Geographic article about the Portia
spider, author Robert Jackson detailed the various ways
it deceives its prey. Sitting still, the spider looks
like a piece of dried leaf or foliage until a meal
walks by. It also will crawl onto another spider's web
and tap the threads, mimicking the actions of a trapped
insect. When the host spider appears, the Portia
devours it. Deception is the Portia's primary tool.

"Satan is like the Portia spider in that deception is
his weapon of choice. He does whatever he can to
counterfeit the words of God--to make the unwary and
naïve think that God is present and speaking when in
fact He is not. The apostle Paul wrote about Satan
masquerading as an 'angel of light' and about his
agents acting like 'servants of righteousness.' The
book of Revelation says a day is coming when the
satanic Antichrist and False Prophet will deceive most
of the world. Only those who know the Word of God will
be prepared and protected. Know the truth--don't be
deceived by a counterfeiter like Satan.

"The more you get to know the truth--and the One who is
Truth--the easier it will be to spot deception when it
appears."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a love for
your Word and a desire to know and understand your
truth so I will never be led astray by the evil one or
deceived by his devices. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT).
2. "Turning Point Daily Devotional," 9-23-05. Cited on
Preaching Now, http://www.preaching.com/newsletter.

<Smile)))><
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When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Today's Daily Encounter
Boundaries vs Walls
"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue
him, you will have to do it again."1

A father who is having a conflict with a family member
wanted to know the difference between barriers and
walls.

In relationships we all need healthy boundaries (not
barriers, which are the same as walls) to shut the bad
out and let the good in. That is, we need boundaries to
protect ourselves from hurtful people and to stop
people using and taking advantage of us--and to stop
our rescuing irresponsible people. We also need
boundaries to keep our own bad in--in order to stop us
controlling, hurting, and/or misusing others.

If someone is abusing or hurting me, I need to let
him/her firmly but lovingly know that I will not accept
their behavior. And, if they continue acting in a
hurtful way, I will need to distance myself from them.
However, at any point should they desire to meet in a
kind and loving way, my door will always be open to
them.

Boundaries are thus to strengthen our "no" muscle.
People who can't say "no" to others have either weak or
no boundaries. And people who won't take "no" for an
answer are boundary busters. These people remind me of
a country-western song where the lady being pursued is
having a problem with a would-be suitor in whom she has
no interest. She asks, "What part of 'no' don't you
understand … I'd be glad to explain…."

On the other hand, walls put up insurmountable barriers
and shut everybody out. People who build walls around
their heart have been hurt in the past and, being
afraid of getting hurt again, shut out everybody. You
simply can't get close to this type of person.
Consequently they have no close relationships and
suffer from an inner loneliness and love deprivation.
This is a very unhealthy way to live.

Jesus set boundaries against the religious Pharisees
and those who tried to get rid of him before his time
was ready. He also set boundaries against the money
changers and those who abused God's house in the temple
in Jerusalem. Meekness is not weakness and we, as
Christians, need to set boundaries against abusive
people and all evil. It is neither loving nor Christian
to allow people to misuse us, walk over us, or abuse
us--nor for us to do the same to others.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to develop
healthy boundaries and learn to lovingly say 'no' when
such is called for. And help me never to be a boundary
buster who fails to recognize other people's
boundaries. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 19:19 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Mar 2013, 11:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Donkey With Green Glasses

Jesus said, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in
your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in
your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me
take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time
there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first
take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will
see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's
eye."1

"In the middle of Parable Land lived a donkey of
medium age. He looked like a donkey … acted like a
donkey … and sounded like a donkey. The unusual thing
about him was that he wore a pair of bright green
glasses, which he found while grazing, and thought they
suited him very well. His behavior was very normal,
except for when he met one of the other animals. The
reaction was alarming; he went into a state of sheer
panic and demanded they seek urgent medical help.

"Faced with such alarm, they usually did and always
received a clean bill of health. It seemed that the
trouble was those sunglasses. Everyone who was seen by
the donkey looked very sick indeed."2

In a similar way we all wear tinted lenses that have
been formed and shaped by past experiences that cause
us to see things "not the way they are but the way we
are."

For example, if a person has been hurt in the past and
has a poor self-concept, he will have distorted lenses
that will negate other people's words. If someone gives
him a genuine compliment, he may misconstrue this and
see it as a form of manipulation. If a woman, when a
child, had an abusive father, she will tend to view all
other men through the same lenses she saw her father.
Or if a man, when a child, had a controlling or smother
mother, he will tend to view all other women through
the same lenses he viewed his mother. Counselors and
communicators call this "selective distortion."

What we need to do is to look into a "relational
mirror" so we can see the colored lenses we are wearing
and the distorted view of life and of others that we
have. This takes great courage and can be rather
threatening. However, if we truly want to overcome "the
donkey with green glasses syndrome," we can. Here's
how:

1. Look at your overreactions, for whenever we are
overreacting to a given situation, we are seeing things
through colored lenses and are reacting on the basis of
unresolved past issues.

2. Find a trusted, non-critical friend whom you can ask
to point out to you whenever you are overreacting and
are seeing things through past negative experiences.
3. Ask God to face you with the truth about yourself,
and help you to see your colored lenses, and,

4. If necessary, see a wise, understanding and
well-trained counselor to help you see your colored
lenses and work through and resolve past hurtful and
frightening experiences.

If we do this, our relationships and all of life will
improve dramatically!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see any
colored lenses that are distorting the events in my
life and hurting my relationships, and to find the help
I need to clear my vision so that I will see all
situations as they truly are. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. Jeff Daly, Encounter magazine (ACTS Australia),
Issue No 4, 2005.
2. Matthew 7:3-5 (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) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Mar 2013, 4:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Standing on His Shoulders

A word from God's Word: "Very rarely will anyone die
for a righteous man, though for a good man someone
might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his
own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."1

"I read about a river town where sand was continually
being dredged from the river bed and left in high piles
by the river bank. This was a place where boys loved to
play. Often times the sand piles, though dry on the top
were still waterlogged beneath the sunbaked crusted
surface.

"Some years ago two boys were late home for dinner so
their parents went looking for them. When they found
their bicycles outside the fence where the sand piles
were banked high, they called for the boys, but no
answer came. The family and other rescuers searched
frantically in and around the sand piles and eventually
found one of the boys buried up to his neck. He was
barely alive when they found him and they dug furiously
to rescue him. When he was freed from the waist up, and
able to breathe properly, his panic-stricken parents
and rescuers asked, 'Where's your brother? Where's your
brother?'

"'I'm standing on his shoulders,' the boy said.

"One loving brother gave his life so his brother could
live."2

And that's exactly what Jesus Christ did for you and
me. We were spiritually lost and destined for a lost
eternity without God and without hope. But because of
his great love for us, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living
God, came to earth and gave his life to die in our
place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we could
be freely forgiven and receive God's gift of eternal
life.

Have you thanked God for giving his Son as a sacrifice
for your sins, and have you thanked Jesus for dying in
your place to pay the penalty for all your sins. If
not, please do that today.

Note: For further help click on the link below to "How
to Know God and be sure you're a real Christian without
having to be religious."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for giving your
Son, Jesus, to die in my place on the cross to save me
from eternal damnation. And thank you Jesus for dying
for me, and because of your sacrifice for me, I offer
my life to you as a living sacrifice to live for you
all the days of my life. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Click on www.actsweb.org/christian for the article:
"How to know God and be sure you're a real Christian."

1. Romans 5:7-8 (NIV).
2. Adapted from a story heard on a Campus Crusade for
Christ broadcast.

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 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 07 Mar 2013, 11:39 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
What's Your Purpose in Life?

The Apostle Paul wrote: "I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now
there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me
on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who
have longed for his appearing."1

"Josh McDowell tells about an executive 'headhunter'
who recruits corporate executives for large firms. This
headhunter once told McDowell that when he interviews
an executive, he likes to disarm him. 'I offer him a
drink,' said the headhunter, 'take off my coat, undo my
tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball,
football, family, whatever, until he's all relaxed.
Then, when I think I've got him relaxed, I lean over,
look him square in the eye and say, "What's your
purpose in life?" It's amazing how top executives fall
apart at that question.'

"Then he told about interviewing one fellow recently.
He had him all disarmed, had his feet up on his desk,
talking about football. Then the headhunter leaned over
and said, 'What's your purpose in life, Bob?' And the
executive said, without blinking an eye, 'To go to
heaven and take as many people with me as I can.'

"'For the first time in my career,' said the
headhunter, 'I was speechless.'"2

I've asked this same question to scores of people over
the years in seminars I have led. Just about everybody
believes God has a God-given life purpose for them, but
when I ask them what it is, very few have the slightest
idea what it might be. They have never carefully
thought through it and written it down.

If we want to die well, we need to live well, and if we
are to live well, it is imperative that we know what
our God-given life purpose is and with God's help give
it our best shot.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to discern
my God-given life purpose so that I know exactly what
it is. And please help to fulfill this purpose so when
I come to the end of my life's journey, I will know
that I have not lived in vain. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV).
2. Dr. Gary Nicolosi, "Preparing for the End Time,"
sermon, www.stbartschurch.org

<Smile)))><

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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Mar 2013, 7:29 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Perspective and Persistence

The Apostle Paul said: "I have worked much harder, been
in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely,
and been exposed to death again and again."1

Speaking to Thomas Edison, before Edison discovered how
to make an electric light bulb work, a young journalist
asked, "How come you keep trying to make an electric
light when you have failed so many times. Don't you
know that gas lights are with us to stay?"

"Young man," Edison said, "I have not failed but
successfully discovered 6,000 ways that won't work!"

If anyone knew opposition it was the Apostle Paul.
Besides being in prison and being exposed to death, he
received from the Jews the thirty-nine lashes. He was
also beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked three
times. He was in constant danger from bandits, his own
countrymen, and from Gentiles. He often went without
sleep and knew hunger and thirst and was left cold and
naked, and knew constant pressure because of his
concern for all the churches.2

Paul was faithful to the end. In spite of innumerable
setbacks, he never quit and he never gave up.

Great perspective. Great persistence. Great attitude.
Having a Great God makes all the difference! You and I
have the same Great God and can have the same great
attitude in everything that we are doing for God and
for his glory.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give to me a great
perspective, great persistence and a great attitude,
and grant that today I can have a part in the great
work you are doing in the world today. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV).
2. See 2 Corinthians 11:24-28.

<Smile)))><

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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Mar 2013, 9:52 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Genuine Worship

God said, "What do I care about incense from Sheba or
sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings
are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me."1

The word "worship" comes from an old English word
"worth-ship" meaning to acknowledge the worth of
someone. For the Christian worship means to acknowledge
the worth of God.

Many in the church today equate worship with singing
upbeat choruses. Others equate it with a more
traditional approach where the main meetings on the
Lord's Day are called "worship" services--both of which
may or may not have anything to do with worship.

A friend of mine, John Fitzroy, was once asked where he
worshiped, which meant what church he attended. He gave
a straightforward answer when he replied, "I attend
such and such a church where I lead the choir, but I
don't worship!" At least he was being honest.

As important as attending a good church is, I don't
need to be in a church or chapel to worship. I can
worship when I see a beautiful sunset, a new-born baby,
a flower, a tree, a singing bird, an animal, the ocean,
in sunshine or in rain, on a mountain, in the
desert--wherever I am at home, school, work, or
play--as well as at church.

I need to constantly acknowledge the worth of God which
is what worship is. Chances are, if I'm not practicing
worship throughout the week, I'm not too likely to do
so sitting in a church for one hour a week. We bring a
worship attitude or spirit with us. If we don't, we're
not too likely to find it in church regardless of
whether the service is contemporary or traditional.

Worship is an attitude of the heart. Going through the
motions when the heart isn't in it may be religiosity
or churchianity, but it isn't worship. It's just a
shadow of the real. My best guess is that God thinks
about the same of this as he did the burning of incense
and burnt offerings in OT days when they were rituals
without heart or sincerity. The same is true of prayers
that are insincere and are words without heart.

How absurd it must be to God when he sees us trying to
"drum up" what we call worship--whether it's with a
pipe organ, a grand piano, a clanging symbol, an
electric guitar, or noisy drums--when our heart isn't
in it, and in so doing not be acknowledging the worth
of God!

David had it right. He said, "I will praise you, O
Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your
wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing
praise to your name, O Most High." And again, "I will
extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the
upright and in the assembly."2 Now that's worship--with
or without music. And, by the way, I love music and
used to be on a gospel musical team in younger days.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to
understand the true meaning of worship and learn how to
worship you in spirit and in truth, not only at church,
but wherever I am. Please give me a worshipful heart
and spirit. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jeremiah 6:20 (NIV).
2. Psalm 9:1-2; 111:1 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Mar 2013, 12:43 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Living Witnesses

"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

I read how, some years ago, "a missionary physician in
one of China's hospitals cured a man of cataracts. A
few weeks later 48 blind men came to the doctor from
one of China's wilds, all holding on to a rope guided
by the man who had been cured. He had led them in this
way, walking in chain for 250 miles to the hospital."2

Would to God that we who were once blind and healed
spiritually by Jesus, the Great Physician, would do our
utmost to lead others to Jesus, the only one who can
cure spiritual blindness, and in so doing give people
the gift of forgiveness for all their sins and, with
it, the gift of eternal life.

To have our witness be credible, however, it is
imperative that we, too, "with unveiled faces reflect
the Lord's glory" and more and more be transformed into
Jesus' likeness so that people will always "see Jesus"
in us. "With unveiled faces" means being open-faced,
genuine, personally honest, authentic, and not phony in
any way. Nathanael is an excellent example to follow.
When "Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him … said of
him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit
[guile]!'"3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a
person in whom there is no guile or deceit, and always
reflect your glory in all circumstances so that people
will always "see Jesus" in me. And please help me to be
transformed into your likeness and use me to be a
living, effective witness for you in helping to
introduce many others to you for your healing and
forgiveness. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: To help introduce others to Jesus, please
consider joining with ACTS to be a People Power for
Jesus Partner. There is no charge. All you need is the
desire to bring/introduce others to Jesus, have an
e-Mail account, and access to the Internet. For more
information see: www.actsweb.org/people_power.

1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV).
2. Sunday School Times. Cited in Lee, Paul Tan,
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, p.1614.
3. John 1:47 (NKJV).

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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Mar 2013, 10:27 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
A Nation Blessed
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The
people He has chosen as His own inheritance."1

While this Scripture passage was addressed to the
nation of Israel, the principle, "Blessed is the nation
whose God is the Lord," without doubt applies to every
nation whose God is the Lord.

This is certainly applicable to the founding of the
U.S.A., the foundation of which was solidly based on
Judeo-Christian principles, and whose God was the Lord.
Sadly, more and more, as a nation, we are increasingly
moving away from this spiritual foundation.

Going back more than half a century we were given a
grave warning by Charles Augustus Lindbergh of aviation
fame, who, in the early days of flying, at the age of
25 was the first pilot to fly solo nonstop across the
Atlantic Ocean. This was on May 20-21, 1927.

At the time of World War II Lindberg, at first, was
opposed to the U.S. voluntarily entering the war, but
later changed his mind. He had said: "I saw the
aircraft I love destroying the civilization I expected
it to save. Now I understand that spiritual truth is
more essential to a nation than the mortar in its
cities' walls. For when the actions of a people are
undergirded by spiritual truths, there is safety. When
spiritual truths are rejected, it is only a matter of
time before civilization will collapse."2

It is significant that Lindberg's foresight into the
importance of spiritual truth for the enduring safety
of civilization was seen at a time when the United
States was becoming one of the most powerful nations in
the world. But today, however, it appears that the need
for this spiritual foundation is not only being totally
ignored, but also being eroded, by so many of today's
leaders and citizens, who are much more concerned with
being "politically correct" than they are about the
nation being "undergirded by spiritual truths."

Tragically, Charles Lindberg's prophetic statement is
indeed being played out in the U.S.A. of today. May God
have mercy on us.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word
that assures us that 'blessed is that nation whose God
is the Lord.' Tragically, we have as a nation, by and
large, progressively turned from you and in so doing
have sinned grievously. Please grant a great spiritual
awakening so as a nation we will confess our sins and
turn back to you and once again, as did most of our
founding fathers, make you our Lord. And please start
your work in me. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 33:12 (NKJV).
2. Lee, Paul Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations,
p. 1529.

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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Feb 2013, 10:35 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Failure Turned Inside Out
David, the psalmist, prayed: "Create in me a clean
heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."1

You sit with your head in your hands thinking you're a
total failure. "I've blown it again," you mutter to
yourself in despair.

Hold it right there! Did you know that Walt Disney went
broke seven times and had a nervous breakdown before he
became successful?

And that Enrico Caruso failed so many times with his
singing that his teacher advised him to quit. He
didn't. His mother saw to that. And he became one of
the world's greatest tenors.

And Thomas Edison was called a dunce at school. Later,
he failed more than six thousand times before
perfecting the first electric light bulb.

Think, too, of King David in the Bible. He blew it big
time. He not only committed adultery with Bathsheba and
got her pregnant, but had her husband killed and took
her as another wife. When he admitted his failure, God
forgave him and gave him another chance. In fact,
Bathsheba became the mother of King Solomon through
whose line Jesus Christ came.

And remember Paul the apostle, he was so opposed to
Christianity that he was running around having
Christians killed when God got ahold of him and turned
his life around and used him in an incredible way.

God wants to turn your and my life around too when we
fail. So, if you feel like giving up, don't. Remember
failure is an event, not a person. Now is the time to
give God a chance. It starts with being honest with
yourself, with a trusted friend, and with
God--admitting how and where you've failed and asking
God to forgive you and to help you.

For real encouragement, read all of Psalm 51. And
listen to these words also written by David: "There was
a time when I wouldn't admit what a sinner I was. But
my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with
frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy
on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day
until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped
trying to hide them. I said to myself, 'I will confess
them to the Lord.' and you forgave me! All my guilt is
gone."2

What a gracious, loving, forgiving God we have.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please be merciful to me a
sinner. I confess all my sins (name the ones you've
never confessed before) to you. Have mercy on me and
forgive me. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 51:10.
2. Psalm 32:3-5 (TLB)(NLT).

Note: If you have never received God's forgiveness for
your sins and failures, please do that today. For help
read, "How to be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

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for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Feb 2013, 10:17 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Caught in the Act Part III

Jesus Christ said: "For God sent not his Son into the
world to condemn the world; but that the world through
him might be saved."1

With the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus saw
beyond her external act of sin--her adultery--to the
deeper cause of why she acted out in the way she did.

We tend to see sin as only the external act. But the
external act is often just the tip of the iceberg. Sin
is anything that falls short of the perfection or
wholeness God planned for us. It includes our damaged
emotions, our wounded personality, our mixed motives,
our unresolved inner conflicts, and our supercharged
repressed negative emotions. Added to our sinful
nature, these are the pains that keep us in bondage and
cause us to act out in sinful ways. These are the
barriers that alienate us from God, from others, and
from ourselves so that we no longer know who or what we
truly are. Sin is the whole "iceberg," not merely the
external tip.

Because of this, when Jesus ministered to the woman
caught in adultery, he dealt with her whole person not
just her sinful behavior. As already noted, to free her
from acting out in sinful behavior, he first met the
basic need in her life, the lack of which was driving
her to commit acts of sin. Jesus loved and accepted
her, and in doing this, possibly for the first time in
this woman's life, she was loved and accepted by a man
for who she was rather than for what she had to offer.
Jesus knew her sin, her weaknesses, and her hurt. He
understood her fully and loved and accepted her
unconditionally. In so doing he confirmed her
personhood and her womanhood. In other words, the needs
that her father didn't or couldn't meet, Jesus met. In
meeting these father needs for love and acceptance
Jesus set her free and could realistically say to her,
"Go and don't commit this sin anymore."

Or take the person with a drinking problem, a lying
problem, a stealing problem, a drug problem, a gossip
problem, or any other kind of sin problem. Behind the
external act of sin lies a deeper fault, problem, or
sin. The external act of sin is merely the symptom of
the deeper sin. And when a person is hiding a deeper
sin or fault, he tends to confess a lesser sin all the
more vigorously.

Therefore, how unkind it is of me, how lacking in
understanding, and how unlike Christ to condemn you and
make you feel guilty for your sin without ever seeking
to understand you and help meet the basic need/s in
your life, the lack of which are causing you to act out
in sinful ways.

It's easy to lay rules on you and make you feel guilty
if you don't conform, and in so doing deceive myself
into believing that I have been obeying God, which is
anything but the truth. But how difficult it is to seek
to understand you, to learn why you do what you do, and
then attempt to meet your deepest needs--the lack of
which are causing you to commit acts of sin. This takes
true commitment to Christ and commitment to you--it is
my being as Jesus to you.

Being a sinner myself, I do not have the right to tell
you not to sin again. I only have the responsibility to
accept you as a fellow sinner and help to meet your
needs and, thereby, help take away your need for
sinning.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me of the
sin of being critical and judgmental and give me a
spirit of understanding to be able to help any who
genuinely need your help, healing, and deliverance.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 3:17 (KJV).

<Smile)))><

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

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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 26 Feb 2013, 3:02 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Caught in the Act Part I


"At dawn he [Jesus] appeared again in the temple
courts, where all the people gathered around him, and
he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and
the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.
They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus,
"Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now
what do you say?"1

Perhaps one of the most beautiful examples of
communicating Christ's love in the entire New Testament
is where Christ ministered to the woman who was caught
in the act of adultery.

Why the scribes and Pharisees brought only the
woman--and not the man--to Jesus for judgment is a
little difficult to understand. How the woman could be
caught in the act of adultery alone is beyond my
comprehension. If truth be known, the guilty man may
very well have been one of the accusers even if he
weren't present in the accusing circle. The whole
affair was undoubtedly a setup to trap Jesus.

Regardless, you can just see these religious bigots
gloating over their victory. "We've got Him cornered at
last," they bragged among themselves with a false sense
of anticipated triumph. "He can't win. And we can't
lose. Whatever way he answers, we have him trapped. If
he says to punish her according to the law of God,
we'll accuse him of having no mercy. If he says to let
her go free, we'll accuse him of breaking God's law."
Quite a scheme … so they thought.

So here they are, encircling Jesus and the guilty
woman. They were like a pack of hungry wolves just
waiting for the signal to pounce on Jesus and devour
Him. What did they care about the woman? Absolutely
nothing. They were using her as a pawn in their game.

"Now, Master," they piously addressed Jesus undoubtedly
in a sanctimonious tone of voice, "this woman was
caught committing adultery in the very act. God's law
demands that such a woman be stoned to death. How do
you feel about that? What say you?"

Jesus ignored them. He stooped down and wrote on the
ground. But these men were persistent. They were
determined to win their devious game so they kept
pressing Jesus for an answer.

So Jesus stood up, looked each one of them squarely in
the eye, and agreed with them. "Yes," he said, "you're
absolutely correct. The law of Moses, God's law, does
say that such a woman should be stoned to death."

"He's agreeing with us," they mused among themselves,
and you could see them going for the rocks tucked under
their religious robes--the rocks of accusation they
were about to hurl at Jesus. They were more concerned
about killing Jesus than they were about stoning the
woman or defending justice.

"So," continued Jesus, "go ahead and stone her to death
if that's what you desire." After a brief moment's
pause and with a burning look that pierced the depths
of their consciences Jesus added, "However, gentlemen,
wait just a minute--let the man who has never sinned be
the one to cast the first stone."

Thud. The silence was deafening.
To be continued …

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a spirit of
discernment so that I will always know when enquirers
are genuine or if they have a hidden agenda seeking to
hurt a fellow struggler who has fallen. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. John 8:2-5 (NIV).

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Today's Daily Encounter
Caught in the Act Part II


"Neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and
leave your life of sin."1

Yesterday we talked about the Pharisees trying to trap
Jesus over the woman caught in the act of adultery. The
last thing Jesus said to these pious religious bigots
was, "Let the man who has never sinned be the one to
cast the first stone."

Their own accusations had boomeranged on them. The
silence was deafening. And now, like frightened puppy
dogs, they tucked their "religious tails" between their
legs and got out of there as quickly as they could.

Jesus was left alone with the woman. He knew she'd been
used. He understood her deepest need and gently asked
her, "What happened to your accusers? Where did they
go? Isn't there anyone left to condemn you?"

"No, Lord," she replied, "they've all gone."

Then Jesus made a simple but profound statement: "I
don't condemn you either. Go, and don't commit this sin
anymore."

The dynamic in this story is that before Jesus told
this woman to go and sin no more, he first met the
basic need in her life, the lack of which was causing
her to sin. This is such a profound truth, it
desperately needs understanding.

Let me explain. Counselors tell us that many a
prostitute or a loose-living woman, for example, is a
woman who has been hurt deeply by her father in her
early life. Deep down she is still hostile towards him.
He didn't meet her needs for love, acceptance, and
approval. Neither did he confirm her womanhood. For one
or many reasons she felt rejected by him. Or he or
another significant male in her early life may have
sexually abused her. She doesn't come to this
conclusion consciously, but the greatest way she can
hit back at her father or men is by becoming a
prostitute or a loose-living woman. She is also
desperately searching for the father's love she never
received as a child or as a young woman and is
unconsciously trying to prove to herself that she is a
woman. She is being driven into acts of sin because of
unresolved hurt, anger, and by an unmet need for love
and acceptance--especially that of a father's love.

The same principle applies to the man who is running
around using women. His problem includes lust, but it
goes far deeper. He is not the great masculine figure
he pretends to be. He may be angry at his mother and be
using other women as a means of expressing his
hostility. Or he may be still searching for the
mother's love he never received as a child as well as
trying to convince himself that he is adequate as a
male.
Behind all external acts of sin, there is almost always
a deeper sin, fault, unmet need, or damaged emotion. In
other words, all behavior is caused or motivated. There
is a reason why people do what they do. This is not to
excuse their behavior. Not at all. Jesus didn't condemn
the woman for her sin, but neither did he condone her
actions. He told her not to do it again. However, he
knew that this woman had a deep emotional need in her
life and it was this unmet need that was driving her
into acts of sin.

In meeting her unmet need, Jesus could realistically
say to her, "Go and leave your life of sin."

To be concluded …

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always
be sensitive to the true needs of others when they
fall, and seek to meet them at that point of need just
as you did with the woman caught in adultery. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 8:11 (NIV).

<Smile)))><
NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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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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and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Feb 2013, 8:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
A Few Good Men

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then
choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the
River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you
are living. But as for me and my household, we will
serve the LORD."1

"Three military recruiters accepted an invitation to
address the senior class of a local high school….
Graduation was only a few months away, and the
principal wanted his two hundred young men to hear the
options available in the military. The assembly was to
be forty-five minutes in length. It was agreed that
each recruiter would have fifteen minutes to make his
pitch and then have another twenty minutes in the
cafeteria to meet with interested boys. The Army
recruiter went first and got so excited about his
speech that he went over twenty minutes. The Navy
recruiter, not to be outdone, stood up and also spoke
for twenty minutes.

"The Marine Corps recruiter, realizing that his
fifteen-minute speech had been cut to two, walked up to
the podium and spent the first sixty seconds in
silence. Wordlessly, he gazed over the group of high
school seniors. They knew he was sizing them up. After
what seemed to be an eternity, the recruiter said, 'I
doubt whether there are two or three of you in this
room who could cut it as marines. I want to see those
three men as soon as this assembly is dismissed.' He
was mobbed by a herd of young men when he arrived in
the cafeteria."2

The military needs and is always looking for good men
and women. So is God. And he is calling you and me to
play a part in what He is doing in the world today. And
that is impacting the world for Jesus Christ by living
and sharing the gospel and by being "as Jesus" in some
way to every life we touch. When we do this, we do make
a difference--for both time and eternity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please make and use me as
a 'soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb, and
may I never fear to own your cause nor blush to speak
your name.'3 Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Joshua 24:15 (NIV).
2. Steve Farrar. Cited in KneEmail,
http://associate.com/groups/kneemail/.
3. Isaac Watts, "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" hymn
(paraphrase).

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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Feb 2013, 8:46 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Christianity vs Churchianity
As Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day, "You
have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in
order to observe your own traditions."1

Francis McNutt, author of the classic book, Healing,
and director of Christian Healing Ministries points out
how God's answer to the church in one generation can
become a problem in the next or in following
generations.

McNutt, in one of his monthly news reports, The Healing
Line, gave the following example: "In the Old Testament
God instructed Moses to set up a bronze serpent on a
stick, so that whoever might look at it was healed of a
snake-bite during their wanderings in the desert. But
then, centuries later, the good, reforming King
Hezekiah 'broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had
made' because the Israelites had started to worship
it!"

If we knew how Peter "gave the invitation for people to
come to Christ" on the Day of Pentecost when 3,000
people were converted, we would cling to this method
religiously and tenaciously. We would even fight over
it and allow it to split churches. Fortunately, the New
Testament is almost totally silent on methodology. What
God is concerned about is our heart--not our methods!
As E.M. Bounds said, "Men are looking for better
methods. God is looking for better men [and women]."

One of the biggest battles in the church today is over
the music and manner of worship. The reality is that
God isn't concerned with our method of worship be it
contemporary, traditional, or whatever, but with the
spirit of our worship--the attitude of our hearts. As
Jesus said to the woman at the well when she mentioned
the "proper" place to worship, "God is spirit, and his
worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."2 Like
the brass serpent, when "old traditions or modern
methods of worship" become the focus of our worship, we
may be going through the motions, but totally missing
the point--and missing out on God!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be real
and not to get bogged down in traditions or methods
that are not relevant, but always be open to the work
of your Spirit in my heart and life--and in my church.
And please help me to always worship you in spirit and
in truth--from the heart. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. John 4:24.
2. Mark 7:9 (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.

* * * * * * *
Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Feb 2013, 10:45 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Living With Purpose

"Praise be to God … who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."1

It was Emily Dickinson who spoke so eloquently when she
said,

"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life from aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his voice again,
I shall not live in vain."

I have had the privilege of publishing the gospel
message of Jesus Christ since 1968 … starting in an
extremely small way. I never cease to be amazed at what
God will do with a life that is committed to serving
him. And my prayer today is that God will use me to
achieve more in the next decade of my life than I have
in the past four-plus decades.

I hope that you, too, will pray a similar prayer so
that when you and I meet God face to face we will both
hear his welcome words, "Well done, good and faithful
servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.

"Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please use me to achieve
more in the next decade of my life (should you grant me
this time) than I have in all of my past years. And
please help me to so live that my life will not be
lived in vain. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *
Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Feb 2013, 7:24 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Jesus Loves Me

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

Karl Barth, famous though sometimes controversial
contemporary Swiss theologian, was a great thinker, a
prolific writer, and a professor at several leading
European universities.

On one occasion he was confronted by a reporter who
wanted a brief summary of his twelve thick volumes on
church dogmatics. Barth could have given an impressive
intellectual reply or a profound theological
dissertation. He didn't. Quoting from the popular
children's hymn, he simply replied, "Jesus loves me
this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

This favorite hymn was written by Anna Bartlett Warner
(1820-1915) who, with her sister Susan, wrote to
supplement the family income when her father lost much
of his fortune in the panic of 1837 and the family fell
on hard times.

I have read that this hymn is one of the first hymns
that missionaries teach new converts. It was a favorite
of Francis Schaeffer, the intellectual Christian
scholar and teacher. And Amy Carmichael, the famed
Irish missionary to India, was converted to Christ
after hearing this hymn sung at a children's mission in
Yorkshire, England.

"Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so."
What greater truth in the entire world can any of us
ever know? No matter what we have ever done or failed
to do, Jesus loves us totally, completely, fully, and
unconditionally. All we need to do is accept and
embrace this love--including his forgiveness. It's
available to all who acknowledge their need of a
Savior.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not only to
know that you love me but to feel your love at the very
core of my being--and express it in some way to every
life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

For help, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure
You're a Christian … without having to be religious"
at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

1. John 15:13 (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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
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U.S.A.
Phone: 949-940-9050
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Feb 2013, 9:44 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
What You See

"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help
come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of
heaven and earth."1

In his book, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants (don't you
love the title?), Roger von Oech talks about developing
a certain mind set. For example, look around you and
pick out a number of items that have the color red or
blue in them. You'll find them all over the place.
You'll see things you never noticed before. When you
take up jogging, you'll notice more joggers than ever
before. Or when you buy a new car, you'll be noticing
that make and model of car just about everywhere you
go.

When you are looking for something, it's amazing how
often you see it.

Sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, God may seem far away,
distant, or even absent and our prayers don't seem to
rise beyond the ceiling. The problem isn't that God has
moved. There can be many reasons for this, one of which
being that we haven't developed a "God" mindset. Once
we do, we will see evidence of his presence everywhere
we look. There is at least a measure of truth in the
saying: "What you see is what you get!" Or perhaps we
could put it this way, "What we see is who we are," and
"What you are looking for is what you will find."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my
heart and understanding so I can see you everywhere I
look. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 121:1-2 (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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Sat 16 Feb 2013, 12:17 am

February 15

oday's Daily Encounter

Will the Real Robert Redford Stand Up

"Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of
Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he
was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely,
"I am not the Christ [Messiah]."1

"There's a story about a woman finding herself alone in
an elevator with the famous and very handsome Robert
Redford. As the elevator moved up the floors, the
woman, like many of us might, found herself
uncontrollably staring at the movie star. Finally, in
her excitement and nervousness, she blurted out: 'Are
you the real Robert Redford?' To which Redford
responded, 'Only when I'm alone.'

"That story reveals that Robert Redford is not simply
another pretty face, but he has grown into a wisdom
that must serve him well. For like John the Baptist, he
obviously knows who he is not."2

In my limited experience the closer I have come to some
well-known leaders the more disillusioned I have
become.

Perhaps one of the best measures of a genuine leader is
how he treats us "little" people; that is, how does he
treat people who are not a business prospect, a
potential donor for his non-profit program, or a person
whose name he can drop to impress others.

Yes, it's good to know who we are but, like John the
Baptist, it is better to know who we are not. This
principle also applies to people who constantly put
themselves down!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
realistic about myself knowing both my strengths and my
weaknesses--and who I am and who I am not. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 1:19-20 (NIV).
2. Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin, Sermon: "Finding Our Voice."
http://dccpres.org/

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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Feb 2013, 11:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Happy Valentine's Day

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved
you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."1

Every February, throughout the Western World (at
least), romantic greeting cards, flowers, and specially
packaged candy are given to our loved one/s as an
expression of our love, all in the name of St.
Valentine.

And who might St. Valentine be? One legend says that he
was a priest in Rome during the third century AD at the
time of the Roman Empire and that he may have been
thrown into prison and killed for helping Christians
escape the cruelty of Roman prisons where Christian
prisoners were beaten and tortured.

According to another legend, "Valentine actually sent
the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in
prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with
a young girl--who may have been his jailor's
daughter--who visited him during his confinement.
Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a
letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an
expression that is still in use today. Although the
truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the
stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a
sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic
figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages,
Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England
and France."2

If truth be known, there's probably a mixture of
validity and make-believe in all of these legends.
Nevertheless it's a good thing to show and tell our
loved ones how much we love and appreciate them, not
only in a romantic way on Valentine's Day, but every
day of the year. As Jesus commanded us: "Love one
another as I have loved you." That needs to be applied
at all times--a big order and a goal we all need to
strive towards.

In the words of John Oxenham, "Love ever gives,
forgives, outlives, and ever stands with open hands,
for while it lives, it gives. For this is love's
prerogative--to give, and give, and give."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for special days
and special ways to show our loved ones how much we
love and appreciate them. Please help me to love my
loved ones and others as you have loved me every day of
the year. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jesus in John 15:12-13 (NIV).
2. The History Channel, www.history.com

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 7:11 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Tips for Better Living

A word from God's Word: "A wise man will hear and will
increase learning; and a man of understanding will
listen to wise counsel."1

Benjamin Franklin said: "Well done is better than well
said."

Thomas Jefferson; "I'm a great believer in luck, and I
find the harder I work the more I have of it. In other
words, the harder I work, the luckier I get!"

Eleanor Roosevelt: "The future belongs to those who
believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Albert Einstein: "In the middle of every difficulty
lies opportunity."

Anonymous: "Leaders are like eagles; they don't flock …
you find them one at a time."

Anonymous: "A religion that does nothing, gives
nothing, costs nothing, suffers nothing, is worth
nothing."

Jacob Riis: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look
at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a
hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two,
and I know it was not that blow that did it--but all
that had gone before."

As God's Word, the Bible, says, "A wise man will hear
and will increase learning; and a man of understanding
will listen to wise counsel."1

And such are the ways of God in helping to "shape" us
into the person he sees we can become.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a wise,
understanding, and listening heart to learn your ways
of grace, truth, wisdom, and love. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Today's Daily Encounter

Resolution or Repetition

"Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to
what lies ahead."1

"If you have ever been to a circus, you've no doubt
seen the huge bull elephants chained to a peg in the
ground. Perhaps it has occurred to you that the
elephant could easily pull the peg out of the ground
and escape. However, he does not try. As a baby
elephant he was tied to a huge stake that he could not
pull out of the ground. Weeks of pulling and tugging
only wore a trench around the stake, and finally he
gave up. Now that he is full-grown, with great strength
and the physical ability to pull the peg out of the
ground, he remembers only the futility of past efforts
and does not even attempt to escape. He is conditioned
to failure."2

He is conditioned to failure because he is conditioned
by his past as, unfortunately, many of us are. We have
had a bad experience (or bad experiences) in the past
that have left us hurt, angry, and/or afraid; and we
allow those past experiences to control our life today
even though these experiences happened years
ago--perhaps even in childhood.

True, as God's Word says, we need to forget the past so
we can move forward to what is ahead. But until we
resolve past hurts and forgive any and all who have
ever hurt us, we are still conditioned and bound by the
past and are destined to failure at some
level--especially so in relationships. The reality is
that what we fail to resolve we are destined to repeat
… repeat … and repeat. So, if you ever find yourself
repeating past failures, past mistakes, or past
impaired relationship patterns, see if you can trace
those patterns to some negative experience/s in the
past. If so, those issues need to be faced, confronted,
and resolved so we can break the chains of conditioning
from the past, forget its hold on us, and move ahead
triumphantly.

No matter what happened to us in the past it is either
resolution or repetition. The choice is ours.*

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see if I am
still bound in any way by unresolved past experiences
and to find the help I need to overcome these issues so
I can genuinely forget the past and move ahead with my
life to fulfill my God-given purpose. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Philippians 3:13 (NASB).
2. Dr. Arthur Caliandro, of Marble Collegiate Church,
New York City. www.marblechurch.org/

* Note for help: See Dick's book, You Can't Fly With a
Broken Wing, on sale at http://tinyurl.com/yrjrnl.

<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) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Feb 2013, 10:25 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Fly With the Eagles

The Bible says, "Let us lay aside every weight and the
sin that so easily trips and entangles us, so we are
free to run the race that is before us."1 "But those
who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They
will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not
grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."2

A friend of mine has trouble with Japanese bonsai trees
because she sees tiny trees with great potential
inhibited because they have been purposely root bound
by man. Others have trouble seeing animals and birds
trapped in cages for the same reason. For example, how
do eagles feel in zoos? Do these magnificent birds,
created to soar to the heights of mountaintops, get
frustrated? Probably. Are they fulfilled? I seriously
doubt it.

Too many of us who were created to reach our total
God-given human and spiritual potential and to fulfill
God's noble purpose for our life, are trapped in a cage
of our own or of another's making. We fail to resolve
the problems in our life that hold us back. We fail to
come to terms with the destructive habits in our life.
True, we may have been wounded in the past, but God
wants us to be healed, to be free to fly, to soar to
the heights of all that he has for us.

We have a choice, we can scratch in the dirt with the
turkeys or we can rise up to follow Christ and fly with
the eagles to the heights that God planned and
envisioned for us to reach. That choice is ours.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to find my
wings and learn to fly with the eagles to the heights
you have planned for me to reach. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

Note: See Dick's book, You Can't Fly With a Broken
Wing, on sale at http://tinyurl.com/yrjrnl.

1. Hebrews 12:1, Paraphrase.
2. Isaiah 40:31 (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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
http://www.actsweb.org

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Feb 2013, 9:38 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Oportunity Comes to Pass ...

As Jesus said, "As long as it is day, we must do the
work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one
can work."1

Once upon a time a city dweller moved to the country
and bought a farm with a cow. In no time his cow went
dry. When he told this to the neighboring farmer, the
farmer was surprised as this cow had always given lots
of milk.

The city man was surprised, too, and told the other
farmer how considerate he had been of the cow. He said,
"I never took more milk than I needed. If I only needed
a quart, that's all I took. If I didn't need any milk,
I didn't milk her that day!"

What the man didn't realize is that, to keep a cow
producing milk, he needed to take what she had to give.

That's kind of like life, isn't it? If we don't use the
gifts we have, we may lose them. And if we don't take
the opportunities for service, for growth, for
spiritual enrichment while we have them, we may lose
these opportunities too.

Remember: "Opportunity comes to pass, not to pause!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please show me how to put
to good use the gifts you have given me so I can have a
part in what you are doing in the world in which I live
today. May I never waste what you have given to me to
give to others. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 9:4 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Feb 2013, 10:58 pm

oday's Daily Encounter
What We Project
"A man reaps what he sows."1

A man was recently complaining to me about how most men
rejected him. In his mind he was convinced that it was
entirely their problem. As kindly as I could I tried to
get him to see that fundamentally "what we project is
what we get back."

If one or two people reject me that's par for the
course. Not everybody is going to like me. Expecting
them to do so is unrealistic.

However, if many people reject me, then I can be
reasonably sure that the reason probably lies within
me. In reality, "We tend to treat ourselves the way we
were treated and then others treat us the way we treat
ourselves." If, for example, I felt rejected as a
child, I will tend to continue acting as if I am still
being rejected, and imagine in my mind that others are
still rejecting me also. While this is understandable
it's self-deception.

Furthermore, as long as we blame others for the
reactions we have, we can never overcome our problems.
It's far too easy to want others to change. The reality
is that the only person I can ever change is me. And
when I change, people's reaction to me will also
change--because what I consistently project I will
consistently get back! That's pretty much a law of
life. What we sow is what we reap.

The road to recovery begins with facing the truth and
reality of what we are contributing to the problems we
have. Only then can we help ourselves and only then can
God help us. Denial of reality is the way to
self-destruction. As Jesus pointed out, only the truth
can set us free.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the courage
to see anything in me that causes people to react
negatively to me in any way. And lead me to the help I
need to overcome my problem/s. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Galatians 6:7 (NIV).
2. John 8:32.

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Feb 2013, 5:09 pm


Today's Daily Encounter
To Be or Not to Be

"Then He [Jesus] appointed twelve that they might be
with Him."1

God is not into religion. He's into relationships. That
is, his goal for you and me is that we be in healthy
relationships both with him and with one another.

God himself is in relationship as the Holy Trinity: God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Being
created in the image of God we, too, were created for
relationships. Furthermore, Christianity began in
relationships when, at the beginning of his earthly
ministry, Jesus chose the twelve disciples "that they
might be with him."

As another has said, "To be is to be in relationship"
without which we limp along in the shadows of life with
an empty hole in our heart. It may not be most
desirable, but we can live a fulfilling life without
being in a romantic relationship, but we cannot fully
live, let alone fully love, unless we have a healthy
relationship with at least one other loving person …
preferably with more than one. To be in relationship is
to be open, vulnerable, and known as we really are, for
we can only ever be loved and truly relate to others to
the degree that we are known. As long as we hide behind
a mask, we can never feel loved nor can we relate
because masks can't relate.

In his book, The Transparent Self, Sydney Jourard said,
"Every maladjusted person is someone who has not made
himself known to another human being and in consequence
he does not know himself. Nor can he be himself. More
than that, he struggles actively to avoid becoming
known by another human being. He works ceaselessly at
it day and night. And it is work!"

True relationship begins with being ruthlessly honest
with one's self and with God--and then with at least
one other honest, loving, and trustworthy friend.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be an
authentic person--honest with myself, with you and with
at least one other trustworthy friend so that I will
learn to be the person you envisioned for me to be and
therein discover how to fully live and fully love in
loving relationships. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. Mark 3:14 (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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Feb 2013, 9:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Words

"With the tongue [words] we praise our Lord and Father,
and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's
likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and
cursing. My brothers [and sisters], this should not
be."1

I recently read about a middle-aged man who has been
struggling with chronic depression for many years. His
counselor told him that he would need to be on
antidepressant drugs for the rest of his life. He told
the counselor that his father, a self-made head of a
large corporation, repeatedly said to him, "Son, when
you inherit the family business, I expect you'll ruin
it."

"These words stung more painfully each time he heard
them. When his father died, the man felt driven to work
unreasonably long hours to prove his dad's prediction
wrong. The pressure to avoid failure that relentlessly
gnawed at him was quieted only by alcohol. Soon a
serious drinking problem developed. His wife threatened
to leave him. Finally he succumbed to ongoing
depression for which he could find relief only in
drugs. His life was devastated by the power of his
father's tongue."2

I was once told that I was physically ugly. It took me
years to overcome that one sentence because,
tragically, I believed it. However, I have since
learned that it had more to do with the person who
spoke those words than it had to do with me.

With words we can bless or curse others; encourage or
discourage; hearten or dishearten them. They can be
powerful motivators or de-motivators. Let's always use
them as an instrument of healing and encouragement--and
never use them to hurt, demoralize, or destroy another.


Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the gift of
words. Please fill my heart with your love so I will
always use words as a blessing to others and never as a
curse. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Words

Words spoken
may soon pass away
and forgotten be,
but when spoken
in love and kindness,
are like beautiful flowers,
and even though
they fade and die
from conscious memory,
their fragrance lives on
embedded in the
deeper mind --
forever.3

- Dick Innes
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