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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Daily Encounter with:  ACTS International - Page 29 Empty Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 13 Oct 2010, 4:05 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Not What We Say
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive
yourselves. Do what it says."1
You've no doubt heard about the three birds that are
sitting on a telephone wire. Two of them decide to fly
south. How many are left? One? No. It's three. This is
because deciding to fly south isn't the same as doing
it.
It's a bit like the difference between a want and a
wish. I may want to lose some extra pounds and decide
to do it, but don't do anything about it. This makes
my desire and decision to lose weight nothing more
than a wish.
In life it's not what I say, wish, or decide that
counts. It's what I do. Action always needs to follow
one's decision. Otherwise it is meaningless.
Have you been wanting to make amends with a friend
whom you hurt or who has hurt you, or with whom you
had a difference? Have you been meaning to visit a
shut-in elderly person, make a phone call, send a
card, or write a letter to a friend in need, buy
flowers for your wife or special friend? Then don't
delay. Do it today.
As Michael Josephson said, "Good intentions are simply
not enough. Our character is defined and our lives are
determined not by what we want, say or think, but by
what we do.
And as God's Word says, "Do not merely listen to the
word [God's Word, the Bible], and so deceive
yourselves. Do what it says."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a
doer of your word and not just a listener. Help me to
be a proactive person and make good things happen and
not be an uninvolved bystander. And help me to always
practice what I preach. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. James 1:22 (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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Oct 2010, 11:58 am

Today's Daily Encounter

An Attitude of Gratitude
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's
will for you in Christ Jesus."1
"A national news program conducted a study of fifty
people who have lived over 100 years and still lead
active, happy lives. . . . The researchers
specifically looked for similarities in diet,
exercise, lifestyle and habits that could contribute
to their longevity and quality of life. What they
found was amazing.
"Through an extensive interviewing process, the news
team found that some of the participants in this study
had what would be considered good diets. An equal
number of people were not as healthy in their food
choices. Exercise and other areas of lifestyle were
also not found to be a common thread throughout the
group.
"However, two things were overwhelmingly consistent
among over 90 percent of those studied. What were
these consistent traits? Nine out of ten said that
throughout their entire lives they awoke every morning
with an attitude of gratitude for one more day of life
and that they saw each day as a precious gift.
Secondly, nine out of ten stated that they felt life
was too short to hold grudges or spend time
complaining, and they forgave people quickly and
refused to dwell on negative thoughts."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I am faced with a
challenge, a setback, a disappointment, a loss, pain,
or a difficult circumstance over which I seem to have
no control, please help me to genuinely say thank you
for the opportunity to grow and for the lessons to
be learned, and help me to 'hear' what wisdom and
guidance you always give to a grateful heart. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV).
2. Larry DiAngi, "Going Beyond Common Miles," The
Magic Is in the Extra Mile, 11-12. Cited on KneEmail,
Mike Benson, Editor, http://www.oakhillcoc.org.
<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
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Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Oct 2010, 11:10 am

Today's Daily Encounter

A Sure_Fire Prayer for When All Else Fails
"The reason you don't have what you want is that you
don't ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you
don't get it because your whole aim is wrong--you want
only what will give you pleasure."1
Have you ever had a problem, a bad habit, or a
relational conflict that you couldn't overcome or
resolve no matter how hard you tried, how much you
sought help, and even how much you prayed?
I have. For years I struggled with a relational
conflict that I did everything I could think of to
resolve--including getting intensive counseling and
praying relentlessly.
Finally in utter desperation I prayed, "God, I beg you
to show me the truth of what I am still contributing to
this situation I am in."
Almost overnight I got the answer. I saw my super
codependency. I hadn't even heard of the word back
then, but what I saw was that because I was trying to
fix everybody else's problems, I was blind to my own!
And here I thought I was being a good Christian!
Wrong. I was being a needy person; that is, I needed
to feel needed in order to feel loved and that, of
course, isn't really love--or it is contaminated love
at best--it's need.
Once I saw the truth of what I was contributing, I
knew what I had to do to fix my problem. As Jesus
said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set
you free."2 I also realized that the only person's
problems I could fix were my own!
Why did it take so long to get my earlier prayers
answered? It was because I'd been praying the wrong
prayer. I'd been asking for deliverance from the
symptoms (the external conflict) and not from the
cause of my problem.
As James, in today's Scripture points out, many of our
prayers aren't answered because our aim is wrong; that
is, we pray with false motives for the wrong thing.
True, we need to treat our symptoms, but the reality
is God wants to heal the root cause of our problems
and make us whole, because if we don't deal with the
root cause/s, we can easily exchange one symptom for
another.
So now, whenever I have a conflict or a problem, I
always ask God to face or confront me with the truth
of what I am contributing to it. Only then do I ask
him to show me the truth of what others are
contributing, and the truth or reality of the overall
situation. The important thing always is to first face
the truth about myself.
I have found whenever I pray for truth and mean it,
God always answers. It is one of the most effective
prayers I have ever prayed. It has changed my life.
Often I don't want to face the truth about myself
because I am too afraid, so I also pray, "God I am
willing to be made willing to face the truth about me
no matter how much it might hurt."
Not that it's easy, but praying for truth is a
sure-fire way to resolve most conflicts--or at least
our part in them.
And when it comes to relationship conflicts, if two
people will genuinely own up to their unresolved
personal issues and problems (which are often at the
root of many, if not most, conflicts), and each ask
God to show them what they are contributing, I believe
they will be able to resolve most conflicts. Each
person needs to mean it with all their heart,
otherwise it won't work.
As God's Word also says, "The LORD is near to all who
call on him, to all who call on him in truth."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me in all my prayers
to be honest with myself and honest with you, knowing
that when I call on you in truth, you will always hear
and answer my prayers. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. James 4:2-3 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John 8:32.
3. Psalm 145:18.
<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Oct 2010, 8:25 am

Today's Daily Encounter


The Elusive Search for Happiness

The Apostle Paul wrote, "I know what it is to be in
need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have
learned the secret of being content in any and every
situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living
in plenty or in want."1

Michael Josephson of Character Counts says, "Ask
people [including] young people why they get high on
drugs or alcohol or seek sex without intimacy or
commitment, and they're likely to tell you it's fun
and they just want to be happy. It's tempting to envy
the life of fun-loving 'party animals,' 'playboys' and
'good-time girls' until one thinks about how they feel
about themselves and their lives when they are alone
without the hyped-up stimulation they seem to thrive
on.

"It doesn't take a psychologist to realize that if
happiness is the destination, these folks are on the
wrong road. The problem is that the intense sensation
of fun or feelings of pleasure experienced by a
substance-induced buzz or an exciting sexual encounter
are quickly replaced with a consuming sense of
emptiness that drives a need to start all over to fill
the vessel again. So each time drinkers, drug users or
sex addicts discover that getting what they wanted
isn't making them happy, they fall into the
despondency conveyed in the famous Peggy Lee song: 'Is
That All There Is?'

"People who make pleasure seeking the focus of their
lives are like drug addicts who need continually
stronger and more dangerous doses to get high.

"Happiness is different from fun and pleasure. It's a
less intense but more durable feeling of well-being.
It's not a continuous state. A good life is usually
seasoned with moments of joy and despair, play and
work, success and failure. Happiness is a kind of
emotional resting place of quiet satisfaction with
one's life. The art of living a happy life lies not in
having more of what you want, but in getting better at
enjoying what you have."2

To this wise advice from Michael I would add that
perhaps a better word than "happiness" is
"contentment," which comes from having peace within
one's self. This comes from resolving past conflicts,
forgiving all who have hurt us, maintaining peaceful
relationships; from living in harmony with God's will
and his moral laws, and above all, in finding peace
with God, knowing that all our sins are forgiven and
that we have God's gift of eternal life, which gives
one a reason and purpose for living that is bigger
than one's self.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to live in
harmony with your will and your moral laws; with
eternal values in mind; and with a God-given purpose.
Help me to forgive all who have ever hurt me and never
harbor bitterness or grudges towards anyone. And help
me to keep growing in faith, love, and every grace so
that my life will have meaning, purpose, and value for
time and eternity. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: To be sure your life is right with God see:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

1. Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV).
2. Michael Josephson, Character Counts.
www.charactercounts.org

<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Oct 2010, 7:55 am

Today's Daily Encounter

To the Ends of the Earth
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes
on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and
in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the
earth."1
Ravi Zacharias shared how "during the Cold War, a
Christian from the U.S. was visiting Romania. It was a
gray, cold day, and all the faces around him reflected
that gray, cold atmosphere. But in the midst of the
gloom, the Christian man heard someone whistling a
tune. It was an old hymn, 'The Great Physician now is
here, the sympathizing Jesus.'
"The Christian man spotted the whistler and began
walking alongside him. Because Christians were
persecuted by the government, he took care not to
publicly identify his allegiance. He simply began
whistling the same tune. The Romanian man stopped, a
big smile spreading over his face. He pointed to
heaven. So did the American man. He pointed to his
heart. The American did too. Then he reached out and
grabbed the American in a big bear hug. Neither man
could speak the other's language, but they knew
instantly that they were brothers in the faith.
"How did these two men from opposite ends of the
world, from different cultures and different
languages, come to worship a Jewish carpenter? Because
someone told the story of Jesus to someone else, who
told it to someone else, who told it to someone else,
until it reached Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria and
all the ends of the earth."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please use me today in
some way to communicate your love, and in so doing, be
a powerful witness to your saving grace in my life.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: To help reach out to others with the saving
gospel message of Jesus Christ, please join with us as
a People Power for Jesus Partner at:
www.actsweb.org/people_power.
1. Acts 1:8 (NIV).
2. Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us From Evil (Nashville:
Word Publishing, 1997), pp. 103-104.
<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Oct 2010, 1:42 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of Encouragement
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other
up, just as in fact you are doing."1
The word encourage (en=in+courage) simply means to put
courage into another--something we all need to do and
receive regularly.
Years ago--when I was a young teenager--one of the men
in our church gave me a light manly punch on my arm and
gave me a compliment about my football game as I passed
by him.
I've never forgotten that compliment which to me was a
big encouragement when I needed it. Some years later I
recall how in my beginning days of ministry, after
speaking to a youth group, one of the members in
attendance said to me, "Thank you for being God's
messenger to me today." I've never forgotten her words
and those of many others along the way either. (Sadly,
a cutting word can have the opposite long-term
effect.)
Encouragement. So easy to give, costs nothing, and is
worth its weight in gold.
As Leo Buscaglia said, "The majority of us lead quiet,
unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There
will most likely be no ticker-tape parade for us, no
monuments created in our honor. But that does not
lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of
people waiting for someone just like us to come along;
people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique
talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely
because we took the time to share what we had to give.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a
smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest
compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of
which have a potential to turn a life around. It's
overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities
there are to make our love felt."2
Be sure to encourage--to put courage into--someone
today, especially your own loved ones.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for all the
people who have encouraged me along the way. They are
greatly appreciated. And please help me to be an
encourager to someone else every single day just as
others have encouraged me. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).
2. Leo Buscaglia, cited in Inspirational Peak!
http://www.inspirationpeak.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.

* * * * * * *


Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Oct 2010, 11:37 am

Today's Daily Encounter


Drip . . . Drip . . . Drip

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who
put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put
bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."1

Less than a decade ago an openly gay Episcopalian
priest was appointed as a bishop in the Episcopal
Church--many church members were appalled while others
rejoiced. Also, until the court stepped in and put a
temporary halt to it, the Mayor of San Francisco
became a law unto himself and married numerous gay
couples. Many were appalled while others rejoiced.

About this situation Steven Higginbotham wrote: "The
door has been cracked opened with regard to the
definition of marriage in allowing homosexuals to
marry, so now a polygamist in Utah, who has five
wives, is appealing bigamy convictions brought against
him on the basis of this court ruling. This man's
lawyer is arguing that the decriminalization of
homosexual sex is no different than polygamy."2

So what will come next? Will fornication and adultery
also be approved because people can't help to whom
they are attracted? Or what about pedophiles? Will
their seduction of children be accepted because they
can't help whom they are attracted to? Will they claim
that they were born this way and this therefore
justifies their behavior?

That could never happen here we say. Don't bank on it.
Our parents would have sworn that gay marriage would
never have been accepted here either. According to
Wikipedia Encyclopedia, "Nationwide, five states [in
the U.S.] have legalized same-sex marriage as a result
of a court ruling, while three others have done so
through a vote in their respective state
legislatures."3

No society crashes overnight. It's like the proverbial
drip . . . drip . . . drip of water that eventually
wears away the stone, or like the "umpteenth" blow of
the hammer that breaks the rock in two. Little by
little it's the relentless drip . . . drip . . . drip
by those who oppose all that is godly to justify what
they want that ends up having people (including some
church people) call good what God calls evil.

What we fail to realize is that we cannot break God's
laws. We can oppose them. We can vote against them. We
can disregard them, but we cannot break them. What we
break is ourselves against them. As God's Word says,
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil." It
has been said that the only thing we learn from
history is that we don't learn from history.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help those of us
who claim to be Christian, which includes me, know
what your Word teaches and stand firm upon it and not
be lured into the trap of so called 'political
correctness' and thereby conform to the standards of
the world about us. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

NOTE: To support the Institution of Marriage; the
Preservation of Religious Liberty; and the Sanctity of
Life for future generations, please read and sign the
Manhattan Declaration at:
http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/home.aspx

1. Isaiah 5:20 (NIV).
2. Steve Higginbotham, "Yesterday's Fringe, Today's
Center," South Green Street Church of Christ Weekly
Newsletter, Vol. 23, No. 2, Jan. 12, 2004. Cited in
KneEmail #594: at http://www.oakhillcoc.org.
3.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States
as of February 2, 2010.

<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Oct 2010, 9:45 am

Today's Daily Encounter

A Parent's Influence
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he
is old, he will not depart from it."1
You may have read the following poem, but it is well
worth reading again:
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day;
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded as my will.
I came again when days were past,
The form I gave it still it bore,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
I could change that form no more.
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child's soft and yielding heart.
I came again when days were gone;
It was a man I looked upon,
He still that early impress bore,
And I could change it never more.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be as
Christ to my children (and/or to any children that I
may have the opportunity to influence) so that they,
seeing Jesus in me, will want him in their life as
well. Help me to model your love and loving ways so
that my life will impact, not only my children so that
they will grow up in the ways of God, but in some way
every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. Proverbs 22:6 (KJV).
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.

* * * * * * *


Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
Admin
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Post  Admin on Thu 30 Sep 2010, 11:48 am

Today's Daily Encounter

The Shepherd's Voice
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they
follow me."1
A party of tourists was on its way to Palestine and
their guide was describing some of the customs of the
East.
He was explaining how in England, for example, a
shepherd follows the sheep, but in the East the
shepherd leads the way and the sheep follow him for
they know his voice.
When the tourist group reached Palestine one of the
first sights they saw was a flock of sheep not being
led by the shepherd but being driven along by the man.
The guide, being perplexed, stopped to talk to the
shepherd.
"How is it that you are driving these sheep?" he
asked. "I have always been told that the Eastern
shepherd leads his sheep."
"You are quite right, sir," replied the man. "The
shepherd does lead his sheep. But you see I'm not the
shepherd. I'm the butcher."2
With so many religious voices today vying for the
hearts and minds of adherents, we need to be certain
that we know Jesus, the true Shepherd, recognize his
voice and follow him. Remember that there are many
false prophets that are nothing but "butchers" in
sheep's clothing.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know for
certain that I am committed to Jesus, the true
Shepherd. Help me never to stray from him, always know
his voice, and follow him. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. John 10:27 (KJV).
2. Church of God Evangel.
<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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Post  Admin on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 12:53 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Lost and Found
"When the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] comes in his
glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his
throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be
gathered before him, and he will separate the people
one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and
the goats on his left. Then the King [Jesus] will say
to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by
my Father [God]; take your inheritance, the kingdom
[of Heaven] prepared for you since the creation of the
world.'"1
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from
me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared
for the devil and his angels.'"2
Years ago, soon after my first son was born, my mother
came to help with the new baby. On one occasion I left
her to "baby-sit" with him in a beautiful downtown
park in Adelaide, South Australia (where we were
living at the time), while I did some shopping.
When I returned, mother and baby were missing. I
panicked! My heart pounded. Minutes seemed like hours.
I asked strangers passing by if they had seen an older
woman with a baby. I searched for a policeman. I
prayed furiously.
Imagine the relief when I found them. Actually, the
problem was mine. I went back to the wrong part of the
park!
I've read about others, too, who lost a child and how
they panicked, and never rested until their child was
found. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be
like for parents whose child is lost--and never found.
It would be unthinkable--a never-ending nightmare.
Would to God that we Christians were just as concerned
about people who don't know the Savior and are lost
without hope for all eternity.
As Jesus said in today's Bible passage, he is coming
again and will be taking his true followers to be with
him forever in Heaven. What a wonderful hope for his
true followers. But think of the tragedy of those who
are still lost and don't know that their Heavenly
Father is looking for them.
Here in ACTS International we are totally committed to
telling people all around the world about Jesus'
message of salvation--people who without Christ will
be lost for all eternity. Will you please help us to
do this? You can do so at http://actscom.com and by
becoming a People Power for Jesus Partner. For more
information go to:
www.actsweb.org/people_power/about_people_power.php
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be as
concerned about people who are spiritually lost as I
would be if my own child were lost. I'm available and
ask that you use me to be 'as Christ' to every life I
touch today, and please use me to help bring the lost
to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Jesus in Matthew 25:31-34(NIV).
2. Matthew 25:41 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

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

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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Sep 2010, 7:37 am

Today's Daily Encounter

The Will to Get Well
"One who was there had been an invalid for
thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and
learned that he had been in this condition for a long
time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'"1
It may be hard to understand, but according to
statistics that I have read from both a Christian and
a secular standpoint, many people who have either a
physical or emotional problem actually don't want to
get well!
"That's absurd," I can almost hear some readers
saying. "How could a sick person not want to get
well?"
Of all those who go to see a physician or a counselor
with a problem, approximately 25 percent don't want to
get well. They want people's sympathy, they want to be
taken care of, and some even want to die.
Another 50 percent want the counselor or doctor to fix
or heal them. As one doctor said, "Half of my patients
would rather I operate on their body than they operate
on their lifestyle!"
And only one in four actually accepts responsibility
for his/her well-being and does everything he/she can
to follow the doctor or counselor's guidance. These
are the ones who are committed to getting well. They
are the ones who want to get well--and are most likely
to do so!
Perhaps this is why Jesus said words like, "Do you
want to get well?" "Do you want to be made whole?"
"What do you want me to do for you?"
God will bend the heavens to do for us what we cannot
do for ourselves. That's why he sent Jesus to die for
our sins. But he won't do anything for us that we can
and need to do for ourselves--otherwise he would be
keeping us over-dependent and immature. But as long as
we want what is right for us, God will always do his
part when we do our part.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the want
to be made whole, the want to get well, the want to be
what you want me to be, and the want to do what you
want me to do. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."
P.S. What do you "want" Jesus to do for you?
1. John 5:5-6 (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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Post  Admin on Mon 27 Sep 2010, 10:10 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Slow Me Down, Lord
"Then, because so many people were coming and going
that they did not even have a chance to eat, he
[Jesus] said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a
quiet place and get some rest.'"1
Or as someone else has said, "Come apart and rest a
while before you come apart!"
I remember years ago having the following saying on a
card on my desk, "Beware of the barrenness of a busy
life!" I think in our day and age so many of us
struggle with being too busy. I certainly do. It is a
constant battle.
Today's suggested prayer is in the words of the
unknown poet:
Slow me down, LORD,
Ease the pounding of my heart
by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision
of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and
muscles with the soothing music of the
singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring
power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations
of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat
with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few
lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to
send my roots deep into the soil of life's
enduring values that I may grow
toward the stars of my greater destiny."
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Mark 6:31 (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.

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Post  Admin on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 2:15 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

You Can't Run on Empty
"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will
be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give
him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him
will become in him a spring of water welling up to
eternal life.'"1
An amusing thing happened on one occasion in the
renowned Rose Parade in Pasadena in Southern
California. One beautifully decorated float suddenly
came to a standstill. It ran out of fuel!
The irony was that this float was entered by and
represented the Standard Oil Company--one of the large
fuel companies of North America. With all their vast
oil and gasoline (petrol) resources, they failed to
make sure their own vehicle was running on full.
I wonder how often we as Christians, with all the vast
resources of God and heaven at our disposal, run on an
empty love, joy, and peace tank when, if we truly
trusted God and followed his instructions for getting
these needs met, we could be certain to keep "topped
up."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know
the peace that only you can give and grant that my
love cup will be filled to overflowing and splash over
onto every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. John 4:13-14 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Sep 2010, 8:31 am

Today's Daily Encounter


Are You God's Mother?

"But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can
be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.
And as the Spirit of the Lord works with us, we become
more and more like him."1

Curtis and Paul Jones wrote how, on a bitterly cold
day in a western city, a small boy stood shivering on
a steel grate in the sidewalk. He was very poorly
dressed and obviously a child of the street. A
well-dressed woman passerby noticed the lad and began
to talk to him. Sensing his need, she took him to a
clothing store and had him completely outfitted
suitable for the weather--including cap, scarf, and
gloves.

The lad was so grateful he couldn't thank her enough.
As they parted he turned back to ask, "Are you God's
mother?"

Surprised, the woman replied, "Oh, no! I'm just a
child of God."

Whereupon the smiling lad remarked, "I knew you were
related."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to reflect your
love so that the beauty of Jesus will be seen in
me--always in all ways. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TLB)(NLT).

<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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Post  Admin on Wed 22 Sep 2010, 5:03 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Lessons from the Redwood Forest
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting
together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us
encourage one another--and all the more as you see the
Day approaching."1
Giant Sequoia trees, also known as redwoods, are the
biggest living things on Earth. Heights of 300 feet
and diameters of 30 feet are not uncommon. They can
range in age from 2,000 to 3,000 years--some of which
were living when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee.
The largest specimen, the General Sherman Tree in
Sequoia National Park, is 275 feet tall (84 m), has a
diameter of 36.4 feet (11.1 m) at the base, and has
been estimated to weigh 2500 metric tons. The Pacific
coast redwoods in southern Oregon and central
California range in height from 100 to 367 feet (30 to
112 m)--a size approached only by the eucalyptus of
Australia.
What is fascinating about these majestic redwood trees
that reach their leafy arms heavenward is that they
stand for hundreds of years surviving raging fires,
violent storms, and fierce winds. I have also read
that they have a comparatively shallow root system
which makes their survival even more amazing. So how
do they survive? They survive because they live in
groves with their root systems entangled with numerous
other trees. In other words they support each other.
They couldn't survive alone.
Neither can we. We need each other. We were never
meant to go it alone. We need the support of one
another to make it. One of the major purposes of the
Christian church is for the very purpose of
encouraging and supporting one another. If you don't
belong to such a church, I urge you to do all you can
to find one.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
designed the church, not only to help us grow
spiritually, but also to support us emotionally and
socially. Help me to find and be a part of such a
church--one that is true to your Word and fulfills
your divine purpose in the life of its members. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus' name, amen."
P.S. See the article: "What a Good Church Can Do for
You" at: http://www.actsweb.org/living/church1.htm.
1. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV).
<Smile)))><


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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Sep 2010, 11:59 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Who Will Answer?
"And I [God] sought for a man among them, that should
build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for
the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found
none."1
Today's Scripture was written by the prophet Ezekiel
at a time when ancient Israel was in captivity because
they had turned from God to worship idols. God was
looking for someone who would stand in the gap to lead
the people back to him--but he found no one to do this.
How tragically sad this was.
This Scripture reminds me of the lyrics of "Who Will
Answer?" by Ed Ames written in 1968 during the Vietnam
War. This chanting song had a tremendous impact on me
the first time I heard it. I have never forgotten the
occasion. I can remember exactly where I was when I
heard it and who sang it!
Back then it was a time or turmoil with many
unanswered questions. Ed's lyrics were a cry from the
human heart wanting answers. They spoke about people
searching from the canyons of their mind, stumbling
blindly while searching for the truth. They spoke
about the emptiness of faded dreams from a failed
marriage; of a youthful soldier whose arms would never
hold his child because he was dying on a distant
battlefield; of desperate souls committing suicide;
and the ongoing threat of nuclear war with a desperate
plea: "Dear God, Oh, why, oh, why? The final question
being, "Who will answer?"2
World conditions have not improved since Ed Ames wrote
these lyrics. In fact they have deteriorated
considerably--especially so since the suicide attacks
by al-Qaeda on the World Trade Towers in New York on
September 11, 2001. And they continue to deteriorate
incrementally with the never ending threat of
terrorism--not knowing where radical Muslim fanatics
will strike next as they hate and want to kill Jews,
Christians, and Americans. And according to ACT for
America,3 "British intelligence has uncovered the
newest threat from Islamic terrorism--bombs surgically
implanted inside the bodies of jihadists."
Tragically, more and more, at least here in the
U.S.A., like ancient Israel, we too are increasingly
turning away from God which can readily lead to the
path of self-destruction. Consequently, God is looking
for committed people "who will answer" life's
questions, and who will stand in the gap to point the
way back to God. There are also millions of people
worldwide for whom God is also looking for people to
stand in the gap to point them to God.
The person/s God is looking for are simply those who
make themselves available for God to use. So, will
you, today, be one for whom God is looking and pray
from the heart: "I am available God, please use me?"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I hear your call for
people to stand in the gap to bring lost souls to you.
I am available. Please make me usable and use me to
help bring others to you. I am willing to be made
willing to go where you want me to go and to do what
you want me to do. So help me God. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
Please Note: If you prayed this prayer and truly meant
it, will you please join with us as a People Power for
Jesus Partner and we will share with you many simple
tips on how you can stand in the gap to help bring
others to God. To do so go to
www.actsweb.org/people_power/subscribe.php and fill in
the simple form. And may God greatly bless and use you
to help bring people to God. Please be sure to tell
friends, too, of your decision to stand in the gap for
God and encourage them to do likewise. "When many
people each do a little, great feats for God can be
achieved."
1. Ezekiel 22:30(ASV).
2. The lyrics of Ed Ames, "Who Will Answer?" can be
seen at:
www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/e/ed_ames/who_will_answer.html.
3. ACT for America, http://www.actforamerica.org/.
<Smile)))><


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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Sep 2010, 7:10 am

Today's Daily Encounter

O Bee, Where Is Your Sting?
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is
your sting?"1
A family on vacation were driving along in their car,
windows rolled down, enjoying the cool breeze of the
warm, summer's day. All of a sudden a bee darted in
the window and started buzzing around inside the car.
A little girl, highly allergic to bee stings, cringed
in the back seat. If she were stung, she could be in
serious trouble.
"Oh, Daddy," she screeched in terror, "It's a bee!
It's going to sting me!"
The father pulled the car over to a stop, and reached
back to try to catch the bee. Buzzing towards him, the
bee bumped against the front windscreen where the
father trapped it in his fist. Holding it in his
closed hand, the father waited for the inevitable
sting. In pain from the sting, the father let go of
the bee.
With the bee loose in the car again the little girl
panicked. "Daddy, it's going to sting me!" The father
gently said, "No, honey, he's not going to sting you
now. Look at my hand." He showed her the bee's stinger
in his hand."2
And that's exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross.
He took the sting of death for us ... as the songwriter
put it, "You will know him by the nail prints in his
hands." And as the Bible says, "Where, O death, is
your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when Jesus
was nailed to the cross in my place to die for my sins,
he took the sting out of death and gave us victory over
it for all eternity. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: If you have never accepted God's gift of
forgiveness and his gift of eternal life, be sure to
read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
1. 1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV).
2. Author unknown. Cited in Encounter magazine
(Australian edition), Jan/Feb 2004.
<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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Post  Admin on Fri 17 Sep 2010, 11:39 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Letting Go of the Past
The Apostle Paul said, "Brethren, I do not regard
myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I
do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward
to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the
prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."1
At some time every one of us will experience painful
circumstances of one kind or another. The important
issue is not what happens to us, but how we respond to
what happens. Painful experiences can make us bitter or
better. The choice is up to each one of us. Like the
Apostle Paul we need to learn how to let go of what
lies behind so we, too, can "press on" to achieve
God's goal for our life.
To do this requires the following steps on our part:
Quit playing the blame-game. One lady I was working
with in a group setting complained bitterly saying, "I
can't understand why God gave me such a terrible
husband." "Who chose him?" I asked. "God did," she
replied. She had deceived herself into believing that
fantasy. God will guide us if we genuinely seek his
direction, but he won't make our decisions for us. As
adults we are totally responsible for every decision
and choice we make. As long as we play the blame-game,
we can never get on with our life. We stay stuck where
we are and can do so for years.
Overcome denial. Fred (not his real name), has been
divorced for close to twenty years. His former wife
re-married soon after their divorce. But Fred is still
living in the delusion that his former wife will return
to him. He is refusing to let go of the past, and is
stuck there. Denial is deadly if we ever hope to fully
live and fully love.
Forgive to be free. No matter how badly we feel we
have been hurt, failing to forgive keeps us bound by
the past as we are unconsciously allowing bitter
memories of past hurts to control our present life. As
another has said, "Failing to forgive is like drinking
poison and waiting for the other person to die."
Resolve supercharged negative emotions. Regardless of
the reason, whenever we feel let down, rejected, or
even abused, we have hurt and angry feelings. This is
normal. To nurse these negative emotions is damaging
to all present and future close relationships and
meaningful living. Until we resolve these negative
emotions, it is impossible to forgive.
Denying, suppressing, and/or repressing supercharged
negative emotions is also destructive of physical,
emotional, and spiritual health. No wonder God’s Word
advises: "So get rid of your feelings of hatred
[unresolved anger]. Don't just pretend to be good! Be
done with dishonesty ... deception, envy and fraud."2
Stuffing negative emotions is not getting rid of
them.3
As we follow these steps for letting go, we are freed
to forget what lies behind and move onward and upward
to achieve our God-given goals and life-purpose.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word
with practical advice for healthy relationships and
meaningful living. Help me to take responsibility for
my responses to all situations, never play the
blame-game, be free from denial and forgive everyone
who has every hurt me so that I can let go of and put
behind me all hurts and failures from the past, and
'press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward
call of God in Christ Jesus.' Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB).
2. 1 Peter 2:1, 3 (TLB)(NLT).
3. For further help in dealing with negative emotions
read "Dare to Be Honest" at:
http://tinyurl.com/dare-to-be-honest
<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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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Sep 2010, 12:56 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Your Life Purpose
The Apostle Paul said, "I press on toward the goal to
win the prize for which God has called me heavenward
in Christ Jesus."1
"Stephen Covey once said, 'Be sure that, as you
scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning
against the right building.' Many people work hard to
achieve goals that they think they want only to find,
at the end of the day, they get no joy or satisfaction
from their accomplishments. They ask, 'Is this all
there is?' This occurs when the outer accomplishment
is not in harmony with your inner values. Don't let
this happen to you."2
Time and again I have asked classes I have taught,
"How many of you believe that God has a purpose for
your life?" Most of the hands are raised but then,
when I ask them to spell out their God-given life
purpose, very few have any idea what it is. This
reminds me of an old ditty I heard as a teenager that
said, "Blessed be he who aimeth at nothing for he
shall surely hit it."
I don't know about you but when I stand face to face
before God and have to give an account of my life I
don't want to go into heaven empty-handed.3
God does have a divine purpose for your life. Make
sure that you know what it is and that you are, with
God’s help, fulfilling it. God's purpose for you will
have to do with discovering, developing, and serving
God by using the natural and spiritual gifts God has
already given to you. And remember that we serve God
by serving people. Also make sure that your
life-purpose is in harmony with God's will so that
your ladder isn’t leaning against the wrong wall.
I have written out and/or stated my life-purpose
probably thousands of times. I have done this pretty
much daily for many years and plan on doing so for all
the days of my life. Repetition with feeling helps
program your life purpose into your unconscious mind
and belief system. This helps to operate on automatic
pilot. I encourage you to write out your God-given
life purpose and repeat it at the beginning of every
day as part of your daily devotions.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have a
divine purpose for my life. Please help me to discover
what it is and to get excellent training so that I can
do my utmost to fulfill your purpose for my life and,
in so doing, bring glory to your name. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Philippians 3:14 (NIV).
2. Brian Tracy, http://www.briantracy.com.
3. "Just as man is destined to die once, and after
that to face judgment." Hebrews 9:27 (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) 2010 by ACTS International.

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 7:30 am

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of One
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the
power of God for the salvation of everyone who
believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."1
Have you noticed that whenever God has a work to be
done on Earth, he so often chooses an individual to
get his work started and achieved? Think of Abraham,
Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Mary, Peter, Paul, etc. The
good news is that God, today, still chooses and uses
individuals to accomplish his work on Earth.
Furthermore, throughout history, one person has made
an incredible impact with his or her life. I've shared
this before, but as the unknown poet said:
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam can light a room.
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true.
One life can make the difference,
You see, it's up to you and me.
To get God's work done on Earth, "if it's going to be,
it will be up to YOU and ME!"
As Edward Everett Hale so eloquently said, "I am only
one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but
still I can do something; and because I cannot do
everything, I will not refuse to do something that I
can do."
Let's never forget how very important you and I are to
God in our world. "When many people each do a little,
together we can accomplish great feats for God."
Again, most of God's work on Earth has been started by
one person. Will you be one that God is looking for
today to have a share in doing his work in your world?
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available. I say yes
to you today to be one that you are looking for to use
in my world. Please use me to be a part of your plans
to help spread the gospel in the world in which I
live. Please make me usable and use me to be as Jesus
in some way to every life I touch this day. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 1:16 (NIV).
Note: For helps to reach others for Christ see: "Tips
on how to be an effective People Power for Jesus
Partner to help change the world--one person at a
time" at www.actsweb.org/people_power/tips.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.

* * * * * * *

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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 10:29 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Keep on Sowing Your Seed
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never
get anything done. Keep on sowing your seed, for you
never know which will grow. Perhaps it all will."1
One of William Barclay's friends tells the following
story: In the church where he worshiped there was a
lonely old man, old Thomas. He had outlived all his
friends and hardly anyone knew him. When Thomas died,
this friend had the feeling that there would be no one
to go to the funeral so he decided to go, so that there
might be someone to follow the old man to his last
resting-place.
There was no one else, and it was a miserable wet day.
The funeral reached the cemetery, and at the gate there
was a soldier waiting. An officer, but on his raincoat
there were no rank badges. He came to the graveside
for the ceremony, then when it was over, he stepped
forward and before the open grave swept his hand to a
salute that might have been given to a king. The
friend walked away with this soldier, and as they
walked, the wind blew the soldier's raincoat open to
reveal the shoulder badges of a brigadier general.
The general said, "You will perhaps be wondering what
I am doing here. Years ago Thomas was my Sunday School
teacher; I was a wild lad and a sore trial to him. He
never knew what he did for me, but I owe everything I
am or will be to old Thomas, and today I had to come
to salute him at the end." Thomas did not know what he
was doing.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, again today I am
available. Please make me usable and use me today to
be 'as Jesus' in some way to every life I touch so
that I will have an influence on others, not only for
time, but also for eternity. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 (TLB)(NLT).
2. David E. Leininger, Collected Sermons,
www.Sermons.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.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Mon 13 Sep 2010, 9:43 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Failed Marriage and Recovery
Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the
truth will set you free."1
As I have said before, in working with divorced people
over the years I have found that far too many divorcees
are adept at primarily blaming their partner for the
failure of their marriage. Most fail to see what they
contributed to the breakup. I once did too.
Before marriage, many of us prayed that we would find
the right partner when what we needed to pray was that
we would be the right person. As much as many hate the
following statement: we are as sick as the people we
are attracted to--especially romantically. For those
who want a more positive statement we could put it
this way: we are as healthy as the people we are
attracted to. In other words, if we want to have a
healthy and mature marriage, we need to be a healthy
and mature person.
I learned this the hard way because my first marriage
was a disaster. I grew up in a very dysfunctional
family and, as a teen, being the only son with three
sisters, I was set up to play the role of the
emotionally missing father/husband in the home. My
mother leaned on me emotionally; and as a teen I took
a lot of care of my two younger sisters as well as
much of the family home. In so doing I learned to
mistake need for love.
When thinking of marriage, what kind of person was I
attracted to? Yes, you guessed it--someone who
unconsciously needed to be taken care of. At the time
I didn't realize that I was a super-codependent
caretaker person and that the person I was attracted
to was a needy over-dependent person. So which of the
two of us was the sicker? We were as sick as each
other and equally immature. I just happened to be the
functional one. Tragically, we lived together alone
apart and died a little every day. After 18 years of
therapy, and every counselor having given up on us, I
finally gave up. (As a side line, after our marriage
ended, my cholesterol level dropped 80 points almost
overnight. Stress is a killer! And what is more
stressful than impaired and failed relationships?)
Romantically we are pretty much attracted to a person
with whom our neuroses mesh. Or as a counselor of mine
used to day, "The bumps on my head matched the holes in
her head." How true this is. In fact, we can tell a
whole lot about ourselves by the kind of person/s we
are romantically attracted to.
So when did I get to see my major part in my failed
marriage? After years of therapy and our situation
continuing to deteriorate, I was at wits end and
literally begged God to face me with the truth of what
I was still contributing to the mess my marriage was
in. Almost overnight, even though I had never heard of
the word back then, I saw my super codependency and
realized that as long as I was taking care of my then
wife, not only was she not getting better, but she was
becoming increasingly non-functional. Because I was
taking care of her, she didn't have to get better. My
codependency was in the way.
Indeed, it was this truth that set me free from my
blindness.
In many ways the codependent is addicted to the
over-dependent person. It's the same with a
co-alcoholic. As long as a wife (or vice-versa) is
taking care of her alcoholic husband and rescuing him
from the results of his avoided responsibilities, she
is an equal part of his sickness and needs to get out
of the way and let him crash. This will not guarantee
his getting into recovery, but without her doing this,
there is little chance of his ever facing reality and
accepting responsibility for his own recovery.
Codependents need to do likewise in that they need to
stop doing anything that the over-dependent person is
capable of doing for him or herself.
On a more positive note, if there is any depth and
quality in my ministry today it came out of many years
of struggle in a very dysfunctional marriage which
challenged me to face reality and get into recovery
for myself. I am thankful for my education, but I
didn't learn about life in Sunday school, church,
Bible College, undergraduate college or in graduate
school. As the old saying goes, I learned about life
in the "College of Hard Knocks." My failures and
recovery process also taught me to encourage others
when they experience failure, not to waste their pain,
but to invest it wisely in their own growth and
recovery, and then in ministering to others. Failure
can be an invaluable teacher when invested wisely.
I was severely criticized and lost all of my church
support after I was divorced more than twenty years
ago. Yes, it is true, God hates divorce--but who in
his or her right mind doesn’t do the same? Divorce is
incredibly painful. I certainly don’t believe in easy
divorce and firmly believe that divorce should only
ever be the last resort when all else fails. But like
David of old, God didn't reject him after his
failures, and I am extremely grateful that God didn't
reject me either after my failures.
I share my story not to gain sympathy (because my life
today has never been more fulfilling or more
productive, but to emphasize the fact that, especially
in our churches and Christian circles, let’s not preach
about the sin of divorce and treat divorcees as
second-class citizens unless we teach and emphasize
the tremendous need for helping our young adults
understand the dynamics of relationships, pitfalls of
attraction that is neurotic, and to help them become
mature and healthy emotionally before ever looking for
a marriage partner. Until we deal with the major causes
behind failed relationships and marriages, we will
continue to see a never-ending flow of "over the
cliff" divorces. In other words we need "to build a
fence at the top of the cliff before building a
hospital at the bottom."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word
that teaches us that it is the truth that sets us
free. Please help me to understand not only the truth
about you and your Word, but also the truth about
myself, others, and the dynamics of relationships.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus" name, amen."
1. John 8:32 (NIV).
Note: If interested, I have written in much more
detail about the dynamics of relationships and
recovery in both of the following books: How to Mend a
Broken Heart and You Can’t Fly With a Broken Wing.
These are both on sale at: http://actscom.com/store
<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Fri 10 Sep 2010, 12:59 pm

Today's Daily Encounter


Characteristics of Maturity, Part III

In concluding our series on maturity, we have
discussed the need for emotional maturity as this
affects all relationships; for accepting personal
responsibility for every area of life as this affects
all actions and behaviors; for being personally honest
with one's self, others, and God so that we will
lovingly follow the truth at all times and be able to
have intimacy in close relationships; and for the need
for spiritual maturity so that we have a genuine and
meaningful relationship with God.

Last, but certainly not least, is love, unconditional
love. To genuinely love God, others and myself is the
highest and noblest fruit of maturity, and as long as
I have a need for growing in love, I have a need for
growing in maturity.

To love unconditionally doesn't mean that we
necessarily like others or what they do. It means that
we accept them as fellow strugglers and fellow sinners
because, in God's sight, we have all sinned and fallen
far short of his standard of holiness.5 It also means
that we don't try to fix people or give them
unsolicited or unwanted advice. It means that we are
there for them should they need us; to listen to them;
and to accept them for who they are even while we may
disagree with their manner of life.

In one of my live-in week retreats some time ago there
was a lady whom I will call Josephine who was furious
at me because I had called homosexuality sin and an
abomination in the eyes of God. She angrily blurted
out to me in front of the entire group, "You are
nothing but a pharisaical religious _ _ _ _ _ _ _!" I
admit that I was somewhat taken aback but answered
calmly, "Yes, sometimes I am." This of course defused
the situation.

Josephine was gay. Privately I assured her that while
I disagreed with her lifestyle, I did love and accept
her. At the end of the week, having lived in with a
group of Christians--none of whom judged or rejected
her--Josephine came to me and said, "Maybe you are
right after all," and then she hugged me warmly.
Amazing. This may have been the first time in
Josephine's life that Christians hadn't judged,
criticized, or rejected her.

If fellow sinners are going to come to Jesus, while we
disagree with their actions and behavior, we need to
show them unconditional love and acceptance. A tough
call to be sure, but unconditional love is the highest
fruit of Christian maturity. "Tell me whom you love,"
Houssaye asked, "and I will tell you who you are."

Let us remember, too, that growing in maturity is
God's will for all of us. As the Apostle Paul wrote,
"Him [Jesus] we proclaim, warning everyone and
teaching everyone with all wisdom that we may present
everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling
with all his energy that he powerfully works within
me."6

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that your goal
for me is that I grow in maturity in every area of
life, so that I will learn how to genuinely love you,
and love and accept myself and others in healthy and
productive ways. So help me God. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."

5. See Romans 3:23.
6. Colossians 1:28-29 (ESV).

Note: This series has been adapted from
“Characteristics of Maturity" online at:
Characteristics of Maturity:
http://tinyurl.com/characteristics-maturity

For further help read, “Dare to be Honest"
at: http://tinyurl.com/dare-to-be-honest

<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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Thu 09 Sep 2010, 11:05 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Characteristics of Maturity, Part II
Discussing characteristics of maturity we noted
yesterday that having a well-integrated emotional life
and accepting personal responsibility for every area of
life are both essential characteristics of maturity.
Today we will mention two more key characteristics.
Next is:
Personal honesty. Another major characteristic of
maturity that is vital for healthy relationships and
meaningful living is personal honesty both with others
and with one's self. Without personal honesty I don’t
believe that intellectual honesty is possible. To the
degree that I am dishonest and out of touch with my
own reality, the more I will distort all other factors
and truths to make them match my distorted perception
of reality. On the other hand, the more honest I am,
the clearer I will see all other truth, including
God’s truth.
Personal honesty includes being in touch with and
honest about our true feelings/emotions (many of which
have been long since buried and denied). It also means
being honest about our motives. This may be the most
challenging area of personal honesty because most of
us have hidden agendas, be they conscious or
subconscious. Unfortunately, hidden agendas cause
people to become disgustingly manipulative.
Being honest is being real, transparent, and
authentic. It's a tough call but the only healthy and
mature way to live. It means being known for who we
truly are (warts and all) by at least one or two
trusted friends. It allows us to see both our
strengths and weaknesses that, in turn, will help us
to develop and use our strengths creatively and work
on overcoming our weaknesses.
Being honest is also God’s plan for each one of us.
His Word says: "We will lovingly follow the truth at
all times--speaking truly, dealing truly, living
truly--and so become more in every way like Christ who
is the Head of his body, the church."2 And again,
"Surely you [God] desire truth in the inner parts; you
teach me wisdom in the inmost place."3
Spiritual maturity. This will be seen, not in how well
we know our Bible, how many church services we attend,
or how many religious activities we are involved in
(all of which are important when done from pure
motives), but in having a healthy relationship with
God. In fact, over-busyness in religious activities
may be a cover-up of areas of immaturity.
Think of Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, for
example. When Jesus came to visit in their home, one
can imagine how excited Martha must have been as she
busily labored in the kitchen over a hot oven to
prepare a special meal for their special guest.
However, she complained to Jesus about Mary who wasn't
helping with the preparations, but just sitting and
visiting with Jesus. This sounds like a reasonable
complaint to me. I probably would have been ticked off
with Mary too. However, Jesus saw it differently.
Here's the scene: "But Martha was distracted with much
serving, and she approached Him [Jesus] and said,
'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to
serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.' And Jesus
answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are
worried and troubled about many things. But one thing
is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which
will not be taken away from her.'"4
In our language, Martha may have been a workaholic
keeping busy to avoid facing some painful issue/s in
her life. On the other hand, relating to Jesus was
more important to Mary than busily preparing a meal
for him. What Martha and Mary were both doing was
important, but what was more important was the motive
behind their actions. It's good to do work for God but
more important is our relationship with him, and that
we have pure motives. Loving and relating to God is a
vital part of spiritual maturity out of which genuine
service is to flow. Service used as a way of avoiding
any unresolved personal issue is not service, but a
way of escape from facing reality.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please search my heart
and face me with the truth of any and all unresolved
issues in my life--including any past hurts, any areas
of un-forgiveness, and every area of immaturity, and
please lead me to the help I need to overcome so that
I will become more and more like Jesus Christ--and
mature in every area of my life. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."
2. Ephesians 4:15-16 (TLB) (NLT).
3. Psalm 51:6 (NIV).
4. Luke 10:40-42 (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) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
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Post  Admin on Wed 08 Sep 2010, 3:17 pm

Today's Daily Encounter


Characteristics of Maturity, Part I

If I were asked, "How can you tell if a person is
mature?" I would respond by saying, "If a person
consistently acts in a mature manner, he would be a
mature person. However, if on the other hand he
consistently acts in an immature manner, you can be
certain that he would be an immature person." As
Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do."

While none of us is perfect or completely mature, if
we understand the characteristics of maturity, we can
work on these areas to grow in maturity. While there
are many characteristics, the following certainly
would be among the top five:

Emotional maturity. While spiritual maturity is
reflected in the quality of our relationship to God,
emotional maturity is reflected in the quality of our
relationships with people. They go hand in hand. As
God's Words say, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet
hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does
not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love
God, whom he has not seen."1 Thus, in reality, I'm no
closer to God than I am to people.

Without a reasonable level of emotional maturity, it
is virtually impossible to have healthy interpersonal
relationships. Immaturity is without doubt a major
cause of impaired relationships and failed marriages.
Emotional maturity means that we will have a healthy
self-concept--not thinking too highly or too lowly of
ourselves. This will include a healthy sense of
self-acceptance and self-worth, which will also
determine how well we do in many other areas of life.
If I fail to accept myself in a healthy way, it makes
it extremely difficult to accept others in a healthy
way. This is because the issues I reject in myself, I
will automatically reject in others.

Emotional maturity also involves being in touch with
all of our God-given emotions and that these are well
integrated into every area of life. Unless one is
connected to his or her inner-self (his/her emotions
and motives), meaningful communications and intimate
relationships are impossible. It also requires that,
wherever possible, impaired relationships from the
past are resolved, that we have forgiven all who have
ever hurt us, and that all supercharged, repressed
negative emotions from past experiences are resolved.

Personal responsibility. Another vital characteristic
of maturity is acting responsibly and appropriately in
all situations--neither overreacting nor
under-reacting. People overreact when unresolved
painful issues from the past are triggered and they
react as if they were responding to the original hurt.
People under-react when they withdraw from dealing with
an issue they need to confront and resolve. Some excuse
this behavior as being Christian and not wanting to
hurt someone's feelings. Rather, it is basically being
weak, afraid, or insecure--not to mention being
dishonest.

As John Powell so eloquently 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."

True, "I may have been a victim in the past but if I
remain a victim, I am now a willing volunteer." Acting
in a mature manner means that I now accept personal
responsibility for every area of life. It means that I
refuse to play the blame-game. Consistently blaming
someone else for the difficulties I have will cause me
to B-LAME--emotionally, that is.

When working with divorced people, I have found that
so many primarily blame their former partner for the
breakdown of their relationship. They fail to see that
they, too, contributed to the conflict either by being
too weak, too passive, too codependent, too
over-dependent, too independent, too needy, too afraid
of closeness, or in any of a score of other ways.

On one occasion a friend once said to me, "Are you
angry at me because I've been divorced three times?"
"Angry, no," I answered, "afraid, yes!" "Well they
were all jerks," she responded. So I asked, "Well, why
did you marry them?"

The last I heard is that my friend is now in her fifth
marriage.

The reality is unless we act responsibly and admit,
confront, and resolve our personal issues, we are
destined to repeat past failures. It's either
resolution or repetition.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you love
and accept me as I am, but love me too much to leave
me as I am. Please help me to see every area of
immaturity in my life and, with your help, resolve and
overcome these issues. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 John 4:20 (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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