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Post  Admin on Tue 07 Sep 2010, 2:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Healthy versus Anesthetizing Relationships
"So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and
teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given
us. We want to present them to God, perfect [or
mature] in their relationship to Christ. That's why I
work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's
mighty power that works within me."1
For a number of years I have worked and taught in the
area of "Divorce and Grief Recovery." With divorcees
we emphasize the importance of not getting into
another committed relationship too soon; that is, not
before resolving the grief and loss of their
divorce--and even more important, not before facing
and resolving the character issues that led them to be
attracted to the person they married and separated
from.
Time and again I have seen divorcees ignore this
advice, and before long they are going through a
second and sometimes a third divorce. The same can
happen to widows and widowers who re-marry too soon.
True, there is nothing like romance to anesthetize the
pain caused by the loss of a love and, like a drug,
blind one to reality. People who use romance and/or
sex to avoid facing their reality and deaden their
pain, fail to see that while romance can lead to love,
romance in and of itself is not love. Neither is sex.
Romance can be triggered by physical and sexual
attraction, by being over-needy, or by the magnetic
pull of one’s neuroses (unresolved character issues).
The fact is that we are as sick (or as healthy) as the
people (especially in romantic relationships) we are
attracted to. We need to realize that what we fail to
resolve we are destined to repeat. For instance, an
over-dependent person will most likely be attracted to
a codependent partner and vice versa. A weak, passive
person will be attracted to a domineering and
controlling partner and vice versa. A woman who had a
bad relationship with her father is just as likely to
be attracted to a man just like her father--and relate
to him in exactly the same way as she did to her
father. Or a man who had a bad relationship with his
mother will likely be attracted to a woman just like
his mother and repeat that bad relationship.
And the divorcee who fails to resolve his or her
character issues will, in all probability, be
attracted to the same kind of person they just
divorced. The reality is that, before we can have
healthy relationships, we need to be healthy, for only
healthy and mature people find and make healthy and
mature relationships.
And maturity is what God’s Word (as seen in today's
Scripture) encourages every one of us to become.
Furthermore, we strongly encourage all couples,
whether or not they have been married before, to have
in-depth pre-marriage counseling before they get
married to ensure that they are suitable for each
others, as feelings can come and go and be up and down
like a yo-yo.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see the
causes in me that contributed to my failed
relationship/s, and to find the help I need to resolve
these issues so that I will become, not only mature in
my relationship to Jesus Christ, but also in my
relationships to others. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
Note: In our next three Daily Encounters we will
discuss some of the key characteristics of maturity.
1. Colossians 1:28-29 (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.

* * * * * * *

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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Sep 2010, 12:23 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

When God Feels Far Away
"God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I
forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is
my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to
me?'"1
A Daily Encounter reader asks, "How can I have a
relationship with a God that I cannot feel or hear
even though I believe in him?"
Feelings. What would life be without them? No doubt,
deadly dull and boring. As a Reader's Digest writer
once said, "Life without feelings would be like
playing a trombone with a stuck slide." However, as
wonderful as feelings are, they can also be confusing
if we don't understand them.
When it comes to feeling God's presence, one major
reason we can't feel him can have a lot to do with our
childhood. If we had a close, loving, and warm
relationship with our earthly father, it is so much
easier to feel that God, too, is close, loving and
warm. On the other hand, if our father was distant,
cold, or not physically or emotionally present for us,
we tend to project the same feelings we had towards him
onto God our Heavenly Father and feel that he is
distant, cold and not there either. Where this is the
case, it can be helpful to seek capable counseling to
help resolve one’s father issue.
Another reason why God can feel far away is if we are
not living in harmony with his will. Guilt builds a
"feeling" barrier between us and God.
When we are living in harmony with God’s will, we need
to remind ourselves that God is not our earthly father
(or mother), nor is he like a bad father, and that he
is always close to us whether we feel it or not.
I like the words written on the wall where Jews had
hidden from Hitler's atrocities and death camps:
"I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining.
I believe in love even when
I do not feel it.
I believe in God even when He is silent."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that, even
though my feelings fluctuate up and down, you never
change. Thank you, too, that you are always present
and will never leave me nor forsake me. I choose to
commit and trust my life to you regardless of my
feelings. And I thank you that you are always with me
even when I can't feel your presence. And please help
me to see any barriers in my life that may be causing
me to feel that you are distant and far away. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 13:5-6 (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.

* * * * * * *

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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
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Post  Admin on Fri 03 Sep 2010, 10:04 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Overcoming Loneliness, Part III
"The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be
alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"1
There are many and varied reasons why people feel
lonely. We have already discussed some of these. We
talked about Sharon who was afraid to love because of
her fear of losing love, the roots of which went back
to her childhood when her father left home when she
was only five years of age.
On the other hand, John came from a happy home but his
parents moved every year for business reasons. Every
time John made close friends, the family moved and he
would lose his friends. As he grew older, he no longer
wanted to make close friends because it was too painful
to lose them. This left him lonely.
Both Sharon and John were able to overcome their
loneliness when they realized its cause--which is the
first step in resolving all problems. Once they
recognized their fear they were able, little by
little, to reach out to others and, in time, overcome
their loneliness.
If I'm having trouble with loneliness, I, too, need to
ask myself what the real cause is. Is it a
communication problem, feelings of inadequacy, fear of
being hurt, or another cause? If so, I may need the
help of a trained counselor or an understanding pastor
or friend to help me work through my struggle.
Service to others is another way to overcome
loneliness. I think of my grandmother who lived to age
90. She had been a widow for many years but didn't
suffer from loneliness. She reached out to help others
by regularly visiting the sick and the elderly. In
helping to meet their needs she met many of her own.
People simply cannot live without human contact. As
Dr. Lynch reminds us, "If we fail to form loving human
relationships, our mental and physical health is in
peril."2 This is why it is vital to be committed to
family and friends and to make the effort to
strengthen these ties.
Besides one's family, there is no better place to find
love and a sense of belonging than in a church where
unconditional love, acceptance, and friendship are
expressed in open, positive, and practical ways.
Here, too, one can find God--the only one who can
satisfy our innate sense of spiritual loneliness. "To
live apart from him," says Wright "is the most
pathetic loneliness of all."
If you respond to God's love through his Son, Jesus
Christ, he has promised to "never, not ever, not ever
leave you or forsake you."3 No matter how you feel,
Christ will always be with you.
Visualize Jesus right there with you now--wherever you
are. Respond to his call to follow him. Commit and
trust your life to him every day. Ask him to give you
the faith to believe in him and the courage to do your
part in overcoming your loneliness. As you do your
part, God will help you. He has promised he will.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I am lonely, help me
to find at least one soul brother/sister with whom I
can share my total being without any fear of being
judged or condemned but feel fully accepted and loved.
And help me to be such a friend to another fellow
struggler. Above all, help me to know and feel your
presence knowing that you are always with me and will
never leave me or forsake me. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. Genesis 2:18 (NIV).
2. Time, Sept. 5, 1977.
3. See Hebrews 13:5.
<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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Thu 02 Sep 2010, 9:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Overcoming Loneliness, Part II
"Two are better than one, because they have a good
return for their work: If one falls down, his friend
can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no
one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together,
they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm
alone?"1
Continuing our series on loneliness, psychologist
Norman Wright in An Answer to Loneliness quotes one
lonely woman who said, "I hurt deep down in the pit of
my stomach, my arms and my shoulders ache to be held
tight . . . to be told that I am really loved for what
I am."
"Deep within each of us is the hunger for contact,
acceptance, belonging, intimate exchange,
responsiveness, support, love, and the touch of
tenderness," says Wright. "We experience loneliness
because these hungers are not always fed."
For example, a child feels lonely when his parents are
too busy for him. But to whom can he turn? The
adolescent feels lonely when he feels misunderstood by
his parents. A mother of small children feels lonely
when she is too busy to have her own needs for
companionship met.
When married couples cannot communicate effectively,
especially with their feelings, loneliness can cut
deeply.
When one loses a loved one through death or divorce or
is isolated through illness, he or she feels incredibly
lonely.
The elderly, who are often cut off from their families
and whose friends have passed away, know the bitterness
of loneliness.
People who feel inadequate are often lonely. Because
they don't like themselves, they think others don't
like them either, so they tend to withdraw, at least
emotionally, from other people. Sometimes hidden
hostility is a cause for loneliness. The hostile
person is angry at people so he prevents them from
getting too close through his negative attitude.
Another cause of loneliness is fear--fear of getting
hurt, fear of rejection, fear of not measuring up,
fear of losing a loved one, fear of failure, and so
on. For instance, when Sharon was five her father left
home, and she felt rejected by him. Ever since, she has
had an unconscious fear that if she ever fully loved
another man, he would leave her too. Thus she was
afraid to fully love her husband until she realized
why she was holding back from him.
To be continued . . .
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I am feeling lonely
help me to find a loving church/group where I can
discover a sense of belonging and feel that I am
contributing something worthwhile to others. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV).
<Smile)))><


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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Wed 01 Sep 2010, 7:58 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Overcoming Loneliness, Part I
"The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be
alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"1
"I'm all alone in the universe. No one really knows
me. No one really cares. God--if there is one--is far
away. He got tired of the world and moved away. I
looked in the mirror today and saw the real me--one
hideous scar, an open sore. I'm going to sleep."
These were the words of a brilliant student at a
large, well-known university. He was one of the most
promising students there. He was exceptionally gifted,
handsome, athletic, and popular, and he was headed for
an outstanding career in medicine. In spite of all
this, he was still a very lonely young man. After
writing the above note, he injected poison into his
veins and died.
Loneliness, like depression, is one of the plagues of
contemporary society. Few escape it altogether. In its
chronic form it is a killer. When we were still
printing ACTS Encounter brochures, "Overcoming
Loneliness," from which this series is taken, was one
of the most requested pamphlets people requested.
Time magazine reported some years ago that health
studies have long shown that unmarried or widowed
people are much more susceptible to sickness than
married people. For instance, the death rate from
heart disease is five times as high among widows
between 25 and 34 as it is among married women of the
same age. And the divorced of all ages are twice as
susceptible to strokes as are the married.2 I would
expect that little has changed since this article was
first written.
James J. Lynch, when he was a specialist in
psychosomatic medicine at the University of Maryland
Medical School, and author of The Broken Heart: The
Medical Consequences of Loneliness, claimed that
suicide, cancer, tuberculosis, accidents, mental
disorders, and especially heart disease are "all
significantly influenced by human companionship."
In other words, "loneliness and isolation can
literally break your heart." Loneliness is a feeling
of not being able to reach another person and his not
being able to reach you. It is a feeling of being
isolated even though you may be surrounded by people.
Henri Nouwen expressed it this way: the lonely person
"cannot make contact; his hand closes on empty air."
To be continued ...
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I am feeling lonely
help me to see if the cause lies within myself and, if
so, to seek the help I need to overcome this problem.
Also, help me not to withdraw into myself but reach
out to others and lend a helping hand to a brother or
sister who is lonely too. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. Genesis 2:18 (NIV).
2. Time, Sept. 5, 1977.
<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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Tue 31 Aug 2010, 12:02 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Apathy! But Who Cares?
"But of that day and hour [the day of Christ's return
to earth for all his true followers] no one knows, not
even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the
Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know
when the time is."1
The following warning is attributed to an 18th-century
Scottish writer who said: "The average age of the
world's great civilizations has been two hundred
years. These nations have progressed through the
following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith,
from spiritual faith to courage, from courage to
liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to
selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from
complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from
dependency back to bondage."
I wonder in what stage we are in the U.S.A.,
Australia, Europe, New Zealand and the Western World?
Could it be apathy? Very likely. Do we, as churches,
care enough to do anything about the ever accelerating
moral decline and do what we can to help make an impact
on our societies? Do we, as individuals as well as
churches, care enough to do everything we can to help
spread the saving gospel of Jesus Christ across the
street and around the world? For without Jesus, people
are lost--forever.
Thank God that he cared enough to send his only Son,
Jesus Christ, to give his life to die in our place to
pay the penalty for all our sins so that we could
receive God's forgiveness and the gift of eternal
life. And thank Jesus Christ that he cared enough for
us to die for us. And because Jesus cared enough to
give his life to die for us, do we care enough to give
our life to live for and to serve him?
As the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth 2,000
years ago is an indisputable fact of history. His
second coming to take his true followers to be with
him forever is just as certain. Jesus is coming again.
Let us make sure that we are ready for and actively
serving him when he comes.
If you would like to commit or re-commit your life to
Jesus and daily make yourself available to serve him,
please pray the following prayer: "Dear God, in
gratefulness to Jesus for giving his life to pay the
penalty for all my sins and for your gift of
forgiveness and eternal life, I surrender, commit and
trust my life and way to you. I am available. Please
make me usable and use me today to be 'as Jesus' in
some way to every life I touch. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name.
Amen." I encourage you to pray this prayer of
commitment at the beginning of every day for the rest
of your life.
Note: If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your
personal Savior and received God's gift of forgiveness
and eternal life, I urge you to do this today. For help
please read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian." Click ON www.actsweb.org/christian.
1. Mark 13:33-34 (NKJV).
<Smile)))><

Today's Daily Encounter

Will God Ever Reject Me?
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life."1
A troubled Daily Encounter reader writes: "The
circumstances of my birth were not good. My mother,
newly wedded to her husband, had me by another man.
Ever since I found this out in my teenage years (when
my parents finally got divorced after a horrible
marriage), I have felt like an outcast, as if I were
cursed because I was born in a sinful manner. I know a
child of God cannot be cursed because Jesus hung on a
tree for us, but it's very difficult to overcome this
feeling at times. I often feel as if God has rejected
me. Is this possible?
Dear Michael (name changed), even though you may not
feel it right now, let me assure you that you are not
rejected by God. He loves you and me regardless of our
feelings and no matter what we have ever done or have
failed to do--or whatever anyone has ever done to us.
God loves us all with an everlasting love. If truth be
known there must be millions of people who were never
planned or even wanted, but are still loved and
accepted by God no matter what.
Some years ago when my youngest son was still a teen,
he was very angry at me about something that I have
long since forgotten, but I will never forget what he
said. He blurted out in a very angry manner, "Well,
why did you have me anyhow?"
I immediately replied (and genuinely meant it),
"Because you are a part of God's eternal plan!"
And Michael, this is also true of you and every child
that was ever born. All are known by God from the
foundation of the world. You, too, are a part of God's
eternal plan. God loves you eternally. Jesus died on
the cross for YOU. And if you have never accepted
God's gift of forgiveness and salvation by receiving
Jesus as your Savior, I urge you to do that today. For
help, please read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" online at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Also, at the beginning of every day I encourage you to
pray the following prayer:
"Dear God, again today I commit and trust my life and
way to you. Please guide me in the way that I should
go, and help me to become the person you want me to
be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: And, Dear Reader, I encourage you to do the same
as I have been doing pretty much every day since my
youth and plan on praying this prayer every day until
the day I go to be with the Lord.
1. John 3:16 (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) 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 : 66350
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Aug 2010, 6:37 pm

Eternity
Sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
"He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."1
If you happened to watch the world-wide TV New Year's Eve 2000 celebrations a decade ago, you would have seen, not only the impressive fireworks display in Sydney (Australia), but also emblazoned in extremely large neon writing right across the Sydney Harbor Bridge the word, "Eternity."
This word was in celebration of the "work and witness" of sidewalk chalk artist (if that's what you could call him), Arthur Malcolm Stace, who became affectionately known as "Mr. Eternity."
"July 30 of this year marked the 43rd anniversary of the death of Arthur Stace. Born in 1884 into a drunken Australian family, Arthur described what he'd become, "a petty criminal, a bum, and a metho (metholated spirits alcohol) drinker."
"His new birth from an old life in crime and sin to a new life in Christ and service took place on the night of August 6, 1930.
"This spiritual turn around occurred after he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached faithfully by Rev. R.D.S. Hammond at St Barnabas church in Broadway, Sydney. Twelve years later, on a Sunday night, November 14, 1942, at his home church in Darlinghurst, as he sat listening to 'The Echoes of Eternity' proclaimed forthrightly by Australia's beloved evangelist--the late Rev. John G. Ridley--Stace was challenged to go out and write with chalk the word Eternity multiplied thousands of times on city sidewalks. This he did continuously and consistently for the next quarter of century till he died on July 30, 1967.
"By the time Arthur Stace was called by God to exit this world into eternity, he had left behind a legacy of an enormous value in the copperplate writing of one word--Eternity.
"God took his tool--a piece of chalk--his text of one word, Eternity, and his territory of one pavement at a time in Sydney, and multiplied it abundantly.
"It was witnessed first by many thousands in Sydney, Woolongong, Newcastle, and Melbourne. Then on the eve of the new millennium celebration, more than a million people who crammed around the Sydney Harbor Bridge saw it electronically emblazoned across the bridge of our Olympic city after a spectacular display of fireworks. It was also beamed around the world to more than two billion viewers, as well as at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games later on in the year."2
Eternity. It is a powerful word with eternal consequences. In his own simple but profound way, Arthur Stace was posing the question, "Where will you spend eternity?"
Eternity! Where will you spend it? Whatever you do, don't leave earth without your "Passport for Heaven." To pick up your "Passport for Heaven" go to: http://tinyurl.com/passport-heaven it comes without charge.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have provided the way to spend eternity with you, through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus, so that all who will believe in and accept him as their savior have your promise and guarantee of spending eternity with you in heaven. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV).
2. Peter Rahme, Pastor, Inner West Baptist Church. www.innerwestbaptist.org.au.
BLESSINGS THAT COME EACH DAY
Author Unknown
Always remember to forget
the things that made you sad,
But never forget to remember
the things that made you glad
Always remember to forget
the friend's that proved untrue,
But never forget to remember
those that have stuck by you
Always remember to forget
the troubles that passed away
But never forget to remember
the blessings that come each day.
Storms Can Make Music
There is a legend about a German nobleman who had a castle in the hills along the Rhine. Being a music lover, he stretched some wires between the towers of his castle with the hope that the winds might vibrate them and make music. But the gentle Rhineland breezes produced no sounds.
Then one night a great thunderstorm swept up the valley. Furious winds beat against the castle. Even the mountains roundabout seemed to shake.
The baron opened a sheltered window to watch the progress of the storm and, to his astonishment, he heard the strains of beautiful music. Now those wires were humming like guitar strings. It had required a windstorm to bring out the music!
Is it not often so with us? In the day of calm prosperity, little spiritual beauty is seen in us. But when God sends the tempest, he can make music out of it which we never expected to come out of a storm of trouble.
PaulaGround Zero the Hall Lindsey Report.
http://www.hallindsey.com/
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 10:16 am

Today's Daily Encounter
When the Helper Needs Help
"And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not
so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his
breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner.'"1
King Duncan tells about the story of a manager of a
ten-story office building who was informed that a man
was trapped in an elevator between the second and
third floors. The manager rushed to the grill work
under the stalled car and called to the passenger,
"Keep cool, sir; we'll have you out soon. I've phoned
for the elevator mechanic."
There was a brief pause and a tense voice replied, "I
am the elevator mechanic."2
Many of us, especially we men, even when we are
trapped find it very difficult to say, "I have a
problem. I need help." As a result, we pay a high
price for our stubborn independence.
When it comes to our spiritual wellbeing and life
beyond the grave, many, if not most, people figure
that if they have done enough good things to outweigh
the bad things they have done, that this will qualify
them for entering God's heaven. In other words we want
to save ourselves, which is akin to a drowning man
trying to save himself by picking himself up out of
the water.
Vance Havner used to say how the world's a goner. It's
a sinking ship. God's goal isn't to save the world but
to save lost sinners from the sinking ship that is
drowning in an ocean of sin and degradation. Only the
ones who admit that they are a lost sinner and cry for
God to save them can be saved for all eternity.
We simply cannot save ourselves. That's why Jesus came
to die on the cross in our place--to pay the penalty
for all our sins so we could be freely forgiven and
given God's gift of eternal life. The prayer God loves
to hear is, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I acknowledge that I am a
sinner and cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is
the Son of God and that he died on the cross for my
sins. Have mercy on me and save me. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
For further help be sure to read "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
1. Luke 18:13 (NKJV).
2. King Duncan www.sermons.com.
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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Aug 2010, 3:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Living with an Alcoholic Spouse
"Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in
orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and
debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather,
clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do
not think about how to gratify the desires of the
sinful nature."1
A Daily Encounter reader writes, "My husband is a
heavy beer drinker. He averages 12 to 18 beers a day.
He is not convicted about his drinking habit. He feels
that only 'drunkenness' is a sin. We are new Christians
and I thought he would discontinue his drinking once he
was closer to God. We have only been married a short
time, but this is distressing me. I don't want to come
across as holier than thou. He knows how I feel about
his habit, and sometimes it is very difficult to keep
from complaining. Please help."
Dear Anita (name changed): If your husband has twelve
to eighteen beers a day, I'd say he's an alcoholic.
Unfortunately, most alcoholic's deny their problem and
continually rationalize their behavior; that is, until
there is some kind of crisis intervention. So what can
you do?
First, while your husband is obviously in denial, it
is imperative that you face reality or you will become
a part of and reinforce his sickness. There is a reason
why you were attracted to an over-dependent
personality. Chances are you may have had an alcoholic
father and are repeating a family pattern. Or you may
be codependent with a need to be needed in order to
feel loved. Whatever the reason, you need to see your
part in the problem. You can't change your husband but
you can change you. As you change, your husband is
almost forced to change, but, in all probability, not
without rocking the boat. He wants you to be there to
take care of him and to put up with his drinking. If
you decide you are not going to be his "savior" any
longer, trust me, he won't like it.
Second, you need to exercise tough love and confront
your husband with reality. This is the most loving
thing you can do. True, tough love is tough--really
tough. There's no guarantee that it will work, but if
you don't exercise tough love, you are both headed for
disaster. You need to lovingly explain to your husband
that his heavy drinking has you deeply concerned, that
it is affecting your relationship, that he needs to see
that his drinking is a problem, and that he needs to
get help.
Third, before you do this, however, you need to have a
good support system in place. Don't even try to go it
alone. Get help for yourself. Get into a twelve-step
Al-Anon support group and I urge you to see a
qualified Christian counselor who can help you grow
and guide you through this rocky process.
If your husband refuses to face reality (which he is
bound to do at first) and continues his heavy
drinking, at some point you may have to tell him that
unless he faces reality and gets into a recovery
program, you will have to separate yourself from him
until he admits he has a problem and gets help to
overcome. If you don't make a stand now, you are
heading for far greater problems ahead.
Fourth, and most important of all, seek God's help.
Ask God every day to help you to be as Christ to your
husband in everything you do and say, and pray that
your husband will see Jesus in you and want the same
for himself.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in every distressing
situation I am in please help me to see what I am
contributing to the problem, admit what it is, and get
the help I need to overcome. Also help me to always be
'as Jesus' to anyone I am in conflict with, and
exercise tough love where tough love is needed. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 13:13-14 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 25 Aug 2010, 11:04 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Don't Forget to Pray
"The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did
not inquire of the Lord."1
When the armies of ancient Israel, led by Joshua, were
conquering the Promised Land, the surrounding kings and
nations were understandably terrified. This was because
God was with the Israelites giving them great victories
over their enemies--enemies whom God commanded the
Israelites to destroy because of their sinful,
decadent, and self-destructive ways.
The men of Gibeon, a close country, resorted to
trickery. They sent a delegation to Joshua with the
appearance of having come from a distant land so they
could deceive Joshua into making a treaty with them.
Their donkeys carried worn out sacks and old wineskins
that were cracked and had been mended. They wore old
clothes, worn and patched sandals, and the bread they
carried with them was dry and moldy.
Their disguise worked very well. Joshua signed a
treaty with them only to discover afterwards they were
a neighboring people among those countries God had told
Joshua to destroy. They had to live with the
consequences as a result.
Joshua's mistake was that he made this treaty without
praying and inquiring of the Lord--a valuable lesson
for all of us to learn.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me never to forget
my need for wisdom and guidance from you and daily
seek your direction in everything I do. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Joshua 9:14 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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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and made possible through the donations of
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Aug 2010, 1:05 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of a Single Flame
Jesus said, "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under
a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all
who are in the house. Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven."1
"During my idealistic youth," Michael Josephson of
Character Counts wrote, "I attended an event in a
large stadium. Everyone was given an unlit candle. A
speaker talked about the power of one person with an
enlightened message. He lit his candle, walked over to
two people in the stands and lit theirs with his
candle. He asked them to light two others. Within a
few minutes, everyone's candle was lit and the entire
stadium glowed.
"It's the most powerful visual metaphor I've ever
experienced. A single tiny flame had lit thousands of
candles. What's more, as it was passed on and on, each
glimmer continued to burn with undiminished light. The
speed with which the sparkle and warmth of that single
flame spread across the stadium was awe-inspiring."2
Today's ever darkening world with never-ending acts of
terror, the growing threat of Iran with developing
nuclear weapons, the rapid growth of Islam with
endless numbers of radical Muslims who hate Jews, the
West, and Christians--and are determined to overrun
and kill us--all of this needs to be a wakeup call for
every Christian.
Add to this the accelerating moral decline, plus the
numerous secular-progressive radicals, judges,
politicians, and leaders, etc., etc., with their
increasing anti-God, anti-Christian, pro-gay marriage,
pro-abortion philosophy and actions.
Thus, there is an urgent need for every Christian to
let our light shine for Jesus and reach out to people
everywhere with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ--the
Light of the World and the only hope of our sin-sick
world.
Let us together renew our resolve to be a candlelight
for Jesus. Let our good deeds and kind words be a
living testimony to the saving power of Jesus. And may
we always stand up for what is right, and by our
example show others the way. And, above all, resolve
to keep on sharing the gospel with all we can while we
can--and encourage other Christians we know to do
likewise.
Remember the chorus we sang as kids in Sunday School:
"See this little light of mine / I'm going to let it
shine . . . Don't let Satan poof it out / I'm going to
let it shine . . . Let is shine 'till Jesus comes / I'm
going to let it shine / let it shine / let it shine.
For helps to "let your light shine" and 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.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I resolve to do
everything I can to let my light shine for Jesus.
Please use me to be a lesser light to point others to
Jesus, the Light of the World, and in so doing may
many accept him as their personal Lord and Savior.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 5:15-16 (NKJV).
2. Michael Josephson, Character Counts,
http://charactercounts.org.
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 23 Aug 2010, 6:43 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Falling Asleep
"So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep,
but let us be alert and self-controlled."1
I recall falling asleep in a college class on one
occasion and, knowing I was sleeping, the professor
called on me to answer a question. I had no idea what
the question was and gave the dumbest answer. The
class thought it was funny, but the professor surely
didn't. If I go to sleep in church, my wife gives me a
gentle "nudge" with her elbow. I confess, too, that
sometimes in bed right when I am praying with Joy, I
go to sleep but my mouth keeps going. I'm dreaming and
start verbalizing what I am dreaming about. Joy can
tell you some good stories about the times this has
happened. On one of these occasions I was praying for
the garbage man. When Joy woke me out of my dream and
told me who I was praying for, I said, "Well, the
garbage man needs prayer too!"
It is harmless going to sleep in a safe place but not
so when driving a car. That can be extremely dangerous
and has been deadly for many. There's been several
times when I knew I was too sleepy to drive so exited
from the highway to have a break. However, in today's
Scripture the Apostle Paul was not speaking about
going to sleep physically, but spiritually. That, too,
can be deadly not just for time, but for all eternity.
If we go to sleep spiritually we can easily drift far
from God without even realizing it. And, tragically,
at the end of life's journey, wake up too late only to
discover that we have missed the directions for God's
"highway to Heaven" and find ourselves in a lost
eternity.
Whatever you do, be absolutely certain that you are
awake spiritually so that you won't miss God's
directions both for this life and the next. For help,
read how to know God and his directions for life after
death online at: http://tinyurl.com/8brzh.
Read also, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian--without having to be religious at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word
that warns me to keep awake spiritually and that also
shows me the only way to your Heaven and eternal life.
Please help me to know for certain that I am safely
following your directions and your way for this life
and the next. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 (NIV).
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Aug 2010, 11:28 am

1. The Fruit of Discipline
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but
painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of
righteousness and peace for those who have been
trained by it."1
"A peach tree stands in our back yard," wrote K.
Marshall Strom. "Unpruned, the tree grew big and
leafy. It was loaded with peaches, although the fruit
was disappointingly small and tasteless.
"The year my husband, Larry, was out of work, he went
to work on the tree. When I came home from school one
day and saw how far back he had pruned it, I stared in
shock. 'You've killed it,' I cried. 'Now we won't have
any peaches at all.'
"I was wrong. That spring the pruned branches burst
forth with a beautiful blanketing of pink blossoms.
Some little green peaches replaced the blossoms.
'Leave them alone,' I begged. Larry ignored me and
thinned the fruit.
"By the end of summer the branches were so heavily
laden with fruit they had to be propped up. And the
peaches--how large, sweet and juicy they were! There
was no denying it: the tree was far better off from
the painful cutting it endured."2
I like to constantly emphasize that God's goal is not
to make us good but to make us whole. The result will
be that genuine goodness will be the outcome of being
made whole. But to be made whole usually takes a lot
of "pruning" (discipline) by God. Speaking personally,
the only time I ever take a look at myself and break
through some defense I have been using to hide some
sin or fault, is when I am hurting bad enough. I mean,
who wants to change when everything is going great. Not
me! I may not like the "pruning" process but I
certainly appreciate the result ... fruit!
So, if you are going through a rough time right now,
ask God to help you see if there is some lesson he is
teaching you, some issue he is wanting you to deal
with, or some change he sees you need to make.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that your goal
is to make me whole. Please help me to accept and
submit to your pruning and discipline and, because of
them, please make me a better, more whole person.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV).
2. Cited on KneEmail, http://www.oakhillcoc.org
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Aug 2010, 10:00 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Winning Losers
"According to your faith will it be done to you."1
In response to the Daily Encounter titled, "Cheaters
Never Win," one man whom I will call Fred wrote
saying. "My wife left and divorced me. Now she is
remarried. She has moved on. I'm in dreadful pain and
can't seem to move on. She cheated. I didn't. She
broke the rules. I didn't. She's happy. I'm not. She
seems to have won. I lost.
It appears to Fred that his former wife won. However,
Fred's issue isn't about her--whether she is a winner
or not--as Fred can't change her. For Fred the issue
is about him and whether he chooses to stay a
loser-victim rather than becoming a winning-loser.
And yes, losing love hurts real badly. There are few
things in life more painful than rejection. When a
marriage fails, it can be extremely difficult to see,
but if one can see beyond his present circumstances,
be still and listen with his heart, he will hear God's
wakeup call and see that God wants him to grow and
become a much healthier and more fulfilled person.
The point is that what we see is what we will become.
That is, if I see myself as a loser, a loser I will
be. If I see myself as a winner, a winner I will be.
As Jesus said to the blind men, "According to your
faith will it be done to you." And what is faith? It
is visualizing or seeing what God wants you to be and,
with his help, acting on what you see to make it
happen.
As I said to Fred, "Your situation is God's wakeup
call for you to grow and become the person God wants
you to be. This will take time, commitment, and hard
work, but if you get into a good recovery program and
work on your character issues and grow, you will
become a true winner. To begin, ask God to face you
with the truth about you, to reveal to you any and all
character issues you need to work on, and to lead you
to the help you need to recover and grow.
The fact is that in every loss, setback, and
heartbreak, God wants to use it as a wakeup call for
us to grow and become healthier, whole, and fulfilled
persons. The choice is ours. Remember: With
commitment, hard work and courage, what you see God
wants you to be will be.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to look
beyond my present circumstances and see with faith's
eye exactly what you want me to become. Show me what I
need to do and lead me to the help I need so to be.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 9: 29 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

* * * * * * *

Today's Daily Encounter

From What We Are to What We Can Become
"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother
Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that
is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus
looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John.
You will be called Cephas' (that, being translated, is
Peter, the rock)."1
I was visiting the beautiful Huntington Library
Gardens a while back with some friends and was greatly
impressed with the wonderful gardens with sections
dedicated to different countries. When we were in the
Japanese section and saw the display of bonsai trees,
one of my friends remarked how sad it was to see such
wonderful trees root-bound in that they could never in
their current setting ever reach the potential that
they were designed to become.
I get the same kind of feeling at a zoo or animal
sanctuary when I see a glorious eagle cage-bound. This
"king of birds" with the incredible wingspan can rise
no higher than the cage he is in.
I wonder when God looks down and sees so many of his
children sin-bound or damaged-emotions-bound, does
this make him feel sad? I'm sure it does, but the good
news is that God also sees our great potential.
When Jesus first met Simon he saw Peter, the rock.
When he looked at Abram, he saw Abraham, the father of
the nation of Israel. When he saw David, the shepherd
boy, he saw a mighty King David. When he looked at
Saul of Tarsus, he saw Paul the Apostle.
And when Jesus looks at you and me, he sees us not
only as we are, but also what, with his help, we can
become.
When Jesus looks at you, what do you thinks he sees?
Whatever you do, don't miss out on becoming what God
has envisioned for you to become. He does have a
vision and purpose for your life too. Never rest until
you discover what that purpose is.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the
insight to see what you see in me and what, with your
help, I can become. And give me the courage to do what
I need to do to fulfill your vision for me, so that my
life will be an investment in eternity. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. John 1:41-42 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Aug 2010, 4:40 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Killing off the Coyotes
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a
man sows, that he will also reap."1
In his book, Rewriting the Family Script, Roger
Hillerstrom shares how "a small, Midwestern town once
sponsored a coyote hunt because so many farmers were
losing chickens to the predators. Fifteen hundred
coyotes were killed over a single weekend.
"However, within a few months the entire community was
overrun with rodents, because their natural enemy, the
coyote, had been eliminated. A year after that, the
rodents weren't much of a problem, but the
rattlesnakes were! Because there were so many rats and
mice for them to eat, the poisonous snakes had
reproduced rapidly.
"At that point, the chickens were safe, but the humans
were in danger! You see, the coyotes had been an
important part of the environmental system--the food
chain. When one part of that system changed, other
parts adapted to the new reality."2
When we as individuals, groups, or societies and even
some churches get rid of God's Word, the Ten
Commandments, and overthrow God's standards to do as
we please, and seek to throw out God himself, the
seeds of our ultimate destruction are sown. God is not
mocked. In time, we all reap what we have sown.
As the Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians in
Corinth: "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men [and women] of courage; be strong. Do
everything in love."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, amid the ever increasing
pressure in our society to get rid of anything to do
with the Bible and with you, please help me to be on
my guard, be strong, and stand firm in my Christian
faith. And help me to so live that others seeing Jesus
in me will want him for themselves. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Galatians 6:7 (NKJV).
2. P. Roger Hillerstrom, Rewriting the Family Script,
(Grand Rapids, Michigan: Fleming H. Revell, 1995), p.
19. Cited on www.sermons.com.
3. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 17 Aug 2010, 11:37 am

Today's Daily Encounter

I'm Just a Kid . . . But
"The LORD [God] came and stood there, calling as at
the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' Then Samuel said,
'Speak, for your servant is listening.'"1
Larry L. wrote to me a very short but impressive note.
It read, "Sorry I can't donate anything. I'm just a
kid, but I'll stand right with you in prayer. I'll
continue to pray for your mission. Thanks for all your
messages."
I replied: Hi Larry, bless you for your desire to pray
for our ministry. This is a big offering to the Lord,
and a great encouragement and blessing to Joy and me.
Remember, too, that God has used lots of kids in his
work--kids who made themselves available for him to
use--kids whom he used to make an impact on others.
Samuel, one of the great prophets of God in years gone
by, began to serve God when he was just a kid.
When God called David who became the mighty King of
Israel, he was just a shepherd lad being diligent with
his work.
Jesus took the two loaves of bread and a few fish that
a kid gave to him to feed a multitude of people.
I started serving God when just a kid by collecting
and putting away the hymn books after every service in
the small church I attended. And one of the best pieces
of advice I received when I was little more than a kid
was to commit and trust my life and way to God every
day--and I've been doing that ever since. That's been
for quite a few years now. I encourage you to do the
same and God will use you, too, to influence who knows
how many people.
Also, ask God every day to use you to be "as Jesus" to
your family, friends and every life you touch.
God's very best to you, Larry, and many thanks again
for standing with us in prayer.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you so much for
kids who have a tender heart towards you. Please help
me to always come to you as such a child and use me to
share your love to others. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."
1. 1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 Mon 16 Aug 2010, 11:00 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Be Careful Where You Walk
"Above all else, guard your heart . . . keep your foot
from evil."1
I have read that the African impala can jump more than
ten feet high and cover a distance of thirty feet. So
why can impalas be held captive in a zoo behind a wall
that is only three feet high?
It's because this magnificent animal will not jump if
it can't see where its feet are going to fall--and
beyond the zoo wall it cannot see.
Smart animal.
God's advice to us is the same, "Above all else, guard
your heart; for it is the wellspring of life. Put away
perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from
your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your
gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your
feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve
to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."2
Great advice!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your Word,
the Bible, which gives us instructions for wholesome,
healthy, and productive living. Give me a hunger to
know your Word and the good sense to apply it and live
by it. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 4:23, 27 (NIV).
2. Ibid.
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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


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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Aug 2010, 9:01 am

Today's Daily Encounter

A Lesson From Ben Hur
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face
trials of many kinds, because you know that the
testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking anything."1
King Duncan writes how "there is a great lesson in the
story of Ben Hur--a young Jewish lad who is charged
with a crime he didn't commit. In a travesty of a
trial he is condemned to the galleys. They chained him
to a bench in the hold of a ship and to an oar. For
weeks and months, then years he is forced to pull on
that oar. If he should ever slack up, he will feel the
sting of the lash.
"But finally Ben Hur escapes from this barbaric
punishment. It is time for Ben Hur's famous chariot
race with Mersala, the haughty Roman. The chariot race
is ultimately a test of strength and endurance. As Ben
Hur whips those great horses around the inner ring, it
is clear that he is the stronger and more fit of the
two. The years of pulling on the oar in the hold of a
ship had produced a man of steel.
"There may be a great deal of injustice in our lives.
We may feel that we are chained to an oar. But if we
keep pulling, if we keep giving our best, [with God's
help] we can become better people through our
hardships."2
True, the trials of life can make us bitter or they
can make us better. We can take the high road or the
low road. It's never easy but the choice is ours.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever trials come my
way, please help me to accept them as opportunities to
grow and become a healthier and stronger person, so I
will be better equipped to serve you and help others.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).
2. King Duncan, www.sermons.com.
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 12 Aug 2010, 7:01 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

When You Can’t Forgive Yourself
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he
[God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness."1
A reader writes: "In a recent Daily Encounter you
mentioned that God forgives us and you also said,
'don't forget to forgive yourself. But what if you
can't? What if you don't know how to?'
"In short a family member was terminally ill and I was
her 24/7 caregiver which was stressful, and there were
times I lost my temper or times when I knew I should
do something with her but was hiding in another room
because I didn't like to see her that way. There is so
much I did or didn't do for which I am very regretful
and I don't know how to forgive myself. I have been
seeing a counselor and it has helped me understand but
I can't seem to forgive myself. I know there has to be
a way--but how?"
Dear Janice (name changed), when we confess our sins
to God, he does forgive us regardless of our feelings.
When we can't forgive ourselves, one reason is because
we are either perfectionists or have perfectionistic
tendencies. The problem then isn't that we can't
forgive ourselves, but that we are perfectionists who
have unreal expectations of ourselves.
Another reason can be because of low self-esteem, and
we falsely believer that we are not worthy of
forgiveness.
So, ask God to give you the insight and courage to
face the root cause of your inability to forgive
yourself. If you seek this truth with all your heart,
when you are ready to face and accept it, you will see
it.
In the meantime, try to see that you are expecting
more of yourself than God is. Remember, when you
confess your sins and failures to him, he forgives you
fully and freely. Every day say out loud many times:
"Thank you, God, that you have forgiven me and,
because you have forgiven me, with your help I forgive
me." Repeatedly stating this with deep emotion or
feeling, can help to program this truth into your
unconscious mind and into your belief system. Once you
truly believe this truth, you will be able to feel
forgiven.
Yes, you may find this difficult to do, but do it
anyhow because it is based on God's Word and not your
feelings. Just don't allow your damaged emotions to
control your life.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when I
confess my sins to you, you have promised to forgive
me. Help me to not only know this but also feel it in
my heart. And whenever I have a problem forgiving
myself, please help me to see the reason for this, and
lead me to the help I need to overcome. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. 1 John 1:8-9 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 11 Aug 2010, 7:38 am

Today's Daily Encounter

We Do Have Choices
"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care .
. . not lording it over those entrusted to you."1
Em Griffin, author of The Mind Changers, tells about a
good friend from the University of Michigan who went as
a medical missionary to Bangladesh. When he arrived on
the mission field, he was informed that he couldn't
keep his four children with him, but that they would
have to go away to boarding school. This was the
policy of the mission and he didn't have a choice.
He responded, "Sure I have a choice! Our kids need us.
Evangelization in the home first, then on the mission
field." He then proceeded to raise more money, found a
teacher, and established a mission school right on the
hospital grounds.
Certainly we need to follow our God-given leaders.
However, when they are in the wrong (as we/they
sometimes are), it is important to confront them in
Christian love where necessary, and to do what is
right. As Peter pointed out, no leader has a right to
control (lord it over) anybody else. When we do, we
are playing the role of God and the Holy Spirit in
their life.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the
serenity to accept the leadership of your servants
when what they say is in harmony with your will, the
courage and grace to stand against them when they are
not in your will, and the wisdom to know the
difference. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. 1 Peter 5:2-3 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness for all your sins and His invitation for a full and free 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 10 Aug 2010, 1:53 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Beautiful Ugly Duckling
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the
LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future".1
Most of us will be familiar with the children's fable
of the ugly duckling how a mother hen had six
beautiful golden yellow chicks and one ugly gray one.
The ugly one was picked on by all the other chicks,
rejected, made fun of, and made to feel terrible
because he was so different. You can imagine how he
felt. Some time later when all the chicks were grown,
along came a flock of beautiful swans. How the ugly
duckling adored them and lo and behold, he looked into
the water and saw his own reflection and came to the
profound realization that he wasn't an ugly duckling
but a beautiful swan! His life was forever changed.
Did you ever feel like you were an "ugly duckling"
misfit? Many of us have. Many still do. I've known
beautiful people who felt and believed they were ugly.
In younger days I had a "girl friend" who told me I was
ugly. Tragically I believed her! She wasn't my girl
friend very long but the image she planted in my mind
took a long time to erase. When we define ourselves as
ugly and believe it, it can be devastating to our
self-image and behavior and how well we do in life.
When parents or peers repeatedly tell us we are ugly,
clumsy, stupid or whatever, and we believe what they
say and define ourselves that way, we tend to act
accordingly because we always act consistently with
what we believe deep down--no matter what we may
profess.
I know it is easier said than done, but there is only
one way to truly define ourselves, and that is how God
sees us. And when we see ourselves this way, our life
can be forever changed too!
Certainly God sees our wounded-ness, our brokenness,
our sins, and our failures, but he separates our
person from our actions and sees beyond these. He sees
us as his creation and loves us with an everlasting
love. He sees the person in us that he envisions us to
be . . . our potential and what, with his help, we can
become.
As Michelangelo said, "I saw the angel in the marble
and chiseled until I set it free." That's how God sees
you and me. He looks beyond the rugged exterior and
sees the "angel" within each of us.
As God said to the ancient Israelites, he also says to
you and me: "For I know the plans I have for you . . .
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future."
May God help each of us to see ourselves as God sees
us, to see our God-given potential, and with God's
help become that person. (If you haven't already done
this, it begins with accepting God's Son, Jesus
Christ, as your personal Lord and Savior. For help,
click on the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.)

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you know
and see me exactly as I am--and love and accept me
totally as I am. Thank you, too, that you have a
wonderful plan and purpose for my life. Please help me
to see this, believe it, and define myself as you see
me--and with your help, become that person. Gratefully
in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
<Smile)))><

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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Aug 2010, 11:24 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Learning to Love
"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the
Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And
the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as
yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these
two commandments."1
Someone else said with tongue-in-cheek, "Heaven help
your neighbor if you hate yourself!" They were right.
Every normal person wants and needs loving
relationships, but if we hate ourselves we are not
going to experience loving relationships. We will
unconsciously project our self-hatred onto others and
set them up to reject us, for what we project is what
we get back!
Actually, only to the degree that I have learned to
love and accept myself in a healthy sense am I able to
love and accept others in a healthy sense. What I hate
and have rejected in myself, I will also hate and
reject in others. My relationships will only ever be
as healthy as I am.
Healthy self-love and acceptance isn't a prideful
thing, but rather, it is learning to know and accept
ourselves as we are--dark side and all. Only then are
we able to change and keep growing to become healthier
and more loving persons.
To grow in self-love we need to be fully known by at
least one other loving and accepting person--a person
who will not put us down, judge or criticize us, tell
us what we should or shouldn't do, try to fix us, give
unsolicited advice, or preach at us, but accept us just
as we are. It is through their knowing, accepting, and
loving us as we are that, little by little, we learn
to love and accept ourselves. This truth cannot be
over-emphasized for we can only feel loved to the
degree that we are known, accepted, and loved by at
least one loving, trusted person. This is not to imply
that this person approves of any negative or
destructive behavior. Not at all.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me at least
one safe, loving and accepting person whom I can trust
with my total life--dark side and all--and through
their loving acceptance of me, help me to learn to
love and accept myself as you love and accept me, so I
can truly love you with all my heart, soul, and mind,
and love my neighbor as you want me to. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV).
<Smile)))><

Note: If you would like to receive Jesus Christ
as your Savior or if you would like to re-commit
your life to Jesus Christ, please note this at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Aug 2010, 1:11 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Be Angry--Sin Not
"In your anger do not sin."1
I recall teaching a group where I said that it was
okay to be angry. One lady was absolutely amazed. She
told me that she had been taught all her life that
Christians never get angry. So she had reasoned in her
mind: "Christians never get angry. I'm always angry.
Therefore I can never be a Christian!"
That night she was freed from 20 years of anguish and
received assurance of her salvation. She was indeed a
Christian because she had received Jesus as her
Savior.
Anger is amoral; that is, of itself it is neither
right nor wrong. It's what we do with it and how we
handle it that matters. The Bible actually says, "In
your anger do not sin,"1 or as an older translation
says, "Be angry--sin not."
Anger itself (not rage, hostility or bitterness) is a
God-given emotion. Its purpose is to fight evil and
right wrongs. This is how Florence Nightingale used
her anger. She was angry at the way wounded soldiers
were being badly mistreated, so she did something
about it. We, too, are meant to use our anger in
creative ways.
The reality is that everybody gets angry at some time
or another. Some people bury and deny theirs, while
others lash out and hurt others. Neither of these is
healthy nor Christian.
When expressing anger we need to own it as our own,
and remember that the biblical principle is to speak
the truth in love. One way to do this is to say
something like, "I know my feelings are my
responsibility, but I feel angry and need to talk to
you about such and such."
Never say to a person, "You make me angry." This is
because nobody can make us angry without our
permission. All they do is trigger our anger but the
anger is always ours.
Unfortunately, when we have a lot of bottled up anger
or anger from the past that has never been resolved,
our anger button can get triggered real easy and we
overreact. As I've said many times, what the other
person does to me is their issue. How I feel and react
is always my responsibility--but to the degree that I
overreact, that is totally my problem.
For healthy, intimate relationships it is imperative
that we learn to identify our feelings--positive and
negative--to be honest about them, and learn how to
handle them in creative, rather than destructive,
ways.
As the Bible teaches, "If you are angry, don't sin by
nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with
you still angry--get over it quickly, for when you are
angry [and don't resolve it] you give a mighty foothold
to the devil."2
For more information on anger and how to handling it
creatively, click on "Taming Your Anger" at:
http://tinyurl.com/tame-anger.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the gift of
feelings. Please help me to be in touch with all of
mine, be honest with them and, when expressing them,
help me to always speak the truth in love. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:26 (NIV).
2. Ephesians 4:25-27 (TLB) (NLT).
<Smile)))><

Note: If you would like to receive Jesus Christ
as your Savior or if you would like to re-commit
your life to Jesus Christ, please note this at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Aug 2010, 2:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Boundaries: What Part of NO Don't You Understand?
"Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who
were buying and selling there. He overturned the
tables of the money changers and the benches of those
selling doves."1
A Daily Encounter reader writes in response to one of
our messages on being peacemakers: "As you know,
meaningful relationships require boundaries. Sometimes
this means letting the other person know you are
offended even if they do not react the way you might
wish. At times keeping your boundaries may even mean
terminating an unhealthy relationship.
"But what about when the relationship is one you
cannot terminate, say with a parent, spouse, or other
family member who is also a Christian? I am not
speaking of blatant abuse situations but the gray
areas in which a lot of people, including myself,
often find ourselves. What about when parents have
deep unresolved anger and hurt which they will not
confront and resolve, so they wind up projecting it
onto their children--including their adult children?
"So where is the line? How do you honor your parents
and keep your boundaries?"
True, the Bible does say we are to honor and obey our
parents, but it never says that we are to accept
everything they, or anybody else, do to us, or ask us
to do.
Meekness isn't weakness. Jesus, of course, is the
prime example of one who had healthy boundaries. He
didn't allow anyone to do anything to him without his
permission, nor did he always meet the expectations of
his parents. And he always confronted evil and
wrongdoing.
So, while we are also told in the Bible to obey our
parents and our leaders, when they, or anyone else,
are abusive, evil, or do wrong, the higher law for us
to follow is the law of God--and that is always to do
the right thing. At times this will require tough love
and saying "no" to anyone who would mistreat or abuse
us, and who are being boundary busters with us.
When Peter and the other apostles were commanded by
the religious leaders not to preach about Jesus, Peter
said, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts
5:29). And they kept preaching.
And think how Jesus handled the religious Pharisees
and those who abused the house of God (the temple) and
were ripping off the poor. He drove them out of the
temple with a whip and called them a brood of vipers!
If we ask ourselves the question, "What would Jesus
do?" in every situation in which we find ourselves and
could discern the correct answer, we would know what to
do. And then we would need to ask him for the courage
to help us to do it.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for Jesus who
is the prime example for us to follow in every
situation . . . whether warm and compassionate or
angry at evil. Please help me to know what you would
do in every confusing situation in which I find
myself--and please give me the courage to do that
without being controlled by false guilt or what others
might think of me. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Jesus in Matthew 21:12 (NIV).
<Smile)))><


Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

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

Today's Daily Encounter

Confessing Other's Sins
"Therefore confess your sins [and faults] to each
other and pray for each other so that you may be
healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and
effective."1
Michael Josephson of Character Counts was addressing a
group of journalists regarding journalistic ethics. He
"posed the question, 'When is it proper for a
journalist to report about the private life of a
public official?'
"Jack Anderson, a well-known investigative columnist,
replied: 'I don't think we should report on the
private behavior of a politician unless it's relevant
to his job.' Then he added, 'but we don't always
follow our own tests.'
"I asked him to explain and he said: 'A few years ago,
a woman came into my office and gave me an airtight
affidavit that the mayor of Tucson had bit her on the
thigh. Now, I didn't think this was too relevant to
his job, but some stories are too good to pass up.'"2
In this political mayhem going on in the U.S. at this
time, between competing politicians attacking each
other, and considerable biased media, there are many
times when I feel like throwing up. One wonders if
there are any ethics.
I think there ought to be a strict rule that governs
all media that says, "No politician or journalist (or
anybody else) is allowed to confess anybody else's
sins and failures publicly, before confessing his or
her own publicly." Zero chance of this ever happening.
Sad to say, far too many of those who call ourselves
Christians don't do too much better. We can be quick
to confess others' sins while hiding our own. The
Bible tells us to confess our sins to each other . . .
not to confess others' sins to each other. There's
another name for this. It's gossip. The Bible condemns
it.
When it comes to Christian growth groups, rule number
one is, "Confess nobody's sins but your own. Period."
True, in life there are times when a leader's behavior
needs to be confronted, but before we do it, let's make
sure our own life is squeaky clean, that our own sins
are confessed and resolved, and that our life is right
with God.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
the sin of gossip. Help me to see my own sins and
faults, confess these to a trusted friend and to you,
and with your help overcome these. And help me always
to live and abide by Christian ethics. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. James 5:16 (NIV).
2. Josephson, Michael, Character Counts, 553.1,
http://charactercounts.org/michael/the_nature_of_character/.
<Smile)))><

Note: If you would like to receive Jesus Christ
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Aug 2010, 6:32 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Pursue Peace
"Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for
mutual up-building."1
"I know what makes him tick, and I know what ticks him
off!" These were the words of a speaker I heard when
talking about her relationship with her husband--with
whom, by the way, she had a very good relationship.
Clever lady. Smart wife!
For couples, and friends for that matter, to relate
well to each other--and to build each other up--each
needs to know how the other ticks; that is, understand
each other. First though, we need to know and
understand ourselves . . . and know what ticks us off
and why we get ticked off (get angry)!
There are some things we ought to get angry about,
such as at anything that is harmful to others. But
oftentimes we get angry--and overreact--not because of
what the other person has done, but because of who we
are. In other words, when I have a lot of unresolved
hurt and anger from the past, it can get triggered by
the slightest incident and I overreact!
What the other person does may or may not be a
problem, but my hurt and my anger are always my
responsibility. And to the degree that I overreact,
that is always my problem!
So we need to know not only what ticks us and each
other off, but also why we get ticked off . . . and
what we need to do about it if we are to have
fulfilling and meaningful relationships.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know,
understand and accept myself, so I will be much more
understanding and accepting of others. And help me to
face and resolve my character issues and be a
peacemaker and not a troublemaker. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."
1. Romans 14:19 (RSV) (NIV).
<Smile)))><

Note: If you would like to receive Jesus Christ
as your Savior or if you would like to re-commit
your life to Jesus Christ, please note this at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2010 by ACTS International.

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