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Member Since 08 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Jul 08 2010 02:24 PM

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Today, 08:28 AM

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Last night we held our Thanksgiving service. It’s a small change in schedule to help make it easier for families to get together for Thanksgiving Day.

It was a time for personal testimonies as well as biblical studies. A time to share our gratitude to God. Let me assure you, there were some testimonies given under circumstances which would make you wonder why a person could be grateful.

No, I will not go into specifics, but I will state that those people who spoke their gratitude in public are living proof that first verse can be done under the most adverse of circumstances. Which bring us to today’s graphic – taken in France in 1917. Can you imagine this widow and fatherless child considering thanks?

Perhaps James had similar in mind when he wrote:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27 KJV)

That’s not the first mention of widows and fatherless, though:

Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. (Exodus 22:22 KJV)

God defined the punishment for such affliction:

If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:23-24 KJV)

The New Testament gives the scenario covered with mercy, but consequences remain. There is good reason for us to consider consequences, for Peter told us:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17-18 KJV)

Too many people have relied upon another verse:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1 KJV)

In the next sentence, Jesus tells us He knows we will be judging:

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2 KJV)

How we treat others openly displays our judgment of them. Are we prepared for that same judgment to be applied to us? Are we prepared for God’s perfect judgment as described by Moses:

Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:3-4 KJV)

Thanks be to God that our righteousness is determined by our response to His gift:

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:17 KJV)

I believe that is the reason that so many could publicly give thanks last night, in spite of physical and personal difficulties, and we all could pray:

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)

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They Shall Never Perish

Today, 03:00 AM

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)

What rich blessings Christ promises to those who “hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (... More..._Iyq9dzJKi4

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Way Of Life - Frank Garlock's Warning Against Vocal Sliding

Yesterday, 10:25 PM

By this technique, attention is immediately drawn to the singer, which is what the world is seeking, but it is not a godly practice in the worship of a thrice-holy God who has proclaimed that He will not give His glory to others.

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Paul Chappell - Growth Points 58: How To Finish Your Course…with Joy 

Yesterday, 02:03 PM

The gospel ministry is not sprint. It is a lifelong calling. And yet, we’re told that only one in ten pastors will finish as a pastor. This statistic seems validated from the pages of Scripture where we find that many spiritual leaders in the Bible didn’t finish well either.

And yet, many did finish well—including the Apostle Paul. I am always motivated by his statement in Acts 20:24: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

I am thankful for the journey of faith God has had led me on to this point—only be His grace. But I want to press on and finish well. And I want to reach the finish line with joy.

In this Growth Points video, I share a few thoughts from Scripture on how to finish your course with joy in your heart.

(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

Make sure you get all future Growth Points videos by subscribing to the Spiritual Leadership Podcast.

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Keeping Rules

Yesterday, 08:05 AM


We believe good parents set specific rules for their children, for their own good. Parents who want their children to succeed lay a foundation of education, nutrition and physical activities that broaden a child’s experiences, teaching them to interact with others while growing physically and intellectually.

My husband's early years lacked that. His parents were young, poor and soon separated, first by war. His father was drafted and sent away from the family. His mother was torn between her own children’s need and the needs of her father and siblings when her mother died, she being the eldest. Their separation ended in divorce, remarriages, separation of children and eventually Department of Human Services intervention, needed to care for neglected children.

Adoption brought my husband and his brother parents that set specific rules, education, etc., changing their interaction within society. Yet, it was their own decisions to follow these rules and parental examples that brought them success. They could have rebelled - many do.

This has always been a good example of our own response to adoption:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15 KJV)

We are given the opportunity to be the children of a loving father, who has set specific rules for us. Even after we acknowledge His existence, we often ignore His rules, His guidelines given for our own growth. He does offer the best for us:

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:11-13 KJV)

We’ve all seen parents who are quick to give a raised voice or a heavy fist. Not all parents are loving or wish their children success – but God does. And He prepared well ahead of time, before we could understand:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12 KJV)

Because of what He has done for us, what He has given to us now and what is promised for our future, shouldn’t we be aware of His rules, His plans and expectations? Should we try to turn them into what we want? Ignore them? Only at our own peril:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:1-3 KJV)

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