Articles for July 2013

How Will You Start Your Day?

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meditaion-64051_1920_ResizedWill you start your day with God? 
We all wake up with various plans for the day.  Jobs, school, important family gatherings or conversations, and handling financial matters are important to us.
Can you afford to leave God out of the equation?  He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega.  He knows all things and has planned good things for you.  He is invested in your success. 
Many of us get up and go about our day without  even acknowledging God. Maybe we say a superficial prayer as we walk out the door.  Is that all God is to us? … a genie who grants us wishes as we walk through our day.  It should not be.  We need to spend quality time with our father. 
You don’t have time you say?  Set that alarm clock 30 minutes earlier or take 30 minutes out of your lunch hour.  Your day is too important to leave God out of it.
Make a deliberate effort to Keep daily praising, prayer and quality time with God first place in your life. 
Read at least one scripture a day and meditate on it.  Keep the word in your heart, so that it will not be far from your lips when you need to call on something to calm you when the day becomes frought with temptations, frustrations, chaos, pressures, etc.  God’s word will bring you peace through the storms of life.
Your life is busy.  Can you afford to leave the house without consulting God first?

Justice For The Trayvon Martin’s

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Psalm 82:2-4 (NIV) 2 “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?  3 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
The above scripture calls for those in power to provide justice for those in need.  This is the only way that we will get justice for the Trayvon Martin’s of the world.
We have a duty to make sure that justice prevails.  If we are going to take on the role of judge and jury, it is our responsibility to use not only our minds, but our hearts.   Without compassion, one cannot be a good judge.  Zechariah 7:9-10(NIV) 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’
eye-catcher-74182_1280_ResizedWasn’t Trayvon a foreigner to the neighborhood in the eyes of his pursuer?  Shouldn’t he have been shown mercy?  We need to have good judgment before we even get into the courtroom.    We should not be judging because of what a person looks like, or their status in life.  Instead look at them as people, who should be treated with respect … All life is precious in God’s eyes.
Why should a black man wearing a hoodie raise suspicion?  Why can’t he just be a person walking in the neighborhood, like anyone else?  Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?  Walking around, looking around is not’ just cause’ to follow.  Was he peering in windows or trying to pry doors open? What is the probable cause that would make someone follow a person, just because he looks different?  That’s not compassion, that’s fear.
Maybe if compassion had been the motivating force instead of fear, a young man might still be alive.  Let’s all wake up and start treating each other the way we would like to be treated.
With all that said, yes we should stand up for our rights and we should look for justice.  But in the end, we need to use peaceful methods to obtain it.  And we need to leave vengeance to God.
Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.

God’s Common Grace

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God is so good.  He is so patient.  He showers his grace upon all mankind.

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God’s Common Grace

(Written by Joyce P. Fields)
 
Sunshine, light, rain and sky,
The birds up in the air that fly,
The air we breathe, the sights we see,
Without God’s grace, this could not be.
 
To the great and to the small, 
God shares His common grace with all,
No matter what we’ve done in life,
Done some good or caused some strife,
God does not withdraw His love from man,
It’s all a part of His greater plan.
 
His common grace should help us to see
The greater love that sets us free
No greater gift could He give
Than His only Son, who always forgives.

Are You Preparing Your Child For Eternity?

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Your child is graduating from High School. Whoo Hoo! The time is finally here. You’ve prepared them to go off into the world and to college. They’ll be on their own for the first time in 18 years. They’re ready for this because you’ve drummed it into them to be responsible individuals who care for others, take learning seriously and follow the golden rule.
 
They are prepared to go into the world because you’ve taught them how to handle finances, get along with others, how to be tolerant of different beliefs and attitudes. You’ve given them a respect for their country and yet a respect for world views.
 
You can’t wait for them to get out into the world and prove themselves. They can’t wait to have a little freedom and make their marks in the world. Everything is going according to plan and you’re all so proud, you could bust.
 
Only one thing is wrong and you’re not aware of it. Your child is not prepared for eternity. Because although you have trained them in the things of this world, you neglected to feed their spirits with the word of God. Sure, you’re a church goer … occasionally … and you’ve taught them about the Ten Commandments. You’re born again, and you get together every Easter and Christmas to enjoy family time.
 
But, you’ve never really given them any inkling that they need their own personal relationship with Christ. You think they will be fine because, they can ride your coat tails to heaven.
 
Wrong! It doesn’t work that way. Each person must have their own relationship with Christ.
 
Think about it for a minute. If your adult child dies without knowing Christ, will you rejoice because you have prepared them to go to heaven or will you have regrets for neglecting their spiritual eternity?
 
We were born into sin and the only way to find salvation is to accept Jesus as your personal savior. It doesn’t matter that you’re a good person. Your acts of goodness will not save you.
 
Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
 
Sin came into the earth by one man … Adam:
 
Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned — 
 
The price for sin must be paid, but Jesus has paid it for us:
 
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
Romans 5:8 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
You want your child to be prepared, so make sure they have the truth about salvation:
 
Jesus became the sacrifice so that we wouldn’t be judged for our sins, but we have to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives.
 
John 3:3 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
 
John 3:16 (NKJV) 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.
 
Romans 10:9 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
 
Romans 10:13 (NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
Prepare your children, so that they may be ready to enter the greatest phase of their lives … eternity.
 

Closer Than A Brother

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When you count on your friends and they fail you, it can seem like nobody loves you … nobody cares.  We have to remember though that they are only human and just like yourself, can be unreliable at times.  After all, none of us is perfect.
figures-89834_1920_ResizedBut there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother … Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Remember when you fought tooth and nail with your brother … you wanted to be an only child just to get rid of him and you didn’t speak to him for days?  Well, after a few days, you were friends again and you didn’t even know what you argued about.  Or how about if you were angry with your brother, but someone else said a bad word about him?   You defended him almost to the death.  That’s what the human brotherly relationship is like.
Now you have a friend who sticks even closer than that, only there is no fighting amongst you.  This friend is someone who you can totally rely on.  He has no ulterior motives, he just wants to love you and has your best interests at heart.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?
Jesus is that friend who sticks closer than a brother.
For the believer … the one who loves and obeys … Jesus is in you.
John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
He will never leave you or forsake you.  You can put your trust in him.

Prayer For The Arizona Fire Fighters’ Families

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Sometimes we get so bogged down in our own problems, causes and busy lives that we neglect to look up.  When we finally come up for air, we realize that we’ve been neglecting the lives and concerns of others. 
angel-figure-80168_1920_ResizedPlease let’s everyone take time out of our busy lives to pray for the families of those brave Arizona fire fighters who lost their lives trying to put out the blazing wild fires on June, 30, 2013.  Their names are:
Andrew Ashcraft
Clayton Whitted
Dustin Deford
Garret Zuppiger
Jesse Steed
John Percin
Robert Caldwell
Sean Misner
Travis Turbyfill
William Warneke
Anthony Rose
Chris MacKenzie
Eric Marsh
Grant McKee
Joe Thurston
Kevin Woyjeck
Scott Norris
Travis Carter
Wade Parker
We must also remember those who have lost their homes and are in danger of losing their lives in the blaze.
Dear Lord,
Look on those who mourn for loved ones lost in this terrible disaster.  Please bring them some comfort  and hold them in your loving arms.  Speak words of healing to them.  Reveal yourself into their lives, that they may know and accept the salvation that you came to give them and  that they may have hope in eternal life.  Impart strength to the mothers to raise up the children left without fathers.  Let those children remember their fathers with love and pride in their heroic deeds.  Also, help those who have lost homes, to find new shelter as they begin to rebuild.  Bless them and strengthen them. 
Lord, there are still others who remain to fight the blazing inferno.  Please help them to contain and put out the fires.  Bring them home safely.  
Amen.

 

You’re Wanted No Matter What You Did

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cross-77999_1920_ResizedPerhaps you are or were on drugs, or are an alcoholic.  Maybe you abused your spouse or children or even mugged or attacked someone.  You might have a sexual addiction.  You may even be guilty of someone’s death.  If so, you probably think that you’re beyond hope and there’s no way that salvation is for you, but you’re wrong.
Jesus came because of you.  He came to take the punishment for your sins, no matter how small or great you may think they are. 
One of the greatest disciples of Christ started out by hunting down and having Christians killed.  His name at the time was Saul … you may know him as Paul.
 Acts 9:1-9 (NKJV) Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”  Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”  6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 
After that Saul was converted and started preaching the Gospel.
Acts 9:17-22(NKJV)  17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.  19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.  20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.  21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”  22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
If Saul could be saved, there’s nothing that you could do that could keep you from being saved.  The reason is because God loves you.
John 3:16 (NKJV) 16 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.
 The above scripture says, whoever.  You are whoever.  All you need to do is ask forgiveness,  believe in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, that he rose from the dead and accept him as you Lord and savior.
 So don’t wait … don’t feel that you are a special case that Jesus doesn’t want.  He wants us all.
 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
 Repent and be saved.
 Blessings.

Walking In Your Own Power Instead Of Gods’

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In the below scripture, God promises Abraham (then called Abram) a child of his own.
Genesis 15:2-6 (NKJV) 2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”  4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Abram did believe God, however the promise was years in coming (way past beyond child bearing years), so Abram & Sarai tried to fulfill God’s promise under their own power qualification-76737_1920_Resize w effects
Sarai told Abram to go into her servant that she might bear him a child. Abram did just that, but since he went under his own power, the child that Sarai’s maid servant bore him was not the son that God promised him would be a great nation. In fact, Ishmael had to be sent away and would become a thorn in the side of the nation of Israel. To this day there is war between the Arab nation (Ishmael’s descendants) and Israel (Isaac’s descendants).
Genesis 16:11-12 (NKJV) 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has heard your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
When we deal outside of God’s authority, we may get what we want, but in the long run, it could be a problem.
Wait on the Lord for as long as it takes, because even though it might seem like a lifetime to you, God does everything in the right time and your reward will be great.