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Volume 15, Number 4 www.changingtimes.info
T h e Vo i c e o f t h e C h r i s t i a n C o m m u n i t y "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6)
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As a Christian, Are you Pure at Heart? The God of the Scriptures is so infinitely glorious that He cannot be described. John's effort to describe Him is admirable and earnest, but his language is very difficult to read. We who try to read it are perplexed and baffled by it, not knowing exactly what he is trying to do. He makes havoc of grammar and rhetoric, hurling his words into magnificent chaos in his herculean effort to paint the face of the King. The genius of human speech in the Book of the Revelation simply falls down in a swoon completely exhausted by its" effort to hint at the indescribable glory of Him who sits on the throne. It is interesting to see how the great writers pile up their words in their efforts to picture their idea of the Eternal. "What is God?" they used to say, and their answer was,
"God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." Job threw himself on the ground saying: "I abhor myself. I have seen Him, therefore I abhor myself." Like Isaiah he cried: "Woe is me! I am undone, for mine eyes have seen the King." Like John he fell at Christ's feet as one dead. But the King, although infinitely glorious, was a God who spoke to men. "Out of the throne there came a voice." God is a revealing God. He cares enough for man to speak to Him. He speaks to him in a voice that is understandable. This conception of the Eternal is never departed from the first chapter of the Scriptures to the last. God is everywhere a speaking God. In the Garden of Eden He spoke to man. He spoke to
From the Editor Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, and all the prophets. Jesus Christ is the complete Word that comes out of the infinite heart. It was this speaking God whom the Prophets also saw. "Thus saith the Lord," they cried as they went out to subdue the world. God speaks, He speaks to you, and He speaks to everyone. You must therefore prepare yourself to listen. You must train your mind that you may interpret His message. His message is recorded in the Scriptures, and that message you must read and understand and profit by. No priest or king shall read it for you. You must read it for yourself. Therefore you must be educated. It was the conception of the speaking God that built Harvard
College and Yale College and all the other Puritan colleges of the world. Every one of our Puritan schools is built on the Puritan vision of the Eternal. The God who sits upon the throne is the sovereign of the world. His sway is absolute, His dominion has no end. He is The Sovereign Judge. He holds man accountable for his deeds. To Him every soul must give account. â€œHe will judge every one of you after His ways." "The soul that sins it shall die." "We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and render an account of the deeds done in the body." "And I saw the dead, great and small, stand before God." That was the vision by See PURE AT HEART on Page 37
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The Arms of God Will Always Enfold You Dear friends, The sweetest life is the one which nestles the most quietly and unquestioningly in the bosom of Jesus. I always like that picture of John which we have at the Last Supper, when he leaned upon Christ's bosom. It seems such an ideal place for anyone to lean. Especially it is a place in which those who are suffering, those who are weak and broken in health, and those who have any sorrow or care may nestle. There is a verse, too, in the Old Testament which seems to belong under this picture — "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27). Embracing arms suggest a father's love, or the love of a very dear and trusted friend. It is very sweet for a child to nestle thus in the arms of father and mother. The embrace suggests not only affection, but support, protection, shelter, secure keeping. The strongest and gentlest human arms will someday fall away, unclasping their embrace. But the arms of God are "everlasting." Nothing can ever unbind them from us. Nothing can ever snatch us out of those arms!
Table of Contents From the Editor Men Women Children Seniors Marriage Education Health Financial Feature Article Personal Revival The Christian Journey The Cross Guiding Light
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We know that when once enfolded in the love of God, we shall be kept there forever. Whatever human arms may have dropped away from their embrace of you, or may hereafter drop away, you know that the arms of God will always enfold you in warm, tender, strong affection. Another precious word in this old text is the word "underneath." The arms are always underneath. No matter how low one sinks away in suffering, or weakness, or pain, or trial, still and always underneath is the everlasting arms. I want you to feel that God's love is everlasting, that His grace is eternal, that the protection you have in Him is something that never can be disturbed. Earth's nests are all liable to be torn to pieces, for nothing here is stable and sure. Even the giant mountain peaks, shall molder away. But the love of God remains ever the same. Here is another text which you will like: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills will be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you." Save the Nations Ministries>
The Transformed Life The Triumphant Christian Christian Living Community Spotlight
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What Makes Dad Special By David Mathis
All around the world each year, Father's Day is celebrated. Father’s Day is the third Sunday of June in the United States and more than 80 nations. It is fitting that we not only annually honor moms on Mother’s Day, but our fathers as well. God’s good design is for both moms and dads, and for their appreciation and honor, whether old covenant (Exodus 20:12) or new (Ephesians 6:2). It takes man and woman, father and mother, to image God to a child. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God,He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Beyond Precise Description Having just one or the other isn’t God’s ideal, though we greatly revere those who give such valiant effort to leading single-parent homes, difficult as it is. And having two of the one and none of the other is even more trouble. Father and mother aren’t interchangeable. God’s created order doesn’t just call for a guardian or two, whatever the gender, but for a mother and for a father, together. There is something distinct, some special imaging of God that both father and mother display for a child. It’s a glory beyond precise description, but not above several good glimpses in the Scriptures. Like a Father with His Children In Paul’s letter to the young believers of Thessalonica, he gives a good deal of space to recounting his early days among them. He notes that not only did he share the gospel with them in word, but he also “shared his own self” in deed and depth of relationship. Here’s how he says it in (1 Thessalonians 2:7–12) — watch especially for the mentions of mother and father. We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we
might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. Much could be said here about how the images of mother and father work together to communicate depth and closeness of relationship. Paul says he has shared his own self with them, and not merely communicated to them a message. Both motherhood and fatherhood demand such, but on Father’s Day it’s worth trying to discern what’s distinct — what makes mom and dad each to be special in their own way. What’s Distinct about Dad On the one hand, Paul says that he and his apostolic team were “gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” The associations here are not only gentleness and intense care, but also intimacy. Depth of relationship is in the offing. He sums it up in the first part of verse 8 as “being affectionately desirous of you.” There is manifest affection and tenderness. This Paul corrals in the mothering picture. Then Paul takes up the father image. And it’s not the same as mothering. There’s overlap, no doubt, but they’re not interchangeable. He says, “Like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God.” A Father’s Exhortation and Encouragement Don’t miss how personal this fatherly care is. He says he exhorted “each one of you,” not just the group at large. So he knows them personally. As Robert Coleman See DAD on Page
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Most children live in an idyllic world of Saturday cartoons and the loving care of their parents. Unfortunately, there comes a time when a child will experience death for the first time and it becomes the responsibility of parents to educate their young children on the subject of death and dying. Most children do experience death in one form or another during their childhood, be it losing a pet or something else... it's at one of these times that you'll probably wind up having to explain death to your child... while this is never the following tips will help: 1. Tailored For Children Death is, by all rights, a depressing subject but you don't have to lie or sugar-coat the subject either. Chances are, your children have already had some account with death, perhaps by stepping on a bug or from the media. Most children, however, have never seen a real dead body or have had a lengthy discussion with their parents about what, if anything, happens after we die. Just try to keep things light and don't be afraid to answer the hard questions your children ask. 2. Talking about Death Explaining an idea such as death is different from explaining something physical that your children are able to see, taste or touch. Try and explain things from the simplest level you can. This would be a
good time to explain birth as well as death, remember the saying that goes something like "From the earth we came and to the earth we'll return". Also, death should not be discussed in a way that instills fear or morbid thoughts or as a harsh reality. Instead, explain that death is a natural process. 3. Coping With Loss -Different children take loss differently - If your child loses a pet, be sure to hold a goodbye funeral for the pet - Keep discussion open for more than one day - Death is not something to be feared or avoided 4. Pick The Right Opportunity Often parents don't talk about important issues like death until they absolutely have to, perhaps because of an unexpected death in the family. This is never a good idea - your children should have some understanding of death in advance so that they can cope and mourn their loss more easily. Many parents agree that children respond best to an open discussion rather than, say, an informational video. Just be honest, speak the truth from your heart and remember you are talking to a child. Article Source: http://www.christiannotepad.com >
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DAD Continued from Page 5 says, “The only way that a father can properly raise a family is to be with it.” And because he knows them, he doesn’t exhort like a slavemaster, or like a judge, or like a king, but he exhorts like a father — a father who knows his children and manifestly loves them and desires the best for them. There’s something about fatherhood that makes such warm but strong exhortation especially appropriate. It’s not that mothers don’t exhort. It’s not that mothers shouldn’t exhort. It’s not that mothers should never step forward and, with manifest love and earnestness, charge a child to walk in manner worthy of God. But there is something about fatherhood that makes such exhortation and encouragement particularly fitting. Dad’s Discipline for Our Good While the mothering image is more gentle and nurturing and tender, the fathering image is more tough and strong and challenging. It’s the father who leads the way in discipline and correction. In (Ephesians 6:4), Paul charges not the parents in general, but the fathers in particular, “Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Same story in (Colossians 3:21): “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” And the special place of a father in exhorting a child — disciplining a child — comes into focus in (Hebrews 12:7–11) It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and
not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. God’s Good Gifts of Moms and Dads When we honor our father and our mother, we love mom for her nurture, and we respect dad for his exhortation. Many disclaimers abound. Dads also must nurture and show affection and moms must discipline and exhort, but there are parental virtues which, while having their proper exercise in both mother and father, make their particular home in either mom or dad. Today, whether your dad has been all that you ever hoped and dreamed, or you’ve now grown old enough to see his faults and failings, there are distinct virtues to respect in dad, even as we love the overlapping virtues in mom. Yes, it’s worth having not a Guardian’s Day or a Parent’s Day, but distinct Mother’s and Father’s Days in celebration of God’s good gifts of both moms and dads. Let’s see if we can honor dad not just by pointing out what made him a good parent, but a good father. David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for Desiring God and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities. He and his wife, Megan, have twin sons and live in Minneapolis. David has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and most recently Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification. >
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In (1 Peter 3:1-4), we learn about all kinds of attitudes and attributes that make a Christian wife a godly wife – the kind of wife she ought to be. Submission "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" (v. 1). God has given headship in the home, and God has made the husband the head. That doesn't make the wife inferior. It doesn't make the husband superior. This idea that if we're in submission to somebody we're inferior is plain false. According to (1 Corinthians 11:3), Christ has authority over every man. There is an order to God's authority. First God the Father, then God the Son, then man, then woman. Is the woman inferior to the man because she is under him? Of course not. We worship one God who has revealed Himself in three persons, all equal, all one in essence. Jesus' submission doesn't make Him inferior to His Father. It's not a matter of equality. Everybody knows that women and men are equal (see Galatians 3:28). With God there is no respect, or favoritism, with persons, race, or face. We are one in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ. Men and women are equal; they are not the same. It is the devil's attempt to make modern men and women alike under the guise of making them equal. God made us different, that He might make us one. For our differences attract us to one another. Ruth Graham, the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, said, "It is the woman's job to love her husband; it's God's job to make him good." Submission isn't inferiority. In fact, in a sense, it's superiority. You are never more like Jesus than when you're in submission – and you're never more like the Devil than when you're in rebellion. Speech "Be in subjection to your own husbands that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives" (v. 1). No man was ever nagged into being a Christian. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about nagging wives (see Proverbs 19:13 and 21:9). Now this doesn't mean that a wife can't be a witness to her husband. It doesn't mean that a woman can't state her case during a dis-
agreement. It doesn't mean that a woman can't make her desires known. She ought to do her best to influence her husband. But she is not to nag him. A wife is to be so clean and so pure that her life speaks louder than her words. An unsaved husband with that kind of wife lives with a sermon! He eats with a sermon, sleeps with a sermon, talks with a sermon. Serenity "Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (v. 3 4). The New American Standard Bible translates this passage, "Let not your adornment be merely external." I'm glad for the word "merely." This passage simply says that ladies can have a ministry with their husbands only if their beauty goes deeper than external adornments. Peter writes of a meek and quiet spirit. But meekness isn't weakness. This word "meek" described soldiers in the Roman army, who were under the command of headquarters. They weren't weak. It's also used to describe a wild stallion who has been trained to wear a bridle and harness. That stallion isn't weak. But it controls its strength and places it under its rider's authority. That takes more strength than running free. And the word "quiet" doesn't mean mousy. It means "tranquility" or "serenity." There is a beautiful serenity about a strong woman who places herself under her husband's authority. It shows the presence of Jesus in her. It comes out in her speech and her actions. Service Service is our last aspect of a godly woman. When Peter says in verse 6 that Sarah obeyed Abraham, he literally means that she met his needs. Sarah was Abraham's servant – not in the sense of a slave but in the sense of a helpmeet. Sarah met Abraham's emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. She completed him; she didn't finish him off! She was a bow to her husband's violin. © 2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
A Tantrum for My Transformation
By Christina Fox
Some days I wake up and nothing seems to go right. The alarm fails to sound. The kids are slow to get ready. The fridge is empty of milk (after I set the table with bowls of cereal). And then the route to an appointment is filled with red lights. Soon I find myself stuck for an hour in a tiny exam room, waiting for the doctor to show up while my boys bounce off the walls. After the appointment, we stop at the grocery store on the way home (for the milk) and the boys act like wild animals broke free from a zoo. My heart sighs and I wish I could just rewind time and start the day all over. What Should I Do? Days like this would often leave me in despair. I felt frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed. I desperately tried to figure out why my life was chaotic and how I could fix it. And then I felt guilty over my inability to do so. I thought that maybe I just needed to be more organized. If I could get control over the details of my life, maybe I wouldn’t have these stressful days. I searched the blogs and read the books, hoping to find ways to make my life run smoothly, thinking the whole time that there must be something I can do — that there must be someway to grab back control over my days. But I really needed theology. I needed what I knew about God to press down deep into my daily life. I realized that if I believe in the doctrine of God’s sovereignty I had to face the truth that God is never surprised by any frustrating event I encounter. Spurgeon once said that even a speck of dust cannot move unless God wants it to. God is in sovereign control of all he has made and of all the details of our lives. “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” (Psalm 135:6). A Greater Plan for Me Since this is true — since nothing happens outside God’s will and plan — then my daily parenting challenges are under his sovereign control, too. He knows about the tantrums over lost toys, the kids
control. We can trust and rest in God’s sovereignty, knowing that he is using our every stress for our transformation and his glory. Christina Fox is a homeschooling mom, licensed mental health coungetting sick right before an impor- selor, and writer. She lives in sunny tant event, and the everyday-stress south Florida with her husband of of getting children to go to sleep. sixteen years and their two boys. He is not surprised by sibling spats, You can find her sharing her faith markers on the walls, or potty train- journey at www.toshowthemjesus. ing fiascos. All the events of our com and at her Facebook page. > lives that feel out of our control are actually in God’s control. (Lamentations 3:37–38) says, “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” Jerry Bridges comments on this passage, “God is in control of every circumstance and every event of our lives, and he New Orleans uses them, often in some mysterious way, to change us more into the geico.com/nola | 504-457-2345 4051 Veterans Memorial Blvd. likeness of Christ” (Respectable Metairie Sins, Location 629). What this Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available means for me as a parent is that in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a every late appointment and every Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2017. empty jug of milk is sovereignly © 2017 GEICO decreed and used for my good. My child’s tantrum is for my transformation. And this truth has given me great freedom. Instead of despairing over the seemingly random and chaotic events in my life, I can view them in light of his sovereign care. When Check out our new my days are long and everything dine-in promotions! seems to go wrong, I know it has all happened for a reason. In fact, all of *for a limited time my parenting challenges are used for my spiritual good — they are to 69455 HWY 59 make me more like Christ (Romans Abita Springs 8:28–29). This is what God is about. (985)-809-6313 He is not in the business of making my life comfortable and free of any stress. He has something greater planned for me: my holiness. There Is Hope N In the midst of the chaos, I see MOROE MOLD Jesus and how much I need the gos! RENEW… REFRESH… pel each and every moment. The God of grace who saved me from REFINISH... sin is the God of grace who will Why remove your old bathroom and kitchen fixtures? Re-glaze them! help me have patience in the close Call us and prevent the high cost of replacement. New surfaces are durable, strong and easy to care for. confines of a pediatrician’s office. Residential and Commercial • Our Refinishing Makes Cleaning Easier Every challenging situation Most Jobs are Done in Hours • Certified Fiberglass Technician becomes an opportunity for me to trust him — to obey, to learn, to We RE-Glaze and REPAIR outheRn grow, to rely more on his grace. Bathroom fixtures • Ceramic tile walls, So when the dryer breaks and I floors and counters • Fiberglass bathtubs and enclosures • Formica countertops get a flat tire, instead of despair llc Claw foot bathtubs • Pedestal sinks there is hope. Life doesn’t feel out 7 0 8 B A R ATA R I A B LV D. Cast iron and tin bathtubs of control if we know Who is in Southernrefinishing.com Marble walls and countertops
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"Before you go to sleep, PLEASE pick up your dirty socks," Anna begged. "Grrr!! HOW many times have I Told her that!" Anna muttered to herself, as she climbed into bed. Sharing a room with her younger sister was great at times, but Kate's dirty laundry on the floor was not fun at ALL. Anna liked a clean room, but Kate could care LESS if it was clean. It’s funny how DIFFERENT two people can be, even coming from the same family. Mom and Dad were coming upstairs to pray and say good night. "Maybe THEY could do something about these socks and stuff all over the place," Anna thought to herself. Entering the room, Mom could IMMEDIATELY see the war going on between the two girls and scolded them: "You two girls should be able to share better than this." For a while now, Mom and Dad had been planning to move the girls into their own rooms. Finally the bedrooms in the basement were done. Dad smiled and asked the girls, "If I were to let you two move downstairs, who would like to have the large bedroom, and who would like the room with the windows?" Dad was getting tired of their continual fighting. He saw quickly that he needed to find a way to make more room for the girls, the sooner the better. Because Abram followed God's plan for his life, he and his family were blessed by God. Abram enjoyed having many cattle and other livestock. He also had gold and silver from Egypt. But soon these blessings became a problem for Abram... ...and his nephew Lot. Abram and his family were traveling away from Egypt now. They left Canaan and went back to Bethel. There they went to where Abram had camped before, between Bethel and Hai. It was the same place where Abram had built an altar. Again, Abram stopped at the altar so he could talk with God. He depended on the Lord to help him EVERYWHERE he went. All the animals and all the servants stood still and waited while Abram prayed. During this time, his nephew Lot was traveling with Abram. Lot also had MANY sheep, cattle, and tents of his own. Abram and Lot had SO many animals that the land could NOT hold BOTH of them any longer.
"Hey! This is OUR watering well!" Abram's shepherds complained. "Why do you have to have it all day and night? Can't you let US have a turn?" Lot's shepherds asked. "You keep your cattle and sheep AWAY from here! This grass belongs to US!" Abram's herders and Lot's herders began to argue. Something was going to have to CHANGE. It was just TOO crowded to keep the animals together like this any longer. Can you just imagine how crowded it was with all the animals and stuff, and MORE animals and MORE stuff, and.... Well, kind of like Anna and Kate sharing one room with all their clothes and other stuff. Not only were Abram and Lot living on this land, but the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land, too. There were cities and plenty of land around, too. They would just have to move apart, they decided. So Abram said to Lot, "There should be no arguing between you and me. Your herders and mine should not argue either. We are family. Instead of arguing, we should separate." Abram loved Lot and did NOT want to fight with Lot or have bad feelings between Lot and himself. So Abram told Lot, "The whole land is there in front of you. If you go to the left, I will go to the right. If you go to the right, I will go to the left." Abram knew that in order to keep real peace between them, Lot should be the one to choose FIRST. Abram trusted God to bless him WHEREVER he was. Lot looked all around and saw the whole Jordan valley. Trees, bushes and lovely plants filled this area. He saw that there was much water there. It was like the Lord's Garden - green and full. It could be compared to the land of Egypt. No famine or drought was seen. Sodom and Gomorrah were still large cities full of people. See LOT'S CHOICE on Page 24
The Lost Children By Timothy Shay Arthur "Tell us the story about the lost children, dear mother," said George, laying down his playthings and coming to his mother's side. "Oh, yes, mother, please do," added the little boy's sister; a brighteyed, rosy-cheeked girl, just ten years old. "I told you the story yesterday," replied the mother. "I know you did," answered George. "But we want to hear it again. Tell it to us, dear mother, and we will be such good children!" "There was once a little boy and girl," began the mother; "no older than you are, my children, who got lost in a thick, dark forest, in which were fierce wild beasts. They were brother and sister, and their names were Edward and Ellen. They were playing near their father's house one day, when Edward said, 'Come, sister, let us go across the field into the woods yonder, and gather some pretty flowers for mamma.' "Ellen was pleased at the thought of getting for her dear mamma a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and so she said, 'Oh, yes, brother, let us go.'
"So this little boy and girl went across the field and into the woods, where they wandered about, gathering a great many bright wild flowers. When their hands were full, Ellen said, 'Now, brother, let us go home.' "They took hold of each other's hands and started, as they thought, toward their home — but I am sorry to say they went away from, instead of toward their home — and soon found that they were lost in a thick, dark forest! Poor Ellen began to cry. Edward put his arm around her, and said — "'Don't cry, sister, we will find our way home.' "'Oh, no, Edward," she said, 'we are lost in the woods, and it will soon be dark. Oh! we shall be eaten up by the wolves!' "'The wolves will not eat us up,' replied the brave-hearted little boy, confidently. 'So don't cry, sister.' "'Oh, yes, I am sure they will.' "'Don't be afraid. I know they won't hurt us. Wolves are fierce animals, but if we pray to God to take care of us, He will not let the wolves hurt us.'
"'Oh, let us pray then,' said Ellen. And all alone in the gloomy forest, this dear little boy and his sister knelt down and prayed that God would keep the fierce wolves from hurting them.' "After they had prayed, Ellen's tears dried up, and she took hold of Edward's arm, and clung close to his side. Just then a deep growl sounded through the forest, and presently they saw a long gray wolf coming fiercely toward them. "The children dropped upon their knees, and Edward said aloud — "'Our Father in Heaven, keep the wolves from hurting us!' "They had no sooner prayed that prayer, than the wolf stopped still for a minute or two, and then ran off another way. "They were very much frightened, and trembled all over. Ellen said — "'God has made the fierce wolf go away — He will not let him hurt us. Oh, I wish He would show us the way home. It is getting so dark!' "'Let us ask Him to show us the way home,' said Edward. "Again the lost children knelt
down and prayed. They were still on their knees when they heard afar off, the sound of their father's voice calling them. Oh! how their little hearts jumped for joy. They sprang up, and ran as fast as they could in the direction from which the sound came. In a little while they were in their father's arms, crying for joy. And that is the end of my story!" "I am so glad!" exclaimed George and his sister at once. "God wouldn't let the wicked wolf eat those two children up!" "No, my children. He kept them from all harm. And if you will be good, and pray to him — He will protect you in every danger." "Don't you know any more stories about lost people, dear mother?" asked George. "Shall I tell you about the men who were once lost in the Wilderness of Sin?" "Oh, yes, please do mother!" "All mankind was once lost, and about to be destroyed by hungry See LOST CHILDREN on Page 36
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Some jobs carry with it a lot of prestige, glamour and worldwide recognition. A few, however, are not too interested in those sorts of things. We do not care who knows what we do, as long as we know what we are doing and why we are doing it, which is all right with us. Our entire country honors the military forces, and such we should for the fine job they do protecting our country. In just about every community, emergency personnel are honored for the wonderful job they do in keeping our homes safe. What would we do without these wonderful people and the great job they are doing for us. I do not have a jealous bone in my body, I am glad these people get their due recognition and I would not want it take a sliver of it for myself. I revel in my incognito and enjoy what I am doing without recognition. I posed a simple question. Where with all these good people be without their grandparents? I am too humble to suggest that grandparents are the backbone of this wonderful country of ours. It is true. But you did not hear it from me. Just think of where this country would be if it were not for grandparents? Parents have a hard time if it's, especially in today's culture and economy. If they have a job their priority is to keep that job whether they like it or not. Sometimes, when these weary parents come home from work they are a tad bit grouchy. Who’s to blame them? They sure have a tough time of it. Then there is the end of the month when they have more month than money and are trying to figure out what to pay and what to postpone. This is and of itself is enough to make the most jovial person cranky. There never is enough time or money for a family to do what they would like to do. Enter the grandparents. Grandparents are God’s solution to cranky and grouchy parents. God does everything he can to protect these innocent children so he has given to them grandparents. The job of a grandparent is to be totally different from the parents. Grandparents have an edge on this because they raised those parents and know them inside out. There-
fore, every grandparent knows how to get around their grandchildren's parents and help those darling little grandchildren to have some fun. I personally believe that the purpose of childhood is to exploit fun. No child has the ability to take full advantage of this kind of exploitation. They need help. Who better to help them then grandparents? Of the two grandparents it is the grandfather who have to come to the rescue more times than not. Grandmothers just do not have what it takes all the time to help the grandchildren exploit a situation to the fullest extent of fun. It is not the grandmother's fault. After all, she is a woman first. Moreover, women, as everybody knows, are rather addicted to rules. For example, Grandmothers insist on enforcing the rules established by the children's parents. Those rules include, an established bedtime every night, a limit on how much candy should be consumed at any one time, and always finishing everything on your dinner plate. Then grandmothers have this thing about doing chores around the house. For this reason, God put his best thinking cap on and come up with an antidote to grandmothers. The remedy for all of this nonsense is simply grandfathers. It is the grandfather's responsibility to intercede on the grandchildren's behalf and make sure they have as much fun as possible. When it comes to rules, grandfathers are quite flexible. One of the best rules from the Grandfather Rulebook has to do with bedtime. According to the rulebook, no grandchild should go to bed with the singular purpose of going to sleep. Bedtime is not a time to sleep but rather a time to practice jumping on the bed. It would be a disgrace if a child ever reached his or her teenage years and was not an expert at bed calisthenics. Also, according to this rulebook, dinnertime is not so much a time to eat but rather a time to learn new jokes. Woe be unto the child who has dinner with their grandparents without learning one new joke. Cleaning your dinner plate is not See GRANDPARENTS on Page 13
I Miss My Grandpa By Renee Root I was six years old when my grandfather went to be with the Lord – his name was Frank Root. My grandfather was a kind man and was a school teacher. I can remember him helping me learn a poem for a church presentation. He took the time to help me learn it and I surprised my parents and grandmother as I recited it. It is strange the memories that stay with us. I remember my grandfather on his riding lawnmower and driving his blue car. I remember him getting ready for work and being in the bathroom putting Listerine (the mouthwash) on his head. I think he made have had a cut in his head and was using that as a treatment to kill the germs. (That is what I thought as a child) I also remember every morning he would eat his bowl of bran flakes. I don’t remember him ever raising his voice to me and he always encouraged me in whatever I was doing. My grandfather had heart problems and he died at the hospital from a coronary thrombosis. My grandmother was with him when he died. My mother did not make it to the hospital in time. I was told my grandfather was with the Lord and I would not see him again until I went to heaven. So, in my mind – grandpa just left and went on a long vacation. I felt like he didn’t tell me good-bye because he would see me again someday. I was not taken to the funeral or visitation. It was the first time my baby sister and I had been left with someone besides my grandparents. I remember the lady who stayed with us kept asking me what she could do to help mom. I finally told
her she could clean out the refrigerator. So, she did and my mom was so embarrassed when she returned to find out the lady cleaned the refrigerator. I have no idea why I told her to clean the refrigerator out – perhaps I had run out of things for her to do. My grandmother and parents must have grieved in private – because I don’t remember them crying. I remember going to my grandmother’s house and feeling like it was such a lonely place without grandpa. I missed him so much and wondered why and where grandpa went. The wonderful thing is I know I will see him again in heaven someday. I will cherish the precious memories of him that I have – the most vivid one of him giving me a red Hawthorne bike with training wheels. I was around five or six at the time. I learned to ride a two wheel bike on it and while learning to ride I ran into a tree and scraped my knee. Luckily, the bike suffered no damage. I was told that he thought the Lord would be calling him home soon and so he wanted to see me receive the gift of the bike. The Lord has given me a precious gift with these memories of my grandfather that remain with me and I look forward to seeing him again when the Lord calls me home. The thought I want to leave you with is that children see death in a child like perspective. I saw death as nothing to fear because to me it was a long vacation for my grandfather and I knew someday I would see him again. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
GRANDPARENTS Continued from Page 12
according to the Grandfather Rulebook, of any grandchild having too much sugar. It is not that grandfathers violate the rules; they just operate from a different rulebook then grandmothers. The Bible says, "The hoary [gray] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Proverbs 16:31-32 KJV). The Christian grandfather is the fulfillment of the Scripture. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
nearly as important as wearing yourself out with laughter. After all, if God really wanted us to clean up our dinner plate why did he invent the refrigerator? This rulebook further states that any grandfather worth his membership in the grandfather union must be amply supplied with jellybeans. There is a hefty fine involved for running out of jellybeans. When grandmother says, "I think the children have had enough sugar for the evening," grandfather must take charge. There is no such thing,
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Dear Edna By Betty Castleberry June 6 Dear Edna, How are you? I know I’ve been promising you I would try to use the new computer the kids got me, but so far, I just haven’t had the time. Maybe my next correspondence to you will be by email. I admire you so much, using a computer at your age. After all, you’re only a year younger than I am. Did you hear we have a new pastor? He’s a nice young man. He has a lovely wife, and three boys. That littlest boy is awfully cute, but if he were mine, I’d surely teach him some manners in church. This will be short and sweet, dear. I just wanted you to know I am fine. Hope to hear from you soon. Love, Jane P.S. I did take the computer out of the box. There is a book of instructions that came with it. Evidently, I am supposed to hook up something called a tower before I can use it. I do know what the mouse is, but it’s bigger than any real mouse I’ve ever seen. It’s more like a small rat. June 12 Dear Edna, It was so nice to hear from you. I did try to hook up the computer. Larry stayed on the phone with me for more than two hours trying to help. Supposedly, all the wires are color coded, and it’s a simple job. The problem is, with my old eyes, I can’t tell the difference between pink and peach. I wish he lived in town so he could just come over and do it for me. I did get the screen set up on the desk, but it stayed blank. It’s certainly a funny looking thing, flat as a pancake, and has a row of buttons at the bottom. Actually, it has one less button now, because I flicked one off with my thumbnail, thinking it was a fly speck. You don’t think that will make any difference, do you? Hope your new arthritis medicine is helping you. Love, Jane June 21 Dear Edna, Good news! It turns out the new pastor knows a little bit about computers. He was very gracious and came over and set mine up for me. His wife was at a meeting, so he brought the boys along. The oldest one was very polite. He sat in the living room and watched TV, 14 BACK TO SCHOOL 2017
although his dad had asked him to keep an eye on the two younger ones. I didn’t think the middle one was going to be a big problem, but he did shove a chocolate bar in the CD slot. That created quite a mess. This pastor interprets the bible quite literally. He doesn’t spare the rod and spoil the child, thank goodness. After we got the chocolate mess cleaned up, it wasn’t long before he had the computer up and running, and although he did say I might not be able to use the CD player. It doesn’t matter, because I don’t have any CD’s anyway. Come to find out, the littlest boy is on his best behavior at church. It could well be that he will have a future playing the keyboard. He certainly beat long and hard enough on my computer keyboard. He isn’t quite potty trained yet, either. He sat in my chair at the computer desk, and it took it over an hour to dry, even though I used the blow dryer. I’m not quite sure how the mouse got a smiley face drawn on it, either, but I didn’t do it, and I also know the pastor didn’t do it. Anyway, he was nice enough to help me get everything set up, so now all I have to do is read the book that came with it, and start using my new computer. Love, Jane July 1 Dear Edna, I got your email. How exciting! I have no idea what you said, though, because I’m still trying to get the hang of the computer. Larry says all you have to do is click and it opens the message, but what do I click? Let me tell you right now, it really doesn’t matter what I want to click, that mouse is all over the screen, and will not do what I want it to. I point it left, and it goes right. I point it up, and it goes down. I am starting to get pretty frustrated. At least if I hold a pen in my hand, I can make it do what I want it to. Love, Jane July 9 Dear Edna, After much practice, I can occasionally get the mouse to behave. At least most of the time I can open emails, anyway. Larry called and said he sent me See DEAR EDNA on Page 15
DEAR EDNA Continued from Page 14 a link, whatever that is. He told me to click the highlighted blue letters in his email, and it would take me to something called “Fun Pages” on the internet. I am sorry, Edna, and I don’t mean to be a prude, but I really find nearly naked dancing presidents and ex presidents a bit distasteful. I’m sure I raised Larry better than that. And Edna, since I am new at this, I didn’t realize all computers didn’t just automatically come with something called “pop ups.” While that young man is certainly nice looking, I know he wouldn’t be interested in meeting me, no matter what the ad says. I also don’t want to receive a free lap top computer, even if all I have to do is answer a few survey questions. Goodness! The computer I have is challenging enough! Love, Jane July 16 Dear Edna, There is really no point in your sending me any more emails. It seems Larry has sent me something called a “virus.” He says it was an accident, and he apologized, and even said he would pay to have the computer fixed. All I know is, ever since he sent this virus, this computer certainly has a mind of it’s own. I had just laboriously finished typing you an email when the screen went blank. Apparently, the computer had shut itself down and restarted itself, and when it did, my email to you was gone. All I saw was some message about something not
shutting down correctly. Larry says I imagined the next part, but I’m telling you, I know I saw smoke coming from somewhere near the CD slot, and I could have sworn I smelled hot chocolate. In fact, I was so sure, I had a sudden craving for marshmallows. That’s not half of all the strange things this silly computer has done in the last few days, either. Just when I was sure I was getting the hang of using the mouse, the screen would “freeze,” as Larry calls it. Not only would the mouse not cooperate, but the whole computer would just sit there, not doing a thing. It reminds me of Gladys at church. She always volunteers for committees, but then she just sits and doesn’t do a thing once she is on them. Anyway, my time is more valuable than that. I don’t have all day to sit and stare at a frozen computer screen. So, dear Edna, I will continue to correspond with you by old-fashioned letter. Last Sunday’s church bulletin said the church is in need of a new computer. They have set up a fund to buy one. I am going to call the secretary and tell them there really is no need for a fund. I know where they can get an almost brand-new computer for free. Love, Jane ©2017 Betty Castleberry ~The author is a retired-earlyby-choice RN who lives in Texas with her husband and three parrots. She has a daughter, step daughter, and five grandchildren. She is a published author, and loves to write for the Lord. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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By Sandra Biggs Look over here, please don't ignore me Why don't you even look up at me I'm just an old woman, maybe not very wise She say's, with that far away look in her eyes. She's a lot like a child, sits and stares at the floor Hoping her family will come through the door When you speak to her and get no reply Did you notice a tear trickling from her eye. Life seems so unfair, with its twists and turns from her, every one of us could learn She don't give up though her pace now is slow for she has learned to go with the flow. Now she can't do much, she is limited to She wanders around, just to have something to do She doesn’t mean to get in your way Just wants someone to notice her today. Give her some time as you hurry on your way Her children have grown up and moved away Do you even notice she's lonely and blue and that her whole life revolves around you. When days go wrong, as they sometimes will Think of her days, there so hard to fill When you are tired and emotions are high She just wants a smile and all you give is a sigh. So what do you think that she has no skill Is it just another hard day for you to fill Is she just an old woman whose not very wise Uncertain of habit with far away eyes. Believe it or not, she was once a small child You are now her family for a short while She too like you, had a father and mother That was always there and loved one another. She once was young, a girl of sixteen
She felt she could fly; she could do anything She depends on you, when she's hardest hit Her day's may be numbered, but there not over yet. The body may be crumbled, lines have appeared Dignity and grace have been replaced with fear She has no future, just a heart full of dread She call's out for her husband, doesn’t even realize he's dead. So look deep inside that tired little lady for there a young lady still dwells So when you walk by and don't notice her The hurt in her battered heart swells. She remembers the joy, she lives through the pain She's living and experiencing life over again She makes new friends, all to few, gone to fast And she accepts the fact that nothing can last. Take a little time, maybe then you'll see still the beautiful lady she used to be Think twice before you turn her away All she has left is her dreams of yesterday. Her eyesight has faded, her memory is dim She call's out all day, the silliest whims Now that she's old, no one seems to care When family drops by, they have little time to spare If you could have seen her, when she was spry Raised a large family, baked the best pies Worked for her family and mended their seams Kissed away their troubles, she had such big dreams. What has happened, now that she's old She's all dressed up, has no place to go Her chair by a window, that's all she needs A friend to talk to, her bible to read. She is always talking about going out Where she won't be a bother or wonder about One day these hall's, she will no longer roam When God send's His Angel's to take her home © 1998 – 2017 Marsha Youree All Rights Reserved >
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Beauty of the Imperfect Marriage
By Angie Lewis Heaven Ministries Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage? Are you living in an idyllic marriage with a perfect spouse? The newness and euphoria of a new marriage is what I call the storybook relationship. The relationship is going great because both husband and wife are doing things to please each other. You know about each other’s faults but you don’t seem to care. The romance level is at a peak, which keeps you both attentive to each other’s needs. But what happens after two or more years of marriage? Eventually habits and faults and self-seeking escapades come out in the open. Now what? Well, that’s just it. Now what? The problem is not that your spouse has faults and habits, or that you have faults or habits, the problem is that neither of you seek The Master Designer of marriage for the answers you need. You try and handle your marriage issues under the understanding of what you know. What do you know? You know that your feelings tell you negative things about your spouse. Your feelings tell you that your marriage problems are your spouse’s fault because you don’t have any faults. Your feelings tell you to stand proud and not humble yourself. I’m not talking about troubles such as physical and mental abuse, or addictions, I’m talking about just day-to-day quandaries within the framework of the marriage. If you can’t forgive then you aren’t accepting the person you married. This is one of the reasons for the high rate of divorce. Couples just give up because they don’t want to feel what they feel about their spouse. Ironically, you are making yourself feel bad because you won’t forgive. No person is perfect, as a matter of fact; we are very imperfect individuals no matter how hard we try to be perfect. This is why we have to work at our marriage. This is why our imperfections cannot stay hidden for long. This is why God brought us His Son to the world! So we could learn to be patient with one another and forgive. Marriage is the one relationship that craves forgiveness almost daily. If Jesus Christ has forgiven us with all of our imperfections and sinful habits, how much more should we forgive
the person we married? Did you know that when couples learn to humble themselves to God that is when they learn to humble themselves to the person they married? “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) If we don’t want to work at being a loving and forgiving person, then we shouldn’t get married. Our spouse is imperfect. Nothing on this earth is going to change that imperfection, so we ought to strive to love one another through the bad times as well as the good. This is what marriage is all about. We are never going to be perfect people, but we can work at being better marriage partners by accepting the forgiveness and love we have been given through the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is what actually heals a person’s heart to be patient and forgiving in an imperfect marriage, and to be loving and supportive with an imperfect spouse. “In Jesus we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) If marriage were made perfect we would never have to forgive our spouse. If our spouse were perfect then Jesus Christ would not have had to suffer and die for our imperfections. But as it is, married people should choose to forgive one another and live according to God’s will for marriage. Marriage can be a very satisfying relationship when couples choose to be supportive with each other and forgive. That is the beauty of the imperfect marriage. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) © 2002-2017 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
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Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. – Proverbs 30:5
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How to Forgive When Someone Covets Wife or Husband N E C E S S I T Y Your By Angie Lewis
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First, let’s get the definition of “covet” out of the way. To covet means to desire what belongs to another. As we all know coveting another man’s wife or another woman’s husband is seriously wrong, even if it were not taught in the Word of God it would be gravely wrong! (Deuteronomy 5:21) specifically tells us to not covet our neighbors wife or anything that belongs to our neighbor.
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When a man or woman desires what does not belong to him or her such as when a man desires a married woman, he is coveting another man’s wife and I believe coveting the marriage. When a man or woman looks at a married person lustfully (with desire) they are coveting. So in retrospect this means they have already sinned in their heart even BEFORE adultery has taken place; because of wrong thinking in their heart they are controlled by sin before it happens. Understanding Forgiveness Forgiving other’s who trespass against our marriage is difficult but something that Christ asks us to do. One huge reason why we are to forgive is because we live in a depraved world, and if we do not learn forgiveness we will constantly feel resentful, angry and bitter towards others. One way we can begin to understand forgiveness is to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes for a moment. We may not have tried to seduce another man’s wife, but we still have sinned. Would you want to be forgiven? Do you want Jesus to forgive you your sins? Another way to understand forP L A giveness is to realize that those 504.245.8221 people who try to seduce another mans’ wife or vice versa are spiritually sick people—they do not have the faith in Christ to give up wrong desires of this world and no hope in their hearts for salvation, What this means is they have not yet TRUSTED in Christ enough to give up THIS LIFE for a new life with Him! They still need spiritual healing. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11-12) The fact is when you forgive others who have trespassed against your marriage you show how Christ is working in your life, because true forgiveness cannot be achieved without the workings of the Holy Spirit. When you forgive, it helps the sinner come to Jesus Christ. Think about this for a moment. Could un-forgiveness prevent someone from turning their life around and seeking Christ? Absolutely it can!
Christ Ones are God’s chosen vessels to use for the purpose of bringing sinners to Him. If your life is not controlled by sin (slavery to sin) then you are chosen to bring others to Him through your righteous example; perhaps that is through your forgiveness. This is one way in which God uses us for His Kingdom. You were bought at a price (Christ’ death) and for a purpose!! The only reason anyone can truly forgive others is because they have already been healed through Christ. Christ Ones have been given the power (Holy Spirit) to forgive others who covet, seduce, look at lustfully or otherwise trespass against their spouse/marriage. Have You Really Forgiven? How will you know if you have really forgiven or not? Well, if you have not forgiven your heart will surely let you know because you will feel anger, resentment, jealousy, and much pain and suffering because of the sins of another person. Let’s take a look at why you need to forgive and why you may not have forgiven. * If you still feel like throwing NstonesTat the A person T who I Ocoveted N your spouse it means you still need SouthernOaksPlantation.com spiritual healing yourself. Harboring anger and resentment are sure tell-tells that you have not truly forgiven. (Ephesians 4:32) * If you want to forgive but are finding it difficult it means you have not put your faith and trust with Christ to help you forgive. Remember you alone do not have the spiritual resolve to forgiveChrist empowers you with the Holy Spirit so you can forgive. (Ephesians 1:7) * We’re all sinners, even you. If we can’t forgive others how will Christ forgive us our sins? (Mark 11:25) * Forgiveness influences others to seek Christ because when you forgive they see Christ working in you. * Seek God’s will for your marriage and He will give you the knowledge to protect your marriage under His spiritual truths and wisdom. Through wisdom is a house built: and by understanding it is established. (Proverbs 24:3) © 2017 Heaven Ministries: http://www.heavenministries.com >
Check Your Guns at the Door: Responding Like Christians to Social Media, Blogs and Web Forums
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By Jim Elliff Those of us who have a ministry of writing are usually pretty tough folks. Many of us have been in the combat zone for quite a while and can take almost anything that is said by readers of our articles. This short plea to social media, blog and forum participants is more about my embarrassment for all of us who are web-interactive Christians than it is for my own hide. In short, I’m appealing for etiquette characteristic of believers in reader’s responses to articles and blog entries. When reading through responses on social media, various blogs and faith-based forums, I often wonder if those who are outside the faith are looking on. What do they think about the sometimes mean and vindictive words that are used? Or what do new believers think? When they read that tart, angry or demeaning language, are they really being helped toward Christ? If it doesn’t smell good to us, it certainly is rancorous to the alert souls looking over our shoulders. At best they find comfort for their own acrimony in our unguarded words; at worst, they reject our beliefs as those which produce little change in a person. Sadly, a collection of the extant social media, blog and forum comments (which would fill up the Vatican and a Wal-Mart or two as
well) is both a tribute to and an indictment of many of our more courageous late-night wordsmiths. With all the good that is being done, and all the spiritual gifts that are coming out through writing, much that is counter-Christian in tone spoils the pudding. The reality is that all our entries are extant to God. When you read responses from professing believers, you expect a distinctively Christian tone to be heard in the words used. In most cases, we are not enemies but brothers, seeking to work out the truth. But, frankly, believers should not respond even to their enemies the way some do. You certainly should not write your comments to Christian writers or fellow bloggers like you intend to bruise them with your words. You should not write so as to put down the person. Rather, love for Christ and for brothers or sisters should be reflected in kindness and respect, even when you disagree. You should attempt to write with the spirit we expect in our children when they disagree with us. I don’t mean to say that you cannot be clever, but there is no excuse for being ruthless, even when you See CHECK YOUR GUNS on Page 21
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Reformed Theology By James Montgomery Boice Reformed theology gets its name from the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation, with its distinct theological emphases, but it is theology solidly based on the Bible itself.
Believers in the reformed tradition regard highly the specific contributions of such people as Martin Luther, John Knox, and particularly John Calvin, but they also find their strong distinctive in the giants of the faith before them, such as Anselm and Augustine, and ultimately in the letters of Paul and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Reformed Christians hold to the doctrines characteristic of all Christians, including the Trinity, the true EquippingMen Men& &Women Women of Equipping of God God deity and true through ChristianEducation Education for for over through Christian over 35 40years! years! humanity of Jesus BACHELOR, MASTER, DOCTORATE, Th.D., Ph.D. Christ, the necessity of Jesus’ atoneAsk about our “ Degree By Testing! ” Honorary & Combined & Accelerated Degrees Available for qualified applicants ment for sin, the “Accredited by TAC” church as a divinely ordained instituAffordable Quality Education—FREE Evaluation—Credit for Life Experience 888-837-4931 or visit www.omega.edu tion, the inspiration of the Bible, the
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requirement that Christians live moral lives, and the resurrection of the body. They hold other doctrines in common with evangelical Christians, such as justification by faith alone, the need for the new birth, the personal and visible return of Jesus Christ, and the Great Commission. What, then, is distinctive about reformed theology? 1. The Doctrine of Scripture. The reformed commitment to Scripture stresses the Bible’s inspiration, authority, and sufficiency. Since the Bible is the Word of God and so has the authority of God Himself, reformed people affirm that this authority is superior to that of all governments and all church hierarchies. This conviction has given reformed believers the courage to stand against tyranny and has made reformed theology a revolutionary force in society. The sufficiency of Scripture means that it does not need to be supplemented by new or ongoing special revelation. The Bible is the entirely sufficient guide for what we are to believe and how we are to live as Christians. The Reformers, and particularly John Calvin, stressed the way the objective, written Word and the inner, supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit work together, the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word to God’s people. The Word without the illumination of the Holy Spirit remains a closed book. The supposed leading of the Spirit without the Word leads to errors and excess. The Reformers also insisted upon the believers’ right to study the Scripture for themselves. Though not denying the value of trained teachers, they understood that the clarity of Scripture on matters essential for salvation makes the Bible the property of every believer. With this right of access always comes the responsibility of careful and accurate interpretation 2. The Sovereignty of God. For most reformed people the chief and most distinctive article of the creed is God’s sovereignty.
Sovereignty means rule, and the sovereignty of God means that God rules over His creation with absolute power and authority. He determines what is going to happen, and it does happen. God is not alarmed, frustrated, or defeated by circumstances, by sin, or by the rebellion of His creatures. 3. The Doctrines of Grace. Reformed theology emphasizes the doctrines of grace, best known by the acronym TULIP, though this does not correspond to the best possible names for the five doctrines. T stands for total depravity. This does not mean that all persons are as bad as they could possibly be. It means rather that all human beings are affected by sin in every area of thought and conduct so that nothing that comes out of anyone apart from the regenerating grace of God can please God. As far as our relationships to God are concerned, we are all so ruined by sin that no one can properly understand either God or God’s ways. Nor do we seek God, unless He is first at work within us to lead us to do so. U stands for unconditional election. An emphasis on election bothers many people, but the problem they feel is not actually with election; it is with depravity. If sinners are as helpless in their depravity as the Bible says they are, unable to know and unwilling to seek God, then the only way they could possibly be saved is for God to take the initiative to change and save them. This is what election means. It is God choosing to save those who, apart from His sovereign choice and subsequent action, certainly would perish. L stands for limited atonement. The name is potentially misleading, for it seems to suggest that reformed people want somehow to restrict the value of Christ’s death. This is not the case. The value of Jesus’ death is infinite. The question rather is what is the purpose of Christ’s death, and what He accomplished in it. Did Christ intend to make salvation no more than possible? Or did He actually save those for whom He died? Reformed theology stresses that Jesus actually atoned for the sins of those the Father had chosen. He actually propitiated the wrath of God toward His people by taking See REFORMED on Page 21
CHECK YOUR GUNS Continued from Page 19 oppose. For one thing, you hardly win anybody over that way. If you intend to persuade, you must use, as Solomon told us, a little honey. Mary Poppins sang good practical theology in the words, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down." Don’t expect that the author of the piece you are responding to intended to say everything that can be said about the subject. That’s unrealistic. Nobody does that in short articles or blog entries. Realizing that authors must be selective is helpful when considering what needs to be pointed out to everyone in your responses. In most cases, you should keep your comments to what he or she has chosen to write about and not everything else that could have been said. Try to understand what he means and not just what was written, even if you could nail the author on a technicality. It is certainly not courteous to be long and tedious with your observations and advice. Some quote volumes of verses one after another to make their points, pummeling the writer with text after text. I’m for the authority of Scripture, but this is not Christian water-boarding. Some rejoinders are even longer than the original piece under consideration. Perhaps they think they will overcome the writer with their many words, but when I see those long arguments, I usually skip over them. I’m sure most others do as well. Such lengthy pontifications are rarely read, in fact. Some responders cover their own pet agenda time after time, and it almost makes no difference what the original article is about. When given a chance they make a beeline for that one issue that most concerns them. On a certain website where my articles sometimes appear I can almost always count on two writers to press their warmed-over points. They’ve got them down pat and hope to wear everyone down so that we all will finally come over to their view-
point. But, sadly, they often argue into the air. I don’t believe most people even read their particular comments any more. But these two do read each other’s. They sometimes carry on a spirited feud right in front of our eyes! It isn’t thoughtful of them to use the response space for their favorite subjects, or for bloodbaths between them on issues that are not germane to the point at hand. I find myself almost always unappreciative of such deadening, spirit-killing, doctrinaire diatribes. All of this does not mean that we should never disagree in writing, but we should do so thoughtfully, with respect. Before writing, read over the original piece once again and see if the author missed his point so obviously. If so, take the apostle Paul’s lead and tell the writer something good about the article or entry first before probing into deeper waters. Think of how Paul begins most of his letters. Finally, for those less verbal ones who read and benefit from what is written, try your hand at responding to the articles from time to time. Get into the conversation. Be specific about some helpful line or point made. Ask appropriate questions. Make sensitive points, if you disagree, with charity. Do it all to edify and to encourage others to love Christ more from what is being written. Seek the unity of believers and not their harm. You might even pray as you write. Disarm them with kindness. It will open many hearts and minds. Some authors writing for various ministries might wish to entertain all reactions of any stripe, helpful or unhelpful, just as long as people are at least indicating that they are reading. The number of hits is paramount. I know what they are thinking, and there is some merit to the idea. In my view, no perceived value, however, is more imperative than being Christian in all that we do or say. As Paul taught us, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God." Copyright © 2017 Jim Elliff Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc. >
REFORMED Continued from Page 20 their judgment upon Himself, actually redeemed them, and actually reconciled those specific persons to God. A better name for ‘limited’ atonement would be ‘particular’ or ‘specific’ redemption. I stands for irresistible grace. Left to ourselves we resist the grace of God. But when God works in our hearts, regenerating us and creating a renewed will within, then what was undesirable before becomes highly desirable, and we run to Jesus just as previously we ran away from Him. Fallen sinners do resist God’s grace, but His regenerating grace is effectual. It overcomes sin and accomplishes God’s purpose. P stands for perseverance of the saints. A better name might be ‘the perseverance of God with the saints,’ but both ideas are actually involved. God perseveres with us, keeping us from falling away, as we would certainly do if He were not with us. But because He perseveres we also persevere. In fact, perseverance is the ultimate proof of election. We persevere because God preserves us from full and final falling away from Him. 4. The Cultural Mandate. Reformed theology also empha-
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sizes the cultural mandate, or the obligation of Christians to live actively in society and work for the transformation of the world and its cultures. Reformed people have had various views in this area, depending on the extent to which they believe such a transformation possible But on the whole they agree on two things. First we are called to be in the world and not to withdraw from it. This sets reformed believers apart from monasticism. Second, we are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner. But the chief needs of people are still spiritual, and social work is no adequate substitute for evangelism. In fact, efforts to help people will only be truly effective as their hearts and minds are changed by the gospel. This sets reformed believers apart from, mere humanitarianism. It has been objected to reformed theology that anyone who believes along reformed lines will lose all motivation for evangelism. ‘If God is going to do the work, why should I bother?’ But it does not work that way. It is because God does the work that we can be bold to join Him in it, as He commands us to do. We do it joyfully, knowing that our efforts will never be in vain. Copyright © 2017 Grace Online Library >
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Can storing fruits and vegetables in a dark cabinet or refrigerator lower their nutrit i o n a l v a l u e ? According to new research from Rice University and the University of California at Davis, there may be potential health benefits to storing fresh produce in areas that receive regular cycles of light and darkness. The modular design of plants enables them to continue functioning as live plants even after they have been harvested. “Vegetables and fruits don’t die the moment they are harvested,” said Rice biologist and lead researcher, Janet Braam. “They respond to their environment for days, and we found we could use light to coax them to make more cancer-fighting antioxidants at certain times of day.” Regular Cycles of Light and Darkness May Improve Quality of Stored Fruits and Veggies A previous study by the same team found that Arabidopsis thaliana — a widely used organism for plant studies — begins increasing its production of insect-fighting chemicals a few hours before sunrise, the time that insects begin to feed. If this process continues after harvesting, the plant’s storage environment will have an effect on the health and nutritional value of the plant – both at the store and at home. Braam’s team began their research by exposing harvested cabbage to regular light-dark cycles. The research team found they could encourage cabbage leaves to increase their production of antiinsect metabolites at certain times during the cycle. One of these, an antioxidant called glucoraphanin, is also a known anti-cancer compound that has been previously studied in broccoli and other vegetables. Following the success with cabbage, researchers studied spinach, lettuce, zucchini, carrots, sweet
potatoes and blueberries. Part of the experiment involved placing samples of lettuce and caterpillars in a chamber with controlled lighting. Researchers found that when the lettuce and the caterpillar were exposed to the same light-dark cycle, the leaves were less likely to be eaten. The lettuce produced antiinsect chemicals during the caterpillar’s normal eating time. The findings suggest that storing fruits and vegetables in dark trucks, boxes and refrigerators may reduce their ability to resist insects and provide good nutrition. “We cannot yet say whether all-dark or all-light conditions shorten the shelf life of fruits and vegetables,” Braam said. “What we have shown is that keeping the internal clock ticking is advantageous with respect to insect resistance and could also yield health benefits.” Promising Future Braam’s team has already begun follow-up research, in cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to determine whether light and other external stimuli, such as touch, may be used to enhance pest resistance and the
nutritional value of food crops in developing countries. “It’s exciting to think that we may be able to boost the health benefits of our produce simply by changing the way we store it,” co-researcher, Danielle Goodspeed, concluded. This entry was posted in Health Tips by Dr. Don Colbert Dr. Don Colbert is a graduate of Oral Roberts School of Medicine and shares his years of experience and research in nutritional medicine in all of his work. He is a national speaker, bestselling author and host of a national talk show titled Your Health Matters. © 2017 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com >
God Can Turn This Around God's Will for Our Money
By John Piper My main emotions in regard to money at Bethlehem are gratitude and hope, not anxiety. God has always met our needs. I would insult God if I fretted over his timing. So, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, for your giving. For 21 years now I have watched our merciful God meet all our needs. Thank you for your part in that mercy. I also write to encourage those of you who are still struggling with how to handle your finances in relation to the church. Please think and pray about several things: 1. All your money is God's. (Psalm 24:1), "The earth is the LORD's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it." You have your money and possessions and life on loan. As a trust. You are the manager of Another's trust fund. 2. How we disburse God's trust fund (i.e., our income and inheritances) should reflect his values and priorities. We will all be held accountable for managing his money according to his word. (Luke 16:12), "If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?" 3. God will see to it that you have enough to provide for your needs and for "every good work," including those appointed for your church (worship, teaching, outreach, missions, mutual care, etc). I know no stories of people who have given so generously that God did not meet their needs. (2 Corinthians 9:8), "And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work." 4. Expenses always expand to fill the income. This means that almost all of us "just get by" no matter what we make. Which means that discretionary giving which is put off to the end of the pay period will
usually not happen. We won't give because we don't think we can afford it. But if you write the check to the cause of Christ first, then you will, as always, still "just get by." I encourage you to "seek the kingdom first" by writing the ministry check first (Matthew 6:33). 5. The Bible encourages both spontaneity and discipline in giving. Remember the overflowing generosity of the widow: "Out of her poverty [she] put in all that she had" (Luke 31:4). But the usual way is to give in a disciplined, regular and proportional way: "On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper" (1 Corinthians 16:2). I urge you to build this regularity and priority into your giving. Tithing (10% of your income) is a good Biblical starting point (Matthew 23:23). Go for it. God will not let you down. 6. The need at Bethlehem is great for increased giving. We voted last December on an aggressive, Godexalting, ministry-expanding, mission-driven budget. As with Gideon we are aware that we are making this even more challenging by calling for the pledges of $6.5 million in the next 20 months (half of it by later this fall!). Here is our situation after 23 Sundays (44%) in regular Church/Missions giving: 2000—41% of budget 2001—36% of budget —3% growth in contributions based on the same number of Sundays, about $250,000 behind our budget goals 7. Would you pray with me and the elders that, according to his great mercy and firm promise God would, "meet all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). God can turn this shortfall around. I believe he will. I love you and I love the ministry here, and I love our great God. Thanks for your support of the vision to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples. Pastor John ©2017 Desiring God Foundation>
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Rachel's Five Easy Tips for Back-To-School Budgeting By Rachel Cruze Can you feel it? Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s back-to-school time! Hopefully, you haven’t waited until the last minute and you have most of your shopping done. If not, that’s okay! Here are a few guidelines as you get everything together for your child’s first day back in the classroom. 1. Make a budget . . . and stick to it. Whether you’re heading to Target this afternoon or a week from now, you need to make sure all your back-to-school costs are included in your monthly budget. And if you’re not in the habit of making a monthly budget, well, this is a great opportunity to get a little practice! Check out EveryDollar. com. It’s our free budgeting tool, and it’ll help you make a budget you can actually stick to! 2. Focus on needs, not wants. Your 8-year-old might want the fancy Lightning McQueen backpack, but that doesn’t mean they need it—especially if it’s $20 more than a basic backpack. I’m not say-
ing you can’t make back-to-school shopping fun, but don’t overspend just because your kid throws a fit in the backpack aisle. 3. Keep it simple. Remember, you just need the basics to get started—not everything you’ll need for the entire school year. If money is tight, buy the minimum your child needs right now then work the rest into your budget over the next few months. 4. Talk with your kid’s teachers. If you haven’t received a list of items your child needs for the upcoming year, be sure to touch base with the school and reach out to the teacher. Most schools are pretty good about covering this type of information at orientation or open house, so hopefully you’ll have what you need from them well before you head out to shop. 5. Look around online. Some of the best deals are online. Start with Amazon, then do some research and see what else you might be able to order without even leaving home. You might consider
buying pencils, paper and other items that you don’t necessarily need to see before you buy. You might save money, and you’ll definitely save time! It’s not too late to make sure you’re doing back-to-school shopping the right way. Make a budget, keep your priorities in check, and don’t let the little ones talk you into buying stuff they don’t really need. Use the back-to-school season as a great opportunity to get your finances in order before the holiday season hits in a few months! About Rachel Cruze As a #1 New York Times bestselling author and seasoned communicator, Rachel Cruze helps Americans learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored two best-selling books: Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze. com, youtube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.>
LOT'S CHOICE Continued from Page 10 These people were very bad, and God had not destroyed them yet. Abram and Lot went off in separate directions. Lot chose to move east and live in the Jordan valley, and Abram lived in the land of Canaan. God was pleased with how Abram had treated Lot and kept blessing Abram. But Lot lived among the cities in the Jordan valley and moved very close to the wicked city of Sodom. After Lot had left, God told Abram to look around to the north, south, east, and west. "Abram, the land you see, I will give it to you and to your family FOREVER. And I will make your children number as the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count all the grains of sand, then they shall be able to count your children." Wow! What a promise! God also told Abram to walk all over this area and see the beauty of it. It was promised to Abram from God. God promised and He GAVE. God KEPT His promise. God ALWAYS keeps His promises! Copyright © 2017 - The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel North Central Ohio, U.S.A. >
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When It's Hard to Forgive
As Christians, we can excuse the unforgivable in others because God has excused the unforgivable in us. By Nancy Leigh DeMoss Do you have a situation where forgiveness seems impossible? Perhaps you’re thinking, “I just can’t forgive this person for what he’s done to me. It’s too painful to deal with. He’s done it too many times. He’s hurt me too deeply.” But the power—and the beauty— of the transformed Christian life is that “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 NKJV). It will never be the depth of your love that causes you to forgive such heartless acts and attitudes. It will never be within your power to overlook the wicked lies and wild justifications of those who have made you distrustful of just about everybody. It will be—it can only be—the love of Christ transplanted into your believing heart that can exchange your weakness for His strength. God’s Love—and Lorna’s Several years ago, I met a dear woman named Lorna Wilkinson, whose husband had brought a great deal of discord and mistrust into their
marriage. He was an alcoholic, and his condition had worsened over the years, bringing with it all the turmoil that tends to accompany substance abuse: financial pressure, irresponsibility, the chaos of never being able to depend on him, never knowing if he’d be where he said he would. Finally Lorna decided that she had been through enough. She came to the conclusion that divorce was the only way out, the best way she knew to salvage what remained of her life. So she took the step. She filed all the paperwork, asked him to leave, and prepared to move on. She was not yet a believer. But providentially, right at that critical juncture in her life, she “happened” to tune in to a “Revive Our Hearts” radio program, when I was teaching about forgiveness. Her heart was gripped as she learned of the incredible forgiveness God offers through Christ, the way He deals with our sin by perfectly releasing us, thus enabling us to extend the same kind of forgiveness to others. Day after day, this needy woman continued to listen to the broadcast,
her thirsty heart drinking in the truth of the Word. Within a short period of time, her eyes had been opened and she was brought to faith in Christ. But her divorce was still moving forward ... until the day her phone rang. It was her husband, saying he was sick. “At the time, I was still frustrated and angry to some degree,” she admits. “I said, ‘Why are you calling me? Why don’t you call 911?’“ He did. Just in time. Her husband was having a heart attack. Extended family began to gather at the hospital, not sure if he was going to make it. Part of her wanted to be done with him, but somewhere in the depths of her heart, the Lord seemed to be saying, “Go whisper in your husband’s ear that he doesn’t have to worry about a place to live. Tell him he can come home.” That day, amid a tangle of tubes and wires and other life-saving devices, Lorna gave her husband the most revitalizing gift of all: the gift of forgiveness. By God’s grace, he did recover. He came home. He was a changed
man. Miraculously, he no longer had the urge to smoke or drink. He landed a full-time job and began working faithfully to provide for his family. Newfound love entered their home, a desire to pray and worship, a focus on lasting priorities. There were flowers, postcards, candlelit dinners. Everything. Early in the process of restoration, there were moments when those old feelings would flood back in Lorna’s heart. “Lord, I can’t do this,” she would cry out in prayer. “I cannot love him the way You intended me to love. But I am asking You, Lord, to give me Your love, to just let it flow through me to this man.” And God’s love slowly began to melt the awful memories. One by one, she began entering into each of those descriptive phrases in (1 Corinthians 13)—“Love is patient and kind ... does not insist on its own way ... rejoices with the truth ... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” See FORGIVE on Page 36
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Personal Revival Effectual Fervent Prayer Text: (James 5:16) Prayer does not equip you for greater works. Prayer is the greater work. ---Oswald Chambers As mature Christians we are naive to ignore or deny the reality of spiritual conflicts between good and evil and our role in them as believing saints. Our main weapon in a prayer offensive is a keen knowledge and application of scripture "declared verbally" in the same way Jesus fought the devil in his wilderness experience. 1. Prayer is a vital key that connects us with our heavenly Father. 2. Prayer is both an incredible privilege and an awesome responsibility. It can move the hand of God in situations where there is no other hope. 3. Biblical prayer is crying to God out of the depths; it is the pouring out of the soul before God. 4. "Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an
olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all." (James 5:16) The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. • When a person is RIGHT with God, the power of his sincere prayer is tremendous!" • The conditions for that promise: "when a person is right with God and prays sincerely". • Effectual fervent prayer is the hardest kind of work there is to do. Not only does it take more out of a person than any other kind of work, we have to handle ourselves with a strong discipline to make time for effectual fervent prayer. 1. Our natural tendency is to shrink back when it comes to praying for the impossible. * The problem is that we rest the power of prayer too much upon ourselves. * We think that we are the ones making things happen in prayer. * Instead we are to see ourselves
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as instruments in the Lord’s hands for accomplishing his purposes through prayer. * Prayer is an act of obedience and privilege for the believer. * We are commanded to pray. But we are also invited to bring our needs before the Lord. * We are to anchor ourselves in his faithfulness and promises. * We are to see that the very fact that God commands us to pray is a foundation for effectiveness in our prayers 2. We hesitate to pray, thinking that it will do no good, but James calls our attention once again to the means God has established for doing his work among us—prayer. Do you believe this? We are so accustomed to neglecting prayer that it is hard for us to think of its power through God among us. The Power of Fervent Prayer Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the Iron Gate, it opened to them of its own accord,
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and Peter was free. Prayer has divided seas, rolled up flowing rivers, made rocks gush into fountains, quenched flames of fire, muzzled lions, disarmed vipers and poisons, marshaled the stars against the wicked, stopped the course of the moon, arrested the sun in its rapid race, burst open iron gates, released souls from eternity, conquered the strongest devils, commanded legions of angels down from heaven. Prayer has bridled and chained the raging passions of man and routed and destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in a chariot of fire to heaven. What has prayer not done?’ What is it that makes our prayer effectual (or effective)? 1. Fervent prayer is putting your whole self---all of your attention, your mind, your will, and your emotions---on that thing you’re praying about. That means your mind is focused on prayer instead of drifting off on other things. Fervent prayer will make a difference in the lives of people, but we must understand that it takes an effort See FERVENT PRAYER on Page 27
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Escaping the Lure of Sin
FERVENT PRAYER Continued from Page 26
By Charles F. Stanley
and a sacrifice of our time. 2. In (Matthew 15:22-28), the Canaanite woman would not take no for an answer. She asked for her daughter’s healing, and three times she was rejected. But she wouldn’t give up. She understood the heart and character of the Lord Jesus. She not only received the healing of her daughter, but was commended by Jesus: "Woman, you have great FAITH!" 3. James gives us Elijah as the example of effective prayer in action (see verses 17-18). What gave Elijah the boldness to pray that the rain would stop, and then, at his word, start again? (1 Kings 17:1; 18:41-45). Elijah’s prayer was BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD! All of Israel had turned away from the Lord to worship Baal, the idolgod of a cruel heathen religion. Up stands one solitary man, a total unknown, and boldly proclaims to the king that "there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word!’’ But his authority was based on a promise and warning found in (Deuteronomy 11:13-17). 4. Daniel also Discovered the Secret In (Daniel 9:3-19). Daniel poured out his heart in prayer before God that his people, who had been taken out of their homeland and held as captives in Babylon, would return to their land. The basis of his prayer can be seen in (verse 2): " . . . I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the
Do you find yourself trapped by the same sin over and over? Do you have habits that continually taking you down the wrong path? While some temptations occur unexpectedly, others are more predictable. Those that happen routinely provide a unique opportunity for you to plan how you will handle the situation––ahead of time. If you’re serious about dealing with the temptations that pursue you day after day, you may need to take a few steps back––a few wise steps toward safety and away from the temptation. A friend of mine in another city had to take a few steps back in the area of sexual sin. One afternoon, we pulled up in front of a convenience store to get a paper. As I was about to get out of the car, he said, “Don’t go. I’ll send Sarah.” Sarah was his eight-year-old daughter. He gave her some change and off she went, barely able to open the door by herself. I made a humorous comment about his being too lazy to get the paper himself. His reply, however, explained why he sent his daughter and why he was the godly man I knew him to be. “You see,” he said, “I used to go in all the time. But … to the left is a magazine rack. It’s full of trashy magazines. Every time I’d go in I would battle the temptation to pick one up and flip through it. I decided the wisest thing to do would be to send Sarah. That way I could avoid the temptation altogether.” Now that’s taking a few steps back. Does my friend think it’s wrong to go into convenience stores? No. That is not the question at all. The question is, “What is the wisest thing to do?” I have another close friend who battled with changing the channel when something of inferior quality came on. He would sit for hours, late into the night, watching whatever was on. He had to take a few steps back. He made it a rule never to turn on the television and just flip through the channels. He always checks first to see if there is anything on worth watching. He learned that it’s easier to walk away
from the programming guide than from an actual show. I believe this principle alone could eliminate some of the most difficult temptations confronting you. You say, “But you don’t even know me.” That may be true. But the people with whom I have shared this principle, and who have taken it seriously, always see a dramatic decrease in the power of the temptations with which they struggle. Let me warn you that it may be a simple principle, but it is not always an easy one to apply. People will not understand why you can no longer go with them to the places you used to go. Even some of your Christian friends won’t understand. They’ll think you’re being legalistic or “holier than thou.” Your lost friends certainly won’t understand. Their comments may sting. “He can’t go. He’s a Christian.” You may find yourself sitting at home more often. But let me ask you again; are you really serious about gaining victory over temptation? If you are, are you willing to take a few steps back? Are you ready to step back away from the edge as if to say, “That’s okay. I can see fine from here”? Are you willing to evaluate every opportunity in light of your past, experiences, your present state of mind, and your future goals, plans and dreams? Are you willing to question every invitation and decision in light of what is the “wisest” thing to do? Are you willing to use your spare time carefully, not always reaching for the radio or the television or the newspaper? And are you willing to face up to what you know in your heart God wants from your life? If you are, why don’t you take a few minutes right now and think through those areas in which you feel you need to take a step or two back. Write them down. Perhaps you’ll want to take an index card and record the key point of this article and put it in a prominent place so that you’ll see it often. Then pray and ask God to forgive you for ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to increase your sensitivity to His Spirit as He leads you down the path of wisdom and away from the danger zones. ©2017 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years’’. The Lord had spoken right at the time when Judah had gone into captivity that they would be in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Daniel, reading the Scriptures one day, came across that promise and realized that the 70-year period was almost completed. However, he didn’t just sit back and wait for God to do it. Daniel began to PRAY that what God had promised would be fulfilled. The Lord has chosen to give us the privilege and responsibility of being involved with Him in His purposes on earth. Daniel lived to see his people return! • Effectual prayer, then, is prayer that is based on God’s Word. When we know the promises that He has given, and understand His character and the principles by which He works as revealed in His Word, we can pray with confidence and authority, knowing that our prayers will be answered. Seek God’s Prayer Plan for Your Life! There are many levels of prayer. God knows exactly where each of us are in our prayer life and our knowledge and understanding of prayer. He will honor even the most pitiful prayer a person offers in faith, if that is all they know to do. But He will not let us stay at that level. He wants us to move to greater levels of understanding, faith, and power. And the best way to progress is to simply say, "Lord, teach me to pray powerful and effective prayers." Save the Nations Ministries >
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Don’t Miss a Move of God By Pastor Doug Gilford Over this summer, I preached a sixweek series on a Move of God. I found this series deeply moving as I s t r o l l e d through the beautiful text from the Bible looking for “how” and “when” God usually moves on humanity. One of the personally challenging things I uncovered was that when God moves, we can often miss what He is doing. Let me take you on a simple journey on how we can miss a move of God. The first thing we need to understand is that Jesus Christ coming to Earth in the form of a helpless baby was indeed a move of God. For thousands of years before Mary held the baby Jesus; prophets, priests, rabbis, and judges all predicted the coming of the Messiah more than three hundred times in the Old Testament. We can safely assume that thousands of teachers over thousands of years spoke to millions of people about a Messiah coming from Heaven to Earth to save God’s people. All of Israel for many, many generations knew (at least presumably knew) that a move of God was to take place. The Old Testament prophecies were detailed and specific about how the Messiah would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15) and born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and come from the line of Abraham (Genesis 12:3). That He would be an heir to David’s throne (2 Samuel 7:12-13) and He would be born of a virgin and called Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14) were also specific prophecies that Israel would have learned and heard repeatedly. But after more than three hundred prophecies and the miraculous nature of Jesus’ birth and His undeniable miracles that He performed, sadly, the vast majority of Jesus’ day missed a move of God. They missed God’s move because they expected God to do one thing, but He did another. It was Jesus who lamented: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, … How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34) Again Jesus said with tears flowing from His eyes, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your
peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:42) The Jews of Jesus’ day were longing for a Messiah, but for others He did not meet their expectations. They thought that the Messiah would set up the Kingdom of God and destroy the idol-worshipping Gentiles through force and war. They expected the Messiah to be a king and warrior, but Jesus came as a Lamb of God, that was slaughtered. So, they missed a move of God -thousands of years in the making because of their false expectations. This realization has jumped out at me and has caused me to examine my own expectations of the Lord. Frankly, it should for you as well. What you and I believe about Jesus leads us to form expectations of Him. If we falsely believe what Jesus is, we will have false expectations about what we can do, and what He requires from us to do. Paul spent some time correcting the record for the little church in Colossae as he wrote to them on the true nature of Christ. Paul wrote that Jesus was, “…the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:15-17) Paul basically concludes that Jesus is the image of God, over all creation and that “by Him”, “through Him”, “in Him” and “For Him” all things consist. Look at the last part of that verse, “all things consist.” That phrase is saying that Jesus basically holds all things together. My life starts to fall apart when I don’t let Jesus hold it together. Do you want a move of God? Yes, of course you and I do. So, take a look at your expectations of Jesus. They are based on what you believe Him to be. He must be Lord, Master, and Father. He fulfills no other role until He is those first. When we align ourselves up with His position properly, we understand our position as servants and sons and daughters and can see God moving every day. Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985624-8652 or email @email@example.com >
He Died For Everyone Andrew Murray He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God's righteous judgment on account of it. His death opened up the way to God for us. It did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon. According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free form the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new. The faith in the death for sin, must lead us into the death to sin. The one view is that of substitution: Christ doing what I cannot do. The other that of fellowship: Christ working in me what I see in Himself. The former is a finished work, and gives me boldness at once and forever to
trust God. The latter is the power of sanctification, as the death and the life of Christ work in me. It is because of the suffering of death, that He has been crowned with glory and honor. "He was made a little lower than the angels that He might taste death for everyman," might drink the cup of death, as the fruit of sin, for all. . . Jesus tasted its bitterness, as the curse of sin, in full measure. . . to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. All these expressions--suffering death, tasting death for all, bringing to nought the devil, making reconciliation for the sins of the people--refer to the finished work which Christ wrought, the sure and everlasting foundation on which our faith and hope can rest. Begin here and strike the roots of our faith deep in the work which Christ, as our Substitute, wrought on Calvary. Let us study the words carefully, and remember them well, and believe them fully: Christ has tasted death for all, and emptied the cup; Christ has brought to naught the devil; Christ has made reconciliation for sin. Death and the devil and sin:
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heaven and earth and hell. It has finished, and delighted God; it has conquered death and sin and hell; it has redeemed and delivered mankind. Let that death live in your heart; it will work there its mighty wonders too. And you shall find Jesus in your heart, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor. © 2002-2017 SermonIndex.net >
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Let me define what I mean by “modesty.” Christian modesty is simply a refusal to show off, out of love for God and one’s neighbor. Jesus refused to show off His power. When tempted by Satan, He refused to show off His ability to turn stones into bread or cast Himself off a high tower (Matt. 4:1–11). When attacked by His By Elyse Fitzpatrick accusers, He “opened not His I live in Southern California, and tempted in “every respect” as we mouth” (Isa. 53:7). When facing now that it’s almost summer, a have, yet without sin. Could this the humiliation and excruciating familiar problem has returned . . . possibly mean that Jesus was pain of the cross, He refrained immodesty. (Hebrews 4:15) tempted to immodesty but didn’t from appealing to His Father for legions of angels who were waitinforms us that our Savior has been sin? ing to bring Him deliverance (Matt. 26:53). Jesus didn’t show off His power or authority because He loved His neighbor—His bride the church. Conversely, immodesty flows out of the heart of a show-off. Maybe we’ve worked hard at the lumber company, inc. gym or purchased an expensive new pair of jeans. Maybe we want to prove how free we are to dress serving the new orleans area since 1954 in any way we choose, no matter how suggestive. When we show off, we’re failing to love our brothers and sisters who may be tempted to lust, covetousness, or sinful imi600 So. Olympia St. tation. Showing off is a fruit of www.carruthlumber.net pride and love of self. Immodesty
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demonstrates a cold unconcern for the church. The beauty of the gospel, however, is that while it convicts us that we’re all unloving show-offs in some way, it also assures us that we’ve been loved and that we no longer need to show off to get other people’s approval. The record of our Modest Redeemer is ours! Our identity isn’t wrapped up in the approval, envy, or lust of others. Our identity is found in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. He loved us and refrained from showing off so we could be His. We can be freed from the need to prove that we’ve got a great body or wardrobe because we’ve been lavished with His love instead! Of course, in this promiscuous culture women (and men) might need to be taught what modest attire looks like, and there’s nothing wrong with doing so. It’s just that the transforming power that changes a show-off into a servant doesn’t come from rules about shirts or skirts. It comes from remembering the gospel and seeking to show Him off instead. © Used with permission. Blog. ElyseFitzpatrick.com, 2017 http:// www.ReviveOurHearts.com >
HAS CHANGING TIMES MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE? If your answer is yes, will you help us do the same for others? ❏ Yes, I will pledge my support for Changing Times by donating $ ________________. Make check payable to Save the Nations Ministries, Inc. [A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization]. ❏ I prefer to pay by credit card. ❏ Visa ❏ MasterCard ❏ American Express Number __________________________ Exp. Date ___________ Name ______________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________ City _________________________ State _______ Zip _______
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Holy Living in a Fallen World By Lori Godfrey In today's society holy living has almost become a byword. People are more concerned in the life that they are living then in the life God has called us to live. As the days continue into months and months roll into years, time seems to usher in a new beginning. The new beginning as we will see it, the second coming of Christ. Did he not say that the signs of the times would point to the arrival of his coming? The only event that has been kept from us is the day. Throughout the bible from Genesis to Revelations holiness is not a byword but a commandment. If holiness was unimportant to God then He would not be holy. The world today has too many pitfalls which compel us into a world of sin. The enemy is out there looking for those who are lacking in the tools by which we are to live a holy life. The bible gives many tools for Christians to live by, to assure them of a victorious life. One tool for such living is, ‘Reading the Word’. The second is ‘Fellowshipping with like believers’. The third is ‘Putting on the Armor of God’. Fourth is ‘Prayer’, without a prayer life a Christian will surely fall. ‘Witnessing to the lost’ is another tool by which we can live a holy life. If we live in the Spirit and not in the flesh that also guarantee's we will live a holy life. Back in the Garden of Eden the world in which God created Adam and Eve was perfect, they were without sin and without any needs, the creator met their needs. God communed with Adam in the cool of the day; their spiritual life also intact, no worries, no doubts, until the serpent arrived. He is the one who convinced them to turn from the life God had so lovingly given them. Holiness fell by the wayside, sin took its place. Holy living in a fallen world can be accomplished if we live the way the Bible says. Many people have the concept that His Word is something of a difficulty but in actuality it is the opposite, His Word becomes easier when it becomes a necessary part of our lives. A journey into holy living is a process. We, as parents understand that our children don't start walking before crawling. Every phase of our children's lives is a beginning into
something more wonderful. With patience we watch in amazement to their potential unfolding before our eyes. We, like our Father who applauds our accomplishments, striving to live a holy life, we applaud them as well. Living a holy life in a fallen world is a gradual process of grace and dedication birthed in our heart, by the Holy Spirit. The world that we live in will remain a place of uncertain time as long as the enemy of our souls is the god of this world. As human beings we struggle with strife, diseases, rebellion and many more hardships. I am sure as we go about everyday life we find due to the chaotic seasons we encounter it is difficult to focus on the one who created us. We must remember that God realizes the imperfections of the human race. Christ came as the atonement for sin. When He said "It is finished" that is exactly what He meant. There would be no further need for atonement of sin. It is up to each individual to decide for themselves how they will apply holy living in their Christian life. When man was created God gave him a free will. To choose for himself the kind of life that he would lead. I know from my own experience life is too difficult to live a life contrary to the Word of God. I thank you Father for giving us the tools to live a Christian life in a world that is contrary to Your commandments. I thank you for sending Your Son so we might have fellowship with You. May we let our light shine before men so You can be glorified. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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Joseph Responded to the Spirit's Call By David Wilkerson God's Spirit has always been calling mankind to himself—to holiness, purity of heart, a separated life—and in every generation a remnant answers this call. Joseph responded to God's call at a very early age; his ten older brothers received the same call to surrender and walk righteously, but they chose to remain in the world. On at least two occasions all of Jacob's sons received the Spirit's call very clearly. The first was when Jacob built an altar to the God of Israel (Genesis 33:18-20). Jacob called his sons to the altar to worship with him, to kneel before the Lord and follow him, but Joseph’s
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brothers turned to revenge and bloodshed, instead. The second time God clearly called out to the ten was at Bethel. Jacob knew his sons were bound with idolatry and were rejecting God's call to purity and righteousness, so he warned them: "Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God" (Genesis 35:23). This is one of the clearest calls in all of God's Word! The phrase "change your garments" in Hebrew means a moral and spiritual purification of the mind and heart. Outwardly, Jacob's sons surrendered: "And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their
hand, and all their earrings" (verse 4). But their repentance was only on the surface—they never had a true heart-change. They went right back to their rebellion, hate, envy and strife! Joseph was different from his brothers: his repentance had been from the heart. He had responded to the Spirit's call and was wholly set on following the Lord. In the midst of a wicked, evil environment, Joseph maintained clean hands and a pure heart. Joseph was sent out to the fields to help his brothers care for the family’s flocks. But he was soon grieved because his brothers spoke and lived like the heathen! His pure heart was crushed by the wickedness in his own family. "And Joseph brought unto his father their evil report" (37:2), Joseph unburdened his heart to his father: "You wouldn't believe the way they live, Father. They speak against your God. They're grieving him!" A mark of the Joseph Company is that they grieve over sin! They have forsaken all idols and are in love with Jesus, their hearts aflame with his holiness! They see the sin in the land, but they are grieved most of all by the sin in the church. They cry out from their souls, "Oh, Father, look at what is happening among your children!" If you are a part of this last-day company, you can't overlook sin. Rather, something has to rise up in you that says, "Oh, God, I can't stand what they're doing to your name!" You begin to pray— not against people, but against the inroads of demonic powers into the church of Jesus Christ! JOSEPH'S GREATEST TRIAL WAS THE WORD OF GOD! "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant . . . until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him" (Psalm 105:17, 19). Joseph was tested and tried in many ways but his greatest trial was the word he had received! Consider everything Joseph endured: At only seventeen, he was stripped down and cast into a pit to starve to death. His cold-hearted brothers laughed at his pleas for mercy and sold him to Ishmaelite traders who took him by caravan to an Egyptian slave market and sold him as a common slave. Yet Joseph's greatest trial wasn't his rejection by his brothers or even the human indignity of being made into a slave or being cast into prison. No—what confused and tried
Joseph’s spirit was the clear word he had heard from God! God had revealed to Joseph through dreams that he would be given great authority that he would use for God's glory. His brothers would bow before him and he would be a great deliverer of many people. I do not believe any of this was an ego trip for Joseph. His heart was so set on God that this word gave him a humble sense of destiny: "Lord, you have put your hand on me to have a part in your great, eternal plan.” Joseph was blessed just by knowing he would play an important role in bringing God's will to pass! But the circumstances in Joseph's life were just the opposite of what God had put in his heart. He was the servant—he had to bow! How could he believe that he would one day deliver multitudes when he was a slave himself? He must have thought, "This doesn't make sense. How could God be ordering my steps into prison, into oblivion? God said I was going to be blessed but he didn't tell me this was going to happen!" For ten years Joseph faithfully served in Potiphar's house but in the end he was misjudged and lied about. His victory over temptation with Potiphar's wife only landed him in jail. During such times he must have pondered the awful questions: "Did I hear correctly? Did my pride invent these dreams? Could my brothers have been right? Maybe all these things are happening to me as discipline for some kind of selfish desire.” Beloved, there have been times when God has shown me things he has wanted for me—ministry, service, usefulness—yet every circumstance was the very opposite of that word. At such times I thought, "Oh, God, this can't be you speaking; it must be my flesh," I was being tried by God's word to me but God has given us his promises and we can trust them, all of them! Copyright © 2017 by World Challenge, Inc., P.O. Box 260, Lindale, Texas 75771. >
THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN
Kingdom Authority - Getting An Upper Hand On The Underworld Taken from a message given by Adrian Rogers We are born to win, not born to lose. This is lifechanging, liberating truth, so why don’t we experience victory all the time? Circumstances arise that discourage. People say things that cause us to feel defeated. We find ourselves fighting a losing battle against unholy desires. Why are we fighting a battle already lost when we could enjoy a victory already won? Consider the following: Satan’s Underworld There is a ruthless, cruel underworld system that wars against our welfare, happiness, and joy. The Mafia and crime bosses of this world are but amateurs compared to this syndicate, ruled by the Prince of Darkness and the Master of Deception who wears many disguises and has many aliases. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light”
(2 Corinthians 11:14). No matter what face he wears, Satan has but one overmastering ambition, one burning desire – to dethrone the Almighty and to place himself upon the highest throne of the universe. You see, at one time the devil served in Heaven as a mighty angel, but he rebelled against God (see Isaiah 14). And when he fell, a third of the angels fell with him and became disembodied spirits. We call them demons today. The Devil is now the lord of these fallen angels. And together they form a demonized, organized, and mobilized power of satanic wickedness. Paul reminds us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Be warned! From Satan’s viewpoint you are but a pawn in his game of cosmic chess. Plans have already been made in Satan’s under-
world to sabotage you, your loved ones, and your family. How does he plan to gain the upper hand over you? He uses two chief weapons – the world and the flesh. Together, with his orchestration, they make up a trinity of evil - the world, the flesh, and the devil. They are interactive forces in a three-pronged attack. It Is Time For Some Good News! The good news is that every believer has glorious Kingdom Authority. First (Peter 5:8-10) promises God will make us strong, firm and steadfast against the ploys of Satan: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye
We are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. – 2 Corinthians 2:15
have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. You can detect Satan’s schemes and overcome his world system. You can live with victory over the desires of your flesh. Habits, attitudes, unclean desires, worries, and dissipation must yield as you exercise authority over your mind, emotions, and will. You can actually put Satan and his demons to flight. You don’t have be afraid of him - he will be afraid of you! Sometimes a Christian may boast, “I am not afraid of the devil.” Well, that is all well and good and Jesus has taught us that we are not to be terrified of our adversaries. The truth of the matter, however, is that if you understand Kingdom Authority, the devil ought to be afraid of you! Remember that we are in a war, and it is a fight to the finish. There See KINGDOM on Page 36
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Detoured But Not Deserted Finding God's Presence at Every Bend in the Road By Dr. David Jeremiah If we could map our routes through life, we would opt for a smooth ribbon of freeway, with no bumps, construction zones, or detours. But life has a way of taking unexpected turns—forcing us to take alternate routes. A few years ago, at a routine doctor's examination, I was diagnosed with lymphoma—a cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. Without warning, my life took a serious and un-planned detour. It came out of left field, unannounced, and unexpected. In that moment, I knew the road ahead would not be easy. These kinds of moments confront us with life's harshest reali-
ties. They force us to move in directions we never wanted to go and would have gone to great lengths to avoid because they are characterized by pain and suffering. They confront us in the form of death, di-vorce, illness, disease, accidents and more. Most of the time they change our lives forever. But friend, no matter what we are facing as we look down that long stretch of road, God offers hope. WE'RE NOT ALONE During our darkest moments, God is there. When we are at our lowest point, a place where even those closest to us cannot walk with us, it is God who walks at our side. "Yea, thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil; for You are with me," declares (Psalm 23:4). In the depths of discouragement, when we're so depressed we're ready to flee all human companionship, God is the only One who will not let us go. "Where can I go from your Spirit?" David ponders in (Psalm 139:7-10). "Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." WE CAN TAKE COMFORT IN HIS WORD So how do we feel the presence of God when we so desperately need it—when we feel devastated and deserted? The psalmist tells us that in our very lowest moments, God's Word has power to refresh us. "My soul clings to the dust," he says. "Revive me accord-ing to Your word." (Psalm 119:25). When we read the Bible through the lens of pain, we see God's handwriting with fresh, poignant meaning. His words can breathe hope back into our damaged lives. GOD CARES THAT WE SUF-
FER Our sufferings do matter to God. In fact, Scripture tells us we are exceedingly precious in His sight. (Zechariah 2:8) says, "He who touches you touches the apple of His eye." Many of he sufferings that come our way are not from the hands of God; they only pass through His hands. And in that passing, God takes full measure of them. He takes careful note of any pain being inflicted on the apple of His eye. GOD WILL GIVE GRACE As God permits pain in the lives of His children; He also bestows equal measures of grace never experienced outside of suffering. Heartache can result in intimacy with God. In tri-als and tragedies, we enter into a fellowship with Christ's sufferings. You can't always prepare for life's disruptive moments nor can you always avoid them. You may never even discover the answers to all your questions. But this you can know: God is with you. He wants to wrap you in His presence where you can feel His love. And, as you See DETOURED on Page 36
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Training Up Children with a Biblical Worldview By Monty Fontenot, Head of School – Northlake Christian School In the late seventies, the Northshore encountered a spiritual revival. Many families from different denominations began to pray fervently and a school was born that would teach every lesson and every subject from a biblical worldview. These families believed that when biblical principles of teaching and learning are applied at the home, church, and school, then a child will grow up with a firm foundation and be prepared to serve and please God in all areas of their life. It is essential that all three of these areas are consistent in their teachings, so that a child’s worldview will be firmly planted in their hearts. It is just like the three-legged stool that is more stable on uneven ground than a two or four-legged one. With a society and culture that is rapidly becoming more and more secular and immoral, and truth is relative to one’s own beliefs, it is critical that we ensure that our children grow in their relationship with
Christ and remain faithful to His teachings. God instructs us all to do this in (Deuteronomy 6:6-8 ) when he says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” We must train up our children with a biblical worldview from the time they are born. The answer to those family’s prayers was Northlake Christian School, a school born out of prayer and a fierce seeking of the Lord. Opening its doors in the fall of 1978, Northlake will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as an educational institution that remains true to its mission of training up children in a biblical worldview. Northlake is a full service one stop shop, beginning with its Early Learning Center and babies
beginning at 6 weeks old, through Lower School (K-4), Middle School 5-8), and finishing with its college prep Upper School (9-12). Our vision for every one of our students, starting from the little ones all the way to our graduating seniors, is 1) they love Christ will all their heart, soul, mind and strength; 2) they love others as they love themselves; and 3) they grow in wisdom knowledge and skill so they can serve God in all areas of their life. Northlake Christian’s school verse is (Psalms 1:3), which says, “they will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in its season and whose leaf will not wither- whatever they do will prosper.” Our country and this world is in dire need of bold, Christian leadership that will stand upon the truth which is the Word of God, and not crumble when the heat is on. Who will not fall prey or follow the false teachings for the sake of acceptance. We must send out from our homes, young men and women, who as (Romans 12:2)
says, “will not conform to the pattern of this world, but will be transformed by the renewing of their mind.” If we through the joint endeavor of home, church and school, teach our children to study God’s word, earnestly seek Him in prayer, and follow His instructions, we can train up the next generation of Christian leaders who are ready for battle and that will go out and change the world for Christ. >
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COMMUNITY FORGIVE Continued from Page 25 As God’s love began to fill their home, Lorna and her husband started to experience the kind of marriage she had always dreamed of but had given up hope of ever having. In fact, four months after they were reconciled, Lorna’s husband woke her early one morning to say, “I now know that a man should love his wife the way God has loved us. I want to tell you, Lorna, at this moment, I love you that way.” These were the last words she would ever hear from his lips. Within hours, a second massive
heart attack took him home to be with the Lord. Imagine where Lorna and her children might be today if she had chosen the logical way, the natural way, the vengeful way—the bitter path of unforgiveness. Imagine the lives that would still be in shambles, the regrets that would have lingered for a lifetime. “Do not give up on your marriage,” she urged the listeners in an interview. “Do not give up on your spouse. Take it to the Lord in prayer and always remember: What you are not able to do for yourself, He will do it for you and in you.”
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PLAN YOUR RETREAT TODAY! Come tour our retreat and plan your stay to get away from day to day responsibilities and bask in the peace and quiet of the wilderness. In God’s beautiful creation you will find your spiritual rejuvenation while praising him with your group in our conference center, praying at our many prayer altars, or just alone while walking our trails. We can accommodate men, women, youth, and pastoral retreats.
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Resulting Peace Certainly, not every marriage is remedied the way Lorna’s was, even by forgiveness. But even when you can’t see the results—though the situation may not clear up entirely or get any better at all— you can still know that you’ve done what God has required of you. You can continue to forgive as His grace and love flow through you. And you can walk in peace—His peace. Adapted from Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom. By Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Published by Moody Publishers. Copyright © 2017 Used with permission. >
Swimming Basketball Volleyball Zip-Line
take an unexpected detour, no matter how deserted you may feel, you'll dis-cover grace you never knew before. That grace will take you through your journey. If you enjoyed this article, we'd like to recommend Dr. Jeremiah's book and series enti-tled A Bend in the Road, a collection of hope and comfort for anyone going through a bend in the road. This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-9471993 for your copy of Turning Points. > KINGDOM Continued from Page 33 can be no truce and no neutrality. Through the conquest of Calvary we are already in the place of victory. “But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). While Satan has been defeated and rendered ultimately powerless against the Spirit filled believer, he has not yet surrendered. And he will not give up without a fight. He is going to press on to do whatever damage he can through deception, threats, and intimidation. And this is a part of the plan of God. God’s plan for us is not immunity from struggle but victory through struggle. In this victory we must appropriate what God has already established. Satan may bluff but you need not be afraid. You need to keep your eyes focused and appropriate that which is already yours in Jesus Christ! And that which you have is Kingdom Authority! ©2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
LOST CHILDREN Continued from Page 11 wolves — but the Lord saved them, and brought them out of the wilderness." "Please tell us all about it, mother?" "Yes, if you will listen very attentively. I do not mean that all men were lost in just such a forest as Edward and Ellen were lost in; nor, that they were in danger of being eaten up by such wolves as threatened to eat up this dear little boy and girl." "What kind of wolves were they?" asked the children. "They were just such things in their hearts, which corresponded to wolves and every evil and hurtful beast — wicked thoughts and acts. But let me tell you all about it." "The Lord made men innocent and good. All things around them were as beautiful as the loveliest garden you have ever seen. In their hearts dwelt only those good feelings, to which the lambs and doves and all good animals correspond. They were very happy, and God was their companions. "But, after a while, they began to forget the good Lord who made them, and gave them every blessing they enjoyed. At the same time that they forgot God, they forgot to love one another. The innocent lambs began to die in their hearts — and evil beasts of prey to take their place. They hated, instead of loving one another. Then war, dreadful war, first appeared on the earth. Men not only hated, but sought to kill each other. Wicked spirits possessed them, soul and body. They were as if lost in a great wilderness, and about to be destroyed by the wild beasts which were in their hearts! "It was then that the Lord came and saved them. He drove out the evil spirits and cruel beasts, and led the lost men out of this dark and fearful wilderness. It was Jesus Christ, of whom you read in the New Testament, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who did this. When you are older, and can understand better, I will tell you more about the lost men, and the good Lord who saved them." GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2017 >
FROM THE EDITOR
PURE AT HEART Continued from Page 3 which Hebrews thought was always haunted. And that was the vision which haunted the Puritans through all their days. The outcome of this vision, it is not necessary for us today to consider. You know what it was in apostolic history, and you know what it has been in the history of the Puritan world. From this vision there came a courage which has never been surpassed. There was no enemy however terrible whom they hesitated to fight, there was no suffering however fearful from which they withered. They were the only men who in that great age stood up and fought. The pure at heart was heroism embodied. And along with this splendid courage there was a magnificent hatred of shams and lies. They hated deceit, despised all contradictions to duty and to truth. Religion in their day had become an elaborate and embroidered lie, and so they trampled it beneath their indignant feet. They took off the head of a king because he was a liar. And along with this hatred of hypocrisy and falsehood there was a fidelity to duty which never wavered and never failed. Their
conscience became a new factor in the progress of the world. Like the old Hebrew prophets who could never be beaten down. In the darkest night, among the wildest conflicts, when the storm was at its highest they still kept saying to themselves, "Sometime, somewhere, somehow, His kingdom shall come, and His name shall be glorious throughout the world!" Is not this the vision which we need? We are living in confused and troubled times, when the winds are blowing a hurricane across the lands and the currents are sweeping us onward toward what we do not know. Sin still wears her scarlet and lifts her insignia, and evil in a thousand forms devastates the peoples of the earth. The human mind in every age has felt that there must be something, be it law or force or principle or energy or fate or destiny or mind, by which the universe came into being, and according to which it moves. But all men are practically atheists who deny that God can speak, and that He does speak to the human heart. To say that one does not know whether God speaks or not is to cut away the ground upon which the world's strongest characters have been built. "Out of the throne," says John, "there comes a voice. Listen
to it." And if you listen you will hear it telling you to pray. "Look up, listen, work." Work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work. Work, for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Work, in order that at the end of the day you may hear the King saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord." What is the best gift which one can give to this world? What was the gift which the ancient Hebrew people gave to humanity? It is surprising how many things there are which it did not give. It never carved a statue which the world cared to preserve, nor painted a picture which the world cared to look at, nor wrote a piece of music which the world cared to hear, nor constructed a philosophy which the world cared to investigate, nor worked out a scheme of metaphysics which the world cared to follow. If we should ask ourselves what our Christian forefathers would say to us if they could speak to us tonight, no doubt they would say very simple and elementary things like this: "Better die than live dishonorably, better be poor through life than be dishonest, better fail with honor than succeed by means
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that are unworthy of a man, better leave your boys nothing but an unspotted name than leave them a colossal fortune with a name that has been tarnished." There is no tragedy on earth as terrible as the fading of the luster of an honored name. There is no spectacle as heart-breaking as the spectacle of withered brows that have worn it nobly until their hair is gray. There lies upon this island one of the highest heaps of gold ever amassed by the genius and ingenuity and industry of man. That mass of gold can be an Aaron's rod by means of which miracles shall be wrought for humanity, it may if wrongly used be a millstone and drown us in the depths of the sea. Let us keep repeating to ourselves the words of Jesus, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Let us ponder the meaning of the sentence, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul?" And how in a world like this shall a man keep from losing his soul? Simply by living always within sight of the great white throne! As a Christian, Are you Pure at Heart? Please reflect on these words, your life may depend on it. Save the Nations Ministries >
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