Changing Times 2022 Back to School Issue

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Your Guide to Living a Victorious Life Your Guide to Living a Victorious Life

Changing

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The Newspaper of the Christian Community

Volume 20, Number 4 www.changingtimes.info

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For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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Will You Stand With Us?

I still believe America can be a shining beacon of hope. The invitation Jesus offered to Jerusalem, He extends to us today as a nation in crisis. “Oh, America, how I long for you to come to Me like chicks to the hen.” He invites us to come to the shelter, to the shadow of the Almighty. As believers, we must extend a clear call to return to the security and direction that God freely offers. In the Old Testament, God repeatedly told His people that if they would return to Him, He would bless them. God wants to bless us beyond anything we could ever imagine, but it requires that we stay in His presence. In turn, He wants us to become a blessing to the

nations of the world. Jesus told the twelve that were closest to Him to go disciple the nations. We don’t have to be overanxious for the future kingdom of heaven. We must focus on the assignment that God has given us here and now, because Jesus announced, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”t We must be connected to one another and submitted to Christ, the head. We must also understand and value the importance of each other. Believers that are not properly connected to one another short-circuit God’s power. We are sent out on a divine assignment. We are not called to promote a denomination or political party, but to leave the imprint of God on all denominations, political parties and every sphere of influence. We must become name-less, egoless and logo-less. We have a nation going down and who cares who gets the credit. It’s not a matter of trying to wrap the Bible with a flag. We must recognize biblical principles applied to a nation’s life are better than anti-biblical principles. Wherever you see believers working, pray that they are ambassadors

From the Editor for Christ. Each of us must be true to the word of God and the principles on which we must build, which pierce the darkness with the light of God’s truth. I am not talking about organizing a base of power, but mobilizing a people to release God’s power all over the earth. If we understand what He wishes to accomplish and commit to doing it, God’s purpose will be accomplished in His power and by His Spirit. The Christian Community is a diverse group of people, but we can learn to hear God together and respond in a way that sets an example of unity, as we communicate and find common ground to address common concerns without compromising biblical convictions. We do not have to forfeit our uniqueness and diversity to come together in harmony, revealing the purpose of God. A foundation established on biblical principles makes it possible to be productive, creative and prosperous. The Kingdom of God, revealed by genuine

love and grace, will affect human character. Never take lightly the important role the church must fulfill on earth and in this mission! Opportunities, success and prosperity are not the problem. Forsaking God and the failure to live under His control and in a responsible manner is the culprit. Let us, as Christians and caring Americans, not forsake and fault the very potential for being blessed and blessing others. Do not place the blame in the wrong places. We must take personal responsibilities for our actions. And with all this in mind, Save The Nations Ministries has joined in support of the Brand-New Christian Network called The Christian Referral Network, whose slogan is Christians Empowering Christians! Membership is free to individuals and Churches. And all eligible businesses can sign up at ground-floor prices. Check them out at www.thechristianreferralnetwork.com. See STAND WITH US on Page 45

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FROM THE EDITOR

Changing Times

Top Priorities Whether you have ever thought of it or not, is it not true that life sets up priorities and top priorities? If one would succeed in the battle of personal living, he must designate some things as important and other things as most important. There must be top priorities. Probably the number one danger of modern living is to substitute secondary matters for primary, nonessential for essential, incidental for fundamental and peripheral for the central. The Old Testament records a classic example of this human tendency. A prisoner was put in custody of a keeper, with this charge: "Keep this man, guard him, and watch him. If for any reason, he

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escapes -- be missing thy life shall be for his life." There was a top priority. But what happened? The custodian or keeper became occupied with other matters -- secondary, incidental things -- and forgot his top charge. The prisoner escaped and then what? The warden cried out to the king, "As thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone." Did that excuse him or absolve him from blame? The king decreed: "You knew the charge. You knew the penalty. Thou thyself has decided it. Thy life shall be for his life." So, he was condemned, not because he was busy doing sinful, evil things necessarily, but because he betrayed his top priority (I Kings 20: 38-42). The classic New Testament illustration of this same principle is commonly designated "The Story of the Rich Fool." Jesus himself related it. In essence it is this. A man's business prospered; he had to build larger barns to care for his bounteous crops. He sat back smugly and complacently and said to himself, "Soul, thou have many goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But God broke the silence and said, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." What a pathetic tragedy! Here he was at the triumphant apex of his career, just ready to live life to the full. But now his number was up. He must die. He ignored top priorities. He put sensuous satisfaction ahead of his soul. He gave all his time seeking for gold

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and none searching for God. Successful living must recognize top priorities. Permit me to suggest what they are: 1. God's will for your life must be first and your personal desires second. 2. Make the kingdom of Heaven first in your activities. Jesus commanded, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things [needful things] shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6: 33). Here is the top priority. It must transcend even home, friends, school, work, and pleasure. In all things Jesus must have pre-eminence (Col. 1: 18). 3. Give God the first hour of every day. It is recorded of Jesus, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1: 35). Early prayer and Bible reading each day is a priority first. 4. Give God the first day of the week. Here is another top priority. The Sabbath must be a holy day and not a holiday. Its observance is so important that it is included as one of the Ten Commandments.

You must not ignore it or shove it to a secondary place. It rates top priority in God's requirements and thus of necessity must be an imperative first in man's observance. 5. Give God the first portion of your income. Under the old Jewish order, the first fruits, the first of the flocks, herds, and material increase were the Lord's. One-tenth was the minimum. Offerings were to be over and above the tithes. It is still God's plan for financing His Church. So, give Him the first tenth, top priority, and He will bless your nine-tenths. So, here are the top priorities. 1. Give yourself to God. 2. Give the Kingdom first place in your activities. 3. Give the first hour of every day to prayer. 4. Give the first day of every week wholly to God. 5. Give the first portion of your income to His Church. If you give God and His kingdom top priority, He will give you top blessings here and eternal life hereafter. I propose this personal question: To what do you give top priority in your life? Save The Nations Ministries>

Table of Contents From the Editor Men Women Teens Children Seniors Marriage Education Health Financial Feature Article Heroes of Faith The Christian Journey Guiding Light Christian Living Victorious Living The True Vine Prayer The Cross

3 5 10 14 17 20 25 27 30 32 38 40 41 42 43 46 47 50 51


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The One Leadership Mindset That Maximizes Transformation

Men

By Chip Ingram

Can you imagine a general contractor having a team of workers at his disposal but always assuming he’d do a better job on everything that needed to be done? His team’s skills would deteriorate, his own job would suffer, and he would burn out quickly. Nobody wins at that game. If that’s the approach, construction projects take longer, people who want to help finally leave, and the workmanship shows signs of the stress that went into it. We can clearly see the error in thinking, and yet we often apply this false logic to our philosophy and practice of church leadership. In the church, leaders are “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12). That’s how the team is supposed to work. The word “equip” in Greek,

means “to restore,” which is the word used for fishermen mending their nets. They “restore” the mesh for usefulness. For a church to be healthy and for transformation to occur, leaders and followers alike must have a restoring, equipping mindset. Here are 6 lessons for church leaders and members from Paul’s leadership directive to the Ephesians that we can apply today. 1. Every believer is a minister. Learning God’s Word isn’t just for the experts. All members are meant to know and understand the revelation He has given us. All members are to develop and hone their life skills and discover and practice their spiritual gifts. All are invited into this life restoration project in order to impart it to others. We are all equipped “for works of service” (v. 12). 2. Leadership in the church has little to do with prestige or position. The specific purpose of these leadership gifts is to equip the saints. In other words, all believers

it’s not the pastor’s job to do the ministry, but to equip the ministers! Unfortunately, most people who have been brought up in the church have it backward, and the language of our leaders often contributes to the confusion. They talk about being “called to ministry,” which can overlook the calling of every believer to do the work of the ministry. 3. The mindset of the pastor as the minister has limited the progress of churches. A huge percentage of churches in America—probably somewhere between 80 and 90 percent—have plateaued or are experiencing a decline in attendance. Seventy-five to one hundred people can be served spiritually by an average, energetic pastor. A high-energy pastor would be able to connect with a few more people without having a nervous breakdown. A highly motivated, obsessive-compulsive pastor, on the other hand, can work up to ninety hours a week and oversee two hundred people.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.~Romans 6:23

I can say that because I’ve been there, and it’s not the way to go. I felt like I had to be everything to everyone. It’s probably not surprising to learn that burnout and discouragement were lurking just around the corner. 4. Change is hard, and this shift will be difficult for some. People new to a biblically functioning, equipping church often become frustrated because the wrong model of ministry is so deeply ingrained in them. They discover the pastor is not always available to everyone for whatever reason and backlash can follow. I’ve received my fair share of pushback as I’ve led following the philosophy outlined in Ephesians, but I’ve been greatly encouraged by others who have embraced their roles as ministers and are experiencing joy and blessings as they minister to others. See LEADERSHIP on Page

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How To Get A Promotion At Work By Ken Coleman

You’re up for a challenge, aren’t you? You’re hungry to grow. You’re longing for more responsibility, more influence, and more fulfillment in your career. You’re the kind of person who’s got their eyes on the summit of the mountain. And I dig it. My life calling is to help you find your life calling! And chances are, the journey toward your dream job involves taking on more responsibility. So, let’s talk about how to get a promotion at work. But I need to make something clear before we jump in: You must earn your promotion. Your leader isn’t going to hand you one just for taking up space at a desk for a few years. To demonstrate you’re ready for the next gig, you must knock it out of the park in your current position. You must know your role, accept your role, maximize your

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role, and develop your character along the way. 1. Know your role. The first step of moving forward is taking radical responsibility for your job—not comparing yourself to people around you. Use these three habits to know your role: Get crystal clear on your responsibilities. You need to know exactly what’s expected of you in your current role. Hopefully, you’ve been given a job description with clear details of your responsibilities and expectations. Whether you have that document or not, ask your leader, “What does it look like for me to win in this role?” And then do it! Ask for feedback. Your leader is probably busy with their responsibilities. You don’t have to wait for your sixmonth or annual check-in to ask how you’re doing and make sure you’re on track. Asking for their opinion will develop rapport and give you valuable information to help you keep improving. Be a good listener. If you’re going to ask for feed-

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back, you’d better be ready to receive it! Ask the question, then shut your mouth and listen. You’ve got to eat a big ole slice of humble pie to fully apply constructive criticism—but it’s the only way to get better. 2. Accept your role. Accepting your role is all about developing your attitude. Are you positive? Do you bring a creative spark to everything you do? Where you are today might not be your dream role, but there’s no next if you don’t crush the now. Focus on developing an infectious attitude of gratitude by adopting these habits: Hone your craft. Whatever your calling—engineer, nurse, chef, developer, marketer, fill-in-the-blank—commit to being the absolute best you can be. You should know your craft backward and forward and see each day as an opportunity to practice. Take initiative. As you grow in your skill set, look for problems that can be solved. Offer up your solutions and ideas. If you see something, say something! It takes self-awareness

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to know what you bring to the table and then contribute to the success of your entire team. Be collaborative. Begin to branch out and make connections with your teammates and even with the broader professional community in your area. Don’t hesitate to reach out across departments and disciplines. Think of yourself as a bridge that connects people across islands. This helps lay the foundation for developing rapport with people who will help you continue to grow. 3. Maximize your role. All right, folks, it’s time to go from wins to wows. Self-discovery is a key component of maximizing your role—knowing who you are and what you’re capable of. To earn a promotion, you must go above and beyond your current responsibilities. If you’re not overstepping boundaries, try to do the work of your next job before you get the job title. Learn, learn, and learn some See PROMOTION on Page

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Dad, How Big Is God?’ Parenting Through the Tough Questions By Chad Ashby

The other day, our family was out for an evening stroll along our usual route. We went down the sidewalk from our home, past a few shops, across a street, and over to the local college. On our return, we walked past the large cemetery next to our neighborhood, where a couple of men were preparing a gravesite. As we walked by, my 5-year-old son asked one of those questions parents often dread: “Dad, what are they doing?” What should I do? Was he too young to hear the truth? I could shrug the question off — perhaps by redirecting his attention to the sunset or a passing car. But I decided that my inquisitive little guy deserved an answer. Gospel at the Graveyard I stopped and sat on the cemetery wall, stood him in front of me, and began my best attempt at an explanation: “Buddy, at the end of each person’s life, they die. When someone dies, they put the person’s body in a box, they dig a hole in the ground, and they put the box inside the hole.” He responded, “Do we have clothes on when we go inside the box?” I said, “Well, they put clothes on the person’s body when they put them in the box. . . . Did you know that Jesus died? They put his body in the ground, but three days later

he came out of the ground because God raised him back to life. If we believe in Jesus, we will go to be with Jesus when we die. And one day, when Jesus comes back, our bodies will come out of those holes all brand new, and we will live with Jesus forever and never die again.” “I hope I still get to wear my clothes. And I’m going to keep my eyes open inside that box.” “Okay, buddy.” Patterns of Honesty Obviously, my son was lost on the whole dying-and-being-buried thing. But I was trying to establish an important precedent with him. When he comes to me with honest questions, I am going to give him honest answers. He may not fully understand the answer, and I may fumble through an awkward reply, but one thing is certain: I’m not going to ignore his earnest inquiries. “When my son comes to me with honest questions, I want to give him honest answers.” My hope is that the patterns of communication my wife and I are establishing early on with our children will continue to equip us as parents. With God’s help, each question we choose not to punt on gives us more wisdom to handle the next. If I feed my kids little falsehoods now, thinking, “They’re too young for the truth,” I’m not only hindering their growth in wisdom and stature, but also my own. They may be too young for certain details, but there’s a way to lovingly answer their specific question truthfully. If I can’t give my 5-year-old the truth, what makes me think I’ll be ready to do it when he’s fifteen?

These years — when the kids are young, and the questions are of little consequence — are practice for later. Right now, we’re learning to field basic queries like “Is Santa real?” or “How big is God?” But one day the questions might become “My best friend just told me he’s gay — what should I do?” or “Why would a good God let them die like that?” As we step up to the plate now, while they’re young, we trust that God will teach us how to handle the questions that will be more difficult to answer later. Children will satisfy their curiosity one way or another. If we do not give them the truth, they will find it elsewhere. Establishing an early pattern of open communication will hopefully help to avoid heartache later. No parent wants to discover too late that their kids have been going online, to their peers, or to even worse places with questions they don’t trust us to answer to their satisfaction. Moreover, it’s important that we treat our kids according to their God-given dignity. They are little people made in the image of God.

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They deserve the truth. Every Conversation Captive My son’s question, which threw me off guard at first, turned out to be a great doorway for the gospel. That evening in front of the cemetery, I could have shuffled the family along, avoided the topic, and given some vague answer like, “They’re just digging a hole.” But when your child asks you pointedly about a graveyard, is it really to his benefit to avoid the issue of death altogether? “If I can’t give my 5-year-old the truth, what makes me think I’ll be ready to do it when he’s fifteen?” Surely God envisioned these exact conversations when he commanded us, “You shall teach [these words] diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7). At the breakfast table, on the summer walk, and from the bedtime pillow, our children probe us See HOW BIG IS GOD on Page

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more. Improving your skill set is a lifelong endeavor. Develop daily habits that will allow you to continue to grow. Start to think strategically about the big picture of your team or department and make ideas go from good to great. Value people. Relationships are the most important factor of determining how quickly and effectively you move forward. Period. Dive deep with your leaders and your teammates. Practically speaking, this means being present in your organization. Don’t eat lunch in the break room alone every day. Go to lunch, grab coffee, attend fun events, and get to know your coworkers outside of work hours. Make yourself valuable by becoming an indispensable part of the community where you work. Help your teammates win. If you want to advance personally, commit to being a key player on your rock-star team. When you look out for the good of your teammates, you’re advancing the good of the entire organization. And as you support and encourage other key players, they’ll open doors of opportunity for you. Set specific goals. From planning to ask for a raise to taking on more responsibility, write out your goals clearly and put them on a timeline so you know when and how to execute them. And don’t assume your leader knows you want a promotion. Talk to them about your desire to grow and earn more responsibility. Ask them what certifications, skills, or qualities you should have to reach that destination. 4. Develop your character. In addition to improving your hard skills (things like programming, writing or sales), you need to

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focus on becoming the kind of person who deserves more responsibility. We’re talking about character. Here are four specific character qualities that will help lead you to a promotion: Be likeable. People should smile when they cross paths with you at the coffee station or walking down the hall. Be kind. Now, this isn’t an expectation for you to be perfect, but you must do your best to bring joy to others. Be coachable. Two specific areas come to mind when I think about coaching: The first is instruction. When a new opportunity, piece of technology, or policy gets put on your plate, soak it up like a sponge. Be an A+ student. Find a mentor to pour into you. The second area is correction. Don’t get defensive when your leader notices an area that needs improvement. Choose humility and embrace the opportunity to learn. Be reliable. Being reliable is about building trust over a consistent period. Ask yourself questions like these: Are you trustworthy? Will you do a good job with more on your plate? When your name is on a project, do your leader and teammates immediately know it’s in good hands? Deliver on the promises you make—day in and day out. Be honorable. This is all about integrity. Consistently treat people the way you want to be treated and respect their

needs and their ideas. Spend some time reflecting on these four qualities. Ask your family and a trustworthy friend at work to give you some honest input on where you’re doing well and where you need to grow. Grow in Your Career Every Single Day If you follow these four steps— know your role, accept your role, maximize your role, and develop your character—then before you know it, a promotion will find you. You can’t always predict the exact moment, but when the time comes to throw your hat in the ring, you can rest assured that you’ve done the work necessary to earn your spot. Ken Coleman is America’s Career Coach and author of the national bestselling book From Paycheck to Purpose and the #1 national bestseller The Proximity Principle. He hosts The Ken Coleman Show, a nationally syndicated, caller-driven show that helps listeners discover what they were born to do. Ken makes regular appearances on Fox News, and he cohosts The Ramsey Show, the second-largest talk show in the nation with 18 million weekly listeners. Through his speaking, broadcasting and syndicated columns, Ken gives people expert career advice, providing strategic steps to grow professionally, land their dream job, and get promoted. >

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LEADERSHIP Continued from Page 5 5. Strong leaders leave room for others to serve because they love their congregation. Leaders are saying, “It’s not that we don’t love you. It’s that we love you so much that we’re not going to take ministry away from you. We love you so much that even though you think a pastor can do it better, we’ll let a layperson who is more gifted and more available serve you as a shepherd.” Leaders are saying to their congregation: We love you so much that even though you think a pastor can do it better, we’ll let a layperson who is more gifted and more available serve you as a shepherd. Leaders are saying to their congregation: We love you so much that even though you think a pastor can do it better, we’ll let a layperson who is more gifted and more available serve you as a shepherd. Members of a congregation may wonder what they were thinking under the old church model once the change has been implemented and accepted. It’s a better, more efficient, and more satisfying way to minister and build up the church. 6. Ministering to others is directly connected to personal growth. Growth requires both receiving and providing ministry, and the conventional but unbiblical model of church leadership hampers this process. It puts everything in the hands of the contractor and ignores the expertise of all the individuals who could contribute. The transformation won’t look

quite right with that approach, and it may not even get completed. Equipping everyone for ministry is a model that works. I’ve served in churches with a limited number of pastors who have specific responsibilities and thousands of other “full-time” ministers who are evolving, transforming, and helping others grow and transform. Some of these ministers are disguised as everyday insurance agents, bus drivers, carpoolers, community activists, tech industry executives, hospitality industry servers, mothers, and fathers. They pray with kids on a soccer team, visit the sick, counsel the hurting, lead Bible studies, walk through neighborhoods praying and blessing the homes and inhabitants, worship throughout their day, and display God’s love in a variety of creative ways. These saints are fulfilling God’s plan for the church—and being transformed in the process. These faithful individuals are ministers of the gospel who shepherd, teach, impart wisdom, express God’s heart, and live out their gifts whenever and wherever needed. >

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HOW BIG IS GOD Continued from Page 7 for the truth spurred on by their own curiosity about the world around them. These are the perfect times to teach our kids about God and his gospel. Be on the lookout. Many of our children’s toughest or most embarrassing questions can turn out to be perfect opportunities to talk about the good news of Jesus. Take those conversations captive. Sit and talk intentionally and honestly with your children. Are we going to bumble through our answers, have awkward transitions, and make absolutely no sense sometimes? Of course. But my kids are young — they won’t know any better! Maybe yours are older. They will likely still appreciate your candor, and God will help you grow over time. It’s never too late to start telling the

truth. The Truth Our Kids Need If you have been in the habit of dodging your kids’ hard questions, you may need to ask for their forgiveness. Children become exasperated when Mom and Dad fail to be the primary truth-tellers in their lives. Paul tells us the solution is to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). As we grow in faithfulness to instruct our children in the truth, we trust the Spirit to grant us more wisdom to point them to Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). ©2022 Desiring God Foundation. Website: www.desiringGod. org. Email: mail@desiringGod. org. Toll Free: 888-346-4700 >

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. ~1 Peter 3:181

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Changing Times

Live The Life God Desires For You By Stacey Salsbery

It’s easy to think God desires what we desire: a life filled with love and happiness and good health and possessions. Of course, not too many possessions, just the ones we earnestly pray for: a lovely house, a reliable car, enough money to go on vacation. If He happens to throw in the HGTV dream home, so be it; we’ll share it with family and friends.

But are those the things God desires for us or does the Bible offer a different set of priorities? Let me tell you something: God does indeed desire that you live a life filled with love and happiness and good health, but it’s not the kind of love, pleasure, or health the world esteems. The possessions God desires for us are spiritual, not temporal. Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father is actively fulfilling our physical needs, and we’re not to concern ourselves with those things (Matt. 6:25–33). God’s hope for you is not rooted in this world but in the

active participation of His kingdom. Therefore, the life God desires for you centers on Him, not you. God’s primary concern is not your comfort—God’s primary concern is your commitment. He knows we will quickly fall into temptation unless we cling to Christ and that we will struggle with fear unless we fasten ourselves to His Word. We will not have what it takes to live godly lives in this ungodly world unless we live strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Steadfast in the Word of God We cannot live the life God desires for us apart from filling our minds and hearts with Scripture. The bottom line is this: if we don’t know Scripture, then we don’t know God. To seek God somewhere other than in the Bible is to seek a god of our own making; but to seek the Lord through His Word is to find the true God. It’s God’s desire that His Word dwells richly in all of His children (Col. 3:16). “How can a young man keep his way pure? It is by guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9). We cling to God by adhering to the Scriptures. We fight the lure of the enemy by rooting ourselves in the perfect and eternal, steadfast words of our Savior. I find strength in times of need when I cling to God’s Word like a frightened child clings to his parent. I find peace for today when I refuse to let go of God’s promises, whether life is calm or crazy. And I acquire direction when I faithfully look to the Lord for help. A refusal to let go of God (and His Word) is what God desired for Israel, and it’s what God wants for us. For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen. (Jer. 13:11) The word cling is a strong verb in the Hebrew. It means to adhere to like glue. There is no separation. The bond is so tight it will rip if it separates. God desires intimacy with us. God’s hope is that we will cling to Him no matter our circumstances, but

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there’s only one way to do that: by adhering to the Word of God like glue. Then and only then will you live the life God desires for you. Eager to Pursue Godliness God didn’t save us so we could do whatever we want and still go to heaven. He saved us so we could once again live our lives devoted to Him. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12). It’s God’s desire that we live according to the righteousness He’s bestowed on us through faith in Jesus Christ. In Him, we are made new, “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24) through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Once we were slaves to sin, but now we are not. There was a time we could not help but give in to our sinful passions, but now we have the power to overcome them. So do it, says the Lord. Live like you’re a child of God and seek to imitate your Father (Eph. 5:1). “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called”. (1 Tim. 6:11–12) In other words, pursue God, who is all those attributes and more. Do not set your hopes “on the uncertainty of riches, but on God” (1 Tim. 6:17). Secure your mind on Christ. Participate in the expansion of His kingdom and seek the things that are above. Don’t be consumed with earthly possessions but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. When you do, you will live the life God desires for you. Filled with the Holy Spirit God’s daily goal for us is to walk in the Spirit; that’s the only way we will not gratify the desires of our flesh, which is continually waging war on our souls. The Christian life is not easy. It’s hard work to take every thought captive for Christ and not lose hope and trust Him no matter what. We can’t do it alone; we need the Lord in everything. Our understanding is insufficient to make any decision apart from Him. Therefore, complete dependence is God’s desire for His children. We raise our kids to be self-sufficient—to do things without us. But spiritually, See LIVE THE LIFE on Page 12


WOMEN

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Whatever The Cost By Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Now is the time for a movement of reformation and revival in the hearts and homes of Christian women all around this world. Now is the time to go against the flow. I believe God has brought you into His kingdom for such a time as this. Teens: That means the willingness to follow Christ and His Word when it seems that all the other girls your age are consumed with beauty, guys, self, sex, and having a good time. It means setting your affections on Christ, guarding your heart, choos-

ing the pathway of purity, and becoming a Truth-speaker in your generation when all your peers seem to be going the opposite direction. Single women: That means choosing the pathway of contentment. It means being willing to be married or single— whichever God has for you—for His glory and the sake of His kingdom. It means using your singleness to serve the Lord without distraction. It means being willing to be sexually pure and to be a servant of the family of God. Married women: It’s a call to be faithful in a world of broken promises—to love your husband, to pray for him, to build a marriage that glorifies God. It means being faithful in the good times and the hard times. It means saying yes to your high and holy calling of being a helper to your husband, reverencing him as the Scripture exhorts, submitting to him as a picture of your submission to Christ Himself. It means giving yourself wholeheartedly to

your husband and saying no to emotional or physical intimacy with any other man. Mothers: That means embracing the calling and gift of being a giver and a nurturer of life. Don’t let the world tell you how many or how few children to have. Let God give you His vision for the impact that your children and grandchildren could make for His kingdom for generations to come. Do battle in prayer for the souls of your children and your grandchildren. Older women: It means choosing not to retire spiritually. Don’t settle for a life consumed by golf, bridge, meaningless activity, and preoccupation with self. Younger women need you. They need your counsel, encouragement, and prayers. They need you to take them under your wings and help them learn how to live lives that please the Lord. I often say to women, “We’ve got to be willing to be salmon swimming upstream.” What do

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

salmon do? They get bloodied and beat up on the rocks to give birth and produce life. Then what do they do? They die. You say, “That doesn’t sound like something I want to be called to.” But what a picture that is of the heart of Christ, who swam upstream—bloodied and beaten— to give spiritual life; laying down His life on Calvary to give us eternal life. We may die in the process, but if we die fulfilling the kingdom purposes and will of God for our lives, so be it. If we perish, we perish. Let’s go for broke! That’s what Amy Carmichael did for over 55 years. She risked her life to rescue little girls who had been sold into prostitution in the Hindu temples—one young woman at a time. She worked tirelessly to salvage those lives and to expose the works of darkness that had claimed so many children’s lives in India. Each step of the way she was See COST on Page 12

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WOMEN COST Continued from Page 11 fighting and pushing against the powers of darkness—not in her own strength, but in the strength and power of God who had sent her there. She endured and persevered through all those years with a handful of victories, but also with numerous heartbreaking losses and apparent defeats. The issues around us are no less serious than those of those little girls sold into temple prostitution. Women and girls all around us are in bondage to guilt, fear, bitterness,

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anxiety, eating disorders, sinful behaviors, addictions, and depression. They need to be rescued from the enemy who has taken them captive. We are called to fight the powers of darkness in the name, power, and Spirit of the Lord Jesus and to join God in His great rescue operation. We’re called to shine the light in the darkness, to see captives set free, and to see God glorified. If you’re like me, you feel inspired and grateful to help with such a mission, but on the other hand, there is a real sense of weakness and overwhelming inadequacy.

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In these times of fear, the Lord reminds me of that passage in Luke 1 when the angel came to Mary and said, “You’re going to have a baby—God’s Son. I know you’re not married, and you’ve never been intimate with a man, but this is what God is going to do.” Mary asked the obvious question, “How can this be? It’s not physically possible.” The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Who’s going to win the battle? God is. Who’s going to fill you with power? God is. “Nothing will be impossible with God,” the angel said. What was Mary’s response? Mary said simply, in faith, humility, and surrender, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary said, “Yes, Lord.” If you were to ask her today, “Was it worth it, Mary? Would you do it again?” Do you have any doubt about what she would say? “Yes, it was worth it. The Savior was born!” His calling on our lives will involve hardship, suffering, and obstacles. It’s not a calling to comfort, convenience, and self-fulfill-

ment. It’s a calling to glorify God with the laying down of our lives, just as our Savior was willing to lay down His life so that we could live. When you and I see the face of Christ—if we’ve been faithful in fulfilling His calling in our lives— we will say, “Jesus, it was worth it all for You.” In fact, I think most— if not all of us—will say, “I wish I’d given You more.” I’m asking God to raise up a great host of women—women of courage, faith, compassion, humility, and wisdom. Women filled with Jesus for such a time as this. Will you join me in that mission? Will you be a part of that counter-cultural revolution? Will you say, “Yes, Lord. I am Your servant. Take me, use me, spend me. Fulfill all Your holy, eternal purposes in and through my life, whatever the cost”? NANCY DEMOSS WOLGEMUTH

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. Excerpted from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's closing challenge at True Woman 2008. www. ReviveOurHearts.com>

LIVE THE LIFE Continued from Page 10 that’s the opposite of what God wants for us. Yes, God wants us to experience love—His love, so we can love others the way He loves us. Yes, God wants our lives filled with good things, but there is no greater possession than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Yes, God desires our happiness, but it’s not found in worldly possessions; it’s found in Him. The life God desires for us is a

life lived in and through the power of the Holy Spirit, so God’s grace can carry us, God’s love can cascade through us, God’s desires can overtake us, and His presence can surround us. Then, and only then, will we live the life God desires for us—a life overflowing with Him.

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What Is In The Word Successful For A Woman? By Lisa Schipansky

Sometimes God starts talking to me about twenty things at once, or maybe that's just my own silly head having about 20 thoughts going on at once... Either way, I should just start putting them all down on paper... Right? Right! I hope my blog finds you totally honest. Hey, that is one thing I can attest to, not to put my business out there, but I can be totally honest with myself and being honest with myself means being real with the world and someone else out there is going through the exact same thing! My point from all that ramble-- I found myself having one of my usual "Lisa feeling sorry for herself days" yesterday. Now my life is pretty great, but I am human, and by the grace of God, I am a woman; so, emotions and the mind runs a little rapid now and then! Thank goodness I have a loving Father who knows how to reel me back in, wipe my tears, and give me a great big hug, remind me to pull my big girl pants up and keep on strutting. I found myself getting lost in "worldly things" yesterday. Oh yes, all stemming from the devil itself: Facebook :) You know what I'm talking about. Looking at fun, exciting pictures some of my friends posted about the great fun they are having in their lives, the places they are going, the things they are doing, buying, money spending, so and so forth, you get the idea... The world loves to suck us women up into what IT has going on, we compare ourselves to other women, the way they look, dress, act. we even find ourselves comparing whose baby is cuter. Ha! Seriously??!! Do I need a great big career like she has, drive a fancy car? have 50 pairs of shoes? And the devil LOVES to play on that 24/7! That is his job. He will not stop until he makes you feel like what you have, what you do, and who you are is still just not quite good enough. The minute you get out of bed in the morning, he is right on your heels. The devil

never wants us to be happy with what we have going on in our own lives. And for me, the devil knows how to trip me up with that from time to time. Now, don't take me the wrong way here... I don't sit around sulking wishing I could be this magic, successful, wealthy woman: I am all of that and so much more. I am just being totally honest about what some, not all, women face, reality hits. :) And then here's God's reality: "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies." ~ (Proverbs 31:10) "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting. But a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."~ (Proverbs 31:30) I must reflect on a piece from one of my books that I love {The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian} I have it listed in my suggested reading as well. She describes the model of a good wife from the Bible and I could not have said it any better myself. One of my favorite quotes that I always go back to, "it says she takes care of her home and runs it well. She knows how to buy and sell and make wise investments. She keeps herself healthy and strong and dresses attractively. She works diligently and has skills which are marketable. She is giving and conscientiously prepares for the future. She contributes to her husband's good reputation. She is strong, solid, honorable, and not afraid of growing older. She speaks wisely and kindly. She doesn't sit around doing nothing, but carefully watches what goes on in her home. Her children and her husband praise her. She doesn't rely on charm and beauty but knows that the fear of the Lord is what is most attractive. She supports her husband and still has a fruitful life of her own which speaks loudly for itself" ~ (Proverbs 31) The Power of a Praying Wife- Stormie Omartian Now, not all this has to be about a "married woman" and quite frankly, it is for us, just women, married women, single women, it doesn't matter. We are women and we have a big job to do in a crazy world that tries to tell us every day what we "should" be... And honestly, those are lies

straight from hell. I had two sweet friends jump right into my life, God sent them swarming to me with uplifting words, things I already knew, but He knew that I needed reinforcement, double encouragement, I needed to hear it and see it out loud. How amazing is He to know exactly what I need and for them to tell me exactly what God wants me to hear- the blatant truth of His word, His desire for me, His never ending will and blessing for my life. It is my divine promise as a mother, something I cannot express in words, to show my child (ren) how to lead an honest, humbling, sincere life, to know all the love they will ever need comes from one Man, and one Man alone. The devil fights me with this every single day that I am alive! I see it and hear it all around me. One thing I will never forget a lady who I once worked with when I lived in Dothan once told me: She said "Lisa, as your relationship grows with God and you start to learn and see what comes from Him, you will be able to ward off

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and fight the devil every single time he tries to hit you with something" She could not have been more right. If I wasn't where I am today in my relationship with God, the devil would have me totally whacked!! Ha! I mean you would be surprised how the devil can use the tiniest things to trip you up, you'd be surprised how clever he is and how well he knows you and your weakest desires. The closer you walk with God, the harder the enemy will fight to tear you away from Him!! I love this quote my girlfriend shared with me: Thank you Kari :) "He never said we would have cake and ice-cream, but He did promise bread and water." Lisa Schipansky I am a young mother of a beautiful baby girl, another one on the way, happily married, and a fearful follower of my God in Heaven. I started sharing my writing with other young women to let them know they are not alone in the trials of life, love, marriage, family, and their own walk with God. ©2022 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >

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Teens How To Teach Teenagers About Money

When it comes to raising kids, most parents either look forward to the teen years . . . or dread them. But no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, the end goal is still the same: help them become successful contributors to society. But what does that even mean? It means showing them the ropes when it comes to adulthood, things like getting up on time, taking a regular shower, and learning how to make a budget. Now’s the time to start teaching teens about money— how to earn it, save it and spend it wisely.

Personal Finance for Teens Think of your teen as an adult in training. It’s your job (as the adult of the house) to teach your teen what they need to know for that moment you send them off to college, trade school or even their own apartment. But you don’t have to be a finance professor to teach your teen how to save money. You can show them by example. Remember: More is caught then taught. You’ll want to show them how to earn money, create a budget, give, save, and spend wisely. Earning Money If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably been eagerly waiting for the day your kid is old enough to start helping around the house. You may have started out asking them to help you wash the dishes, sweep the floor, or feed the dog. But now that you’ve got a teenager in your house, you’re probably off-loading the big-item

chores like mowing the lawn or taking out the trash (woo-hoo!). Stack Of Books Use the best tools to teach your kids about money. Instead of giving them an allowance just for breathing, you might want to think about giving them a commission. Not only will this strip them of any entitlement, but it’ll also help them see the relationship between hard work and money earned. When they do their chores, they’ll earn a commission. And when they don’t, they’ll realize they’ve made what they earned— nothing. Is your teen old enough for a real-life job? Even better. Working for someone else, earning a paycheck, and seeing Uncle Sam take a chunk of their hard-earned dollars will help teach your teen about money—quickly. And if they’re a self-starter, you might show them how to start their own small business with the Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox. Setting Up Bank Accounts Just like losing a tooth or learning to drive, setting up your teenager’s first bank account is a rite of passage. By now, they’ve probably earned some money and have outgrown that piggy bank they got for their first birthday. You know what that means—it’s time for a real bank account. You probably don’t want to connect it to your own in case they overdraft their account or their identity gets stolen. But you will want to be the signer on the account so you can see their spending behavior. Remember: This is a great opportunity to teach them how to reconcile their account, keep track of spending, and learn to save. Giving You simply can’t go wrong with giving because that’s what God’s called us to do, right? Something changes in your spirit when you become a giver. You focus less on yourself and see the needs of others more. One of the best things you can do for your kids is teach them to appreciate and understand the power of giving before they go out on their own. Plus—it’s the most fun you can have with money. When you show your teens the concept of giving at an early age, they’ll remember how good it felt and (hopefully) continue the pattern as they handle their own finances. Saving and Spending Teenagers saving money. You’re probably thinking those three

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words don’t even belong together. But if you want your teenager to grow up into an independent, responsible human, you’ll have to show them how. It starts with not giving them money for every bout of want-itis they go through. Teaching them how to spend money is also important. Just because they have money doesn’t mean they need to burn a hole through their pocket. Teach them about having longterm savings goals. At this age, all they can probably talk about is getting a car. If they want one, they can pay for it. Work with them on creating a plan for their money: what they need to buy a car and what they need to save. Early exposure to goal setting helps to give them patience and vision, two things they’ll need in life. How to Teach Budgeting to Teenagers Sounds intimidating, right? We get it—but it doesn’t have to be! Incorporating some family budget meetings will help you show your teen how to make a regular budget each month before the next month begins. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be complicated. Have your teen do a zero-based budget. Show them how to list all their expenses, setting aside money to give, save and spend—like we mentioned earlier. Once they’ve assigned every dollar a place and their budget equals zero, they’re done! The key here is repetition. Make this a family rhythm and sit down with your teen to show them how to do a budget for a few months. Once they get the hang of it, your check-ins won’t be as time-consuming. Not only that but we’re guessing you’ll be amazed at how well they do. Things Teens Waste Money On Although musical tastes and fashion trends have changed over the years, teens’ spending habits haven’t. Just like we did, they still waste their money on whatever sounds good in the moment—like a 10-pack of tacos or that new Ariana Grande album. These days, Gen Z teens are spending about $2,600 each year. Yikes. While it’s perfectly fine for young people to have fun with their money, teens are old enough to stop blowing every dime on “stuff.” So, what are they spending their money See TEACH on Page 15


TEENS

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TEACH Continued from Page 14 on? Here are 10 typical ways American teens waste money: 1. Fast Food and Fancy Coffee No surprise here: Most teens are eating . . . constantly. In fact, food is the first thing teen boys spend their money on (and second for the ladies).2 They don’t bat an eye at paying $6 for a venti extra hot caramel macchiato, $10 for a spicy chicken sandwich meal or $2 for chips from the vending machine. If your teen is buying Chick-fil-A every day, they’re likely eating through a wad of cash. 2. Trendy Clothes, Shoes, and Cosmetics While it’s normal for young people to take pride in their style, remind them that those super cool outfits will go out of style in exactly five minutes (if they don’t fall apart first). 3. Smartphones and Apps What would life be like without texting, Instagram, and Facebook? Expensive smartphones are a status symbol these days. So are the cool apps that go along with them. News flash: Last year’s model makes calls just as well as this year’s—for much less. 4. School Dances Getting ready for the big dance can be expensive. After renting a tux or buying a dress, getting a limo, and going out to dinner, school dances—ahem, prom—can really add up. Listen: Glittery shoes and limo rides aren’t worth that mound of debt . . especially when college tuition is right around the corner.

5. Spring Break Trips Even if you trust your teen in Mexico, is it a wise use of money? And how much are you, the parent, expected to chip in? Encourage your teen to use their vacation time to work a few extra hours and save up for a more lasting experience— like, say, a semester of college. 6. Cars and Accessories Your brand-new teenage driver doesn’t need a brand-new car. So, unless you plan on passing down your wood-paneled station wagon, they’ll need to save up and shop around for a reliable make and model in their price range. With the leftover cash, they can upgrade their ride with shiny rims and leopard print seat covers. 7. Video Games and Consoles It seems like new gaming consoles come out every time you turn around. And teens need the latest versions to compete with all their friends (the only two who also have the system). Let’s not forget all the awesome games they’re paying for too—at $60 a pop! Have mercy. 8. Concert Tickets Teens identify with music. It’s only natural that they’ll want to see their favorite bands live. But concert tickets can add up fast. So, encourage your metalhead or indie chick to pick a few priority concerts and not blow all their money on mosh pits. 9. Expensive Dates Whatever happened to just hanging out? Now it’s a $30 trip to the movies, followed by a $35 sitdown dinner for two, then $15 gourmet frozen yogurts. Oh, and there’s the gas money to get around

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pare for emergencies, save for college, and even get a head start on investing. They may not understand it now, but don’t worry. They’ll thank you later—especially when they graduate with a debtfree degree. If you want to learn more about teenagers saving money or how to teach your teen about money, check out the Foundations SelfStudy Bundle. It’ll equip your middle or high school teen with the basics of budgeting, saving, investing, and making smart choices with their money. Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. ©2022 Lampo Licensing, LLC. All rights reserved. >

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town. Multiply that by a few weekends a month, and your son or daughter just went broke for someone they probably won’t be dating in two years (or two months). 10. One-Click Online Spending Thanks to Amazon and iTunes, teens hardly know a world without one-click buying. It’s okay to order stuff online—sometimes it’s even cheaper—but the downside is that kids don’t feel the pain of using cash. Don’t let them click their way into an overdraft fee. The teenage years are great practice for the adult years to come. So, encourage your kids to budget responsibly while they still have some space to mess up. Money Management for Teens Like we mentioned earlier, more is caught then taught. So, while you’re teaching your teen about money, you’ll also be showing them by how you handle your family’s finances day to day. One of the best things you could do is help them prepare for their future. Do they want to get their own place? Do they want to go to college? Help them start thinking about these things early on with the 7 Baby Steps. These steps will help them pre-

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Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. ~John 1:12

Back to School 2022 15


TEENS

Changing Times

Seriousness In Children And Teens

It is increasingly obvious that children and young people in many evangelical churches are anything but serious about Christ. There are notable exceptions, but in many churches a cursory look at the behavioral signals put out by the young people reveal a profound disinterest. On the one hand there is a sort of giddiness and silliness by some who believe that church is there only to provide them a place for enjoying friends and impressing the opposite sex. On the other hand, a complete boredom or disdain for worship and the Word is seen in their dull eyes and passive participation. This should grieve us. A theological misunderstanding is to be blamed for much of this. We have failed to understand that children and young people are not Godlovers until the Spirit changes them. They are dead to God. Our attempts at getting these young people to “pray the prayer” when they were small have not necessarily made them children of God. Their behavior belies the true state of their hearts. God has said that the only hope

for them, therefore, is the regenerating work of the Spirit in the context of the preaching of the Word (James 1:18). However, our inadequate view of depravity and the inability of man has led us to resort instead to a greater confidence in entertainment to reach them and a minimizing of the use of the Word. If God has ordained that the Word and the Spirit are the only hope for these kids, then we should not avoid the means God has promised to bless. Our Bible studies for young people should be more intense and our prayers more fervent for the Spirit’s intervention. Children and young people ought to be sitting with their parents in worship services to avoid the distraction of other friends. As much as it is possible, we should not encourage young children to draw and play during the preaching of the Word since we are training listeners, not idle-minded pew sitters. And parents must show in their own enthusiasm their love and need for the Word. Pastors should seek to preach convictionally and refer often to the need of the children and teens to obey the Scriptures. And churches should weep for their children in corporate prayer. The answer is not in providing more fun things to do for the children. The answer is in the Word and the Spirit! If a more intense and prayerful approach to our young people does

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not reach them, or if many refuse to participate because there is not enough entertainment to appeal to their love of pleasure, then we should not be confused. Our children are like all the rest of the world in their attitude about God (Eph. 2:1-3). They run from the light, just as Jesus said (Jn. 3:19-21). Why must we assume that every great youth group must be large and fun, when Jesus himself demonstrated that truth alienates, and godly fellowship makes the unregenerate uncomfortable? Isn’t (John 15:19) just as true of youth groups as it is of the missionaries in Muslim countries? “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” If you are inclined to be angry at someone in leadership of your church because your child does not have fun in church, then first consider if the source of the problem is in the heart of your child. Please don’t make the criteria for judging the success of a church’s efforts at reaching children and teens the fun-

value of the meetings. God did not command the church to provide entertainment for your kids. And if you must speak out about it at all, attempt to increase, rather than to decrease the intensity and effectiveness of prayer and Bible study to reach the hearts of the children. If you chose to do otherwise, you could be working against the Spirit. Nothing is more appealing, on the other side of this issue, than those young people who are intent upon following God at any cost. The history of revival is filled with stories of such youth and children who demonstrated their faith by their deeds. In some cases, it was the youth who were the first recipients of the grace of God in revival. Somehow, I cannot imagine that our emphasis on entertainment for the youth promotes the concept of authentic revival. And, frankly, I am saddened by church leaders who persist in believing otherwise. >

JIM ELLIFF

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Eddy Eagle Rebels By Ruby Bell

Eddie was tired of schoolwork. Someone was always telling him don't do that, you have to go here, do this, do that. He was fed up with it, so when the professor came to class one day and said, "I am giving you a break for three days. You may do as you please, except go to the caves. That is never a wise thing to do. It is dangerous and we have had some young eagles die in there. Eagles were not made for caves they were made for the skies." Eddie was feeling very rebel-

lious, "If I want to go to those old caves I will." He muttered to himself. He was homesick but would never admit it to anyone. He went off by himself, just feeling sorry foe Eddie. He flew to the top of a large tree and just sat there watching the others fly away in different directions. "They don't care about me." He told himself, “No one asked me to go with them." The truth was he had disappeared so fast the other Eagles didn't know where he went. He began to fly around looking for something to interest him. What he saw was Harpy eagle at the cave entrance. Harpy was looking inside the cave. He went in a little ways and came back out, then he went in and didn't come out for a long time. All at once he tumbled out the opening with feathers flying everywhere. Harpy scrambled away from the opening and as soon as he could, he flies away, looking back over his shoulder every little bit. "I wonder what scared him?"

Eddie said to himself. He circled a while then landed in front of the cave. Eddie peaked inside the cave it didn't look dangerous at all. You could see way back in there. He was still talking to himself, "There isn't anything dangerous here. I'll just prove it." He bravely walked inside all the way to the back. He saw there was an opening to the side he couldn't see far here, but stepped in a little way and began to turn around, as he did something hit him in the back of the head, and he fell forward. Eddie scrambled up and tried to find the way back out. He ran into the wall and something else hit him. He began to flap his wings to knock the thing away and bruised them on the walls. Then he heard a hissing sound. There was some kind of cat in here. He remembered the little cats at the ranger station, but this sounded much larger. It was growling and hissing, then everything was quiet. I need to get out of here, he thought. Eddie made himself as small as possible and turned his head all around looking for a little light. He saw it, just a dull glow. That must be the opening, he began to inch his way toward it. The cat screamed and jumped at the same time Eddie leaped for the opening. He made it by inches, but the cat was not giving up this time. As Eddie leaped into the air the cat landed just where he had been setting. Eddie flew in a circle to see what kind of cat it was. He didn't know its name, but it was larger that Spot and a yel-

low brown color with a long tail that twitched back and forth as he looked up and hissed at Eddie flying overhead. Eddy just couldn't resist the urge he flew in closer to the cat and screamed at it. The cat surprised him by jumping up almost hitting him with its big paw. Eddie decided it was time to leave the area. He flew away to his favorite fishing hole. After resting a while and smoothing his feathers he caught a fish and had a good meal. He decided to find a place to spend the night. As he looked around, he saw the Harpy down on the lakeshore trying to catch a fish, but he wasn't having any luck. He seemed to be injured. Eddie flew out, caught a fish and dropped it in front of the other eagle. Eddy was feeling much better, after his narrow escape. Helping the other eagle brought him back to reality. Life was not just about him; but being a friend when he could, made life much better. I think Eddie learned that adults do know what they are talking about. He planned to pay attention the next time and avoid some trouble. Don't rebel at the rules you are told to follow. If you do it will bring you trouble. Eddie could have been badly hurt he was lucky he only had a terrible scare. What have you learned this month? I hope you didn't have to learn your lesson the hard way like Eddie did. ©2022 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >

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CHILDREN

Changing Times

Eddy Eagle Makes A New Friend By Ruby Bell

Eddie was growing up he was almost as big as father eagle. He would not have his white feathers for another year, but he felt like he was grown and did not need someone to boss him around anymore. Each morning Eddie went to the lake to fish for his breakfast. He was proud of his fishing skills. He remembered he catch fish he knew he could lift. Father Eagle was not be around to help him like he had before when Eddie got excited and locked his talons on a huge fish and almost drown because he could not lift it out of the water. This morning he was enjoying his fish in the top of his favorite tree, watching some crows steal food from the ducks along the lakeshore. The crows were having so much fun they did not even eat the food they stole, simply dropping it in the lake and looking for someone else to steal from. At first Eddie was upset with the crows, then he began to think how funny the ducks were, waddling after the crows trying to get the food back. Besides there were a lot of crows he told himself and there was only one of him. Maybe he should try to be friends and he could teach them to treat the other birds kinder. When the crows tired of their game and stopped to rest

Eddie flew over to the tree they were in. "Hi fellows, looked like you were having a good time over there with the ducks." One crow seemed to be the leader, he answered Eddie "What business is it of yours? We didn't hurt anyone." "I know that it just the crows looked at one another and seemed to smile. "Sure," the leader said "Those ducks just catch the little bony fish." Eddie flew out and caught a big fish and brought it back. "Here you are boys, have a good breakfast." "I think we will need another one we are pretty hungry. By the way I am Black Jack." Eddie caught another fish, more crows had come and wanted a fish, so he caught another one, and another one. Eddie lost count of how many fish he caught that morning, but he was proud to have made some new friends on his own. The next morning Blackjack and the others were waiting for Eddie. They didn't give him a chance to eat until he had caught fish for all of them. As they watched him eat Eddie asked, "What do you usually eat?" The crows laughed, "caw, caw, we steal something, sometimes we have duck eggs or baby ducks." Eddie said, "I am sorry to hear that, you shouldn't be so mean to other birds." All at once a shotgun blast rang out and the crows that could flew away. Eddie didn't know what to think, but he saw the man pointing the gun toward him, he jumped straight up. His strong legs saved his life. The tree limb he had been on broke in several pieces as the blast tore into it. Eddie was pretty shaken up by the shooting. He flew to the other side of the lake and stopped to rest on a high rock. He thought he was alone, until he heard a cough. Looking around he found an old hawk on the other side of the rock out of the

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wind. Eddie started to leave, and the hawk said, "Don't leave on my account I am too old to bother you. I been watching you all morning; I saw you yesterday too." Cough, cough, cough. "When you are hanging around with that crowd, makes others think you are like them. Are you?" Eddie looked surprised, "No I wanted to teach them how to treat others better." "They are fooling you boy, I heard them laughing about the way you fished for them. They don't plan on changing. They just want what you can do for them." "Cough, cough, cough, cough. You better be careful, the next time that man might get you with his shot. He just doesn’t like them crows one little bit. Cough, cough, cough." Eddie didn't like the sound of that cough, "Can I get you something? You sound awful." The hawk shook his head, "You better stay out of sight for a while that man might be waiting for you. I just need a little sun." Eddie and the old hawk sat in the

sun and watched all that went on around the lake. Eddie could see a long way. The hawk would ask, "What do you see now?" Eddie would tell him about everything he saw. "I see a man and a little boy fishing across the lake. Uh oh, the crows are coming back. I see something in the bushes behind that old tree. The crows are landing in the tree to look around. The ducks are gone because of the man and boy." They heard another shotgun blast. "Boy, look at the feathers fly. A lot of crows were hit in that blast. I am glad I wasn't there." Just as the sun went down, Hawk looked at Eddie and said, "You have to be careful, who you hang out with. Their trouble can become yours' easy, just from you are being seen with them." When the sun came up, Hawk didn't wake up. Eddie had promised him to fly south to a lake he knew of. Eddie began his flight with a shrill whistle of goodbye to Hawk……… Fly high Eddie! ©2022 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >


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Eddy Eagle Learns To Fly By Ruby Bell The Eagles started school so late they had to go to Summer School. They need to learn to fly before cold weather. At school Eddy noticed a very strange looking slide, it looked like it had been pulled apart, the ladder was on one side, a big sand pile in the middle then the slide was by itself. Eddy climbed up the ladder to look the strange thing over. After a while he began to wonder how he was going to get down. It was hard enough to climb up, he didn't think he could climb back down. He was stuck. The Goose saw him and laughed, ha, ha, ha you are stuck. You must fly to get down and you will crash in the sand pile. You won't catch me climbing up there , I am too smart for that. Ha, ha, you might as well jump so I can see you crash. Eddy remembered watching father eagle fly. He remembered he jumped as high as he could on takeoff. As he thought about flying like father eagle he got excited and jumped as high as he could, a puff of wind caught his wings as he spread them, and he was in the air. He flapped his wings a couple of times, he was flying! When he tried to look back to see the other birds,

it made him turn so he circled back to the slide, folded his wings, and landed. Eddy stood on the top of the slide and stretched as tall as he could looking at the other birds as they looked up at in wonder. "Wow, how did you do that?" "Don't tell and I'll teach you" Eddy said. Then he slid down just as the bell rang. Eddy had not been told yet he would have to learn to fly before he could graduate from school. He was afraid he would get in trouble for climbing the slide. Inside the classroom Eddy got in trouble again for looking out the window. He was wondering if father eagle saw him fly, and was hoping to see him flying by the school. Teacher was grumpier than usual and to punish Eddy for looking out she taped paper over the window. Eddy just sat pretending to listen. Then something Teacher said caught his attention. Something about someone going a long way off to the moon. Eddy began to listen, he thought 'I would like to be a long way off, I don't like this mean old teacher.' He heard the teachers say "the moon shines at night, when it is dark just look up, you will see it if the clouds are not in the way". Eddy had seen a bright light at night over on the hill past his cage, he decided it must be the moon. Teacher said "it takes a long time to get to the moon." Eddy thought ' I bet I can fly there really fast'.

As Eddy sat dreaming about going to the moon, the afternoon soon passed. By the time the bell rang Eddy had made his mind up to fly to the moon as soon as possible. He would practice his flying while he taught the other birds to fly, then he was off. He knew he could find his way. The next day Eddy climbed the slide and squawked for all the others to gather around so he could teach them to fly. "You jump as high as you can then spread your wings. He jumped and nothing happened. The wind wasn't blowing, again he jumped and flapped his wings, but he forgot to keep his wings out because was watching to see how impressed Goose was. Crash! he hit the sand pile. That made him so-o mad he stomped to the ladder and climbed back up. He could hear everyone laughing, this time he didn't look down. He jumped, flapped, and flew off. He was going to keep going, but he heard Ella and Chicken Little calling to him , so he circled back. The other birds were still laughing and making fun of Ella for calling to him.

That made Eddy even madder, he landed with a scream and took after them pecking them with his powerful beak. They ran screeching to teacher and Eddy knew he was in trouble again. He turned to Ella and Chicken Little, "don't be babies, I'll be back" he said. As the teacher came out the door with the ruler to swat him, Eddy gave a big jump and flew away, as teacher stood there with her mouth open. Then she laughed and waved at him, "way to go Eddy," she yelled. Later she called Ranger and told him about Eddy's flight. She thought perhaps he would need to look for Eddy in case he got lost. Eddy made it back to the cage later that evening. He was very tired but was still planning a trip to the moon as soon as he was rested. He found it was very tiring to fly and boy was he hungry. Eddy found out Teacher wasn't mean, but only wanted them to learn. He had learned you learn a lot by watching others, just as watching his father fly had helped him fly. Will Eddy go to the moon the next time? ©2022 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >

FOOD FOR THOUGHT The Shadow! "Shall we indeed accept good from God — and shall we not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10) Shall we trust our Father only when our lives are filled with pleasant things — and then not trust Him also when a shadow falls over our hearts? Do you think that God is good — only when He makes all things, please you? Our call is to always trust God — whether good or bad. For even if sorrow should enter our home, He is able, even during sorrow, to make our home-life sweeter, purer, and more Christ-like. If we trust in God, then the shadow will be as rich a blessing to us as the light; and the sorrow will be steps upward, on which our feet may climb Heavenward! "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight!" (Proverbs 3:5-6) J.R. Miller Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." ~Mark 2:17

Back to School 2022 19


Changing Times

How To Put Together Your Legacy Drawer By Ramsey Solutions

If your family loves, you unconditionally now—and they probably do—there’s an easy way to keep that love alive after you’re gone. We’re talking about creating a legacy drawer that stores all your official documents. (Not what you were thinking? Keep reading to see how a little organization can turn into a powerful way to care for your family.) Carrying out your final wishes should be easy for your loved ones when the time comes. And it will be—if they can find everything, they need in one place! Wouldn’t that be nicer than frantically searching for random scraps of paper? Don’t be put off if this sounds morbid or like it’s too much trouble. Trust us, it’s not. Creating your legacy drawer is one of the most gracious gestures you’ll ever make for your family. We’ll make it as easy as possible and tell you exactly what to put in it.

Let’s dig in. What Is a Legacy Drawer? If you've listened to Dave for any amount of time, you've heard him talk about the legacy drawer. But what is it? Well, it’s a special place to store the important documents your family will need if something happens to you. While this part of planning for the future isn’t as fun as planning for retirement or that next dream vacation, it’s a task that’s worth its weight in gold. Having your legacy drawer set up eliminates a whole lot of added stress and confusion at a time when tensions are already running high. And while we’re talking about tension, have you talked with your family about your end-of-life wishes? It’s not easy, but you need to have those difficult conversations sooner rather than later. How to Set Up Your Legacy Drawer First things first. We do live in a digital world. So, it’s possible that your legacy drawer won’t be an actual drawer in your home. It could be online, and that would make perfect sense. Whether you go real or digital, what you put in

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your legacy drawer stays the same. So, let’s talk about what goes in it. Your legacy drawer should include everything from your financial life, your medical wishes, plans for your funeral, even all those passwords you’ve got memorized but no one else knows. And while you’re setting up your legacy drawer, go ahead and set up a safe deposit box too for storing original documents. But don’t stress! We’ll break down exactly what documents to include so your loved ones can find what they need quickly. What to Keep in Your Legacy Drawer Once you have your legacy drawer set up and ready for documents, grab a cup of coffee and start filling it. Here are the documents we recommend you put in your legacy drawer: Cover Letter Don’t worry, this isn’t like a cover letter for a job application. And it’s nothing fancy either—just a simple way of stating the purpose and contents of the legacy drawer. We’ve found a cover letter is the best way to let your loved ones know what they can find inside the drawer. Will and Estate Plans You’ll want to include all information about your will and estate— they’re kind of like the treasure map your family will be looking for. Don’t forget to include the names of the executor, beneficiaries, and powers of attorney. Financial Account Information This one’s simple: Anything that has money in it and your name on it should be listed in the legacy drawer. That includes account names and numbers and account balances. Funeral Instructions All the details surrounding your funeral should be included in your legacy drawer so your loved ones

don’t have to guess what you would have chosen. And get specific. Do you want to be buried or cremated? Is there a funeral home you prefer? Do you know what clothes you want to be buried in? What do you want included in your service— specific songs, speakers, etc.? If you’re married, create a letter of instruction for you and another one for your spouse that includes all funeral instructions and add-on instructions (usernames, passwords, and PINs) Insurance Policies This one’s a biggie. Think of all your insurance policies as the safety net you’ve worked hard to create for your family. In the event of your death or an emergency, you want your loved ones to be able to access their safety net quickly so they can avoid being in limbo—financially or emotionally. Gather and organize all your insurance information, including health, car, disability, term life and anything else insurance-related into one single document for easy reference. List the type of insurance, who the policy is for, policy numbers and contact information. Important Documents Include any legal or other important documents you have. Think deeds, marriage and birth certificates, Social Security cards, and titles. Legacy Letters Your legacy drawer is all about your legacy after all. And sometimes the one thing your family will want is a personal message from you! So, take a little time to leave behind letters for your loved ones. Tell them how much you love them, what they’ve meant to you—anything you want to make sure they know if you’re no longer around to See LEGACY DRAWER on Page 23

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Pansy Grandma By Donald Mehl

When I was of grade school age in the 1940's, I would spend 2-3 weeks each year during the summer on my grandparent's farm. I have many memories of those visits. There was no electricity and no plumbing. Horses were used for pulling all the farm equipment, hay wagons, etc. There was a tractor on the farm, but it was rarely used because of the difficult time starting the engine using a hand crank. The cows were milked twice a day by hand, then, buckets of milk were carried to the hand operated milk/ cream separator. Of course, the barn cats were always nearby at milking time, noisily anticipating a quick handout. Everything done on the farm was done manually, for that was all that was known back then. Grandma would re-fill the lan-

terns each day with fresh fuel. She would gather baskets of eggs from the chicken house twice a day. The laundry washing machine had a gasoline engine that grandma would operate, then, she would hang the clothes outside to dry. She would carry pails of fresh water to the house each day from the windmill pump down by the barn. The black iron cook stove in the kitchen burned dry corncobs that she would collect from the hog feed lot. The stove also provided hot water from its built-in tank for cooking and personal use. A fresh baked loaf of bread and cookies were always there to enjoy. In those days there were no vacuum cleaners, no refrigerators, and no kitchen appliances. Open windows provided all the air conditioning needed. Saturday night baths were done in a metal tub on the kitchen floor, each of us taking our turn. Life was hard and the work was difficult, but grandma did it without complaining and seemed to enjoy it. I remember her allowing me to "help out" with many of those chores.

However, the things she enjoyed the most were growing flowers and tending her garden. She grew flowers and vegetables from seeds she carefully collected and saved from the previous year's blooms and fruit. Although she had many varieties, her favorite flower was the pansy. Grandma grew them in small pots in the house, in window boxes outside, and some were grown in flowerbeds pansies of all colors and sizes. I recall laughing with her as we looked at the different pansy "faces" on the flowers each having its own personality. She always said she was my "pansy grandma" and that's what I called her. Those memories have

The Lord hears the needy and does not despise His captive people. ~Psalm 69:33

stuck with me for more than 60 years. I don't have any grandchildren and probably never will, but if you have them, spend quality time with them and fill their precious little heads with memories they will remember long after we're gone. God Bless! During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge, and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up! ©2022 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >

Back to School 2022 21


Changing Times

Do You Know That You Are An Overcomer? By Dr. Tony Evans

Scripture Readings: (Ephesians 6:10-18) When Paul established the church at Ephesus, he wanted the believers to understand they had the power to withstand the attacks of the enemy, Satan. He wanted them to know that they could stand firm in their faith and refuse to yield to sin and thoughts of defeat. They had been given spiritual weapons more powerful and effective than the enemies. But first they needed to understand they were not strong enough on their own to resist Satan's temptations and tactics. God's power and strength empowered them to rebuke the wiles of the devil. Paul explained to the Ephesians that they needed use weapons of spiritual warfare daily. Yes, God protected them and protects us, but every believer must

daily put on the full armor of God. Paul further explained the importance of truly committing our lives to Jesus Christ. One day, our hour of sinful behavior is a sure setup for discouragement and defeat at hands of the enemy. The power that is alive within you and me is OVERCOMING power.

A Purposeless Life

By Dr Tony Evans In His Presence: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:27-28). We exist for God; He does not exist for us. God loves doing things for His people, but the reason we get up in the morning is to fulfill His purpose for our lives, not merely to ask Him to bless our purpose for our lives. God does not want to be our vending machine, where we

put in a coin, and He dispenses what we demand. Until we understand that we exist for Him, we will never know our purpose for being. Purposelessness is everywhere. I would compare a purposeless existence with the life of a dog. Dogs bark a lot, and most of the time they are just making noise and not really telling you anything important. Purposeless people talk a lot just because they want to be heard. Dogs also like to run in circles. They move, but they're not really going anywhere. When they finish running in circles, they are right back where they started. Purposeless people live like this, running around trying to find fulfillment in activities, only to find themselves not really moving toward anything.

Dogs also function on the level of the external. They like to be petted and rubbed, feeling good for the moment on the outside, but no real impact is felt on the inside. Purposeless people "put on the dog" by getting dressed up to look good and make themselves feel better. If this describes your purposeless wanderings, God's design and desire is to release you from that, but it must be on His terms. One Minute Please God has a plan for our lives that will bring Him glory and bring us the greatest good.

Dr. Tony Evans All Rights Reserved >

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LEGACY DRAWER Continued from Page 20 tell them. Monthly Budget Add a copy of your written budget so your family knows how to keep things running in your absence. Make a note of any automated payments and the accounts they’re tied to. Tax Returns Keeping tax returns in your legacy drawer is like an insurance policy for yourself in case you’re audited from the IRS. (And yes, you can get audited even after death!) Hopefully, no one will ever have to access them, but if they do, at least they’ll be prepared. Passwords Write down all passwords, combinations, usernames, and PIN numbers. (No judgment, this is also a great opportunity to update all your passwords from your dog’s name or your wedding anniversary to something safer.) This allows your loved one’s access to any documents, money or information that’s left when you’re gone. Like we mentioned, a letter of instruction can, and should, include all add-on instructions for anything you mentioned in your will. Safe Deposit Box Instructions While you’re building your legacy drawer, you should also set up a safe deposit box. Put all originals of the documents you store in your legacy drawer into your safe deposit box. Then include the location of the safe deposit box and key in your letter(s) of instruction. Finally, when you finish creating your legacy drawer, don’t forget the most important step. Tell your spouse or another trusted loved one where your legacy drawer is!

This is also a great time to share specifics they might not be aware of or that have changed over the years. Maybe you’ve changed your medical power of attorney or financial power of attorney. Or maybe you’d like to give your grandmother’s ruby ring to someone else. Keep your loved ones in the loop when these types of changes happen. Make It Easy on Your Loved Ones Creating your legacy drawer might seem like a lot to do at first, but once you get going you can knock it out in no time. When you finish, set a reminder in your phone, or add a note to your calendar to access your legacy drawer every six months. Check to see if any documents need to be added or updated. As for that digital option we mentioned earlier, now’s your chance to learn about the Ramsey Vault—the perfect solution for digitally organizing your legacy drawer and securely storing all of your important documents in one place!

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LIFE LESSONS THE RAPTURE

The dictionary defines the word “rapt” as coming from the Latin word meaning “carried away or snatched away.” For example, if you give “rapt attention” to something or someone, you are completely absorbed, sort of carried away mentally or emotionally. There is an event to come—no one knows when—for those who know that Jesus will return to earth, as promised in the New Testament. During this event, Jesus’ true followers will be “raptured’, literally carried away to Heaven. They will never die and will experience utter joy forever. They will thus be spared further sorrows, trials, disappointments, and other miseries that have afflicted the human race because of sin. The Rapture is an unpredictable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We can’t imagine such a supernatural phenomenon, just as we can’t imagine or fully grasp Jesus’ resurrection from the grave—yet it happened. (Luke 24:51) relates an aftermath: “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into

heaven.” The Gospel of Mark relates the same event. (Mark 16:19) Why is it so hard for some to believe these Scriptures? People who lived centuries ago could never imagine—let alone understand—our modern technology: Tv’s, Internet, even putting a man on the moon! Raptures, though very rare, have occurred before, according to the Old Testament. The second chapter of (2 Kings) relates how the great prophet Elijah did not experience death, but was raptured in a chariot of fire into Heaven! Perhaps, as world systems collapse, scientific advances disappoint, and climate crises increase, we may wish for an escape. But only utter trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and in His mercy will guarantee our place in Heaven. The New Testament says, in (1 Thessalonians 4:17 & 18) that we who are alive at that time will be caught up in the air, and “so shall we ever be with the Lord; wherefore comfort one another with these words.” When the Rapture occurs, we’ll be rescued from this present darkness. Are you ready? >

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Changing Times

When you don’t know where to turn for senior care… turn to PACE!

PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, an affiliated ministry of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans) offers a variety of medical and non-medical holistic services with no out-of-pocket expenses for doctors’ visits or copays for prescriptions. Located on the East and West banks of NOLA, those who participate in their individualized care plan receive free transportation to and from the center as well as specialty doctors’ appointments. Our mission is to help seniors live in the community as long as medically and socially feasible. And that is why you choose PACE.

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Turn to PACE! We are the solution you are looking for. To qualify for PACE: You must be Age 55 or older Certified by the state to need nursing home level of care (talk to our representatives for guidelines). Able to live in the community with PACE support without jeopardizing your health or safety. Live in Orleans, St. Bernard, parts of Plaquemines or Jefferson Parishes. Make less than $2,382 monthly and have less than $2,000 in savings and other assets, including cash-value insurance policies not specific for burial purposes. You are allowed to own one home and one vehicle per household.

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When you don’t know where to turn for senior care… turn to PACE!

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Divorce According to God And The Sanctity of Marriage By Angie Lewis

God considers marriage sanctified even if there is only one believing spouse. This does not necessarily mean however that the wife can save her husband, or the husband can save his wife. It means that through the relationship, the husband or wife may come to be a believer and become saved on his or her own. So, the wife should not divorce her husband and the husband should not divorce his wife. But the believing husband or wife can certainly be a good example to the unbelieving spouse and influence them to Jesus Christ. If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through

his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14) Sometimes stubborn couples cannot compromise with each other, and they fight constantly. This happens because neither one of them is willing to give in - both the husband and wife are controlling and demanding of each other. When neither partner submits, usually chaos ensues within the boundaries of that marriage. I would tend to believe that this is not a Christian marriage at all, but a worldly marriage based upon selfishness. If a husband or wife wants to leave the marriage and insists on a divorce because they are too selfish to reconcile their differences, God has instructions for that too. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:15, 16 NIV) This doesn’t mean to automatically go get a divorce. God prefers

FOOD FOR THOUGHT The Lord Will Provide! The Lord will provide! "You have not passed this way before!" (Joshua 3:4) "Abraham named the place Jehovah-Jireh (which means 'the LORD will provide')" (Genesis 22:14) As you begin meditating on this verse, write deep in your heart this word with the strongest confidence: Jehovah-Jireh. This name tells you ... that you can trust God always. that no promise of His ever fails. that He does all things well. that out of all seeming loss and destruction of human hopes, He brings blessing. You have not passed this way before. There will be both sorrows and joys, both failures and successes. You cannot predict your future experiences. You cannot see the next step before your feet. Yet Jehovah-Jireh calls you to trust Him calmly. He bids you put away all anxieties and foreboding because the Lord will provide! J R Miller

Marriage that couples work through their problems and remain married. This verse is so often misunderstood to be a loophole for divorce. It does not even say anything about divorce! If a spouse insists on leaving, what can you do? God does not want the believing spouse to undermine their faith while trying to preserve the marriage with an unbeliever – that would be worse than separation. Now, if a wife or husband divorce and remarry someone else, according to scripture, they will be committing adultery. The reason is simple – they are still married to their first husband or wife. The bottom line is, Jesus focused

on marriage rather than divorce. God intends marriage to be permanent and gives four good reasons why. (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV) A woman is bound to her husband if he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment she is happier if she stays as she is – and I think I too have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 7:39,40 NIV) …And a husband must not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:11 NIV) Copyright 2002 - 2022 Heaven Ministries Marriage Healing Ministry - All Rights Reserved> A Full Service Travel Agency

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MARRIAGE

Changing Times

How A Christian Wife Is To Be A Helpmeet To Her Husband By Angie Lewis

As Christians we are not only accountable to our spouse but to God first and foremost. Christ should be the driving force in the Christ follower’s life. If this one important facet is written upon a woman’s heart, mind, and soul, she will not have a problem adhering to her obligations as a Christian wife. And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet for him. (Genesis 2:18) Scripture shows a woman how to be a good helpmeet to her husband. Even when she doesn’t feel like being very helpful or loving she tries to do the best she can because she knows it is what God wants her to do. The reality is Christian women have bad days too but are

blessed with God’s presence (Holy Spirit) within them for comfort. God created Eve for Adam’s companionship, helper, support, and encouragement. It is not good that man should be alone. There are many ways that a wife can bring the assets of helper and that of companionship to her husband. A Christian wife “who fears the Lord” is an asset to her husband in many ways. In what ways can a Christian wife be a good helpmeet to her husband? She is called to be a companion to her husband in all areas of the marriage, which include emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and intimately. A Wife’s Emotional Support Emotionally she encourages her husband to be the man of God that was meant for him to be. She is an asset to her husband when she supports him in his callings and endeavors in life and praises his continual efforts in the Lord. She should refrain from trying to control, browbeat or boss her husband around because that is not what God has called her to do.

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The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Proverbs 31:11) A nagging wife is worse than a dripping faucet. If a wife cannot find anything uplifting to say to her husband or about her husband, she shouldn’t say anything at all. A husband needs an emotionally supportive wife and vice versa, otherwise how is the oneness in marriage met? It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman. (Proverbs 21:19) A Wife’s Spiritual Support Spiritually a Christian wife connects with her Christian husband because they share in the same values and principles in life. And together they raise Godly children and have many fruits of the spirit within their marriage and family. Together they create abundance and prosperity for their lives, and they realize and praise God because they know it all belongs to Him. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Prov-

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erbs 31:12) She submits to her husband’s spiritual leadership. A helpmeet does not argue and fuss with her husband; instead, she works with Him. Most husbands will eagerly listen to the opinion of their wives when the wife does not demean him. Marriage is a partnership and a team effort that takes considerable compassion and compromise from both the husband and wife. Submission should always be voluntary; otherwise, how would it be submission any other way? Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23) A Wife’s Intimacy Support Through Intimacy, she is there for her husband when he wants to be close. Both husband and wife have emotional, spiritual, and intimacy needs that should be met only through each other. God created them male and female for this reason. Eve was made from Adam’s flesh and bones, which symbolically make them one flesh. When a husband and wife encourage one another in their roles and positions of marriage the physical and emotional intimacy between them will be a healthy and productive part of the marriage. The goal for marriage should be of maintaining the oneness that united them. Physical intimacy between a husband and wife is the kind of companionship that brings them closer together so they will not want outside of the marriage parameters. They should never reject one another unless of a woman’s menstruation or if either one of them is sick. She looks well to the ways of her household and eats not the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27) On another note, women who are loved in the Lord are more apt to be respectful and devoted wives. A woman who is truly loved by her husband will utilize all her creative talents and God given abilities that she has been blessed with; her husband will never need anything. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:31) © 2002-2022 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >


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5 Daily Habits That Will Set You Up For Success

Education

By Ken Coleman

It’s easy to live life on autopilot. Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions during the workweek, just trying to make it to Friday? Then, when Friday rolls around, you can hardly remember what happened that week—it’s all one big blur. Listen, folks. The typical schedule of get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed, and do it over again the next day is not going to get you where you want to be. I don’t want you to be full of regret in 30 years when you look back and realize you didn’t do anything you were truly passionate about! To avoid living on autopilot and advance in your career, you must be intentional with your time every

day. That sounds like a big undertaking, but there are a few simple actions you can take daily to set yourself up for success—not just in your career, but in other areas of your life too. The Top 5 Daily Habits for Personal and Professional Growth Note: These aren’t shortcuts and will require some discipline, but I promise they will pay off! Whether you want to pursue a new career direction, take your current position to the next level, or simply grow as a person, practice these five things daily and you’ll see real results and opportunities coming your way. Habit #1: Learn. This can look different on a dayto-day basis, but the key is to learn something every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s small. Just carve out at least a few minutes to learn more about your craft, yourself, and the industry you currently work in (or the one you want to work in). Here are a few effective ways to learn:

Read news articles, books, essays. It doesn’t matter what it is if what you’re reading helps you learn more about who you are and what you want to do. Here's a list of some of my favorite books: • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell • Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey Mackay • Bo’s Lasting Lessons by Bo Schembechler • Patriot In the Making & Practical Revolutionary by Patrick Henry • The Winner Within by Pat Riley • Good to Great by Jim Collins • Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski • A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Clayborne Carson Listen to podcasts, radio and other people who know more than you do. Watch TED talks, documentaries

and speeches given by people who inspire you or are influential in your field. Research the field you’re interested in, especially if you’re looking at making a career change. Find out what kinds of education or training you would need to make that transition and what kinds of jobs and salaries are available in your area. Or look for volunteer and internship opportunities with an organization you’re passionate about. Just think—you could spend 10 minutes scrolling through Instagram on your phone, or you could spend that 10 minutes reading an article that teaches you about the job you want or the field you’re passionate about! You’ll be surprised by how much knowledge you can absorb by making a small, intentional effort every day. To stay up to date on the latest See DAILY HABITS on Page 29

Preparing Graduates • Transforming Lives

You, my brothers, and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. ~Galatians 5:13

Back to School 2022 27


EDUCATION

Changing Times

What Must I Do to Be Saved? By Dr. David Jeremiah

Exactly how does Jesus come into my life? What’s the process of becoming a Christian? Four brief passages of Scripture in the Book of Romans explain how to turn your life around through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1. Because of our sin, we are separated from God—All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Few people dispute this, because we’re too aware of our weaknesses and moral failure. We all have regrets, and most of us deal with guilt at various times and in various

Elliot’s Plumbing

ways. We know something is “broken” within us. Someone sat down beside Will Rogers at a dinner and asked the comedian, “What's wrong with the world, anyway?” Rogers replied in his famous drawl, “Well, I don’t know, I guess it’s people.” In response to an article in The Times of London entitled, “What’s Wrong with the World?” the writer, Chesterton, replied, “I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton.” All of us are sinners, and we need to find some way for dealing with this problem. 2. The penalty for our sin is death—For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). This verse encapsulates the whole Bible in a nutshell. God is life and light; He is pure and perfect. His presence cannot abide sin and wickedness; and because we have sinned, we’re separated from Him. As a result, we’re as dead as a tree limb when sawed from the main trunk. The word death is used in the Bible in the sense of separa-

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tion. Physical death occurs when the soul is separated from the body. James said, “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Spiritual death occurs when the spirit and body are eternally separated from God by sin. But this verse goes on to offer hope: God wants to give us a gift—eternal life through Jesus our Lord. 3. The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ—But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The verb “demonstrates” is a good, solid, active verb. It means that God didn’t just love us in a sentimental way. He did something in human history that proved His great love. It was the death of Jesus Christ. Though we are sinners, Christ died for us. The great message of the Gospel is this: God loved us despite our sinfulness, and He chose to become a man Himself—Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless God-Man—and to die in our place, taking the penalty of our sins upon Himself that we might have the promise of His life for ourselves. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. 4. If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins—If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9, 10, 13).

There's a promise we believe and a Person we receive. You can pray right now, telling God you’re ready to trust Christ as your Savior and confess Him as Lord. By the time you get to the final “Amen” you’ll be a new person in Christ. Why not pray right now: Dear God, I admit I’ve sinned and fallen short of your glory. I realize the penalty for my sin is death, and I believe it was paid by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I’m willing to repent of my sins, and I now confess Christ as my Savior and make Him the Lord of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 5. Can you be sure that if you ask Christ to save you, He will? Yes! He has done it. Take this promise with you: Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:1, 13). God bless you, and congratulations! Welcome to His family! >

Turning Point Dr. David Jeremiah Dr. Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. For more information about Turning Point, visit our website at www. DavidJeremiah.org.

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DAILY HABITS Continued from Page 27

EDUCATION thing in return? Hang on—I’m not saying you should manipulate people into giving you what you want. I’m suggesting that you make serving others a daily practice. In fact, the world’s best leaders are the ones who lead by serving. The way to become successful is not to push and claw your way to the top, but to have an attitude of humility and put others before yourself. Trust me—people will remember that in the future. “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar Here’s another question to ask yourself: How can I serve the people around me today? Not just your boss and your coworkers, but also your friends, your family, the disgruntled employees at the grocery store—you name it. This might look like picking up someone’s lunch order, offering to do something outside of your regular job responsibilities, genuinely listening to someone who needs to vent, or putting your phone away when you get home so you can play with your kids. The list of possibilities really is endless. Habit #5: Reflect. When you’re making progress in your career, it’s encouraging to record that progress. Take some time at the end of the day to reflect on what you did, even if it feels like you only took one small step forward. Those small steps lead to big victories!

Journaling can be a fun, nopressure way to reflect on your day and get all your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Many studies have found that journaling boosts your mental health by helping you cope with anxiety, stress, and depression. Not a journaler? Try writing down just one sentence about your day, keeping track of goals you accomplished, or storing all your completed to-do lists in one place. And don’t forget about the art of gratitude: Jotting down at least three things you’re grateful for each day can really help you stay motivated and keep everything in perspective. Ken Coleman is America’s Career Coach and author of the national bestselling book From Paycheck to Purpose and the #1 national bestseller The Proximity Principle. He hosts The Ken Coleman Show, a nationally syndicated, caller-driven show that helps lis-

teners discover what they were born to do. Ken makes regular appearances on Fox News, and he cohosts The Ramsey Show, the second-largest talk show in the nation with 18 million weekly listeners. Through his speaking, broadcasting and syndicated columns, Ken gives people expert career advice, providing strategic steps to grow professionally, land their dream job, and get promoted.>

job market trends, check out my 5-minute daily podcast, Work Matters. It's a short and sweet show that will help keep you informed and competitive as you move along your career journey. Habit #2: Do. Find ways to practice what you’ve been learning and hone your craft. Again, this will look different depending on the given day and KEN COLEMAN your career of choice. ©2022 Lampo Maybe it means writing 200 Licensing, LLC. All words every day, even if you absorights reserved.> lutely hate what you write (you’ll get better). Maybe it means volunteering with a company that can help build your skills. Maybe it’s as simple as trying a new recipe, working on a website, or redecorating a friend’s living room so you can build your interior design portfolio. Just find small ways to practice. Ask yourself this: What can I do today that will help me get better at what I love to do? christian bookstore Habit #3: Connect. Look for ways to connect with Open Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm people who are doing what you 985-641-7776 want to do, or who are already 1337 Gause Blvd., Slidell, LA excelling in an area where you want UVA22-ChangingTimes-4.9x6.4.pdf 1 3/9/22Owners 3:31 PM Ed & Linda Paul, to improve. I’m not talking about speed networking or making superficial connections just so you can reap the benefits. But it’s always important to be mindful about the relationships you’re building and maintaining daily. Whether it’s reaching out to an old friend via email, grabbing coffee with someone you want to learn from, talking with an acquaintance who works at a company you’d love to work for, asking a trusted coworker for feedback on a project, or even just spending a few minutes bonding with your current team—real relaSTUDENT FAMILIES GIVE US tionships are crucial, no 4.7 OF 5 STARS matter what industry *Source: 2020 Parent Satisfaction Survey you’re in. Habit #4: Serve. A PROVEN ONLINE SCHOOL EXPERIENCE FOR LOUISIANA FAMILIES. There’s a great quote from one of my heroes, Zig University View Academy is a Louisiana-based K-12 tuition-free online public charter Ziglar, that says: “You can school available to students statewide from any parish. As one of the most innovative have everything in life you virtual charter schools in Louisiana, we offer a unique online environment with certified want if you will just help teachers and proven curricula that allow student families the flexibility and freedom to enough other people get learn in a way that fits their lifestyle needs. UVA students thrive because they are what they want.” If you attending a school with years of delivering a proven online experience. serve other people, it eventually comes back to you. Now, you might be DISCOVER & ENROLL TODAY! thinking Ken, that’s shal225-421-2900 | universityview.academy low! Is it really serving if I’m hoping to get someFor the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your Back to School 2022 29 neighbor as yourself.” ~Galatians 5:14 C

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Changing Times

Health #1 Action To Support Sinus Health Before Allergy Season By Dr Don Colbert Allergy season is coming. Are your sinuses ready? They’ve likely been battling colds and viruses for months, and now Fall is on the horizon. What’s the #1 action you can take to improve sinus health? There are many things you can do. However, most of them serve as a band-aid more than targeting the

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root of the problem. Today, we have a real tool that supports full body health while targeting sinus health. In addition to the #1 action, here are nine other healthy tips, why allergies and sinus issues are so challenging, and what you can expect for a holistic approach that supports body health, sinus health, and home health. WHY SINUSES SUFFER According to the CDC, more than 50 million Americans now suffer from allergies and sinus issues each year. Most sinus issues first begin due to a cold, congestion, or allergen. Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinus cavities, often results as mucus blocks the sinuses and vessels become dilated due to inflammation. If these problems continue to fester, the risk of sinus infections increases. Common sinus issues include sinus blockages, deviated nasal septum, narrow sinuses, and sinus allergies. While it can be daunting to face cold & flu season, then an increase in pollen in the spring, there are steps you can take to overcome sinus issues and improve sinus health. #1 Action To Improve Sinus Health As a first defense, start supplementing with nutrients that specifically support sinus health. These supplements include vitamins, amino acids, anti-inflammatory compounds and more. You can find all of them in Dr. Colbert’s Healthy Sinus Formula, which delivers an all-in-one supplement for sinus health. It’s vital to consistently get these nutrients into your system, ahead of allergy season – so start now! More Practices To Improve Sinus Health & Allergy Symptoms YOUR DIET 1. Add Probiotics Each Day Probiotics and Fermented Foods can also reduce wholebody inflammation to support sinus health. How? Amazingly, the health of your digestive

system affects sinus health. In fact, one study of 173 people who suffer from seasonal allergies found that taking a daily probiotic with lactobacillus strains significantly improved their “quality of life” scores from baseline to peak pollen compared to a placebo group. It is hypothesized that probiotics can improve the quality of life of seasonal allergy sufferers by increasing the percentage of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and improving allergen tolerance. 2. Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet And Avoid Processed Inflammatory Foods Whole-body health also influences sinus health. Your diet directly affects inflammatory vs. antiinflammatory reactions in the body. To increase anti-inflammatory actions, which support sinus health, eat anti-inflammatory foods. These include: • Fatty fish and seafoods • Colorful vegetables • Ginger and Turmeric • Seeds like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp heart seeds • Omega-3 Supplements such as Dr. Colbert’s Wild Alaska Salmon Omega-3 Supplements On the other hand, it’s crucial to avoid highly inflammatory processed foods. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar, refined grains, and cheap oils such as soybean oil. Studies have shown that those with seasonal allergic reactions and asthmatic allergies have higher underlying inflammation even when they are not showing symptoms. Therefore, many experts believe reducing overall inflammation may improve asthmatic and allergic conditions. You can find a full plan in Dr. Colbert’s Beyond Keto Zone® Book. 3. Try A Daily Dose Of Raw Cider Vinegar There are 2 ways raw apple cider vinegar can support sinus health: In lab tests, scientists have found that the bacteria in raw vinegar can improve immune factors and protect from an allergic reaction. Apple cider vinegar is a natural decongestant, and it causes your sinuses to drain when you drink it. While the relief is temporary, it is effective and reduces the risk of clogged sinuses becoming infected. What’s more, unlike medication See SINUS HEALTH on Page 52


HEALTH

www.changingtimes.info

Is Hemp Oil Safe, Effective, And Healthy? Read This First By Dr Don Colbert

Do you have questions about hemp oil? You’ve likely heard stories of people using it for discomfort and joint stiffness, depressed or anxious moods, and more. But what is it really? Is it safe? Healthy? Is it legal? Here are the basics of hemp oil, and the potential benefits many users experience. In addition, find out more about our new and exciting product below: Dr. Colbert’s Nano-Science Hemp Oil! HEMP OIL 101 Like most plants found on Earth, the hemp plant has many active compounds. Biologically, hemp is classified as a cannabis plant. It contains a myriad of beneficial compounds that have been shown to support many different aspects of health. Additionally, hemp is a strong fibrous plant. It is used to make paper, rope, clothes, fuel, and textiles. There are many formulations of hemp oil on the market, each with its own pros and cons. BENEFITS OF HEMP OIL Why use hemp oil when there are other plant-based compounds available? Hemp oil, especially nanoparticle oils, is different from many other plant-based compounds. In fact, it: • Supports healthy, stable moods • Promotes stress relief and normalized cortisol levels • Supports comfortable, healthy joints • Encourages healthy sleep habits • Promotes healthy skin with fewer irregularities and blemishes • Supports healthy brain and nervous system functions • Encourages healthy cardiovascular functions and normalized inflammatory actions HEMP OIL FORMULATIONS There are many formulations of hemp oil available. These include: 1. Oils And Tinctures Oils and tinctures are mixtures of

CBD oil and another liquid, usually another oil or an alcohol. They are typically placed under the tongue and absorbed via the capillaries in the mouth. 2. Capsules And Conventional Pills Hemp capsules and pills are gaining a lot of popularity. In fact, the FDA recently approved one pill for seizure conditions and digestive issues. Capsules and pills have the advantage of being formulated to withstand digestive acids and enzymes when delivering hemp oil to the body. 3. Nano-Particle Oils What’s more, there are now nano-particle hemp oils. Nano-particle hemp molecules are coated with very small organic compounds, like liposomes or lipid nanoparticles. These nanoparticles increase the stability and rate of delivery of hemp oil to the bloodstream compared to conventional hemp oil. In addition, nanoparticles are thought to allow the hemp oil compounds to remain in the body and interact with tissues for a longer period after delivery. One 2017 animal study found that oral nano-particle compounds were 600% more bioavailable than non-nano particles. This is a significant increase. While new to hemp oil, nanoparticles have been used for decades in supplements and medications. It is the optimal formulation. 4. Edibles Edibles are another hemp oil option. They are usually in the form of cookies, gummies, or other foods. They are generally tasty but do have to go through digestion before they are absorbed, without being protected from acids and enzymes. 5. Creams And Lotions Hemp oil can also be absorbed through the skin, but likely at a lower concentration than oral formulations. 6. Vaping Vaping is the process of inhaling vaporized hemp oil. While this does produce quick absorption, there is significant concern that vaping may damage delicate lung tissue and is NOT advised. HEMP OIL SIDE EFFECTS Unlike many pharmaceuticals, hemp oil has very few known side effects. In fact, hemp oil is generally well tolerated and considered

safe. However, like other plantbased compounds, there are some individuals who won’t tolerate it as well as others. Some possible side effects include diarrhea, changes in weight or appetite, and fatigue. In addition, hemp oil may interact with medications. Specifically, it can be an issue for any mediation with a “grapefruit warning.” Like grapefruit, hemp oil may interfere with cytochromes P450 (CYPs). This is a group of enzymes that are important to drug metabolism. If you take any medications, be sure to talk to your doctor first before adding hemp oil. IS HEMP OIL LEGAL? Currently, hemp oil products (with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol) are legal federally, but not legal under some state laws. If you are unsure, inquire in your state regarding hemp oil laws. INTRODUCING DR. COLBERT’S NANO-SCIENCE HEMP OIL 1000MG BROAD SPECTRUM (CINNAMON FLAVOR) Introducing Dr. Colbert’s NanoScience Hemp Oil! Through exten-

sive research and innovation, Dr. Colbert has developed a broadspectrum hemp oil using nano-particle technology. This easy-to-use hemp oil is organically grown, vegan, and GMO-free. It contains organic hemp oil, healthy MCT oil, and natural flavors. You can now enjoy the benefits described above in one easy-totake, cinnamon-flavored dropperful per day. BOTTOM LINE Hemp oil has the potential to support healthy functions throughout the body. Use Dr. Colbert’s new, safe, and effective formulation each day to reduce discomfort and support health each day. If you are interested in hemp oil, this guide is a quick and easy reference for your questions regarding its sources, formulations, potential benefits, safety, and legality. Get yours today! © All rights reserved 2022 - Dr. Don Colbert.>

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Changing Times

Financial

credit. All that matters is that you look rich and powerful. People want to be friends with you. People want to date you. Life’s good, right? It’s no biggie that you’re thousands of dollars in debt, right? Wrong. What Does It Mean to Be Wealthy? On the other hand, being wealthy By Ramsey Solutions is when you have your finances in What Does It Mean to Be Rich? order and are making wise money The way I see it, rich people decisions—it’s what I call “real spend a lot of money, whether they rich.” You care more about building have it or not. Think about it: What wealth for the future than impresscomes to mind when you hear the ing other people, and you don’t word rich? Someone wearing blow money just for the heck of it. designer sunglasses, surrounded by You have a plan. You’re focused on piles of cash? A mansion in Holly- the long term instead of the short Hold up—wealthy and rich can wood? Two people clinking cham- term. This doesn’t mean you don’t be two different things? That’s pagne glasses on their private jet? have nice things, but you budget right. Well, technically, they have Having a closet full of Jordans, and save up to pay for them with the same definition, but I’ve always Louis Vuitton and Gucci? seen them as being different. One This is what I like to call “fake cash—and you buy them because of them is a long-term life goal, and rich,” or blowing money on a bunch they bring you joy or enhance your the other one, not so much. Let’s of super expensive items so you can life, not because you want to flex break down each of these words so impress everyone around you (plus on your neighbors. I don’t know about y’all, but I we can learn how to work toward all your social media followers). being as financially healthy as pos- No one knows if you are rich—you want to be real rich. How to Become Wealthy sible. could’ve bought everything with Now, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. There’s no magic trick or investment game that will make your bank account skyrocket overnight—unless you get lucky and win the lottery or write Drake’s next #1 hit or something. Real wealth building takes a lot of time and patience. But it will pay off. (See what I did there?) Here are 10 important things you need to do to become wealthy! 1. Shift your mindset. If you’re going to really be intentional about building wealth, something must change in your mind www.mageefinancial.com (and maybe even in your heart). You have to think about the legacy you want to leave for future genera1007 WEST OAK STREET • AMITE, LA 70422 414 COLUMBIA STREET • BOGALUSA, LA 70427 tions—not just getting what you (985) 748-9082 (985) 735-8267 want in the now. You need to have a why behind all of this and a vision 2225 HIGHWAY. 190 NORTH • COVINGTON, LA 70433 515 GAUSE BOULEVARD • SLIDELL, LA 70458 for how you’re going to get there. (985) 893-1600 (985) 643-6400 Any major goal you’re going to achieve in your life starts in your 1915 FLORIDA STREET • MANDEVILLE, LA 70448 1001 WASHINGTON STREET • FRANKLINTON, LA 70438 mind—and building wealth is no (985) 626-8549 (985) 839-3512 different. 2. Get out of debt. Listen: You can’t build wealth if you have Serving Miss-Lou STATEWIDE Since 1992 negative dollars in your bank account. Take care of your financial founFIXED INDEXED ANNUITIES dation by getting on a MORE GAINS • NO LOSSES • SAFETY budget and getting rid Up to 11% IMMEDIATE INTEREST BONUS on Deposits of your debt as quickly ROLLOVER CD OR 401K TODAY! as you can. Do whatever you need to do. Sell Richie Culotta • Cameron Culotta • Zach Dustin SAFE RETIREMENT STRATEGIES, MEDICARE SUPPS, LONG-TERM CARE, MEDICAL & LIFE your designer stuff. Buy

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a less expensive used car. Start a side hustle or extra job. Do whatever it takes to be intense about crushing your debt. You’ll be glad you did! And of course, if you don’t have any debt right now, go on ahead and skip this step. 3. Live below your means. In other words, live on less than you make. This goes hand in hand with having a budget. It’s all about having self-discipline and being willing to forego some expenses now so that you can save more in the long run. An example of living below your means would be choosing to live in an apartment where the rent is 15% of your income, even if you could afford to live in one that costs 25% of your income. It could mean buying generic brands at the grocery store when you could afford to buy name brand, simply because the products themselves are pretty much the same. You don’t have to be a total cheapskate, but it just makes sense to save and cut back where you can. 4. Become an entrepreneur. When I say entrepreneur, I don’t really mean you need to own a fullblown brick-and-mortar business (even though you could do that if you wanted to). Having an entrepreneurial spirit means looking for creative ways to bring in extra money. It could mean starting an Etsy shop, driving for Uber, or walking dogs in your spare time. Because your income is your #1 wealth-building tool, it’s a good idea to have more than one source of income just in case—you never know what will happen to the job market. 5. Tithe. I’m a man of faith, and I’m not shy about it. I believe that when you realize that your money isn’t really yours, but God’s, and you give some of it back to Him in gratitude, He will entrust you with more. That’s called godly wealth building! 6. Stop comparing. Comparing what you have to what others have is one of the worst things you can do for your budget, plus it can make you more likely to fall for money traps. It just kills the mood all around. Be thankful for everything you do have and get off social media for a while if you have to. RememSee RICH VS. WEALTHY on Page 36


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FINANCIAL

What To Do With Your Money In A Recession By Ramsey Solutions

You’ve heard the scary predictions: America is headed for a recession! The market is falling! Gas prices are skyrocketing! Inflation is out of control! Stop. Take a breath. We currently aren’t in a recession, and no one knows for sure when America will have its next recession. (We’ll leave predictions to the talking heads on cable news.) But if you’re wondering what to do with your money in a recession, we’ve got answers. Hint: It’s not stuffing it under your mattress. Here’s the deal: Recession or not, there’s no time like the present to take control of your money. If living through a pandemic wasn’t enough to light a fire under you, then maybe the possibility of a recession will help send the mes-

sage home—you need a plan for your money. What Is a Recession? Before we get too far here, let’s go back to economics class together and walk through what a recession actually is (a little boring, but stick with us). A recession happens when there’s a slump in economic growth (measured by gross domestic product) for at least two quarters. GDP is the total of all goods and services produced by the economy. Money GDP was -1.5% in the first quarter of 2022, but this could be an outlier because consumer spending and unemployment numbers still appear strong. And we won’t know second-quarter GDP numbers until the end of July. Hey, we know it’s tough out there. Inflation is up. The stock market is down. But don’t focus on things you can’t control—like the economy or whether sweater-vests are going to be cool again (fingers crossed). Focus on what you can control: your finances. At the end of the day, you’re in

control of what happens in your house, and that’s some good news right there! When you’ve got your money in a good place, you don’t have to live at the mercy of what the economy is doing. What Happens During a Recession? Recessions cause companies to lose money and sometimes go bankrupt. That usually leads to job losses and a downhill slide in the stock market. Yep, no fun. But recessions come in different intensities. Have you ever ordered hot wings and got to pick what heat level you wanted? Level 1 was mild, and Level 5 was something related to the devil. Well, our last recession—caused by coronavirus shutdowns—was mild. Sure, GDP dropped big-time and unemployment skyrocketed, but the economy recovered quickly. And then there was the infamous Level 5 Great Recession of 2007– 09. Want to know our super scientific term for it? Devil fire. Yeah, it was bad and burned much longer (18 months) than typical reces-

sions.2 Lots of businesses failed (or had to be bailed out by the government), and unemployment hit 10%. The Great Recession was the worst recession since the Great Depression (the OG of harsh economic times). The big takeaway here is that recessions are a natural part of the economy that happen every five to 10 years. We hope the next one will be mild, but even if we have a moderate or a devil fire one, there are smart ways to handle your money and prepare for a recession. Should You Pay Off Debt During a Recession? Absolutely. The only time you should take a break from paying off your debt is when you’ve got some serious stuff going on, like you just lost your job or there’s a baby on the way. That’s what we call “storm mode”—where you’re heading into some uncharted waters and need to hang on to as much cash as you can. As long as your job is stable, a See RECESSION on Page 34

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FINANCIAL

Changing Times

like losing your job or having your around for all eternity—or at least A/C go on the fritz in the middle of for a few years. And if you watch July. the news too much, it’ll definitely recession isn’t a storm you need to Should You Continue Investing make you feel that way. Still, as stop Baby Step 2 for. During a Recession? unsettling as a recession might Instead, use the possibility of a Yes, yes—a thousand percent seem, the important thing to rememrecession as even more motivation yes! You might be tempted to pull ber is, a recession isn’t permanent. for why you need to cut debt out of your investments during a recession The economy is bound to take a your life forever. Think about the because you’re worried about your dip sometime (you can’t sustain peace of mind you’d feel if you retirement account going down, but growth without expecting it to didn’t have debt in the middle of a don’t do that. If you keep investing eventually go the other way at some recession. during a recession, you’re bound to point). We’ve actually experienced How awesome would it be to get reap the benefits when the economy long periods of economic growth, to a place where you could invest bounces back. while the average length of the 13 and make some huge returns when History shows us that the econo- recessions since World War II is the economy swings back? That’s my recovers time and time again— just 10 months. the thing about debt—it robs from it happened after the Great DepresSo, remember, don’t make any sion and after the Great Recession knee-jerk decisions just because the and even after 9/11. The economy country slips into a recession. Uzee, Butler, will bounce back again. certified public Arceneaux & There’s no reason to pull your stocks But here’s the thing: Any losses and head for the hills. But if the accountants Bowes, CPAs you see on paper during a recession potential of a recession has gotten won’t impact you unless you take your attention and made you take a Business Consulting the money out of your accounts. hard look at how you’re handling (or Tax Preparation • Auditing And if you do get scared and stop not handling) money, now is the Financial Statement Preparation investing when things are shaky, time to take matters into your own Quick Books Assistance then you’ll never see the gains on hands and do something about it. those investments when the market Not sure where to begin? Sign up gears back up. When you keep Patrick J. Bowes, CPA for our flagship course, Financial investing when stocks are down, Peace University. You’ll learn to 504-347-0441 it’s kind of like you’re buying budget and pay off debt so you can 2067 Paxton St., Harvey, LA 70058 mutual funds at a discount. weather a financial storm—even in You might hear people talking the middle of a recession. about investing in “recessionLouisiana Spirit Spirit Crisis Crisis Counseling Program Louisiana Program Louisiana Spirit proof” assets like gold, silver, or Crisis Counseling Program Hurricane Ida Ida other precious metals. But precious Hurricane Ida Hurricane metals have a poor rate of return, Ramsey Solutions has been comand there’s nothing driving their mitted to helping people regain price except for people’s fear or control of their money, build wealth, greed. grow their leadership skills, and Or maybe you’ve heard that enhance their lives through perbonds are the safe way to go. Here sonal development since 1992. Milagain, we don’t recommend investlions of people have used our finaning in bonds, because they have a The goal of the program is to The goal of22 the program cial advice through books is to Need help recovering from Hurricane Ida?  Individual crisis counseling  Individual crisis counseling very low rate of return. assist individuals and communi assist individuals and communities (including 12 national bestsellers)  the Group crisis counseling •Tired, Group crisis counseling The moral ofLouisiana story here is Crisis Counseling worried, scared or just plaininstressed? Louisiana Spirit Crisis Counseling Program Spirit Program recovering from the effects of in recovering from the effects o published by Ramsey Press, as well Psychoeducational  Psychoeducational presentations keep calm, stay level-headed, and presentations disasters through the provision disasters through the provision of Hurricane Ida Hurricane Ida family and work or school seem overwhelming? as two syndicated radio shows and  Youth coping skills education •Does Youth juggling coping skills education don’t jump off the investing roller free communityǦbased outreach free communityǦbased outreach  Linkage to recovery resources  Linkage to recovery resources 10 podcasts, which have over 17 •Do you feel uncomfortable about the upcoming hurricane season? coaster. Ride it out over time, and . and psychoeducational services and psychoeducational services million weekly listeners.> your future self will thank you. If •Do you want to feel better prepared to handle crisis situations? you need extra insight (and a voice This temporary program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and temporary program to put your mind at This ease), be sure to is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) You don’t have to be Alone! Contact us today! administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHS talk with an investmentoversight pro! by the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Behavioral Health. (LDH/O with oversight by the Louisiana Department Health Office of Behavioral Health. (LDH/OBH) Call (985)of634-7223 The goal of the program iswith to A Recession Won’t Last For Individual crisisto counseling  Individual cri M-F 8:00am 4:30pm assist individuals and communities ever  Group crisis counseling  Group crisis c FPHSA.org The goal of the program is to in recovering The goal of the program is to When youthe hear the word recesfrom effects of  Individual crisis counseling  Individual crisis counseling  Psychoeducational presentations  Psychoeduca assist individuals and communities assist individuals and commun sion, it might make you a crisis little feardisasters through the provision of  Group(866) crisis counseling  Group counseling 310-7977 TEXT REACHOUT in recovering from the effects of in recovering from the effects o  Youth coping skills education  Youth ful that this thing going toSpirit stick Crisis  Psychoeducational presentations  is Psychoeducational presentations Louisiana Spirit Crisis Counseling Program Louisiana Counseling Program coping RECESSION Continued from Page 33

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your future and keeps you stuck in a rut, paying for the past. So don’t waste any more time. Shake a leg and get that junk out of your life forever. Should You Keep Saving During a Recession? Yep. Having savings goals is never a bad idea, even during a recession. So, if you’ve got a Christmas sinking fund in full force— keep it. If you’re smack-dab in the middle of saving your emergency fund—stick with it. During a recession, there’s nothing like peeking at your savings account and seeing some good-looking numbers staring back at you. If you don’t have an emergency fund in place, guess what? A recession is the perfect time to get one together. This is Baby Step 1 and should be your first stop before you start paying off any debt. And if you’ve already wiped debt clean out of your life for good (amazing!), you should be saving a fully funded emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses—we call this Baby Step 3. Having an emergency fund gives you that buffer between you and all the craziness life throws your way,

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How Contentment Can Make You Rich By Rachel Cruze

I’ve always lived by this simple money habit: If I don’t have the money, I don’t buy it. But just because I’ve decided going into debt is an absolute no-no, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to swat all those wants away. Its hard work being content with where you are and what you have right now. There are a million things trying to get your attention every moment of every day. From being influenced on social media to trying to keep up with the Joneses next door (did you see their new car?), there’s always going to be someone who has some-

thing newer, nicer, or “better” than you have. If you’re not careful, you’ll get stuck in a cycle that will leave you high and dry (emotionally, spiritually, and even financially). You don’t have to live in that cycle! And it starts with something called contentment. What Is Contentment? Contentment is being at peace with where you are. Can’t you just feel yourself relax thinking about it? Now, before you get too comfortable, you need to know that contentment isn’t an excuse for laziness, apathy or just plain giving

up. You can still be content while moving forward and growing as a person. But here’s the thing about contentment: It’s not easy to find. And once you find it, you must fight to keep it. Two Barriers to Contentment Contentment doesn’t come easy. In fact, there are some enemies of contentment that try to steal our peace daily. Here are the top two barriers that keep you from true contentment: 1. Jealousy Nothing can steal your contentment quite like jealousy. And if you’ve experienced it (we all have), you know it’s not pretty. Yup—I’m talking about keeping up with the Joneses. When you’re consumed by what your neighbor (or co-worker, best friend, mom, etc.) is doing, you’ll never be content with who you are and what you have. Why? Because someone else will always have something you don’t. So, you can be green with envy, or you can choose to be happy for others and thankful for the things you already have.

Changing

2. Comparison Comparison is the thief of joy. Listen: Comparing your life to someone else’s is like playing a game you’ll never win. And I’ve played this game more times than I care to admit. In fact, a couple years into our marriage, Winston and I took this incredible trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was beautiful. The food was delicious. And the people were so nice. We had so much fun. When we got home, I started scrolling through social media to see what my friends were up to. The first post I saw was from my favorite fashion blogger and her trip to the Greek islands. The pictures were outstanding. I had to go! Before I knew what I was doing, I was looking up plane tickets to Greece. (You guys, my bags weren’t even unpacked from our trip, and I was already comparing my vacation to someone else’s!) See? Joy thief! Instead of basking in the memories we made in See CONTENTMENT on Page 37

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FINANCIAL RICH VS. WEALTHY Continued from Page 32 ber: We’re trying to be the best version of ourselves, not the best version of someone else’s life! 7. Invest. I get it—investing kind of sounds like an old person thing, right? Like, anything that’s related to retirement kind of feels like you don’t have to worry about it until way later. But truth is, you should start investing as early as possible! Once you’re debt-free and have a fully funded emergency fund with three to six months of living expens-

Changing Times

es, it’s time to start investing 15% of your income into growth stock mutual funds for retirement. You can do this with a 401(k) if you have one, or you can open a Roth IRA. Some people even have both! I recommend the Roth IRA instead of the traditional kind because that means your money is taxed ahead of time and can grow tax-free. You’ll get more bang for your buck long term that way. 8. Own real estate. Let’s face it: There’s only so much land on our planet. As buildings keep going up, so will the

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value of the land! That’s why it’s a great idea to to work with a real estate agent to help you buy your home and your property the smart way—by getting a 15-year fixedrate mortgage and putting at least 20% down. It’s important to be in the right place financially before you purchase. But when you do get the chance to buy real estate, it’s an awesome investment. 9. Get term life insurance. Life insurance . . . so fun, right? For anyone who might not know, life insurance is basically a plan to replace your income when you pass away so the money goes to your beneficiaries (whichever family members you choose to give the money to). That’s another one of those things you don’t think you have to worry about until you’re 100 years old. But honestly, anyone who wants to prepare for the future by making sure their loved ones are financially taken care of in a worstcase scenario should think about getting it (especially if you’re married or have a family to provide for). Plus, the younger you are, the less it will cost you per month. So get on it! Now, you’ll notice I said term life insurance. Not whole life! This is huge, people. Term life insurance is way more affordable because it’s only worth something if you pass away during whatever term you’ve agreed to (usually 20 to 30 years). Eventually, the goal is for you to be self-insured—meaning you’ll have a ton of savings and investments that will be more than enough to replace your income—so getting expensive whole life insurance

would be a waste of money. 10. Be generous. This right here is my favorite one because it’s so fun. Why is giving away money on my list of wealthbuilding tips? Because the ability to be a blessing to other people is one of the best motivators to build wealth in the first place. Why be wealthy if you can’t give back, take care of your kids and grandkids, and help those in need? In my opinion, this world needs less “fake rich” and more people who are building wealth for the right reasons. Want to learn more about how you can take control of your money and build wealth the right way (and track your progress while you’re doing it)? Check out Ramsey+ for free! Or grab a copy of Dave's newest book, Baby Steps Millionaires, you'll learn how to bust through the barriers preventing you from becoming a millionaire.

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. ©2022 Lampo Licensing, LLC. All rights reserved.>

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FINANCIAL

CONTENTMENT Continued from Page 35 Charleston and being thankful for the fun we had, I was chasing make-believe! And that’s exactly why we must guard ourselves from these traps—especially with social media. How to Find Contentment Contentment isn’t something you stumble upon. It’s something you choose . . . every single day. But there’s a formula that can help you get there: Start with gratitude which leads to humility which breeds contentment. 1. Gratitude Zig Ziglar said, “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.” And guys, he was right! Gratitude is a choice you make every single day! If you wait around until you feel it, it may never come. Why? Because it’s not natural. But when you start finding and searching for the little glimpses of hope in your life and where God has you right now, it can be amazing. Instead of starting your day with email, work, or social media, try writing down two things you’re grateful for. I tried this a few years ago, and it’s been a game changer! 2. Humility I love this quote from Rick Warren: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” When you’re in a season of jealousy or comparison, one of the best things you can do to get out of it is serve someone else. It gets the

focus off you (and what you don’t have) to help someone else. When you’re humble, you’ll find joy that doesn’t come from “stuff” or spending money or chasing the next best thing. It’s a beautiful thing! Now that you’re grateful and humble, contentment will follow— and once you’ve found it, don’t let it get away. Keep choosing gratitude and humility every single day, and it will keep producing contentment in your life. And guys, contentment impacts every single part of your life, even your finances. Want to put this into practice? Grab a copy of my Contentment Journal! In three months, you’ll learn how to recognize the blessings in your life, how to think of yourself less (and others more), and how to be content. 3 Ways Contentment Can Make You Rich Spoiler alert: People who are content win with money. Here’s why: 1. They save money. People who are content put money toward their future. Yep, that means retirement and their kids’ college funds. They don’t have to spend all their money on “stuff.” Instead, they have the patience to save and invest money they know they won’t see for 10 years or more. Sure, that takes discipline. But anyone who’s retired wealthy will tell you patience and discipline are completely worth it in the long run. Saving pays off! 2. They sacrifice their lifestyle to get out of debt.

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The best way to become wealthy is to stop using debt as a tool. When payments eat up your income, it’s hard to use that money to give and save. Content people don’t mind giving up a vacation or two, because they know their debt-free vacation five years from now will be so much better when they’re not worried about how they’re going to pay for it. They realize the freedom that comes with paying for things they can afford! Remember: Money can buy fun, but money cannot buy true happiness. 3. They live their lives with an open hand. While this doesn’t always reflect financial “riches,” your life is much richer when you care about and give to others. That’s where true joy comes from. Listen, we all must fight the tendency to focus too much on ourselves. I’m guilty of that too. But when you’re intentional about giving, you begin to enjoy it more and it becomes a part of who you are. See? Contentment is a beautiful thing. And when you pursue contentment in your life, it can have an amazing effect in all areas of your

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rachel Cruze Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Today and Live With Kelly & Ryan, among others. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people how to avoid debt, save money, budget and win with money at any stage in life.

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life—from your emotional to your financial well-being. If you’re ready to build these healthy habits in your own life, check out my course, Know Yourself, Know Your Money, inside of Ramsey+. I’ll teach you more about the fears and behaviors you might have that are holding you back from winning with money. Sign up for your free Ramsey+ trial and jump right in! >

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FEATURE ARTICLE

Changing Times

8 Blessings of Studying Your Bible By Paul Tripp

Between the "already" of your conversion and the "not yet" of your final home going, few things are more important in the Christian life than a practical and functional level of biblical literacy. One of the Father's most important gifts to his children in the here and now is the gift of his Word, and we simply won't be what God has called us to be and consistently do what God has commanded us to do without an ability to draw wisdom and insight out of the pages of his amazing Book. But I have a confession to make.

It's embarrassing and humbling, but I'm willing to make it publicly: I'm not always excited about reading and studying the Bible. I know I'm not alone. For distracted sinners like us, studying the Bible can sometimes feel burdensome, difficult, confusing, and unexciting. So today, to remind myself and you to persevere, I want to consider 8 life-giving and heart-changing blessings that only ever come from knowing God's Word. Then, I want to recommend an unbelievable resource that will open the door to a brand-new way of studying your

Bible. 1. God Consciousness Beginning with the first four words of the Bible – "In the beginning, God…" – the existence, character, and plan of God are splashed across every single page of Scripture. And since were created for him, made to love, and serve him, designed to walk in close communion with him, and called to do all that we think, say, and do in reference to him, there are few things more important to us than Scripture, because that's where we find God. Regular study of the Bible causes everything in your life and mine to be driven by God-consciousness, and consistent study of the Word of God rescues us from a God-amnesia that's a constant danger to every sinner. Without actively digging into the pages of Scripture, we're at risk of forgetting, at a practical level, that God exists. 2. Self-Awareness Second only to a life-shaping knowledge of God is a heart-humbling knowledge of self. But since sin is deceitful, we all must aban-

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don the notion that no one knows us better than we know ourselves. If sin remains, there will be pockets of spiritual blindness in all of us. Knowing the blinding power of sin, God blessed us with the mirror that is his Word (James 1:22-25). Looking into it intently will give you an accurate knowledge of yourself and a clear picture of the depth of your need for the grace not only of the Word of God, but of the God of the Word. 3. Knowledge of God's Plan It's a principle captured powerfully in our Lord's model prayer – "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). What's the principle? You and I were created to live for something bigger than ourselves. Because of this, God works to rescue us from the claustrophobic confines of our little kingdoms of self and deliver us to his big Kingdom of glory and grace. But what does it practically mean to seek God's kingdom? The answer See BLESSINGS on Page 39


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BLESSINGS Continued from Page 38 splashes across page after page of Scripture. The Bible gives us a clear picture of what it looks like to have your life shaped not by what you want, but by what God wants. Studying the Bible will paint a portrait of what it looks like to have your life shaped not by your plans for you, but by what God has planned for you. 4. Personal Transformation If you were to ask the question, what is God doing right now in the lives of his children? you could answer the question in one word change. Yes, the power of sin has been broken, but the presence of sin remains, so God is working by grace to progressively transform every one of us. I love the word picture used in (Isaiah 55:13) to illustrate the transforming power of the Word of God (the thorn bush becoming a cypress tree). If rain and snow watered a little thorn bush in your backyard, you would expect a bigger thorn bush, but instead a cypress tree appears. When you allow the rain of God's Word to water your soul, you don't become a bigger rendition of what you once were,

10

but by grace become something radically new and organically different! 5. Gospel Worldview I don't know if you've thought about this, but you are a theologian. I don't mean an academic theologian studying biblical history and languages in seminary, but an everyday theologian. Every day, you and I interpret our experiences through the lens of theology. We make assumptions and draw conclusions about God, about ourselves, and about our world. Dangerously, most of us make these theological conclusions on the fly, without valid biblical reasoning. And perhaps even more dangerously, we don't even know that we're making them! Once more, therefore Bible study is so wonderfully helpful. It gives us an origin-to-destiny perspective on all that was, all that is, and all that will be, so we can correctly understand our world and respond appropriately in it. 6. Street-Level Guidance If you're like me, and I suspect you are, there's hardly a day that goes by where you don't want (and need) street-level direction for everyday living. What should I say

in this conversation? How should I respond to that situation? What should I plan to do in this location? Nearly every hour is marked with moments of decision, not huge, life-changing decisions, but 10,000 little moments of decision that will shape our life and legacy. Because we live in 10,000 little moments of decision, it's so comforting to know that God's Word operates as "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path" (Psalm 119:105). When we study the Scriptures, we're unlocking a spiritual GPS that helps us navigate our moments of decision in the conversations, situations, locations, and relationships of life. 7. Commitment to Ministry Finally, God's Word reminds us again and again that the most important work in the universe is his work of redemption. Studying the Bible will remind us that we have not been called just to be recipients of his grace, but instruments of that same grace in the lives of others. The Bible does more than just remind; it defines how we participate in ministry. There are many passages in Scripture – (2 Corinthians 5:20, 1 Peter 5:1-10, and 1 Corinthians 2:1-2) are just a few.

The more you study the Word of God, the more you will become committed to, and skilled in, the practical ministry lifestyle to which all of us have been called. 8. A Deeper Love for Jesus The Bible is not a collection of stories or a catalog of wisdom statements, but rather a single story running from cover the cover. The Bible is the story of Jesus. Every passage looks forward to him, puts hope in him, points to what he alone can fix, or looks back to him with gratitude. Bible study puts Jesus before you, reminding you again and again of his presence, plan, power, and promises. It will cause you to remember that Jesus is God’s greatest gift to you and the result will be a deeper love for him and a more vibrant celebration of his grace. Do you want to love Jesus more? Then study your Bible more. Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc. >

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Changing Times

HEROES OF FAITH

Be A Rebel In The Best Way Possible By Greg Laurie

I think committed Christians are the true rebels in our culture today. Don’t tell me that it’s rebellious to do what everyone else does, say what everyone else says, be woke, and conform to a preexisting culture that is changing before our eyes. The Bible tells the story about a man who lived during a very dark time in human history, maybe the darkest it has ever been. This was the time before the Great Flood when God brought his judgment upon planet Earth. Noah Faced an Ungodly Culture Against this very dark background lived Noah, a man who walked with God and showed us that we, too, can live a godly life in

an ungodly culture. In fact, Jesus said, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37–39 NKJV). Jesus was saying, “Remember how it was in Noah’s day? It will be similar in the time before My return.” The Old Testament book of Genesis gives us a description of the world at that time: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” (6:5 NLT). I’m amazed at what I see in the news today. The atrocities, the horrible acts people commit against other people. It’s disturbing, it’s heartbreaking, and seems as though people endlessly find new ways to do evil things.

That is what was happening in Noah’s day. As a result, the Bible says, “So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. And the Lord said, ‘I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.’” (Genesis 6:6–7 NLT). Their wickedness was full to the brim, like an overflowing trash can or a septic tank. It was stinking to high Heaven. This shows us that God is aware of the wickedness of man. He’s paying attention. Then the Bible gives us this detail: “But Noah found favor with the Lord” (Genesis 6:8 NLT). Rejecting the Status Quo Noah was what I like to call a world changer, someone who doesn’t accept the status quo. A world changer doesn’t march in lockstep with current culture. Rather, a world changer wants to change the culture. World changers are fol-

lowers of Jesus Christ who affect their surroundings more than their surroundings affect them. They think for themselves and do what is right. A world changer is someone who wants to make a difference. Noah had great faith and a great God, but he was a misunderstood character. Even today, we see him portrayed in films where there are many distortions of his story. That’s why it’s important to go back to what the Bible says about Noah. Hebrews 11 tells us, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (verse 7 NKJV). We see from this verse that God revealed secrets to Noah. God spoke to him, and it activated Noah’s faith. But maybe you’re saying, “I don’t think God ever See REBEL on Page 41

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www.changingtimes.info

Why Are We So Easily Offended? By Pastor Doug Gilford

Have you noticed the easily hurt and offended people around you lately? We watch our words and actions so as not to offend them. We temper our passion, feelings, and responses to things, being ever so careful to choose the correct pronouns or descriptors of people. God forbid if we offend a valuable soul! We have muzzled ourselves on political differences, religious expression, and lifestyle opinions. We were just recently bashful about our vaccination or nonvaccine status for fear of starting a war of words and losing the people we love. As we do this, we conform to a pattern of sameness like robots marching in a straight line to a dark world of boredom. Differences in people must exist and flourish to motivate creativity and free expression of thought. It wasn't too long ago that people with differences were free to have candid talks about why they did or did not agree. One might learn something from someone who does not align perfectly with their ways. REBEL Continued from Page 40 speaks to me.” I remember a story Pastor Chuck Smith told about his grandson. One day, he said to his mother, “God never speaks to me.” She said, “You know when you do something wrong and feel bad in your heart for doing it?” “Yeah.” “That can be God speaking to you.” He paused for a moment. Then he said, “Mom, God speaks to me all the time!” There are a lot of ways God speaks to us, but He does speak to us. And the primary way He speaks to us is through the Word of God, the Bible. God revealed His secrets to Noah, and the Bible says that “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14

But today, to be different from the masses and outwardly express such is to be hurtful, rude, or outright offensive. I believe we are in a trap designed for us thousands of years ago. Jesus points it out and talks about it. Jesus said that a time like this would come. "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." (Matthew 24:10-12) In the above text, Jesus describes end-time events or end of the world events. One of which is sometimes easily overlooked is that "many will be offended." Jesus does not say what people will be offended by or from, just that they will be offended. Then as the known world is offended, Jesus describes that people (false prophets) will rise up and deceive many. Turn on your televisions. Listen to the radio stations. Open a few YouTube videos. All are replete with people "rising up" to explain what's going on. People are telling us how to live, from television news to newspapers. What we should think, and what we should say. Politicians and preachers alike. Notice the downward spiral. 1. Many will be offended; 2. People NKJV). Sinful Humanity and Rebel Christians God reveals things to Christians that unbelievers don’t understand. We know, for instance, that humanity is not basically good. The Bible teaches that humanity is basically sinful. Now, that makes sense, and the world makes more sense when we accept the premise that we’re not basically good. Rather, we’re basically sinful. But the Bible also teaches that God is good. The Bible teaches that one day judgment will come to the world and that it will get worse before it gets better. The Bible teaches that one day Christ will return and will right every wrong. So, when you believe the Bible, you know things other people don’t know. In the same way, Noah understood that, and God revealed secrets to him. Noah also had great reverence

The Christian Journey will betray and hate one another, and 3. False prophets will rise up. Jesus describes that lawlessness will take over, and love will grow cold. Am I the only one seeing this? I am sure not. Since we live in an age of offense, please allow me to offer Biblical principles on how to live above offense. The first thing we must get established is who we are trying to please. If our goal is to be famous or fabulous in another person's view of us, it will change what risk level we are willing to take in relationships. Yet if Christ is our priority, we will speak the truth in love, even as society says to conform and comply to the social order. Christ did not fit into His social order, and they were offended at Him. Did He say anything mean, abusive, or full of hate? No, He spoke love and mercy and instructed people to have faith in God alone, not His day's established government hierarchy. As Christians, we walk in the ways of Christ, and people may be upset with us. What? Shall we change our values? No, instead, we should, as Christ, demonstrate honesty, while demonstrating pure love. The other way to rise above

offense is what my mom used to say, "Sometimes people will not like all we say or do…but we must be true to who we are." If we expect to live at peace in our minds and with others, we must recognize that we cannot please all people all the time. Sometimes offense occurs. Often it might be us as the offender. In any case, love must come in between the offense and the offender. The Bible says that "Love covers a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8) Since we are living in the age of offense, where love has grown cold, what is better than to choose to let love cover the offense and, more importantly, the offender? Let love come between us and the offense. How is this possible? Let's talk to God about it. God knows we are powerless without Him and will help us in our weak moments. When we find the strength to ask God for help, he will give us the power for healing. May God bless you on this mission! >

for God, which I think is lacking in our culture today. But when (Hebrews 11:7) says that Noah “moved with godly fear,” it doesn’t mean that he cowered before God. We could also translate it to say that he “moved with reverence.” I like this definition of the fear of the Lord: a wholesome dread of displeasing Him. This doesn’t mean that we cower in fear of Him, but that we love Him so much that we have respect for Him. Noah had reverence and respect for God, and he never lost that. If you want to be a rebel, then follow Jesus Christ. You don’t even need a leather jacket, a motorcycle,

or your wallet attached to a chain. A world changer, a real Christian, is someone who believes the Bible and lives by what it says. That is real rebellion in the best sense of the word. >

Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor Cornerstone Church 23051 Hwy 1088 Mandeville, La 70448. 985-624-8652 or email doug@ilovecornerstone.com

Greg Laurie

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Changing Times

Guiding Light

(2 Peter 1:19) Learn to search the Scriptures, and then believe what you find. Rely on God's Word; it will show you the way to Heaven. Blessings, Samuel Mills

"Way to Heaven" Is Through the Narrow Gate

Is there more than one way to Heaven? According to polls, a surprising number of people believe there is. Even more surprising is that some of our modern-day Christian churches are not confronting this issue. The only reliable information concerning how to be saved can be found in God's written Word, not in the opinions of men. We must rely only upon His way. "The Way" was a designation for early Christians. It was "The Way" then and is "The Way to Heaven" now. Christianity itself rests upon a "plan of salvation," so easy that even a child can understand. This perfect plan must be maintained; else, those who follow the wrong teachings will spend eternity in Hell. God's written Word tells us that the only way to Heaven is through what Jesus did on the cross. • "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall

not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16) • "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) • Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:5-7) God's Way Based on the above Scripture the way to Heaven can only be found in God's Word. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matt 7:13) Only one Way to Heaven According to Scripture, humanity is born spiritually separated from God, but God has provided a way to end this separation; that is by Faith in Jesus Christ, and what He did on the Cross. The way to Heaven and is through faith in Jesus, the small gate, and narrow road. Peter said to allow God's Word to be "...a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts".

Related Scripture • In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3) • Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:18) • The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29) I have seen, and I testify that this is the Son of God." (John 1:34) • This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1John 4:9) • just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:28) • I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never

enter it." (Luke 18:17) • When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" (Matt 27:54) • Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' (Luke 13:25) • Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, [a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (Hebrews 4:14) • Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1) • They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10) >

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The Abiding Life is the True Christian Life By Jim Elliff

The abiding life is the true Christian life. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) (John 15) gives us the pattern for spiritual growth and effectiveness as believers. In the passage, we are called branches, Christ is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser. What are the characteristics of authentic branches? They bear the fruit of Christ’s character and power. Fruit is the life of Christ through the believer. It is excess life. The life of the Christian is to be one of daily dependence on Christ, rather than himself. Do people see Christ in you?

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. (vv.2a,4-5) They are pruned by God. God cuts off the diseased and the nonessential aspects of the believer’s life. It is up to the vinedresser to determine what is and is not useful. Pruning is painful but necessary. Is this your experience? Every branch that bears fruit, He primes it, that it may bear more fruit. (v. 2b) They know the joy of living by God’s Word and prayer. God will entrust much in prayer to those whose minds are being renewed through His Word, for they pray according to His will. Have you learned to live by God’s Word and prayer? If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. (v. 7)

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They keep God’s commandments. Do you obey Him? If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (v. 10) They love those who are in Christ. Christ taught us love by sacrifice. While loving all men, abiding Christians have a special affection for believers and eagerly express this love in the local church. Is love the prominent feature of your life? This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (vv. 12-13) They are often misunderstood. Does the world love you or hate you? If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

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"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." ~3 John 1:2

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (vv. 18-20) They speak openly of Christ and what He has done. That which is in the heart comes out of the mouth. Do you speak of Christ? When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with me from the beginning. (vv. 26-27) The abiding life is the ONLY true Christian life. Is it the life you lead? By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (v. 8) > JIM ELLIFF Copyright 1993 Jim Elliff (revised 2022) © 2022 CCW – Christian Communicators Worldwide.>

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CHRISTIAN LIVING

Changing Times

We Are Both Ambassadors and Peacemakers By Ben Sciacca

In (2 Corinthians 5:20), Paul tells us that we are “ambassadors for Christ.” In (Matthew 5:9), Jesus says we are “peacemakers.” In both cases, God tells us about our identity. There are other identities we receive from God in Scripture, but few rival these two. The Bible’s narrative reinforces the invitation and necessity of living in these two roles. Too often throughout church history, though, one of these identities has been emphasized to the neglect of the other. Ambassadors for Christ As ambassadors for Christ, we both receive and proclaim the grace of God. We receive the full and unbelievable gift of forgiveness through the death of Jesus on our behalf. Christ’s grace cancels our sin debt and gives us his imputed righteousness. Grace alone reconciles us to God. Some believe the chief aim of any Christian is to proclaim the gospel to an unbelieving world and to see lost sinners saved. But while rightly focusing on the eternal state of individuals, such believers can end up neglecting injustice, racism, oppression, and abuse. Sin, in their minds, is simply about personal guilt. In this case, grace’s sole entailment is to produce shalom between fallen sinners and an angry God. In this case we must ask: is a gospel that focuses solely on reconciling fallen individuals to God really the good news of the Bible? If being Christ’s ambassador is

merely about propagating a message for a brighter tomorrow, we are offering a deferred hope and representing a God who appears indifferent to the woes and suffering of today. Peacemakers in Christ Like grace, peace is multifaceted. For many it has become synonymous with comfort, but the biblical definition is far more robust. Peace (or “shalom”) is not the absence of pain and oppression. According to Nicholas Wolterstorff, peace is the living and embodied presence of “harmony and delight in all of one’s relationships.” These relationships include those with God, others, various cultures, creation, and ourselves. In a world rife with sin, dysfunction, tribalism, and brokenness, it’s wondrous to imagine what the presence of “harmony and delight” in these various relationships could look like. And yet some are so fixated on pursuing justice and shalom on earth that they become solely focused on redeeming broken systems. Much of their work is bereft of a direct connection to Jesus or to concerns about eternal souls. They focus on how sin corrupts systems and affects communities, but never on individual guilt. Much of their movement is anchored in the redemption and liberation of marginalized groups from oppressive structures, and not as concerned with the spiritual salvation of individuals. Shalom, in this case, is untethered from grace and Christ. It is a rogue virtue with no logical precursor or origin. There is no catalyst for change as potent as the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that comes with salvation. Further, only one institution is guaranteed victory over evil and injustice, and that is the body of Christ. For this reason, all groups that pursue justice and systemic solutions apart from the power and person of Jesus can’t produce lasting and significant change. The social-gospel movement in

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tin man without a heart—attractive but lacking life. John the Baptist, incarcerated in Herod’s prison, sent his disciples to determine whether Jesus was in fact the Messiah. He was having doubts of his own. He needed Jesus to clarify if he really was the longawaited hope of the world. In response, Jesus could have given countless reasons to validate who he was. Instead, he made an incisive statement: Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receives their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. (Luke 7:22–23) Jesus knew we would read these words 2,000 years later. His statement focuses on how much good news he was producing in the here and now by providing people with hope and peace amid their trials and brokenness. Of course, these kingdom realities would only come through a bloody cross and empty tomb. And it’s here that we see the fusion of grace and peace in harmony with both present and future entailments. May the body of Christ today be on mission to proclaim grace and spread peace. > BEN SCIACCA Copyright© 2022 The Gospel Coalition, Inc. All Rights Reserved >

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the 19th century promoted peace. It labored to eradicate poverty and oppression while producing justice and shalom. Proponents were more proximate to suffering. Unlike those invested solely in evangelism, they became far more concerned with producing peace in the here and now. So many of their endeavors, however, became detached from the person and power of Jesus Christ and the inerrancy of his Word. Their investment in Christ like work became estranged from any personal connection to him. There are historical movements centered on eschatology that Christ’s return is imminent and, therefore, the status of this present creation is not as crucial as saving lost sinners. At a grotesque level we witnessed this approach propagated during the era of American chattel slavery. Renowned theologians and evangelists like George Whitefield and Cotton Mather emphasized the salvation and liberation of slaves from their sins but justified the chains and barbarity of their slavery. Today, some “social-justice warriors” perpetuate a social gospel of their own. For some, their quest for justice has become a new Jesus. Is there lasting good news and peace for this broken world if direct affiliation with the Prince of Peace doesn’t exist? A peace without Christ is a shiny tin man without a heart—attractive but lacking life. A peace without Christ is a shiny

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STAND WITH US Continued from Page 3 .You can see their full-page advertisement in this edition of Changing Times! If you are concerned about the social issues of poverty, suffering, pressing needs, the right to life, marriage, family, and basic moral values, you must also become concerned about addressing current economic challenges. Bad fiscal practices contribute to these very real problems and make it more difficult to effectively assist those in need. If you want to alleviate suffering, practice charity, support meaningful outreaches, express compassion, provide for the needy, keep your job, and create opportunity while having protection and security, you must get prayerfully involved and demand fiscal accountability and necessary adjustments. Without immediate corrective measures, our national economy will not only continue to weaken, but will ultimately collapse. Without the restoration of sound economic principles, none of us will have the wherewithal to help anyone with their needs, because we will not be able to deal with our own. We cannot share what we do

CHRISTIAN LIVING not have. The same principles of freedom making it possible to be guilty of excess are the same ones enabling success. Active participation is both a privilege and responsibility to choose wise leaders who will support sound policy and legislation in order for good government to become a reality. Now is the time to fall on our knees before God and then stand on our feet before men. We must demonstrate the power of God’s transforming grace. All legitimate concerns and painful issues must be addressed with prayer, love and compassion. When we stand tall for His truth, we will see the transformation of people leading to the restoration of sound principles. It is time to pray, then take action with boldness and love as we call all Christians to return to the rock-solid foundation of God’s truth. Keep in mind, our economic challenges will not be corrected until we address moral decay. We should remember what President Reagan said: ‘If America ceases to be a nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.” We invite you to stand with us as One Nation Under God. For, Together We Stand but Divided We Fall. Save The Nations Ministries>

How Can I Have God's Peace? By Charles F. Stanley

The key element in true, lasting peace is the presence of God. Isaiah says to God, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (26:3). Christ is our peace—His presence is the presence of peace within us (Eph. 2:14). And so, Jesus declares, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33). What is this peace? It is an inner sense of contentment and quietness, regardless of life’s circumstances. It is steadfast confidence in our ever-faithful, immutable heavenly Father. It is the presence of joy during unhappiness. True peace does not merely dull our pain. A person who has genuine, godly peace can endure an avalanche of hardship and difficulty and still enjoy an inner peace that surpasses all human understanding. Why? Because it does not come from pleasant circumstances, nice events, or good things others may do for us. Instead, it is since the Spirit of our holy, omnipotent, and never- changing God lives within us. Does enjoying God’s perfect peace mean that you’ll never feel the effects of the storms raging around

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"Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." ~ James 5:6

you? Hardly. But His peace is complete, adequate, and sufficient for anything you face. Keep in mind three keys to experiencing sustained peace: • Focus on God. Perfect peace comes when you fix your mind on God. You must discipline yourself to meditate on God’s presence and work. When you spend time concentrating on a problem, does it not seem to grow bigger? In the same way, you will have a greater sense of God’s presence and provision as you fix your mind on Him. • Trust Him. You never have to worry about God acting too late or providing insufficient help. His timing and purposes are perfect; in fact, He uses your tribulations to reveal more of Himself to you. His Word is full of rock-solid promises, many of which involve granting you peace. Know that He will always honor them! • Meditate on His Word. (Psalm 119:165) emphasizes that those who love God’s Word have great peace. Your most precious material possession is your Bible. Every believer should love God’s Word and feast on it daily. If you love it, you’re going to believe what it says— and then it will guide and anchor your life. > Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible, 2008. oChristian >

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Changing Times

Victorious Living The Secret of Living Victoriously By J R Miller It is worth a great deal to an earnest soul to learn the secret of victorious living. It is not only trust in God — we have much to do ourselves. At every step there is a wrong as well as a right way, and we must make our choice. God will never do this for us, however simply we may trust in Him. We will never be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease. Divine help is always ready — but there is a human part which must be accepted and entered upon with energy, to get the strength from God which we need St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court if we would be victorious. If we would have the devil flee from us — then we must resist him. The Lord will bruise General courses of instruction have been scheduled for becoming Satan — but the an Election Commissioner in St. Tammany Parish. In accordance bruising must be with LA. R.S. 18:425 & 18:428A, one must have the following under our own feet. qualifications to serve as a certified Election Commissioner: We need to remember also that the feel1. You must be a registered voter in the parish, or a 17 th ing in us which would year-old U.S. citizen enrolled in the 12 grade in a public lead us to sin is not to or nonpublic high school or participating on the 12th grade level in a BESE-approved home study program. be crushed and slain — but rather turned 2. You must be able to perform all essential commissioner into God's service. duties. When we are tempt3. You must not be a law enforcement officer. ed to do something 4. You must not have been convicted of an election offense. wrong, instead of 5. You must successfully complete one general course of fighting the desire, instruction and pass an open book test. the true way is to lead it into something Wednesday, August 31, 10:00 am & 6:00 pm beautiful and good. GREATER COVINGTON CENTER - COVINGTON Paul gives us the Corner West 23rd & North Madison, Covington, LA 70433 whole secret when he Thursday, September 1, 10:00 am & 6:00 pm says, "Walk in the THE HARBOR CENTER - SLIDELL Spirit, and you shall 100 Harbor Center Blvd, Slidell, LA 70461 not fulfill the lusts of To register, please visit www.sttammanyclerk.org the flesh." If we folor scan this QR Code. low Christ closely — then the world's tempYou can also contact the Clerk of Court’s tations will have no Elections Department at (985) 809-8700 power over us. If we

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keep busy in God's service — then we shall not be troubled by solicitations to do the work of the evil one. If our heart is kept full of glowing love for Christ — then we shall not have room for the love of the world. But we must never forget that without Christ we cannot live victoriously. It is "in Him who loved us" that we can be "more than conquerors." No motive is sufficient to carry us through all the opposition and antagonism of sin — but the love of Christ in us. With this mighty motive, also comes the help of Christ. He empowers everyone who truly follows Him. His strength enters our weakness and makes it unconquerable! Some people are very reckless in rushing into temptation, not fearing the power and deceitfulness of sin. Then they are surprised if they fall, as if God ought to have kept them by force, even despite their own folly, almost against their own will. But this is not God's way of delivering us from evil. The prayer is, "Lead us not into temptation." Wherever God leads us in the way of duty, we need not fear to go, for He will keep us when we are with Him, doing His will. But if we venture away from God and are led into temptation — then we have no promise of divine help and can only fail. This lesson is especially for those who have been living wrong and are trying to start anew. They need to be most careful if they would continue faithful. Such a person should treat himself as a man who has been very ill and dare not do anything. Let him consider himself as a convalescent for a few weeks and take care where he goes, what he reads, what he looks at, and what people he speaks to. He is not strong enough for the outer air. When he first begins the new life, he is young and tender. Therefore, let him beware of the first few days. "If you are careful not to catch cold for the first few weeks after you begin to lead a new life, you will succeed; but if you do tomorrow what you did today, you will go wrong, because you are not strong enough to resist. You will have to build up this new body cell by cell, just as the old body of temptation has been built up." The illustration is very suggestive. One, for example, who has allowed the habit of drinking to fasten upon him, and then determines to be a man again and live purely, nobly, worthily — must indeed, for a time at least, treat himself as a sick man just recover-

ing. He cannot walk in the old ways where the fatal temptation awaits him. He must seek safe paths, in the sweet, balmy air. He must watch all his pleasures, his recreations, and his companionships. Another secret of victorious living is the help of a friend. If one has been all broken up morally and spiritually, and desires to build up a new and worthy life, he needs nothing more than he needs a true, strong friend. It may be said that if he has Christ — then he requires no human friend. But Christ gives us His help largely, far more largely than we are accustomed to think, through human hearts and hands. The divine usually comes to us through the human. That was one reason for the Incarnation — God came to men by taking upon Him the form of a man, that He might speak to them in human words and love them through a human heart and heal and bless them through the touch of a human hand. Now Christ has returned to glory, out of our sight — but He reaches men still through the lives of His earthly followers. If you cry to Him for help, for strength — then He will almost certainly send you a friend, one to represent Him, to speak for Him, to bring you His sympathy and love and strength in human ways. We all need companionship, even at our strongest — but we need it much more at our weakest. If you are striving to be true and Christ like in spite of old habits and tendencies, seek a friend, one who has been tried and has learned the secret of victory. Tell him all about your weakness and your new desires and ask him to help you. Such a friendship will be like Christ himself coming in one of His followers. We need to remember, too, that merely to live victoriously, without yielding to sin, is not enough. We are delivered from evil — that we may do good. If we would overcome sin, we must grow up into Christ, building into our character whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, and whatever things are lovely. Not committing sin is but one side of Christian life; doing the will of God is the great and central thing. 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 2022 >


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VICTORIOUS LIVING

The Fruit of the Spirit By Alistair Begg The impact of the good news of Jesus is most evident is in and through the lives of those who embody its message. In our consideration of the fruit of the Spirit, we have arrived at patience, which is arguably one of its most frequently tested facets. In a hurried culture, hardly a moment goes by when our patience isn’t tested by a crisis, interruption, or bump in the road. To aid us in our understanding of patience as the fruit of the Spirit, we will consider together: (1) How patience is defined, (2) How patience is developed, and (3) How patience demonstrated. How Patience Is Defined While the Oxford English Dictionary could offer us a fine definition of the word patience, we are really better off beginning with God and His revelation of Himself. Let’s consider, then, how the Bible treats the concept of patience.

ing from disaster. (Jonah 4:2) In other words, Jonah knew that God would have patient mercy on people who didn’t deserve it. Perhaps Jonah, along with us, would have done well to ponder what we all really deserve from God. And yet God is still patient beyond anything we can fathom. The prophets restate the patience motif again and again. At one point, for example, Isaiah, speaking from God, confronts the people and Between 1962 and 1967, Dr. Sarvepalli Radpoints out the foolishness of their rebellion: hakrishnan served as the second president of They are a rebellious people, India. It's said that on one occasion, addressing lying children, his community, he challenged the Christians children unwilling to hear who were listening by commenting, “You claim the instruction of the LORD. that Jesus Christ is your Savior. But you do not Against such disobedience, you might expect appear to be more saved than anyone else.” In that God, in His justice, would enact immediate other words, “I hear your story, but I’m not seejudgment and punishment. But here is what He ing the evidence.” says: A little poem raises the same issue: Therefore, the LORD waits to be gracious to You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day, you, and therefore, he exalts Himself to show The Old Testament By the deeds that you do, by the words that When God reveals Himself to His people in mercy to you. you say… For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed the Old Testament, He consistently does so in Men read what you write, whether faithless terms that points us to His wondrous patience. are all those who wait for Him. or true. Certainly, there are times when God must For example, when God reveals Himself to Say, what is the gospel according to you? Moses after He reinscribes the Ten Command- judge—and severely, at that. In this case, howRadhakrishnan’s statement and this poem ever, His justice is paired with and demonstratments, this is His self-proclamation: both point out that one of the places the impact The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and ed by His matchless patience. of the good news of Jesus is most evident is in gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadThe New Testament and through the lives of those who embody its fast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast The New Testament adds even more clarity to message. If our confession of faith is accompalove for thousands, forgiving iniquity and trans- the picture of God’s patience for us—especially nied by a life of love when relationships are gression and sin, but who will by no means as Jesus Christ, the very embodiment of patience tough, joy when sorrow runs deep, peace when clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the itself, steps in fleshed into history. turmoil invades, and patience when times try fathers on the children and the children’s chilThe apostle Peter clues us in to the fact that us, that often causes people to wonder about dren, to the third and the fourth generation. (Ex. some may be prone to mistake the Lord’s and to be attracted to the hope that is in us (1 34:6–7) patience for inability or indifference: “Where is Peter 3:15). This self-revelation of God, shades of which the promise of his coming?” he imagines them are often repeated throughout the asking (2 Peter 3:4). But then he provides us Old Testament, tells us of God’s the answer: “The Lord is . . . patient toward you, tremendous patience toward us. not wishing that any should perish, but that all Indeed, the story of Israel, the should reach repentance.” What may appear to unfolding drama of the Bible, is some as slowness is actually abundant grace, one of His great mercy, forbear- mercy, and love for the least deserving. ance, and kindness. God has perfect patience for imperfect sinWe see another example of ners. God’s patience in Jonah. There, Similarly, when the apostle Paul tells his tesas we know, after God calls timony, he admits to his sordid past, identifying Jonah to preach to Nineveh, the himself as a “blasphemer, persecutor, and insoprophet gets himself in a whale lent opponent” of the gospel (1 Tim. 1:13). Yet of a problem. But when he is he also testifies to the Lord’s bountiful patience: finally spat up and reconfigured, “I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as he finally does what God told the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his him to do—and miraculously, perfect patience as an example to those who the people respond, and many of were to believe in him for eternal life” (1 Tim. them repent. But how does Jonah 1:16). respond? In short, the New Testament affirms the gloriO LORD, is not this what I ous truth that God has perfect patience for said when I was yet in my coun- imperfect sinners. try? That is why I made haste to How Peace Is Developed flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merSee FRUIT ciful, slow to anger and aboundon Page 48 ing in steadfast love, and relent"Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27 Back to School 2022 47


Changing Times

VICTORIOUS LIVING FRUIT Continued from Page 47 If our heavenly Father dispenses such patience to us, then He rightly expects us to share His patience with others too. So how can we go about putting on or clothing ourselves with patience, as God calls us to? Our patience won’t be perfect like His, of course. But we ought still to reflect some measure of the gifts He has poured out on us. James opens his epistle with these words regarding faith and hardship: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”. The word rendered “steadfastness” in the ESV could also be translated “patience,” as it is in the KJV. So, according to James, it is actually life’s friction—the testing of our faith— that produces patience. He goes on to say that this trial-by-fire sort of patience causes us to be “lacking in nothing”. But the benefit we receive from trials and difficulties still depends on how we look at and handle them. In and of themselves, trials can’t form patience in us. It is God’s Spirit who increasingly produces that patience within us, and it’s the same Spirit who enables us to “put to death” our sinful tendencies (Rom. 8:13) and “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10). Since God grants forgiveness to the truly penitent, one of the evidences of being truly penitent is the ability to show a forgiving spirit to others—especially those who have offended us. To show us how patience is formed, Charles Spurgeon once preached a sermon that used the picture of a ruggedly handsome, weather-beaten sailor: You look at the weather-beaten sailor, the man who is at home on the sea: he has a bronzed face and mahogany-colored flesh, he looks as tough as heart of oak, and as hardy as if he were made of iron. How different from us poor landsmen. How did the man become so inured to hardships, so able to breast the storm, so that he does not care whether the wind blows southwest or north-west? He can go out to sea in any kind of weather; he has his sea legs on: 48 Back to School 2022

how did he come to this strength? It was by doing business in great waters. He could not have become a hardy seaman by tarrying on shore. Now, trial works in the saints that spiritual hardihood which cannot be learned in ease. You may go to school forever, but you cannot learn endurance there: you may color your cheek with paint, but you cannot give it that ingrained brown which comes of stormy seas and howling winds. Strong faith and brave patience come of trouble, and a few men in the church who have thus been prepared are worth anything in time of tempest. To reach that condition of firm endurance and sacred hardihood is worth all the expense of all the heaped-up troubles that ever come upon us from above or from beneath. When trial works patience we are incalculably enriched. How Peace Is Demonstrated Once the wind and waves begin to shape us a bit, how do we demonstrate patience in real life? There are countless ways for us to extend God’s patience to others, but here’s an easy place to begin: since God grants forgiveness to the truly penitent, one of the evidences of being truly penitent is the ability to show a forgiving spirit to others—especially those who have offended us. How often are we like the unforgiving servant who chokes his fellow servant, demanding what he’s owed even after the master had forgiven him an incalculable debt (Matt. 18:23– 35)? How many of us would say all too readily with Margaret Thatcher, “I

am extraordinarily patient, provided I our gracious God in times of hardship get my own way in the end”? May it and need as well as in the midst of the not be so for us. mundane. Our Lord Jesus Christ had “perfect patience” on us (1 Tim. 1:16), even though we were stone-cold “dead in our trespasses” (Eph. 2:5). We will never match such patience, no question. But in the power of the Spirit, we can build up a surplus of patience © 1994 - 2022 Truth For Life. All that overflows to other undeserving Rights Reserved sinners and saints, pointing them to

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The True Vine: 3. The Branch By Andrew Murray

Every Branch in me that Bares Not Fruit, He taketh It away-(John 15.2) Here we have one of the chief words of the parable--branch. A vine needs branches: without branches it can do nothing, can bear no fruit. As important as it is to know about the Vine, and the Husbandman, it is to realize what the branch is. Before we listen to what Christ has to say about it, let us first take in what a branch is, and what it teaches us of our life in Christ. A branch is simply a bit of wood, brought forth by the vine for the one purpose of serving it in bearing its fruit. It is of the very same nature as the vine and has one life and one spirit with it. Just

think a moment of the lessons this suggests. There is the lesson of entire consecration. The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up. That is, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth. And so, the believer has but one reason for his being a branch--but one reason for his existence on earth --that the heavenly Vine may through him bring forth His fruit. Happy the soul that knows this, that has consented to it, and that says, I have been redeemed and I live for one thing--as exclusively as the natural branch exists only to bring forth fruit, I too; as exclusively as the heavenly Vine

The True Vine exists to bring forth fruit, I too. As I have been planted by God into Christ, I have wholly given myself to bear the fruit the Vine desires to bring forth. There is the lesson of perfect conformity. The branch is exactly like the vine in every aspect--the same nature, the same life, the same place, the same work. In all this they are inseparably one. And so, the believer needs to know that he is partaker of the divine nature and has the very nature and spirit of Christ in him, and that his one calling is to yield himself to a perfect conformity to Christ. The branch is a perfect likeness of the vine; the only difference is, the one is great and strong, and the source of strength, the other little and feeble, ever needing and receiving strength. Even so the believer is, and is to be, the perfect likeness of Christ. There is the lesson of absolute dependence. The vine has its stores of life and sap and strength, not for itself, but for the branches. The branches are and have nothing but what the vine provides and imparts. The believer is called to, and it is his highest blessedness to enter upon, a life of entire and unceasing dependence upon Christ. Day and night, every

moment, Christ is to work in him all he needs. And then the lesson of undoubting confidence. The branch has no cure; the vine provides all; it has but to yield itself and receive. It is the sight of this truth that leads to the blessed rest of faith, the true secret of growth and strength: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." What a life would come to us if we only consented to be branches! Dear child of God, learn the lesson. You have but one thing to do: Only be a branch--nothing more, nothing less! Just be a branch; Christ will be the Vine that gives all. And the Husbandman, the mighty God, who made the Vine what it is, will as surely make the branch what it ought to be. Lord Jesus, I pray Thee, reveal to me the heavenly mystery of the branch, in its living union with the Vine, in its claim on all its fullness. And let Thy all-sufficiency, holding and filling Thy branches, lead me to the rest of faith that knows that Thou works all. >

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3 Delicious Detox Recipes

Are you ready for more energy, vitality, wellness, and zest? If so, you can start today with delicious detox recipes and Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast. A yearly or quarterly detox can help you achieve this. A 21-day detox is a great way to help your body rid itself of accumulated toxins, support your immune system, and experience great energy. The best part… Our detox recipes are delicious. The ingredients are hand-picked to detoxify and cleanse your body. They are easy, flavorful, and satisfying. Here are 3 favorites. 3 DELICIOUS DETOX RECIPES 1. ENERGIZING AVOCADO SLICES Ingredients • ½ large avocado • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice • 1 teaspoon each chopped oregano, thyme, and rosemary Instructions • Slice avocado lengthwise into 4-8 thin slices. Set on a plate. • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. • Drizzle mixture over avocado slices and enjoy! Serves 1. Nutrition info: 242 calories, 25 grams fat, 7 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 2 grams protein 2. CLEANSING GINGER CARROT SOUP

Instructions • Pour olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic. Continue to stir sauté 2 more minutes, until highly fragrant. • Add the ginger, carrot, and spices. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 3 minutes. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a few tablespoons of water. • Add coconut milk and broth. Bring to a low simmer, uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are tender enough to pierce with a fork. • Blend soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender or food processor to puree until smooth. • Pour back into the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 4. Nutrition info: 267 calories, 12 grams fat, 19 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein 3. HERBED CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEA DINNER Ingredients • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, bottom stem trimmed • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 teaspoon cumin • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper • 1–15 ounce canned organic chickpeas drained and rinsed • Herbed Oil • 1 garlic clove • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (plus 2 tablespoons for serving) • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped (plus 2 tablespoons for serving) • 1 scallion, thinly sliced • Juice of 1 lemon + 1 lemon, quartered (for serving) • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt • 3–4 tablespoons water

Ingredients • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1 medium white onion, diced • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced • 1 teaspoon cumin • 1 teaspoon coriander • 3 cups chopped carrots (approx. 7 Instructions large carrots) • Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. • 3 cups organic vegetable stock Cut cauliflower lengthwise into • 1 cup canned organic full-fat 3/4-inch “steaks.” Set aside. coconut milk • Whisk together the olive oil, • salt and pepper to taste cumin, smoked paprika, onion • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add cauli• 1 lime, quartered

flower and chickpeas into the mixture. Stir to combine and coat. • Pour mixture onto a lined sheet pan and arrange in a single layer, as much as possible, with cauliflower slices lined up on the pan. Roast in a heated oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping at 15 minutes. Cauliflower should be browned at the edges, and the chickpeas crispy when done. • Meanwhile, prepare herbed oil by mixing all ingredients in a food processor. • When the cauliflower mixture is ready, remove it from the oven. Drizzle the oil mixture over the cauliflower and chickpeas. Garnish with extra parsley, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lemon quarter. Serves 4. Nutrition info: 370 calories, 24 grams fat, 29 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 8 grams protein CRITERIA FOR DELICIOUS DETOX RECIPES What makes a great detox recipe? There are 3 important criteria. First, it eliminates foods that harm the body, such as sugars, refined carbohydrates, processed fats, and more. Next, it encourages the use of organic, high-quality, detoxifying foods. As much as possible, use organic local and fresh foods during your detox, to avoid pesticides, man-made chemicals, harmful preservatives, and toxins. Lastly, it focuses on foods and ingredients known to support the immune system, detoxification processes, and overall health. These foods include fresh herbs, lemon juice, healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and more. © All rights reserved 2022 - 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. © 2022 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com >

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Changing Times

Prayer

SINUS HEALTH Continued from Page 30

The Prayer of the Righteous By David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Why is it that none of us pray as we should? We know that our burdens can all be lifted when we are shut in with him. The voice of the Holy Spirit keeps calling us to prayer, “Come!” Come to the water that satisfies our souls’ thirst. Come to the Father who pities His children. Come to the Lord of life who promises to forgive every sin we have committed. Come to the God who refuses to condemn you, forsake you or hide from you. The Lord promises His people, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:3, NKJV). We may try to hide from God because of guilt and condemnation, but He never hides from us. Come boldly to His throne of grace, even when you have sinned and failed. He instantly forgives those who repent with godly sorrow. You don’t have to spend hours and days in remorse and guilt or earn your way

back into his good graces. We try everything except prayer. We read books, looking for formulas and guidelines. We go to friends, ministers, and counselors, searching everywhere for a word of comfort or advice. We seek mediators and forget the one Mediator who has the answer to everything. The New Testament urges believers, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:13-16). Nothing dispels anxiety and emptiness more quickly than an hour or two shut in with God. Nothing can take the place of praying to the Father in that secluded secret closet. Go to the Father, bend your knees, open your heart, and cry out your anguish. Tell Him about your loneliness, fears, and failures. That is the solution to all the turmoil in our hearts. > David Wilkerson 2022 World Challenge, Inc | All Rights Reserved >

decongestants, you are not at risk of rebound congestion, which can occur with long-term use of decongestants and results in worsening symptoms. How should you take it? ALWAYS dilute apple cider vinegar. Taken straight, it can damage your esophagus. Instead, mix 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 4 oz. water, 1/2 tsp ginger, ½ tsp cinnamon, and stevia to taste. Take 2-3 times per day during allergy season.

Installing an air purifier with a HEPA filter will also help to remove allergens from the interiors. 7. Keep Your Floors, Fans, Filters, & Counters As Clean As Possible Dust mites also cause many allergy symptoms. Dusting regularly, vacuuming, and using a HEPA filter, and washing floors and surfaces regularly can help reduce seasonal allergies and symptoms.

AT THE SITE: IN THE SINUSES 4. Try All-Natural Sinus Sprays At most stores and pharmacies, you can find nasal sprays with simple ingredients like baking soda, salt, xylitol, and purified water. These sprays flush out your nasal passages. When used a few times per day they can ease allergy symptoms, especially if you begin using it proactively before strong symptoms begin.

SKIN & BODY CARE 8. Take A Shower & Change Clothes After Being Outdoors Clothes and hair are pollen magnets, so take them off and rinse as soon as possible! Instead of dragging the pollen inside and sitting it in, shower and change. 9. Get Rid Of Pollen Before Climbing Into Bed Consider showering before bed, changing pillowcases daily, and sheets regularly. If you go to bed with pollen in your hair, it can stay on your pillowcase for days. Then, you’re essentially sleeping in pollen! Keep these soft surfaces as clear of pollen as possible to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling better rather than worse.

KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN 5. Leave Shoes Outside Or Tucked Away Shoes have a way of trapping pollen on them and then depositing it all over your floor surfaces if worn inside. Instead, remove them at the door and leave them out. 6. Close Windows & Doors During High Pollen Especially if you live in an area with high pollen counts, keep windows and doors closed. Pollen blows around most in the Spring, and typically in the early hours of the day. Keep windows and doors closed to avoid pollen blowing inside. Instead, use an air conditioner or cooler if it is too warm. Make sure to change the old filters as they will most likely be full of dust, pollen, and mold.

BOTTOM LINE Cold and flu season is almost over, but we must face allergy season next. Are you prepared? Try Dr. Colbert’s Healthy Sinus Formula and use our tips to support sinus health and feel your best this fall! © All rights reserved 2022 - Dr. Don Colbert.>

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Friends Are Important, Even To Jesus

Christ always craved the sympathy and love of His friends; but as the darkness deepened about Him, He turned to them with special yearning. He wanted to have them near Him. He wanted to lean upon them, and to receive strength and inspiration from them. Before He entered the awful experiences of the cross, He wanted to eat with them and by this close fellowship be made more ready to endure, and so He called them together to eat the first Lord's Supper. There is in this, a wonderful revelation of the human-heartedness of Jesus. We all turn instinctively to human friendship for help as we find ourselves during trials. We want someone near us when we must suffer. We clasp the hand of one we love, and feel upheld and strengthened by the warm, faithful clasp. There is a wonderful mystery in this influence of life upon life. Nothing in this world is so terrible as the desolation of loneliness — reaching out in the darkness and finding no human hand to touch or clasp. And there is no other earthly help so real, so true, as that which we get, in such hours, from the presence of friends. How human it makes Christ seem to us, how near of kin to us, to see Him longing so for the strength He might get from a quiet hour with

His disciples! But Christ was thinking of the disciples as well as of Himself. He wanted to comfort their hearts before He left them. For three years He had been with them, He had drawn them to His bosom and held them close to His heart. He made them the sharers of all His life, and they had learned to lean upon Hm. All their hopes rested in Him. They could not live without Him. But now He was to leave them. We can never altogether understand the trial through which the disciples had to pass when they saw their Master torn away from their head and led to His cross. It was more than any mere sorrow of human love when the dearest friend is taken away. Remember what a friend Jesus was — spotless, faultless, and pure, rich to divine fullness in all tender affections. There never was such another friend. Then remember, too, that besides being their friend, He was their Savior. All the hopes of their souls rested upon Him, and they had not yet grasped the hope of His resurrection. His cross was the extinction of every light of joy and love to them. Jesus understood all this. He saw them on the edge of the black gulf, as they were about to enter its gloom. He yearned for them, and most intensely desired to eat this last Passover with them, that He might impart consolation and strength to their hearts and thus prepare them for passing through the deep darkness. This was the great desire of Christ as He gave His life in unselfish sacrifice. He poured out His

own holy blood — that He might fill a cup of infinite blessing for sinners. But here is a blessing within a blessing. While preparing eternal salvation for His people, He sought to comfort His friends, during the few hours of a starless night which must hang over them before morning could break in full glory. He desired to strengthen them to endure the sorrows which He saw coming upon them. We remember how He used that hour with the disciples. First, He ate a meal with them. Then He gave them the Lord's Supper, as a memorial. Then He opened His heart to them in the most wonderful farewell words that ever fell upon sorrowing spirits. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid!" (John 14:13, 27) Thus, He hung, as it were, a thousand stars in the sky for them, to shine down into their hearts while the awful night would wrap them around in its folds of gloom. The poor, weak disciples found the trial terrible enough, with all these sweet comforts in their hearts; but who can tell what it would have been for them, if he had not eaten this Passover meal with them, and

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spoken such words of strength and hope? Who can tell if they might not all have sunk away in utter despair, had it not been for the help thus given them in advance? Amid all the gloom, who knows how their hearts may have been kept from fainting by the memory of His sweet promises and counsels, and the visions of the Father's house and its many mansions, floating now in the night above them? Jesus longed for the Passover to fortify His own soul for the conflict of Gethsemane and Calvary; but still more He longed for it, that He might tighten His frail disciples for their coming sorrow. Even now, in the gathering of the storm that was to burst over Him, He gave more thought to His disciples than to Himself. Does not Jesus always foresee the coming trials of His disciples and make provision in advance to enable them to pass through in safety? Before the years of famine come, He sends years of great plenty, that the storehouses may be filled to feed men's hunger. While it is bright all around, He puts into our hearts the lamps of promise and of comfort, that when grief or trial comes, and the sun of earthly joy goes down, these hidden lights may shine down like stars when the day has gone. We are wise if we always take whatever lamp of gladness Christ puts into our hands. We may not see its need at the time — but tomorrow it may be the only light to guide us in safety through ways of peril or death. Save the Nations Ministries >

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Changing Times

Questions & Answers By Adrian Rogers

Does it matter what I decide if I am predestined to Hell anyway? Romans 8 contains five pillars of truth for our salvation. If you take away any one of these, the Gospel comes apart. The first pillar is the supreme wisdom of God: “For whom He foreknew…” (Romans 8:29). God’s wisdom is unlike any other man’s knowledge or understanding. It is not based upon guess or whim;

He sees the beginning, the end, and everything in between. The second pillar is the sovereign will of God: “…He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). When God predestines something, nothing can stop it—it will come to pass. (2 Peter 3:9) tells us God wants to redeem the whole human race. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” But because He lovingly gave us free will, we have a choice in the matter, and we will give an account for the choice we make. Pastor Adrian Rogers further says, “There is no contradiction between the sovereign grace of God and the free will of man.” The third pillar rests upon the seeking Word of God: “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called…” (Romans 8:30). “Called” means to issue a summons; God sends His Word to those who would hear it, His Gospel to

those who would receive it. The fourth pillar is the saving work of God: “...whom He called, these He also justified…” (Romans 8:30). Justification is more than a pardoning or acquitting of our sins, it is being made righteous in God’s sight. We receive this justification through grace and grace through our faith. The fifth and final pillar is the settled ways of God: “...and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30). Because God deals in eternity, He sees the future as well as the present. And because we have been predestined for glory in Christ, we are already glorified. Are you predestined for Hell (or even Heaven for that matter)? Absolutely not! It is your choice. What will you decide? How can my testimony be used to share Jesus with others? When we live our lives filled with the Holy Spirit, God will make sure that there will be people around us who will notice and possibly start asking questions

about our peace, patience, kindness, and other observable changes in our lives. As we remember that God’s assignment for us is to be witnesses, not lawyers, our testimonies become a natural way to tell others what we have personally “seen and heard.” Write your testimony in a way that is natural for you. Review it often. That will make it much easier to share when the doors of opportunity are open. Look for openings in relationships to naturally share what God has done for you. Be courageous and trust the Holy Spirit to do His work. We don’t save anyone, God does. We just tell what He has done for us. Witnessing is simply about sharing your personal encounter with the living Christ (your testimony) with others. > Adrian Rogers © 2022 Love Worth Finding Ministries. All Rights Reserved. >

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Available 24/7 3801 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 206, Metairie (1 Block From Causeway Bridge • Free Covered Parking)

Metairie and Mandeville Locations www.bonolawfirm.com