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Volume 17, Number 1 www.changingtimes.info
T h e Vo i c e o f t h e C h r i s t i a n C o m m u n i t y "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:6)
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How to Get Saved How may we get saved and know that we know for sure that we are saved? The greatest question ever asked by a human being was asked by the Philippine Jailer, when he asked Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved?" Every person is either saved or lost. But, what does it mean to be saved? It means to be saved from all sin, with all its wicked desires, habits and conduct; and, to be forgiven for all our past sins against God, ourselves and all others. It means to be saved from all the condemnation and corruption of sin, and adopted into God's family. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord," who died that we might live. Sin brings forth death, but grace brings forth life and peace. There are two parts to our getting saved, namely: God's part, and our part. God convicts us for our sins, and then saves us, after we repent and trust Him. Conviction for sin comes to our hearts when the Holy Spirit awakens us and makes us realize how wicked and sinful we are; and that
we are ruined and lost without God's salvation. After God shows us what a wicked and lost sinner we are, then we must repent of all our sins, and look up and trust Him to save us from all our sins. What do we mean by repentance? Sin is rebellion against God, inspired by the devil. Repentance is the reversal of that rebellion to contrition, submission and confidence in God. â€œRepent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." "Except ye repent ye will all likewise perish.â€? Contrition for sin means great sorrow and remorse for all our past sinful life and conduct. "Godly sorrow works repentance." We feel so sinful and wicked before God and man, and unworthy of the love of either. Contrition and sorrow for sin naturally produces the confession of, and for our sins to God and all others we have sinned against. This includes restitution, or the paying for all that we have stolen from others, or cheated them out of; and confession for all unkind words, slander, etc. Then we must hate and forsake all sin. "Good-bye, old world, I'm through." We abhor the old sin life, and turn and flee from it, crying for
From the Editor mercy. Repentance alone will not save us, but it does bring us to the place where God can, and will, save us. We must confess and forsake our sins before God can forgive us of our sins. After our repentance is real and complete, we must trust God to save us. There are two reasons why we must trust God to save us: First, because we cannot save ourselves; second, because God can and will save us. We do not have to persuade God to save us, but let Him save us. When we uncover our sins, He will cover them by the blood of Jesus. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins." God loves us and wants to forgive us. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." Faith is the final and only condition of salvation. Repentance revers-
A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. â€“ Psalm 37:16
es our rebellious attitude and enables us to trust God. Faith and trust restores us to favor and fellowship with God. He made us to trust and love Him. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." "He that cometh to God must believe who He is; and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." There is every reason to trust God, and not one reason to doubt Him. When we get to the place where God can trust us, it is not hard to trust Him. He is able and willing to save us, for He loved us so much that He gave His son to die for us. Oh seeking soul, if you have repented and forsaken all your sins, look up right now and trust Him with all your heart, and He will save you this very moment, and write your name down in heaven, and make you a new creature in Christ Jesus, and you will know See GET SAVED on Page
SPRING 2019 3
FROM THE EDITOR
The Stairway to Heaven "Show me the way I should go." (Psalm 143:8) We have a right to make this His guidance includes not only our prayer. Our prayer will be answered, daily steps but also the shaping of too. There will be a hand extended our circumstances and affairs we to guide us, to open the path for us, cannot be thankful enough, that our and to help us over the hard pinches lives are in God's hands, for we of the road. God desires to lead us. never could care for them ourselves. To us the path of each day is always new, we have not passed this way before and we cannot tell what any hour may bring to us. But Jesus knows the way, for He went over Changing Times every inch of it. There is no human experience which Christ does not is now on YouTube! understand. No suffering can be ours, which He did not feel. No wrong can hurt us, but He was hurt far more sorely. Is the burden heavy? We invite you to come check His burden was infinitely heavier, us out and leave a review. for He took our infirmities and bore Just visit YouTube.com our sicknesses, and bowed beneath and search: the load of our sins! There is no phase of struggle, of suffering, of Save the Nations Ministries Inc pain, of temptation with which He is Manufacturers Since 1867
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unfamiliar. And knowing thus the way, from having experienced it for Himself, He is able to guide us in it. Do we really need God's guidance? Are we not wise enough to decide what course it is best for us to take? Can we not find our own path in this world? There is a story of a tourist in the Alps who refused a guide. He said he could find the way himself. So he went out alone in the morning, but he never came back. Life in this world is far more perilous than mountain climbing. There are times when every star seems to have gone out, and when clouds and darkness appear to have gathered about us, hiding every way-mark, so that we cannot see any way out of the gloom and perplexity. We need then to have God's direction or we shall perish. But while there are times when we need God's guidance in an unusual way, there is no day in all our brightest year, when we do not need it, when we dare to go forward one step without it. The day we do not seek and obtain God's leading, will be a day of disaster for us. The day we go forth without prayer for divine blessing, when we do not lay our
hand in Christ's as we go out into the great world, is a day of peril for us. Indeed, we often need His divine guidance the most, when we think we do not need it at all. God's way does not always lie in the sunshine; sometimes it runs into deep glooms. We are not always out of His way, when we find ourselves facing obstacles and difficulties. When we cannot see where we are going, we may be in the everlasting way, because God is guiding us. He leads us away many a time, away from the path which we would have taken. The way on which God guides us is a way of holiness. When we pray for guidance, we must surrender our will to God. If we ask Him to guide us, we must yield our own preference, and accept His. We are in this world to grow into the likeness of Christ. If then, we have been growing a little more patient, gentle, thoughtful, and humble, if the peace of our hearts has become a little deeper, quieter, and sweeter; our "rough" path is God's way for us. God's way is a way of holiness, a pure, clean way. It is the stairway to heaven. Save the Nations Ministries>
Table of Contents From the Editor
The Christian Journey
The Transformed Life
The Triumphant Christian
From The Pulpit
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A Spiritual Leader Will Have A Joyous Wife (Part 3)
FIR HANEARM DLI NG
How can we make our wives, important. And she needs to sense joyous wives? Let your wife be the that from you. object of much praise from you. So, how can we have joyous Remember to make it special to eliminate them, then let's be the You know something about ladies, wives? Be continually finding cre- her with kindness, with a card; encourager, that comes along side about wives? One of the greatest ative ways to say "I love you" to maybe you don't have enough and lifts them up in the midst of desires of the hearts of wives is your wife. "You are special". "I money to do anything special with that which they're going through. that they may please their hus- need you." "You're the most impor- her. But she's not looking for that But many times, we can eliminate bands. Basically, if they're con- tant person in my life". Be continu- special thing anyway. She's look- some of those pressures. Many verted, and their hearts are set in a ally looking for creative ways to ing for that special attention that times we can look at some of their right direction, there is within say that. And here's one we need to says, "You are the most important problems and help them solve them a need and a desire to do the ponder at a little bit. A lot of us person in my life." them. And oh, what a blessed relathings that make you happy. But have heard, "Yeah, tell your wife Next of all, make a priority of tionship if our wives would gain so many times, they don't know you love her." "Hey, I told her I spending quality time with your that confidence in us and know, what makes us happy, because we loved her. I tell her once a day I wife, talking with her; listening to that "If I come to my dear husnever praise them for all the things love her." No brother, that's getting her; communicating with her; hav- band, and share a problem that I they do. And I'll say this just to old. Don't just tell her I love you; ing intimate conversation, and by have, he won't just sit there and give a little caution here. There's a write her a little note, and lay it on that I mean intimate heart-warm- listen, but he'll actually say, "Now difference between praise and flat- the bed. And when she comes ing conversation. Not necessarily, how can we solve it?" tery. And we need to be careful, through the bedroom in the middle "I love you sweetheart" conversaWe can do this, guys. that we're not just flattering our of the day, to put the clothes away, tion, but intimate conversation. (Don’t forget to read the final wives. But praise, oh, that will she'll see that note there, and pick "Here's how I feel"; "Here's a goal part of this series next edition.) motivate your wife. It will show it up and there's a note from that I have in life"; "This is something Save the Nations Ministries > her what pleases you and it will man, that's her husband that fires I'd like to see happen in my own PROOF SHEET motivate her to do it more. the desire to please, that says, life". Remember guys, Intimate, MIKE’S FIREARMS BASICS Cutting our own throat, aren't "Honey, I loved you enough today heartwarming communication SMART & SAFE Learn the basic we? But we ought to praise our to take the time to write a little with that other half of you that knowledge, skills & wives for the godly character that note and let you know it." you are one with. So many times attitude for safe AttachedA is card a proofevery of yournow ad that will then run in that the October/November of EDGE of our the Lake as is unless we gun they have. And brethren, they all and we leave our issue wives out of realmagazine. This ad will runhandling. changes by Wednesday (09.14.2018) at 5:00 PM. Please make any changes or approve via email. have some, don't they? I thought receive to comes in the mail unexpectedly; world, and they long to be in the Course satisfies State Police requirements myself, "Now how can I get this tender words at the end of the day; middle of our world. for LA Concealed Handgun Permit, renewals, point across?" Because you may be when you see her laying on the bed Next, be alert to the dangers and or as a prerequisite for an instructor license. sitting here today and say, "Well my and she's not feeling well. Tender pressures that your wife faces. We NRA Certified Classroom & wife doesn't have very much to words of sympathy and kindness need to learn to be sensitive. SenRange Instruction are provided praise her about." Brother, you just say, "I love you". Try a small gift sitive enough to be watching when sit for a little while and imagine occasionally, when she's not the pressure is getting too much on Mike Maier, Instructor what it would be like if your wife expecting it. And brothers, please, our wife, and be wise enough and 571-332-7579 died tomorrow, and how many remember your anniversary. It's a leader enough to eliminate the (call or text) things you would all of a sudden very precious to that wife of yours. pressures if we can. Now some of firstname.lastname@example.org appreciate in that woman. That's a Remember it. Remember that day. them we can't, and if we can't good healthy exercise. "What if my wife died tomorrow? What would I be missing?" And brothers, you EAST ST. 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The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense. – Proverbs 10:21
SPRING 2019 5
The Marks of a Christian Adrian Rogers
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What is a Christian? We use the word Christian so carelessly that it has almost lost its meaning. I heard of a man who was asked his friend, "Are you a Christian?" He said, "Yes, I am." He was then asked, "Why are you a Christian?" He replied, "I was born in America, and America is a Christian country. Therefore, I'm a Christian." The friend, with a smile on his face, said, "I knew of some kittens who were born in a bread basket, but that didn't make them biscuits." So, what is a Christian? The word Christian is only used three times in the entire Bible? By looking at those three occasions, we can see the marks of a Christian. Marked by Persuasion In (Acts 26), the apostle Paul was talking to King Agrippa. Paul had been arrested for preaching the Gospel of Christ and was standing before this pagan king. The first thing he did was tell him about Jesus. Paul knew that Agrippa knew about Jesus-His death, burial, and resurrection. In (verse 26) Paul said, "...the king knoweth of these things...." He even knew that the king believed in Jesus. In (verse 27) Paul said, "King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." That was a challenge straight to the king. And Agrippa answered: "... Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (verse 28). Agrippa was almost persuaded, but not altogether. There was a deep conviction in his heart. He was convinced and convicted, but he was not converted. Pride in his heart brought up a barrier that the Holy Spirit could not get through.
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Now, I ask you this question: Are you a Christian? Have you been persuaded and converted to Christ? There are lots of people who believe the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who are not Christians. A Christian is someone who is marked by a persuasion that leads to a conversion. Marked by Profession The second time the word Christian is found in the Bible is in (Acts 11). When the believers in Jerusalem began to be persecuted, some decided to move to a place called Antioch. They preached Christ there, and revival broke out. Word of that revival got back to Jerusalem, and the church leaders sent Barnabas to see if this new church was genuine. (Acts 11:23-26) tells of that visit: "...when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.... And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." They were called Christians. They didn't have a vote in order to name the church. Other people called them Christians because they were living like Christ. In ancient times, people would be called by their vocation. If a man were a baker, the family name might be Baker. If he were a jeweler, the family name might be Goldsmith. Christianity was their vocation. Are you a Christian? Have you been persuaded and converted to Christ? Is it your profession? Is it not
only what you say but what you do? Marked by Persecution Let's look at the third time the word Christian is used. (1 Peter 4:16) says, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." Did you know that you can't be a true Christian without suffering for Jesus? There's no cheap, easy, or lazy way you can be a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about common suffering like arthritis or a lost job. Those things happen to all people. Neither am I talking about carnal suffering where you bring trouble upon yourself because of wrongdoing. I'm talking about Christian suffering. Did you know that if you're a true Christian, you're going to suffer for it? A lot of people think if they waltz down the aisle and join a church, they have a ticket to heaven, and life will be all honey and no bees. That's not true! God uses persecution in the Christian's life to purify him, unite him with Christ, empower him, and to persuade others to believe. Christian persecution is a sure sign that we are going with Christ and in direct opposition to Satan. Are you converted to Christ? Are you committed to Christ? Are you crucified with Christ? Has there been a persuasion? Is there a profession? And is there a persecution? These are the true marks of a Christian. © 2019 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
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The Formula By Lysa TerKeurst "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2a). When I was a young mom, I was desperate for a formula. I truly thought there must be a formula I could plug my family into that would yield great kids. And there were plenty of moms that tried to convince me they had the formula. "Bottle feed and never let them sleep in your bed." "Breastfeed until they are 3 and give them the security of sleeping between you and your husband every night." "Don't ever send them to preschool. It will be detrimental to their social development." "Send them to pre-school right away - it's crucial for their social development." "TV is good." "TV is bad." "They must read by age 5." "Let them take their time learning to read. You'll ruin their love for books if you force them." "Step in and model healthy conflict resolution when they argue
with their siblings." "Let them handle things on their own." "Be there 24/7 for your kids." "Don't be a helicopter mom. Give your kids room to discover who they are without you hovering over them." Seriously, it's a wonder we moms figure anything out with all the conflicting information and advice we get. I spent the first five years of motherhood convinced I was messing my kids up beyond repair. And it wasn't for lack of trying. Heavens no! I was serious about gathering every morsel of information I could and trying with all my might to decode "the formula." Well, here's the deal. I now have kids ranging in ages from 22 to 11 and this is my very best advice in regards to the formula. There isn't one. There is no perfect parenting formula. What works for one kid may not work for another. The seemingly perfect algorithm one family follows could be disastrous for another. We weren't made to follow formulas. We were made to follow Jesus. Period. This is true with parenting but it's also true with every other aspect of our lives as well. We were made to follow Jesus' lead in our marriages, our jobs, our ministries, our churches, our friendships, and basically in
everything. In (Romans 12:2) Paul so powerfully reminds us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will." We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level what does this look like? It's a simple woman who humbly acknowledges how much she doesn't know about life and readily admits how much she needs Jesus. Not just in spiritual sense...this woman needs
Jesus in every way. All throughout her day, she can be heard whispering heart-felt pleas to her Jesus saying, "Show me the way, show me the way, and show me the way." And as she does this, she loosens her grip on all the formulas thrown at her and courageously embraces His gentle voice behind her saying, "This is the way, now walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21). Dear Lord, help me to follow You and You alone - not a preplanned formula. Help me to see that I need You more than anything today. In Jesus' Name, Amen. © 2019 All rights reserved. Proverbs 31 Ministries • 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road • Matthews, NC 28105 • www.Proverbs31.org >
GET SAVED Continued from Page 3 that you are saved. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!" "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." "We know that we have passed from death unto life," free from all storm and strife. We have the witness within that we are
A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. – Proverbs 12:10
now saved from all sin. The greatest thing in the world is the most real thing in the world, our own, personal salvation. Read the Book of I John, and watch the word "know." It is not a "hope-so," but a "know-so" salvation. Save the Nations Ministries >
SPRING 2019 7
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By Nancy Leigh DeMoss Consciously or unconsciously, our external appearance communicates a message to those around us. Ultimately, our clothing choices are based on our life values. That’s why it’s important to ask questions like: • Why was I born? • What is my purpose in life? • Do I have a particular mission to accomplish? If we want our lives to glorify God, that purpose will affect what we wear and how we act. Let’s look at three foundational principles of life that affect the way we choose to dress: 1. Ownership My body does not belong to me; it belongs to God. You’ve heard the words (perhaps you’ve even said them): “It’s my body. I can do whatever I want with it.” Is it really your body? (First Corinthians 6:19–20) reminds us, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” How would you feel if someone took one of your prized possessions and trashed it or gave it away to someone else? My guess is, you wouldn’t be real thrilled! Remember, God says that you are one of His prized possessions! 2. Lordship Jesus is Lord over all. Today we’re bombarded with the idea that we have total rights to our lives. We hear, “You’re worth it . . .
No limits!” Does God agree with these ideas? The Truth is, “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8). God has the right to regulate every area of our lives—including what we eat, drink, and wear. When it comes to our appearance, who or what controls what we wear? Is it the culture, our peers, or the media? Or is it Christ and His Word? 3. Citizenship I belong to a different Kingdom. If you traveled to a different country, you’d notice that the women wear clothing styles that reflect their culture. As Christians, we don’t belong to this world. We’re citizens of another kingdom—the Kingdom of God. That means everything about us should reflect our real home. That’s not at all what the world tells us. We read in magazines and hear fashion reports about what’s “in” and what’s “hot.” As believers, how should we respond? The question is, which kingdom do we want to reflect? The Apostle Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world . . . (Romans 12:2). I like the way The Message paraphrases that familiar verse: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” (Romans 12:2). © Taken from The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear? By Nancy Leigh DeMoss. http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com>
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The Children's Bible
The Wise Men Bring Gifts To The Young Child When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the newly born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." When Herod heard these things, he and every one else in Jerusalem were greatly troubled. So when he had gathered all the high priests and scribes together, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea." Then Herod privately called the wise men and asked them exactly how long the star had been seen since it appeared in the east. And he sent them to Bethlehem with the command, "Go and search carefully for the young child, and when you have found Him, come and let me know, that I also may go and worship Him." When they had heard the king, they went away, and the star which they had seen in the east went before them until it stood over the place where the young child was. They were overjoyed at the sight; and when they came into the house and saw the child with Mary, His mother, they knelt down and worshipped Him. Opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another way. The Boy Jesus Asks Questions After Joseph and Mary had done all that the law commanded, they returned to Galilee to their own
town of Nazareth. And the boy Jesus grew and became strong in body and mind. And the blessing of God was upon Him. Now His parents went every year to Jerusalem to the Feast of the Passover, and when He was twelve years old they went up as usual. After they had stayed the full number of days and were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; but, supposing Him to be in the caravan, they travelled on for a whole day. Then they searched for Him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, still looking for Him. After three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting with the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard Him were amazed at His intelligence and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You." He said to them, "Why did you look for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father's house?" But they did not understand what He meant. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth; and He was obedient to them; but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and body and in favor with God and man. ©2019 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
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SPRING 2019 9
The Children's Bible
John the Baptist Tells Of Jesus' Work
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While Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Herod was ruler of Galilee, a man named John, the son of Zachariah, lived in the desert country. And God commanded him and he went into all the country around the river Jordan calling upon men to be baptized to show that they were sorry for their sins and wished to be forgiven. Those who were truly sorry for their sins, he baptized in the river Jordan. This John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea and the country around the Jordan began to go out to him to confess their sins and to be baptized by him in the Jordan. To the crowds that went out to be baptized by him he said, "You children of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Bear fruits, then, that will prove that you are truly sorry for what you have done. Do not say to yourselves, 'We are children of Abraham'; for I tell you, God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones. Already the axe lies at the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." The crowds kept asking him, "What must we do?" He answered them, "Let him who has two coats share with him who has none; and let him who has food do the same." When the tax-gatherers came to be baptized, they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do?" He said to them, "Do not take more from any one than rightfully belongs to you." Soldiers also asked him, "And what must we do?" To them he said, "Do not take money from anybody by force, nor make false charges, but be content with your wages." Now as the people were wondering whether John might possibly be the Christ, John said to them all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One is coming mightier than I, whose shoe-strings I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and with fire. His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing-floor, and will gather the wheat into His storehouse; but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out." In this way, and with many other earnest words, he told the good news to the people. Jesus Decides How He Will Do His Work At this time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And as He was coming up from the water, He saw the heavens opening and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down upon Him. And a voice from heaven said, "Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights He was hungry. Then the tempter came and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread." But Jesus answered, "It is written, "'Man is not to live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God.'" Then the devil took Him to the holy city and, setting Him on the highest point of the Temple, said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, "'He will give His angels charge of you, and on their hands they will bear you up, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "it is also written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Once more the devil took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to Him, "All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'" ©2019 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
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The Old Timers' Rocking Chair By Rachel Jamerson Vickie sat quietly on the porch rocking back and forth in her chair. She hadn't bothered to change her clothes. It was still early and anyway she really didn't care what she looked like. The silence was broken only by the creaking of the old rocking chair. In the distance, she could see the morning sun just peeking over the trees. A light breeze created a small tornado from the red, gold and amber leaves floating gently to the ground. It was September and time for the kids to go back to school. It had been many years since her children were small. She missed that time. Now it seemed almost like a dream. The kids grew up left home and now were busy with their own families. They didn't come around much anymore. Vickie ran her fingers across the arm of her rocking chair. The golden oak finish was still smooth to the touch. The arms were wide and lower than most chairs. This made it much more comfortable for her. The back was high made from individual slats as was the seat. Every piece was handmade and carefully fitted together. She called it the Old Timers Rocking Chair. A slight smile curled the corners of her mouth as she remembered when she got the chair. Hunting in an unfamiliar forest, her husband stumbled upon an abandoned house. The owners apparently had been gone for a very long time. The trees grew so close the house was almost hidden from view. The boards were weathered and decaying. Around the edge of the roof, he could see a wide molding with an intricate design. It was beautiful, but now some of the pieces were missing and those still there were covered with mold. On the front of the house were the remains of what no doubt used to be a beautiful porch. He made his way through the undergrowth for a closer look. Being a talented woodworker he was always looking for new ideas. Then he saw it an old rocking chair sitting up close to the house. The side turned to the elements was gone, decayed and without enough left to see the design. However, the other side, protected from the weather, was still solid.
Climbing up on the porch he carefully examined each piece. Realizing this was a unique design; he gathered up the pieces and took them back to his shop. It was there he created a pattern and made Vickie's chair. Vickie leaned back in her chair. The view was strikingly beautiful. Her husband had built the house a half mile off the main road in a dense forest. There were no outside sounds or buildings to mar the beauty and tranquility of this place. Vickie continued to rock back and forth in her chair. Closing her eyes she remembered many years of life as a family here. John died about two years ago. Since then it had been a very lonely place. Vickie smiled as she remembered her journals. She wanted her children and grandchildren to remember this place when she was gone. Over the years Vickie had taken pen and paper and meticulously recorded their lives together. The car slowed to a stop and the children began to pile out. "What is Mama doing on the porch this time of night?" It was Sandra Vickie's oldest daughter. They had been out shopping and thought they would stop by for just a few minutes. Turning back to retrieve her purse she mumbled: "its cold out here, she'll be sick again." "Mom, come here quick!" It was Teresa, Sandra's youngest child. She had made a beeline toward Granny on the porch. "Just give me a minute Teresa, I can only move so fast." Sandra's voice betrayed her irritation. Slamming the car door she turned toward the house. Suddenly she realized something wasn't right dropping her purse, she ran for the porch. Vickie sat in her chair with pen and paper on her lap. She had been able to record everything all the way to the end. Now she was in heaven. Her purpose here on earth was over. I am a seventy year old widow with three girls and eight grandchildren. I have been writing over thirty years. There is always a story behind the story. ©2019 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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A righteous man hates lying, but a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame. – Proverbs 13:5
SPRING 2019 11
Grandma the Storyteller By Christy Stenger My husband’s grandmother, Clara Scheele, was a one of a kind person at least to me. I had never met someone her age that could remember things from her childhood. She lived to be 99. Grandma Scheele, as I called her, was born July 9, 1902. It was still the Victorian era and a new century. I think she was so unique because of growing up in this time period. I always thought her house was the coolest I had seen. It took me back to another world. There was no running water. Grandma Scheele had a pump in the kitchen. There was a stove I loved also. It was part gas and part wood burning. There was a two seater outhouse. I always wondered if someone would have to share when in there. I don’t think I could be in there with someone sitting right next to me. Every time I was around Grandma Scheele she would tell me wonderful stories of her childhood. It was like she knew I would listen. I loved those stories and wished my children were old enough at the time to appreciate them. She would tell how she had chores after school. She told me how her father was a wheelwright…..someone who makes or repairs wooden wheels.
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I remember a wonderful poem she uses to quote that she remembered from her school days. It was called, “The Blacksmith”. You can still read this in McGuffey’s Third Reader. Grandma Scheele would not miss on word. I loved spending time with her. I could be transported back into time by her stories. You could almost see in your mind the story she told. She had a great gift. I truly have missed her. Even though I heard her stories many times, I would love to hear them again. She taught many lessons to those who would listen. She always said you are never too old to learn. Grandma Scheele would say if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all. I wish I could live by her words. If I could only do the things she taught, my life would be better. I wonder what would happen if more grandma’s would tell stories to the next generation. I believe our world would be a better place to live in. The next generation could be taught great things from listening to a simple story told by a grandma. ©2019 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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How Can I Forgive When It Hurts So Bad? By Angie Lewis I know it hurts. It hurts so bad we don't want to forgive. The pain is unbearable at times and all we really want to do is get revenge, or keep wallowing in the pain that our feelings give us and remain resentful and angry. This is such a common problem in marriage today, so I feel it is worth more than rubies and gold to keep writing about it. I sometimes wonder if "living in our feelings" is just another form of addiction. I mean, I remember very well when I would rather feel resentful and treat my husband with contempt rather than work on forgiving. I did not know what I was supposed to do to get out of the rut of unforgiveness, so I lingered in it for years. I was so used to feeling bitter and resentful that I actually thought it was normal. But it is not normal, and let me tell you why. If we don't grow out from our selfish feelings and forgive, we will never fully know God. But if God created us then why would we not have a growing, loving, and personal relationship with Him? Something major in our lives would be missing; we certainly would
not be whole people without our Source, right? How could we ever learn to love others in the proper ways if we do not know God? Forgiveness is love and Christ dying for us is that forgiveness! In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22 NIV) By going to God and admitting our own sins and need for Christ's forgiveness that is what helps us to understand what forgiveness really is and why it is so important in our lives. We have to admit that we ourselves need forgiveness before we can accept it, and that takes faith in Jesus Christ. If we don't believe that Christ can forgive us, then we are living in denial about forgiveness. That means we are in denial about Christ. You can truly forgive others if you first repent of your sins and ask Jesus for forgiveness, and He will renew your heart and mind. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be
made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God (Christ-like) in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22, 23 NIV) True forgiveness involves a change in your attitude a renewal of your heart and mind. That renewal is the Power of the Holy Spirit working on your heart. Only God can turn a unforgiving, bitter heart into a forgiving one. We cannot buy forgiveness or love and we cannot deceive ourselves by believing we have already been forgiven when we haven't. Only Through Christ's love for us can we forgive others. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me all of this ability so that on everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." Peter Answered" "May your money parish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. (Acts 8: 18-23 NIV) © 2002-2019 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www. heavenministries.org >
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SPRING 2019 13
Unhappy In Marriage But Don't Believe In Divorce?
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If you're unhappy in your marriage but don't believe in divorce, lets do something about it! I can tell you what four steps that are needed to get you back on track for your marriage, but you have to put in the effort, sound fair enough? Stop Wallowing In Your Misery Stop wallowing in your misery about how unhappy you feel, instead do something about your circumstances that will still protect the sanctity of your marriage. If you sit around thinking about how bad your marriage is and how much better your next-door neighbors marriage is, you will unknowingly keep yourself from having the right attitude. What your think will be generated through your actions. Usually those people who believe the grass is greener across the fence end up testing out the turf for themselves. Let me tell you a big secret. It is not true. No grass is really greener, it is a total mirage! You're hungry for love and stopped eating at home, that's all. Stop looking At Spouses Faults Why do some of us do this conP badL in Aour tinually seek out the spouse rather than the504.245.8221 good? I think we do it because we are so miserable that we remain in a negative frame of mind. The more we blame our spouse or the more we seek out wanting to fault them for the disarray of the marriage, the worse we will feel inside. This kind of attitude keeps us from seeing the positive aspects of our circumstances and we will not want to work on repairing the broken ends of the marriage. We do it to ourselves, folks. We talk ourselves out of staying married! Let's not let your marriage become another divorce statistic. Take your focus off your spouse and put the spotlight on yourself. Let Go For The Need To Control Most people want to control their spouse or change them to meet certain standards so they can feel better about themselves. The truth is you cannot change your spouse to be that perfect person for you. Let go of trying to alter things that you are powerless to change. If you can truly release the burden of knowing you are powerless to change your
spouse, a heavy burden will be instantly lifted from your shoulders. It really will! Try it! Let "it" go. Here is a simple example of the kind of control you need to let go of. So your spouse is an alcoholic and you are trying to control him or her to stop drinking. How do you do that? How CAN you do that? Alcoholism is an addiction and cannot be controlled by anyone other than the alcoholic. You cannot make an alcoholic stop drinking by shouting, nagging, demanding, blaming, accusing, crying, controlling, or any other means. The alcoholic has to WANT to change himself, period. Why consume yourself into the addiction with the alcoholic. Let "it" go! Think about this. Even if you could control your spouse and they change for you, they will undeniably be a very miserable person for not actually changing for themselves, won't they? Is that what you really want? To be married to an unhappy and bitter person? Take Care Of You! The next step after you let "it" go Nis to take T care A of T I Ocan you N you! What doSouthernOaksPlantation.com to make yourself happy? Is there anything you can change about yourself to make you feel better about the person you are? Read any good inspirational and thought provoking books lately, or are you too busy focusing on your spouse and how terrible they are? Do you see where I'm going with this? Move out and away from what is making you feel discontented and do something about it. You are only responsible for what you do in the marriage. Your spouse is not responsible for your actions in the marriage, just as you are not responsible for their actions. If you could learn to just take care of YOU and your part in the marriage, your spouse will finally get some needed space and breathing room to see that maybe they are erring and hopefully change for themselves. "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."-- Carl Gustav Jung
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See UNHAPPY on Page 29
Meanings MEANINGS OF NUMBERS: 1 - Unity, sovereignty, light. 2 - Witness, division, difference. 3 - Divine perfection, Godhead, unity. 4 - The world, creativity, material completeness, four corners, four winds. 5 - Grace, heavenly favor, love. 6 - Man under the curse of sin, time. 7 - Spiritual perfection, God's seal, rest. 8 - Resurrection, new beginings, Jesus. 9 - Finality, judgment. 10 - Perfection of order. 11 - Subversion, disorder. 12 - Perfect government. 13 - Rebellion, corruption, Satan. 37 - The Word of God. 40 - Probation, trial, testing. 153 - Sons of God. 666 - Man's godless systems, - antiChrist, humanity's animal nature/ mark of the beast.
tasy; 14 = Passover 15 = Spiritual order 16 = Free spirit; without boundaries; without limitation; without law, therefore without sin (Rom 4:15); salvation 17 = Spiritual void 18 = Put on judgment, destruction, captivity, overcome put on spirit of Christ (Jud. 10:7-8; Luke 13:4; Luke 3:11,16) 19 = barren; repentant; ashamed; selflessness, without self righteousness (II Sam. 2:30, Rom. 6:21) 20 = Can mean either Holy, tried & approved or unholy & found wanting 24 = priestly courses, governmental perfection 30 = consecration, maturity for ministry 40 = probation, testing, ending in victory or defeat 50 = number of Pentecost, liberty, freedom, jubilee 70 = prior to increase or representative of a multitude 75 = number of separation, cleansing, purification 100 = fullness; full measure; full recompense; full reward, etc. (Gen 26:12; Mark 10:30) 120 = end of all flesh, beginning of life in the Spirit 124 = number of God's ultimate in creation and redemption 163 = number of God's elect; revival; ingathering; harvest 300 = number of faithful remnant 666 = antichrist; satan; beast 1000 = maturity; full stature (Is. 17:33,5; Eph. 4:13)
it is a combination of both blue and red - the Spirit and the Blood = the glory of God. (Jdg. 8:26; Jn. 19:21) Red - war, bloodshed, death (2 Kings 3:22; Rev. 6:4 & 12:3) Scarlet - blood atonement; sacrifice (as crimson) (Lev. 14:52; Jos. 2:18, 21; Is. 1:18) Green - life; renewal; growth; teaching; evergreen=eternal life
NUMBERS: 1 = God; beginning; source; first; unity 2 = number of witness (in the mouth of two or more witnesses); friendship 3 = Godhead; trinity; divine completeness; perfect testimony 4 = number of earth; creation; world; four gospels; four winds; four seasons; four corners of the earth 5 = grace; atonement; life; the cross; five-fold ministries 6 = number of man; beast; satan; idol 7 = perfection; completeness; number of book of Revelation; finished; day of rest; (used 600 times in Bible) COLORS: 8 = resurrection; new beginnings; Amber - Glory of God (Ezekiel put on new man 1:4; 8:21) 9 = harvest; ministry; fullness; Orange - First stone in third row fruitfulness; number gifts of Holy of breastplate of Aaron (Jacinth) = Spirit; number of fruits of the Holy companionship & intimacy Spirit; number of birthing (baby Black - sin; death; grief; famine; born in 9 months) evil (La. 4:8; Jer. 8:21; Rev. 6:5) 10 = number of law; order; govBlue - Spirit of God; good; Word ernment; restoration; antichrist of God; Heaven; Heavenly authorkingdom; trial; testing; responsibil- ity from above; Holy Spirit; Prophity; tithe et; Revelation (num. 15:38; Jn. 11 = incompleteness; disorgani- 14:26) zation; disintegration; disorder; Brown - Death; Repented; Born lawlessness; disorder; need for again (dead grass); without spirit apostolic fullness (11 apostles left Crimson - Blood atonement, after Judas hanged himself) 12 = divine government; apos- sacrifice or death (Lev. 14:52; Jos. 2:18, 21; Is. 1:18) tolic fullness Purple - Kingship; royalty. Also, 13 = rebellion/backsliding; aposThe righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7
Grey - not defined; unclear; crafty; hidden; deceived; or of the mind and not the Spirit - OR - wisdom, i.e., grey hair (Prov. 16:31) White - purity, light, righteousness, holiness of God, Christ, the angels or saints (Rev. 6:2; 7:9; 19:8; 3:4-5; 15:6) Pink - Passionate heart for God (Ezek 36:26) - mixture of white (purity) and red (the Blood) >
SPRING 2019 15
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One of the finest things in a complete Christian character is thoughtfulness. It gives a wondrous charm to a life. It makes one a blessing wherever he goes. It tempers all his conduct, softening all natural harshness into gentleness, and giving a spirit of kindliness to his every word and act, and to all his bearing. A thoughtful person does not have to be asked to help others; he helps, as it were, instinctively. He is ever ready . . . to do the obliging thing, to say the encouraging word, to show an interest in the life of others, to perform those countless little kindnesses which so brighten the common pathway. He does not make his life an intrusion to others, a constant irritating influence. He never meddles with other people's affairs, but respects the individuality and the rights of everyone. He curbs his curiosity, and does not pry into matters of which he has no right to know. He is most careful not to touch others at sensitive points. If anyone has a physical deformity or any feature which is marred, he is careful in conversation never to refer to it, and seems never to notice it, or to be conscious of it. Thoughtfulness reveals itself quite as much in what it does not do as in the things it does. Many people make their very goodness so obtrusive as to do harm, and give pain to those they would help. They
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are too anxious to be helpful. They intrude upon others, pressing their offers of kindness upon them in ways which become, if not offensive and disrespectful, at least burdensome. When their friends are in sorrow, they are sincerely eager to give comfort; but they fail to understand the sacredness of grief, or to respect the craving of sad hearts for quiet, and allow their eagerness to become unpleasantness. There is no more delicate test of thoughtfulness, than that which sorrow furnishes. Usually love's sweetest and best service then is rendered in the quietest expression of sympathy, certainly with no undue pressing of one's self into the presence of the friends who are in trouble, and with no over-eager offer to help. Then, unless from personal experience of grief, one has been prepared for giving effective sympathy, one would better not seek to be a privileged comforter. Thoughtfulness has a wide field for its ministry in the family circle and in the daily household life. Perhaps few people come by this grace naturally, and are born with it. Usually it has to be learned Most of us think first of ourselves and our own comfort and convenience and are not apt to think how our words, acts, and dispositions will affect others. We say what at the moment we feel like saying, not stopping to ask whether it will give pleasure or pain to those who must hear it. We like to say, saying it too with some pride, that we are plain, frank people, honest and outspoken. We are sincere though abrupt, not realizing that our abruptness and plainness often hurt gentle hearts. We do the thing we feel inclined to do, because it pleases us, not remembering that true love seeks not its own, but thinks first of the comfort and pleasure of others. Without being aware of it, many of us are miserably selfish in our life among others. We practically forget that there are any other people, or that we ought to make any sacrifices, or practice any self-denial, for their sake. People at home, for example, will indulge themselves in sleep in the mornings, coming down late to breakfast, not thinking of the trouble they cause to those who have to do the work, nor how they interfere with the order of See THOUGHTFUL on Page 17
THOUGHTFUL Continued from Page 16 the household. Thoughtfulness seeks never to add to another's burdens, never to make extra work or care, but always to lighten loads. In much home conversation, too, there is a lack of thoughtfulness shown. Not always is the speech gentle, sometimes it is sharp and bitter, even rude. Playfulness is to be allowed, and in every family there should be a readiness to take a jest without being hurt by it. Over-sensitiveness is a serious fault. Some people are so touchy as to demand an excessive thoughtfulness, a watchfulness in all our relations with these over-gentle souls which is unreasonable, which makes friendship with them a burden. Life is too short, and has too many real duties and cares, for us to be held to such exactions of attention and kindness as these good people would demand. Yet always in our relations with others, there should be that refined courtesy which is part of the lesson of love that we learn from our Master, "As I have loved you, even so must you love one another." Rude words never should be spoken, even in jest. Thoughtfulness will seek always to say kindly words, never words
that will give pain, but ever those words that will give pleasure. We have no right, for the sake of saying a bright thing, to let loose a spillway, however polished, that will make a loving heart bleed! We all know in our own experience the value of sincere and Christly thoughtfulness. We do not like to come in contact with thoughtless people. We know well how it hurts and how unbeautiful, how unchristian, it seems when we see it in another, and when our heart is the one that suffers from its harsh, rude impact. We all long for thoughtfulness in others; our hearts hunger and thirst for it. What we long for in others, in their relation to us, we should be ready to give to them. What in others hurts us, gives us pain, we ought to avoid in our contact with others. Thoughtfulness is one of the finest, ripest fruits of love, and all who would be like the Master must seek to learn this lesson and wear this grace. 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 2018 >
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A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. – Proverbs 24:16
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Health Morning Routines: Three Simple Steps to Enhance Your Mood By Dr. Don Colbert T h e morning routine can “make or break” your day in no time. For many of us, the a.m. routine includes dragging ourselves out of bed, dreading to start even the day. A pot of coffee is added to the morning “to get us going” only to find challenges lead the way. Making the most of the morning routine changes “the mood” for the rest of the day. The first sixty min-
utes of the day is the most important in determining how the rest of the day will go. Here are three simple steps to help provide a more positive (and healthy) attitude for the remaining hours: Change Breathing Patterns Breathing patterns are important and related to stress levels. Individuals who are “stressed” all the time are usually not breathing properly. Their bodies are in the “fight or flight” response mode, and their breathing is more shallow. During this time, the heart rate also increases. A vicious cycle then occurs, and the body is in “shallow” breathing much of the time. The goal is to pay attention to the breathing patterns being used. Take
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time to breath more deeply on a regular basis. If you feel the tension coming in during the day, take a few minutes to do deep breathing while focusing on relaxing. Five Minute Meditation During the morning, take five minutes to meditate mindfully. Focus on breathing in a comfortable position. Breath deep with a steady inhale into your stomach region (ten times) and focus on bringing stress levels down. Practice bringing your mind “back to the breathing” if thoughts consistently come into your head. If needed, this can also be done during the day at break time, or even lunch time. Try Box Breathing Exercises Box breathing exercises are great for decreasing anxiety, lowering heart rate, and depressing arousal levels. These exercises are also useful for clearing the mind. Box breathing involves inhaling (count to four), hold breath in (count to four), exhaling (count to four), hold breath out (count to four), inhaling (count to four), hold breath in (count to four), exhaling (count to four), so forth. The four-count can also be changed to another number if needed. Increase Movement Increasing body movement leads to a more fulfilled and healthier lifestyle. Our bodies are created to run, play, climb, crawl, lift, balance, as well as other complex moves. Moving the body improves mood and develops a happier state of mind. Blood flow expands with increased movements; lymph removes toxins more quickly with amplified efforts. Body Shaking As strange as it may sound, body shaking is a wonderful stress reliever. It is one of the best things to do to take away tension and decrease the effects of stress on the body. Body shaking increases the blood flow, helps to remove toxins, and awakens the body for additional movement. Locomotion Exercises Locomotion exercises improve the overall mobility of the body and also encourages the release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals). Mood is improved during these self-powered actions. Locomotion exercises do not require any equipment. Some of the movements include walking, hopping, leaping, rolling, sliding, skipping, climbing, and swimming.
Healthy Eating During Breakfast Making healthy choices for the first meal of the day gives the body “sound nutrition” to get started. Consuming the right food determines how well the body functions for the remaining hours of the day. Eating improper foods will result in feeling “down and out” before you even begin your routine. Drinking Water Drinking a glass of water in the morning (every day) will help the body to fight inflammation, provide hydration, and alkalize the system. Drinking a sufficient amount of water through the day boosts the immune system and improves health. Try adding a squeeze of lemon to drinking water in the mornings. Healthy Smoothies Sipping a vitamin packed healthy smoothie is another way to start the day off right. Healthy smoothies are easy for the body to digest. Many recipes are quick to create and can be enjoyed by all in the family. Here is a delightful recipe to get you started: Green Smoothie with Coconut Water • One ripe banana • Eight oz. coconut water • One tsp. coconut oil • One dozen raw cashews • One handful of spinach Blend ingredients and sip slowly. Protein powders, potato starches, and superfood formulas can also be added to the smoothie if desired. Three Simple Steps Taking these three simple steps can make the day go so much better. So, why not give it a try? Stop to breathe more deeply, purpose to increase body movement, and make healthier breakfast choices. A healthy morning routine will make the day go much better! 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. © 2019 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com >
New Breakthrough in Anti-Aging Treatments By Dr. Don Colbert Human skin cells are uniquely created and recently a new breakthrough is found which will affect anti-aging treatments of the future. Scientists in the United Kingdom have recognized a key metabolic enzyme. “Batteries” of the Human Skin The Journal of Investigative Dermatology published the findings concerning the enzyme which provides life to the skin. The activity of the mitochondrial complex II is found to decrease with the aging component of the skin. “Batteries” of the skin can run down over time, and this is where aging begins to occur. Powerful Anti-Aging Treatments The specific findings in this research study will open doors to powerful anti-aging treatments along with uniquely tailored cosmetic products. Ingredients may be used in the two to decrease the aging process. Eventually, more understanding will be possible in how the organs of the body age based on this one finding. This will open doors to medical developments which will ward off age-related diseases as well as decrease cancer risks. Decreased Bioenergy Professor of Molecular Dermatology, Birch-Machin, and Dr.
Bowman led the breakthrough study. Decreased bioenergy occurs in the body when the skin cell “batteries” run down. This is also where more free radical damage can occur in the skin. The metabolic enzyme is key in the findings as it creates a hinge between the two processes of bioenergy. Now, science holds a specific biomarker which may be used for the development of new products which fight anti-aging. Complex II Complex II was measured during the study in twenty-seven (27) donors. The participants were from the age of six (6) to the age of seventy-two (72). Skin samples were taken from an area which is not sun-prone. The enzyme was applied on two different levels of the skin. Research Findings With age, Complex II decreases which affects the lower level of the skin. The amount of enzyme protein decreases with aging and it was only observed in one level of the skin (which proliferates, or multiplies). Please visit: drcolbert.com/shop for enhanced multi-vitamins and extra strength bone health. 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. © 2019 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com >.
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Tax Reform and You By Rachel Cruze
T a x e s , e v e r y o n e ’s favorite subject. There’s been a lot of buzz about the new tax reform bill this year. Change is always hard, and taxes are harder. And with all the changes taking place this year, the thought of filing your taxes can feel overwhelming at best. While most of these changes should simplify the process, a lot of people are wondering how this reform will impact them and their bank accounts. The good news is there are some nice things in store for most people with the tax reform. Let’s walk through a few you should know before filing your taxes. Updated Tax Brackets and Lower Income Tax Rates
The new tax brackets and income tax rates are one of the most talked about changes when it comes to the tax reform. The main thing you should know is that the seven tax brackets we already have in place will stay that way, but tax rates for each are going down through 2025. For example, if you’re single making $50,000 a year, your tax rate will drop from 25 percent to 22 percent. In 2026, these cuts will expire, unless there is another bill in the future that changes. For now, people are paying less in taxes. The New Standard Deduction The standard deduction is dollar amount that you’re able to deduct from your taxable income. Under the new reform, the standard deduction has nearly doubled! Before the reform, the standard deduction for an individual was $6,350. Now, it’s $12,000. For a
Changes for Married Couples Married couples will rejoice this tax season. Before the tax reform, some married taxpayers were bumped into a higher tax bracket when they combined their incomes. The new tax brackets have doubled for people filing jointly, so no more marriage penalties this time! Updated Child Tax Credit People with kiddos will be happy with at least one part of the new tax reform. Previously, parents who made less than $110,000 jointly and $75,000 individually received a $1,000 tax credit for qualified children under age 17. Now, that credit has increased to $2,000 and the income limits were raised to $400,000 jointly and $200,000 individually. If you have kids and fall below those income levels, that’s $2,000 back in your pocket! More Reason to Give
If there wasn’t enough incentive for charitable giving before, there is now. Before these changes, taxpayers used to be able to deduct up to half of their income in qualified charitable donations. That limit has been increased to 60 percent of your income! These are just a few of the changes from the reform. If you still feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. Even the IRS is scrambling to keep up with the changes this year. If there ever was a time to consider hiring a professional to do your taxes, this would be the time to do it. You don’t want to guess on your taxes! About Rachel Cruze As a #1 New York Times bestselling author and host of The Rachel Cruze Show, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze.com, youtube.com/ rachelcruze or facebook.com/ rachelramseycruze.>
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Hate Talking About Money With Your Spouse? Here Are 5 Steps to Make It Easier By Rachel Cruze Certain topics Here are some more steps to are guaranteed to improve your money conversations: cause friction in 1. Be fully present. That means marriage. turning off devices (phones, laptops, For some, it’s tablets, TV) and focusing on your in-laws. For oth- spouse. Pay attention to what they’re ers, it’s work-life saying. Don’t check out and make a balance. Or the to-do list or wonder how your favorkids. Or housework. And then ite team is doing. And keep showing there’s money. When finances are up every time you talk. mentioned, do you feel anxious and 2. Listen to understand. Most get that pit in your stomach? of us listen so we can give an If so, you’re not alone. answer. When we do that, we miss In late 2017, Ramsey Solutions important details that could change conducted a study of more than the conversation completely. Don’t 1,000 U.S. adults to learn how mar- jump in with your opinions and ried couples communicate and observations unless your spouse relate about money. asks for them. The study found that money is 3. Ask questions. You can’t the number one issue married cou- always trust your assumptions. ples fight about. In fact, money Questions help you see the other fights are the second leading cause person’s viewpoint more clearly, of divorce, behind infidelity. and they show that you’re actively The good news is that money participating in the discussion. doesn’t have to be a source of fric- Questions also move the conversation in your marriage. In fact, tion to a deeper level. money talks can actually bring you 4. Reflect on what you hear. closer together instead of tearing Giving a reflective statement shows you apart. I’ll show you how. that you understand what your Tips for Improving Communi- spouse is saying. Start with, “What I cation Around Money hear you saying is . . . ” Then sumBefore you start talking about marize what they said, including any specific money issues, like debt or emotions you’re hearing or seeing. budgeting, I want you and your When your spouse feels heard and spouse to take a step back and understood, you grow closer togethshare your money stories with er. And that’s the end goal, isn’t it? each other. You both come from 5. Watch your non-verbal different backgrounds that impact cues. How you say something is just how you relate with money. as important as what you say. You’ve For example, my parents filed probably heard the saying, “A picbankruptcy the year I was born, so ture is worth a thousand words.” debt was a four-letter word in our Well, the same applies to your eye house growing up. My husband’s family didn’t have that same experience, so they saw finances differently. Our backgrounds have shaped how we think and feel about money, but knowing each other’s story has helped us to acknowledge our unique perspectives and find comproEquippingMen Men& &Women Women of Equipping of God God mise as we move through Christian Education for over 35 years! forward together. I through Christian Education for over 40 years! promise, if you take BACHELOR, MASTER, DOCTORATE, Th.D., Ph.D. the time to learn Ask about our “ Degree By Testing! ” Honorary & Combined & Accelerated Degrees Available for qualified applicants your spouse’s story, “Accredited by TAC” you will avoid a lot of miscommunica- Affordable Quality Education—FREE Evaluation—Credit for Life Experience tion and unneces888-837-4931 or visit www.omega.edu sary conflict.
contact, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues. You may say one thing, but your spouse may see another. A marriage is about two people working as a team. And when you learn how to talk about money together, you’ll win as a team. Getting on the same page will unify the two of you in ways you may not have experienced before. You’ll talk about dollars and cents, but in the process, you’ll also talk about dreams, possibilities and opportunities. And that’s a conversation worth having! About Rachel Cruze As a #1 New York Times bestselling author and seasoned communicator, Rachel Cruze helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which
she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze. com, youtube.com/rachelcruze, or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.>
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A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. – Proverbs 28:20
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God Is Looking For Living Mirrors In Which Men Could See The Glory Of Christ Reflected. Stephen shows us what we should be to His glory. Stephen saw an open heaven and a glorified Man on the throne whose glory was mirrored in him to all who stood nearby. "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55-56). Stephen represents what a true Christian is supposed to be: one who is full of the Holy Ghost with eyes fixed on the Man in glory. He is one, who mirrors that glory in such a way that all who see it will be amazed and filled with wonder. He is one with a steady gaze fixed on Christ, always looking up to Him, fully occupied with a glorified Savior. Look at the hopeless condition Stephen found himself in. He was surrounded by religious madness, superstition, prejudice, and jealousy. The angry crowd pressed in on him, wild-eyed and bloodthirsty. Death loomed just ahead of him. What
impossible circumstances. But looking up into heaven, he beheld his Lord in glory, and suddenly his rejection here on earth meant nothing to him. Now he was above it all, as seeing Him who was invisible. One glimpse of the Lord's glory, one vision of His precious holiness and Stephen could no longer be hurt. The stones, the angry cursing, all was harmless to him now because of the joy set before him. One glimpse of Christ's glory places you above all your circumstances. Keeping your eyes on Christ, consciously reaching out to Him, every waking hour provides peace and serenity as nothing else can. Stephen caught the rays of the glorified Man in heaven and reflected them to a Christ-rejecting society. He, "with open face beheld as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and was changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Lord the Spirit...” (2 Cor. 3:18). How true that we become what we behold. The proper translation should read, "We all, with open
face mirroring the glory, are changed! The idea is that the Christian reflects, like a mirror, the glory on which he gazes continually. It is we who are "in the glass" - a mirror - looking on Christ, the object of our affection and becoming like Him in the process of beholding. Is it possible to catch such a vision of the glorified Man in heaven that it will place us above all our circumstances and troubles? Stephen proved it possible - so much so that while being above it all, he prayed for those who were killing him. His murderers had to look on a face that truly reflected what Stephen had seen of Christ. We all have the privilege of claiming the fullness of the Holy Spirit and becoming so riveted on Christ that we can live above everything thrown in our pathway by the enemy. The direct result of being totally occupied with Christ is a practical outworking of His nature in us. We are not just to talk about His glory, but we are to reflect it. There is nothing in our lives wor-
thy of the attention and respect of others. Only in reflecting the life of Christ can we influence the world for Him. Flesh, when reflected to the world, ministers death. Christ reflected through us a minister’s life. J.N. Darby wrote, "A Christian is a person upon whose heart the Spirit of God has engraved Christ, just as truly as God wrote and engraved the Law upon the tables of stone; so that the world may read Christ in the man, as an Israelite might read the Law on the stones. "It is the Holy Ghost taking of the things of Christ, and revealing them to the soul, that is the power of present practical conformity to Christ. I delight in Christ, I feast upon Christ, and I love Christ. It is the very model and forming of my soul according to Christ, by the Holy Ghost - this His revelation of Christ. I not only get to love the glory, it is Christ Himself that I love; Christ, that I admire; Christ, See MIRRORS on Page 30
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Living Life From Accomplishment To Zeal
By David Jeremiah If someone looked at your life, what would they see? An attitude of hope, enthusiasm, and energy; or a chin perpetually on your chest, in a posture of resignation and defeat? Are you the kind of person who spells "life," p-a-s-si-o-n, or the person who, when asked to define "apathy," says, "I don't know, and I don't care?" No verse in the Bible better expresses the passion we should have for life than (Colossians 3:2324): "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." In these two verses we find four handles by which passion may be seized on a daily basis: the scope, strength, secret, and source of passion. This passage can become a Passion Principle for you as you go "from Accomplishment to Zeal"
every day. The Scope of Your Passion Note that Paul says, "Whatever you do...." I don't think Paul meant whatever only in a spiritual sense, such as praying, singing, studying the Bible, and witnessing. Do you know what the word "whatever" means in the Greek? It means "whatever!" Everything we do in life should be done heartily as if we were doing it for the Lord. Are you that excited about your life? Don't make the mistake of dividing your life as a Christian into a "sacred" part and a "secular" part. All of the Christian's life is sacred—your spiritual life, your work, your hobbies, your entertainment—and should be done heartily as unto the Lord. The Strength of Your Passion Do you have a sense of God's pleasure in all you do in life? Paul says that whatever we do—teaching, running, plumbing, "lawyering," preaching, parenting, "businessing," — we should do it "heartily." Do it with heart! We ought to be lion-
hearted about life, attacking every day with the strength and vigor which comes only from the Lion of Judah, the Son of God Himself. That is the strength we have been given. The Secret of Your Passion - The secret of the Christian's passion is simple: Everything we do in life we do it "as to the Lord and not to men." The passion we put into any project or activity in life is a good reflection of how we esteem the One for whom we work. Paul said, "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10). Knowing that we serve a Savior who gave His all for us should ignite in us a passion to give our all for Him— whatever we do. The Source of Your Passion - The source of the Christian's passion is "the Lord Christ" whom we serve. All great developmental leaders say that it's impossible to impart passion to anyone. Instead, the challenge is to discover the passion that is already
within and build on it—fan it into flame and make it come alive! You've probably seen the popular slogan, ,Carpe diem, on posters and bumper stickers. It's the Latin phrase, "Seize the day," or "Make the most of the day." It's not bad advice, but seizing the day without seizing the Source of the day is like grabbing for air. Instead of Carpe diem, try Carpe deum — "Seize God" — and don't let go! He alone is the source of true passion for all you do in life. People are trying everything from A to Z to find reasons to get excited about life today. But if you are a Christian, you can live from "Accomplishment to Zeal" with genuine passion every day. Make (Colossians 3:23-24) your Passion Principle for the coming year and see if it doesn't change your life— and your world as well. This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's Devotional Magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.>
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Who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man! – Isaiah 5:23
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The Christian Journey The Spiritual Art of Failure By Pastor Cory Gilford Winning is for losers. Can I say that? There is a scene in the movie Meet the Robinsons where the main character fails. When he tried to repair a peanut butter and jelly gun, the gun exploded, sending the sticky paste flying across—and onto—the family that was sitting passively. You would expect everyone to lament over ruined clothes and lost sandwich-making potential. But the entire family broke into a ludicrous exclamation of praise. They were excited that he failed. Why? Through failure we can learn something and move forward. If you win all the time, you are likely either incredibly intelligent
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or incredibly lucky. Since most of us are not born intelligent, and luck doesn’t exist, I would hazard a guess and say that you have had your fair share of failures. Am I wrong? Everyone has failed. Everyone has sinned. If everyone does it, it must be cool, right? Wrong. Most people obsess over appearing successful. They only post the good stuff on Facebook. They only make praise reports for their good days. Why is this? You would think that in a world that fails so often, we would be more understanding. Yet, no one wants to read a Facebook post about how you dropped out of High School or cheated on your spouse. In order to succeed, we must take risks. If we decide to take risks, we have to overcome our fear of failure. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus did not choose his disciples
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for their incredible people skills or professional expertise. He chose them, as far as we can tell, because they were people He could teach. As we read the Gospels, we find them fighting and bickering, making horrible assumptions, disobeying orders, and even abandoning Jesus in His time of need. It’s a good thing that pastors today have finally grown out of that! (Please don’t miss my sarcasm.) It’s almost as if this is how God likes the heroes of His story. A casual reading of the Bible shows that the people God used the most were people that made the worst mistakes. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, is no exception. If you think your life is bad, consider this. Peter cut off someone’s ear. Think about that. He cut off an ear. I bet you’ve never done that. Peter was the guy that discouraged Jesus so badly that Jesus called him Satan. Peter was so cocky that when Jesus warned him that He would deny Jesus, he told Jesus that He was wrong. Jesus. You know? That Jesus. Later that night, when Jesus was arrested, Peter and the disciples fled. When confronted by someone that recognized Peter, he lied three times to protect himself. So, Peter grows out of it, right? Wrong. So many of us think that failure is something we can grow out of. We feel as though at some point, we ought to have it all together. You can believe that if you want, or you can face the reality that is described in the Bible: God uses people that fail. When Peter is older, helping lead the church, he messes up again. The people-pleasing, man-fearing side of him reared its ugly head. The same side that made him deny Jesus tempted him to commit racism against the Gentiles. Paul, a major writer of New Tes-
tament books, wrote in Galatians, “But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.” These days, if that happened, we would ask that he step down and take a two-year sabbatical. Am I trying to discourage you? Not at all. You should fight. You should live life like Jesus is coming back tomorrow. But you should know that you will fail eventually. But what you do when you fail matters. This is how you reconcile failure with your faith. I preached a sermon a few weeks ago called You Should Have Seen Me When I Started. In my message, I made this observation: Failure leads to humility. Humility leads to grace. Grace leads to success, at least, success in God’s book. Peter wrote these words in (1 Peter 5:5-7), “‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (emphasis mine)’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you...” When Peter walked on water, he stepped out, he fell down, and he reached up to Jesus. Jesus literally lifted him up out of the water when his doubt made him sink. That was, and is, the pattern for every Christian. Failure is a part of the Christian life. Why? Because God uses failure to teach us humility. God elevates humble people. So, we must reach up. We must try again. We must take some risks. And know this: If you never give up, you’ve never really tried. Cory Gilford, Associate Pastor, Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985624-8652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.>
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The Gospel in 6 Minutes By John Piper What's the Gospel? What’s the gospel? I’ll put it in a sentence. The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all His enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. That’s the gospel. You Can't Outgrow the Gospel You never, never, never outgrow your need for it. Don’t ever think of the gospel as “That’s the way you get saved, and then you get strong by leaving it and doing something else.” No! We are strengthened by God through the gospel every day, till the day we drop. You never outgrow the need to preach to yourself the gospel. How the Gospel Strengthens Here’s an illustration, and I use it not because it’s any big deal to speak from my life, but because it’s
what I walked through and where I most pointedly in the last year experienced the power of the gospel to make me strong. (Many of you are walking through things much heavier than prostate cancer—much heavier.) Do you remember the verses that I shared with you earlier that were almighty for me? It was that moment right after the doctor says, “I think we need to do a biopsy,” when this stab of fear comes. It didn’t last long, mercifully. And then came—what? (1Thessalonians 5:9-10). It’s just as pure gospel as you can get. God has not destined you for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,who died for you so that whether you wake or sleep you will live with him. Settled. Peace like a river. The Gospel Is Perfect for Your Needs That’s just gospel—perfectly timed, perfectly applied, perfectly suited to my need. That’s why the Bible is so thick—because there are so many different needs that you
Guiding Light have. And there are suitable places where the gospel is unfolded for you, so that if you immerse yourself in the whole book, always with an eye for what Christ has wrought for you and purchased for you in this thick, glorious history of God’s interaction with people, he will give you what you need. Therefore, everything in me says, and I hope to say until the day I die, “Now, to him who is able to strengthen me, according to Paul’s gospel, to him—to that God—be glory forever and ever.” God came into history in Jesus Christ; he died in order to destroy the power of hell and death and Satan and sin; and he did it through the gospel of Jesus Christ. A Plea to Believe I know that there are people reading this who are not trusting Jesus Christ, and therefore can only
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expect condemnation. So I’m just going to plead with you here at the end, lay down that rebellion. Lay it down. And simply embrace the gospel that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Righteous One, died for your sins. He was raised on the third day, triumphant over all his enemies. He reigns until he puts all of his enemies under his feet. Forgiveness of sins and a right standing with God comes freely through him alone, by faith alone. I plead with you, don’t try to be strong in your own strength; it will not be there when you need it. Only one strength will be there—the strength that God gives according to the gospel. Don’t put it off. ©2019 Desiring God Foundation. Website: www.desiringGod. org. Email: mail@desiringGod. org. Toll Free: 888-346-4700 >
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And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. – Acts 2:5
SPRING 2019 25
(Titus 1:16). They have just enough life, his old haunts, his old companof the form of Christianity to ions in sin, have all passed away deceive them; just enough to make from his life. them think that all is well between Further, "all things are become their souls and God, when in fact new." All things! He has new assonothing is well. ciations, new friends, new thoughts What then is a real Christian? and goals, new habits and activiThe Bible says, "If any man be in ties--in short, a new life. He has There are many thousands of Christianity, but it is only an empty Christ, he is a new creature: old been born again. He has not merely religious people and church mem- shell, with no power to keep them things are passed away; behold, all made a few outward changes, but bers who are not real Christians. from sin, no power to cancel their things are become new. And all all things have changed--the places The Bible describes them as "hav- guilt, no power to give them peace things are of God, who hath recon- he goes, the way he spends his time ing a form of godliness, but deny- of mind or joy of heart, and no ciled us to himself by Jesus Christ" and money, the thoughts he thinks, (II Cor.5:17-18). ing the power thereof" (II Tim.3:5). power to give them eternal life. First, he is "in Christ." Christ is the songs he sings, the people he They regard themselves as Chris"They profess that they know associates with, the things he reads, tians and have the outward form of God, but in works they deny Him" not merely a historical figure to him, the things he loves or hates--all that but the very sphere of his life and SEEKING BI-LINGUAL existence, and the center of his plans he is and does is become new. He is JUNIOR ATTORNEY and thoughts and activities. "For to a new creature. Reputable Westbank Hispanic Aorney seeks Finally, "all things are of God." FT, Bi-Lingual Junior Aorney to join our team. me to live is Christ", said the AposOur ﬁrm oﬀers a compeve package includtle Paul (Phil.1:21). And by Jesus God is the source of this new life, ing paid holidays, sick me, paid vacaon, and a rerement fund. Prefer at least 1-year of Christ, he is "reconciled" to God. He and everything in it. He no longer experience in ligaon. Louisiana License Preferred. Will train the right candidate. does not live at a distance from God, gets his thoughts and ideas and The posion will concentrate on Family Law, Skilled Nursing like the prodigal son in the far coun- aspirations from the world. He no Personal Injury, Immigraon, & Traﬃc Tickets, to name a few. Candidate MUST be ﬂuent or Rehabilitation try. He has come home to the Father, longer follows the world's pleasures highly proﬁcient and able to read, write, and speak in English & Spanish. Please do not apand gladly serves Him, and lives in and pastimes and habits and ways. Long Term Care ply if you do not meet these crical criteria. fellowship with Him. Candidate should possess strong understand"All things" in his life "are of God." Hospice ing of the daily operaons within a law ﬁrm Next, "he is a new creature." He Now consider whether you are a and/or the judicial system, interviewing pracces, conﬂict resoluon pracces, invesgahas not merely joined a church, or real Christian. Are all things in your (985) 542-8570 ve techniques, and the ability to apply legal gotten religious, or been baptized, or life of God? Are the places you go, concepts to medical reports & documents, to 1300 Derek Drive name a few. gone forward in a revival meeting, or the songs you enjoy, the things you Hammond, LA 70403 Please submit cover leer, resume, & one (1) prayed for salvation. All this may be watch or read, the language you wring sample to: michelle@silvalawﬁrm.net only an empty shell, a form without www.landmarkhammond.com BASED ON EXPERIENCE · FULL-TIME use, the thoughts you think, the power. He has something deeper friends you choose, are all these "of than this. "He is a new creature"--a new creation, "created in Christ God"--or do they proceed from the Jesus unto good works, which God world or self? Is the way you spend hath before ordained that we should your time and money, the way your dress, the way you live in general, walk in them" (Eph.2:10). He has not merely changed a few determined by the ways of the PROOF SHEET outward things. His nature is world, or the Word of God? Do you changed, from the inside out. He is live to do God's will, or your own? Are you a "new creature"? Can converted, from an enemy of God you look back to the time when you Attached is a proof of your ad that will run in the December/January issue of EDGE of the Lake magazine. This ad will run as is unless we to a child of God, and the Bible receive changes by Wednesday (11.14.2018) at 5:00 PM. Please make any changes or approve via email. were converted, reconciled to God, says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be born again? Can you point to a time blotted out" (Acts 3:19). He is born before which the world was your again with a new life from God, and sphere, and self your end, but after the Bible says, "Except a man be which the old life of sin and self born again, he cannot see the king- passed away, and you were a new dom of God" (John 3:3). His whole creature? Can you look back to a being is renewed, made point at which you forsook the over, created anew, so that ways of the world and sin, and he is no longer the same embraced the will of God as the man he was before. He is a rule of your life? Can you point to a Come meet your new time when self was dethroned, and new creature. family pharmacy, Further, "old things are Christ became your life? where we specialize If you can, you have been conpassed away." He has not in customer care! merely put away a few of verted, and your sins are blotted the grosser forms of sin, but out. If not, you have never been has renounced all of his old born again, and you cannot see the FREE LOCAL DELIVERY lifeS of His old Kingdom of God. And unless you E Nsin I O Rand C Aself. RE HEAD Sure packs available. 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In That Which Is Least By J. R. Miller One of the secrets of a full and rich life is in being always watchful of the little things. We could accomplish marvels in the quarter-hours we are wasting. We hear of men who have learned a foreign language at their dressingbureaus; or have read volumes in the minutes they have had to wait in reception rooms of friends they were calling upon. Notable achievements in the way of study and research have been made by men with only minutes of leisure, little interstices of time between their absorbing occupations in great tasks. There have been men with feeble health, who could work only in little quarter hours, who have achieved amazing results in a short lifetime, or men with poor eyes, who could read only a few minutes at a time—but who have amassed great stores of knowledge and attained distinction, even eminence, in years of masterful diligence. The way we use the fragments of our time, what we do with the moments, determine largely what we will make ourselves in the end.
Hurry is a dreadful waste of time. A great surgeon said to his assistants when he was beginning a serious operation, "Do not be in a hurry, gentlemen; we have no time to lose." We never can do our work with speediness, and we never can do it well, if we hurry. We must have full possession of all our powers if we would do our best. "He who believes," wrote the great prophet, "shall not be in haste." Most people employ but a fragment of the capacity of their life, and then allow great measures of capacity to lie undeveloped, and in the end to atrophy. A volume could be filled with a description of a human hand, its wonderful structure, and the things it can be trained to do. Yet how many hands ever reach the limit of their possible achievements? Think of the powers folded up in a human brain and of the little of all these powers most of us ever bring out in life. Now and then a man starts in ignorance and poverty and reaches greatness in ability and in achievement which amazes the
world. Doubtless thousands and thousands who never attain anything beyond mediocrity have just as great natural capacity—but the splendid powers of their life are allowed to run to waste. They are lacking in energy and do only a little of what they might do. In Christian life and character, the same is true. Jesus came to give his disciples not life merely—but abundant life. We know what he did with his first disciples, what wonderful men he made of them and what they did with their lives. Is there any reason to think that these men were capable of greater things, than the men whom the Master is calling in these days? They were not beings of a different order from the mass of men; the difference was in the way they used their gifts. Not a particle of power in them was allowed to waste. There is capacity enough in every little company of Christian people, to transform the community in which they live, into a garden of the
Lord. It is to such consecration that we are called. We are letting our powers and abilities run to waste, instead of training them and using them to bless the world. We are not making the most of ourselves. There is a great waste of power also, in our failure to appreciate our opportunities. "If I only had the gifts that this man has I would do the large and beautiful things that he does. But I never have the chance of doing such things. Nothing ever comes to my hand, but opportunities for little commonplace things." Now, the truth is—that nothing is commonplace. The giving of a cup of cold water is one of the smallest kindnesses any one can show to another—yet Jesus said that God takes notice of this act amid all the events of the whole world, any busy day, and rewards it. It may not be cabled half way around the world and announced with great headlines See WHICH IS LEAST on Page 29
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SPRING 2019 27
How Can I Effectively Share My Faith With Family And Friends? By Charles F. Stanley Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: “When I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I am determined to know nothing among you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Here Paul, the renowned apostle, revealed that the results of his preaching were not dependent on his personal skills, knowledge, or expertise but on the power of God. Since the biblical principle in this passage applies to all Christians, it can be a simple but powerful guideline to help us share the gospel. Paul doesn’t mention any
textbooks, formulas, or evangelistic strategies. Rather, he concentrates on two basic truths that all of us can grasp. To share the gospel effectively and compellingly, Christians should focus on the right spirit and the right message. It’s that simple. The right spirit for sharing our faith is the spirit of humility. One of the greatest hindrances to communicating the gospel is personal pride. Unbelievers are seldom offended by a Christian who humbly shares what Christ has done in his or her life. Personal honesty, including admission of our past failures and problems, is rarely an obstacle to witnessing. But when we imply through a proud spirit that we’re better than others because of our salvation experience, we immediately establish a barrier to the gospel. Unbelievers quickly recognize spiritual pride. They see it as hypocrisy and resent the implication that they are inferior to Christians. How many people are won to Christ when we’re filled with pride and
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arrogance? Very few! The other essential element in sharing our faith is having the right message. But what is the right message? Paul wrote: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Contrary to what some people think, you do not have to know philosophy or theology to share Christ. You do not need a seminary degree. Paul said you should know that Jesus died on your behalf, bore your sins, and paid your penalty of death. As a result, you can receive the gift of eternal life from the Father. When you talk with unbelievers, center your conversation on the person of Jesus Christ. It’s His claims and His life that you are sharing. Paul clearly understood this truth. That is why the message of the cross was the focus of his preaching. Salvation is not complicated. An eight-year-old can know Jesus as his Savior as readily as an eightyyear-old. All that is necessary is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and
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His atoning work on Calvary. A personal testimony is a mighty tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit. As long as it focuses on Christ, it can be a significant factor in drawing others to Jesus. I know of many people who came to know Christ because they heard what He had done for someone else. Others can relate to a personal testimony. They can identify with our doubts, fears, mistakes, and ignorance. They can see the difference Christ has made in our lives. They understand when we share our feelings of hopelessness and meaninglessness. Deep within, they share the same sense of guilt over sin, the same fear of death, and the same questions about the purpose of our existence. Never hesitate to tell others what Christ has done for you. It is a story of supernatural significance—even if it happened without drama or fanfare. © 2019 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
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WHICH IS LEAST Continued from Page 27 in the newspapers—but it is noticed in heaven. We do not begin to understand what great waste we are allowing, when we fail to put the true value on little opportunities of serving others. Somehow we get the feeling that any cross-bearing worth while, must be a costly sacrifice, something that puts nails through our hands, something that hurts until we bleed. If we had an opportunity to do something heroic, we say we would do it. But when it is only a chance to be kind to a neighbor, to call at his house when he is in trouble, to sit up with him at night when he is sick, or to do something for a child—we never think for a moment that such little things are the Christlike deeds, which God wants us to do, and so we pass them by, and there is a great blank in our lives where holy service ought to be. When the great miracle of the loaves had been wrought, Jesus sent his disciples to gather up the broken pieces, "that nothing be lost." The Master is continually giving us the same command. Every hour's talk
we have with a friend leaves fragments that we ought to gather up and keep to feed our heart's hunger or the hunger of others' hearts, as we go on. When we hear good words spoken, or read a good book, we should gather up the fragments of knowledge, the suggestions of helpful thoughts, the broken pieces, and fix them in our hearts for use in our lives. We allow large volumes of the good things we hear or read, to turn to waste continually, because we are poor listeners or do not try to keep what we hear. We let the broken pieces be lost and thereby are great losers. If only we would gather up and keep all the good things that come to us through conversations and through reading, we would soon have great treasures of knowledge and wisdom. 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 2019 >
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UNHAPPY Continued from Page 14 Angie Lewis is the author of four marriage books offering marriage tips and wisdom filled answers tackling such issues as addiction, adultery, pornography, emotions, beliefs, forgiveness, communication and much, much more. Adultery Pandemic is Angie's latest book. Turn Your Marriage Into A Success! If you want to restore your marriage from the demoralizing effects of adultery, then look no further - this is the book for you! Your Marriage Can Be Restored! A treasure book filled with effective guidance for your marriage
from forgiveness and trust to recommitting your lives to each other again. Practical and easy-to-read, this book combines the solutions and remedies your marriage needs towards recovery. This book will give you the guidance you need to discover the true secrets to a happy, lifelong marriage. Marriage Resources-http://www. heavenministries.com. © 2002-2019 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
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Louisiana Army National Guard Tuition Solution Joining the Louisiana Army National Guard gives you more than just the pride that comes from serving your country and local community. Students can earn benefits to help pay for their education and expenses, and they can complete their education while they serve. The LAARNG offers many programs for every type of student, whether he or she is still in high school, attending college or working toward a vocational certification. As a soldier in the LAARNG, young men and women have the opportunity to qualify for several benefits, to include: tuition exemption, health and dental insurance, a monthly paycheck, job training, student loan repayment option, and much more. The education benefits made available to the men and women who choose to serve in the MIRRORS Continued from Page 22 that I care for; Christ, whose flesh I eat, and whose blood I drink - what wonder if I am like Christ? The Christian thus becomes the epistle of Christ; he speaks for Christ, confesses Christ and acts for Christ. He does not care if he is not rich; he has riches in Christ - unsearchable riches. He does not want the pleasures of this world; he has pleasures at God's right hand forevermore. "It is not my looking at myself, but it is my looking at Christ, that is God's appointed means for my growing in the likeness of Christ" Stephen became a living mirror in which men could see the glory of Christ reflected. So should we.
LAARNG include the State Tuition Exemption Program, which is a Louisiana Revised Statute (RS 29:36.1). This law states that “any student enrolled or who may enroll in a public institution of higher learning of this state who is seventeen years of age or over and who is serving in the Louisiana National Guard shall be exempt from all or a portion of tuition charges imposed by any such institution of higher learning if the applicant for free tuition is presently domiciled in Louisiana.” Simply put, this statute waives the tuition fees at any state funded college, university, or technical campus. In addition to the exemption program, students may also qualify for education benefits such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill – Selected Reserve as well as the Montgom-
ery G.I. Bill Kicker, which could provide up to $734.00 in monthly benefits. Additionally, the LAARNG offers students with college debt student loan relief in the form of the Student Loan Repayment Program. If eligible, this program can help students repay up to $50,000 of their existing Title IV federal loan debt up. To find out more information about the Louisiana National Guard and its benefits, please go to https://www.nationalguard.com, call 1-800-Go-Guard or contact your local recruiter. References: RS 29:36.1 - http://legis.la.gov/ legis/Law.aspx?d=85550 MGIB-SR / MGIB Kicker https://www.nationalguard.com/ tools/gi-bill >
When the enemy comes in like a flood and troubling circumstances get us down, we need to both amaze and condemn the world around us by our sweet, restful repose in Christ. Since we see by our spiritual mind, this is accomplished by keeping our minds stayed on Christ. You won't see Jesus until you start looking for Him, and you won't find Him until you go to where He is revealed. He is fully, totally revealed in His glory in the Holy Scriptures. It is the happy work of the Holy Spirit within us to show us from the Word who He is "He [the Spirit] will take of mine and show it unto you" (John 16:14). Do you daily call upon the Holy Spirit to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowl-
edge of the Lord Jesus Christ? You should. It is an awesome thing to consider reflecting Christ to a lost world in all His holiness and perfection. None of us have ever yet given forth a true and perfect reflection. What a great relief to know that we can neither mar nor improve the One whose image is reflected. He is changelessly perfect, holy and beautiful. We do not change the image - the image changes us. Each time we look into the Word and see a new ray of truth about His life, death, resurrection, and ascension - we are changed by it. We become more and more like the One who is the center of our attraction. We don't change ourselves - the revelation of Christ changes us. Save the Nations Ministries>
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