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Volume 15, Number 2 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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God’s Simple Plan of Salvation I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In (John 3:7), Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” In the Bible, God gives us the plan of how to be born again, which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How? First, you must realize you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell. “. . . it is appointed unto men
once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “ . . . He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). “ . . . without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22). “ . . . God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. “God . . . commanded all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a
From the Editor sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross. In (Acts 16:30-31), the Philippians jailer asked Paul and Silas: ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved . . . .’ ” Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). The Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved. Surely, you realize you are a sin-
ner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. (In Luke 18:13), the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Lord and Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.” Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! God’s simple plan of salvation is: See SIMPLE PLAN on Page 40
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"I have much more to say to you—more than you can now bear." (John 16:12) All learning is slow. This is true in proportion to the importance of the lessons. We learn some things quickly, but they are not the things which are of greatest value. Mere head-lessons are gotten more easily than heart-lessons. We may memorize the beatitudes in a few minutes, but it takes many years to learn to live them! And in spiritual and moral lessons, living is the only learning which counts. Anyone can memorize a code of ethics by heart, without much effort. But to get the faultless code wrought into conduct, disposition, spirit, and character, is the work of a lifetime! In life-teaching, the lessons are given only as fast as they are learned. Our Master will not teach us more rapidly than we can live His lessons. It was in the midst of His most confidential talk with His disciples, that He said He had much more to say to them, more than they could now bear. Spiritual truths can be received, only as we come to the experiences for which they are adapted. There are many of the divine promises which we can never claim, and whose blessedness we cannot realize, until we come to the points in life, for which they were especially given. For example: "He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock." This word can mean nothing to the child playing amongst the flowers, or to the young man or woman walking in sunny paths, without a care or a trial. It can be understood only by one who is in the depths of trouble. In the days of gladness, when there is no trouble or pain, there are many of God's Words which seem to have no meaning for us. We do not need them. They are for times of sorrow, and we have no sorrow. They are lamps for the darkness, and we are not walking in darkness. They are for days of pain and loss, and we have no pain, and are called to endure no loss. There is a large part of the Bible which can be received by us, only when we come into the places for which the words were given. There are promises for weakness, which
we can never get, while we are strong. There are promises for times of danger, which we can never know, in the days when we need no protection. There are consolations for sickness whose comfort we can never get, while we are in robust health. There are promises for times of loneliness, when men walk in solitary ways, which never can come with real meaning to us, while loving companions are by our side. There are words for old age, which we never can appropriate for ourselves along the years of youth, when the arm is strong, the blood warm, and the heart brave. Christ says to us then, "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear." We could not understand these lessons now. But by and by when we come into places of need, of sorrow, of weakness, of failure, of loneliness, of sickness, of old age, then He will tell us these other things, these long-withheld things, and they will be full of joy for our hearts! There are beatitudes for certain conditions. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." But only those who are in sorrow can experience the blessedness of divine comfort. Thus all the treasures of the Bible are ready to open to us, the moment we have the experience which the particular grace in them is intended to supply. Hence it is that the Bible is never exhausted. Men read it over and over again, and each time they find something new in it, new promises, new comforts, new revealing of divine love. The reason is, they are growing in experience, and every new experience develops new needs, and brings them to new revelation. Thus, as life goes on, the meaning of Christ's words come out clearer and clearer, until the child's heedless repetition of them, becomes the utterance of the faith and trust of the strong man's very soul. This is the great law of divine revelation. We learn Christ's teaching, only as fast as we are able to bear it. So we may wait in patient faith when mysteries confront us, or when shadows lie on our pathway, confident that He who knows all, has in gentle love withheld from us for the time, the revealing we crave, because we could not yet endure the knowledge. Save the Nations Ministries >
How Should A Christian Husband Protect His Wife?
by Angie Lewis How should a Christian husband protect his wife? Does she really need protection? More and more women have decided to leave the protection of their husbands and have careers, go back to college, or do whatever they see fit. It used to be husbands protected their wives financially and physically, and in any other ways deemed necessary according to the ills of society at that time - it’s not like that anymore. The fact of the matter is, without being under the covering of her husband, a woman will not be protected from the criminal and sexual abuses of society or from the temptations of other men making advances on her. Most married men do not understand the concept of being the protector of their wives because they do not know what their position in the marriage should be. The Churches do not teach the importance of husbandly protection anymore. God's standards never change with the fads of society, so why should a Christian's standards change? Can you change the color red to be blue? No! The color red has already been established as red and cannot be made blue no matter how much you want it to be blue. As we all know God's Word has already been established, what God already established as His Word cannot be changed to fit into the standards of society, no matter how much people would like to change it to fit into their daily lives. I mean, people can rebel against the standards of God, but in doing so will not find happiness because a great spiritual Power will be missing from their life. God says the husband is supposed
to protect his wife and the wife is supposed to submit to that protection. That has not changed for married couples and never will. It is God's will that husband and wife participate in the roles given to them. If a husband says he does not want his wife to work outside the home then she should honor and respect her husband and not work out of the home. Husbandly protection is how a Christian man is taught to love his wife according to the Word of God. God is the Master Designer of marriage, so it would go without saying that He knows what is best for us in marriage, right? Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain, or wrinkle, or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-28 NIV) Husbandly protection is a husband sacrificing his life for his wife's life if need be. It is making his wife's well being of prime importance by protecting and caring for her as he would his own body. Christ's death sanctified and cleansed the Church and when believers do the will of Christ it is God's Word that cleanses us. When a man loves his wife the way Christ loved the Church, he cleanses her and makes her holy and blameless. See HUSBAND on Page 42
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Table of Contents From the Editor
The Christian Journey
The Triumphant Christian
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.- Romans 12:12
Directives for Avoiding Dissension in the Home
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It is a great duty of husbands and wives to live in quietness and peace, and avoid all occasions of wrath and discord. Because this is a duty of so great importance, I shall first open to you the great NECESSITY of it, and then give you more particular directions to perform it. (1) Your discord will be your pain, and the vexation of our lives. Like a disease, or wound, or fracture in your own bodies, which will pain you until it is cured; you will hardly keep peace in your minds, when peace is broken so near you in your family. As you would take heed of hurting yourselves, and as you would hasten the cure when you are hurt; so should you take heed of any breach of peace, and quickly seek to heal it when it is broken. (2) Dissension tends to cool your love; frequent dissension tends to leave a habit of distaste and averseness on the mind. Wounding is separating; and to be tied together by any outward bonds, when your hearts are separated, is but to be tormented; and to have the insides of adversaries, while you have marital outsides. As the difference between my 'home' and my 'prison' is that I willingly and with delight dwell in the one, but am unwillingly confined to the other; such will be the difference between a quiet and an unquiet life, in your married state; it turns your dwelling and delight into a prison, where you are chained to those calamities, which in a free condition you might flee. (3) Dissension between the husband and the wife, disorders all other family affairs. They are like oxen unequally yoked--which can perform no work, because they are always striving with one another. (4) It exceedingly unfits you for the worship of God; you are not fit to pray together, or to confer together of heavenly things, or to be helpers to each other's souls. I need not tell you this, you feel it by experience. Wrath and bitterness will not allow you so much exercise of love and holy composedness of mind, as every one of those duties requires. (5) Dissension disables you to govern your families aright. Your children will take example by you;
or think they are at liberty to do what they desire, when they find you taken up with such animosity between yourselves. They will think you unfit to reprove them for their faults--when they see you guilty of such faults and folly of your own. Nay, you will become the shame and secret derision of your children, and bring yourselves into contempt. (6) Your dissensions will expose you to the malice of Satan, and give him advantage for manifold temptations. A house divided cannot stand; an army divided is easily conquered, and made a prey to the enemy. You cannot foresee what abundance of sin you put yourselves in danger of. By all these reasons, you may see what dissensions between husband and wife do tend to. DIRECTIVES for avoiding dissension in the home (1) Keep up your marital love in a constant heat and vigor. Love will suppress wrath. You cannot become bitter upon small provocations, against those whom you dearly love; much less can you proceed to reviling words, or to averseness and estrangedness, or any abuse of one another. Or if a breach and wound be unhappily made, the balsamic quality of love will heal it. But when love once cools, small matters exasperate and breed antipathy. (2) Both husband and wife must mortify their pride and passion, which are the causes of impatience; and must pray and labor for a humble, meek, and quiet spirit. A proud heart is troubled and provoked by every word or action that seems to tend to their undervaluing. A peevish, proud mind is like a sore and ulcerated member--which will be pained if it be touched. He that must live near such a sore, diseased, impatient, proud mind--must live even as the nurse does with the child that makes it her business to rock it, and lull, and sing it quiet when it cries; for to be angry with it, will do no good. And if you have married one of such a sick or childish temper, you must resolve to bear and use them accordingly. But no Christian should bear with such See DIRECTIVES on Page
DIRECTIVES Continued from Page 6 a malady in themselves; nor be patient with such impatience, pride and haughtiness in themselves. Once you get the victory over yourselves, and the cure of your own impatience, then you will easily keep peace with one another. (3) Agree together beforehand, that when one is in a tempestuous, angry fit, the other shall silently and gently bear it--until it be past and you have come to your senses again. Do not both be angry at the same time. When the fire is kindled, quench it with gentle words and demeanor, and do not cast on more fuel, by answering provokingly and sharply, or by multiplying words, and by answering wrath with wrath. (4) If you cannot quickly quench the anger in your heart--yet at least refrain your tongues! Speak no reproachful or provoking words. Talking hotly and angrily does blow the fire, and increase the flame. Be but silent, and you will the sooner return to your serenity and peace. Foul words tend to more displeasure. As Socrates said when his wife first railed at him, and next threw a vessel of foul water upon him, "I thought when I heard the thunder, there would come rain"; so you may foretell worse following, when foul, unfitting words begin. If you cannot easily allay your wrath, you may hold your tongues, if you are truly willing.
(5) Let the sober party condescend to speak gently and to entreat the other. Say to your angry wife or husband, 'You know this should not be between us; love must allay it, and it must be repented of. God does not approve it, and we shall not approve it when this heated argument is over. This frame of mind is contrary to a praying frame, and this language contrary to a praying language; we must pray together soon; let us do nothing contrary to prayer now. Sweet water and bitter come not from one spring,' etc. Some calm and humble words of reason, may stop the torrent, and revive the reason which passion had overcome. (6) Confess your fault to one another, when angry passion has prevailed against you; and ask forgiveness of each other, and join in prayer to God for pardon. This will lay a greater engagement on you the next time, to refrain from argument. You will surely be ashamed to do that which you have so confessed and asked forgiveness for-of God and each other. If you will but practice these directives, your family peace may be preserved. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2017 >
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"Three times a day, he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." (Daniel 6:10b (NIV)) Have you ever been in a pit? Yesterday I was. And you know what pits make me feel besides frustrated and down? Hungry! Usually my pit comes when circumstances roll into my life that I can't control. Circumstances that affect me, but that are beyond my control, make me want to find comfort in things I can control. And eating sure does feel like an easy to get comfort. But, in these situations, what feels comforting going in my mouth often doesn't settle well with my heart. Overindulging in junk food makes me feel guilty. And once guilty joins me in my pit, it only compounds my issues. So, if we can't eat our way out of a pit with junk food, what can we do? If I'm truly hungry, I grab a healthy option. Then, I intentionally look for something for which to be thankful and get my mouth busy praising God. Even though I may not feel like praising God in the midst of my pit, something starts to shift in my heart and in my attitude when I see blessings in the midst of burdens. Each thing for which I verbalize my thankfulness is like a stepping stone out of the pit. And this isn't just my idea. It's biblical. Look what happened when Daniel took this approach to the pit he found himself in. In (Daniel 6:10), Daniel had just learned that if anyone was caught praying to anyone else besides King
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Darius, they would be thrown into the Lion's Den. That's a serious pit! But Daniel's reaction is amazing. He went home, threw his windows open, and prayed anyway. I'm not thinking he did this because he felt good. I'm imagining he felt like anyone would feel in overwhelming circumstances. But he rose above his feelings to make a choice. And do you know what he chose to pray? "God, save me!" "God, it's not fair!" "God, this is too much!" "God, smite my enemies and wipe them out!" "God, You know I can't handle this without extreme doses of chocolate!" No. None of the above. What Daniel prayed is a powerful lesson for me. Daniel prayed, Thank You God. "Three times a day, he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." (Daniel 6:10b, NIV) Since Daniel's response is so opposite of the way most of us would react, it makes me stop and ponder. Our initial responses are usually a by-product of the rituals we've established in our life. Daniel had made it his habit to be thankful. Therefore, who God is and what God provides was front and center in Daniel's heart — even in the midst of heartbreak. I am so challenged and inspired by this. Where do I run when life presses in on me? Who or what am I really dependent on? Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit? What might happen if I stopped grabbing for comfort and instead embraced the perspective change of thanksgiving? Yes, life will be full of pits. But, that doesn't mean I have to be a pit dweller or a pit eater. Dear Lord, I know it is normal for us to sometimes find ourselves in a pit. But we don't have to stay there and we don't have to try and eat our way out. Thank You for providing Your timeless Word to point to the way, the truth and the life. In Jesus' Name, Amen. ©2017 Proverbs 31 Ministries >
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(Philippians 4:12-13) 8. Mercy -- "May my children 23. Faith -- "I pray that faith will always be merciful, just as their find root and grow in my children's Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36) hearts, that by faith they may gain 9. Respect (for self, others, and what has been promised to them." featuring authority) -- "Father, grant that my (Luke 17:5-6; Hebrews 11:1-40) Irma Thomas children may show proper respect 24. A Servant's Heart -- "God, & The Professionals to everyone, as Your Word com- please help my children develop mands." (1 Peter 2:17) servant's hearts, that they may serve 10. Biblical Self-Esteem -- "Help wholeheartedly, as if they were my children develop a strong self- serving the Lord, not men." (Epheesteem that is rooted in the realiza- sians 6:7) tion that they are God's workman25. Hope -- "May the God of ship, created in Christ Jesus." hope grant that my children may Complimentary (Ephesians 2:10) overflow with hope and hopefuladmission 11. Faithfulness -- "Let love and ness by the power of the Holy for moms! faithfulness never leave my children, Spirit." (Romans 15:13) but bind these twin virtues around 26. Willingness and Ability to No outside their necks and write them on the Work -- "Teach my children, Lord, to food or beverage. tablet of their hearts." (Proverbs 3:3) value work and to work at it with all 12. Courage -- "May my chil- their heart, as working for the Lord dren always be strong and coura- and not for men."(Colossians 3:23) geous in their character and in their 27. Passion for God -- "Lord, actions." (Deuteronomy 31:6) please instill in my children a soul 13. Purity -- "Create in them a that "˜followeth hard after thee,' pure heart, O God, and let that one that clings passionately to You." purity of heart be shown in their (Psalm 63:8) actions." (Psalm 51:10) 28. Self-Discipline -- "Father, I 14. Kindness -- "Lord, may my pray that my children may acquire a children always try to be kind to disciplined and prudent life, doing each other and to everyone else."( 1 what is right and just and fair." Thessalonians 5:15) See VIRTUES 15. Generosity -- "Grant that my on Page 16 children may be generous and willDelight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the EASTER 2017 9 desires of your heart. - Psalm 37:4
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What an awfully sad day it had been for the friends of Jesus! They had stood watching sorrowfully, as Jesus hung on the cross dying. They didn't fully understand why it had to happen. They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they remembered how He had healed the sick and made blind people see. They remembered how He had fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish. They even remembered how He had caused dead people to come back to life. He was such a good, kind man; why did He have to die? Just before the sun was beginning to sink into the west, Joseph, one of Jesus' friends, noticed that Jesus was no longer breathing. He hurriedly went to ask Pilate if he could have the body of Jesus so he could bury Him. When Pilate agreed, Joseph and Nicodemus (another friend) carefully wrapped Jesus' body in clean cloths. Then they took Him to a tomb to bury Him. The next day, the Pharisees started thinking about Jesus. They were the people that had wanted to kill Jesus. They remembered how He had taught them, saying that He would rise again after three days. They were worried that it might be true! They also thought that Jesus' disciples would remember and might try to steal the body from the tomb just so they could say that Jesus rose again. They went to Pilate, suggesting that the tomb be closed up with a huge stone and that guards be placed all around the tomb. Just before daylight the next day, the most amazing thing happened! There was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE! An ANGEL from the Lord came down from heaven, moved the gigantic stone away from the door of the tomb and sat on it. The guards began to shake with fear! They fell down to the ground as if they were dead! Mary and some other women had decided to get up very early in the morning and go to visit the tomb where Jesus was placed. While walking down the road, they were discussing how they were going to get inside the tomb. They had brought along some spices and perfume that they wanted to place on Jesus' body. They knew the huge stone had been placed in the doorway and they had no idea how they
were going to move it. What a SURPRISE they found when they reached the tomb! The stone had already been moved! And . . . there was an ANGEL sitting on the stone! The women were quite afraid, but the angel spoke gently to them: "Don't be afraid. I know that you have come to see Jesus. He is not here; for he is risen just as he said. Come inside and see the place where he lay." The women went inside the tomb and found it empty, just as the angel had told them. The angel spoke to the women one more time: "Go quickly and tell the other disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead; and he is going into Galilee where you will see him." The women did just as the angel had told them. They ran quickly from the tomb, with fear and great joy, to tell the good news to the other disciples. But . . . when the women found Peter and their other friends and tried to tell them the good news, . . . no one believed them! When the women persisted, Peter decided that he needed to find out for himself. He ran all the way to the tomb. He went inside. He saw the cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus, but the body was not there. He wondered if it could possibly be true. Did Jesus really raise from the dead? Was Jesus really alive? Two of Jesus' other friends were going on a journey to a village called Emmaus. As they walked and talked, they discussed all the things that had happened over the past few days. A man came along and joined the group. He walked along with them and wanted to join their discussion. Cleopas began telling the man about how Jesus was crucified on the cross. They talked about how the women found the empty tomb. As they continued their journey, they invited the man to come in with them and have dinner. When they sat down to eat their meal, the man picked up a loaf of bread and broke it in pieces. Then he prayed for the meal and gave the bread to the men. At that very moment they realized that the man was JESUS! They had been talking to Jesus the whole time and didn't even know it! See EASTER STORY on Page 41
6 Simple Easter Ideas for Families Traditions that point your child to Christ don’t have to be complicated. By Suzanne Gosselin The thing I remember most about Easter Sunday as a kid was the candy. My family would arrive at church dressed in our Easter best, and at some point during the day, I could expect to receive a pure white box filled with about a dozen chocolates. To an 8-year old, a box of candy all my own was a treasure. But it may have overshadowed the celebration of our Savior’s resurrection just a bit. With Easter bunnies, baskets, egg hunts, and candy to compete with, how can parents help their children get excited about true meaning of the holiday? Before you rush to Pinterest, here are six simple ideas to get you started: Rolled Away. Clubhouse Jr. magazine offers this great Easter recipe that provides a yummy picture of the empty tomb. Make the rolls and read the Easter story from (Luke 24:1-12). Talk about how Jesus’ friends must have felt to discover an empty tomb! Beyond Baskets. Oh Amanda suggests adding more meaning to your Easter baskets by filling them with small gifts that will help your child grow in the Lord. Resurrection Eggs. These plastic eggs containing small objects that tell the Easter story are inexpensive to buy. Or you can find a template online and make your own. Song Study. If your child loves music, there are many great hymns and worship songs that talk about Christ’s death and resurrection. Listen to a song, such as “In Christ Alone” or “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” and talk about the concepts. Ask simple follow-up questions, such as:
What did Jesus do for you? Why was He the only one who could do that for you? Why is it good news that He rose again? Celebration Sunday. The box of candy may have been my earliest Easter memory, but as I grew older, new traditions became more important. Throughout my teen years, my family attended the sunrise service at our small church followed by Easter breakfast. Attending Easter service with my family provided a setting for me to absorb the meaning of the holiday and to worship alongside other believers. Create special family traditions as you make Easter a special day to celebrate! Sweet Story. Use jellybeans to explain different parts of the gospel. Yellow=Heaven (street of gold) and God’s love. (Jer. 31:3) Black=The darkness of sin. (Rom. 3:23; 6:23) Red=Jesus’ blood which He shed, so we could be saved. (1 Cor. 15:3-4) White=God’s promise to cleanse us from sin when we call out to Him for Salvation. (Rom. 10:13; 1 John 1:9) Green=Growing things—we can grow to be more like Jesus by reading the Bible, praying, and meeting together with other believers. (2 Pet. 3:18) Easter traditions that point your child to Christ don’t need to be complicated. Even small things can make a big impression. That’s something I learned from a box of candy. Copyright © 2017 In Touch Ministries >
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The Sweet News from Comforting Bible Verses for Seniors in Psalm 92 by Kaye Swain
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(Psalm 92) is such a blessing to me as a baby boomer, flirting with senior citizen status (depending on the restaurant I'm eating at). I have to admit, my favorite verse in it is 14 - "They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green." Isn't that great! But the good news in (Psalm 92) for all of us boomers and seniors doesn't end there. This passage is full of encouraging Bible verses to help us as we walk through various trials, including those of us in the Sandwich Generation, dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents in our family along with still raising children or babysitting grandchildren. The first few verses give us a simple RX for how to deal with life - by giving thanks to God Almighty, for all His blessings. It's so easy to get mired down in the problems and feel like you've been forgotten or abandoned. But (Psalm 92) reminds us that isn't the case. And one simple way to help remind yourself of that is to make a daily list of all the blessings you see - no matter how small. At first, that may be hard to do. But once you write down one or two, it gets easier. The hard part, for me, is finding time and remembering. (No - not senior-itis. Busyitis!). But putting a pen and notebook in the bathroom is a great way
to make it easy to remember and to do. Another piece of advice that's good for us to follow is found in verse 4, "sing for joy." To help me with that, I keep many of my favorite praise and worship hymn songs and music on my iPod and listen to it as I do various chores. Plus I have a great Christian radio station set in my car, along with music CDs - all to help me remember to listen to uplifting and encouraging music often filled with Bible verses - as I drive my grandkids and senior mom around. Life is definitely not easy, and sometimes, it just seems to get harder and harder. But encouraging and comforting Bible verses, such as those in (Psalm 92), and praise and worship hymn songs help us to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, Who is our ROCK and in Him, we can do all things no matter what our age or circumstances! If you'd like more fun ideas & resources for teaching Bible memory verses to your children and grandchildren, along with specific ideas for teaching the Ten Commandments to your kids, be sure to pop over to www.SandwichINK. com. We're smack dab in the middle of that project and would love to see you. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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This Sandwich Generation Granny Nanny Believes the Surrendered Life Cycle Beats the Vicious Cycle of Overeating and Under Exercising by Kaye Swain As a Sandwich Generation granny nanny dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents in the family as well as babysitting grandchildren, I am constantly on the run. All that running around requires a lot of energy. I've noticed that when I exercise regularly and keep my weight in my "healthy zone" I feel better and have more energy. When it creeps up 5-10 pounds, I slow down more, huff and puff more when playing with the grandkids, and just don't feel as comfortable - even when sitting. Talk about a "vicious cycle!" When that happens, I cut back on the junk food, start following one of my three favorite healthy diets - the South Beach Diet Supercharged, the Serotonin Power Diet, or my current favorite - the Flat Belly MUFA foods - diet, and proactively work at getting rid of the extra pounds. I'd rather nip it in the bud early than have to lose 50+ pounds! But I actually start sooner than that - with prayer! I am a firm believer in the power of the surrendered life - giving myself entirely to God, along with my family, my business, my life, and yes, even my weight and health issues! When that weight starts creeping up, I start praying for wisdom, guidance, and the will power to stop eating the wrong things, start eating the right things, and be better at exercising. Of course, I should be praying about that all the time - then maybe the weight wouldn't creep back up! I also work hard to make sure I communicate a positive message to my grandkids when I make changes to what I eat. I want them to be aware that I am on a healthy diet, both to keep my weight in a healthy range and so that I have more ener-
gy and am a healthier granny nanny for them. I do NOT want to set a bad example of starving myself or taking unhealthy pills that might lead them to follow the wrong example. In fact, I go out of my way to be sure they understand that so that they don't inadvertently get the wrong idea. I want to be sure they stay healthy too. As a matter of fact, these sweet grandkids are a big help to my health. Not only does spending time with them require me to stay healthy, but they are actually my "personal trainers" as we play tag, walk, or have fun with their great Wii sports bowling and tennis games for kids and seniors whenever we are together. Not only are those fun times together - full of sweet family memories, they are also great times to share important truths about God as the conversation leads, not to mention working on their Bible memory verses. We can all experience that "vicious cycle" of poor health from too much food and too little exercise, but the power of God and surrendering everything to Him can definitely lead to a wonderful cycle - of good health and healthy exercise. That's very encouraging for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny - how about you? If you'd like more fun ideas & resources for teaching Bible memory verses to your children and grandchildren, along with specific ideas for teaching the Ten Commandments to your kids, be sure to pop over to www.SandwichINK. com . We're smack dab in the middle of that project and would love to see you ÂŠ2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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The Palm Tree James Hamilton "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green!" (Psalm 92:12-14) The Palm tree brings forth its best fruit in old age. The best dates are said to be gathered when it has reached a hundred years. So it is with eminent Christians: the older — the better; the older — the more beautiful; nay, the older — the more useful; and, different from worldlings, the older — the happier. The best Christians are those who improve to the end, who grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ to the very close of life. They loved Him at first — but now they love Him more. At first they were selfish, and only sought to escape from wrath. Now they are jealous of the Savior's honor, and long to be saved from sin. At first they only thought of Jesus as the Priest to save them; now they perceive the Priest upon a throne, and love not only the Savior's cross — but the Savior's yoke and the Savior's laws. And they grow in knowledge of themselves. The truth to which they once assented becomes a deepwrought experience. "In me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing." And the discovery of this depravity, the knowledge how debased and worthless their nature has become, instead of making them morose and bitter towards their fellow-sharers in the fall — makes them lenient and considerate. They know themselves too well, to expect perfection in their friends, and love the brethren in the face of their obvious failings. They have something of the old Reformer's feeling when he saw the malefactor led to prison: "There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford!" And they grow in wisdom. Long experience, and still more the secret of the Lord, dispassionate observation and Heavenly-mindedness — have given them sagacity; and sometimes in pithy adages, sometimes in direct and sober counsel, they deal forth that mellow wisdom. And they grow in spirituality. We have seen those aged pilgrims to whom earthly things at last grew insipid; they had no curiosity for the news of the day, and little taste
for fresh and entertaining books. They stuck to God's testimonies, and you never went in to see them but their Bible lay open on the table or the counter; and they could tell the portion which had been that morning's food, or the meditation of the previous night. The Word of God dwelt in them so richly, that you could see they were becoming fit to dwell with God; for when a mind has become thoroughly scriptural — it needs but another step to make it celestial. And the last harvest came, and the last gleanings of their precious words, and when we next went that way — their place knew them no longer. They were flourishing in the courts of God's house on high, and we would sit under their shadow and be regaled by their goodness no more. But when we recollected how lovely their Christian profession was, how beneficent and serviceable they had ever been, and remembered that their last days were their brightest, and their last fruits their fairest, we said over to ourselves, "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green!" Dear Christian reader, when your own ear cannot hear it, may this be your eulogy — when your own eye cannot read it, may this be your epitaph. In the meanwhile, for the sake of that Savior who is dishonored by proud and selfish and unlovely disciples — strive and pray for consistency in holy living. And for your own soul's sake, which is dulled by defective views, and depressed by each besetting sin — seek a serene and lofty faith — covet earnestly a blameless life. Let ... your triumphs over self, and your high-hearted zeal for the Savior, the largeness of your Christian spirit, your Heavenly elevation, the exuberance of your goodness, the multitude of your acts of kindness, the fullness of your affections, the abundance of your beneficence See THE PALM TREE on Page 41
Cultivating a Contented Heart By Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth Several years ago, when I was ready to own a home, I bought a lot overlooking a river and had a house built. Once the house was up, a landscape architect met with me to propose a plan for the property. That fall I paid the landscaping company what seemed like a fortune and then sat back to watch. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The plants they brought in were tiny, scrawny, and unimpressive. More than once I said to myself, “I paid that much money for this?” Sensing my lack of enthusiasm, the landscaper urged me to “just wait and see.” The next spring, the scene was still less than spectacular. And the weeds—oh, the weeds! I waited some more. We pulled more weeds and applied fertilizer to the beds and kept waiting. Each year a gardener pruned back the plants, shrubs, and trees. That didn’t exactly look like progress to me. But what I could not see was that the sunshine, rain, fertilizer, pruning, and even the winter snows were helping those plants to grow bigger and stronger. It has now been more than ten years since I put in that garden. These days I can step outdoors any time between April and October and see an array of beautiful flowers and plants. It took years of careful oversight, but now my garden is fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended. It is a place of great beauty and sweet smells providing enjoyment to all who visit—a place where hearts are lifted toward the Creator. Now here’s my point in telling you all this: The One who has chosen you to be His own longs to find delight in the garden of your heart. As you walk in union and communion with Him, a sweet fragrance will be released and luscious fruit will be born—the fragrance and the fruit of His Spirit. How can you make your heart a garden for God? Carefully tend it by spending time with Him in prayer and intimate worship. The Epitome of Serenity In his book, How to Worship Jesus Christ, Joseph Carroll tells of a mother whose life of devotion and communion with the Lord Jesus made her spirit beautiful and fragrant. Carroll asked her, “What time do you rise to seek the Lord?”
She replied, “Oh, that is not my decision. I made a choice long ago that when He wanted to have fellowship with me, I was available.” No matter the hour, when this woman sensed God calling her, she would get up out of bed, go to her piano stool, and worship her Lord. Carroll asked, “How long do you stay?” The woman answered, “Oh, that is up to Him. When He tells me to go back to bed, I go back. If He doesn’t want me to sleep, I simply stay up.” “She was the epitome of serenity,” Carroll commented. “She was Christ’s and Christ’s alone.” The Blessings of Communion with God S. D. Gordon said, “Prayer wonderfully clears the vision, steadies the nerves, defines duty, stiffens the purpose, sweetens and strengthens the spirit.” It is no wonder, then, that Jesus’ effectiveness in ministering to the needs of others was born out of His times of communion with His Father (Luke 5:16-17). In fact, whenever Jesus withdrew for a season to pray, the crowds were afterward drawn to Him like a magnet, for they saw in Him the likeness of His Father (Mark 6:46, 54-56). Each of us has the opportunity to cultivate the beauty of a daily devotional life. Time spent alone in the Word and prayer each day will bear fruit in our lives as we experience an ever-deepening intimacy with the heavenly Father. Those who are willing to come apart from the clamor and demands of each day’s activity in order to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His words will experience an intimacy that most believers will never know. The fruit of that devotion will be manifested in an orderly, peaceful life. Should you choose to cultivate your heart as a garden of the Lord, you will be blessed and others will be blessed. And it is all, all, all for the Beloved. © Revive Our Hearts. Written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts. com.>
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P L A N T A T I O N
The vast majority of couples do not communicate properly. You might think you communicate just fine, but any time you discount what your spouse is saying, or any time you interrupt with your own view on things, you are not communicating properly. It is not that you should not have your own viewpoints, but there is a certain way you ought to express yourself without "over throwing" someone else's feelings. Opinionated people do not communicate well they are too concerned with their own opinion to open their mind to anyone else's opinion. And this can cause problems in your relationships. In marriage, it is very important that we take the time to listen to what our spouse is saying and to hear the message they are trying to tell us. If we don't hear what they are saying, how can we answer back productively? The problem is couples are impatient with each other, at times, and that keeps them from actually hearing what their spouse has to say. Many times, out of impatience, we hurry up and interject with our own feelings and thoughts on a certain subject. Now how selfish is that? Have you ever not wanted to accept what your spouse is saying? You couldn't believe what you ears were actually hearing, and so you either walked away or zoned them out? Many times, especially during an argument or debate we believe that our way of thinking is the only right way, and so we just don't care what our spouse has to say about it. How rude! Paying attention to your spouse and understanding "what" they are saying and "why" they are saying it is P L partAof an important interacting with your 504.245.8221 spouse that can bring you closer together on the emotional and intimate levels. The more you do not express yourself or the more you do not try and listen and understand your spouse the further apart emotionally you will become. Put yourself in your husband's/ wife's shoes. How do
you do that? Actually sit down and mentally put yourself in the thought patterns of your spouse. We all have good reasons of why we feel a certain way and that goes for your spouse too. If you feel contradictory towards their way of thinking, don't be disagreeable or intolerable; learn to express yourself productively without hurting your spouse! The more you interrupt or behave intolerable the more closed lipped and silent your spouse becomes and the further apart you will both be emotionally from one another. Next time you are debating or arguing, let your spouse talk freely, and without you offering your opinion. Listen carefully to what they are trying to say. Ask questions. "Why" do they feel a certain way, and "what" do they want to do about it? But don't be impatient and intolerant. Communicate wisely by listening first, and then negotiating if you feel differently than they do. When you think they are done expressing themselves, ask them first if they are done talking before you start telling your side of things. A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NIV) © 2002-2017 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. wwwT. heavenministries.org >
VIRTUES Continued from Page 9 (Proverbs 1:3) 29. Prayerfulness -- "Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they learn to pray in the Spirit on all Nmay T A T I O N occasions with all kinds of prayers." 30. Gratitude -- "Help my chilSouthernOaksPlantation.com dren to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 2:7) 31. A Heart for Missions -"Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples." (Psalm 96:3) © Copyright Bob Hostetler. Used with the permission of the author. (www.bobhostetler.com) >
16 EASTER 2017
Tuning Up Tired Marriages by Adrian Rogers Many couples today do not have a magnificent marriage. Many do not even have a mediocre marriage. In fact, many have a miserable marriage. And the devil knows that if he can hurt us at home, he can hurt us everywhere — in the church, in the school, in society, and in the nation. So Satan levels his biggest artillery at our homes. But in Ephesians five, God has given the husband and wife some roles in order to have healthy, Christ-honoring marriages. What Can the Husband Do? We’ll start with the gentlemen. You are to be to your wife what Jesus is to the church. You are to give her three major things. Give Leadership You’re to give leadership. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” (verse 23). Now be careful. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Master of the church, but He is not
the Dictator. Jesus never makes me do anything. And you are going to be have difficulty if you take this to mean you are the boss or dictator. You’re to be the head. It's not so much a chain of command as it is a chain of responsibility. To be the head means that you accept the responsibility. Give Love In addition to giving leadership, in verse twenty-five the husband is told to love his wife as Christ loved the church. What kind of love is that? • It is a passionate love. He loved the church enough to die for her. You ought to love your wife that much. • It is a purifying love. Jesus cleanses the church (verse 26). Your chief assignment is to make your wife a more radiantly beautiful Christian. • It is a protecting love. Men should love their wives as their own bodies (verse 28). If you allow your wife to be hurt, you will hurt yourself. • It is a providing love. “For no man ever yet hated his own
flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it” (verse 29). See to it that her needs are met — physical, emotional, and spiritual. Give Loyalty A husband is also to give his wife loyalty. He is to “… be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh” (verse 31). The word joined literally means “welded” or “fused” to his wife. You owe to your wife a sacred loyalty. What Can the Wife Do? Now, let's look at the relationship of a wife to her husband. She is to be as the church is to Christ. Submit (Ephesians 5:22) tells her to submit. Now, this is opposite from the world’s advice of, “Demand your rights.” As a Christian, you don't have any rights. What rights does a dead man have? You're crucified with Christ. You are not our own. And when you refuse God's plan to submit, you are only hurting yourself. Support You also owe your husband your support. Jesus has given His work to us. He has no hands but our hands.
He has no feet but our feet. You need to exalt His name. You need to advance His cause. Just as the church supports the work of Jesus, you are to support the work of your husband. Share Also, you are to have a sharing relationship. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (verse 30). What a wonderful relationship Christ and the church share, the most intimate of all relationships. There is nothing that Jesus doesn't share with the church. How the Lord manifests Himself to us. And therefore, husbands and wives are to share together. What If? Now some couples leave divorce as an option if problems arise. But couples that get divorced and those that don’t have basically the same kinds of problems. The difference is not in the problems but in their commitment. Others rationalize, “I owe it to myself to be happy.” There's a Greek word for that: bologna! See TIRED MARRIAGES on Page 43
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Nine Ways to Know That the Gospel of Christ Is True By John Piper
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1. Jesus Christ, as he is presented to us in the New Testament, and as he stands forth from all its writings, is too single and too great to have been invented so uniformly by all these writers. The force of Jesus Christ unleashed these writings; the writings did not create the force. Jesus is far bigger and more compelling than any of his witnesses. His reality stands behind these writings as a great, global event stands behind a thousand newscasters. Something stupendous unleashed these diverse witnesses to tell these stunning and varied, yet unified, stories of Jesus Christ. 2. Nobody has ever explained the empty tomb of Jesus in the hostile environment of Jerusalem where the enemies of Jesus would have given anything to produce the corpse, but could not. The earliest attempts to cover the scandal of resurrection were manifestly contradictory to all human experience - disciples do not steal a body (Matthew 28:13) and then sacrifice their lives to preach a glorious gospel of grace on the basis of the deception. Modern theories that Jesus didn't die but swooned, and then awoke in the tomb and moved the stone and tricked his skeptical disciples into believing he was risen as the Lord of the universe don't persuade.
3. Cynical opponents of Christianity abounded where claims were made that many eyewitnesses were available to consult concerning the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. "After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:6). Such claims would be exposed as immediate falsehood if they could. But we know of no exposure. Eyewitnesses of the risen Lord abounded when the crucial claims were being made. 4. The early church was an indomitable force of faith and love and sacrifice on the basis of the reality of Jesus Christ. The character of this church and the nature of the gospel of grace and forgiveness, and the undaunted courage of men and women - even unto death - do not fit the hypothesis of mass hysteria. They simply were not like that. Something utterly real and magnificent had happened in the world and they were close enough to know it, and be assured of it, and be gripped by its power. That something was Jesus Christ, as all of them testified, even as they died singing. 5. The prophesies of the Old Testament find stunning fulfillment in the history of Jesus Christ. The witness to these fulfillments are too many, too diverse, too subtle and too interwoven into the history of See GOSPEL on Page 40
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18 EASTER 2017
A Lesson On Listening By David Wilkerson God had to teach Elijah a lesson on listening so he took him to the top of Mr. Horeb and gave him an illustrated sermon. “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13). When that wind began to howl, I think Elijah thought, “It’s about time, Lord. Blow Jezebel right off her throne—throw her and her sinner friends to the winds. Blow them all away!” But God was not in the wind! Suddenly, a great earthquake came and Elijah said, “That ought to scare them good! God will get even. He will shake them right out of their shoes! Lord, you are vindicating your servant.” But God was not in the earthquake! After the earthquake, a fire! The heavens were aglow with white-hot
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flames! Elijah cried, “Lord, they didn’t accept the fire that fell on the altar—burn them out! Burn out wicked Ahab! Fry Jezebel. Cause your fire to consume the wicked. God, I know you are in this fire!” But God was not in the fire! “And after the fire, a still small voice” (vs. 12). Can you imagine this? A prophet who was not afraid of a hurricane or an earthquake or heavenly fireworks is frightened by a still small voice. “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle” (vs. 13). Elijah covered his head with his coat! Why? Had not this prophet talked to God many times? Was he not a great man of prayer? Hadn’t God used him mightily? Yes! But Elijah was a stranger to the still small voice! When Elijah finally allowed that voice to speak—alone, quiet, away from all the power displays—he got the most specific directions ever in all his ministry. “Go to Damascus; go through the wilderness; anoint Hazael king over Syria; anoint Jehu king over Israel; and anoint Elisha to be prophet to follow you…” (see 1 Kings 19:15-16). How many busy children of God today have never had the voice come to them? They are busy witnessing—doing good—praying for a spiritual awakening—fasting—so intense—so dedicated. Yet, they have heard everything but the voice of the Lord. Copyright © 2017 by World Challenge, Inc., P.O. Box 260, Lindale, Texas 75771 >
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EASTER 3/20/2017 2017
Find Out How to Combat Spring Sinuses By Dr. Don Colbert
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have With the rates at which allergies You and asthma have climbed in recent bidets. Why decades, it can feel like “combat” would you not when it comes to fighting sinus issues wash a pretty - especially in the spring, when pol- important part len counts bounce back from their of your body, winter lows. So, to prepare for battle, your sinuses, in the key lesson at sinus boot camp is, the same fash“Know your enemy!” ion?” There are three main reasons (2) Should why the rates of allergies and asth- you require ma have consistently climbed in antibiotics, be sure to finish your recent decades. prescribed amount of the medicine (1) With global warming, pollen - in the recommended length of counts are climbing higher every time. Because antibiotics tend to year, making it a little tougher each work rapidly, you may feel much spring for people who are sensitive better after only a few days; howto pollen. ever, never stop taking the medica(2) “Super infections” are on the tion because you feel better. Taking rise because people take antibiotics the fully prescribed course of antiwhen they don’t need them, or biotics ensures that your infection 350 CantiOURTis, fully SUITE A and won't reocdon’t finishL allAKEVIEW of a prescribed eradicated biotic, which results in more resis- cur - or become stronger. COVINGTON, LA 70433(3) The best option here is simtant organisms in their bodies that cause worse sinus infections. ply to avoid airborne pollutants and 985-845-3509 (3) Pollutants, including ciga- cigarette smoke. When you can’t, rette smoke - although not causes of you may still reduce your exposure allergies - do cause inflammation with a simple allergy mask. Also, and swelling in the nose and sinus- be sure to wear your mask while es, which only worsen allergy vacuuming and dusting at home. symptoms. In addition, while it is well known Now, to effectively combat the that stress has a negative relationthree bastions of sinus problems, ship with your body’s immune sysarm yourself accordingly. tem, we are only beginning to learn (1) To reduce the pollen count to how it has an impact on allergy which you’re exposed this spring, symptoms as well. In fact, recent consider this: You shower each day research has show that even mild to remove the buildup of dirt and stress or anxiety can worsen allergy germs, but how can you likewise symptoms and leave you more susremove the pollen from your sinus- ceptible to infections. Yet another es? With a neti pot! To wash out the reason to work on reducing the allergens that get inside your nose, effects of stress in your life! saline irrigation with a neti pot is an This entry was posted in Health effective and easy treatment that has Tips by Dr. Don Colbert. © 2017 been practiced in eastern medicine Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www. for centuries. In 2007, when Dr. Oz drcolbert.com > introduced Oprah, and America, to the benefits of a neti pot, he said, “A lot of folks who have allergies, who have sinusitis, who have conditions that we treat with medication are equally well treated by washing the areas of your body. Think about it, Oprah. You wash your underarms.
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Are You Guilty of This Supposedly Harmful Habit? by Dr. Don Colbert When asked why they can’t lose weight, one out of every three adults say “snacking too much” is a main reason. People feel guilty snacking because they think it leads to weight gain. Sure, snacking on the wrong food, like Twinkies and Doritos, can certainly disrupt a weight loss plan. There is a method of snacking, however, that can actually promote weight loss. People who practice healthy snacking, or power snacking, in addition to eating three meals a day, increase their metabolism and control cravings. How to Promote Weight Loss with Power Snacking There are two main things to remember when it comes to power snacking. One is the right amount of food. Two is the right type of food. Many patients tell me they have strong cravings between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. and 11 p.m. These cravings can be overwhelming for many people, causing them to binge or give up on their weight loss goals. Carrots and celery sticks are generally what people think they must snack on to lose weight, but carrots and celery sticks won’t help you control your cravings or satisfy your hunger. Think of your power snack and a mini-meal. Instead of a snacking on one item like chips or carrot sticks, power snacks are a strategic combination of quality foods. Your minimeal should include healthy protein, high fiber, low-glycemic starch and good fat. This mixture is digested slowly, causing glucose to trickle into your bloodstream, controlling your hunger for hours. The mini-meal should only amount to a total of 100-150 calories for women and 150-200 calories for men. Good power snacks are: • A piece of fruit, 6 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt or kefir,
five to ten nuts and one scoop of protein powder. • Two tablespoons of hummus, one small piece of whole-grain, high-fiber pita bread and 1 to 2 ounces of sliced organic turkey or chicken. • Six Wheat Thin Fiber Selects crackers with 1 to 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light cheese and 1 to 2 ounces of smoked salmon or tongol tuna. • A small salad with 1 to 2 ounces of sliced organic turkey, 2 tablespoons of avocado, and a salad spritzer dressing • A bowl of broth-based vegetable or bean soup with 1 to 2 ounces of boiled chicken It is important to carry power snacks with you, keep them at your office, in your car, or always have them available at home. Fruit, especially high-fiber fruits like apples, pears, kiwi, grapefruit and berries is good to always have on hand. Also, nuts, seeds, Ezekial 4:9 bread, hummus, low-fat cheese, avocados, Wheat Think Fiber Selects crackers, organic nitrite-free beef jerky and lunch meats and almond butter are other examples of items to keep on hand so you can quickly put together a power snack when you need one. BONUS: If you want to make your snack even more powerful, add two to three PGX fiber capsules with 16 ounces of water and a cup of green or black tea. Remember, snacking can be a great weight loss tool if done properly. Find out what power snacks you enjoy and make snacking part of your daily routine. This entry was posted in Health Tips by Dr. Don Colbert. © 2017 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www. drcolbert.com >
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The Many Ways A Budget Can Help You Save More Than Just Money by Greg Baker
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Living within your means is one of the best ways to achieve security. Someone once said that there are two ways to be happy: 1. To get everything that you want in life. This is how most people attempt to be happy. 2. To want everything that you have in life. This is a much simpler means of achieving happiness. As a Christian, pastor, and counselor, I've discovered that many of the unhappy people out there are only so largely because they attempted to live outside their means and it came back to haunt them. A budget will solve this problem for you. It will give you stability, security, and freedom. I make what is considered to be poverty wages by the government. Yet I own both my vehicles, and everything in my house is paid off. I have money stashed away for a rainy day, and investments. Only the house itself am I still paying on. Trust me; there is no feeling like not having to worry about money. The average person considers what I make to be insufficient to maintain their lifestyle. So how do I do it? A budget. Here are some of the benefits of having and living by a budget: 1. Financial Security. A budget allows you to free yourself from the worry of paying a particular bill. I don't worry about credit card payments, mortgage payments, or anything. My budget takes care of all that. 2. Know what you can spend. Most people hope they'll have enough money to buy something. If not, it goes on a credit card and they'll end up paying interest. With a budget, you know exactly how much you can spend. 3. Know what is affordable. Similar to the last, point with one distinction. You'll be able to make decisions about the future easier knowing exactly what you can and cannot afford. 4. Build your credit hassle free. Credit is ruined when you can't make the payments. With a budget, you don't have that problem. You'll know what you can and cannot afford. 5. Get your priorities right. Money should not be the main priority in a relationship. But when money is mishandled, it becomes
consuming and overwhelming. It becomes priority. But with a budget, you'll be able to focus on your marriage, your children, and your other relationships without the worry of money issues or pressure. 6. Prepare for the future. Everyone ought to be setting some money aside for the future. Retirement or that rainy day will come. You need to be ready. But how much can you set aside if you don't know what your financial state is in? A budget will solve that problem. 7. Pay off debt faster. Debt can become like a black hole. Unless you can get rid of it, it grows and just consumes everything you throw at it. With a budget, you'll be able to plan a strategy to pay off debt. 8. Know what needs to be cut. With a budget you'll see more clearly what you need to cut out of your budget to meet your needs. Without that budget, you'll live in a realm of hopeful anxiety that somehow, someway, it'll all get paid. That's not a very good strategy. 9. Do more for your family. There isn't a mother, father, wife, or husband who doesn't want to do more for his family. But just throwing money around that you don't have or that you can't afford is destructive. With a budget, you'll know what you can do, plan for things easier, and in the long run, do a lot more for them. Let me illustrate all of this a bit better. Years ago, I decided our family needed another vehicle. I first looked at my budget, tweaked some of the numbers, and figured out exactly what I could and could not afford for a payment. I went to the dealership, found a car I liked, and basically told them that I could afford a $120.00 a month payment. They came back and told me, proudly, that my car payment would be $320.00 a month. I got up to leave. The salesman said, "Wait. Where are you going?" "I told you that I can only afford $120.00 a month. If you can't get it down that far, we have no deal," I replied. Well they worked the numbers, reworked the numbers, fiddled with the price, talked to management, and eventually came up with a payment of $119.00 a month. Now a lot See BUDGET on Page 43
FINANCIAL Big down payment
Dear Dave, Is it always a good idea to put the maximum amount of money you can afford into a down payment when buying your first home?
Financial Straight-Talk by Dave Ramsey www.davesays.com
David Dear David,
Relating to parents Dear Dave, My mom and dad are terrible with money. They’re getting older, so I’d like to see them start saving something for retirement. How can I teach them your principles? Suzanne Dear Suzanne, I hate to say it, but you probably can’t. My grandmother used to say, “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.” When you start trying to talk to your parents about money, you run into what’s called powdered butt syndrome. Once someone has powdered your behind, they usually don’t want your opinion on money
or anything else. Still, as parents get older, especially if you have a particular skill or expertise, they might ask your opinion from time to time. It may be hard for them to take you seriously, though, even if you’re a world-renown expert. To them, you’re always going to be their little girl. It’s great if they will listen to you, but you’ll probably have better luck getting them in front of someone knowledgeable in the field. I’m talking about someone who isn’t you, even if they’re not quite as smart as you! —Dave
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Absolutely! Even though most people can’t pay cash up front for a home, you always want to make as big a down payment as possible on any home you buy. Making a down payment of at least 20 percent helps you avoid private mortgage insurance, plus
the whole idea is to pay that sucker off and become debt-free as fast as possible. Also, avoid 30-year mortgage plans. Stick with a 15-year, fixed rate loan. Now, when it comes to putting money toward your down payment, make sure you don’t touch your emergency fund of three to six months of expenses or your retirement savings. Those things are off limits. But scrape together any other extra cash you can, pile it up, and apply it to your down payment. You’ll be glad you did!
Give the kid a hand! Dear Dave, Several months ago, my five-yearold son told me he wanted a Nintendo DS. He does little things around the house for me, and at his grandparents’ place, so I told him he’d need to save his money and buy it. Well, he did! He’s got enough for the console, but not to pay the sales tax. Should I help him out? Nina
Dear Nina, Are you serious? Yes, you should pitch in and pay the sales tax! It’s not like he’s 15 or 20. This kid is just five years old, and he’s a financial rock star. I think we can cut him a little slack on this one. The older they get, the more hard-
core you need to get as a parent when it comes to financial responsibility. But this child is already learning a great principle that will last him the rest of his life. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit, you can accomplish anything. Don’t let this be a one-shot deal. He needs a new goal right now, so go out and find something he’s as excited about as that Nintendo DS. Then, let him start working on that one. I’m telling you, if we could send some people to Washington who understand what your son already understands, this country would be in great shape!
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Does Anyone Really Understand the True Message of the “CROSS”? The Cross is the means by which our salvation was purchased. But the Cross must never overshadow the fact that it was Jesus Christ who hung on the Cross [which was only a piece of wood]. Our faith must be in Christ [the sacrifice] and what He accomplished there for us. Our faith must be focused on Christ and Him alone, not on the Cross. My understanding of the Cross is that it means pain, anguish, suffering and eventually death. Meaning that when we take up the Cross, after we have denied self, we must follow Him, [Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23]. Once we have taken up that Cross, we will suffer for Christ, [1Peter 4:13]. Jesus uses the figure of the cross prophetically of His crucifixion (Romans 6:6; Galatians 5:24). Jesus proclaims that true followers must take up our cross and follow Him. In other words, we must follow Christ’s example and bear our burdens and trials and tribulations. Taking up our cross is about sacrificing our will and following obeying - His will. “Thy will be done.” Taking up the cross is obedience to God’s will. In other words, in (Matthew 10:38), Jesus sees Himself bearing the cross and suffering on the cross as the Sacrifice for our sins. And Jesus explains that everyone who follows Him must bear a cross of obedience to God’s will. And in obeying God’s will, we will suffer persecution for His Name’s sake. A true Christian willingly takes up his cross and bears it as he walks the narrow way. Paul writes about “the cross of Christ” in his first letter to the Corinthians: For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. (I Corinthians 1:17, 18, 23) The Gospel message of the New Testament is “Christ crucified.” But the Jews hate the Cross of
Christ because they demand a Messiah who will set up an earthly kingdom and make Israel a great nation. And sinners and false Christians hate the Gospel message of “Christ crucified” because they believe it is foolishness. They do not believe there is power in the blood that was shed on the cross to redeem sinners. And, truthfully, they do not want to overcome the powerful temptations of the world. The true message of the Cross is that when we repent of our sins and ask Jesus into our heart, He cleanses our heart and all our sins are nailed to the Cross. All of our transgressions are blotted out. And by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to live a life of holiness; we overcome the power of the world; we glory in the Cross. When we are born again, “the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” We live to please God, not man. In other words, the world no longer controls our thoughts and actions. We are dead to the world; we are alive to Christ and the Kingdom of God. When we repent and truly believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior as evidenced by obeying His commandments, our old self is “crucified with Christ”. (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20). We are no longer servants of sin, but servants of righteousness. Some people claim that “take up his cross” means taking up the benefits of the Cross, not taking up the cross and following in the footsteps of Christ. This is a perversion of the gospel. How can we receive the benefits of the cross without having to pay the price of taking up the cross – obedience, persecution and suffering? Unquestionably, the central doctrine and message of Christianity is the preaching of “Christ crucified” - a crucified Redeemer… Without the Cross of Christ, there is no reconciliation between God and sinner. Without the Cross of Christ, there is no redemption. Without the Cross of Christ, there is no sanctification. See THE CROSS on Page 25
THE CROSS Continued from Page 24 Without the Cross of Christ, there is no justification. Without the Cross of Christ, there is no atonement. Without the Cross of Christ, there is no salvation. Without the Cross of Christ, lost souls are doomed to eternal damnation. Yes, the Cross is an important Christian doctrine. Warning: Do not allow anyone to move you away from putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and putting your faith in the Cross as the Object of your faith. They proclaim that Christ can be followed only by the Believer looking to the Cross. This is a lie from the pit of hell! Truth: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We are to look unto Jesus, not the cross! When false prophets proclaim this, they are diminishing Jesus Christ – the great “I am”! “I am the light of the world (John 8:12) …not “the Cross” is the light of the world. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) …not “the Cross” is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by the Cross. “I am the living bread” (John 6:51) …not “the Cross” is the living bread. “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7) …not “the Cross” is the door of the sheep. I am the resurrection, and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25) Christ crucified on a lifted up
Cross draws men to Christ. It causes them to look heavenward. Christ was lifted up on the cross toward heaven as the Lamb of God to reconcile man and God. To put it another way, an altar is an elevated place or structure upon which sacrifices are offered. The Cross of Calvary was the altar for the Sacrificial Lamb of God. And when we repent of our sin and obediently take up our cross and follow Christ, the shed blood of the Lamb of God redeems us from the penalty of death and eternal damnation. And by the redemptive power of the shed blood of the Sacrificial Lamb, we are no longer under the power of this sinful world. In other words, the world has lost its hold on us. The cross is also an emblem of death of our old self: death to sin, glory in Christ. And the lusts of the world – money, power, fame, success, and other vain glory – are dead. We live for the Kingdom of God, not
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.- Proverbs 16:24
this wicked world. We glory in what Christ did for us on the Cross. False prophets refuse to preach the Truth that the message of the Cross is about self-denial and suffering and sacrifice and walking the narrow way. Instead they preach a perverted gospel of a false cross that allows sinful man to stumble in worldliness instead of living a life of purity. Their ministries rarely mention repentance, holiness and righteousness. There is a reason. We pray this article will keep you from being deceived. Save the Nations Ministries >
Personal Revival Conformity to The World Andrew Murray "I beseech you, brethren that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1,2). Do not be conformed to this world. But what is conformity to the world? The opposite of conformity to Jesus, for Jesus and the world stand directly opposed to each other. The world crucified Him. He and His disciples are not of the world. The spirit of this world and the Spirit of God exclude each other. The world cannot receive the Spirit of God, for it does not see Him and does not know Him. And what is the spirit of this
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world`? The spirit of this world is the disposition which encourages mankind to continue in their natural condition, where the Spirit of God has not yet renewed them. The spirit of this world comes from the Evil One-the prince of this worldand has dominion over all who are not renewed by the Spirit of God. And in what does the spirit of this world, or conformity to it, manifest itself? The Word of God gives the answer, "All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16). The three chief forms of the spirit of the world are: the craving for pleasure or the desire to enjoy the world, the craving for property or the desire to possess the world, and the craving for glory or the desire to be honored in the world. And these three are one in root and essence. The spirit of this world
is--that man makes himself his own end. He makes himself the central point of the world. All creation, so far as he has power over it, must serve him; he seeks his life in the visible. This is the spirit of the world--to seek one's self and the visible. And the Spirit of Jesus is-to live not for one's self and not for the visible, but for God and the things that are invisible. It is a very terrible and serious thought that one can live a busy, fashionable life--free from obvious sin or unrighteousness and yet remain a friend to the world, and therefore an adversary to God. We are conformed to this world if our care for the earthly--for what we eat and drink, for what we possess or may possess, and for what we have brought forth in the earth and have made to increase--is the chief element in our life. It is a terrible and very serious thought that one can maintain the appearance of a Christian life--think that one is trusting in Christ--while yet living with the world for self and the visible. For this reason the command comes to all Christians with great emphasis--Be conformed, not to this world, but to Jesus. And how can I not come to be
conformed to the world? Read our text over again with consideration. There we read two things. One, it is those who have presented their bodies to God as a sacrifice on the altar that have it said to them--Be not conformed to the world. Offer yourself to God--that is conformity to Jesus. Live every day as one who is offered up to God, crucified in Christ to the world. Then you will not be conformed to the world. Then, two, it says: Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what the perfect will of God is. There must be a continuous growing renewal of our mind. This takes place by the Holy Spirit, when we let ourselves be led by Him. Then we learn to spiritually judge what is according to the will of God and what is according to the spirit of the world. A Christian who strives after the progressive renewal of his whole mind will not be conformed to the world. The Spirit of God makes him conformed to Jesus. Christians, please believe that Jesus has obtained for you the power to overcome the world, with See CONFORMITY on Page 43
Genuine Repentance For godly sorrow works repentance into salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works death. (2 Corinthians 7:10) Genuine repentance involves a change of opinion respecting the nature of sin, and this change of opinion followed by a corresponding change of feeling towards sin. Feeling is the result of thought. And when this change of opinion is such as to produce a corresponding change of feeling, if the opinion is right and the feeling corresponds, this is genuine repentance. It must be right opinion. The opinion now adopted might be such an opinion as God holds respecting sin. Godly sorrow, such as God requires, must spring from such views of sin as God holds. 1. There must be a change of opinion in regard to sin. To one who genuinely repents, sin looks like a very different thing from what it does to him who has not repented. Instead of looking like a thing that is desirable or fascinating, it looks the very opposite, most repulsive and detestable, and he is astonished at himself, that he
ever could have desired such a thing. Unrepentant sinners may look at sin and see that it will ruin them, because God will punish them for it. But after all, it appears in itself desirable. They love it. They roll it under their tongue. If it could end in happiness, they never would think of abandoning it. But to the other it is different; he looks at his own conduct as perfectly unbearable. He looks back upon it and exclaims, "How shameful, how detestable, how worthy of hell, such and such a thing was in me." 2. There must be a change of opinion of the character of sin as respects to its relation to God. Sinners do not see why God threatens sin with such terrible punishment. They love it so well themselves, that they cannot see why God should look at it in such a light as to think it worthy of everlasting punishment. When they are strongly convicted, they see it differently, and so far as opinion is concerned, they see it in the same light as a Christian does, and then they only want a corresponding change of feeling to become Christians. Many a sinner sees its relation to God to
be such that it deserves eternal death, but his heart does not go with his opinions. This is the case with the devils and wicked spirits in hell. Mark, then; a change of opinion is indispensable to genuine repentance, and always precedes it. The heart never goes out to God in true repentance without a previous change of opinion. There may be a change of opinion without repentance, but no genuine repentance without a change of opinion. 3. There needs to be a change of opinion in regard to the tendencies of sin. Before, the sinner thinks it utterly incredible that sin should have such tendencies as to deserve everlasting death. He may be fully changed, however, as to his opinions on this point without repentance, but it is impossible a man should truly repent without a change of opinion. He sees sin in its tendency, as ruinous to himself and everybody else, soul and body, for time and eternity, and at conflict with all that is lovely and happy in the universe. He sees that sin is calculated in its tendencies to injure himself, and everybody else, and
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. -Proverbs 16:9
that there is no remedy but universal self-discipline. The devil knows it to be so. And possibly there are some sinners reading this article now, who know it. 4. There must be a change of opinion in regard to the desert of sin. The word rendered repentance implies all this. It implies a change in the state of the mind including all this. The careless sinner has almost no right ideas, even so far as this life is concerned, respecting the desert of sin. Suppose he admits in theory that sin deserves eternal death, but he does not believe it. If he believed it, it would be impossible for him to remain a careless sinner. He is deceived, if he supposes that he honestly holds such an opinion as that sin deserves the wrath of God for ever. But the truly awakened and convicted sinner has no more doubt of this than he has of the existence of God. He sees clearly that sin must deserve everlasting punishment from God. He knows that this is a simple matter of fact. See REPENTANCE on Page 42
The Christian Journey What are You Doing with Your Life? By Pastor Doug Gilford
Let me ask a direct question: What are you doing with your life? I know you are probably ready to turn the page, but before you do, please give me a moment to chal-
lenge you. James asks the early Christians a similar question, “for what is your life? It is a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14b). James tells us something we already know, but by doing so, reminds us of a truth we so easily forget. The fact is our lives are short. Just ask any elderly person, and they will tell how quickly time just “flew by.” Again, I ask: What are you doing with YOUR life? Humans have a knack for staying busy. Busy working or playing. Busy with the family or church. Busy being busy. On my death bed, I do not imagine I will wish to be “doing” something. I imagine that I will want to see someone, hold someone’s hand, or simply “be” in the presence of someone who loves me.
My point is: Life is what we make it. If I choose to consume my time with things or people that do not matter, at my life’s end, I will have many regrets. But if I choose to consume my life with things that DO matter, my life will be lived to the fullest. In fact, Jesus says this: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus is being very clear: There is a thief, the devil, trying to rob my life from me. His tactic is to steal, kill and ultimately destroy the precious and short life that I have. After fifteen years of counseling, I can recognize five things that steal life from people: 1. A preoccupation with things that do not matter 2. An unhealthy relationship that is doomed to failure 3. An unnatural intolerance to religion, church, or Biblical truths 4. Anything that warps, suspends, or causes your mind to go idle, so you cannot experience raw emotion 5. Avoiding honest and genuine reality checks about yourself or your situation Not only does Jesus say there is a
“thief” trying to steal, kill, and destroy our lives, Jesus goes further by saying, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” The thief wants to destroy our lives and Jesus wants to give us an abundantly full life. How do we live life to the fullest like Jesus is referring to? There is a passage in Colossians that tells us the “how” to living a full life in Jesus. It says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus? What does that mean to you? I believe what the apostle Paul is saying to the Colossian church are three things: First, live with authority. Whenever we see the word “name” in the Bible used like this, it means authority. So, if I am living in the “name of the Lord,” that means I am living with the authority of Christ in me. That means fear doesn’t have to reside in me because Jesus’ name is in me, His authority resides in me. Fear cannot exist where strong, confident authority exists. See YOUR LIFE on Page 41
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(John 20:9) Third, the disciples discovered tells us, “As yet they did not under- that in the grand scope of things, stand the Scripture, that He must any adversity we experience is temrise again from the dead.” porary, because Jesus has given us How often do you and I get eternal life. Although they knew caught up in the same attitude of they would face resistance and perdefeat? We are overwhelmed by our secution as they preached the goscircumstances because we are pel, they understood that the Father focused on our limited comprehen- would ultimately deliver them— SUMMER TIME FUN STARTS HERE... sion of them instead of the Father’s whether on earth or by taking them -3 Private Lakes -Boat Sales awesome purposes. Yet if we could to their home in heaven (1 Pet. -Waterski Lessons - Summer Camp see past our imperfect understand- 4:12-19). Their future was absoing to our extraordinary Redeemer, lutely secure because it was in -Wakeboard Lessons -Movie Nights we would be filled with joy. 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WWW.SKIBENNETTS.COM well, filling it with hope. What did Now I ask you to look deep #SKIBENNETTS they discover? within your heart and be completeFirst, they realized that God ly honest with yourself and with the always succeeds in carrying out His Father. Do you have doubts? Are plans. Jesus promised to pay for our you finding it difficult to believe in transgressions and deliver us from See RESURRECTION the penalty of death—and that is on Page 42 exactly what He did (Luke 24:46This is the day that the Lord has made Let us rejoice EASTER 2017 29 and be glad in it. - Psalm 118:24
Guiding Light Watering Down the Bible By David Jeremiah Have you ever tasted something that has obviously been watered down? Even the finest coffee or tea loses some of its flavor when it is diluted with too much water. A watered down message can lose its potency as well. In the world today, there is an attempt by some to water down the Word of God in an attempt to make it more palatable to the changing morals and attitudes of our culture. But the Bible doesn’t conform its message to public opinion polls. It doesn’t change its doctrines in response to societal consensus. It should never be watered down. God’s Word is eternal—ever old, ever new, and ever sure. The Bible is as venerable as, “Thus says the
Lord,” and as contemporary as, “The Last Days.” It spans the ages, being ageless. We can count on it in every condition: in sickness, in health, in poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth. In a world of lies, His Word is truth. In a world of opinions, His Word is accurate down to the last jot and tittle. Because God is eternal, His Word is established in the heavens. Because He cannot fail, His Word cannot be broken. Because He is unchanging, His Word is certain. Heaven and earth may pass away, but the Scripture will endure forever. The Inspiration of Scripture The word “inspiration” is taken from (2 Timothy 3:16), where the apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. . .” Peter gave additional insight when he wrote, “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation [or origination], for prophecy never
came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). Inspiration can be defined as the power of the Holy Spirit upon the human writers of the Scripture so that as they spoke and wrote the books of the Bible, they were recording the very words God intended to give the human race. I’ve never understood pastors who stood in the pulpit without a firm belief in inspiration. Why would anyone devote his life to preaching a Book he didn’t believe? Arthur W. Pink said, “Upon the foundation of the Divine inspiration of the Bible stands or falls the entire edifice of Christian truth.” The Inerrancy and Infallibility of Scripture The doctrine of inspiration leads logically to the tenets of inerrancy and infallibility. If holy men of old spoke and wrote as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit, those words must be trustworthy in all respects. The word “inerrancy” means that the Bible is without error in its original manuscripts. The word “infallibility” means that it is accurate, unfailing, and authoritative. It’s possible to accumulate a lot of information and store up a lot of data.
But only the Bible provides an infallible foundation for true knowledge. The Indestructibility of Scripture The Bible is also indestructible. Reuben Archer Torrey, who was a champion of the Bible in an age of encroaching liberalism, thundered: “It is so self-evident as to be practically axiomatic that what man has produced man can destroy. If then men produced the Bible why have eighteen (now twenty) centuries of assault upon the Bible been unable to destroy it?” Torrey went on to say that the Bible has been attacked by many people of great ability and power, using all the intellectual, scientific, philosophical, political, and physical forces they could command. Emperors tried to burn it. Scholars tried to discredit it. Critics tried to bury it. The world has tried to ignore it. But it’s still the best-selling book of all time. While human governments have fallen, while human philosophies have faltered, the Bible still stands. The Influence of Scripture If the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and indestructible See WATERING DOWN on Page 43
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The Abiding Life by Jim Elliff The abiding life is the true Christian life. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) (John 15) gives us the pattern for spiritual growth and effectiveness as believers. In the passage, we are called branches, Christ is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser. What are the characteristics of authentic branches? They bear the fruit of Christ’s character and power. Fruit is the life of Christ through the believer. It is excess life. The life of the Christian is to be one of daily dependence on Christ, rather than himself. Do people see Christ in you? Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away.. .Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. (vv.2a, 4-5) They are pruned by God. God cuts off the diseased and the nonessential aspects of the believer’s life. It is up to the vinedresser to determine what is and is not useful. Pruning is painful but necessary. Is this your experience? Every branch that bears fruit, He primes it, that it may bear more fruit. (v. 2b) They know the joy of living by God’s Word and prayer. God will entrust much in prayer to those whose minds are being renewed through His Word, for they pray according to His will. Have you learned to live by God’s Word and prayer? If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. (v. 7) They keep God’s commandments. Do you obey Him? If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. (v. 10) They love those who are in Christ. Christ taught us love by sacrifice. While loving all men, abiding Christians have a special affec-
tion for believers and eagerly express this love in the local church. Is love the prominent feature of your life? This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends. (vv. 12-13) They are often misunderstood. Does the world love you or hate you? If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (vv. 18-20) They speak openly of Christ and what He has done. That which is in the heart comes out of the mouth. Do you speak of Christ? When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with me from the beginning. (vv. 26-27) The abiding life is the ONLY true Christian life. Is it the life you lead? By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (v. 8) Copyright © 2017 Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc >
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“When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you truly have found God” Most men hesitate to speak of their own spiritual experiences. They are frightened by the fear of making “self” too prominent or they are too ashamed to confess how much practical unbelief and half-hearted allegiance to their Lord exists in their lives. The writer of this article knows his own unworthiness; but he humbly believes that he also knows something of the worthiness of an all sufficient Savior. This column and the ones that will follow will show the pathway by which one seeking soul found its way from “life” to “life more abundant”. They endeavor to reveal the helps and hindrances, which a seeker after the victorious life should know. Is It Possible? John plainly says that every child of God “overcomes the world”. Now that is Victory! To most Christians, the Victorious life is a mirage which vanishes into thin air or recedes into the distance as we try to approach it. And so we look forward to finding it in heaven. Now John isn’t speaking about Victory in Heaven, for there “Faith is lost in sight”. So there must be a Victory here on earth in some way the result of faith. The writer would gladly give all that he had in the world if in exchange, he could have seen this way of Victory 25 years ago! After many years of bible study, after many years of futile struggling with temptation which regularly tested him, he at last saw a way outor rather a way in. It was to him a new way-a Living way…and eagerly he entered in. He now sees there is such a thing as Victory. Though he is disappointed in the true Victory that eluded him, he recognizes that we are living in the last days and wants to share his insight with God’s children. He therefore wants to share this blessed advice with others. And, is there not a real heartfelt yearning among Christians today to lay hold-not for life, for they already have that but on “Life More Abundant”? The Victorious Life! The words ring with hope. Men and women have been known to flock to meet-
ings to discover the secret of such a life. For they know without a doubt that when Victory comes defeat goes! Those shameful betrayals of the Master, which are so discouraging, will vanish away. With Victory will come Peace- a peace which really passes all understanding? With Victory will come Joy-A rejoicing with Joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1Peter 1:8) With Victory will come Powerthe very power of God. “The Victorious Life” – A life of Peace and Joy and Power. Would not such a life satisfy any man? Can we ask for anything better? The writer proposes to try to make it plain and clear to the simplest mind, what the bible says about this life. We shall ask, how can it be attained and retained? What are its difficulties and dangers? Can it be lost? If so, can it be regained? We shall speak of real Victory and False. We hope to tell you of its Triumphs and its Tests. But first, we must give a Warning. It is this: Satan will do his utmost to cloud your mind. He will bring all sorts of doubts and difficulties to light. Why is this? Just because he is eager to prevent you from gaining Victory! Believe me, the devil does not mind you being religious and he does not mind how much Powerless work you attempt for Christ, the more the Devil is pleased. He simply revels in seeing you defeated, worldly Christians desperately busy for Christ. But the Devil will do his best to discredit Victorious Life teaching and to keep you from even Seeking to understand it. He is quite an expert in using and misusing scripture. But be confident of this very thing that the teaching is striking home and striking him-the Devil when difficulties are suggested to your mind or some verse of scripture “comes” to you, which seems to contradict some statement made in these articles. No one is more anxious than the writer that only the truth as it is Christ shall be heard. We have a consuming desire that every Christian shall be filled with the “Fullness of God”. © 2017 The Old Time Gospel Ministry >
THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN
Others May, You Cannot IF God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways, He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do. Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely repentant. Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep humiliation that will make you despise yourself and all your good works. Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury. The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He may let others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN Times GREATER When JESUS COMES.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave, He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle. Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL, PRIVATE, JEALOUS GUARDIANSHIP and MANAGEMENT OF the HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found the vestibule of Heaven. WHEN YOU ARE forgotten, neglected, or purposefully set at naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the oversight, because thereby you are counted worthy to suffer with Christ, THAT IS VICTORY. WHEN YOUR GOOD is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, when your taste is offended, when your advise is disregarded, when your opinions are ridiculed, and you take it all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS VICTORY. WHEN YOU ARE content with any food, clothing, climate, society, solitude, or any interruption by the will of God that is VICTORY! Save the Nations Ministries >
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THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN
A Glimpse into Glory By Adrian Rogers The things discussed in this article may be experienced even before you finish reading it! Many sense in their hearts that we're living in the last days. John had a vision of the church age in which we are living and of the rapture and heaven to come. And, there are three things we can learn from this vision -- the person upon the throne, the people before the throne, and the praise unto the throne. The Person upon the Throne (Revelation 4:2-3, 5) The glory of Jesus is described in images of precious jewels and a rainbow. The first stone ─ jasper ─ was like a crystal diamond (see Revelation 21:11) and I believe that John was describing Jesus' translucent purity and all-consuming beauty. The second stone was sardine which is ruby red to represent the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, the high priest represented Jesus and the breastplate of jewels He wore represented His chosen ones. God has His people upon His heart. Isn't it
interesting to note the first and last of the stones in the breastplate were the jasper and the sardine -- the first and the last (see Revelation 1:8)? Next we read that John saw a rainbow. The rainbow is a symbol of God's covenant promise with His people. This rainbow John saw was a circle that symbolizes eternity and perfection and was also green, which is the color of life. This circular rainbow of emerald further symbolized the covenant promise of eternal life! Finally, the rainbow means that the storm is over. Thank God! We see in this passage that Jesus is sovereign over all things. Flashes of lightening, rumbling of thunder, mysterious murmuring voices, and more are all build to a crescendo. Something is about to happen! The People before the Throne (Revelation 4:4) The redeemed of God who are caught up in the rapture will be sitting upon thrones (see also Revelation 5:9). Does John want us to think that only twenty-four people will be raptured? No. Here again, we are to look at this in a symbolic way. Twelve is God's governmental number. Four is the earth number. Three is the divine number. Three
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times four is twelve. Twelve represents heaven and earth working together to symbolize God's government. That's the reason you find twelve patriarchs in the Old Testament and twelve apostles in the New Testament. They represent the saints of all of the ages. Twelve plus twelve makes twenty-four. God's redeemed who have been washed clean and clothed in white raiment will be sitting upon thrones with crowns on their heads. Why crowns upon their heads? (Second Timothy 4:7-8) tells us that the redeemed will be wearing "crowns of righteousness" and (Revelation 1:6) tells us that Christ has "made us kings." Are you ready for that? God has redeemed His children to crown them kings and priests! The Praise unto the Throne (Revelation 4:5-11) Seven, the number of perfection, is descriptive of the lamps and the Spirit. The Old Testament gave us a picture of the temple of God and in that temple was the Ark of the Covenant (which symbolized Jesus) and in front of the Ark was a lampstand (which symbolized the Holy Spirit). The work of the Holy Spirit is to cast light upon Jesus.
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(Revelation 4:6) continues to give us a glimpse of the glory of God with the image of a sea of glass ─ a vision in a grander scale of the basin of water the priest used to wash before entering the temple (see Exodus 40:29-31). Now, this basin symbolized the Word of God by which we are cleansed (see Ephesians 5:26), but no longer do we have to wash in it. Now, we stand upon it. It is fixed and firm (see Psalm 119:89). In addition to this sea of glass, we see "four beasts full of eyes before and behind." For further study, read Genesis 9 about the four categories of persons and things with which God made a covenant and see how these correspond to these four beasts. For now, why were these beasts created? For the glory of God. This world was created by and for Jesus; it is sustained through Jesus; it is coming to Jesus (see Colossians 1:15-17). One day ─ and it may be soon ─ we're going to fall in praises before Him as we cast down our crowns to give Him glory, honor, and praise forever. What a time that will be! Copyright © 2017
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Holy Baptism By Andrew Murray "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved"(Mark 16:16). We find the meaning of the institution of baptism summarized in these words. The word "teach" means "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them." The believing disciple, as he is baptized in the water, is also to be baptized or introduced into the name of the Trinity. By the name of the Father, the new birth and life as a child in the love of the Father are secured to him. By the name of the Son, participation in the forgiveness of sins and the life that is in Christ are promised to him. By the name of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling and progressive renewal of the Spirit is assured him. And every baptized believer must always look upon baptism as his entrance into a covenant with the Trinity, and as a pledge that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit will, in course of time, do for him all that they have promised. It requires a lifelong study to know and enjoy all the blessing that is presented in baptism. In other passages of Scripture, the blessing is again set forth. We find bound up with it the new birth required to make a child of God. "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). The baptized disciple has in God a Father, and he has to live as a child in the love of this Father. Then, again, baptism is brought more directly into connection with the redemption that is in Christ. Consequently, the first and simplest representation of it is the forgiveness or washing away of sins. Forgiveness is always the gateway or entrance into all blessing. Therefore, baptism is also the sacrament of the beginning of the Christian life---a beginning that is maintained through the whole life. It is on this account that in (Romans, chapter 6), baptism is represented as the secret of the whole of sanctification, the entrance into a life in union with Jesus. "Know ye not
THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3). The more precise explanation of what it is to be baptized into the death of Jesus, and to arise out of this with Him, for a new life in Him follows in verses 4-11. This is very powerfully comprehended elsewhere in this word, "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). This alone is the right life of a baptized disciple. He has put on Christ. As one is plunged into water and passes under it, so is the believing confessor baptized into the death of Christ, in order then to live and walk clothed with the new life of Christ. And there are other passages where again the promise of the Spirit is connected with baptism. It is promised not only as the Spirit of regeneration but also as the gift from heaven bestowed on believers for indwelling and sealing--for progressive renewal. "He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly" (Titus 3:5, 6). Here, renewal is the activity of the Spirit, by which the new life that is planted in the new birth penetrates our whole being, so that all our thinking and doing is sanctified by Him. And all this rich blessing which lies in baptism is received by faith. "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved." Baptism was not only a confession on man's part of the faith that he already had, but equally a seal on God's part for the confirmation of faith--a covenant sign in which the whole treasury of grace lay open, to be enjoyed throughout life. As often as a baptized believer sees a baptism administered, or reflects on it, it is to be to him an encouragement to press, by an ever-growing faith, into the full life of salvation that the Trinity desires to work in him. The Holy Spirit is given to appropriate within us all the love of the Father and all the grace of the Son. The believing candidate for baptism is baptized into the death of Christ and has put on Christ. The Holy Spirit is in the disciple to give him all this as his daily experience. Lord God, make Your holy baptism always operative in my soul as the experience that I am baptized into the death of Christ. And let Your people everywhere understand by Your Spirit what rich blessing lies in this baptism. Amen. Copyright © 2017 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.>
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“Family Ties” at Stewart Lodges at Steelwood The gift of family, and the time we spend together keep us tied together year after year. In those special moments of family time we can best enjoy each other by sharing flavorful family meals, and plenty of indoor and outdoor recreation, in a setting that is private and comfortable, that is Stewart Lodges at Steelwood. Stewart Lodges at Steelwood is the ideal place for your family vacation destination this summer. Our charming Lodges allow your family to be schedule free, together in one private facility where family activities are completely up to you, in your own time. Our comfortable Lodge living areas are great family spaces for competitive board games, a game of pool or good old fashion foosball. When your family visits Stewart Lodges you create your family experience, all with the support and attentiveness of a friendly and well trained staff. Stewart Lodges at Steelwood overlooks a 200 acre stocked, fresh-water lake, in a private secluded gated community. Family friendly amenities include 20 total private rooms and baths, extensive screened porches, state of the art televisions with premium channels in our great rooms, wireless internet, and a pool and cabana area that include a fire pit and a heated Jacuzzi. Incredible food is a staple at Stewart Lodges, our onsite Executive Chef prepares traditional family dinners, homemade desserts and special preplanned meal selections that taste like home. Large restaurant style dining areas are provided
at the Lodges, as well as family style dining tables to accommodate breakfast, lunch and dinner for your group. Each family group that stays at Stewart Lodges is greeted with a warm batch of plated cookies and ice cold milk or hot coffee, it is just our Stewart Lodges way of saying “welcome,” and stay a while. Holiday family dinners are our specialty at Stewart Lodges, we offer a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meal with all the trimmings and Chef special touches. Holiday family vacations at the Lodges can’t be beat as we do all the cooking and your family does all the enjoying with comfortable rooms for napping and retreating afterwards. A family evening at Stewart Lodges at Steelwood is like no other, our private Lodges sit nestled amongst the trees and property views include brilliant sunsets off the lake. Your family will have many comfortable areas at the Lodges where they can end their day, or stay up late, talking, while rocking on the back porch. Stewart Lodges is conveniently located halfway between New Orleans and Panama City, both being a short 2-1/2 hours away. Our beautiful cities on the Gulf Coast including Mobile, Fairhope and Orange Beach are a short drive, and a great way to
combine a beach and lodge vacation experience for your family. Stewart Lodges at Steelwood hosts many out of town guests and families from around the world. At your disposal is a meeting planner that can assist with any detail or activity your family envisions to make your vacation a memorable one. Unspoiled, Unexpected, and Unparalleled is the experience we create for families that vacation at Stewart Lodges. There is no greater pleasure for our Stewart Lodges family than creating customized and memorable experiences that last a lifetime. For Reservations call: 251-602-1300 or toll free 866-580-4343 www.stewartsteelwood.com
S tewart Lodges at Steelwood is the perfect destination for your Family Reunions and gatherings! Affordable, private lodges nestled along a 250 acre fresh water lake in a secluded 1200+ acre gated community with ample gathering space for everyone.
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We Are Your Community College on The Northshore! With convenient locations across the Northshore, Northshore Technical Community College offers accessible, affordable education with 23 programs leading to two-year degrees, professional certificates, and transitions to four-year universities. NTCC is proud to announce its expansion of the new STEM Campus, located at 65556 Centerpoint Blvd., Lacombe, LA, which serves as NTCCâ€™s main campus and houses robust STEM curriculum and programs including the Maritime Technology Program and 4 year pathways to advanced degrees in engineering, information technology, biological sciences, business, and nursing.
maritime industry leaders and economic development boards. STEM pathways have been constructed which allow students to start affordable, accessible programs of study tied to STEM employment and careers. Pathways in the Biological Sciences are designed for Biomedical and Coastal Restoration. Pathways in Engineering lead to both UNO for Engineering and Southeastern Louisiana University for Engineering Technology. NTCC boasts a depth of technical programs including Welding, HVAC, Automotive, Culinary Arts, Electrician, Machine Tool Technology, Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, and more. Health Science programs in Practical Nursing, Patient Care Technician, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, and Veterinary Technology are also available.
Within the Maritime Program, students can choose from Vessel Operation or Automated Systems. This unique program offers a degree path embedded with the necessary certifications to begin working in NTCC also proudly offers the Connect To the maritime industry. NTCC developed the Success open admission program designed program with guidance from over a dozen for students who want to enroll in STEM Campus 65556 Centerpoint Blvd., Lacombe, LA 70445 985-545-1500
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Southeastern Louisiana University but do not yet meet its admission requirements. Our programs are designed for high school graduates, non-graduates, and those seeking a career change or re-entry into the workforce. All are welcomed and eligible to apply for admission. Orientations are scheduled prior to each semester. When students fill out applications, they will receive information regarding orientation and registration. Multiple orientation dates are available for students to select from each semester. Tours are available upon request. Financial-aid information and contact information can be found at www. NorthshoreCollege.edu. For more information on programs, please contact one of our campuses or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on our Adult Education Program and ESL Program, visit NorthshoreCollege. edu/workreadyu.
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NTCC is an equal opportunity institution and is dedicated to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment or training. Qualified students, applicants, or employees will not be excluded from any course or activity because of age, race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. All students have equal rights to counseling and training. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding these non-discrimination policies: Northshore Technical Community College Title IX Coordinator Christy Montgomery, 985-545-1239, christymontgomery@ northshorecollege.edu.
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Changing Times What makes us uniquely different from other Christian newspapers? This question suggests a second question: Why should you become part of our Changing Times family? These are two very good questions to ask of any Christian literature that you might consider reading. The answer is the same for both questions. Before answering the question of what makes us different, let’s look at what makes us similar to other Christian Publications. There are about a hundred worthwhile Christian Publications distributed here in the United States and most of them believe many of the same things. Like these ministries, we believe: -In one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; -The Bible is the inspired word of God and is accurate in all it affirms; -People are born into this world morally depraved and, because of that, all people commit sin; -Jesus is the beloved Son of God. -That Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven makes possible the forgiveness of our sins; and -God will forgive people’s sins when they repent and put their faith in Jesus. Like some Christian publications, we are owned by a ministry and teach by biblical standards. SO, WHAT makes Changing Times so unique? What makes us unique is that we believe that salvation really changes a person. Salvation is not just adding church and Christian fellowship to your life or trying to do better. The Bible says in (2 Corinthians 5:17), “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” The old things that pass away are the old failed moral powers and the things that have become new are the powers of a new moral nature. In other words, as born again Christians, we find the power of God in our lives to live the way God expects us to live. This power is actually God living inside us that helps us to overcome our natural moral failures. (Romans 8:5) says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Verses 8 and 9 go on to say, “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the
flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” These few verses help us to understand what it means for the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7). If the Bible says that the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin, how much sin can we have and still be acceptable to God? Very few Christians believe they actually can be saved from sinning. They believe that God forgives their sins, but they feel that they will continue to sin more or less every day in word, thought or deed. We believe that God saves Christians from sin so that they don’t have to sin and that is the thing that makes us unique. We do not believe in sinless perfection, as sometimes Christians are accused. We do believe it is possible that a Christian could sin but that it is not necessary that we sin. One text we rely on is (1 Corinthians 10:13), “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The way of escape is listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit. Yes, sometimes a Christian might not pay attention to the Holy Spirit and be overcome by a temptation—the Bible sees that possibility in (1 John 2:1), “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.” But that is the exception, not the rule. This is not just a belief with us; this is something we have found to be true in our lives. We do not think we are better than other Christians; we are blessed in a way they might not yet understand. We are not smarter or more spiritual than other Christians; it is just that God has helped us to understand that Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). OUR PURPOSE Our purpose is to share what we have found to be true about salvation from sin with people that are looking for an experience with God that changes their lives. There are many people, sinners and professing Christians, who are just tired of sin and its guilt—they want to live better lives and to please God. We invite you to “check us out.” See CHANGING TIMES on Page 43
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FROM THE EDITOR SIMPLE PLAN Continued from Page 3 You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” Yes, it is that simple! It is scriptural. It is God’s plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as your Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this article over and over, without laying it down, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than the entire world. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment. God’s power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God
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GOSPEL Continued from Page 18 is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God’s promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: • Pray -- you talk to God. • Read your Bible -- God talks to you. • Witness -- you talk for God. AFTER you are saved, you should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord . . . .” (2 Timothy 1:8). “Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). All Lives Matter to God! Save the Nations Ministries >
the New Testament church and its many writings to be fabricated by some great conspiracy. Down to the details, Jesus Christ fulfilled dozens of Old Testament prophecies that vindicate his truth. 6. The witnesses to Jesus Christ who wrote the New Testament gospels and letters are not gullible or deceitful or demented. This is manifest from the writings themselves. The books bear the marks of intelligence and clear-headedness and maturity and a moral vision that is compelling. They win our trust as witnesses, especially when all taken together with one great unifying, but distinctively told, message about Jesus Christ. 7. The worldview that emerges from the writings of the New Testament makes more sense out of more reality than any other worldview. It not only fits the human heart, but also the cosmos and history and God as he reveals himself in nature and conscience. Some may come to this conclusion after much reflection; others may arrive at this conviction by a pre-reflective, intuitive sense of the deep suitability of
Christ and his message to the world that they know. 8. When one sees Christ as he is portrayed truly in the gospel, there shines forth a spiritual light that is a self-authenticating. This is "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 4:6), and it is as immediately perceived by the Spirit-awakened heart as light is perceived by the open eye. The eye does not argue that there is light. It sees light. 9. When we see and believe the glory of God in the gospel, the Holy Spirit is given to us so that the love of God might be "poured out in our hearts" (Romans 5:5). This experience of the love of God known in the heart through the gospel of Him who died for us while we were yet ungodly assures us that the hope awakened by all the evidences we have seen will not disappoint us. Loving the truth of Christ with you, Pastor John By John Piper. ©Desiring God. Website: www.desiringgod.org Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 888.346.4700. >
EASTER STORY Continued from Page 10 Then . . . ANOTHER strange thing happened. As soon as they realized who it really was that sat at the table with them . . . Jesus disappeared! They talked about the wonderful time they had talking with Jesus down the road, and they just couldn't help talking about his strange disappearance. They got up from their meal and returned to Jerusalem where they told all the other disciples the good news that Jesus REALLY DID raise from the dead and had talked with them. As they were talking, Jesus again appeared to them. They were afraid and thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus told them not to be afraid. He showed them His hands and feet where He had been nailed to the cross, so they would believe that it was really Him. When they saw the nail holes in His hands and feet, they finally believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, just like He said He would. They were soooo happy and joyful to have their friend with them again. They were soooo excited that they had to tell EVERYBODY the good news that JESUS IS ALIVE!
THINK! YOUR LIFE Why were Jesus' friends so sad? Continued from Page 28 Why were guards placed around The second thing that living in the tomb? the “name of the Lord” means to What caused the huge stone to be the Christian is we live with access. moved? Who was the first to look inside I can live a full life having all access to Jesus, the Father and all the tomb? Why was Jesus' body not in the of Heaven. Paul wrote the Ephesian church to describe this access, tomb? What did the angel say to Mary “For through Him we both have and the women with her? access by one Spirit to the Father.” REMEMBER: He goes on to tell the result of our Jesus Is Alive! access, “Now, therefore, you are no A VERSE TO LEARN longer strangers and foreigners, but "He is not here, but is risen" fellow citizens with the saints and (Luke 24:6). members of the household of God.” LET'S PRAY (Ephesians 2:18-19) Dear God, thank You that You sent We live with authority and access Your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. but there is a third element to living Thank You that He arose from the in the “name of the Lord.” It is dead and is now living; and because called agreement. He lives, we can have eternal life. As we walk on earth, it should be In Jesus' Name. Amen. CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY our goal to walk in agreement with IN THE BIBLE? Matthew 27:55 - 28:10 THE PALM TREE Mark 15:40 - 16:14 Continued from Page 14 Luke 23:47 - 24:35 John 19:38 - 20:21 Make Jesus manifest and unmisCopyright © 2017 - The Lorain takable in your life. Let your happy County Free-Net Chapel piety be the far-eyed signal North Central Ohio, U.S.A. > announcing an oasis in the desert, and pray that your church may
I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. - Isaiah 46:4
God. That means our lives, to be lived to the fullest will only happen when we align our attitudes and our behavior with the Lord’s. I cannot be a member of an earthly organization and not follow the terms of agreement. Likewise, God has terms of His agreement written throughout sixty-six books of the Bible. If a full life in Christ is our goal, it will be on God’s terms, not ours. So, what are you doing with your life? Give your life to Christ, and let Him lead you to the fullest life you can imagine. If you have any questions about what you just read, or if I can help you in your walk with God, feel free to give me a call. May God bless you. Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church-23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985624-8652 >
become another Elim to weary pilgrims "where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water."(Exodus 15:27) ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
HUSBAND Continued from Page 5 Anytime a woman steps away from her husband’s protection, she will be vulnerable to criminal and sexual abuses. Because of the way of society, a woman should not work for other people in jobs and careers but at home for her husband and children. This is how a woman brings joy and life into the home by putting her creative talents and abilities to work for her family. The churches do not teach this aspect of the word of God. It gets tossed down the drain with the bath water. If a woman is outside the home working under the authority of other men and women, how can her husband protect her in the ways he is supposed to, according to God's design for marriage? - Loving her in the way Christ loved the Church? I do realize that in some homes couples actually believe that the wife needs to work. But we have a lot to say about this. In most instances, wives do not need to work outside the home. What husbands and wives need to do is stop trying to live outside the husband’s budget and find more creative ways to save on monthly groceries, rents, leases, utilities and car payments. Don't live to prove something to the
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Joneses!! Christians should be living to please God, not their pocket books and materialistic lifestyle. Please check out our new blog on frugality. It may offer you some encouragement. Living Frugal, Happy, and Free! In conclusion it is always best when a wife can stay home and work for her family. © 2002-2017 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
REPENTANCE Continued from Page 27 In genuine repentance there must be a corresponding change of feeling. The change of feeling respects sin in all these particulars, its nature, its relations, its tendencies, and its deserts. The individual who truly repents, not only sees sin to be detestable and vile and worthy of abhorrence, but he really abhors it, and hates it in his heart. A person may see sin to be hurtful and abominable, while yet his heart loves it, and desires it, and clings to it. But when he truly repents, he most
RESURRECTION Continued from Page 29 the Lord because of the troubles you’re experiencing? Is it challenging to trust that your situation can ever be better or that something good can come from it? You can experience the victory if you will apply these three important principles to your life. The Lord will succeed in carrying out His plans and keep all of His promises to you. Nothing—not even death—can separate you from the Father, so you will never be alone heartily abhors and renounces it. In relation to God, he feels towards sin as it really is. And here is the source of gushing of sorrow in which Christians sometimes break out, when contemplating sin. The Christian views it as to its nature, and simply feels abhorrence. But when he views it in relation to God, then he feels like weeping, the fountains of his sorrow gush forth, and he wants to get right down on his face and pour out a flood of tears over his sins. Then as to the tendencies of sin, the individual who truly repents feels it as it is. When he views sin
or helpless. And no matter what happens to you—it is only temporary. Eventually, God will set you free from the problems you face. Keep reminding yourself of these triumphant truths from the resurrection because that is the way to true and lasting victory—today and every day. May our risen Savior remind you of these certainties and encourage your heart deeply and abundantly. May He also fill your Easter with absolute joy! © 2017 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved > in its tendencies, it awakens an intense desire to stop it, and to save people from their sins, and roll back the tide of death. It sets his heart on fire, and he goes to praying, and laboring, and pulling sinners out of the fire with all his might, to save them from the awful tendencies of sin. When the Christian sets his mind on this, he will take it upon himself to make people give up their sins. Just as if he saw all the people taking poison which he knew would destroy them, and he lifts up his voice to warn them to BEWARE. Save the Nations Ministries >
CHANGING TIMES Continued from Page 38
CONFORMITY Continued from Page 26
We are people that love God and love all people that God loves. You will find us to be understanding, caring, and helpful. We are not afraid of questions. Each of us understands that it took God a while to get us to the spiritual place we are today. We do not expect people to progress any faster in spiritual life than God takes them—but we do offer sound biblical advice to help people grow spiritually over time. HOW ABOUT YOU? Do you have a deep desire to live close to God? Do you wish you could have the grace to overcome temptations? Are you tired of hav-
ing to repent time and again for the same sins? Do you wish you could be a holy Christian instead of a religious sinner? If you answer “yes” to any or all of these questions, we invite you to read Changing Times on a regular basis. Read and learn. We will pray with you, and help you to understand the Christian Life and how to live victoriously. (Revelation 22:17), “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.” ©2017 Save the Nations Ministries >
WATERING DOWN Continued from Page 30 Word of Almighty God, it should have a lasting influence on our lives. When our Creator and Redeemer tells us something, that word is determinative. If it’s a command, we must obey it. If it’s a truth, we must accept it. If it’s a promise, we must believe it. Otherwise we are double-minded people, unstable in all our ways (James
1:8). A watered down message leads to a waterlogged life. Let’s cherish our Bible. Read it to be wise. Obey it to be safe. Believe it to be happy. Proclaim it to be joyful. This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your copy of Turning Points.>
its deep hidden seductions to living for ourselves. Believe this. Believe in Him as Victor and that you also have the victory. Precious Lord we have presented ourselves to You as living sacrifices. We have offered up ourselves to God. We are not of the world, even as You are not of the world. Lord, let our mind be enlightened by the renewing of the Holy Spirit, so that
we may rightly see what the spirit of this world is. And let it be seen in us that we are not of the world, but are conformed to Jesus. Amen. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2017 >
TIRED MARRIAGES Continued from Page 17 When you were at the marriage altar, you made a vow. You owe it to God, your spouse, your children, and yourself to keep that vow. Or maybe it’s too late for you — your marriage is already broken. I'm not trying to heap more sorrow and pain on your head. You can't unscramble eggs. Take the broken pieces and give them to God. He
can and will forgive and restore. I'm simply trying to tell couples that are married to find a way to work your marriage out in the grace of God. You owe it to yourselves and to God to have a magnificent, Christ-honoring marriage. © 2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
BUDGET Continued from Page 22 of that had to do with my high get one, stick to it. Don't vary from credit score-which is something it, and follow it religiously. that I also attribute to my budget. Article Source: FaithWriters. These are just a few of the bene- com. ©2017 All Rights Reserved > fits of having a budget. Once you
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