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Volume 16, Number 1
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 "Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." (Proverbs 21:21)
ÂŠ Danny Hahlbohm
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We Do Not Have To Be Crucified On Logs Of Wood! "I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy — to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1) The godly life is not one of ease, pleasure and self-indulgence. We are taught to present our bodies, as a living sacrifice unto God. Ancient offerings were brought to the altar, and presented dead. But the Christian sacrifice, instead of being poured out in a bloody sacrifice, is to be a living sacrifice of service, of love, of devotion. The great sacrifice of Christ is both the model for all Christian life, and also its inspiration. We look at His six hours on the cross — as if that were its only act and expression. But the cross was not endured by Christ merely during those six hours on Calvary; it was in all His life, in every day and hour of it. Everything He did was in love, and love is always a living sacrifice. He was always sacrificing Himself. On Calvary, He only wrote the word out in capitals! The cross stands not merely for the sufferings of Christ endured in redeeming sinners — but also for
the law of love and of sacrifice in every department of Christian living. It is not enough to have the cross on our churches, as a symbol of redemption; or to wear it as an ornament around our neck; the cross must be in the heart — and manifested in the life! We talk a great deal about the love of Christ — but we must strive to illustrate it and reproduce in our own lives, in our own measure — the sweetness, the charity, the kindness and the helpfulness of Jesus Christ. The cross is everywhere. The more of the 'sacrificial' quality we get into our life — the diviner and the lovelier our life will be. We do not have to be crucified on logs of wood — to bear a cross, and make a living sacrifice. The cross must be in the lives of those who follow Christ; not branded on their bodies — but wrought into their character, their disposition, their conduct, their spirit! We cannot live a Christian life for a day, without coming to points of sacrifice. The cross of Christ does not take our own cross from us — Christ does not bear our cross for us. His
From the Editor cross becomes the law of our life, and makes it all sacrificial. Every sacrificial thing we do reveals the cross. The Beatitudes are all sacrificial. No one can live the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and not crucify self continually. All sacrifice at length, blossoms into Christ-like beauty, sweetness and joy.
"Take me, Lord, and use me today — as You will. I lay all my plans at Your feet. Whatever work You have for me to do — give it into my hands. If there are those You would have me help in any way — send them to me, or send me to them. Take my time — and use it just as You will." Save the Nations Ministries >
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And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, - Exodus 35:31
Easter 2018 3
Righteous Living Run to the Safety of the Cross "Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!" (Genesis 19:17) This is still the gospel message. We are in danger of God's judgment — and must escape from it — if we would live. We must not stay anywhere in all the plain of sin — for there is no safe spot, no shelter anywhere, no place where the fires of judgment will not fall. Some people would like to compromise; they are willing to flee from some sins — but not from others. There are some professed Christians who like to stay on the borders of their old life. They are
continually asking whether they can do this or that, go here or there — and still be Christians. They want to keep just as near to Sodom as possible — so as not to be burnt up in Sodom's destruction! The answer to all such questions is, "Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!" Even the borders are unsafe! The only safe place is the mountain, the mountain where Christ's Cross stands! Lot's wife 'looked back'. There had been a specific command, "Do not look back!" Why Lot's wife looked back is not explained. Was it
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curiosity to see the nature of the terrible destruction that she heard roaring behind her? Or was it her dismay as she thought of her beautiful home, with all its wealth of furnishing and decoration, and all her jewels and garments and other possessions — which were now being consumed in the great conflagration? It would seem to be, that she was appalled at the thought of leaving and losing all her beloved possessions, and paused in her flight and looked back, with the hope that possibly she might yet run back and snatch some of the ornaments or gems — something, at least, from the awful destruction. "But Lot's wife looked back — and she became a pillar of salt!" "Remember Lot's wife!"(Luke 17:32). We should not miss the 'lesson' which our Lord Himself teaches us from the tragic fate of this woman: we cannot have both
worlds! Lot's wife could have escaped with her husband and her daughters — but she could escape only by resolutely and determinedly leaving everything she had in Sodom. Her love for her possessions cost her, her life! Just so, there are thousands today, to whom God's message comes, "Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!" They somewhat desire to follow Christ — but their love for the world is so intense that they cannot give it up — they cannot renounce it. They must decide, however, which they will renounce — Christ or the world. They cannot keep both! In Lot's wife — we have an example of one who was almost saved — and yet lost! She was lost because she loved the world. Save the Nations Ministries >
Table of Contents From the Editor
The Christian Journey
The Transformed Life
The Triumphant Christian
What Are the Practical Steps to Quitting Porn?
By Matt Fradd There are many practical things to keep in mind when trying to break free from porn. Here are six: 1. Education – You need to educate yourself about all the things porn is robbing from your life, the way it’s negatively impacting your brain, your body, and your relationships—even your most cherished relationships. 2. Clean House and Set up Boundaries – You need to make sure you clean house and set barriers between yourself and access to porn. That might mean getting an Internet filter, taking a different route home from work, or even locking down your phone so you can’t access the Internet from it. Now you’re probably going to be tempted to leave some doors open because you don’t think they’ll be a big deal. Don’t do this. Remember this mantra: “When you’re at your best, plan for your worst.” Right now, if you have resolve to avoid porn, remember, a day will likely come when you don’t have that resolve, so making sure you have built-in protections now is key. 3. Set Small, Measurable Goals – Don’t make promises like, “I’ll never watch porn again.” Start with, “Today, I will not watch porn.” You need to stop thinking about sexual freedom as a destination and start thinking about it as a daily—some-
times hourly—choice. Sexual freedom is not as much a destination as it is a daily or hourly choice 4. Write Down Your Exit Strategies – Write down the places and situations where you’re most tempted and then write down how you plan to flee from those situations in that moment. In the words of St. Josemaria Escriva, “Don’t be such a coward as to be ‘brave.’ Flee!” And when you write these exit strategies down, be specific. 5. Sexual Fasting – Fasting involves abstaining from a good thing for a period of time. If you’re married, then talk this idea over with your spouse. Remember, from a clinical perspective, a porn addict is hooked on the neurochemicals released in his or her brain during the pornographic encounter. This powerful neuro-cocktail of dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, vasopressin, endorphins, and serotonin is responsible for the physical aspects of porn addiction. Many addiction therapists recommend letting these neuro-circuits rest for 6-8 weeks. Now, sexual fasting can also have a powerful positive effect in your marriage since it will enable you to be creative in ways you show love to your spouse. It’ll also show him or her that you view her as a person to be loved, not an
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object to be used. If you do this, I recommend talking it over with a counselor first. 6. Writing Down Positive Motivations – There must be some reason you want to stop looking at porn. What are those reasons? Write down a vision statement that says, “This is the kind of man or woman I long to become,” and then write
down character traits and virtues that you want to have, things you know porn is robbing from you. Write it down and read it aloud to yourself every day. When you are tempted, pull it out of a pocket and read it again. Remind yourself of the person you want to be. © 2018 Covenant Eyes >
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What Keeps Us from Having Deeper Friendships
3 things sabotaging our need for genuine connection. In an era where many of us have a million social media “friends,” but no one to hang out with on Friday night, deep friendships have become increasingly rare. Our generation is kind of screwed up about friendship. I’m screwed up about friendship. We often have a hard time cultivating real, face to face friendships. Why do we all feel this way? Here are three enemies that keep us from having deeper friendships: 1. Forming Ideal Lives on Our Social Media Feeds We’ve accumulated an entire database of friends, retaining names and facts but omitting relationships and memories. “Hey, remember that one time we chatted on Facebook and shared the Google Image of that beach we both want to go to?” Yeah, neither do I. The Internet has afforded each of us to live dazzling lives that aren’t ours. It leaves out the run-of-themill so we look like some sexy, adventure-seeking, friend-getting machines. The Internet has afforded each of us to live dazzling lives that aren’t ours. One scroll through my Instagram will show you California, Oklahoma and Colorado—outdoors, mountains, weddings and playgrounds. However, it won’t show you Netflix, lonely Friday nights, textbooks or that one night I spent sick in the bathroom three weeks ago. It leaves out the run-of-the-mill so we look like some sexy, adventure-seeking, friend-getting machines. We know the real story behind our own social media accounts, but somehow, we think everyone else's life is more exciting than ours. We are all mad scientists creating Frankenstein when it comes to social media modeling: the life we create turns its head, opens its eyes and becomes a monster. We start feeling down if we can’t find something worth posting on a daily basis. On top of all of that, am I trying to be a cool, culturally aware Christian on social media just because I want more followers? After all, there’s nothing like being affirmed by a few hundred Twitter followers that I’m a good Christian. I tweet because I’m self-conscious. 2. Trying to Be Best Friends with Everyone
I grew up thinking that because I was a Christian, everyone had to be my best friend. I had to like everyone, and everyone had to like me and know my life story and be my accountability partner. By the time I made it to college, I couldn’t do it anymore. My inner circle was as wide as the Pacific, and I didn’t have the relational energy to build a bridge across it. I’ve since realized that Christians misrepresent friendship when they claim everyone is their friend. Jesus was not friends with everyone. Christ had His three, his 12, and His 5,000. He did not suffocate with FOMOOF (Fear Of Missing Out On Friendships). There were probably some great men and women in the crowd of 5,000 who sat eating the fish and loaves, but Jesus was purposeful about being with the 12. Today there’s an extreme pressure to get to know everyone. We feel like we aren’t being fair to others if we grow deeper with one person and not another. We feel the need to spread ourselves out among 5,000 rather than with three. I can only be friends with so many people, and I waste my time trying to be everything for everyone and end up being nothing for anyone, sitting alone watching Friends re-runs on a Friday night. In order to understand how to have real friends, we must learn how to start small and remain intimate. 3. Using Technology as a Crutch I can only be friends with so many people, and I waste my time trying to be everything for everyone and end up being nothing for anyone. Before the invention of the air conditioner, families would spend hot summer nights sitting out on their porches and talking with the neighbors. Before the Internet, there was a sharing of communication through printed books and interviews (R.I.P. Borders). Before cell phones, there were landlines that only talked and didn’t text. Before GPS, there were maps and gas stations. And before Netflix, there was Blockbuster (R.I.P. again). See FRIENDSHIPS on Page 38
Hope for Uncertain Times: Surviving—and Thriving—in an Economic Crisis By Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth uncertainty to bring about revival and spiritual awakening in our churches and in our country. (Luke 11:2–3; Phil. 4:5–6) ▪ Have you prayed about it? Are you asking Him to provide your “daily bread” and to show you what steps of action He may want you to take? Are you praying for revival? • Learn the secret of contentment. Contentment flows out of believing that God has provided everything we need for the present moment and that He will provide all we need in the future. (Ps. 73:25; Phil. 4:11–13; 1 Tim. 6:6– 8) ▪ Are any seeds of discontentment evident in your words or spirit—murmuring, complaining, fretting, expressing that what God has provided is not sufficient to meet your needs? • Ask God to fulfill His purposes. God uses adversity to show us what is in our hearts, to purify us, and to deepen our dependence on Him. Seasons of leanness can prove to be times of great blessing, as people are stripped of self-reliance and their hearts are turned toward the Lord. (Deut. 8:3) ▪ Are you more focused on meeting your own needs and solving your problems or on seeing God’s redemptive purposes fulfilled in your life, in those around you, and in our world? Are you willing to suffer loss, and if necessary, to Natural Supernatural be materially poor, if that would response response result in God being glorified and Focus: outward Focus: upward His Kingdom being advanced? (circumstances); (God) • Allow God to purify your inward (self) heart. Lean times can be a means of God’s chastening—both perFear/insecurity Faith/confisonally and corporately. Ask God dence in the what He is trying to say through Lord these circumstances; let Him Hoarding (hold Generosity search your heart, and then respond on to what you (share what you in humility and obedience. (Ps. have!) have) 139:23–24) Depression/ Joy/hope! ▪ Is there any sin you need to despair confess—e.g., living beyond your means, fear, greed, tempoWhich of these responses best ral values, bitterness, withholddescribes where you find yourself at ing your tithe from the Lord, lack this time? of compassion for others in need? • Tell God your needs. Ask Him • Allow God to reorder your prifor provision, wisdom, direction, and grace to persevere. Ask God to See HOPE use this season of turmoil and on Page 38 Seasons of adversity—economic or otherwise—do not catch God off guard. He knows everything that is going on in our world. He also knows what lies ahead. He is orchestrating all things to fulfill His eternal, redemptive purposes and to glorify Himself. God cares about how adverse circumstances affect the lives of His children. Those circumstances may be intense and painful at times, but they do not have to overwhelm us or steal our peace. In fact, in the ultimate sense, anything that makes us need God is a blessing! Crises can provide opportunities for God’s people to flourish spiritually and to point others to Christ who is our only Rock and hope— not only in this present time, but for all eternity. Many practical strategies and tools are available to help people weather financial crises. Here is some biblical counsel and perspective to help strengthen your heart in the midst of these uncertain times. • Look upward, rather than outward or inward. Our response to turbulent times will be determined by our perspective and where we place our focus. People should be able to look at Christians and see a response to pressure that is distinctly different—“unexplainable”! (Phil. 2:14-15)
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We are born sinful. I know that for a fact, because I have a two year old. My Eli is a very good boy most of the time, but there are times when he is downright carnal. And if given the opportunity to choose between what’s best for him and what isn’t, he usually picks option b. Sunday was the perfect example. We got home from church and he was exhausted. We only had a few hours before we needed to head back to church again. If my son had the innate sense to do what is best for him, he would have peacefully chosen a nap. Instead he forcefully chose a power struggle. After an hour and a half of tantrums, tricks, and tirades, he finally collapsed in his bed exhausted (then I collapsed into mine in the same state). The battle was about naps, but the war is about learning self-control. My children remind me of what God’s Word already says. 1) Practicing self-control matters. 2) It isn’t something we can learn without help. In fact, (Proverbs 25:28) warns, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” This is so easy for me to see in the life of my two year old. It’s his lack of self-control that would prompt him to choose candy over vegetables every single time, causing his health to suffer. It’s his lack of self-control that gives him the impulse to hit when he wants a certain toy, causing his relationships to suffer. It’s his lack of self-control that makes him want to resist sleep, causing his behavior to suffer. But it’s time for a true mom confession. Eli isn’t the only one in our house who struggles with self-control. During that terrible nap incident, I threw a tantrum or two of my own. I yelled too much and controlled myself too little. I wish that were a rare occurrence. There are so many areas of my life where I struggle with self-control. Food, fear, and personal Bible
study come to mind as my top three. Just like my toddler, I often avoid what’s best for me and run toward those behaviors which will only do me harm. My two year old won’t always fight sleep. There will come a day when he recognizes that his body functions better when rested, and he willingly chooses to go to bed without his momma’s promptings. There are a million other areas where he will also learn to practice self-control. In the same way, God is teaching me self-control in increasing measures. (2 Peter 1:5-8) says, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For, if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Sounds like teaching a toddler to me. My sin nature keeps me from living out God’s Truth perfectly, but He is shaping me to be more and more like Him, and teaching me how to have self-control. What’s more, (Galatians 5) promises that self-control will be the fruit that my life bears as a result of the Spirit’s work in me: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (vv. 22-24). What about you? In what areas of your life do you need to practice self-control? How do you teach self-control to your children and grandchildren? © 2001-2018 Revive Our Hearts, www.ReviveOurHearts.com.>
A Family Picture The scene is a domestic one; the season, winter; the time, night. Supper is cleared away, and the infant, held in papa's arm during the meal, has been restored to her mother, to nestle, and smile, and sleep. John and Charlotte, the elder two children, have drawn pictures on their slates. Alfred and Robert have romped and tussled upon the floor, by turns, shouting with laughter, or crying over short-lived hurts. Papa himself has settled with his glasses to read a paper, while Uncle Frank, weary with the bodily labors of the day, is half asleep in the corner, though with his eyes fixed upon Burns' Poems, and making a halfpretense of reading it. All at once a simultaneous shout arises from the children; there is a throwing down of slates with a bang upon the table, and a rush for the possession of papa's knee. The shout is, "Papa, tell us some stories!" And it is clear from the general look of assurance and the happy little faces, both that this is a very common practice at this time of night, and that the practice is a highly pleasing one, if not to papa himself, at least to his little pets. A squabble for the knee results,
as usual, in favor of the youngest, by name Robert, by nature unthoughtful of others; and the other three content themselves with leaning full weight upon the shoulders and limbs of the beleaguered parent, weights that would crush an ox, but do not discompose a father, who rather looks as though he could hold four or five more. "And now who shall pick the first story?" "Sister — begin with her!" "Well, what shall it be about?" "A sailor," says John. "A little girl," says sis. "A panther," says Alf. "A monkey," says Robert. "A little girl it shall be, and so all of you listen with all your might. "Once there was a little girl, about eight years old, named Mary. And there was a lady who was very kind to Mary, and made clothes for her and mended them when torn, and washed them when they needed it. And this lady never seemed tired of taking care of Mary. For when she was only a little baby the lady nursed her. When she was old enough to walk, the lady taught her to walk. She taught her to say her letters, and to read, and afterwards
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to write — to sew and to knit. "She gave her a little garden and rose-bushes and flower-seeds to plant in it, and a little hoe to kill the weeds. She taught her how to sing hymns, and night and morning to kneel down at her side to ask God for His blessings. As soon as she got big enough, she sent her to school. She paid a great deal of money to the schoolmaster every session, and bought her a great many books. "Now how do you think this little girl should have treated that kind, good lady?" "She ought to do what she told her to do," says John. "She ought to love her mighty good," says sis. "I'd whip her if she wasn't," says Alf. "Never cry a bit," says Rob. "Well, now, as strange as it may sound to you, that little girl didn't always do what the kind lady told her, and she wasn't always obedient or good. Sometimes she was very naughty; sometimes she would tell lies, sometimes quarrel with others. "Then this good, kind lady, instead of sending the bad girl off, would correct her for being naughty, and ask God to make her better: and then as soon as the little girl was sorry and would try to be good, the lady would kiss her and love her as well as ever. Now, wasn't that lady a most charming good lady?" "Just as good as could be," says John.
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"The best ever I heard of," says sis. "I would have whipped her harder," muttered Alf. By this time Rob had gone to sleep, and, of course, said nothing. "At last this little girl was taken sick, oh, very sick indeed. She had the fever, and was as sick as she could be. Being sick made her very cross and bad. She would scream aloud at the least noise. She would refuse to take medicine, until they had to pour it down her throat. She lost her senses, and did not know anybody. "But the good, kind lady, never got tired of watching over her, and taking care of her. For more than seven nights she never went to bed, but sat by the side of the sick little girl, from sunset to sunrise. She never got angry with her once. She would take her out of bed, and hold her in her arms. She mixed her medicines. She prayed to God a thousand times that the dear little girl might get well. Oh, she was a dear, good lady, don't you think so?" "But did the little girl get well?" asked the three. "No; poor little Mary died. After all the kind lady's care, after all her trouble, and watching, and everything — she died. They put her into a coffin and buried her. All the See FAMILY PICTURE on Page 11
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Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. – Psalm 51:11
Easter 2018 9
Teach Kids About Money By Dave Ramsey Plato said, "Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence." That old guy knew what he was talking about. As parents, we're not just responsible for providing food, clothing and shelter for our kids. We're also responsible for teaching them about God and life — and money is a part of life! Unfortunately, most kids aren't taught anything about dealing with money and personal finance. They graduate high school knowing what an amoeba is, but they have no idea how to balance a checkbook. Recently, the Jumpstart Coalition tested high school seniors in the area of personal finance. These kids averaged a grade of F, answering only 48 percent of the questions correctly. When it comes to kids and money, I always hear the same questions: • When should I start teaching my kids about money? • Should I give my kids an allowance? • Should I get my teenager a
credit card? I believe you can successfully begin teaching kids about money before they start school, but please don't wait any later than third grade. Kids need to make an emotional connection between work and money at a young age. If you don't teach them early on about the concepts of spending, saving, giving and working, then you're going to have some major problems later! An allowance? I hate the whole idea of allowances for kids. After all, what exactly are you making an allowance for? It makes the whole situation sound like welfare. Money doesn't grow on trees, and one of the worst things you can do to your kids is to set them up for a lifetime of unrealistic expectations. In the Ramsey home, we put our kids on commission at an early age. They each had jobs around the house that were associated with certain dollar amounts. If they did the job, they got paid. If they didn't do the job, they didn't get paid. It was as simple as that! Then, we'd help them divide their
money into three different envelopes: spending, saving and giving. We'd teach them to use the money in each one wisely. The concepts of spending and giving help develop problem-solving skills because the goal setting can become pretty detailed, depending on the child. Guiding your kids through this process is crucial because you're laying a foundation for their lives. Get to work Kids need to start learning the virtues of getting a little dirt under their fingernails at a young age. Making kids work does not constitute child abuse. Child abuse is letting them lie around playing video games and munching chips all the time! Just make sure the jobs you give them are age appropriate. Even preschoolers can learn to pick up toys in their rooms or help Mom and Dad do things around the house. From ages 3 to 6, kids need to receive instant recognition for their work. It allows them to make an emotional connection to the work when they get an "Atta boy!" or "Way to go, kiddo!" on the spot. And, I promise, they'll be more
willing to help out or do their chores the next time an opportunity rolls around. As they get older, the jobs should get harder and the commissions should pay more. Credit cards But of course, as soon as you start making money, there's always someone out there trying to take it away. As kids grow up and hit the high school and college years, they become a prime target of credit card companies. And once they walk onto campus — look out! The sidewalks are lined with booths from every credit card company on the planet. And these companies use every trick in the book to get our kids to sign up for a lifetime of debt and financial irresponsibility. Credit card marketers have done such a thorough job of brainwashing our kids that having a credit card is now seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. Some parents even use the argument that giving their teenager a credit card will teach him to be responsible with money. Give me See MONEY on Page 11
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MONEY Continued from Page 10 a break! Parents who do this are introducing a harmful substance — a financially harmful substance — into their kid's lives. (Proverbs 22:7) says, "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender" (ESV). So, parents and teens alike must learn to "just say no" when it comes to credit cards! Teachable moments There's an old Native American proverb that goes, "Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand." Our kids are going to imitate our habits of handling money. Don't just make them work; let them see you working. Better yet, have them work alongside you. Let them know that work is how money is earned. When it comes to saving, spending and giving, let them sit at the table with you when you work on the budget. Show them how you figure out where the money goes and what's most important. Not only will this help them better understand the principles you're trying to teach, but it will also maximize their self-esteem when they take on the task of handling their own money. There will be a
sense of accomplishment because they did it. Their little faces will beam, and they'll stick out their chest because of a job well done. Our kids were allowed to help fill out the check register and watch the process of paying bills when they were 10 years old. Sometimes, you can't explain things to kids by just talking. But if they help write out a big number and see $200 going out the door to pay the electric bill, a light goes on in their heads, and they realize, "Wow, that's a lot of money!" I know it made a huge impact on our kids. The next thing we knew, those little rug rats were running all over the house turning out the lights! Just think about how many times you've smacked yourself on the head and wished you'd learned something when you were younger. It could have eliminated lots of mistakes and suffering, right? If your kids grasp this money stuff early on, they'll avoid many of the pitfalls later in life. After all, it's a lot better for little Billy to make a $10 mistake when you're there to help instead of a $10,000 mistake later! Dave Ramsey is a nationally syndicated talk radio host and the bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace.>
FAMILY PICTURE Continued from Page 9 other folks soon forgot that there ever had been such a little girl as Mary. But the dear, good lady never forgot it. No, she never forgot little Mary. She kept all her clothes and her little doll. And she cried and mourned whenever she remembered little Mary. She was never happy again after Mary died. And when she died, which was about five years afterwards, she said she hoped she would find little Mary in Heaven. They buried that kind, good lady by little Mary's side. Now, John, what do you think made that lady love Mary so well, and take so much care of her, and be sorry about her death?" John does not know. He thinks she was a most excellent good woman, but it is very strange she should think so long about Mary after she was dead. "And what do you say, Alf?" Alf thinks Mary must have had a heap of money or something! Or else he don't know why the lady should care so much for her. "And what says little sis to it?" The little girl has a big tear in each eye; and there is a track down
each cheek, where a number of them have chased each other. She glances towards her mother, whose eye meets hers, as if there was a mutual understanding between them. Then looking boldly up in the father's face, with the air of one who could solve the difficulty with ease, she answered, "It was her mom! The dear, good lady was her mom!" And sure enough, little girl guessed it! Children Grace Gems! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings. Our Purpose: To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2018 >
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But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation. – Mark 3:29
Easter 2018 11
I Remember When By Tom Stubrich
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I Remember When… I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the memories became engrained within me which keeps the family farm richly alive through the passing years. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the trip dragged on and on with excitement and anticipation growing with each passing mile. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; morning greeted me early with sounds of conversation rising up through the register in the floor above the kitchen from which smells of breakfast cooking provided a glimpse of the wonders which would fill the day. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the table was covered with fresh hot homemade bread spread with creamy white hand churned butter covered with waxy sticky home raised honey to be washed down with cold rich milk. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the hay rustled as I scampered across the wide field to reach the cold clear waters of the nearby creek and to splash in its shallow pools. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the smells mixed together as the sweet fragrance of fresh cut hay blended with the pungent odor of the barn, the rustic aroma of the wooden buildings and the smoky scent of the coal stove. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the sound of the huge barn doors creaking on their hinges remained in my ears to be joined by the slam of the screen door against its jamb, the squeak of the water pump in the
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kitchen sink and the gurgling of the stream outside the back door. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the picture of the weathered barn and the outbuildings resting down along the road became etched in my mind even as I turned to gaze upon the aged house and outhouse perched on the hillside. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the voices of my grandpa and dad, strolling down the dusty road, created in my mind images of times gone by and people I may never meet but which had helped to form a rich heritage. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the conversations between my grandma and mom drew my interest to things such as flowers, ferns and bushes that would otherwise have gone unnoticed by me. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the vision of my grandparents standing on the road waving goodbye until they vanished out of view and would be stored until I would return again. I remember when I was young and visited my grandparents; the trip home was filled with story telling recapping each adventure, songs to filling in the time and sleep demanding payment for the whirlwind of activity. Now I am older and can no longer visit my grandparents; I have only the memories to enjoy and treasure and thankfulness to the gracious Lord Who gave such wonderful grandparents and memories to me. ©2018 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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By James Smith An aged Christian had worn well, passed through many trials, and was now near the end of his journey. He had found the Lord faithful; he had received grace sufficient, and had proved that as his day — so his strength had ever been. He could find no fault with his God. His eye and his heart were in Heaven — and he soon expected to be there himself. The light of eternity began to beam upon him, and he saw many things now differently to what he did once. The doctrines of grace were precious to his soul, the promises were divinely sweet — but Jesus was sweeter, more precious than all. Nothing troubled him now — but the sin that dwelt within him — and from that he was expecting soon to be freed. There he lay on the borders of the Promised Land, just ready to launch away! To ascertain the state of his mind, a friend inquired, “Is there anything that you want?” “Yes,” he said, “I particularly want three things: I want to be conformed to Christ’s image. I want to be devoted to Christ’s service. I want to be submissive to Christ’s will.” Then he was silent, he could not say that he wanted anything more. Let us look at the aged believer’s wants, or wishes: “I want,” he said, “to be conformed to Christ’s image.” His first wish, his ruling desire — was to be like Jesus. He had seen him by faith. He had admired his moral Excellencies. He had read that believers were to be changed into the same image, and he longed to experience that change. He not only loved his Savior for what he had done for him; but he loved him for what he was himself — and therefore desired to be like him. He was glad to receive from Jesus, and was grateful for what was conferred upon him — but his highest wish was to be like Jesus. That wish is now gratified. Yes, he is like Jesus now. He is with Jesus now. My soul; how is it with you? What is your chief desire? What is the wish that most frequently escapes from you in the form of prayer? Is it happiness, or splendor, or the gratification of your natural
desires? Or is it to be like Jesus? Blessed be God, I can with the well-taught Christian say, “I want to be conformed to Christ’s image!” “Then shall I be satisfied,” said the Psalmist, “when I awake with your likeness;” and then shall I be satisfied too. But my friend added, “I want to be devoted to Christ’s service.” Imperfectly, he had served his Savior for many years. He had done a little for Jesus. But he wanted to be entirely, and forever, consecrated to the service of his loving Lord. And he is now, for he forms a part of that company, of which it is written, “They serve him day and night in his temple!” And do I desire to be devoted to the service of Jesus too? Is it not one of the warmest wishes of my soul, that my Savior should be my Lord, my Master? Yes, I do desire to serve Jesus, to follow him, and imitate his bright and beautiful example in all things here below. His service is perfect freedom. His yoke is a very easy yoke. O, for grace to serve him wholly, to serve him only, and to serve him forever! In any way I can, in every place where I am, in every thing I do — I wish to serve Jesus. Dear departed one, you are now devoted to the service of your God and Savior — and I trust that I shall be too, soon! Once more, said he, “I want to be submissive to Christ’s will.” To wait his, time. To do, or suffer, all, that he was pleased to appoint. To have the will of the creature — swallowed up in the will of the Creator; the will of the child — lost in the will of the Father. This was the very spirit of Jesus. This was the mind of Christ. “Father,” said he, “not my will — but may yours be done.” Too often we want our own way. Too often the fervency of our wishes indicates opposition to the Divine will, O, to leave off wishing! O, to be satisfied with the will of God! So satisfied: as to prefer the will of God to our own. Until the will of God rules us, until the will of God is preferred by us — we shall never enjoy settled peace, or be truly and permanently happy. Human nature, in its pride, may object to this — but grace will
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For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. – Luke 12:12
Easter 2018 13
Marriage Wake Up and Take Responsibility for Your Marriage By Angie Lewis Let’s suppose that God created you. If God created you then it would go without saying that you would want to get your answers and advice for your marriage from your Creator, right? But some of us don’t do that. We don’t follow the direction of God’s influence for our life
and we experience major problems in our marriage because of it. For an example, if I boss my husband around and tell him what to do, where am I getting my advice and answers? Certainly not from the word of God. I used to follow my own selfish desires and go after whatever I wanted. I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong in my marriage. I was taught to be selfish even if I hurt others in the process. I was not being a responsible wife. I was only caring about myself. My error in thinking brought great misery to my marriage and strained it greatly. Thank God I found my You’re Not Alone! Christian Counseling for the treatment of:
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way home. Eve was not created by God to control and overpower Adam. On the contrary, Eve was made to be a helpmate (to serve) to her husband. Isn’t that what helping is all about, serving? Eve didn’t believe in what God said about eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and Satan deceived her and she ate from it. Today, Adam and Eve’s everywhere are getting swindled and bewigged by Satan. I was deceived too. This is what’s happening in marriages today. We aren’t doing what God has told us to do. Just like Adam and Eve, we are listening to and relying on the wrong support threshold for our marriage. This is important to know because until people start realizing this as the major problem within themselves and marriage, they will continue to follow their own selfish ways. Is treating your husband with disrespect taking care of your responsibilities? Is cheating on your wife taking care of your responsibilities? Is rejecting your husband taking care of your responsibilities? Is disregarding the feelings of your wife taking care of your responsibilities? Is rebelling against God the right thing to do for your marriage? No! So why are you doing it? Couples absolutely need to wake up and start taking responsibility for their marriage. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make sure you are both getting the love and respect you deserve. It is not your wife’s responsibility that you remain faithful. So why are you blaming your wife for your indiscretions? And it certainly is not the responsibility of your neighbor or your parents to support and love your wife, is it? It is not the responsibility of any state to separate a man and a woman from marriage. But we act as if it is! How can a state document divorce a husband
and wife without God’s authority? Wake up! Don’t you think you are allowing too much outside advice influence what you do in your marriage? Be an adult and do what is right for you and the person you married. Why put the blame on those around you, instead look at yourself and see what you can do about it. For an example, if a husband will not remain loyal in his marriage, what should he do? He should first look at himself and wonder why he is such a foolish man that he won’t remain trustworthy to the woman he married and loved. A disloyal husband should not find any other reason of why he is unfaithful except through himself. Couples make the mistake of thinking they have a bad marriage because of the person they married, but it has nothing to do with that. It has so much to do with the fact that you are not allowing God to direct your life. You haven’t humbled yourself to God or to your marriage. Here is another example. If a wife will not allow her husband to lead the home and family on the foundations of God, what should she do? She should first look at herself and wonder why she is such a foolish woman that she won’t let her husband provide, protect, and care for her the way he is supposed to. A controlling wife should not find any other reason of why she is bossy and domineering other than through herself. It all comes down to knowing what your responsibilities are and acting on them with the right wisdom and care, that’s all. The right wisdom will come from your Creator and the wrong wisdom will come from somewhere else. We See WAKE UP on Page 16
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Unhappy In Marriage But Don't Believe In Divorce? By Angie Lewis If you're unhappy in your marriage but don't believe in divorce, lets do something about it! I can tell you what four steps that are needed to get you back on track for your marriage, but you have to put in the effort, sound fair enough? Stop Wallowing In Your Misery Stop wallowing in your misery about how unhappy you feel, instead do something about your circumstances that will still protect the sanctity of your marriage. If you sit around thinking about how bad your marriage is and how much better your next-door neighbors marriage is, you will unknowingly keep yourself from having the right attitude. What your think will be generated through your actions. Usually those people who believe the grass is greener across the fence end up testing out the turf for themselves. Let me tell you a big secret. It is not true. No grass is really greener, it is a total mirage! You're hungry for love and stopped eating at home, that's all. Stop looking At Spouses Faults Why do some of us do this continually seek out the bad in our spouse rather than the good? I think we do it because we are so miserable that we remain in a negative frame of mind. The more we blame our spouse or the more we seek out wanting to fault them for the disarray of the marriage, the worse we will feel inside. This kind of attitude keeps us from seeing the positive aspects of our circumstances and we will not want to work on repairing the broken ends of the marriage. We do it to ourselves, folks. We talk ourselves out of staying married! Let's not let your marriage become another divorce statistic. Take your focus off your spouse and put the spotlight on yourself.
ders. It really will! Try it! Let "it" go. Here is a simple example of the kind of control you need to let go of. So your spouse is an alcoholic and you are trying to control him or her to stop drinking. How do you do that? How CAN you do that? Alcoholism is an addiction and cannot be controlled by anyone other than the alcoholic. You cannot make an alcoholic stop drinking by shouting, nagging, demanding, blaming, accusing, crying, controlling, or any other means. The alcoholic has to WANT to change himself, period. Why consume yourself into the addiction with the alcoholic. Let "it" go! Think about this. Even if you could control your spouse and they change for you, they will undeniably be a very miserable person for not actually changing for themselves, won't they? Is that what you really want? To be married to an unhappy and bitter person? Take Care Of You! The next step after you let "it" go is to take care of you! What can you do to make yourself happy? Is there anything you can change about yourself to make you feel better about the person you are? Read any good inspirational and thought provoking books lately, or are you too busy focusing on your spouse and how terrible they are? Do you see where I'm going with this? Move out and away from what is making you feel discontented and do something about it. You are only responsible for what you do in the marriage. Your spouse is not responsible for your actions in the marriage, just as you are not responsible for their actions. If you could learn to just take care of YOU and your part in the marriage, your spouse will finally get some needed space and breathing room to see that maybe they are erring and hopefully change for themselves. "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."-- Carl Gustav Jung
Let Go For The Need To Control Most people want to control their spouse or change them to meet certain standards so they can feel better about themselves. The truth is you cannot change your spouse to be that perfect person for you. Let go of trying to alter things that you Angie Lewis is the author of four are powerless to change. If you can truly release the burden of knowing marriage books offering marriage tips you are powerless to change your See UNHAPPY spouse, a heavy burden will be on Page 16 instantly lifted from your shoul-
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. â€“ John 3:6
Easter 2018 15
WAKE UP Continued from Page 14
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need to be careful in our walk and discerning in wisdom. Not all wisdom that our ears hear will be from God. Don’t let yourself remain deceived any longer. Wake up! And start taking responsibility for your marriage. …while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13 NIV) At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. © 2002-2018 Heaven Ministries. (Titus 3:3 NIV) All Rights Reserved. www. LLC
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riage books offering marriage tips and wisdom filled answers tackling such issues as addiction, adultery, pornography, emotions, beliefs, forgiveness, communication and much, much more. Adultery Pandemic is Angie's latest book. Turn Your Marriage Into A Success! If you want to restore your marriage from the demoralizing effects of adultery, then look no further - this is the book for you! Your Marriage Can Be Restored! A treasure book filled with effective guidance for your marriage from forgiveness and trust to recommitting your lives to each other again. Practical and easy-toread, this book combines the solutions and remedies your marriage needs towards recovery. This book will give you the guidance you need to discover the true secrets to a happy, lifelong marriage.
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UNHAPPY Continued from Page 15 and wisdom filled answers tackling such issues as addiction, adultery, pornography, emotions, beliefs, forgiveness, communication and much, much more. Adultery Pandemic is Angie's latest book. Turn Your Marriage Into A Success! If you want to restore your marriage from the demoralizing effects of adultery, then look no further - this is the book for you! Your Marriage Can Be Restored! A treasure book filled with effective
LAST WISHES Continued from Page 13 acquiesce in it at once. Reader, how is it with you? What is the ruling desires of your soul? Can you sympathize with my friend who is now in glory? If you were asked if there was anything you wanted — would your prompt reply be, “Three things I particularly want — I want to be conformed to Christ’s image. I want to be devoted to Christ’s service. I want to be submissive to Christ’s will.” If so, happy are you, for the grace of God rules you, and the Spirit of Christ dwells within you. Your preparation for Heaven is commenced — and in the gratification of these desires, it will be completed. Preparation for Heaven, by the work of the Holy Spirit, proves that a title to Heaven has been procured for you by the work of Jesus. Blessed Jesus, to procure us a title to glory, and at such an expense; for it cost him not only his labor — but his life. We live through him. Our eternal life — is through his death. Are you at all conformed to the image of Christ? If so, it is your daily desire and prayer to be more
guidance for your marriage from forgiveness and trust to recommitting your lives to each other again. Practical and easy-to-read, this book combines the solutions and remedies your marriage needs towards recovery. This book will give you the guidance you need to discover the true secrets to a happy, lifelong marriage. To preview these books go to: www. heavenministries.com/ Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS
©2018 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved > completely and perfectly like him. Are you at all devoted to his service? If so, you wish that every power and faculty should be consecrated to him; and that all your time and talents, should be employed for his praise. Are you in a measure submissive to his will? If so, you desire that he should dispose of you and yours — just as he pleases. That he should . . . choose your earthly conditions, fix your lot, and hand out to you your daily portion. Blessed is the man that is in such a case, for . . . his desires shall be granted, his hopes shall be realized, and his prayers shall be answered. Lost sinner, until you can say, “I want to be conformed to Christ’s image. I want to be devoted to Christ’s service. I want to be submissive to Christ’s will” — you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose: To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2018 >
More Than an Easter Egg Hunt
By Jerry Walch As Easter approaches, the thoughts of Christians of all ages turn to celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The thoughts of parents, grandparents, and children also turn to Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts. Trust me, I know because I was a kid once, and I’m now a grandparent with seven grandkids. For me Easter egg hunts were always more than just an Easter egg hunt, it was a time to teach the grandkids about Jesus. Real Eggs Vs Plastic Eggs Today, too many parents, and grandparents take the easy, less messy, way out, buy those cheap, hollow plastic eggs, and stuff them with pieces of candy. Perhaps using plastic eggs is more economical than buying real eggs and dying them, they do cost less than real eggs, and the dye used to color them with. The plastic eggs can be repeatedly for years to come too, but using plastic eggs short changes our children and grandchildren on learning the rich Christian traditions involved with using real eggs. You miss the opportunity to teach during the preparation of the Easter eggs. There will be no time to teach once the hunt begins. A Myriad of Christian Traditions Throughout recorded history, Christians have used Easter eggs to teach their children about the death,
burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although, originally, the egg was the pagan symbol for “New Life,” the new life that comes from nature is cycles of renewal. The Easter egg took on a completely new set of meanings for the Christians. For Christians, the hard eggshell was symbolic of the sealed tomb of Jesus, the cracking of that shell symbolizing Jesus rising from the dead. Since many forms of life begin as an egg, for the early Christians, the egg reminded them that Jesus truly was their source for new life spiritually. Learning those traditions and teaching those traditions to our children and grandchildren will deepen their grasp on our Christian beliefs and help them develop a closer, more joy filled walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will have room to explore only a few of those traditions in this article. The Shed Blood of Jesus The early Christians living in Mesopotamia were the first to use Easter eggs as symbols of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. They were the first to dye eggs red to symbolize the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the power of that shed blood to give sinners new life in Christ. The Mesopotamian Christians blessed those red eggs, and the priests of some orthodox churches
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And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” – John 20:22
Easter 2018 17
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With many, the question has been already settled. There are some who from early youth have had but one dream for their life. Almost from their infancy, they have had a passion for a particular line of duty, so definite, so earnest, and so irresistible, that they never think of anything else. With one it is business, with another carpentry, with another the profession of a physician, with another the Christian ministry, with another the farm or the sea, with another the arts. In such cases the question what occupation to follow never causes any anxious thoughts. From the beginning the goal is in sight and the eye is never taken from it. But the number of young men for whom the way is made so plain is not large. There are many whom no star guides in such unmistakable way. They have not an obvious preference for any particular work. Many students, as they come toward graduation, find the question what they will do when they leave college, almost as serious as the matter of their senior examinations. A considerable number of graduates go out decorated with a degree â€” yet not knowing where they are going! Then in the matter of final decision as to profession or calling, it happens often that it is really not made as the result of any intelligent thought about the subject â€” but is merely that which appears to open. Many young men seem to drift into the place in which they are to spend their years. When they are expected to take up the burden and responsibility of their own life, they cast about aimlessly for something to do. They go the round of possible opportunities, seeking employment, knocking door after door, until they find an opening. If you ask them what they have decided to do, they will answer, "I shall do whatever I can get to do." There is no great overmastering desire or purpose in their mind. They go out on their quest, equally ready to take a place as a clerk or salesman in a store, as conductor on a trolley car, as a proof-reader in an editorial office, as a teacher in a school, as an apprentice in an electrical establishment, or as a student of medicine, law, or business. This scarcely appears to be the proper attitude for one who has just completed a course in a college or
other high-grade institution. It would seem reasonable to expect that after such a preliminary training, a young man should have formed some purpose in life, have settled upon something that he needs to do and is fitted to do. We are not made to drift on the current of life, to be carried wherever the tide chances to bear us, or the wind to drift us. We are made to think, plan, purpose and decide. If we have even a dim consciousness of the grandeur of our being and our responsibility in the world, we must make our life purposeful. It cannot be that anyone is born into this world just to be swept along like a leaf before the wind. Christianity teaches that in God's universe "nothing walks with aimless feet," that God made each one of us for something definite; that there is a place each person is designed to fill, a work he is created to do. If this is true, no one needs ever be perplexed about what he is put on earth for. If God has a plan for your life, something he expects you to do, and for the doing of which he will hold you responsible â€” he would never be so unreasonable as to hide it out of your sight so that you cannot learn what it is. But HOW can we discover God's plan for our life? We must put ourselves into the most cordial relations with God. We must seek to do His will and to be guided by Him in everything. At the same time we must recognize our responsibility for the abilities and capacities we have received from Him, and must make the most of them. We must have an earnest purpose in life. We are not placed in this world merely to be taken care of even by a Heavenly Father; we are here to serve God by serving our fellow-men. Ambition which begins and ends on one's self is unworthy; our ambition should be to live out God's thought for us and to become the largest possible blessing to the world. If we have these great purposes in our heart, and follow Christ closely and faithfully, we shall never lack divine guidance. "If any man wills to do His will, he shall know of the teaching." The way may not be shown to us See KINGDOM on Page 36
7 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold
By Dr. Don Colbert M e d i c a l freely. Adding a small amount of e x p e r t s cayenne pepper to dishes will help. believe one Or, add a small amount of horse reason peo- radish or wasabi. Recipes with Featuring up to ple “catch apple cider vinegar can also be 10% Interest Bonus on all Deposits! colds” dur- helpful. ing this time Neti Pot Rinses MORE GAIN • NO LOSS • SAFETY of year is A Neti pot rinse can be used to due to stay- clear the sinus cavities. A mixture FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION ing inside a of salt water is used and added to g r e a t e r the Neti pot. Then, it is used to pour (IRA, ROTH, CD, NQ, 401K and Pension Rollovers) Richie Culotta number of into the sinus cavity clearing it of hours each mucous and unwanted impurities. day. Air within the home and office Grapefruit Extract Spray is recirculated which can contain Another natural way to provide viruses, then enter the body causing relief to inflamed sinuses is to use a #1 SAFE MONEY MAN in MISSISSIPPI and LOUISIANA since 1992! unwanted symptoms. grapefruit extract spray which With cooler weather, comes clears the sinus cavities. This natucooler temperatures. This includes ral mixture also provides a microBREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER outside temps as well as the tem- bial preventative. Proper adminisperature of our bodies. One medical tration of this is needed for most theory related to the common cold effective results. SERVING FRESH PASTRIES believes the rhino virus can grow Turmeric & Ginger CombinaWITH CRAFT LOCAL COFFEE.. with greater ease in cooler tempera- tions tures. Therefore, we become more Turmeric is known for its natural susceptible to catching the common ability to fight inflammation within HOURS: SUN - WED 6:30am - 5pm / THUR - SAT 6:30AM - 8PM cold during this season. the body. It is also well known for For many people with a head holding anti-oxidant properties cold, the first thing they think to do which are needed. Some natural is to reach for the cold medicines in teas use turmeric as well as ginger the medicine cabinet. With all the in combination, which are known advertisements presented to us to help with sinus congestion. Ginthrough radio commercials, televi- ger also helps to calm a troubled sion advertisements, and such we stomach which may accompany the typically forget there are natural common cold. therapies available for body. More Gentle Facial Massage importantly, natural therapies can One of the most relaxing ways to aim to the root cause of the problem get over the common cold is to being more effective. have a gentle facial massage. Pres1011 Village Walk · Covington · 985.246.3345 · www.abitaroasting.com Inhaling Steam sure points can be gently massaged Do you remember the days when to provide relief of congestion as your mother would have a pot of well as allowing more free breathwater boiling on the stove? And she ing. And, what a great way to end would carefully inhale the steam? the long day! This is a great way to provide fast Dr. Don Colbert is a graduate of soothing relief to a stuffy head cold. Oral Roberts School of Medicine If desirable, a couple drops of pep- and shares his years of experience permint can also be added to the hot and research in nutritional mediwater to provide a more pleasant cine in all of his work. He is a experience. national speaker, bestselling author Stay Hydrated and host of a national talk show During the cooler winter months, titled Your Health Matters. the body needs to stay hydrated and © 2018 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA it is very essential to daily function. www.drcolbert.com > If an individual is dealing with sinus issues, an increased consumption of clear water will help to thin mucous and allow it to drain more freely. Avoid sugared beverages, alcohols, and caffeine during this time. Eat Spicy Foods Eating spicy foods can also increase the body’s ability to thin mucous and allow it to drain more And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with Easter 2018 19 other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. – Acts 2:4
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Belly fat is one of the most dangerous types of fat on the body. Individuals holding a large waist line circumference can be seen as a walking indicator of “disease!” Those with larger waists will have higher levels of cortisol in their bodies which in turn breaks down lean muscle. Lean muscle is needed to burn fat efficiently! Additionally, these individuals will more than likely carry increased amounts of stress within the body! So, how does one fight the battle of belly fat bulge and win? There are a number of useful routines which will help in this fight against fat! Get ready to fight to win the battle!
Eating Foods Rich in Vitamin C Stress is not good for the body and neither is a hefty mid-section. Eating foods which are rich in vitamin C is helpful in balancing cortisol hormone levels. The body will also create carnitine when vitamin c rich foods are eaten. This substance is needed by the physical body to burn more fat for fuel.
Sugar Reduction Sugar reduction is needed to “fight the fight” against fat around the mid-section. Too much sugar is consumed in our country and oftentimes replaces healthy food selections. Eating plenty of proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains is a must to win the fight. Adding a touch of cinnamon to drinks in the Seven to Eight Hours Sleeping morning can help one to feel full Time for longer periods of time, while Every night, it is important to get providing a kick in flavor. at least seven to eight hours of Add Short Bursting Sessions of sleeping time. This allows the body to relax and rejuvenate. Getting Exercise Adding short bursting sessions of plenty of sleep each night also exercise to your daily routine will helps the body to stay in healthy biorhythms. Not getting enough help fight the mid-section of fat. sleep can be detrimental to the body Choose exercises which use multiwhich will create: hormone insuffi- ple muscle groups for the most ciencies, increased cortisol levels, optimal effect. Get up and move as well as affect insulin sensitivi- during several short sessions each day. This can include in the mornties. ing, lunch time, and in the evening. Consume Good Fats Even ten to fifteen minutes of burstEveryone says “you are what you ing exercise throughout the day can eat.” This is not true as sugar is have a huge impact on the body. what makes you fat, not eating fats. Stress Free Breathing Everyone needs to add fat to the Individuals who find themselves diet to be able to burn fat properly. stressed at different times of the One great way to add good fats to day may not realize their breathing your diet are to include healthy fish is affected. It is important to do a with omega 3, walnuts, and avoca- breathing check when the body is dos. Adding these selections will tense. Slow the breathing down, also help one to feel full through especially on the exhale. This will the day. allow breathing to be more uniform and useful for the body. MIKE’S FIREARMS BASICS Using Combined Routines SMART & SAFE Learn the basic Adding a number of these rouknowledge, skills & tines to your day will help to fight attitude for safe gun the fat around the mid-drift more handling. effectively! Over time, a difference Course satisfies State Police requirements will be detected in the overall feelfor LA Concealed Handgun Permit, renewals, ing of well-being, lowered stress or as a prerequisite for an instructor license. levels, increased energy, and better NRA Certified Classroom & sleeping patterns. Small steps can Range Instruction are provided be taken which will make a huge difference over time. Now, you can Mike Maier, Instructor win the fight against the battle of 571-332-7579 (call or text) the bulge! firstname.lastname@example.org © 2018 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com > FIR HANEARM DLI NG
By Dr. Don Colbert
Dave Says Financial Straight-Talk by Dave Ramsey www.davesays.com
Time to Leave the Day Job? Dear Dave, I make about $25,000 a year in my day job, but I have side jobs as a personal trainer and a DJ. I’ll make about $10,000 this year as a trainer, and $25,000 to $30,000 working events as a DJ. I’ve almost got all my debts paid off, and I love both of my side jobs. I was wondering how to tell when I’m ready to leave my day job and concentrate on personal training and my DJ work. -Steve Dear Steve, I always tell people to first get to a point where their side hustle is generating almost as much money as their day job. I want the boat pulled as close to the dock as you can get it, so that when you make the jump from the dock to the boat you don’t hit the water. In your case, I would want the $10,000 you earn from personal training to look more like $20,000. When you reach that level, combined with what you’re making as a DJ, it would create a pretty safe situation for you to quit your day job. Maybe you could cheat a little on the personal trainer money, because
Stressed out about your bills?
you’re making as much or more as a DJ as you are in your day job. Otherwise, you’re giving up $25,000 for $10,000 and only hoping the personal training gig will grow. That’s not a good idea. I’d like to see that hope proven a little bit more before you walk away from a day job. Good luck, Steve! —Dave *Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.>
the members in the form of increased services or actual dispersements. Sometimes, you actually get a check from the credit union. A lot of banks don’t like credit unions, and say they have an unfair advantage because of their non-profit status. This really isn’t true. Credit unions, with whatever “profits” are made, put that money right back into creating cheaper checking accounts, better interest rates on loans, or higher interest rates on savings. A bank could do the same thing, if it were willing to make less profit. So, there’s no disadvantage. They’re just trying to keep stockholders happy and sell stuff to customers. But really, that all means nothing if you don’t get good service from the organization! —Dave
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Dear Dave, What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank? Jake Dear Jake, A bank is owned by stockholders. When the bank makes a profit – and they should make a profit – the stockholders, who are owners of the company, get that profit. It can be dispersed in the form of dividends, or the value of their stock is increased. A credit union is run more like a cooperative. Technically speaking, it’s operated not for profit, and the owners are the credit union members, who are also customers. As a customer of a credit union, whatever you pay into the credit union – the “profit” – is returned to
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Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. – Acts 8:17
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22 Easter 2018
4 Ways to Save More for Retirement By Dave Ramsey A recent Ramsey Solutions research report looked at the overall state of retirement in America and found nearly half of Americans aren’t saving for retirement, and those who invest aren’t doing enough. So what’s keeping savers from going the distance with their nest egg? Let’s look at four barriers and possible solutions to overcome them: Retirement: What’s standing in the Way? Cost of Living Cost of living is the top reason people don’t save more for retirement across all demographic groups. According to Nerdwallet, cost of living has increased 30% over the past 13 years, yet household income has only grown 28%. This gap can make it harder for many families to tackle everyday expenses. But that doesn’t have to spell disaster for retirement. Here are a few tips to outsmart the upswing of living costs: Don’t spend your raises. Use the bump in salary to contribute more to retirement savings. Let’s say you make $50,000 a year and get a 3% raise. That works out to an extra $1,500, or $125 per month. Add $1,500 to your retirement fund for the next 30 years, and you could give your nest egg a $271,000 boost. Stick to a written monthly budget. If you haven’t budgeted in the past, now’s a great time to start! A budget enables you to take control of your money by helping you make a plan for every dollar you spend. Budgeting’s an acquired habit, so give yourself time to get the hang of it. Spending Too Much on Kids’ Activities Driving your kids around town for soccer practice and piano lessons doesn’t just drain your gas tank. It can leave your nest egg riding on empty too. Consider this: The average cost for extracurricular activities last year was $739 per student—a $50 increase from the prior year, according to Backpack Index, an annual study of the cost of school supplies
and other school-related expenses. Saving $739 annually for 13 years could add over $22,000 to your retirement account! Keep extracurricular expenses in check with these tips: Encourage your kids to play one sport—or musical instrument—per season. Not only will this help your budget, but it might increase your family time as well. Let’s say your kid plays the piano and guitar. If you cut back on guitar lessons and save $150 each month, that’s $1,800 a year! Trade travel teams for recreational leagues. Not only do rec leagues cost less, they’re a great way to build relationships with community leaders. Keeping it local could add thousands to your retirement nest egg in the long run. Unruly Medical Expenses, Especially for Baby Boomers According to the report, 54% of Baby Boomers still in the workforce have less than $25,000 saved in their retirement fund. Of that group, more than half have no retirement savings at all. So what’s holding this generation back? According to the Ramsey Solutions research report, medical expenses are a top financial hurdle for Baby Boomers. Even with those alarming stats, Baby Boomers—or anyone who’s behind on retirement savings—can turn things around. Check out these tips: Open a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a great choice for those who are healthy and don’t visit the doctor often. Here’s why: An HSA is a tax-advantaged medical savings account for those who have a high-deductible health insurance plan. Many plans cover 100% of medical expenses once the deductible is met. With an HSA, you can save and even invest money to pay for deductibles and other medical expenses tax-free. If you’re over age 50, take advantage of catch-up contributions. Hitting the big 5-0 comes with one big benefit: You can invest an additional $1,000 in your Roth IRA and an extra $6,000 in your workplace retirement plan each year on top of See RETIREMENT on Page 35
Suffering and The Cross Cannot Be Separated! By David Wilkerson Suffering and the Cross are inseparable - you cannot have one without the other. When Christ warned His disciples that He would suffer and die, Peter protested. The very notion of suffering was rejected by many of the early church fathers. Any attempt to separate suffering from the Cross is a work of the enemy. It is said in the Scriptures that Christ "learned obedience by the things he suffered" (Heb. 5:89). "We see Jesus... for the suffering of death... tasting death for every man... to make the captain of our salvation perfect (complete) through sufferings..." (Heb. 2:910). Any child of God who tells you there is no suffering for believers who walk in Spirit and faith, does not know the Word of God. I don't think any Christian can be "made conformable to his death" without suffering. There is a fellowship of
His suffering. Paul said, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ..." (2 Cor. 1:5). "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you - and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for the body's sake, which is the church..." (Col. 1:24). "If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together..." (Rom. 8:17). "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us..." (Rom. 8:18). " ...as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation..." (2 Cor. 1:7). Peter preached the same message. It was only after his own identification with Christ and the Cross that he could say, "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy..." (1 Pet. 4:13). After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect [complete], establish, strengthen, settle you..."
(1 Pet. 5:10). "...because Christ also suffered for us, leaving an example, that we should follow in His steps" (1 Pet. 2:21). There are many other convincing Bible verses that verify the sufferings of those who take up the Cross and follow Christ. Suffering is offensive to those who believe power renders it useless. This was what made Christ's suffering so very reproachful to Peter. He wondered - why the Son of God needed to suffer, in view of His abilities to call down legions of angels and destroy all His enemies. Peter saw no value in suffering, like so many today who consider it offensive to a believer "filled with Holy power." How can we face this Scripture without wincing, if we don't accept the truth that godly people suffer: "For as much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. (1 Pet. 4:1). I am amazed by the reaction of some Christians when I speak about the sufferings of the Lord's people.
One dear soul wrote: "Why so much talk about suffering? It gets me down. I don't like to think those kinds of thoughts. Suffering is not for me. I think only those thoughts that are positive and creative. You probably suffer so much because you have no revelation of God's promises. I'll pray for you..." I've had ministers look at me pitifully and with condescending voices say, "Poor Brother Dave a modern-day Job. He sure needs our prayers." I can tell by the way they look at me they are asking themselves, "What terrible sin is hidden in his life? Or what weak faith he must have - if any! Why do his wife and family suffer so?" But, oh, hallelujah! I and my family know the sweet taste of victory because we've been in the battle and have come forth every time with purged lives and strengthened faith and courage. The fire of affliction purifies; it filters out all dross and leaves but the gold. If Paul gloried in the Cross he also gloried in its sufferings. Was Paul See SUFFERING on Page 36
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24 Easter 2018
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption”. (1 Cor. 1:30) Have you ever thought about the character of Christ where our Sanctification is concerned? Jesus is able to deal with us in our inmost self, and has announced His willingness to do it. When I first started reflecting on what Sanctification was really all about, I suddenly had a deeper and keener sense than ever of self impotency. I thought “Are you not asking me to do precisely what is impossible, that I may enter upon a life of peace and spiritual power; to step on to this rock of strength, this lap of rest, across a gulf I cannot leap, and while I have no wings? Can I really deny self? Can the center of my acts and thoughts dislodge itself? Can I will that for which I am unwilling? Can I spring away, once and for all, from my own shadow? In reply to such heart-questionings, I will have to be perfectly practical. My heart is the questioner in this matter; and the words which God has spoken in Scripture will have to be my best reply. Let us think of this great, saturated, phenomenon of Scripture-its presentation of the Lord Himself in His inﬁnite and personal Being, outside of mine, yet He is able to deal with me, to work in me and to work through me. Gather together such utterances as these, and believe them as you read them: ‘He is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’ (Eph. 3:20); ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; My strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9); ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee’ (Isa. 26:3); ‘They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength’ (Isa. 40:31); ‘With Thee is the fountain of life’ (Ps. 36:9); ‘I am come that they might have life’; ‘I give eternal life’ (John 10:10,28); ‘He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him’ (Heb. 7:25); ‘He is able to keep you from falling’ (Jude 24); ‘The very God of peace will sanctify you throughout’ (1 Thess. 5:23). We must step out of His way and let God become our first conscience thought. For, when we surrender that position, God freely comes in.
Now you are under His authority and His leading. Together, you make a great team. Just remember who the Captain is. Now listen inside your mind and pay attention how your questions now become affirming statements. Here are some examples. You know me far better than I know myself. I cannot deal with my self; but You can. I cannot manipulate the springs of thought and will; but You can. Though I can indeed, with the powers You have given me as man, do certain things in a course of action, I still cannot break habits decisively and at their root. But You can. You know all that besets me; You know my circumstances; You know where I dwell’ (Rev. 2:13); You are acquainted with every element in my character even my temperament toward things. And You still manage to keep things inﬁnitely real and truly personal, and can handle me in any situation. You have sincere and wonderful ways with a divine personal inﬂuence, which makes it easy for me to submit to You. Thanks for taking me by the hand. I know that I can be difficult at times, insoluble to myself, but not to Thee. The more baffling the difficulty, the more chronic the habit, the more I see Your skill in dealing with it. Please be magniﬁed in my body and in my spirit, which belongs to You. I yield myself to You! Obviously, you can see the change just like I felt the change, and guess what? Others will notice the changes in you as well. Yes, our deepest need, when the heart is alive with desire and a conscious of impotence, is ﬁrst to realize, and then to submit to Him that helps us to be sanctified in Christ Jesus. Amen Save the Nations Ministries>
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Your Path to Personal Revival! Step one is to begin a daily bible reading. We make time for a lot of things in our lives. There is no reason to not be able to schedule a period of daily bible reading. It does not have to be a long time. Try to spend at least 30 minutes in God’s word everyday. This will help keep your spirit receptive to God and His will for you. The second step is to pray more. The strength of your prayer life will show you the strength of your relationship with God. Christians are blessed with the ability to talk to God. We can take our needs and burdens to Him. If the only benefit of being a Christian was prayer, it would be worth it. Make time for prayer and your spirit will be revived. Step three is to find a bible believing and preaching church. A good church service will set the pace for your week. Spending time in worship with godly people will help bring back that feeling of peace with God. The first three steps have been pretty easy. Now, it starts getting a little harder and requires more of a commitment.
The fourth step involves developing a personal ministry. It is a step toward using your faith to impact the lives of others. Your personal ministry may be simple. God will use you if you make yourself available to Him. Step five is perhaps the most difficult. It is deciding to live a morally pure life. A morally pure lifestyle will result in some ridicule for you and some of it may come from other Christians. We let things into our lives every day that we shouldn't. The moral problems in the United States are a direct result of Christians drifting toward a worldly lifestyle. If you follow the first three steps, you will become burdened about things in your life. The Christian Community in America will either lead or follow. I hope we choose to lead. The sixth step is telling others about Christ. Freely pass out copies of Changing Times. It’s a great start. There is nothing more fulfilling in life than winning someone to Christ. We are obligated to share our faith. There is one way to heaven and God commands us to tell others about it.
Step seven involves making a financial commitment to God. We are called to financially support God’s work. Jacob pledged to give 10% to God and that is a good starting point. You will never make a better investment than in helping finance the work of God’s servants. Make sure you are giving your money to organizations that are using it right. There are many groups that misuse money that was given to be used for God’s work, so use discernment. The eighth step is helping your family grow spiritually. Strong families are the key to success for America and for Christians. Be a leader for God in your family. Help other in your family to get on this path of Personal Revival. Step nine has two parts. The first part is to become more thankful. We all have things to be thankful for if we will just look for them. If I had nothing else to be thankful for, I have salvation. You will handle life better if you have a thankful spirit. The second part is to be forgiving. If God can forgive us for our sins then we can forgive others for the things they
do to us. One of the key ways to show you are a true Christian is the ability to forgive. The last step is to work on your Spiritual legacy. What are you leaving behind on earth after you’re gone? What will you be remembered for? I hope someday I will be remembered as a godly man. I also hope I leave a family grounded in faith and serving God. Look at the legacy you have built and see if it needs to be changed. Living a godly life is not easy. I don't know of an example of it in the bible. A godly life is something we have to work at. It is a lifelong journey. I have heard a pastor say that the Christian life is a marathon not a sprint. The older I get, the more sense that makes. We are in a spiritual war with Satan. There is a real Satan. His attack is aimed at Christians. We are his enemy and he will try to defeat us at every turn. Follow the steps above and see the difference it will make in your life. I welcome all to join us on this journey. It will truly CHANGE your life! Save the Nations Ministries >
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Easter 2018 25
The Christian Journey
Eternity, a Big Word By Pastor Doug Gilford
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26 Easter 2018
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When is the last time you ever stopped and considered eternity? As a preacher, I like to remind people at funerals and funerals are probably the only time people consider it. One day, I sat and read the Gospel of John to look specifically at how much Jesus spoke about eternity. I was happily amazed that out of twenty-one chapters, over half of them contained verses where our Lord spoke on “eternal life,” “everlasting life,” or used the words “never see death.” Jesus came preaching by introducing a concept not used in the Old Testament: eternal life. The people of the Old Testament understood Heaven, but Jesus made it clearer and more precise that in Him is an instantaneous, here-andnow, eternal Life—instead of just retirement into some Heavenly abyss at the end of your life. If Eternity is such a big word that Jesus would spend so much time pointing people to think about and consider it, wouldn’t it be important for us today to take another look at it too? In (Luke 21), Jesus, speaking again on eternity and the final judgement, says this: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” Did you notice the words “Be careful…that day will close upon you unexpectedly like a trap?” What is “that day?” That is the day, when we are to be thrust from this life to the next, from a physical, earthly existence to a spiritual one.
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We call that death. Please do not overlook the caution given by the Savior. He says “Be careful.” That is, don’t be careless. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t be foolish. Don’t just look at the things that are seen, but consider Heaven while we live on Earth. He is saying, “Live carefully because death will come when you least expect it.” In Luke’s passage, Jesus then gives a simple instruction for all of us to live by: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Not only does Jesus want us to live carefully while considering Heaven but to always be prayerfully watching. The watchfulness that Jesus is referring to means to be vigilant and awake—paying attention! But for what? Go back to the verse and continue reading. It says, “so that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” It is a sobering thought that anyone would leave this earth not ready to stand before the Lord. That is why Jesus implores us to both be careful and watchful. That is why He spends so much time talking about Eternity. Christ desires all of us to understand this reality. He also says to be prayerful. When we maintain a prayerful life, which is communication to Christ, we will continually be ready to meet the Lord. When Jesus prayed, He didn’t just ramble repetitious, memorized prayers. He poured out His heart to God. Look at Jesus’ prayer to the Father in (John 17). Take some time to read it and you will find no routine religious phrases. When Jesus prayed to God, He was praying to His father, His dad. In that prayer, He addressed God as “Father” six times. He displayed openness and sincerity as He prayed to God. Most of all, He expressed willingness to do what was needed to change the course of Eternity for all mankind. Are you living carefully? Are you considering your Eternity? Take some time and talk to the Lord. Be open and honest. Your Eternity depends on it. Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985624-8652, www.cornerstonenola. com>
Pierced By the Word of God By John Piper
For the word of through the tough, thick joint of a God is living and bone. But a very sharp, powerful active and sharper double-edged sword (sharp on each than any two-edged side of the point) will penetrate the sword, and piercing joint all the way to the marrow. as far as the divi"Soul and spirit" are like "bone sion of soul and joint and bone marrow." "Soul" is 985-626-7424 spirit, of both joints that invisible dimension of our life and marrow, and that we are by nature. "Spirit" is Serving Businesses & Churches since 2000! www.xcelac.com able to judge the thoughts and what we are by supernatural rebirth. intentions of the heart. Jesus said, "That which is born of The term "word of God" may the flesh is flesh, and that which is mean a word spoken by God without born of the Spirit is spirit" (John a human mouthpiece. But in the New 3:6). Without the awakening, creTestament it regularly means a word ative, regenerating work of the or a message that a human speaks on Spirit of God in us we are merely God's behalf. So, for example, in "natural" rather than "spiritual" (1 (Hebrews 13:7) it says, "Remember Corinthians 2:14-15). So the "spirlumber company, inc. those who led you, who spoke the it" is that invisible dimension of our word of God to you; and considering life that we are by the regenerating serving the new orleans area since 1954 the result of their conduct, imitate work of the Spirit. their faith." So the "word of God" in What then is the point saying that (Hebrews 4:12) probably refers to the "word of God" pierces to the the truth of God revealed in Scrip- "division of soul and spirit"? The ture that humans speak to each other point is that it's the word of God that 600 So. Olympia St. with reliance on God's help to under- reveals to us our true selves. Are we www.carruthlumber.net stand it and apply it. spiritual or are we natural? Are we "Living and active." born of God and spiritually alive, or The word of God is not a dead are we deceiving ourselves and spirword or an ineffective word. It has itually dead? Are the "thoughts and life in it. And because it has life in intentions of our heart" spiritual it, it produces effects. There is thoughts and intentions or only natsomething about the Truth, as God ural thoughts and intentions. Only has revealed it that connects it to the "word of God" can "judge the God as a source of all life and thoughts and intentions of the heart" power. God loves his word. He is as (Hebrews 4:12) says. partial to his word. He honors his Practically speaking, when we word with his presence and power. read or hear "the word of God," we If you want your teaching or wit- sense ourselves pierced. The effect ness to have power and produce of this piercing is to reveal whether effects, stay close to the revealed there is spirit or not. Is there marword of God. row and life in our bones? Or are Special Pricing for all Churches to support their Sharper than any two-edged we only a "skeleton" with no living Missionsâ€Ś.. from small to large catering. sword, and piercing as far as the marrow? Is there "spirit," or only division of soul and spirit, of both "soul"? The word of God pierces Contact Christian Owner Alex Hill at joints and marrow. deep enough to show us the truth of 985.264.7828. What does this living and effective our thoughts and our motives and word do? It pierces. For what pur- our selves. pose? To divide. To divide what? Give yourselves to this word of Daily Specials for only $9.99 Monday-Saturday Soul and spirit. What does that mean? God in the Bible. Use it to know Kids Eat Free every Sunday! The writer gives an analogy: it's yourself and confirm your own like dividing joints and marrow. spiritual life. If there is life, there Joints are the thick, hard, outer part will be love and joy and a heart to of the bone. Marrow is the soft, obey the word. Give yourself to this tender, living, inner part of the word so that your words become bone. That is an analogy of "soul the word of God for others and and spirit." The word of God is like reveal to them their own spiritual a sword that is sharp enough to cut condition. Then in the wound of the right through the outer, hard, tough word, pour the balm of the word. part of a bone to the inner, soft, livPursuing the pierce of God's Two Convenient Locations: ing part of the bone. Some swords, word with you, 69292 Highway 21, Covington 61103 Airport Road, Slidell less sharp, may strike a bone and Pastor John 985.871.2225 985.720.0070 glance off and not penetrate. Some ÂŠ2018 Desiring God Foundaswords may penetrate part way tion.> So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them Easter 2018 27 the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, - Acts 15:8
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AudubonNatureInstitute.org 28 Easter 2018
I believe with all my heart that Jesus would be ashamed of most of the "gospel" messages and sermons that are being preached today, mainly because they lack almost every major point He Himself preached on. (Mark 8:38; Rom. 1:16; II Tim. 1:8) How dare we try to change the Gospel. We remove most of its vital parts, and replace them with artificial limbs of our own. (Gal. 1:6-7) Isn't Jesus the master evangelist? Shouldn't we judge our evangelism by His example? Was His message anything like what we're hearing today? It is my intention to try to briefly cover in Section 1 each of the major parts of the Gospel that have been "surgically" removed in most of today's preaching... The Removed Parts of The Gospel The Blood of Jesus. It's a fact that the very word blood scares people. It's also a fact that the blood of Christ scares the devil, because it is the only cleansing agent for a sinsick soul. Can you imagine what the preaching and writings of Paul would have been like, if he had been as squeamish in proclaiming the magnificent power and beauty of the blood of Jesus as our generation of preachers are? What we have now is a bloodless gospel! Today, people are afraid to think and preachers are afraid to make them. The whole concept of Jesus being the Passover Lamb of the Old Testament5 has been lost - "It takes too much time and thought to explain," you will hear some say. (Heb. 5:11-14) "We need to simplify the Gospel so that we can reach the masses." Oh, what logic! Remove the blood from the preaching of the Gospel, and you remove the power to conquer the devil for the souls of men! The Cross of Jesus. Paul said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (I Cor. 2:2) Nowadays it's "Jesus Christ and what He can do for you!" You cannot have more exact opposites than the Bible's Christ- centered Gospel, and our modern, cross-less, me-centered gospel. Today, if anyone preaches self-denial as a condition of discipleship, you can hear the comments afterwards: "old-fashioned," "harsh," "legalistic." I dare say that our Lord would have as much trou-
ble finding acceptance among our preachers as He had among the religious leaders of His own day. Here's what A.W. Tozer says about the cross... "The cross is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men. The cross of Roman times knew no compromise, it never made concessions. It won all its arguments by killing its opponent and silencing him for good. It spared not Christ, but slew Him the same as the rest. He was alive when they hung Him on that cross. and completely dead when they took Him off of it. That was the cross the first time it appeared in Christian history. "With perfect knowledge of all this, Christ said, 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself take up his cross and follow Me.' So the cross not only brought Christ's life to an end, it also ends the first life, the old life of every one of His true followers... this and nothing less is true Christianity. We must do something about the cross, and there's only one of two things we can do - flee it or die upon it!" The Threat and Terrors of Hell, and the Guilt of Sinners. We often hear people say, "I'm tired of hellfire and brimstone preaching!" "Well," I often reply, "when was the last time you heard any?" It is true, very few people preach on hell anymore - it is no longer in vogue. We shouldn't scare the poor sinners, no, that wouldn't do. They're just unfortunate, misguided souls, right? Wrong! The Bible clearly shows that they are rebels who have robbed and dishonored the living God, infinitely offending Him. They have no right to look at themselves in any other light. But we, smart as we are, have decided to help God along. He doesn't understand our generation as well as we do. The things Jesus emphasized in His preaching were all right for the Jews, but our generation needs a more gentle, loving tone. "Tell 'em about heaven!" We talk about heaven, about the "rewards of being born-again," but we completely neglect the other side of the "two-edged sword." (Heb. 4:12) What right do we have to remove things from the Gospel that Jesus Himself gave great place to in His own preaching?... www.lastdaysministries.org >
Make a Difference By David Jeremiah
Cyrus Ham- ference were changed for the better, lin was one of and for the happier. the most fasciTake the apostle Paul, for examnating men of ple. He didn’t own a house as far as experience came a lifetime of min- Community Church in El Cajon, the nineteenth we know. He didn’t have a wife. He istering to the persecuted church California. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.Davic e n t u r y — a n had no stable income or regular after his release. We can live without our conve- dJeremiah.org. > educator, a vacations. He had no retirement missionary, a account, and he spent his final days niences, and there statesman, and in a Roman prison. But he uses the are some amenities an inventor. He learned early in life words joy, rejoice, gladness, and we may need to about the joy of making a differ- cheer sixty-seven times in his sev- forego. But wherever we are, we can ence. He was only eleven when he eral letters. be of use if we was allowed to go into town alone Don’t Wait on Muster Day, a great holiday in Sometimes we think we’ll learn to think of Maine, featuring parades and all become useful “some day”; but ourselves in terms sorts of exciting activities. His right now, we’re too busy trying to of servant hood. roads mother gave him seven cents for make it through another week. But “Two diverged in a wood, gingerbread; but as she put the the secret to making a difference is and I...” wrote coins in his hand, she said, “Perto do something NOW. “How wonRobert Frost, “I haps you will stop at Mrs. Farrar’s derful it is,” wrote Anne Frank, took the one less and put a cent or two in the contriEquippingMen Men& &Women Women of Equipping of God God “that nobody need wait a single traveled by, and bution box.” through Christian Education for over through Christian Education for over 35 40years! years! moment before starting to improve that has made all Walking to town, Cyrus debated the world.” BACHELOR, MASTER, DOCTORATE, Th.D., Ph.D. the difference.” how to divide up his coins: how Think of some small little change Ask about our “ Degree By Testing! ” Dr. Jeremiah is many he would give and how many Honorary & Combined & Accelerated Degrees Available for qualified applicants you can make in your routine or a “Accredited by TAC” the founder and he would keep. When he arrived in small improvement you can try at host of Turning town, he dumped all seven cents in Affordable Quality Education—FREE Evaluation—Credit for Life Experience home. The accumulation of little Point for God and the contribution box. That night he improvements makes for big chang- senior pastor of 888-837-4931 or visit www.omega.edu returned home hungry as a bear, es in attitude in our homes and Shadow Mountain and his mother gave him a bowl of bread and milk. He later called it churches, and in our own hearts. Think Service the best meal he ever had. From It’s also helpful to change the that experience, he learned the joy of giving, of contributing, of help- way we think of ourselves. We’ve ing others, and of making a differ- been trained by the popular culture to think of ourselves as consumers ence. But that’s not all. Years later while in Turkey dur- who need to be served and as cusing the Crimean War, Cyrus noticed tomers who need to be satisfied. how badly the sick and wounded But let’s think of ourselves as sersoldiers suffered because there vants who want to change the were no clean clothes for their bod- world. Richard Wurmbrand was the ies or sheets for their beds. He invented a washing machine using Romanian minister who wrote Tormaterials at hand. He later said that tured for Christ. On February 29, he had been credited with sixteen 1948, he was arrested on his way to different professions including uni- church. Despite harsh interrogation versity president and professor of and torture, he refused to denounce theology, but that of “washerwom- the Lord Jesus; and as a result, he an” was the one of which he was was sentenced to years of solitary most proud. confinement in a dank cell thirty feet below ground. He had no Bible Find Joy Whether it’s giving a handful of and no book, and no communicacoins to the needy or washing tion with family or friends was clothes for the sick, there’s joy in allowed. He was cut off from every serving Jesus. We live in a world in communication and comfort. But Wurmbrand knew he could which no one wants to step up and make a difference. We’re afraid our still make a difference. He establives will be interrupted, our com- lished a routine in which he comfort disrupted, or our leisure cir- posed three hundred poems and cumvented. But history has proven committed them to memory. He that men and women who have prepared and preached a new sertruly stepped up, sacrificed, and mon every day, even though no one become involved in making a dif- but himself heard it. From this And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and Easter 2018 29 they spoke with tongues and prophesied. – Acts 19:6
You and I have the Book of the Revelation and four truths that will give the light in their darkness. The Central Person His name is Jesus. (Revelation 1:1) says, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things By Dr. Adrian Rogers which must shortly come to pass; Years ago I read cashire England and was trapped by and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John." We about an accidental a swift, incoming tide. drowning of a man What a picture of today's world! are not looking for something to and his nine-year- All around us, people are drowning happen, we are looking for someold son as they in a rushing tide of immorality. one to come. The word revelation means fished near Lan- They are desperate, but are lost. "unveiling" and comes from the Greek word "apokalupsis." Can you imagine the heartbeat of God the Father when He says, "Here is an unveiling of My dear Son who is not the president of the United Steamboat NATCHEZ Easter Jazz Buffet Brunch States but who is the King of kings and Lord of lords"? Jesus is the hero of the Bible and specially the Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 book of Revelation. And His glory 11:30 AM or 2:30 PM is going to be unveiled. (Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to cruise time) The Clear Purpose The first verse of Revelation also BRUNCH FAVORITES INCLUDE: gives us the clear purpose of the Shrimp & Grits book: "to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to Brown Sugar Pineapple Glazed Ham pass; and He sent and signified it by Waffles His angel unto His servant John." White Chocolate Bread Pudding Only God knows the future and Jesus has come to show it to His And MUCH MORE! servants. The word "servant" in the Greek Reservations are required. is "doulos," which means bond slave - those who willingly become Register today - 504-569-1401 or 800-233-2628 slaves. Are you a slave of Jesus Christ? As a Christian, your life is not your own, you belong to Jesus Bring the kids and get Christ. Why do we have the Book photos with our Special of Revelation? To show us things to come. Guest, the Easter Bunny! The Comforting Promise There is a blessing in the Book of Revelation: "Blessed is he that For more information, please visit: readeth, and they that hear the www.steamboatnatchez.com words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand!" (Revelation 1:3). Hear it. Jesus said, "If any man has an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 13:9). Do you remember your parents or teachers ever saying to you, "Do you hear me?" They were not asking if you heard them with your eardrums; they wanted to know if you
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30 Easter 2018
understood what they were saying. Keep it. God wants more than just a curious mind when you read the Book of Revelation. There are commands in this book for you to obey. If you really believe that the end of all things may be close at hand, you will not be casual about sharing Christ with your unsaved family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. The Certain Prophecy The time is at hand. (Revelation 1:3) says, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." What does John mean that the "time is at hand"? Someone has said, "When little men cast long shadows you know the sun is about to set." That may sound pessimistic but I am a glowing optimist because I know that all of the things prophesied in God's Word will come to pass. How grateful I am that God gave us His Word to give us comfort, guidance, and assurance of His sovereign plan! Years ago the moviemakers of Hollywood produced many western movies. One of the singers in the background music of these westerns was a talented cowboy singer/ songwriter named Stuart Hamblin. One day God changed all that. Stuart learned about the salvation of God through His Son Jesus Christ. A young actor named John Wayne noticed a change in Stuart's life and asked him, "Stuart, what is your secret?" His answer became a beloved hymn: It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others, He'll do for you. With arms wide open, He'll pardon you. It is no secret what God can do. Do you want to be ready when Christ returns? The only way to do that is to receive the One who came and died on a cruel cross for the forgiveness of your sin and the salvation of your soul. It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for me, He'll do for you. ÂŠ 2018 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN
At the Heart of the Matter How the Crucifixion Saves Us By Charles F. Stanley The cross is the heart of the Christian life. The crucifixion is the divine transaction that saves us. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to the Father. Although the Jews and the Romans viewed the crucifixion as the execution of a criminal, God saw it as the perfect atoning sacrifice that allowed Him to justify sinful mankind. Christ’s sacrifice surpassed all the previous sacrifices (Heb. 9:2426). The Old Testament priests entered the temple to offer the blood of animals year after year. But Jesus entered one time into the holy place in heaven to appear before God and “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”. Sin is so evil that we cannot ignore, excuse, or rationalize it. Those who die in their sins without the Savior will pay the penalty of eternal separation from God. Our sin cost the heavenly Father the death of His beloved Son whom He willingly sent to die for us so we could be justified and not have to pay for our own sin. The crucifixion was the only moment in eternity when the Godhead was separated. As Jesus hung on the cross, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). In those horrible moments when the sins of the world were laid on Him, He
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bore the weight of all our guilt, and for the first time since eternity past, He felt the separation from His Father. The crucifixion was an event that can never be duplicated and will never need to be repeated. Christ’s atoning death happened on one day and in one moment in history. It was sufficient to pay for all the sins of everyone who’s lived or will live from Adam until Jesus returns. Christ never has to suffer and die again. The death of Christ covered everything. Nothing can compare with what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and nothing else is required to pay for our salvation. Christ’s crucifixion makes forgiveness possible for everyone who believes in Him. And for those who do, their future is secure because their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. There were three crosses on the hill that day. On one was a blaspheming criminal; in the middle was the Son of God paying the penalty for sin; and on the third cross hung a repentant sinner saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42). There was nothing he could do except believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and Christ answered him, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (v. 43). The only way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ. Copyright © 2018 Ochristian >
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We welcome you to our brand new section titled “Righteous Living”. With the start of a New Year, what a difference these short but precise teachings can make in your Christian walk with the Lord. We hope you enjoy them.
The Importance of True Prayer Prayer's best help is not in the earthly good things it gets for us from God , these are blessings indeed, but there are better things than these in prayer's storehouses for us. Often times there are greater benefits in God's denial, than there would have been in His granting what we sought. We have not begun to learn the meaning or to appreciate the privilege of prayer, if we ask only for things which our body needs, things for the comfort of our physical life — for health, for financial prosperity, for friends, for success. Jesus taught "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." With undivided heart and singleness of quest, we are to seek the things of God, and then the promise is that He will look after
the supplying of our earthly need. The same lesson is taught in the Lord's Prayer, which, we should remember, Jesus gave the disciples in answer to their request that He would teach them how to pray. Instead of beginning with requests for earthly things, the first three petitions are for the hallowing of God's name, the coming of His kingdom, and the doing of His will. Not until we come to the latter half of this divine model of prayer, are we led to ask for anything for ourselves. Then we have the petitions for daily bread, only enough, however, for the one day; for the forgiveness of sins; and for deliverance in temptation. When we do come to pray for ourselves, it is not the mere earthly side of our life which should first concern us. The deepest yearning of
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our heart should be for spiritual growth, that our life may be conformed to the will of God. This should be our first object indeed in everything we do. We are not in this world simply to make a living, but to build a life. We are not here primarily to do good farming or carpentering or housekeeping, or to be a good business man or a successful physician, or to do any kind of work well. These things are all right and important in their place, and we are to put our life into our calling whatever it is, and do our very best in it. But our earthly vocation is only the scaffolding; the real life is that which rises within. We are here to grow into Christly manhood. So in prayer the first thing is not to have our physical needs supplied, a far more important matter is to grow in spiritual life. We go to God to get grace from Him, that we may be strong and that our life may be enriched. An old promise says: "Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." "Lord, what a change within us one short hour spent in your presence will avail to make, what heavy burdens from our bosom take, what parched grounds refresh, as with a shower! We kneel, and all around us seems to lower; we rise, and all the distant and the near, stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear; we kneel how weak, we rise how full of power!" True prayer promotes holiness of heart and life. When we have looked into God's face, even for a brief season, we cannot be altogether as we were before. We cannot go back into the world, and be again like the
world. We cannot return to the follies and sins which we committed yesterday so easily. We have seen God, and this puts a new reverence into our soul, and sets our life apart to a new sacredness. Having looked into the face of Christ there are new visions in our soul. We have caught a glimpse of higher things, and there is instilled in us a new longing to reach them, thus true prayer ever uplifts the heart and life. We should always be holier, even after a few moments with our Master. As we go into any new day, we need the clasp of the Master's hand to inspire and nerve us for the tasks, the duties, the struggles and the dangers of the day. This is one of the ways prayer helps us. The morning devotions, if they are really talks with Jesus, make us braver, stronger and truer, for the whole day. For not only do we thus begin the day with Christ, but we then take Him with us from our closet of prayer, into all the day's paths and experiences. We need never to be a moment away from His side, unless we sinfully leave Him to go forth into some path of wandering of our own choosing. These are suggestions of the way true prayer helps us. It brings Christ into all our life. It holds us continually under the power of His grace. It inspires us ever to seek better things. It makes us strong for duty and struggle. It sweetens our spirit, it cheers us for the roughest way, and it helps us to be victorious over all that would hinder or hurt us. We welcome you on this new frontier! Save the Nations Ministries >
Look at Me and What I’ve Done! "They will be like dew sent by the Lord." (Micah 5:7) The lives of godly people are sometimes compared to the dew. One point of likeness is the quiet way in which the dew performs its ministry. It falls silently and undetectably. It makes no noise. No one hears it dropping. It chooses its time in the night when men are sleeping, when none can see its beautiful work. It covers the leaves with clusters of pearls. It steals into the bosoms of the flowers, and leaves a new cupful of sweetness there. It pours itself down among the roots of the grasses and tender herbs and plants. It loses itself altogether, and yet it is not lost. For in the morning, there is fresh life everywhere, and new beauty. The fields are greener, the gardens are more fragrant, and all nature is clothed in fresh luxuriance! Is there not in this simile, a suggestion as to the way we should seek to do good in this world? Should we not wish to have our influence felt, while no one thinks of us; rather than that we should be seen and heard and praised? Should we not be willing to lose ourselves in the service of self-forgetful love, as the dew loses itself in the bosom of the rose, caring only that other lives shall be sweeter, happier, and holier and not that honor shall come to us? We are too anxious, some of us, that our names shall be written in large letters on the things we do, even on what we do for our Master; and are not willing to sink ourselves out of sight and let Him alone have the praise. Our Lord's teaching on the subject is very plain. He says: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full." That is, they have
that which they seek, the applause of men. "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." The meaning would seem to be, that we are not to wish people to know of our good deeds, our charities, our self-denials; that we should not seek publicity, when we give money or do good works; indeed, that we are not even to tell ourselves what we have done; that we are not to think about our own good deeds so as to become conscious of them; not to put them down in our diaries and go about complimenting ourselves, throwing bouquets at ourselves, and whispering: "How good I am! What fine things I have done!" This is an insightful test of our lives. Are we willing to be as the dew, to steal abroad in the darkness, carrying blessings to men's doors, blessings that shall enrich the lives of others and do them good, and then steal away again before those we have helped or blessed awaken, to know what hand it was that brought the gift? Are we willing to work for others without gratitude, without recognition, without human praise, without requital? Are we content to have our lives poured out like the dew, to bless the world and make it more fruitful, and yet remain hidden away ourselves? Is it enough for us to see the fruits of our toil and sacrifice, in others' spiritual growth, and deeper happiness; yet never hear our names spoken in praise or honor, perhaps even hearing others praised for things we have done? If you go about doing good in simple ways, in gentle kindnesses, not thinking of reward, not dreaming of praise, not hoping for any return, you are enshrining your name where it will have immortal honor! Our lesson teaches us that this is the way we are to live — if we are followers of Christ! Save the Nations Ministries >
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Easter 2018 33
EASTER EGG Continued from Page 17 still bless those red eggs today during Paschal (Easter) vigil services on the night before Easter Sunday. The teaching opportunity here is that you can explain how Jesus loved us so much that He willing went to the cross and shed His blood to pay for our sins so that we might have forgiveness and eternal life. I like to go one-step further and set the eggs we dye red into the folds of braided bread cross; the red dyed eggs symbolize the bloodstains on the cross. The Pysanky Eggs The Pysanky eggs are a multicolored egg representing “Pysanky” art that originated in the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Pysanky art used waxed drawings and writing on eggs layered between different colored dyed lay-
ers. Traditional Pysanky colors to represent the different faith concepts related to Easter. White represented purity, yellow represented light and joy, orange represented strength and endurance, red the passion of Jesus on the cross, green represented hope and spiritual growth, blue represented spiritual health, brown represented earth, and black represented eternity. Between the dyed layers, phrases like “Christ is risen” and pictures like pictures of ladders were used. As you and your kids create these works of art you can use the time to discuss how God works in our lives. Create Easter Egg Symbols of Our Faith We can create symbols of our faith by drawing symbols on the eggs before we dye them. Cover the drawings with wax before dying them so the area behind the draw-
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ings stayed on a white background. Symbolically a “fish” represents Christianity, “birds” represent hope, “Evergreen trees” and “ribbons” represent eternal life, “sun and stars” represent spiritual growth, “flowers” represent joy, “triangles” represent the trinity, and “crosses” represent Jesus’ great sacrifice for our sins. A Place for Plastic Eggs Now is the time for those hollow plastic Easter Eggs that you bought at the dollar store. Create a multicolored Easter egg tree to represent the empty tomb of the risen Christ. Personally, I prefer creating an Easter egg tree the way we did it when I was a kid using real eggs. To use real eggs you need to make small holes in the two ends of each egg and then blow the raw egg out of the shell. For health, reasons use a straw between your lips and the eggshell when blowing the liquid egg from its shell. The Old Egg Knocking Game This is a two-player game enjoyed by adults and children alike, but too few people play it correctly today. The correct way to play it is for each player to shout out “Christ is risen” while knocking
his or her eggs together. The contestant whose intact egg breaks open his or her opponents egg is considered the winner, the broken open egg represents Jesus’ empty tomb on Easter morning. Easter Egg Gifts I think that one of the reasons so many parents and grandparents have switched to plastic eggs is that their kids and grandkids made themselves sick from eating all the eggs. The Early Christians had a better way to handle that problem; they made up gift baskets and gave them to charity. We need to go back to using real eggs and adopt their idea of donating the majority of the left over eggs to the needy—pray for God to show you who your eggs should go to. For years, we have made up small Easter decorated bag of eggs and then take them to the inner city parks where the homeless gather and hand them out with a tract of the Gospel of John tucked in among the eggs. Pray over you Easter egg gifts and the Holy Spirit will direct you to whom He wants you to share them with. ©2018 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
RETIREMENT Continued from Page 22 the $23,500 you were already permitted to invest in tax-advantaged accounts. That’s a grand total of $30,500 in potential annual contributions. Max out your 401(k) and Roth IRA for 10 years, and you could have $534,000 saved for retirement. In 20 years? You could have $1.92 million! Connect with an investing professional. A pro can help you customize a plan for reaching your goal, especially if you have some catching up to do. Credit Card Debt According to the Ramsey Solutions research report, almost onethird of savers who are in debt (31%) ranked credit card debt as a top reason they don’t save more for retirement. You might have already kicked the plastic habit, but here are a few reminders of why it’s important to stay away from debt: Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% math. But here’s some math to reinforce why behavior matters: If you invest $1,292—the average total a household pays in annual credit card interest according to Nerdwallet—for 30 years,
you could add more than $230,000 to your nest egg. Debt keeps you from investing sooner. Time is an essential ingredient to building a healthy nest egg. If you make $45,000 and delay investing 15% of your income for 10 years to pay off debt, you’ve lost an estimated $118,000 in retirement savings thanks to the effect of compound growth. Turn Retirement Savings Obstacles into Opportunities We understand how easy it is to let life get in the way of your retirement savings. But with the right plan, it shouldn’t keep you from hitting your goals. Ready to break through the savings barriers? A SmartVestor Pro can help you outline a plan no matter how much you’re currently contributing to your retirement. Reach out to a SmartVestor Pro today! *Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.>
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Easter 2018 35
SUFFERING Continued from Page 23 mad when he said "...we glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience..." (Rom. 5:3-4)? How many congregations or preachers today would permit Paul to stand in their pulpit and cry out, "If I must need glory, I will glory in mine infirmities..." (2 Cor. 11:30). Compare the Cross-less preaching heard from many pulpits today with Paul's message. He preached "...the Lord said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong..." (2 Cor. 12:9-10). Need attracts grace; suffering attracts mercy; weakness attracts His strength. The strongest believer is one who has been thoroughly tested and put through the fire - and who has been strengthened and matured in the process. At the risk of sounding really
negative, I believe there is too little preaching of the Cross in churches today. I've actually had Christians walk out on my preaching when I've tried to show them from the Word that the Cross includes physical and spiritual suffering. The Cross represents reproach, rejection, denial of self, mortification of the flesh, surrender of the will and that is offensive to those Christians addicted to ease, pleasure, and prosperity. Almost everybody is hurting in one way or another. But believers who are enduring severe trial and affliction and who can see God in it all, supplying mercy, grace, and strength - are building up a history with the Lord. Does your history with the Lord include grace in your worst hours of fear and pain; heaven-supplied strength when you were at the end of all hope; soft spiritual rain when you were parched and dry; supernatural peace when all was in turmoil - rest and assurance in the face of death? Those with such histories are more patient and understanding than those who have never been put to the test. There really is only one Cross His! He tasted death for us all; He
suffered and bled once for sin; He drank the bitter cup. Our suffering and pain are not meritorious - they add nothing to grace - but they are the cost of discipleship. When we become a true reflection of a holy Christ, we will suffer. There will be persecution from sinners and rejection from carnal Christians. You will suffer when the Word tries you, as you appropriate the promises, and deliverance is delayed. You will suffer when you sin or grieve the Holy Spirit. You will suffer when excruciating physical pain comes on you or a dear loved one, and it seems no relief is in sight. You will suffer when a godly saint is suddenly taken, perhaps in an accident. I strongly believe in divine healing. I believe God wants to bless and heal His children. I believe God gives us authority over demonic powers. But I also believe in taking up the Cross and following Christ - and that often includes suffering. It also means resurrection power through it all. Copyright © 2018 Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771 USA.>
KINGDOM Continued from Page 18 in long stretches, but it will be made plain step by step. The revealing will not be by supernatural signs, but through conscience, by the words of God, by the advice of wise friends and parents, and by daily providence. Those, who are now asking anxiously what to do with their life should first of all lay their hand in Christ’s, next they should take an honest inventory of their gifts and capacities, to learn what they are fitted by God to do. Then they should devote their life to Christ, to love and to service to His people. No lower thought of duty can be worthy or can ever have the divine blessing. "Seek first the kingdom of God" is Christ's word for everyone. With such thoughts of life and such consecration, there can be no failure; one will surely find his place. Save the Nations Ministries >
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CHRISTIAN Community Referrals
ATTORNEY Bono Law Firm 3801 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 206 Metairie, LA 70002 504-835-9909 www.bonolawfirm.com AUTOMOTIVE DEALERS Bergeron Automotive 3525 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, LA 70002 504-888-2131 Honda of Covington 100 Holiday Square Blvd. Covington, LA 70433 985-892-0001 www.hondaofcovington.com Premier Automotive Group Toyota of New Orleans • 504-940-0000 Premier Nissan of Metairie • 504-455-5800 Premier Kia of Kenner • 1-866-744-5083 Ross Downing Chevrolet 600 S. Morrison Blvd. Hammond, La 70403 985-345-1285 www.rossdowningchevrolet.com AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR Zoom Tech 815 Asbury Dr., Mandeville, LA 70471 985-624-5080 www.zoomtechautomotive.com BRIDAL SPECIALTY Second Line Handkerchiefs (Backyard Printing, LLC) 1960 Surgi Drive • Mandeville, LA 985-231-7789 secondlinehandkerchiefs.com BUS CHARTERS Gaten's Adventures Unlimited "For All Your Traveling Needs" 465 Morris Road, Hammond, LA 985-345-7629 · 877-855-8572 www.gatenbuscharters.com CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS Larry Holmes Bourgeois Bennett 111 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, La 70005 504-831-4949 email@example.com • www.bb-cpa.com CATERING Dickey's Barbeque Pit 69292 Hwy. 21, Covington, LA 985-871-2225
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A Joyous Easter Easter 2018 37
HOPE Continued from Page 7 orities as needed. Times of economic hardship or loss expose what matters most to us and what we really love. They provide an opportunity to identify any tendency to accumulate “stuff” we don’t need, and to take steps to develop a more moderate lifestyle. (Luke 12:15, 31, 34) ▪ Do you need to redefine what your “needs” are? Do you need to make any adjustments in your spending, so as to be able to live within your means and/or to give more to meet the needs of others? • Place your confidence in the Lord. He can be trusted. He loves you, He knows what you are facing, and He cares for you. These circumstances have not caught Him off guard. He is still on His throne and is accomplishing His purposes in your life and in the world. Trust Him to meet your needs—He will provide. Now is a time to see what God can do. (1 Kings 17:1–16; Matt. 6:25-34) ▪▪ Remember what God has done in the past. (Deut. 8:2) ▪▪ Rely on His character. (Ps. 36:5, 7)
▪▪ Rehearse His promises. (Josh. 23:14) ▪▪ Refrain from taking matters into your own hands. Don’t let fear drive you to places God doesn’t want you to go. (Gen. 12:10f; Ruth 1:1f) ▪▪ Are you relying on God to meet your needs, or on some other source? Does your response to adversity demonstrate faith or fear? Dependence on Him or self-reliance? • Reach out to others. Be sensitive to those around you who may have even greater needs than your own, particularly those in the Body of Christ. Don’t just think about your own problems; put the needs of others ahead of your own. (Phil. 2:4) ▪▪ Pray for others in need. (2 Thess. 1:11-12) ▪▪ Look for ways to encourage those who may be struggling. (1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 3:13) ▪▪ Share with one another—help meet material needs, as the Lord has blessed you. This is an opportunity for Christians to demonstrate the gospel and compassion of Christ, so the world will say, “See how they love each other!” (Deut. 15:7, 14; Prov. 21:13; James 2:15–17)
6636 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie, LA 70003
38 Easter 2018
▪▪ Who do you know who is struggling to make ends meet? How can you be an instrument of God’s grace to them? • Practice Christ-like giving. The natural tendency in times of financial uncertainty is to hold on to what we have and give less. But what an opportunity to demonstrate the greatness and power of God in our giving! Ask God how you can exercise faith and reflect His generous heart in your giving at this time. (2 Cor. 8:1–4; 9:8) ▪▪ Does your giving reflect the generous, giving heart of Christ? How might God want you to grow in the grace of giving during this season? • Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy—regardless of what is going on in the world or in your personal financial situation! If we have Him, we are rich, we have everything we need, and we have reason to rejoice! (Hab. 3:17– 18) ▪▪ Are you manifesting the joy of the Lord to those around you— in your countenance, your spirit, and your words? © Revive Our Hearts. By Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com>
2712 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Kenner, LA 70062
FRIENDSHIPS Continued from Page 6 The modern world is becoming more and more efficient with work and less and less meaningful with human interactions. No friendship is based on efficiency. Friendship is spending time with someone, intentionally setting aside time to look someone in the eye, to hear their voice and to watch their eyebrows furrow or cheeks get red. It is not an efficient exercise; in fact, friendship necessitates inefficiency. It is days spent gazing at ocean waves rather than writing job applications, evenings spent drinking coffee with a friend rather than an essay, school nights spent watching sports or movies or playing games rather than studying or reading or sleeping. Jobs are practical. Getting good grades is practical. Networking is practical. Friendship is not. If God were practical, I think He should have given up on me a long time ago. But He calls me His friend. And friendship is not easy, simple or practical. Promise Keepers · 5600 S Quebec St # 200D · Greenwood Village, CO 80111-2204 · USA >
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Published on Feb 22, 2018