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Volume 15, Number 5 www.changingtimes.info
T h e Vo i c e o f t h e C h r i s t i a n C o m m u n i t y
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The Prescription for Happiness One of the greatest privileges a believer can enjoy is to see that God, in all the glory of His nature and perfections, is on his side. And this is the privilege of every Christian, whether he enjoys it or not. God, in Christ, is united to every saint; and every saint, in Christ, is united to God. The Divine nature, through the human, sympathizes with us in every conflict, trial, and trouble. God is engaged to us, and engaged for us, in the everlasting covenant, therefore the Psalmist could sing, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Of whom, indeed! For, as the Apostle reasons, "If God is for us," and with us, then "who can be against us?" Who can prevail against us? Who can really injure us? Let us, then, rejoice in the fact, that "the Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge!" Let us daily think of God's glorious perfections, and view them as engaged for us at all times. His power is engaged to support, defend, and strengthen us.
His omniscient eye is constantly upon us, watching over us for good. His omnipresence is our safeguard from all our foes, for no one can come and find our God absent from us. His justice and righteousness shine in all His dealings with us, and are like lofty mountains round about us. His holiness shines in all His purposes and plans and forbids the thought that He will act unsuitably towards us. His mercy is ever great towards us and by it He sympathizes with us in all our sorrows, grieves, and woes. His goodness will constantly supply us, and is sufficient to fill us with admiration and astonishment. His truth renders certain every promise He has given and recorded in His Word. His wisdom frustrates the designs of our foes, and arranges and manages all for our welfare. His eternity is the date of our happiness, and the duration of our unspeakable blessedness! He is enough to engage our
From the Editor thoughts, overflow our minds, and forever fill us with adoration and praise! What a God we have! How cheering this fact, and what sweet support it yields to the mind, to meditate on His perfections and glorious attributes, seeing them all in Jesus and in Him engaged for our present and everlasting welfare! What could shake our minds, if we did but firmly believe that God's omnipotence is engaged to defend us to the uttermost? What could tempt us to commit any known sin, if we were realizing that God's omniscient eye is upon us; yes, that God is present with us, and that He is our sin-hating father? What could lead us into murmuring and rebellion, if we were fully persuaded that God's holiness and justice are for us, and will shine splendid in all His dealings with us? What could lead us to think that our prayers would not be answered or our petitions be regarded, if we were fully assured, and our minds were influenced by the assurance,
that God is truth? How could we believe that He would ever turn against us, if we rightly viewed His character? Or, how could we think that our affairs would be disordered, if we felt satisfied that His wisdom was working for us at all times! We do believe all of these things, but we need to make them bear more upon our experience and practice. Our religion is too much in the head, and too little in the heart. Truth rather floats in the understanding, than sinks down into the soul. Our memory lets it slip, and nothing but frequent meditation on these things, will cause us to profit by them. They are calculated and intended to benefit the Lord's people, but unless we exercise our minds upon them, we shall not be benefitted by them. One truth, brought home to the soul by the Holy Spirit, and digested by meditation, does us more See PRESCRIPTION on Page 30
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Regeneration (new birth) is a sovereign work of God's grace which precedes and enables faith. It stands over against a free-will view of revival that says man's will only needs moral persuasion to become new, but it does not need a supernatural renovation so that it can be persuaded. How then should we pray for the lost? Take the biblical statements of what God actually does in conversion and turn them into prayers. For example: Lord, take out of my flesh the heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Cause me to walk in your statutes. Put love for yourself into my heart. Open the eyes of my heart to see the glory of the gospel. Grant repentance to me and free me from the devil. Make me alive together with Christ. Save me by the washing of revival and renewal in the Holy Spirit. How should we witness? By earnestly telling people and showing people about the character of God, the hopeless condition of man, the provision of salvation in Christ, the need for revival by the sovereign work of God's Spirit, the demand for repentance from sin and the necessity of heartfelt faith in the promises of Christ. The word of God is the occasion for the reviving work of God
(James 1:8; 1 Peter 1:23). Direct them to seek God earnestly in the word and in the privacy of their own closet. When they have been brought to submission to God, you may teach them how to express their faith in prayer: Almighty God, I bow before your holiness and excellence. I accept and approve of your law. I recognize the greatness of my sin. I stand utterly helpless under your righteous condemnation. O, how I wish the dishonor I have brought upon Your name through my unbelief and obedience could be repaired. It fills me with joy and wonder that this is just what Christ did when He died on the cross to demonstrate your righteousness. I see Him as my only hope of forgiveness and eternal life. I come to Him. I receive Him. I turn from all that displeases Him. I trust in all His promises. I give myself up to Him and reckon myself dead to sin and to the world. I engage, by the help of the Spirit, to oppose sin in my life and to obey the teachings of Christ. Thank you for bringing me to this wonderful place of faith! In Jesus' great name I pray, Amen. Seeking the lost sheep with you… Save the Nations Ministries >
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How Do I Handle Arguments Within My Family? By Charles F. Stanley Dr. Stanley answers: Your parenting skills, marriage skills, and the ways you relate to your loved ones in general were greatly influenced by your environment as you grew up. Both negative and positive “family traditions” were deeply ingrained in your personality. They overflow in the way you teach your children, respond to your spouse, and communicate to other family members. By traditions, I am talking about the unique things made your family into your family. The way Dad talked to Mom. The way Mom looked at Dad. The way they talked to you. Meals. Holidays. Birthdays. Saturday mornings. Graduations. Death. Sicknesses. Bedtimes.
Report cards. Shouting. Whispering. Slamming doors. Retreating into silence. Drinking. Pouting. The million things that made up your daily life. Your emotional computer picked it all up, and try as you might, hitting the delete button hasn’t worked. Let’s look at some ways to break negative traditions in your home. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. First, identify the negative family traditions. Sometimes this is more apparent than others. A hint would be when your spouse says, “You sound just like your father [or mother]!” Among Christians especially, trying to see the faults that were passed down may seem dishonoring to them. If we understand our parents reacted the way they did because of what they learned from their parents, it is easier to
Table of Contents From the Editor
The Christian Journey
The Transformed Life
The Triumphant Christian
understand where the negative traditions came from. If we don’t identify them in our parents, we’ll rarely see them in ourselves. Pray that God will help you to remember the negative as well as the positive patterns. Be specific when you identify problems. If the past remains unresolved it becomes the present, demanding your emotional focus.
What happens to you when you are emotionally focused on anything–– consciously or unconsciously? You take on the characteristics of whatever you dwell on. Second, refocus. Make a list of how you would like your family See ARGUMENTS on Page 36
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What About Your Relatives? by Jim Elliff In the New Testament, we find new believers confronting their own family first with the gospel. One writer calls this "oikos evangelism." The word "oikos" means "household" in the language of the New Testament.
A model for reaching our families is found in the first encounter Andrew had with Jesus. Read what it motivated him to do: "He found first his own brother Simon [Peter], and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which
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translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus" (John 1:42-42a). It begins right at home. What are you doing to introduce Christ to your immediate family? There are many ways to do this. For one, having times of family Bible reading and prayer has a great history in evangelism. When children are young, reading the historical sections can be most easily digested by their immature minds. Reading the lives of great Christians and evangelistic books can also be helpful. It goes without saying that we should plant our family in a true church where the Bible is believed and where the gospel of free grace is presented clearly. Carefully chosen camps and youth activities may also help. One way to help your children know Christ is to ask them to conduct interviews with godly men and women you respect, finding out all they can about how they came to Christ and how life has gone for them. What about the extended family? Some friends of mine have made a long list of all their relatives. They carefully wrote out their testimony and an introductory letter (with a personalized note) and slipped it into a book we provided that explains the gospel. This was sent to parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. The resulting conversations and chang-
es have been remarkable. Some of you have relatives that may soon die. Do you really want to let them slip into hell without a clear explanation of the gospel? Aren’t you the one to do that? A friend’s father was old, blind, and grumbling about life. He sent some literature to his brother and asked him to begin reading it to their father in the retirement home. Much to their surprise the man was converted and has become an excited believer, though he is over 90 years old! Admittedly, some relatives are difficult to talk to. But that should not keep us from trying. One way to deal with such strong "resisters" is to be more forthcoming about arranging a time to talk it out. Instead of waiting for the opportune moment, just state, "Dad (or whoever it is), you know that I am concerned about you having a true relationship with Christ. I need to talk straight with you about it at least once. Let’s plan for this and have nothing to distract us. How about this week on Tuesday night?" It should be noted that sometimes people resist because they are under conviction about their need for Christ. Avoiding discussion is their only way to keep it at a comSee RELATIVES on Page 36
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A Prayer for Women by Pastor John Piper My earnest challenge and prayer for you is . . . . . . That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God. . . . That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing. . . . That this fullness of God overflows in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in Heaven. . . . That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching; that meditation on biblical truth be the source of hope and faith; that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others. . . . That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God will be opened to you, and so the power of faith and holiness will descend upon you; that your spiritual influence may increase at home and at church and in the world. . . . That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God, which undergirds all these spiritual processes; and that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers of these things. . . . That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific calling; that you not fritter away your time on soaps or women’s magazines or unimportant hobbies or shopping; that you redeem the time for Christ and His Kingdom. . . . That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to God (the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael did) and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married. . . . That if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; so that you encourage him in his Godappointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer. . . . That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children in the discipline
and instruction of the Lord—children who hope in the triumph of God— sharing with your husband the teaching and discipline they need, and giving them the special attention they crave from you, as well as that special nurturing touch and care that you alone are fitted to give. . . . That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home, the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world; that you not only pose the question: career or full-time homemaker?, But that you ask just as seriously: full-time career or freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom—to work for someone who tells you what to do to make his or her business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God’s business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ. . . . That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life’s ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God’s will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else’s chapter or whether it has in it what only another chapter will bring. . . . That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, housSee PRAYER on Page 31
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Over the last several decades, women have been encouraged to “have it their way.” I’m so thankful that we are now seeing a deep hunger in the lives of thousands of women to “have it God’s way”—to look to the Word of God for the definition of what it means to be a “true woman.” These women, by God’s grace, seek to live God-centered lives, to trust Him, and to say “Yes, Lord.” A “true woman” lives a Godcentered life. In a self-centered world, she lives for God’s glory and pleasure, not her own. She understands that life’s not about her—it’s all about Him! Instead of saying, “What will make me happy?” she asks, “What will please You, Lord? What will further Your Kingdom and display Your glory?” She recognizes her life is not her own, and joyfully lives for the glory of God. • She embraces her created purpose: to join every created thing in heaven and earth in worshiping and glorifying Him eternally. • She “turns her eyes upon Jesus” in the midst of her problems and sees these challenges in the context of His greatness. • She lives a life of repentance, holiness, and service; but above all, she is enthralled with
Christ! A “true woman” trusts God. • She doesn’t give in to fear because she knows that God can be trusted. He understands everything about her situation, and His good and loving plan will not be thwarted. • She leans on Him and depends on Him in times of joy, pain, hardship, uncertainty, and confusion. • She trusts God in circumstances she cannot understand or would not have chosen. • She resists the temptation to worry and manipulate, because she has relinquished control to Him. A “true woman” says “Yes, Lord.” • She believes that God’s purposes for creating male and female are good and wise. • She considers it a privilege and a delight to serve Him as a woman, and gratefully embraces His design and roles for her life. • The Word of God is her compass and motivates her to live intentionally and counter-culturally. • She makes personal sacrifices with her time and resources for the Kingdom of God. © Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts. com Info@ReviveOurHearts.com >
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Driving a Legacy: Generational Faith by David Jeremiah I’m not sure many sports carry the sense of legacy that NASCAR does. There are legendary racing families in NASCAR that have spanned several generations. The racing fever gets in their blood. Fathers introduce their sons and daughters to the sport and they never leave. Because the NASCAR teams compete against each other every weekend, there is a sense of community that exists as in no other sport. In no other sport do the same small number of competitors face off week after week. Generational bonds are easily formed and rarely broken. Can You Spell L-e-g-a-c-y? Think about the way Jesus Christ carried out the legacy of love His heavenly Father passed on to Him— and the way He desired to pass on that same legacy of love to us (note especially the emphasized portions): “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. . . . And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:22-24, 26). Jesus told His disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). There are three generations of a legacy even before Jesus returned to the Father. Jesus received the legacy from His Father and passed it on to His disciples, whose job it became to pass it on to their own physical and spiritual children all over the world. Legacy Is Spelled L-o-v-e I believe the children of NASCAR drivers catch the vision of their fathers for the same reason Jesus’ disciples caught His vision: love. In the case of Jesus’ legacy, the legacy itself is love—love for God. But love is also the method for passing on that legacy. Love is both the means and the end. When children see their parents
doing things they genuinely love to do, things that make them happy, things they sacrifice to be part of, things they talk about constantly, things that make them laugh and enjoy life . . . those children stand a good chance of catching the love-bug and enjoying those same things as well. Thankfully, love of God is not a vocation. Parents have a life-changing opportunity to pass along a lifestyle . . . a worldview . . . a mindset . . . a faith that can be carried throughout life regardless of what a child chooses to pursue vocationally. But what if a child rejects that legacy in spite of his parents’ best efforts to pass it along? As a pastor, I have seen parents grieve and live guilt-ridden lives over what appears to be a break in a family legacy of faith. In such cases, parents have to remember that they are not responsible for their children’s faith, that God’s plans for our children are not ours to know, that God can make up for the “years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25), and that unbelieving children very, very often return to the faith of their fathers. Indeed, children who enter adulthood without Christian faith and are buffeted by life’s waves often end up as much stronger believers once they do embrace Christ. They’ve tried life without Him and found it wholly unsatisfactory. So don’t be discouraged, dear parent! God’s eternal purposes do not depend on us. Wherever you are in the legacy chain of passing on the love of God to your children and grandchildren, continue walking in the love of Christ. Leave your children the lasting legacy of love that the Father left His Son, and that He has left to us. Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org. This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-9471993 for your copy of Turning Points. >
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A Boy, A Giant, and a Slingshot by Rosemarie Ann Haas Peter stood at the window with his face pressed against the cold glass, watching snowflakes drifting gently downward through the brisk January air. "Everyone gets to go places but me," he mumbled through his squished lips. "Just because I'm the youngest, I NEVER get to do ANYthing special," he complained. His three older brothers had taken off again on an outing with the youth group, leaving Peter behind as usual. A Boy, a Giant, and a Slingshot David looked around at the scared faces surrounding him. Why was everyone so SCARED of this big bully? God was on their side, so why were they afraid? Goliath was making them look STUPID! And no one was doing ANYTHING! David had just come to see how his three older brothers were doing at the battle and was delivering food their father had sent. He thought he would get to see the soldiers fighting. But there, on the other side of the valley, stood a GREAT BIG GIANT. And, of course, no one wanted to
fight him because he was just, well...just so BIG! So his brothers and the rest of the Israelite army were just standing there, looking very, very scared. David wasn't impressed. Something had to be done! He walked up to one of the men and asked, "Excuse me, but isn't anyone going to fight that man?" The soldier looked down at him. "You mean Goliath?" David nodded. "Yes, is someone going to fight him or not?" "Are you kidding? He's too big!" the soldier replied. He'd crush our strongest men in a second! NO one's going to fight THAT giant."
away, trying to ignore the laughter and sneers of the crowd. So what if he WAS just a kid? God was on his side, too! But he did need to get home and it didn't seem like anyone was going to listen to him here. Just as he was about to leave the camp, a man came running up behind him. "Excuse me. Are you David?" he asked. "Yes, I am. Is there something wrong?" David asked him. "Just come with me, please," the man responded, taking David's arm gently. He took David to a large tent where inside sat King Saul on
"Um, King Saul?" David mumbled from underneath the suit of heavy armor. "Yes?" he answered, trying to place the sword in David's hand. CLANG! David dropped it. "This stuff is TOO heavy. I can't wear all this. I'll be fine without it, King Saul." When he didn't seem convinced, David said, "King Saul, God is on my side. I'm not scared. Please let me go fight the giant." King Saul went back to his throne and sighed heavily. "All right. You may go," he said. "But please be careful. The Lord be with thee." David smiled, and as he walked out of the tent said, "THANKS!" He soon reached the valley where the giant was standing on the other side. David turned and saw a small brook. He walked over to it and picked up five smooth stones. He placed one into his leather slingshot and stepped closer to where the giant was. "What is this?" Goliath bellowed loudly. "The Israelites send me a BOY to fight? I will feed your skin to the birds!" David shivered at the thought, then straightened his back and lifted his chin. "But God is on my side. You can't hurt me! And I'm NOT scared!" Goliath laughed and David began to swing his slingshot in the air slowly at first, then faster and faster. Goliath saw what he was trying to do and began walking towards him.
David stared at him with a smile. "Then I'LL fight him!" The man laughed, "Oh, you're just a boy! In fact, you should be his royal throne. going home now. Your brothers David stepped forward and have their food, so go!" respectfully asked, "Sir, you wantDavid turned around and walked ed to see me?" The king looked down at the small boy before him. "Uh, yes. Go fetch the man who said he wanted to fight Goliath." David smiled proudly. "That's me!" King Saul looked at him strangely, and David stopped smiling. 䌀栀攀挀欀 漀甀琀 漀甀爀 㔀ⴀ匀吀䄀刀 刀䄀吀䤀一䜀 漀渀 䜀漀漀最氀攀℀ "Is there something wrong, King 匀攀攀 眀栀愀琀 漀甀爀 瀀愀琀椀攀渀琀猀 愀爀攀 猀愀礀椀渀最 愀戀漀甀琀 甀猀℀ Saul?" he asked timidly. "YES! YOU cannot fight Goliath! You are nothing but a small boy. He would crush you in an instant," King Saul bellowed. "But God is on my side, right? "He'll protect me. You don't have to worry, King. It'll be okay. I promise," David said. "Once, when I was watching my dad's sheep, a lion tried to eat one of the lambs. I killed it with my bare hands. Another time, a bear 䌀伀匀䴀䔀吀䤀䌀 䄀一䐀 䘀䄀䴀䤀䰀夀 䐀䔀一吀䤀匀吀刀夀 tried to eat some of my dad's sheep. ∀夀漀甀爀 倀氀愀挀攀 昀漀爀 䈀攀愀甀琀椀昀甀氀 匀洀椀氀攀猀∀ I killed it, too." "If you must go, you will need armor," he said as he motioned for a guard to come over. "Go get my royal armor," he told the guard. Then SNAP!! David snapped the 䌀伀嘀䤀一䜀吀伀一 圀䔀匀吀䈀䄀一䬀 When he came back, King Saul slingshot and the rock flew through 㤀㠀㔀ⴀ㠀 㤀ⴀ㠀㠀㤀 㔀 㐀ⴀ㌀㘀ⴀ㔀㌀㌀㌀ commanded the guard to put it on the air, straight at Goliath's fore㠀㐀㈀ 一 䌀漀氀氀椀渀猀 䈀氀瘀搀Ⰰ 匀甀椀琀攀 䘀 㜀 㠀 䴀愀渀栀愀琀琀愀渀 䈀氀瘀搀Ⰰ 匀甀椀琀攀 䌀 David. David stood, or tried to 䌀漀瘀椀渀最琀漀渀Ⰰ 䰀䄀 㜀 㐀㌀㌀ 䠀愀爀瘀攀礀Ⰰ 䰀䄀 㜀 㔀㠀 stand, under all the armor. It was See SLINGSHOT heavy. VERY heavy. 眀眀眀⸀圀栀漀䐀愀琀匀洀椀氀攀猀⸀挀漀洀 眀眀眀⸀吀漀搀愀礀猀䐀攀渀琀愀氀䰀愀⸀挀漀洀 on Page 31
䘀愀洀椀氀礀 䐀攀渀琀椀猀琀爀礀 ☀ 匀瀀攀挀椀愀氀琀礀 倀爀愀挀琀椀挀攀 䐀椀洀攀琀爀礀 䈀⸀ 䌀漀猀猀椀挀栀Ⰰ 䐀䐀匀
10 FALL 2017
How Old is Old? by Jerry Ousley One Sunday Debbie and I decided to go out to eat. We do that frequently. It's kind of nice to get a change of scenery ever so often. I'm not complaining about home cooking however. I want to set that straight right away. As far as I'm concerned my wife is one of the best cooks I know (you can tell when you see me). Anyway we decided to go to a local restaurant where we could get a decently priced steak and salad. We made our selection, paid for our meal, and enjoyed the atmosphere. The food was good and we had a wonderful time of conversation while we ate. I had put the receipt in my shirt pocket not thinking much about it at the time. When we arrived home I cleaned out my pockets because you just can't get comfortable with all that stuff bulging from your pants and shirt and we sat down to watch a good movie. While cleaning out my pockets I found the receipt and as I looked at it I noticed something that I wasn't accustomed to seeing. The lady running the cash register was really a young girl barely out of her teens. She was very nice and pleasant as she had taken our order but she had made an assumption that wasn't true. She had looked at us and had given us a Senior Citizens discount. Had I noticed it at the time I would have called it to her attention because, well, we just don't like getting something we haven't earned yet and taking that discount was definitely something we hadn't yet earned. Deb and I had a good laugh over it. By the way we are not in that age bracket quite yet. I will be turning 53 in a few months but that isn't old is it? Apparently this young lady thought so. She had made a judgment call from our appearance I suppose. But then when I look in the mirror I don't
think I look like a Senior Citizen. I know Debbie doesn't look like a Senior Citizen. Now I'm not knocking our more mature class of people. When one has arrived at that age, living a good, clean, full life, I believe they deserve those little perks, don't you? But folks I haven't arrived there yet! I appreciated this young lady's manners and tact in applying those discounts. She did it discreetly and in a way that wouldn't embarrass or insult a true Senior Citizen but honestly I don't think I look the part! Apparently she did. We all make wrong assumptions from time to time. We assume that just because there are those in the Church who may be unethical at times, or pass judgment erroneously, or do things we think Christians ought not to do, that they are all "a bunch of hypocrites." Have you ever heard that one? But the truth of the matter is that some are just victims of circumstances while others, who may really be hypocrites, will eventually be weeded out either by their own actions or by the grace of God. Don't make a wrong judgment call when it comes to making a choice for Christ. By the way that's a ploy by the devil to keep you from doing what God is telling you to do in your heart and in the Word. Thanks for your time but right now I've got to get back to figuring out how to keep from looking like I deserve that "special discount" in the future. Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" "Ordeal" "The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional" and his first novel "The Shoe Tree." Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved > Manufacturers Since 1867
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FALL 2017 11
Remembering Mom by Marijo Phelps Oh, Lord, I think the most difficult thing about Mom becoming like a toddler was the learning. With a toddler they did something and then learned they grabbed the oven door and it is HOT. Maybe next time they did not grab it. With a "dementia toddler" they did toddler things, but did not learn. What was "safe" last week might have changed again this week and they are in trouble. The safety issues never stop. Please help, AMEN. I remember the time, in the midst
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of more doctors’ appointments, You, Lord, spoke softly and encouraged me to "quit with the testing" and ENJOY mom while I could. Oh, the nurse in me fought that one, not go to the neurologist and find out what kind of dementia? For me not have that tag or label for our family medical history? HELP! I was able to let go of that. Instead of countless doctor appointments we had lunch at Red Lobster and Golden Corral. The wait staff knew her by name and even what she would order. Some days she had CHOCOLATE and ate desert only. Why not? When you were 86 there ought to have been some privileges. Some days she danced in the foyer as we waited for a table. And some days she even remembered her savior and offered to pray for people we met. "Like a little child and of such is the kingdom of heaven" took on a new meaning. There were also the temper tantrum days. On those days, the Lord showed me how well "toddler diversion tactics" usually worked. I changed the subject and got her focus on something else, wallah!
C�������n���� E�� He�l�� Ex�m�:
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We made some beautiful memories. Her fingers, grabbed at the cake, because the fork wasn't working and was not fast enough for CHOCOLATE. Then my trying to wash her with the water glass water and napkin, I knew if she tried to stand up the chair would be a new color CHOCOLATE. We'd leave a terrible mess for the wait staff. I was able to cease being embarrassed and laugh with her. It was a joyful time for the most part. There were times when she motioned for the manager to come over. A rather plump, plain young man arrived at our table. Mom proceeded to grab his elbow and tell him how very handsome he was. As he colored vivid shades of red, I turned so she couldn't see and mouthed "dementia" to him and thanked him for coming to our table while assuring him that the food was really good. She had prayed for years that she would go to be with the Lord very quickly. Her prayers became more fervent after she watched my Dad suffer so much before he passed on. She couldn't always remember the words she wanted to use, and "you know" became her favorite pass time. "You know what I mean" with those around her then playing a guessing game to fill in the word or phrase for her. Although she often didn't remember names (her own included) she never failed to greet me and my sister with a very excited "YES! You're HERE! Oh, I am so glad to see you!!!" One day we left her assisted living facility for the restaurant. It became clear that she did not know who I was even after I called her mom. "Who do you think I am?" I queried. She sheepishly admitted that she didn't know. "Mom," I asked, "Why in the world did you get into this car with me, if you didn't know who I was?" L. L.C.
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Orleans/Jefferson Region 1
12 FALL 2017
I was aghast at the potential safely issues this presented. Her reply was that I seemed like a really nice lady and she didn't think that was a problem. We then had a little discussion about going somewhere with strangers. I was very thankful she was in a locked facility and no one could come or go without the code or the staff letting them through the door. This facility had dedicated and incredible staff. We never found out which specific dementia she had. We found one med that helped her anxiety and paranoia but not her cognitive processes. The family enjoyed her, building a treasure house of memories her last months on this earth. The Lord answered her prayer. On the day we had praised Him at World Prayer Center, had a fingersin-the-chocolate-cake-giggle day and she had danced instead of walking, she went to meet her Lord. They found her in the middle of her room on her knees. The nurse in me still wonders. I know when someone dies the muscles stop working and the body slumps. Not Mom. She had left her "shell" quite awhile before the girls did rounds and found her in prayer position with no support. She'd gone to be with her Jesus. No more pain. No more sickness. No more sorrow. No more tears, and eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ. We miss you, Mom. But we will see you again! I will be forever thankful, Lord, that I "quit with the doctor appointments". Please give her a big hug from us and let her know we love her and are even a little bit envious. My blog is: http://myincrediblelord.blogspot.com/ (C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.>
St. John/St. Charles Region 3
I Learned Something New About Millie by Jan Ackerson I turn off the evening news and reach for my half-solved crossword puzzle. Opera tenor Schipa The Saturday puzzle is notoriously difficult, but I am determined to finish it. Millie my bride of sixty-seven years teases me about my insistence that each puzzle be solved completely, in ink. She finds me silly, but there is something pleasing about the glide of ink on newsprint and a neatly completed black-andwhite grid. I look away from my puzzle when I hear a small noise from Millie's chair. She pushes herself slowly upward with an oof and shuffles to her sewing room, one hand on her troublesome hip. When she returns, she is carrying her sewing basket. I cherish these quiet evening moments. From outside there is only the sound of amorous tree frogs; inside, the house holds only echoes of memories. I return to my puzzle, with an occasional glance at Millie, whose shapely legs can still make my breath catch in my throat. She is sewing a button on a shirt that I have not worn in a decade. Her reading glasses perch low on her nose; nevertheless, she holds the shirt close to her face and squints with each jab of the needle. Sometimes she puts the shirt down and flexes her fingers. They must ache the evening is humid. I find myself peeved. Why should Millie spend her time in this unnecessary pursuit? I have more shirts than I need, and I certainly have not missed this one. Our eyes meet, she smiles and I return to my puzzle. There are only a dozen blank squares remaining when I'm distracted again by a soft grunt from Millie's direction. She has finished the shirt and is reaching into her basket for the darning egg and a holey sock. I watch as she begins to mend the damage, and I feel my guilt and annoyance rise. I should not walk about the house in stocking feet, but surely we can
afford to replace worn socks. When Millie sighs and massages her neck, I finally decide to speak. Chagrined, I sound like a crabby old man. "Why are you doing that?" Millie smiles, her cheeks plump and pink. "Doing what, dear?" I cross over to her and rummage through the basket. "Millie, there are things in here that I haven't worn in years. And this handkerchief you don't need to mend this! I'll buy you a new one! Your hands hurt, your neck hurts, you can't see without your glasses" Millie puts her hand on my arm and shushes me. "I've been mending on Saturday evenings for over sixty years. Do you want to know why?" She closes her eyes, and I know that she is composing a little speech. I wait, certain that I'm about to be lectured for my slovenly habits. "I was so young when we married, Jack, and then you were gone for so long, in the war I'd join the other Army wives sometimes in the evenings, just for something to do. But you know how shy I am I took some mending along so I'd have something to look at." I'm a foolish old man. I believe that's the end of Millie's story. I pick up the newspaper and study the last clue. But Millie's voice interrupts me again. "You old poop, I'm not done. Do you remember Gloria Bain?" I nod, remembering Charlie Bain's flame-red hair, and the medics loading his shattered body into their jeep. "She was so mean to me, Jack! She criticized every stitch, and mocked me for mending items that she would have thrown away. I kept sewing just to spite her, and then when she lost Charlie, I kept sew-
ing out of contrition." Millie hesitated, her eyes glistening. "I repented years ago, but by that time, Saturday sewing was just a habit. I guess I'm too old to change, now. But you know what? I hated it when I was young, and I still hate it today. Isn't that ridiculous?" I stand and take the darning egg from her hand, then kiss her wrinkled cheek. "Sweetheart, it's time to stop. Let me put the basket away for you." When I return from the sewing room, I see that Millie's expression
is confused. "But Jack what will I do on Saturday nights?" I take Millie's hand and lead her to the davenport. "Sit here with me. Do you know a five-letter word for fabulist?" Jan is a Christian who has traveled through sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Check out Jan's website at www.1hundredwords.com ©Jan Ackerson--2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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WANTED Cowboys and Cowgirls!
Please join Angels Grove Ranch on Saturday, December 16th, for the performance of our annual Wild West Show. We are located North of Covington. Come on out and visit our ranch and watch a Live show re-enacting the Wild West with Horses, Cowboys, Indians and Rodeo Clowns. Don’t forget to visit our Petting Zoo and feel free to bring apples and carrot treats for the horses. This is a Family Fun event hosted by volunteers and Praise Team members. We are a 501c3 non profit Horse rescue. All proceeds will go towards our horses, ranch animals and the Equestrian Drill Team. Concessions will be available. Times will be posted on our website: www.angelsgrove.org Event will be on Facebook page: Angels Grove Ranch Inc. 81270 Katie Lane, Bush, LA 70431 Email: email@example.com Telephone 985-789-3148
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. – Acts 4:33
FALL 2017 13
Is Your Home Grandchildren Proof? 24 Things You Should Know by Carolyn Bates The 13 basic things you need to grandchildren proof your home. Baby Boomers and those retiring have probably already heard these before, but just in case you haven’t: 1.) Pick up all breakables that little hands could reach or knock over 2.) Get baby locks for lower cabinets or drawers that you don’t want opened 3.) Secure any outside doors; especially those that go to the street or to a pool? 4.) Put all poisonous liquids on high shelves – bleach, cleaning fluids, medicines, etc. 5.) Are all fire alarms working 6.) Post a list of all emergency numbers by all phones = parents, doctors, poison control 7.) Set the water heater below 120 degrees to prevent scalding 8.) Have a working fire extinguisher accessible in the kitchen 9.) Put safety gates on all stairways or rooms you don’t want children to enter 10.) Put safety caps on all electrical outlets 11.) Get a working baby monitor, plastic cups, forks and plates 12.) Keep all hot liquids, like coffee, up high away from reaching hands and pot handles turned inward 13.) Get a good stain stick; spills will happen Those were the basics. These are the 11 things from an experienced grandparent: 14.) Invest in a comfortable rocking chair – no matter how cute they are or how much you want to hold them, your back and arms will get tired, even with a newborn; rocking with a child will be some of the best memories for you and them. 15.) Get two small pillows for that rocking chair; one for your lower back and one to put underneath the arm holding your child for support; especially good while reading, feeding or when they wake up at 2:30 A.M. for no reason. 16.) Invest in a booster seat/highchair that attaches to a chair, a pack ‘n play, a baby corral (a portable fence to put toys and children in, so they can learn to play by themselves, yet still be with the family) and a good car seat. 14 FALL 2017
17.) Have a great stash of easy to read books; some with big letters that you can read even without your glasses, some that are interactive and some that are the classic good stories; getting your children interested in reading at an early age will be one of the greatest lessons you can teach them. 18.) Have a variety of learning and “just for fun” toys; keep the older children’s toys separate from the baby toys – this keeps things from getting broken and pieces missing, but also, let’s them feel like they each have something that is just theirs. 19.) Never doubt the excitement of kitchen utensils; babies love spoons, bowls and pots; older children are always ready to bake sugar cookies and make a big mess – they even love cleaning up; bubble baths are the greatest. 20.) Play a variety of music; peaceful for nap time and maybe even some rock ‘n roll for when playing; most children love to dance and finding rhythm will start even as young as six months, for sure by the time they are walking. 21.) Let everyone share in taking care of your grandchild; sense of family and trust is established early and this makes sure everyone gets some rest and time alone to recoup. 22.) Nothing takes the place of lots of hugs, listening and playing together; set clear boundaries of what is acceptable behavior, make exceptions rare, calmly control 23.) Remember that each family probably has some different rules or routines than you; remember this is the time for creating great memories. 24.) Make sure you get some rest and take time to be with other adults part of each day. Baby Boomers and those retiring are entering grandparenthood. Our generation was the largest in history and many of our children are jumping into family life in just as big a way. Use this list of 24 things to grandchildren proof your home, to help this time of your life be one of your rewards for all of your years of hard work. ©2017 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
Holidays with the In-Laws
by Angie Lewis Don't let your spouse's family put a damper on your holiday season. Whether you are going to the in-laws for Christmas or they are coming to yours, there are several ways to enjoy their company without their company destroying your enjoyment. As we all know not all in-laws are difficult to deal with, but some can be. Even so, I think most in-laws mean well and certainly do not want to cause disagreements. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:19) We can't change our in-laws, no matter what we do. So then knowing this we have to get it in our head that we must accept and tolerate them for who they are. If they are over-bearing and demanding, accept that and carry on with the Spirit of the holidays. Don't let their attitude make an impact on your spirit. Be kind and polite always. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:18) Now that we know we can't change our in-laws we can stop complaining about them to our spouse, because this will only makes things worse and tensioned filled when they come to visit. When mother in-law tells you how to prepare the stuffing for the turkey or how to set the table, or decorate your home, give her a big hug, tell her thank you and walk away. There is no need to go into a long drawn out reason "why" you aren't going to make the stuffing her way or decorate your home the way she wants. In other words there is no need to defend how you do things in your life if you are confident about with how you do things. You get it? A prudent woman overlooks an insult. (Proverbs 12:16) NIV But sometimes are mother in-law may have good advice and in that case you may want to continue receiving it. I have an Italian mother in-law who likes to tell me how to cook and this can be difficult when being in the kitchen with her for an extended period of time. But I realize she is only over for the weekend and so I accept it. I still cook the way that I know is appreciated by my husband and three children. I simply give her a hug
and let her know this is the way my family likes it, but if we come to her house we would love to taste her recipes. If you allow your in-laws to get under your skin because of their unpleasant remarks or disrespectful comments then you are feeding into their attitudes and this can be a negative thing for them and for you and your family as well. The more they think you are ruffled by their remarks the more they may feel they need to goad you. Let them see how relaxed and confident you are in your ability to feed twenty guests, take care of the children, hubby, and other household duties. They will be amazed. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12) Father in-laws usually are a bit more calm and quiet than mother in-laws. To make father in-law happy give him his favorite sport to watch on television and a nice comfortable chair to sit in and some snacks and he'll be happy. Mother in-law on the other hand may need a bit more activities to keep her mind and body occupied. So find things around the house to keep mother in-law busy with. Make mom in-law feel useful. If she likes to knit or crochet, have these crafts available to her. If she likes to bake, have everything ready on the counter for her to bake with. If she likes reading, have her favorite books handy. And by all means, if she wants to help you cook that's fine too, but the kitchen and how everything is prepared is still your domain. Be the master of your domain by being respectful and pleasant with your in-laws, even though at times it may be difficult. Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14) Remember the old adage of detaching. If you have to detach with love because your in-laws are being domineering and controlling, then you may have to leave the room for a time until you get your frustrations off your chest. Try not to initiate a family squabble or the
holiday Spirit will be ruined for everyone involved. Your loving detachment may be the wisest thing you can do and the best holiday present you can give everyone. Detaching with love is being respectful and assertive about how you feel. If you have to speak up, do it in a kind and polite way. Never raise your voice. Learn to grin and bear it as the saying goes. This is in a sense very biblical as
"turning the other cheek". Forgive your in-laws their trespasses. It is the respectful and honorable thing to do. Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32) © 2002-2017 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
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Common Obstacles of Marriage: Expectations, Demands, and Control Issues by Angie Lewis Marriage is a learning and growth process, no doubt about it. But some of us never learn by it. If we do not learn how to get along with our spouse the first time around, what makes us think the second time around will be any different? The second time around may not have the same issues and circumstances but it will have trials just like the first time. I say, stick it out so there won't be a second time. Many couples who have spared themselves of divorce have gone through some pain and suffering in the process, but have learned and been rewarded with what it takes to get along with the person they married. For instance, many of us did marry young and maybe we were just too darn selfish to get along with someone else on a continual basis. But after being married for ten or more years we learned to grow out of that selfishness into a giving and sharing person, able to understand what commitment in marriage really is. I often encourage couples to adhere
to the commitment of marriage by attempting to work on their problems without having such big expectations of each other. Marital problems can be totally eradicated when we stop trying to take control of every aspect of the issues at hand and just let them go. Restoring marriage does take change but that change does not happen for each other, but for what we do for ourselves. One of the biggest obstacles of any marriage is when couples have grandiose expectations of each other, and when those expectations get crushed, disappointment sets in, and we begin to think that maybe we married the wrong person. Unmet expectations will always disappoint us, so it is always best to not have expectations to begin with. Nothing in this life is certain except our own faith and trust in God, and as we grow in God's Word we learn to stop having such high expectations of others because we realize it is out of our control to do so. Another obstacle in marriage is when couples become demanding
of one another. A wife or husband may not realize that nagging and complaining is demanding. It puts a lot of pressure on a spouse to be a certain way for the other. And what if they do not, or cannot perform in the way you THINK they should? We should never demand perfection, or expect our spouse to be a certain way, or behave a certain way, in the end it is a losing battle. What does work is to ask for what we need and want without placing demands or expectations. The last obstacle ties into the first two, and that is the big control issue that afflicts many marriages today. Why are you trying to control your spouse? What do you really gain from being bossy and controlling? A marriage does not profit from couples who are constantly trying to control each other. Controlling and manipulative behaviors is detrimental to the marriage. Many wives and husbands consider controlling behavior as emotional abuse. And it is, without a doubt. Is it any wonder why some
couples seek emotional support outside the bounds of their marriage? Of course infidelity is never right, but it becomes more tempting when spouses are not respecting one another in the ways they should be. A controlling and demanding spouse only needs to learn to give up their way for an amicable collaboration; instead of the marriage only being what they want and need. Grandiose expectations, wishy-washy demands, and control power issues are all selfish behavior. I believe it is time to grow out from the selfishness and become the husband or wife that God intends for you to be. It is never too late. (Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV) © 2002-2017 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
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Making a Monkey out of Darwin by Dr. Adrian Rogers "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen" (1 Tim. 6:20-21). One of the most important questions to face our generation is this: "Are human beings simply the product of millions of years of mindless, evolutionary mutations and adaptations, or are we the creation of an infinitely wise, powerful, and loving God?" The answer to that question is critical. Why? Because, it determines your attitude toward God in heaven and mankind on earth. The debate over human origin is one of the most critical issues of our times. THE DAMAGE OF EVOLUTION It's hard to measure the enormous damage inflicted by Darwinian evolution, the teaching that life arose from a spontaneous spark in a pond of primordial ooze. The amazing thing is that influential scientists themselves are now denying Darwin's theory as impossible. Yet its destructive effects remain. For instance, if man is an accident of nature, then there is no fixed standard of right and wrong. So what the Bible calls sexual perver-
sion is now a “lifestyle.” And a human life can be readily destroyed, whether in the womb or partially delivered. Worst of all, evolution has helped destroy belief in God for millions. Denying biblical creation, evolutionists have "changed the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:25). Should we be surprised that euthanasia is gaining widespread acceptance in our society or that the tide of abortion cannot be turned? Is it any wonder that sexual perversion is received as a valid alternative lifestyle? We have taught our children that they are just another species of animal – and they are finally beginning to act like animals! And our children and grandchildren are still being fed this lie today. THE DECEIT OF EVOLUTION What is behind this whole idea of evolution? Why is it such an emotional issue? Why can't the world simply agree that there is no creation without a Creator, and out of nothing, nothing comes? Humanist Aldous Huxley expressed the answer to those questions in his book, Ends and Means. Huxley said he and his contemporaries did not want government or morality. So they chose evolution in order to shut the mouths of those who believe in special creation. For more than 100 years, the evolutionists have succeeded in convincing people that evolution is
the only logical, scientific, and intelligent theory of human origin. But this campaign has been carried out amid deceit and slight of hand on the part of many evolutionists. We've all seen the creative drawings of supposed ancestors of mankind, built on a few teeth or a piece of a skull. And the fossil hoaxes perpetrated over the last century are well known. No wonder in his book Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth, the Swedish embryologist, Soren Lovtrup, suggests that he believes that some day Darwinism "will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science."
so crucial to evolutionary theory are missing from the fossil record. There are thousands of missing links, not one! 2. The second law of thermodynamics. This law states that energy is winding down and that matter left to itself tends toward chaos and randomness, not greater organization and complexity. Evolution demands exactly the opposite process, which is observed nowhere in nature. 3. The origin of life. Evolution offers no answers to the origin of life. It simply pushes the question farther back in time, back to some primordial event in space or an act of spontaneous generation in which THE DEFEAT OF EVOLUTION Despite its lack of credible evi- life simply sprang from nothing. © 2017 Love Worth Finding dence, evolution holds sway in our schools, the courts, and the public Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org > mind. What can we do? We can preach, teach and defend the truth! We can set our children free from the devil's lies by giving them the Truth of God's Word (John 8:32) And we can point lost, confused and dying souls to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life! With the steadfast support of friends like you, Love Worth Finding will continue to hold high the banner of Jesus Christ. THREE TELLING ARGUMENTS AGAINST EVOLUTION 1. The fossil record. Not only is the so-called missing link still missing, all of the transitional life forms
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Five Back-to-School Basics by Marshall Segal
The beginning of Fall, signals back-to-school shopping. You may not know it, but whether you’re a freshman or senior, you’re going to need more than notebooks, pencils, and a strong book bag. You need truth. Sure, you’re going to school, willingly or unwillingly, to learn, but there are truths you need before the algebra, literature, and biology. While you should develop good study habits for the new semester, here are some real keys to the classroom you probably won’t find in your syllabus. 1. Thinking may be the most critical thing you ever do. You’re going to school to learn how to think, not to pass tests. Whatever Christians do with their lives, whether we eat or drink or run a company or teach second grade or develop software or change diapers, we aim to do it to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you’ve tried it, you know it’s rarely simple or obvious how that happens. It requires careful thought and discernment. John Piper writes, “The welleducated person is the person who has the habits of mind and heart to go on learning what he needs to learn to live in a Christ-exalting way for the rest of his life — and that would apply to whatever sphere of life he pursues” If we’re going to apply God’s word to the world, we need to know our world. Every chapter in a history book, every science experiment in the lab, every interaction between classmates is an opportunity to learn about the world God created — the place he especially put us to see him, enjoy him, and help others do the same. 2. The most important book you’ll read this fall is your Bible. Because of all the assigned pages, you’ll be tempted to sideline your Bible reading until the next test has passed, the next paper is done, or the next break is here. Instead, treat your time in the Bible like you treat your meal plan. Your time soaking in Scripture will be the most fruitful and shaping time of your education. Nothing can replace the wealth you will find there, and nothing will prepare you better for life, family, vocation, or even your next class.
Again, Piper pleads, “Let us labor to memorize the Word of God — for worship and for warfare. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If we do not carry it in our heads, we cannot savor it in our hearts or wield it in the Spirit” 3. Someone younger than you needs you. As a teenager, it took me several years to appreciate the influence I had over those younger than me. Sixth-graders can’t wait to be eighth-graders, who can’t wait to be freshmen, who can’t wait to be juniors, who can’t wait to be in college. So someone younger than you is watching you, and probably wants to be like you. Whether you choose to be or not, you will be a role model. Why not model Christ-like faith, joy, generosity, and service? If you were under the impression (Timothy 2:2) stops with eldertypes in the church, remember that Jesus calls all his disciples, without distinction, to be making more disciples (Matthew 28:19). Keep your eyes open for the guy (if you’re a guy) or girl (if you’re a girl) trying to find someone to look up to, and spend some time and energy to consistently point them even further up to Christ. Think creatively about ways you could invest the gospel and your life into them, and eventually show them how they can do the same for others. 4. Comparison in the classroom can be the birthplace of pride. God opposes the proud (James 4:6). That’s enough to know pride is dangerous, really dangerous. No one opposes God and survives, much less wins. Your pride will defile you (Matthew 7:20–23) and keep you out of the kingdom. Your humility, however, testifies to God’s forgiveness of your sin and his grace at work in you. The classroom naturally nurtures a culture of comparison. Pride can certainly begin before our education, but school’s grades, awards, and social dynamics seem to breed the wrong kind of competition — a self-seeking kind. And this pride clashes with our Savior’s sacrifice like your dad’s white socks and his favorite sandals. See BACK TO SCHOOL on Page 37
Great Guidelines for Healthy Living by Dr. Don Colbert • Choose more fruits and veg-
etables rather than processed foods. The most commonly eaten processed foods in America are coffee, hotdogs, and white bread. • The best cancer prevention recipe that I know of consists of the daily juicing of one apple, 2-4 carrots, ¼ head of cabbage, and a handful of organic spinach. • Green tea is a great antioxidant that is 200 times more powerful than vitamin E and 500 times more powerful than vitamin C.
Instead of choosing coffee or regular tea, choose green tea. • If you cannot afford organic produce, simply purchase some Ivory or pure Castille soap from a health food store, and soak your produce in the mild detergent. Then, gently scrub your fruits and vegetables with a brush and rinse them off. This will remove the majority of pesticides. >
Helpful Tips to Lower Blood Pressure by Dr. Don Colbert • High amounts of starches, such
as breads, crackers, bagels, pretzels, pasta, popcorn, corn, rice, beans, chips, potatoes, and french fries will increase insulin levels. This usually leads to obesity, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and eventually heart disease.
ing their ideal body weight and decreasing the amount of stress in their lives. • Nutrients that help lower blood
pressure include magnesium (400 mg three times a day), garlic (500 mg three times a day), cayenne pepper capsules (100,000 heat units three times a day with meals), and asparagus tablets (two tablets three times a day). >
• Most of my patients with high
blood pressure are able to control it by simply maintain-
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additives that trigger migraines include NutraSweet and MSG (monosodium glutamate); the latter is found in many Chinese foods. • Another very common trigger of migraines is withdrawal from caffeine and having low blood sugar. • One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to drink at least two quarts of filtered or bottled water a day, and consume adequate amounts of high fiber foods to assure that you have at least one bowel movement a day.>
The Extraordinary Value of Anti-oxidants by Dr. Don Colbert • Free radicals cause damage to
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comprehensive vitamin, mineral, your cells. Each cell in your and anti-oxidant supplement, offering relief therapy biblical counselor certification body usually receives between along with eating plenty of fruits Four Programs to Choose From: 1,000 and 10,000 free radical and vegetables each day. hits per day. Excessive free • Certified Belief Therapist (CBT) • Certified Reentry Crisis Counselor (CRCC) • The anti-oxidant activity of green radical damage can eventually • Licensed Belief Therapist (LBT) • Certified Youth Behavioral Advisor (CYBA) tea is 200 times more potent than lead to cancer. Some of the Therapon Certification is recommended for any caring Christian desiring a full-time vitamin E and 500 times more best-known free-radical fighters or part-time ministry helping hurting people through the confusing maze of a wide range potent that vitamin C. I recomare anti-oxidants. of recovery issues such as divorce, marriage counseling, grief, compulsive behavior, mend drinking one to three cups • Anti-oxidants—in the form of anger management, problematic thinking errors, emotional trauma, abuse, relapse prevention, of green tea per day. If you disvitamins, minerals, enzymes, and and criminal recovery. like the taste of green tea, you plant nutrients—help to neutralThe Therapon Institute conducts certification schools as well as CEU seminars. For may purchase green tea extract ize free radicals. I believe it is more information, please contact us at (504) 328-2249 or www.therapon.org. vitally important for us to take a capsules at a health food store. > For sin shall not have dominion over you, FALL 2017 19 for you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:14
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What is Healthier: Stuffing or Mashed Potatoes & Gravy? by Dr. Don Colbert The answer is, “It depends.” I know you were hoping for a simple answer here, but determining the level of nutrition in food requires us to first examine the ingredients. Stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy can each be prepared a variety of ways – as can most of your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dishes. How they are prepared is what really matters..
• Use whole grain flour in all
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easily find healthier recipes online. Make sure the recipes call for whole food ingredients. Here are some other tips to make your Thanksgiving dinner healthier: • Instead of canned cranberry sauce, make your own with real cranberries. Reduce the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. It will still taste delicious.
Most pre-packaged, frozen dishes are loaded with preservatives and numerous other chemicals. It’s always better to prepare your meals at home – assuming you don’t cook with hydrogenated oils and other harmful additives. For instance, a leading brand of stuffing “mix” that will likely be found at many Thanksgiving dinners this year contains: • White bread - processed and stripped of nutrients • Partially hydrogenated oil harmful fat linked to heart disease • High fructose corn syrup – a modified form of sugar linked to obesity and diabetes • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – an excitotoxin harmful to the brain and heart • More sugar • Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate – two chemicals that work synergistically with MSG to enhance flavor • BHA and BHT – preservatives linked to cancer and tumors • Corn syrup, corn oil and caramel color – corn products likely from genetically modified corn This Thanksgiving, serve your favorite holiday dishes, but without the dangerous ingredients. You can
recipes where flour is needed. Buy a free-range turkey, free of hormones and antibiotics. Make your own gravy. You can find recipes online. For recipes calling for broth, make your own or use an organic variety. Many conventional broths contain MSG and other dangerous ingredients. • Add some greens to your
Thanksgiving dinner. Many Thanksgiving feasts are too light on vegetables. Offer a salad, green beans, broccoli, collards, and more. Vegetables like celery, spinach and squash can often be added to favorite dishes like casseroles and stuffing. Go hearty on the vegetables when a recipe calls for them. • Use organic ingredients as
much as possible. • For desserts, reduce the sugar
by 25% or more. You will never notice the difference.
Finally, help make Thanksgiving dinners healthier for others as well. When you’re bringing a dish to the office party or church gathering, don’t use pre-packaged or canned foods loaded with harmful ingredients. When you donate food to under-resourced families this year, give them healthier alternatives. It is often required to donate canned or boxed foods, which can make finding healthy options difficult, but organic versions are becoming more available. If your supermarket doesn’t carry them, ask the grocery manager to order them for you.> Dr. Don Colbert is a graduate of Oral Roberts School of Medicine and shares his years of experience and research in nutritional medicine in all of his work. He is a national speaker, bestselling author and host of a national talk show titled Your Health Matters. © 2017 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com > 20 FALL 2017
Six Common Money Myths to Avoid
DaveRamsey.com Most of us have made a few foolish money mistakes here and there. It’s the car we can’t afford, the personal loan we never should’ve made, or the mortgage that nearly sent us to bankruptcy. So why do we keep making these same money mistakes? Most likely, we mismanage money because of a faulty belief system. We’ve bought into some of culture’s most popular money myths. And a lot of times we’ve learned them from a well-meaning yet misinformed parent, teacher or friend. While it would be easy to sit back and blame others for falling for these money myths, the most important thing to do is realize they are myths. Myth: Debt is a tool. Truth: Some tools help you fix things. Other tools help you break things. So in that sense, debt is a tool — it’s a sledgehammer to your financial future. Another way of
putting it: Debt is the enemy of your income. The monthly payments you send to credit card companies are monthly savings you could be putting toward your retirement, your kids’ college, and your down payment on a new house! Your income is your most important wealth-building tool. Don’t surrender it to debt. Myth: Car payments are a way of life. Truth: If you believe debt is a tool, you’re just as likely to believe car payments are a way of life. The average car payment these days is $504 per month. That’s over $6,000 a year you’re putting into something that decreases in value. Instead, save that money every month for a year and buy a nice, used car for $6,000. The best car is the one without a payment. Myth: Loaning money to your family shows you care. Truth: Loaning money to family members is a terrible idea because
it rarely gets paid back. And if it does, the time between always makes for awkward family dinners. When Uncle Jim mentions his upcoming vacation at Thanksgiving dinner, you’re left wondering, “If he still owes me $500, how did he just pay for a vacation?” If you’ve got the money, make it a gift. Never make it a loan. Loaning money to a family member is one of the quickest ways to ruin a relationship. And you’re essentially gifting debt to your family. Myth: You can’t go to college without student loans. Truth: You absolutely can. Will it be easy? Maybe not. Will it be worth it? Totally. Whether it’s through college-specific scholarships and grants or federal and state aid (that’s aid, not a loan), going to college without debt is completely possible. And what about paying for college out of your own pocket? Rachel Cruze talks about college
planning all the time. There are alternatives to loans when it comes to funding college tuition. Many colleges offer work-study opportunities, which are essentially part-time jobs offered on campus. And no one’s stopping you from getting a part-time job off campus. Working as a barista, waiting tables, or even finding a retail job can bring in some cash to offset your school expenses. Consider even creating your own side business using your skills — tutor other students, pick up some freelance gigs, or start a pet-sitting service. There are plenty of options to generate income while you’re still in school. Myth: Eventually, you’ll make enough money to catch-up on retirement. Truth: Prepare for retirement now. But make sure you’re out of See MONEY MYTHS on Page 22
Here is your chance for a write-off and an even better chance to not write off God another day. Your donation matters and is appreciated! CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR HELP?
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Mail your donations to: Phone ( ) ________________________________________ Save The Nations Ministries, Inc. E-mail ______________________________________________ P. O. Box 1095 Covington, LA 70434 ❏ Prayer request enclosed. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! – Romans 6:15
FALL 2017 21
How Much House Can We Afford? Dear Dave, My wife and are both twentythree, and we’re hoping to buy our first home sometime this year. Combined, we bring home about $4,000 a month, we have no debt and we’re trying to save for a 20 percent down payment. Is there a way to calculate how much house you can actually afford? - Chad Dear Chad, I’m so glad you guys are thinking and planning ahead! If you keep on working like this, you’re going to have a great life together. Most banks will let you qualify for 50 to 100 percent more than you should actually buy. I recommend that your monthly house payment never be more than one-fourth of
your take home pay. That way, it’s a lot easier to save up for other things you’ll need, like an emergency fund, retirement and even a college fund for any kids that may come along down the road. Based on that advice, you’d be looking at a house payment of around $1,000 a month. Then, if you calculate that on a 15-year fixed rate loan at 6.5 percent, you’re looking at qualifying for a loan of about $115,000. You can get a great first home for that kind of money, Chad. Plus, you’d own your home outright while both of you were still in your thirties! - Dave
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My Wife Doesn't Believe in Saving for the Future Dear Dave, My wife and I have gone from not having two pennies to rub together to making about $90,000 in the last few years. The problem is that I can’t get her interested in saving money. What’s worse, her father is the preacher at our church and he has convinced her that he knows the Lord is coming back in our lifetime. Thinking this, she says there’s no reason to save because it will all be gone anyway. What can I do? - Brian Dear Brian, I’m all for people living their lives according to God’s word. But the Bible says that no man knows when the Lord will return. So I get pretty leery when a guy – especially a preacher – tells me he knows when it’s going to happen. But the Bible does tell us very clearly that it is wise to save. The Bible does not contradict itself! So basically, if you don’t save you are
being foolish. Still, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for you to run and tell your wife that financially she’s behaving like a fool. This is a touchy situation in other areas, too. Right now her dad’s theology is ruling your marriage, and that’s not good. Husbands and wives should grow in their faith TOGETHER. I think you guys should sit down with a good marriage counselor and, for the good of your family, come to an agreement on a new place of worship. I mean, even if her dad is right about this – and if he turns out to be right, I’m pretty sure it’s not because he has inside information – there’s some stuff going on here where he’s interwoven his own ideas and spiritual authority in with your household authority. And that kind of thing could cause more problems down the road! - Dave
For more financial advice plus special offers to our readers, please visit www.davesays.org or call 1-888-22-PEACE. > MONEY MYTHS Continued from Page 21
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debt, and have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses before you start. After that, you’re ready to start building for your future. Don’t put off preparing for retirement if you’re able to start today! According to the AICPA, 49 percent of Americans say they aren’t confident they’ll reach their retirement goals. The more you save now, the less you’ll worry later. Chris Hogan explains how to retire with dignity in his national best seller, Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number. Myth: You already keep track of your money, so you don’t need to budget. Truth: If you go online and
know about how much you have in your bank account, that’s good. But that’s not a budget. When you just track your spending, you’re looking back at how you already spent your money. A budget looks forward. You plan how you’re going to spend your money. When you do this, you can prioritize paying off your debt, saving for your emergency fund, and planning for the future. Without a plan, you’re wandering aimlessly through your paycheck. You don’t have to keep falling for these money myths. Reshape your belief system today and positively change your future! —Used with permission from DaveRamsey.com>
A Love Story
One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Ah, the beauty of God's creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lord's presence with me. He asked me, "Do you love me?" I answered, "Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!" Then He asked, "If you were physically handicapped, would you still love Me?" I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs, and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn't be able to do, the things that I took for granted. And I answered, "It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You." Then the Lord said, "If you were blind, would you still love my creation?" How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation. So I answered, "It's hard to think of it, but I would still love You." The Lord then asked me, "If you were deaf, would you still listen to My Word?" How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God's Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts. I answered, "It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your Word." The Lord then asked, "If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?" How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks. So I answered, "Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name."
And the Lord asked, "Do you really love Me?" With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, "Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!" I thought I had answered well, but . . . God asked, "Then why do you sin?" I answered, "Because I am only human. I am not perfect." "Then why in times of peace do you stray the furthest? Why only in times of trouble do you pray the earnest?" No answers. Only tears. The Lord continued: "Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?" The tears continued to roll down my cheeks. "Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the Good News? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?" I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give. "You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you, but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idlely by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all." "DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?" I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this? When my heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, "Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child." The Lord answered, "That is My Grace, My child." I asked, "Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do you love me so?" The Lord answered, "Because you are My creation. You are My child. I will never abandon you. See LOVE STORY on Page 36
I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, - 1 Corinthians 1:4
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Personal Revival Refueling Your Soul: Time Alone With God by Charles F. Stanley Have you lost your spiritual motivation and drive? Has ministering to the needs of others become a chore rather than the joy it once was? Do you feel bored at church? If so, you may need to renew your commitment to spend time alone with God. Jesus knew that time alone with the Father was essential. As busy as our Savior was with His mission, He often withdrew to pray. In those private and intimate moments, Christ found strength for what He knew lay ahead. Many believers call these oneon-one meetings with God "quiet times" or "devotions." They are a basic ingredient in a maturing relationship with the Lord. Quiet times change our approach to God from intellectual, detached, and "religious" to relational. When we give
Him an opportunity to do so, the Father will speak to us through His Word and times of prayer in a real, personal way. One by-product of a healthy devotional life is a heightened sense of accountability to God. Spending time regularly with Him is strong motivation to keep sins confessed and bad habits in check. It is also a powerful incentive to resolve broken or damaged relationships. Holding a grudge against someone makes it impossible to have genuine intimacy with the Father. When We Don't Draw Near to God As with any relationship, communication is the key to knowing the Lord better. Where there is no communication, there can be no relationship. Where there is no rela-
tionship, there can be no trust. And the less you trust someone, the harder it is to follow that person. So a Christian with no devotional life generally struggles to have faith and obey the Lord. Christ came not only to reconcile all people to God (2 Cor. 5:18-20), but also to establish oneness between mankind and Himself. Without a devotional life, the relational side of the Christian faith fades away. Practical Steps for Effective Quiet Times Here are some things that make my devotional life richer: 1. Schedule time with God. Like anything else you intend to do, devotional time usually won't happen unless it is planned. How often have you said to a friend, "Hey, let's get together," but failed to follow through? If you are like me, those plans seldom materialize. When I'm serious about getting together with someone, I make an appointment. Specifically, before you go to bed, try to decide on a time and place to be alone with the Father the next day. Personally, I find mornings to be the best time to meet with God. I enjoy getting up early and beginning my day listening to and talking with Him. There
is something extraordinary about focusing on the Father first thing. 2. Choose a place. If possible, conduct your quiet time in the same location every day. Eventually, this spot will take on special significance. Being there will affect your mood and your ability to concentrate. It will create an attitude of expectancy in your spirit. Choose a place off the beaten path of your daily activities. It may be a spare bedroom, your living room, or even a closet. You need a place where the only thing you do there is meet with God. I know a man whose special place is under the stairs in his house. A college student I know pulled his bed away from the wall and made that his spot. For me, it is a corner in my study at home. No matter where you live, you can find a spot to be alone with God. 3. Use a variety of methods. People often tell me that their personal devotions have become dry, routine, or even boring. God is certainly not uninteresting. And chances are, you are not dull either. So if spending time with Him becomes monotonous, the culprit is probably See REFUELING on Page 30
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How to Develop a Healthy Self-Image by Dr. Adrian Rogers Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6) The key to living a victorious Christian life is to discover who you are in Christ. And this discovery can only take place down the pathway of truth. Jesus said that the truth shall make you free, but what is truth? It is what God says. It doesn't matter how true the truth is or how many wonderful truths there are in the Bible, truth will not set you free until you let the truth transform your heart. Have you ever seen a circus ele-
phant with a chain around one of his legs? You would expect that this chain would be securely fastened to a piece of concrete or a wall, but instead it's hooked to a stake that is driven about six inches into the ground. Any time that elephant wanted, he could pull that chain out of the ground, but why doesn't he break free? Because when he was a young elephant his trainers put a chain on him, then secured that chain to a stake into the ground that was beyond his strength to move. He pulled against it and could not move it. Finally, he told himself that he could not move. What he perceives is not true. But, if he knew the truth, the truth would set him free. Many Christians do not understand the truth about who they are in Christ. And therefore they aren't free. Here's the truth, first, you need to RECOGNIZE YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. What does that mean? Basically, it means that you are a saint! There are people reading this right now who don't walk in victory because they cannot accept the fact that they're saints. They may say, "I'm saved but I'm certainly no
saint." Who said so? Jesus died for you. Did He die for nothing? Put down big, plain, and straight ... if you've repented of your sin and trusted Jesus Christ to save you, you are righteous in God's sight and you are a saint of God! Now, the second step in developing a healthy self- image is to RELY ON YOUR RESOURCES. God has given you everything that you need to live the Christian life. Now, I'm going to ask you some trick questions, Do you have all of the love you need? The wisdom you need? The faith you need? Well, according to (Ephesians 1:3), God has blessed you with all spiritual blessings. Now, I want to ask you a question, who is right, you or God? You respond, "Well, if I have it, why don't I experience it?" Because you've not understood that you have it. You're like that elephant that's being held by that little peg. It's time to be set free in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe what is yours in Christ! Number three, REST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP. You are "accepted in the beloved." The reason many people do not have a good
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I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. â€“ Galatians 2:21
self-image is that they have a feeling of rejection. Sometimes it's called an inferiority complex. Why? Because we were rejected in the Garden of Eden. We come into this world with a feeling of rejection and we spend most of our time looking for acceptance. Many Christians work hard to get God to love them. Now, if you're one of those, I want to tell you something: He has already accepted you so quit working at it. Now, listen, the key to all of this is that little phrase, in Christ, mentioned in Ephesians, chapter one. If you are a child of God, then you are in Christ. Where is Christ? He's seated in the heavenlies. Where are you? (Ephesians 2:6) says that God "raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." You are seated in the heavenlies. When you understand who you are in Christ, you'll have a good self-image. Indeed, you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free. ÂŠ 2017 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
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The Christian Journey God Gets the Final Word by Pastor Doug Gilford Have you ever been soaring so high in life that you couldn’t imagine any better feeling? I mean, have you ever had a week that felt like everything was going right--like you had the golden touch? Then suddenly, everything changes. Your electricity bill is delivered, the car breaks down, and your kids get sick. Could things possibly get any worse? Yes. You get a letter in the mail that someone wants to kill you. Literally. I imagine this is the sensation Elijah experienced in the Bible. One day, he’s the “great prophet of God”, and the very next day he’s running for his life. After all, what do you do when Jezebel sends you a mail-order kill-o-gram? You run to the wilderness to cry and sleep. (see I Kings 19) The contrast in Elijah’s demeanor from one day to the next is strik-
ing. Before receiving Jezebel’s death threat, we find a very powerful and confident prophet singlehandedly battling 450 false prophets of Baal. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." (1 Kings 18:21) The stage was set. The lines were drawn: God versus Baal. One prophet standing for truth against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Israel had come out like the people of New Orleans to Super Bowl XLIV. Who would remain standing, Jehovah or Baal? In an almost laughable way, Elijah put forth major smack talk with the false prophets of Baal. Elijah pressed them further in (I Kings 18:27) by saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened." That’s pretty bold.
To paraphrase, “Looks like your God must have better things to do!” That must have been chilling considering the stakes. Then came Elijah’s turn to deliver. Elijah built an altar and did the unthinkable: he drenched it with water not once, but three times. There was so much water that it filled a custom built ditch that they had dug around the altar. Then he called on the God of Israel to answer. Fire poured from Heaven and devoured the wet altar, including the water in the ditch. All of the onlookers were awestruck and immediately began praising God. Then, in a very Old Testament way, Elijah had all of the false prophets executed immediately. Elijah was at the peak of success… until Jezebel heard what he had done. Now we find ourselves where we began. Being incensed by Elijah’s destruction of her pet religion, she ordered a message sent to Elijah. It wasn’t a note of repentance or sadness, it was a classic mafia-style “let’s go for a ride.” Tit for tat, eye for eye… death for death. “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” (see I Kings 19:2) And what does our mighty man of God do?
Elijah ran. He ran as fast as he could to the wilderness and hid in a cave. Doesn’t make much sense does it? I mean, Elijah, you just killed almost a thousand prophets. You just called down fire from Heaven--literally! In an instant, the once confident and powerful prophet of God had been reduced to a scared and frightened fugitive, wishing to die. What happened? What changed in Elijah to transform this once authoritative annihilator into a withering wanderer? One word: Fear. It is no coincidence that Jezebel is written about in both I Kings and Revelation. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, from the start of time to today, Jezebel represents an evil presence, an evil spirit, if you will. The spirit of Jezebel is a spirit of control, manipulation, and, more than anything, fear. This spirit affected Elijah in a very harmful way. The once inspiring, dogmatic pillar of God was running and hiding, wishing to die because of the fearful threat against his life. Does this seem odd to you? At first, maybe. But if you think about it a little more, it will begin to make sense. See FINAL WORD on Page 37
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The Old Cross and the New ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before. The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually. The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand avoidance of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better. The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and a jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself for Christ." To the egotist it says, "Come and do your boasting in the Lord." To the thrill-seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship." The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it
acceptable to the public. The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more. The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must
pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die. Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Savior, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along
with Christ. To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid! Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power. A W Tozer >
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To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. â€“ Ephesians 1:6
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Guiding Light The X-Factor in Bible Reading by David Mathis
The Bible is no magic book. But saying it that way might give the wrong impression. A strange, enigmatic power stirs when we reach for the Scriptures. Something influential, though invisible, is happening as we hear God’s words read or spoken. Something supernatural, but unseen, transpires as we see the text in front of us and take it into our souls. Someone unseen moves. He is a personal force, fully divine and full of mystery — more a person than you or me, and yet no less an indomitable and ultimately irresistible power. He makes the
seemingly simple into something supernatural, as reading the Bible takes us beyond the realm of our control. There is an x-factor when we read the Book. More than Cause and Effect He loves to strengthen human souls in obvious and subtle ways as they encounter God’s word — whether that Word is the incarnate Christ, the gospel word of salvation for sinners, or the written word in the Scriptures. As much as we want to master the discipline of Bible intake, to trace the lines of cause and effect from some action we take to some
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resulting satisfaction of our soul, the Helper resists our efforts to objectify grace. He lingers in silence. He labors mysteriously, lurking outside our control. He imperceptibly shapes us this morning to make us into who we need to be this afternoon. His hands act untraceably as he molds our minds, hews out our hearts, whittles at our wills, and carves at our callouses. Beyond Our Control Not only does he hover over the waters, over all created space, standing ready to execute the Father’s will and extend the reign of the glorified Son. But he hovers all the more over the divine word — whether incarnate, spoken, or written — standing ready to awaken dead souls and open blind eyes and warm cold hearts. Ready to bear witness about the Son (John 15:26), ready to glorify Him (John 16:14). It was by this Helper that the gospel first came to us “not only in word, but also in power” (1 Thessalonians 1:5), and it was with his joy that we “received the word in much affliction” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). It was by Him that “God chose [us] to be saved, through sanctification” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). More Than We Can Muster With him in view, Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23–24). He is the one through who now is revealed to us the “secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7–10). Our helper is the one who searches everything, even the depths of God
(1 Corinthians 2:10). No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except our aid (1 Corinthians 2:11). He is the one whom the truly born again have received “that we might understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). And so when we — not just apostles, but we Christians — communicate the Christian message and teaching, we “impart this in words not taught by human wisdom,” but taught by him, “interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13). He is the promised one, with whom we were sealed when we “heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in [Jesus]” (Ephesians 1:13). The word of God is said to be his sword (Ephesians 6:17). More Than Meets the Eye When we get alone with the Bible, we are not alone. God has not left us to ourselves to understand his words and feed our own souls. No matter how thin your training, no matter how spotty your routine, the Helper stands ready. Take up the text in confidence that God is primed to bless your being with his very breath. There is more than meets the eye to this spiritual discipline. A variable we can’t control. An enigmatic power we cannot command. A mysterious goodness we can only receive. The Holy Spirit. David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor for Desiring God and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Twin Cities. He and his wife, Megan, have twin sons and live in Minneapolis. David has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and most recently Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification.>
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The Pruning Knife by Andrew Murray Already Ye Are Clean Because of the Word I Have Spoken Unto You. (John 15:3 ) What is the pruning knife of this heavenly Husbandman? It is often said to be affliction. How would it then fare with many who have long seasons free from adversity; or with some on whom God appears to shower down kindness all their life long? No; it is the Word of God that is the knife, shaper than any twoedged sword that pierces even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and is quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is only when affliction leads to this discipline of the Word that it becomes a blessing; the lack of this heart-cleansing through the Word is the reason why affliction is so often unsanctified. Not even Paul’s thorn in the flesh could become a blessing until Christ’s Word My strength is made perfect in weakness had made him see the danger of selfexaltation, and made him willing to rejoice in infirmities. The Word of God’s pruning knife. Jesus says: Ye are already clean, because of the word I have spoken unto you. How searchingly that word had been spoken by Him, out of whose mouth there went a sharp two-edged sword, as he had taught them! Except a man deny himself, lose his life, forsake all, hate father and mother, he cannot be My disciple, he is not worthy of Me; or as He humbled their pride, or reproved their lack of love, or foretold their all forsaking Him. From the opening of His ministry in the Sermon on the Mount to His words of warning in the last night, His Word had tried and cleansed them. He had discovered and condemned all there
was of self; they were now emptied and cleansed, ready for the incoming of the Holy Spirit. It is as the soul gives up its own thoughts, and men’s thoughts of what is religion, and yields itself heartily, humbly, patiently, to the teaching of the Word by the Spirit, that the Father will do His blessed work of pruning and cleansing away all of nature and self that mixes with our work and hinders His Spirit. Let those who would know the entire Husbandman can do for them, the entire Vine can bring forth through them, seek earnestly to yield themselves heartily to the blessed cleansing through the Word. Let them, in their study of the Word, receive it as a hammer that breaks and opens up, as a fire that melts and refines, as a sword that lays bare and slays all that is of the flesh. The word of conviction will prepare for the word of comfort and of hope, and the Father will cleanse them through the Word. All ye who are branches of the true Vine, each time you read or hear the Word, wait first of all on Him to use it for His cleansing of the branch. Set your heart upon His desire for more fruit. Trust Him as Husbandman to work it. Yield yourselves in simple childlike surrender to the cleansing work of His Word and Spirit, and you may count upon it that His purpose will be fulfilled in you. Father, I pray Thee, cleanse me through Thy Word. Let it search out and bring to light all that is of self and the flesh in my religion. Let it cut away every root of self-confidence, that the Vine may find me wholly free to receive His life and Spirit. O my holy Husbandman, I trust Thee to
Transformed Life care for the branch as much as for the Vine. Thou only art my hope. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2017 >
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God's Royal Insurance Policy Being a servant of God has so many benefits that it truly is a royal insurance policy. God's royal insurance policy protects you from famine, disease and war (Psalms 33:19; 91:3, 5-7; 103:3; Proverbs 10:3). It will lead you out of all your troubles (Job 5:20-27; Proverbs 11:8; 12:13, 21). All things in life turn out for good for those who are the policy holders (Romans 8:28). If someone came to your door and offered such a policy and you had faith in the company, it would be the easiest policy in the world to sell (Acts 2:40). This policy gives you wisdom just for the asking, spiritual power just for the asking,
and answered prayer, when in accordance with the will of the policy (James 1:5; 1 John 3:22; John 9:31; 15:7, 16; 16:24; Matthew 21:22). It guarantees you nice things for your home, abundance, joy, peace and love, as Abraham had (John 10:10; 17:13; Genesis 24:1; 25:8). It guarantees you obedient children who do not go astray when they are older (Proverbs 22:6), when you follow the royal advice of (Proverbs 29:15 and 17). It even guarantees you power to get wealth the right way, God's Way (Proverbs 10:22; 13:21). God wants you to partake in this royal insurance policy, but you must
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remain faithful to the premium. Jesus Christ qualified you to be a policy holder regardless of your present condition, but you must not stay in your present condition. You must die to self and deny your old way of life daily (1 Corinthians 15:31; Luke 9:23). Instead, you must live Christ's new Way of life (Hebrews 10:20; Matthew 21:32). This is done by practicing righteousness, good deeds and good works to please and glorify the Father (1 John 2:29; Galatians 6:9; John 10:25, 32, 37-38; 14:12; Matthew 5:16). You must do all that you do and say in Christ's name as a happy slave of Christ (Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 6:6; Romans 6:18-19). Overcome your nature by doing good, being zealous, persevering in good works and keeping Christ's deeds, which are all righteous, God's righteousness (1 Peter 3:13;
Romans 12:21; 2:7; 10:3; Luke 21:19; Revelation 2:26; Proverbs 19:17). You must strive until God creates in you a new nature, establishes you, and puts your nature under your heel (Luke 13:24; Proverbs 22:9; 1 Peter 5:10; Hebrews 10:36; Romans 16:20). Jesus Christ's Way is easy and pleasant (Matt. 11:30). Children would have no problem with it (Matthew 19:14; 18:4). But once you start, don't look back; just keep going straight forward into the good life, which is the godly life that God has been waiting for many to live (Luke 17:31; 1 Timothy 4:7; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Titus 1:1). By Whole Wheat International PO Box 26217, Minneapolis, MN 55426 © 2017 www.theoldtimegospel.org • 5335 Downs Rd. Beaumont, TX 77705 >
PRESCRIPTION Continued from Page 3 good than volumes which just pass through the mind! We ought, therefore, to pray more over what we read, and look to the Holy Spirit, beseeching Him to unfold and apply the truth to us. We are often starving in the midst of plenty and full of fears, when we have every reason to be confident and happy. Our religion will never make us happy, until we look more out of self, until we are more taken up with what God is to us, and less with our own miserable feelings. Jehovah says, "I will be your God." "I am married unto you." "Look unto me." What is this but saying: "I am for you. I am united to you. I tenderly love you. I will never neglect you. I will allow nothing to harm you. I will supply you. I will guide you. I will do everything that is neces-
sary for you. Look to me for everything. Come to Me with all your troubles. Trust Me with all your affairs. Put all your concerns into My hand. Expect Me to perform the part of a wise, wealthy, kind-hearted husband. Only seek My glory, and I will secure your everlasting welfare. I shall rejoice to do you good. I shall consider it an honor and a happiness to benefit and bless you. Only believe My Word. Only give Me credit for sincerity. Only place confidence in Me, and I pledge myself that all shall be well." Lord, give us faith to believe this! Holy Spirit; write out a fair copy of it on our hearts, and help us to retain and use it in our everyday walk and work! Truth would make us happy, but unbelief keeps us from it. Save the Nations Ministries>
REFUELING Continued from Page 24 your method. The cure is to modify your routine. For example, if you've been reading a devotional book, put it down, and instead, journal your thoughts and prayers. If you've been following a plan for reading through the entire Bible, take a break and read straight through one book of your choice. If you have been praying, supplement your prayers by memorizing Scripture. If your devotions
have become in-depth Bible studies, find a devotional book to lighten things up for a while. Remember, this is a relationship. Look for ways to keep it fresh, and your quiet times won't grow stale. Adapted from "Charles Stanley's Handbook for Christian Living" (1996). © 2017 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
THE TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIAN
All the Grace You Need to Overcome by David Wilkerson We’ve often heard grace defined as the unmerited favor and blessing of God. Yet I believe grace is much more than this. In my opinion, grace is everything that Christ is to us in our times of suffering—power, might, kindness, mercy, love—to see us through our afflictions. As I look back over the years— years of great trials, suffering, temptation and affliction—I can testify that God’s grace has been enough. I know what it is to question God as my wife endured cancer over and over, and then both our daughters were also stricken. Today they are all healthy and strong and
for that I thank the Lord. I also know what it is to be buffeted by a messenger of Satan. I’ve been grievously tempted and enticed and I’ve had enemies stirred up against me on all sides. I’ve been slandered by rumors, falsely accused, and rejected by friends. In those dark times, I fell on my knees and cried out to God. His grace has always brought me through. And that’s enough for today. Then, someday in glory, my Father will reveal to me the beautiful plan he had all along. He’ll show me how I obtained patience through all my trials; how I learned compassion for others; how his strength was made perfect in my weakness; how I learned his utter faithfulness toward me; how I longed to be more like Jesus.
We may still ask why—yet it all remains a mystery. I’m prepared to accept that until Jesus comes for me. I see no end to my trials and afflictions. I’ve had them for over fifty years of ministry now, and counting. Yet, through it all, I’m still being given an ever-increasing measure of Christ’s strength. In fact, my great revelations of his glory have come during my hardest times. Likewise, in your lowest moments, Jesus will release in you the fullest
measure of his strength. We may never understand our pain, depression and discomfort. We may never know why our prayers for healing haven’t been answered. But we don’t have to know why. Our God has already answered us: “You’ve got my grace—and, my beloved child that is all you need.” Copyright © 2017 by World Challenge, Inc., P.O. Box 260, Lindale, Texas 75771. >
SLINGSHOT Continued from Page 10 head, and WHAM!! David's eyes widened as the giant went crosseyed for a moment, then fell over! He was dead and Israel was saved!! David had won the battle for the Israelites!! THINK! Does our size really matter to God? Does He care if we're short or tall, fat or skinny? Could God use YOU to do something special for Him? Think of a time when you really needed God's help. BIBLE MEMORY VERSE "I can do all things through Christ
which strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). LET'S PRAY Dear God, help me to know that you love me just the way I am. Give me the courage to do what you want me to do. Help me to remember that you are with me at ALL times, ready to help me with ALL my problems. In Jesus' name. Amen. CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE? (1 Samuel 17) Copyright © 2017 - The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel, North Central Ohio, U.S.A.>
PRAYER Continued from Page 7 es, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs. . . . That in all your relationships with men (not just in marriage) you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and provision and a pattern of initiative; that you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting
the tone of your interaction with men. . . . That you see the biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women not as arbitrary constraints on freedom, but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God’s ideal of complementarities; that you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld, but by the countless roles offered; that you look to the loving God of Scripture and dream about the possibilities of your service to him. ©2017 Desiring God Foundation. Website: www.desiringGod. org. Email: mail@desiringGod. org. Toll Free: 888-346-4700 >
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, - Ephesians 2:1
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HOW Can We Discover God's Plan for Our Life? 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 busi-
ness, with another carpentry, with another the profession of a physician, with another the Christian ministry. In such cases the question what occupation to follow never causes any anxious thought. From the beginning the goal is in sight and the eye is never taken from it.
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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 — 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 — 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 at 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 a proof-reader in an editorial office, as teacher in a school, 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 waft 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 need 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 — 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 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 >
How Do You Love Your Neighbor? Be a Good Samaritan "The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself."(Galatians 5:14) Some people cannot make out what it means to love their neighbor, according to the commandment. Jesus explained it in telling us what the Good Samaritan did for the wounded man in (Luke 10). He showed mercy on him. He did just what the man needed to have done. He gave him practical help. He gave himself altogether to caring for the sufferer until he had him out of danger. He carried him to an inn. Even then he did not merely leave him at the door to be cared for by the innkeeper, but stayed with him and looked after him all night. Love means twice as much when someone serves with its own hands. There is still another element in the help the Good Samaritan gave, which added to the measure of neighborly love. In the morning he was required to leave the wounded man, to proceed on his own journey. But even now he did not consider that he had done all he should do for him. So he provided for his care as long as the man should need care, not rolling the responsibility off himself upon any other, nor using the necessity for his departure for the terminating of his ministry on the man's behalf. He gave money to the innkeeper, asking him to take care of the wounded man until he had entirely recovered. Even yet he was not content. He would leave no possible incident of need unprovided for, so he said to the innkeep-
er, 'Look after him, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have’. This was love indeed, love filling its measure full. Many men would have felt that they had certainly done all that was required of them when they had helped the unfortunate sufferer through his great stress of need, getting him to the inn and caring for him overnight. They would have said that others should now do their share. But the Good Samaritan did not stint the measure of his love in any such way. He did not seek to get rid of the responsibility he had assumed, even when he had done all that he could stay to do with his own hands; he counted the care of this man his own, until he was entirely restored, and he would provide for all that he might need. This, we are to remember, was our Lord's own interpretation and illustration of loving our neighbor. This is the way we are to love him. We are to stop at no cost. We are not to do for him merely what he needs, and barely what will carry him through his stress; we are to be generous in our love and in our helping. There is another of our Lord's words which indicates the same duty: "Whoever shall compel you to go one mile, go with them two." Even for exacting people, who selfishly demand our service, we are to do twice as much as they ask. That is the way God helps us, He blesses us not in a spared way, but abundantly. He does for us far more
than we ask Him to do. He supplies every need of ours according to His riches in glory. We represent God in this world, and we are to help as He helps, never paltry, but always generously and abundantly. The lesson appears all the stronger and the more beautiful when we remember that it was a Samaritan who here loved his neighbor and that the neighbor was a Jew, an enemy. It is natural and easy for us to do loving 534 N. New Hampshire and kindly things for our friends, 985-875-9390 for a friend some would even dare Open Mon-Fri 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to die; but the love we are taught to Sat 7 a.m. to Noon show must be ready to serve eneClosed Sunday mies. Catering Available It was thus that Jesus interpreted Bring in this ad and get a free fountain the ancient law: "You have heard drink with the purchase of full size that it was said, you shall love your sandwich or hot meal. (Offer Expires 12/15/17) neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." We must notice, too, the word Jesus uses. He does not say, "Tolerate your enemy, or be patient with him," but "Love him." Not to do an enemy any DECEMBER 1st, 2nd & 3rd harm, just to pass by him and let him alone, would be easier. But that is not the way the law reads. It is "Love your enemy." Save the Nations www.steinhauerproductions.com Ministries >
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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God - Ephesians 2:8
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Wolverine Way At Northlake Christian School, our unique and fundamental mission is to provide a Christ-centered environment in which faith can be integrated with learning to offer a high-quality, college preparatory education. Academic excellence and solid Biblical integration are not mutually exclusive, but instead should be inextricably intertwined in the well-rounded education of children of any age. As in all effective instructional practice, backward design is used to determine what what a Wolverine graduate should portray. The result can be found in the Wolverine Way which outlines the ultimate goals for a Wolverine graduate - academically, spiritually, and socially.
In our Early Learning Center and Lower School, we begin the preparation process by providing a firm foundation in reading as well as all of the STEAM subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. As students move into Middle School, the focus shifts to hands-on and highly engaged learning developing the problem solving skills necessary for challenging core subjects and a wide variety of elective courses. The Upper School provides accelerated coursework ensuring success at the THE WOLVERINE WAY post-high school level, evidenced by ACT scores Jenni Vega A Wolverine will … THINK critically. well above the local, state, and national averages, Upper School Principal A Wolverine will … LEAD courageously. the growth of our Advanced Placement program A Wolverine will … SERVE faithfully. with five AP scholars in 2017, and the continued success of our Dual A Wolverine Graduate will think critically and be academically prepared Enrollment program with a 100% pass rate and average of 12 college hours at graduation. Our four-division system - Early Learning Center (6 for the next step that God determines. Critical thinking is a popular buzzweeks-Pre-K), Lower School (K-4), Middle School (5-8), Upper School word in educational circles, but people often misunderstand exactly what it (9-12) - allows for smoother transitions between each of the developmenentails. The definition of critical thinking is “the objective analysis and tal stages in the life of a student to ensure success at the next level includevaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.” It actually takes years ing graduation into the university experience after 12th grade. for the brain to develop enough to do this independently. Some studies actuAdditionally, students at Northlake engage in a comprehensive college ally show that the brain is not fully developed in some until the age of 25. and career preparatory program through our counseling department and However, we want our students to be able to tackle any issue and make Family Connection by Naviance. From career and personality assessments a sound judgment on it based solely on the truth of God’s Word starting as to the college exploration and application process and from parent nights at early as possible. It is counterproductive to the overarching mission of each grade level to individual meetings with students and parents, our goal NCS to graduate students who are tossed to and fro by every argument or is to partner with our families through to ensure that all of our students have idea of this increasingly secular world. Instead, the focus at NCS is on as many opportunities as possible to succeed post-high school. By being a growth in wisdom, knowledge, and skill for each and every student, inten- lifelong learner who will engage in continuous learning, serving, and leadtionally preparing him or her to think critically in order to tackle what- ing, Wolverine graduates should be active in our world making a true difever step God has next. We stand on (Ephesians 2:10) for all of our ference for Christ wherever He guides and leads them. Our ultimate goal students, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good for a Wolverine graduate is that they may serve God with virtue, character, and obedience of Christ in all areas of life - that is the Wolverine Way. > works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
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ARGUMENTS Continued from Page 5 members to remember you. What specific behaviors do you want to model? One pastor said he wanted to be remembered by his children as one who laughed. Of course, he listed more than that, but he is working daily on keeping a light heart with his spouse and children. Pray through the qualities that are on your list. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of them as you walk through each day. Third, take responsibility for your choices without blaming. When you let others in your past dictate your choices, you give them a great deal of control over you. They are pretty much mastering your life. That isn’t what any of us want. There is only one Lord and Master whom we obey and serve. Stop making excuses for the choices you have made. Fourth, seek a positive role model. Find a person who can show you what a healthy, Christian family looks like. If you are a man, find a Christian man whom you have observed honoring his wife and children, and spend time with him. If you’re a woman, find a godly woman who respects her husband and loves her children, and spend
RELATIVES Continued from Page 6 time with her. You know what you’re doing? You’re being remodeled. Remember that the original modeling took years and years, so remodeling can’t happen over a quick lunch with someone. To use a computer analogy, it’s more like slow reprogramming. If we were left to the mercy of how we were programmed in our homes, most of us would be in bad shape. But God, in His grace, has given us a way to reverse negative patterns. Jesus Christ is greater than any tradition. The God who adopted you into His forever family knows how to make earthly families work. The principle for having a healthy family is the same for having a healthy Christian life. You don’t have to do it alone. The life of Jesus flows through us to enable us to do God’s will. (John 15:4-5). © 2017 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
6636 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Metairie, LA 70003
36 FALL 2017
fortable distance. God can reach anyone if He wishes, even the person who seems the most incorrigible. Take literature with you and sincerely ask them to read it and talk with you about it. You may also tell them, if appropriate, that you wish to have this conversation about knowing Christ even if they are not interested. You are asking them to listen, even if it is only out of respect for you. Although conversion is a sovereign act of God, He uses people to sow the seed. Until you try, you do
not know what will happen. And you do not know what the gospel seed may do later if it is sown in their lives now. Don’t expect that you will have all the answers for them, or that you will do a great job at speaking the truth. You will likely fumble about a bit. But God has always condescended to our imperfections when doing His work through us. Copyright © 2017 Jim Elliff Christian Commutnicators Worldwide, Inc. >
LOVE STORY Continued from Page 23 When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever." Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold?
2712 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Kenner, LA 70062
How could It have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, "How much do You love me?" The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior. And for the first time, I truly prayed. Save the Nations Ministries >
13150 I-10 Service Road Off Bullard
BACK TO SCHOOL Continued from Page 18 Your younger years are fertile ground for big dreams. Piper recently encouraged a group of young ambitious dreamers to distinguish between influence and fame. He said it is a good and honorable thing to want to change the world, but it’s wicked to want to be known for it. Let’s try and be quick to celebrate others (Romans 12:10), slow to speak, especially about our own successes, and slow to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3). Remember you are a sinner bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19–20), and that in all your good papers, projects, and tests, it is God working through you for his glory (Philippians 2:13). 5. Only the gospel saves anyone, even A-students. Whatever the grades may say, none of us really measures up — no, not one (Romans 3:11–12). Regardless of how hard you work this year, you will fail. You may fail to serve your roommate patiently or steward your time effectively or respect your parents humbly or do your schoolwork faithfully. Fortunately, every student who
FINAL WORD Continued from Page 26
trusts in Christ has an advocate before the one with infinitely more power and authority than any teacher, dean, principal, or president (1 John 2:1). God loves you and promises to be with you and help you because his Son died for you, not because of how well you do in school or how many friends you have or how happy your parents are with your performance. You might have a new computer or a new study partner or an improved living situation or some new resolve to do better, but ultimately your only hope this fall or any fall is the gospel. And that is a really, really strong place to stand and study. So whether you’re going to walk, drive, or take the bus for the first day of classes, as you pack up, prepare your heart and mind for the work. By God’s merciful, studentloving grace, this year could be a breakthrough in your personal passion for him, your ministry to others on campus, and your readiness for a long life lived with and for Jesus. ©2017 Desiring God Foundation. Website: www.desiringGod. org. Email: mail@desiringGod. org. Toll Free: 888-346-4700 >
Best Wishes from
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could experience the God’s presWe all want to be like Elijah at ence. (see I Kings 19:5-8) some point in our lives. Who While Elijah may have thought wouldn’t? But when we look at his his ministry, and certainly his life, story, the hero persona fades when was over, God proved, yet again, we see weakness because, perhaps, that He has the final word over we have a false idea about what it Satan’s plans for us. God’s touch, Sunday means to be a hero. spiritual nourishment, and presence Special I contend that Elijah’s fear of are all God’s answers to our fears in 15% OFF Jezebel was exaggerated and inval- life and in ministry. with Church Bulletin (Dine in only) id, like many of our fears. If JezeWhen was the last time you spent bel really wanted to kill Elijah, time with God? When was the last could she not have sent a ten-man time you ate from His Word or assassin team? Instead she chose to basked in His presence? I challenge send a messenger. Certainly Jezeb- you, fellow Christian worker, not to el, working through a spirit of fear, give up on the dream that God has was even more successful by caus- given you. Yes, I know it’s hard. ing the man of God to fear her Yes, I know that the Spirit of Jezethreat, stop his prophetic ministry, bel is active and working and may and run for his life. She acted like a even have paralyzed you! But spiritual terrorist. Isn’t that the goal whether you are at the top of your SPECIALS DAILY of Satan? To get a child of God to game, or struck out, there is a place be afraid enough to stop fulfilling of restoration that keeps providing. Tuesday - Family Night the purpose of God, thus walking in It’s waiting where your journey fear and disobedience. began: at the feet of Jesus. Open Lunch and Dinner - Monday through Sunday Look at God’s loving response to Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Mon-Thurs 11:00am-9:00pm • Fri-Sat 11:00am-9:30pm • Sun 11:00am-8:30pm Elijah’s fear. He sent an angel of the Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy Lord to come and touch Elijah, feed 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985716 W. 21st Ave. • Covington (985) 892-5950 him spiritual food, and lead him to 624-8652, www.cornerstonenola. the Mountain of God where Elijah com> But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of FALL 2017 37 Christ’s gift. – Ephesians 4:7
CHRISTIAN Community Referrals
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Do You Need a Will or a Trust?
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Destrehan Ormond Plantation Destrehan 13786 River Road Tuesday, September 19 Ormond Plantation 11:00am-1:00pm 13786 River Road
Thursday, August 24 - 11:30am-1:30pm Thursday, August 24 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Andrea’s Italian Cuisine Keith Young’s Steakhouse Wednesday, September 13 - 11:30am-1:30pm Tuesday, August 29 - 11:00am-1:00pm 3100 19th St 165 Highway 21 Wednesday, October 18 - 11:30am-1:30pm Thursday, September 14 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Thursday, September 21 - 11:00am-1:00pm Tuesday, October 17 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm Wednesday, November 15 - 11:00am- 1:00pm Wednesday, October 18 - 11:30am - 1:30pm Tuesday, October 17 6:00pm-8:00pm Mandeville (3 Dates) Slidell Tuesday, October 24 - 11:00am - 1:00pm Thursday, November 9 - 11:30am-1:30pm Tuesday, October 24 11:00am-1:00pm Trey Yuen Cuisine of China The Italian Pie Tuesday, November 14 - 11:00am-1:00pm
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Tuesday, August 29 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Tuesday, September 19 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Slidell 24 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Tuesday, October
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600 N Causeway Blvd
Tuesday, October 24 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm Tuesday, November 14 – 6:00pm-8:00pm
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If married, attend with your spouse. Seating isIf limited, so register married, attend with yourtoday. spouse.
Seating is limited, so register today.
Visit www.LegacyLawCenter.com or Call 504-274-1980 To Register Legacy Law Center, LLC, 3220 North Turnbull Drive, Metairie, LA 70002 Legacy Law Center, LLC, 800 Ramon Street, Mandeville, LA 70448 - By Appt. Only
Visit www.LegacyLawCenter.com or Call 504-274-1980 To Register
Legacy Law Center, LLC, 3220 North Turnbull Drive, Metairie, LA 70002 Legacy Law Center, LLC, 800 Ramon Street, Mandeville, LA 70448 - By Appt. Only FALL 2017 39
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