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Volume 16, Number 3 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 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." (Proverbs 21:21)
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Jesus Is Bigger Than Our Storms! It was after the feeding of the five thousand. As we learn from John's account, the people were so excited by this miracle that they wished to take Jesus by force and make Him king. To prevent this act, Jesus sent the multitude away and then went up into a mountain for prayer. Before going into the mountain, however, He sent His disciples out upon the sea in a boat, to go before Him to the other side. The record says He "constrained" them. It ought to have been a comfort to them that night, in the midst of the storm, to remember that their going out upon the lake was not at their own suggestion, then they might have thought it a mistake, but they knew that their Master had bidden them to go. They were acting in obedience. When we are doing Christ's will, we are under Divine protection and need to fear no storm. However, at the same time, we must not expect that every voyage that we take at Christ's bidding shall be without a storm. We may
be pleasing God and yet meet dangers. When we find obstacles in something we are doing under God's guidance, we may not conclude that we have made a mistake, and that these difficulties are indications that we ought not to have taken such a course. On the other hand, such troubles are not meant to discourage us, but to inspire us to grow stronger faith and take on greater endeavor. "He went up into the mountain alone to pray." No doubt, His prayer was partly for Himself. There had come to Him a temptation of earthly honor and power and He sought relief in prayer. Then, He prayed also for His disciples. Mark tells us that from this mountaintop, He saw them that night on the sea, distressed in rowing. Jesus always sees us, when we are toiling in any storm, any struggle, and speaks for us to His Father. "In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea." He did not come to them immediately; indeed, it was almost morning when He appeared. The
From the Editor boat in the wild storm represents Christ's friends in this world in the storms of life. Sometimes we think we are forgotten and that Christ does not see us, or does not care. Here, we have an illustration. From His mountaintop, He sees His disciples in their struggles in the raging sea. He does not forget them. He watches that no wave shall engulf them. Then at the right time, He comes to them with help. So it is in all our experiences of danger and distress. He is interested in our earthly life. Some people tell us sneeringly that there is no one who cares, no one who thinks of us. But the picture here is the true one. Christ cares, watches, keeps His sleepless eye upon us, and keeps His omnipotent hand on all affairs, so that no harm can come to us on the ocean or on the shore. When He came, He came as no other friend could come. "He went unto them, walking on the sea." No human help could have possibly arrived to them that night in the
For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love. â€“ Psalm 5:12
wild sea. If their friends were standing on the shore, and saw their peril, they could not have done anything for them. So we may stand and look at our friends in their sorrow, and our hearts may break for them, but we can do nothing. We cannot get to them through the wild waves. But there is One, who can reach them, Jesus can walk on the roughest waves, as if they were a crystal floor. Sometimes, Jesus alarms His friends by the way He comes to them. It was so that night. "When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled." In their terror and superstition, they thought it must be a ghost, and they were frightened. Yet it was their best friend, and He was coming to deliver and save them. They were terrified, because He came in such a strange way. It is the same with us often. He comes in the black cloud See STORMS on Page 38
Summer 2018 3
FROM THE EDITOR
The Secret of Being Content "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need." (Philippians 4:11-12) Life is a 'school'. And all of its experiences are 'lessons'. We are all in 'Christ's school' and He is always 'educating' us. Disciples are 'learners' and all true Christians are disciples. We enter the lowest grade when we begin to be Christians. We have everything to learn. Each new experience is a new lesson set for us by the Great Teacher. The business of noble Christian living is learning. We know nothing when we begin. Learning is not confined to what we get from reading books. All of life is a school. 'Christ's books' are ever being put into our hands, and 'lessons' are set for us continually. Changing Times is an example of a ‘Christ book’. Paul tells us of one of the lessons he had learned in the 'school of experience'. "I have learned," he
said, "the secret of being content in any and every situation." We are glad to know that Paul had to learn to be contented. We are apt to think that such a man as he was did not have to learn to live as we common people do; that he always knew, for instance, how to be content. Here, however, we have the confession that he had to 'learn the lesson' just as we do. He did not always know 'the secret of contentment'. He was well on in years when he said this, from which we conclude that it took him a long time to learn the lesson, and that it was not easy for him to do it. Christ's school is not easy. Sorrow is a choice lesson in Christ's school. Sorrow is not an accident breaking into our life, without meaning or purpose. God could prevent the coming of the sorrow, if He so desired. He has all power, and nothing can touch the life of any of His children, unless He is willing. Since we know that God loves us and yet permits us to suffer, we may be quite sure that there is a blessing, something good, in whatever it is that brings us pain or sorrow. We shrink from pain. We
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would run away from afflictions. We would refuse to accept sorrow. But there are things worth suffering for, things dearer than ease and pleasure. We learn lessons in pain, which repay a thousand times, the cost of our tears! The Bible tells us that God preserves the tears of His children, putting them in His tear-bottle. Tears are sacred to God, because of the blessings that come through them, to His children. In heaven, we will look back on our lives of pain and sorrow on the earth, and will find that our best lessons have come through our tears! All the 'Christian graces' have to be learned in 'Christ's school'. There Paul had learned contentment. He never would have learned it, however, if he had had only pleasure and ease all his life. Contentment comes from learning to do without things, which we once supposed to be essential to our comfort. Paul had learned contentment through finding such fullness of blessing in Christ, that he did not need the 'sec-
ondary things' any more. Perhaps, we would succeed better in learning this same grace, if we had fewer of life's comforts, if sometimes we had experience of need. The continuity of blessings that flow like a river into our lives, gives us no opportunity to learn contentment. When sufferings come into our life . . . disagreeable things — instead of pleasant things; hunger and poverty — instead of plenty; rough ways — instead of flower-strewn paths; God is teaching us the 'lesson of contentment', so that we can say at length that we have learned the secret of being content! Save the Nations Ministries >
Table of Contents From the Editor
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The Christian Journey
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How to Spiritually Train Children
By Dr. Adrian Rogers Teach Convincingly "These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart" (Deuteronomy 6:6). Kids spot phonies right away. My children know that their daddy isn't perfect. But none will say that their dad — or their mom — is a phony. They know we have our faults, but they know that God's Word is truly in our hearts. Teach Creatively "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:7). God's Word must be taught creatively. Unfortunately, believers often teach by the old axiom, "You sit still while I instill." That's not the way God's Word is to be taught. The Bible is to be taught creatively, when you go in and out of the
house, when you wake up in the morning, when you go to bed at night. How do you do it? Well there certainly has to be a set time for family Bible reading. But other methods are available. My family has a wonderful time playing Bible Trivia — my granddaughter sometimes beats me! There are also other fun methods you can use to teach creatively — Bible memory, Christian music, and the like. Teach Consistently "Teach them diligently unto thy children" (Deuteronomy 6:7). The word diligently in this verse means "consistently." It's easy to start and stop, then start and stop again. But God's Word calls us to a high standard of consistency. The Prophet Isaiah gave a method for teaching God's truth: "Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:10). "Teach consistently," Isaiah said.
Here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept. Stick with it day by day, and the cumulative effect is very powerful in people's lives. Teach Conversationally "Thou...shalt talk of them..." (Deuteronomy 6:7). God calls us not merely to recite His instructions but to talk of them. Wise parents and grandparents find countless ways daily to apply the Word of God. Teaching the Bible to children isn't like giving them cod liver oil — a dose a day keeps the devil away. Faith is caught as well as taught. And it's caught during normal conversation on a day by day basis as parents apply the Word of God to all of life's situations. Teach Conspicuously "And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8). Making God's commands frontlets between our eyes means controlling all our
thoughts in light of God's Word. Binding His precepts to our hands means bringing all our actions into conformity with the Bible. In other words, teaching conspicuously means thinking and acting according to God's Word — every waking hour. That includes how we decorate our houses. "And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (v. 9). To teach children conspicuously, our houses should have Scriptural mottos, pictures, and other furnishings that remind our children of Jesus. Here's good news for parents: Follow God's foundation for the family's future and you can count on His promise for your family's future. Obey His Word in your family, and it truly will be well with you, your children, and your children's children after you. © 2018 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
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Slow and Steady Advance is the Best By J. R. Miller Many young men are impatient of slow success. In their enthusiasm, they expect to advance rapidly and without hindrance in their chosen career. The young physician is eager to find at once a large and remunerative practice. The young aspirant for literary honors is disap-
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pointed if immediately his work is not accepted and his name written high in the list of popular writers. The young business man expects to have success from the day he begins. The artist thinks that the excellence of his work should win fame for him the day his pictures are shown to the public. The same is true in all professions and callings. The fact is, however, that, with very few exceptions, beginners in every occupation must be satisfied for a time with but meager recognition and slow results. Many young men who know that this is true in general, have the feeling that their own case will be an exception. We like to think ourselves a little different from other people. We may as well make up our minds, however, to the fact that there are few exceptions to this rule. The only genius that counts is the capacity for hard work. The men, who have achieved the greatest success in the various callings, have had to struggle for it most intensely. There are reasons why it is better that young men should not get on too rapidly or too easily at the beginning. No matter how gifted they may be or how well prepared, they are not ready at once for full responsibility. At the best, their preparation is theoretical, not practical. They need to learn by experience, and it is better that they should do so leisurely, without too great pressure. A young physician, who should have the responsibilities of a large practice thrust upon him at once, could only fail. A young business man, who, immediately after leaving college, should take sole
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charge of a large establishment, would find himself unable for its management. It is better that every young man should begin in a quiet way and grow up with his growing practice or business. It is also better for a young man's personal development, that his progress should not be too rapid. Easy success is the bane of many a life. It is struggle with difficulty and hardship, which brings out the best that is in a man. Those who rise quickly, without much effort, too often fail to grow into noble character meanwhile. The object of living in this world is not to make a brilliant career— but to build up a worthy manhood. To have large worldly success, and not to grow into strength of character, is a great misfortune. In putting up tall buildings, a great deal of work is done on the foundations. The workmen dig down deep until they find rock or solid ground. They will spend weeks in work below the surface of the ground, and all this is covered up and hid out of sight. It is necessary to have a strong and secure foundation, if
an imposing and durable superstructure is to be reared upon it. In the building of character, it is the same. The foundations must be strong and secure. There may be a mushroom success, without any really worthy character—but the end can be only failure. A one-storied man may be built on a cheap and flimsy foundation. But a twenty-story man, who is to face the storms and stand foursquare to all the winds that blow—must have strength of character, principles from which nothing ever can swerve him, and almost infinite power of endurance; and these qualities can be gotten only in life's common experiences. While a young man is struggling to get a foothold in his profession or occupation, he is meanwhile building up in himself the qualities of a noble manhood, which will endure the severest tests. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2018 >
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10 Steps Toward Raising a Faith-Sharing Child 1. Have Vision You, as a parent, need to make a long-term commitment toward raising your children to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The word vision implies that you have your sights set on a goal and you are passionate about accomplishing that goal. Many parents put a great deal of time and effort into supporting and encouraging their children in educational, athletic, or career pursuits while giving very little attention to encouraging their pursuit of God, godliness, and people who need God. The truly wise parent will prioritize what God prioritizes—running well the race that He has set before us, and handing the "baton" to the next generation. (Second Timothy 4:7-8)—I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day -- not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. 2. Be Focused If our focus is on our children's education only, we will carefully observe test scores, GPA'S, and SAT'S. If our focus is on athletic prowess only, we will carefully observe batting averages, final scores, and college scouts in the stands. But if our focus is on raising
fully devoted followers of Christ, we will carefully observe our children's total way of life and encourage them to share their faith by their walk and talk—whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in social settings. (Matthew 6:33)—But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 3. Develop Habits One of the most effective ways to encourage your children to share their faith is to have regular family devotional times and set apart a portion of that time to report and celebrate witnessing opportunities. This keeps the matter of witnessing before your children on a regular basis, and opens their eyes to see what a "witnessing opportunity" looks like and how to step into that opportunity willingly. It is wise to also share missed opportunities so that children learn the value of honesty and understand that becoming a faithful witness is a matter of growth and progress. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)—These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on you children Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 4. Optimize Life's Challenges Demonstrate for your children
the an of taking the challenges of life and turning them into witnessing opportunities. The challenge might be a financial setback, a hospital stay, or a job loss. Responding to these trials by being Christ-like and sharing the love of Christ will go a long way towards teaching your children to respond to their challenges and sharing their own faith. (John 9:2)—Jesus said, " But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 5. Build Confidence In school, when we have done our homework and put in the study time necessary, we can approach an exam with confidence. So it is with our witness for Christ. We can help our children clear one of the hurdles, or fears, of witnessing by helping them to be prepared to share their faith. There are books to read, helpful seminars, and proven methods that can be learned. We, as parents, need to commit to being informed and
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passing that information along to our children. (Second Timothy 2:15)—Do your best to present yourself (to God as one approved a Workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth. See FAITH-SHARING on Page
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Little People Grow Up Way Too Fast By Kimberly Wagner
My tear-filled reply was soggy. "I I had one of those dreams filled know, I know—I'm glad you're with such normal stuff that you think here. I just miss that little guy who it's really happening while you're in used to come running to show me the dream. You know what I mean? the lizard he just caught, and the When my children were little, we one that needed me to help him tie used to go camping a lot. We loved his shoes and find his missing frogs. hiking through the woods, eating I'm really glad you're here—I just smores around the campfire, fishing miss that little guy!" Today's post is for those young from the bank's edge. We even tried moms who've had a really long day mountain biking as they grew older. of laundry and dirty diapers, one So in my dream I was working my way up the side of a little mountain too many spills, and no breaks from trail, wondering where Rachel and the world of "toddlerhood" for Caleb were. I started thinking about weeks! Tips from an "old mom" the fact that I hadn't seen them for a Pause for a minute. Take a deep while—at least not the "little people" version of Rachel and Caleb. breath, and ask God for grace to Shouts and giggles interrupted my enjoy this season. Ask Him to remind you of the climb as I turned around to see the eight- and twelve-year-old version brevity of this season in moments of my children running toward me. when you're so tired you think "There you two are! I've been look- you'll collapse. Find creative ways to have fun ing everywhere for you. I've missed with your kids today! you! Where've you been?" Go give each of your children a That's when reality crashed in on hug—right now while they're this dreamland and I woke up with tears size—because tomorrow they'll be streaming down my face, because I realized I'd never see those two lit- a little bigger! Tell each of your children sometle people again! They no longer thing special you've noticed about existed in that "pint-sized version." The next morning at breakfast I the way God created them. Then relayed to my teenaged, six-foot- pray with them thanking God for three son the dream (with big mom- that particular trait. Ask your children for forgivemy-sized tears streaming down my ness—often! It will train them to do face!) and the fact that I missed those two kids so much. Caleb the same. Watch for opportunities during looked at me incredulously. "But www.optima.services your normal routine today to teach Mom, I'm sitting right here!" He couldn't understand my confusion. your children something new about God. Ask God to remind you (often) to treasure these years. When you go to sleep tonight—be sure to Did you know that the thank Him for the gift of these little ones. Every good thing given and every perfect American Academy of Pediatrics gift is from above, coming down from the approved neurofeedback as a Father of lights (James 1:17). © Revive Our Hearts. Written by Nancy Level-1 Best Support for ADHD? Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission. www. ReviveOurHearts.com. Neurofeedback therapy enjoys an
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FAITH-SHARING Continued from Page 7 6. Be a Model A father teaches his boy to catch a ball by heading out to the yard with mitts and ball in hand. A mother passes down a family recipe in the kitchen, not just on paper. And a child learns faith sharing in the same way: by watching and hearing of your successes and failures in sharing your own faith. If they don't see and hear examples of how you are attempting to share the love of Christ with others, they will never believe that it is a priority—no matter how much you insist upon it. (Proverbs 20:7)—The righteous man ready a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. 7. Affirm Kingdom Potential Every child of God has it! God has given each of his children different gifts and abilities, and He went to great lengths in Scripture to emphasize the importance of each area of giftedness. By doing this, God was modeling for all parents how to affirm uniqueness and significance, Be sure to observe your children's talents and gifts and communicate to them how you see them contributing to the Kingdom of God. Your child may not have the
gift of evangelism, but they need to see their part in bringing others to Christ. (Romans 12:4)—Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body. 8. Pray Regularly This is another way of continually exposing your children to a compassionate awareness of people. Use mealtime prayers, bedtime prayers, family altar prayers, and spontaneous prayers as opportunities to remember by name lost friends, relatives, teachers, and neighbors. This is a great way to remind you to take for witnessing opportunities with these sane individuals. It is difficult to regularly pray for people without developing an "I gotta say something" kind of burden for their salvation. (Romans 10:1)—Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved 9. Encourage Bringing Encourage your children to use outreach-type events as opportunities to be a "bringer' to Christ. Just as ft Disciples of Christ brought people to him for healing or teach-
ing, our children can bring their lost friends to evangelistic events, youth group activities, a summer camp or a youth retreat. These are great ways for our children to expose their friends to a clear presentation of the gospel. (John 14:41-42)—There first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him "We have found the Messiah." And he brought him to Jesus. 10. Applaud Obedience Don't just celebrate when a person comes to Christ as the result of your child's faith sharing (though that is cause for rejoicing). Be sure to celebrate and applaud the obedience of faithfully planting seed, whether in word or deed. Help your children to see that "being a witness" is our responsibility. God is in charge of "doing the harvesting." (Luke 10: 16)—He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects HIM who sent me. Written by Mary Marr. Used by permission. For more material written by Mary Marr, go to www. lighthousemovement.com and look for Lighting The Way. Lighting The Way is available through Beacon Hill Press.>
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10 Summer 2018
different battle than with son number one. Recently I sensed a greater understanding and greater earnestness and openness. So I tried again. He was more than willing. This is what he wrote in his new Bible: “On October 30, 1982, at 8:25p.m. I prayed with Daddy and asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. I know I am a sinner, but God loves me and sent Jesus to die for me. I want him to be my Lord. I believe He is now in my heart.” This happened two months after his seventh birthday. Children are different. I don’t know how it will go with Abraham. I don’t consider my job done with Karsten and Benjamin, either. My advice is to pray earnestly and daily for the faith of your children. And when they grasp the gospel, ask if they want to have a prayer with you either to make a start by receiving Christ or to make it clear and decisive that they have already received him and are now trusting in him. Write it down in their Bible and refer to it as a significant event. My conviction is that once a child has made a decisive profession of faith the parents should make sure he understands the Lord’s Supper and then help him participate. With regard to baptism my own mind is not made up yet. On the one hand, it seems Biblical that baptism should immediately follow the profession of faith. On the other hand, it is so hard for a child of seven to express in baptism its true significance. Our present practice is to allow 4-6 graders (give or take a year!) to go through a pastor’s class to prepare for baptism and church membership. I will be praying and thinking more on this. But above all, let us pray and labor as parents to bring our children to faith and to saturate them in the Word. As a father, Pastor John ©2018 Desiring God Foundation. Website: www.desiringGod. org. Email: mail@desiringGod. org. Toll Free: 888-346-4700 >
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The fastest growing department at Bethlehem Baptist Church is the nursery and there is no end in sight. My wife knows of ten expectant mothers at BBC. There are some really tough questions we parents of young children face. How early should we try to help our child make a decisive commitment to Jesus as Savior and Lord? How can we do it so it has meaning and so he remembers it? What about baptism and communion? Everything we do from the time a child is born should be aimed at leading him to faith. Our warmth, our hugs, our laughter, our setting boundaries, our stern looks, our severe discipline, our mercy—all should be communicating who God is and that he is trustworthy. We should hope that our children will never be disbelieving but will rather grow up trusting in the Christ of our family. That has happened so far in one of our sons. What I did when I felt Karsten grasped the gospel fully enough (just before his 7th birthday) was to take him to my study one night and have a prayer with him in which he expressed his faith in Jesus. We took the Bible which he had been given that Christmas, and he wrote in it these words: “September 18th, 1978, I prayed with dad and told Jesus that I am trusting Him for the forgiveness of my sins. And that I want to be a Christian.” We did not try to say that this was the beginning of his Christian life. We don’t know just when it began. But this was a decisive commitment made with Dad so as to plant a definite milestone that he can look back to. Benjamin’s experience was different. There was a time, a year or so ago, when I asked Benjamin if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his heart. He said no. That really set me to praying. This was a
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The Impact of a Godly Parent Dr. Stanley Shares Life Lessons from His Mother Mothers and fathers have a tremendous influence on the success and happiness of their children later in life. It’s so important for parents to model the Christian life and purposefully instruct their sons and daughters in the ways of God. Dr. Stanley often reflects on the godly impact his mother, Rebecca, made on his life. Today, as we honor the mothers in our lives, take a moment to watch, “The Impact of a Godly Parent.” In this message, you’ll get to know a little bit about Rebecca Stanley. You’ll see the house where she lived, hear about her love of cooking for her family, and learn about her dedication to prayer and reading Scripture. Dr. Stanley also shares 11 ways she made a significant impact in his life. Here’s a quick look at just a few of those things she taught him: To read the Bible. Dr. Stanley’s mother taught him the importance of God’s Word and patiently showed him how to apply it in daily life. To pray. Teach your children to pray by talking to the Lord with them. Dr. Stanley and his mother prayed together every night, even when he was in college. She impressed upon him the importance of listening to God. To trust God for every need. His mother worked hard in a textile mill but was paid little. Rebecca and her son would take their needs to the Lord in prayer and expect Him to provide. She told him, “We’re going to trust God, and He will provide. He has always been good to us, and He will be faithful no matter what.” To obey God. Dr. Stanley’s mother taught him to respect the Lord simply because He is God.
To be forgiving (Eph. 4:32). Rebecca Stanley didn’t have an easy life. She became a widow at a young age and endured an abusive husband when she remarried, yet she never let bitterness take hold. Her son watched her model genuine forgiveness. The lessons Dr. Stanley learned from her about the benefits of forgiveness have served him well, especially as a pastor. To have a servant spirit. Rebecca was always ready to help a neighbor or church member in trouble. She raised her brothers and sisters when her parents died. And after she retired from the textile mill, she worked in a nursing home and ministered to the elderly. What great qualities for a mother to model for her child! Be sure to watch the rest of the message “The Impact of a Godly Parent” to learn more about Rebecca Stanley and how she made a difference in her son’s life. The message “The Impact of a Godly Parent” is available for individual purchase and as part of the series “How-Tos for Mothers.” © 2018 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
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Summer 2018 11
A Grandchild Is a Perfect Example of Gods Love By James Snyder “Fun, Friendship, and Peace of Mind”
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12 Summer 2018
When God was designing the family, he saved one important aspect for the very last. You know, as well as I know, the best is usually saved for last. Perhaps, and I’m merely conjecturing here, God needed a lot of practice to get something exactly the way he wanted it. He has this thing about perfection. If you notice the order of things, you have to be a parent for a long, long time before graduating into becoming a grandparent. I’ve been thinking along these lines because recently my wife and I had our fifth grandchild. Both grandparents are doing fine, thank you. Becoming a grandparent, as you know, is very hard work. If the work is not done properly, the grandchildren in question will be jeopardized. As much as grandparents try, it is hard to space the grandchildren evenly. It can take one brief moment of indiscretion to become a parent, but it takes years to become a grandparent. I’m not bragging, but for some reason God has blessed us with the world’s most perfect grandchildren. And I have the pictures to prove it. Some grandparents fallaciously brag about their grandchildren and how perfect and beautiful they are and bring out a wallet full of pictures to bore those of us who really do have perfect grandchildren. I must confess when our children were growing up, they showed no indication whatsoever of producing the world’s most perfect grandchildren. If the truth were known, several times during their life I did not think they would reach the grand old age of 18. I well remember the day we brought our first-born home from the hospital: a high watermark day in our life, I assure you. At this stage, children are so adorable. Who knows what shenanigans lie hidden behind those beautiful eyes? Certainly, new parents don’t know, for sure. Somehow, and don’t tell me how they do it, unborn children have developed an elaborate conspiracy against parents. The conspiracy goes something like this. The first child born is always a great delight. They usually sleep well at night and brighten up the home so much that after a
month or so the parents look at each other dreamily and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice for junior to have a playmate?” This is exactly what the first child wants to hear. The second child is vastly different from the first child. It does not sleep at night, it has its days and nights mixed up, or so they would have us believe. The fact is the two children have an arrangement where one sleeps while the other one cries. When one is tired of crying, it falls asleep only to awaken the first baby who resumes the job of crying. The whole plan is to deprive parents of as much sleep as possible. About this time the parents acclimate to the situation, look at each other again and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a third baby?” The first two children hear this and giggle, knowing their plan is working out quite nicely. The third child comes home vastly different from the first two. With three children in the home, they can work in eight-hour shifts, wearing down the parents in preparation for the teenage years. Every child knows that unless a parent’s resistance is compromised in their infancy, during their teenage years it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control those parents. Within 13 years the parent’s nerves will be so shot, they may even despair of life itself. Then, miracle of miracles, one by one the children marry and move out of the home. At first, parents do not know what to do. They go to the refrigerator, expecting it to be empty, and to their surprise, it is just as it was when they looked the last time. Walking to the living room is a treat. No dirty socks hanging from a light shade, no shoes piled up in the middle of the room and no lights on when nobody is in the room. When the telephone rings, it is actually for them. This at first is a great shock to most parents and it takes about a year to adjust. Then, something happens, transforming the world, making up for all those years of torture, torment See GRANDCHILD on Page 36
Grandma and Men By Karen Gibbs Grandma told me on my wedding day that I needed to take note of some fundamental facts about men. I held my breath, expecting something embarrassingly personal. Instead, she recited the following, with a twinkle in her eye and a dash of sauciness, her cheeks flushed with the air of some conspiracy: "All men are babies, grownup and strong, they hate to be scolded when they’ve done wrong. There is never a man so rugged and stout, but some time or other he’ll sulk and pout. I learned all this in a stretch of years, men like kisses and they don’t like tears. They all talk big when away they roam, but they want to be pampered when they’re at home. They want to be flattered. They think their wives -should often speak of their happy lives. But we sow the seeds of a family jar, if ever we tell them what fools they are. So pamper him, flatter him, tell him he’s great, and mother him early and mother him late, coddle his whims and his appetite, and you’ll get along with your man all right.” I was a young strong-willed woman at the time, and I thought her somewhat old fashioned. My man certainly wasn’t like that and I didn’t think I, myself, could possibly be so patronizing. Grandma ‘Fairy’ had 5 children of her own. One for each of the first 5 letters of the alphabet: Allan, Betty, Cynthia, Donald, and Effie. She reared them with a rod of giggles and mirth, and her idea of keeping discipline was threatening to sit on whomever she caught, after chasing them around the dining table. She was a big woman, with a big bottom, and a big heart. I
loved her to pieces. I gather she lived by these riotous precepts, down to the last ‘tittle.’ The carefully positioned braids wrapped firmly around her crown, spoke of Christianity’s call for sobriety; indeed, the man she shared her life with was stern and forbidding, with frowning eyebrows and staunch well formed beliefs. But grandma, oh, dear grandma, how different she was to that. Her merrily jiggling underarm flaps, shaking over some secret humor, and her embroidered handkerchief pressed nervously against a tainted mouth hinted at emancipation well before it’s time. How she ever managed to be so dis-associated from the stubbornness, I would love to know, for to me, she was the eternal peter pan, mother earth and Mrs. Santa Claus, all wrapped up in one luscious parcel. Going to grandma’s house was exciting. There were hordes of cousins, and a big garden full of tall double- dahlias to play ‘hide n seek’ in, complete with a resident garter snake which we tormented until it one day died. Grandma blustered and romped around the festival kitchen, sipping this, and dipping into that, and sweating like a crazed woman in labor. As the house filled up with people and noise, she became more and more animated, and huffed and puffed as she wove her way through the moving mass. There wasn’t a whole lot of room, but grandma’s bosom pushed the walls out and everybody fit. There was another side to grandma too; the one that saw a nervous breakdown when the kids were in their teens. My own dad doesn’t talk about it much, but I suspect it
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was kept somewhat hidden from the kids and the neighbors to stop the grinding gossip. I wonder now, as a grown up lady, in my second marriage, whether she might not have even known how to look after her own needs, or to let her man set for a spell while she tended to them. I wonder if her cryptic thoughts about men, given so many years earlier, somehow actually added to her moment of collapse. They say history repeats itself;
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perhaps this is so. I often think of how I ‘do’ marriage with my man: it’s good to think. I think I will never forget this lady who modeled the fine art of keeping perspective with humor in the home. I love you, Grandma: your spunkiness continues to inspire me to defy the cheap substitutes for living a cohesive life. ©2018 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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Summer 2018 13
Grandma Lucy's Dress By Dan Blankenship
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Grandma Lucy was a young lady the set of an old western movie. during a time in American and “Grandma, what’s the story behind world history that happens to be that dress in your closet?” I asked. I hard for me to comprehend. I was was a teenager, and tactfulness was born in 1966, and by the time my not high on my list of gentlemanly days of life began to find perma- qualities. Looking back, I should nent lodging places in my brain, have first asked my mother about Grandma Lucy was already very the dress. old. She grew up in Ireland, and “I…I…well…” Grandma Lucy ended up in Decatur, Alabama. replied. She couldn’t talk about the Chlorine gas at Langemark-Poelka- dress. I can only imagine its history pelle, released by the Germans dur- is somehow connected to the young ing the Great War, took her hus- man who lied about his age to serve band’s life and left my mother the British army, only to suffer fatherless. years of pain from the Chlorine gas Grandma Lucy lived in a one that permanently damaged his room house, raised four kids, and lungs. Their time together was was one of the most independent, short, way too short. Grandma life-loving people I ever knew. walked to her room without answerShe could play board game mar- ing my question. bles for hours with anyone willing It was on that day that I underto compete against her, and she stood a bit more about memories. I loved to watch Jeopardy, using could see that even though Grandher encyclopedic knowledge of ma Lucy wanted to tell me about history to answer almost every the dress in her closet, she knew she question the very first year the wouldn’t be able to hold back the show went on the air. She taught emotions that would spill out when my mother to respect education, she did so. I was a teenager with my find a career, and never believe whole life ahead of me. Grandma that the world owes anyone any- Lucy was a woman with many thing. Work hard and the rewards years of wondering about whatwill come. might-have-been behind her. In Grandma Lucy would talk to me fact, I was around the same age as for hours on end during the 1970s British Infantryman James Walker and 1980s. She would talk about was when she first met him. And as Dublin, Ireland, in such detail that I my mother would later inform me, always felt like I had actually vis- Lucy was wearing that burgundy ited the city. Lucy’s maiden name dress on the day she first met my was McClanahan, though she grandfather. It’s been many years since became a Walker when she married her Englishman who courted her Grandma Lucy passed from this during the war. She would talk world to the next. I imagine God about any subject. Well, almost any has supplied her with a new dress subject. See, Grandma Lucy came to wear, though I’m sure it closely to live with us during her later resembles the one that was hangyears, relocating from her Alabama ing in her closet. For more than apartment to our ranch home in sixty years, Grandma Lucy saw Dyer, Indiana. When she moved in, that dress as a way to remember a she placed a burgundy, wool bustle time in her life when things were dress in her closet. It was covered magical. I imagine my grandfain clear plastic and looked quite ther waited at Heaven’s gates, a board game of marbles set up to expensive. It took me a few weeks to get up play, and a new set of lungs for the nerve to ask Grandma Lucy him to tell Lucy how much he about the dress. It was really the missed her. ©2018 FaithWriters.com. All only clothing in her wardrobe that looked like it came straight from Rights Reserved > Anthony Grosch, Licensed REALTOR Cell: (504) 339-5292 ®
Office: (504) 366-4511 Fax: (504) 366-4519 3725 MacArthur Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70114 email@example.com www.GardnerRealtors.com
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14 Summer 2018
Confusion of Spiritual Headship and Submission
By Angie Lewis So what's the problem with Christian marriage today? The problem is men and women have not been taught in their church to partake in their God-given roles and duties in the ways of the Lord and consequently complete chaos and confusion has ensued. Society has turned marriage and love upside down! Christian roles for marriage have become perverted. True or false? Immoral Christian culture has taken hold of Christian society. True or false? Feminism has turned a wife's responsibility in marriage upside down. True or false? True, True, and True! God's Word has not changed just because it is the twenty first century! Husbands still have the Godgiven responsibility to protect and provide for their wives in the ways of the Lord. Unfortunately most Christian married couples do not understand the Godly principles that are attached to the husband being the spiritual head and confu-
sion has ensued. What Are The Responsibilities of of balance in the home. But they are the Christian Husband? both emotionally drained. * To seek God's will for his life In some instances, because of and marriage needs not getting met, husband and wife become disrespectful with * To provide for his wife finaneach other. This unappreciative atticially tude keeps the household system in * To love and care for his wife the an unorganized and chaotic uproar. way Christ does His people The Pretty soon they begin to blame Church each other for the disarray of the * To protect his wife from outside marriage. The wife starts getting bossy with her husband and the husinfluences and abuses band gets bossy back and they both * To put his marriage first, above seek solace from outside influences. everything else including his Where is walking with the Lord, work and children as the Christian is instructed to do? What Are The Responsibilities of * To discipline and love his chilthe Christian Wife? dren in the ways of the Lord * To seek God's will for her life Do you think that if a husband and marriage were living out his purpose for marriage his wife would have a prob- * To submit to her husbands spiritual management lem submitting to that purpose? I think not. But what is happening * To respect and honor her husnow in Christian marriage is the bands position wife works all day, and she is tired too, and the result, both husband * To be a help-meet to her husband by helping to make their and wife begrudgingly do merely marriage and family life prowhat is needed to sustain some sort ductive in and for the Lord
* To put her marriage first, above
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husband does his thing. But when you care for your marriage in the ways of the Lord, God's influence encourages you to be givers for each other its part of the blessings of marriage. On the flip side of the coin, when God is far from our own hearts, we become self-seeking, self-centered, and unappreciative and behave in ways that go against the will of God in marriage. Is it any wonder most marriages end in divorce or are unhappy? Ask yourself, "Am I doing the will of God when I do this?" If the answer is no then pray about it. Ask Christ to guide you in the proper ways and lead you to being the man or woman that He would like for you to be for your marriage. Are you seeking God's will for yourself and marriage? True or false? © 2002-2018 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www. heavenministries.org > www.heavenministries.org >
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Summer 2018 15
Is Resentment Destroying Your Marriage? By Angie Lewis
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Resentment is a very powerful emotion. In fact, anyone who harbors this terrible emotion shouldn't be trying to make rational decisions for themselves or their marriage. I would even venture to say that most divorces are because of unmet and unfulfilled emotions, which is what this emotion is!! It can literally control a person what they say what they do and how they behave. Unfulfilled people are the biggest resentment holders because they don't speak up assertively to get their needs met. How do I know all this? I used to play the bitterness game many years ago when I was still absorbed in my self and alcoholism. I was also addicted to my feelings and manipulating and controlling others using my negative feelings. Whenever I felt slighted by my husband I would hold it against him with resentment and unforgiveness. Fortunately I figured out that I was only hurting myself with my bitter feelings and that I was the cause of my own negative feelings
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of ill will. It doesn't matter what someone else says and does, what matters is how we react. So how did I figure it out? I prayed about it over and over again. One day I just woke up with a different attitude. I now know that God blessed me with knowledge that I did not have before. He gave me wisdom that before I was not ready for because I couldn't see wisdom. I didn't want to see it. I was too selfish to realize my own faults. I can say this with much confidence because I used to be a resentment propagator. I didn't know how to react to other people's behavior toward me. My daughter, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning you ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6) You see your spouse can't make you feel resentful you do that to yourself. The more you harbor ill will towards your spouse, the more difficult it will be for you to see reality to see the big picture of things. Holding in negative feelings within your spirit creates sin in your life. Resentful feelings tell your mind what to do, how to believe, and how to behave towards your spouse. It may tell you to get a divorce. Perhaps it tells you to look at pornography. You think it is justified because your wife rejects you often. Or perhaps you think it is ok to have an affair because your husband did it. Or it can tell you to be ugly and mean with your spouse because you feel like behaving that way. Resentment is a negative emotion that will tear your marriage apart until there is nothing left to repair. Resentment told me to drank, so I drank away my miserable feelings. Some people are more prone to holding in resentment than others. See RESENTMENT on Page 36
The Christian's Crowns There are five crowns mentioned in Scripture which are promised to God's children upon certain conditions. They may be won or they may be lost (Revelation 3:11). They are spoken of as prizes (I Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:13, 14). They are described as crowns of gold (Revelation 4:4). l. THE INCORRUPTIBLE CROWN (I Corinthians 9:25). This crown is given to those who are temperate in all things and who are not indulging the appetites of the body, in order that they may faithfully preach the gospel to all men, whether Jew or Gentile, whereby at least some shall be saved (v 16-27). 2. THE CROWN OF REJOICING (I Thessalonians 2:19). This crown is given to those who win souls for Christ, whether by personal work, by preaching the gospel, or by distributing the gospel in print. Solomon declared, "He that winneth souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30), and Daniel said that "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteous-
ness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3). Every soul saved through the prayers and efforts of the servant of Christ will be a part of his crown of rejoicing when he stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ and is rewarded according to his labors. 3. THE CROWN OF GLORY (I Peter 5:4). This is the crown which is given to faithful pastors who have willingly cared for the flock of God as overseers, not as lords and not for the sake of financial gain, but as a shepherd who cares for his sheep. Such pastors practice what they preach and are examples to others. They feed the flock with the Word of God, "rightly dividing the word of truth," so that they will grow in grace and become fruitful in their lives and labors. They warn the flock against false teachers and the prevalent errors of the day, encouraging them to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3, 4). All such pastors and teachers will receive a crown of glory which will not tarnish or fade away. 4. THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (II Timothy 4:8).
Education This crown is given to all those who love the appearing of Christ. They not only are trusting Christ for salvation and loving Him because He loved them, but they are also looking forward to the personal coming of Christ in glory and power, when they will be caught up with other Christians in the clouds to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:14-17). Because of this blessed hope, they endure afflictions, fight the good fight of faith, and speak the truth in love. They are loyal and faithful to Christ at all times, for they know not when He may appear for His own. All such are to receive a special crown. 5. THE CROWN OF LIFE (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10). This crown is given to all who endure trials and temptations even unto death for Jesus' sake. "They loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11). Many of those who receive this crown, such as Stephen, James, John, Peter, Paul,
For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. â€“ Proverbs 6:23
Huss, Tyndale, Latimer, Cranmer, and many others, are martyrs for the sake of Christ. (Read Foxe's Book of Martyrs.) The crown of life is to be distinguished from the gift of life, which is mentioned in (John 4:10, John 5:24, Romans 6:23, and Ephesians 2:8). Eternal life is a free gift from God to all who believe on His Son. "He that hath the Son hath life" (I John 5:11, 12). But those who receive eternal life through faith in Christ may also receive the crown of life in addition, if so be that they suffer for Him even unto death. ÂŠ2018 Save the Nations Ministries>
Summer 2018 17
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Do Hurricanes Just Happen? By Jim Elliff Though some postulate that hurricanes are spawned merely by natural causes, this answer is one "cause" too short. The Bible teaches they are first decreed by God. The Psalmist wrote: "Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries" (Psalm 135:6-7). "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?" asked Jeremiah in (Lamentations 3:38). A hurricane is definitely in the "woe" category. Such physical catastrophes are often called "natural evils," and they come by that misnomer honestly. What devastation! We are moved by the plight of those who have endured this kind of trouble. But can we really say God did it? Most do not want to. Yet, occasionally, even among those who assume God exercises no true sovereignty over the wills of men, there is the admission that God does control the weather. He does, that is, as long as nobody is seriously hurt. God might comfort during the storm and help pick up the emotional pieces after the storm, but He would never create such ruination. However, God’s own Word speaks otherwise: God is at work doing His perfect will, even during hurricane season. These spinning engines of destruction originate from Him as Ruler (first cause), through nature (second cause), all for His purposes. Though God owes us no explanation, one or all of the following possible objectives may help us understand "why" God decrees such fear-producing events: 1. God is recognized as powerful and not to be trifled with. God often asserted that cataclysmic events were done to display His power to men. (Exodus 9:14-16; 14:31) 2. Society is warned of the greatest calamity, eternal judgment. A physical disaster is nothing compared with eternal damnation. A hurricane is an announcement: "If you don’t repent, worse than this is coming." (Luke 13:1-5) 3. Some people are deservedly punished for their rebellion. The
Bible states that "the wrath of God is revealed [lit. is being revealed] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men . . ." (Romans 1:18). That means now. Hurricanes are just one of the ways that might happen. (Psalm 7:11-13) 4. Some true believers are tested or disciplined and made stronger in their faith. The same storm that judges a non-believing man may be the crucible of testing and/ or chastisement for a true Christian, and will toughen and purify him for the future. (James 1:2-3; Hebrews 12:5-11) 5. Believers may be taken to heaven; and some enemies of God may be removed from the earth. This is a reality that is hard to accept, but nonetheless true. The Bible says that our days are ordained by God even before one of them is lived (Psalm 139:16). He also promises that many rebellious people will face a calamitous end. (Psalm 73:18-19) 6. The godly are given an opportunity to love sacrificially. Because of the nature of the true believer, you will always find Christians among those on the scene helping to relieve the distress. (1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:10) Their love may point many to Christ. There could be more, but this will suffice to highlight the purposefulness of God in such massive displays of his power. If it is not true that God has ordained the powerful forces of nature for His own ends, then the alternative answer is that this event was only an irregularity in the interplay of warm water and thermals. And that is no comfort when you stand in the wet rubble that was once your home. I would much rather know that God has a purpose in mind when it costs me so dearly. I can learn from that, and even thank Him for His perfect, though sometimes shocking, will. God knows what He’s about. "He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’" (Daniel 4:35). Copyright © 2018 Jim Elliff Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc.
5 Tips to Put an Extra Spring In Your Step
By Dr. Don Colbert Now that springtime is officially here, how about some “spring cleaning” for your body, mind and spirit? Just follow these five tips for putting a little extra spring in your step! (1) Learn something new. As Aristotle realized long ago, there is a difference between the pleasures of the moment (hedonia), and the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living your life to the fullest (eudaimonia). In recent years, scientists have finally begun to study eudaimonia (finding happiness in learning activities that draw on your talents, while challenging your abilities). Their research suggests that the greater sense of purpose and personal growth associated with eudaimonia correlates with lower cortisol levels, better immune function and more efficient sleep. (2) Evaluate your daily nutrition. By analyzing your "daily bread," you can identify any deficiencies and begin making appropriate improvements. Improvements that can range from the relief of symptoms such as chronic inflammation and depression, to controlling weight, or maximizing nutrition for more energy. (3) Change up your workout. When you revise your exercise routine, your body will be challenged in different ways. In addition, a good change up will help to avoid repetition and burnout. Because many people quit their workout routines due to boredom or lack of results, perhaps it is time to change You’re Not Alone!
the intensity of your workout, the type of workout, or the time spent working out. (4) Take time for yourself. When you focus on everything except yourself, you are almost always guaranteed to end up feeling angry, irritable, frustrated, disappointed and stressed. In other words, by not taking a little time for yourself, you might be less happy than possible. Start by focusing on yourself. Acknowledge that your own happiness is important and practice happiness-boosting routines. Rest is also an important - but often overlooked - aspect of a healthy body and mind. (5) Reconnect with an old friend. Sadly, according to a study conducted by the American Sociological Review, over the past two decades the number of confidantes Americans feel comfortable discussing important matters with has shrunk by a third, and 25 percent of the respondents said they had no one with whom they felt comfortable in discussing important matters - which
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is more than double the percentage from 20 years ago. Getting back in touch with an old friend can be exciting. You already know that your personalities clicked once before. Many people find that despite years of no contact, the friendship has stood the test of time and they easily fall back into talking, sharing and being there for one another. This entry was posted in Health
Tips by Dr. Don Colbert Dr. Don Colbert is a graduate of Oral Roberts School of Medicine and shares his years of experience and research in nutritional medicine in all of his work. He is a national speaker, bestselling author and host of a national talk show titled Your Health Matters. © 2018 Dr. Don Colbert, MD PA www.drcolbert.com >
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Disciplined Eating By Elyse Fitzpatrick
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either of independence—“I can do whatever I want”—or a heart longing for pleasure—“I know that I don’t need this for my sustenance, but I love the feeling of the sweet coldness”? 3. Stumble: If I eat this, will it cause a weaker Christian to stumble? 4. Coveting: Am I eating this just because I saw someone else with it and I’m coveting it? 5. Inroad: If I eat this, will it create an inroad for sin? 6. Praise: Can I eat this food with thanks and gratitude? Is my heart overflowing with songs of praise to God? 7. Life: Would eating this food harm my health in any way? 8. Illustrate: Am I modeling good eating habits for others and encouraging them to be selfdisciplined, or do I encourage others to self-indulge? 9. No: Am I able to say no to this even if I know that I can eat it without sin? 10. Emotions: Does the desire to eat this flow out of a heart of anger, fear, frustration, or depression? 11. Distract: Will preparing or eating this food distract me from something better that God has for me to do? 12. Enslaved: Does it bring me under any kind of bondage? All of this, of course, can be summed up by one question: In my eating and drinking, am I glorifying God? (1 Corinthians 10:31). © Harvest House Publishers. Used with permission. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick. © Revive Our Hearts. Written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts. com.>
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How can we be self-controlled in our eating? Does that mean that we should eat only a certain number of calories, avoid sugar, eliminate foods with fat, or perhaps a combination of all three? The easiest thing in the world for me to do would be to tell you exactly what you should eat. But that’s a rather simplistic approach that doesn’t take into consideration a variety of factors. Besides, chances are you have been on diets like that before, and you and I both know how they usually end. I’m not saying that it is wrong to follow a preplanned diet, as long as it is not a fad diet. But even if you are following a preplanned diet perfectly, that doesn’t mean that your eating is pleasing to the Lord. I can lust over a cup of nonfat frozen yogurt in exactly the same way that I can over a chocolate shake. I can also become enamored with my appearance and worry that I might gain weight, which wouldn’t please God. No, there are other criteria for you and me to consider as we develop our personal plan for disciplined eating. I have listed 12 questions you can ask yourself in order to determine whether your eating is sinful or not. To help you remember these points, I’ve developed the acrostic “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D Eating.” As you consider the following, some of the answers will be obvious. Others will take some time and careful thought. Stop now and prayerfully ask God to help you as you think about how to make your eating habits more pleasing to Him. 1. Doubt: Do I doubt (for whatever reason) that I can eat this food without sinning? 2. Idolatry: Does eating this particular food demonstrate a heart
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Housing Includes Taxes and Insurance Dear Dave, You recommend that no more than 25 percent of your monthly income go toward a house payment. Does this figure include taxes and insurance too? —Ryan Dear Ryan, Yes, it does. Your housing payment should not exceed 25 percent of your monthly take-home pay on a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage. When it comes to buying a house, the goal is not to live in the Taj
Mahal or have something so expensive you end up being “house poor.” When buying a home, especially for first-time homebuyers, you should look for something nice — in a decent area — that you can get paid off as quickly as possible. It’s really not a big deal if you cheat a couple of percentage points one way or the other. But 25 percent is a good rule of thumb to ensure you’ll still have money left over to live on, save and invest! —Dave
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Be Very Kind and Very Grateful Dear Dave, My mom and dad took out a whole life insurance policy for me when I was born. The cash value is $2,500, and my husband and I want to cash it out and put the money toward paying off debt. We already have larger term life insurance policies in place, but I’m worried that doing this will offend my parents. What should I do? —Laura
about the reason and loving with your explanation. Then, if they chose to become a little emotional or resentful, that’s on them. If they get really upset and want the money back, you can do that too. But getting your financial house in order is much more important than hanging on to a bad financial product you don’t need in the first place. —Dave Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. His newest best-seller, Smart Money Smart Kids, was written with his daughter Rachel Cruze, and recently debuted at #1. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey. com.>
Dear Laura, I think the real question is how many toxic things will you do because you’re afraid you might offend them. Whole life policies are financially toxic. They’re a bad product, and keeping it for no better reason than it might hurt their feelings a little bit isn’t much of a reason — especially when the alternative is paying down debt and getting your financial life in order. I know this is mom and dad we’re talking about, so you’ll have to be nice about everything. But at the same time, your parents have to realize it’s your life and you make the decisions. Try sitting down with them and gently explaining that while you appreciate and love them for their generosity, you’re going to cash it out and use it to get out of debt. Let them know you’re not wasting their gift, and that you’re using it to make a positive impact on your lives. You’re not doing anything disrespectful, Laura. Just be very clear Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. – Proverbs 23:23
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4 Reasons No One Wants to Buy Your Home (and How to Fix It) By Dave Ramsey You’re downright stumped. After months on the market, you’re no closer to a home deal than the day you planted a For Sale sign in the yard. Buyers come. Buyers go. And still no bite. It’s easy to chalk it up to the weather. But we’re here to let
you in on a little secret: That may not be the case. Here are four reasons your home may be sitting on the sidelines— and how to get it back in the game. It’s in Bad Shape No one wants to drop six figures
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on a place that’s dingy around the edges. Every corner and crevice should pass the white-glove test. If you surface cleaned and called it a day, that’s not good enough. Put the wet wipes away and break out the heavy-duty tools. It’s time to scrub your home inside and out! Pay special attention to nitty-gritty details like baseboards, window blinds, ceiling fans and even bathroom caulk. With a little extra elbow grease, you can make your home look like new again. While you’re at it, be sure to tighten loose screws and fix what’s broken. You don’t want any rickety reminders that your home might not be all that and a bag of chips. It’s Uninviting After a month with no interest— despite a strong market and a desirable location—Elizabeth B. realized her dad’s condo left something to be desired. So she helped him transform his bachelor pad into a place that made buyers want to sit and stay a spell. They started by decluttering all the rooms and applying a fresh coat of neutral paint. Then Elizabeth added a few tasteful accents, including pillows and a throw for the living room and lamps and a new duvet for the master bedroom. By the time they deep cleaned and removed personal items, it was ready for show time. “On the first open house after these changes, I put cookies in the oven so that they were cooling when buyers walked through, and we took the cats with us in the car for a couple hours,” Elizabeth says. “The condo sold within 24 hours of this open house.” It’s Too Pricey We know you love your home and you want to want to make as much money on it as you can. After all, you probably need that cash to fund your next home. But if your home has never looked better and still won’t sell, you might be asking too much. A
price adjustment may be the only thing standing between you and a snappy home deal. Take it from Joe M. A $10,000 price reduction sparked a bidding war among three home buyers. The result? He sold his home within two weeks for $10,000 more than his original asking price! Just keep in mind that there’s no tried-and-true formula for zeroing in on the right price. Every market is different, so it’s best to get a pro’s advice. An experienced real estate agent can show you real numbers buyers have paid for homes like yours in the area. It’s Not a Priority The perfect price and condition don’t mean much if buyers don’t know your home’s there in the first place. Sure, most folks these days may conduct their own online searches. But if your listing isn’t actively being marketed, it’s dying a slow death. That’s why it’s so important to have a high-octane agent on your side. A true go-getter won’t sit back and wait for buyers to come. They know how to find and reach the best prospects for your home—and they won’t stop until you have a deal! Look, you’re paying your agent thousands of dollars to sell your home. If you’ve done everything in your power to make your home shine and no one’s noticed, it’s time to move on. Look for an agent who’s excited about helping you get top dollar for your home and consistently closes at least 35 transactions a year. That’s a good sign they’ve proven their worth in the business! * Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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22 Summer 2018
A Small Boy's Witness Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at their church, the Pastor and his eleven-year-old son would go out into their town and hand out Gospel Tracts. This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said; "OK dad, I'm ready." His Pastor dad asked, "Ready for what?" "Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out." Dad responds, "Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring down rain." The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking "But Dad, aren't people still going to Hell, even though it's raining?" Dad answers, "Son, I am not going out in this weather." Despondently, the boy ask, "Dad, can I go? Please?" His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son." "Thanks Dad!" And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This eleven-year-old boy walked the streets of the town going door to
door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract. After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted. Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the doorbell. He rang the bell, but nobody answered. He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven-year-old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him. Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch. He rang again, and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked "What can I do for you son?" With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell
you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU, and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His great LOVE." With that, he handed her his last tract, and turned to leave. She called to him as he departed. "Thank you, son! And God Bless You!" Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit. As the service began, he asked, "Does anybody have a testimony or want to say anything?" Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, "No one in this church knows me. I've never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live. So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home. I fastened
the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken hearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away. "I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, "Who on earth could this be?! Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me." I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you! And the words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he See WITNESS on Page 37
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Summer 2018 23
Personal Revival Brokenness Bookmark: The Heart God Revives By Nancy Leigh DeMoss Proud people focus on the failures of others. Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
spirit; they recognize their need for others.
Proud people have a critical, faultfinding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope. Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit. Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.
Proud people have to prove that they are right. Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation. Broken people are self-denying.
Broken people are not concerned Proud people desire self-advance- with self at all. Proud people keep others at arms’ ment. Broken people desire to promote length. Broken people are willing to risk others. getting close to others and to take Proud people have a drive to be risks of loving intimately. recognized and appreciated. Broken people have a sense of their Proud people are quick to blame own unworthiness; they are thrilled others. Broken people accept personal that God would use them at all. responsibility and can see where Proud people are wounded when they are wrong in a situation. others are promoted and they are Proud people are unapproachable overlooked. Broken people are eager for others or defensive when criticized. to get the credit; they rejoice when Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit. others are lifted up. Proud people have a subconscious Proud people are concerned with feeling, “This ministry/church is being respectable, with what others privileged to have me and my think; they work to protect their gifts”; they think of what they can own image and reputation. Broken people are concerned with do for God. Broken people’s heart attitude is, “I being real; what matters to them is don’t deserve to have a part in any not what others think but what God ministry”; they know that they have knows; they are willing to die to nothing to offer God except the life their own reputation.
of Jesus flowing through their broProud people desire to be served. Proud people are self-righteous; ken lives. Broken people are motivated to they look down on others. Proud people feel confident in how Broken people esteem all others serve others. much they know. better than themselves. Proud people desire to be a suc- Broken people are humbled by how Proud people have an independent, cess. very much they have to learn. Broken people are motivated to be self-sufficient spirit. Proud people are self-conscious. Broken people have a dependent faithful and to make others a suc-
Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others. Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as See BOOKMARK on Page 37
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24 Summer 2018
Audacious Prayer By Bryan Elliff Christians must be people who pray with audacity, not because we deserve an answer, but because God will give it. When one of Jesus’ followers requested of Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples," Jesus’ response was two-fold. He first gave an example of how we ought to pray, and then he told a story about a man who desired bread from a friend. "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence [shamelessness, audacity] he will get up and give him as much as he needs."
"So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." (Luke 11:5-10) With this story, Jesus was making a contrast between the friend "who will not get up and give him anything" and God. "Suppose one of you goes to a friend at midnight and asks for bread," Christ said. "That man will not want to get up and give you anything. The hour is too late and the children have already gone to bed. But even though he will not want to get up and give you anything, because you had the shamelessness to come and ask, he will get up and give you as much as you need." To grasp the object of this story, we need to define one word— "because of his persistence (NASB)." The original word literally means "lack of sensitivity to what is proper." Shamelessness and audacity (boldness in going against
what seems normal) come close. The idea of persistence could possibly be included, but it is not the best translation because it is not Jesus’ main point. In other words, Jesus’ describes this man’s action in coming to his friend and knocking on his door in the middle of the night as audacious. Now here is the contrast Jesus was pointing out: if that unrighteous man would get up and give you bread at midnight even though he did not want to, how much more will God, who delights in His children and never sleeps, give all that is needed to those who simply have the shamelessness to ask Him? Our asking is not grounded on what we deserve. That is the point. We deserve nothing. Godly audacity is asking even though we do not deserve it—asking because we believe that God will not withhold any good thing from his people. And Godly audacity is asking for great things even though they may seem to be too great—asking because we know that God delights
to give vast gifts to those who trust Him. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children," Jesus continued, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" So what was Jesus’ conclusion? "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." We must pray with boldness and daring, not trusting our worthiness, but trusting in God’s goodness. Copyright © 2018 Bryan Elliff Christian Communicators Worldwide, Inc.
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Summer 2018 25
The Christian Journey How Many Times Will God Forgive Me? By Pastor Doug Gilford H a v e you ever wondered if God is listening to you? Have you felt like the guilt of of sin literally drowns out the sensat i o n a l relief of being forgiven? Today, I want to address this, using facts from God’s Word instead of human emotion or feelings. Jesus had just been baptized by John the Baptist and was immediately led to the desert for forty days of temptation. One of the FIRST words out of Christ’s mouth is found in (Matthew 4:17) where it
says, “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’” Pay attention to Jesus’ first words out of His public, earthly ministry: “Repent…” So, one of the first things Jesus said was, Repent (or turn away from, change your mind about) your sin and come to me, because I am here to relieve you from your sinfulness. Now, remember one of His lasts words from the cross was to the Father when He cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24) So, we see one of Jesus’ first words is “repent” and last words are “forgive.” These words will serve as the bookends of His ministry. Most will one day realize that Jesus came to restore human relationships to God, by sacrificing His
own body to the cross. Jesus served as the final sacrifice to bring man to God as an atoning sacrifice once and for all. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans “for “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’ (Romans 10:13) Here, Paul says to “Call” on the Lord or call on Him in repentance of your sins...and you shall be saved. In short, by virtue of Christ’s words and Paul’s words to the Romans, we can say that; when we repent, we are forgiven and when we call on Jesus, we are saved. Maybe you already understand all of this and yet struggle with whether you are “really” forgiven from your sins. It would be prudent to point out that our feelings are not always facts. Sometimes, we feel things erroneously. Sometimes, we feel like someone is angry at us and spend all day dreading a confrontation, yet, when we meet them we are suddenly relieved that nothing is wrong at all and they were not angry. Our guilt and our knowing we messed up, sometimes is our emotional response to the failure towards God. We ask Jesus to forgive us, yet carry around a burden or feeling of remorse or failure unknowingly and unnecessarily.
When does Jesus forgive me? Every time I repent and ask. In Christ’s own words He says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4 emphasis is mine) My point is, if Jesus asks us to forgive when others repent to us, would He not do the same? Please record this in the foundation of your heart: If we are willing to repent, then Christ is willing to forgive us every time. In fact, John the beloved disciple understood this as he wrote about it in his book, (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Again, the principle of repentance and forgiveness is shown here by the word “confess.” If we confess, He will forgive. Jesus made confession to God necessary to forgiveness because it opens us up. It helps us look in the face of Grace and come clean. Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our conSee FORGIVE on Page 38
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6 Benefits of Reading God’s Word Understanding the Transformative Power of Scripture
By Charles F. Stanley How important is God’s Word to you? When we humble ourselves before Scripture, acknowledging that it has been given to us by the living God, we will receive the following blessings: God’s Word leads us to salvation. Although many of us came to Christ by hearing about Him from another person, the way of salvation is clearly revealed by simply reading the Bible (John 3:16; Rom. 10:9). We are all saved by believing the truth of Scripture whether we read it ourselves or are taught it by someone else (1 Pet. 1:23). The Scriptures guide our steps. (Psalm 119:105) says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” If we read and heed the Lord’s instructions, He will show us where to go, what to say, and how to make decisions. His Word also reveals when we’re heading the wrong direction and warns us of the consequences of continuing down that path. God’s Word directs us to wisdom. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). Scripture is our greatest protection. It’s like a shield before us, guarding our way and warning of danger. But if we neglect reading and obeying the Word, we won’t be able to distinguish right from wrong. It lifts our burden. Because the Lord is interested in every aspect of our lives, we can run to His Word in our pain, grief, loneliness, or sickness and receive help in our time of trouble (Ps. 119:28).
The Word of God brings joy. If we love the Word, we’ll find great joy and comfort in reading it (Ps. 119:111). When facing tough situations and discouragement, our first response will be to open the Scriptures. Even if we don’t know where to read, the Lord will guide us to a passage which can restore our hope and joy. And if we don’t have a Bible with us, He can bring to mind the verses that we’ve stored in our hearts. Once we experience how the Scriptures can change sorrow into joy, our love for the Lord and His Word will increase and overflow in praise and gratitude. The Scriptures give peace. Perhaps the most desired possession in the world is peace, but it can only be found in the Lord. “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Ps. 119:165). Peace means to be bound to something, and when that something is the Word of God, we are bound to Him and experience the peace Jesus promised to His disciples (John 14:27). God honors and is committed to blessing those who respect and love His precious Word. It is the most valuable possession we own because it is His written message to us. From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals His mind and heart. Everything else will pass away, “but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:8). The Lord is still on His throne and continues doing what He’s promised in His Word. When we believe and obey it, our lives are transformed. © 2018 oChristian.com. All Rights Reserved >
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Summer 2018 27
Transformed Life How Can You Live a Lifestyle of Worship? By David Jeremiah Many of us live in cities where sunsets and mountain horizons have become distant memories. The majestic stars are blocked out by the smoky mists of industry. Just as our capabilities have grown exponentially, our capacity for wonder seems to have withered. Before we can say anything about worship, we must come to grips with this idea of wonder. For worship can never be the sole work of the rational mind. In the presence of Almighty God, as the Apostle John discovered, the sense of wonder comes naturally and leaves us changed. But without the capability of awe, where we stand at the edge
of ourselves and gaze beyond, we will never come into His presence. Experience vs. Event Since the days of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, worship has walked a tightrope between lifestyle and liturgy. When God walked in the Garden with His first children in the cool of the day, Adam and Eve worshiped Him as we should— without interruption. The Creator and His creatures experienced a continual, ongoing exchange of provision and praise. God provided everything Adam and Eve needed, and they responded with praise— with gratitude, reverence, honor, submission, and holy fear. Yet the experience of worship was soon transformed into an event. Adam and Eve sinned, their state of worship was interrupted, and they were expelled from God’s presence. The next thing we see is their
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sons engaged in an act of worship—the bringing of offerings to the Lord. Instead of worship being the uninterrupted experience of man, sin necessitated the scheduling of worship to a time and a place (Genesis 4:3-4). Appointed vs. Perpetual Reading the elaborate and detailed plans God gave to Israel by which they were to worship in the Tabernacle illustrates the legitimacy of appointed times and places of worship. And yet as a backdrop to the appointed times of worship were the perpetual acts of worship which went on before the Lord day and night (Exodus 30:8; Leviticus 6:12; Leviticus 24:5-9). But when we get to the New Testament, we find something different. Christians are the new temple and priests of God (I Timothy 3:15; I Peter 2:5, 9). Like the priesthood of old, we are to worship at appointed times as well as to worship perpetually. Be regular at appointed times of corporate worship. It has become increasingly popular in our culture for Christians to exempt themselves from corporate worship. Not only is this unbiblical (Hebrews 10:2425), it has the same effect as pulling a log out of a fire. The personal fire
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for worship of God burns bright when fueled by the worship of many. Be regular at appointed times of personal worship. It has also become widespread for Christians to plan time with God while driving, showering, exercising, and mowing the lawn. I am convinced that this practice should not be a substitute for a personal "quiet" time with God. Distractions do just that—they distract! Make sure you are setting aside priority time daily to be alone with God in prayer, Bible reading, and worship. Cultivate the practice of unscheduled worship. Everyone has times during the day when discretionary minutes present themselves. Instead of turning on the television, flipping through a magazine, calling a friend, or dozing off, get in the practice of redeeming the time to focus on the Lord. Communing continually with God throughout the day and night is the experience of worship (Psalm 16:7; 63:6; 119:48). Offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God. This is an exhortation in the strongest of terms from the See WORSHIP on Page 29
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Let it Go! Let it Go! We are to look ahead in expectation and faith - not behind. Through years of counseling we have seen that too many times people are focused upon the past, whether it is positive or negative, and base their daily decisions and their daily attitude on the past. This is not only unproductive, but in many cases downright dangerous for your spiritual growth! Our past is exactly that - the past! It only defines you if you allow it! Today is your day to walk in the destiny and purpose that God planned for you - let me repeat that - today is your day! "But Wayne, you don't know what I have been through..." No, but God does. Divorce - Death - Bankruptcy Abuse... Life is not always fair. Yet, the good news is that we can re-write our future, and not only can we walk in the grace and mercy of Jesus, we can be molded into His image by the Holy Spirit! "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." – (2 Cor 3:18)
Glory to glory - it is a promise of the Father, as you let go of your past and decide to walk in a gloryto-glory promise. The person you are today is not the person you can be tomorrow! One of the keys to victory is to acknowledge the past (denial heals nothing), and then forgive those who have hurt you - and then forgive yourself of the mistakes you have made. If God can forgive you, then you can surely forgive yourself as well. In the past I have made some serious mistakes, I have sinned, and I have hurt people. I have learned to forgive others, and forgive myself! I can no longer afford to love in the "what-if" mentality, and neither can you! Remember that what you are growing from glory-to-glory, and that process is accomplished by Holy Spirit - who are we to hold back growth from God? Who are we to thwart his plans and destiny for our lives? Yesterday's troubles were real but they are in the past where they should remain. Today choose to live in victory - today choose to live in the power of God - today decide to quit living in the realm of yester-
day. "Lord, help us to walk in your glory and your transforming power. We want to be changed from gloryto-glory into the very image of Jesus! Thank you that we have been forgiven of our past, and help us to forgive others and ourselves. We are made victorious through you Lord, and we walk in that promise - in the name and power of Jesus Christ!" Need prayer? Go to http://www. thesecondadam.com In His Kingdom, Wayne Sutton TheSecondAdam.com WORSHIP Continued from Page 28 Apostle Paul (Romans 12:1). When we make the transition in our thinking from offering a sacrifice of worship to becoming a sacrifice of worship...we are moving toward reclaiming the experience of worship which we have lost. We offer our sacrifice of worship—time, tal-
ent, and treasure—but we are the sacrifice God desires most. Living every moment in the wonder of worship will change the way you live every day. 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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Israel had fallen into idolatry. But their root sin was still unbelief, resulting in all kinds of fears! And God sent them a prophet NextHome Northshore offers our Agents & Clients to expose their root sin. the latest and most advanced tools in Real Estate. Will Redondo The prophet told them in so many Broker/owner Will Redondo fi rst opened the agency in 1992 as an independent words, “Look at you—a bunch of WWW.NEXTHOMENORTHSHORE.COM 985-264-1824 brokerage, which has evolved and thrived by maintaining a high level of email@example.com wimps, hiding out, afraid to stand professionalism, and by always putting our client’s interest and needs first. up and fight. You’ve already given In December 2017 we proudly became a NextHome franchise so that we can improve ourup. But you have a history of God’s THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE IS HERE. service to all of our clients. NextHome gives us the tools and technology we need to deliverance! He gave your fathers stayNextHome ahead of all Real Estate trends compete in anthe everlatest changing market. great victories when they trusted Northshore offers ourand Agents & Clients him. And he has promised to delivand most advanced tools in Real Estate. JOIN THE NEXTHOME TEAM! CONTACT WILL REDONDO AT 985-264-1824 er you too—yet you don’t believe him!” (See Judges 6:7–10.) Broker/owner Will Redondo ﬁrst opened the agency in 1992 as an independent Many Christians are terrified the brokerage, which has evolved and thrived by maintaining a high level of devil is going to destroy them. professionalism, and by always putting our client’s interest and needs ﬁrst. They’re afraid they’ll make a misIn December 2017 we proudly became a NextHome franchise so that we can improve take or go back to their sin, and the our service to all of our clients. NextHome gives us the tools and technology we need devil will have his way. But that’s a to stay ahead of all Real Estate trends and compete in an ever changing market. lie from the pit of hell! The Bible says you don’t have to be terrified JOIN THE NEXTHOME TEAM! CONTACT WILL REDONDO AT 985.264.1824 as you walk through this life! When you hold on to fear, it becomes contagious. Everybody around you catches it! When Gideon gathered his army, God told him to send home every fearful soldier: “Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart…. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand” (Judges 7:3). God is speaking the same word to his church today. He is asking, “Why do you fear? Why do you sin by not trusting me to bring victory to your life? I have promised to defeat 34201.21.1.013_Redondo.indd 7 2/6/18 1:37 PM every demonic power that T comes against you!” N WA Gideon’s father, Joash, had erected statues of Baal and the goddess Asherah, made from huge stones. firstname.lastname@example.org
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His reasoning was, “Baal has given Midian power over us, so maybe if we worship their god, he’ll give us power.” People came from miles around to worship there, including Midianites and Moabites; it was a powerful, demonic stronghold in Israel! God told Gideon, “I’m not going to deliver Israel until you get rid of this idol that stands between us. Lay it aside—cut it down!” So in the middle of the night Gideon “took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him” (Judges 6:27). He took an ox and used ropes to pull down Baal and Asherah! God is giving his church today the same message he gave Gideon: “I want to help you—but I can’t when you don’t trust me. You’re full of fear. And before I bring deliverance, you’re going to have to pull down this stronghold, this besetting sin!” “Lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [you]” (Hebrews 12:1). We are to pull down all strongholds of fear and sin! Gideon pulled down demonic strongholds using a strong ox. But we have been given weapons far more powerful than Gideon’s (see 2 Corinthians 10:4–5). Victory comes by praying in faith. This doesn’t mean cold, empty prayer but prayer in the Spirit, prayer that believes God to answer: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). Copyright © 2018 by World Challenge, Inc., P.O. Box 260, Lindale, Texas 75771. >
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Jesus' Surrender of Himself By Andrew Murray "Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it; that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:25-27). Jesus' work for the sinner was so great and wonderful that it was necessary for Him to give Himself on the cross for that work. Jesus' love for us was so great and wonderful that He actually gave Himself for us and to us. Jesus' surrender is so great and wonderful that all which He gave Himself for can be truly and entirely ours. For Jesus, the Holy, the Almighty, has taken it upon Himself to do it. He gave Himself for us. And now the one necessary thing is that we should rightly understand and firmly believe in His surrender for us. To what end, then, was it that He gave Himself for the Church? Hear what God says. The aim of Jesus is
that He might sanctify the Church so that it would be without blemish. He will attain His aim in the soul as long as the soul falls into His will, makes His will it’s most important consideration, and relies on Jesus' surrender of Himself to do so. Hear this word of God, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). Jesus gave Himself in order to prepare for Himself a pure people, a people of His own, a zealous people. When I receive Him, and when I believe that He gave Himself for me, I will certainly experience it. I will be purified through Him. I will be held securely as His possession and be filled with zeal and joy to work for Him. And notice how the operation of this surrender of Himself will result in His having us entirely for Himself--"that He might present us to Himself," "that He might purify us to Himself, a people of His own." The more I understand and contemplate Jesus' surrender of Himself for me, the more I give myself
again to Him. The surrender is a mutual one--the love comes from both sides. His giving of Himself makes such an impression on my heart, that my heart, with the selfsame love and joy, becomes entirely His. Through giving Himself to me, He takes possession of me. He becomes mine and I become His. I know that I have Jesus wholly for me, and that He has me wholly for Himself. And how do I come to the full enjoyment of this blessed life? "I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Through faith, I reflect on and contemplate His surrender to me as sure and glorious. Through faith, I believe it. Through faith, I trust in Jesus to confirm this surrender, to communicate Himself to me, and to reveal Himself within me. Through faith, I await--with certainty-for the full experience of salvation which comes from having Jesus as mine, to do all for me. Through faith, I
live in Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me. And I say, "No longer do I live, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). Christian, please believe with your whole heart that Jesus gives Himself for you. He is wholly yours. He will do all for you. Lord Jesus, what wonderful grace is this, that You gave Yourself for me. In You there is eternal life. You are the life, and You give Yourself to be all that I need in my life. You purify me, sanctify me, and make me zealous in good works. You take me wholly for Yourself and give Yourself wholly for me. Yes, my Lord, in all You are my life. Make me rightly understand this. Amen. GRACE GEMS! A Treasury of Ageless Sovereign Grace Devotional Writings Our Purpose To humble the pride of man, to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and life. ©GraceGems.org 2018 >
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Summer 2018 31
Righteous Living Every One of Us Casts a Shadow There hangs about us, a sort of a strange, indefinable something, which we call personal influence — that has its effect on every other life on which it falls. It goes with us wherever we go. It is not something we can have when we want to have it — and then lay aside when we will, as we lay aside a garment. It is something that always pours out from our lives . . . As light from a lamp, as heat from a flame, and as perfume from
a flower: The ministry of personal influence is something very wonderful. Without being conscious of it, we always impress others by this strange power that exudes from us. Others watch us and their thinking and actions are modified by our influence. "Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity." (Ephesians 5:15-16)
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An arm that can never be broken! "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!" (Deuteronomy 33:27) The picture suggested, is that of a little child, lying in the strong arms of a father who is able to withstand all storms and dangers. At the two extremes of life, childhood and old age, this promise comes with special assurance. "He shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom" (Isaiah 40:11), is a word for the children. "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He; I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you!" (Isaiah 46:4), brings its blessed comfort to the aged. The thought of God's embracing arms is very suggestive. What does an arm represent? What is the thought suggested by the arm of God enfolded around His child? One suggestion is protection. As a father puts his arm about his child when it is in danger, so God protects His children. Life is full of peril. There are temptations on every hand! Enemies lurk in every shadow — enemies strong and swift! Yet we are assured that nothing can separate us from the love of God. "Underneath are the everlasting arms!" Another thought, is affection. The father's arm drawn around a child is a token of love. The child is held in the father's bosom, near his heart. The shepherd carries the lambs in his bosom. John lay on Jesus' bosom. The mother holds the child in her bosom, because she loves it. This picture of God embracing His children in His arms — tells of His love for them — His love is tender, close, and intimate. Another thought suggested by an arm, is strength. The arm is a symbol of strength. His arm is omnipotence. "In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:4). His is an arm that can never be broken! Out of this clasp — we can never be taken. "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!" (John 10:28) Another suggestion is endurance. The arms of God are "everlasting." Human arms grow weary even in love's embrace; they cannot forever
press the child to the bosom. Soon they lie folded in death. A husband stood by the coffin of his beloved wife after only one short year of wedded happiness. The clasp of that love was very sweet, but how brief a time it lasted, and how desolate was the life that had lost the precious companionship! A little baby two weeks old was left motherless. The mother clasped the child to her bosom and drew her feeble arms about it in one loving embrace; the little one will never more have a mother's arm around it. So pathetic is human life with its broken affections, its little moments of love, and its embraces that are torn away in one hour. But these arms of God are everlasting arms! They shall never unclasp! There is another important suggestion in the word "underneath." Not only do the arms of God embrace His child, but they are underneath, always underneath! That means that we can never sink, for these arms will ever be beneath us! Sometimes we say the waters of trouble are very deep; like great floods they roll over us. But still and forever, underneath the deepest floods are these everlasting arms! We cannot sink below them or out of their clasp! And when death comes, and every earthly thing is gone from beneath us, and we sink away into what seems darkness out of all human love, out of warmth and gladness and life into the gloom and strange mystery of death, still it will only be into His everlasting arms! This view of God's divine care is full of inspiration and comfort. We are not saving ourselves. A strong One, the mighty God holds us in His omnipotent clasp! We are not tossed like a leaf on life's wild sea driven at the mercy of wind and wave. We are in divine keeping. Our security does not depend upon our own feeble, wavering faith but upon the omnipotence, the love, and the faithfulness of the unchanging, the eternal God! No power in the universe can snatch us out of His hands! Neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come can separate us from His everlasting arms! Save the Nations Ministries>
Professional, Timely and Dependable Service Tire World has been servicing vehicles in St. Tammany Parish since 1983 and continues to grow with the community. The business has been locally owned and operated for 33 years, and remains in the original location today. Conveniently located in the Northlake Shopping Center, Tire World strives to remain a leader in professional automotive repair and customer service. As one of the oldest automotive repair shops on the North Shore, Tire World knows that great customer service is a top priority, but not the only one. The management at Tire World knows that communication and trust are essential parts of their customer relations and treat each customer not only as an individual, but as family. If you drop off your vehicle it will be completed in a timely manner, but if you have to wait there are several shops and restaurants to occupy your wait time. The waiting area has been recently updated with new furniture, television, and work areas for anyone who may need to use their laptop computers. Secured wifi and coffee are just two conveniences provided for customers at Tire World. In addition to installing tires for all makes and models of automobiles, tires are also available for lawnmowers, golf carts, and some small equipment (generators, dollies, boat trailers etc.) with most common sized tires in stock! Michelin, BF Goodrich, and Uniroyal tires are just a few brands that you may find in stock for your car, SUV, or light truck. If you are looking
for a specific brand or model of tire they can be special ordered, and in most cases, received the next business day. As a AAA approved repair facility, Tire World employs ASE certified mechanics that are equipped to work on most make and model cars. The technicians receive ongoing training from local classes, as well as classes all across the country. “We diagnose vehicles with some of the most modern diagnostic tools and test equipment and update them on a regular basis” says manager Justin Sticker. Whether your vehicle needs a new water pump installed or a flat tire repaired they understand that each customer's needs and concerns are different. “We strive to remain a leader in automotive repair and our loyal customers have made that possible”, states owner Ethan Anderson. Family and community are important to employees at Tire World. “We all live here and work here and recognize the benefits of buying and selling locally”. Whether you are new in the area and looking for a trustworthy repair facility, or a loyal customer of Tire World, you will receive exceptional customer service and car care you can count on by a team of professionals dedicated to customer satisfaction. Tire World is grateful for the trust and loyalty of their customers who may drive from surrounding parishes. When asked what makes the business so successful, owner Ethan Anderson says “We credit our business longevity to our wonderful customers and their referrals."
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A Dream That Came to Life
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Thinking back, not many adults can say that they had figured out what they’d be doing for the rest of their lives, before they even started middle school. However, for Dr. Crystal Gueldner at the young age of eight, her eyes were opened to the world of optometry-literally. Her elementary school had sent a note home to her mom, referring her to an eye doctor. “I remember putting the glasses on and telling my mom that I could see the outlines of the leaves and the blades of grass,” she says. From then on that yearly trip to the eye doctor became a permanent part of Dr. Gueldner’s life and was always a fond memory. After college, still having that fervor, she decided to apply to optometry school Originally from Palacios, Texas, Dr. Gueldner moved to Louisiana in 2005 to be closer to her mother and to finish her undergraduate degree at Southeastern Louisiana University. Then she went on to receive her doctorate of optometry at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in 2013. It was a dream that came to life through discipline and sacrifices. A seed was planted many years ago that lead to my career. Although I did not know how much my career path would be God driven at the time; there is no doubt looking back that God paved the way. The people I've met along the way, my learning experience as a technician prior to entering optometry school, the drive and passion that still existed to be a business owner; it was that one seed that finally sprouted. Everything from lining up a business plan to opening up my doors that ended up being a year and a half long process, God was there. It is hard to put into words, how many thank you Jesus' I did along the way or those moments that I thought “wow, that went better than expected”. Even down to choosing the Crystal Clear Eyecare team, this alone is a testimony. Mandi
(the clinic administrator) and I were meeting at a local coffee shop, prior to opening up the doors. Every time a discussion came up about the mechanics of running a business and bringing in revenue, we both would slump over. We needed a billing/ claim specialist. We pushed this off for months. I was confident I could do it; however Mandi knows best. She said “yes, you may be able to do it, but you need to concentrate on patient care!” Then a resume showed up in the mail from Mrs. Cheryl. Guess what her specialty was? Yep, Billing and Coding. I did not advertise or let anyone know I was hiring. Since our initial crew, we now have an ophthalmic technician (Adrianna) and a front desk (Jamie) that have all fallen into place at the exact time we needed. As you know, we serve a right-on-time God! The response from the community and feedback from patients has been an affirmation that this indeed is exactly where I need to be. Dr. Gueldner opened Crystal Clear Eyecare in 2016 in downtown Ponchatoula. She offers a variety of services, such as conducting comprehensive eye exams for adults and pediatrics and prescribing glasses and contacts. She can also diagnose and treat medical conditions concerning the eye. Crystal Clear Eyecare is a full retail store carrying a wide variety of high quality eyewear and sunwear, including Costa del Mar, Ray-Ban and INVU Being the first independent optometrist in Ponchatoula, Dr. Gueldner is focused on making her patients’ visits enjoyable. Dr. Gueldner strongly believes in treating her patients with integrity, allowing them the appropriate amount of chair time. “I take pride in connecting with my patients. My goal is to spend time with each patient, listen to every symptom and attempt to address every single one of them. When patients leave here, I want them to be happy.” she says. >
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something that is offensive. You still can't control or change them, but you can let them know when It doesn't make them bad people. It they have trespassed against your just means they have not learned spirit. How will they know any how to handle this particular emo- other way? Do you think that if you tion. They have not accepted Gods treat them back with a bad attitude words of wisdom. that is going to help? I don't think If any of you lacks wisdom, he so. Learn to be nicely assertive should ask God, who gives gener- about how you feel. Then treat your ously to all without finding fault, spouse back in a good and producand it will be given to him. (James tive way. Get creative with your 1:5) attitude. So what kinds of people are Don't put your feelings on the prone to harboring resentment? back burner bad idea. I know first • People-pleasers hand that when we put our feelings • Non-assertive people, on the back burners they mount up • Alcoholic and other addicts more and more negative garbage. If • Pent up past baggage holders you are a woman reading this then • Unforgiving hearts. you know that when your monthly Anyone can learn to free them- rolls around hormones can literally selves of this terrible emotion and get the best of our emotions. Do be content from within, no matter you want to contend with back what others around them are doing burner resentment too? or how they are behaving. UnderGet past issues off your chest. stand that "you cannot control Pray about it and ask God to give another persons behavior", even if you the knowledge to understand it is your own spouse! You have to yourself better. Understand that you get it in your mind that many are only damaging your own spirit aspects of life are not in your power through your own negative emoto control. But you can control tions. God will help you to feel bet"how you react" to your spouse's ter about yourself, spouse and marbehavior. riage when you put your trust and Secondly, you have to speak up faith in Him. He will allow your JJ-NOLA_ChgTimes_May2018_JJ_NOLA-ChgTimes_April2018 4/16/2018 8:16 AM Page 1 when your spouse says or does heart to be free of the burden of RESENTMENT Continued from Page 16
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unforgiveness. Look for the hidden treasure of wisdom and God will bless you. Believe that! The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17) © 2002-2018 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org > GRANDCHILD Continued from Page 12 and trepidation. The first child comes home with the spouse and makes a formal announcement that will eventually change their world. “Mom, Dad, we’re expecting a baby.” There is nothing quite like grandchildren to make up for those years of terror. When our first grandchild came home, I wondered how children that have terrorized your life for years produce the world’s most perfect grandchildren. Perhaps the secret to the world’s most perfect grandchildren lies with their grandparents. Be it far from me to take credit where credit is not due, but the facts line up quite nicely on my side.
These wonderful grandchildren get their “perfect genes” somewhere and definitely not from their parents. The only logical conclusion for the thinking person is Grandparents. That is why we are called “grand.” It is my personal conviction that God gives grandchildren as an apology for children. One grandchild can cause any grandparent to forget hundreds of years of torture. Even the Bible sings the praises of grandchildren. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6 KJV) If perfection is in the eyes of the beholder, I am holding perfection when I hold my grandchildren. ©2018 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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BOOKMARK Continued from Page 24 God directs.
come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in a relationship. Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is misunderstanding or conflict in relationships; they race to the cross; they see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been.
Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up. Broken people, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed Proud people compare themselves because they have nothing to lose. with others and feel worthy of Proud people have a hard time say- honor. ing, “I was wrong; will you please Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a forgive me?” Broken people are quick to admit desperate need for His mercy. failure and to seek forgiveness when Proud people are blind to their true necessary. heart condition. Proud people tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin. Broken people are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.
Broken people walk in the light. Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of. Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.
Proud people are concerned about Proud people don’t think they need the consequences of their sin. Broken people are grieved over the revival, but they are sure that everyone else does. cause, the root of their sin. Broken people continually sense Proud people are remorseful over their need for a fresh encounter their sin, sorry that they got found with God and for a fresh filling of out or caught. His Holy Spirit. Broken people are truly, genuinely © Revive Our Hearts. Used with repentant over their sin, evidenced permission. "Brokenness Bookin the fact that they forsake that sin. marks" available at our store. www. Proud people wait for the other to ReviveOurHearts.com WITNESS Continued from Page 23 exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, "Ma'am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU." Then he gave me this Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand. As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't need them any more. You see, "I am now a Happy Child of the KING and since the address of your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU TO God's little angel who came just in the nick of time and, by so doing, spared my soul from eternity in hell." There was not a dry eye in the
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church. And as shouts of praise and honor to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably. Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love & honor for his son...Except for One. This Father also allowed His Son to go out into a cold and dark world. He received His Son back with joy unspeakable, and as all of heaven shouted praises and honor to The King, The Father sat His beloved Son on a throne far above all principality and power and every name that is named. © 2018 The Old Time Gospel Ministry> Manufacturers Since 1867
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Summer 2018 37
FORGIVE Continued from Page 26 sciences and lighten our cares. This confession is to Christ alone. Scripture does not say to go to a priest or pastor to receive your forgiveness. It can take place in your home, at your job or even in your car. You might like to talk to someone about your faults, but it is not them who will forgive you. Man cannot forgive sins against God, only God can. Finally, I want to address the original question. I want to draw a clear distinction between our feelings and Biblical facts, between our worries and God’s Word. How many times will Christ forgive me? The answer is again found in the Bible. Peter asked Jesus a very important question, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, up to seven times? (Matthew 18:21) Peter was really trying to impress Christ here. The rabbinical rule was three times per
STORMS Continued from Page 3 of trial, sickness, loss, bereavement or disappointment; and we think it is some new peril, when really it is our Savior! We should learn to see Christ in every providence, whether it is bright or painful. The sternest things of life carry in them Divine blessing and good, if only we have faith to receive them. "Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid." As soon as the disciples heard the voice of Jesus, they recognized Him, and their fear changed to joy. So it was with Mary at the tomb. He, whom she took to be the gardener, was her own Master; she knew Him as soon as He spoke her name (John 20:15, 16). Then, there is the story of Peter's venture and failure. Peter was always impulsive. As soon as he heard the voice of Jesus, and knew who it was that was walking on the waves, he was seized with a desire to rush to meet Him. "Tell me to come to You on the water," he cried. Jesus said, "Come!" and for a time Peter walked on the waves and did not sink. His faith was simple, and he was upheld by Divine power. 38 Summer 2018
day and Peter thought he was going to extend it to seven times per day. But watch how Christ replies to Peter. “Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22) What?! Jesus says to the approval-seeking Peter what adds up to four hundred ninety times per day! It is like Christ saying, “ I see Peter you want my approval, but you aren’t quite getting it. Grace and mercy are limitless. Keep forgiving others...at every chance.” If Christ says to a mere human to forgive limitlessly that is how Christ forgives the truly repentant heart today. He does it without limit, without borders and without strings. No penance necessary. You are forgiven, as you ask God to help you change your ways. And those are the facts from the Bible. May this article help you draw to Christ more confidently. Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985-6248652, www.cornerstonenola.com>
But as soon he took his eye off his Lord and looked at the tossing waves, he instantly began to sink. That is the way most of us do. We go a step or two as if we were raised up on eagle’s wings, while our faith is strong and our eye is fixed upon Jesus. But soon, we begin to look at the dangers, and then our faith trembles and we begin to sink. If we, could always keep our eye upon Christ, not thinking about the perils, our faith, will not fail. "Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him." In his fear and helplessness, Peter did the right thing; he turned to Jesus for help, crying, "Lord, save me!" Always remember, this hand never lost a man." Christ never lost a man out of His hand! As soon as Jesus was in the boat with the disciples, the storm was over, the boat was at the land, and the tired rowers, after their long night of toil, dropped their oars and all went on shore. This is how it will be at the end of life, if we have Christ with us. As the morning breaks, we will pass out of the worldly storms and into the quiet calm and will find ourselves on the shore of eternal blessedness! Save the Nations Ministries>
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