Your Guide to Living a Victorious Life Your Guide to Living a Victorious Life
The Newspaper of the Christian Community
Volume 19, Number 5 www.changingtimes.info
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
You are invited to come dine with me, from now through all eternity. Believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and dine with Jesus as your host. To live in heaven eternally, all you must do is R.S.V.P.
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How do you live above the chances, changes and circumstances in life? Jesus gives us a grand invitation to come and join Him where He is at work and receive His rest. Only the disciple of Jesus can have that kind of rest when his life is filled with chaos. Let's keep in mind the context of this grand paragraph in (Matthew 11:25-30). Judgment awaits those who have had the greatest opportunity to respond to Christ's ministry, but have rejected Him. The context of these words deals with the unreasonable and determined rejection of both Jesus from the people who lived in the cities where Christ had performed miracles. Those who were rejecting Jesus were religious teachers and leaders in the Jewish community. They were wise and intelligent and acquaint-
ed with religious truth. But they were not humble in spirit. They were arrogant in their attitude toward God. Jesus said to these people, "Every one therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33). The Great Exchange Our salvation was completed through a great transaction (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:8; Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus Christ died in our place on the cross to give us His righteous standing before the heavenly Father. It is not something we merit or deserve in any manner. It does not depend upon our virtue or self-righteousness. The foundation is the death of Jesus Christ. He died for me. "God demonstrated His own love toward me, in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me" (Romans 8:5). He chose to die for me and pay my debt to the righteousness of God. The apostle Paul wrote, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). Our substitute died in our place on the cross (Isa. 53:4-6). The grand transaction can take place the moment you put your
From the Editor faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. "He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). When He died on the cross, He died for all of your sins, every one of them. And when you trusted Him as your Savior, you appropriated all His righteous standing before the Father in heaven. Now you did not merit that or earn it in any way. God bestowed that right standing with Himself by His infinite grace and tender mercy. We have a new legal standing before God that can never change. That new relationship gives us all kinds of privileges and corresponding responsibilities. The moment we believe on Christ we are united with Christ. This new relationship with God gives us everything we need to live the Christian life. With this new relationship with God, we can praise Him even when we hurt and are discouraged. Only the humble of heart understand the teachings of Christ. Jesus emphasized humble attitudes.
His delight is to see people humbly trusting in God. God does not delight in sin and judgment, but calls men to repentance and faith. Arrogance shuts the door; humility opens it wide. The humble stands in a true knowledge of God. God's delight is in communicating His grace to the humble in heart, who have a childlike simple faith in Him. Only those who are willing to receive it can understand the good news of Jesus Christ. God's delight Jesus, the Father’s Son, has received full authority over Satan (Mat. 4:1-11) and demons (Mat. 8:28-32); over human ailments and handicaps (Mat. 9:20-22; 9:1-8), winds and waves (Mat. 8:23-27), body and soul (Mat. 9:1-8); life and death (Mat. 9:18-19, 23-26); His own disciples and all other people; to save them (Mat. 9:13), and to judge them (Mat. 7:22, 23), authority over heaven and earth (Mat. 28:18). Jesus has what the sinner needs. See INVITATION on Page
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FROM THE EDITOR INVITATION Continued from Page 3 From start to finish salvation is of grace. Promise To All Who Come To Jesus (Mat. 11:28) In the mind of Jesus there was no contradiction between the sovereign, electing grace and the free invitation of the gospel. The invitation is to all who are needy. "Come" means to believe or receive and has the idea of "come here" with the "here" implied. It is like (John 6:35), when Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." The search for God always ends in Jesus Christ. "Come to Me all you who are weighed down beneath your burdens." Is your religion a thing of endless rule and regulations, full of "Thou shalt not"? Come to Jesus Christ and be set free. Have you been caught up in some cult, or religious leader who has placed obligations upon you? Have you imposed upon yourself some man-made list of demands that supposedly you will be a better Thinking Out Loud
A Happy Old Age Someone says that the secret of a happy old age is a well-watched past. The secret of any today is a wellwatched yesterday. And there is no better way to keep our days beautiful and free from memories that vex us afterwards than to tell Jesus every night all that we have said and done during the day. By and by even in the best life, we come to a door which opens up into old age. Many are disposed to feel that this door can lead to nothing beautiful. We cannot go on with our former tireless energy, our crowded days and our great achievements. But there is altogether too much letting go, too much dropping of tasks, too much falling out of the pilgrim march, when old age comes on. We may not be able to run swiftly as before. We tire much more easily. But old age may be very beautiful and full of fruit. The door opens into a period of great possibilities of usefulness, a true crowning of life. Old age is not a blot, if it is what it should be. It is not a withering of the life, but a ripening. It is not something to dread, but is the completion of God’s plan. - J.R. Miller
Christian if you obey it? Jesus alone provides "rest" He will give the power and Rejuvenation, to refresh you like living water. It is far more than mere rest; it is a transformation. Jesus offers us peace of mind, heart and assurance of salvation in place of the weary burden of legalism. Men can never obtain this rest unless Christ gives it. How does Jesus give this rest? This is the exchanged life. It is the life of grace. It is the life Christ alone can give to those who are weary and heavy burdened. We are accepted into God's favor through the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1; 8:1). Only Jesus Christ gives rest. Other religious teachers may give you a selfrighteousness, or self-delusion, but only Jesus Christ saves! He invites us to "take His yoke" (Mat. 11:29). Jesus says, "Become my students, submit yourselves to My instructions and learn from Me." He invites us to come and submit ourselves to Him. We cannot do that without humbling ourselves and trusting Him. What Jesus requires is "light." He demands simple trust in Him and obedience. It brings peace and joy. He frees us from spiritual slavery. He carries the load when we are yoked up with Him. When we yoke up with Him, we serve Him spontaneously, eagerly and enthusiastically from a heart of love. Martin Luther said, "Christ's burden is light because He helps us to bear it, and when it becomes too heavy for us, He puts Himself under the load with us." Jesus offers a sovereign invitation. Where is your greatest need today? What is the heavy load you are carrying? What is the pain, hurt, grief, guilt, burden that you bear? His invitation includes everything in our lives. Will you hand them over to Him and as you do, you receive His sustaining presence. He gives forgiveness in exchange
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for our guilt. He exchanges rest for our anxious worries. He gives peace in place of your commotion. How do you yoke up with Jesus? It begins by making yourself available to Him. As we submit to Him, He meets our need. There is no limit to His abounding love, mercy and grace. He is there to help when we need it. Have you experienced this kind of grace? Have you come to a place in your spiritual life where you can say I am walking in that grace by faith? It is a daily walk. It is not something magical. It is a moment-by-moment trusting Christ to live His life through you. If you are already a Christian
will you commit your life once and for all to Christ as Lord of your life? Just pray, "Lord I do know You as my Savior. I want You to be the Lord and Master of my life. Here is my life. I give it to You. You live it through me." This kind of life begins by asking Christ to come into your heart by faith. If you have never done so pray with me this simple prayer, "Lord Jesus I now believe that I am a sinner, and that You died for me on the cross and rose from the dead to save me. I want You to be my personal Lord and Savior. I ask You to save me right now. And YES, I accept Your invitation! Save the Nations Ministries >
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Table of Contents From the Editor Men Women Teens Children Seniors Marriage Education Health Financial Feature Article The Christian Journey Guiding Light The Cross Victorious Living Grace Christian Living Relationships Deliverance From The Pulpit Recipes
3 5 8 11 14 17 20 22 24 28 31 33 34 35 36 39 40 41 42 43 44
What’s Your Unique Purpose In God’s Big Story?
By Chip Ingram
What’s your unique purpose in God’s big story? Your purpose in God’s story is to let Jesus live His life in you and through you. I would be hard-pressed to find a believer who hasn’t wrestled with his or her search for their unique purpose. Some wonder if they’re being called to a particular vocation or family structure or full-time ministry; others are searching for insight to help them make next-step decisions. Sometimes they’ve hit multiple roadblocks and need to examine their direction. Can you relate? While these questions should be prayerfully considered, the concept of purpose within the Kingdom is actually simple and, surprisingly, the same for every single believer. Your purpose in God’s story is to let Jesus live His life in you and through you. How do you feel reading that? Does it leave you excited? Relieved? Disappointed? I suspect some of us would prefer a fortune cookie delivering the news of our purpose, tying up the loose ends and answering those vocational and directional questions. Be encouraged. The work of fulfilling your purpose as a mini-expression of the reality of Jesus on earth — not getting more of God, but allowing God to get more of you — will be more beautiful and exhausting and thrilling than any easy target highlighting your exact destination. How do we embark upon the journey of letting Jesus live through us? Let’s explore 3 ways to build a foundation for allowing Christ to live His life through you. 1. Live a Jesus Lifestyle. God calls us to live out our faith in Christ with such consistency and integrity that it impacts our relationships, money, time, speech, and even our secret motives and thoughts. We’re called to a lifestyle. This standard of bringing our behavior in line with our new nature (like Jesus) tends to trip up many Christians who are learning to walk. Instead of a lifestyle of faith and knowing our worth, we slip back into old ways of self-improvement, trying to look good for God. As a believer, I have lived seasons
when I was more concerned with the to-do list than the to-be list. My first few years as a new believer, I confess that I was caught in that vicious cycle. My faith was secure, but my misunderstanding about my worth in God’s eyes hindered my transformation and my understanding of my purpose. I was very concerned with doing for God and not becoming more like Jesus. Living out our purpose with a Jesus lifestyle is not a checklist, but begins with an understanding of our worth in Him. 2. Live in Community. The cocoon God has provided for us is the perfect environment for supernatural growth and transformation: His Church. Just as a caterpillar experiences transformation in a cocoon, a Christian experiences transformation within community. Just as a caterpillar experiences transformation in a cocoon, a Christian experiences transformation within community. In the body, where you’re in relationship with other believers, you can experience love while you live out your purpose and learn to walk with confidence. Even when life throws you a trip hazard and you stumble, brothers and sisters are encouraging you along the way, cheering for you with every step forward. Through the community of believers, you can learn to appropriate grace and understand how to go about the business of letting Christ live through you. Have you left your destructive lifestyle behind? Are you ready to live a life on the edge? Check out this article and learn about getting fully prepared. 3. Adopt a Cosmic Awareness. Our personal transformation is bigger than any of us could possibly imagine, bigger than our families and spheres of influence. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4–6) We are part of something infinitely bigger than our own lives. In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul tells us who we are in Christ, urging us to live as transformed people according to our new identity. Now in chapter 4, he is pulling back the curtain to explain the enormity of
what’s at stake. What is at stake is the reality of the Godhead’s unity expressed in and through this miraculous creation He calls the church. What is at stake is the reality of the Godhead’s unity expressed in and through this miraculous creation He calls the church. God’s plan includes us expressing the Godhead’s unity through our life on earth. As you’re discovering your purpose to let Jesus live through you and grasping your place in God’s bigger story, your transformation is both taking you back to your original, unique purpose and forward into eternity with Him. The Big Picture But when our lives aren’t transformed, when our attitudes, relationships and behaviors don’t reflect what we have confessed and believe, it’s a clear indication that we’re missing out on this bigger picture. So, what’s the antidote? Adopting a cosmic awareness of God’s plan requires the beautiful, 10/25/21, 5:20 PM
soul-wrenching work of reading, thinking, praying and discussing what we’re learning about God and what He’s doing in our lives. We need to return to the fundamental questions about why we are here, what really matters, and what our See PURPOSE on Page 37
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Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. – Proverbs 3:34
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The Man Who Found God in the Desert By Greg Laurie
Billy Graham used to tell a story about when he was holding a crusade in a certain city and had a letter he wanted to mail. But he didn’t know where the post office was, so he asked a boy walking by if he could tell him where the post office was.
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The little guy told him how to get there, and Billy thanked him and said, “I’m preaching here tonight, and I’m going to tell people how to get to Heaven. I would like you to come tonight and hear me preach.” “Well, I don’t think I’m going to come,” said the boy. “You don’t even know the way to the post office. How can you tell me how to get to Heaven?” The Bible, the user’s manual of life, tells us exactly what we need to do to get to Heaven. For instance, if you called me and needed directions somewhere, my first question to you would be, “Where are you?” Before I can tell you how to get somewhere, I need to know where you are. God asked that very question of Adam in the Garden of Eden after he ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world. Adam was hiding. And when the Lord came walking through the garden in the cool of the day, He said, “Adam, where are you?” Of course, God was aware of Adam’s whereabouts What He really was saying was this: “Well, Adam, you ate the forbidden fruit.
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How did that go? Are you happy with the way things turned out?” I think the Lord could ask the same question of us today. Where are you? How is your life going? Are you happy with how things have turned out? Are you wondering if you’ve missed the whole point of what life is all about? Even the most beautiful, famous, and wealthy people eventually have to face their own mortality. The Bible tells the story of a man who
was very successful and had everything this world has to offer. He had money, power, and fame. He even had religion. On the outside he looked like he had it together, but he didn’t. He was empty on the inside. And he was searching. He was a government official in charge of the treasury of Ethiopia, which was a powerful kingdom at the time. But he wasn’t finding what he was looking for in the religion of his culture. He had heard about the city of Jerusalem, the home of the Jewish people—the people who had a relationship with God. So he went to Jerusalem searching for God, but he didn’t find God in Jerusalem. Sadly, the Judaism of that day had become a lot of rituals and regulations, and he didn’t find what he was looking for. But he did obtain a copy of some Scripture, basically a hand-lettered scroll of Isaiah, which is now one of the books of the Old Testament Meanwhile, God directed a man named Philip to hang out in the des-
ert and wait for him. So as this government official rode through the desert, reading out loud from (Isaiah 53), Philip ran to him and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30 NKJV). He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (verse 31 NKJV). The he invited Philip to sit with him in his chariot. And beginning from that Scripture, the Bible says that Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. This man knew the Bible was important, just as a lot of people do today. But sometimes they don’t know what to make of it. They need someone to show them the way, and that is exactly what Philip did. He told him how to have a relationship with God. So, this Ethiopian official believed in Jesus and was even baptized that day. Becoming a Christian doesn’t take years. It doesn’t take months. It doesn’t even take hours. It can happen in just moments, just like it did for this man. And the Bible tells us that he went on his way rejoicing. Religion didn’t do that for him. In fact, religion disappointed him. Maybe you’ve looked at Christians and thought, “These Christians are very weak people. They’re kind of losers. And this whole thing they’re into, this Christianity, is just a big crutch.” But Christianity isn’t about religion; it’s about a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And by the way, Christianity isn’t a crutch; it’s an entire hospital, and I need all the help I can get. I used to have a tough exterior, due in part to the way I was raised by my alcoholic mother. When I See THE MAN on Page
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Christ’s Burden Should Be Ours
THE MAN Continued from Page 6
By Erik Raymond
was 17, I felt as though I were 70, because I had seen things no young man should ever see. So, I had a tough façade, and I would hang around in Newport Beach and lean against a wall, trying to look cool. The Christians would come down to where I hung out, and they would hand out their little booklets. Most of the time they bought my tough-guy act and walked on. But sometimes they gave me their booklets to read, and I’d grab them and shove them into my pocket like I didn’t care. But when I went home, I’d take all those booklets from every religious group imaginable and put them in a drawer. And every now and then I’d pull out the drawer and empty it onto my bed. Then, as a 17-year-old kid, I would sit there trying to figure out the meaning of life. I wanted to know the truth. However, like the Ethiopian official, I needed someone to show me the way. Thankfully, God tells us how we can have a relationship with Him. You can find what you’re searching for and start rejoicing today, just like the man from Ethiopia. But first what you need to do is believe. You need to believe in Jesus Christ. It isn’t religion; it’s a relationship. It isn’t rules and regulations; it’s real freedom from the power of sin. Whatever it is that you’re facing today, whatever problems or challenges you have, I want you to know that God has a future for you. And that future is in Heaven—if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. Greg Laurie Copyright © 2021 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. >
Have you ever watched a sporting event and noticed the coaches talking into their microphones while covering their faces with their laminated sheets? We want to know what they are saying. We wish we could listen in and hear the dialogue between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator. There are certain places where we don’t have the credentials to listen in. It’s part of life. This is what makes a passage like (John 12) so arresting. We have no business listening in on a conversation between members of the Trinity. But that’s what we see here. In it, we have a keyhole view into the affections of the Trinity. Son’s Resolve The Lord Jesus discloses that his soul is troubled because of the encroaching shadow of Calvary. But he does not shrink back from his divinely ordained course. Instead, he harkens a doxological imperative reflecting his heart, as he looks to the cross. Jesus says, “Father, glorify your name” (John 12:28). This is so beautiful. It’s so revealing Jesus is at this point in his ministry, feeling the unimaginable and equally unfathomable weight of his impending hour upon the cross, and what is his motivation? What is his contemplation? What is his declaration? It is the glory of God. There is no question that when Jesus had Calvary’s horror in his site, he had the glory of God on his mind. The glory of God serves to motivate him. It consoles him. It Licensed
provokes his prayers. But the keyhole into the divine correspondence continues. Father’s Response The Father echoes with a divine thunderclap in response: “Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again'” (John 12:28). The Father responds with the affirmative, declaring that this is what he is doing. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ towers above all things as the supreme demonstration of God’s delight in his glory. It’s a keyhole into his passion for his glory. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ towers above all things as the supreme demonstration of God’s delight in his glory. It’s a keyhole into his passion for his glory. When Jesus beheld the agony of Calvary, he was overcome by this singular holy imperative, “Father, glorify your name.” Our Response When you meditate upon the cross, what do you dwell on? This passage instructs us to see the glory of God. The worth and weightiness of God colors the cross from its conception in eternity past to its completion in real-time. And the glory of God, radiating from the cross of Christ, will be our eternal anthem. This too should be the passionate cry of all who follow Christ. “Father, glorify your name” should be our burden also. Brothers and sisters, look upon the hill of Golgotha where Jesus declared this holy imperative with his heavenly resolve. Marvel at his singular focus. Pray for conformity to his will. All of this so that God might be glorified in you. Erik Raymond Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved >
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The Journey's Been Long But The Tide Is About To Change By Stephanie Reck
Circumstances, trials, crisis, let downs have captured the people of God. Some have succumbed to the hardships of life. Some have even given up hope, while others have lost their faith and doubted God's plans and purposes for their lives. This journey has been long and daunting. The journey that you have been on has been unrelenting in trials and hardships. You may have even wondered at times what you have done to have such pain. Sometimes you have felt alone on this journey and that you have been misunderstood and even rejected by others closest to you.
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You have not known which path to take and have even found yourself going in circles or around the same "mountains" again and again. You have tried to express to others how you have felt but it became apparent that you were not being understood. You may have lost all or most of your traveling companions on this journey. Others left because they could no longer figure you out or you realized at some point you were traveling two different journeys. You may have experienced health aliments and even emotional distress during this time. You asked for prayer and maybe have been standing, waiting for your healing; and you are still waiting. You are not even sure which direction to take anymore. You feel you are in a waiting period, but you seem to still be waiting; waiting on what
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and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." (Ruth 4:15) Ruth waited a long time for things in her life to be restored. I am sure she had no idea how God was bringing these things to pass in her life. You may be in a place where you have hoped and nothing has happened or you did hope for something but it did not last. You may have deep discouragement and be very disillusioned about God. Ruth was so bitter about her circumstances she asked that her name be changed to Mara, which means bitter. What if she would have given up before her life was restored. Keep hoping, keep believing, and keep trusting God is a restorer. The time has come for many to receive a new direction for your life. There is a new tide that is turning for the people of God who will flow in it. This new direction will not be familiar; you will not have chartered this territory before. It may not look exactly how you planned, but it is exactly what God has planned for you and it is good. It See JOURNEY on Page 37
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you say, "those prayers, promises, healings, restorations, and direction." You have held out and waited as you have seen the desires of your heart upon your enemies. The moms who have been praying relentlessly for their prodigal to return, the single waiting for their Godly spouse, family members waiting for family relationships to be healed and restored and for the sick waiting to be healed; these are the times to wait and trust a new journey will begin. It is not God's intent to bring tragedy, pain, heartache and suffering for you entire life and you never receive good from the evil or harm that has come into your life. There will be a day of reckoning, a day of restoration. What have you been holding out on? What do you still believe God for? Or what have you lost hope in? Be honest before the Lord, He already knows your heart. Is there something you have given up on already because the wait became too long? I will encourage you to read the entire chapter of Ruth. Ruth lost everything, husband and two sons and was beyond childbearing age. Her future looked bleak and hopeless. But then, God restored everything back to Ruth. "And may He be a restorer of life
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The Haves and the Have-Nots In Which Family Do You Belong? By David Jeremiah
“Do your children complain about boredom?” Only in America. In fact, parents in foreign countries think that’s a strange question. “How many toys did you have growing up?” Middle-age parents say 0 to 10. Today, typical 5-year-olds have 250 toys. But kids are bored today. Guess what? Children aren’t the only ones in our society complaining of boredom. High tech toys often masquerade adult boredom. A thin line separates the godly use of possessions and pursuits from the ungodly. Are we walking in the Spirit of God or the spirit of this world? Missing the target of “godliness with contentment” by an inch has the same result as missing it by a mile (1 Timothy 6:6, 9-10). Close isn’t good enough. We need to take a good look at our lives. The Haves and the Have-Nots Let’s picture a thin line that separates contentment from discontentment. The line is a street—Gratitude Avenue—the main road into Anywhere Acres. This could be your neighborhood. Turn into Anywhere Acres and drive down Gratitude Avenue. There’s something strange here. On the right side of the street, there’s a sense of peace and contentment that’s missing from the left side. People on the right side are thankful, and therefore content. Those on the left side aren’t. Let’s call them the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots.” Though everyone seems to have the same stuff, the Haves think they have all they need. The Have-Nots never think they do. It’s the difference between being content—or not. How’d this difference develop in a neighborhood where you’d expect everyone to be about the same? The Haves …have the right attitude. They decided that discontentment is destructive. Maybe they had experienced the negative effects of being discontent—greed, jealousy, arguing, and indebtedness. The more they tried to satisfy their kids’ appetites for entertainment, the more bored and ungrateful the kids became. So, the parents said,
“We’re going to learn to be content” (Philippians 4:11). An attitude of gratitude—thankful for what they have instead of resentful for what they don’t—seems to permeate their homes. …have the right perspective. God has promised always to provide what we need, not what we think we need. We didn’t always see the difference (Philippians 4:19); it all belongs to God anyway. We decided to focus on managing instead of accumulating (1 Chronicles 29:11, 14; 1 Corinthians 4:2). …have the right balance. They were hard-working and diligent, wanted the best for their families. But there are certain lines they won’t cross; certain sacrifices they won’t make just to move up society’s ladder. Home seemed more important than house, family and faith more important than fun, and memories more important than money and material (Philippians 3:12-16). The Have Nots …feel left behind. The grass always looks greener elsewhere than in their own front yard. That’s because most of their looking is done in the slick magazines that arrive in the mail, at the fantasy shows they watch on television. They’re missing the green pastures and still waters where God makes provision for His people (Psalm 23:2). ...feel left out. They are so insecure about who they are that they look to others for total affirmation. And it’s always those who have more, do more, and go where they can’t go that they look at. They haven’t yet discovered that true friendship and fellowship is a by-product of mutual professions, not material possessions (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). …feel left over.
The Have-Nots shudder at leftovers: hand-me-down clothes, leftover meals… But they use leftovers because their credit cards are maxed out from spending on the “image” parts of their lives. However, they don’t like it and don’t want anyone to know. They think they deserve better than they’ve got (2 Corinthians 9:15). My question for you, dear friend, is this: If you moved into Anywhere Acres and chose to live on Gratitude Avenue, which side of the street
would a realtor say is best suited for you—with the Haves or the HaveNots? May you and I grow more grateful, and thereby more content, from this day forward.> This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah’s devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points >
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6 Steps To Take When Your Emotions Spiral Out Of Control By Darla Wilkinson
Jane was sitting in a pew on Sunday morning, her mind still reeling from the week’s disheartening events: A flat tire in the rain on Monday. An overdue electric bill on Thursday. A fight with her husband that morning. She was in no mood to worship the Lord. All Jane wanted were a few pats on the back, a couple comforting girlfriend hugs, and the words, “It’ll all be okay in the end.” She waited in “her” pew, yet one by one her friends waltzed by without even noticing her. Jane was devastated. Rejection, loneliness, and
anger came rushing to the surface. Part of Jane wanted to throw herself in the aisle and proceed to kick, scream, and cry! Yet the rest of her didn’t want to show weakness. She managed to sneak out of the sanctuary to the bathroom without making eye contact with anyone. And then, in the privacy of the bathroom stall, she burst into tears. Jane wept and wept, wondering why her emotions were so strong. She couldn’t help but feel something was deeply wrong. Something beyond her power or ability to fix. We can all identify with Jane’s plight at some level. We’ve felt the volcanic eruption of emotions. And good news awaits each believer! The resurrection life given to God’s children includes the re-creation of every part of us into His likeness, including our emotions (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:5–6).
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When allowed to take over, emotions can wrongly dictate how we see God, the world, and ourselves. But He has not left us alone. His patient work in us never ceases (Phil. 1:6). When our emotions are out-of-balance, whether positive or negative, it is always an opportunity for God to continue this process of renewal. But the question remains: “How do I practically respond in such times?” Though there’s no formula, having steps to follow can help you identify the dynamics behind your emotions and apply the truth that will set you free (John 8:32). Think of the following steps as stones along a path leading you to God’s truth: 1. Name the Emotion(s): This can be more challenging for “internal” processors. We often have many feelings at work simultaneously. Work on this until you’re satisfied you’ve identified them all. If you get stumped, complete #2 and return to this step. 2. Identify the Event(s): Identify what happened right before you began experiencing these emotions (maybe a thought that came to your mind or the way someone responded to you). The event might be recent or long ago. Go back to the very beginning, no matter how far you have to go. 3. Clarify Your Thoughts: Narrow in on what you were thinking during the emotions and events. There are always thoughts behind our feelings. Some examples might be: This isn’t fair. She doesn’t like me. I can’t keep going. I’m all alone. I don’t understand. 4. Examine the Messages/Lies: Clarify what messages and/or lies are behind these thoughts. It’s helpful to ask the following questions: * What do my thoughts say about God? (About who He is? About
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how He works?) * What do my thoughts say about me? * What do my thoughts say about the world? (About how God works in the world? About my connection to God in this world?) 5. Seek Out Truth: Once you have identified the messages and/or lies, it is vital to see how these compare with what God has said in Scripture about Himself, you, and this world. Ask other sisters in the Lord to help you apply the truth. You might also want to journal applicable truths you hear during sermons, Bible studies, discussions with friends, or read during your devotional times. 6. Pray: Ask the Lord to strengthen your faith to believe His precious promises. Allow other sisters to intercede for you as well. Lone Ranger Alert: Many times, our heart does not grasp what our head knows to be true. The Holy Spirit will help, and often works through other Christians. We need brothers and sisters in the church to walk with us, pray for us, and speak His truth into our feeble hearts. The apostle Paul tells us in (Ephesians 4:15) that God gives grace so we will speak the truth in love to each other. The result is that “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” In other words, we cannot look more like Christ on our own. He has given His church to help us. With these practical tools in your bag, God’s Word as your guide, and Truth-speaking friends by your side, the Holy Spirit will lead you to experience the resurrection life of Christ now no matter how great or small, short or long the trial. > Darla Wilkinson © 2001-2021 Revive Our Hearts Thinking Out Loud A Ministry of Love We should not be content to let a single day pass in which we do not speak some gracious word or do a kindness that will add to the happiness, the hope or the courage and strength of another life. Such ministries of love will redeem our days of toil and struggle from dreariness and earthliness and make them radiant in God’s eye and in the record they make for eternity. - J.R. Miller
Beginning a Christian Life By J R Miller
Every young person should be a Christian. All the heart's truest instincts would lead the soul to God. Christ alone can answer our cravings and satisfy our longings. In Him alone, can anyone reach the things that are true and right and lovely. How may one begin to be a Christian? The hunger is in the heart, the desire to take Christ as Savior and Master; but many a young person
passes through a long experience of painful anxiety and perplexity, in finding the way into the light of faith and peace. This is a common experience. Young people long to have someone to speak to them about Christ, so that they can voice their heart's yearnings, and come out in joyful acceptance and confession of Christ. They love Christ, and want to speak of their love; but they need the touch of human love to help them. Happy are the young people who at this critical point in their spiritual history — have wise, gentle, patient guidance. To begin to be a Christian is to commit your life to Him — and that you may without fear, doubt, or reserve, trust Him. It is not by our love for Christ that we are saved — but by Christ's love for us. Faith in Christ is simply the acceptance of divine friendship. You need not trouble yourself about the smallness of your love, or the feebleness of your faith; your hope and your security are not measured either by your love or by your faith — but by the infinite love and strength in
Teens which you are trusting. The first thing, is to get your relation with Christ clearly established. He loves you, and you receive His love. He would take your life as it is, with all its sins, faults, and shortcomings — as you put it into His hands. You need not understand it all; there is no reason why you should. You believe that Christ has all power, all wisdom, and all love. His hands are safe hands, skillful hands, gentle hands, hands of love. He can take your soul, which sin has hurt and stained no matter how sorely — and restore it to beauty. Faith is the committing of the life to Him for salvation, for guidance, for care and keeping, for time and eternity. You must receive Christ as your Savior and Lord. A Christian is one who follows Christ. This means the surrender of the whole life to Him. The heart must be given up. There can be no Christian life, without love
The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17
to Jesus. Jesus demands the first place in the affections of His followers. If anyone loves father or mother, brother or sister, wife or child, more than Him — he is not worthy of Jesus, and cannot be His disciple. Soldiers may obey implicitly without love; but the most perfect obedience, if the heart is not in it, would not make one a Christian. We might devote our life and strength to Christian work, toiling unwearied in the service of the church, giving our money lavishly for the advancement of Christianity or for the relief of suffering — and yet not be Christians. Love for Christ must be the motive at the heart of all our work for Christ. "Do you love Me?" is the test. But the heart draws the whole life after it If we love Jesus — we will obey Jesus. "If you love Me See CHRISTIAN LIFE on Page 12
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TEENS CHRISTIAN LIFE Continued from Page 11 — keep My commandments." "You are My friends — if you do whatever I command you." We cannot accept Christ as our Savior, and not at the same time accept Him as our Lord and Master. We must begin at once to obey Him; and our obedience must be without reserve, without condition, without question. It must also be cheerful and gladhearted — not compulsory, reluctant, or constrained. Christians are soldiers of Christ — and the soldier's first duty is to obey. Whether the will of Christ is made known to us in His word, through our own conscience, or in providence — we should always promptly and cheerfully accept and obey. It may not be always easy — it may be very hard and costly; but when the will of our Master is made known, if we are His followers we can only obey, and our obedience should be sweet with love. Consecration is nothing but being a Christian from the center of our heart to the tips of our fingers, and being a Christian always, wherever we go. "Whose I am, and whom I serve" was one great Christian's idea of the life we should live. A Christian belongs to Christ, and
knows it and remembers it wherever they are. Jesus spoke Mary's name — she did not recognize Him before, she supposed Him to be the gardener; but when He said "Mary!" she knew Him, and from her heart said, "Rabbi" It is always just that way. We love Him — because He first loved us; we know Him — because He first calls us. He speaks our name, and then we say "Rabbi, Master!" Christ is ours — and we are Christ's. That is becoming a Christian. Then, being a Christian is living out that same life of love, obedience, surrender, and service, through all the days. There is something else; he who loves Christ, loves his Christian brethren also. To begin to be a Christian is to remove from the arctic zone of cold selfishness — into the warm summer zone of Christian love. We cannot make too much of our relation to Christ — that is the beginning of it all; but we have relations to others as well. We are to live in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of
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wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails." The Christian life that does not make us gentler, more patient, more unselfish, is not realizing its true meaning. A Christian life is a new Christ-life lived out in this world — we are to be Christ to others. When we love Christ, we will want our brother to love him too. We will strive to bring others to Him to find the same joy we have found. We will seek to bring back the one who is wandering. The heart of the Christian should be a well of living water, a fount of holy and blessed influences, whose streams flow in all directions, carrying comfort, cheer, encouragement, help, and gladness to every other life they reach. Mere orthodoxy of belief does not make one a Christian, nor does attention to ecclesiastical rites and rules. A Christian is one in whom the life of Christ pulses, and the love of Christ glows and burns. When should a young person become a Christian? At once, is the answer! Not an hour should be lost. The whole life belongs to Christ,
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not the mature years alone — but the earliest days as well; not the ripe fruit merely — but the bud and the flower as well; not the mid-day only, with its heat and burden — but the morning, too, with its sweetness and freshness. One cannot come too early to Christ. Listen to the first gentle voices in your heart. Yield to the first influences of the divine Spirit. Give Christ the beginnings of your life. It is a serious mistake for young people to wait until they can begin with deep experiences and conspicuous activities; they should begin as little children. Christian life is a school; we are to enter the lowest grades and become learners, advancing day by day. "Come unto me, and learn of me," is the Master's invitation. The best time to begin a Christian life is in childhood, when the heart is tender, when it is easy to learn.> 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 2021 >
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How to Use His Word By Karen White
The Bible is made up of over thirty thousand scriptures. As the scriptures unfold within the pages of the Bible, we find examples of godly and ungodly people, historical events, and glimpses into the future, God's promises and His expectations. It is all there from Genesis to Revelations. The problem is not a lack of information it is that with more than thirty thousand scriptures, one does not always know where to locate the information quickly. Therefore, we sometimes give up the search without knowing what God's take is on the situation. Below are some topics or situations and verses that may be helpful in those circumstances: 1. I am lonely and I have no friends: (Isaiah 41:10) "Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Matthew 28:20) "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Psalms 139:1,2) "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar." 2. I am sad someone I love is sick, or I did not get my way in a situation: (Psalms 147:3) "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalms 34:18) "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalms 55:22) "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." 3. I am scared. I am being bullied at school: (Psalms 23:4) "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Isaiah 41:13) "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Jeremiah 29:11) "For I know
the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Hebrews 13:6) "So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"" (Deuteronomy 31:6) "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Psalms 27:1) "The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?" 4. I feel betrayed and or unloved; my best friend no longer talks to me: (Psalms 147:3) "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Romans 8:39) "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:31) "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" 5. I feel guilty because I know I have sinned: (1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (Romans 8:34) "Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (2 Chronicles 7:14) "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 6. I don't like the way I look: (1 Samuel 16:7) "But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Peter 3:3-4) "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (Psalms 139:14) "I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Genesis 1:27) "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." 7. I am worried about a test at school: (Galatians 2:20) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Philippians 4:13) "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Romans 8:28) "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose." No matter what we are feeling God has the answer for us within His scriptures. His word reminds us that
we were created by Him and that He loves, protects, provides, and forgives us. It also tells us that He wants to hear from us. He is always available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty- five days a year, anytime and anywhere. He is our awesome God and has given us a wonderful gift-His Holy Word, it is ours to use. Dear Lord, thank You for Your precious gift, the Bible. I ask that we desire to use Your Holy Word to help us in our day to day lives. I ask that along with the desire we are granted wisdom so that we may understand the scriptures. In Jesus's name, amen. Karen is a Christian wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a retired teacher who now spends her time reading and writing. ©2021 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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Why Are You Hiding? - A Children's Story By Peter Stone
Ginger the cat padded soundlessly through the backyard's grassy lawn, taking care to avoid puddles of water left here and there by spring rain. It was dusk, her favorite time of day. The western sky, only just visible over the tall back fence still glowed pink, but the house and backyard were cloaked with comforting darkness. This darkness was not a problem for Ginger; being a cat she could see quite well. Sniffing the air, Ginger savored the spring fragrances, her slowly shedding warm winter coat shielding her from the cold wind blowing through the yard. She placed her right paw on a leaf but quickly
jerked it back when the leaf buzzed. Now everyone knows that leaves do not buzz, so this was a mystery that Ginger simply had to investigate. Crouching down, she pointed her ears at the leaf and with her night vision was able to see a small brown head poking out. It was a beetle "What are you doing under this leaf, little beetle? I thought that beetles came out at dusk and flew around?" "I'm hiding," answered the little brown beetle. "Really why are you hiding?" The beetle glanced backwards under the leaf, then hesitantly looked back at Ginger, "I'm hiding because I'm embarrassed." Ginger rested her fury chin on her paws. "Why are you embarrassed, little beetle?" "Umm, it's because my bottom's glowing," whispered the beetle shyly.
"Oh!" exclaimed Ginger, trying so very hard not to laugh. "You've just hatched, have you?" "Ah, yes. Just a little while ago," answered the beetle. "Well, I've got good news for you," began Ginger, "you do not need to worry about your bottom glowing. You see - you are a firefly. Your bottom is supposed to glow." "But I don't want to be teased by the other bugs! Look what they are doing to my brother up there!" protested the beetle. Ginger looked up and saw another firefly flitting through the air, his rear end glowing with a gentle yellow light. Turning her ears in that direction, she could hear the mosquitoes, flies, and some black beetles taunting him. They were saying things like this: "Hey, Glowbutt! Come and shed some light on me!" "Don't look now, but your bottom's on fire!" "Look everyone, its Lightning Butt to the rescue!" Ginger looked back at the firefly hiding under the leaf. "You know, little firefly, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, you should be proud!" The beetle lifted his young head cautiously, "Why?" "Because," continued Ginger, "you are the light of the world. God put His
light in you so that you can shine in the darkness and show everyone how beautiful His light is. Not for you to hide it under a leaf where no one can see it. So be proud of your light, and don't take any notice of those silly bugs that get a kick out of teasing little ones like you. Now, look back at the sky. What do you see?" "Mostly I can see my brother, glowing in the dark." "That's right!" agreed Ginger, "Pretty special, isn't he? All by himself he is lighting up the darkness, driving it away. Now imagine that there were two of you..." The firefly crawled out from under the leaf and looked up at his brother flying this way and that. Ginger smiled encouragingly and added, "And you know, if you go out there and proudly display your light for all to see, I think you'll see something else very special happen too." "Okay, I'll do it! I'm not ashamed anymore!" said the firefly. He opened his shell, popped out his wings, and soared boldly into the night sky. Suddenly other leaves tipped over and six more fireflies that had been hiding flew into the darkness, following their brother. Ginger stood up and stretched as See HIDING on Page 15
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Christian Couple and Rabbits Become a Family By Greg Miller
Charity and her husband, Charles, was a Christian couple who lived in a rural community. The couple enjoyed planting an annual garden in their large back yard. They planted many vegetables, including potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, beets and celery. A rabbit couple, Chuck the Buck and Chelsea the Doe, had recently moved into the area The rabbits hadn’t yet found a suitable place to call their own. On one of their daily homehunting expeditions, Chuck and Chelsea discovered Charity and Charles happily working in their garden. Harvest time was rapid approaching, so Charles and Charity were preparing their vegetables for the upcoming harvest. They could already picture themselves tasting the delicious homemade vegetable soup throughout the frigid winter months. “My taste buds can already sense the tangy tomatoes and buttery broccoli,” said Charles. “And I’m already experiencing the aroma and sweetness of the peas and corn!” Charity exclaimed. Just then, Chuck and Chelsea hopped around the edge of the garden. As if the moment had been rehearsed, Chuck landed in Charles’ arms, while Charity found herself holding Chelsea, who had a bit of celery hanging from the edge of her mouth. “Well…well, what do we have here?” Charles wondered. “Looks like a pair of rabbits are making themselves at home right here on our property!” “It’s really God’s property,” Charity reminded Charles. “And it looks like He wants us to share this property and the prosperity with which He has blessed us, with these beautiful young rabbits.” “That does appear to be the case,”
Charles agreed. He harvested a carrot from the soil, offering the narrow end of the dark orange treasure to Chuck. Chuck began eagerly nibbling on the carrot, nodding his head appreciatively toward Charles’ face. Somehow, the humans and the rabbits were able to communicate with and understand each other. And, somehow, there was a sense of respect and love. Charity looked at Charles and said, “Honey, I think we should make these adorable rabbits a part of our family. We don’t have any children yet, and I love these joyful bundles!” “Sounds great!” Charles approvingly exclaimed. Although they were now a part of Charles’ and Charity’s family, Chuck and Chelsea said they would rather sleep and eat outside. “We love the great outdoors,” Chuck said. “Well, when winter gets here, it’s going to be super cold outside, so if you ever want to spend the night indoors, just say the word,” said Charles. “Thanks,” responded Chelsea. “We’ll remember that. And thanks for welcoming us to be a part of your family. Home is where the family is, inside or outside, because the family – mom, dad and little ones – really lives in our hearts!” ©2021 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved>
HIDING Continued from Page 14 only a cat can while enjoying the beautiful light show being performed by eight little fireflies. (Matthew 5:14-16) “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. ©2021 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved>
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But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they. – Acts 15:11
FALL 2021 15
A Very Wise Horse By Tonja Taylor
My five-year-old daughter was taking a bath, and I was getting things done. I could hear her splashing and talking to her toys. I hoped the bath
would keep her occupied for a while. I walked by the open door and thought how adorable she was, surrounded by her menagerie of waterproof animals, from a herd of horses, one to twelve inches high; a rubber shark; a pink seahorse; a purple rabbit munching a carrot; to an assortment of small cups and bowls which she made into pretend pools and drinking wells for her wild things. She looked up at me with her big green eyes, earnest and sweet. “Mama, can you stay with me for a little while and tell me a story?” I made a mock pout. “Sweet Pea, I have work to do, but I’ll tell you a Bible story at bedtime.” She gave me a hurt look, and then held up one of her horses, a pretty prancing paint. “Wanna watch me swim?” said the horse with my baby’s voice. “Please?”
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“I’m sorry, Precious,” I said, “I’m trying to get things done so I can be with you.” My baby scowled and whispered loudly. “Not me, Mama! Talk to Miss Paint Horse!” I stooped down to look Miss Paint Horse in the eye. “Please forgive me for my rudeness, Miss Horse,” I said, “but the maid left for Tahiti and I’m not sure when she’ll be back. I must work now so I can spend time with my Victoria later. Now, I’ll see both of you in just a few!” My daughter sighed, gave me a half smile, and said, “All right, Mama. See you.” She picked up another horse and started to play, as if I wasn’t there. My heart hurt for a moment. As one of her new teachers at church had said, she was often “so grownuppy”! It seemed that I’d rocked her to sleep just yesterday. Now, she was 42 inches tall--and learning already the rush and pressures of life. This fall, she would start school, and enter a world that was even busier. But I prayed for her daily, several times a day. The Lord would see her through. Meanwhile, as a single divorced mom, there was always work to do to keep my mind occupied so I didn’t worry about her so much. The dryer buzzed. I ran to it and quickly pulled out the clothes before they wrinkled, throwing the rest in the basket. There were only two of us, but it seemed I had to wash every day! I didn’t mind washing my daughter’s clothes, still small, but much bigger than they’d been. I felt a pang in my heart as I remembered how tiny and ill, she had been the first three years of her life. God had shown us mercy, and now she was well. I was so thankful! The last four years had been difficult, but God had been faithful
to take good care of us. Victoria called again. “What?” I answered, too loudly, wondering why she didn’t give me two minutes’ rest. Then, remembering I’d been teaching her to answer sweetly, and to not yell from another room, I went to apologize. I took the basket of clothes with me to help her to see how busy I was. “Sorry, Baby Doll, I was rude to yell," I told her. "What do you want, Sweetie? You know I’m busy. “I love you, Mama,” she told me, and looked right into my eyes and smiled. “That’s all.” My heart melted. God’s still, small voice inside told me that my little one was not trying to interrupt my schedule, she just loved me and wanted to be with me. That would change all too soon. What I did now would determine the strength of our relationship as she matured. The memories we made today, every day, would be what I’d hold on to when she was not around. She was such a gift! It was God and my child who had kept me motivated and positive even in the roughest of times. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks, put the laundry aside, sat, and said, “Now, my little blessing from above, which story did you want to hear?” She didn’t speak, but pointed to the horse again. I nodded, listening. “The story of Mary and Martha!” said the very wise horse. I winked at my beautiful daughter, with the twinkle in her eye, and then told her the story of the two sisters in the Bible, and how the wiser one had chosen true rest by spending time with the one who loved her most. ©2021 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved
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The Power Of Silence By A.W. Tozer
There are truths that can never be learned except in the noise and confusion of the market-place or in the tough brutality of combat. The tumult and the shouting teach their own rough lessons... But there is another school where the soul must go to learn its best eternal lessons. It is the school of silence. "Be still and know," said the psalmist, and there is a profound philosophy there, of universal application. Prayer among evangelical Christians is always in danger of degenerating into a glorified gold rush. Almost every book on prayer deals with the "get" element mainly. How to get things we want from God occupies most of the space. Now, we gladly admit that we may ask for and receive specific gifts and benefits in answer to prayer, but we must never forget that the highest
kind of prayer is never the making of requests. Prayer at its holiest A.W. Tozer moment is the entering into God to © 2021 oChristian. a place of such blessed union as often enough, would do more to com. All Rights makes miracles seem tame and cure our ulcers than all the pills Reserved > remarkable answers to prayer that ever rolled across a desk. appear something very far short of wonderful by comparison. Holy men of soberer and quieter times than ours knew well the power of silence. David said, "I Mandeville was dumb with silence, I held my Health Care and Rehabilitation Center peace, even from good; and my 985-626-4798 • www.heritagemanormandeville.com sorrow was stirred. My heart was 1820 W. Causeway Approach • Mandeville, LA 70471 hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then spoke I with my tongue." There is a tip here for God's modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is Quality Nursing Care • Hospice Care open. A closed mouth before God Medicare Skilled Nursing Unit and a silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds Intermediate and Respite Care of truth. No man is qualified to Short and Long Term Rehabilitation speak who has not first listened. It Ventilator Dependent Unit might well be a wonderful revelaOn-Site Dialysis tion to some Christians if they Positions available for were to get completely quiet for a RN • LPN • CNA short time, long enough, let us say, to get acquainted with their own Between Paris Rd. and Bullard Ave. souls, and to listen in the silence 14500 Hayne Blvd. • New Orleans 70128 • 504-246-1426 for the deep voice of the Eternal Visit our website www.ferncrest.com God. The experience, if repeated
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Grandpa Prayed By Jan Ross The children hopped out of the couldn't wait to see Grandpa Lang- his grandchildren and great-grandcars and ran toward the house; they ley. Regardless of their age, each of children would listen to him tell stories of his childhood and life as a young man in a world foreign to them. Even the teens in their difficult years found reason to consider his words--there was something about him that drew young people in, opened their hearts, and gave his love entrance. With all these agents, Humana has this town covered New Year’s Day has When you want to talk about Medicare it’ll be easy to find somebody to listen. Each always been as much a licensed sales agent in this city has a trained ear and an expert understanding. family celebration as Christmas. To our family, Christmas is a celebration of the birth and gift of Call a licensed Humana sales agent Jesus Christ; New Years has always been a celebraKARLA CRUZ LIONEL SCOTT tion of new beginnings and 985‑900‑1142 504‑544‑0526 old traditions only made (TTY: 711) (TTY: 711) possible through Christ. Monday – Friday Monday – Friday Every year, aside from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. the unrivaled taste of GrandYo hablo español. ma Langley's cooking, the family came to hear the story Grandpa would share. Immediately after dinner, after the last dish was put WESLEY MITCHELL MARIE TABONY away, the entire family 504‑554‑5055 985‑551‑8410 would put on their coats and (TTY: 711) (TTY: 711) scarves and take a walk to Monday – Friday Monday – Friday the cabin out back, down by 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. the river...the cabin where Grandpa grew up. The stove had been lit earlier in the day so the scent of burning wood filled the one room house. Folding chairs were arranged JIMMY SWOOP LESLYN LORELLI around an old hand-carved 504‑544‑0318 504‑544‑8101 rocking chair situated in (TTY: 711) (TTY: 711) front of the fireplace; a small Monday – Friday Monday – Friday table with an old oil lamp sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. close by. Grandpa took the place of honor in the center as everyone found a seat close enough to their beloved elder to hear his traditional New Year's Story. Ask about Humana’s Care Highlight™ program Last year, Grandpa appeared to be struggling; the walk to the cabin took a toll on him we hadn't A more human way noticed in previous years. to healthcare™ Grandma reassured us that he was fine, just a touch of At Humana, it is important you are treated fairly. Humana Inc. and its bronchitis lingering from subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not the month before. discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual Grandma and a few of orientation, gender identity, or religion. English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak the older girls passed out English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call hot chocolate and home1‑877‑320‑1235 (TTY: 711). Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1‑877‑320‑1235 made cookies while Grandpa helped the little ones (TTY: 711). 繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意：如果您使用繁體中文 ，您可以免費獲得語言援助服務 find a place to sit. We 。請致電 1‑877‑320‑1235 (TTY :711) 。 always wondered how the Y0040_GHHHXDEEN_22_AD_C toddlers knew to sit so still; we figured it was the dim
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lights and the smell of the firewood that kept them calm. As soon as everyone was seated, Grandpa signified his readiness by clearing his throat. His voice was gruff and now it began to quiver due to his old age, but his words...oh the words he spoke and how he spoke them, such an incredible man! "Children, Grandchildren, and Great-Grandchildren, there is a story that must be told and into your ears and hearts it is spoken. Listen, and hear the heart of this old man." He always began his stories the same way, even if he had stopped there, we would have experienced his heart and passion for his family. His words, spoken with such reverence and authority, were almost like the words were from the portals of heaven itself. "Many years ago, our family was not as it is now. We lived in a time when there were no televisions, no radios, and no computers. There were no cars, no busses, and no subways. Your great-grandfather, my father, worked the land-this land, where we live today the harvest was sparse this year; the cattle were lean and underfed. But such a man as he was, his family never went without food. He worked hard! Not like we work today, but his hands were calloused from the work of a farmer, hand on the plow and the hoe, and the reins of the mules." "My father never missed a day of work when he was sick. He persevered when the weather was good and when it was frightful. He never stopped to take a rest when his body was weary. The work had to be done; he had a family to feed. He was a good man who feared God." "One day he came in for lunch and after he washed up in the basin you see in the corner there, he See GRANDPA on Page 37
The Book of Love By David Jeremiah ham and Sarah thought. “God has kept His promise by bringing us to this new homeland; surely He will keep His promise to give us a son from whom our descendants will flow.” God was going to keep His promise (He always does), but there Christians believe a loving Father- were some lessons Abraham and God is planning and orchestrating the Sarah had to learn first. events of our lives. So when disapAbraham learned not to lie when pointments come, our first question is fearful (Genesis 12), learned to the same as any child asks his earthly love a foolish nephew unconditionfather: “Why?” ally (Genesis 13-14), and learned The best known couple in the what it meant to enter into a coveOld Testament—a faithful patriarch nant with God (Genesis 15). And and his wife—found themselves most of all, they learned not to take asking that very question. And I God’s matters into their own human dare say you may have asked it hands (Genesis 16). yourself. The years passed with Sarah’s Abraham and Sarah saw nothing “biological clock” ticking louder but good times ahead when they and louder. Abraham was 75 years began their journey from Mesopo- old when he entered Canaan (12:4), tamia to Canaan (Genesis 11:27- and when he was 86 there was still 12:4). God had promised to give no child (16:1; 17:1). So Abraham them a relationship with Him, a lost his patience and his faith and new land to live in, and descendants conceived a child with Sarah’s that would be as innumerable as the maid, Hagar. That son, Ishmael, stars (15:5). became the father of the Arab There was only one problem: nations, creating a tension with When they left Mesopotamia, they Abraham’s descendants that has had no son to give them descen- reverberated through the ages. dants. Even after living for a period God did keep His promise, of with Abraham’s father in Haran, course, giving Abraham and Sarah halfway between Mesopotamia and a son when he was 100 and she was Canaan, they were still childless— 90 (17:17). The lessons they learned they arrived in Canaan with only were obvious: Don’t run ahead of their possessions, their servants, God; don’t be impatient with God; and Abraham’s nephew, Lot. don’t despise your older years when “No problem,” I’m sure Abra- God can make you as fruitful as when you were young. Many people have grown impatient, having expected God to use them in a significant way in their earlier years, and now they fear time is running out. They have grown disappointed, thinking that the future will not be as fruitful as the past. Like Abraham and Sarah, they may have even tried to take matters 3501 Severn Ave., Ste. 3B/C into their own Metairie, LA 70002 hands and create (504) 380-9031 • www.mobilitycity.com answers to their
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own prayers. For the Christian, the best days are always the days to come—if we are walking faithfully with the Lord. Nobody knows what the future will hold, and we should make no presumptions about it (James 4:13-17). God is perfectly able—as He did with Sarah and Abraham—to make you more fruitful in your latter years than you were in your younger years. The memories of the past are wonderful, of course. But the expectations for the future are even more exciting. I encourage you to trust the promises of God: “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24); “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6); and “He will keep you strong to the
end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8 NIV). Regardless of your age and regardless of your past, if you are walking in step with Jesus Christ, your future will be fruitful beyond anything in your past. God has not called us to bear fruit for Him up to a certain age, but forever! And His timing is always perfect. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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Marriage Wake Up And Take Responsibility For Your Marriage By Angie Lewis
Let’s suppose that God created you. If God created you then it would go without saying that you would want to get your answers and advice for your marriage from your Creator, right? But some of us don’t do that. We don’t follow the direction of God’s influence for our life and we experience major problems in our marriage because of it. For an example, if I boss my husband around and tell him what to do, where am I getting my advice and
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answers? Certainly not from the word of God. I used to follow my own selfish desires and go after whatever I wanted. I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong in my marriage. I was taught to be selfish even if I hurt others in the process. I was not being a responsible wife. I was only caring about myself. My error in thinking brought great misery to my marriage and strained it greatly. Thank God I found my way home. Eve was not created by God to control and overpower Adam. On the contrary, Eve was made to be a helpmate (to serve) to her husband. Isn’t that what helping is all about, serving? Eve didn’t believe in what God said about eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and Satan deceived her and she ate from it. Today, Adam and Eve’s everywhere are getting swindled and bewigged by Satan. I was deceived too.
rate a man and a woman from marriage. But we act as if it is! How can a state document divorce a husband and wife without God’s authority? Wake up! Don’t you think you are allowing too much outside advice influence what you do in your marriage? Be an adult and do what is right for you and the person you married. Why put the blame on those around you, instead look at yourself and see what you can do about it. For an example, if a husband will not remain loyal in his marriage, what should he do? He should first look at himself and wonder why he is such a foolish man that he won’t remain trustworthy to the woman he married and loved. A disloyal husband should not find any other reason of why he is unfaithful except through himself. Couples make the mistake of thinking they have a bad marriage because of the person they married, but it has nothing to do with that. It has so much to do with the fact that you are not allowing God to direct your life. You haven’t humbled yourself to God or to your marriage. Here is another example. If a wife will not allow her husband to lead the home and family on the foundations See WAKE UP on Page 38
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This is what’s happening in marriages today. We aren’t doing what God has told us to do. Just like Adam and Eve, we are listening to and relying on the wrong support threshold for our marriage. This is important to know because until people start realizing this as the major problem within themselves and marriage, they will continue to follow their own selfish ways. Is treating your husband with disrespect taking care of your responsibilities? Is cheating on your wife taking care of your responsibilities? Is rejecting your husband taking care of your responsibilities? Is disregarding the feelings of your wife taking care of your responsibilities? Is rebelling against God the right thing to do for your marriage? No! So why are you doing it? Couples absolutely need to wake up and start taking responsibility for their marriage. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make sure you are both getting the love and respect you deserve. It is not your wife’s responsibility that you remain faithful. So why are you blaming your wife for your indiscretions? And it certainly is not the responsibility of your neighbor or your parents to support and love your wife, is it? It is not the responsibility of any state to sepa-
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How to Have Meaningful Conversations About Money with Your Spouse By Rachel Cruze
My dad, Dave Ramsey, filed for bankruptcy the year I was born. My older sister was about three. So, with a brand-new baby, a toddler, and as dad says all the time, “a marriage hanging by a thread,” things hit rock bottom. Hard. It took them a good five years to climb out of that hole—right around the same time of my earliest memories. Because of my parents’ hard work after that soul-crushing bankruptcy, I was able to learn firsthand the value of managing money well. I learned that my income is my biggest wealthbuilding tool, so I never took on any debt—and I never will. I don’t say that to pat myself on the back, but to show you what a big impact our parents can have on our money outlook. How you grew up, and the envi-
ronment you were raised in, shaped your money beliefs and your habits with money in very specific ways. That’s why when I help couples get on the same page with their money, I start with their childhood. As children grow, more is caught than taught, meaning children absorb a lot about money without even realizing it. For some, money is stressful and secretive. For others, it’s peaceful and positive. Each household starts with the same basic ingredients—money, income, bills, and goals—but things can look and feel very different from one house to another. Your story may not involve something as drastic as bankruptcy, but your childhood household was your money classroom. Now as an adult, you may handle money just like your parents did when you were growing up, or you may have deliberately chosen to do the exact opposite of what your parents did. Regardless, we each learned lessons in our childhoods that we’ve taken into adulthood. Some are
good habits and healthy views on money that help us. Some are lessons we wish we could unlearn. Talking through this with your spouse will be eye-opening. Knowing how your spouse grew up thinking about money might explain why they get buyer’s remorse after every purchase, why you hate budgeting, or why either of you gets uncomfortable talking about money If you want help getting the conversation started, here’s some more advice to help remove the stress around talking about money with your spouse. Having an honest conversation about what money was like for each of you growing up will help you understand each other better. And it’ll help you squash your fears together, and align your dreams and goals. Remember, you’re a team— and a team only wins when everyone works together! Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national best-selling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She has appeared on Good Morning America, TODAY Show and Live! With Kelly & Ryan, among others. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people to avoid debt, save money, budget and how to win with money at any stage in life.
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Thinking Out Loud The Responsibilities of a Christian We represent Christ wherever we go. He is not here to-day in human form, but He sends us in His place. We are to act for Him, speak the words of kindness; we would speak if He were here, do the deed of love, He would do, if He were in our place. We must be faithful to our mission. We must never be silent when we ought to speak. We must never speak when we ought to listen. - J.R. Miller
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Education Don’t Ignore God’s Interpreters
Every one of us has something to do in interpreting God to men. If we are His redeemed friends, the secret of the Lord is with us, it’s not a secret, which we are to keep to ourselves, but one which it is ours to declare. We are in this world to reveal God and to interpret His
words to others. In the life of Joseph, we have illustrations of this truth. Two of his fellow-prisoners had dreams. Joseph told them the meaning of their dreams. Pharaoh had a dream which Egypt's wise men could not interpret, and Joseph was brought from his prison to make known its meaning. In both of these cases, the dreams were words of God, whose interpretation it was important to learn. In the case of the prisoners, the dreams were forecasting of the future of the two men. In the case of Pharaoh, they were revealing what the king needed to understand in
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order that he might make preparation for his people in the famine that was coming. It would have been a great calamity for Egypt and for the world, if Pharaoh had not learned the meaning of what God had spoken in his ear in the visions of the night. But without an interpreter, he never could have known. We all need interpretations. There are mysterious writings we cannot read. We have our dreams and visions we cannot ourselves make out. Yet these writings and these visions are really God's words to us, divine teachings which we need to understand. They have meanings which it is intended, we should learn, lessons which we ought to know. They hold messages of comfort for our sorrows, of guidance for our dark paths, of instruction for our ignorance. We cannot live as we should live, unless we learn the meaning of these divine words. Yet we cannot make it out for ourselves. We all need interpreters. Take the little child. It comes into the world knowing nothing. On all sides are wonderful things, in nature, in its own life, in other lives, in books, in Providence; but the writings are all mysterious. The child understands nothing. Yet it is here to learn all it can of these writ-
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ings. They are words of God which concern its whole life. It needs interpreters. We all are only children of various growths. Life is full of mysteries for us. We search the Bible and continually come upon texts we cannot understand. There are mysteries in Providence, perhaps in the ways of God with our own life. Yet in these obscure texts and these dark providences, there are words of God hidden, words of life, of wisdom and of blessing. We need interpreters to read off for us the mysterious hidden writing of God. Joseph found the two prisoners sad, and his heart was touched with sympathy. He became eager to comfort them. This revealed the true and noble spirit in him. He had a warm, gentle heart. No one can ever be greatly useful who does not enter sympathetically into the world's experiences. Christ was moved with compassion wherever he saw pain or sin at once his love went out toward the sufferer, and he sought to give help. Wherever we go we see sad faces which tell of unrest, of broken peace, of unsatisfied longings, of unanswered questions, of deep heart hungers. We are to be interpreters, each in our own way and of all the things we have learned. All the valuable knowledge of the world has come down to us through human interpreters. All along the ages there have been men who climbed to the mountain tops where they saw the earliest gleams of light, while it was yet dark in the valleys below, and who then came down and spoke of all they had seen. The scientific knowledge we have has come to us from many interpreters, who have learned to read God's words in nature. To most people, nature's words mean almost nothing. People walk amid flowers, trees, rivers, lakes, hills and mountains, with the splendor of the skies above their heads, without any feeling of awe, hearing nothing to touch their hearts or thrill their spirits. But there have been interpreters, a few men with eyes which did see, and with ears which did hear, and they have told us something of the many wonderful things God has written in His works. The literature of the world also is a series of interpretations. It is the harvest of long centuries of thought. In every age there have been men See INTERPRETERS on Page
INTERPRETERS Continued from Page 22 who have looked into the truth with deeper, clearer view than their fellows, and have heard whispers of God's voice; then coming forth from the valleys of silence, they have told the world what they heard. The same is true of the spiritual truth which we possess. How have these divine revelations been brought to us? Not through any scrolls borne down from Heaven by angels, but through human interpreters. God took Moses up into the mountain and talked with him as a man talks to his friend, revealing to him great truths about the divine being and character, giving him laws for the guidance of men. Then Moses became an interpreter to the world of the things God had spoken to him. David was an interpreter. God drew him close to His own heart and breathed heavenly songs into his soul; then David went forth and struck his harp and sang, and the music is breathing yet through the entire world. John was an interpreter. He leaned on Christ's bosom, hearing the beatings of that great heart of love, learning the sacredness of friendship with his Lord. Then he passed out among men and told them what he had heard and felt and seen; and the air of this old earth has been warmer ever since, and more of love has been beating in human hearts. But not alone have these and other inspired men been God's interpreters; many since have taken up the Word of God and have found in it blessed truths, precious comforts, which had sat undiscovered before, and have spoken out to men what they have heard in secret. Indeed, God gives to every life that He sends into this world, some message of its own to give out to others. We cannot all write books or hymns; but if we live near the heart
of Christ, there is not one of us into whose heart the Master will not speak some fragment of truth, some revealing of grace and love, or to whom He will not give some expression of comfort in sorrow, some gleam of Heaven's glory in the midst of this world's care. God forms a close personal friendship with each of His redeemed children, and tells each one some secret of love which no other heart has ever before learned. That now is our peculiar message, God's own word to us; and we are God's prophets to foretell it again to the world. Each one of us should speak out what God has given him to speak. If it be but a single word, it will yet bless the world. Not to speak it, will leave the world a little poorer. Suppose that Joseph, knowing by divine teaching the meaning of Pharaoh's dreams, had remained silent, what would his silence have cost the world? Or suppose that John, having leaned upon Christ's heart and having learned the inner secrets of His love, had gone back to his fishing after the Ascension, failing to be an interpreter for Christ, what would the world have lost? If one only of the millions of flowers that bloom in summer days refused to bloom, hiding its gifts of beauty, the world would be a little less lovely for the failure of the one flower. Every human life that fails to tell the world its lesson or that fails to interpret its own secret, keeping it locked up in the silence of the heart, withholds that which would have enriched earth's life. But every life, even the lowliest, that learns its word from God and then interprets it to others, adds a little to the world's sum of blessing and good. Save the Nations Ministries >
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KETO ZONE ELDERBERRY SYRUP HEALTH TONIC Ingredients: 2/3 cup dried black elderberries (Sambucus nigra, they can be found in most health food stores, or online) 3 1/2 cups of water 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger or 2 tsp ground ginger 1 teaspoons cinnamon PROOF SHEET 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves With more and more yearly sick1/4 cup Keto Zone Hydrolyzed ness and more antibiotic resistance, it’s time to become familiar with Collagen 1 cup of raw organic honey, the elderberry issue plant, and our Attached is a proof of your ad that will run in the October/November of EDGE of theKeto Lake magazine. This ad will run as is unless we maple OR granular erythritol (for Elderberry Syrup Tonic. receive changes by Wednesday (09.14.2018) at 5:00Zone PM. Please make any changes or approve via email. Elderberry is an effective, natu- Keto Zone) ¼ cup organic raw apple cider ral, anti-virus botanical. We’ve used vinegar it and other powerful immuneInstructions: boosters to create a wonderful, and In a medium saucepan, bring the Did you know there is a plant even delicious, health tonic. It may dried elderberries and water to a that can help you boost your seem intimidating to make your boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and immune system, possibly prevent, own health tonic, but rest assured, and even fight cold and flu viruses? ours is easy to make and safe to simmer for 30 minutes. Add ginWhile it’s been used for hundreds take. Here’s how to make the Keto ger, cinnamon, and cloves Simmer of years by native people groups, Zone Elderberry Syrup Tonic and additional 15 minutes, stirring well. • If using erythritol, stir in at the many adults have never heard of it. why you should. end of simmering time.
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• Remove from heat and allow to cool. • Once cool enough to handle, pour the entire mixture through a tighter strainer. • Allow cooling to room temperature. • Stir in honey (if using) and vinegar and mix well. • Store in tightly covered jars in the refrigerator. Store up to 2 months in the refrigerator, or freeze up to 6 months. • For daily consumption, take 1-3 teaspoons. If experiencing sickness, take 1 tablespoon up to 3 times per day. ELDERBERRIES ARE POTENT DISEASE FIGHTERS Black elderberries, and specifically Sambucus nigra, are berries that have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. The dark purple berries have strong antiviral properties, and they contain hemagglutinin protein. This specific protein has been shown to reduce a virus’s ability to replicate and penetrates healthy cells. It has been wellstudied. Supportive research includes: Antibodies Against Influenza: Researchers also have found that people who have taken elderberries have higher levels of antibodies against the influenza virus, showing that not only may the berry be able to treat flu symptoms, it may also be able to prevent influenza infection. Protection Against Cold Viruses while Traveling: One study followed travelers and their cold experiences. Some were given elderberry extract, and others were not. Of those who got a cold, the non-elderberry group endured a much longer cold duration with much more intense symptoms. According to the researchers, this “data suggest a significant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travelers”. Potent Influenza and Streptococcus Fighter in Lab Studies: Another See KETO ZONE on Page 25
KETO ZONE Continued from Page 24 study was conducted to determine whether elderberry could fight streptococcus bacteria and influenza viruses in cultures. The researchers found that elderberry liquid extract displayed inhibitory activity against the growth of both bacterias and viruses. In conclusion, they stated that elderberry extract was active against human pathogenic bacteria as well as influenza viruses. Upper Respiratory Protection: A large meta-analysis of 180 participants found that elderberry supplementation substantially reduced upper respiratory symptoms. The researchers felt that elderberry is a good alternative to help reduce overuse of antibiotics and fight viruses. SAFETY: Are elderberries safe to consume in prevention and treatment? Overwhelming, experts agree that they are as long as the berries are cooked (NO seeds or bark) or consumed from a standardized commercial preparation. Eating the raw seed can lead to nausea and vomiting, and powders should be avoided as they may contain seeds.
OTHER GREAT INGREDIENTS IN THE KETO ZONE ELDERBERRY SYRUP HEALTH TONIC
Hydrolyzed Type II Collagen boosts immune function and fights viruses. In addition, the type I and type III collagens in Keto Zone Hydrolyzed Collagen can improve cardiovascular, skin, and digestive health. Ginger and turmeric are also strong disease fighters. In fact, the gingerol in ginger has been shown to help lower infection risk, and it has powerful anti-fungal properties. What’s more, both display antibacterial, anti-viral, and immuneboosting properties. Apple Cider Vinegar long been known in folk medicine, and now in modern medicine, as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, diseasefighter. It can also help clear sinuses and reduce infections. BOTTOM LINE If you’re hoping to stay as healthy as possible this winter, consider trying our Keto Zone Elderberry Syrup Health Tonic. It’s all-natural and uses some of the best disease-fighting ingredients available. What’s more, it’s also effective against seasonal allergies, so you may want to double your batch for year-round use.
© All rights reserved 2021 Dr. Don Colbert.
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Can you really change your life, and your health, by changing your drink? I believe you can. Of course, it can’t be just any drink. It takes one overflowing with potent nutrients. Green tea, especially served iced cold and with fresh lemon juice plus fermented ingredients, is one such drink. Here’s how you can make cold-brew green tea, add amazing ingredients, and change your life with a drink. Cold-Brewed Fermented Lemon Cold Green Tea For LifeChanging Health Benefits Ingredients • 2-3 tablespoons loose leaf organic green tea • 16 ounces of water Additions • 1-2 tablespoons fresh or organic jarred lemon juice • 1 scoop Divine Health Fermented Green Supreme food • Optional cucumber slices and fresh mint leaves Instructions It takes about 8-12 hours to make a good cold brew, so start the evening before drinking it. Place the loose-leaf green tea in a pitcher. Add the 16 ounces water. Cover and place in a refrigerator overnight. To serve, pour 8 ounces green tea in a cup. Add lemon juice and Green Supreme foods. Add optional additions. Add ice and allow to get ice cold. Enjoy. 9 Life-Changing Benefits Of Iced Cold-Brew Lemon Green Tea Sure, green tea is good for you. But, life-changing? Is that an exaggeration? If you consider weight and fat loss, better eye and brain health, and improved skin and immune function life-changing, then there’s no exaggeration. The ingredients and compounds in green tea are well-studied. In fact, the See DRINK THIS on Page 27
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How A Praise Or Prayer Walk Can Change Your Life By Dr. Don Colbert
Do you have 10, 20, or even 30 minutes? And, do you have worries, family members, neighbors, or praises on your mind most days? Then, you have all you need for a prayer walk. It may just change your life.
WHAT IS A PRAISE OR PRAYER WALK? Simply, it’s a time of walking and talking to God, praising, listing gratitudes, or praying. It’s a habit of doing so. It’s a consistent time spent with God while walking outside. Some listen to praise music while they walk. Some pray or praise through the alphabet. Praising God first for something that starts with the letter “A” and last with the letter “Z.” Some look around and pray for what they see. Or pray for each
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individual in their family. Some listen to the Bible on audio or even uses it as a time to memorize or meditate on Scripture. It’s sort of a modern-day small pilgrimage. Most importantly, it’s taking time out of your busy schedule, slowing down, and spending it with God. And since God is in the business of changing lives, spending time with Him is certainly a great step to allow the change. Here’s how it may start to work in your own life. 5 WAYS A PRAISE OR PRAYER WALK CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE 1. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK It’s been said that prayer is not about asking God to align with your heart and requests, but allowing your heart to align with God’s. When you pray and listen for God each day, your heart, your desires, and your outlook changes. If you use the time to memorize Scripture, you prioritize what God says over what you say. You listen to His words and store them in your heart. This can change your outlook. 2. A PRAISE OR PRAYER WALK CAN TURN YOUR WORRIES INTO MORE GRATITUDE If you use your walk to cast your cares onto God, it can turn your concerns and worries into gratitude. For example, maybe you pray for each member of your family, one by one, as you walk. Speaking to God about others has a way of showing us how God sees them. He sees them through His lens of love. And it can spur more gratitude in our hearts towards them. 3. IT CHANGES HOW YOU SEE YOUR NEIGHBORS You can also pray for those who live around you. As you walk, pray for the people in each house you pass. It’s amazing how your heart changes toward anyone for whom you consistently pray. Even though close-living neighbors may irritate each other now and then, we are all human. We are all trying to do our best. You can also expand it to praying for your town, the schools and businesses in your town, your state, your country, and the leadership therein. 4. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR HEALTH Walking is an amazingly healthy
activity and offers benefits from your bones to your circulation. In fact, there is evidence that walking consistently can reduce hip fractures in post-menopausal women (1), improve mood while reducing pain (2), and improve circulation (3) among other benefits. 5. IT MAY BRING YOU CLOSER TO THE LIFE OF JESUS Sure, Jesus didn’t have a car. There was no public bus to take Him from town to town during His ministry. But I wonder if He would have spent a lot of time walking even if there was. Walking can slow the pace of life. It can give calm between the storms. It allows us time to think about life, spend time with others, feel the earth, and really see the things around us. It’s been estimated that Jesus walked more than 3000 miles during His ministry and over 21, 500 miles in His lifetime based on the distance between the towns and the details given in the Bible and in historical texts. That’s a lot of miles. And perhaps a lot of time thinking, praying, praising, and enjoying the company of His friend and family. WHAT IF YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO WALK Although this article is about a “walk,” God doesn’t need your to walk to change your life. Any time you spend with Him in prayer or praise, whether sitting on your porch, sitting inside, or otherwise, is just as valuable. It’s the practice or doing so that matters. BOTTOM LINE A praise or prayer walk is a tool you can use to slow down and spend time with God each day. You can use it to praise God, to pray, to lift up neighbors, family, and loved ones, to pray for specific types of things each day, or to pray as thoughts come to you. You can listen to praise music, the Bible on audio. You can pick a scripture and memorize it during the walk. No matter how you use a praise or prayer walk, its time spent with God, and He can change your life when you give Him your heart and your time.>
© All rights reserved 2021 Dr. Don Colbert.
DRINK THIS Continued from Page 25 main phytochemical and catechin in green tea is called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), and it’s been shown to provide amazing health benefits. Next, lemon juice, Fermented Green Supremefoods, and ice are great for you. Here are 10 ways this drink might change your life. 1. Green Tea Can Improve Heart Health First, the EGCG has been shown in animal studies to reduce cholesterol plaques, free LDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Together, these attributes contribute to better heart health. 2. Inhibition Of Cancer Cell Growth In vitro (petri dish studies), green tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. What’s more, high consumption of green tea has also been associated with a 90% reduced risk of breast cancer in women. Fermented Green Foods are also high in vegetables that associated with decreased risk of cancers. 3. Improved Brain Health Support EGCG is an incredibly strong antioxidant. Antioxidants repair and protect cells, and amazingly EGCG affects the brain. In studies, EGCG has been found to protect brain cells from dying, as well as ‘rescuing’ already damaged neurons in the brain of mice induced with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. This is called neurorestoration. Amazingly, EGCG is also absorbed by cells in the eye, and it provides protective effects for up to 20 hours after consumption. Many experts believe it may help reduce diseases of the eye and glaucoma. 4. Potential Fat Loss And Boosted Metabolism From Supremefoods, Ice Water, And EGCG. First, EGCG can change your metabolism and help you burn fat. EGCG, helps your body oxidize and burn fat. Multiple studies have shown an increase in metabolic rates, weight loss, decreased waistline, and fat loss with consistent green tea ingestion. Initially, researchers believed it was due to the caffeine. But recent studies have shown these effects in caffeinated and decaffeinated green tea (there’s actually little caffeine in green tea). The studies have used both green tea “extract” as a concentrated form of antioxidants
HEALTH and regular, brewed green tea. Next, ice water can affect your metabolism and calorie burn. How? It first causes a direct calorie burn as your body warms the ingested ice water to body temperature. While it’s only a modest amount of calories, the total effect of 8 glasses of ice water per day adds up. In fact, some studies have shown 100 calories burned per 16 ounces, which would equate to 400 calories per 64 ounces. And third, the fermented ingredients in Green Supremefoods support weight loss. Their healthy bacteria may improve weight loss, insulin sensitivity, fasting glucose, and inflammation. These factors are big advantages in the fight against obesity. 5. Fewer Headaches And Better Energy Some of the benefits of this drink simply come from getting enough fluid each day. In fact, dehydration has a DIRECT effect on your health and sense of well-being. Many adults report headaches, lethargy, aging skin, and more when dehydrated. In addition, the small amount of caffeine in green tea can reduce headaches by dilating the vessels that carry blood to the brain. 6. Better Skin Appearance From Lemon Juice, Icy Drinks, And Supremefoods Your skin can be a reflection of the health of your cells. This drink provides benefits to both. First, icy cold water activates the skin cells, shrinks pores, and promotes a better complexion (when used in the shower on your skin).
Next, lemon juice can actually improve skin health. It also has strong antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radical build-up can contribute to aging skin, which results in wrinkles age spots, dryness, and loss of elasticity. Antioxidants, from the outside in, and inside out, may improve this condition. Lastly, Fermented Green Supremefoods’ healthy bacteria benefit atopic dermatitis. In fact, for infants with a family history of eczema, probiotics should be increased during the first year of life. 7. Better Gut Health Fermented foods fortify the digestive tract with healthy bacte-
ria. Healthy bacteria crowd-out and starve unhealthy bacteria and yeasts improve digestion, and benefit hormones and whole-body health. What’s more, drinking enough fluids helps keep digestion healthy. It reduces constipation and improves regularity. 8. Boosted Immune Function Amazingly, a bacteria that lives in the digestive tract actually reduces infections outside it. In fact, studies show improved immunity and benefits of fermented foods including reduced throat infections See DRINK THIS on Page 38
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Keeping Your Information Secure remotely transit so it is more difficult to obtain Be aware of old-school scams For those merchants that do • Smishing- trying to get not: your information by SMS • Use signature transactions text messaging; i.e. “Your for safety – especially at account has been fuel pump compromised, please provide your card number • Near interstates go into gas and PIN number by station; or check the pump calling…” • Online, use tokenized • Phishing – trying to get payment methods like your information by email Google Pay or iPay that links that spoof real sites keep your card information asking for information in a tokenized/encrypted updates or tell you your vault account has been locked or • Check gas pumps for cut or compromised with a “click stretched stickers here” to verify… • Look under your Wi-Fi at gas station “Mike’s American Bank & Trust Playground” or other offers free ID PROTECT “playgrounds” as those are with all of our accounts! Set up text or email alerts in How does Chip work? used to skim card data and Tokenizing/encrypting the internet banking and pay card data while at rest and in attention to them pull the information Password Security • Password Change • Deposits over $ XX • Never save passwords in browser • Withdrawals over $ XX • Don’t use the same • Balance below $ XX password for all Phone Security • Change passwords and • Password/PIN/Touch ID security questions for access to device periodically • Don’t dismiss updates; • Dashlane – Free App for those ensure security saving passwords • Don’t use public Wi-Fi for Use Biometric Logins If payments or internet Available banking access • Face ID • Don’t use jailbroken • Touch ID devices if using your device for payments or Don’t Share Too Much On internet banking Social Media • Quizzes on favorites and CARD SECURITY Most merchants and cards firsts a data mines for have a Chip hackers
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Is This the One? One of my long-time leaders has a reputation for screening potential assistants harder than anyone else. This may seem a little unusual, but I like it. And the truth is an assistant is one of the most important hires you’ll make as a leader or small business owner. A great one allows you to focus on the big picture, while they take care of the details. A bad one will leave you feeling like you’re working a separate, fulltime job just to be able to function as a capable leader. With a great assistant, life becomes easier, and you become more productive. Here are some ideas to consider in your search for a quality assistant: Make a List Start by creating a comprehensive list of everything you need in an assistant, including important things they might say during the interview, their skills, how they communicate. Also, include every-
thing you don’t want them to be. Then, when the perfect assistant walks into your office and begins talking, you’ll know. You’ll start mentally—or literally on a piece of paper—checking boxes. Bells will go off in your head, and you’ll starting thinking, this is the one. This is the exact person I wrote down. Wait for The Right One As with all hires, you need to take your time, be patient and wait for the absolute perfect fit. You’re not looking for someone who sees the opportunity as a stepping stone, you’re trying to find someone you see yourself working with comfortably for many years. Find out what they’d like to be doing with your organization two or three years from now. If they start talking about sales or marketing, you know they don’t really want to be an assistant. Passion for the Role Simply put, does the person’s eyes light up when they’re talking about the job? Look for passion about the position and its responsibilities. Sometimes, they’ll get so excited they’ll start throwing around ideas—and telling you things they can do—during the interview Pay Attention to the Answers
Always ask the candidate if they are organized. It may seem like a no-brainer, but every assistant needs that trait. Nearly everyone thinks they’re orderly, so it’s not really about the answer—it’s about how they say it and whether you believe it. People who are truly organized often laugh a bit at this question. Lots of times it’s because they’ve heard jokes about it all their lives. They might even give funny examples of how they drive their spouse or relatives crazy with their need
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sent Jesus to rescue those that trusted in His atonement to live eternally with Him. Jesus! death and resurrection from the dead cancelled the power of the grave. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." (John 11:25) A verse in Romans says that nothing can separate us from the love of God and it mentions, among other things, that neither death nor life can. When we know Jesus personally, we have the “abundant life." As we know, man is never satisfied, so an abundance of things or wealth is not what God is talking about. Consider the Apostle Paul, who, among other hard experiences, was shipwrecked and in prison. Or Jesus' life, homeless and hated and hung on a cross. In the true “abundant life;' we abound in "fruit ‘unto holiness and the end, everlasting life." (Romans 6:22) King David in (Psalm 63:4) wrote, "Thy loving kindness is better than life."
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• Emergency tree removal Have you noticed that life has become more meaningless and fragile than ever in our world? There is no longer a policy of "life assurance." We feel vulnerable and unprotected, and living in a "culture of death." Group suicides are glorified, especially among youth, abortions have become routine, and endof-life agreements--or even worse, euthanasia--have become acceptable, and, in some cases, expected! In addition, urban life has seen a steady rise in murders and lifethreatening violence. On a global scale, even genocides no longer shock us. In the book of Deuteronomy, God urged us to “choose life and live."(Chapt.30:19) In the book of Genesis, mankind was banished from the Garden of Eden, where the ‘Tree of Life was; and so death entered the world, much to the Devil's delight. To re-establish a relationship with man. for eternity, God had to deal with man's sin, and so He
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Three Reasons You Should Finally Start That Business You’ve Been Dreaming Of By Christy Wright sion for helping women make money doing what they love. So, I have a question for you: What do you love to do? Is there a dream in your heart you’ve been dying to chase? Do you want to use your skills and passion to make money so you can do the things that matter most to you? I want to take this opportunity to share three reasons why you should My mom is the most amazing finally give yourself permission to woman on the planet. When she go for your dream. was 34 years old, she suddenly had It’s easier than ever to start a a baby to raise on her own (me). business With only $64, she needed a job. Twenty years ago, starting a busiSo, she got scrappy and decided to ness meant investors, capital, a brickuse her baking skills to earn money. and-mortar location and a landline. But the internet has Serving Miss-Lou STATEWIDE Since 1992 transformed what we thought was possible. Today, you can turn your ideas FIXED INDEXED ANNUITIES into a business with MORE GAINS • NO LOSSES • SAFETY just a laptop (or a Up to 10% IMMEDIATE INTEREST BONUS on Deposits phone) and the ROLLOVER CD OR 401K TODAY! determination to learn. The barrier to Richie Culotta • Cameron Culotta • Zach Dustin SAFE RETIREMENT STRATEGIES, MEDICARE SUPPS, LONG-TERM CARE, MEDICAL & LIFE entry is low— you’ve just got to decide if you want to put in the work. There’s no such thing as ready Gourmet Pizza & Italian Cuisine, You’re never completely ready using the highest quality cheeses, for the big things in life. At some the freshest ingredients, possible point, you’ve got to do it scared. I can guarantee my mom was scared and dough prepared fresh daily! the first time she put her cakes in that storefront window! But like anything else, you learn best when you’re on the job. Sure, you need to Dine In • Take Out • Delivery have a plan for your business, but at She started out by renting a small showcase window at a candy store in downtown Nashville. She woke up at crazy hours and worked long nights. She hustled, pushed through fear and overcame it. Now, over three decades later, my mom is still baking. Her beautiful and delicious creations have been part of thousands of birthdays, weddings and anniversaries—some of the best moments in her customers’ lives. But of all the lives my mom has influenced, her greatest impact has been on me. Because I grew up watching my mom and working alongside her, I developed a pas-
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some point, you’ve got to take action. Quick wins build confidence. And confidence leads to momentum, which will keep you moving forward. What simple action can you take today to get you where you want to be next year? Just like my mom’s cake shop, the impressive things in life always start as unimpressive things. You get to define your version of success Sadly, too many of us spend our lives chasing other people’s versions of success. But your business—just like your life—should exist to meet your needs. If you want to freelance and earn $5,000 a year so you can take your kids to Disney, that’s success. If you want to scale a business like crazy and earn millions, that’s great too. The important thing is to define what success looks like for you and build your business around those goals. Ultimately, my hope for you is that you have the confidence to follow your dreams, no matter what they look like. Christy Wright is a #1 national best-selling author, personal development expert, and host of The Christy Wright Show. She’s been featured on Today Show and Fox News, and in Entrepreneur and Woman’s Day Magazines. Since 2009, Christy has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches on personal development, business, and faith.>
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Grace: God’s Cure For Cancel Culture
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By Pastor Doug Gilford transphobic, homophobic and the like. Although, I do not agree with most of their behavior, I fear there is a more dangerous precedent we are creating. We are creating gracephobic people. The danger is if you ever had an explosive melt down (and we all do), said something you do not Have you ever had an old song mean, or did something cruel in tune pop in your head at random your adolescence you will end up times? The famous line from the losing a good career if someone 1980 song by Queen comes to mind finds out. That inappropriate action often while watching the news. A will be dredged up, and the social celebrity is cancelled because they police will be sent out to smear, dare say something out of line with embarrass, harass, and socially the unwritten laws our culture holds destroy you. Jesus said the “thief to. Or worse, something they said comes to steal, kill and destroy, but or did a decade ago. The song I have come to give life.” (John Another one Bites the Dust plays 10:10). This godless agenda has its automatically in my mind as I watch roots in motivations from satanic what is sadly happening in our sources. It is a dangerous practice country. Celebrities like Ellen that is devoid of redemption, forDeGeneres, Chrissy Teigan, Demi giveness, restoration, and grace. It Lovato, Joe Rogan and Dave Chap- is completely opposite of a lifestyle pelle have been the target of cancel- of grace that Christ came to give to lation culture being a rude,1 bullLAW_fullfor Size_2019_print.pdf 11/11/19 us. 11:38 AM Since over generations we have ish, culturally insensitive, slowly become a Biblically illiter-
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ate country, it comes as no surprise. God has a cure for cancel culture. We know it as grace. Embodied in the term grace are the redemptive actions of Christ: accepting the socially abandoned, loving the unlovable, and forgiving whatever wrong has been done to me. In the 21st century it is also required of grace to add an action on our part; we should also be willing to let go of an offense when we are offended. Too many of us forget the importance of grace and settle for the clamoring of the media and movies to form a cancel culture in our hearts and minds. How important is grace? Simply put, grace has changed the world. Not once, but many times. If you grew up during Jesus’ day more than two thousand years ago you would have experienced an exaggerated form of cancel culture. Not only could you have been removed from society for what you had done wrong. But also, for who your parents were, and/or where you were born. The Jewish people had a disdain for the Samaritans that went back thousands of years. Additionally, if you were of the Louisiana Alarm Watch (504) 780-8775 www.laalarmwatch.com wrong gender, you could only go so far into the temple courts. If you SECURITY • FIRE • MEDICAL ALERT • CAMERAS • ACCESS CONTROL were diseased, you were not allowed. Actually, that sounds like And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, - Ephesians 2:1
today…but I digress. On top of the societal cancellations there were the rigorous religious requirements to be performed. Jesus would have lived in this “throwing people away” culture, as well as His future disciples. It is the apostle John who wrote about Christ, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus was born from the miraculous pregnancy of Mary, and inside of Him were things to give to the world. Not just salvation, but Jesus also gave to the world truth and grace. From this backdrop two thousand years ago, grace was born through our Lord. Jesus would love those that no one else would. He touched lepers of which it was against religious law. He would call men to follow Him that would not have passed the rigorous religious tests for the priesthood. He allowed a sinful woman to pour perfume on His body and feet. He allowed women to be a part of His ministry team. Jesus saved a woman caught in the act of adultery from being stoned to See GRACE on Page 32 FALL 2021 31
FEATURE ARTICLE GRACE Continued from Page 31 death. Why? Because He was God? Sure. But deeper, His actions were anti-cancel culture. His actions gave grace to people. Because of this, Jesus gave people new starts and new beginnings which is opposite of the cancel culture mindset of His day and sadly ours. Grace changed the world when Jesus began His ministry. The apostle John, continuing that earlier verse, finishes with “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17) John understood this change. He is saying that Moses gave us the law, but Jesus gave us grace. Grace changed the world during that time. Jesus began a revolution that would welcome millions to embrace salvation through Him alone, because of grace. Not the sacrificing of lambs and doves and memorizing the Torah or being of a reputable family. Grace alone. This revolution of grace would expand to the far reaches of the known world. The church is birthed on the Day of Pentecost, just fifty days after the crucifixion of Jesus. This church full of God’s Spirit and full of grace would become a major institution in the world for hundreds
of years. All this happened because the world would embrace grace as an idea, and as a Person. The church expanded from onehundred twenty disciples to millions throughout the world until AD 300. Church historians would tell us this year was a key change for the church. Augustine the emperor would embrace salvation, and Christianity would become legal and nominal. Large edifices and buildings would be open to the public and replace hundreds of years of having to meet in private out of fear of death. The church would arise and become even stronger. So much so that even the government would adopt her laws and beliefs. Statues would be erected declaring the churches allegiance to Christ, and the disciples after Him. Finally, one would think the church would be free to worship Jesus in the open. That change although it was good also brought about its problems. Rapid and explosive growth led to forming structures, leaders, councils, creeds and…rules. Freely expressing Christian dogma was only to be done inside the authority of the church. Outside of the church’s authority one would be subjected to the laws of the State. The Bible as the authority for the church would be replaced by the forefather’s writings. When the Bible is not the authority, we learn that man’s opin-
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ions become the authority. Like today’s culture, grace became replaced by rigorous rules and litmus tests for social scoring. People who dared speak out against the rigorous nature of the church or dared interpret a bible to share with the world would be castigated, harassed and/or burned at a stake. John Wycliffe (1320) was a man who was not only cancelled by his culture, but he would be excommunicated by his church. His crime was speaking against his leadership. In 1384 he argued for "Scriptures as the authoritative center of Christianity, that the claims of the papacy were unhistorical, that monasticism was irredeemably corrupt, and that the moral unworthiness of priests invalidated their office and sacraments.” History tells us that the pope accused Wycliffe of heresy, or opinions that contradict church doctrine. Wycliffe's followers were persecuted, and some of them were burned to death. After his death, the church had his writings burned. Graceless actions like these are where America is heading if the embrace of grace does not come once again to our land. As often as grace changes us and the culture around us. There seems to be a natural springing back to works based, rule-based living and worship. It was not until the 1500’s
that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany protesting the practice of selling indulgences. Luther, an Augustine monk was giving the job to write on Scripture. The more he read the more he found that some things he and the church were doing were in conflict to Scripture. He had many conflicts with the church from the Bible’s perspective, but the main one was about salvation in grace alone. The church taught that salvation came through the church, therefore leaving out grace (and Jesus apparently). Yet Luther declared the Biblical view is found in (Ephesians 2), “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Notice that a careful reading of Scripture imparts grace to the reader. When the Bible is not taught, or read or allowed in the public square, grace is diminished. Luther’s actions and works for authority of Scripture and Salvation found in grace alone was not in vain. Out of this came the Protestant movement of which forty three percent of American Christians and forty percent around the world See GRACE on Page 45
6 Ways We Make Life Harder Than It Needs To Be By Paul David Tripp
This is an oversimplification, but I believe the following statement is true: if Christians lived as if eternity were real, many of our problems would disappear. Each week at church, you and I affirm our belief in heaven and hell, but there is a significant difference between our confessional theology and our functional living. How often did you think of eternity last week, and how did it impact your decisions? If I’m honest, not very much. What about you? Consequently, our lives are much more complicated than they need to be. Our struggles reveal more about our eternity amnesia than it does about the world around us. Let’s consider some of the ways that forgetting about Forever com-
plicates today: 1. We focus too much on self. God created us to live with more in view than just the present moment’s comfort, pleasure, and happiness. Add the fact that we are not in charge, we do not live in the center of the universe, and life moves by the will and purpose of Another! When we shrink our existence down to momentary wants, feelings, and needs, we’re fighting against God’s sovereign narrative and intended design for our joy. 2. We ask too much of people. If we try to make today our paradise, we unwittingly ask the people around us to provide that paradise for us. How tremendously unfair! They cannot give us the constant inner peace and satisfaction that we can only ever experience in eternity. It will only end in disappointment, frustration, conflict, and division. 3. We are too controlling and fearful. At some point, everyone
The Christian Journey will feel like life is passing them by; unfulfilled dreams are inescapable. Instead of chasing them in futility, view them as alerts that God designed us for another world. If you live with the coming world in view, these will be gentle (but still painful) reminders. 4. We question the goodness of God. If we don’t understand God’s eternal narrative, we will doubt His character. God’s promises only reach their fulfillment in the world that is to come; if we forget, we will feel that we have been hit with a divine bait and switch. Life in a fallen world is enormously more complicated when you don’t have confidence that you have a loving Father. 5. We are more disappointed than thankful. Many of us are unthankful, not because God has failed us, or we have suffered much, or the people around us have been particularly challenging to live with, but because we approach life hoping that it will deliver to us
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, - Ephesians 2:8
things that we can only experience in eternity. Grumbling people don’t have much joy and miss out on the gifts God provides today! 6. We lack motivation and hope. When life inevitably disappoints, you will either lose enthusiasm and optimism, or remember that God’s plan is marching toward a moment when He will restore all that the fall has broken. Yes, life is hard, and you will experience things you never imagined, but eternity fills you with a reason to get up in the morning and press on. Do you want to experience life to the fullest today, as you wait for paradise? Remember that today is never meant to make you complete—it’s a preparation for a final destination. You are not living in the final chapter of the story. What is broken will be fixed, what has been bent will be straightened, and what has See 6 WAYS on Page 39
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Guiding Light The Key To Building Confidence In God’s Word By Chip Ingram
Can you honestly say, “I believe the Bible is the Word of God and I believe that it’s true?” I can remember a time when I doubted this to be true. I was a graduate student at West Virginia University and one day I was walking into one of my classes when a very bright Ph.D. student passed me and then stopped in his tracks. He spotted a Bible on top of a stack of books I was carrying. He looked at me and then at my Bible. “Is that a Bible?” he asked. “Yeah.” “You don’t really believe that, do you?” he said with disdain in his voice.
And in a moment of faith, I said, “Yeah, I really do!” Then he walked away, and gave me one of those glances that seemed to imply, “How in the world could you be doing graduate work at a secular university and actually believe the Bible?” It was in that moment that I felt ashamed of the Bible. Later, I asked myself, “Why? Why did I feel ashamed?” I realized it was because I didn’t have confidence. I knew that I had a personal relationship with God, and He was speaking to me through the Bible. But I didn’t have confidence that the Bible was the Word of God. Then, between my third and fourth year in college, everything began to unravel. I suddenly began to wonder if my faith was true. I wondered if my salvation was true,
if Jesus was real, and if I could trust the Bible. It was horrendous! My emotional connection with God just evaporated. But I remember deciding, regardless of how I felt, I would read God’s Word. My faith couldn’t be built on my experience or my feelings. My faith had to be built on truth. I was barely hanging on until one day while reading my Bible I happened to come across this passage that was so encouraging. “Remember the former things, things of long ago. I am God, there is no other; I am God, there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” – (Isaiah 46:8-11) Earlier in the book, the prophet Isaiah basically says, ‘Our God can tell the future, beginning to end. He makes prophecies and they come through a hundred percent of the time.’ And then I remembered someone saying that there are over three hundred prophecies alone that Jesus fulfilled in His first coming. After I did some research, I found out for myself that those prophecies were predicted seven hundred years before He was even born.
I began to realize that only a God who is sovereign and all-knowing could predict what is going to happen a hundred percent of the time. It was mind-boggling! Suddenly, my faith was infused. There are many facts about the Bible that helped infuse my faith. But prophecy was one of the most powerful things that helped me to hold on when I had my doubts. I don’t think it’s bad or wrong to doubt. I think there are times when it’s normal to struggle when someone challenges our faith. I’m actually glad that Ph.D. student said what he said and that I realized I didn’t have confidence because I realized I needed to trust God’s Word. Everybody trusts someone’s word. Some kids trust their mom and dad’s word. Some of us trust the word of an authority figure. And sometimes we trust the words we hear on TV. But we can trust God’s Word. God’s word is reliable. God’s Word is credible. And it can stand up to scrutiny anywhere at any time. Chip Ingram Copyright © Living on the Edge. All rights reserved. >
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The Great Exchange By Adrian Rogers says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble." Most Americans want God to hear their prayers but they are not seeking the face of God. For America to experience revival, we must confess our sins in prayer and repent. Repentance is more than conviction of sin. I have seen the hand of God move upon people. They have gripped the back of the pew until their knuckles turned white. The Holy Spirit was convicting them of their sin and yet they chose not to respond. Repentance is more than confession of sin. How well I remember the attendance in our church after 9/11. In just a few months, life was back to "normal." Did they see a need to confess and repent of their sinful ways? No. And this nation has sunk deeper and deeper into filth and debauchery than any other time in history. Repentance is more than contrition of sin. Tears often accompany repentance, but sometimes people cry and still don't repent. (Second Corinthians 7:10) says, "For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death." Repentance is a whole-hearted
heart change. (Ezekiel 14:6) says, "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations". Can So many times, I wonder if you imagine standing at the altar and oceans of tears and rivers of blood your soon-to-be spouse promises to will be the price that this nation be eighty percent faithful? Not me! pays for flaunting itself in the eyes And I would hope, not you! of a righteous and a holy God. Repentance is a continuing change. Our only hope is in repentance. I repented of my sin when I gave my (Second Chronicles 7:14): "If My heart to Jesus Christ as a teen. I gave people, which are called by My all I knew of me to all I knew of Jesus name, shall humble themselves, and and friend that was enough. Since pray, and seek My face, and turn that time, I have learned a whole lot from their wicked ways; then will I more about Jesus and I have learned hear from heaven, and will forgive a whole lot more about me. I've done their sin, and will heal their land." far more repenting after I got saved God is speaking to His people than I did when I got saved. called by His name. We must recog(Acts 17:30) tells us that God nize that "judgment must begin at the commands every man, woman, and house of God: and if it first begins at child to repent. All are sinners, us, what shall the end be of them that none is excluded. The unsaved need obey not the gospel of God? And if to repent and be saved. The saved the righteous scarcely be saved, need to repent and be sanctified so where shall the ungodly and the sinthat they may serve the Lord Jesus ner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-8). with a clean heart. Our beloved nation reeks with Are you experiencing sleepless humanistic haughtiness. It is time nights, difficulty concentrating, a ANA for genuine humility. (James 4:6) ANA sense of restlessness or lack of Tired, worried, scared or peace? Perhaps you may be experi(866) scared 310-7977or TextREACHOUT Reachout 310-7977 TEXT Tired,(866) worried, BOUT s a just plain stressed? LOUISIANA 24-Hour Hotline to 741741 encing some guilt. You're attending a 24-HOUR HOTLINE TO 741741 ANA CPIRIT r i s i s SPIRITjust plain stressed? risis Tired, worried, scared or church, reading the Word, or listenm for Doesworried, juggling familyorand scared just plain •juggling Tired, worried, scared or just nitafiso Sarpfederally i r i t i s•aTired, just plain stressed? Does family and ing to a preacher like me! And then s ,f uanndde d C r i s i swork seems overwhelming? plain stressed? Counseling stressed? , and work seems overwhelming? you become convicted of sin. Instead by or ndividuals, Does juggling family and bgy P r o g r a m•f Does • Does juggling family and juggling family and work seem of repenting, some people want to isolated? s ,S p f ai rmi itl i e s , a n Do d you feel groups work seems overwhelming? You are not alone. S p i r iaffected t Do youwork feelseem isolated? overwhelming? overwhelming? u ,d b y You are not alone. just deaden that nagging guilt. apf p f eocrtteSpirit ouisiana pport, L i ssupport, S pDo i rDo i tyou Do you feel isolated? o onu a ni adn a • tional • miss Do you feel isolated? Repentance is not just a good thing you your loved ones Talk to someone feel isolated? You are alone. n a n d s u p p o rDo Talk tonot someone mformation t , you miss your loved ones voot irosn a l and You are not alone. to consider. It is necessity to experiwho you haven’t seen •you Do your you miss your loved ones v ion rf os r m a t i o• You are not alone. ones whom n Do a nwho dyou miss seen urvivors impacted Dohaven’t you loved miss your loved ones today! Talk to someone ent ence the grace of God. Jesus said, "I of COVID19? today! Talk to to someone someone whom you haven’t seen nfto r It s u r v i v o ryou s because haven’t seen because because of you COVID19? who haven’tof seen Talk nsters. d e d is funded tell you, Nay: except ye repent, ye today! dy r ebyc eFEMA edford de b n t COVID19?because of COVID19? Today! of COVID19? A c t Act by you because “so over” COVID19? Today! sc . tI t bithrough sy f u n d e d Are shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). stered Are you “so over” COVID19? you “so over” COVID19? sS tt e r eodr d A• Are you •“soAre over” COVID19? tAbuse earfef d and c t b y Are you “so over” COVID19?
God's grace has a condition upon it repentance and humility. God resists those who are filled with pride and not willing to repent (see James 4:68). Repentance is drawing close to God and resisting the devil. Friend, it's time for each person across this land of ours to not only feel conviction, confession, or contrition for sin, but also to repent - to turn from our wicked ways. We must individually and corporately as a people of God bow before our Maker and repent. We need to pray individually and corporately for our churches and our nation. It's time for revival but first there must be repentance. There must be prayer. Will you pray? Adrian Rogers © 2021 Love Worth Finding Ministries, P.O. Box 38300, Memphis, TN 38183, www.lwf.org >
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Victorious Living How To Stand Up And Fight! By David Wilkerson With all the talk going on in the church about spiritual warfare, Christians still have not learned how to stand up to the enemy. We are pushovers for the devil! I don’t believe every misfortune that befalls a Christian comes from the devil. We wrongly blame him
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for a lot of our own carelessness, disobedience and laziness. It’s easy to blame the devil for our foolishness. That way, we don’t have to deal with it. But there is a real devil present in the world today and he is busy at work! Let me tell you something of Satan’s strategy. If he cannot pull the Almighty out of His throne, he will try to tear God’s image out of you! He wants to turn worshippers into murmurers and blasphemers. Satan cannot attack you at will. God has put a wall of fire around each of His children, and Satan cannot go beyond that wall without God’s permission. Satan cannot read a Christian’s mind. Some people are afraid to pray because they think the devil eavesdrops on them! Others think the devil can read their every thought. Not so! Only God is omnipresent and omniscient.
Scripture commands us to stand up, be strong and do battle against the flesh and the devil: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13). Brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). You have to become fed up with being held down by the devil, living low, depressed, joyless, empty, and harassed! The book of Judges tells us, and the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel (Judges 6:1,2). The Israelites were at their lowest point ever. They were driven to living in dark caves and damp dens, starving, scared and helpless. Then something happened. It started with Gideon, and it spread throughout the whole camp: Israel got sick and tired of hiding in those dark caves! Gideon said to himself, how long should we put up with this? They go through our land with no opposition. Nobody stands up and does anything about it! We’re told we have a God who moved for our fathers. But look at us now, we are
stripped and helpless. We live in constant fear! Something rose up within Gideon. And he said just what God was waiting to hear: This has gone far enough! We serve a mighty, victorious God. Why do we go on, day after day, taking this abuse? God will not do anything until you are thoroughly disgusted and until you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. You have to do as Gideon did. Cry out to the Lord! We serve the same God that Israel did. If He heard Israel’s cry in their idolatry, He will hear you in your sincerity. David Wilkerson Copyright © 2021 by World Challenge, Inc., P.O. Box 260, Lindale, Texas 75771.>
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PURPOSE continued from Page 5
JOURNEY Continued from Page 8
GRANDPA Continued from Page 18
destiny is. We need to return to the fundamental questions about why we are here, what really matters, and what our destiny is. While God is excited about you fulfilling your design as an imagebearer, our infinite Creator is working far beyond our understanding and experiences to unify His people and fulfill His plan. That’s the bigger picture. As we live out our unique purpose by letting Jesus live through us, we have the privilege of experiencing Him through our personal transformation and also through unity with His people. After all, His body is a vast, unified mosaic that better reflects his image than one human being could ever do. To be a part of that mosaic is to explore, experience and learn God‘s purpose for your unique life.
may be difficult to transition over because we like familiar and comfort, but go with the new flow and direction of God; do not stay stuck or you will become stagnant. God has been refining, restoring, correcting, teaching, and now the time has come to embrace a new journey. Don't pick up where you were before. Start fresh, a new, and don't look back, or compare the past to the future. The tide is about to turn on this very long journey that you have been on. Make sure you are obedient to what Christ tells you and cleanse and repent of all sins. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Embrace the new journey. God is preparing His people, do not be deceived and continue on the journey that the world is taking; stay the course Christ has for you. >
called me to him and sat me on his knee in this very same chair. This was a special day-a day he told me what I will tell you know. You'll not find such a story in your history books, but it is as real as the white beard you see on my face." "I remember looking at his hands as I sat on his lap, tracing those large, calloused hands with my tiny fingers. I dreamed of the day my hands would be as large and strong as his. He took my hands and cupped them between his and spoke something to me I'll never forget." "'Son, never allow your foot to tread outside the door of your cabin, never allow your hands to touch the plow, never allow bread to pass your lips until you give thanks to the Almighty. Never doubt the Lord is with you; acknowledge Him in all you say, in all you do, and everywhere you go.'" "With that said he wrapped his huge arms around me and began to pray." "'Oh Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, keep this lad only to yourself. Make him into a fine, strong man, a God-fearing man, and give him many children and grandchildren to teach Your ways.'"
Chip Ingram Copyright © Living on the Edge. All rights reserved.>
Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC Founder of Hope Ministry www.stephaniereck.com Hope Ministry, @2021 www.faithwriters.com
"And, that, my beloved family, I have done to the best of my ability. Although I was like some of you sitting here today, not understanding what those words really meant, I remember them as if he spoke them yesterday. Today, my heart is such that I am compelled to pray with you those same words. Come here, and gather in close around me. Stand reverently as I taught you and close your eyes." Everyone in the cabin moved in close to Grandpa Langley. Even the little ones stood quietly as he prayed. Those who understood will testify to this day that their lives changed that night Grandpa prayed. There was a divine impartation from the heart of a wise and Godly man who loved his family, but loved God in greater measure...his life proved it. Grandpa Langley passed away that night in his sleep. This will be the first New Year’s Day at the old homestead without that dear precious man, but his words of wisdom will never be forgotten. This year my husband, his oldest son, will carry on the tradition and one day our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will talk of the day when their Grandpa prayed. ©2021 FaithWriters.com. All Rights Reserved >
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WAKE UP Continued from Page 20 of God, what should she do? She should first look at herself and wonder why she is such a foolish woman that she won’t let her husband provide, protect, and care for her the way he is supposed to. A controlling wife should not find any other reason of why she is bossy and domineering other than through herself. It all comes down to knowing what your responsibilities are and acting on them with the right wisdom and care, that’s all. The right wisdom will come from your Creator and the wrong wisdom will come from somewhere else. We need to be careful in our walk and discerning in wisdom. Not all wisdom that our ears hear will be from God. Don’t let yourself remain deceived any longer. Wake up! And start taking responsibility for your marriage. …while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13) At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated
and hating one another. (Titus 3:3) Angie Lewis is the author of four marriage books offering marriage tips and wisdom filled answers tackling such issues as addiction, adultery, pornography, emotions, beliefs, forgiveness, communication and much, much more. Adultery Pandemic is Angie's latest book. Turn Your Marriage into A Success! If you want to restore your marriage from the demoralizing effects of adultery, then look no further - this is the book for you! Your Marriage Can Be Restored! A treasure book filled with effective guidance for your marriage from forgiveness and trust to recommitting your lives to each other again. Practical and easy-to-read, this book combines the solutions and remedies your marriage needs towards recovery. This book will give you the guidance you need to discover the true secrets to a happy, lifelong marriage. Angie Lewis © 2002-2021 Heaven Ministries. All Rights Reserved. www.heavenministries.org >
DRINK THIS Continued from Page 27 and colds, periodontitis improvements, reduced prostatitis, fewer vaginal infections, and decreased postoperative infections. Additionally, Vitamin C in lemon juice can boost the immune system. This water-soluble vitamin has been linked to immune health, and a reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress. 9. Increased Nutrients And Antioxidants By adding fermented green foods to your drinks, you get more nutrients than a normal fruit of vegetables. Fermented foods contain vitamins and minerals that are easy to digest and absorb. In fact, vitamins A and C increase in many foods after fermentation. Compounds like phytic acid that impair mineral absorption are
decreased. Unlike most pills, fermented foods contain multiple bacteria strains plus the prebiotic fiber they eat. And maybe best of all, Green Supreme food contains green tea leaf extract! With this drink, you get a double-punch of EGCG. Bottom Line By adding this drink to your daily routine, you may just change your life with these 10 amazing health benefits. In fact, from your brain to the skin on your feet, it will flood your body with powerful nutrients. Try it today!
© All rights reserved 2021 Dr. Don Colbert.
Today Fill the day with love. Forget yourself, and think of others. If there is a call for kindness, show the kindness now, today, for it may be too late tomorrow. If a heart hungers for a word of appreciation, of commendation, of cheer, of encouragement, say the word today. The trouble with too many people is that they fill the day with neglects, with postponements, with omissions, with idle words and idle silence. We do not realize vividly enough that there are many things which is not done today need not be done at all. If we have slept through the hours when duty waited, we may as well then sleep on. - J.R. Miller
Grow in Grace and Knowledge
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18) "Grow in grace"—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward—having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to "grow in . . . the knowledge of our Lord and Savior." He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is "life eternal," and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who
does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ does satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction that the appetite is not choked, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus as the hart pants for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, "Nearer, nearer." Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Do not rest content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent Live close to the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace. Alistair Begg Copyright © 2021, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
6 WAYS Continued from Page 33 decayed will be restored. Eternity will give you a reason to continue, be thankful, and find joy, even when nothing right now seems as if it is working. God bless, Paul David Tripp REFLECTION QUESTIONS 1. How often did you think of eternity last week, and how did it impact your decisions? 2. Think of a God-honoring decision that you made recently because you remembered eternity. What might you have done differently had you neglected to consider Forever? 3. Which of the six reasons can you identify most with? How have you complicated your life recently because of it? Be specific. 4. Consider that same area. How can you practically live with heaven in view, and what difference might that make moving forward? What steps will you take today to remember eternity? 5. Do you want to be known as
a thankful, joyful, motivated, and hopeful person? What difference will that make in your relationships with non-believing neighbors? How does living in light of eternity make you a better evangelist for the Gospel? Paul David Tripp Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc. >
Come as You Are
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Have You Ever Considered Yourself To Be An Anointed Christian?
And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you, but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (1 John 2:27) God has anointed you so that you may be equipped for every good work: to resist evil, to know the truth, to preach the Word, to be able
to pray, to have fellowship with God... expound on this. You are anointed of God. Have you ever considered yourself to be an anointed Christian? Maybe you've thought that only certain people in ministry are anointed or maybe you've only considered that the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles were the only ones anointed and that you are not. No matter what you have or haven't thought about the anointing of God, if you are a Christian, then you have received an anointing. But, do you know what this anointing is? According to Webster's Dictionary, to anoint means to "rub oil or ointment on”, “to put oil on in a ceremony of consecration." Maybe you have been anointed with oil in a prayer service, or when someone has prayed over you for healing or
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor”. Alright, so now you know that anointing is biblical, that it was done for a variety of reasons, and that even Jesus was anointed. So, you may ask why this is important. It is important because it helps you understand better your need for anointing. (1 John 2:27) says that you have received an anointing. You have been anointed, but with what? For a clue to that, let's go to Jesus' baptism in (Matt. 3:13-17) "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized; he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." See ANOINTED on Page 46
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maybe you've even done the anointing. Then again, perhaps the idea of anointing with oil is foreign to you. Whatever the case, anointing is found all over the Bible. The prophets, priests and kings were anointed. Even the sick was anointed. So, you might ask, for what purpose were they anointed? Prophets were anointed to be able to proclaim God's word. Priests were anointed to carry out their duties of worship and sacrifice. Kings were anointed so they could rule. People were anointed for healing. Objects were anointed so they could be set aside for holy use. As you can see, anointing is a very biblical concept and a common occurrence. As I said, anointing occurs for a purpose: for proclaiming, for worship, for sacrifice, for ruling, for healing, and to make something ready for holy use. In fact, that is why Jesus was anointed, so that He could carry out His ministry. In (Luke 4:18-19), Jesus quoted from (Isaiah 61:1-2) and said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
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It Takes Time And Effort To Rebuild Trust
By Dr. John Delony
It can happen in an instant. It can also happen gradually. No matter how it happens, broken trust is painful and disorienting. Every relationship, whether it’s with friends, family or a romantic partner, is built on trust. When that foundation is shaken, you are shaken. Whether you’re in the wake of a massive betrayal, or struggling with a string of small broken promises, you must choose to trust again if you want the relationship to survive. But relationships can come back stronger than ever. I’m not talking about a bunch of warm and fuzzy emotional nonsense, though. If you wait until you feel like it, you’ll never get around to it. It’s time to get serious about rebuilding trust if you’re experiencing the following signs in your relationships: Anxiety Anxiety is an alarm that alerts you when you’re feeling discon-
nected, unsafe or out of control. Mistrust is a toxic cocktail of these ingredients: You’re distant, you’re open to hurt, and it’s impossible to control the other person’s behavior. If you feel anxious about your relationship, you might be lacking trust in them, yourself or both. Controlling Behavior Being controlling is one of the telltale signs of a toxic relationship. You’re always monitoring, checking in, reading text and Facebook messages, or feeling fearful of what the other person is doing. You ask them where they’ve been and where they’re going. Every interaction feels like an interrogation, or an opportunity to exert power. Anger and Blame When you lack trust with someone, you’re often quick to suspect, blame and become angry with them. You’ve been hurt before, so you’re quick to accuse people in an effort to protect yourself. Keeping Secrets A secret is purposefully hiding something from someone with an intent to deceive them. This is not
about secretly preparing a birthday party. This is about loading up credit card debt that your partner doesn’t know about, or ending every browsing session on your computer by clearing your search history because you want to hide your web traffic. Catastrophizing Catastrophizing is the nerd word for assuming the worst. It’s when you expect someone to make a bad decision, to cheat, to hurt you, to show up late (again). It’s when your default setting switches from giving the benefit of the doubt to making up worst-case-scenarios. Rebuilding Trust in 8 Steps Picture the remains of the twin towers after the 9/11 attacks. The once-beautiful buildings were reduced to ugly piles of rubble. It would’ve been absurd to try to sweep up the broken bits and pieces, glue them back together, and reconstruct the buildings with the same materials. The same is true of a relationship that has suffered a deep violation of trust. You and your partner, sibling,
friend or parent must commit to cocreating something new. Start from ground zero. Excavate everything, and commit to designing, engineering and building something meaningful. 1. Take responsibility Own up to what you did, even if it was small. If you were the person who committed the betrayal, be honest and acknowledge the damage and hurt you caused. Even if you were the one hurt, you might have played a role in the break in the relationship. Bring your hurts to the table, listen well and take ownership. 2. Practice forgiveness Choosing not to forgive leads to bitterness. Forgiveness is both a onetime choice, and an ongoing decision, not to hold the past against someone. Forgiveness isn’t contingent on a feeling or on someone else’s behavior. Forgiveness is a choice you make to lighten your own load. 3. Leave the past in the past This doesn’t mean you don’t learn See TRUST on Page 46
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God’s Simple Plan of Salvation
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My Friend, I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved. Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In (John 3:7), Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How? First, you must realize you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell. “. . . It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “. . . He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). “. . . without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22). “. . . God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. My friend, “God . . . commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross. In (Acts 16:30-31), the Philippians jailer asked Paul and Silas: “. . .
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved.” Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved. Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repent and lift your heart to God in prayer. In (Luke 18:13), the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Lord and Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.” It doesn’t end here. It’s a fresh start of a new way of living with Jesus Christ at the center of your life. Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no membership hall, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! God’s simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” Yes, that simple! It is scriptural. It is God’s plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as your Lord and Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this article over and over, without laying it down, until you understand it. Your soul is worth See SALVATION on Page 45
FROM THE PULPIT
It Is Finished! By Arthur Pink
"When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (John 19:30) How terribly have these blessed words of Christ been misunderstood, misappropriated and misapplied! How many seem to think that on the cross the Lord Jesus accomplished a work which rendered it unnecessary for the beneficiaries of it to live holy lives on earth. So many have been deluded into thinking that, so far as reaching heaven is concerned, it matters not how they walk provided they are "resting on the finished work of Christ." They may be unfruitful, untruthful, disobedient, yet (though they may possibly miss some millennial crown) so long as they repudiate all righteousness of their own and have faith in Christ—they imagine they are "eternally secure." All around us are people who are worldly-minded, money-lovers, and pleasure-seekers, yet who think all is well with them because they have "accepted Christ as their personal Savior." In their aspirations, conversations, and recreations, there is
practically nothing to differentiate them from those who make no profession at all. Neither in their homelife nor social-life is there anything but empty pretensions to distinguish them from others. The fear of God is not upon them, the commands of God have no authority over them, and the holiness of God has no attraction for them. "It is finished!" How solemn to realize that these words of Christ must have been used to lull thousands into a false peace. Yet such is the case. We have come into close contact with many who have no private prayer-life, who are selfish, covetous and dishonest—but who suppose that a merciful God will overlook all such things, provided they once put their trust in the Lord Jesus. What a horrible perversion of the truth! What a turning of God's grace "into a license for immorality!" (Jude 4). Yes, those who now live the most self-seeking and flesh-pleasing lives, talk about their faith in the blood of the Lamb, and suppose they are safe. How the devil has deceived them! "It is finished!" Do those blessed words signify that Christ so satisfied the requirement of God's holiness, that holiness no longer has any real and pressing claims upon us? Perish the thought! Even to the redeemed, God says, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). Did Christ "magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21) that we might be lawless? Did He "fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15) to purchase for us an immunity from loving God with all our hearts
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and serving Him with all our faculties? Did Christ die in order to secure a divine indulgence that we might live to please SELF? Many seem to think so. No, the Lord Jesus has left His people an example that they should "follow (not ignore) His steps." "It is finished!" What was "finished? …The need for sinners to repent? No indeed! …The need for turning to God from idols? No indeed! …The need for mortifying my members which are upon earth? No indeed! …The need for being sanctified wholly, in spirit, and soul, and body? No indeed! Christ died not to make my sorrow for, hatred of, and striving against sin, useless. Christ died not to absolve me from the full discharge of my responsibilities unto God. Christ did not die—so that I might go on retaining the friendship and fellowship of the world. How very strange that any should think that He did. Yet, the actions of many shows, that this is their idea. "It is finished." What was "finished?" The sacrificial types were accomplished, the prophecies, of His sufferings were fulfilled, the work given Him by the Father had been perfectly done, a sure foundation had been laid on which a righteous God could pardon the vilest
transgressor of the law who threw down the weapons of his warfare against Him. Christ had now performed all that was necessary in order for the Holy Spirit to come and work in the hearts of His people; convincing them of their rebellion, slaying their enmity against God, and producing in them a loving and obedient heart. O, dear reader, make no mistake on this point. The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing—if your heart has never been broken through an agonizing consciousness of your sinfulness. The "finished work of Christ" avails you nothing—unless you have been saved from the power and pollution of sin (Matthew 1:21). It avails you nothing—if you still love the world (1 John 2:15). It avails you nothing—unless you are a "new creature" in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). If you value your soul, search the Scriptures to see for yourself; take no man's word for it. 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 2021 >
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black pepper. 4. Continue to whisk until seasoning is well incorporated. 5. Add chicken into the dish and toss to coat in marinade. 6. Place in the fridge to marinate for 2-6 hours, turning the chicken every hour or two. 7. Preheat grill to medium heat. 8. Arrange chicken on grill and cook for about 10 minutes 9. Flip chicken and cook for another 5 minutes or until skin is crispy and golden. 10. Remove chicken from grill. 11. Serve and enjoy!
GRILLED CHIPOTLE GARLIC CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS INGREDIENTS • 3 pounds organic chicken drumsticks • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice • 1/4 cup avocado oil • 2 cloves organic garlic, minced • 1 tablespoon lime zest • 1 tablespoon organic cumin powder • 1 tablespoon organic chipotle powder • 1 teaspoon sea salt • 1/2 teaspoon organic black pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. To make the marinade: combine avocado oil and lime juice in a large baking dish. 2. Whisk until well-combined. 3. Add in the garlic, cumin, chipotle powder, sea salt, and
NUTRITION FACTS Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 2 drumsticks Per Serving: Calories: 255 kilocalories Fat: 15 grams Protein: 26 grams Total Carbohydrates: 4 grams Fiber: 1 gram Net Carbs: 3 grams
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Kangen Water Are You Making The Right Choice With The Type of Liquids You’re Consuming?
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Remy, my daughter, and I went for a bike ride to our favorite spot to eat, Que Rico! Cuban Cafe. As we were dining a man started setting up for his Kangen water presentation. Remy was age 2 at the time; she walked up to the man's table to grab one of his cherry tomatoes which prompted a conversation between him and I. That conversation changed my life. Spring of 2018 I became aware that not all water is created equal. Nature has produced "Miracle Waters" in only 7 places in the world: Lourdes, France - Tiacote, Mexico - Nordenau, Germany - Delhi, India, Japan, Italy and China. The native people in these areas enjoy long and healthy lives. The secret to these waters is that they are clean, they are living, they are natural mineral rich alkaline, small in cluster, and rich in negative ions - "antioxidants". Sharing Kangen water with my family came natural. My 80
year old grandmother was physically active, drank a gallon of water a day, had a healthy diet and yet was experiencing severe issues with a spastic colon. She was told the next step would be a colostomy bag. Switching to Kangen water gave her some relief after one week; 60 days later she no longer had any issues with her colon! This was the missing link. What a blessing! Changing her life is an understatement. The human body is comprised of over 70% water. It is no exaggeration to say that "the basis of vitality and long life is water." Summer of 2018 I opened the Kangen Water Wellness Center. It has become my passion to continue to share this amazing technology. Kangen has been changing lives since 1974 when the founder created a technology to recreate the attributes that are found in the above referenced places that are found around the world. >
SALVATION Continued from Page 42 more than the entire world. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Make sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment. God’s power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God’s promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are 3 things to practice daily
for spiritual growth: • Pray -- you talk to God. • Read your Bible -- God talks to you. • Witness -- you talk for God. AFTER you are saved, you should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:8) “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). >
GRACE Continued from Page 32 belong to. Grace changed the world. Salvation by grace and not of works found in faith through Jesus Christ changed the world. Though Jesus, Wycliffe and Luther plus thousands of others were cancelled because of the rigorous rules of their religion and culture. A rudimentary glance back at history tells us that grace can change the world. Cancel culture says that we are named by our “sins” spiritually or socially, but grace says we are given a new life through Jesus Christ! About this Paul
writes, “therefore if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation; old things are passed away; and all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Please join me in cancelling cancel culture and embrace grace for all today! May God bless you. Doug Gilford, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church -23051 Hwy 1088, Mandeville, La 70448. 985-624-8652, www.cornerstonenola. com
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During prolonged critical times, like wars or pandemics, people often feel that there's no "light at the end of the "tunnel." We human beings, as "creatures of the day," are generally afraid of the dark and love the light. We are a fraid of the unexpected, as we enter and go through the tun-nel. When will it all end, we wonder? Think now of a safe place in that darkness where we can endure until the darkness is over. God has provided such a place. In Psalm 91:1, it's a "Secret place" where we can "abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Like a hen hiding her chicks under her wings, His shadow is protection. Psalm 57:) says,"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast." Time and again, we trust in what turns out to be unreliable, like weather forecasts, but we can never say that about God. through belief and trust in
His Son, we will have eternal life and through wis Holy Spirit, we can be given guidance. To find that "secret place of the most High," we must find God, as the prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 29, verse 145 says: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." That requires us to do the hard part: to confess our sins and tell God our fears and misgivings; we then can abide in His presence and find rest in His "habitation," that "secret place" of God's peace and comfort. No enemy, no threat can enter there. Psalm 27:5 tells us, "For in the time of troublel He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall He hide me...." And Psalm 119:114 says, "Thou art my hiding place and my shield...." Regardless of the darkness we are in, God has promised light at the end of the tunnel, and ultimately, at life's end, for those who know the Savior, the "secret place" will open into the Kingdom of Heaven where the light will be forever.
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1-888-259-1231 504-821-2273 New Orleans Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. – Proverbs 23:23
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RELATIONSHIPS TRUST Continued from Page 41 lifelong lessons. It means the past is no longer a weapon. Yes, the hurt will resurface from time to time. You’ll be tempted to fall back into old patterns of mistrust. But you must choose to intentionally shift your mindset to the next chapter. 4. Allow time and space for grief Give yourself (and the other person) plenty of time to move through things. Don’t ignore your feelings or emotions, but don’t let them dictate how you behave, either. Be patient, understanding and don’t judge the other person if they’re not healing as quickly as you. 5. Small things mean a lot Work to establish trust in simple things. Show up to your kid’s dance recitals. If you say you’ll do the laundry, do it. If you promise to be home for dinner, keep that promise. Be a person who is true to their word. 6. Practice vulnerability Trust is built through open and honest exchanges of thoughts, feelings and experiences. In other words, being vulnerable again. Yes, this means you might get hurt—again. But vulnerability is the only soil that allows relationships to grow. 7. Address the deeper issues Breaking someone’s trust may not have been intentional, but in most cases, it still wasn’t an accident. There’s a reason thing deterio-
rated to this point, both within you and within the relationship. Are you allowing stories and voices from your past to harm your current relationships? Are you remaining in dysfunctional relationships because you’re afraid to be honest with yourself? This is important work. If necessary, find a good professional therapist to guide you through things. 8. Create a new future Spend lots of time together simply connecting. Get to know each other again. Have fun and be silly. Create time for serious conversations. Be specific about the kind of relationship you want. Remember, each relationship is different. Each has a unique timeline for rebuilding trust. Sometimes, rebuilding trust takes weeks. Other times, it takes years. It’s rarely clean or simple, but it’s often transformational. * Dr. John Delony is a mental health expert with PhDs in Counselor Education & Supervision and Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University. Prior to joining Ramsey Solutions in 2020, John worked as a senior leader, professor, and researcher at multiple universities. He also spent two decades in crisis response, walking with people through severe trauma. Now as a Ramsey Personality, he teaches on relationships and emotional wellness. >
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ANOINTED Continued from Page 40 Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized into John's baptism of repentance? Some say it was to identify with us; there is much truth in that. Others say it was to be an example; there is also much truth there, too. But probably the main reason that Jesus was baptized was because it was at His baptism that He began His ministry and entered into the Melchizedek priesthood so He could become the High Priest and the Holy Sacrifice. In Jesus' baptism, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit that descended as a dove. Jesus was washed in baptism and He was anointed with the Spirit of God. If Jesus needed to be anointed, then so do you. Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit who would teach us all things (John 14:26). The anointing you have received, then, is the Holy Spirit. What does this mean, that you are anointed with the Holy Spirit? It means that you are anointed for Christian ministry while you live in this world. It means that you have been enabled, entrusted, and empowered to accomplish God's will. In my research about this, I found about 40 things you are anointed to do. Ten of them are: 1. To be able to discern truth – (1 John 2:27). 2. To testify of the truth – (1 John 5:6) "This is the one Who came by water and blood- Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth." 3. To be able to pray – (Rom. 8:39) "and (Ephesians 6:18) which says, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. . . " 4. To Live a righteous life – (Romans 8:4) "in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." 5. To be strengthened with power in your inner being – (Ephesians 3:16) "I pray that out of His glorious riches that He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being," 6. To be led by God – (Romans
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8:9) "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." 7. To live in joy – (Romans 14:17) "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit," 8. To live in hope – (Romans 15:13) "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 9. To receive spiritual gifts – (1 Corinthians 12:4) "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit." 10. To bear spiritual fruit – (Galatians 5:22-23) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." It is this anointing that opens your mind, teaches you, guides you, calls you to pray, empowers you, and enables you to be stronger Christians, more powerful Christians. Not just people who are saved, but people who are saved, indwelt, and empowered. How, then, is this anointing received? The Cross! The Holy Spirit is received by faith in the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would indwell His people. It is only because of the cross that you have forgiveness of sins, and the privilege of the indwelling Spirit, no only in you, but upon you. You are anointed vessels of God and have been cleansed by God and been filled with the Holy Spirit. Not only is He in you but He is upon you. As the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentecost in the upper room and anointed them for service, you too have been anointed by God with the Holy Spirit for Christian service. Save the Nations Ministries >
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