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SPECIAL EDITION

Salvation AND

Repentance Is your Spiritual Future Secure? Are you Sure?


Coming this September Looking for safe, family-friendly entertainment? EnLive Connected TV & the Free EnLive Mobile App * Access quality programming that the whole family will enjoy. * Kid’s shows, music, movies, lifestyle and documentaries - unique content for every interest. * See what’s new in Christian entertainment worldwide: new shows, artists and products - accessible only through EnLive. Download the free app for free previews of a wide selection of video, art and entertainment titles. Then subscribe to access hundreds of hours of great entertainment for every member of your family - on all your devices, any time. Available September 2013. Details coming soon on EnLiveTV.com


____________________________________ EDITORIAL PUBLISHER Michelle Danko I mcdanko@eyeworship.org ASSISTANT PUBLISHER L.A. Helvey I la@eyeworship.org EDITOR Jill KingI jillking@eyeworship.org Helen MurrayI helenmurray@eyeworship.org Matt PoeImattpoe@eyeworship.org ADVERTISING SALES Jennifer Jackson Outlaw I jjoutlaw@eyeworship.org COPYWRITER Apryle Krause IMAGES: COVER PHOTO arosoft @ Kozzi.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Pinkblue, farina3000, Zurijetam, shipfactory, Sergey Nivens, adam121, Zurijeta, David Castillo Dominici, HalfPoint, adam121, Rugdal, Stuart Miles, Elnur, HalfPoint, Sergey Nivens, Willeecole, Badman Production, sattva, morrbyte, Elnur, and DNF-Style @ Kozzi.com, Eye Worship Publications Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada SUBSCRIPTIONS AND FEEDBACK: For subscriptions or feedback, please visit our website at : www.faithfilledfamily.comIinfo@faithfilledfamily.com Š Joomag 2014 All material is strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part without the written permission of Faith Filled Family is expressly forbidden.


Contents

FEATURES

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38 Up, Daddy!

Who is there when you fall? The (Sozo) Kind of What if you knew that there Salvation would always be someone there What does it mean to be saved? Why is it so important, and why to catch you? Would you rely on them wholeheartedly? Find should I want it? out who will catch you when you stumble and why.

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Why do we NEED to be Saved? Why is there such a push to see people saved? This article explores why salvation is so crucial for everyone, and why you NEED to be saved.

24 What We NEED We have an enemy, and he’s called Satan. Satan will try to use anything he can to keep you from having a relationship wtih God, and living your life as God had intended. Will he be the winner of your soul, or will God?

32 What If You Looked Back What would you see? What would God say about your journey? Would He be proud? What would your story be, and what do you WANT it to be?

44

I Forgive You, But I Won’t Forget! Forgiving is easy, but forgetting... well, that’s tough. This article discusses forgiveness through tough times and the importance of it.

52 The Personality of God We hear about God, but do we know who He is? Here you will find answers which will deepen your faith.

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How Can the Lost Find Christ? Shouldn’t your friends and family be rejoicing with you in heaven? This article describes how to minister to the lost so that they too will receive eternal life.

62 Coming Home A woman recollects her story back to Christ and the detours she took on the way. Powerful story of rededicating your life back to Christ.

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The One Requirement for Going into Heaven Heaven is this wonderful place that everyone wants to go to, but how do I get there? In the midst of a whole bunch of rules, how can I guarantee ever-lasting life?

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When They Shove God Away Tough times can cause people to either draw closer to God, or push away in anger. Don’t let anger keep you from having a relationship wtih Chirst! He wants to heal your wounds.

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The “Ex” Christian Files Is God real? Why should we be a Christian? This article describes how to win someone back to God by overcoming some popular excuses as to why they shouldn’t be a Christian. Learn how to reveal the truth in a web of self-deceit.


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Me? A Soul Winner? Are you Sure? It is everyone’s responsibility to save the lost for God doesn’t want any of His children to walk in darkness. Find out how to win souls!

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a lesson in self-worth.

Roque discusses her life and what it was like growing up in the spotlight.

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Interview with Roque

Movie Review: Veggies in Space: A Fennel Frontier

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Holly Starr discusses fame and her career.

The latest in the Veggie Tale movies is a parody of Star Trek/ Star Wars. If your children love science fiction, they are sure to love this inter-gallactic adventure of Captain Cuke and Dr. Spork!

Many atheists question whether the Bible is real or just a bunch of stories. They claim the Bible is false and full of contradictions. Find out how you can win this battle!

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The Bible: Is it Real?

INTERVIEWS

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Holly Starr Interview

Steve Bundy Interview Steve Bundy discusses his new book and what it is like raising a child with special needs. This interview will give you hope!

89

Interview Godawa

with

Brian

Movie Review: Acts of God Acts of God follows the lives of seven individuals and their struggles in the midst of tragedy to keep their faith. Can God touch seven different lives? Or will they be lost forever?

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CrossExamined: Interview Brian Godawa knows movies, with Frand Turek and he knows scripture even Book Review: Lost & Frank discusses why today’s better! Hear his thoughts on his Found youth turn from God and his own scriptural revellations! Written By Sarah Jakes latest book.

A wonderful testimony that takes you on a journey of self-exploIN EVERY ISSUE ration. In the midst of making some life-changing choices, and Interview with Christy despite the brokeness she felt McGlothlin as a result, Sarah learns about Christy discusses her thoughts Movie Review: A Snoodles forgiveness, and God’s great about the Christian films, the Tale love for her. Find out how she Bible, and, of course, her new Episodes include “The Strange could have easily been a victim movie, “A Long Way Off” which Case of Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly”, instead of a victor! Silly Song “Sport Utlility Vehicle”, premiered June 6. and “A Snoodle’s Tale”. Reveals

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Publisher’s Letter

God spoke to me around Resurrection Sunday (Easter) about doing a special edition on salvation and rededication. This issue was loaded with “not having enoughs”. We didn’t have enough time, not enough writers, not enough interviewers, not enough people to interview... and the list went on. We experienced spiritual attack after spiritual attack in the past month before publishing only to come to one conclusion: To pray, ask, and trust God. When God puts before you a task that seems impossible, and in the natural there is no way it could happen, you need to trust that God will take care of it. God took care of all of my concerns and in record time. He, in fact, rebuilt our team, and made it stronger than ever. What does this have to do with our topic of salvation? If you aren’t saved, you go through hardship, struggles, persecution and trials on your own strength. With God, He gives you the strength, the grace, and the annointing to do the impossible- without being worn out, tired, or exhausted. You can choose to live a live wherein every day living is a struggle, a grind, your unhappy, broken, or whatever you are facing right now. OR, you can live a life filled with peace, joy, excitement, and be in a place where you feel so alive! Seems like a “no-brainer”, doesn’t it? So what are you waiting for? Ask Jesus into your heart right here, and right now. Be Blessed! Michelle Danko Publisher Faith Filled Family Magazine


The (Sozo) Kind of Salvation By Rochelle Arnold

Spiritual Beings We as human beings exist in three different aspects. The first and primary aspect is that are true man, true person or true self is our spirit. We are essentially a spirit that lives in a body which possesses a soul. The Bible describes how we were created by Father God. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. “(Psalm139:13-16 NIV) We have a physical body or earth suit, as I have heard some call it. We know that this earth suit is mandatory in order to survive in this physical realm, but within our physical body we have a spirit. Our soul is housed in our fleshly brain. The soul has freewill and the ability to think critically and reason. The Word of God is able to split asunder soul and spirit with precision like a master surgeon. (Hebrews 4:12) In other words, we as fleshly men and women tend to follow are soul, but when we are enlightened by the Holy Spirit the Bible takes on a new life and we can better distinguish between what is of God (Spirit) or man (flesh.) God is a spirit and the Bible also says that God is love. I am


convinced that love is the most powerful force in the universe. God exists in three different persons: God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit. The scripture says that God made man and woman in His image. (Genesis 1:27) Original sin entered in when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Jesus was sent to earth to redeem fallen mankind from the curse of sin. When Jesus died on the cross physically, he took on all the sins of the world. Born-Again When we become born-again, the Bible says we become a new creation. Our spirit and God’s spirit become one. So when we believe and understand God’s Word we are able to better understand what salvation means. I believe through divine revelation and careful study of the scriptures we are able to uncover great truths regarding our redemption. The Greek word for salvation is sozo. The definition of sozo from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (4982) means: safe, to save (self), deliver or protect, heal, preserve or make whole. It’s always important to read scripture in context and also study what the words actually mean in Greek or Hebrew. Even different Bible translations change words and therefore meaning when translating. This is why it is so crucial that we study the Word for ourselves to be able to rightly divide the Word. (2 Timothy 2:15) What does the Bible Say about Salvation? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save (sozo) the world through him.” (John 3:16) There is a story in the Bible that illustrates how merciful our Lord is. There was a thief on a cross next to Jesus as he was being crucified and he cried out to the Lord to be with Him in Paradise. Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 39) Even in the sinners last hour, the Lord is able to save him or her. It is by his loving kindness that many will turn to him in repentance. (Romans 2:4) The Prayer of Faith Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save (sozo) the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:14-16 ESV) In verse 15 of James 5 the word save is the same word sozo used in John 3:16. So if we insert the meaning of the word sozo, verse15 would read: “And the prayer of faith will save, deliver, protect, heal, preserve or make whole the sick.” The scripture goes on to say in verse 16 that the prayer of a righteous man or woman has great power. From this understanding of the word sozo and its use in scripture, I believe the prayer of faith is able to save a sick person either physically, spiritually, or both. Since we know that not everyone we pray for is physically healed, but their body sometimes dies, does that mean the Word of God is not true? Certainly not! The Lord sees us as an eternal spirit before He sees us as just a physical body. When a saved man or woman offers the prayer of faith and anointing of oil on behalf of a sick person, the person we are praying for may be delivered from darkness into the Lord’s glorious light. A lost person may be saved as a result of the prayer of faith of a righteous man or woman of God. Personal Testimony I lost my little sister to Leukemia on January 30, 2014. I visited her about a month before she died and I felt the Lord impress upon me that it was very important for me to anoint her with oil and pray the prayer of faith over her. Up until this point, I don’t believe she was saved. During the week I


had to visit with her, I tried to share as much as I could about Jesus and the good news of the gospel. Over the years before this time I had also shared the gospel with her and all of my family whenever I could. As I touched my sister’s forehead with the holy oil that morning, she let out a soft groan. I wasn’t sure exactly what happened at the time, but since then I have gotten more insight on what the scripture describes in James 5:14. I of course, was praying primarily for her physical healing though I was believing for her salvation as well. I am now convinced that when I laid my hand on her forehead and began the prayer of faith the Lord was able to impart His light into her spirit and saved her from spiritual death or hell. Although she was previously not a believer of Christ, I believe at the very moment I ignited my faith the Lord saved my sister. Salvation is multi-dimensional. When we are saved or born-again, the Lord restores our spirit and transports us from death and darkness into eternal life and light in Him. Though my sister physically died, I know that through the prayer of faith and the anointing of oil, as well as planting the seed of God’s Word the Lord saved her spirit. I believe the Lord manifested himself to my sister in a glorious way before she passed from this earth to her heavenly home. As we were saying goodbye to my sister here, my dad and uncle were welcoming her home in heaven. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2: 4-9 NIV) Sinners Prayer If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him

from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans10:9) Dear Lord Jesus, Forgive me for my sins and come into my heart today. I believe you are the way, the truth and the life. I ask you to be Lord of my life and direct my path. I believe you are the Son of God and you died for me. Help me to find Your destiny for my life in this world. Help me to have life more abundantly in You. Now find a Bible based Christian church and begin to walk out your faith. Learn about Jesus and get to know Him. It is very important to begin reading the Bible for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you understanding into the Word of God. It is not about religion. It is about having a relationship with Jesus.


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Do We NEED to be Saved? By Henry Miranda What is it that we need salvation from? Deliverance from God’s judgment: John 3:16 (NASB) 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

What is salvation? God’s forgiveness of our sins: Romans 3:25 (NASB) “25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;” Salvation is deliverance generally from evil or danger. This includes sin and death; guilt and estrangement; ignorance of truth; bondage to habit and vice; fear of demons, of death, of life, of God, of hell; despair of self; alienation from others; pressures of the world; a meaningless life.

Why do we need salvation? We are sinners and must ask forgiveness for our sinful lifestyles. When we are born into this world, we are born as sinners, because it’s the inherent nature of man. It was through the sin of disobedience


from Adam that we became separated from God; and instead of being a friend to God, we became enemies to God. The fall of Adam caused us to be born with a sinful nature. Adam condemned the world with the result of one violation.

Maybe because they are not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, skeptical and don’t believe someone would give them so that no one may boast. something for free. But we all can receive a free gift, the gift of Good works cannot save you. salvation; the free gift of salvation Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) is offered to whosoever believes 8 For by grace you have been the righteousness of God which saved through faith, and that he freely gives to everyone who What is the cost of not of yourselves; it is the gift of has faith. salvation? God, 9 not of works, lest anyone The gift of salvation is through Salvation can only be obtained should boast. Jesus Christ. Salvation is a gift through faith in Jesus Christ: of God. The gift of salvation Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB) Why would somebody which is free to us but was paid 8 For by grace you have been reject a free gift of by a real high cost, the life of saved through faith; and that salvation? the son of God that was tortured


of sin and death without any righteousness of our own. All sin has its consequences. In the words of Paul, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

situation once; that we thought life was meant to be lived to its fullest on this earth, and had no time for God.

This is one of Satan’s greatest lies he says you don’t need salvation, because there is nothing wrong with being a human being, and you don’t deserve eternal punishment just because you were born a human being. Don’t believe the lies of Satan.

if you’re ready to receive the Gift of Salvation and want to know Jesus for yourself today then please repeat this simple prayer from your heart:

Heaven is a place of rejoicing; hell is the place of torment. You Do you know who the hardest choose which direction you cases are that would reject a want to be heading in your life, free gift? nobody can force you one way Not thieves, adulterers, murderers, or the other. God loves you and homosexuals, and not even doesn’t wants to see you on the blasphemers. The hardest cases for road to destruction, but that’s God to save are the good people your choice “oh how it hurts who are so self-righteous they will God” when you reject the gift of not confess themselves to be sinners salvation. in need of a Savior.

How can salvation received as a free gift?

and crucified for the sin of the world. The only way to obtain salvation is through Jesus Christ. Which we receive by grace through faith and is available for whosoever. John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We are all under the power

be

There is only one way to God’s “salvation” and that is through Jesus Christ. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are liars. Jesus is the only way! John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Hell is not a party place; it is a place you would not want to be. It is only in heaven where you will be able to talk to your love ones and be with them forever. There are so many people heading to hell’s direction with no thought in their mind of the consequences of hell. We live in a society that pretty much lets you do your own thing if it makes you feel good; and that’s a lie of Satan to keep people from knowing God and having eternal life. It’s hard to understand why someone would want to go to hell, but I guess we were all in that

“Lord Jesus, I need you. I repent from all of my sins and I now accept the gift of salvation Jesus, I invite you to take your place as Lord of my life from this moment forward. Show me you’re Glory and change me today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen” When you receive the gift of salvation it is the beginning of your new life in Christ. You will be branded from your friends and loved ones as an outsider. People don’t want to be around Christians because they feel guilty about their own sinful life, but are reluctant to change their ways. Being a Christian may be a rocky road, but oh how good the end results will be; when we get to see all our loved ones that have gone ahead of us to that eternal life with Jesus.


If the idea of writing makes you this excited... We need you!

Email Michelle Danko at mcdanko@faithfilledfamily.com for further details


By Andrew Brunet

CrossExamined: Interview with Dr. Frank Turek

Bio: Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and the author of three books. He is also the president of CrossExamined.org and hosts a 1 hour program on TV called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist”. When asked by my publisher to be able to interview Frank, my mind was distraught. When it came to the title of “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”. I wasn’t sure what apologetics were, and actually, it was the first time I had ever heard the word. But I will say being able to nterview Dr. Turek, and indeed it was a pleasure as I learned so much. Faith Filled Family: Can you explain to our readers what “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist” is all about? Dr. Frank Turek: I received an email not long ago from a retired United States Marine, so I knew this man was no sissy. But he wasn’t writing me as a tough guy—he was writing me as a distraught father. He said that his daughter was the top Christian student in her high school. She helped lead the youth group at church and won several scholarships from Christian organizations to redeem at the college of her choice. She decided to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to win the campus for Christ.


“She was in her first semester,” her father wrote. “And I received a call from her after only four weeks. Her words devastated me. She said, ‘Dad, I don’t believe in God anymore.’” “What? How can that be?”, He said, I got in my car and drove four hours that weekend all the way to Chapel Hill. I sat down with her, but got nowhere. After only four weeks of listening to her atheistic religion professor (yes, atheists teach “religion” at many universities), she chucked her long-held Christian beliefs and adopted atheism. An exception? Unfortunately no. The majority of young people—surveys show about 75 percent— leave the church after high school, partially because atheism is religiously promoted in college and the culture. In fact, college professors are five times more likely to be atheists than the general public, and more than half of them have unfavorable views of evangelical students. Our book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist “ is designed to be the antidote to skepticism about Christianity. It shows people

why Christianity is true through twelve points in logical order. It is the one book out there that takes someone who denies absolute truth all the way to the conclusion that the Bible is the word of God. I take “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” on the road and present it at colleges, high schools and churches, and through our TV and radio shows. We’ve also developed a DVD set, workbook and curriculum so you can teach the evidence in your church, school or small group. And if you want quick answers at your fingertips, please download the new Cross Examined App. All of these resources can be found on our website www.CrossExamined.org. Faith Filled Family: Our edition this month is about salvation, Are there any scriptures that come to your mind based on the topic? Dr. Frank Turek: The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame’” (Rom. 10:9-11). This offer is available to everyone. Yet some people refuse to accept it. C. S. Lewis put it well. He wrote, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.” If you refuse to accept it, God will not force you in Heaven against your will. Faith Filled Family: Can you explain to our readers what it means to be born-again? Dr. Frank Turek: It means to be born into the family of God by accepting the free gift of reconciliation with God. The Apostle John wrote, “All who received him, to those who believed


in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13). Faith Filled Family: How do you know if it is your time to be saved and ask Jesus to come into your life? Dr. Frank Turek: Now is the time. There may not be a tomorrow. Faith Filled Family: What should you do after being saved? Dr.Frank Turek: Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt. 22:37). So you can start by joining a church that actually believes the Bible is true and that is trying to make disciples. After all, Jesus didn’t say in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) to make “believers,” he said make “disciples.” A disciple is a learner—one who disciplines him or herself to follow in the footsteps of Christ. That involves Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other believers, service, self sacrifice and becoming a defender of Christianity— someone who not only knows the essential beliefs of Christianity but someone who can give reasons why Christianity is true. Faith Filled Family: What does it mean to be sanctified and purified? Dr. Frank Turek: One amazing aspect of Christianity is that by trusting in Christ you are not only forgiven for your sins, you are given His righteousness. Judicially you are perfect as Christ is perfect. However, we still struggle with sin here in this life (Paul relates his own struggle in Romans 7). Therefore, we must abide in Christ and his Word to become more like Him. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (Jn. 7:17). In other words, the closer we get to Jesus the further we get from sin. By internalizing His word and praying for help, the more sanctified we will become. This should not puff us up or cause us to become legalists. God gets all the credit. True evangelism is just one beggar showing another beggar where the food is. Faith Filled Family: How can teens and adults become more zealous for the Lord and his works, for instance like reading the Bible and praying?

Dr. Frank Turek:Study the created world. The more you investigate creation, particularly the heavens, the more in awe you should become of the Creator and Sustainer of it all (Ps. 19). Then study the life of Jesus. See how he interacts with people and how he responds in every situation. When you study creation and the life of Christ, you can’t help becoming more zealous for the Lord, especially if you can do so in an accountability group. You can also download our free Cross Examined App that will help learn more about God and answer common questions and objections. It contains all of our radio shows and a “quick answers” section that will help you dazzle your friends with truth! Faith Filled Family: What is the Crossexamined Instructors Academy? How do you enroll? Does it cost anything? Dr. Frank Turek: CIA is an intense three day training program that we run here in Charlotte, NC every August. We take people who have an interest and some background in apologetics —that’s the study of evidence for Christianity— and help them improve their presentation skills so they can be more effective wherever they have an opportunity to teach. Many of our approximately 200 graduates over the past six years are teaching in churches or schools in their hometowns. Details on enrolling and tuition are at www.Crossexamined.org. Faith Filled Family: What topics are discussed in your seminars and TV Show about “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist? Dr. Frank Turek:There are too many to list. We have over 150 shows that are available at www.impactapologetics.com. Faith Filled Family: What is the difference between being an apologist and being a Christian? Dr. Frank Turek: A Christian apologist is someone who gives evidence for Christianity. The Bible actually commands us to use reason and evidence. Jesus tells us that the greatestcommandment is to “love God with all your mind.” God speaks through the prophet Isaiah saying, “Come let us reason together.” Peter urges us to “always be ready to give an answer.” Paul commands us to “destroy arguments” that are opposed to the truth of the Christianity, and declares that Christianity


is false unless the Resurrection of Christ is an historical fact. So Christians don’t get brownie points for being stupid or relying on blind faith. They are supposed to know what they believe and why they believe it. Faith Filled Family: Has there ever been a time in your life where you had to call upon the name of the Lord to save you from your troubles? Dr. Frank Turek: I pray every day, but the dangers of flying in the Persian Gulf with the Navy many years ago had me praying even more intensely. Faith Filled Family: Do you believe that God should be allowed in the schools? Dr. Frank Turek: Why not? Our Declaration of Independence says that we were created and “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Is the Declaration of Independence unconstitutional now? Talking about God in schools was never a problem until the Supreme Court began imposing their views on the people. How we live, and the destiny of my life and your life, ultimately hinges on the question “Does God exist?” If God exists—especially the God of the Bible—then what we believe and how we live matters for all eternity. If no God exists, then nothing ultimately matters and there is no objective game plan for living. That’s why “Does God exist?” is literally life’s most important question. That leads to a troubling observation: How can we consider our education system sound and ourselves educated if we don’t seriously investigate life’s most important question—the question upon which so many issues in life depend? We can’t. We ought to provide the evidence for he theistic God upon which this nation was founded, and then let children make up their own minds about Him. Assuming there is no God, which is what we do in public schools now, has helped contribute to the disastrous behavioral problems we see in schools. In the 1940’s chewing gum and cutting in line were the big problems. Now they are drug dealing, gangs and murder. When you take God out, you get a Godless situation. Faith Filled Family: What does it mean to be a “role model” for Christ? Dr. Frank Turek: It means imitating Christ in all we do. That includes sacrificing your will for

His when the two are in conflict. It means not thinking that God owes you something, because He doesn’t. You owe Him! Paul says that we are Christ’s ambassadors, and God makes His appeal to others through us (2 Cor. 5:20). So God gives us the privilege of affecting eternity with our lives. What an awesome and meaningful life this is! Faith Filled Family: Do you believe in the power of prayer? Dr. Frank Turek: How can a Christian not? But prayer doesn’t always mean getting what we want. Prayer is a means of conforming ourselves to the will of God so His Kingdom is advanced. Faith Filled Family: What is repentance? Dr.Frank Turek: Repentance is turning away from sin and turning toward God. It is seeking His will even if it means forgoing your own. Why stay in sin? It keeps you from realizing your purpose in life, which is to know God (John 17:3). Faith Filled Family: How can one ask for repentance? Dr.Frank Turek:“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As a family at Faith Filled Family Magazine, we do want to take the time to thank Dr. Turek for taking his time to answer the questions of not only myself but also our readers. Also, we want to thank Dr. Turek for going into colleges and schools and teaching the evidence of Christianity. A special shout-out goes to Lori Lenz-Heiselman for setting up the interview. For more info about the wonderful work CrossExamined is doing you can view them at http:// crossexamined.org


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he movie, “A Snoodle’s Tale”, begins with Larry the Tomato returning from Danish Immersion Camp… or so Bob thought. Instead Larry got lost, and went to Overdone Literary Adaptations Camp instead. Bob is dismayed as his learning Danish was crucial to the VeggieTales lesson on selfworth. Larry saves the day, though, with the first of two episodes called “The Strange Case of Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly”.

Directed by: Marc Vulcano Produced by: David Pitts Written by: Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki Starring: Phil Vischer Mike Nawrocki Jim Poole Tim Hodge Philip Spooner Charlette Jackson Production Company: Big Idea Productions Distributed by Sony Wonder

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly”, and English gentleman called Mr. Butterbun (Scooter Carrot) and his butler Poole (Larry) are commenting about a flashy disco dancer who mysteriously appears at night with a boom box and dances. Mr. Butterbun becomes so obsessive about knowing more about this strange person while his neighbors are enjoying the performace! Butterbun’s curiosity gets the better of him as he investigates this strange person further. The dancer leads them to the home of Dr. Jiggle, and Butterbun tried to warn the doctor that he is in danger. Dr. Jiggle admits to being envious of the strange dancer’s moves, and wistfully wishes that he could move like that. He says that unfortunately he can’t because his “portly girth” would jiggle and make him a source of ridicule. When Butterbun requests to see the mysterious Mr. Sly, Dr. Jiggle becomes nervous and quickly shows him the door leaving Butterbun to become more interested in Mr. Sly.

Release date(s): May 11, 2004

Just who is this mysterious dancer?

Running time: 50 minutes

Fuelled by curiosity, Butterbun and


Poole set a trap for Mr. Sly to remove his disguise and are surprised at what they find! But even more surprising is the answer to the question, why. Then there is the Silly Song, Sport Utility Vehicle. A Snoodle’s Tale is the next segment. It is done in Dr. Seuss-like prose as Bob narrates the tale of a small snoodle’s life in Snoodleburg. In Snoodleburg, every Tuesday a large clock tower spits out a new Snoodle. The new Snoodle (Snoodle Doo) comes with different things in their backpack of things to use. Snoodle Doo, without knowledge of his talents and abilities, discovers he has paint, paintbrushes, a kazoo, and wings in his backpack. Excited about his new find, he begins to test them out. He paints a picture only to have it ridiculed by his elders who draw a picture of how “silly” he looks- just to remind him. He tries to fly, but others mock his attempts and again, draw a picture of him. The ridicule goes on until Snoodle Doo’s backpack is so heavy with all of the mean pictures, and he can hardly walk. He leaves the town, saddened, and feeling worthless. In his journey, he views the finches on Mount Ginches and ponders at their effortless flight. He decides to take a journey up the mountain where he discovers The Creator of the Snoodles. When asked why he is so down, the dejected Snoodle explains that he is “no good at anything”. Concerned, the Creator shows the young Snoodle how he really is and transforms his life. This is my favorite movie of all of the Veggie Tales, as it leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy with God’s love. The Strange Case of Dr. Jiggle and Mr. Sly is amusing in places because of Butterbun’s obsession with knowing the stranger’s identity. It is a good episode to teach children about bullying, and about self-esteem. Through it, children learn that appearances shouldn’t matter- that God loves us as we are. A Snoodle’s Tale, aside from the incredible usage of prose, is wonderful at teaching children that they are valued- no matter what anyone says! It shows that even though words can hurt and weigh us down, if we turn to God and see ourselves as He sees us, the thoughtless words of others will no longer define us. Instead of feeling the weight of the burden of those words, we will feel light with confidence and joy! It really illustrates that God sees us as special, and that we were, as scripture says, fearfully and wonderfully made. I would give the movie a ten out of ten. Prose is not easy to write, especially in such an eloquent form. The plot for both segments is so well thought out, and the topics deal with issues that even young children are faced with. It is a difficult topic, often, to talk to your child about as there are so many emotions involved. Both segments do such a wonderful job at making the child (and adult!) feel warm, loved, and accepted in God’s presence. Many thanks to Meg McAlister from Big Idea Entertainment for providing the movies to us for review!


“Trust in the LORD w

un


What we Need By Dan Yates

hat we need is to not rely on our own strength. I begin with this statement to hit the nail right on the head. We could dive into where we are and how we are going to get there and why that statement is so true or let it go right over our head with a “Yes that’s true, that is always true but what does that really mean to me”. Finding the help we need from above is also an obvious truth but not always so easy to discover. It’s the ‘how’ part, O yes, we need faith. Now I can go home and work on that. I need to be a good hearer of the word and obedient so I’ll just work on that. I have not made these opening statements because I am a pessimist or pessimistic. I am not a basher of the good works of others or feel the need to compare myself to the approach and style of other ministries. We are each called to a certain place and purpose by our Lord’s divine will. Glory to God! There is an answer to every situation in Him in whom we believe and have put our confidence. He allows us to be tried and we do

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have an enemy, he is called the devil but does not always appear as the devil. He has many faces. We must know our enemy and we must know his strategies. It is required of us to do so especially if we’ve been around a while and the honey moon stage of our walk is just a fond memory. He will make every effort to discourage you and cause you to condemn yourself using issues and things real or imaginary from your past that are no longer relevant because they are forgiven and dealt with under the covenant of his grace. He will lie to you constantly, I bet you thought only God spoke to you. May I say after years of walking this path and hearing from the Lord daily that in this present time and in this very heated battle we are now facing, Satan has upped the anti by proving that he is the ‘great deceiver’ the bible says he is. If you have a weak conscience because you have been beaten up now or in the past you may not be able to totally rely on your own inner feelings to guide you into the faith circle the Lord desires for you to walk in. You already know that your

ith all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own

nderstanding.” Proverbs 3:5


spiritual senses are not the same as the natural or reasoning mind and so you endeavor to listen to that inner voice. The enemy will take advantage of you if you have left over hurts and failures in your life. He attempts to send the memories of these as fiery darts right into your soul planting his doubts and lies deep within

you. Your soul is the central part of your being and this will affect you greatly. This affect reaches into your most sensitive areas and requires inner healing to eradicate. It is no longer just a battle over the flesh, your will, your nature, or mind. This battle will attack your foundation of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus

Christ by giving you self doubt. The argument I am making here is intended to uncover the tactics of the devil and expose his strategies. It does not in any way lower our standard, our belief structure, or walk and conduct. We are truly his children and we will not be allowed to walk in sin and peace at the same time.


The scripture so grandly states if we are without reproof we are bastards and not true children. What comes against you does not declare who you are. We must make this very important distinction. You may fall many times before you gain full victory but our goal is always the same “go and sin no more”. If you try to take advantage of grace the Lord will turn up the heat which will quickly act as a deterrent to careless behavior. Don’t you see He is our Father and He will never forsake you or leave you. Jesus speaking to his Father said “those you have given me … no one will snatch them out of my hand”. (See at end. Ref: John 10:28,29) He spoke of Judas who was a traitor from the beginning and was constantly stealing money from the pouch as the exception and not the rule. Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” Judas was allowed in the group to fulfill God’s purpose and plan. We are born of God, the righteous seed, the planting of the Lord, the very moment we receive his pardon and grace. I say this to hopefully relieve your suffering, may God open your mind to how much he really loves you. He paid such a price for you. What he began in you he will continue and complete until the day he takes you home. Glory be to his name. It is all those doubts, fears, and uncertainties, that keep us from the victory we desire. Satanic attacks can hurt our faith and even color our perception of what is real. We must be able to see through the smoke screen and dispel these lies that so torment us. We must See the Lie, I mean

really see it, like when you get a revelation from God, “THIS IS A LIE”. This instantly looses you from the power of Satan and releases you into the Glory of God that wonderful realm of the Spirit. There are times you may be totally surrounded by darkness, the heavens are like brass and God shows up on your door step out of nowhere and says, “it is enough” and blows it all away. You cannot effectively serve God without his divine help and times of supernatural intervention. This kind of faith comes from KNOWING! This is true revelation knowledge. You know who you are and what you are about. The forces of darkness can come against you so strong that you literally feel hell all around you. You will learn to shake it off and praise your way out of that place. As a child of God It has no power over you at all while you are locked into the assurance previously planted into your heart by the Holy Spirit. Are you really seated with Christ in heavenly places or just quoting scripture. This is not for the squeamish, the battles are real enough and endurance needed to arrive at a good and solid end. The Lord will give you that kind of confidence in time and you will be able to walk in true obedience. Like Abraham of old when he was ninety years old the Lord said to him “Walk before me and be thou perfect”. He had now learned to totally trust in God and not in himself. May I add at this juncture that I will be giving scriptural reference and explanation relative to any of the points being made in this discourse at the end of this article. I prefer this to inserting too much supporting information

during a serious analytical dialog. Continuing this present on-going theme I would like to say never let the devil compare you to a fox or a unbeliever (spiritual state of separation from God). If you have arrived in his kingdom you didn’t get their by accident. Remember the witness you received in your spirit at your conversion and do not let anyone take it away from you. He will try to intimidate you, accuse you, and convince you that you just don’t have what it takes. When failure seems to arrive in your life Satan will question your legitimate son ship in the family of God. There are wolves among the sheep unfortunately but they are not of the Spirit of Christ that we know and love and they will only be able to deceive by appealing to the nature of natural men. Saul is an example of what people sometimes want rather than choosing the called and anointed. God gave them a man after their own heart not His. Saul ultimately came to his end and was judged for his disobedience and fleshly ways and yet the people were very slow to consider bringing forth David the one Samuel had anointed to be their new king. Israel desired a king similar to those of the heathen nations. After making this wrong choice Israel suffered for some time before a remedy could be offered. First they wanted a king rather than the leadership God had provided to them through his faithful prophet. Their complaint being his sons were not expediting the obligations of their positions well. They were not getting their needs met. God sent them thunder and lighting to show his displeasure because God


always looks on the heart of the matter and not the outward appearance. Hopefully we have the Spirit of Christ in us, our motives are pure, and we are not haughty and arrogant. We are to be easily entreated but not weak, kind and have understanding, yet not easily misled. When a king was provided they had to suffer at the hands of an unjust ruler in order to hopefully learn from that experience. Jonathan was also sacrificed due to the sins of his father while he remained loyal to his nation and their leader (his father) at the time. I will now attempt to justify the first statement made at the beginning of this article “we are not to rely on our own strength”. We need the power of God working in and through us to live a godly life. The enemy’s primary focus is to undue that confidence we first placed in our Lord and savior. It is the only way he can defeat us because we have been given so much in Christ. Powerful tools are at our disposal, gifts, our calling, grace, help, strength, and on and on. He can only defeat us by undermining our faith thereby rendering these provisions temporarily out of reach, then mercy shows up and delivers us even when we don’t deserve it. We want more than this, having to be rescued on a regular basis. We want to be a useful agent of deliverance and to help others. We want to assist those just beginning in this walk and also rescue the perishing by bringing them in to the household of faith. We must understand how to access for ourselves that godly ability and demonstration of power that comes down from above and continues to abide in our lives. We do this by

coming to the end of our own Trust and relying on God human resources and reaching . . . God’s intention that out to the Lord in our time of we live holy great need. Powerful and great revelation will come to us at these Pro 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with times. Please understand head all thine heart; and lean not unto knowledge that is merrily passed thine own understanding.” on by study will not suffice. I realize much can be received Psalm 125:1” Like Mount Zion by anointed teaching but know are they who trust in the LORD, this it will be thoroughly tested unshakable, forever enduring.” before it becomes an active and ever present part of your life. Jer 17:5 “Thus saith the LORD; I do not immediately discount Cursed be the man that trusteth those involved in heavy battles in man, and maketh flesh his as outside God’s protection as arm, and whose heart departeth though some strange thing has from the LORD.” come upon them. It may be due to their affective life changing Gen 17:1 “And when Abram ministry and exemplary walk. If was ninety years old and nine, you are a special target it can be the LORD appeared to Abram, because of your potential for the and said unto him, I am the kingdom of God which may or Almighty God; walk before me, may not be seen or made public and be thou perfect. “ thus far. Jesus Christ having just been born had to flee still Jer 17:7 “Blessed is the man under the care of his parents to a that trusteth in the LORD, and safer place because of prophecy whose hope the LORD is. For spoken concerning him. He he shall be as a tree planted by later was always careful not to the waters, and that spreadeth advertise his coming and going out her roots by the river, . . . from place to place. He cautioned .” Peter, James, and John, not to reveal what had just taken place Psa 94:17 “Unless the LORD on the mount of transfiguration. had been my help, my soul had There is always a time to speak almost dwelt in silence. When out and we then come under I said, My foot slippeth; thy God’s divine protection until his mercy, O LORD, held me up. purpose is fully accomplished. In the multitude of my thoughts Jesus continued in his statement within me thy comforts delight and let them know after his my soul. “ resurrection they were released to boldly declare the works Isa 40:29 “He giveth power to of God. He also knew that he the faint; and to them that have would send the Holy Spirit to no might he increaseth strength. indwell them after he was taken Even the youths shall faint and up and they would become his be weary, and the young men powerful witnesses in the earth. shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount Notes: up with wings as eagles; they


shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

said to the woman, You surely will not die!”

We are his children . . . He is our Father

Joh 8:11 “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. “

Rev 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down”

Rom 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. “

“God answers the prayer of his faithful one”s 1 John 5:14-15 - “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” Mat 21:21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not ..22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Psa 66:19 “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! “ Isa 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. “

In order that Satan might not outwit us . . . he is a deceiver and a liar 2Co 2:11 “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2Co 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” King James Genesis 3:4-5 - “The serpent

Joh 8:44 “. . . . the devil has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. “ 2Co 11:14 “ And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. “ 2Th 2:11 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Rev 13:14 “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth . . . “

Heb 12:8 “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. “ Mat 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly”. Mat 6:8 .” . . for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. “ Mat 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. We are born of God”

Rev 18:23 “speaking of babylon, the great false system to come And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; . . . by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. “

1Jn 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? “

Rev 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast”

1Jn 3:9 “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”


1Jn 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Jesus lost none that was given to him . . . Judas was the exception”

Joh 6:39 “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” Mat 3:12 “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and

gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Joh 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Joh 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Joh 6:70 “Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” Act 1:25 “ . . . to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” Joh 12:6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Man after God’s own heart . . . a man desired by the nation Act 13:21 “Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Sa 13:14 “But now your


kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” 1Sa 12:17 “Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.” So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” “

1Co 2:4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”-- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. Inner man of the spirit” Eph 3:16 “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; “ Psa 51:6 “ Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:6–7).

God’s revelation by and through the Spirit . . . his Psa 139:13 “For you formed Love, his wisdom, power, my inward parts; you knitted me and demonstration together in my mother’s womb.”

Rom 7:22 “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: “ Rom 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind . . . ‘spiritual mind’ is intended here the scripture says we have the mind of Christ Greek G3563 nous . . . mind (divine or human; in thought)” 1Co 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 2Co 4:16 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Mount of Transfiguration . . . they were cautioned to not reveal their experience till later Matthew 17 17 “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” Mat 17:9 “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”


What If...

You looked back. What Kind of Life Did you Lead? By Pauline Brakebill

Self-satisfied, I climbed into bed and prepared to go to sleep. It wasn’t long before faces of my ust before retiring, as I sat on my bed, the friends and neighbors started flowing before my thought came to me, “What if I were to die tonight? dream wall. They made murmuring sounds like, This would be the last chance I’d have to make “Why did you speed and pass me up on the my heart right with God.” Musing over this thought, highway, didn’t you know you were breaking the my mind certainly went out of it’s way to justify all law by speeding? Why didn’t you give the cashier of my life and the actions that I had performed. I back the change she over paid you? I heard you was a “good” person, I didn’t lie, cheat, run around talking to your neighbor about Suzie Jones. She on my spouse, or any of those other out standing simply wore a very skimpy pair of shorts to church sins. Actually, I was really a pretty good person. Sunday. It certainly offended you. But you didn’t God would be happy to have me in Heaven. seem to be offended when your spouse picked up

J


a small piece of candy out of the candy bin and ate it with out paying for it. With all these specters floating around before me, I was beginning to get angry. “What are you doing God? Why am I feeling accused? I’m a good person. It’s these other people who are wrong. They don’t even go to church, they don’t teach their children about you God. I take my kids to church every Sunday, isn’t that good? Then, in a roaring voice, He answered, “When was the last time you told your children about me and what you actually believe? Before you start

judging other people, look to yourself.” At that instant I woke up. Feeling very upset and angry, I tried to understand all that the Lord was trying to get through to me. All day I mused over my dream and what it meant. It seemed as though everyone was looking at me and judging me and my actions. What was I to do? Every move I made, I had to analyze the things that I did to see if I was causing any harm to my brother. I could see all that’s wrong with everyone else. Then I looked at myself and saw the same offenses in me. Why is God testing me? Why am I having such doubts flow through my mind? I have worked so hard at being perfect. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me to open my Bible to the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah 64:6 God states our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight. We can not work our way into Heaven. None can be ‘good enough’ to enter into the presence of God. In Romans 3:21-24, Paul tells us that, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In II Corinthians 12:9 it states His Grace is sufficient for me. We have only to accept this gift from God with undying love for Him. The next night, I prepared for bed. Thinking that I would be able to sink into a deep sleep and rest my mind, I pulled the covers up around my neck and drifted off. It wasn’t long before those awful visions started haunting me. My children were parading before me with a tirade of questions. “Why haven’t you told us what Christ means to you? Why haven’t you taught us right from wrong?” “That was the Sunday School teacher’s job. I took you there didn’t I? Did you notice all the kids in church that didn’t have their parents with them. They just dropped them off and left. I’m really more faithful than they are. There I go again, judging others against what I thought they ought to be. I have heard many ‘good’ people complain that, ‘Why should I become a Christian, you’re no better than me. What a hypocrite!’ My answer to that statement would be ‘If me being a hypocrite stands between you and God, then I guess that makes me closer to God because I’m in front of you.’ Then I must look at my answer and see just how judgmental I really am. I’m putting myself higher in stature than my non-Christian friend. That night, my dreams took a different turn. I saw a great chasm before me. Smoke was coming


up out of it. The smell was terrible. It was yellow and had a kind of sulfury odor. It had a choking effect. Then I heard the blood curdling screams of millions of disembodied spirits crying out to me. They were clawing at each other and reaching for my feet. Their pleas were, ”Save ME , Save ME. Why didn’t you tell me about God’s love? Why did you always judge me and my actions when you knew that I was going to end up in Hell? You didn’t love me enough to want to see me in Heaven. You were simply too selfish. You just wanted to be saved – not me.” I realized that I had visited those spirits while they were on earth, but I never talked to them about Jesus while they were there. Was I afraid that they might think I was being pushy? Was I more concerned that they would see me as thinking I was better than them? I was judging again. I was fearing man more than God. I wasn’t concerned about the souls of the lost, I was simply worried about ME. I wanted to look good to the world So what if they didn’t make it to heaven? I was comfortable and the world thought of me as a ‘’good Christian”. They should have been more concerned about themselves. But how would they know if no one had told them? I remember my son-in-law, he had the courage and conviction of winning the lost for Jesus. He was traveling down a street in a bad part of town when a group of thugs came up to the car and threatened the occupants with bodily harm. My son-in-law jumped out of the car, grabbed one of the boys and pressed him up against the car, asking him if he knew Jesus. This startled the boys so bad that they forgot the reason for stopping the car. Then my son-in-law proceeded to hold a street meeting right there on the spot. Souls were saved that day. Why didn’t I have the courage to witness like that? I was too concerned with the fear of man than the fear of God. If only we had the concept of God’s awesome power, our lives would certainly be lived differently. Those spirits were right, I felt the lost were beneath me and I didn’t want to bother with them. They certainly didn’t fit my picture of associates. Their spirits went to hell not knowing about the saving grace of Christ’s blood. I didn’t tell them! I didn’t tell them! Their lives are on my shoulders. All of a sudden, from over on the other side of the chasm, came a hand reaching out to me. It looked

as though the hand held bunches of cotton. Soft and fluffy, it smelled like violets and roses. Oh, I wanted some of that. I wanted to snuggle down into that soft, fragrant pillow. Then a beautiful low voice called to me, “Come, reach for my hand.” “I can’t,” I cried. “There is no bridge across the chasm, I will fall into the fire”. The low voice echoed, “Do you trust me?” I answered quickly, “Yes, I trust you.” “Then take a step”. Very hesitantly, I took a step forward. Lo and behold there was a rock underneath my foot. The hand continued to reach for me. Encouraging me to take each step all along the unseen path, the hand finally took hold of my hand and pulled me into the most beautiful room I had ever seen. There was grand music, flowers, smells of food, and most of all there was a great light shinning on the path. I asked what the light was. This beautiful voice answered me: That is the light of God shinning forever. I didn’t ever want to leave this place. The voice resounded again. “You know that you failed to tell others of my love and grace, and you see where they ended up. You also now have a glimpse of what Heaven is like. Don’t you want to see everyone join you in this place?” I answered, “Yes, I do. But don’t they have the responsibility for their own souls? I can’t make them go to Heaven.” “That’s right, but you can tell them about my saving Grace and love for them. Tell them of the relationship I want with them, just as I want it with you. Tell them, I am the judge of their souls not you or anyone else. Then practice it! I am giving you this opportunity to redeem your soul by helping your fellow man. Remember, I will do the judging of you and your neighbor. This will be your last chance. I arose from my sleep with my dream fresh in my mind. Why did I have to come back to reality? My heart was distressed with what I had heard and seen. All day long, my soul was heavy laden and evidently many of my co-workers noticed. I tried to be kind to every one and didn’t say anything I thought would offend them, but I didn’t tell them about Jesus either. The feeling of timidity came on me. What if the people laughed at me? What if I stumbled all over my words and sounded like a jerk? There I go again, fearing the judgment of man rather than the judgment of God. As the day came to a close, I hurriedly got ready for bed. Drift ng off to sleep, I could smell that horrible sulfur-like odor. “What is this, I thought


that I would be back in that beautiful room again.” No, I was looking over the great chasm with all the screaming bodies.” What are you doing, Lord, why am I here again?” That thundering voice came out loudly again. “You are like many people on earth. They hear of all the good things about heaven, but don’t want to see or hear about the penalties for disobedience to my Word. I don’t want to see any of my children in hell with Satan, but if they refuse to honor me and obey my rules, they send themselves to hell. Did you tell any one about me today?” “ No I didn’t. I thought they would laugh at me and think me a fool,” I reluctantly answered. “I see you are doing my job again – judging your fellow man and yourself. Your command was to tell others about the relationship I desire between Me and my creation. If they reject me that is on their shoulders. You have done your job. That is all I ask of you, to love Me and to tell others about Me. I will do the judging. So shall my Word which goes out of my mouth shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish that which I please Isaiah 55:11.” “Have you read John 3:16,17,” the voice continued? ”Yes, I have, but, I guess I never took it seriously. I just assumed that as long as I was good and everyone else did as they were told, we would all be in Heaven. A loving God wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” “You need to read the whole Word. Jesus came to earth as a baby for all to love. As He grew, people would come from far and near to listen to Him. It wasn’t long before many realized that He was the Messiah. But not all. There were those people back then who thought they could work their way into Heaven by being good. Your righteousness is not good enough to come before me. Only Christ’s blood can wash away your sins. When you awaken in the morning, I will send one who will make all this clear to you. Listen closely to the one who comes.” As I took my morning jog around the park, a gentleman sitting on the park bench, called to me to come over. How did he know my name? I had never seen him before. I walked over to the bench, and he motioned to me to sit down. Being the suspicious person that I am, I hesitated, not knowing what kind of a person he was. “You are unsure of sitting with me, because, I do

not look like what you expected. You are judging me by what I look like on the outside. Please sit down, I have a message to give you.” Puzzled, I sat down beside the man, far enough away that I wouldn’t smell him. The man’s name was Enoch. He started by telling me that my life needed to have some repairs. First of all, I needed to have a real relationship with Christ, my Savior. Now that really got my goat. “What are you talking about? I’m as good a Christian as the next one. I go to Church every Sunday, I pay my tithes, I am kind to my neighbor, and I don’t swear, cuss or drink.” The man just smiled and went on talking. “When was the last time you told God you loved Him? When did you last lead someone to the Lord? When did you give a kindness to another person without expecting something back in return? Do your prayers contain only ‘give me’, this or that?” “Many people who call themselves Christian don’t have any idea what that means. They accept the idea that Christianity is a religion, it isn’t. Christianity is a relationship with our God. God desires your friendship and company. He wants your heart. God created man in His image so He could commune with him daily. God desires the fellowship of His creation. When Adam and Eve fell from grace, that broke the bond between the creation and the creator. God loved His creation so much that He made a way for man to be redeemed, which is bringing man back to his former state. This plan took some time to be realized. But with God, there is no time God had to prepare the heart of the man to accept his Savior. God was going to release man from the law-which he could not keep. He would provide a permanent sacrifice for all time. Man would be covered with the blood of Jesus Christ the living Son of God.” “You know, of course,” the man went on talking, “That God can not look at any sin. There can be no sin in Heaven. So all sin is equal in God’s sight. That means that your sin of speeding is just as grievous to God as the mass murderer’s sin. If you don’t ask for forgiveness of your ‘sins’, you will end up in the same place that the murderer will be.” “I didn’t know that.” I cried. “How can I do that . It’s too hard. I will be asking for forgiveness every minute of the day.” “You probably would if God hadn’t sent His only Son to die on the cross. His blood was shed for all


who would accept Him as Savior. Which means that you have the privilege of going straight to the throne of God and asking for forgiveness. Your sins are then forgiven and cast into the sea of forgetfulness. God’s grace is sufficient for you. God wants your love so much that He was willing to sacrifice Jesus for you. Now Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God as an intercessor on your behalf.” “You see, you don’t need to compare yourself with anyone else. God will talk to them in their heart so that they will also know what you are learning. After you have built your relationship with God, you won’t care whether these people are as good as you. You can never be ‘good’ enough with out Jesus’ blood covering you.” “Judging other people by what you think they should be, is not your job, God will do that for himself. He is quite capable of seeing what the other person needs to correct in himself. If you have a true and honest relationship with your God, you won’t be looking at that other person with such a critical eye. Your love for your creator will be so great, that you will desire to spend all you time with Him.” As I listened to Enoch speak, I felt a true conviction upon my life. How could I have missed all that he talked about throughout my life? I must have been asleep most of the time. I must have been such a disappointment to God. As the Holy Spirit came over my being, I could do nothing but fall on my knees and ask forgiveness from God. I didn’t understand all that I had heard yet. I just knew that I had done such a sorry job of letting my light shine to the world. There was so much that I had to answer for: judging others, being so selfrighteous, not seeing the goodness and grace of God, lack of faithfulness, and most of all not loving God as my Lord and Savior. How was I ever going to make it right? Enoch reached out and touched my shoulder ever so gently. “My son, you don‘t make it up to God, you just love Him and turn your life around to show others that you are truly a son of God. Have that relationship with Him, worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. As long as you have a repentant heart, God will hear your prayers and receive your praise.” “ Remember that you need to have no fear of what man will think of you, just how you can live your life so that it would be pleasing to God. “

As I got up from my knees, I started to thank Enoch for his guidance. But he was gone. I looked around, and there was no one in sight. How strange, I thought, where could he have gone. As the words that he spoke, burned in my heart, my step was lighter and my body felt a surge of power. I suddenly wanted to find someone to talk to and tell them about God’s love. It was the most uplifting feeling I had ever felt. Throughout the rest of the day, I was walking on air. My fellow employees noticed my joy and wanted to know what had changed in my life. Every time someone asked, I told them about Jesus and His sacrifice, and about God’s love. What a change in my life! I had never realized before what power I had in God to witness to the lost. I had no fear of man, just the fear of them losing their soul if they weren’t told of Jesus. The Holy Spirit prompted me to explain to my co-workers that they can be a good person, but still need a relationship with God. Explaining to them that judging one another by our earthly standards was a very difficult endeavor. It was so easy to look at a brother or sister, seeing how they act, and not judge them by my standards. God has had to straighten my thinking out about the difference between a ‘good’ person and a ‘saved’ person. A good person tries to follow the law, which is not really possible, but a saved person sees his need for a Savior and accepts the blood of Jesus that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. The actions of both may be the similar, but one has a loving relationship with God and the other tries to be good by their own resources. It is hard for the unsaved person to realize he can not judge the Christian by earthly standards, as the Christian must not try to judge the actions of the non-Christian. This will always be God’s privilege. This particular problem will always be a stumbling block for non-believers until we as Christians can get over our judgmental attitudes. I was really looking forward to bedtime. Hurrying to bed, I felt a peace coming over my being. My eyes closed and my body was relaxed. I spoke audibly to God, telling how much I loved Him and thanking Him for the wonderful day that I had. I asked Him, to forgive my actions if I had hurt anyone or offended anyone. Mostly, I asked Him to show me any sins I had committed knowingly or unknowingly and forgive me. And most of all, teach me how to not be judgmental of my fellow


man. Help me to always be that kind of a witness to my brothers and my sisters that God would be proud of. From that time on, my sleep has been much less troubled and more peaceful. GOD has been good to me and my fellowship with Him has been wonderful. YOU have this opportunity now to accept Jesus as your Savior, realizing the peace and joy that can be found in Him. You need not fear the actions of man, simply honor God and love Him. There is no need to fear the judgment of man, his judgment has no eternal value. Think of the beauty and glory of Heaven which you can have as a child of God. Rev. 21:1-5” And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold , the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God . And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, no crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, behold I make all things new. And he said write these things.” Won’t you take this opportunity to accept Jesus as your Savior? PRAISE THE LORD About the Author Grandma Polly, (Pauline Brakebill) is a 77 year old mother of 6 children, grandmother of 22 grandchildren, great grandmother of 3 and Foster mom to around 200 children. Quintin, my husband of 56 years, and I have lived in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Arkansas for over 34 years. . There is not a more beautiful place in the spring and fall than here nestled between hills and valleys. The flowers and trees

bloom prolifically in the spring and the leaves and fall blossoms are beyond description. Now the tics and chiggers in the summer are a little disturbing, but if you read my story of Terry tick and the Tick Tales, you might find them a little more tolerable. Besides the Tick Tales, Grandma Polly has written several children’s books, biography of our Down Syndrome foster child, anthology of poems and plays, Documentaries, programs, and many other genres. For information on any written work by Grandma Polly, co ntact her at qpb@centurytel.net.


“Up, Daddy!” By Winnie Kaetzel

T

wo words on the tape captured my attention: “Up, Daddy.” it came to me in the mail from a friend. It was a sermon tape, not my favorite, but because the speaker had been a childhood friend, I decided to listen to it all the way through. First, let me give you a bit of background. The speaker on the tape and I were raised in a very traditional church atmosphere. At least it was traditional when we were young. We had a rousing song service, a serious altar call, and a children’s sermon that was targeted toward elementary age youngsters but correlated with the pastor’s sermon, as well. We kids sat in church with our parents until we were in our teens, then we preferred to sit with our peers. If our friends were of our own sex, we usually sat two or three rows from the front. As we grew and mingled with mixed company, we more often sat toward the back. Wherever we sat, I, at least, was conscious that Mom and Dad, who usually sat midway to the front so they could keep a watchful eye on their offspring even from a distance, were keeping tabs on my behavior. If it did not match family standards (or was it society’s standards?), I knew I’d hear about it when I got home—sometimes with reinforcement. Our hymnals were well-worn books as we committed the theology of those majestic hymns to memory. Though we did not practice it, we sang about raising our hands in worship. Nor did we shout or repeat verses any more times than there were stanzas of the song. The piano and/or organ accompanied us, and if some of us played a musical instrument in our high school band and could transpose the key in which the hymn was written to the key of our instrument, we formed a small band. Everyone in the congregation praised

our efforts. They told us how much they enjoyed our music. Their praise was enough to keep us playing every week -even though I’m sure much of it was off-key or off tempo. After all, we were all new learners and had no one to show us how to play together in real harmony. Percussion


instruments, however, were not in the mix in those days. We were totally unaware that Psalms clearly lists cymbals and tambourines as instruments that were played in ancient Israel to keep time and praise Elohim. There was plenty of spirit in our worship services.

Our pastor had been a member of a quartet that toured various churches on behalf of his college. He loved music and asked us to sing as a mammoth choir with every voice singing his/her respective part. We did and loved the experience of lifting our voices in worship to our Savior. But we did not clap, or dance, or wave our hands before the Lord in worship as many congregants do today. My friend, who’d become a pastor, illustrated his sermon on the tape with a story about a father taking a walk with his very small daughter. En route she tumbled and fell. While still on the ground, and without tearing up, she simply lifted her hands to her father and said, “Up, Daddy.” Those words made an unforgettable impression on me. How many times have I fallen, or just stumbled, and cried out to my heavenly Father, “God, help me.” Is that not the same as lifting my hands in the presence of my peers on Sunday morning and saying, “Up, Daddy. I need you. Please enable me for this current challenge. Give me your peace in the tangles of this situation that I’ve gotten myself into. Let me be true to your Word. Give me courage to stand for what’s right no matter where the chips may fall. Please. Up, Daddy.” “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; The sun will not harm you by day or the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121 UP, DADDY! Written by Winnie Kaetzel, author of Bending With the Bamboo, memoirs of a missionary family living in Laos during the Vietnam War.


Even Though We Feel so Close to Attaining our Dreams, We Can Still be

A Long Way Off. Interview with Executive Producer, Christy McGlothlin By Lisa Carter

“A

Long Way Off” is an inspiring story based on the tale of The Prodigal Son taken from Luke 15:1132 but set in modern times. Jake leaves the family farm, shunning his father’s religious and business ethics, to strike out on his own in the big city, poised to conquer the world in his own way – on his terms. He is pleasantly surprised when his father actually obliges his request for an early inheritance, and Jake sets out for his own. Filled with ideas of fortune and fame, he proceeds to spend millions of dollars living the high life – only to find it come crashing down. After learning vital life lessons, Jake comes back a humbled appreciative son finally ready to reconcile with both his earthly and Heavenly Father. A Long Way Off is from Prodigal Film and Uptone Pictures. Its official release is June 3, 2014 through Moving Visions Entertainment and CMD, and is rated PG. Thus far, the film won Best Picture at this year’s International Christian Film Festival, and Best of Show at the 2013 Sedona Faith and Family Film Festival. It also won a Davey Award, the prestigious award given in honor of creativity, and has been selected for the 2014 Life Fest Film Festival. Among the actors and actresses featured are Jason Burkey (“October Baby,” “Mom’s Night Out” ), John Diehl, (“Escape From New York,” “Stargate,” and “Pearl Harbor,”), Edie McClurg, (“Frozen,” “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,”), and Robert Amaya, (“Courageous”), and Robert Davi, (“Die Hard,” “Goonies,” (James Bond’s “License to Kill”) . The film is produced by Moving Visions Entertainment, Inc. where Christy McGlothlin serves as Vice President and


Executive Producer of the movie. Christy is also Vice President of Special Guests, Inc., a PR firm whose focus is booking guests on radio and TV talk shows. An author of two books on natural health, Christy has been a regular guest on news and talk shows focusing on lifestyle and health topics. Christy is also the founder and editor of Faith Issues, an online publication serving the faith community. Faith Filled Family Magazine was delighted to talk with Christy about this new movie based on the well-known Bible story. Faith Filled Family: It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie to watch and congratulations on a job well done. First of all, let’s talk about the story. The story of the prodigal son has always been a fascinating one. What is it about the message of the story that you felt needed to be re-told in a more modern way? Christy McGlothlin: The message of God’s unending love for us is the prominent theme of the prodigal son story. We all fall short of the glory of God and frequently believe that we have to earn God’s love back. This parable told by Jesus in Luke 15 makes it clear that God loves us and wants us in relationship with Him, no matter where we’ve been, how we have turned our backs on Him, it is never too late. God is waiting for us to come home. He loves us so much that He will forgive our sins and welcome us into fellowship with Him when we just repent and ask. Retelling this story in a modern context reminds us that God is still the God of the Bible even today. Faith Filled Family: Even though the movie centers around the son who left home, the story really involves the entire family situation, their relationships, and connections to each other. Tell us why you felt it was important to show the reality of their relationships and dysfunction as family members? Christy McGlothlin: Most of us are sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers, and we all have relationships outside of family as well. The prodigal son story is about our hearts as sons and daughters, our hearts as parents as much as it is about God’s love. The brother who was always at the farm represents legalism

rather than love. How many of us judge our brother or sister when our hearts are made of stone? God’s love and mercy permeate this story and we see a clear indication that not all of us are always loving and forgiving as God Himself is, and calls us to be. Faith Filled Family: What can we learn from our own relationships and connections with family members that we may or may not get along with just from watching this story unfold? Christy McGlothlin: I think the story has been inspirational in reminding us that we are all in different places and we need to be gracious rather than spiteful or judgmental of family members who aren’t where we think they should be. After all, it’s love that draws us to repentance. Sometimes that means releasing someone and praying for them, and offering to be there when they are ready to return. Sometimes we have to set boundaries. Jake’s work ethic was unacceptable and he was confronted on several occasions, but he was still part of the family and was loved unconditionally by his father. Faith Filled Family: Seth was the brother who stayed, yet he still seemed quite unhappy. We can tell that even from the parable in scripture, and it’s brought to life even more on screen. What do you think made Seth behave the way he did toward his younger brother? Christy McGlothlin: Seth represents the Pharisees who lived according to the law without the heart of the Father. Seth always did what was right in action, but his heart was not compassionate toward his brother who wasn’t as “righteous” as him. Faith Filled Family: Now in the movie, Jake was college educated. College life is a life within itself in many ways. Some may be wondering why Jake didn’t just set out on his own after college? Why did he come back home to work on the farm when it wasn’t the life he wanted? Christy McGlothlin: Jake didn’t have a nest egg to leave home with after college. The easiest path was for him to go where he knew he had a job available. Jake had a tender heart under all the apparent selfishness. He didn’t hate his father. He just wanted to live the way he wanted to live, and make something of himself. He didn’t want to feel like he was trapped in his father’s moral


values. Faith Filled Family: The father seemed very wise in many ways. Yet, he chose to give the inheritance to his younger son and watch him go his way. In your mind, did the father know what would happen? Was he wise in his decision to give his son the inheritance? Christy McGlothlin: The father is representative of God himself, so I would have to say that he was wise in his decision. We live so much in our own worlds of flesh and blood that sometimes we are surprised by God’s actions in the Bible.

Jake didn’t have the wisdom to save himself from the financial trouble he incurred. Remember, he didn’t want to live a godly life at that point. Faith Filled Family: What can we learn as believers about the power money can have over us? How can we guard our hearts and minds from that kind of greed and power? Christy McGlothlin: We must seek after God through scripture, prayer, fellowship with other believers. We need to continually fill ourselves with the truth or lies can settle in. Scripture is very clear on the implications of the love of money and greed.

Faith Filled Family: I have to ask you about the character Laura and her mobster boyfriend. Why were they portrayed as a couple living together, yet in an open relationship? Also, why didn’t Jake seem to be the least bit intimidated by the man when he chose to approach Laura? Christy McGlothlin: Our world is full of open relationships. Colleges, many in business, and many in liberal areas of our country are known for these types of non-committal open relationships. I think Jake was amused and a little intrigued, which drew him in even more. He had left his “safe” environment and was experimenting with a rather new and lascivious lifestyle without the immediate conviction of his father.

Faith Filled Family: Even though it was a farm, it was a pretty impressive one. Well kept with offices and staff, equipment, and well-maintained land. But the farm suffered a great d e a l after Jake’s venture away from home. The father nearly lost everything he had worked so hard for. Why was it so easy for him to gladly welcome his son back home rather than be angry with him for losing his fortune? Christy McGlothlin: The father represented God himself. God is concerned about our souls. When Jake came home repentant and crying in his father’s arms, his father knew that Jake’s heart had changed, and that was worth more than any fortune this world has to offer.

Faith Filled Family: On the way into the city, Jake had been listening to the radio speaker talking about the dangers of getting involved with the wrong kind of woman. Again, in his h o t e l room, the same kind of warning was on TV. Why was Jake so drawn to the wrong woman, Laura? And drawn away from the right woman, Summer? Christy McGlothlin: Jake was running from God. He liked Summer, but Laura intrigued him more. He took the path of least resistance and the path that was most unlike where he came from. Summer was too much a reminder of his loving father.

Faith Filled Family: 2014 has been called “The Year of the Bible Films.” What do you think of that proclamation? And what does that say about what we can expect in the future for faith-based films? Christy McGlothlin: I am actually not fond of that phrase because this should just be the tipping point for Christian films. The success of faithbased films this year has shown that there is a deep need and hunger in America and in faithbased communities for clean, wholesome films rooted in Biblical principles. We must remain in prayer that Christian filmmakers will continue to have the heart of Jesus, maintain humility and a heart for God, and will be provided with funding to continue telling life-changing stories through the medium of film.

Faith Filled Family: For any investors out there, what kind of investment knowledge could Jake have had in such a short time? How could he have saved himself from the trouble he had gotten in? Christy McGlothlin: Many people who study finance, and even those who don’t, dabble in short-term investments that leave them destitute.

Faith Filled Family: As Vice President of Moving Visions, Inc., and Executive Producer of the film how much input would you say you had in the


making of the movie and the way the story actually unfolds on screen? Christy McGlothlin: My husband Jerry and I took part from conception through distribution. We would like to have been more hands-on in some areas, but we will save that for our next film. Faith Filled Family: What kinds of stories inspire you? And what would you like to do more of in the way of film in the future? Christy McGlothlin: Stories that lead people closer in their relationship with Christ inspire me. Even comedies like Mom’s Night Out are amazingly effective in conveying biblical truth in a way that sinks in sometimes much more effectively than a sermon. Personally, we are focusing on modern retelling of biblical stories. We have a tendency to read the Bible in the same way each time, picturing the characters in their robes and sandals, in stone cities, and that isn’t what our world looks like now. So we like to take the story and portray a scenario of what that may look like today. We find that the Bible is just as relevant as it has always been and it gives us a new and fresh perspective on what God is actually saying to us through that particular story. We are currently working on a modern-day story of Joseph that we are really excited about. Faith Filled Family: How do you seek out new talent for films? How does one get involved in the world of film making? Either behind the camera or in front of it? Christy McGlothlin: We work with professionals who have relationships in the film industry. New talent is quite easy to find. You can find people who have played a great character role but are just getting started. Other people approach filmmakers when they like what that filmmaker is doing. There are many ways to get involved in the world of filmmaking, and the steps you would take depend on the level of involvement you want to have. You can begin to work on set in a PA (Production Assistant) position to get your feet wet and gain experience, work as an apprentice, and go to film school if you are really serious. There are many other ways people can help Christian films come to reality in general that don’t take experience, like volunteering on set to do

anything that is needed, from craft services, to driving to one of a number of other jobs that need to be done. Faith Filled Family: Finally, what perspective are you hoping movie goers come away with after viewing A Long Way Off? Christy McGlothlin: Our hope and desire is that viewers will gain a clear understanding of God’s love for us, and that they will reconcile first and foremost with their Heavenly Father and with their earthly parents and families as well. Christy, thanks to you and your production company and staff for your hard work on this film A Long Way Off. We pray along with you that this film along with the other faith-based films released this year, are just “the tipping point” for many more films like this to come, and that they will help us reach and win a dying world for Christ. God bless. For questions or comments, Christy welcomes you to contact as follows: Jerry and Christy McGlothlin Moving Visions Entertainment, Inc. (919) 365-3220 christy@specialguests.com


I Forgive You.... But I won’t Forget!!! By Pauline Brakebill


I’ll bet you have heard that phrase many times. It is man’s nature to remember all offenses that have been laid at his feet. Your rights have been violated, and you are not going to let that person get away with insulting you or any of your family. Besides it feels so good to know that you made life miserable for that offender. However, just who is the loser here, the person who offended you or you? In the long run, you are the one who will hurt. Somehow, that anger will start gnawing at your insides causing all kinds of pain and suffering. You don’t understand why you aren’t feeling well. Maybe you have unresolved issues with a close friend, a relative, an associate at work or a neighbor. Sometimes, issues are lurking in the recesses of our mind and heart that need to be dealt with right away. Also, the unforgiving spirit of a brother or sister towards you may be a mystery you will need to unravel. You can travel along life’s highway for a long time, not knowing that this person harbored hard feelings against you and a wedge was driven between you. The worst part is that you don’t know what you did. God has given us the pattern for forgiving. Jesus was asked by a disciple, if my brother wrongs me, how many times must I forgive him? Jesus answered him saying, you must forgive him seven times seventy. Jesus understood that there would be times, when dealing with people, that tempers flare, misunderstandings occur and rights get violated. If we truly follow the commandments Jesus gave us, we will love our neighbor as ourselves. Which means we cannot be offended by another. If we should become offended, right away we must ask for forgiveness from God and the neighbor. Remember Christ gave the ultimate forgiveness when He hung on the Cross and said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Sometimes it is easy to say “I forgive you”, as long as we don’t come in contact with the person often. But if we see this person everyday, we are generally thinking about how they hurt us. If we can truly forgive, then the offense does not come into our memory. A very difficult action to do. God has a tremendous forgetful memory. He says, ”If you will ask me for forgiveness for your sins and truly mean it, I will be just to forgive the sins

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and throw them into the sea of forgetfulness and they will be as far away as the East is from the West.” God’s word is true. You will never be guilty of that sin again. Now if you repeat that same sin, you will need to seek forgiveness again. As long as you don’t intentionally repeat the same sin over and over, God will always forgive you. If you commit that same sin again and again, with the thought that God will forgive you and you don’t need to fear Him, then you might be in trouble. Forgiveness on your part, is like a breath of perfumed fresh air. It makes you feel so good inside, like you are walking on a cloud. Once you tell your friend or relative, “I forgive you”, then you are free of the chains that have held you in bondage so long. Satan has taken many souls to hell with him because those souls had an unforgiving spirit toward another. God said that as you forgive you brother, I will forgive you, but if you don’t forgive your brother, neither will I forgive you. King David was a man after God’s own heart. Why? He committed adultery, he conspired to murder a friend just because he was the husband of the woman he wanted, then he disobeyed God and numbered the men of Israel when ordered by God not too. Yet God said,” Consider my friend David, he is a man after my own heart.” The reason is that David had a repentant heart. When he realized his sins, he immediately fell on his face and asked for forgiveness. As David asked for forgiveness, so may you, and God will forgive you. It is so simple, yet we seem to think our sin is too great for God to forgive. All sin, no matter how big or small is the same in God’s eyes. Only the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. You must remember in II Peter 3:9a God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to the saving grace of God. As we dig deeper into being forgiven and to forgive, lets use some examples of actions needing forgiveness. Take the individual who continually talks about all her/his friends and neighbors. We call this “Gossip”. Gossip really hurts the person who is being talked about. Most times the words spoken are not true. If we read the 3rd chapter of James, we will realize how evil and hurtful cruel spoken words are. The one who carries the gossip, speaks with a forked tongue. Can blessings and cursing come from the same mouth? The old saying, “Sticks and Stones may


hurt my bones, but words can never hurt me”, is not a truism. The spoken words of another can cut to the core of a person. Sometimes these words can stay in the heart forever, doing much damage. That person who has been talked about can either choose to forgive the “gossipers” or become very angry and let his heart be hardened. The attitude of the person who was wronged, can be a real influence on the salvation of the gossiper. The quiet and humble spirit of an individual goes a long way to bringing the unsaved to Christ. We come now to the relative rage. Unfortunately, too many families are divided, because of anger against one of the members. A misunderstanding of events within the family unit can lead to permanent damage. Perhaps one member feels that they didn’t get their fair share of an inheritance from the mother or dad. Money or things cause the most anger within the family. Too often the anger of the offended results in yelling, stealing, threatening and an unforgiving spirit. It seems that no one thinks of sitting down and calmly discussing the problem. So it goes on for years without anyone really understanding why that brother or sister is so angry. The misunderstanding goes on even to the 3rd and 4th generation. No one really knows the reason for the division within the family. If all members of the family would just sit down and calmly discuss why the anger is between them, then perhaps a solution could be obtained and some forgiveness begin. When understanding and forgiveness are present, love and healing can begin. It is a tragedy to see families torn apart by an unforgiving spirit, when the problem could be worked out so easily. Perhaps, you have known someone who has been rejected by a lover or husband/wife. Or maybe it has happened to you personally. The hurt and anger are sometimes more than one person can bear. Many tears have been shed and much heart ache has occurred. The anger keeps building and festering within the soul of the offended party. The person feels like his whole world has been crushed beneath him, the pain is so great, he feels life has no meaning. This is when the offended tries to end his life. How sad! If only he had looked to God and His word, he would have found comfort and forgiveness. In Ephesians, 4:25-32, there are words of admonition against anger. Then in Ps. 119: 129-136 , read words of comfort for a hurting soul. Read the story of the Prodigal

son in Luke 15:18-24. This is a story of the great love and forgiveness of a father for a son. Also, you will read of a 2nd son whose jealousy caused bitterness in his soul. We can find comfort and a spirit of forgiveness within the scriptures. Remember, the person with the unforgiving spirit is the one hurting the most. Life can be beautiful, when the heart is free of anger. Besides this can heap coals of fire upon the offender’s head. How can we forget the offense after we say we have forgiven the person? This is really the hardest part of the forgiving process. God says in His Word that He will throw these forgiven acts in to the sea of forgetfulness. God can do anything, as He is all powerful, but we are such remembering people. Lets see, what can we do? We can pray for that person or persons daily. As we pray for someone, gradually the pain will go away as we begin to show love to that person. We can daily read the Bible, looking for those passages that refer to forgiveness. Call and chat with the offender during the week, and see where they are coming from. Many times that person has problems that we don’t have any insight about. Try to comfort the person in their misery. This will go along way toward understanding why the offender does the things he does. Once you have forgiven the offender, don’t keep bringing up the subject of that offense again. Remember, God doesn’t bring it up to you when you fellowship with Him. Always talk about pleasant subjects when around the offender. Read Philippians chapter 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Always put good thoughts in your mind and heart. Try to remember what it felt like when you had to be forgiven by another person or God and you desired for them to forget what you did. Then act accordingly. Put in your mind that God loves you and He also loves the other person or persons. Above all, keep your heart tender and don’t let your “rights” get in the way of your walk with God.


In summary, on the topic on forgiveness, we see that every person on God’s earth, has a great need for forgiveness. The soul of each man cries out for forgiveness from his brothers and sisters. They in turn desire to forgive that one who has offended them. Sickness can enter the body if anger is allowed to remain in one’s soul. When you forgive, its like a 10 ton weight being lifted off your shoulders. It’s very painful at first to go to that brother and open up your inner most being and ask for forgiveness, but in the long run, it will be worth it. Try it, you will like it! Author Grandma Polly, (Pauline Brakebill) is a 77 year old mother of 6 children, grandmother of 22 grandchildren, great grandmother of 3 and Foster

mom to around 200 children. Quintin, my husband of 56 years, and I have lived in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Arkansas for over 35 years. . There is not a more beautiful place in the spring and fall than here nestled between the hills and valleys. The flowers and trees bloom prolifically in the spring and the leaves and fall blossoms are beyond description. Now the tics and chiggers in the summer are a little disturbing, but if you read my story of Terry tick and the Tick Tales, you might find them a little more tolerable. Besides the Tick Tales, Grandma Polly has written several children’s books, biography of our Down Syndrome foster child, anthology of poems and plays, Documentaries, programs, and many other genre. For information on any written work by Grandma Polly, contact her at qpb@centurytel.net.


Roque Says:

“He Is my Rock, He is my Key” By Andrew Brunet _____________________ Raquel Roqué Herring is best known as Roqué (pronounced roc-key) has had a very rich career as a singer, songwriter, actress and producer. Roque is widely recognized for her rich vocals and big voice. Roque’s career began at an early age as she was the first African-American to be cast as a regular on The Mickey Mouse Club. Roque also played Jill Carson in Nora’s Hair Salon featuring Tatyana Ali, Jennifer Lewis, and Tamala Jones. Vocally, Roque landed an opportunity to be on Ed McMahon’s Star Search wherein she won the distinction of being Star Search’s Champion Best Teen Vocalist and Best Teen Performer. From there, Roque’s career took off, and she caught the attention of several major label executives and eventually signed her first record deal with Irving Azoff of Giant Records/Warner Bros. She later moved on to A&M Records, and then to Interscope Records/Universal where she worked with legendary producers like Christopher Stewart, Robin Thicke, Dave Hall and Bow-Legged Lou of Full Force. After several years of record label dissolutions and mergers, Roque requested for a release and decided to step away from the industry as an artist. Deciding to work behind the scenes, Roque forged a successful career as a talent manager, handling actors, singers, writers and producers. Faith Filled Family: Can you tell us a little bit about your project “Loud for Christ”? Roque: Loud for Christ is my debut album that you can dance to and get into that intimate place with Jesus. Each song is infused with


scripture without being preachy or condemning and they tell my personal my testimony filled with up-tempo grooves, foot stomping tracks with booming bass and breath-taking ballads that defies the boundaries of gospel music fusing crossover contemporary music with a testimony all while maintaining a fresh atmosphere of praise and worship of Jesus Christ.

falling out of my chair laughing, I then realized that I have done the same thing. When the exact moment came to mind, it made me laugh even more because others where probably thinking the very same thing about me. Of course at the time, I wasn’t funny. I am sure there have been plenty more, but that is the one I thought of off the top of my head.

Faith Filled Family: What does the word “salvation” mean to you? Roque: Freedom, deliverance and the unconditional love of God.

Faith Filled Family: Finish this sentence: If I could give a message to the public, I would share... Roque: If I could give a message to the public, I would share the unconditional love of God and his grace.

Faith Filled Family: When did you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? Roque: I accepted Jesus as my savior at the age of 15 in Los Angeles while visiting a friend.

Faith Filled Family: What are your favorite Bible verses? Roque: John 1:1

Faith Filled Family: Finish this sentence: The funniest thing that has ever happened to me in my career is.... Roque: Listening to someone sing a note that I just could not understand why they were holding it so long, because it was really bad! As I was

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in


darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” This lines up with my album Loud for Christ but more so “Drown out the darkness” which the Lord gave me upon waking up one morning. Isaiah 45: 2-3: “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.” Isaiah 60:1-5 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” Faith Filled Family: What was it like being able to be on Ed McMahon’s Star Search? Roque: Being on Star Search was exhilarating. It’s national TV plus it is competition which adds that edge. I won, I believe, 10 consecutive shows plus the championship titles of Best Teen Vocalist and the first Best Teem Performer. It was one of the most memorable times in my life and it gave me the opportunity to be seen by millions and share the gift God has given me and travel. Faith Filled Family: Is there a message that you try to portray through your music? Roque: Yes, there is a message that I try to convey through my music which is the love of God. When writing these songs, I believe God

said to me “I just want people to know how much I love them”. And that love heals and it heals broken hearts because his word in these songs healed mine. I call this album my healing project. Faith Filled Family: How did you become discovered? How did you discover your talent? Was it something that ran through your family? Roque: My cousin, a friend of our family at the time, was instrumental in laying the foundation for my love of music. She brought it to my mother’s attention that I could sing and began to attain opportunities for me to sing at events. From there my mom was all in and she inspired me to become a professional singer. Faith Filled Family: What’s your favorite thing to do in a time of relaxation? Roque: My favorite thing to do in a time of relaxation has lately been learning a new language. That may sound odd, but it really takes my mind of things. It is so different from what I am consistently doing in business and music, plus I am learning a language that over 1 billion people speak, Chinese. Faith Filled Family: Do you believe in the power of prayer? Have you ever experienced any miracles in your lifetime? Roque: Yes, I believe in the power of prayer. Yes, I have experienced miracles. The Lord saved my life to bring me out of a dark relationship and giving me Loud for Christ. He put songs in my heart and a pen in my hand to write them down when I didn’t believe I could ever write songs. I started writing the moment I submitted to doing music again. Faith Filled Family: What was it like being on Mickey Mouse Club? Whom did you meet? Roque: I was the very first African America female Mouseketeer to be cast as a series regular on TV’s Disney Channels sketch variety show the Mickey Mouse Club. I got the opportunity to be in the living rooms of millions of people in America. Being on the Mickey Mouse Club was fun and exciting. I love being on the stage in front of the camera and lights singing, acting, dancing, basically entertaining. It is a blessing to be able to capture people and put them in a joyous state of mind. I met many people such as Savion Glover, New Kids On The Block, Britney Spears and Christian Aguilera Faith Filled Family: Do you have any current


favorite hymns/gospel songs that speak out to you? Roque: My favorite gospel hymns/gospel songs are my songs, for one. Many times I hear the Holy Spirit say play your songs and then when I do my whole outlook truly changes. I also like William Murphy’s “Praise Is What I Do”, just writing that down gives me goose bumps. I like “My God Is Awesome” and “Mary Did You Know” which I recorded a video of me singing it live and put it on iTunes. Faith Filled Family: Were there any artists that inspired you to go on and explore your career? Roque: Many artists inspired me to explore my career. I will name a few Natalie Cole, Anita Baker, Pattie LaBelle, Barbara Streisand, and especially Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Faith Filled Family: When did you decide that singing was going to be your career? At what age did you start? Roque: I started singing at the age of 7. I don’t know when I decided it was going to be my career because it is just a part of me. I loved it and I still do. Faith Filled Family: What are your favorite songs that you perform? Roque: My favorite songs to perform are my songs of course, Praise Is What I Do and Mary Did You Know”. Faith Filled Family: What motivates you to keep believing in God? Roque: What motivates me to keep believing in God…? That is a very good question. Who else would I believe in? There is no other even on the worst day. We have to believe in something because we are just designed that way. God is it for me and when I look back on the things he has done in my life I know only he could have done it. When I think about the air I breathe every morning with the grace to wake up with all my faculties I know I cannot make that happen on my own and it puts everything into perspective that God is it. Without him there is no me, no us. There is no other creator of the universe and everything in it. And when I say God I want to be clear that I am speaking about the Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh.

Faith Filled Family: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Roque: I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I had a wonderful childhood and was very blessed. I was raised by two wonderful hard working and loving parents. After losing my dad, it was my mother who raised me and I am so grateful to and for her. I live in Los Angeles at this time but I call where ever my mom is, home, in addition to my place in Los Angeles. Faith Filled Family: Is there a certain audience that you are trying to reach out to? Roque: Firstly anyone who will listen…lol but particularly those between the ages of 13-35, the happy, the excited, the believer, the non-believer, the angry, the hurt, the all around person and mostly the broken hearted. Faith Filled Family: Has there ever had a situation arise in your life when you thought you would have to give up? Roque: Yes, that is my entire testimony. I remember once before submitting to this project when I was signed to a major label trying to write and I felt as if I did not have anything to write about. I seemed I really didn’t have any life experiences but not too soon did I get plenty to write about and I did. Now here is my humorous answer. Yes. That is just about every week, at least several times a year. Lol…. It was an indeed pleasure to be able to meet Roque and to be able to hear her story on how she accepted Jesus Christ. It was intriguing to hear her speak out about her newest album “Loud for Christ”, which is available on Amazon and iTunes. Her music will indeed speak to your heart as she speaks out about life experiences that she goes through. To find out more information about Roque, you can visit her website at http://myroque.com


The Personality Of God Does God have a Double Standard? By Pauline Brakebill

eating at His table. We all would want that reward. This is what we s we walk in this world long for in our walk here on earth. there seems to be a difference But does it come automatically of opinion as to the nature of to us? No, we Must first believe God. Now is God one way with in the Father; according to the some Christians and another words of John the Baptist, “The with the others? I think not. Father loves the Son, and has Perhaps the problem lies in our given all things into His hand. interpretations of what God has He who believes in the Son has told us in his Word. everlasting life; and he who does We all agree that God is a loving not believe the Son shall not see father and wishes that none life, but the wrath of God abides would perish, all would come to in him.” John 3:35,36. repentance, seek His face, and This statement by John the be saved. As we hear in John 3: Baptist clearly states that there 16, 17, God so loved the world is a wrath coming from GOD on that He gave His only begotten those unbelievers. We will all Son, that whosoever believes in feel that wrath if we turn away Him should not perish but have from the Father. everlasting life. There, in many cases , must For God did not send His Son be an action taken on our part, into the world to condemn the as we believe or expect to be world, but that the world through healed. For instance in the case Him might be saved. (NKJV) of the sick man in John 5: 8, Now How do we react to these Jesus said, “Rise, take up your Words from God? I think we all bed and walk.” If the sick man agree that God loves us and had not carried out the command wants only the best for us. What of Jesus, he would still be lying is the reward for our accepting on that bed. If we do not carry this love? It is life eternal, being out His commands, we could still in the presence of God forever, be lying in our own misery. This basking in His Glory, enjoying scripture points out that all is not

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a bed of roses in our walk. We don’t lose our salvation, but God expects us to respond to His commands. God will discipline us as an earthly father would if we get out of line. He does this because he loves us. What father would not chasten us if we were disobeying his commands? If your child were to run out into the street would not the father discipline that child in order to save that child’s life? So our heavenly Father must discipline us if we were to “run into the street”, or get too close to the “fire of hell”. God is definitely a God of love, but He is a God of Judgment also. If He were not, what would be the reason for a Great Throne Judgment, where the sheep are separated from the goats. Didn’t God love the Goats too and would have welcomed them into the fold if only they would have believed? They too could have partaken of the joys of heaven if they had given their hearts to Jesus. If God were just love alone without the balancing of judgment and discipline, then


everyone would go to heaven and it would not be necessary to ever accept Christ as savior and Lord. Why bother ?

Chasten What kind of chastening does God give to us? One The chastening the children of Israel received, was the punishment of wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their stubborn nature. They could have been in the Promised Land 40 years sooner and enjoying the fruits of the land. Now was this because God didn’t love them as much as He first did? Two: Did God love Cain ? Yes, of course He loved him, but Cain did evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord punished him. Cain once had favor with the Lord, but he fell from Grace just as we can if we disobey Him. It breaks God’s heart every time one of His children is disobedient to Him. He whom God loveth, He chasteneth. It should be our prayer that we would be disciplined by God if we do anything that would offend Him or be sin in His sight. Perhaps, I might be sinning and not realize it. I hope that God would let me know by His Holy Spirit. He will not sit by and allow us to go unchecked and go to Hell, because He doesn’t want to punish us for our sins. Punishment will come because of a disobedient heart. Nothing can take us ofGod’s hand except ourselves. God loves us so much that He will prevent any outside force from removing us from His Grace if only you will ask. We read in Hebrews Chapter 12: 5,6 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks


to you as sons: “My son do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Then read the rest of the scripture from Vrs. 7-11. Another form of chastening is for God to allow us to make our own mistakes and take the consequences. Read James, Chapters 3 and 4. If we are serious about being the children that please God, then we will obey His commandments. In reading James 4 and 5, we see that many have much wealth and appear to the common man, that they are blessed of God. Instead, they have been judged by God as being foolish and wicked. God will always bless the faithful, not necessarily with riches as we are accustomed to thinking, but with health, saved children, living in a land that is free, and many other blessings As man, with his sinful nature travels through this life, he is looking continually for the key that will unlock all the riches that God has in Heaven without any sacrifice on his part. Man has come up all kinds of schemes, programs, and heart rending pleas, just to show that God is all love and wouldn‘t hold back on any gift for His Children. This is a true statement, but it must be balanced with obedience and faithfulness. Why should the Lord give you anything if you’re not willing to communicate with Him, follow His Commands and tithe. That word tithe is a dirty word to a lot of Christians. Their excuse is ‘that is an Old Testament rule. We are free indeed now from all

Old Testament rules.’ Wrong! Paul speaks of tithing in Hebrews 6:19- 7:1,2. Jesus became the high priest according to the order of Melchizedek, a type of Christ. He received a tenth of Abraham’s wealth. And Jesus deserves no less than Melchizedek, we too must tithe. All our riches belong to God anyway, so giving back one tenth is simply our pay to Him. If we are unwilling to give God our tithe, then. why should He bless us any longer. He won’t take away all your blessings that you have already received, but you might not be on the receiving end of any future blessings. But God also showers His blessings on the good and the bad. There are times when the bad person seems to get blessings for nothing, but it is only for a season.

How does chasten?

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He can lift His hand of protection from you. He might forget about His protection Lose the battles you are fighting as with Joshua and the battle of Jericho. You might have to wander in the wilderness for years As with Job, diseases, pestilence, death of livestock, death of family….etc. Of course, in the case of Job, he was tested for a season so that God could prove to Satan that Job was faithful. Would we be able to be as strong as Job? God’s anger will be shown because of sin and disobedience of His people. As the money changers defiled the temple, so Christ drove them out in righteous anger.

If we accept God’s loving nature as His only personality, then for what .purpose is the Great White Throne Judgment?

Father Image Many times we portray God as we saw and lived with our own fathers. If we had a great relationship with our earthly father, then our God will have those same traits. But if our earthly father was cruel and harsh, we tend to view God as having the same personality. To the son or daughter who has been so harshly treated, they have made God just the opposite, to be so loving and kind that He would never punish them for anything. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, need to put away the preconceived notion that God has an earthly body like ours. The God head is a spirit and must be worshipped in Spirit and Truth. Our spirit communes with His spirit. In order to do his we need to know all about Him and to do that we must study fervently about Him in the Word –THE BIBLE. Become very close to God, talk to Him, and Love Him. He will make Himself known to the ones that really seek Him. Above all, keep you heart open to God and don’t become angry if someone else’s picture is different than yours. We all love the same Lord, but perhaps differ in our presentation to others about Him. Keep away from the charlatans that would take you for a ride just for your money. Stand for your beliefs and be able to prove them by the Word. PRAISE THE LORD FOR YOU!


How can the Lost Find Christ? How do you minister to them? By Brenda Stapleton

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ome of the biggest struggles in our lives as Christians, come from loving those around us so much. Should this be a struggle? Were we not born to love so much? Why, yes we were! So why would this be a struggle? Maybe it is because we care about others so much, that we want to always be with them. Sometimes we worry if it will be possible, being together, forever? What do we do to assure each other that happens? We do not want our friends lost. We do not want our loved ones suffering, or “burning in hell” for eternity. Therefore, for some reason, it feels as if we almost have a duty or a responsibility to each other as well. The truth of the matter is, in some way, I

suppose we do. The Bible tells us… “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) This is what we do as Christians to ask for forgiveness, to chase salvation, or as my Pastor Eric Harriman has described as, “Securing your fire insurance!” What about others? Others whom are not only friends, but those of other denominations, or different types of believers. What do you say to them, those you fear may be lost, or do you say anything? The Bible tell us… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things


[done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10) If we all appear before Christ, then whose responsibility is it to bring forth good or bad? Would that mean I am responsible for me, and you are responsible for you? Think about life, and how hectic things are. How many times have you approached someone, and have heard the following, “My relationship with God is very personal.” “I do not like to share it with others.” If you believe this, then why would you feel responsible for helping him or her secure a relationship with Christ? Why should you do anything to help? We all have memories in our life. I am a huge social media person, and as much as I love it, I have just as much distaste for some of it. I am certain you know the phrase, “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Well, never does it apply more than with social media. For instance, I see a lot of media that is directed towards quality. Modifying, monitoring, connecting, and organizing your life with social media is so positive. There is also the possibility of being taken advantage of. You have to be protect your virtual self and your digital image, being cautious about who you communicate with and even more careful what you disclose. It is not just about using common sense when communicating with people you do not know. There is also the ugly, and man, is it ugly. Not only should you be cautious surfing the web, you should be skeptical about communicating with new people, and those who solicit their services on the web. The cliché of “If it sounds too good to be true,” definitely applies here. When communicating with others, even in a manner of worship, people are at risk of invading your life, your home, even your identity. There is also the possibility of concern for who you upset, for this can be a bigger problem, perhaps than it should be. Therefore when it comes to social media, it is best to remember to follow… Owe no man any thing but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not covet; and if {there be} any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love {is} the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

The concern that dwells deep in our hearts about our souls, represents more about our own fears of who we are and the sanctity of our lives as believers. What we do, how far do we go to face our others who are nonbelievers, and witnessing to them, is one way that what we must prove ourselves as worthy. We must prove ourselves as believers before we can attempt to help others. We would do best to remember… He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16) There was one occasion that rose for me, and it has been quite a struggle when talking with others about it. There are many groups you find when chasing the boundaries of social media. One group I am a member of and have been for some time now, I have found many friends within who have moved from within the group, to establish friends outside of the group as well. When communicating, I met this one woman who felt insecure about expressing her beliefs. I advised her never to keep her beliefs silent, and never to be ashamed of who she is. We have since conversed many times, and have gotten to know each other quite well. We share many remarkable similarities in or lives, experiences, etc. The one thing we do not share, is the same belief system. She was raised Muslim, and I was raised Christian. We have discussed the differences many times, as she is well versed in theology, and is quite familiar with the Christian belief system. Not knowing much about the Muslim background, I asked her to share their knowledge with me. I have had other friends of mine tell me, “Do not discuss this with her!” “The Muslims are abominations.” “God hates the Muslims, and he asked the all be slain, years ago.” I have asked them about their knowledge of the Muslims and why they are so hated, and they say it is because the Bible says Ishmael and his mother were to put to death. Although they weren’t, God still hates them, and any person having any relationship with them, will perish in flames. When I ask others who is Allah and why do these people hate Christians so much? They tell me these people are lost souls, going to hell, and to stay away from them. However, I really wanted to understand my friend and her dilemma. As not to want to see her lost, and fear for her soul, the two of us conceded to discuss our beliefs, without offense towards each


other, using her Qur’an (Koran), and my Bible. According to her, the Muslims are a peaceful people, seeking others to follow their doctrines… “And He answers those who believe and do good deeds, and gives them more out of His grace; and (as for) the unbelievers, they shall have a severe punishment.” (Sura 42:26) She advised me in Islam, forgiveness considers good works and Allah’s (Allah which is Arabic for God) grace and the Muslim’s works. On the Day of Judgment, if a Muslim’s good works outweigh his bad ones and if Allah so wills it, he may be forgiven of all his sins and then enter into Paradise, or Heaven. Therefore, Islam is a doctrine of salvation by acts of service, because it combines man’s works with Allah’s grace. She advised the Muslim doctrine is not of terrorists, but of peaceful people who do not believe that everyone has to be Islam. I spoke to her about how I had heard the Muslim doctrine teaches that Jesus is just a prophet, not the manifestation of God in the flesh. She confirmed they do believe Jesus was a prophet, but they deny that He died on the cross and rose again. I thanked her, and shared my appreciation for sharing with me, as I want to be educated in many ways, and to understand various religions and beliefs. I feel we should all understand where a person is coming from, not just walk up and say, “I disagree.” As with her, before you can say, “I disagree with the Islam religion,” I feel you should be specific in why you disagree. You should explain how you feel in all circumstances, being true to your heart, true to your God, true to your beliefs, and above all, true to your soul. It is so important to me to meet others believers and non-believers, and to spread the word of Christ. I read once where Christianity today is full of churches proclaiming that all religions worship the same God. Therefore, shouldn’t we embrace them? Some churches have already moved towards the promotion of the idea put forth through the Interfaith Doctrine. This doctrine believes “The greater our awareness is regarding the value and effectiveness of other religious traditions, then the deeper will be our respect and reverence toward other religions. This is the proper way for us to promote genuine compassion and a spirit of harmony among the religions of the

world. Along with the Church and Fellowship is a secular order called the Knights of Good Works, recognizing the unselfish deeds of others who serve their neighbors? This goes as far as to state in the Catechism that the Muslims worship the same God as Christianity, allowing them to enjoy the same salvation equally. This essentially states that it doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian or a Muslim, and that you can find salvation through either religion. This would be a great prospective for afterlife for those of the Muslim faith, and others too, who worship God. However, it doesn’t change the fact of saving one’s soul, through grace. This grace was received by faith, faith by knowing the Son of God as in… “God manifested in the flesh as of the Son of God, and they will deny that He died on the cross and rose again. Jesus Christ Himself said He was the Messiah, and said He was the Son of God!” (John 1:14) It is a significant part of a Christian’s belief system when saving one’s soul, that a person who believes in the Son of God, has an understanding of salvation. This salvation considered as our sins paid in full by the blood of Jesus through his crucifixion and by his death on the cross is the Christian basis by where we are baptized after professing Christ as our Lord and Savior: therefore, this belief and the basis by which we as sinners are saved, starting with … He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18) This was followed by … “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. “(John 8:24) Both of these paint the picture that combines with… “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) However, I believe it is best put together in the


following two, the first being…

lives to come. What about the non-believers? The self-proclaimed atheists who do not believe in “For by grace you have been saved through faith; God, or Jesus? I once read an article about stem and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not cell research, and how people felt about using as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” these treatments, depending on the origin of the (Ephesians 2:8-9) stem cells. I, for one, had reservations about using stem cell studies, should the stem cells had been Then again, knowing this will be written that you retrieved from aborted fetuses. As a collective, may know in… the group spoke freely and no one appeared to be judgmental. Several of us agreed to use stem “These things I have written to you who believe cell research, if the stem cells were donated from in the name of the Son of God, so that you may adult stem cells, or from donated cord blood from know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 fetuses. However, if the stem cells were products of aborted stem cells of any kind, then there was Now knowing more about the doctrine of Islam, a select group of us who did not agree with this and with so much in the media over the past few type of selected treatment. Therefore, we agreed years, the Muslim and Islam background has been to forego any type of treatment of this kind. brought up numerous times. It is not one we find No one that except for this one woman, who very easy to discuss, or at least it hasn’t been for chimed in that this was the reason she had chosen me, as a supporter of troops and of our country. to hold to her beliefs as an atheist. She explained When I think of other religions, the central basis how people like me, who had difficulties receiving of life and death, and the afterlife, I know what gifts from the medical community, because of my my soul needs. However, when I think of others, personal belief system under a “Godly Cloud,” such as those who are Muslim? I find it hard to could possibly keep me from receiving healing. feel impartial at times, when I do not understand She went on to say that “I would rather deny the hatred against our country. I find it hard to myself something here, for some make- believe support a person with a Muslim belief doctrine, or believe he or she has eternal life? Understanding a supportive works faith, and believing a life of works will provide them salvation is attainable, but believing there is no Jesus, and the Islamic system requires them to sincerely work enough to secure their soul. The two I cannot put together. However, as a Christian, we have the assurance by our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ and his life and death, that eternal life exists. This gift of salvation from Jesus is enough for us to believe. The grace of God is enough for us. Thereby when considering those lost souls to other religions, we must remember, it is a matter of acceptance. The love of God is so easy. Believing in Jesus Christ and knowing what the death of Jesus on the cross brought to us today in our living lives, and in our after/


hope of something later.” I had stated, “I would have to seek alternative measures should the treatment modalities be only through the use of aborted fetuses of any kind, due to my personal belief system.” For some reason, there were four or five of us Christian people speaking together, but I was directly mentioned in her rant. The others who were speaking with me, offered no words here in support of our conversation. For a brief moment, I felt as if I had been deserted, except I knew I had not. It actually made me smile, because instead of feeling weakened, I felt amazingly strong. I responded to her by explaining how I had lived my life with many people of various belief systems, not just my own. I had friends and family who were Christians, but I also have friends and family who are Buddhist, Mormon and Muslim. I may not agree with their choice, as I did not agree with hers. However, I would never treat a child of God with disrespect. God loves all of us, and should she ever want to talk to someone about God, about any insecurities she may have, any concerns about faith or grace; I would be happy to speak with her about God. I know she was a nonbeliever at the time. I am certain, she still is today, but it is my place to make the offer just the same. If there is a lost sheep, regardless where or when I cross upon them, I will extend God’s love and his word, not a pair of shears. The Lord expressed his love for all of us in, when he said… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) I would never consider anyone as worthless, or their life as lacking principle. I feel we all have a special purpose in life. God has created a world of people, a world meant to be full of peace. However, a world full of atheists, is just as dangerous as a world full of a religion of extremists. Either of these groups of people will use religion to justify their feelings against each other, and that will make a difference in expressing their faith, or their lack thereof. That leaves it up to those of us who are believers to spread the word of God to others, and

to prepare them to hear it. As was spoken in… “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) For with these words, regardless of how others feel about me as a believer, I feel no harsh feelings, or negativity against them. As a believer, I set forth an example of who the Lord wants me to be. I prepare in myself a heart true in His word, in charity, in spirit, built on faith and grace, and pure in the love of Christ. It is with all of the traits of a true believer I set a true example of a Christian. I present who I am as a believer, and welcome others to join me, as with … “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) How better to welcome another, than by telling the story! I grew up singing a song in church entitled, “Go tell it on the Mountain!” When I read Romans, hear Romans? I remember this so much, for as much as we have faith? To tell others about it, and to spread the word of God by telling others, and having them hear how amazing He is? It is all about speaking to the lost. Finding those who are lost, and letting them know what we know. What we say, and what we do is so important in spreading the word of God by practicing what we preach, as in… “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” (Romans 10:8) The book of Romans shares so much of God’s word about the lost. Many believe in producing a commitment, or living their lives for God. They feel the Bible gives them no assurance of salvation. However, nothing is further from the truth than to say that because a person accepts “there is a God,” then he is saved. Growing up, I was told the definition of Salvation is a changed heart as spoken in… “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)


True salvation is a “heart” salvation. Preach what is in your heart, and let it be heard from your mouth. Let your faith be your testimony that the word of God is true. The word of God is spoken through others in… “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” (Psalm 119:172)

short of the mercy and the glory of God? Either way, it is there, and there is so much you would want to say, just like it says… “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that There are many times in my life, I have met others henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) of various backgrounds in religion and the way they For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye feel about this life and the life after. You may feel are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans comfortable talking about how you feel. You may 6:14) not feel comfortable discussing the differences you So let your voice and your words receive the discover that may exist between the two of you. love and guidance from your Father, and present However, you must remember the Lord loves you, it to others. Let them hear it now, and carry it with and as I once heard, “If God had a refrigerator, them in the days to come. Let your words fall on your picture would be on it!” He loves you and their ears and on their hearts for the days to come. He wants everyone to know it. ”Don’t you want to When judgment day arrives for each and everyone share that love?” By doing so, you may have to one of us? How wonderful it would be to know that tell someone how you feel, or how the Lord feels your voice rang in the ears of another, helping about you, so they know how He feels about them. them to know and to remember the Father’s words You may find a nonbeliever. They may tell you, He wants for you to hear, to speak, to believe, and I don’t care about that. I don’t care about God, to have faith, for in the days to come, the years to or I don’t believe in God. You may feel as if you come, the lives we live and love as reflected in… are being pushy, but that is okay. As a Christian, God wants you to tell others about Him, the way “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: He tells others about you. Sometimes others will but a good word maketh it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25) reject God, and you may feel pain for them… Make your words glad, and your heart sing. Live “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my your life according to God’s word. Let others around words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I you see through you, what the Lord has done. For have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last Jesus did not come to find just the good… day.” (John 12:48) “I have not come to ask good people to change. This is where the righteous knows what a father I have come to ask bad people to change their wants. He talks about you all of the time, the way hearts and lives!” (Luke 5:32) a father does. So how does a child talk about their father? What does a child say to another person Let the lost find the Lord through you. Lead by when they talk about their father? Consider your example, and pay the debt that is owed with own child, if you have children. I know my child passion and an open heart. Remember the debt has asked many times, “Momma, how do I know that is owed, and how precious of a gift this life, all God isn’t mad at me for something I have done?” of this life is though… Sometimes we all need that reassurance. I know I do. What do you tell your children? What do you “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God tell your friends? Since that is where that individual is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Roman relationship, or that personal relationship comes 6:23) in. Do you remind them of God’s love, His grace, faith in Him? Do you remind them that we all fall


Gently make it clear that their wavering will not make you question your beliefs. As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, which was inhabited by non-believers, he said, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 Be sure your friend or family member knows your faith is going to remain unwavering. Respect where they are and love them, but ask them to also respect your beliefs and love you. Your grandmother was right—actions do speak louder than words. When you go through trials, your doubting friend or family member will be watching. If you remain faithful and steadfast in your reactions, and strong in your faith, God may use your boldness as a testimony. Don’t turn them away even if they turn you away. Sometimes, your friend or family member will back away and not wish to be around you due to your faith-walk. Their reaction will hurt—deeply. But, never turn from them. Communication is a twoway thing. Think of your relationship as a phone. Don’t hang up, even if they do. Keep your end of the line open, just as Jesus does for you. Occasionally send them a text, an email, or even a greeting card—especially on important milestone days like birthdays, anniversaries, and during the holidays. Give your friend space, but let him or her know they still reside in your heart. Your soft compassion may be one of the things God will use to crack their walls of resistance. Pray for them daily. Intercession is the best thing you can do. Just because their prayers were not answered the way they wanted them to be doesn’t mean praying is useless. They may not feel like praying, but you can. Scripture states the prayers of the righteous have power. (James 5:16) Be tenacious and keep praying, even if it takes years for them to return to the Lord. Many a parent of a wayward child will tell you there were times when they wondered if their prayers would ever be answered. Then, their prodigal came back to the faith. Trust that God is working in their lives to draw them back to Him, even though it is not evident in their actions. The fact that they “hate God” or “don’t want anything to do with God” means they still believe. Deep-down in their heart, they know He has power

over their lives, even though they may not grasp that fact right now. After all, you can’t hate or reject something you don’t believe in. People go through stages of denial, guilt, anger, blame, and at times, depression. Some roll through it quickly, then return to God for comfort. But, many take years to process their emotions. Even so, have confidence that Christ has not given up on them. He went to the cross for them. He catches their tears and endures their shouts. They have heard His voice, so they will respond to it again someday. It may take time and life circumstances for God’s mercy to break through the walls grief, loss, and anger have erected. Be grateful if God chooses to work through others. It is human nature to want to be the one who fixes the problems of the people whom we love. But, if the person who has given up on God is close to you, their turning away from their faith might become a wedge in your relationship. It may take a stranger or casual acquaintance to reach beyond their resistance. We never know where God will use us in the process to bring someone to Him, be it a seed sower or a harvester. If their encounter with someone else shatters their lack of faith, that doesn’t mean your prayers and efforts were for naught. Sometimes it takes many strokes to break down barriers. If the person has never come to salvation and had a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is even more important for you to not hide your light under a bushel. On the other hand, don’t use it as a spotlight to point out their faulty logic either. When He walked the earth, Jesus met people where they were, in their hurt and need. He presented them with the Truth and left the acceptance of it up to them. Some turned away, but many came to faith, and in turn, brought others into faith. The same is true today. Keep steadfast, and keep glowing with the love of the Lord. You may become the beacon that helps them find home. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16


C God is calling

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s I tied the ribbon of my only dress, I peered out the bedroom window. Across the street I could see cars lining up and people dressed in their Sunday best. The sun was shining and I was excited about going to church. I was only seven and my experiences with church were limited to the major Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. I looked back at my mother. She was still asleep in the bed we shared and my grandparents could be heard sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper and drinking coffee. How happy they all would be that I had attended church. After I brushed my hair for the last time, I walked through the house, past the kitchen and out the front door. After looking both ways, I crossed the street to the Nazarene Church. A nice man held the door open and when I got inside, a sweet lady pointed me in the direction of my Sunday school class. My teacher was beautiful! She told me a wonderful story about Noah and we made boats out of construction


Coming Back you back to Him... Are you ready? By Jennifer Hamner

paper. Then, we went to the big church where I listened to the choir sing and the preacher preach. All in all, church had been a great experience. I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mother and grandparents. As I crossed the street to get back home, I heard my mother. She was crying and walking up the hill to our house. My grandmother was in the front yard and my grandfather was near the side of the house. They were all shouting out my name. I ran across the street and shouted back, “Here I am! I went to church today – all by myself!” My smile quickly turned upside down and tears flowed as my grandmother grabbed my right arm and proceeded to turn my in circles whipping my poor little skinny legs with a switch. I was in deep trouble. Later my mother explained to me that I caused them all a lot of worry because they did not know where I was and that I should never g o anywhere without telling them first. I nodded and told her I just wanted to go to church. “You can go to church just make sure you tell me, okay?” Mother agreed and even went later that week and got me a new dress. For the next five years, I attended the church across the street. Then, when I was twelve I walked the aisle during a revival, gave my life to Christ and was saved. What a glorious day! Pretty

soon, I was helping out with church functions and telling my friends about church. It wasn’t long after being saved that my world was rocked and my faith destroyed. A little more than a year after being saved, I walked across the street to church. That Sunday morning was different though; our normally crowded parking lot was almost empty. There was not a smiling man at the door to greet me and when I walked into the foyer, I heard whispers coming from the sanctuary. Pushing the doors open, I entered the sanctuary and there stood a handful of our congregation. I overheard them talking about our pastor and how he had been caught having an affair with my Sunday school teacher. I was told to go home because there was not going to be a service that day. I was devastated so I ran as fast as I could down the street to my best friend’s house. I was too upset to go home. When I got there and told my friend and her parents what had happened, her father just looked at me and shook his head. “Well, I could have told you that was going to happen. Church is full of nothing but hypocrites.” His words coursed through me and I cried. The next five years, I avoided church at every turn. I lost my virginity at an early age and began doing drugs and drinking heavily. I moved out at seven-


teen, got pregnant and had an abortion. I barely passed high school but in my senior year I was awarded a full art scholarship to the University of Alabama. My high school art teacher had really pushed me to try for the scholarship because he saw potential in me. He believed in me. For a while, I even believed in myself. However, my smile once again turned upside down and the University took my scholarship away because my grade point average in high school was so low. I was so angry that the school had done that to me. They had gotten my hopes up only to knock me down again. I started using heavier drugs and partying even harder. By the time I was twenty four, I was married to my high school sweetheart. He and I both did drugs together and were barely making it on our own. Our life had become one of broken down cars, unpaid bills, and bail bonds. At the time, I was working for a local lumber company and they sent me to Las Vegas for a tradeshow. Las Vegas isn’t the best place to send people like me. I partied hard and the next morning found myself on the floor of my hotel room. My memory of the previous night was a big blur and when I looked in the mirror, I was mortified. My makeup was running all over my face and my hair was mess. My clothes were barely on me and felt as awful as I looked. At that moment though something amazing happened. I dropped to the floor and cried. I laid in the bathroom floor of the Paris hotel in Las Vegas and cried and prayed. I begged God to take my life because I was so worthless. I begged him to let me just die. He didn’t let me die but instead stayed with me all day. The next day I flew home to my husband. When I got home, he was in jail again for drugs. I bailed him out and told him that I was going to change and that he should change also. I told him that I was going to drugs or drink anymore and that I wanted to have a baby. He laughed at me and told me I could quit if I wanted to but he wasn’t going to quit. For a year, I focused on getting my act together. I quit doing drugs and drinking. I began to exercise and started to put my best efforts in at work. My life was changing but it wasn’t until I gave birth to our daughter that my life totally changed. My priorities then became about her and not me. During this transition in my life, my husband was still doing drugs and getting arrested. He was always in between jobs but I loved him dearly. One day

after I had to pick our daughter up from the police because she was in the car with my husband when he got arrested for drug paraphernalia, it dawned on me that I just couldn’t do it anymore. That night, I gave my husband an ultimatum. I told him he had to quit the drugs or he was going to lose us. A few months later he and I made good on our words. He continued to use and I filed for divorce. During all these years that he and I had been together we did not attend church. I immediately found a church for my daughter and I and we attended regularly. I was beginning once again to feel whole. It was during that time that I met an old classmate from high school and we started talking. Two years later we were married. Our relationship was volatile and dangerous. We had a child together and I tried to make it work. However, I took my children and left. The relationship was just too full of anger. During the time I was married to my second husband, my first husband had been killed in a motorcycle accident. My life was falling apart. I was a twice divorced woman with two children to raise. The man I loved for twenty years was dead. I was embarrassed and scared for having been in such an abusive relationship the second go around. My confidence was at an all-time low. My church family was very supportive but I found it hard to go back after all that had happened so I stopped. God wasn’t done with me yet though. He took my life and filled it with situations that a non-believer would call coincidental. I knew that He was showing me that I wasn’t alone and that he was working in my life. I rededicated my life to the Lord and now teach Sunday school. I write for the Lord and travel telling others about Him. I paint for the Lord and volunteer where and when I can. I do all things because He is with me and it is by His grace that I am saved and forgiven. It would have been so easy after my first husband’s death and the falling apart of my second marriage to crumble and turn my back. Instead, I prayed. I prayed that God would give me strength for my children. I prayed He would open my eyes and show me where He wanted me to do work for Him. He has done all He ever said he would do for me even though I turned my back on Him so many times.


The One Requirement for Entrance into Heaven By Lloyd Faulds

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magine that you just died. You wake up and find yourself standing before those pearly gates. The angel Gabriel walks up. From the other side of the gate, He asks you, “Why should we let you in?” What would your answer be? I bet, if that were to happen, Peter would get a great number of different answers. But what does the Bible say? Hebrews 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Matthew 5:20 says, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” According to these verses, we have to be perfectly holy and righteous in order to enter in heaven. There is one huge problem with this “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23) Isa 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

It would appear that no one would be allowed to enter heaven. If this truly is the criteria for entering heaven, then heaven will be a very lonely and deserted place. This was God’s dilemma. God knew all this stuff was going to happen. Adam would eat of the forbidden fruit and all mankind would be cursed. This scenario was unacceptable to God. Why even create man if in the end He would just have to destroy him in hell? The purpose of creating man in the first place was to have fellowship with God. God’s holiness demanded that all sin be paid in full, but God’s love demanded a way for man to be forgiven. God had to make a way for an unrighteous man to gain access to perfect righteousness and holiness. God’s solution is 2 Cor 5:21, “For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” To demonstrate how this verse works, let us visit a court room. Pretend you are the defendant on trial. You are led into the court room in chains. The first thing you notice is that God the Father is the Judge. You realize that this does not bode well for you. You know He is fair and righteous, but also that He knows all. He is not only the judge, but the jury and executioner as well. The folder containing your rap sheet is placed before you and opened. In it you see every sin you ever committed. It not only contains the big sins, but also the little ones. There are even a number of things on there that you did not even know were sins.


God starts reading off the list of crimes against Him, for that is really what sin is.

Jesus looks up at His Father and pleads, “... O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou June 7, 1983, 9:32 am: Refused to get out of bed wilt. (Matt. 26:39) Jesus pleaded with the Father when your Mother tried to get you up. GUILTY. to find another way to redeem mankind. He was June 7, 1983, 9:37 am: Swore at Mother. GUILTY. only willing to go through what He did if it was June 7, 1983, 9:54 am: Kicked cat on way to the ONLY way for you and I to be forgiven of our bathroom. GUILTY. sins. The fact that Jesus did die on that cross two June 7, 1983, 10:15 am: Purposely tried to use thousand years ago proves that there is only one all the hot water so no one else would have any. way to God and that is through Jesus. What father GUILTY.” would allow his son to go through something like Etc. Etc. that if it wasn’t truly necessary? So Jesus went to the cross, suffered, and died As God continues to read, you get this sinking to pay the sin debt that you owed. Oh how is must feeling in your stomach. Finally, after what have grieved the Father to watch His only begotten seems like hours, God finishes reading your list of Son die that cruel death. Fathers will do just about offenses. anything to protect their children, especially an Each offense comes with a death sentence. only son. But God “spared not his own Son, but For the wages of sin is death; (Rom. 6:23a). God delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with has no choice but to condemn you to death, or him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32) to spend eternity in hell. 2 Thess 1:8-9 says, “In After watching His Son suffer and die, the Father flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know then resurrected Jesus on the third day to prove not God, and that obey not the gospel of our that Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient. Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with The Judge now turns back to you. everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” “My Son just died in your place. Your sins were all This is the punishment each offense carries. placed on Him. But His death does not automatically God’s holiness demands that this punishment be make you righteous. Do you remember that carried out to the fullest. But, thank goodness, clean sheet of paper that is Jesus’ rap sheet, that God is a God of love and mercy. clean sheet of paper that represents the perfect God, the judge, looks over at you, and with righteousness of Jesus? If you will repent of your tears in His eyes, says, “I must condemn you to sin and accept me not only as your Saviour, but hell. That is what the law demands. The debt of also as the Lord of your life, If you will do that, sin must be paid. But, BUT, I did not create you then I will place Jesus’ righteousness in your file for this. I created you so I could have fellowship as your rap sheet so you will be viewed from now with you. I will tell you what I will do. Because I on as being perfectly holy and righteous just as love you, I will have my only begotten Son pay the Jesus was perfectly holy and righteous. Not only penalty for your sin for you.” that, but I will also make you a child of God with all Jesus is now brought into the court room. The the rights and privileges pretaining there to. (John folder containing His rap sheet is set before Him. 1:12) If you will agree to this, I will even make you It is opened. His rap sheet is perfectly clean and an heir, a joint heir with Christ.” (Rom. 8:17) spotless. There is not a mark on it. It doesn’t even have a fold or crease mark. It is PERFECT. Jesus WILL YOU DO THIS TODAY? then takes His perfectly clean rap sheet and lays it aside. He then reaches over and takes your If you will admit that you are a sinner, and trust dirty, sin filled rap sheet and places it in His own that Jesus died in your place as your only means folder. God the Father, then looks over at His only of salvation, then you shall be saved. Rom 10:13 begotten son, and with tears in His eyes says, “I says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name find you GUILTY of all these offenses. I therefore of the Lord shall be saved.” Call on Him today condemn you to be tortured and crucified on the and He will make you that perfect righteousness cross of Calvary.” in Christ. ( 2 Cor. 5:21)


Reviewed By MIchelle C. Danko

DVD release date: March 11, 2014 Cast: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, and Lisa Vischer Director: Mike Nawrocki Studio: Big Idea Productions Genre: Science Fiction Topics: Lesson in Sharing Run time: 45 minutes MPAA rating: NR Our rating: G

Veggies in Space: The Fennell Frontier begins with Larry the Cucumber in a space suit with wires attached to him. This game of make-believe would be fun, except Larry can’t get down. He tries to ask his friends for help, but his friends refuse his requests because they are too wrapped up in their own needs. So Bob and Larry recollect a story about sharing while Larry is suspended waiting for help. The movie is a parody of Star Wars/Star Trek. It recounts the adventures of Captain Cuke (Larry) and Dr. Spork (Bob) and their journey through space. The USS Applepie is on a mission through space to attack the evil Luntar the Looter who is an energy (power) stealing space pirate. Their escapades in trying to deal with Luntar quickly land them captured and in jail on a small planet raining popcorn where they meet a young boy with a very important message: “If you have enough to spare, you have enough to share.”. This young boy quickly turns around the perspective of the crew of the USS Applepie as they quickly learn that sometimes things aren’t always as they appear. What began as a tale of a bad case of the “mine’s”, quickly turns into a lesson of sharing as the team quickly races to save the planet. But can they save it in time? I admittedly am not a sci-fi fan, but I loved the message in this movie. It taught a lesson both in sharing, but also that things may not always be as we perceive them to be. Sometimes, if we aren’t mindful, we can jump to incorrect conclusions without having all the details. The movie perfectly illustrates the importance of being openminded, and listening to both sides before taking action. However, even though I loved the message, I did find the plot a little slow. I didn’t find it as engaging as the other movies, and regrettably, neither did my children. They became restless at the beginning of it, but were engaged by the end. They liked it, but it wasn’t one they really had to watch over and over like the other movies. I would give it a three out of five. Things for parents to be aware of: References to aliens: Alien lizard egg, and alien references on the back of a space ship. Stealing: Pirate theme.


When They God Awa

By Julie B. Cosgrove

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laine sat in a hard, plastic chair in the hospital corridor. Her hands wrung the Kleenex until it resembled white confetti in her fingers. With tears flowing down her cheeks she turned to her sister, Ellen. “How could Jesus allow this to happen? I’ve prayed. You’ve prayed. God didn’t listen. My granddaughter’s dying anyway. She’s only three. I hate God.” Elaine stomped her foot and exited through the automatic sliding doors, sobbing.

* * * Mary noticed Betty stopped going to church once her son’s cancer finally defeated his earthly body. For over two years the tight-knit congregation had prayed over this family, been there for them through the roller coaster of remission and flareups, and had fund raisers for his to chemo. Sunday school kids had colored get-well cards and sang hymns at the foot of his hospital bed. Men had mowed their grass. Like the other women of the church, Mary brought

over the proverbial post-funeral casserole when it was her turn to do so. Betty, with red-rimmed eyes accepted the casserole at the door, but didn’t let Mary inside. She explained. “I don’t mean to be rude. I am just so tired. I want a break from God. I don’t want people praying over me, or giving me their platitudes about how God knows best. I am sick of cards with Scripture verses. I just want to be left alone. So please, tell everyone at church to stop dropping by or calling


Shove ay

Examine Faith Belief Testify Pray Listen Compassion

me.” * * * What do you say when someone you know shoves God out of his or her life? How can you minister them back into a relationship with their Savior? You can’t. Only God can. But there are some practical things you can, and should, do. Pray before you act or speak. Seek God’s guidance in how to act or react to them. Be sensitive to their emotions, and push aside your desire to “fix” their problems and get them right with God. Don’t argue that our Lord knows best, or is there besides them, or that He is in control. There are times when the Holy

Spirit whispers to silence your tongue, for a reason. A person in the throngs of grief or anger is hardly rational. Quoting Scripture and platitudes probably won’t be a comfort to them at that time. Sometimes, when their emotions are that raw, just holding their hand or weeping with them will be enough. But what if, after the dust settles and the trauma is over, they still insist on pushing God away? What can you do to help guide them back into a relationship with Christ? Examine your own faith, then live it. The best way to help your friend or family member is to make sure your beliefs are rock-


solid. Scripture is clear that we should always trust God and, in all circumstances, turn to Him in prayer. Our faith should not be dependent on “answered prayer.” God is not a celestial Santa Claus we can manipulate into giving us what we want. But, He does answer all prayers, even if it is with silence or a resounding, “No.” That doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. Just the opposite. Ask any parent whose child wants a steady diet of chocolate donuts and soda pop. A deep faith requires boldness and steadfastness in good times and bad, whether prayers are answered the way we desire or not. A plaque I once saw read, “Faith is not hope without proof, but trust without reservation.” Our belief in God’s love and merciful grace should not be resultsbased. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7)

But in the case of someone who has residual pain, anger, confusion or who has had their faith severely tested, can you boldly confess your faith to them? Isn’t that like rubbing salt into a gaping wound? It depends on your approach. Remember boldness doesn’t mean “in your face” brazenness. It is an attitude—an inner, unwavering strength and determination in spite of circumstances. Don’t Bible-thump them, but don’t walk on egg shells and avoid the “G” word when they are around. If a sermon moved you, let them know. If a passage from Scripture touched your heart, tell them. If a new song on the Christian radio station hit home, play it for them. Friends communicate and share with each other. If your friend or family member knows God is a big part of your life, your consistency may speak volumes to them. It may also be the catalyst for discussions, even if they ask why you insist on “being so delusional.”


Holly Starr Interview “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21) By Andrew Brunet wa H Holly Sta Contemporary Christian artist, who has touched the world through her music and heart to give to the needy. Being able to perform as an opening act for Leanne Rimes at a young age, Holly began her singing experience and has now been able to perform with artists like Mr. Talkbox, Shawn McDonald, and many more. Holly’s music will automatically get stuck into your head and all of a sudden you will begin to sing along, even your kids will hum along with it. When researching about Holly and her music, I found something very interesting that may catch your attention. She has been an advocate for Compassion International since 2010, helping people in need all across the country and the nation. Starr is someone whom I would look up too as a role model in the Christian world of Music. Faith Filled Family: What was it like growing up on a farm? Was there any life experiences that you learned from working there? Holly Starr: Growing up on a farm was amazing! I learned many lesson from my father and grandfather about hard work and the beauty of being patient in the midst of a “season”. The “season” always


changes! Just like life :)

my faith in Jesus after seeing a play a church in our community Faith Filled Family: What was put on. But more important than it like being able to perform with a momentary decision, I believe Dove-award winning producer salvation is a verb in which we Rusty Varenkamp? Faith Filled Family: When did are constantly “being saved”, Holly Starr: Rusty was my you accept Jesus Christ as your constantly being challenged to producer for my album, Tapestry. Savior? put our trust in Jesus; moment He is an incredible guy, not to Holly Starr: As a young girl I put by moment, day by day. Some mention talented! I loved every minute I got to work with him. Faith Filled Family: When did you decide that singing was going to be your career? At what age did you start? Holly Starr: I started writing music at 14, and had always planned to be in ministry full time since I was about that age. I didn’t know what that would look like, but soon discovered music would be my way in which I could do that! Faith Filled Family: Was there any Christian singers who inspired you to become the singer you are today? Holly Starr: Chris Tomlin and Shawn McDonald are two artists who really have inspired me. Chris’ heart for worship and love for the church, combined with Shawn’s authenticity has been a huge inspiration to my vision. Faith Filled Family:Through writing and being able to perform each song, is there a message twould like to share not only with us but also the public? Holly Starr: Be honest, be real. God is big enough for every season we face. We are never stuck with Jesus on our side and He is on our side! Faith Filled Family: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Holly Starr: I am 23 years old,

have a passion for Jesus, and love encouraging the church. I have 3 siblings and 2 amazing parents!


moments are more influential than others over the span of time (like the moment God revealed to me how close He was, or the moment He revealed to me the importance of His word), but I believe when salvation begins, it doesn’t end until we see Jesus again. He is constantly changing us to look more and more like Himself in the way we act, think, and speak! Not just heaven verses hell. Seeing these changes in our lives is the fruit of true salvation, as opposed to a one-time decision that determines our destiny. See 2 Corinthians 3:18 Faith Filled Family: Can you share with us what you do to help Compassion International? Holly Starr: I have been an advocate for Compassion since 2010. I get to share about their ministry from stage occasionally to encourage people to reach out to the poor in countries outside of the US - to look after the orphans as Jesus commanded us to do while He was here. Faith Filled Family: Is there any upcoming releases coming out? Is there anything you can share with our readers? Holly Starr: June 10th I will be releasing my newest single, God Is! Faith Filled Family: Is there a certain audience that you are trying to reach out too? Holly Starr: I have a passion for all ages, as we see in scripture that is how Jesus operated. He didn’t single out any specific audience - His audience was loving on everyone who came around Him. I know there can be benefits to having a target audience, but this is something God put on my heart from the very beginning. To be transgenerational in my vision! :)

earn it. It just IS. Every morning I have to decide to receive His grace instead of choosing condemnation or guilt. When I dwell on His gift instead of my insufficiencies, it is in that place that I get to experience deep deep, real and full life! Faith Filled Family: What was it like being able to perform at various festivals around the nation? Holly Starr: It has been amazing! What a gift to get to taste a bit of the church all over the country, all together at the same time to worship! It’s one of my favorite experiences touring. Faith Filled Family: Do you currently have any animals? Holly Starr: Yes! One cat. Her name is Maycee :) Faith Filled Family: Has there ever been a situation arise in your life when you thought you would have to give up? Holly Starr:Tons of them. But God’s grace and calling on my life have brought me back every time. I believe that if His will is me to keep going, He alone will keep in going. Likewise if He wants it to stop. So far every time it has gotten challenging He has brought to me places and people who remind me of the calling and why I love what I do. :) Faith Filled Family: Have you performed with any other Christian artists lately? Holly Starr: Not recently, but have been able to play with Shawn McDonald, Mr. Talkbox and several other artists at festivals in the past year.

First of all, we want to thank Holly Starr for her compassion and giving us some of her precious Faith Filled Family: If you could define God’s time to answer our questions. You can purchase grace in your own terms, how would you define it any of her materials that you would like on and how has God’s grace worked in your life? http://www.amazon.com or iTunes. Her music is Holly Starr: God’s grace is the very life in my for any age to be able to enjoy and you will love it bones. Apart from God I am dead, lifeless, and on as you begin to clap your hands and praise God a journey that doesn’t end in eternity WITH Jesus. in your own way. To be able to see Holly Starr in Because of Jesus’ death on the cross for me, I concert, check out her website http://hollystarr. now get the gift of life - and not my life - HIS life; com. We want to thank Mr. Keith Stancil at the His pure, blameless, justified life. The fact that I Artist Garden Entertainment for sharing with us get a chance to have life abundantly despite the her music and also helping us book an interview, sin I have committed and continue to commit is we appreciate your help and cooperation in grace. And it continues to astound me that it is helping this happen! olly Starr is an Contemporary FREE. I don’t have to do anything to deserve it, or Christian artist, who has touched the world through


The “Ex” Christian Files By Pauline Brakebill

all accept the premise that this whole creation was a spiritual stood in my room stunned at existence. God, the Holy Ghost, the realization that I could have and Christ are spiritual beings. been a party to the Ex-Christian’s When Lucifer fell, he brought rejection of the Gospel. That was sin into the world When God a frightening thought. How could created man, He longed to have I have been so thoughtless? communion with his creation. Just this evening, I stumbled In the garden, God walked and on to a site while I was talked with man. It was a beautiful browsing the internet, called time for both, until that sin crept the “Ex-Christian”. Being very into the garden and ruined their curious, I started reading some relationship forever. From that of the blogs. I couldn’t believe time on God saw that He would what I was reading! I know that I have to provide a redeemer for am naïve, but I didn’t think I was his creation. God’s plan was to so far removed from reality that have His son Jesus become that those excuses came as such a redeemer, a living sacrifice for all shock. I know in my heart that mankind. I’m a Christian, meaning I have The whole of the Old Testament a close relationship with Christ, is a fore-telling of the New so why should it be that difficult Testament and the coming of for some one else to accept this Christ. The prophecies in the relationship? I think I should stop Old Testament all point to the and start over in my thinking. birth of Christ with out error. As you read the books of the Old IN THE BEGINNING Testament, it should be pointed In the beginning, God created out to the reader that they all the heavens and the earth. He point to Christ’s coming. So saw that it was good. However, without doubt we know it to be something bad came into this true. The prophecies in the Bible good plan. Lucipher fell from are without error. Therefore, grace because he thought he we know for a certainty that the should be as great as God. To Scriptures are accurate, even believe this, one must first of though they were penned by

I


man. Now, into every human being, God left a hole in his spirit. That hole was to be filled with God’s love. God gave man a free will - he could choose to love God or love the things of the world. As long as man was with God in the garden, he had no problem loving God. There was no sin. But as with our own lives, sin was introduced into God’s perfect plan by Satan: (Which is the name Lucifer was given when he fell from Grace). This hole in man’s spirit still needs to be filled with something. He has the choice of remaining in God’s love or filling that void with the earthly pleasures of this life. According to the recent findings of the scientific community, man was originally designed to last for ever, never to die. This was God’s plan. But sin came in and destroyed this plan. Now we all must face our end in death. Let’s look at man for a moment. This body, in it’s original state, was designed to continue working forever. Many well known scientists have done studies on the human body and found its structure was such that with out any disease or injuries it could keep on running and running and running. Sin brought with it these maladies which destroy the human body. Consequently, we die. But God in His loving kindness, has promised us a new body upon death of the old body. All we are required to do is to accept Christ as our Savior and ask forgiveness of our sins. Now God expects us to try to lead a life worthy of His love, but since our righteousness is as “filthy rags”, we must ask His


love for them. You see the most important key to winning souls is not having a good sales pitch, being able to share the Gospel message, but offering a product that others are going to want for themselves. So what is the product that we have to offer “the world” that is wanted more than anything else? LOVE. In the midst of their struggles, pain and yes sin, we love them. In hindsight if we look at Jesus ministry, ultimately what did He do? Walked among the neediest, hurting and rejected people of his time and simply LOVED them. Because of His love the masses where drawn to Him. When we begin to love people unconditionally, they will be drawn to that love and we will then have an opportunity to share with them where that love comes from. Even then, we must be patient, so many people have been hurt too many times and trust does not come easy. Love is best shared through the most simple of actions: A friendly smile, a kind and encouraging word, a compassionate hand of help. Sometimes it does not even take that much, just being there, being present for someone that is hurting. Showing them care and support without judgment. It has been ny experience that when people are shown His unconditional love through us, their lives are miraculously changed and He begins to heal them

from their past hurts. So, what do you say, when they come to you wanting what you have? Tell them your story – how has your faith changed your life. Then briefly share a few scriptures with them. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23” BUT “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 AND “....all who believe in him are made right with God. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved.” Romans 10:4,13 Be ready and willing to answer any questions to best of your ability, then lead them in a simple “Sinners Prayer”. Here is an example: “Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In your name, amen.” You are now officially a “Soul Winner”! As I hope you have seen throughout this article, being a “Soul Winner” has very little to do with what you say, and everything to do with who you are and what you do. By being a daily representation and earthly expression of God’s love we can change the world and in doing so we can and will see the day that the “whole world will be saved.” So to answer our initial questions, “Me a soul winner? Are you sure?” - YES and ABSOLUTELY!


forgiveness always. BE GOOD ON YOUR OWN EFFORTS Some of the “Ex’s” have stated that the Christian religion is not necessary, because we all strive to be good and moral. “Your behavior is no better or worse than mine. Why should I try to follow a religion which tries to make me feel guilty because of what I do?” The “Ex” says he feels good about himself as he watches the so called Christians live their lives. They are such hypocrites. Their own statement convicts them of their hypocrisy – they have justified themselves in their own mind. But has the “Ex” really sat down and thought through the reality of life? Have they wondered what happens to their special spirit upon death? Have they asked themselves, “Is this all there is?” Christ gives us the answer in the scriptures, “ In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2. The spirit does not die with the body, it lives on forever and ever. The “Ex” can criticize the religion, but he can’t deny the relationship. Christianity is the only relationship that has compassion on it’s fellow beings. No other religion has built so many hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, shelters, etc…What other religion has distributed food and clothing and provided shelter in times of disaster? The Christians have. This just points out the compassion of the relationship between God and his creation. Because America was founded on Christian principles, God has blessed us as a nation with prosperity and justice to all persons. Many unsaved people have enjoyed the freedoms we have because of the Christians. THE JUST AND THE UNJUST: Another justification the “Ex” put forth is, “The Christian doesn’t always end up the winner. Why should I try to do all the right things, the nonbeliever has as much good things happen as the Christian. Likewise, the Christian seems to have all the bad luck and never wins.” First of all, in God’s world luck has no part in life. Everything is in God’s plan. In Matthew 5:43-47 Christ tells us that He makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends the rain on the just and unjust. If you love only your brother, what is your reward, even the tax collectors do the same. (Back in the days of Christ, the tax collector was an unliked person)

In God’s perfect plan, He may have reason to have good things happen to bad men. We don’t always know what He has planned for us. We are simply to trust Him for what He does. As we look back on the happenings in our life, we can see just what God was preparing for us. It is not uncommon for us to try to get even with another person for some injustice that we feel they have done. The question is frequently asked, “Why did God let this happen to me? I’ll get even with them and I won’t forget.” Romans 12:19 tells us that the Lord will repay – vengeance is mine says the Lord. We don’t need to become angry with another, because the Lord, in His timing, will see that this person will be justly repaid. We may not see it in our lifetime, but it will be done. What we need to do is pray for the salvation of that persons soul, and truly forgive them. However, think about this, when we get angry with God, we are accepting the premise that there is a God. We can’t get angry with a non-entity. GO TO HELL: A good excuse for the “Ex” to use is the statement that “I don’t believe in a god that would send a person to a place as cruel as hell. What a dream world you must live in to accept the existence of a place like hell. That’s simply a scare tactic put forth by greedy ministers who want to control their members. I’m tired of people trying to scare the hell out of me. If there is a God, why would He prepare a place for me, His creation, in a hell where I would burn forever. If I am so special, why would he burn me up. NO THANKS!” Lets see what the Word of God says about this. In Matthew 25:41, the Lord told those that didn’t believe in Him would be cast into the lake of fire, which was created for the devil and his angels. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, they send themselves there. God would not have anyone in hell, but if that person does not believe, then He has no choice but to cast them into the lake of fire. Like the choice or not, the devil is going to deceive as many souls as he can to take with him. The thought of burning forever does not appeal to me. If there was even one chance in a million that hell is real, I wouldn’t take that chance. It’s much easier to love the Lord than to fight Him, and there are so many wonderful benefits.


TIME OLD TITHE: Here comes the age old excuse of “Money”. Many of the “Ex” crowd get very pale when we talk of Money. “Why I wouldn’t give any money to these charlatans, all they do is take it and run. They buy a new car, jewelry for the girl friend and live high on the hog. I have better things to do with my money”. Here again the “EX” has justified his reason for not worshipping the true God. Many times our money is our god. All through our lives we have used money as our excuse for the things we believe in or do. It is not our concern how the money might be used by pastors, that is God’s problem. We should use wisdom in our giving, but if we have given it with a clean heart, then God will take care of the rest. The burden of usage is taken from our shoulders and laid at God’s feet. Many of the great ministers have sent God’s Word out to the corners of the earth with the money which Christians have given. That was one of Jesus’ last commandments to the disciples, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:18b-20 To follow this command, will take great amounts of money. Money is fine as long as it is not your god. Every thing belongs to God anyway. We merely borrow it while we live on earth. The money certainly doesn’t go with us as we are buried. It is left behind for all of our heirs to fight over. We are admonished to give a tithe (10%) of our earnings back to the Lord, since it all belongs to Him. The “Ex” will find that if we tithe, our business dealings will go smoother and there seems to be more money left over at the end of the month. I don’t know how it works, I just know that it does. THE MYTH OF THE SPIRITS: Here is the denial of the spirit world. The “EX” claims that there is no such entity as a spirit. All through the Bible, there are references about God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost as being spirits. “We will worship him in spirit and truth; he was led by the holy Ghost; the spirit of God was upon him; the holy spirit will guide them; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit took him up and

he was no more.” These are all real events which occurred in Bible times. We joke about spirits living around us and little gremlins doing rotten things, but those spirits are real. They exert great influence on our every day living. A Christian can not be possessed by an evil spirit, but they can sure be oppressed by one. In screw tapes letters, written by C. S. Lewis, the devil had written to his nephew, as he sat in the back of the church, “If we can get the Christian feeling good about himself, then we have him hooked.”He will go to hell with the rest of us. The spiritual condition, known as self satisfaction has destroyed more Christian lives than we can imagine. When we are satisfied with the way we are, that’s the time to take stock of just what we are doing with our lives. If our relationship with God is good, He will show us by His spirit if our walk with Him is on good terms. Several years ago, there was a practicing witch that Art Bell had on his radio talk program. She commented on the condition of the majority of the main stream churches. “I could sit in almost any church very comfortably and look like the rest of the congregation. I could even seduce any man in the church without a problem. They are all selfsatisfied and think they are saved just because they are in church”. Know that there are little demon spirits that jab away at us daily, trying to tempt us and keep us feeling good about ourselves. As we walk daily with the Lord, and read His Word, He puts a shield of protection about us keeping us from the snares of the devil. It is very difficult to survive in this world on our own. We need the Holy Spirit and the help of our Father in Heaven. We must be sure our hearts are in tune with God’s Spirit, so we can be led in the paths of righteousness. JUSTIFY OUR GUILT YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY! No one ever enjoys hearing those words. They bring chills up and down the spine. But guilty of what? What have I done that could have been so wrong? Q: Well, did you love your parents like you should have? A: They didn’t do all the things I ask them to do. I think they loved my brother and sister more than me. They tried to keep me on too tight of a rein.


Besides, I was Mr. Cool at school and I had to keep up appearances. They were so old fashioned that I couldn’t breathe under their control. They would take me to church and make me sit there for a whole hour and a half listening to this jerk expound on some theoretical dude who live 2000 years ago. Who could believe all the stuff they talked about – it just didn’t happen. Then they expected me to give my heart to “Jesus”. What for? I get plenty of “Salvation” from my friends down at Cory’s bar and grill. They accept me for what I am and don’t yell at me for the things I get into. My life is just what I want it to be Rebuttal: The Bible has been the world’s most read and most treasured book for centuries and studied by many scholars attesting to it’s accuracy. So assuming the Word of God is true, one of the 10 commandments says: Honor your father and mother so that your days upon the earth may be long. Honoring your father and mother means that you respect them, love them, and obey them. You probably won’t always agree with them, but they have your best interests at heart. They have been through many of the trials and problems that are experiencing now and want to help you avoid the pitfalls. Try doing what they advise you to do and see how much better things will work out. As to the sitting in church for 1 ½ hours, you have to sit in school for about 7 hours and you learn many things. So the same thing occurs in church. If you are exposed to the Gospel enough, there will come a time when you will hear the right words from the minister or teacher that will touch your heart and help you seek the salvation that Jesus offers so freely. As was stated earlier, there is a hole in your soul that longs to be filled with something spiritual. The fact that you are so ready with quick answers, shows that you aren’t satisfied with your life as it now is. God is waiting for you!

visit him; if you see one hungry, feed him; if a man is in jail, visit him. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you can do that, you have moved out of your selfish person into a selflessness man/woman. You then can feel compassion for your neighbor. When you are concerned about your fellow man, you tend to forget your problems. Q: When was the last time you prayed to God for help or thank Him for the blessings you have received? A: How can you pray to someone who doesn’t exist? I told you before, they are all fairy tales, something the establishment made up to control the masses. Why do I need to pray for help, I can do it myself. What blessings? I bless myself, thank you. Rebuttal: Here again comes that wonderful ‘hole in the soul’ phrase. Praying to God is our way of talking to God. He desires fellowship with His creation. He wants to talk to you and hear your concerns and desires. He knows all things you need before you tell Him, but loves to hear them from you. Just like you go to your earthly father for help and advice ( even though you don’t like to hear it sometimes.), your heavenly father loves to hear your voice. As God owns all things in this world, He can choose to richly bless with some of His goods if He wants. He can bless you more abundantly than you could ever dream.

Q: What do you think happens to your soul after you die A: How do I know. I suppose that it goes to dust just like the body does. You can’t see a soul, so how does anyone know what happens to it? Nobody comes alive again after they die, unless you are a Buddist or Hindu and you are reincarnated into an ant or something Ha Ha. Rebuttal: Christ came to redeem His people. The Q. What have you done to help people around Israelites couldn’t keep the old law, it was too hard. So Christ came to be the living sacrifice once and you, your neighbor, your friends? A: AW, my friends can take care of themselves, for all for God’s people so they could escape the just like I take care of myself. Why should I worry pits of hell. As God cannot look upon sin, Christ‘s about my neighbor, they are nothing but trouble blood must cover our sins. The people, before makers. Always butting into everyone else’s Christ came to earth, had to sacrifice animals for business but their own. I have too many of my the blood covering of their sins. When Christ arose own problems to worry about theirs. Does anyone from the grave, He conquered sin in the world and defeated Satan. Thus, It Was Finished, the worry about me? Rebuttal: The Bible says, if you see a man sick, battle was over and now we can go to the throne


room before God on our knees and praise Him forever. Jesus suffered and died in agony for the forgiveness of our sins. Would you have done that? Many well known historians have retold the account of Jesus‘ death and resurrection, so we know that it is accurate. Since God is a spirit, we will worship Him In spirit and truth. Therefore, our spirit will surely never die and we will be with Him forever! What a glorious thought! All we are required to do is to love Him, repent and ask forgiveness of our sins, and try to

live a life that is pleasing to Him. Won’t you take time to read your Bible, God’s Word, and take it to heart? There‘s not much time left. Read the Gospel of John first, then Revelations. Seek God’s, love and read how the prophecies are all coming true. You will see that the end times are upon us. Won’t you take time to talk to God and give your life over to Him before it is too late?


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Movie Review By: Michelle C. Danko Rating: 18+ Genre: Drama Released: 24 February 2014 Director: Shane Sooter Writers: Ninie Hammon, Shane Sooter

even lives touched by tragic past events. Seven lives still feeling the aftermath of those events in various ways in their lives. The one common thread is the ever prevailing question: If there is a God, why does He let bad things happen? This question is woven in and out of a very complex plot. The storyline itself does not lend itself well to the pause button, or stepping away momentarily from the movie- that is how intricate the story is woven. But it is a powerful one that requires the viewer’s full attention because of the amazing way things come together at the end. The movie opens with the lives of seven individuals struggling with their own issues. Steve, who is a sheriff and former marine, is struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. He has flashbacks to his time spent in Afghanistan and the events that had transpired there. He battles with the weight of the events that had transpired, and a deep secret from the past that he has shared with no one- not even his wife. Steve faces the question of can he ever forgive himself? Rita, Steve’s wife, is struggling with Steve’s behavior as his actions frighten both her and her daughter. Rita’s faith is strong- it is what sustained her while her husband was away- but it is a faith that her husband who is suffering with his own issues does not understand. Can Rita maintain her faith and keep the family together despite her husband’s increasingly irrational behavior and moodiness? David is a physician who has it all. He has a successful career, and a devoted wife. However despite appearances, he has his struggles as well. It was David’s love of God that led him to help in an orphanage, and it was that same orphanage that was wiped out with a hurricane. David cannot comprehend how something so bad could happen to such a God honoring place. The result is


that he abandons both his faith, and his marriage. Anna is David’s wife. It is her desire to have children. However, due to David’s indifference, the house is now empty and alone. Can she maintain her faith when all hope appears to be lost? Tracy is a loving wife, mother, close friend to Anna, and suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. However, she has hope despite grim circumstances and the knowledge that she doesn’t have much longer to live. The desire to be a light to her struggling friends keeps her going and her faith strong, but is it strong enough to prepare her for her own fate? Anna is the mother of a beautiful little seven year old girl. She struggles with the memory and loss of her late husband who was killed in a car accident just outside their house. Just as she has healed from the memory, another tragic event happens that makes her question if there is a God, and He loves her, why would He let such bad things happen? Why would He cause her so much pain? Garrett is the character that ties the story all together. He was a self-made businessman. Upon celebrating the success of his business with colleagues, he decides to get behind the wheel of his car- drunk. Worse yet, is as he is driving, he is texting, which causes him to run a red light and slam into Anna’s car as she is driving home. As a result, Anna’s daughter is killed. At first, he is concerned about getting off without jail time. Then, he worries over the company’s future because the incident causes a scandal which causes him to loose business contracts. Finally, after a sobering moment alone, he is forced to face his actionsthat the accident was his fault. Searching for answers, he approaches Anna’s pastor, and asks him the biggest question: Does he think that a very bitter, vengeful Anna could ever forgive him? In his quest to make things right, he ends up making the ultimate sacrifice. Can these seven people whose lives touch return back to God for peace and comfort? Or will they be lost in their own musings and circumstances? Will they learn to forgive others? What about themselves? Mostly, do they learn what to do when it feels like God has given them too much to handle…alone? Acts of God is a movie that evokes powerful emotions in the viewer, which is the purpose for the movie. The viewer becomes engrossed in the plot as it weaves in and out of people’s lives. As

the storyline unfolds, the viewer is taken through the reasons that the characters behave the way they do. It beautifully illustrates how when faced with harsh circumstances, many people turn from God due to their anger and lack of understanding. Some have done things that they feel there is no forgiveness for, and suffer from condemnation. They don’t understand that God is a loving God who can forgive anything and heal all wounds. They end up becoming lost in a sea of despair. This movie attacks these issues and more as it explores several lives affected by tragedy and how each person chooses to handle it. It shows how easy it is to fall away, and illustrates that even when you feel like no one understands, and the burden feels too heavy, that you are never alone, and healing is possible even in the worst of situations. The only negative thing that I found about this movie is that I was a little confused at the beginning. As a viewer, I didn’t exactly know the relationships between the individuals, and the secrets that they bore were mysteries which caused me not to understand their behavior. Reasons were hinted at, but not revealed until the story continued to unfold which caused a little initial confusion. However, once the past was sorted through, and the characters were fully developed, the plot was very gripping as it unfolded. Things to be Aware of: Drinking: Garrett drinks at his business celebration and almost in a bar, Anna drinks at home, and David drowns his sorrows in a beer. Violence (both physical and domestic): Scenes flash when Steve deals with the events in Afghanistan. There are scenes of heavy gunfire, bombs going off, and people being shot. One scene of domestic violence. Mature Theme: Anna contemplates suicide and thinks about taking pills. The movie itself is not a feel-good movie as characters deal with very real issues. However there is hope at the end. I would give this movie four stars out of five for originality, the complexity of the plot (wasn’t predictable at all!), and the beautiful way it ties together. The message is solid, and the events are real. Many lives will be changed from watching this.


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teve Bundy, along with Doug Mazza, wrote a book entitled, “Another Kind of Courage”. Doug is the President and COO of Joni and Friends, which is a worldwide ministry serving people affected by disability. Steve Bundy is the Vice President of Joni and Friends’ ministry, Christian Institute on Disability. Both men have sons with genetic disorders. Bundy recollects, in a news release, a time when his son, Caleb was two, and had awakened in the night crying. Steve went into the room to comfort him, and began to ask God why He didn’t “fix” Caleb’s disabilities.

Steve Bundy All it Takes is “Another Kind of Courage” Interview By Andrew Brunet

Co Written by Michelle Danko

Upon reflection, Steve received a revelation from God saying, “Son, aren’t you glad that I didn’t require you to be fixed before I accepted you?” (taken from news release from A Larry Ross). Steve learned that he needed to accept Caleb as he was. The book also tells the story of other fathers with children with disabilities, and the emotions that they feel. “Another Kind of Courage” discusses how fathers and families affected by children with disabilities can cope, and gives insights into the heart of men who are faced with it. It goes


through real life stories from dads with similar stories providing the reader with wisdom, strength, and encouragement that they are not alone. Both mothers and wives can glean insight into what a father’s life is like when dealing with a disabled child. All proceeds of the book sales are used to help Joni and Friends ministry programs. The book is available for purchase at www.joniandfriends.org Faith Filled Family: Can you share with our

readers about what your book “Another Kind of Courage” is about? What kind of stories can we look for? Steve Bundy: Another Kind of Courage is a book written for fathers of special needs children, though it is applicable to fathers and mothers of typically developing children as well. The book is written from a very realistic perspective of what fathers experience when their child is born with a disability or becomes disabled at some point in their life. My co-author, Doug Mazza and myself, share from our personal lives and include stories from a number of other dads as well. Topics include dealing with our honest emotions of struggling with the acceptance of our child’s disability, surrender to God’s greater plan, cultivating a thriving marriage, parenting the other siblings and more. Another Kind of Courage serves as a roadmap to help dads navigate their journey of leading a family affected by disability. Though dreams for your child may have been dashed by disability, there is joy and blessing on the journey when we choose to surrender our families back to God and trust His plan for their lives. He has created our special needs children in His image and we now have the privilege of shepherding them on the journey. Faith Filled Family: I’ve read about your son Caleb who was born with muscular dystrophy and autism. How is he doing today? What is it like having a child with special needs? Steve Bundy: Today, Caleb is fifteen years old and stands eye to eye with me. He is doing quite well, though we have some continued challenges with his physical needs and behaviors. What is it like to have a child with special needs? Well, that is why it took a book to try and explain that. I call Caleb our “bundle of joy and challenges” because that


is what we experience every day of our lives. Having said that, I am grateful that Caleb is my son and he has taught me more about laughing, crying, loving and sacrifice than any book or sermon. All that I now do in the ministry I credit to Caleb’s life…surely, he will be rewarded greatly in heaven. Faith Filled Family: What is it like to be able to speak and share your love of Jesus Christ with others at educational institutions and conferences around the world? Steve Bundy: It is a wonderful privilege to share Christ wherever I may be, especially His love for people affected by disability as expressed in Luke 14. God’s love for those affected by disability is evident throughout all of scripture, but in Luke 14 Jesus give a clear mandate to the church to bring in the disabled until His “house

is full.” God has opened doors through the Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability for universities and seminaries around the world to receive coursework on disability ministry. This is a relatively new discipline for educational institutions though the theology has always been there. It is quite rewarding to see the minds of students light up with the revelation of God’s plan for His Church to be inclusive of people affected by disability. Faith Filled Family would like to thank Steve Bundy for such a heart warming interview about his book, and his experiences with a son with disabilities. We believe that this book with bless many parents in similar situations, and bring them love, encouragement for the journey ahead, strength, and the knowledge that they are never alone… that their journey requires, as the book is called, Another Kind of Courage.


ME? A Soul Winner? Are you Sure? By MicheBy Gary Tidwellle C. Danko

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. Matthew 28: 18-20

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hat can we do as Christians to win the lost? What do we say? What do we do? Jesus came to them and said: “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. Matthew 28: 18-20 I honestly do not believe that Jesus could have communicated his desire and expectations of us any more clearly. I will summarize - “Go bring people to Me.” To whom where these instructions given? The Apostles? Those without sin? The teachers and leaders? No, no and no. Jesus gave these instructions to all that believe on Him. Your past does not make a difference; your qualifications they don’t either, neither does how long you have walked with Him. So to begin, we must lose the “excuse”, “It’s not my job; that is for the preachers and leaders.” Sharing our faith is the responsibility of each one of us. In fact, sharing our faith is not an obligation, but I hope that you will find it to be a


privilege. I remember in the days of my young adulthood I took an evangelism class through my church and as a part of the “presentation” I remember this simple statement, “Heaven is a free gift”. The truth is grace, mercy, and salvation itself are all free gifts. (Free for me and you anyway.) Let us then remember look a little more at this gift idea, but from a little different “earthly” angle. At some point we all have received a gift that we were so proud of, so glad that we had gotten it that we could not wait to tell EVERYONE that happened to cross our path about it. I am sure, even now, you are remembering just such a gift from your past. Let’s think back to our childhood…. It is the day Monday after your birthday and you are going back to school. You do everything that you can to talk your parents into allowing you to take that new absolute favorite toy to school so you can show it to all. When this denied, you attempted to “smuggle” it out of the house anyway. Still thwarted, you settle for describing it to everyone that will give you 10 seconds of their time and it takes ten minutes before you seemingly take a breath. This included: friends, bus driver, teachers, neighbors, strangers…etc. That being said, now contrast that with the absolutely most amazing gifts that each of us has received; the gifts of Grace, Mercy, Salvation, Healing, Hope, Joy…. One would think that we would have the same excitement about sharing these gifts with others as we were telling about our prized toy. So my question is this, “Why?” “Why are we not zealous about sharing this wonderful gift with anyone that we can get to listen?” Ultimately I believe the answer is quite simple. We are human and we have seen the way that the “world” treats “zealots”. This is especially those that are zealous about their Faith. In a word, we do not want to be persecuted, rejected, ridiculed and made to feel different than everyone else. Herein lies the exact problem, we are different. Scripture says it best; we are a “peculiar” people. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Peter 2:9

OK, so what makes Believers “peculiar” and how is it important in being a soul winner? Answering the second part first, It has EVERYTHING to do with being a successful soul winner. In fact, it is my opinion that there is nothing more important. It is a very simple, yet powerful and often over used and under demonstrated word… LOVE! “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 For clarification, let me very briefly summarize these passages: God loves each one of us. We should love God above all else. We love one another (those that are our brothers and sisters in the faith) We love our “neighbors”, everyone else that is not currently in the faith. While we at times struggle with the first three of these points, it is the last two that are the most important and especially the final one, The love that we demonstrate in our relationships with others serves as an example of the love that God has for them, So, what kind of love does He have for each one of us? UNCONDITIONAL. Our love for one another and for those still “in the world” should be likewise, Time after time after time scripture gives examples of love and compassion being shown to those that were considered to be “unworthy”. I challenge you to pause in your reading for just a moment and search your own heart and mind and ask yourself, “Are there any individuals or groups that I have judged as “unworthy” of love and acceptance, I could list several possibilities here, but rather I defer to let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart directly. Ask for forgiveness for your judgmental spirit and ask the Lord to give you His


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The Man who Knows Movies: Interview with Brian Godawa By Lisa Carter Award Winning Screen Writer, Author, Filmmaker and Expert Critic on the epic film Noah

Website: www.godawa.com Biography (from Frontgate Media) Mr. Brian Godawa is an accomplished writer, author and teacher. He has authored several feature films including the award-winning, “To End All Wars” starring Keifer Sutherland. He has written and directed documentary films for PBS and the CBC Network. He is considered a “script doctor” and his scripts have won numerous awards in screenplay competitions. He lectures at high schools and colleges on screenwriting as well as on the art of watching movies. His many articles on movies and philosophy have been published in magazines all over the world. Mr. Godawa is the author of bestsellers “Noah Primeval” which is a fantasy novel about Noah of the Bible, and “Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment” which is in its ninth printing, and has become a textbook of reference in film programs, including high schools and universities.


Faith Filled Family: Mr. Godawa, it is a pleasure having you for this interview! Let’s begin with your idea of the art of watching movies. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy going to the movies. However, most of us didn’t realize that just watching a movie is an art. Please tell us more about that. Brian Godawa: Movies are an art form, and just like every other art form, they follow certain techniques of composition, color, music, sound, etc. that all work to affect us by bringing us into the world of the story. By inhabiting the story with our imaginations, we are led by the storyteller into a form of persuasion of the worldview of that storyteller. So the more we can understand how story affects us, the more we can appreciate movies and television, but also protect ourselves from manipulation.

they are easily manipulated. Cultural anorexics on the other hand, are those who reject most culture and entertainment because of the bad they see. They throw the baby out with the bathwater and tend to miss a lot of truth within views they disagree with. And people do not tend to listen to them because they are isolationists. Faith Filled Family: As you encourage the public (especially believers), to engage and appreciate the art of the movie itself, (the artistry, the acting, trying to discern the director’s intent, etc), some may say that’s too much work. All they want to do is watch a movie, not have to analyze it. How would you respond to that?

Brian Godawa: As with any form of communication, those who do not understand what they are consuming or absorbing are more easily manipulated to the will of others. The more Faith Filled Family: You talk about how you you know, the more educated you are, the better don’t encourage Christians to boycott films they you can appreciate the art and discern the good don’t agree with, but rather to “engage in culture.” from the bad, but also the more truth you will draw even from lies. That is the nature of all education Please explain what you mean by that. and knowledge. Brian Godawa: The problem with boycotts is that they draw attention to the film thereby adding Faith Filled Family: Please define the term interest, and ticket sales rise because people tend “Existentialism.” to want to see whatever it is everyone is saying not to see. Now, I certainly support the idea that Brian Godawa: Existentialism is worldview or if you really suspect a movie is morally offensive, philosophy that considers life to be meaningless and you don’t want to “give your money to support” in view of the inevitability of death, and in some versions, the lack of God’s existence. This means such a thing, fair enough. But with movies that are more popular or that that there are no absolutes, and no inherent value are significantly impacting the social discourse, it to anything. It is therefore up to man to create our is often very helpful to see such movies so you own values and morality based on our interests. This view stresses human autonomy or absolute can share your opinions about it, and even how it compares with God’s Word. People do not tend freedom from the control of all external forces to respect your opinion commenting on something such as other people, governments or religion. On you haven’t seen, so watching the movie brings a simple level it can be seen in stories that stress you into discussion. That is engaging the culture. us being able to define ourselves and create our own reality, and where external traditions and Faith Filled Family: Talk about your idea of a institutions are the bad guys. Examples would be Forrest Gump, The Truman Show, Titanic, and “cultural glutton” versus a “cultural anorexic.” Stranger Than Fiction. Brian Godawa: Cultural gluttons are those who consume a lot of culture without discernment. Faith Filled Family: You are considered an They tend to think of entertainment as merely expert in the area of the Book of Genesis and the amusement without deeper meaning. They time period surrounding Noah. Why were you misunderstand the nature of a story as a medium drawn to Genesis and why have you studied it so of communicating values and worldview through thoroughly? the non-rational part of our human nature. Thus


Brian Godawa: I’m not really an expert in Genesis, but I have definitely studied it extensively over the years as I have been writing my novel series Chronicles of the Nephilim (http://www.godawa. com/chronicles of the nephilim/index.html). I had always thought Genesis 6:1-4 about the Sons of God mating with human women and bearing giants to be the strangest passage in the Bible. But when I began to study it closely, I discovered a storyline that my modern western eyes had not seen before, and it was fascinating. I just knew I had to retell that storyline for others because it was more than eccentric curiosities, but it revealed an aspect of God at work in this world and His ultimate messianic promise that overcame a historic spiritual war through the centuries. I had been so used to seeing the Bible as a textbook of doctrine that I failed to understand the more powerful means of imagination that God uses to communicate His truth. Chronicles of the Nephilim recaptures that theological narrative in a way that people can experience emotionally and imaginatively through the drama of story and connect with those truths in a way that doctrinal

catechism simply cannot accomplish. Faith Filled Family: Please explain to us who the Nephilim were. Brian Godawa: The Nephilim first show up in Genesis 6 as the giant human/angel hybrid offspring of the fallen Sons of God who mated with human women. But what was the point? Simply that these fallen angels were violating God’s separated creation order in order to pollute it and to ultimately pollute the human bloodline of Messiah so that He would never be able to redeem mankind. They are the unholy union of the heavenly and earthly realms that God wanted to keep separate as part of His holy creation. These Nephilim and their descendants show up in the time of Abraham in Genesis 14, and when Joshua enters the Promised Land in Numbers 13, we read that the land is crawling with these giants who pollute the land. Joshua then s e t s out to specifically hunt down the Nephilim giants (called by different clan names such as Rephaim, Anakim, Emim, Zuzim, and others), to rid the land of them (Joshua 11). But he doesn’t get rid of all of them, and some are left in Philistia. These giants then become a plague who try to kill King David, who wipes out the last of them as the messiah king of Israel. However, though the giants are wiped out, their spirits remain as demons that rise up in an uproar when the Messiah, Jesus, finally arrives. So there is a spiritual battle that only Messiah Himself can finish. Faith Filled Family: Your book “Noah Primeval” is considered to be quite controversial itself. What is it about fantasy that draws you in and what is it about the story of Noah that you felt would make a great fantasy story? Brian Godawa: My goal was to incorporate the scholarship of the ancient Near Eastern world into the Biblical picture in an imaginative way that might explain the origins of myth in reality. It’s speculative imagination. But it follows the storytelling technique of ancient Jewish literature like the Book of Enoch: Retelling Bible stories with theological interpretation while staying true to the spirit of the original. Even the obvious fantasy elements in the novel are based on imagery and metaphor taken from the Old Testament. Go to http://www.godawa.


com/chronicles of the nephilim/index.html to learn about the novel series, and to see all the cool trailers, videos, artwork and free articles about all things Noah and Nephilim. I believe Noah really existed and there was a Great Flood. But since the 19th century discovery of thousands of ancient Near Eastern texts, we now know what our forefathers did not: That the Bible does show an influence of ancient Near Eastern storytelling and imagination. And that storytelling had a lot to say about gods and their power. So, I thought, “What if the ‘gods’ of the ancient world were real? What if they really did have supernatural occultic powers?” Only, they weren’t gods, they were the fallen angels (Sons of God) seeking to be g o d s with their own plans of rebellion and worldwide domination. This would seem to match up with the Bible when it says in Deuteronomy 32 that the pagan gods were demons who were allotted territories of power by God Himself. So really, even though I admit this is a fictional fantasy approach, it is actually based upon a theological interpretation that I believe is very possible. It is a theological novel, not a “historical” novel.

filmmakers, and directors take in making a movie like this? And should or shouldn’t Christians be offended when a movie is supposed to be based on the Bible story, but seems to take different twists and turns to the point where so little of the movie actually resembles the true story?

Brian Godawa: I have written extensively on the Noah movie dilemma at my Movieblog. I had actually been the guy to break the story on how unbiblical Noah was going to be because I got a hold of a script for the movie before it was made and I critiqued that script (http:// godawa.com/movieblog/darren-aronofskys-noah environmentalist-wacko/). Then when the movie came out, I saw the movie and concluded that very little had changed from the script to the screen in terms of the meaning and the message of the movie (http://godawa.com/movieblog/ deconstructing-noahs-arc-godawful-storytelling/). I had mentioned all along that the fantasy elements of Aronofsky’s Noah would not really be a problem with most Jews and Christians. We understand that creative liberties have to be taken to make it work as a movie. Following the Bible story with fundamentalist obsession to petty details simply Faith Filled Family: In your book about Hollywood wasn’t of concern to most of us. But what was of Worldviews, you make a very interesting case with concern was what the meaning of the story was the statement, “God loves drama.” Please explain about. And I analyzed the movie as being what what you mean by that. Aronofsky told us it would be an environmentalist parable. I then showed how Aronofsky was using Brian Godawa: God loves movies. Movies are the Bible story to subvert the Bible story’s original visually dramatic stories, and in the Bible, the meaning and replace it with his own self-professed dominant means through which God communicates humanist and atheist interpretation. His truth is visually dramatic stories – not systematic Essentially, I wrote that Aronofsky subverted the theology, not doctrinal catechism, and not rational God of the Biblical story with his own humanist argument. A survey of the Scriptures reveals that projection of mankind as their own god (http:// roughly thirty percent of the Bible is expressed godawa.com/movieblog/subversion-god-noah/). through rational propositional truth and laws, while But he also subverted the negative Biblical picture seventy percent of the Bible is story, vision, symbol of the serpent as an evil image into a positive and narrative. Sure God uses words, rationality, serpent image of enlightenment and wisdom and propositions to communicate His message. (http://godawa.com/movieblog/subversionBut modern Evangelicalism has neglected to serpent-aronofskys-noah/). understand how much more important visual Quite frankly, Aronofsky was brilliant in his ability imagery, drama, and storytelling are to God. to use the Judeo-Christian sacred narrative and invest it with new meaning that reflected his own Faith Filled Family: The movie “Noah” just humanistic environment and animal glorification released this Spring, is considered controversial over humanity. That’s what subversion is: The by some due to the license taken to direct viewers’ retelling of your opponent’s story through your own attention to issues such as the environment, etc. paradigm or worldview, and by investing familiar Please share your take on the apparent liberties images with your new meaning, you capture the


narrative and control it. It was insidious brilliance. Faith Filled Family: There was a question asked on Gotquestions.org? that read, “How was the flood in the time of Noah just?” Was the flood justice in your view? Why or why not? Brian Godawa: The Flood was just because the God of the Bible, Yahweh, is a just God who can never make a mistake or be wrong or unjust in His actions. The Bible says that mankind was full of evil, and “every thought of man’s heart was only evil continually.” Also, mankind was being polluted genetically by that heavenly earthly violation. But the bottom line is found in understanding that regardless of mankind’s evil, God is the Creator of life and therefore He can take it any time He wants. He gives and He takes away. It’s really laughable to consider people shaking their fists at their Creator and saying He has no right to kill anyone or anything. Really? How is it immoral for the Creator of you to de-create you? What rights does anyone have that haven’t been given by the Creator of all things? God can completely demolish His entire creation at any moment and He could not possibly be condemned, except by those whose hubris is so vast that they actually consider themselves their own gods of their existence. Really? Faith Filled Family: Please expound further and help us understand the culture of Noah’s day. Since the Bible says the evil was great and that every thought of every heart “was only evil continually,” what would that look like today? In your view, are we in such an evil state as in the days of Noah? Brian Godawa: Genesis doesn’t give any detail beyond, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” But since the incursion of the Nephilim is part of that corruption, then we can certainly conclude that their violation of the heavenly earthly divide was unholy and destructive of creation. This is why the Scripture says that Noah “was blameless in his generation.” The Hebrew word for “blameless” is the same word used of physically pure lambs for sacrifice. So Noah’s bloodline not being polluted by those angels was very important to God.

Faith Filled Family: In your article, What to Look for When Watching Movies you mention key points to help us be more mindful of how to watch a movie. You tell us to look for the protagonist (the hero) and the antagonist (the villian). Why is this important? Brian Godawa: Because the hero’s journey in the story is the journey that the storyteller wants us to take. By sympathizing with the hero, we are opening up our hearts to the worldview that the storytellers want us to be persuaded of. The villain’s worldview is what the storyteller wants us to reject. The winner of the story is the worldview that we will adopt because we cheer for the hero when he learns his lesson and we embrace it with him. Faith Filled Family: You also mention to pay attention to the hero’s weakness, fault(s), need(s). Why is it important to notice these? Brian Godawa: Because the fault or flaw of the hero is something wrong with the way he sees the world. As he learns by the end of the story what is wrong with the way he sees the world, he gains the spiritual insight to be able to overcome his external enemy, the villain. And what the hero learns is the moral of the story that we also learn. Faith Filled Family: Who was the hero/villain in the movie Noah? Brian Godawa: Noah is the hero, because it is his story, but also, Noah is the stand in for God because what Noah learns about his own harsh judgmental heart is what God too has to learn in the movie. Aronofsky said that Noah’s journey from judgment to love is God’s own journey as well, a projection of that journey. In other words, God has to evolve in our society from our harsh and judgmental god to a loving god. At least that’s what the movie is trying to say. The villain is Tubal-Cain. He is a caricature of Judeo-Christian civilization. As I wrote in my blog about this, now whenever you want to know who a storyteller hates, look at his bad guy’s belief system and rationale and you’ll find a comparison to a modern day counterpart. Okay, so Tubal-Cain


is the bad guy. He is an urban “industrialist” (the movie calls the cities “industrial”), who mines the earth for resources, claims property rights to owning land, hunts animals, eats meat, uses a primitive gun (I’m not kidding you, he probably got it from ancient aliens). He keeps emphasizing that man is created in the image of God and superior to the animals, and that we are supposed to subdue them and have dominion over them. All this while he rapes, murders, pillages and eats meat. So that kind of thinking is supposed to lead to that kind of evil behavior, got it? So, let’s see, who are those in today’s world that believe in industry, mining for energy, private property rights, in hunting, guns, and say that God created man in His image to have dominion? Tubal-Cain is basically an evil caricature of Judeo-Christian Western civilization. Seeing behind the shallow stereotype of evil reveals as much about the storyteller’s perception of what worldview he considers leads to such evil. (http://godawa.com/movieblog/ deconstructing-noahs-arc-godawful-storytelling/). Faith Filled Family: “The Watchers” were referring to the fallen angels in the book of Genesis. Why do you believe the scriptwriter and/or filmmaker/ director chose to go with the theme of the fallen angels voluntarily leaving Heaven to come to earth and “help” Adam and Eve? Isn’t the truth even more fascinating?

man’s own needs. So Noah has to be the one to decide if humanity is worth saving, not God. Faith Filled Family: Who decides the tone and theme of the film? Who decides which turns it will take, and how closely it will follow the true story, etc? Brian Godawa: The Director is “god” of the moviemaking process. Faith Filled Family: Is controversy something you’re comfortable with? Why or why not? Brian Godawa: Yes. Truth is rarely noncontroversial. And I love truth, so it gets me in trouble. Faith Filled Family: Can Christians expect Hollywood to make films that are Biblically sound? Brian Godawa: No. But if we support those movies that we consider to be more Biblical, then they will make more of those movies, because they often do listen to the bottom line. Faith Filled Family: You were able to engage an audience in a live discussion online surrounding the movie “Noah.” What was the outcome and/or general consensus of the discussion?

Brian Godawa: We didn’t have a big Brian Godawa: In the Bible, the angelic Sons audience. We believe it’s because the supporters of God are also called “Watchers” (Daniel 7:13, of the film thought it was only going to be weighted 17, 23). Watchers in the Bible have territorial by antagonists of the film, and antagonists thought authority over certain nations given them by God it was going to be weighted by supporters, so (Deut 32:8-9). There are good Watchers and bad neither of them wanted to show up. Ironically, I did Watchers. But the Watchers who came to earth not rag on the film, I tried to keep a discussion and and revealed secrets to mankind and mated with encourage differing opinions. Oh well. human women were evil. They revealed secrets of evil to mankind (1 Enoch 7-8). Aronofsky Faith Filled Family: Mr. Godawa, it was indeed subverted this Biblical paradigm and made the a pleasure having this discussion. And I thank Watchers good guys who were punished by God you for the work you do, for your insight and for trying to help mankind. This doesn’t make enlightenment, and for how you encourage us to any sense to a normal person. Why would God employ critical thinking skills and use more wisdom punish angels for helping mankind? I b e l i e v e and discernment as we enjoy entertainment this is because Aronofsky’s God in Noah wants made available to us, especially the movies. I pray mankind to make its own decisions because God that discussions like this will help us gain a new is a metaphor for man’s self-salvation. Aronofsky perspective on how we observe so that we can doesn’t believe in the Yahweh of the Bible. As a fearlessly and more open-mindedly “engage in humanist, he believes that God is a projection of culture.” God bless.


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BOOK REVIEW

Lost & Found Reviewd by: Michelle C. Danko

Lost & Found Written By Sarah Jakes Number of Pages- 249 Copyright- 2010 by Helen Murray Published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC ISBN: 978-1-61663-052-2 Cost: $19.99 + $2.50 shipping @ www. helenmurraywrites.com $12.79 (free shipping with purchase of $35.00 or more) @ www.amazon.com Kindle version: $9.59 @ amazon.com Lost & Found is a very honest testimony given by Sarah Jakes in which she does a lot of reflection into her own life, and discusses the wisdom that she has gleaned from those experiences. Her testimony is somewhat unusual in comparison to other books, in so far as she could have blamed the ministry, her parents, or her family for the choices that she made in life… but she doesn’t. Sarah portrays the events and people in her life honestly, and she takes responsibility for her own decisions. This book shows the depth of her character, her integrity, and maturity that she conducts herself with. This is impressive, refreshing, and commendable. Sarah Jakes is the daughter of the renowned preacher, T.D. Jakes. In her book, she discusses what it was like to grow up in a very well-known

family, and how some of her insecurities and desires to fit in caused her to make decisions that may not have, given her age, been too wise. Sarah openly discusses growing up in a very close, very loving family, and yet being confronted with insecurities about where she fit in. She recollects not knowing where she fit into the ministry in the midst of a sea of people who appeared to be so selfassured of their calling. She discusses people’s fascination with her family… but not knowing if they were interested in getting to know her as a person. Instead of turning to God for answers, Sarah did the opposite, and it took her down a very long, unhappy road… but just for awhile. Sarah grew up, but didn’t have the idealic life experiences that most of us cherish. In an effort to be “sophisticated and worldly”, Sarah became pregnant a few weeks shy of her fourteenth birthday. Unable to face disappointment from her family, her sister eventually told her parents the news. Prepared for rejection, Sarah braced herself for the impact only to find that her family loved her anyway, and came along side of her in support. Still faced with her own thoughts of feeling like she had to win her father’s forgiveness (which were unfounded), Sarah delves into school pushing herself for “a better life for her and her baby”. She succeeds and graduates early. With a drive to “not become anther statistic”, Sarah works hard at college. She tells her father that she


wants to be the CFO of the ministry, not because God told her to, but because she wanted her father to be proud of her. Her father was proud of her, but not because of her success, it was because he loved her. However, her negative self-talk drove her down a road of pain and sorrow. In college, Sarah meets a man who causes her great heartache. She gives him her everything just so that he will love her back, and in return, he does not treat her properly. Through a series of unfortunate events, Sarah finds herself in a desperate situation, one of which she fights to gain victory over at every turn so that she will have a better tomorrow. Eventually broken, numb, and disillusioned, she turns back God, and to the people who love her most in an attempt to heal. She was lost once, very lost, but finally finds what she has been searching for all of these years. This is a truly amazing book! It captivated me right from the beginning with its words of wisdom, honesty and candor. No matter who you are, no matter what your story, you cannot help but be touched by this book in some way. I n Lost & Found, Sarah discusses feelings that every woman has experienced at some point: feelings of rejection, inadequacy, jealousy, anger at being mistreated, brokenness, healing, the need to be loved and accepted, and the need for God’s forgiveness. Sarah takes you along on her journey as if you were there watching it unfold. It will make you laugh in

places, as if to say, “Oh no, she didn’t!” and will give you a cause for personal self-reflection. I would give this book a ten out of ten. I could not put it down. I could easily relate to parts of it, and when I was done, I was left with words of wisdom that caused me to reflect on myself. This book is definitely a must-read! Faith Filled Family would like to thank Paola Di Clemente with Graf-Martin Communications for allowing us to read such a fascinating book!


The B


Bible: Is it Real? By Ken Alexander

T

here are many things and roadblocks that prevent a man from accepting Christ in their lives. The scientific revolution does not acknowledge God. Many men do not feel they need God. Our everyday lives, our jobs, professions and family problems keep us arms length from the solution provided by God. Some believe there was no resurrection of Christ; that it was a hoax by the disciples concocted to cover for the fact their Savior died. Many do not believe in miracles so reject God. Many look at the multitude of churches and reject god because the churches all present a different version of God. The list goes on. The Word of God is contained in the Holy Bible. Most have one on their bookshelves but do not bother to read it. They reason that since it was written by mere men that it cannot be the Word of God. This article focuses on this error in thinking possessed

by many people. Actually the Bible is the key to knowing God and the key to living a righteous life. Reading the Bible can give life a purpose it doesn’t have otherwise because it is the eternal God speaking. This article will show that if you reject God because it was written by imperfect men you are missing the greatest blessing you could have and the best life you could lead. The fallibility of the Bible, because it was written by fallible human beings, is a common criticism professed by many scholars and unbelievers today. Because they cannot understand it, they discount its accuracy and emphasize its seeming contradictions on the grounds that it can’t be accurate because it was written by mere men. This theory is not defensible for several reasons. The only way one can understand the Bible is through spiritual revelation. That’s because it is deliberately veiled so it cannot

be comprehended by the human mind. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 states: “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”. The god of this world referred to is Satan, who is the generator of all the evil forces here on earth. Interpreting the Bible by the unenlightened mind is impossible. Romans 8:6-7 states: “For the mind set on the [human] flesh is death but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile (or enmity) toward God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so”. The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit. “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand


them, because they are spiritually appraised (Romans 2:14).”God As a spirit and they who worship [understand] Him must do so in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). In other words, the Bible is for everyone but is understandable only by spiritual revelation from God. Christ’s gift of life was intended for all. But it is not for those who are perishing because they try to understand God’s truth with their human minds. Human writings convey ideas and emotions. God’s word conveys life. It is written by men yes, but that is the way God intended it. He chose to move through human vessels. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by God to speak his Word in the earth. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world [age] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. “But we have this treasure in earthen [human] vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;” “ For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:18-21). Therefore it is God’s purpose to reveal Himself through man. God is pleased to do this because it is then Him who receives the glory. Since everything God does is impossible for men, he chooses to use them so the observers will see God through the fallibility of the earthen vessel. To those who do not see, including the great men, the great minds and theologians are the fools because the real things of God are hidden from them. The Bible is rife with examples of humans not

“having eyes to see or ears to hear”. The disciples asked Jesus why He spoke to the multitudes in parables. He answered them: “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been granted” (Matthew 13:10-11). Jesus said: “...no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). All the intelligence and wisdom of the earth will not lead you to God. In fact God laughs at the wise of this age. The disciples were ignorant and unlearned men; fishermen, laborers and hated tax collectors. Jesus himself was a mere carpenter. Certainly fallible men were those chosen by God to speak His Word. It is amazing that through the ages the many translations and re-translations of the Bible have still come out to be the Word of God even for this day. When you compare the Dead Sea Scrolls scriptures, written 2000 years ago, with today’s Bible, you find them nearly alike. The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, written before the Dead Sea Scrolls in about 300 B.C., is substantially similar to the versions we use today and was the version quoted by the early Apostles in their writings. God was able, through the ages, to use unskilled and uneducated men, to preserve accurately what He wanted to say, even to this present age. The real key to understanding the Bible is to be open to the truth that the Bible IS the Word of God. Yes, it’s a miracle. But what about God isn’t? Thank God we today can read the Bible, recognizing it for what it is; the unadulterated Word of God. Admitting any less and we would be severely limiting an unlimited God. If we do not believe this, and try to interpret God’s by our futile minds, without supernatural revelation from God, we become lost in complexities, questionings, lack of faith and belief, leading to the human interpretation of a Spiritual Book. Any mind can find fault. It is the spiritual who understand. That is the greater miracle. And anyone can be spiritual – it is a gift. ©Kenneth B. Alexander enoch2233@gmail.com Bible Version used: The New American Standard, ’95 edition Bible quotations in italics


Experience Anointed Music and Ministry the Whole Family Can Enjoy! Whether it's a night of praise and worship coupled with a message, or a fun day of activities and ministering for the kids, this traveling ministry has something special for the whole family. The Johnson Family Ministries is a traveling family ministry across Canada and the United States. It incorporates two separate ministries: a music ministry, and KidsFire, which seeks to light a fire of passion in kids to serve the Lord. Some of the KidsFire activities include: Puppets Characters Gospel Illustration Intense Story Telling Music and Skits All designed to tell the story of the bible. Each children's service has a flowing theme centering around topics such as sin, repentance, salvation, forgiveness, witnessing, etc. . .all of which are important messages to teach the next generation! This family is truly captivating, and will impact your family with messages of God's love. To book your event, please call: (209) 417-0468 (Ben Johnson) (780) 812-0557 (Sandie Johnson) Or visit us online at: www.johnsonfamilyministries.com


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