You Never Know

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A conversation with a stranger that lasted less than five minutes was the highlight of my week. I was returning a rental car and the sales guy noticed I’d preset the station to a Christian radio station. “My mom listens to that one,” he said.

This 20-something guy then proceeded to open up a bit about how he’d grown up in a faith-filled home, but once college came around, he’d opted more for late Saturday nights with friends than early Sunday mornings at church.

“I guess I just kinda fell away,” he continued. He looked at the ground as he talked, probably waiting for me to offer a cliche or some advice, but instead I said: “You know, that’s my story, too.” He looked up.

I proceeded to share the two-minute version of how my knees hit the dormroom floor around age 22 and I prayed through tears “Lord, I want to come back to You!” and searched out the Christian music helped me reconnect. That was the end of our conversation because another customer was waiting. As I drove away, I thanked God for that five minutes.

Be reminded today: There is always time to share your faith journey. Someone else might say: “Me too.”

Posted on 1/28/2015 10:00:00 AM by Sarah Taylor

No More Groaning

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Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-27

We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:23

On occasion, I’ll ask a person how they are doing, and they will say, jokingly, “I can’t complain. But, then again, no one would listen anyhow!”

Sometimes, even people who are Christians feel like groaning. We live in a world still broken and corrupted by sin. Lives redeemed by Christ can still feel the effects of sin, death, and decay: marriages struggle, classmates argue, customers complain, friends get injured, communities suffer natural disasters. The creation groans, and we groan too.

Yet the gospel reminds us that our world is not just fallen; it is also being remade. Even in our sufferings God reveals our need for Christ, our need for the Spirit to sustain us. God is teaching us that no matter how much we may feel like groaning, Christ has also given us a new way of speaking. We can see aches and pains as growing pains, transitional discomforts through which God is renewing all things.

Salvation brings the redemption of not only our souls but also our bodies, and of creation as well. The Holy Spirit shapes even everyday challenges in work, school, relationships, and sickness into areas of God’s transforming work in us.

Are you in a complaining way today? Let God’s Spirit take that groaning and turn it into a new word of praise.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, show me how Christ’s life is being revealed in me right now. Hear my complaints, and turn them into praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Joel Vande Werken

Learning to Forgive Others

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Learning to Forgive Others

By Ed Chinn
Part of the Learning to Forgive Others Series

Learning to Forgive Others
Forgiveness in the Family
Walking in Forgiveness
Far Horizons of Forgiveness

Series About:

Relationship Challenges

When Bridget Driscoll died in London on August 17, 1896, she became one of the first people on earth to be killed by an automobile. The attending coroner said he certainly hoped that “such a thing will never happen again.”1

Despite that coroner’s naive hopes, the realities of math and physics dictate that mixing people and machines makes a certain number of injuries and deaths inevitable. In the same way, human beings cannot occupy the same space – like a home or office – without transgressing and offending others. That is why families, work places, churches, schools and neighborhoods can become hotbeds of human conflict and suffering.

Let’s face it: human beings are messy and hurtful. We don’t mean to be that way. We don’t intend harm. But most of us have caused and received many relational injuries. We have all insulted and injured our parents, siblings, spouses, children and a wide array of other people.

Right there is the point where two worldviews collide.
Utopia

A utopian view insists that humans are born perfect and then corrupted by society. Therefore the perfect society always remains a tantalizing dream. That dream seduces some into an endless chase of the unattainable.

Strangely, the prospect of perfection leads some to reverse the God and human roles. Those who pursue the utopian dream always seem to conclude that God is non-existent, indifferent, weak or vengeful. Conversely, humans are seen to have boundless potential for great nobility, soaring artistic achievement and moral perfection. That illusion claims that if we could only and totally liberate humans, we would finally discover the ideal society.

So, the utopian confusion sees God as weak and miserable and man as transcendent and glowing with goodness.

Ironically, the utopian pattern – which has marched under the banners of socialism, communism, eugenics, hedonism and other philosophies – is a brutal way to live. Like Hitler’s pursuit of “the master race,” utopianism tends to morph into dehumanization and holocausts. It sacrifices human beings on the altar of its own mad idealism.
Redemption

A redemptive view accepts the full scope of sinful human nature; it fully believes that people are going to trample and even kill one another.

That viewpoint knows that “human potential” is an illusion. The only hope for humanity lies in the God Who paid the price of our sinful nature. In other words, redemption assumes that people will be people and that God will be God; the roles cannot be reversed. But, because He chose to freely forgive and to give His Spirit to us, we have become partakers of His nature. Think of it: We are invited to live on the higher ground of His purposes.

A redemptive view releases humans to accept personal responsibility for their own actions. And we will never get very far accepting responsibility without the mysterious role of forgiveness.
What is Forgiveness?

To forgive is to release. Let it go. Freely and wholeheartedly grant freedom and blessing. It has very little to do with feelings or even trust. Forgiveness is simply a decision to let go of our regrets and our own view of justice.

Lily Tomlin captured a wonderful summary of forgiveness: To forgive is to give up all hope for a better past.

I think that is why some people find it almost impossible to apologize. To do so seems to be a subconscious abandonment of the utopian ideal. It is an admission that we didn’t measure up to the possibilities which are implicit in the idea of a perfect society.

Well, yes. To try to live in utopia is to deny the relational nature of life. That illusion says that we are to be perfect — all by ourselves! Not at all true. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. When we step into His magnanimity, the matrix of failure, injury, disappointment and forgiveness opens us up to the large panorama of possibilities which mark the Christian life. It is often through heartache and redemption that we discover new reasons and rhythms for life.

Have you ever deflected an apology? How often have you heard (or said), “No apologies are necessary,” or “Oh,don’t worry about it? “Those kinds of responses abort the necessary and healthy process of redemption and renewal.

When we violate another human being, an apology and plea for forgiveness is essential to cleaning the wound and preventing relational infection. Apologies are serious stuff. They should be heartfelt and real.

And, when I extend forgiveness, it has to be real also. I can’t forgive in order to avoid or quickly conclude an uncomfortable moment. The seeking and the granting of forgiveness are profoundly serious acts. They demand full attention and deep sense of reality.

I do not deny the dark possibilities contained in human nature. But, more than that, I want to try to pull back a curtain on the powerful, beautiful and unique role of forgiveness in human relationships.

How does forgiveness actually play out in a family situation? What does it look like in other arenas of life? How do we live out forgiveness toward those whom we do not know? For example, how do we forgive the racists (or racist system) which turned humans into personal property?

Finally, how does forgiveness take hold of the reality of heaven and apply it in the dust of the earth. In short, does forgiveness have a role in seeking the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven?”

Learning to Forgive Others

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By Ed Chinn
Part of the Learning to Forgive Others Series

Learning to Forgive Others
Forgiveness in the Family
Walking in Forgiveness
Far Horizons of Forgiveness

Series About:

Relationship Challenges

When Bridget Driscoll died in London on August 17, 1896, she became one of the first people on earth to be killed by an automobile. The attending coroner said he certainly hoped that “such a thing will never happen again.”1

Despite that coroner’s naive hopes, the realities of math and physics dictate that mixing people and machines makes a certain number of injuries and deaths inevitable. In the same way, human beings cannot occupy the same space – like a home or office – without transgressing and offending others. That is why families, work places, churches, schools and neighborhoods can become hotbeds of human conflict and suffering.

Let’s face it: human beings are messy and hurtful. We don’t mean to be that way. We don’t intend harm. But most of us have caused and received many relational injuries. We have all insulted and injured our parents, siblings, spouses, children and a wide array of other people.

Right there is the point where two worldviews collide.
Utopia

A utopian view insists that humans are born perfect and then corrupted by society. Therefore the perfect society always remains a tantalizing dream. That dream seduces some into an endless chase of the unattainable.

Strangely, the prospect of perfection leads some to reverse the God and human roles. Those who pursue the utopian dream always seem to conclude that God is non-existent, indifferent, weak or vengeful. Conversely, humans are seen to have boundless potential for great nobility, soaring artistic achievement and moral perfection. That illusion claims that if we could only and totally liberate humans, we would finally discover the ideal society.

So, the utopian confusion sees God as weak and miserable and man as transcendent and glowing with goodness.

Ironically, the utopian pattern – which has marched under the banners of socialism, communism, eugenics, hedonism and other philosophies – is a brutal way to live. Like Hitler’s pursuit of “the master race,” utopianism tends to morph into dehumanization and holocausts. It sacrifices human beings on the altar of its own mad idealism.
Redemption

A redemptive view accepts the full scope of sinful human nature; it fully believes that people are going to trample and even kill one another.

That viewpoint knows that “human potential” is an illusion. The only hope for humanity lies in the God Who paid the price of our sinful nature. In other words, redemption assumes that people will be people and that God will be God; the roles cannot be reversed. But, because He chose to freely forgive and to give His Spirit to us, we have become partakers of His nature. Think of it: We are invited to live on the higher ground of His purposes.

A redemptive view releases humans to accept personal responsibility for their own actions. And we will never get very far accepting responsibility without the mysterious role of forgiveness.
What is Forgiveness?

To forgive is to release. Let it go. Freely and wholeheartedly grant freedom and blessing. It has very little to do with feelings or even trust. Forgiveness is simply a decision to let go of our regrets and our own view of justice.

Lily Tomlin captured a wonderful summary of forgiveness: To forgive is to give up all hope for a better past.

I think that is why some people find it almost impossible to apologize. To do so seems to be a subconscious abandonment of the utopian ideal. It is an admission that we didn’t measure up to the possibilities which are implicit in the idea of a perfect society.

Well, yes. To try to live in utopia is to deny the relational nature of life. That illusion says that we are to be perfect — all by ourselves! Not at all true. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. When we step into His magnanimity, the matrix of failure, injury, disappointment and forgiveness opens us up to the large panorama of possibilities which mark the Christian life. It is often through heartache and redemption that we discover new reasons and rhythms for life.

Have you ever deflected an apology? How often have you heard (or said), “No apologies are necessary,” or “Oh,don’t worry about it? “Those kinds of responses abort the necessary and healthy process of redemption and renewal.

When we violate another human being, an apology and plea for forgiveness is essential to cleaning the wound and preventing relational infection. Apologies are serious stuff. They should be heartfelt and real.

And, when I extend forgiveness, it has to be real also. I can’t forgive in order to avoid or quickly conclude an uncomfortable moment. The seeking and the granting of forgiveness are profoundly serious acts. They demand full attention and deep sense of reality.

I do not deny the dark possibilities contained in human nature. But, more than that, I want to try to pull back a curtain on the powerful, beautiful and unique role of forgiveness in human relationships.

How does forgiveness actually play out in a family situation? What does it look like in other arenas of life? How do we live out forgiveness toward those whom we do not know? For example, how do we forgive the racists (or racist system) which turned humans into personal property?

Finally, how does forgiveness take hold of the reality of heaven and apply it in the dust of the earth. In short, does forgiveness have a role in seeking the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven?”

God Has a Plan For You !

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What an amazing story!  I was reading all the comments under the news stories online and just had to chuckle a little bit.  I know my God and i know his power.  I showed my children’s church class these pictures and read the the story and reminded them that God has a plan for their life.  I told them how this picture made me think of baby Moses in a basket.  God had a plan for Moses and protected him through many obstacles.  This young man has a plan and a purpose in life.  We were all put on this earth to share the good news of Jesus’s love.  I also believe that we all have talents and abilities that we can all use for the Lord’s work.  So what are your talents?  What do you love to do?  are you doing those things for the Lord?

In his interview Kaleb said he is glad he is still alive now he has to find out why!  He also said he prayed through the whole time the wrecks were happening.   I have a feeling he might be ready to listen to God on his purpose in life.  Are you?  Don’t wait for a “wreck” to be ready to listen.

Making your marriage work

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The three-strand cord is a picture of the power that takes place when two people agree for something in line with God’s will for them. As two people become one in agreement with each other, there is a tremendous amount of power.

here is a link to Making your marriage work part 1

http://bcove.me/2dalwvgq

and link to part 2

http://bcove.me/z8ymcvwk

You can have such fun in your marriage when you begin to agree with each other. Do you know that God did not put you together to be miserable? He didn’t put you together to fight, pick on each other or try and change each other. The Bible says that a woman is to enjoy her husband. (See 1 Peter 3:2.) Think about that. I rarely hear a woman say, “You know what? I really enjoy my husband.” And God wants us to enjoy each other. He wants us to have fun together. You need to laugh and have fun together.

How to “Become One”

So how do two people with very different personalities—who don’t think alike, who don’t feel the same about a lot of different things, who don’t even like the same kind of food—become one? We know that it doesn’t just happen when you both say, “I do.” Becoming one is a process that just takes time.

Many times the longest part of the process of becoming one is in the mind. Couples are sometimes slow to agree in the way they think about things. How does this process of mental agreement take place? Most marital problems include strife from communication problems, sexual misunderstandings, money issues, different goals, and disagreements about parenting. All of these things get worked out between us within the soul’s realm of our union—our minds, wills and emotions. They don’t have as much to do with the spirit or the body as they do with what we think about those areas. We can know spiritually what the right thing to do is, but that doesn’t mean we will end up doing it.

The Power of Agreement

The Bible says we are supposed to be in agreement. My husband, Dave, and I have personalities that are about as opposite as we could get. Yet, God has brought us more and more together so that we are starting to think more alike and want more of the same things every day. We still have two different personalities, and now we can see that God brought our differences together on purpose. It was not an accident. God knew each of our strengths and weaknesses would complete the other when we became one. The idea of saying, “Why aren’t you like me?” is no longer a question in our hearts. We realize that we need each other to be exactly who God created us to be. We no longer pick on each other’s weaknesses. Instead, we partake of our strengths and enjoy one another.

There are no two people who need to get in agreement more than a married couple. God has done so much for Dave and me since we have gotten out of strife and learned to humble ourselves to the point that we don’t have to be right all the time. Many wars are started in our homes over unimportant issues that don’t matter, such as whether to turn left or right out of the neighborhood when both streets go to the same store. If you want to have power in your marriage and in your prayer life, then you have to get along. You can learn how to “disagree agreeably” without causing strife.

The big question is: How do people who are not of one mind learn to agree? Agreement comes when the people involved stop being selfish. A lot of adults still deal with selfishness. All that selfishness amounts to is, “I want what I want when I want it, and I don’t really care what you want because I want what I want.” Selfishness is an immature inward focus. If each one of us will learn to voice our wants, but choose what best serves everybody in the family, then we will find peace. The key is to care about what the other person needs, be willing to humble ourselves, and do what we can to meet those needs.

Prayer of Salvation

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taken from jesse duplantis ministries website.

here is a video link to Jesse speaking in a video of this same prayer ..  http://www.jdm.org/jdmDefault.aspx?tabindex=-1&tabID=50

If you are at the point in your life where you are ready to make a personal commitment to follow Christ, all you have to do is reach out to Him now in prayer. He is listening and waiting to come into your heart and help you live a better life. Will you invite Him in now? If you’d like to pray and receive Christ as your Savior, you can use this simple prayer as a guide:

“Lord Jesus, I ask You to come into my life and forgive me of all my sins. I confess my sins before You this day. I denounce Satan and all his works. I confess Jesus as the Lord of my life. Thank You for saving me. I believe with my heart and I confess with my mouth that You rose from the dead. I am saved. Write my name in the Lamb’s book of life. Today is my God-day with the Lord Jesus! I pray this prayer to the Father in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

If you just prayed this prayer, please e-mail, mail, or call my ministry to let us know. We’d like to send you a free booklet called Understanding Salvation, to help you understand a little more about this new life in Christ.