Would you like to meet someone who would never walk out on you for any reason? Someone who wouldn't just pretend to be your friend to get what they could out of you? Someone who would really stay with you through rags or riches, sickness or health, good times or bad? Someone who would stand beside you no matter who was looking? Someone who would never turn their back on you when someone they thought was better came along? Someone who would never abuse you (physically or emotionally or sexually) and would keep anyone else from doing those things as well? Someone who would give their life for you to protect you from anything bad? Someone who you could turn to even in the middle of a cold, dark, rainy night and know they would be there immediately. Someone who would tell you the truth and never keep secrets from you? Someone who you could confide in without fear of either them thinking badly about you or telling someone else? Someone who has could actually do anything you asked them to do because they are unlimited in ability and knowledge? Someone who would love you and ask nothing more than your love in return?
Someone like that exists. His name is Jesus and he's looking to meet you. Let me introduce you; Friend, this is Jesus; Jesus, this is my friend. They're looking for what I was looking for when someone introduced me to you. Help them as you've helped me. Love them as you've loved me. Protect them as you've protected me. Help them get past all the junk they've heard or read or imagined, so they can see the real you.

Consider yourself introduced. You're in good hands now.

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About Me

I will live or die by the word of my God. I will stand or fall by his word. My trust is in him and him alone. My life and everything I have belongs to him and I entrust my eternal soul to his care. I am not my own; I am his. He created me, he redeemed me and I give myself to him of my own free will. I do not make my own decisions, I do not demand my own way and I do not live by my own understanding. He is my God, my Father, my friend, my King, my strength, my peace, my wisdom, my Saviour, my healer, my provider, my shepherd and my constant companion. I will never be ashamed that I have given everything to him. He is faithful and true. His promises are yes and amen. He has a plan for me, to bless me and keep me and bring me to a good end. I believe.

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What a mountain is depends upon the attitude of the person looking at it. To some people a mountain is an obstacle, something huge that blocks their way; It is an impediment to their travels. To other people a mountain is a challenge; It is something to be conquered. Sure, it's in their way, but the challenge of overcoming it is thrilling! They look forward to the next one! To other people a mountain is a thing of beauty; It's not in their way, it's where it should be and it's wonderful! Climbing to the top is good exercise, the natural beauty is peaceful and relaxing and the view from the top is extraordinary!
Sometimes your blessing is on the other side of the mountain and you need to learn how to move it. Sometimes your blessing is on the top of the mountain and you need to learn how to climb it. Sometimes your blessing is the mountain and you need to learn how to enjoy it. Wisdom is knowing the difference. Thank God for mountains.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One of the wonderful things about the Bible is that God doesn't sweep bad stuff under the rug. The great heroes of the Bible are presented in "living color", the bad along with the good! God doesn't show only the great things these people did, but the bad things as well and that is a great comfort to me. I'm not always goody-goody; there are times when I falter. It's good to know that God doesn't throw me away as damaged goods because of it!
Moses committed murder.King David committed murder and adultery. Noah got drunk and passed out the first day off the ark. Abraham lied and said his wife was his sister (more than once!). Peter cursed and then said he didn't know who Jesus was. All these examples show us that God uses real people just like you and me! He knows we are just dust! We are flesh and blood and as long as we are flesh we will have to deal with the lusts of our flesh. There will be times that we won't fair too well in that department! But, God is faithful! If we will judge ourselves, repent, confess our sins and ask forgiveness... forgiveness will always be there!
The great people of the Bible aren't great because they never failed or did anything wrong; they're great because they trusted God. They admitted when they were wrong and asked God to forgive them and never to leave them. I know that he will do the same for me, because he doesn't respect one person more than another.
If the Bible was a fake, made up by men, they would have taken great care in presenting only the best things about their "religion". It is just one more evidence of the Bible's legitimacy that it shows the good, the bad and the ugly!

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We don't need answers....

Have you read the book of Job lately? A lot of people don't like to read Job because they really don't know what to make of it.We read the Bible looking for answers and this book seems to raise more questions than it give answers! The book of Job can be a tough read!
Job and his friends talk and talk about why they think Job is having such horrible problems. His friends are very accusative and Job is at a total loss as to why these things have happened. He begins to despise the day he was born. Sound familiar? While most of us have never been through what Job went through, we have been in that place where things are so tough that we wish we had never been born at all! After God lets them run their mouths, he comes on the scene to speak. He lets Job know that he is God and that he didn't have (or need) Job's help in creating the world and everything that has been created. He lets Job know that he and his friends are wrong in their thinking. You would think that at that point, God would say something like, "You are all wrong in your opinions about why these things have happened. Here is the real reason why.....", and then proceed to tell them why. But God doesn't do that. He never really gives them the answer!
I think the reason I enjoy reading the Book of Job is that it doesn't give answers. It lets us know that there aren't always easy answers to be had. Sometimes things happen in life that seem pointless, meaningless, and we never figure out why they were allowed to happen! The book affirms God's righteousness, faithfulness, power and glory and let's us know that he is in control and we should trust him always!
I learned something a long time ago that has helped me through many hard times. I see that same lesson being taught to Job; We don't always need the answers..., sometimes we just need to know that God hears our questions! It is enough for me to know that when I pray, when I cry out, God hears me. He hears me and he loves me. He is in control of my life and I can trust him. He may work things out in a strange way, but he will always work things out for my good! That's where I find true peace!
Read Job again and keep in mind that God is truly God and he is working behind the scenes on your behalf. No matter what befalls you, trust in him and he will make things right again. A s matter of fact, just like in Job's case, he will make things better than they ever were before!


Missing the Mark

Did you ever go to take out the trash and find trash lying around the perimeter of the trash can? Sometimes I find about half as much trash in the floor around the can as I find actually in the can! I tell my teenagers that they need to take their time and be a little more careful and they always say "Well we tried to get it into the can; I guess me just missed it a little bit.". The problem is that they (and sometimes my wife and I as well) are throwing our trash in the general direction of the trash can, not in the trash can! We get in a hurry and don't watch what we're doing as we should!
I believe we do the same thing in our Christian lives. I think we get in a hurry and don't always do as we should. In the Bible, Paul cautions against missing the mark. I don't think missing the mark is a blatant, purposeful sin, but a thoughtless, hurried, not doing things just right kind of thing. We're living our lives in the general direction of righteousness, but not taking the time to be exact about it. It's like the trash thing,... close, but not right in it! That is a dangerous (not to mention lazy) way for Christians to live! The Lord is looking for a spotless church without wrinkle or blemish, not a fairly clean, only slightly wrinkled church that doesn't have too many spots on it!
The Bible says that it's the little foxes that spoil the vines. We need to take a close look at ourselves and make adjustments; A bunch of little things can add up to a great big thing! We won't miss the mark so often if we take better aim!

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There is hope. Times can be tough and things can go extremely wrong, but there is hope. People can let you down, do you wrong, leave you high and dry, but, there is hope. Situations can arise that seem insurmountable, but there is hope. Life can throw a pretty mean curve ball sometimes, but there is hope. Why do I sound so optimistic? There is hope because there is God!
My life is a living testimony to his faithfulness and grace. There's not enough space on this blog to tell of all the wonderful things he has done for me. I could tell of countless times when there was no way out and yet he made a way. I could tell of times when doctors said those dreaded words , "I'm sorry. We've done all we can do." and yet I live. I could go on and on. I'm not spouting religious propaganda, I've lived these things out in my own life. And I say... there is hope.
As long as there is breath in me to pray, I know I don't have to give up. I am not at the mercy of people, situations or circumstances. I am at the mercy of God! He is faithful to hear my prayers and help. He has proven himself time and again.
Don't give up.... pray. Ask for help and expect it. He wants you to want his help and he gives his grace abundantly and cheerfully. I don't know what you might be going through, but I know that there's no small problems when they're your problems. Someone else may have small problems, but when it's happening to us, they seem much bigger. It doesn't matter how big the problem, God is bigger! He is able and willing to help. Please let him help you, please; all you have to do is ask.

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When I'm Worthy....

I've heard people say, "When I get my life cleaned up I'll start going to church.". People seem to think that going to Jesus with a messed-up life is somehow sacrilegious. They think that Jesus is going to reject them because they're not "good" people! That's like saying "I've got to get my hands good and clean, then I can use the soap."! You can't get your messed-up life straightened out without Jesus!; That's why you're so messed up to start with! Jesus isn't looking for "good " people, just people!
The deceiver tells us that we need to clean up before going to Jesus. We need to stop doing all the bad things we've been doing first and then we will be ready to approach Jesus. He says that because he knows that without Jesus' help, we're never going to get cleaned up! It's a trick!
The Bible teaches that we need to repent and believe; that's all! To repent means to turn around, to go the other way. Turn from your ways and confess your need for a Saviour and Jesus will become your Saviour and he will do all the cleaning! Jesus said that it was the sick people who need a doctor, not the well ones! Wouldn't it be silly to say "I don't want to go to the doctor sick; I'll wait until I'm well and then I'll go see him."?!
Don't wait. You need Jesus now; We all do! Let him give you the strength to clean up. And then use that strength to stay cleaned up!

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Seed Sowers

"You Christians are so conceited; you want everyone to believe like you do!"
It's not conceit, it's love! We don't want you to believe in Jesus just because we do; we want you to believe in Jesus because we believe he is the only way to eternal life and we want you to be with us in Heaven! If we didn't love you, we wouldn't care what happens to you!
I had to find my way to Jesus. I didn't start life off as a believer. I have been on both sides of the equation and so I know from personal experience which is better. I tried lots of other things, read many books which offered many different philosophies and heard many opinions about how to best live life. After all was said and done, I chose Jesus. I believe he is the way, the only way. You have to choose for yourself and that's the way God wants it. He tells us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling". In other words, be actively engaged in finding out for yourself which path leads to Heaven because what happens to you after this life is over is what's really important. If you live to be 100 years old on this Earth what is that compared to eternity after this life is over!? It's just a drop in the ocean!
I don't ask you to believe what I believe just because I believe it. It's not the right way just because it's the way I chose; I chose it because it is the right way! It is not my job to convince you or to pressure you. I am only required to tell you the truth; the decision is yours and yours alone to make. Besides, Jesus doesn't need a sales pitch, just an introduction! He will then speak for himself. We are called to sow seed; God is responsible for making it grow.
Please don't let immature Christians dissuade you from Jesus by their sometimes over-the-top zeal. They mean well; it's just hard to hold back your passion and excitement when you're life has been so radically changed for the better. You want everyone to feel the peace and contentment that you are feeling! You wouldn't not go into a restaurant because someone was standing at the door telling you how great the food is would you?! No, you would probably appreciate the heads up! We're not trying to recruit you so there'll be one more Christian in the world, we just want to share with you the greatest thing we have ever found, which is Jesus! As one man said, "We're just hungry people trying to tell other hungry people where we found food."!

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MaybeI just don't understand.
I lay my hands on the sick and pray for them in the name of the Lord expecting them to recover, but you tell me that God doesn't heal anymore, that all those things passed away with the apostles and the early church. I believe I will receive what I pray for when I pray and you label me "name it and claim it" and say it doesn't work like that. I look excitedly forward to the Rapture of the Church and you mock me and say I'm an escapist.
How many verses of my Bible do I need to mark out with my permanent marker because God doesn't do that anymore? How many pages do I need to tear out to purge my reading of things I shouldn't do anymore because those things have passed away? How many of the things Jesus did (remember, 'these things I do, ye shall do'?) should I just forget about trying to do because he didn't mean that literally? I don't think I understand.
Maybe God doesn't do that anymore because he wants to do that through us and we've quit doing anything! Maybe those things have have passed away because when you don't use it, you lose it! Maybe we say he didn't mean that literally to mask the fact that we just don't have faith to believe in anything anymore!; or maybe I just don't understand.
Jesus said "Many good works I shewed you from my Father, for which of those works do you stone me?". Enough stones already!; the proof is in the pudding! If people are being healed, it is God who is healing them, even if you say it can't be done! If people's prayers are being answered, it is God answering them, for all good things come from him! If we choose to believe "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" and God is honoring our faith, just pass on by and leave us to our folly! He will judge us when the time comes and I am quite alright with that.

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Why, God?

We have a hard time understanding God. I believe many times it's because we try to project our way of thinking onto him. We think that he thinks like we do, but he is not a man; He is God and he sees things differently.
God is almighty, ever-present, all-knowing, truth, love, and justice. That is a rather short list of his attributes. The one fact that really seems to throw us for a loop is this: God never expresses one attribute at the expense of another.
Let me give you an example. You tell your child not to run in the house (because you see potential for harm) and warn him that he will be punished if he disobeys. He runs in the house anyway. He falls, scrapes his knee and begins to cry. You run to him and you clean and bandage his knee. But because he is hurt and crying, you don't punish him. You have expressed your love at the expense of justice and truth. God doesn't do that and that confuses us. We think of God as a Father just like us, only better! But God is not just like us, only better; He is above us, beyond us, different in a way that we can't even conceive!
Dig into the scriptures and find out for yourself who God is and how he does things. He expresses himself in the New Testament through Jesus and in the Old Testament through his dealings with his people. Don't project the way you would think onto God and don't take someone else's opinion of how God thinks. Seek him for yourself!

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God is faithful. Those are the three most beautiful words in the English language. I have courage to face every new day because I believe those words are true. I have peace to lay down and sleep at night with no worries and no fears because I believe in his faithfulness. He who hath promised is faithful!
It's his faithfulness in spite of my unfaithfulness that really impresses me.The fact that his faithfulness isn't contingent upon my being faithful is mind boggling! But then, he is a God of covenant, not contract! I'm not saying that I can act any old way I want to and expect God to come running to my rescue; I'm saying that faithfulness is part of his character and he never acts out of his character. I may sin and break fellowship with him; I may lose that 'closeness' that I feel with him; but He will never leave me alone. And out of his faithfulness he makes a way for me to repent and come back to him. If he left me every time I've left him, I would have been alone now for years! I am truly grateful that he doesn't let go of me just because I wander off. I don't intentionally take advantage of his faithfulness, but I mess up from time to time and goof things up pretty badly.
Maybe you've done something goofy in your life. Maybe you've been told that God doesn't love you or that he has abandoned you because of your many mistakes. God is faithful! He has not left you alone; He is there! Your broken fellowship keeps you from 'feeling' his presence, but he is there I promise you! Repent and ask him to cleanse you from all your sins. He will restore you. You may be miles away, but it's only one step back! God is faithful!

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Wanting Something

Do you have friends or family who only come around when they need something? I do too. When I look up and see them coming, I know they've got some kind of problem they need help with. I don't care to help them and I always do, but it would be nice if they came to see me now and then just because they like me. It kind of makes you feel used, doesn't it?
Friends spend time with each other because they enjoy each other's company. Families should love each other just because they're blood. Spending time with someone shows them that you care; after all, what do you have that's more precious and irreplaceable than your time? Going to see someone when you're not after anything but their company lets that person know how much you value them!
There are Christians who only go to God when they're sick or in trouble. They never pray until hard times hit. Christians are not only God's friends, but his family as well. Spending time alone with him every day, especially when we're not asking for something, tells him that we really care. It lets him know that we're after him, not just the things he can give us. It's not that he minds our asking for what we need; I believe it is his great pleasure to give us our heart's desires. But to only hear from us when we're in need must make him feel used just like it does us!
Spend some time with your Heavenly Father today. Just go to him and talk to him about your life. Tell him how things are going. Fellowship with him; communicate with him one on one. Sure, he knows what's going on in your life without you telling him, but that's not the point. He's looking for fellowship, not information. It's not what your saying, but just that your there talking with him. We were created to enjoy him and be enjoyed by him!

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Brother Bashing

I absolutely hate to see one Christian bash another! I know the world thinks we're all a little wacko, but they really don't understand us. The Bible even says that God's ways are foolishness to the world. But for one Christian to talk badly about another Christian's beliefs is unacceptable.
I heard a world renowned evangelist say on TV, "If you believe stuff like that, you're a fool!", talking about something a particular denomination does in their church services. First of all, who is he to judge someone else's servant. Those people serve God, not him! If they are to be judged, let God judge them!; they belong to him! Secondly, the Bible often tells us to do something and then says "...and even more so to the brethren.". We are to be especially kind and generous and helpful to our brothers and sisters! Thirdly, Jesus says that people will know we are his because we love each other! Fool is not a term of endearment! Lastly, a house divided against itself can't stand. If we can't agree, let's at least agree to disagree so that we show a united front! We are much more alike than we are different.
We are brothers and sisters and we will spend eternity together. We may as well learn to get along now. Besides, what ever happened to the old adage: "If you can't say something good, don't say anything at all."?

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Help for Sale

I have a pet peeve. I hate to see a Christian brother or sister on TV talk about a book they've written that will "change your life!" only to find out that it costs $19.95. If I need my life changed but I don't have $19.95, am I just out of luck? If I'm not only messed up but poor as well, what then? Add to that the hurtful knowledge that there is help out there, I just can't afford it!
I know that books, tapes and CD's are sold all the time to raise funds. And I know that those funds are used to send missionaries, build churches, feed the hungry and all kinds of other wonderful and godly things. But to build up someone's hope and then attach a price to it!; I just don't see it as being the "Christian thing to do"!
It seems to me I remember Jesus saying to his disciples, "Freely you have received, freely give." Anything a Christian has that is any good, he received it from God and it was free.You may say "Well, all the money I make goes to God." God doesn't need your money, he needs you to help make someone's life easier! If you do that, he'll cause the money you need to come in!
There has got to be a better way of doing things. I wonder if I will ever see someone appear on TV and say "This book will make such a difference in you life, it will bless you and help you so much, that I am selling my house to get enough money to give a copy of it to anyone who needs it!" Now that is the Christian thing to do!

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The Proof of Love

Giving is the proof of love. Talk is cheap; anyone can say "I love you." Giving, on the other hand, costs the giver something and only those who truly love are willing to do it. How many marriages fail after a short period of time even though two people promised to love each other "'till death do us part"? Marriage means giving and they weren't willing to give. Lust is taking and no giving; Love is giving with no thought to taking. It's nice to receive, but people who really love give because they love, not to get something in return.
People who say they love but refuse to give, are mistaken. When you love, you will always want to give. Jesus proved his love by giving his life. Our parents prove their love by giving their time, money and protection. A believer proves his/her love by giving control of his/her life to God. Husbands and wives prove their love by giving up their "singleness" in favor of their new union; they essentially give themselves to each other!
True love never dies because true love never stops giving. True love is a covenant, not a contract. A contract says "I will do my part as long as you do your part."; Love says "I will do my part regardless of whether you do your part or not.". Maybe that helps explain our high divorce rate. People are making contracts instead of covenants.
I believe that until we learn to love God, we can't really love anyone else. When you give your whole life away, giving anything else is easy. When we have given everything we are, giving anything we have is simple. God is love and when we have him we understand what love really is!

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Not Welcome

Sometimes I think about the people who settled this country.They were hard-working, sensible people who came here looking for freedom; freedom to worship God, freedom to think and speak as they wanted, freedom to have their own opinions about things, freedom to live their lives as they wished without government interference. They were people who expected everyone to pull their own weight, but would help their neighbor when he couldn't help himself. They were people of character who believed in God and hard work; people who took pride in themselves and in their ability to run their own lives. And then I think.... those people would not be welcome in the United States of America today! The very people who made this the greatest country in the world would not be welcome.Their superstitious ideas and simple-minded way of seeing things would not be tolerated! Talk about politically incorrect!; these people actually believed in right and wrong! They actually believed in God and worshiped Him! They actually believed that people were responsible for their actions and punished them when they broke the law! They had such strange ideas! What kind of country could be built on ideas like those!
We have pretty much abandoned every idea they held dear! We belittle and even prosecute anyone who would dare return to such beliefs! We've progressed beyond their simple-minded ways!
We need to remember that when you pull the foundation out from under a three-story house, even the top story falls! It doesn't matter how high and lofty we think we have built up this country, they built the foundation. And if the foundation crumbles, the whole thing will come down!

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Too Late Now

"A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." Rob Walford

The argument that God doesn't exist won't matter to someone who has felt his awesome presence. The argument that God doesn't talk to people anymore won't matter to someone who has heard his voice deep down inside himself. The argument that God doesn't heal people anymore won't matter to someone who has felt his touch and had pain and disease disappear. The argument that God doesn't care about people, he just sits in Heaven and watches things unfold, won't matter to someone who has had their prayers answered and a way made where there was no way before. Experience trumps argument every time!
It's too late now to tell me that God won't or can't or doesn't want to. He has already ruined all those arguments in my life. He has saved me; I have felt his manifest presence; He has healed me from disease; He has made a way out of horrible situations where none existed before; He has used me to bless others! I am a man with many experiences, so the arguments against God are worthless. God was, is and is to come!
The Bible says that those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. First, we must believe that He is. Second, we must believe that when we seek Him, we will find Him and he will give us what we need. Some people never get past the first thing. Some people believe that God exists, but don't believe that He is willing to help. The Bible says we must fulfill both criteria to come to God.
I am not close-minded. I just know what I know. I am convinced of what I have experienced. An argument against my experiences won't sway me. It's too late now for that!

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Faith Moves

The test of faith is the movement it causes. Or, as James puts it, "faith without works is dead...". If we say we have faith, but it never moves us to do anything, we have no faith. Talk is cheap and easy, movement cost sacrifice and effort.
Works don't save us (the just shall live by faith) and works don't make us righteous before God (Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness). But works prove that we truly are living by faith and that we have God's righteousness. We get the cart before the horse as they say. We tend to think that the good things we do produce righteousness, when actually, it's the righteousness that comes as a free gift from God through faith in Jesus that causes us to do the good things we do.
You've heard it said that we aren't saved by good works, but saved to do good works. It's like the story of the two natives in the jungle of Brazil who saw a man water skiing behind a power boat. They thought the reason the boat was going so fast was because the man behind it was pushing it with the rope! If we say we have faith, but that faith isn't causing us to do something, we are fooling ourselves! You can't see faith, but you can see the movement that having faith causes! You can't see life, but the movement of the body proves that life is there! You can't see the wind, but when you see the leaves dancing around and the flags rustling you know the wind is blowing! Faith moves us! If there's no works (movement), then there's no faith.

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