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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277691 Posts in 26446 Topics by 3790 Members
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16  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Daily Bible Reading on: July 01, 2011, 07:00:30 AM
Hosea 4:11-19

 11 to prostitution, to old wine and new, which take away the understanding 12 of my people. They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery. 14 "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes-- a people without understanding will come to ruin! 15 "Though you commit adultery, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. "Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven. And do not swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives!' 16 The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the LORD pasture them like lambs in a meadow? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone! 18 Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways. 19 A whirlwind will sweep them away, and their sacrifices will bring them shame.
17  Theology / General Theology / Re: Day by Day on: July 01, 2011, 06:55:42 AM
A Heart of Gratitude
by Dr. Tony Evans

In His Presence: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

The little boy looked up at his father and grinned from ear to ear. He said, “Thanks, Dad!” as he gently rubbed his hand over the new baseball glove and then, with a balled fist, pounded it into the glove’s center. He had wanted a new glove for weeks, but he didn’t know how to ask for one. How did his dad know what he needed?

“Wow, this is great!” An endless line of happy comments came tumbling out of his mouth as he proudly displayed the glove to his mom. “I’ll be able to catch Bobby’s infield throws now! How did you know, Dad? Wanna play some catch?”

Who could resist such a request? Certainly not this father. He was overwhelmed by his son’s gratitude and appreciation.
When was the last time you thanked your heavenly Father for something that He gave to you? Maybe you are thinking that it doesn’t seem like you have received much lately. It is time to look deeper.

This young boy didn’t ask for a new glove because he knew his family was having financial trouble. Instead of lamenting over the difficulty, he became determined to keep using the glove he had. His father, however, had noticed his son’s need and turned to God in prayer. He didn’t know how the Lord would answer, but he believed God would. So, he also began to thank God every morning for hearing his prayer and answering this simple request. A few days later, he wasn’t surprised when a friend called, telling him that there was extra work that needed to be done at his office. The father jumped at the opportunity, and when he was handed a paycheck, he headed to the nearest sporting goods store. God always meets our needs, and we need to say “Thank You, Lord.”

Your heavenly Father has a solution for your situation. Whenever you express gratitude to Him, His heart is filled with great pleasure because He knows that you have learned how to be thankful in all things.

One Minute Please
Thanksgiving is the recognition of God’s goodness with a grateful heart. It is simply gratitude expressed to God for His faithful, loving care.
18  Fellowship / Just For Women / Re: Chicken Soup on: July 01, 2011, 06:51:47 AM
Today I will make a difference
by Max Lucado


I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a
child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

19  Theology / General Theology / Re: Day by Day on: June 27, 2011, 09:42:08 AM
On Holy Ground
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple” (Isaiah 6:1).

Isaiah probably felt as though he had been hit by a hurricane. King Uzziah had died. With his death came the end of a great era for Israel, which had become a mighty nation under his rule. Now that the king was dead, the people were in an emotional upheaval. Their security was compromised because it was in a man rather than in God.

What is your King Uzziah? Many people place their trust in savings accounts, jobs, and relationships. Shortsightedly, they mistakenly believe that if they have money and good health today, they will be fine tomorrow. While we don’t need to live our lives in fear, we do need to develop a strong, unshakeable faith in the One who will never fail us—the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, when life does take a downward turn, we will rest secure in His loving care.

How do you handle a crisis—when you receive the news that your income will be cut in half or that the relationship you believed would lead to marriage falls apart? What do you do when your Uzziah dies and your dreams fall apart? If the focus of your devotion is set on the things of this world, then when trouble comes, you will be shaken. However, if it is on God, you will remain steadfast and sure.

Our greatest vision and understanding of God often comes in times of crisis. Isaiah stepped out of a national whirlwind into the security of the temple where God’s presence appeared before him in full glory. Suddenly, the hurricane that had been ripping at his heart vanished, and he fell on his face and worshiped the Lord.

Are the winds of adversity blowing hard against your life? If so, turn your sense of worry into worship because you are standing on holy ground. F. B. Meyer writes, “A storm is only the outskirts of His robe—the symptom of His advent and the environment of His presence.”

One Minute Please
Ask God to help you to see your situation from His perspective. When you do, you will understand that He has a perfect plan and that it involves His goodness poured out in abundance for you.
20  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Daily Bible Reading on: June 27, 2011, 09:39:48 AM
Mark 8:22-25

The Healing of a Blind Man at Bethsaida                         

 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
21  Theology / Prophecy - Current Events / Re: Wild Weather on: June 07, 2011, 06:23:26 PM
This will be a matter of prayer. Oklahoma and Texas both had rounds of wildfires recently, and prolonged periods of drought made them much worse. If I remember correctly, over 1 million acres of land was burned in Texas. We had fires that got within 2 miles of us, but more than adequate warnings were given to those who should be evacuated. I'm hoping that the same is true for you and your threatening situation. In the meantime, this will be a matter of prayer. Many in these states and others have lost all they own.

I ditto this!
22  Theology / General Theology / Re: Day by Day on: June 07, 2011, 09:16:37 AM
Knowledge vs. Power
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: Proverbs 3:19-20

“It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host”(Isaiah 45:12).

God wants a Creator/creature distinction between us. We can still relate with each other, talk, and have fun. But we must not forget there is a difference. We have limitations while God does not. A good illustration of this type of relationship is the teen/parent relationship. Teenagers often question why there should be a distinction in the relationship. Depending upon whom they listen to, they may feel that their parents are withholding things that will make life better. They don’t understand why they can’t enjoy the same privileges as their parents.

Why would Satan tell Eve that eating the fruit would open her eyes and make her like God? Does this reasoning sound familiar?

Satan basically said, “God wants to keep us ignorant so He can control us. If He can control us, He can always tell us what to do and be our boss. But if we eat of the tree we won’t be ignorant anymore. We will know what He knows and be able to do what He does.”

In using the word know, Satan was implying that information equaled power—the power to determine our own future, our own fate.

One Minute Please
Using our illustration of the teen/parent relationship, Satan was encouraging Adam and Eve to think like the teen who wants his parents to pay the bills, but does not want to submit to their authority.

23  Entertainment / Politics and Political Issues / Re: 2012 Candidates on: June 06, 2011, 09:53:57 AM
Santorum Enters GOP Presidential Contest
foxnews.com

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced Monday that he is entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying he's "in it to win it."

"We're ready to announce that we're going to be in this race," Santorum said on a television news show ahead of a rally in Somerset, Pa. He will then fly to Iowa for events on June 7, and to New Hampshire on June 8-9.

Santorum, the former No. 3 Republican in the U.S. Senate, was to rally at the Somerset County Courthouse, a location that his team said is significant because it is near where Santorum's grandfather settled in the U.S. "after leaving fascist Italy to work in the Pennsylvania coal mines until he was 72 years old. He chose to come to America for the freedom our nation offered him."

Santorum has said that he has already visited the three early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina because he's taking the approach that he doesn't want to appeal to niche groups in the GOP base, but to all comers.

Santorum, however, is popular among social conservatives who prefer his strong anti-abortion stance and opposition to gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research.



In this Dec. 7, 2010, photo, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is interviewed by The Associated Press in Washington.
Related Links
Santorum Running for White House as Reliable ConservativeThe blunt-talking conservative lacks the name recognition and fundraising organization of his better-known rivals -- former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and potential contenders Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Some have declared and some haven't.

Santorum, a lawyer by training, had been laying the groundwork for a presidential bid when he lost a bruising re-election bid to the Senate in 2006. His sometimes abrasive style alienated voters in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, and they replaced him with Bob Casey, an anti-abortion Democrat.

Santorum said Monday that he lost the election because he stood for some unpopular positions, like Social Security reforms that are now no longer the third rail. He said looking back, he may have lost, but he didn't flinch and stood by what he believed in.

Santorum's policy positions align with national conservatives who now are looking at many of the expected candidates with skepticism.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's changes of heart on gay rights and abortion do little to help his second presidential effort. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is twice divorced. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who worked for three Republican administrations, nonetheless accepted President Obama's offer to be the U.S. ambassador to China.

Santorum, 53, established a presidential exploratory committee to start raising money and joined the first Republican presidential debate in South Carolina. He is expected at next Monday's debate in New Hampshire, having reached the 2 percent threshold required by the hosts to participate.
24  Entertainment / Politics and Political Issues / Re: 2012 Candidates on: June 06, 2011, 09:51:07 AM
Herman Cain Tosses Out Establishment Playbook in Republican Presidential Bid
foxnews.com

Mitt Romney may be at the top of Republican presidential preference polls, but traditional campaign models are not going to guarantee the nominee this presidential season, candidate Herman Cain said Sunday.

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, argued that his recent catapult in the polls is the product of a strategy to create buzz among nontraditional media and social forces.

"There are two dynamics that have changed the political landscape -- the power of the Internet, as well as the citizens' Tea Party movement. Those dynamics neutralizes having the most amount of money," he said.

He added that establishment Republicans like Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer have earned his respect, but they are using an old playbook.

"They are working off of the traditional model of great name ID before you start out, whole lot of money, and you've held public office before. But Herman Cain is just the reverse. But guess what's happening? The American people aren't looking at it from the traditional model standpoint," he told ABC's "This Week."

Cain has recently appeared in the middle of polling of potential and declared candidates, drawing more than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in a recent poll by CNN. Bachmann has not yet said whether she will run. 

Cain said he's been able to defy the odds by appealing to voters' desire to keep the American Dream alive, but even he is surprised by the amount of attention he's received from voters and the media.

"Our strategy from the beginning has been to develop a very strong ground game. I've been doing that ever since the beginning of the year. But we are a bit surprised at how quickly I'm starting to show up in the top of the polls," he said.

Cain said his campaign is on track to meet its fundraising targets, but money is less important than it has been deemed to be.

"We'll have enough money to be competitive, but we don't have to have the most amount," he said.

Ultimately, though, Cain said the Republican field is not so diverse when it comes to social and fiscal issues, and that should serve the party well during the nomination process.
25  Fellowship / Just For Women / Re: Chicken Soup on: June 06, 2011, 09:45:34 AM
I Love You Anyway

The fear of rejection may be one of the most basic fears of the human experience. Dr. Joe Harding tells a heart-warming story of a man who finally decided to ask his boss for a raise in salary. It was Friday. He told his wife that morning what he was about to do, All day the man felt nervous and apprehensive. Late in the afternoon he summoned the courage to approach his employer. To his delight, the boss agreed to a raise.

The man arrived home to a beautiful table set with their best china. Candles were lighted. His wife had prepared a festive meal. Immediately he figured that someone from the office had tipped her off! Finding his wife in the kitchen, he told her the good news. They embraced and kissed, then sat down to a wonderful meal. Next to his plate the man found a beautiful lettered note. It read: "Congratulations, darling! I knew you'd get the raise! These things will tell you how much I love you."

While on his way to the kitchen to get dessert he noticed that a second card had fallen from her pocket. Picking it off the floor, he read: "Don't worry about not getting the raise! You deserve it anyway! These things will tell you how much I love you."

Total acceptance! Total love. Her love for him was not contingent upon his success at work. In fact, just the opposite. If he were to fail there, if he were to be rejected by his boss he'd be all the more accepted at home. She stood behind him no matter what; softening the blows, healing the wounds, believing in him, loving him. We can be rejected by almost anyone if we're loved by one.

That's the way families can be with each other. And I like to think that's the way God is with us, too! "We love because he first loved us."

26  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Verse of the day on: June 06, 2011, 09:42:10 AM
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
27  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Daily Bible Reading on: June 06, 2011, 09:39:54 AM
Romans 11:25-36
All Israel Will Be Saved                                           

 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
28  Theology / General Theology / Re: Today in Church History on: June 06, 2011, 09:36:57 AM
June 6, 1844
YMCA Became Associated for Christ

A strong argument can be made that Christians in voluntary associations have done more good for the world than all its governments put together. One such association is the YMCA.

The YMCA's first report expressed as well as anything the problem which led to its formation. "Until recently the young men engaged in pursuits of business were totally neglected. They were treated as though deprived of mind, as though formed only to labor and sleep...without a moment for spiritual or mental culture, without the disposition or even the strength for the performance of those devotional exercises which are necessary to the maintenance of a spiritual life."

Country boys like George Williams were appalled at the degradation of workingmen in London. Williams, who was strongly influenced by a rather unusual combination of religious forces--the British Quakers and the American evangelist Charles Finney--began a work among his fellow employees. Soon he had won many to Christ. A go-getter in business, too, he rapidly advanced to partnership in his firm (a drapery house) and used his own substantial wealth to support evangelical causes.

 On this day June 6, 1844, twelve men, all but one associates of Williams' firm, met in his bedroom and created the Young Men's Christian Association. Its original intent was merely to work with employees of other drapery houses. The era was one of evangelical advance. Associations to deal with the dreadful social and moral consequences of the industrial revolution were springing up everywhere in Protestant countries. The YMCA hired a hall and assumed the task of reclaiming men through lectures, exercise and innocent amusement.

Many prominent men threw their weight behind the work. Lord Shaftesbury was the YMCA's president for a time. Thomas Binney and other evangelical leaders gave their support.

The organization caught on like wildfire. Long before Williams' death in 1905, it had achieved a membership of 150,000 in Britain and half a million in America with thousands of branches worldwide.

For his service to the well-being of the nation, Queen Victoria knighted him. Today the YMCA does not have the evangelical impulse it once did. Nonetheless, it continues to promote physical and intellectual well-being in men and women throughout the world. Although now largely forgotten, its early nondenominational Christian ideals gave rise to an organization which bettered the lives of millions.

Bibliography:

1.Williams, George. Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. London: Oxford University Press, 1921 - 1996.
2.Williams, J. E. Hodder. The Life of Sir George Williams. New York: YMCA, 1906.
29  Theology / General Theology / Re: Day by Day on: June 06, 2011, 09:34:24 AM
Who Will Be Our God?
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: 1 Peter 3:15

“If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”(Exodus 19:5-6).

When Satan tried to get Eve to take the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he put forth arguments that sounded convincing in her ears. He told her God was holding out on them. He said if they ate the fruit, they would be like God. He said God’s Word couldn’t really be trusted anyway.

There was something that Satan didn’t tell the first married couple. In disobeying God, they would be obeying Satan, making him their master. He knew that whomever we obey is our god. So the devil was not just offering Adam and Eve a bit of knowledge independently of God, he was offering himself as their new god. That is what he originally wanted as Lucifer, the angel of light. He wanted to be like God. We’re right back to the issue that caused the problems in the first place.

Moses said: “If you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-3).

One Minute Please

The issue today for us is whom are we going to obey? Who is the authority in our lives?

30  Entertainment / Laughter (Good Medicine) / Re: Laughter - Good Medicine on: June 05, 2011, 06:55:16 PM
THE LORD'S BASEBALL GAME

Freddy and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord's team was playing Satan's team.

The Lord's team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate named 'Love.'

Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because 'Love never fails.'

The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faithworks with Love.

The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch.

Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked because he never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were now loaded. The Lord then turned to Freddy and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Freddy said, 'He sure doesn't look like much!'

Satan's whole team relaxed when they saw Grace.
Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen! But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by.

He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing on the ground; the roaring crowds went wild as the ball continued over the fence . . . . . . . . for a home run!

The Lord's team won!

The Lord then asked Freddy if he knew why Love, Faith and Godly Wisdom could get on base but couldn't win the game. Freddy answered that he didn't know why.

The Lord explained, 'If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game, you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base but only My Grace can get you Home:

So Remember My Brothers & Sisters. . . . . . .
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by Grace are you saved, it is a gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

That was wonderful!  Thanks Brother Bob!
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