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Philippians 4:13
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« on: October 21, 2004, 01:20:18 AM »

This is from my Church devotional I read. I am quoting, so just so you all know, these are not my own words. The sourse is "The Word for You Today" and I'm not sure who the publisher is, but here is the website: http://www.wordforyou.com/. I hope you find this as encouraging as I did. Also, I don't think I'll be able to add to this thread everyday, but I'll try and keep up on it as much as I can.



"HERE AM I, AND THE CHILDREN THE LORD HAS GIVEN ME."  ISAIAH 8:18 NIV


Some things you owe your children

You may not be able to give your children everything you'd like to, but here are four things you owe them:

     First, listen to them! One boy said, "I feel like a comma. When I talk to my dad he'll say something. Then when I start to talk again he makes a comma; he doesn't interrupt me, but when I'm finished he starts right where he left off. It's as if I didn't even say anything." You'll never understand your children until you take time and really listen to what they're saying.

     Second, believe in them! As a child, the great Caruso was told by his music teacher, "You have no talent at all." Parent, make sure your voice is the loudest. Get there first; build their confidence; give them the faith and self-worth required to overcome every obstacle they'll face.

     Third, connect with them! Find out what's in their heart. If you try to control them before you connect with them, you'll lose every time. What do you really know about them? Their struggles? Their heroes? Their music? Their friends? Their fears? Their dreams? If your answer is, "not much, " start making some changes right away!

     Fourth, let them see God in you!! Have you heard the story about the three kids discussing their dads? One said, "My dad knows the mayor." Another said, "My dad knows the governor." Confidently, the third says, "That's nothing - my dad knows God!" Parent, do you know God? If you don't, commit your life to Him today.[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:41:46 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2004, 02:02:22 AM »

"THE SON...HAGAR...HAD BORNE TO ABRAHAM WAS MOCKING."  GENESIS 21:9 NIV


Dealing with your Ishmael (1)

     When God promises you something and it doesn't happen right away, it's easy to get impatient. And to make matters worse, there's usually somebody around who'll write the promise down, date it, and keep reminding you of it! When that happens, you start doubting God and wondering if He needs your help to make it happen.

     After God promised Abraham that his descendants would be "as numerous as the stars" (Ge. 22:17 NIV), things weren't happening fast enough. So Abraham grew impatient and took matters into his own hands by fathering Ishmael with his wife's maidservant Hagar. Then his troubles began in earnest.

     When God did send Isaac through Sarah, his wife, both boys ended up living under the same roof. Right and wrong, wheat and tares, growing up together. Look out! It's possible to be blessed in one area of your life, while in another there's a growing problem that'll overwhelm you unless you handle it.

     One day Sarah caught Ishmael "mocking" Isaac. That's what happens when you don't confront your mistakes; they end up mocking you and belittling your success. Before that occurs you need to stand up and declare, "Enough is enough! I'm going to clean house, get my act together and straighten out my life." You can't straddle the fence when it comes to dealing with things that threaten to destroy you. You've got to take a stand! You must refuse to let the enemy send anything into your life that'll undermine the blessing you've been praying and waiting for.[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:42:17 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2004, 02:18:32 AM »

"SARAH...TURNED UPON ABRAHAM AND DEMANDED, 'GET RID OF THAT...GIRL AND HER SON.'"  GENESIS 21:10 TLB


Dealing with your Ishmael (2)

     It was easy for Sarah to say "get rid" of them! She'd no emotional investment in the deal! Abraham had fathered this son whom he loved and who bore his features. But just because you're willing to take responsibility for your actions, doesn't mean there won't be painful consequences. Be careful where you lie down; getting up again may not be as easy as you think!

     There are things in life you can give up effortlessly; others take every ounce of grace and grit you've got. And it's especially hard to give something up when you can see yourself reflected in it; a job you love, a house you're living in, a relationship you're tied to can make you want to keep things as they are. But when you've gone as far as you can with your Ishmael and you're ready to see God's promise fullfilled in your life, you must be willing to relinquish anything that'll hold you back.

     If you've ever wondered how Abraham could bear to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah - remember Ishmael. When you've given up one thing, it's easier to give up another. When you see somebody who really worships God, you might want to think twice before calling them a fanatic. Remember, behind the "hallelujah" there's often a sacrifice. Chances are, when you look in their past you'll find as Ishmael they loved and had to let go. Is there a message here for you?[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:43:00 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2004, 05:36:18 AM »

"LOVE EACH OTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU."  JOHN 15:12 NIV


Influencing others
[/i][/u]

     You can't make someone feel important in your presence, if secretly you think they're a nobody! When Jesus said: "Love one another" He was using a Greek word which means to nurture. Think of a mother and her child. Her love is constant. Her greatest desire is that they should thrive. You may be saying to yourself, "But isn't that something they should get somewhere else, like at home?" The truth is, some of the people you know desperately need to be nurtured. And they'll be influenced most by those who make them feel best about themselves. So, if you want to influence them, become a nurturer.

     But first check your motives. Don't be like the little girl who announced one Sunday on her way home from church, "When I grow up I want to be like the man who stood up in the pulpit today." Her delighted mom said, "You want to be a minister?" "No," she replied, "I just want to tell people what to do!" You may smile, but a lot of us want to become authority figures in order to correct people, reveal their weaknesses, and give them our so-called constructive advice. John Knox said, "You can't antagonize and influence at the same time." That's why Jesus said, "My command is this: love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12 NIV). That kind of love seeks only the best, and believes only the best. If you find yourself needing more of it, talk to God! It's "the fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:22).[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:43:43 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 04:47:21 AM »

"IF YOU DON'T TAKE YOUR STAND IN FAITH, YOU WON'T HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON."  ISAIAH 7:9 TM


How to make great decisions (1)

     The Bible says, "If the trumpet does not make a clear call, who will get ready for battle?" (1Co 14:8 NIV). Procrastination will cause you to miss some of your greatest opportunities. But what if all your life you've been cautioned about making wrong decisions concerning relationships, finances, education, career, or life in general? Now you're like the mule standing between the two bales of hay; unable to decide which one to eat and afraid of making the wrong choice, you stand there starving to death. You must act!

     The need to do things perfectly and the desire to control every possible outcome will keep you stuck. Anytime you're immobilized by the prospect of making a mistake you've forgotten this principle: failing doesn't make you a failure, quitting does! Not learning does! Failing to see beyond it does! Over the next few days we'll consider some ideas for making great decisions. The first is: You can't please everybody, so stop trying! The Psalmist said, "Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust God means safety" (Pr 29:25 TLB). Once you know what brings you fulfillment, as long as it's God's will, chart your course accordingly and refuse to let the opinions of others intimidate you or color your view. And remember, over time goals can change; what's needed today may not be needed a year from now. So pray, reassess your plans regularly, and be willing to change direction when needed.[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:44:26 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2004, 02:12:06 AM »

"ALL THAT HAPPENS...IS WORKING FOR OUR GOOD."  ROMANS 8:28 TLB


How to make great decisions (2)

     Usually our biggest mistake -- is being afraid of making a mistake! In The Psychology of Achievement, Brian Tracy tells of four multimillionaires who made their fortunes by age 35. All four tried an average of seventeen different things before they found what made them successful. Imagine failing sixteen times before you discover what works! Could you handle that?  We're too quick to judge things as failures when they're just learning experiences. Edison said, "Many of life's failures were just people who didn't realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Only by allowing yourself to fail, do you give yourself permission to succeed. So, what should you do?

     (1) Consider all your options! Then discuss them with the right people. Find those knowledgeable in your field who are willing to support you. And never hesitate to discuss your plans because you're afraid they might not work. Swallow your pride!! If you grew up in a culture where failure always brought condemnation, you must change your thinking before you can move forward.

     (2) Lighten up! Nowadays everything's a big deal! Chill out and stop taking yourself so seriously! J.I. Packer says, "A moment of conscious triumph makes one feel that after this, nothing really matters; a moment of seeming disaster makes one feel like this is the end of everything. But neither feeling is realistic; because neither event is really what it's 'felt' to be." Don't get bent out of shape; by God's grace you'll handle it. Remember: "All that happens...is working for our good."[/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:45:38 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2004, 05:02:57 AM »

"COMMIT TO THE LORD WHATEVER YOU DO, AND YOUR PLANS WILL SUCCEED."  PROVERBS 16:3 NIV


How to make great decisions (3)

Here are a few more thoughts on decision-making:

     (1) Trust the "still, small voice." But even when you've prayed, done your homework and made your best call, if your spiritual gut says "no," pay attention. The Bible says: "We should make plans, counting on God to direct us" (Pro 16:9 TLB). Henry Ward Beecher wrote: "Wisdom means finding the way in which God is going, and going that way too." During the Civil War somebody asked Abraham Lincoln if he was sure that God was on his side. "I haven't thought much about it," he replied, "I just want to know I'm on God's side!" Isaiah says: "He that believeth shall not make haste" (Is 28:16). God sees your whole life, not just your tomorrow. So listen for His voice, adopt His pace and don't rush things. Remember, He's directing your steps -- and your stops! (See Ps 37:23).

     (2) Let it go! Once you've made your final decision, fear and faith will both sail into your harbor. Allow only faith to drop anchor! Paul said: "Forgetting what is behind...I press on" (Phil 3:13-14 NIV). Once the die is cast, let it go! It's normal to speculate about how you'd like things to turn out, but you can't control the future, and unfullfilled expectations only create misery. Plus, when you're overly focused on how things should be, you miss out on how they are -- which is usually much better then you imagned![/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:47:00 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2004, 08:09:50 AM »

Henry Ward Beecher wrote:
"Wisdom means finding the way in which God is going, and going that way too."

 Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2004, 10:33:23 AM »

"STOP ALLOWING YOURSELVES TO BE...UNSETTLED."  JOHN 14:27 AMP


How to make great decisions (4)

Here are some final thoughts on decision-making:

     (1) Learn from every decision. When things don't seem to work out, we've a tendency to play the blame-game. That's not good! One woman said, "I hated my broker when my stocks plummeted. Finally, after admitting that nobody twisted my arm to buy, I realized that: (a) I should have done more personal research; (b) I needed to deal with my insecurities; money is a big trigger for me; (c) it wasn't the end of the world; stocks go back up as mine did later. So, it wasn't such a bad decision after all." Jesus said: "Stop allowing yourselves to be...unsettled." By accepting personal responsibility for your life and learning from each decision, you gain wisdom.

     (2) Never protect what you need to correct. Don't become so invested in a decision that you stick with it regardless. Writer, Stewart Emery describes being in the cockpit of a plane and noticing a particular console whose function was to keep the plane on course and on time. Anytime the plane veered of course the system corrected it and they arrived on time -- despite having been off track 90% of the time. Emery says: "The path from here to where we want to be, starts with an error which we correct, which becomes the next error which we correct, etc. The only time we are truly on course is the point in the zigzag when we actually cross the path." So stay flexible and learn to make course corrections -- the quality of your life depends on it![/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:48:21 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2004, 10:57:36 AM »

"YOU WILL...DECLARE A THING, AND IT WILL BE ESTABLISHED." JOB 22:28 NKJV


Reprogram your self-talk!

     Did you know you've got your own "internal chatterbox?" It holds the key to most of your fears! It's the little voice of gloom and doom that goes something like this: "I'd love to have a better relationship, but if I make the first move and they don't respond I'll feel rejected." Or, "I'd like to pursue my education, but if I register for classes then can't do the work I'll feel stupid." Such words become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Until you replace your negative self-talk with faith-talk, you'll always live in fear.

     Your mind is the placenta of your spirit; it nurtures each seed you sow until the time of delivery. So if you don't want what a seed will ultimately produce, you must abort it, stop sowing it, or stop feeding it. Your first step to breaking fear's hold, is recognizing the self-talk that got you into trouble in the first place. Is that easy to do? No, it takes vigilance, self-awareness, discipline and scriptural reprogramming. But by changing your thoughts you'll begin to change your entire life.

     Job said, "You will...declare a thing, and it will be established for you." Now the amazing part is, at times you may not "feel like you believe" the particular Scripture you're standing on. That's okay; your inner self accepts what it's constantly fed and begins to act accordingly. So go ahead, serve an eviction notice on every negative thought that's holding you back and begin reprogramming your mind with God's Word![/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:49:05 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2004, 06:38:51 AM »

"LEVI GAVE A...DINNER...FOR JESUS. EVERYBODY WAS THERE, TAX MEN AND OTHER DISREPUTABLE CHARACTERS."  LUKE 5:29 TM


Free from the opinions of others!

     Mark Twain said, "It's name is Public Opinion. It's held in reverance. It settles everything. Some even think it's the voice of God. But loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."

     In the Bible whenever Jesus mixed with outcasts and "other disreputable characters," the religious crowd was mightily upset. But he told them, "I have come to call sinners...not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough" (Lk 5:32 NLT).

     There's nothing "spiritual" about distancing yourself from people who aren't carbon copies of you. Chuck Swindoll says, "True spirituality is about destroying the rigid mold of predictability where you don't have to concern yourself with living up to anyone else's expectation, or worry about who thinks what. It's about breaking the bondage of tunnel vision. Bottom line, it's about freedom. In Jesus' day He took his disciples across a lake to enjoy some R&R. Who knows, maybe they climbed rocks, swam in a cool lake, sat around a fire. Whatever, you can count on this -- they laughed! They probably did a lot of stuff that made the sanctimonious squirm. Why? Because real disciples know the truth -- and 'knowing the truth sets you free.'"

     It's high time you stopped living your life according to the opinions of others. Remember, "If the son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (Jn 8:36 NASB). The truth is, being a Christian allows you to "be your best self," and enjoy it![/font]
« Last Edit: October 29, 2004, 06:52:29 AM by Philippians 4:13 » Logged



[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2004, 07:41:48 AM »

Free from the opinions of others! A top ten post!  Grin


I`m going to take this quote if you dont mind...
"loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."  AMEN!
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There is no force on earth as powerful as one human soul set ablaze with the Spirit of God -  Shylynne
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2004, 04:39:25 AM »

Sorry guys, been a little sick. I haven't been up to sitting at the computer in between trips to the restroom. But I think I got it licked, so I'll resume. And Shylunne, I honor God if you are moved to steel that quote, as it comes inspired of Him! And now, back to the devotional...

"DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD...LIVE...AND KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD."  EZEKIEL 37:4-6 NRS


Speak to the source -- not the problem.

     When Ezekiel obeyed God and proclaimed, "Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord...live...and know that I am God" the Bible says: "The bones...came together...lived, and stood up" (Ezek 37:7-10 TLB). There's a lesson here for us; only the living Word of God can (a) create order out of chaos in our lives; (b) give stature, strategies and strength to the church, which is the Body of Christ on earth; (c) unite the dry bones of division and discouragement. Without it we have "form," but no force and no fire!

     You'll notice that when Ezekiel prophesied initially, although the bones came together, "there was no breath in them" (v8). So at that point He ceased talking to the dry bones and went directly to the source -- the wind, which represents God's Spirit, saying: "Breathe upon these slain, that they may live" (v9). You'll never experience a divine visitation or a supernatural solution by looking to flesh and blood; that kind of experience comes only from God Himself. When you need His help, you must go directly to the source!

     Today if you're struggling with financial pressures, health issues, addictions, or relationship problems, you need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. Job said, "The breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4 NIV). So call "time out," get alone and pray, "Holy Spirit breathe on me."[/font]
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[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2004, 03:30:57 AM »

"WE...ARE BEING TRANSFORMED...FROM GLORY TO GLORY...BY THE SPIRIT."  2 CORINTHIANS 3:18 NKJV


By degrees

     Are you able to evaluate your progress without getting discouraged or feeling condemned? Can you look at how far you still have to go, yet be able to appreciate how far you've already come? Where you are now, is not where you're going to be. You must have a clear view of the finish line or you'll never get out of the starting gate. In the Amplified Bible Paul states that God changes us from one degree of glory to another. Notice, the improvement takes place by degrees -- not giant leaps!

     "But why do I keep falling?" you ask. Why did you keep falling after your first birth? Because you weren't born wearing walking shoes! No, you had to learn. And at first you stumbled more then you walked. The truth is, some of us just grow up faster than others.

     We're too hard on ourselves; we'd grow faster if we relaxed more. We cannot live by our feelings in these matters. Satan will make sure we frequently feel like "an unredeemable mess," or that God's not working in our lives. That's a lie! We must learn to live by God's Word, not by how we feel, for his Word states that as long as we believe, He is working in us. Listen: "The Word of God...is effectively at work in you who believe, [exercising superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it]" (1Th 2:13 AMP). So rise up and announce, "God is at work in me today -- changing me by degrees."[/font]
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[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2004, 04:04:14 AM »

"IN EVERYTHING SET THEM AN EXAMPLE BY DOING WHAT IS GOOD."  TITUS 2:7 NIV


For the sake of your children

     Someone sent us this story: "One day my husband and I got into an argument and ended up yelling at each other. I retreated to the porch and sat with my head in my hands, crying. Our two-year-old overheard the argument. "I love you Mom," she said, as she sat beside me and put her arms around me. "I love you too," I said. She rested her head on my shoulder, hugging me hard. "I wish you could love my Daddy too," she said. Talk about ripping your heart out! "But I do love your Daddy. We just had a disagreement." With that my daughter smiled, got up and walked away. "Where are you going?" I asked. She replied, "I'm going to tell Daddy you love him!"

     If you expose your children to your anger, make sure they're around when you forgive each other. Teach them how to deal with the issue -- without attacking the person. Let them know that a difference of opinion can lead to a decision that makes things better for everyone, and also that you can be wrong and still be respected and loved! This may mean teaching them things you were never taught. If so, learn from the mistakes of your parents and pass it on to your children. Forgive when you're hurt and don't take your resentments to bed. Jesus said you must forgive "so that your Father in heaven may forgive you" (Mk 11:25 NIV) so, do it for the sake of your children.[/font]
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[shadow=slategray,left,down]"I would rather live my life as if there is a God, And die to find there isn't, Than live my life as if there isn't, And die to find out there is."[/shadow]  
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