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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2005, 09:14:29 PM »

A Backpack Full of Worries

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19

School started this week and I am sure most of you are back into your daily routine. I know that most of you use a backpack to carry all of your school supplies and books back and forth to school. I see some children with backpacks that are almost as big as they are! Sometimes their backpacks are so loaded with all those heavy books that it is just about more than they can carry!
 
Life is a lot like that too. Sometimes we have some pretty heavy burdens that we try to carry around with us. Some of you may be worried that you won't have any friends in your class, or that the other kids won't like you, or that you just won't fit in.  Maybe some of you are worried that you won't have the right clothes. Maybe you are still wearing a "Star Wars" t-shirt and all the other kids are wearing "Pokemon" t-shirts. Maybe some of you are worried that you might not be able to do the work in your new grade and are afraid you might fail. Those can be pretty heavy problems to carry around with us.

Well, I have some good news for you! You don't have to carry all those worries around with you! The Bible tells us that God will carry those burdens for us. So, if you started school this week with a load of worries and problems, this morning you can give them to Jesus. He will carry them for you.

Lord, we are thankful that we do not have to carry the heavy burdens of life around on our backs. This morning we give them to you.  Amen.

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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2005, 09:15:57 PM »

Turning Failures into Successes


In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

I have something this morning with which probably every one of you is familiar.  They are called Post-It Notes.  If you need to leave a note for someone, you can just write a note and stick it on their door.  If you need to remind yourself of something you have to do, just write a Post-It note and stick it up in a place where you will be sure to see it.  My computer at school has sticky notes all over it to remind me of things I need to do.  We use Post-It notes at home to remind us to take out the trash, to go to the store, and pick up the clothes from the cleaners.  I don't know how we ever got along before Post-It notes were invented.

The Post-It Note was invented by the 3M company.  That is the same company that makes Scotch tape.  The Post-It Note is one of their best selling products and one of their most successful products ever, but did you know that it got its start with a failure?  A scientist at 3M was working to try to improve the glue that they put on their tape so that it would stick better.  He came up with a new formula for glue, but the new glue didn't stick very well at all.  It would stick at first, but then it was very easily pulled off.  He thought his new glue formula was a failure, but instead of throwing the formula in the trash, he decided to share it with others in the company and see if there might be some use for it.  A man named Art Fry started trying the new glue in different ways and finally he came up with the idea for the Post-It Note.  The rest is history!  What started out to be a big failure for 3M turned out to be one of their greatest successes.

Sometimes the things we try to do in our lives don't turn out the way we thought they would.  We were trying to do what we thought was best for us, but it just didn't work.  When that happens, it is easy to just give up.  Instead of giving up,what we need to do is turn it over to someone else.  We need to turn it over to God!  The Bible says that we plan our course, but the Lord directs our steps.  Maybe we know where we want to go, but just can't seem to get there.  If we will just put our faith and trust in Jesus, he will direct our steps.  He can turn our failures into success.

Dear Lord, help us to remember that you can turn our failures into successes if we will trust in You.  Amen.

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« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2005, 10:35:07 AM »

Grab a Corner of the Blanket

Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:3-5

This morning I have a blanket. I am going to spread the blanket out on the floor and ask "Johnny" to lie down on the blanket. Next I will ask a child to stand at each of the four corners of the blanket. (Choose children to take their positions as described.)

Our friend "Johnny" has broken his leg and we need to get him to the doctor. If I were to ask the children who are standing at the corners of the blanket to grab a corner of the blanket and carry "Johnny" out the door, down the street and into the doctor's office, that would be pretty difficult, wouldn't it? Do you think you could do it? Would you be willing to try?

Well, let us suppose that you can do it, but when you get to the doctor's office, there are so many people waiting to get in to see the doctor, that you can't even get up to the door, much less get into the office. Then you notice that the doctor's office has some stairs that lead up to the roof. If you could carry "Johnny" up to the roof, perhaps you could make a hole in the roof and lower him down into the doctor's office. Do you think you could do it? Would you be willing to try?

Did you know that this is almost exactly what happened when a group of men wanted to take a friend to Jesus? The Bible tells us that four men were carrying a paralyzed man to Jesus. They knew that if they could just get him to Jesus that Jesus could heal him, but they couldn't get to where Jesus was because of the large crowd. The four men carried their friend up to the roof and made an opening in the roof. Then they lowered the man down through the roof to where Jesus was. When Jesus saw how much faith these four men had, he not only healed the paralyzed man, he even forgave him of all his sins.

You and I have friends who need to come to Jesus. It may not be easy, but if each of us will do our part, together we can succeed. We may meet obstacles, but we must never give up. We must hold on to our corner of the blanket and carry on until we bring them to Jesus.

Dear Jesus, we all have friends who need your healing and your forgiveness. May we be faithful to grab a corner of the blanket and bring them to you. Amen.


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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2005, 10:36:50 AM »

True Worship

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." Mark 7:6b-7 (NIV)

Do you know what this is? (hold up the "Worship Plan") It is our "worship guide." We print one of these every Sunday. We do that so that everyone will know what we are going to do next in our worship service. Sometimes I wonder if we really need to print one of these every Sunday. After all, we do the same thing every Sunday. I think I could do in my sleep. In fact, I see some people every Sunday who do it in their sleep! Not really...I was only kidding. Or was I?

Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a worship plan unless the plan becomes more important to us than worship. I heard about a church that got into a huge argument because the pastor changed the time when they took the offering during the worship service. "We've never done it that way before," the people cried. You see, some people are more concerned with WHEN and HOW we take the offering than they are with WHY we take the offering. Their traditions are more important to them than worshipping God.

This isn't a new problem. Even Jesus faced this problem. One day a group of people gathered around Jesus to listen to him as he taught. Some of the religious leaders noticed that Jesus' disciples had forgotten to wash their hands before they ate. They were really upset and asked Jesus why his disciples were not keeping the tradition of washing their hands before eating.

Jesus answered those religious leaders by telling them that a clean heart was more important than clean hands. I don't think that Jesus was saying it isn't important to wash your hands before you eat. He was saying that keeping the commandments of God is more important than keeping our own traditions.

I hope that we never become more concerned about WHEN and HOW we do things in our worship services than we are about WHY we do them. I hope we will always remember that true worship comes from our heart, not from our "worship plan".

Dear Father, help us to remember that we are in this place to worship you and that true worship comes from the heart. Amen.

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« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2005, 10:37:53 AM »

A Clean Heart

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'   Matthew 15:18  [NIV®]

(In very dramatic fashion, begin by washing and drying your hands.  Then take out the banana, peel it, and take a bite before beginning your sermon.)

Do you ever forget to wash your hands before eating?  Oh, I think that we all forget occasionally.  I am sure that it is a good thing to wash your hands before eating, but, according to Jesus, there are some other things that are far more important.

The religious leaders during the time Jesus lived were very concerned about cleanliness.  They had many religious laws and traditions which they followed to make sure that nothing unclean went into their mouth.  One day some of these religious leaders asked Jesus why his disciples were not keeping their tradition of washing their hands before they ate.  (I guess Jesus' disciples sometimes forgot like you and I do.)  Jesus answered these religious leaders by telling them that what comes out of your mouth is more important than what you put into it. He said that the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart and those words show whether you are clean or unclean.

I am sure that you have heard the children's rhyme that says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."  That sounds nice, but it just isn't true.  Words can hurt.  We can all remember a time when we have been hurt by someone's mean and hateful words.  God hears every word we say and he knows every thought we have in our heart.  It is very important for us to be careful about the things we think and say, because hateful words come from an unclean heart.

Dear Jesus, let the words that come from my mouth and the thoughts that I have in my heart be clean and pure -- and pleasing to you.  Amen.

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« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2005, 03:11:35 PM »

Pastor Roger,

Amen Brother!! I was just thinking about the long list of things that children and young adults must deal with in this dark and evil world. Life is complicated for them, much more now than ever. BUT, the things of the LORD are more powerful, and JESUS can still hold them safe and secure in HIS mighty, loving Arms. I give thanks for everyone the LORD uses to build our children and young adults up in the things of the LORD JESUS.

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 10:29-30 NASB  "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one."
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« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2005, 06:22:35 PM »

He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches." He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough." Matthew 13:31-33 (NIV)

Today I brought with me two things that may not be familiar to some of you. The first thing I want to show you are these mustard seeds. See how tiny these mustard seeds are? They are the smallest seeds I have ever seen. The other thing I have brought today is some yeast. Yeast comes in very small packets. Both of these things are very small, yet, in our Bible lesson today, the mustard seed and yeast are used by Jesus to describe what the kingdom of heaven is like

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches." What can we learn from the mustard seed? Well, I think we can learn that we are never too small to be important in God's eyes. You and I may be small, but we can help to grow the kingdom of God.

Look at this small packet of yeast. Do you know what happens when you take this small amount of yeast and mix it with water and flour and a little salt and sugar? It grows all through that mixture and gives us big loaves of bread. Large, soft, fluffy, delicious loaves of bread. The flour and water and sugar and salt just can't do it alone. The yeast has an affect on everything - just from a tiny piece of it. Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened." That is what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us, as part of his kingdom, to change the world around us and make it better.

We may be small, but like the mustard seed and the yeast, we are important in the kingdom of heaven.

Father, help us to remember that size is not important in your kingdom. You can use even the smallest one of us to grow the kingdom. Amen.

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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2005, 06:24:31 PM »

When Your Load Is Heavy

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11: 28 [NIV]

How strong are you? Do you think you are pretty strong? How many of you think you could pick up this brick? How about a dumbbell like this one? Well, you must be pretty strong then. How many of you think you could pick up a car? Oh, you don't think you could pick up a car? Well, I think you could if you had some help. Here is something that would help you. It is an automobile jack. If you put this jack underneath the car and pump the handle, you can easily lift a car that weighs over 3,000 pounds! Yes, with the help of a jack, you can lift a car, but you couldn't do it alone, could you?

Some of you have some pretty heavy burdens to carry in life. Perhaps you have a physical handicap that makes your life difficult. Or, perhaps your father has lost his job and your family is having financial difficulties. Maybe someone in your family has cancer or some other serious illness and you are worried about them. You may be having a hard time making passing grades in school. I don't know what the burdens are that you have in your life, but I do know that there are some that you just can't handle by yourself. Well, guess what? You don't have to!

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." There is no reason for you to struggle with burdens that are too heavy for you. If you will turn to Jesus and trust in him, he will help you.

Does that mean that if we will ask him, Jesus will take all of our troubles away? No. In fact, we may need some of those struggles to help us to grow and become stronger. We may need those burdens to help us to learn to trust in Jesus. But when the load is too heavy, he will help us to carry it. And there is no burden that is too heavy for Jesus.

Dear Jesus, we are thankful that when we struggle under the load of life's burdens, you are there to help us carry the load. Amen.

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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2005, 06:27:07 PM »

 "Let the Children Come"

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)

How did you get to church this morning? I imagine that most of you came with your parents. Perhaps others came with grandparents. Some children may have come with aunts, uncles, cousins, or an older brother or sister. Maybe some of you had a Sunday School teacher or a friend who brought you to church. One thing I am pretty sure of -- unless you live close enough to walk to church, someone had to bring you here. I don't think any of you are old enough drive your own car are you? I didn't think so!

I think it is great that someone cared enough about you to bring you to church today. That tells me that they wanted to make sure that you would learn about Jesus and his love for you. Because you are here today, it is possible that Jesus might touch your heart and change your life.

One day, Jesus was teaching his disciples and a large crowd of other people were following him to hear what he was teaching. He was teaching about marriage and divorce and how God wanted them to have happy homes.

As Jesus was teaching, people started to bring their children to him so that he could touch them. The disciples didn't like these children interupting Jesus and his. They told the people to get the children away. When Jesus saw what they were doing, he was very upset. "Let the children come to me, and do not stop them," Jesus said. "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these little ones." Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them.

Let us hope that we will always remember that Jesus loved the children and took them into his loving arms. We are thankful for each of you who are here today and thankful that someone loved you enough to bring you.

Dear Father, we love the children just as Jesus loved them and we are thankful that these children have someone who loves them enough to bring them to Jesus. Amen.

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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2005, 03:15:46 PM »

Don't Bury Your Talent

For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. Matthew 25:29 (NIV)

As you know, this is a Frisbee. In a few minutes, this Frisbee will help us to learn more about what God expects from you and me, but first, a word from God's Word.

This morning, our Bible story is a familiar story that Jesus told. It is called the Parable of the Talents. In the Parable of the Talents, a very wealthy man was going to go on a trip. He called his three servants together and told them that he would be gone for a long time and that he was leaving them in charge of all of his wealth. He divided up his wealth and gave it to the three servants.

To the first servant, he gave five talents. Now, that might not sound like much to you, but in Jesus' day, that was a lot of money. To the second servant, he gave two talents. Not as much as the first servant received, but still a large sum of money. To the third servant, he gave one talent. Even one talent was worth quite a lot!

The first servant took the five talents his master had given him and put it to work and earned five more talents. The second also invested his two talents wisely and earned two more talents. The third servant took his one talent and buried it in the ground for safe keeping.

When the master returned, he was very pleased when the first two servants told him that they had doubled his money. "Well done," he said. "Because you had been faithful with what I have given you, I will give you much more."

"How about you?" he asked the third servant. "What did you do with the money that I left with you?"

The third servant said to the master, "I knew that you were a hard man and I was afraid, so I went out and hid your treasure in the ground so that it would be safe. See, here it is."

The master was angry. "You are a wicked and lazy servant. You could have at least put my money in the bank where it would earn more." He then took the one talent from the lazy servant and gave it to the one who had ten talents.

In this Parable of the Talents, God is the Master and you and I are his servants. The talents that the master gave to his servants in this story was a form of money. But God has given us talents too, hasn't he? God created each of us with special gifts and he expects us to use those gifts for the purpose for which he gave them to us.

You all know what this is, it is a Frisbee, but pretend for a moment that you do not know what it is and that you have never seen one before. You might think it was a dinner plate... or a hat... or perhaps a tool for digging in the sand. It could be just about anything, but it isn't. It is a Frisbee and the person who created the Frisbee created it for a purpose. The purpose of a Frisbee is to fly!

The Frisbee isn't very impressive to look at, is it? In a world full of high-tech electronic toys, it is pretty low on the totem pole. But boy, can it fly!

Sometimes you and I may look at the talents that God has given to others and think that God hasn't given us very much talent. We might even be tempted to hide our talent. But when we use our God-given talent to be all that God intended for us to be... boy, can we fly!

Dear Father, help us to use the talents that you have given us to be what you intended for us to be. Amen.

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« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2005, 12:41:14 PM »

 Lest We Forget!

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes. Job 19:25-27a (NIV) But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. Luke 20:35-36 (NIV)

This week we celebrate a very special holiday.

- It isn't Thanksgiving, even though it is a day to give thanks.

- It isn't Independence Day, even though it is a day to celebrate freedom.

- It isn't Valentine Day, even though it is a day to think about love.

The holiday we celebrate this week is called Veterans' Day. This holiday is celebrated in many countries around the world. In some countries it is called Armistice Day. In others it may be called Remembrance Day. No matter what you call it, it is a day on which we honor the men and women who have served in the military. We also honor those who have died for the cause of freedom. It is a time for us to say "Thank you" for the sacrifices they have made. It is a time to think about the freedoms we enjoy because they were willing to serve. It is a time to think about love -- the love they showed for their country and for their fellow man.

How do we celebrate Veterans' Day? I guess many people will celebrate it just like they celebrate any other holiday. They will go to the mall and go shopping! I would like to suggest some other ways we might celebrate this important holiday.

- Fly a flag in your yard to remind others that this is a day to honor those who have served.

- Spend some time in prayer. Give thanks to God for those who served to defend the cause of freedom.

- Observe two minutes of silence. Concentrate on remembering those who have died defending the cause of freedom.

- Wear a Poppy. A Poppy is a red flower which is worn to show others that you are remembering those who died for their country. The poppy was chosen because it reminds us of a place called Flanders Fields where many soldiers from the first World War are buried. The poppies grow there between the crosses that mark their graves.

Veterans' Day is a holiday that we take very seriously, but that doesn't mean that it is a time to mope around and be sad. It is a happy occasion indeed. We can be happy that because of the sacrifice of these brave men and women, you and I enjoy great freedom. We can also be happy that even though many of these brave soldiers died in battle, that is not the end of their story. Here is the rest of the story -- those who had put their trust in God will be raised and will go to be with the him. That is a promise from God's Word. Listen to these words from the book of Job, "My flesh may be destroyed, yet from this body I will see God. I will see him for myself."

You know, that promise is not for soldiers alone. It is for you and me as well. It is for all who put their faith and trust in God. Jesus said, "Those who are considered worthy of taking part in the resurrection are like the angels. They can no longer die. They are God's children." We are God's children and one day we will see him. Won't that be a wonderful day!

Dear Father, we remember and honor those who have served to preserve and protect our freedom. We also celebrate the resurrection, because all of us who have placed our faith and trust in you -- even though we die -- will live again. Amen.

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« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2005, 12:42:20 PM »

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (NIV)

This flag reminds me that this week we will celebrate a very important national holiday. How many of you know what holiday we will celebrate? We will celebrate Veterans Day. Veterans' Day is a day on which we honor all of the men and women who have served in the military and who have fought to defend our freedom.

We enjoy a lot of freedom. We are free to come to church and worship, we are free to choose what we want to be when we grow up, we are free to choose where we want to live, we are free to choose most of the things that affect our daily lives. This might come as a surprise to some of you -- but did you know that freedom isn't free? That's right, someone had to pay the price for us to have the freedom that we enjoy. There are men and women right here in this room this morning who have helped to pay that price. Some have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard. Many of them have fought in wars and some may have been wounded. There are probably some people here this morning who had loved ones who gave their lives fighting for our freedom. All of these are the ones that we honor as we celebrate Veterans Day.

Yes, we have a lot of freedom, but the greatest freedom that we have is the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. The Bible teaches that the penalty for sin is death, but you and I have been set free from this penalty. We have been set free because Jesus paid the penalty. The Bible tells us that Jesus died to set us free from the penalty of sin. Instead of death, we have been given eternal life. This freedom wasn't free, Jesus paid the price.

This week as we celebrate Veterans' Day, let us remember to stop and thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedom. Let us also remember to thank God for Jesus, who has set us free from the penalty for sin, because he was willing to pay the price.

Dear God, thank you for the freedom that we enjoy in our country. We are thankful for those who paid the price for that freedom, but even more important, we thank you for the freedom we have because Jesus was willing to pay the penalty for our sin. Amen.

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« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2005, 10:41:21 AM »

Pastor Roger,

AMEN AND AMEN!!

Brother, I would first tell anyone:

Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!

I celebrate this every day, and JESUS is the core of my life. I know beyond any doubt that we enjoy precious freedoms to study our Bibles and worship God in peace and safety. There are too many other freedoms to even list, but this freedom to worship is the most precious to me.

Christians in other parts of the world are being beaten, tortured, put in prison, and killed for possessing a Bible or attending a worship service. This is also something that I pray about every day. I try to keep informed by reading Voice of the Martyrs and other Christian publications so I will know better how to pray for Christians who are being persecuted and killed around the world. Knowing about this simply gives me more appreciation for my freedom and gratitude to those who paid for it.

Brother, every freedom we enjoy was paid for with the sweat and blood of generations of brave men and women serving in our Armed Forces. I have much more than just GRATITUDE for their service and sacrifice. I LOVE AND RESPECT THEM for every second of freedom, peace, and safety they have paid for. I've tried to teach my children that none of the good things in our country are free. They were all paid for by generations of BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS MEN AND WOMEN WHO GAVE OF THEMSELVES SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS COUNTRY! There should be no surprise that many of these COURAGEOUS SOLDIERS were CHRISTIANS!

For me, my greatest and most wonderful FREEDOM is to THANK GOD AND WORSHIP GOD! So, I give thanks that I live in a country that still enjoys MY MOST CHERISHED FREEDOM! We all enjoy a huge list of other freedoms that were all paid for and preserved by members of our Armed Forces. In my heart and mind, I believe that God used them in many ways for America and the rest of the world.

MEN AND WOMEN

OF THE AMERICAN

ARMED SERVICES

WE LOVE

AND RESPECT YOU!!

Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 NASB  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
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« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2005, 01:47:23 PM »

Amen Brother, our freedoms that we enjoy are so precious and many want to give them away for the sake of "peace". I thank God that we have a peace  and freedom that so many of them will never understand until it is to late. It is my prayer that they will open their eyes so that they too will be able to enjoy that peace and freedom as we do.

It is also of great importance that we teach our children of these things.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2005, 09:14:18 PM »

The Oldest Trick in the Book

 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  Genesis 3: 5  [NKJV]

How many of you have ever eaten Cracker Jacks?  Cracker Jacks have been around for a long time.  I used to eat them when I was a boy so you know they have been around for a long time.  Do you think I ate Cracker Jacks because I liked them?  Well, the taste pretty good, but that isn't why I ate them.   I ate them because of what it says right here on the box.  "A prize inside!"  I wanted that prize!  You know, after I got the prize, I was always disappointed because the prize was some cheap little toy that wasn't worth anything.  You could say, the prize wasn't what it was "cracked up to be!"  But I kept on buying those Cracker Jacks and hoping that some day I would get a really great prize.  I never did.

I wonder if the prizes are any better now than they were when I was a boy?  Let's open this box and see.  I may have to have some of you help me eat some of these Cracker Jacks so I can get to that prize.  Look at that prize!  Why, it is just a little piece of paper.  What a disappointment.  I can't believe that after all these years people are still falling for that trick.

I don't guess I should be surprised.  After all, it is the oldest trick in the Book.  It is the same trick that Satan used on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Satan went to Eve and said to her, "If you will eat of that tree over there, you will be like God.  You will be as wise as He is."  So, Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, and it sure wasn't like Satan promised.  In fact, they lost their place in that beautiful garden.  That is one of Satan's very best tricks and he still uses it today.  He will promise us great things if we will just do what he wants us to do, but the prize is never what he promised.  In fact, it may just end up costing us our place in God's kingdom.

Dear Lord, help us to remember that Satan will use every trick he knows to get us to do what he wants us to do.  Help us to remember that nothing he promises can compare to what we have in You.   Amen.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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