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« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2005, 09:29:47 AM »

  Exhorting One Another

By: Jeff Lappano

”But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)

Hey Jeff-
Could you write on exhortation, I have hard time doing that... ~Iz

As brothers and Sisters in the Lord. it is our duty to exhort one another. But what does it mean to exhort one another? Of course when we think of exhortation, we think of encouragement. Yes, of course we’re to encourage one another. As we all run our different races, we need those on the side cheering us on. However, there is more to this thing called exhortation. In dealing with the gifts of the spirit, Paul tells us that not only is exhortation a gift of the spirit in Romans 12, but also prophecy is for the edification or exhortation of the church. In his call to Jeremiah, God details what prophecy is, both of the Old Testament, and New Testament. “To root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah1:10).

Exhortation isn’t always fun and games. Exhortation is used to build us up to be better. Have you ever seen demolition crews use dynamite to take out old casinos in Las Vegas? Why are they taking down the old casinos? Most likely to build way better ones. Those built in the beginning of “Sin City” aren’t as great as the ones that developers are building today. They tear down the old to build bigger and better. Now, don’t go gambling but understand that this is an example of what exhortation is.  

Yes, sometimes exhortation is fun and a great encouragement; but sometimes exhorting someone may include dealing with them about something in their life that they need to get rid of. As in everything in the actions of a Believer, this to must be done out of love. If you are going to confront someone about something in order to tear it down to build a better them, you must make sure your doing it with love. Again, as a child of God, you must exhort one another. This isn’t just for the pastors and other leaders of the church but for every Believer, both old and young.

Finally I just want to remind you if you have a Sunday Special request you would like me to write about, let me know. Unfortunately, I can’t read minds, but I can read the message board as well as my email.  Be blessed always in Jesus name.


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« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2005, 01:26:37 PM »

  Close For Comfort

By: Mandie Ross


“…there’s one who sticks closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24

There are the fights in the morning over who gets the bathroom first and for how long. And that starts arguments with parents about how it is so imperative to add more bathrooms to the house. Then there are the arguments over why the last person to drive the car didn’t fill up the gas tank. And to add insult to injury, the one who complains is the one who didn’t get to use the car last even though they’d already made plans. Then there are the complaints about how one sibling absolutely does not like the other’s friends. There’s name calling, and in some cases, hair pulling and fist fights. Some brother’s and sisters stop talking into adulthood for reasons they’ve forgotten. Good old sibling rivalry.

My brother and I have pretty much always gotten along well. We used to get into trouble together, pouring whatever liquid we could find in the garage, into the sandbox. And the first time we got grounded, we were grounded together for playing with matches in our bedroom. We were 5 and 6 at the time. We both hung out at the neighbor boy’s house together when most brothers would tell their sisters to bug off when it comes to hangin’ out with the boys. Not my brother. He even took off his jacket and handed it to me once when I felt car sick…just in case. But then…we got to junior high.

My parents told my brother to walk me home from school because some of the girls were ruthless to me. They kicked me in the shins, knocked things out of my hands and threw whatever it was across the floor, and followed me into the bathroom once to have a 3 to 1 fight. My brother’s response to walking me home…”walk 10 feet in front of or behind me. I don’t want anyone to think you’re my girlfriend.” What happened to my partner in crime? Even I change within myself from one moment to the next and I lose my bond with me. But there’s one who sticks closer—even closer than I stick to me.

He’s there to comfort us when we’re down. He knows what it’s like. He never thinks more of Himself than He does His brothers or sisters. There’s no one like Him. He never changes. He’s the only one who can give us strength during times of weakness, and boldness when there’s no one to stick up for someone-- or when we just need to say or do the right thing. He teaches us compassion, forgiveness, self-control, integrity…He’s the jack-of-all-trades. But most of all He’s the one who shows us real love. He’s closer than you can imagine…and He promises never to leave.


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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2006, 12:30:24 PM »

Can I Have Your Attention?

By: Mandie Ross

For everything in the world—the cravings of a sinful man, the lust of his eyes …—does not come from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:16,17

Recently I attended my sister’s marching band competition. I really get into all that takes place in the competition. The bands as they march across the field, playing the music that’s been selected to hopefully be a winning piece. The color guards as they tell the secret of the music and display the meaning of the song with their creative routines. The bands leading up to my sister’s were so creative. One of the color guards even stopped in the middle of the typical routine and started dancing to the techno mix that the band was playing. All of it kept me so involved. Then, as my sister’s band started to play I noticed that the music was so loud and clear. The color guard was perfectly in tune with one another. Finally I spotted my sister who was dressed exactly as all the other members. It was hard to pick her out at first but I found her. I tried to keep my eyes focused on her. But there was so much going on to keep me enticed that it became hard to keep my eyes on only her…the one I came to see.

At that competition I realized just how easy it is for everything to take my focus off the One I want to see. All that goes on around me is enough to keep me captured for a little while. It all seems so exciting at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the right path, and I stop and notice a fragrant flower and I stall for some time to smell it and wander off to see what else is out there.

How easy it is to wander off to something that entices our desires instead of keeping the focus on God and what He delights in. But God has plans we sometimes don’t even realize are more awesome than whatever is going on around us. So keep your focus on the One you love. There’s no doubt that if you do, in the end, He will have kept you satisfied with His performance.  


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« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2006, 02:42:19 PM »

  He Came, He Sought, He Saved

By: Adam R. Rinehart


“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost,” (Luke 19:10).

When I was in High School back in the day, I loved to play sports. One of my favorite lines after we won a game was, “We came, we saw, and we conquered!” What a feeling that would run through our veins when we won! We would get crazy!

You know what? Jesus did the same, but in a slightly different manner.  He came, He sought, and He saved!  Just think, Jesus Christ which spoke and galaxies came into existence, stars burned into place, and the heavens and the earth unleashed in power and glory, came to this earth to seek us out, and to save us!

The more and more that I look at my salvation the more and more that I adore the Savior who sought me out, and saved me. Then, I ask myself, what kind of response does that deserve?  The answer is my everything!  Everything that I am is because of Christ, and therefore, everything that I am belongs to Him! Praise the Lord for seeking me, and giving me salvation!  May God’s Grace Abound in You!

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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2006, 12:41:39 PM »

  Continue In The Faith

By: Adam R. Rinehart


“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecc 3:1

When you look at the definition of patience, you will find that a synonym for the word is "long-suffering". As you dig a little further, you will see that "long-suffering" brings in the word endurance-staying in for the long haul. As you look at life, that long haul brings many things with it. There is a time and a season for every purpose under heaven. Whether it is life, or whether it is death, the principle of endurance has to continue with all of us. ??I know that it seems difficult for us in the shadow of recent events over the last few years. Not only since 9/11, the Tsunami, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, but also in light of the events of our own lives, and others having things in life happen. I know that it may seem like that the things that we want are just "inching" closer and closer, instead of getting here fast, but we have to remember that is what endurance is all about.

We are to continue to have faith, and know that the return of the Lord IS near. "Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The more and more that I study faith, the more and more that I am seeing that faith takes patience, and patience takes endurance. All of the people mentioned in the 11th chapter of Hebrews had to endure a wait of some type and have patience before they ever saw their faith succeed. They also worked toward the faith that they gave their lives for.

Friends, it is not over yet. Oh yes, it may seem like it has been an eternity waiting to see what is going to happen out of our lives, but we have just started eternity and that God's time is not our time. When we have faith, our time goes out the window, and His time becomes our reality. He has made everything beautiful in His time; also He has set eternity in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.  So, let us continue to have faith. God is going to do something here. We have to continue to work to see things happen as well. If we have faith, and yet do not work toward seeing it happen, our faith becomes useless. May God's Grace Abound In You and the endurance of your faith let you see a reward that words cannot describe.

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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2006, 09:21:06 AM »

  The Storm of the Child

By: Tiffani Johnstone


When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matt 8:23-27 (NASB)

Storms come and storms go. Sometimes weathermen can predict them and sometimes they cannot. When they attempt to predict and they are wrong, they tend to get the brunt of it. But who can truly predict a natural phenomenon that by the amazing works of God, has it’s own way of doing things?

Sometimes I wonder if we are the same way when it comes to spiritual storms. Of course we know that they are going to happen, but when they hit do we question ourselves as to whether we should have seen it coming? The disciples did not even know the storm was approaching when they were in their boats. If they did, I am sure they would not have been out on the sea. However, they were trapped in the middle of it. Being experienced fishermen, they had dealt with several storms. So what made this one different? Was it larger? The Bible does not say but one can speculate that the larger explanation was the case. It had to have been a storm that was so big the disciples feared for their life. Do we ever have storms in our life that look like that?

One thing that we can learn from the disciples is that even though Jesus was on the boat with them, the storm still came and they still feared. No matter how spiritual we are or even think we are, the storms of life are still going to come. It is how we handle them that matters. Another thing that can be learned is that Jesus’ reaction was not to them waking him up but to their fear. The disciples never once asked Jesus to calm the storm. They, instead, focused on themselves and asked him whether he cared about them. This is a sure sign of fear. When the storms of life come, we need to take refuge in the fact that God does care and He knows exactly what is going on. Just because Jesus was asleep does not in any way mean he did not know that the storm was going on. I have a suspicion that He was simply waiting for them to come and wake him up. Do we wake God up when our storm happens?

The larger lesson of this story is that Jesus dealt with the disciples before he began dealing with the storm. There is a famous song that says ‘Sometimes he calms the storm and other times he calls his child.’ How true this is. Sometimes God does not calm the storms in our life. Rather He allows them to continue but calms us and teaches us how to trust Him when even the most difficult of situations arise.

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« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2006, 10:11:11 AM »

  Maze of Life

By: Amber Alonso


"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Have you ever been in one of those human mazes?  I have and it’s difficult to see the way out, and once I turn my first corner, I can’t find my way back to the beginning.  I seem to run into a dead end at every turn.  Sometimes I feel like I will never find my way out of the mess I got myself into.

Sometimes life can be a great big maze. At every turn we are tempted to explore a new avenue.  Sometimes that avenue leads can lead us to addiction; sometimes it leads us to adultery; sometimes it leads us to defiance of God Himself.  We feel hopeless and without a guide out of the great maze.  Some people just decided to stop trying, and they fold their arms and with a frown on their face squat down and star at the leaves on the bushes and the blue sky above wishing they only had a ladder to lift them out of the maze.  

According to 1 Corinthians 10:13, there is no need for us to quit the maze.  There is no need to stand still and lose hope.  The first thing that we need to understand is that we are not tempted by anything that comes from God. God will not tempt us, He has made this promise in James 1: 13-14.  Therefore we know that if we have accepted Jesus into our hearts then we are not tempted by God, but of our own evil desires that are ours when we did not surrender ourselves to God. Instead in the verse above it says, “ God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” How encouraging! This means that if you are like me and don’t like pursuing things that you know you are not going to succeed at, then overcoming temptation should not be a concern.  God says that He can overcome that and won’t let you perish because you were tempted.  Something else that is just as encouraging is the next promise God makes.  “When you are tempted, I will also provide a way out.”  So, when you are struggling and fighting through the hard times that you have brought on by being tempted, like drug addiction, anger problems, depression, there is no need to lose hope of feel like God has abandoned you and left you to find your own way.  There is a light at the end of the maze and God is your guide in getting there.

There are so many times that we will feel lost in the world.  We will feel lost in our own decisions, but keep your faith and know that you always have a way out no matter how deep within the maze you are.  God is faithful and will not let you be tempted more than you can bear.  Think about those words and thank God for his grace and mercy.  He truly loves you no matter what temptation has brought upon you.  Keep seeking Him and He will guide through this complicated maze of life. Amen!

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« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2006, 11:33:55 AM »

  New Year or New You

By: Tiffani Johnstone

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:12-14

As I started the New Year off, I began reflecting upon the previous year. It was pretty emotional for me as I had gone through a lot of pain at the beginning of 2005 due to a serious relationship ending. As I began feeling the pain again, God really convicted me that I cannot live in the past. I wonder how many times we live in the past. I wonder how many times that we pass up a current opportunity to have an encounter with God or even minister to another person because of living in the past.

In Philippians, Paul talks about how he continues to press on toward the goal. He runs as if nothing is in his way. He sets an example for us that we need to put what is in the past in the past and leave it there. We can no longer allow the pain and problems from the past to stop us from living in the present. We have to put everything we have into finishing this race. As runners run races, they do not look to the side but yet look straight forward. This is how we need to run our faith race.

2006 is a new year and a time to make goals. What are some of your goals? What are some goals that you did not get accomplished last year? I challenge you this year to not make extraordinary goals that you may not accomplish, but rather make some small ones that you will accomplish. Make a goal that you will leave the past behind you and will live in the present and strain towards the future. Make this New Year a year that produces a new you.  


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« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2006, 10:52:51 AM »

God Provides

By: Mandie Ross


“Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself...” Matthew 6:33,34

In this passage Matthew is making an appeal to us to understand that God has every intention of providing for us so we don’t have to worry about what we’ll eat, drink, or wear. Look at the birds. They don’t sow, or reap, or store things away, yet God feeds them. If we’re more valuable than they are, then what are the chances that God will do the same for us? And what about the lilies in the fields? They don’t run around looking for a flower to go with their stem, yet the stem of a lily is clothed with beautiful petals. I was recently challenged in this area of my life---letting God be my Jehovah-jireh.

When I moved out on my own over the summer I was happy to have a float device called a “savings account”. The savings has helped but I was naive to think that it was my lifesaver. I have used some of my savings towards various things and I thought I had it all under control until I was in a car accident, which left my car unrepairable. I was left with a ticket, towing fees, and without a car. I felt so defeated and almost in acceptance of “what’s done is done” that I hardly took the time to wonder how I would ever get an affordable car with my flotation device almost deflated. I was completely overcome, left with nothing. I didn’t ask for the things that followed, but God provided.

After the accident I went in to work and was informed by another employee that her brother was about to put his car up for sale---his nice and very affordable car. He even lowered the price for me after his sister told him about my situation. The day after that I was surprised to find that the back seat of the car I was borrowing was filled with groceries. Days later I received a call from someone at the church who, totally unaware of my accident, informed me that I would be receiving a gift basket of food and a gift card due to hearing that I was living off of ramen noodles since being on my own. And as if that’s not enough, I also had an offer for my heating bill to be paid for the winter.

Sometimes God allows us to go through unpleasant things so He can remind us that we can trust Him to provide for us. God’s got my back. Can He have yours too?

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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2006, 10:16:39 AM »

  Roadblock to our destiny: Pride

By: Tiffani Johnstone


Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more….When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him…
Gen 37: 5,10

Most all of us have dreams that God has given us either a long time ago or recently. However, there are times when the dream does not come true right away. As a microwave society, we have a hard time waiting for something. Sometimes, even our microwaves are not fast enough. God does not work in our time schedule though.

Joseph was given his dream at age 17. It did not come to pass until he was 30. There were several reasons for this but the first reason that we see is because God needed to work out the pride in him. If you read all of Genesis 37:1-11 you find that Joseph tells his brothers and his dad both dreams he had and basically is boasting about them. It is one thing to share the dream God has given you, but to brag about it is another. God knew that it would take time to work the pride out in Joseph’s heart before his dream could become his destiny.

How long has it been since God gave you your dream? Have you given up on it or do you still pursue God about it? Take a look, pray about it, and see if the reason God hasn’t allowed that dream to come true yet is due to pride. Pride is innate in humans. We all have to deal with it in some area of our life. Even if we have passed a pride test in the past, God tends to go just a little deeper or into another area just to show us that we continually have to rely on Him to purify us. He keeps turning up the heat. If we can’t handle the dream, we can’t handle the destiny. When we continue to pass God’s tests and prove to him we are ready, it is at that point, He will give us our destiny. Next week’s roadblock: Difficult times and how we handle them.


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« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2006, 11:02:35 AM »

  His Plans Make Miracles

By: Mandie Ross


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sometimes things just don’t seem to be going the way we’d like. Experiences happen that we think is just going to absolutely break us. Circumstances happen that make our stress level go through the roof. People that we give our trust to break our hearts through their carelessness. Does this sound like anything that might be going on in your life? I’m sure you can add much more to the list. Things sometimes have a way of twist, turning our life upside down. When you sit and think about it though, you have no idea what’s going to come out of these experiences. Through our trials we have no idea that God is in the making of a miracle.

Quite a few years ago my heart was broken by someone who told me they’d be there forever. Talk about heartache-- I was supposed to get married. To make matters even worse, my brother had decided to have a friendship with this person. I felt completely betrayed. Here my world had been turned upside down and instead of my brother being at my side, he was at the side of the person who I felt had devastated my life. For so long I felt a hatred for this person. I felt it would have been easier to get over the whole thing if he was completely out of my life. But my brother’s relationship with him made that impossible. After a while, even though I still had this hurt looming over my head, I accepted that maybe God had a reason for allowing my brother the opportunity to have this friendship.

Through these years of seeming heartache and betrayal God has been giving me grace and working little miracles in my life to renew the faith in Him that I sometimes lose. Even though I sometimes lack faith He gives me reasons to believe again that I can count on Him to work out my life. So I came to the conclusion that God would use my misery to His glory somehow. And He showed me in an unlikely way that I never expected. After years of not having communication, this guy who promised marriage contacted me. Can you picture the joy in my heart as he asked me to forgive him? Or after he told me he had accepted God into his life? I had felt betrayed by my brother but God had plans that gave glory to my misery. God knew what I didn’t know. He had a desire to give me a hope and a future despite the past. 

The passage goes on to say that when we pray He will listen. When we seek Him with all our heart He will be found. When we find Him, despite the things that seem stand between our happiness, and us He’ll bring us back from the captivity of our misery. He has plans of His own. Plans better than ours. Our plans can’t work miracles…but His will.

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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2006, 09:57:01 AM »

  Roadblock to our destiny: Pride

By: Tiffani Johnstone


Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more….When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him…
Gen 37: 5,10

Most all of us have dreams that God has given us either a long time ago or recently. However, there are times when the dream does not come true right away. As a microwave society, we have a hard time waiting for something. Sometimes, even our microwaves are not fast enough. God does not work in our time schedule though.

Joseph was given his dream at age 17. It did not come to pass until he was 30. There were several reasons for this but the first reason that we see is because God needed to work out the pride in him. If you read all of Genesis 37:1-11 you find that Joseph tells his brothers and his dad both dreams he had and basically is boasting about them. It is one thing to share the dream God has given you, but to brag about it is another. God knew that it would take time to work the pride out in Joseph’s heart before his dream could become his destiny.

How long has it been since God gave you your dream? Have you given up on it or do you still pursue God about it? Take a look, pray about it, and see if the reason God hasn’t allowed that dream to come true yet is due to pride. Pride is innate in humans. We all have to deal with it in some area of our life. Even if we have passed a pride test in the past, God tends to go just a little deeper or into another area just to show us that we continually have to rely on Him to purify us. He keeps turning up the heat. If we can’t handle the dream, we can’t handle the destiny. When we continue to pass God’s tests and prove to him we are ready, it is at that point, He will give us our destiny. Next week’s roadblock: Difficult times and how we handle them.


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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2006, 10:28:48 AM »

  Feelings Fail

By: Matt Crawford


"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

Your feelings may fail you. The psalmist is speaking from the perspective of a believer when he says "my heart may fail." He is not speaking about the actual heart. He already covered physical organs when he mentioned the "flesh." Rather, he is speaking of feelings. Mood. Confidence. Our sense of mental stability. If he were speaking of the actual heart, there would be no need for the verse, because when the heart stops we stand before God and our struggle is over.
For the Christian, our confidence and mood are not certain and we should not place our trust in how we feel. Ask anyone who has bipolar disorder how quickly their confidence can go from soaring to utterly destroyed. When our heart fails us, when our confidence fails us, when our mood, even our very thoughts fail us, we do not have an excuse to give up. Whether our heart fails us because of circumstance or because of chemical or mood disorder, we must let that mustard-seed faith become all that we have and all that we cling to. We must determine to trust God, because the bible says He is our true strength, not how good we happen to feel at the time. He is our strength and our portion forever; he never fails or changes. He is the only constant.

One key to clinging to our faith when our heart fails us is to speak to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Get out a pad and pen and write a praise, or even write about your struggles and your faith in God to deliver you. Expressing and verbalizing our belief is very important. Sing out loud to God, talk to yourself about the amazing stories of deliverance from the bible, or meditate on scripture. Remember to never stray from God, even if you should sin, or if your feelings and thoughts are not consistent with what you believe is acceptable to God. Tell him how you feel, and hide nothing from Him. The word says that we should not be anxious at all, but rather bring all our requests to God through prayer, with thanksgiving, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

The word says that those who know God’s name will trust in Him, because he has NEVER forsaken anyone who seeks Him (Psalm 9:10), and I have found this to be true in all my years as a Christian. If we cling to God, even in the midst of our worst, most unfathomable struggles, our faith becomes real, and God will reward us with times of peace. Remember that all our struggles are for our own good, and for the testing and refining of our faith. Do not be discouraged or without hope when everything, including your heart, fails you. As the saying goes, you know it is faith when it is all you have.
   

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« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2006, 11:21:45 AM »

  Close For Comfort

By: Mandie Ross


“…there’s one who sticks closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24

There are the fights in the morning over who gets the bathroom first and for how long. And that starts arguments with parents about how it is so imperative to add more bathrooms to the house. Then there are the arguments over why the last person to drive the car didn’t fill up the gas tank. And to add insult to injury, the one who complains is the one who didn’t get to use the car last even though they’d already made plans. Then there are the complaints about how one sibling absolutely does not like the other’s friends. There’s name calling, and in some cases, hair pulling and fist fights. Some brother’s and sisters stop talking into adulthood for reasons they’ve forgotten. Good old sibling rivalry.

My brother and I have pretty much always gotten along well. We used to get into trouble together, pouring whatever liquid we could find in the garage, into the sandbox. And the first time we got grounded, we were grounded together for playing with matches in our bedroom. We were 5 and 6 at the time. We both hung out at the neighbor boy’s house together when most brothers would tell their sisters to bug off when it comes to hangin’ out with the boys. Not my brother. He even took off his jacket and handed it to me once when I felt car sick…just in case. But then…we got to junior high.

My parents told my brother to walk me home from school because some of the girls were ruthless to me. They kicked me in the shins, knocked things out of my hands and threw whatever it was across the floor, and followed me into the bathroom once to have a 3 to 1 fight. My brother’s response to walking me home…”walk 10 feet in front of or behind me. I don’t want anyone to think you’re my girlfriend.” What happened to my partner in crime? Even I change within myself from one moment to the next and I lose my bond with me. But there’s one who sticks closer—even closer than I stick to me.

He’s there to comfort us when we’re down. He knows what it’s like. He never thinks more of Himself than He does His brothers or sisters. There’s no one like Him. He never changes. He’s the only one who can give us strength during times of weakness, and boldness when there’s no one to stick up for someone-- or when we just need to say or do the right thing. He teaches us compassion, forgiveness, self-control, integrity…He’s the jack-of-all-trades. But most of all He’s the one who shows us real love. He’s closer than you can imagine…and He promises never to leave.

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« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2006, 11:36:24 AM »

The Perfect Guy

By: Sarah


“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27)

Take a moment to reflect on your latest crush.  Oh what a feeling it is to think that we’re “in love” or as I often call it, “in like.” As soon as his comes into sight, there are “butterflies” in your stomach.  His name on your caller ID makes your heart skip a beat. Every song you hear on the radio, you relate back to him.  A fifty-minute lecture goes by amazingly quickly as you daydream about the infinite possibilities.  His name surrounded by hearts makes a unique border for your notes in class that day.  Should you obtain a picture of him, you cherish it like it’s your highest prize.  As a matter of fact, you probably know every last detail about this person.  Somehow, he’s always on your mind, he’s got you on cloud nine.  And should he smile back once, you can hardly breathe cause you know that’s the green signal.  You can feel the adrenaline rush through your veins and your heart is pumping joy.

But the thought that that person doesn’t love or notice you, that crushes your heart.  Now imagine Jesus feeling that kind of crush. He breathed life into you, counted the hairs on your head and planned the days of your life.  He brought you into this world and basically provided you with more than you ever deserve or understand.  His is a love that is unfathomable, one that is too great for human understanding.  And yet, He stands there every moment, knocking at the doors to our hearts.  He knows every last detail about us, watches our every move and cherishes us beyond belief.  Many a time, we’re too busy to call to see what He’s up to or even to return a missed call.  The song that’s stuck in our head does not remind us of our Savior and our biology notes do not remind us of God’s great miracles.  We breathe just fine forgetting about Him, forgetting whose air we’re taking for granted!

We’ve all heard that being in love is a most amazing feeling.  Surely God will eventually lead each of us to the love of our life, if that’s what He has in store for us.  But the most fulfilling relationship must resemble the unconditional love that Jesus has for each us.  Only when we truly fall in love with Him will we learn to love others the way He wants us to.  In their song “You and Me,” Lifehouse describes perfectly how each of us should feel about our relationship with the perfect One: “It's you and me and all of the people, and I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you.”

So you just met the perfect guy.  Now all you got to do is give Him the green signal.


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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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