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« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2006, 09:02:28 PM »

  Taking Off The Blindfold

By: Janet Adams


Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psa. 16:11) KJV

A few years ago when my youngest son was a little boy we threw him a birthday party outside and his older brothers made up some games and obstacle courses they thought would be fun.  One of the funniest but most difficult was a short race where they had to wear a blind fold and run to a specific goal.  They were allowed to look under the blindfold at their feet but that was all.  Each time a group would get up to the line they were determined they could go that short distance without seeing. They would take off stumbling, twisting and turning trying to stay on their course.  It was so funny to watch them bump into each other, trip over their own feet or even fall down.  Some ended up on the sidelines or got turned around all together and ended back on the starting line. 

Once they were finished and took off the blindfold they couldn't believe where they ended up.  This same thing happens to many of us through life.  We reach a certain point and look back and we can't believe what we have done or been through.  Many of the difficulties that make us struggle or even fall are our own faults.  We were looking at our own little steps in life instead of looking to a goal. The cross of Jesus Christ should be our goal in life.  When we take off our blindfolds and look to God throughout our life we are assured to be going the right way.  Oh we will stumble or even fall at times but focusing on Him will bring us to the right mark, not the sidelines or the wrong way all together. 

How funny we must look to God, like those kids at the birthday party.  Running around with no direction in sight.  Take off your blindfolds, look directly to Jesus, focus on Him with every step you take and you will be in His will and go directly to your mark.

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« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2006, 11:49:13 AM »

Push

By: Mandie Ross


“Therefore…stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”             
1 Corinthians 15:58

I am reminded of a story of a man and a rock. God asked this man to push against this very large, and heavy rock. Everyday the man went out and pushed against it but no matter how hard he tried the rock wouldn’t move. Finally he cried out “Lord, I’ve done what You’ve told me to do. But Lord, this rock won’t move.” I suppose God chuckled as He confirmed, “I asked you to push against the rock, not move it. But with your perseverance to do what I have asked you’ve developed much strength.”

I would guess that most of us are like this man. Sometimes we get anxious because we want something that we’re not getting fast enough. And other times we feel so burdened and stressed out by everything going on in our lives. I’m sure so many of us have overscheduled ourselves, trying to make ourselves feel productive. And at the same time we succumb ourselves to the anxiety of our own future plans…as if the stress from our already busy lives isn’t enough. But it comes to a point where we feel Mary on one shoulder, and Martha on the other. One is begging us to do, do, do. And the other is pleading for us to just sit at the feet of Jesus.

There are so many things, whether they are the stress of overdoing ourselves, anxiety about the future, or tantalizing worldly temptations, that can get us sidetracked from our purpose. We let fear, worry, doubt, and temptation get into our hearts. But God only asks us to do what He asks us to do, and nothing more. He asks us to push up against our adversities, not to be moved because of them. So pretend that big rock contains all the things that take our focus off of what God wants us to do with our lives. Turn your back to it with your arms folded and feel the sun on your face. Turn to it and push to get your strength. Show it that you’re not troubled by it being there, but that you’ll work around it. Let God be the one to take care of that rock. Let Him be the one who moves you. 

I’ll leave you with excerpts of this song by Susan Ashton. Maybe some of you who recognize it will hear it playing as you read it.

“…But He moved me
You give me courage I didn’t know I had
You move me
I can’t go with You and stay where I am
So You move me…

…And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn’t budge
I mighta stayed there forever
If not for Your touch…

…Oh but You move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Burning with love and with hope and desire
And how You move me

You go whistling in the dark
Makin light of it, makin light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughin all the way

Oh but You move me
You get me dancing and You make me sing
You move me
Now I’m takin delight in every little thing
And how You move me…”

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« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2006, 01:20:34 PM »

  A Father's Love

By: Tony Alonso

And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19 RSV

A little girl walks down the sidewalk with her daddy. I can’t see her but I can hear her cries and her dads assuring words. She decided run ahead of him and got into some sort of losing fight with a bush and thorns. Her dad calls out to her to see if she is OK, and to help her get the stickers out of her clothes. However, instead of running to her father for help, comfort, and protection, she chooses to yell, scream, and demand that he stay away.

If it was anyone else, I’m sure the guy would have agreed and left. But not a Father, especially when his little girl is in trouble. He sat on the sidewalk and continued to call out encouraging words and waited. Finally after about 30 seconds of fighting it off, she ran over and her daddy embraced her with a kiss and a hug, and began to help her get cleaned up.

Isn’t it funny when we get into tough situations and a thorn drives itself deeper and deeper into our side, we continue to try to run from those who can help us. Maybe it is because we are scared, ashamed, or maybe we do not fully trust Him enough to fix and heal the situation. It possibly could have something to do with our past or that others have failed you so why not add this Father to the list. These are all understandable reasons and thoughts, but they still leave you helpless and in pain.

I encourage you to let go of your pride and anything that is keeping you in a place of hurt and pain. Instead of fighting off the scab and opening up the wound, allow Jesus to heal your scar and embrace you the way you long for. Next time you think you’re in to deep and down to low, remember that Jesus took pain, dehydration, and nails, just so he can take the little thorn out of your shirt. God Bless and Keep the Faith.

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« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2006, 11:44:39 AM »

The Mountain of Patience

By: Adam R. Rinehart

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…Galatatians 5:22 

After the joy of my senior year, my dad and step-Mom wonderfully took the three of us children for a trip out west to ultimately end up at Grandma's house in Solvang, CA.  While on the way out there, we stopped at many places to see the joy of God’s beauty and to spend time together looking at different things.  One of the stops we made was in Colorado to see all of the mountains. 

We could see them off in the distance as we drove towards them, and it was a site that I will never forget. Those mountains have been standing as long as creation, and possibly could have been formed even more through the flood. They have withstood the weather, been through earthquakes, and even have been through man and his venture for technology.

I have heard people say, “Never pray for patience, because God will definitely give it to you.” That bothers me a bit when people say that, because we are not asked to pray for patience, but are called to live in patience. We as Christians are called to seek out the glory of God in all that we do, and that takes more patience then we can ever imagine. Moses is just one example in the Bible that was a man with a mountain of patience.  He endured through many things to lead the people out of Egypt, and was a man that when given a vision of God was not devoted to himself, but devoted to the Glory of God. That, my friends takes a lot of patience. ?
Many of us have withstood the earthquakes, weather, and man to see our Christian lives flourish. We are called to keep it up.  To be mountains in our patience and keep on enduring through our Christian lives, and to have the fruit of patience throughout all of the things that we face in our lives so that the endurance of the patience may teach us to glorify God more. 

Take on a new mindset and ambition today. Seek the calling that we as Christians are called to do through patience, and may we be those mountains of patience throughout all of our lives. Be patient and glorify God in everything. May God’s Grace Abound In You.

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« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2006, 04:47:37 PM »

The 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 #50 on: January 22, 2006, 11:28:01 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 #51 on: January 23, 2006, 06:51:32 PM »

Difficult Times

By: Tiffani Johnstone

“Rueben further said to them, ‘Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him’ – that he might rescue him out of their hands to restore him to his father….and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.” Gen 37: 22, 24

Sometimes, there are times in our lives when things seem to be going well and out of nowhere we end up in a pit. Living as a part of this world, we cannot escape the difficult times. We must learn to deal with them. I am sure we can all think back or even think currently about a pit we have been or are in. It is not always just a single pit we might be in. We might be in several different pits at once. It could be our relationship with parents, finances, or friends. During these times, we must learn how to have the proper attitude in order to get out of them.

Joseph did nothing to prompt his brothers into throwing him into the pit, other than his attitude of pride. Joseph received many gifts from his father but became proud and began boasting about them. As this took place, his gifts began to get stripped. Realize this, it was not Joseph’s dad who took the gifts away, but it was through Joseph’s own actions that the gifts were stripped. However, if you look ahead to the end of the story, once Joseph realized the lesson God was trying to teach him, he received something more important than any of the gifts his earthly father gave him. He received the throne.

As you go through the difficult times, the pits in life, you are sure to hear some of the lies Satan tells you. He will often throw out that you are evidently not good enough or else you would not be in this pit. He will also start creating false evidence to support the lies. Recognize this as part of his scheme! God would never tell you that you are not good enough and that it is too late. It is never too late. Sometimes our prayer is too much complaining rather than crying out to God in humility. We need to be asking God to do a work in our heart. When Joseph did this, his situation began to change. He was sold to some slaves. It may not seem that our way of getting out of the pit is the best but it’s better than death as in Joseph’s case. When we humble ourselves and cry out to God, He will deliver us out of every pit. He will promote us beyond the pit and will exalt us so that we might walk in the destiny He has planned.


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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2006, 12:12:29 PM »

The Storm or the Child?

By: 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.

What storm is happening in your life right now that you need to know God cares about? Could it be a divorce in the family? A death? A job? Whatever it is, God wants us to know that those who take cover in Him will be able to ride out the storms.

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« Reply #53 on: January 25, 2006, 01:14:19 PM »

  Seeking Loneliness

By: Beth Hays

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16) NIV

Jesus ran away. That is, in essence, what this verse is saying. When the crowd overwhelmed Him, when He had a decision so unfathomable it crushed Him, when He was about to face the greatest challenge of history, Jesus ran away. It makes Him sound like a pretty ridiculous guy when I put it that way. But, really, it was the most ingenious thing I can think of.

Instead of answering these challenges out of human wisdom or instant human emotion, he ran away to escape the human and connect with the divine. When life was too much, Jesus ran away to a place where he was ALONE. Alone—we don’t like that word or that concept today. Being alone translated into being unprotected and unsafe and overwhelmed by loneliness. But, Jesus didn’t see those lonely, empty places the way we do. He saw them as connecting points to the One who is always there.

He used that complete loneliness to reach up to the One who designed human companionship. He ran away to be humanly alone. But, the whole point of running away was to run into the arms of the One who made Him. When Jesus was alone, He was never really alone.

I’ve battled loneliness a lot lately. I struggle daily with feeling as though I am the only soul on this planet who feels unloved and uncared for. But I’m not. Jesus felt that way…that is precisely when He ran into the greatest arms of acceptance ever in existence. He sought out what I am running from because He knew the secret of loneliness—a secret I need learn.

Loneliness is the most beautiful catalyst to an intimate relationship with our Creator. When we are stuck in loneliness we need to find a way to see past the intensity of our emotions and reach up to our daddy in Heaven, let Him pick us up, hold us close, and share with us what He wants us to do with each day. Yes, I am deeply lonely. But, if I let it, that will carry me to closeness with the Father that will far surpass any human relationship. I challenge you, my friend, to seek out loneliness, to run away from the chaos, and to jump into the safety of the presence of God.

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« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2006, 12:22:04 PM »

  From The Grandstands

By: Ben Dell

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." (Ephesians 1:3-4)

I remember like it was yesterday.  My father would sit in the stands, when I played baseball as a kid, and he would yell for me and my team.  He would scream, "Whadda say big red, whadda say?"  My teams' colors were red.  Some of the guys on my team would laugh, but I was proud because I knew that my father was supporting me.  I didn't care how ridiculous he looked.  I had someone who was backing me up no matter if I struck out or hit a home run (which did not happen too often). 

Here we have a letter to a church that needs some encouragement.  They are in a culture that is rampant sin and godlessness.  They are getting discouraged. However, they received a letter that is just like my father screaming in the stands. Paul has written a letter saying that God was supporting them.  Verses 3-11, in the greek, are one sentence.  For the sake of time, only 3-4 will be emphasized.  God has given them a blessing already because of what Christ had done for them. 

Already they have been blessed.  That is what God had thought of them.  He thought so much of them that he chose to bless them.  Before they were ever born, God was in love with them.  He had already placed them to a high point, in heaven, with Jesus.  It is like they were already there.  He had already given them every spiritual blessing.  The blessing was already their's.  It was not waiting for them.  It was already there.  The same is true for us. 

God is waiting in heaven for us.  He has been in love with us since before the creation of the world.  That is how much God loves us.  We should not let the theology of this passage blind us from seeing that has so much love for us that set us at this high place. 

The next time you feel that things are not going well for you.  Just remember that God is there cheering you on.  He has loved you before he even created the world. Let that be the father in stands that is cheering you on.

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« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2006, 12:22:56 PM »

  Why is it so Hard?

By: Heather

"The vision of the evenings and mornings that have been given to you are true, but seal up the vision for it concerns the distant future." (Daniel 8:26)

This past weekend something happened and it has really got me to thinking. I will be the first one to admit that when things go wrong I doubt in things that God has told me. And on numerous occasions, I have asked God to confirm them over and over again. Sometimes God would tell me, "Heather, have I not told you once? How many times do I have to repeat myself for you to believe? Once is all it should take." Those are the times I feel like I have let God down.

I am at a state in my life where I really need God to change my heart. God has told me something; He told me it almost a year and a half ago. For whatever reason, I have relied on that one thing that God has told me about my future, I have let it consume all my thoughts and prayers. Of course, I know it’s good to pray about it, but I think I have let it become something that it shouldn’t be. I let it become my security. I'm not letting God be my security. I let my desires over take me. I soon realized that I was missing everything that praise and worship should be about, cause I was worried about one thing. I just wasn't grasping everything like I use to, or should have been. There’s this praise and worship song called "Heart of Worship" and Chorus goes... "I'm coming back to the Heart of Worship when it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I made it, when its all about you Jesus." That last sentence has really hit me hard. I was openly saying to God that I am sorry for what I have made my life into when it SHOULD always be about him.

I need to learn how to seal up in my heart the things God has told me, and not lose focus on him. What have one, two, ore more things are going on in your life that you have not given completely over to God? What is holding you back from the blessings that are just around the corner? You see, God has brought it to my attention and will give me the strength to make it out of this rut. What has God brought to your attention? Now, what are you going to do about it? God Bless and have a wonderful day, no week, no year... no LIFE !

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« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2006, 11:25:18 AM »

Test All Things

By: Janet Adams

Test all things; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thes. 5:21-22) NIV

Test all things.  Look at each activity or thought you might have.  You ask yourself the question, is this of the Lord?  Is this truth? Is this good?  It becomes quit easy to do when you practice it as a way of life.  In this world we are shot at every angle with all kinds of things that are evil.  Most of the time we are so caught up in our lives we don't even see what is coming. 

God tells us to abstain from evil.  This sounds simple enough but is it?  The truth is that it is hard to distinguish between good and evil sometimes.  That is where God comes in.  Open and intimate relationship with God assures us that we will be able to tell what is good and what is not. Satan is the relentless enemy of good.  When you search for good Satan is right behind you trying to temp you and destroy your relationship with God.  Never take the goodness in your life for granted, cherish it and hold it close to your heart.

People may challenge your goodness and that can cause severe peer pressure.  You may be criticized for your moral stand.  Hold fast to God no matter what you face, hold on to the good.  Evil robs you of what God intends for you.  Prayer is a gift from God and even that can be strained if you don't abstain from evil.  Don't let Satan take what is your gift from God, goodness. Holding on to truth, righteousness and good in life frees you to experience God's best.

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« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2006, 11:31:05 AM »

Elementary Teachings

By: Heather

"Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so" (Hebrews 6:1-3)

We all have ups and downs and big bumps and small bumps in our walk with God. As we go to church, and pray, we start to learn what they call the "Elementary Teachings." It's the basic information that you are taught about God and His Word. Trust me, it’s a lot of information, but their comes a time where we need to learn more. We need to learn about God in a deeper intimate way.

I have found myself knowing that I needed to take a step forward with my walk in God and that can be a scary experience because you never know what he has in store for you. I would read up in my Bible on things that I already knew. Stuff that I already experienced. I thought that if I just knew the stuff I already knew but better that I would grow. Or sometimes we all feel like once we know the basics what else is left?

Once you break away from your early teachings, doors will open for you, you won’t have to open them. You will see God working in every area of your life. The change will happen immediately. You may think that nothing is happening, but God is just changing and preparing your heart for what he has in store for you.

We need to take that step forward and step away from the "Elementary Teachings" and learn more about who God is. What type of personality does he have? How does he speak to you? What is God’s will in your life? Many can be facing the choice of what college God wants you to attended. I know I am. This is a very big choice for me, its mapping out the rest of my life. And I have found out in my own life the more I stepped out, the more time I spent with God, the more I got to know him. But most importantly, the more he got to know me.

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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2006, 12:42:46 PM »

Back To The Basics

By: Johnnie Moore Jr.

"My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you."  Pr. 3:1,2
     
It is not a very widely spoken of truth but many theologians believe that the books of proverbs (the wisdom book) is actually a whole book of wisdom written from a father to a son.  Therefore, the contents are a glimpse into our Heavenly Father's mind, a glimpse into the depth of his wisdom, written exclusively for those who are now heirs to His throne by the blood of Jesus Christ.       
     
In the latter passage God reiterates the one main truth that encompassed all the law of the old testament and the central theme to the old covenant.  God says to us, "Do not forget my law."  It's not the law that redeems us but it is the law that makes us more like our Father.  Notice that it's not just a knowledge of the law that's important, it's not just the obedience to his law because of guilt or responsibility, but it is an obedience grounded in the heart of the believer.  See so often in our life we mimic the life of a Christian on the outside because it's our responsibility or reputation, but the truth is that you're not living for Christ if it's not grounded deep within your heart.
     
Why should we keep God's commandments?  Well for one thing it's the least we can do in the light of what he did for us!  The Bible tells us that if we love God we should keep his commandments!  The outward demonstration of our love for our Savior is the obedience to His word that we live. 
     
Secondly, notice also that this is a command with promise.  If we keep God's law and obey His commandments (In the right motives) then He promises he will add length to our life and peace will be added onto us.  This doesn't mean our lives will be easy, but it does mean that God will never leave us during the tough times, and we many times will be able to see His purpose in them!

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« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2006, 12:43:38 PM »

  What Does He Want?

By: Mandie Ross

“…let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No’…”  Matthew 5:37

     How many times have we been caught saying that we’d do something that we naver get around to? If we say “I promise”, does it make our word to be more valuable? And what if we don’t even stick to what we “promise”?—A broken promise…what an oxy moron. And what about when we insist, “I’d never do that!” and then we catch ourselves doing it?

     I’ve made so many non-comitted comittments in my life, and others towards me. I’ve had boyfriends who I pledged my love to, and them to me. Some have told me they wanted to marry me. Others I actually became engaged to. They didn’t last. When the tough got going, someone left. That did a number on the version of love that I learned. And I can’t even begin to tell you what it did to my heart. Yes’ became no’s, and no’s became yes’. I had made my plans my own. And another’s words of endearment to me became a fleeting butterfly…beautiful, but out of reach.

     I decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. I wanted to give the pen of my love life over to God. I asked Him if He would send me the one that He created for me in His time. In that time I would do no searching of my own. I didn’t want to make anymore promises of myself, nor did I want a promise to me to be of a man. I didn’t want my plans to be my own, I wanted them to be God breathed. I didn’t want a life of non-comitted, comittments. I wanted to live according to God’s will. I soon found out that since I hadn’t been living according to God’s will in this area of my life, fully surrendering to Him with a man was going to be harder than I thought. But knowing what God wants first leaves no room for confusion or the innevidable question of “Do I stay or do I leave?” that most people face in the hardships of a relationship. I won’t let my ‘Yes’ to that person become a ‘No’ later. Instead I will say ‘Yes’ to God’s will in my life. My ‘Yes’ to my Father has taken center stage so mine and my future husbands feelings and plans can take a back seat. No matter what I do or say or how fickle my feelings can be, God’s will doesn’t change. 

     Do not say what you’ll one day take back. Don’t confuse people like that. Don’t tell God your plans, let Him tell you  His. Don’t tell others “I’m going to do this”, or “I’m going to do that” because innevidably  people will feel they can’t trust your word. Make sure that before you sign, say, a marriage liscense that God is the mastermine behind that comittment before the law even recognizes it as so…otherwise, who is the head of that union, God or the government? And before you start making plans to go to Cedar Point next summer,  make sure it’s on God’s agenda  first.

     Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Above all, let your ‘yes’ be to God’s will and not your own. When you say ‘yes’, don’t hesitate or give it a second thought. Instead do like Nike and ‘just do it’.

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