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AskMe #2533081 08/04/11 05:34 AM
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Proverbs 4:25 (NLT)
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

In this verse Solomon tells us with undivided attention we are to keep focused on what is ahead of us. We should keep ourselves focused on the Lord and to approve ourselves to him. We are to look to the prize of the high calling of our Lord and Savior and direct our attention there.



From the book, The Words of Harry S. Truman, Harry Truman says, �If you�ve done the best you can---if you have done what you need to do---there is no use worrying about it, because nothing can change it, and to be in a position of leadership� you have to give thought to what�s going to happen the next day and you have to be fresh for�what you have to do the next day. What you�re going to do is more important than what you have done.�

We can�t change the past; but we can fix our eyes on what lies before us and focus on what the future will be. We need to look to the Lord for our guidance and keep a straight course. Leave the past behind and be ready to move onto the next day. The Lord wants us to look forward to our next step and not dwell on where our walk has been.

AskMe #2533375 08/05/11 05:38 AM
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Proverbs 5:22
22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.

Here we find Solomon talking about a person who habitually sins. The person is held captive, bound by their own sins which keep them from living freely. They hold the person and keep them from finding true job in life.



From The Associated Press, Cincinnati, May 29�A man wanted on a parole violation was returned to jail after his parole officer spotted him kissing his girlfriend in a live crowd shot on the scoreboard at a Cincinnati Reds game. David Horton and his parole officer attended the same May 7 game when the smooching couple was caught by the "Kiss Cam" at Great American Ball Park.The parole officer and a police officer arrested Horton, 24, at his front-row seat, and he was taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center. "Out of all the coincidences, we had 20- or 30,000 people at the ballpark, and who do they put on the �Kiss Cam�? And then, who is there but his parole officer?" said Richard Goldberg, Horton�s attorney.

Sir Walter Scott wrote, �Oh what a tangled web we weave, When we first practice to deceive. Those who practice evil get tangled up in a web of lies, deceit and perpetual sin. There is no hiding from it. Eventually all are found out for no sin hides from the eyes of God.

AskMe #2534017 08/08/11 05:11 AM
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1 John 3:20-22 (NLT)
20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don�t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

Most of us have a conscience that is a self-reflecting, judgmental power that takes account of our actions and deeds and acts as witness, judge and executioner against us. It is a candle of God�s presence in us that draws us closer to God like a moth to a flame. Yet God is greater and is nobler in His evaluation of us. God sees our weaknesses and understands them and begs us to come to Him to find grace and mercy. If we allow our doubts to rule in our lives then we come to believe there is nothing God can do for us. Yet the truth is when we put away guilt, shame and doubt we will receive from God what we need because we obey and do what pleases Him.


Most people know about the passion of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial justice and nonviolent resistance. However, some people aren�t as familiar with King�s deep personal faith in Christ. In his book Welcoming Justice, Charles Marsh describes one of King�s profound encounters with the Risen Christ. [In January 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.] returned home around midnight after a long day of organizational meetings. His wife and young daughter were already in bed, and King was eager to join them. But a threatening call�the kind of call he was getting as many as 30 to 40 times a day�interrupted his attempt to get some much-needed rest. When he tried to go back to bed, he could not shake the menacing voice that kept repeating the hateful words in his head. King got up, made a pot of coffee, and sat down at his kitchen table. With his head buried in his hands, he cried out to God. There in his kitchen in the middle of the night, when he had come to the end of strength, King met the living Christ in an experience that would carry him through the remainder of his life. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on," King later recalled. "He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone � He promised never to leave me, no never alone." In the stillness of the Alabama night, the voice of Jesus proved more convincing than the threatening voice of the anonymous caller. The voice of Jesus gave him the courage to press through the tumultuous year of 1956 to the victorious end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. More than that, it gave him a vision for ministry that would drive him for the rest of his life. [Copyright � 2011 by the author or Christianity Today International]

AskMe #2534296 08/09/11 05:57 AM
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Colossians 3:8-10 (NLT)
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don�t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

In this chapter of Colossians the apostle starts out saying we should put away those things of the past and begin to live a new life in Christ. He warns us of the sins we will encounter and tells us to remove the sinful parts of our life. In the verses above the apostle tells us specifically to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language and lies. We are to look to Christ and become more like him, renewing our life and obtaining a new nature.

The Bible tells us anger is ok as long as we do not sin. But the moment we let rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language and lies follow our anger it is too late and we are deep into sin. I will be the first to admit there have been too many times in my life that I went from anger to sin. I, me, and myself - I let my emotions get out of control and entered into a state of rage and behavior that is unacceptable. I may have felt justified at the moment because I wanted to be heard. But there is no justification for sin other than our Savior Jesus Christ. It is Jesus I should have turned to in my moment of anger. It is Jesus I should have given control and allowed Him to show me how to express my anger. It is ok to express our emotions and say we have been hurt, but we can do it without the rage, and without all the negative behavior that goes along with being emotionally out of control. David wrote in Psalm 145:8, �The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.� It is the Lord�s behavior we want to model before others.

AskMe #2534509 08/10/11 05:24 AM
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Romans 6:1-4 (NLT)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

The apostle, speaking to Christians, informed them just because they received grace from sin was not a reason to continue sinning. Some felt to keep sinning was to keep obtaining more grace, but they missed the reason for the grace; it was to give them freedom from sin so they could live new lives.



In the last days of the Civil War, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia, fell to the Union army. Abraham Lincoln insisted on visiting the city. Even though no one knew he was coming, slaves recognized him immediately and thronged around him. He had liberated them by the Emancipation Proclamation, and now Lincoln's army had set them free. According to Admiral David Porter, an eyewitness, Lincoln spoke to the throng around him: "My poor friends, you are free�free as air. You can cast off the name of slave and trample upon it �. Liberty is your birthright." But Lincoln also warned them not to abuse their freedom, saying, "Let the world see that you merit your freedom. Don't let your joy carry you into excesses. Learn the laws and obey them." [James L. Swanson, Bloody Crimes (William Morrow, 2010), p.46;]

The apostle in Romans 6:1-4 conveys a similar message - Jesus has liberated us and set us free from sin. However our freedom is not an excuse to disobey God. Freedom from sin was intended as our birthright and Christ gave it back to us. We should let the world see how we value the privilege of grace.

AskMe #2534729 08/11/11 05:33 AM
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Proverbs 11:11 (NLT)
11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

Here Solomon observes good men are generally well liked by their community. For the most part they are liked; but there will be some who covet a good man�s power and prosperity. It is these who by their own wickedness become public nuisances. Their outcries become embittered voices trying to destroy the prosperity of the city. Their evil words can corrupt the goodness of a town and bring it�s virtue to ruin.



This past Saturday rioting began in Britain and as spurred on by protestors who said the police shot a man to death. As these voices of protest rose, so did the violence against innocent people. You would think those who were upset with injustice would avoid injustice against others, but that was not the case. The rioters began burning homes and businesses. It is estimated that in the four nights of riots that have ensued $161 million dollars in damages have been incurred.

"I lost my son," Jahan told a crowd of more than 1,000 that had flooded the neighborhood. "Blacks, Asians, whites. We all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another? What started these riots, and what's escalated them? Why are we doing this? I lost my son. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home. Please!" [CNN]

There were innocent people who lost their lives. There were businesses destroyed. If only the people could have listened to the words of King Solomon. If only they had pursued a course of righteousness instead of one of violence.

AskMe #2535570 08/15/11 05:26 AM
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Mark 11:25 (NLT)
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

In this verse Jesus is teaching the disciples about prayer. When we go to God in prayer we do not want to be hindered by our thoughts. When we hold a grudge against someone those thoughts fester and dwell in our mind. They keep us from relating to God freely for God forgives us and we too should learn to forgive others.



Desmond Tutu is a bishop in South Africa who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid. In his book No Future Without Forgiveness, he shares stories and insights from his leadership role in South Africa�s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Two people who came before the commission were Mrs. Calata and her daughter. Mrs. Calata�s husband had been an advocate for black South Africans in rural communities. Because of his work, he�d been arrested, detained, and tortured by the police numerous times. But one day he disappeared. On the front page of the newspaper, Mrs. Calata saw a photograph of her husband�s car on fire. She cried so loudly during the hearing, describing the autopsy�s report about his torture, that the commission had to be adjourned. When they reconvened, Mrs. Calata�s daughter testified. Years had gone by, and she was now a young lady. She pleaded with the commission to discover who had killed her father. But she was not crying out because she wanted vengeance or justice. Instead she said to the commission, �We want to forgive, but we don�t know whom to forgive.� Eventually members of the police confessed to the crime. Rather than continue the endless cycle of hatred, Mrs. Calata and her daughter forgave the men who tortured and killed their husband and father�because that�s what Christ�s people do. [Skye Jethani, in the sermon "From Exclusion to Embrace," PreachingToday.com]

Forgiveness does not mean that we don�t care about justice or that our memories of a painful event will cease to exist. But it does mean we leave justice in God�s hands and we allow Christ to work in our lives to learn to forgive and heal from our pains.

AskMe #2535798 08/16/11 06:03 AM
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Proverbs 16:33 (NLT)
33 We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.

While things may seem to us as casual or out of sheer luck divine providence directs and orders what is to occur. Nothing is left to chance nor is an event determined by the draw of the straw. God�s hand is upon our life directing, guiding and leading.



Great leaders are sure what they should do next. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became pro baseball�s first black player when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch Rickey was the Dodger�s baseball executive who eventually signed Jackie Robinson. Rickey�s pastor was Wendell Fifield, from the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn. (This church, at one time pastored by Henry Ward Beecher, had a history of working with the �underground railroad� to help free slaves.) While Rickey was trying to decide if he should sign Jackie Robinson, he paid a visit to Rev. Fifield. He barged into the pastor�s study and told Fifield, �Don�t let me interrupt. I just want to be here. Do you mind? According to Fifield�s wife June, the two men passed the time without words. The pastor continued his work and Rickey energetically paced the floor, stopping occasionally to look at the pastor�s window. For forty-five minutes he continued pacing, pausing, pacing, and then pausing. Finally, Rickey broke the silence by pounding his fist on the pastor�s desk as he shouted, �I�ve got it!� �Got what, Branch?� the minister asked. Rickey finally relaxed on a chair and told his pastor, �This was so complex, fraught with so many pitfalls but filled with so much good, if it was right, that I just had to work it out in this room with you. I had to talk to God about it and be sure what he wanted me to do. I hope you don�t mind.� �Wendell,� he said, �I�ve decided to sign Jackie Robinson.� Then Rickey straightened his bow tie, donned his hat, and left the room as he said, �Bless you, Wendell.� When a well-known journalist told Rickey that �all hell would break loose� when Jackson took the field, Rickey quietly countered, �I believe all heaven will rejoice.� [Jamie Crawford, "How church helped sign Jackie Robinson to Brooklyn Dodgers," CNN (4-14-11)]

Jackie Robinson didn�t make the Brooklyn Dodgers by luck. Jackie had worked hard to get where he was and Jackie made the team because the Dodger�s baseball executive took time to pray about what was then considered a tough decision. Are you attributing your life to luck or do you see where God is watching after you and answering prayer?

AskMe #2536638 08/19/11 04:44 AM
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Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)
11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

A wise man will observe these two rules about his anger: 1. Not to be over-hasty in his resentments: Discretion teaches us to defer our anger, to defer the admission of it till we have thoroughly considered all the merits of the provocation, seen them in a true light and weighed them in a just balance; and then to defer the prosecution of it till there be no danger of running into any indecencies. Plato said to his servant, "I would beat thee, but that I am angry.�� Give it time, and it will cool. 2. Not to be over-critical in his resentments. Whereas it is commonly looked upon as a piece of ingenuity to apprehend an affront quickly, it is here made a man�s glory to pass over a transgression, to appear as if he did not see it (Ps. 38:13), or, if he sees fit to take notice of it, yet to forgive it and meditate no revenge. ~Matthew Henry



From Jane Schmidt, Dallas, Oregon. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom� comes the following story:
One Saturday morning I awoke to the delightful smell of waffles and the sound of our two small boys in the kitchen with my husband. Padding down to breakfast, I sat down on my husband's lap and gave him a big hug for his thoughtfulness. Later that day, we were having a heated "discussion" in our bedroom when our four-year-old, Jacob, stopped us in mid-sentence. Standing in the doorway, he said, "Mommy, try to remember how you felt when you were on Daddy's lap."

God teaches us a lot about anger through His word in the Bible and even by reflections in our life. A simple statement by a child calmed a heated discussion. If only we all could take a moment to find the good in life instead of reaching for anger.

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Proverbs 22:24-25 (NLT)
24 Don�t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, 25 or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.

These verses give good reason to be cautious with whom we associate with. In friendship we allow ourselves to be close to others, willing to serve, willing to listen and will to engage with them. But it is our folly if we associate with someone who draws us into their moments of anger and cause us to be outraged for no good reason. While we must be civil to all we can still use caution to decide who we call friend. If a person is easily provoked to anger, becomes touchy at the slightest of comments, and becomes passionate about his resentment of others and cares not what he says then such a person is not fit to be a good companion or friend. In his moments of anger he will expect us to be like him and if we follow that will be our sin.



In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle.
Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle�s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn�t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him. When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn�t let them hunt. �I�m so mad at that guy,� Mantle said, �I�m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!� Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, �We can�t do that!� But Mickey was adamant. �Just watch me,� he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. �What are you doing, Martin?� he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, �We�ll show him! I just killed two of his cows!� Billy Martin was a great teller of tales, and many doubt that this event really happened, but it does illustrate a very real truth. Anger can be dangerously contagious. [Scott Bowerman, Bishopville, South Carolina. Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 1.]

AskMe #2537578 08/23/11 06:02 AM
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Micah 7:18 (NLT)
18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.

In this verse the prophet Micah gives God the glory for His pardoning mercy. Micah sees God�s people as a remnant that having seen the consequences for sin still remains spotted by sin. Yet God is ready to pass by and pardon the iniquity and transgressions of His people upon their repentance and return to Him. And while God may let the people suffer from the consequences of their actions He cannot remain angry with them. Instead He delights in mercy and the salvation of sinners and not in their death and damnation. The glory of God is forgiving sin and there is no person, no judge, and no other god who forgives as God does. Those who have been pardoned cannot but help admire the grace and mercy they have received.



A teacher once told each of her students to bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school. For every person they refuse to forgive in their life's experience, they chose a potato, wrote on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of their bags were quite heavy. They were then told to carry this bag with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to their desk at work. The hassle of lugging this around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually, and how they had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget and keep leaving it in embarrassing places. Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty smelly slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity! Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and it clearly is for ourselves!

If God can forgive us for all our sin then surely we can learn to forgive ourselves as well as others.

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Psalm 51:6
6: Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

King David wrote this chapter of Psalm after his affair with Bathsheba. David tells us truth and wisdom go far to make a man a good man. It takes a clear mind and willing heart to follow the truth and the wisdom God establishes. David knew the truth of what he was doing when he had his affair and also placed Bathsheba�s husband in a position during war that caused Uriah�s death. However David had not allowed God�s wisdom into his heart to see the wrong in his actions. It took a wise friend to point out David�s failure. God was not the originator of David�s sin. It was David who committed the sin and it was David who knew he needed to repent of his actions. And while the consequences were set, God reconciled Himself to David out of grace and mercy.



Dr. Perry Buffington, a licensed psychologist and author, says this in his book, Playing Charades: [Universal Press Syndicate, September 26, 1999) - Research psychologists have found there are at least three situations when we are not ourselves. First, the average person puts on airs when he visits the lobby of a fancy hotel. Next the average person stifles emotions to bamboozle the salesman when entering the new-car showroom. And finally, the average person tries to fake out the Almighty about being good all week.�

Most of us are probably good most of the time, but not all the time. If we started to keep a journal of every time we felt like sin entered our life we would probably surprise ourselves. And if we let someone close to us who is Godly keep a journal about us I am sure we would be even more surprised at what they would tell us. God wants us to open up our hearts to Him so that we can let in His truth and wisdom. Unless we maintain a close relationship with God we might miss those opportunities to make a course correction in our life that would keep us from the consequences we might suffer.

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Exodus 18:13-18 (NLT)
13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people�s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. 14 When Moses� father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, �What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?� 15 Moses replied, �Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God�s decrees and give them his instructions.� 17 �This is not good!� Moses� father-in-law exclaimed. 18 �You�re going to wear yourself out�and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.

Moses was given the task of leading the people out of Egypt. Now he has found himself in the position of being the lawgiver and judge. Moses acquainted people with God�s laws and when there were disputes among the people Moses gave rule to what was just and fair. And if the people were as quarrelsome among themselves as they were with God then there is no doubt there were many cases brought before Moses to settle. Jethro, a priest, and the father-in-law of Moses saw the problem Moses was facing and it was a difficult burden. Later in the chapter Jethro explains how Moses needs to delegate his work to others he can depend upon.



Loren McCune of Newnan Georgia said to help her Sunday school class of nine-year-olds understand the difficulty of Moses' job of settling disputes as leader of the Israelites, she asked the children to role-play. Zackery was given Moses' part while the others worked in pairs to come up with problems for him to tackle. The first duo, Jessica and DaNae, approached their leader and said, "We have no food." Moses thought for a minute and nervously answered, "Go kill some animals." The next pair were the Terrence children. The problem? "Someone's been killing our animals."

Moses did not have an easy job as leader. Many people sought his advice each day, from morning until evening, distracting Moses from the real task of leading the people to the Promised Land. Often we take too much upon ourselves and get distracted from our purpose in life. We need to learn we cannot do everything alone and that we have to place trust in others to help us accomplish our goal. We often call it delegating; it is entrusting others to perform what needs to be done while we watch over more important tasks. If you are one who feels they must do everything, ask God who in your life you can trust to help you. Ask how you might delegate tasks that help reach people for God�s purpose.

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Romans 1:16 (NLT)
16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes�the Jew first and also the Gentile.

The apostle tells us he is not ashamed to speak out about the Good News. Earlier in Romans Paul tells us the Good News is about God�s Son, Jesus Christ. He tells us in His earthly life He was born into King David�s family line, and He was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will obey and believe, bringing glory to His name.



In a Peanuts comic strip, Linus approaches his sister and innocently asks, �Do you ever pray, Lucy?� Lucy responds, �That�s kind of a personal question isn�t it? Are you trying to start an argument?� She then begins ranting with obvious irritation, �I SUPPOSE YOU THINK YOU�RE SOMEBODY PRETTY SMART, DON�T YOU? I SUPPOSE YOU THINK�� Linus wanders away. In the last panel, he is sucking his thumb, holding his blanket as he tells Charlie Brown, �You�re right� Religion is a very touchy subject!�

Like Lucy from the comic strip Peanuts, there are some who believe questions about religion are very personal. Religion should be personal, but it should be personal in a way that you are not ashamed or fearful to speak up about it. It should be personal in the sense that you understand your relationship with God. It should be personal enough that you can acknowledge you do pray to God and you do have a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I admire those who are in the public eye and have no problem admitting Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. They are putting God and Christ before their fears of what others may think. I remember Pastor Tony Evans saying he was asked to pray before a professional football game, but those asking him to pray said they didn�t want him to mention Jesus if possible. What they wanted was a generic prayer suitable for many religions. Instead the pastor boldly spoke his prayer acknowledging what Jesus had done for him. He praised Jesus and gave Jesus the glory He deserved and in closing he said, �I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ, King above all Kings, my Savior and my Lord.� Are you ashamed to tell others of your love for Jesus? In Matthew 10:33 Jesus says, �But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.�

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Luke 12:39-40 (NLT)
39 �Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.�

Jesus explains to those listening they will not know when He will return, but they should be prepared in case of his return. A homeowner never knows when a burglar might come, but they take preparations to keep safe those treasures which are valuable to them. If they carelessly leave the home unattended it might be that opportunity for the burglar to strike. In the same way if people allow the state of their soul to remain unguarded then when Jesus returns they will be unprepared to go with Him. And for those who have committed themselves to Christ they may find themselves ashamed of their present condition.



English author H. G. Wells, famous for science fiction novels like The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, once wrote a short story called "The Country of the Blind." It's about an inaccessible, luxurious valley in Ecuador where, due to a strange disease, everyone is blind. After 15 generations of this blindness there was no recollection of sight or color or the outside world at all. Finally a man from the outside�a man who could see�literally fell into their midst. He had fallen off a high cliff and survived, only to stumble into their forgotten country. When he realized that everyone else was blind, he remembered the old adage: "In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Wells writes: He tried at first on several occasions to tell them of sight. "Look you here, you people," he said. "There are things you do not understand in me." Once or twice one or two of them attended to him; they sat with faces downcast and ears turned intelligently towards him, and he did his best to tell them what it was to see. But they never believed him. They thought he was crazy. The man fell in love with a girl there and the girl's father, Yacob, went to talk to a doctor about him. A conversation ensued: [The doctor said]: "I think I may say with reasonable certainty that, in order to cure him complete, all that we need to do is a simple and easy surgical operation�namely, to remove these irritant bodies [his eyes!]."
"And then he will be sane?" [they asked]. "Then he will be perfectly sane, and a quite admirable citizen." "Thank Heaven for science!" said old Yacob. Wells goes on to point out that the man would not be allowed to marry Yacob's daughter unless he submitted to an operation that would blind him. So what would the man do? Wells writes: He had fully meant to go to a lonely place where the meadows were beautiful with white narcissus, and there remain until the hour of his sacrifice should come, but as he walked he lifted up his eyes and saw the morning, the morning like an angel in golden armour, marching down the steeps�It seemed to him that before this splendour, he and this blind world in the valley, and his love and all, were no more than a pit of sin. And the man who could see escaped the country of the blind with his life. That is where we live�in the country of the blind that is proud of its science, sure of its health, oblivious to the light. It is not only pitiful; it is deadly. Jesus said, "Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil." Jesus had his own name for "the country of the blind." He called it "the world." In his last words to his disciples before going to the cross, Jesus warned them of the hostility they would face�just as he had�in this blind world. Yet rather than pulling his beloved followers out of this blind and hostile world, Jesus sent his own Spirit into his people to convince this world of its blindness. [Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: www.online-literature.com/wellshg/3/]



AskMe #2539303 08/30/11 05:44 AM
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Proverbs 30:10 (NLT)
10 Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.

An employee works usually because there is a need to provide for themself and or their family. They are already given to the affliction of work and therefore to slander a person only adds insult and injury. It may even influence the employer who may be severe with them for no cause. It�s becomes exasperating and blemishes the reputation of a person who may not deserve it. In the end the person may confront those who slander them and may end up causing them just as much or more pain and grief than they have received.



Many years ago without justification my wife�s supervisor wanted to discipline her for something which was undeserved. My wife was persistent in asking where the problem was coming from. Finally the supervisor admitted another employee had said something against my wife. So instead of directly confronting what the other employee had said the supervisor was attempting to correct my wife through disciplinary action. Once my wife heard what had been said she said the statement was completely false. She asked the supervisor to bring in the other person so she could confront the person making the statement. Reluctantly the supervisor gave in to her demand and when the person was questioned the truth came out. The employee had not really observed anything, but instead was repeating something someone else had said, who had their facts wrong. The supervisor then corrected the other person for saying things without the proof of fact.

We should not slander, gossip or defame others unjustly. If we do we could find ourselves with more grief than we inflicted on the other person.

AskMe #2540082 09/01/11 04:57 AM
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Psalm 37:7 (NLT)
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

Through this Psalm David says we should trust in the Lord, committing everything we do to the Lord. For the Lord has our best interest at heart. There may be times we find ourselves under attack from others. There may be times we find ourselves angry and bitter about the situation we are in. There may be hard times ahead. But in this entire life God enjoys directing our steps and God delights in every detail of our life. If we can just learn to patiently wait for God before we act God will keep us on the right path and God will keep us from slipping and falling.



We live in an age of �I WANT IT NOW�. I have watched Apple introduce their newest iPhones and iPads and suddenly there is a line wrapping around the mall to get their newest gadget. I have seen those who obtain one video game while they talk about how they can�t wait for the next level to come out. There are commercials today where people who have received a long term settlement can instantly cash out. One of the company�s ads even say, �It�s my money and I want it now!� We are people who cannot wait.

Yet The Lord tells us to patiently wait on him. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, �Patience is better than Pride.� Pride drives us to want things now. We want to look good in the eyes of others, but instead we should be humble and appear righteous before God�s eyes. It is God we should be trying to please and not ourselves. Pray that you might patiently wait upon God and let Him guide your every step.

AskMe #2541541 09/06/11 05:17 AM
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Ephesians 1:3-8 (NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

The Apostle Paul writing to the Ephesian Church tells them they are blessed because they are united with Christ. He explains God always had a plan for salvation even when we ourselves failed at living the original life God planned for us. Through Christ�s redemptive act we became a part of the family of God. We can therefore praise God for His loving and merciful salvation that He pours out on all who place their faith in Christ.



The verses above tell us we have been adopted into God�s family. There is a story of a couple who had two sons but decided to adopt a young girl from Haiti. They walked with her to the airplane as she reached up and took their hand. At that moment they knew she was adopted into the family. During first meal the girl appeared afraid to eat as she let her food sitting on her plate. The mom then realized the problem. Food was so short and scare in Haiti usually there wasn�t enough for the next day so she was probably keeping a portion of the food for later or waiting to share with her new brothers. To reassure her, the mom took her to the bread drawer where there were several loaves of bread. Then she opened the refrigerator to show the milk, eggs and other food that was there. Then she opened up the cabinets and showed the bountiful reserve of can goods. The girl then went and gave thanks and ate as she had seen the abundance that was brought into her adopted life.

God brings an abundance of mercy and grace into our adopted lives. He showers kindness upon us and wants to show us the riches of life that comes with being a part of His family. Give thanks for what God has given you and remember His blessings are shared with each of us as though we are His only child to look after.

AskMe #2542249 09/08/11 06:23 AM
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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God�s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The apostle starts out in these verses by saying to always be joyful. Spiritually we should always rejoice in our hearts about whatever comes our way for we know God is there with us. Even though our lives may face pain and sorrow we can still rejoice in knowing God brings new mercies every day that help us deal with those painful moments. The way we find that joy is connecting to God and Christ through prayer. Prayer is the moments we give to God to build our relationship with Him. It is not that every moment should be dedicated in prayer but that prayer should not be hindered when it proper to do so. We should always be ready to pray whether it is to give praise, repent, or open up with our heartfelt desires. Whether in prosperity or adversity we should be thankful to God. We tend to immediately think things are for the worst when actually matters can always rise to much greater complaint. So be thankful God is with you to see you through the difficult moments in life.



Chris Downey, a 1984 graduate of NC State, was an architect in Oakland. In 2008 he noticed his vision was becoming blurred. A tumor had wrapped itself around the optic nerve and he needed surgery right away. When he woke up from surgery everything was blurry and five days later everything went black; Chris was blind. Chris could no longer read architectural plans. Chris scheduled a talk with the owner, to figure out how he could be more useful. He was at a workstation, up on a loft, when the owner came to see him. He could tell by the footsteps that it wasn�t going to be the kind of conversation he had been planning to have. San Francisco was full of laid-off architects. Chris could be pretty sure he was the only blind one.

Being blind turned out to be an interesting credential. SmithGroup and another firm, the Design Partnership, hired him as a consultant. Chris had found a blind computer engineer who had developed a tactile printer. He was able to see the plans laid in front of him by touch. Chris found himself designing buildings to accommodate the blind. Now he has an expertise that separates him from every other architect in the Bay Area.

Chris may have thought life was over as he knew it. But Chris overcame his problem and continued to live a prosperous life. At an architectural convention he was told to write �Why do you do what you do?� He then held up a piece of paper with the words, �I have been doing architecture so long I could do it with my eyes closed. REALLY, Chris Downey� Praise God that through his impairment Chris is able to give hope to others.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. For even in our desperate times we continue to do what we do because God wants us to give hope to others.

AskMe #2543192 09/12/11 06:48 AM
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Song of Solomon 8:7 (NLT)
7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

The reigning love of God in the heart is constant and firm. There are no waters that can put out its fire. God�s love will let a person rejoice even in the face of tribulation. Christ died because of God�s love for us. There is no money, no wealth, and no treasure greater than what God did for us through Christ. It is with this love that we are to love others.

What happens in a marriage when one person places a greater importance upon themselves instead of their spouse? The love they intended to show the spouse is suddenly misplaced, misdirected and misused for their own need. If the person does not correct their actions the one they are married to can quickly become fed up. They begin to lose the love and respect they have for the one they loved. The spouse that placed the greater importance upon themself may face the fact their spouse has given up on them and is ready for divorce. It is usually at this moment that the offender wants to change, willing to give up everything in order to maintain the love they once knew. But man finds he cannot buy love with anything he owns for love comes from the heart and gives as Christ gave to us.

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