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AskMe #2820645 09/22/14 06:34 AM
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Romans 15:7 (NLT)
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

The apostle best explains this in the opening verses of Romans 7:1-6, �We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn�t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, �The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.� Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God�s promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.�



Gordon MacDonald shares the following story about visiting a small group of men and women affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. MacDonald said that he visited the group because he has friends who are recovering alcoholics and he wanted to see for himself what they were talking about. Here's what he found:

One morning Kathy�I guessed her age at 35�joined us for the first time. One look at her face caused me to conclude that she must have been Hollywood-beautiful at 21. Now her face was swollen, her eyes red, her teeth rotting. Her hair looked unwashed, uncombed for who knows how long.

"I've been in five states in the past month," she said. "I've slept under bridges on several nights. Been arrested. Raped. Robbed (now weeping). I don't know what to do. I � don't � want � to � be � homeless � any more. But (sob) I can't stop drinking (sob). I can't stop (sob). I can't � "

Next to Kathy was a rather large woman, Marilyn, sober for more than a dozen years. She reached with both arms toward Kathy and pulled her close, so close that Kathy's face was pressed to Marilyn's ample breast. I was close enough to hear Marilyn speak quietly into Kathy's ear, "Honey, you're going to be OK. You're with us now. We can deal with this together. All you have to do is keep coming. Hear me? Keep on coming." And then Marilyn kissed the top of Kathy's head.

I was awestruck. The simple words, the affection, the tenderness. How Jesus-like. I couldn't avoid a troubling question that morning. Could this have happened in the places where I have worshiped? Would there have been a space in the program for Kathy to tell her story? Would there have been a Marilyn to respond in this way? [Gordon MacDonald, "My Small Group, Anonymous," Leadership Journal (Winter 2014)]


Marilyn was living out God�s word by accepting Kathy who was homeless, who had been arrested, raped, robbed and probably others things she hadn�t shared. We all want to be accepted in life, but we must also be willing to give acceptance to others. Learn to accept people for who they are. We don�t have to go along with bad behaviors or sinful actions, but we can still accept the person and love them for who they are.

Last edited by AskMe; 09/22/14 06:54 AM.
AskMe #2820751 09/23/14 06:10 AM
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Romans 5:3-4 (NLT)
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

The Bible tells us to give thanks for everything and here we are told to rejoice when we face problems and trails. No one wants problems and trials, but they are an inevitable part of life. If we turn to God, our hope, our salvation, and our protector then we can develop strength of character from the confidence we gain in God.



Author Henri Nouwen tells the story of a family he knew in Paraguay. The father, a doctor, spoke out against the military regime there and its human rights abuses. Local police took their revenge on him by arresting his teenage son and torturing him to death. Enraged townsfolk wanted to turn the boy's funeral into a huge protest march, but the doctor chose another means of protest. At the funeral, the father displayed his son's body as he had found it in the jail�naked, scarred from electric shocks and cigarette burns, and beatings. All the villagers filed past the corpse, which lay not in a coffin but on the blood-soaked mattress from the prison. It was the strongest protest imaginable, for it put injustice on grotesque display.

Isn't that what God did at Calvary? � The cross that held Jesus' body, naked and marked with scars, exposed all the violence and injustice of this world. At once, the cross revealed what kind of world we have and what kind of God we have: a world of gross unfairness, a God of sacrificial love. [Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God (Zondervan, 1997), pp. 185-186]


When we face the problems and trials that come at us in life, take a moment to stop and think of Jesus who through no fault of His own was tortured and crucified for our sin. The problems and trials we face are not always fair, nor are they always just. Jesus understands; for he endured harsh torture for our sake. The strength Jesus demonstrated gives us hope that we can also endure the trials we face in life.

AskMe #2820926 09/24/14 06:43 AM
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Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God�s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

The greatest part of the saints' happiness is in promise. They must first do the will of God before they receive the promise; and, after they have done the will of God, they have need of patience to wait for the time when the promise shall be fulfilled; they have need of patience to live till God calls them away. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for the reward till God's time to give it them is come. We must be God's waiting servants when we can be no longer his working servants. ~Matthew Henry



In 2009, a new billboard in downtown Chicago got everyone's attention, stirring some controversy. In big letters it asked: "Are you good without God? Millions are." It was put up by an organization called the Chicago Coalition of Reason. According to an article about the billboard in the Chicago Tribune, the Coalition's coordinator said "the billboard aims to hearten humanists, atheists, and agnostics who might feel isolated or misunderstood in their quest for alternatives to religious worldviews."

The billboard's question does beg for answer: Can a person who rejects God's very existence, let alone his authority, do good? Well, of course! They can be honest and kind, pay their taxes, give money to the poor. But from a Christian point of view, that misses the point.

It makes me think of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Remember him? The Tin Man's quest was to find a heart. When he finally came face-to-face with the Wizard, the Wizard warned the Tin Man that hearts can be broken. The Tin Man replies, "But I still want one." And do you remember what the Wizard said next? "Back where I come from," he said, "there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called � good-deed-doers. And their hearts are no bigger than yours, but they have one thing you haven't got."

God would say something similar to the "good without God" billboard people. He would say, "When Christians do good deeds properly, their hearts are no bigger than yours, But they have one thing you haven't got." That one thing is found in Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." [Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: Manya A. Brachear, ��Good without God�� billboard pops up near Loop,� Chicago Tribune (10-22-09)]


Before we came to life, God already had a purpose for our lives. It is with patience that we endure the life we have been given. It is with patience we perform the duties God has entrusted us with. And it is with patience that we wait upon God�s promise of eternal life through Christ Jesus.

AskMe #2821119 09/25/14 06:55 AM
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2 Corinthians 2:17 (NKJV)
17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

There were those who corrupted the word of God for their own profit or for their own purpose. However, there should be sincerity in sharing the word of God with others that we might not add to nor take away from God�s purpose.


In his book The Trust Edge, (Summerside Press, 2010), pp. 20-22, business consultant David Horsager contends, "Trust, not money, is the currency of business and life." He points to a 2009 research study called the "Edelman Trust Barometer." The study, based on interviews with over 4,000 people in twenty countries, highlighted the importance of a company's ability to build trust.

For instance, when people trust a company:
91 percent chose to buy from them
76 percent recommended them to a friend
55 percent will pay a premium to do business with them
42 percent share positive experiences online
26 percent bought shares

In contrast, the study also found that when people distrust a company:
77 percent refuse to buy from them
72 percent criticized them to a friend or colleague
34 percent shared their negative experiences online
17 percent sold shares


People need to know they can trust someone before they will believe in what they have to offer. King David talks often throughout the Psalms about his trust in The Lord. If David did not trust The Lord then he would not have depended upon God and looked to Him for help.

Let us make sure we are always true to God�s word. Let us deliver God�s messages in a way that people can trust what we say. We should always ensure that we do not take away nor do we add to the purpose God has laid out for His people.

AskMe #2821593 09/29/14 06:30 AM
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Matthew 15:1-2
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 �Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don�t wash their hands before they eat!�

Jesus replied, �And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?� The teachers of the law were so focused on trying to maintain rules to please God that they had created their own human rules. The teachers while trying to do what was right had failed to maintain a relationship with God to understand the things God was teaching them.



Jesus was about creating relationships with people. Jesus came in order to save us from sin so we would be clean in the presence of God. The Pharisees were so focused on maintaining the law they failed to see the needs of others. Instead Jesus was focused on a relationship with the people; that came first.

I was out of town and I walked into a restaurant recommended by some of the locals. The place was packed and since I was alone the waitress asked if I would mind sitting at the bar to eat. There was a spot I could immediately sit at and order so I accepted knowing I would not have to wait.

Next to the place where I was going to sit was a man starting to argue with the bartender that his beer had been taken. I had seen the glass just before it was taken away and there was probably a � of a glass of beer left. Instead of arguing, the bartender just said, �Let me pour you another one.� The argument was settled and the man calmed down.

Sensing the man was still upset I struck up a conversation with him. I said, �Sounds like you might be having a tough day.� His response, �Man you just wouldn�t know. I got out of jail this week and I�m trying to find a job and no one will hire me.� I felt compassion for the man so I asked about his circumstances and if he had a place to live. He said his grandmother was putting him up. I asked if he went to a local church and he said he had trusted Jesus for salvation in jail, but he had not found a church. He said his grandmother was encouraging him to go to church with her. It was obvious this man had a good opinion of his grandmother.

I told him I was glad he had been saved in jail and that Jesus didn�t want to see him suffering and maybe the church could help him. He said, �You know that is what my grandmother keeps saying. She says go down to the church, tell them my problems and ask how they can help. She said they find jobs for people all the time.� I reaffirmed his grandmother sounded like a wise woman.

At that point in the conversation the man stood up, told me thank you, shook my hand and said, �Thank you. I think God sent you here today. I�m going home to see my grandmother and talk to her about the church.

The man laid down a tip and left the full glass of beer sitting on the bar. The man had needed a friend, someone to listen and someone to care. In desperation he had turned to alcohol to calm his nerves, but just taking time to make a friend and develop a relationship with the man made a difference in his life.

AskMe #2821599 09/29/14 08:51 AM
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What a great testimony, Sir.
It will inspire me to reach out to others.

I want you to know that I also recall you writing about your church's ministry of reaching out to the homeless and your testimony inspired me to start feeding some homeless people.

When I work in the inner city, they are all over the streets.
So I've started going to McDonalds or Burger King and buying food off of their dollar menu and trying to pass it out to at least one homeless person when working in the inner city.


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Originally Posted by Jedi_Knight
What a great testimony, Sir.
It will inspire me to reach out to others.

I want you to know that I also recall you writing about your church's ministry of reaching out to the homeless and your testimony inspired me to start feeding some homeless people.

When I work in the inner city, they are all over the streets.
So I've started going to McDonalds or Burger King and buying food off of their dollar menu and trying to pass it out to at least one homeless person when working in the inner city.


I never liked giving money to indiviuals, but I never hesitated to buy someone a meal. There were many times I have walked into a McDonalds or Burger King and carried back a meal to someone who was homeless. One time a man I gave a meal to turned around and shared part of it with another person. He understood their hunger. May your good deeds bring blessings to others.

AskMe #2821733 09/30/14 06:06 AM
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Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV)
6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

This was a reminder to the people to keep The Lord�s commandments and teach them to others. Not only are we to live out what God desires for us, but we are to be encouragers who provide a positive influence on others no matter where we are.



John Ashcroft, in Lesson from a Father to His Son wrote, �Many kids wake up to the smell of coffee brewing or the sound of a rooster crowing. My wake-up call was my father's passionate praying filtering through the house. Sometimes I'd ease downstairs and join him. One knee was usually raised, so I'd slip in underneath, shielded by his body as he pleaded for my soul.

I never caught Dad praying for our happiness. He realized that the pursuit of happiness for its own sake is a frustrating, disillusioning, often futile effort. Happiness usually hides from those addicted to its sugar, while it chases after those caught up in something more lasting than momentary excitement.

I never heard him pray for a bigger house, car, or bank account. Instead, he prayed that our hearts would be ignited and inspired to do things of eternal consequence. "Turn our eyes from the temporal, the physical, and the menial," he prayed, "and toward the eternal, the spiritual, and the noble."

My father never pressured us toward achievement. He knew that the push had to come from inner reserves, not outward designs. He simply dangled before us the possibilities. Thanks to his example, we sometimes took the bait.�


As husbands and fathers our first call is to be a positive influence first upon our family and then those that are around us. Our hearts should seek out the good and positive things in life and the life eternal. For where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.

AskMe #2821840 10/01/14 07:19 AM
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Proverbs 1:10 (NKJV)
10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.

This is a warning passed along from father to son, �My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.� It is a good message for any parent to give their children as they enter into the world. They need to know there are those who will lure them with greed and other methods to commit acts of sin. King Solomon continues in this chapter of Proverbs to explain the consequences for taking such actions to his son.



There are some things a person never forgets, in my case it was an act of greed enticed by a friend. I was young and my mother had taken me and a friend to a convenience store. Inside the store was a young girl probably around our age that had a handful of pennies. She accidentally dropped them and they rolled all over the floor.

My friend whispered to me, �Stand on one of those and we can pick it up when she leaves.� Back then a penny could buy you three pieces of bubble gum. So I walked over and stood on one of the pennies until the girl had picked up the others off the floor. She obviously didn�t know how many pennies she had; she was just there to buy some candy with the amount she had.

My mother was still talking to someone in the store, so I used that time as an opportunity. I picked up the penny, grabbed three pieces of bubble gum and paid with that penny. After all, it wasn�t stealing if I was paying, right? I even gave my friend one of the pieces of bubble gum for the advice. Wasn�t that sharing?

My mother had finished her conversation and she got us in the car to take us home. During the ride home my friend mentioned how I had gotten the penny and bought the bubble gum. It was at that point I felt the shame and guilt of taking that girl�s penny. If it already wasn�t bad enough, my mother gave me a lecture about STEALING the girl�s penny. The sin I committed many, many years ago is still imprinted on my mind today.


Warnings to others are important. They are important for us to give our children so they understand the consequences before they are faced with them. Warnings are important to us so we also know what not to do and keep safe. So, my friends, if sinners entice you, do not consent!

AskMe #2821893 10/02/14 06:57 AM
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Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Those may be said to flatter their neighbours who commend and applaud that good in them (the good they do or the good they have) which really either is not or is not such as they represent it, and who profess that esteem and that affection for them which really they have not; these spread a net for their feet. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



In his Focus on the Family magazine article entitled "The Problem with Nice Guys," Paul Coughlin insists Christians must avoid passive and aggressive extremes, opting instead for assertiveness. He offers the following example from pop culture to illustrate what Christian assertiveness looks like:

Three major personality types are found among the judges of the popular reality TV show American Idol. Passive Paula Abdul is gracious but not always truthful. Aggressive Simon Cowell is truthful but rarely gracious. Assertive Randy Jackson is often truthful and gracious. Be like Randy.


We can�t afford to sugar coat the truth or we will fall into the trap of believing the things we do wrong in life are OK. We also can�t afford to be too harsh with ourselves; for when we do that we feel shame and guilt. Instead we need to be honest with ourselves and The Lord so He can guide us to the right path and we are willing to follow.

AskMe #2822005 10/03/14 07:20 AM
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Matthew 24:17-21 (NIV)
17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now�and never to be equaled again.

Jesus is explaining the end times to the disciples after they asked when the end of the world would be coming. In the verses above Jesus gave some warnings and things that would take place before the end of the world approached.



The Ebola patient being held in a Texas isolation unit was a good neighbor who helped carry a pregnant woman who was convulsing and vomiting blood to an Ebola ward and then home again less than week before he left Liberia for Texas, neighbors told ABC News.

The pregnant woman who was 19 and about seven months along became sick on Friday, Sept. 12, according to neighbor Irene Seyou. On Monday, Sept. 15, she went to a clinic, but was told they couldn't help her and advised her to go to a hospital. After returning from the clinic, the woman started convulsing that night and neighbors, including Duncan, helped carry her to a taxi, which took her to the maternity ward at JFK Hospital, which wouldn't take her. The hospital's Ebola treatment unit also turned her away. They then drove to another hospital named ELWA2, which also couldn't take her, according to Seyou.

Duncan rode with her during this last trip and when the cab returned, it stopped at the edge of housing compound and Duncan helped carry her to home. During this time, she was vomiting blood, Seyou told ABC News.

She died the next day, Seyou said.

[ABC news, Texas Ebola Patient Was Good Neighbor Who Helped Dying Woman]


The Bible tells us that even before the end times come �How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!� Only God the Father knows the exact time when the world as we know it will come to an end. However, The Bible still holds true about things we will see as we draw closer to an end.

As I read about the Ebola virus in an online article; I was reminded of the verse above when it was mentioned in the article that women who are pregnant and catch Ebola have little hope of survival. I worry we have thought this problem was not ours and we will deal with it when the times comes. Well the time has come and we can say how dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! L

Let us take action to do what we can. Pray for those who are sick. Support charities that are providing aid and relief to the efforts against the Ebola virus. Remember above all that God is in control and will protect you as you stay close to Him.

AskMe #2822242 10/06/14 06:29 AM
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Isaiah 26:4 (NIV)
4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Let us never lose the promises The Lord has given us. For The Bible says Trust in the Lord and from those words spring everlasting promises. Psalm 118:8 says, �It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.�



Eleanor Turnbull, a veteran missionary to Haiti, collected and translated the prayers of the Christians who lived in the mountains of Haiti. These profound and child-like prayers are recorded in the book God Is No Stranger. Here are four prayers about God's grace and protection.

Lord,
All my life, I have been just a weed;
I became a flower.
I am young and I want to grow and be cultivated
so I can become more beautiful.

Lord,
In Christ, we are a grain of corn in a clear bottle.
Satan comes like a chicken and pecks for the corn, but never reaches it.

Lord,
How glad we are that we don't hold you,
you hold us.

Lord,
Don't let us put our load of trouble in a basket on our head.
Help us put them on Jesus' head.
Then we won't have headaches.


These are the simple prayers of people looking for the promises of God to be fulfilled in the lives. They are the expressions of heartfelt emotions. From the words of the song Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus, by Helen H Lemmel come these thoughts.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

His Word shall not fail you�He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

AskMe #2822351 10/07/14 07:58 AM
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Isaiah 29:15 (NJKV)
15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord, And their works are in the dark; They say, �Who sees us?� and, �Who knows us?�

In these verses Isaiah speaks to the people about their blindness to their own disobedience. He warns them of the heart ache that will follow when they conceal troubles and sins from the Lord. For they try to hide in darkness and are even bold enough to question, who sees us, and who knows us, when they know God does.




I had an elementary principal named, Mr. Rhame. Mr. Rhame was an incredible, kind, compassionate, and caring principal; and best of all he remembered the names of his student. And he didn�t just remember them while they were in his school; he remembered their names as they grew up. When I was an adult and Mr. Rhame would see me out somewhere he would yell out, �Hi Artie, how are you doing?� It was always a greeting that warmed my heart. It wasn�t that I was special; Mr. Rhame enjoyed his students and remembered their names. Countless other people can tell you the same story. If Mr. Rhame saw them he would call out their name with a greeting to them. Mr. Rhame knew us because he had a bond as our principal; a special bond that lasted a lifetime.

God knows us in much deeper way. God knows our names. God knows our actions. God knows our feelings. And what do we try to do? We try to hide those things from God. Yet, God already knows all about us and then we think like the people Isaiah addressed, who sees us and who knows us? I�ll tell you the truth, besides God there are more people who see us and know what we are doing than we think.

We are supposed to turn all our cares, all our worries, all our problems and all our sins to God. Remember God already knows all this stuff, so why should we tell Him? Because it helps us to become free from the problems we are experiencing. We release those problems to God so He can help us deal with them.

When you are bitter and angry towards a person, who are you hurting? You are hurting yourself because the other person may have little to no clue you feel the way you do. You are basically letting them live in your head tormenting you as they walk around happy. When you keep sins a secret to yourself, who gets hurt? Several people get hurt. First you hurt yourself because the sin you carry weights you down as a heavy burden. Second the person who you have sinned against is usually hurt as a consequence of the sin and often they don�t know where the hurt is coming from.

Remember God knows all this stuff, so take a moment and talk to Him about it. Just carry on a conversation, a prayer, to share the feelings of your heart. Then let God speak to you and guide you on the right paths of life. And remember Jesus is there with you and comforting them as you let go of your troubles.

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1 John 5:7 (NKJV)
7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

This is the apostle�s reminder that we are watched over by three witnesses. All are God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.



In 2012, on a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The police officer, who is normally assigned to different section of New York City, said, "I looked over and someone was laughing at this elderly [homeless] gentleman who had no socks (and) no shoes. You could see the blisters from a distance. I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold."

So, he asked the man if he had anything to cover his feet. "It's okay, Sir, I've never had a pair of shoes," the homeless man replied. "But God bless you." As the homeless man strolled away, DePrimo caught up to him and asked him his shoe size before walking into a Skechers on W. 42nd St. DiPrimo told a worker, "I'd like to buy a pair of boots, something that will last a while. I don't care what the price is." A few minutes later, the kindhearted cop bought a $100 pair of all-weather boots, size 12. A store manager later said, "We were just kind of shocked. Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood."

The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Arizona. Foster said, "The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching." Her snapshot�taken with her cellphone and posted to the New York Police Department's official Facebook page�made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero. As of June, 2014, the post had attracted over 600,000 "likes" and more than 48,000 comments�a runaway hit for the NYPD. Many comments have pointed to how this simple act of kindness has "restored my faith in humanity."

[David Goodman, "Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online," The New York Times (11-28-12); Amanda Mickelberg, "NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo immortalized in tourist's photo ..." New York Post (12-18-12)]


Out of an act of kindness this police officer was watching after this homeless man by tending to his needs. We have a God in heaven who watches over us, looking out for us and taking care of our needs. Give your cares and worries to God in prayer that he would hear them and help you through any difficult times you are having.

AskMe #2822627 10/09/14 06:01 AM
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Psalm 128:1 (NKJV)
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.

Today I just want to share a favorite song about the blessings of life.


"Blessings" by Laura Story from the album Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

AskMe #2822730 10/10/14 06:43 AM
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Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)
19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

A warning to us all if we voice our thoughts in an unchecked manner those thoughts can turn to sin. Instead we should hold our thoughts to ourselves until the proper moment when through discernment and wisdom we have reasoned out the facts.



I showed up at the house of a friend and rang the doorbell. I was supposed to bring some chairs. He opened the door and said, "Ron, where are the chairs?"

I responded, "Oh, I forgot."

He glared at me and barked, "That figures!"

I thought, That figures? He thinks I'm no good. He thinks I can't follow through. He thinks I'm useless. Then I thought, Who does he think he is? The creep. I bet he's got a problem or 12!

But then I decided I had two options: believe the best about what he was saying�although that was pretty tough�and just forget about it, or ask him what he meant�even though it seemed obvious to me.

A couple of weeks later I saw him and brought it up: "You know the other day when I was at your house and forgot to bring the chairs and you said, 'That figures'? �"

He interrupted me and said, "I shouldn't have said that."

"I was wondering what you meant."

"Well, all day long that day in every meeting someone had forgotten something. It just figured."

So, he wasn't saying, "Jenson, you're a jerk." He was saying, "My day's been terrible."

[Adapted from Ron Jenson in Fathers and Sons, "Jerk Reaction," Men of Integrity (January/February 2005)]


It would have been so easy for Ron�s anger to get the best of him and speak out in ways that could have damaged a friendship. Instead Ron chose to wait, ponder his thoughts and ask for clarification to comments that were made. When he received his answer not only did he feel better, but he also avoided the trap of sin and kept a friendship whole.

Too often we want to speak out against something we just heard, but maybe we haven�t heard the full story yet. Our haste to speak may place us in a position where we later regret the words we have said. In this day and time of fast flowing information, take a moment, slow down and allow reason and wisdom to prevail you say something you will regret.

AskMe #2823186 10/13/14 06:58 AM
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Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,� says the Lord. �They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Known unto God are all his works, for known unto him are all his thoughts and his works agree exactly with his thoughts; he does all according to the counsel of his will. We often do not know our own thoughts, nor know our own mind, but God is never at any uncertainty within himself. We are sometimes ready to fear that God's designs concerning us are all against us; but he knows the contrary concerning his own people, that they are thoughts of good and not of evil; even that which seems evil is designed for good. [Matthew Henry Commentary]



In 1986, a Christian worker named Steve Saint was traveling through the country of Mali when his car broke down. Stranded and alone, Steve tried to rent a truck, despite warnings that he wouldn't survive in the Sahara Desert. After he failed to find a truck, in his fear and discouragement, Steve's thoughts ran to his father, Nate Saint, a former missionary in Ecuador. When Steve was only five, natives speared to death his dad and four other missionaries. Now, thirty years later, Steve found himself questioning his father's death. Steve reflected, "I couldn't help but think the murders were capricious, an accident of bad timing."

When Steve asked some locals directions to a church, a few children led him to a tiny mud- brick house with a poster on the wall showing wounded hands covering a cross. A man in flowing robes introduced himself as Nouh Af Infa Yatara. Nouh started sharing with Steve about his faith in Christ. After becoming a Christian, his family disowned him. His mother even put a sorcerer's poison in Nouh's food at a family feast. He ate the food but suffered no ill effects.

When Steve asked Nouh why he was willing to pay such a steep price for following Christ, he simply said, "I know God loves me and I'll live with him forever." But Steve pressed, "Where did your courage come from?" Nouh explained that when he was young, a missionary gave him books about Christians who had suffered for their faith. Then he added, "My favorite was about five young men who risked their lives to take God's good news to people in the jungles of Ecuador. The book said they let themselves be speared to death, even though they had guns and could have killed their attackers!"

Utterly shocked, Steve said, "One of those men was my father." Now Nouh felt stunned. "Your father?" he exclaimed. Then Nouh told Steve that God had used the death of those five brave missionaries to help him, a young Muslim who had become a Christian, hold on to his faith. [Adapted from Randy Alcorn, If God Is Good (Multnomah, 2009), pp 400-401]


There are times in life when we face pain, hurt and even death. We do not know why things happen, but fortunately God does and uses what was meant for evil to be good. Five men gave their lives for Jesus Christ, but they knew they had an eternal life with Christ. The actions of these men had an impact on Nouh Af Infa Yatara that sustained his Christian faith even though he was rejected by his own family. God had used the death of those five brave missionaries to help him, a young Muslim who had become a Christian, hold on to his faith. It also gave hope to Nate Saint about the questions he had concerning the purpose of his father�s death. God�s plans are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

AskMe #2823586 10/15/14 07:49 AM
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Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

May we keep peace and not stir up anger. Let our cause be spoken with meekness. When we are faced with hard arguments let us keep our words soft.



When I was a senior in high school, I worked at a Hardee�s restaurant as one of the assistant managers. It was my job to ensure things were running smoothly and that customers were satisfied with our product. If a customer walked away unhappy there was the likelihood they might not return, so we wanted to keep customers happy.

I can remember answering the office phone one day and hearing this obviously angry woman on the other end of the phone line. She began ripping into me about how she had gotten home and had found that her order was incorrect and that she was missing some items.

Although I didn�t know exactly what happened, I knew this woman was frustrated. So I calmly said, �What can I do to make this right for you?� She let me know rather quickly she wasn�t about to get in the car and drive back up there; that was just going to be too much effort on her part.

So I said, �I really want to make this right for you. How about I mail you several coupons good for free hamburgers, fries and drinks? This way you won�t have to make a special trip and you can drop back in anytime you want. If there is any money we owe you I can also send that to you.�

The woman�s tone changed immediately. She said thank you, but I wasn�t over charged, I just didn�t get everything I asked for. I told her I hoped the coupons would make up for her inconvenience. She politely gave me her address and I mailed the coupons to her.


This was one of those cases where you didn�t want to fight harsh words with harsh words. Instead it was an opportunity to use gentle replies to win back a customer that could have otherwise been lost.

In our relationships with others we should always try to deflect anger with a gentle answer. Instead of answering with a harsh tone, listen to the feelings of the person and acknowledge you understand their feelings and respond to them accordingly. Using harsh words can only make tempers worst.

AskMe #2823831 10/16/14 06:41 AM
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Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

He prays to God to keep him from sin, and then begs He would accept his performances; for, if we favour our sins, we cannot expect God should favour us or our services. ~Matthew Henry



In her book Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg retells the following story about a famous first century rabbi named Rabbi Akiva:

One day as Rabbi Akiva was shepherding his flocks, he noticed a tiny stream trickling down a hillside, dripping over a ledge on its way toward the river below. Below was a massive boulder. Surprisingly, the rock bore a deep impression. The drip, drip, drip of water over the centuries had hollowed away the stone. Akiva commented, "If mere water can do this to hard rock, how much more can God's Word carve a way into my heart of flesh?" Akiva realized that if the water had flowed over the rock all at once, the rock would have been unchanged. It was the slow but steady impact of each small droplet, year after year, that completely reformed the stone.

Lois Tverberg comments:

When I first started studying the Bible's Hebraic context, I wanted one commentary that would teach me everything, one class that would explain it all. If I could learn all the "right answers" in one marathon event, all the better. I find now that God likes to reveal truth over many years, as I study alongside others. I realize now that big "splashes" aren't usually God's way of doing things. Instead, through the slow drip of study and prayer, day after day, year after year, he shapes us into what he wants us to be.


God loves to teach us lessons. Each of us needs to take the time to meditate on God�s word and speak with Him about things on our heart. God is our rock, the solid foundation on which we can steady our life. God is also our redeemer, our salvation, and the sustainer of our life. Let us be pleasing to God that God should favor the things we do.

AskMe #2823990 10/17/14 06:19 AM
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Psalm 25:14-15 (NIV)
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. 15 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

The secret of the Lord is with those that fear him. They understand his word; for, if any man do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, Jn. 7:17. Those that receive the truth in the love of it, and experience the power of it, best understand the mystery of it. They know the meaning of his providence, and what God is doing with them, better than others



In his book The Pressure's Off, psychologist Larry Crabb uses a story from his childhood to illustrate our need to delight in God through adversity:

One Saturday afternoon, I decided I was a big boy and could use the bathroom without anyone's help. So I climbed the stairs, closed and locked the door behind me, and for the next few minutes felt very self-sufficient.

Then it was time to leave. I couldn't unlock the door. I tried with every ounce of my three-year-old strength, but I couldn't do it. I panicked. I felt again like a very little boy as the thought went through my head, "I might spend the rest of my life in this bathroom."

My parents�and likely the neighbors�heard my desperate scream.

"Are you okay?" Mother shouted through the door she couldn't open from the outside. "Did you fall? Have you hit your head?"

"I can't unlock the door!" I yelled. "Get me out of here!"

I wasn't aware of it right then, but Dad raced down the stairs, ran to the garage to find the ladder, hauled it off the hooks, and leaned it against the side of the house just beneath the bedroom window. With adult strength, he pried it open, then climbed into my prison, walked past me, and with that same strength, turned the lock and opened the door.

"Thanks, Dad," I said�and ran out to play.

That's how I thought the Christian life was supposed to work. When I get stuck in a tight place, I should do all I can to free myself. When I can't, I should pray. Then God shows up. He hears my cry�"Get me out of here! I want to play!"�and unlocks the door to the blessings I desire.

Sometimes he does. But now, no longer three years old and approaching sixty, I'm realizing the Christian life doesn't work that way. And I wonder, are any of us content with God? Do we even like him when he doesn't open the door we most want opened�when a marriage doesn't heal, when rebellious kids still rebel, when friends betray, when financial reverses threaten our comfortable way of life, when the prospect of terrorism looms, when health worsens despite much prayer, when loneliness intensifies and depression deepens, when ministries die?

God has climbed through the small window into my dark room. But he doesn't walk by me to turn the lock that I couldn't budge. Instead, he sits down on the bathroom floor and says, "Come sit with me!" He seems to think that climbing into the room to be with me matters more than letting me out to play.

I don't always see it that way. "Get me out of here!" I scream. "If you love me, unlock the door!"

Dear friend, the choice is ours. Either we can keep asking him to give us what we think will make us happy�to escape our dark room and run to the playground of blessings�or we can accept his invitation to sit with him, for now, perhaps, in darkness, and to seize the opportunity to know him better and represent him well in this difficult world. [Larry Crabb, The Pressure's Off (WaterBrook Press, 2002); pp. 222-223]

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